Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Petered out

(I just said "peter" and "out" together above...HA!  Ignore my childishness.  :)
Note:  Picture quality is brutal on several of the below pics.  Many were taken with my iPhone in a dim room.  I tried to lighten/jazz them up but I'm not sure I succeeded... sorry! 

Note #2I am very hesitant to post this because I'm worried that:

A) You will judge me.
B) You don't give two shits about the innermost feelings I have about this topic.
C) You will think I'm negative/bitching (that is NOT who I am, I ASSURE YOU).
D) What I wrote is too embarrassing (I feel exposed, yet I feel it's important to be HONEST).
E) You will worry about Lola (I don't want you to... I've GOT THIS & SHE.  IS.  FINE!!!!!!).
F) You will judge me.

Here it goes anyway...

I almost don't even know where to start on this post.  I am "functioning" (barely!) on such broken sleep that my mind isn't sharp... I am scattered yet productive (got more accomplished today than usual?!).  Exhausted yet fired up.  Frustrated yet hopeful.  Pissed yet understanding.  Emotionally frazzled yet jovial (I love that word SO MUCH).  Manic depressive much?!  Nope... just 12.5+ years of shoddy-ass sleep.  Bottom f'ing line is... THIS SHIT IS GETTIN' OLD. 
I!   F-ING!   WISH!!!!!!!!!!!!!
I remember people telling me pre-kids that I could NEVER know how tired I could possibly be until I'd had a newborn and survived those first few months.  I would agree with that... but I think when you have a child who remains at a newborn level for almost 10 years (and another one for 5 years+), that might possibly define "dog tired" or maybe "pooped."

Lola may be in "Time Out" for a week after last night's antics.  She's been inflicting a shitstorm of epic proportions upon my ass for a good month or two now -- just ask Steph.  God bless her, as lately she's been getting texts at 4:00, maybe 5:00 am hearing me whine about STILL being up... how Lola's being a real bunghole going on hour 5, I'm so tired I feel like barfing, and there's no end in sight.  Thank HEAVENS for her reassuring texts, her "disciplining" Lola across the miles, and sending Polly Pocket good sleepy mojo vibes, or I *MIGHT* be in the f'ing nuthouse right now.  (Excuse the French -- I curse MORE when I'm tired. :)

I would've busted out THIS bad boy last night if I had it ---->  Go The F--k To Sleep.  Pretty sure I could've written this book last night in my sleep-starved, sarcastic, pissy stupor.  LOVE THIS!
I am *SO* getting this for Scott for Father's Day!!!
Let me set up last night's winner-of-a-scenario for you: 

I got in bed at a decent time for me (5 till midnight -- was feeling all cocky about it since Lola & I beat Scott & Claire to bed & I normally don't go to sleep till 1-2 am, as I'm a bit of a night owl), got Lolita fed with ease (my girl downs her bottle --yes, at age 5!  Don't hate! -- in a whopping 5 minutes... she's a rock star), burped her for a good 10 minutes (she's mastered the "fough" -- AKA fart-cough -- and she can even ONLY FART upon me patting her back -- no burp at all.  It's a gift.  My dwarf is TALENTED!), held her upright for 30 minutes (our ushe), played a few rounds of Abble Dabble (if you haven't played this on your smart phone yet, YOU NEED TO.  I'm hooked, and yes, I know it's sad.  HA!  I scored 216 in a single play once... holllllaaaaa!!!), watched The Weather Channel (I may or may not be obsessed...), and finally laid down by 12:37 am.  Record time!
(LOOOOOOOOOONG gone are the days I say, "DAMN, I am BEAT!  I'm goin' to bed." and actually am IN BED within 2-3 minutes.)

(Reminder, Scott is doing a lot of the same bedtime routine random stuff simultaneously with Claire on the other side of the bed...)

OK, so all is well, I am so tired my head is doing that noddy thing and I finally lay down, dwarf-in-arms, and I swear to you, I'm OUT in 20 seconds.   I've been teased the past 2 or so weeks by my Lolita.  She's slept surprisingly well, which while I PRAY that lasts (and I try like heck to NEVER question it/make eye contact/judge her sleep/discuss it out loud -- I'm all about The Secret, and I'm NOT ABOUT to put that negativity out there to The Universe!), usually GOOD SLEEP DOESN'T LAST, if you know my girl.  I am beginning to think she truly is "one nocturnal son-of-a-gun," to quote Gym Class Heroes.  Clearly she's misinterpreted my whole "night owl" thang.

