Monday, May 30

Dan In Charge

Dan has a lot of good qualities. He's funny. He's clever. He's good with the kids. And he always has good intentions.

After my surgery, Dan decided that he was going to take 10 days off work to take care of me. He would do all the things he would normally do, and he would take over the things that I do. No problem, according to Dan, because I don't do very much anyway (rolling my eyes).

I knew that it was going to be difficult the morning I got home from my operation. Dan announced that Bethie was mad at me because the house was cold that morning when she woke up. I was a bit surprised because I hadn't been home the night before because I was being gutted. How could I be responsible? Dan said that when I had left for work on Tuesday morning, I had opened the windows ... and I never came home to close them. The temperature had dropped over night. Therefore, the house was cold. And it was my fault. It is rather unfortunate that the four other people that live in this house lack the ability to close a window when they get a little bit chilled.

Dan said that I could sit back and relax because he would do all of the cleaning. I popped into the laundry room and noticed that he had done two loads of his own laundry, and none for me or the children. At 7:30am, I said "Can you please wash some PJs for the children as they don't have anything clean to wear tonight?". I reminded him once or twice throughout the day. At bedtime, I said "Did you wash the children's PJs". Dan was most offended and said "Yes, I did!". I asked him where they were. He had just thrown them into the dryer. Again, this was my fault. I had only nagged him to wash the clothes, and I had completely neglected to nag him about drying the clothes. Sigh.

As it turns out, it is absolute agony watching Dan "clean" and "take care of the children". He's really not as competent as I had once thought. Also, he finds it to be exhausting. At one point, he had to go and have a nap leaving me to referee the children's constant fighting. Upon hearing that, my Mum came and kidnapped me. Thank God.

But Dan is awfully good to step it up and "take care" of things. Did you notice when I described some of Dan's good characteristics that I didn't say "empathetic"? Yeah, that was intentional.

Dan lacks empathy.

72 hours after my surgery, my husband looked at me with such concern in his eyes and said, "How do you feel?". I replied, "I hurt". And he said, "STILL?!". Yes, Dan, STILL!

The point is, too much "quality time" together is becoming too hard on our marriage. I got angry and shouted at Dan that I was going to get in my little red car and drive to my mother's. He said, "You can't". I thought he was saying that he wouldn't let me drive because I am still in quite some pain. I thought he was concerned about me, and all of the other drivers on the road. I thought he wanted me to stay because he now saw exactly how he has failed me, and wanted to make it right. Because he loves me. So I said, "Why not?" hoping to elicit all sorts of lovely compliments because it was clearly time for him to start laying it on thick.

My love, my protector, my care taker said to me, "Because I never bothered to renew your driver's license. You had surgery on your birthday so I didn't think there was any rush".

Three more days to go....

Friday, May 27

Clarity

OK. Based on some phone calls, emails, and comments, I feel the need to chat a wee bit more about this surgery.

When I first got sick on Sunday night, it occurred to me that I might have appendicitis. But I quickly dismissed that idea, and never gave it any real thought again. And that is why it took me soooo long to see a doctor.

When I was driving to work on Tuesday, I turned the radio on to listen to the news. Instead, "Alberta Bound" by Paul Brandt was playing. This song reminded me of Melissa (who really liked it when it first came out). I thought to myself, "Melissa got sick. She ignored the Google search results, and died because of it". And that was what made me go to the hospital.

I stayed at the hospital because of my mother. She had driven me there, and refused to leave until I saw a doctor. Even though I yelled at her. Even though we had to endure hours and hours of watching "1001 Ways To Die" in the ER waiting room (for real!). Even though the other patients were driving me crazy!

There were some "funny" moments. I know this because people all around me would spontaneously break out in laughter. I, however, did not laugh.

The nurse weighed me, and the shouted out my weight three times. I said, "Do you want to shout that again because I don't think all of the people in the waiting room heard you?!". Mum and the nurses laughed. I did not laugh.

