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Sunday, October 30, 2011

Make Me Laugh Monday

Today is the first edition of “Make Me Laugh Monday.”  FYI – If you have a better name for the Meme… then let me know – I’m open to suggestions.  But, for now, this is all I’ve got.

The concept is this.  You know those random photos you take when something strikes you as funny?


Like when you see the random guy walking without shoes like he thinks he is one Dual Survivor?  And you just have to snap his picture because what is up with him?  We are not in the wilderness and you are not Cody from that show.

Well…. this is the place for those photos.  You can:

Post a picture that strikes you as funny with no description.
Post a picture and story that strikes you as funny…. The story can be real or fictional.
Really… the only rule is – the picture should be yours.  Then link up here and grab the button to send your readers over to see everyone else’s. 

I envision this as an awesome way to start the week. Smile

You really only need one photo – but I actually have a few this past week – so here goes:

IMG_0316Remember THIS POST?  About how I didn’t really fit in with the “cool kids?”  Well, I got a package from my twin mom friend Kristin this past week – and here’s what I pulled out. SCARVES!  I couldn’t stop laughing at such a funny and thoughtful gift.  FYI – the Camo one was so I wouldn’t forget my roots….

Yes, I live in hillbilly land.  IF I get signed with some big publishing company – I will have to find an excuse to wear my camo scarf so I can stay “grounded” in Pennsyltucky.

We are trying to teach the kids to be better communicators.

So what have you got?  Funny Photo.  Funny Photo and Story.  We will take them all.  Grab the button and link up.

Honestly… I’m not sure that button will be the official one either. Although I am partial to my “crossing guard in the rain” photo….

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The Best of This Week

This past week has been nothing short of a rollercoaster.  So here goes…

DSC_0486Last Monday I wrote a picture heavy post about the twins birthday party.  The party was great.  It was a lot of fun and I’m really glad we allowed the twins to have those moments all about them.  Ray and I still struggle with how to make sure they feel special but not spoiled.  The only thing missing in the pictures was Alexander, because he was coming down with the cold that would once again snap me back to reality.

IMG_0294Wednesday’s post was very difficult for me to write.  Someday I want to sit down and tell the story of the twin’s birth.  I would like to record it for them as I did for Alexander.  I felt sure I would write that post for their birthday. … After many deleted paragraphs, I ended up just telling them how much I love them.  I will write their birth story a different day.  Instead, I told them how it feels like I blink and they grow months.  I’m just not quite ready to refer to them as children instead of toddlers.  And… they are still my babies.  But the post has a lot of pictures in it – so check out the twins – from birth to blog.

IMG_1148By the end of the night on Wednesday, I was exhausted.  I usually link up with Shell on Wednesdays, but this day I linked up twice!  Alexander cried for hours.  He never cries.  In my heart I knew something was wrong, but I couldn’t figure out what it was.  As it turned out –the next day we ended up at the doctor’s office and learned just how dangerous winter colds can be. 

DSC_0295On Thursday, I linked up with Mama Kat.  Her writing prompt was to show off Halloween pictures.  Not only did I post our Halloween photos, but I also linked to the Wolf Hirschhorn Site.  Tanner, one of Alexander’s best friends, has donated an IPad 2 for a member of our community to win.  The voting will go live on November 4th or 5th and WE will have a chance to win the IPad.  I’m so excited because of all those “apps” that could help Alexander.  There are things that will help him learn cause and effect.  We can upload pictures with sounds so he can do flash cards.  Of course, we want Alexander to talk, but he could actually “tell” us what he needs by hitting a picture until he is verbal.  The opportunities are endless.  Don’t worry, I plan to shamelessly ask for votes when the time comes, so you will all have a chance to help us win it. 

IMG_0291This past week was spirit week at school.  I wore an outfit that I thought would be “perfect” for the day…. but it turned out to a little too spirited.  On Friday, I outed myself and the ridiculousness of the day in this post.