2:34 am -- Mrs. Pocket's in full effect, y'all.  HER "thang" - the thing she does all night when she's NOT sleeping - well, I'm not sure the ORDER in which it occurs, usually because... well, I AM ASLEEP & all... is this mess:  overheating (I like lots of covers -- she doesn't.  They SO need to make U-shaped sheet sets for our California King -- you know, sheets on the two sides, completely open in the middle for hot-blooded dwarves), smiling then seizing repeatedly (the smile ALWAYS comes first... and it's incredibly darling because it's so rare but simply PURE EVIL. Kidding!), sometimes followed by loud coughing followed by occasional barfing (the cousin of the "fough" is Lola's OTHER specialty, the ""farf," which usually occurs at this time...) and/or farting that real high-pitched squeaky fart (damn tone/CP of the rectum!  HA! Sorry... WAYYYYY TMI!), drooling, winking, more smiling (see Exhibit A), the beginning of a night-worth of back spasms (we THINK that is what is happening?!), "rudder chest" (see Exhibit B), full body trembling which lasts for hours, more evil smiling/seizures, more barfing, the ever-popular-yet-hateful fake-out technique where she appears to be settling down then she busts our balls even more (see Exhibit C), then more seizures, we strip her down to just a diaper, then she usually shits/sharts/farts/foughs/farfs again (usually in my CROTCH -- I am so not kidding you -- it's uncanny how accurate she is with her aim!), yelling is occurring, pass-off is a-happenin' (to Scott (AKA "The Shit Whisperer") who then has to put Claire down in her beanbag by the bed, attached to her feeding pump/IV pole & milk turds out of Daughter #2), followed by more bitching by BOTH OF US about NEVER getting any f'ing sleep.  Rinse and repeat like 742 more times till sunrise.

Exhibit A:  Smiling dwarf = BAD NEWS!!!  (AKA: The calm before the shitstorm) 

Exhibit B:  "Rudder Chest"  (I THINK it's due to Hunchback upper back spasms, possibly tone-related or as a result of overheating?  Jury's still out... even our pediatrician was like, "Ummmm, not normal, but it's LOLA'S normal!"  Love her!!!)
Nice droolicle, Pocket!

Exhibit C:  Fake-Out (AKA Ballbuster)
Observe the Burp-rag Beard -- helps avoid mid-night sheet changes due to our Beardo's barf attacks!

Mrs. Pocket is plotting against me... I can FEEL IT.  I'm terrified!

This picture makes me sad.  :(

My hand... trying to comfort and calm my girl down.  I will ALWAYS be there for you, Lola.  ALWAYS.

Vicious cycle, and can I just say that SLEEP DEPRIVATION'S A BITCH!?  Especially when it's for days on end, weeks out of each month (at its worst), and months out of each year that are "off."  UGH.

OK, so what I'm wrestling with (besides a 10 pound, 5-year-old dwarf who ALWAYS WINS!!!!!!!) is my emotional state of affairs, this internal struggle to provide comfort and help to my girl while also being SO PISSED that this ONLY happens at night, my daughter may or may not be growing horns (kidding!), and my biggest problem of all  ~  how the hell I am going to fix this???  Because I SO AM.  That's what I do.

I can SOOOOO understand where Lola is coming from.  This whole sleep thing is out of her hands... out of MY hands... in God's hands... whatever.  I KNOW/GET all that.  But how do you COPE during these times?  How do I NOT feel anger toward her when she's kept me up for 4, 7, 12 straight nights -- yet it's NOT HER CHOICE TO! -- and this is ONGOING -- and I LOVE MY GIRL, but OMFG!  I cannot survive on 2-3 hours of broken sleep (AKA 3 minutes here, rub nose, stave off vomit, oops, she sharted, get up, change diaper, start over, sleep 23 minutes, another seizure, rub nose, try her in her car seat (which sits at the foot of our bed between my hubby & I all night -- how romantic!), change onesie, change sheets, change mind about staying in bed, TV on, then off, sighing, light on, then off, more texting to Steph (who is also usually up with her trifecta!), whining to Scott, yelling at Pocket then comforting her, more cursing, burping, knees-to-chest (Lola, not me... HA!), F-bomb, wait, I'm HUNGRY NOW, and it's 4:23 am?!  I am SUPPOSED to be sleeping now, but I CANNOT, yet I AM SOOOOO GLAD I can provide comfort to Lola or at least TRY, but am I FAILING her?!?!?, STOP THE HORSESHIT!!! (Love you, Molehill Moms!), the sun is already coming up & I have barely slept?!  NOT COOL!!!, etc... I'm a real HOT MESS)!!!!!!!!!