The lady who shared the examination room with me laughed when the nurse walked briskly away from me....while carrying the bag connected to my catheter. I did not laugh.

Mum and the nurses laughed in the Recovery Room. Apparently (and this is a wee bit hazy for me), the nurses had asked Mum if she had wanted to see my enormous appendix which had been shoved into a tiny bottle. Mum said that she did, and walked to the other side of the room to have a peak. I shouted out, "BRING THAT SUCKER OVER HERE". I didn't laugh. Everyone else did, but I didn't.

The next morning, when I woke up in a room shared with two men, I needed to use the washroom, but couldn't find one. I went into the hall and encountered a nurse. She directed me to the washroom. I ended up in a broom closet. She laughed and redirected me. I did not laugh.

I did laugh a couple of times though.

I told the anaesthetist that I didn't want my tombstone to read "May 24 - May 24", he raised his voice and said "I have put 15,000 people to sleep during my career and everyone of them woke up". This gave me a giggle. But what really made me chuckle was when he asked if I could "give him a deal" at work, and I replied "That depends on how well this goes". He said nothing. I laughed.

I laughed at the surgeon because he was kinda sarcastic. After being paged for my emergency surgery, he came rushing into my room. He said, "So you got sick today?". I informed him that no, I became sick on Sunday. He said, "So you saw a doctor on Monday?". Ummm, no. I kinda just lay about on Monday. He said, "So you woke up today (Tuesday) and came to the hospital?". Ummmm, no, I went to work first. He sighed, and said "Good for you". But he didn't mean "Good for you". It kinda came out like "Good for you, you IDIOT!"...and it tickled my funny bone.

And it also amused me when Dan brought Sarah to come and visit me in the hospital. She likes to push buttons. She pushed the ones on the side of my bed, raising and then lowering and then raising the bed. That was cute. I giggled. When she found the ones that would fold me up like a taco, not so funny!

Thursday, May 26

How I Celebrated the Anniversary of My 27th Birthday

Sunday evening, I got a stomach ache. Not badly enough to tell anyone. Just a general ache.

By 12:30am, I was in intense pain. I contemplated calling 911. Dan and I decided that I must be having a gallbladder attack. I popped a couple of morphine pills (doesn't everyone have morphine on hand?) and went to sleep.

Monday was Victoria Day, so Dan was home from work. I didn't feel any better and decided that I should continue taking morphine while supplementing with Tylenol 3. Mum took the kids for 6 hours, and I sat on the couch trying to figure out why I was feeling so badly. But I didn't like any of the answers that Google was giving me, so I dismissed them and remained perplexed.

Tuesday morning, I was still in a lot of pain. I took my morphine, and my Tylenol 3, and Advil. And then I went to work. Because I'm tough. Because it was my birthday and I didn't want people to think I was flaking out. Because I was sooooo drugged that I lacked the ability to think straight.

I left work at lunch time and went to the hospital. No, I didn't go to any of the hospitals in Ottawa. I went to a hospital an hour away. Because when one is beginning to think that they have a medical condition that is quickly becoming critical, one tends to leave the city (and some of the best hospitals in Canada), and head for the country.

I had to wait three hours to see a doctor because order is based on the urgency of the case. The lady who needed 3 stitches and the man who needed a refill on his crazy meds were, apparently, more urgent than I was. Sigh.

Once I was seen by a doctor, everything went rather quickly. The doctor thought that I had appendicitis but needed to do a CT scan. I complied when I was asked to drink 3 enormous glasses of water laced with iodine. I reacted negatively when I was informed that I was about to have an enema. I simply said "No". Over and over again. Finally, the poor technician whose job it was to perform the enema left, and Mum said, "They're going to send in the Big Guns now.". And indeed they did. The doctor came in and explained that this enema would help make the CT scan better and my appendix would be more clear. And I looked up at him, with tears in my eyes, and whispered, "But it's my birthday". And the doctor said, "OK, we can do the CT scan without the enema". And Mum's jaw dropped. She was shocked that the doctor had given up so easily.

