Saturday, June 18, 2011


Well, this week, the Momma ended up going to the hospital for the remainder of her pregnancy. We're hopeful that she remains there for at least 9 weeks. At that point, all three babies have a very very good shot at a promising beginning at life. Starting this coming week (week 6), I will be taking the twins to the hospital to see their mommy twice a week. I have some insecurities about taking the kids out. And by "out", I mean off of their property. And by "off of their property" I mean out of their backyard. Here's my deal: At the end of day (my "watch"), those kids are supposed to be accounted for, fed, clean, and preferably laughing. schlep two wiggle worms off the reservation and across town, well...I'm willing because everyone is outta their comfort zones right now. If Momma can grow 6 lungs, 3 hearts, and 60 fingers and toes while lying in her bed, well then, I guess that I can take two whole, complete persons, short and rowdy though they may be, to visit with their co-creator.

Highlights of this week:

*When I felt I was being too strict and a "meany of a grandma", I got more loves and hugs from the boy. Way to go Mister..

*Though I never doubted it, the Momma was right, it's not the extra work, it's the combined brain power that is most challenging.

*I had forgotten the sheer decibels involved in raising children.

*I had also forgotten the sheer delight of driving the freeways home at dusk in the humidity, through the downtown where I grew up...and IT grew up...and I feel a connection to the skyline and the buildings and the streetlights.

*I never, ever, ever, get tired of the babies' smiles. Their specific dimples, the way their eyes crinkle when they smile, and those laughs. Puhleese.

Onto week six.

Saturday, June 11, 2011


Week four has ended. One month. Wow.

This is tough for the kids, but I think it's tougher for their Mom. She has to "mother" from her bed and it cannot be easy to hear the chaos and commotion, as well as the laughter and games, that are going on right outside her door, beyond her reach. The kids go into her room a few times a day, and in the afternoons, she can sometimes come out and sit outside if it's nice or situate herself on the couch, but we must watch and make sure the twins don't jump on her (because they want to) or play too hard around her (because they want to) and other possible risks (because they exist).

I try desperately to stay out of the way between Mom and baby relationships. This is a tricky path. I am not the mommy. I am the caregiver, for sure, but I am not the mommy. I have authority and I give affection (oh boy, can I give affection, just give me a rocking chair and a toddler and it's over) and I am present for their waking hours and do many similar things that their mommy did/does, so I'm certain that it is confusing for them, but it is extremely important that they understand (and I think they do) that Mommy is ultimately THEE Mommy. There are times when the boy will run down the dark hallway and curl up outside Mommy's bedroom door in an act of defiance against me, particularly regarding "potty issues", (go on Dr. Freud, say something!).

Other than that, it's been quite extraordinary. I've been here a month now and I've made interesting observations. I am amazed at the energy that I feel each morning when I awake. The alarm goes off at 6:15 a.m. When I arrive at their house, typically between 7:30 and 7:45 in the morning, the kids are stirring...and it simply doesn't stop from then on. I should be exhausted, and typically I am, but it doesn't hit until I walk into my bedroom at night and get on my bed. And it's not even a "slamming" exhaustion-it's more of a pleasant, job-well-done, type of feeling. It feels pretty good.

The "slamming" exhaustion happens on the weekend. My body just gives up and appears to let my tiredness "catch up" with me. I lay around my mother's house, where I stay on the weekends, and I vegetate. I go to church on Sunday morning and maybe Mom and I will go out on Saturday afternoon, but other than that I work on the computer (while it's on my lap) and just veg. I find that Mom and I share some quiet times together and it's pretty fun. I can make my mother laugh pretty hard and THAT is so much fun, I can't even tell you. Today we made our own clothes detergent and when she smelled the Fels Naptha, it took her back almost 90 years to her own childhood, but that's another post entirely. Glorious.

The high point of this week was Friday morning. It was lightening and thundering. There are two rocking chairs on their front porch and this provided a beautiful view to the lightening show. The thunder was rumbling and even giving loud cracking sounds. I figured this was a perfect opportunity to teach the children how to appreciate these storms and not fear them. We went out on the porch. We felt the rain coming down from the eaves of the porch. I rocked them on my lap. We watched the lightening and listened to the thunder. We figured out that thunder was our friend because it told us, by its loudness, how close the lightening was. They showed no fear. It was delightful. Each of my children grew up learning to love thunder storms. They still do. It's one of my favorite thing about being in Central Ohio. So....I think that was the high point of the week.