We got 11 inches of snow here on Saturday.  Cooped in the house allowed me to be a little reflective on life.  I was also reflective on the split I continue to feel between what I feel compelled to do and what I need to do.  I’m still unsure if everyone feels that way? I hope the post came across as reflective and not unhappy.  Because I am very happy and very fulfilled.  I wish I could hire a “stunt double” to go to do all the “extra’s” sometimes…

One last thing.  This past week I revealed the newest plan for Mondays.  I plan to have a linkup for a lighthearted picture post.  Just a funny picture or a picture that has a funny story.  We have these moments all the time… and I’m sure you do too.  If you want to read more about it – check out HERE


Saturday, October 29, 2011

Randoms… Just an Update

For those of you who didn’t know – our whole family has been laced with sickness for the last week and a half.  We thought it started with Alexander, went to Addison, then to Andrew, and then back to Alexander.  The reason there were no pictures of Alexander last weekend at the twin’s birthday party was – he was feeling so poorly. 


When it was all said and done, we ended up with 3 doctor visits in 8 days.    Each time we went to the doctor, they didn’t give us medicine because they said it was a virus.  SO…. we were hesitant to take Alexander out needlessly when they weren’t going to give us anything for it anyway.  We basically didn’t sleep all week because we were on fever spike / seizure watch.  Many times seizures are triggered by fever spikes.


Wednesday night, I posted THIS out of sheer exhaustion.  I could actually feel the cough in his chest.  I almost called the doctor several times over the night, but I knew they would have sent us to the ER… and if you aren’t sick when you go into the ER, you will be sick by the time you get out.  In the end, we decided to wait it out.


The next morning, I felt good about going to work.  Alexander’s fever seemed to break and I couldn’t “feel” it in his chest anymore.  I decided to call the doctor when they opened after I got to work to get some advice.



Thank goodness we have a nurse.  When she took his vitals in the morning, she heard congestion in his lungs.  She called me immediately.  Did I mention she is amazing?  This set off a chain reaction of events:

* I call the doctor immediately

* They want us to come in immediately

* I have to leave work again ….

Turns out… we were about as close to pneumonia as you can come.   And we were very close to being sent to Hershey to make sure it was controlled.  sigh


I forgot to worry about pneumonia.  That is the truth…. I worry about seizures, I forgot about the other things that could come attack his little body.  We are in this weird place – the twins know and want to do things.  The winter can be a dangerous place for kids with WHS.  Now I remember – all the posts – from all of our new WHS friends – about how they hate winter.  Now I get it.


We were ultimately able to come home… with breathing treatments.  and Thank goodness we have a nurse who could show me how to use everything and monitor his vitals for the rest of the day. 


As it turns out, Alexander turned a corner that evening and has been slowly traveling the road to recovery since. 


This wasn’t even the story I really wanted to tell.  You see – Alexander’s illness is really only the prolog to this:


I feel a little overwhelmed at work.  I thought this year would be different… no more rushing out.  The doctor’s appointments are less and less frequent…  The only thing I really think I’m doing right at work is reaching the kids.  But then I think… isn’t that what its all about?


Here is the letter I wrote to my students on Thursday morning.  I left before we were able to talk about it. When I returned, they asked me why I had left so suddenly.  I told them Alexander was sick, but now is better.  They then wanted to discuss the letter in the back … that directly related to our topic of the day deviance. 


I told them the story about when we received 9 cases of Ellacare instead of 9 cans.  I asked them what they would’ve done.  We discussed all of the options.  They wanted to know what I did. 

One girl who had me before said she, “knew.” 

I asked her how she knew. 

She said, “Because I know you.” 

I asked her what I decided…

She said, “You gave it back. Because it was the right thing to do… I know that’s what you did.”


How cool is that?


That conversation led us to THIS ONE about a limited number of resources and the drain on our economy.  Specifically the drain by people who might not contribute.  The deep conversation of people who want to change the world, who love my son, who know my pride, and can now grasp the reality of what we must look like to people who don’t know us… a vacuum on the economy.


I need to do this.  I know that lives are being changed.  I know that those students left that class thinking about how to be a better person.  How to solve the world’s problems.  How to see life in shades of grey.


So …. my question is … again – How can I continue to make a difference like this and somehow get around all the bureaucratic things that make me feel overwhelmed?

If you are reading this and have a suggestion – I would love to hear it.