Guess what the CT scan revealed? Yup, I had appendicitis. The surgery team was paged to come back to the hospital (because they were all at home). The surgeon expressed some doubt about whether or not I had appendicitis because I couldn't have possibly endured the pain for 3 days. I said that if he was having doubt, then maybe we should postpone the surgery until he knew for sure. This annoyed him.

I was wheeled into the OR. The nurses were getting everything ready. The anaesthesiologist got to work. He gave me some medicine which would make my sight become blurry. Then he administered something else, and said, "You will fall asleep... NOW". But I didn't. Because I was fighting it. He asked me not to fight the medicine, but I couldn't help it. I have had bad experiences with anaesthesia in the past. I lifted my head up, looked directly in his eyes, and said, "Are you going to make sure I'm asleep before the operation begins?". Yup, this annoyed him.

In case you're keeping track, I have now pissed off both the surgeon and the anaesthesiologist.

I wake up from the surgery, and you'll never guess who my nurses were. Their names were Katie, Sarah, and Elizabeth. REALLY! What are the odds?

The next day, the surgeon came to see me. Again, he express shock that I had gone so long before seeing a doctor. He said that my appendix was huge, and he contemplated taking a picture (I wish he had!) and that half of it was hard as a baseball bat. He seemed awed by how sick I had been and how tough I am. I was pleased. Because I am  pretty tough.

The surgeon gave me a prescription for OxyContin and sent me home. The best bit? After arriving home, the pharmacy called and said that they had not filled the prescription properly, and I am entitled to TWELVE more OxyContin pills! I thought narcotics were hard to come by, but I seem to be as well stocked as any pharmacy!

Anyway, that was my birthday. It sucked. I missed all the nice weather. I missed out on spending the holiday with my family. And I missed my kidlings. Oh, and I was gutted. That sucked, too.

I'm thinking about starting a petition. I'm going to try to get a "do-over" for my birthday.

Friday, May 20

Two Singletons

I have twins.



Identical twins.


It's funny. Some people swear that they can tell the twins apart. Some people swear that there are no differences between them. The truth lies somewhere in the middle.

I got a call from the kindergarten teacher this morning. She would like to put the twinnies into different classes when they enter grade one.

Not because they are suffering academically. They're doing beautifully, in fact. Not because they are suffering socially. They love to play with the other children.

The teacher would like to separate the twinnies because she, and the students, can't tell the twinnies apart. After almost nine months.

Being a twin is special. I don't think that we should be so quick to separate twins based solely on the fact that they look similar. I don't think the objective should be to create two singletons. To make them like everyone else. To make them "normal". Especially because my twins thrive on being twins. And they are doing exceedingly well in all aspects of their lives.

The teacher is a kind woman. A good woman. A clever woman. She has done her best to be fair and considerate and compassionate. I have the utmost respect for her, and her opinions. But my heart has broken.


Because when I look a the twinnies,


I see the child, not the unit.

I see a little girl who rages like a thunder storm, yet is instantly calmed when a cotton ball is placed in her hand. This child sees the world in black and white, right and wrong. And in case you were wondering, she's right and everyone else is wrong. The world is her stage, and she lives to perform.

Katie
I see a little girl who is ruled by loyalty and love. She wears her heart on her sleeve, and that heart bleeds for everybody. She is a thinker, and lies in her bed figuring things out. She studies the details. She's quick to laugh. She loves being outside.

Bethie
And it breaks my heart that people can't see beyond the unit to see the individual. The individuals are worth knowing because they're special. The unit is worth preserving because it's special.

I used to dress the twinnies identically because they looked super cute and they preferred to have the same outfits on. Now, (most of the time) they don't care if they are dressed identically or not. I let them choose what they wear. I figure that one day, they will want to be in separate classes and have different friends. And I will support them. Until then, I will allow them to remain together. Because I have spent five years with my twinnies, because I know both of them collectively and individually, because I know them best.