That and realizing that something bigger than me is carrying me through this experience. Something divine and wonderful and loving is pushing me and carrying me simultaneously. I know that their Mommy is praying each day for this to happen and those prayers are being answered. I should not have this much energy. On paper, this should not be the case. But life doesn't always happen "on paper". It just happens. I was telling my co-grammy, Abby's mother, who is kind enough to share her glorious apartment with me during the week days, that when I first arrived I thought her big basset hound was in my bed sleeping with me because I felt this big, warm, loving presence next to me at night. She assured me that the dog wasn't anywhere near my room. I wasn't complaining because I REALLY like the dog. Several times now it has felt like a big loving presence is with me. I realize how odd that sounds. I get it. I GET IT. But I'm telling you, I am surrounded by love and uplifted and carried through this experience. God really loves those twins AND their He's really taking care of the caregiver. The pure love of Christ works mighty miracles.

Mommy prayers....powerful stuff....

Saturday, June 4, 2011


At the end of week two, I had a bit of an increase in fatigue. I run out of steam a little earlier in the day than I did the first week. Okay. I can live with that. I lost about five pounds and I can definitely live with that. But the most important things I figured out this week are the following:

If you stand in a rain puddle in the back yard and wiggle your piggies, it cleanses your soul. It’s an amazing piece of knowledge.

Melting popsicles are more flavorful than frozen ones.

Pushing a 2-year-old in a swing strengthens the muscles of one’s character, particularly patience.

Being able to find joy in the slow smile and glazed-eye, dreamy countenance of a 2-year-old who’s slowing being rocked to sleep is a noble and precious gift.

At the end of week three, I experienced a little more fatigue at the end of the day. I ended my week off between quarters of school. It looks like the kids might be taking a growth spurt. It appears that they are “constantly” ready for their naps or bed time, meaning that they are sleepy a lot. They are always wanting to eat something. They don’t always listen, so behavior is chaotic. Or perhaps I’m describing typical 2 year olds. I've learned that the girl appears to be the "alpha", but the boy is ahead in language skills, but she’s ahead in physical skills, but he’s ahead with cuddling, but she’s....and this can go on and on and on and on....bottom line-each child has a unique skill sets and each has a unique ability to pinch my heart and make me laugh-at the same time.

On to Week Four!

Saturday, May 21, 2011


One week with the twinkies, the twins, the ones in the picture above. I'd like to think that I had wrought a magic change upon them...that they're better people...that diapers are a thing of the past, that their mother, who is on bed rest while carrying triplets has miraculously healed and that I, personally, saved the world from utter destruction (unfortunate for those awaiting the Rapture).

Alas, none of those things happened. What DID happen was that I learned how to eat an orange slowly, while staring out a window. I learned how to wake up at 6:15 AM and put one foot in front of the other, which was a theme that was repeated in a game the kids and I made up. I also learned, while trying to get the boy to use the potty, even while playing, that "important things come first". I've applied that to my own life this week and that's what got me through the day...and night. Important things come first.

So...week one...I learned how to...

1. Eat an orange slowly-it's really the ONLY way.
2. Put one foot in front of the other.
3. Important things first.

And so, I need people to stop telling me how wonderful I am for doing this. I need to STOP hearing what a wonderful thing I'm doing. Because truth be told, I'm the one, as usual, who gets the blessings and the lessons. I get the benefits. I'm the one that needs to say "Thank you".

THIS is an opportunity for blessings. Important things first.

Thursday, May 5, 2011


The other night, we watched the movie, "Donny Darko". I was MEANT to watch it. I had 2 people ask me to watch this movie. When we went to Palm Springs last Saturday to visit with Peter Jr., he asked me if I had seen the movie. This was the 3rd reference! I explained that 2 other people had asked me the same thing. He handed me the DVD and said, "Watch this for me because people are asking me to watch it also and I don't have time. You watch it and tell me what you think next time we're together". DONE AND DONE! This is a cult favorite. To watch this movie, you have to suspend your belief in ghosts and time travel. had me at "suspend your beliefs". Who doesn't suspend their beliefs about ANYTHING when they watch a movie. It's a MOVIE!!! You're not looking into anyone's window. It's a MOVIE. It's theater. Even movies that propose to be based on true events take license with the truth.