** And by bureaucratic – I mean no disrespect to my specific place of employment.  There is bureaucracy everywhere….. this is sort of a universal thing **

Friday, October 28, 2011

Epic Work Fail

I want to tell you a story.

When we had the twins, we were visited by a very sweet family friend. She brought the babies each a gift and she also brought me something. She brought me this t-shirt that said, “I love twins.” Well… the love is actually 2 hearts – but it is a super sweet t-shirt.

The shirt is awesome because the thought behind it – but truth is … it is not really something I wear on a regular basis.

This week was spirit week. Wednesday was “Wacky Wednesday.” I decided to wear the shirt because it was a little “fun.” I wanted to make sure people all knew I was “Wacky” – so I also put my hair in pigtails. As one added bonus – I put on a scarf. Finally… I was ready to show my school spirit in a “Wacky” way.

IMG_0292   IMG_0291

Apparently … this shirt has a double meaning.

I’m going to be completely honest here.

It NEVER even occurred to me.

Never Crossed My MIND.

Did I mention I teach high school students? Of course, none of the students actually pointed it out to me.

We are going to go with Epic Work Fail.


One more bit of Exciting News! I’m going to start a new linky on Monday.

I need something mindless on Monday – so let’s go for “Make Me Laugh Monday”

You know that picture you have? On your cell phone? Or the one you secretly want to snap – because of the ridiculousness that is occurring? Well – snap it. And post it.

1. You can post a picture you’ve taken and say nothing at all.
2. You can post a picture you’ve taken and tell the true story behind the picture. (Maybe the story is what makes the picture funny.) – like above…
3. You can post a picture you’ve taken and make up a story to explain the picture. (hey… the internet is full of lies – why not share one on this blog.)

*** Actually – some of the funniest times are when friends and I “create” conversations or identities for people we don’t know / can’t hear. Get down with it ***

I’m also open to suggestions on how to get more funny photos on the linky – so If you have an idea.. let me know. And… if you come up with a better name – pass that along too.

Monday. Funny Photo. Story or no Story. True or Not True. Only real rule is – the photo must be yours.

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Thursday, October 27, 2011

The Great Equalizer

Halloween is the great equalizer.

For those of you who have read my blog in the past, you know that my son has special needs.  You also know that, similarly to Down Syndrome, this genetic anomaly has specific facial characteristics.  Wide set eyes.  Down turned mouth.  Greek Warrior Helmet.  blah blah blah….  And although I embrace those physical characteristics as “just part of Alexander,”  I don’t really put much thought into them everyday.

I have friends that do.  I have friends who have told me they hear whispers.  “Look at that weird looking kid.”  “ohhh… look at those eyes.”  Again.. blah blah blah.  But – as a mother, those words hurt.  I don’t want to hear people making fun of my son.  And for this reason, I think Halloween is quickly becoming my favorite holiday. 

On Halloween, everyone tries to look different … so even the most different child – looks the same.

Halloween – I love you.
Photo from last year’s Halloween

This year – a website that I’m a part of is hosting a competition. 

The CUTEST Halloween picture will win an I Pad 2. 

I have to pause while I try to catch my breath.  An I Pad 2.  It is only open for children with Wolf Hirschhorn Syndrome.

It could be the key to unlock my trapped son.

Of course, I want Alexander to win – I’ve gotten the IPhone – and I can tell you that Alexander interacts with it. I am so excited for when he can start making connections between touching things and cause and effect and possibly use it to tell me what he wants.  But … honestly, it doesn’t have to be us that wins it.  Any child with WHS could benefit from it.  The IPad2 could be the key to unlocking all the “trapped” children.    So stinking Excited!!!

All of our parents are excited to win it. So, seriously – head over to and vote for cute kids.  You can vote for someone else – not Alexander.  Because I know it will go to a good home and help a child. 

So here are our Halloween Costumes.  We found a costume for Alexander that matched Andrew and Addison’s  birthday theme…. so we just went with it.

I know.  He’s the cutest.  God, do I love my kids.  We are excited to trick –or – treat.  We are excited to dress up.  We are excited to L.I.V.E.
Here are our photos.  Hope you enjoyed life from our Wild Wild West.  You can go check out the pictures  and vote - starting November 4th.   Follow me on Facebook or Twitter and I will remind you.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I’m doing a second freaking post.