Thursday, May 19

The End of My Rope

Things around here have been challenging.

  1. Everyone in the house has been (or currently is) sick. Wake me up in the middle of the night kind of sick. Rush to the doctor's kind of sick. Arrive at the doctor's and act like a healthy kid kind of sick.
  2. The roof blew off.
  3. The insurance company is dodging my many calls. After two weeks of trying to get in contact with my adjuster, she said, "Climb into your attic and check for damage". Umm, no. Then she said, "I don't understand why you're so frustrated!". It went downhill from there...
  4. The amount I have to pay in taxes is shocking. Double what it was last year, and last year I just about had a stroke when I saw the number. I'm pretty sure that Stephen Harper hates me.
  5. I have to pay almost $40 so the twinnies can go on a field trip.
  6. I also have to pay $4 so they can have a Pizza Day at school. I told the twinnies that they'd better extract that amount from Stephen Harper!
  7. Sarah lost/hid her shoes at the museum...never to be seen again.
  8. Mum bought Sarah replacement shoes, and now Sarah won't take them off, even to sleep!
  9. All the brakes on Dan's vehicle had to be replaced to the tune of $750. I got the pleasure of taking care of this. Dan got to drive my car instead. I missed my car...
  10. I need to get a part-time job to pay off the fines at the Ottawa Library. The children lost two books and I have looked everywhere and cannot find them. AHHH!
Throughout this, I kept reminding myself, "When you come to the end of your rope, tie a knot and hang on". And that helped me muddle on.

And then I saw this:


And that, my friends, was the straw that broke the camel's back.

I yelled, and screamed, and pitched an almighty fit. I threatened my children to within an inch of their little lives, and demanded to know who had broken the curtain rod.

All three, who were very unimpressed by my wrath, said "Not me".

Funny, that's the same person who coloured the toilet with marker.

And painted the bathroom floor.

And drew a great big A on my kitchen floor with red marker.

And filled my bird bath with gravel and dandelions.

But what really pissed me off was when good ol' Not Me washed the outside of Dan's car with my (used to be lovely) white towels. To add insult to injury, the towels were left in a wet heap on the driveway...for me  to discover.

I swear, if I ever get my hands on Not Me, I will take that rope that I've been hanging on to and wrap it around Not Me's little neck!!!

A note to those who are worried about the welfare of my little cherubs: I'm not going to kill the darlings, but in 25 years I will go to their houses and do as much damage as I can. And I'm going to do it at 5am. While demanding ice cream.

Thursday, May 12

That's MY Child!

Dominic is five years old. He is battling brain cancer. His mother left her job so she could be with her child in the hospital while he fights for his life.

The twinnies school has rallied around Dominic and his family. They have done fundraiser after fundraiser in order to raise money to ease the burden that this family is facing. It's a true (and pure) example of a community coming together in a crisis. And it makes me proud.

The kindergarten teacher asked me if the twins would speak in front of the local high school (in two different assemblies) about Dominic. The hope was to sell bracelets, and have the proceeds go to Dominic's family.

I was very worried.

I was worried that the girls would see this as an opportunity to impress and amaze such a large audience with their singing and dancing abilities. I was also worried that they would have stage fright, and freeze.

I decided that I needed to be there, just in case. Because I'm have absolutely no problem rescuing my children if they are scared. No problem, at all.

The morning that they were supposed to talk in front of the school, Katie started throwing up. I thought for sure that she would rally, but she didn't. She threw up twice in the car on the way to the high school (and once in the parking lot). This meant that Bethie would have to do both talks on her own. And this terrified me!

I videotaped both of her "speeches". Warning: I apparently SUCK at videotaping.

Ta da:

video

I have never been more proud of my child!