Am I sharing too much?  Am I being TOO HONEST?  Do you think I want you all to FIX THINGS for me?  Offer medicine/treatment/surgery/physician options/suggestions?  No... I am 100% confident in all that we are doing/not doing with the girls -- no meds, no vaccines, supplements, alternative treatments, natural living, not dwelling on the negatives, etc., as the proof is in the pudding and THEY ARE STILL HERE & THEY ARE THRIVING (despite Lola's shenanigans), but DAMMMMMMMMMNNNNNNN. 

Run-on sentences much?!  I'm blaming the 4 hours of sleep I got in 2-12 minute increments.  OMG.  LOLA, DO NOT FIGHT SLEEP, SLEEP WILL WIN!!!!!!!!!!!  LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!!!!!!!!!

That being said, I MIGHT try melatonin for her... though sleep isn't a problem as soon as the sun rises.  My mean ol' dwarf sleeps the sleep of angels ALL DAY while I'm struggling (I can't nap... never could).  NO FAIR.  (but NO PITY, OK???? Hate it!)

I won't even go into details about how a week ago our entire house's (upstairs AND downstairs, yo) fire alarms went off simultaneously during the night (starting at 2:00 am) intermittently with Scott out of town & me home alone with all 3 kids (unsure of how those damn things work or if there are even batteries -- they're all wired in & wired together?!).  All this happened after Lola had kept me up from 11:00 pm on.  Yep, yep ~ BEEEEEEEP-BEEEEEEEP-BEEEEEEEP -- PAUSE -- repeat -- which was so deafening that after it blared for 3+ minutes straight at 10:00 am after only 2 hours of broken sleep all night long between the brief alarms sounding and we 4 went out to "sleep" on the deck in full sunlight/Kansas heat (which made Lola and Claire seize... greeeeeeat!), it STILL hurt my ears through the closed door, it was THAT LOUD.  WTF?  If it's not Lola, it's some random alarm (Scott's alarm clock got me once, the feeding pump goes off/malfunctions other times... ummmm... WTF?), alerting me that GWEN, YOU ARE SOOOOOOOO NOT SLEEPING!!!!  Get your shit together!!!!!  If I get sleep-blocked by an alarm ONE MORE TIME... I am goin' postal.  HAHAHHAAH.  It's funny as shit NOW, but OMG, Cal & I were livid that day. 

This canNOT be good for my body.  Nor Lola's?!??!  And on top of it all, appointments STILL OCCUR the next day, and I CANNOT keep cancelling them just because of these damn all-nighters!  I am beginning to think Lola's a masochist who is into self-sabotage.  She LOVES hippotherapy on Tuesdays & yet damn near EVERY Monday night is a total cluster*%&$ lately, leading me to cancel horses or get there late or get there cranky or get there with a child (or two) who have had NO SLEEP & then proceed to either seize/arch/pass gas/pass out like a narcoleptic on the horse (or get kicked off ~ Claire last week!)!  I *SO* needed Toonces, The Driving Cat at the wheel for me today.  SO. TIRED.

See what I mean about not being sure where to even start?!  All I know is I'm "broken down" and "dead on one's feet" and "done in" ('s synonyms for "tired"... HA!) -- all wrapped into one.  Praying for SLEEP tonight, and hoping I didn't just screw myself with The Universe/The Secret with this post.  :)
Claire  ~  October 27, 2003.   Best yawn EVER!!!  Teach your sister to SLEEP, Mimi -- you are the QUEEN of good sleep (now)!!!


Saturday, June 11, 2011


There has always been something about our girls' hands that leave me captivated.  They do not look like a typical hand -- not in posturing or shape.  Their palms are especially short, while their fingers are quite long.  They are fine, elegant, and dainty.  The thumbs are perfectly tucked away inside the fist (Lola) or the palm (Claire).  When you touch their hands, they always move... often times floating upward into the air like a butterfly.  Sometimes just the fourth or fifth fingers move... they appear to have the most "purposeful" movement.  They seem less "locked" and more responsive than the other fingers. 