A second PYHO.  Probably no one will even read this… because – I’ve already got a post ready for tomorrow.  But.


I love my job.

I love the people I work with.

I love my students.

I mean LOVE.

But… I’m a freaking zombie right now.


The kids have been sick for over a week.  Each night for the last 8… I have rocked / held a child while they cried at night.  Not all night, every night.  A few nights Ray pulled the “grave yard” shift.  But…


Alexander’s bearing the brunt of it.  *sigh* My poor baby.  Who never cries.  Cried for 5 hours strait tonight.  I rocked, walked, bounced, put him down, picked him up, took his clothes off, put new clothes on him….


I mean… I’m the mother of TWINS!  And I never felt so defeated. 


I just want him to stop crying… but this isn’t about me.  He never cries.  Only when something is really wrong.  I want whatever is wrong to go away.  I want him to feel better. 

Not a little better…. but a lot better. 

He missed the twin’s birthday party – because … we were worried he was too sick. Something we said we wouldn’t do. ..

His cough has migrated to his chest and we’ve been on seizure alert for too many days.

No one is sleeping….


Pouring My Heart Out. AGAIN.  With Shell.

Please let my baby feel better….  

I’m Not Ready

Dear Andrew and Addison,

I started this whole post… starting from your birth story.  And then I scratched it… because your birth story isn't really the words I need to tell today.

Truth is, I’m not ready.

I’m not ready for you to be 3.  You can’t be 3.  Just yesterday you were in the NICU.  Just last week I was pregnant.  Being pregnant with you was one of the true blessings in my life. 

Addison, you were baby A.  The lowest. The official “first born.”  The hardest to name.  Full head of hair and a perfectly beautiful face.

Andrew, you were baby B.  Feet always in my ribs. Bald, beautiful, and truly a Momma’s boy.  I have a secret to tell you… Your name is not really Andrew.  It is Raymond Andrew – the fifth.  Maybe you will learn it later – like when you are in kindergarten and the teacher calls your name and you don’t answer.

I cried the day you were born.  I was drugged and it was too dangerous for me to go down to see you in the NICU.  I begged and pleaded with the doctors and nurses to please let me see my babies.  I’ve loved you since the day you were dreamed in your Daddy and my heart.  I could not bear to be away from you… even for those hours.  Here were the pictures they sent me instead.

addison    andrew

Those pictures were not enough.  Only when you were placed in my arms could I feel like a Mommy.  Your Mommy.  The most amazing gift.  How did we manage to create twins?  Born at 33 weeks.  21 days in the NICU.  And completely amazing…

Copy of Copy of Copy of PA280189PB040249Copy of PA280191PB060262PB240346 - CopyScan17_001
Only a blink of an eye passed before you celebrated your first Christmas, first Easter, were Baptized, and enjoyed the long days of summer.
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Then … you were a year old. A year of life. A year of celebrations, help, more help…  A year of LOVE. 

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andrew_and_addison_christmas_2 - Copyaddison_1_year_1 - Copyandrew_1_year_3 - CopyDSC_0812DSC_0819

How did another year pass by?  Where did that year between one and two go?  Six months in, we added Alexander, and I admit … things became blurry for awhile.  But I think these things happen to others also.  I think all moms feel like this time goes so slowly when you are living it, but so quickly at the same time. 


I’m just not ready.  I’m not ready for the “grown – up-ness”  Honestly? You can go back into diapers.  I’m not ready to kiss my babies goodbye.  I’m not ready for the preschool I know you need.  I’m not ready to give up the snuggles you no longer crave.  I’m not ready for the big boy and big girl cups and spoons and forks and … I’m not ready for you to be able to wash your hands by yourself. 

Tomorrow is your birthday.  3.  It is happening, whether I’m ready or not.  You  are growing, whether I’m ready or not.  And you are growing into such amazing children.  I’m really proud of the people you are becoming.  I love you…. you who made me a Mommy.  You who opened my heart to this beautiful thing called unconditional love. 

Happy Birthday, sweet babies. 

Thanks Shell – for letting my Pour My Heart Out. 

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