On the way back to the car, Bethie said "I was scared, but I just kept on going". And I loved her even more.

Katie and Sarah also participated:

Katie and Mum

Sarah...wouldn't you give this child $2???

Truth is, I was proud of them, too!

Tuesday, May 10

The Patron Saint of Lost Children

You may not have known this about me, but I am the Patron Saint of Lost Children.
It's true.

Any, and every, lost child will seek me out, and I will comfort them and find their parent. It has happened 3 times in the last week alone. And I am happy to do this because I have a child who routinely gets lost (yup, it's Bethie. And Bethie swears that it is I who is lost, not her. Sigh). Once, mall security was involved. Not because I requested their assistance, but because I (apparently) panic quite loudly.

Funny little side note: Mall security was useless because they announced that they had found my little darling and she was safe in the arms of her father. When I rushed over to her, I became very annoyed and said "That's not my missing child, that's her twin. Look for someone who looks JUST LIKE HER!".

Even though I am the Patron Saint of Lost Children, I understand that these behaviours are not exclusive to me. The vast majority of people, of either sex or any age, will help a lost child. In fact, Bethie was once "rescued" by a 7 year old. As a result, I have always encouraged my children to talk to strangers. If they need help, find someone who looks kind and let them help you.

Of course, the school disagrees with me and has informed all the children never to talk to strangers. The twinnies wondered out loud (as is their way) about how I could be so idiotic as to encourage my little darlings to ask strangers for help when they are in need of assistance. Sigh.

I explained that most people are good and most people will help children.

They worried about being kidnapped. I informed them about the "Ransom of Red Chief" and reassured my little angels that nobody wants them!

And then I felt badly. Because I want them. I want them to be safe. I want to help navigate their way through a terrifying and highly unlikely situation.

I told the twinnies that if anyone should try to kidnap them, they are to yell as loud as they could "This is NOT my Mummy" (or Daddy). They are to pitch an almighty fit. They have my full permission to knock things off the shelf, to fight, to bite, to do whatever it takes to get people (strangers, the good ones) to look at them and to step in. We talked about how it is important to keep shouting "This is NOT my Mummy" as opposed to just screaming. Strangers will help if they think children are being kidnapped, but will simply cluck their tongues if they think children are being naughty. I even practiced this with the twinnies.

At the end of this conversation, I looked both girls in the eye and said "Do you know what will happen if you pull this stunt with me?".

Katie said with such sureness, "You will beat us". This from the child who has never been beaten, hit, punched, or (let's be honest) disciplined in any way, shape or form. So, no, I will not "beat" them.

Bethie said, "You will kill us". Umm...not literally, which is how she meant it. What is wrong with my children?

I informed my sweet cherubs that if they pitched a fit for me while in a store and shouted out "This is NOT my Mummy", I would reply "Quite right! I'm not!" and then I would giggle while skipping out of the store... without them. Because the Patron Saint of Lost Children has no problem intentionally "losing" any bad ones!

Monday, May 9

Sleeping Fairy

Even fairies get tuckered...

Friday, May 6

A Good Spot

A quick game of Hide-And-Seek...


The person who was "It" thought that this was such a good hiding spot that she hid there next. Sigh.

Thursday, May 5

My Assessment

Here's my "status update":

I don't have a roof...anymore.


But I still have these:




Who's the lucky duck?

Moi!

Wednesday, May 4

Three

My Littlest One turned three on Sunday.

Sarah - opening her gift from Bethie

Sarah - opening the gift from Katie

Playing every body's favourite game, "Catch A Twin"

Trying out her Crayola Bubbles

After using Crayola Bubbles. Sigh.

"Helping" to make the birthday cake.

MORE PRESENTS!!! (Some for the twinnies, too!)



The "Dora Cake"... otherwise known as "Birthday Mush" (it didn't quite work out) 

Blowing out the candles.

I can't believe that she's THREE!!!!

My Sarahburrah