Donnie Darko combines these two very interesting concepts. A ghost that travels back in time to give messages to a troubled young man. Questions arise from this, but only about a million. I had the opportunity of watching this with my husband, whom I've described in the past as being a tad "pop-culturally anemic". He talks to relieve his anxiety during movies. He speaks his thoughts even if he'll eventually figure out the answer within a matter of seconds. This can get annoying. When we first started dating, I tried to overlook this behavior because he was so cute. Now, I dig the first joint of my thumb directly into the meat of his thigh. This provides a satisfying grinding sound and effectively redirects his attention to the searing pain in his leg. win/win

Anyway, following the movie, I had several interesting discussions with my son. I even looked up several annotated sites regarding some of the material covered in the movie. Did I mention I'm kind of wonky that way? I once read a book that traced the hemophiliac gene that spontaneously mutated in Queen Victoria's family and spread throughout the royal houses of Europe through her children and grand children because of royal marriages. Yea...wonk resides here.

Back to the movie, there are multiple sites devoted to understanding this movie. There are conversation threads regarding the minutia of everything from the flight numbers of the planes, to the Christianity of the movie, to what color socks Donnie wore (j/k). So, I'm not going to solve any great mysteries with my insight. I just think it's interesting. I can't figure out brownie recipes, I'm certainly not going to figure out Christian tangential universes...but I'll have a heck of a time trying. :)

Okay, off to ponder the great mysteries of the Darko family while I pull weeds and run from lizards.

Be well.

Friday, February 25, 2011


Here's the full story about what happened with the snakes and my date with my 3-yr-old grandson, Clarkie.

In the afternoon, I took a friend to a pet store that specializes in weird amphibious type pets. I don't know what's "pet-like" about bearded lizards or ill-tempered snakes, but it has its appeal to some.

I walked past a glass enclosed "cage" with a black Alabama snake in it. This snake immediately recoiled from me, hissed, and rattled his tail. Obviously he didn't like me. He did not respond this way when my 19-yr-old friend walked past. We experimented. The 19-yr-old stood there....nothing. I stood there, the snake becomes Voldermort.

Glass enclosers create brave observers so I stood my ground with Voldy and began to sway (which is a bad habit of mine, I admit). This must have infuriated He-Who-Must-Not-Be-Swayed-In-Front-Of because in the time it takes to think "Wha the", that snake attacked me. He didn't REACH me, but the force with which he hit that glass was hard, fast, and angry, and I jumped backwards and left my body for a few seconds. All I left in place was an expletive, just hanging there in a blue cloud of repentance. That snake had to hurt his nose from the fierceness with which he hit that glass. Yikes.

When I finally centered myself, and my "friend" stopped laughing (bonding episode? I don't think so), he stood in front of Mr. Warmth and what happened? Nothing. Apparently, it's true. Snakes and women have a history that goes way back. I'm assuming he was a little smoother in the Garden.

Anyway, last night I took my 3-yr-old grandson on a Moo Moo/Clarkie date. We went to get some dairy-free-fat-free-taste-free yogurt and I told him about the experience. His huge blue eyes were even more huger and bluer. He hung on every word. So it came to the following dialoge:

ME: So, Clarkie, I'll take you to that store to look at those snakes, ok?

HIM: *without missing a beat* And I won't go, cuz there's snakes, ok?

Clarkie is waaayyyyy smarter than Moo.

Wednesday, February 23, 2011


ME: Hi Mom. How's everything.

MOM: Fine! Feeling good. Been gone. Out with card club. Playing Mah Jong, having lunch, you know. I just got back and was napping a bit while watching Ellen. How's everything with you.

ME: Well, I thought I'd give you a ring between moving things between houses before it got too late. My paper is finished so I have a bit more time and then we started this moving business, so I hope I caught you at a good time.

MOM: Well...I know you're busy and all and I'm just happy when you think of me and remember me. We had a good time when you were here. I talk to your picture every morning. I know it's hard to find the time to call an elderly person who isn't right there close to you. So don't worry about me. I find things to do. I have some friends. We entertain ourselves. If something happens I can call them...

ME: I missed one day of calling, Mom.

MOM: Oh! It seemed so much longer!!!!

ME: Yea...I'll call you tomorrow, okay?

MOM: Okay sweetie. Have a good day. I'm going back to Ellen now. Love you, bye!

ME: *searching for therapist on speed dial...*