Claire & Lola's hands are unlike ANY other hands I've seen in my life.  They are unique, one-of-a-kind, and BEAUTIFUL.  I love holding their hands in mine... feeling their soft, baby-like skin.  Claire will allow me to interlace my fingers with hers, and I LOVE THIS SO MUCH.  She seems to love it, too, as she usually relaxes and melts into me when I do this. 

Both girls' hands smell like feta cheese, no matter HOW many times you bathe or wash them.  Lola's are the worst... she is constantly rooting on her fists and sucking on them (even right after a feeding!).  She is best known for her entire-fist-in-mouth party trick, which usually pisses her off beyond belief, as it tends to get "stuck" in there & gag her!  The combination of saliva, milk, and "got it & gopple"-ing leads to a ferocious, Greek-cheese-reeking scent like NO OTHER.  I need a full-on HazMat suit just to put on her "sparring gloves" (AKA hand splints!) these days -- NO LIE!

Observe the beauty of Claire's hands:

The ever-popular WSD (West Side Dwarves) gang signs... see the two W's?!?!  Claire's what you call a real OG  ~  Original Gnome.  HA! 

Claire's trademark move... I am *SO* proud!!!  Now, if only I could get her to do this on command!  I think I may rally to make this an Occupational Therapy goal for 2011-2012.  HA!
Behold the the magic of dear Lolita's hands:
Fisticuffs  ~  Our bare-knuckle fighter!  (Ignore the massive reflux stain on the right... lovely!)

As double-jointed as all Billy-Get-Out.  (I love my Dad's terminology!)

Peek-a-boo, Thumbkins!

Lola's modified WSD gang signs... can't quite form her "W" yet.  HAHAHAHAHAHAHA!
So you can imagine my delight a few weeks ago when I encountered Hands Unlimited at an art show.  I had seen kits at Michael's/Hobby Lobby/online which claimed to make a hand casting, but the reviews I read were terrible. (Not to mention I am a bit of an art cluster#$%*!)  I had all but nixed this idea until I met Paul Goddard.  His work was GORGEOUS, and I KNEW I had to cast the girls' hands.  I never want to forget how perfect they are -- EVER.  I am SO glad I did...
It felt wrong to not also cast Cal's hand... I LOVE how it turned out, too!

 Seeing Claire's hand look so true-to-life, so (surprisingly) BIG, and so OPEN melted my heart!

Lola's hand casted looks even tinier than it does in "real life!"  I love how cute her thumb looks hiding inside and how her tightly-closed fist is starting to "bloom!"

THANK YOU, PAUL!!!  Thank you for working with my tricky-to-cast girlies.  Thank you for your patience with them (and me!).  Thank you for creating the most amazing keepsakes for our family.  They now sit on our mantle and captivate more hearts than just ours.

Thank you again... you will NEVER know how much these mean to Scott & me.

"I love the way your hands reach out and hold me near... I believe this is heaven to no one else but me..."  ~ Sarah McLachlan

Thursday, June 02, 2011

Soul Sisters

I personally am of the strong belief that we girlies *all* have a "Soul Sister" (or two, maybe three...) in this life.  This chick just GETS YOU.  She knows what you are thinking before you even tell her.  She supports you in the PERFECT WAY at all times.  She connects with you on a deeper level than your other girlfriends, on more planes.  She is the type of person you feel like you've known FOREVER, though this may not hold true.  You can 100% be yourself, say whatever you want at ANY given moment, and you can rest assured she will not criticize you.  This relationship is the estrogen-driven equivalent of the "Brother From Another Mother" though we homegirls KNOW it's closer than what dudes share.  It's SPECIAL, yo.  SO perfect.

I like to think I have quite a few soul sisters, some old friends, some newer, but all SO very important in my life.  (I just wish some of them lived closer!!!)  I am blessed to be surrounded with caring, loving people who make my life feel complete.  THANK YOU ALL for what you bring to my life ~ you know who you are!!!

Something that has been so touching for me to see are the connections and relationships formed with our girls.  One, in particular, has floored me since day one.  These two EPITOMIZE the definition of Soul Sisters like no one else I've ever seen.  They have moved me to tears more times than I can remember, and so I wanted to give you all this tiny glimpse of pure love.

Meet Maranda, age 12, my sister's oldest daughter, my first niece, second grandchild born into our family (3 months after Cal), and Lola's one true Soul Sister.
Since Lola was born, Maranda has connected with her on a level that is difficult to explain.  I'm not even sure I have the words to describe their relationship NOW.  All I know is that no words are needed, Lola never has to walk or interact in a typical way or develop or grow much or change... Maranda has ALWAYS loved her SO DEEPLY since day one.
Maranda (blue shirt) holding Lola the day of her birth.  Maranda's twin sisters, Christina & Elisabeth, are SO proud, too, along with Cal & a VERY pissy, arching, feisty Claire.   
Lola, 2 days old, with her best buddy, Maranda, with my Mom and bro-in-law, Tom, watching on.  Lola is a little fatty in this pic!  OMG!
July 15, 2006  ~  The BFF's with Pre, Halley (we miss you, sweet girl!!!  RIP...), & Cal
5 of the 6 cousins, hammin' it up  ~  October 14, 2006
December 25, 2006  ~  So gentle... and HOLY BALLS, that is a tiny little head!!!  Damn microcephaly!  LOL
GOT IT & GOPPLE!!!!!!!!!!!!  November 18, 2007, during the thick of Lola's breastfeeding days.  Get it, girl!!!!
July 19, 2008  ~  Table Rock Lake
Ignore Lola's sunscreen chemical burn on her face... girlfriend has SENSITIVE SKIN like nobody's business!
July 27, 2008  ~  Rooting Reflex in full effect, y'all!!! 
More eczema... a constant battle for Polly Ann her first few years of life.
November 18, 2008  ~  Pump It Up Party!
One of my favorite pics *EVER* of this Dynamic Duo... xo
Christmas 2009  ~  SO much love... my heart is FULL.
Decorating Easter eggs ~ April 3, 2010 ~ double-fisting Maranda's egg, with authority!
My brother-in-law, Tom (my sister's hubby) & the Besties  ~  June 20, 2010
July 20, 2010  ~  Back at Table Rock Lake!
Maranda is one of just a handful of people not afraid to feed our Reflux Queen a bottle.  LOVE LOVE LOVE that.  <3
November 28, 2010  ~  SO HAPPY.
March 20, 2011  ~  The Six Cousins + Minnie Mouse!
On May 15th, our family celebrated Lola's 5th Birthday...
Ignore Claire's hideous dwarf sibling rivalry... it got ugly there for awhile!  HAPPY 5TH BIRTHDAY, MRS. POCKET!!!!!!  WE LOVE YOU!!!!!
It was at the party that I received this card for Lola from her Soul Sister... and part-way through reading it, I was promptly reduced to tears.  SO VERY FORTUNATE to be able to witness love like this...
I think it was the "every step of the way" and the "I will always love and care for you!" parts that got to me the most... and maybe it's because I KNOW what friendships like this mean.  Or maybe it is because I know that Maranda partly gets Lola because she too know what it's like to be "different."  Maranda was born with a condition called Syndactyly, which involved a webbing of two of her fingers on one hand (thumb and index finger).  While this has not slowed her down a bit in her very busy, full, accomplished life (Ummmm, can you say superstar swimmer, phenomenal musician, and a budding photographer?!  How's THAT for kickin' some ass despite a challenge!?), it was a scary situation when she was born, many tests were run to determine whether or not she had a syndrome (she didn't), and she later required a fairly extensive surgery.  Her health will be closely monitored all her life, and future surgeries may be necessary.  I honestly think that the fact Maranda knows how it feels to be judged and looked at differently has led her to be Lola's biggest cheerleader.  She UNDERSTANDS the fragility of life, how odds are defied, and the importance of making the best of each and every moment.  And for this, I am SO GRATEFUL.  I wish everyone had a heart like hers.

I am SO in awe of the young woman you have become, Maranda.  Thank you for always loving my girl(s) (and Cal!) with all your heart.  You have a gift of understanding and compassion well beyond your twelve years, and I could not be prouder that you are my niece.  I love you SO very much, as does your Soul Sister.

"Some people come into our lives and quickly go.  Some stay for a while, leave footprints on our hearts, and we are never, ever the same."  ~ Flavia Weedn
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...