Friday, February 13, 2015

THINK TWICE, CREEP, it's MI VIDA LOCA.

The title names the #1 songs in the UK, US, and country charts on this day in 1995 - which happens to also be my kids' date of birth.

I think the song titles are all fairly appropriate.
Think Twice = with twins, you have to.
Creep = yes, they are creepy. And creeps.
Mi Vida Loca = IT TOTES IS.



It is time for the Annual Birthday Post!
Simmah down, I can see your excitement from here.

My tiny little 1lb babies are 20 today.
I know, right? Some of you have been reading the Birthday Post since they were about 9 or 10 or 11.
Time is not just flying, it is traveling at the speed of sound.

I remember a tiny Becca setting her pacifier down in something that had spilled...she picked it up, took a suck, and said, "What the hell is all over this?!" It made me laugh so much that I couldn't even correct her.

I remember one single sentence of absolutely clear speech from Joshua in 20 years...he was sick and angry and yelled, "I WANT MY BOTTLE!"  It was astounding and amazing and thank goodness my mother witnessed it or I would have thought my ears were playing tricks on me.

Seems like yesterday, and a hundred years ago.

So to those of you who read this faithfully every year - my babies young adult children and I thank you.

Happy 20th, kiddos. Mommy loves you. Also? NEXT YEAR, WE HOIST A GLASS OF CHAMPAGNE, legally.
Or probably beer because I'm cheap. Maybe a margarita. MMMMMMARGARITAS.


twins



THE DUE DATE: June 4th
THE BIRTH DATE: February 14th.
These children clearly get their lack of patience from me.  They were born at 24 weeks, or about 3 and 1/2 months early. They weighed just over 1 lb. each, and were about a foot long. I'm talkin' teeeeeny tiny. Micro-preemie, I think is what they are called now. 
Anyway, this is my boy, at about a month old:



I woke up the morning of February 12th, headed for the bathroom, and after about 5 minutes I called out to the baby daddy, "Either I've lost all control of my body functions or my water broke".
I'll give you a hint - my functions were still under my control.
So natch we rushed to the hospital, where the stupid ass snot face condescending nurse (actually I love nurses in general, but this one? NOT SO MUCH) had me lay on a gurney for an hour and then said that I was fine, no fluid was "leaking" (I know, gross), and the pains in my back and belly were just muscles stretching, NOT CONTRACTIONS...and then she tried to send us home. 
Me being me, I caused a scene.
Hey, guess who ended up being right about me being in labor?
Here is my little girl, at about a month old:



The doctors tried to stop my labor for 24 hours, but apparently my kids were having none of that. On the 13th of February, my boy arrived in the usual way - of course, I was knocked out for the entire thing. My daughter was still safe and secure in her bedwomb -- the idea was to let her 'cook' a little longer (which would have been weird to have twins with different birthdays, right?).  So they were wheeling me into recovery when Miss Contrary's heart rate dropped to zero, and they did a SUPERFAST emergency C-Section to get her out. Evidently she didn't like being alone.
So it was like Twins Two Ways, with extra Mommy Staples.
This is also where I discovered my love of morphine. MMMMMMORPHINE.

Their ears were still folded down (WEIRD! I didn't even know ears did that until my kids were born. It was like puppy ears or something), and their lungs were not completely developed, and their little hearts were working overtime/doubletime.

They struggled for every single breath. They fought to live.

And so they did. And so they have.
Thank you, God.

Thank you for this little miracle....(my girl at about 2 months)

and this little miracle...(my boy at about 3 1/2 months)



The doctors gave them less than a 50% chance of survival.
Fortunately they got my stubborn genes as well as my temperamental ones, because my kids wouldn't listen to percentages; they went all HAN SOLO and were like NEVER TELL ME THE ODDS!

Their hearts were overworked, their lungs were and are covered in scar tissue, they are cursed with keloid scars as well as scars from perc lines and picc lines and a million little junkie scars on arms and feet from being pricked with lancets every hour. They have scarred veins, they had damaging bleeding in their brains, preventing brain growth. And yet...    

Becca's first day home from the hospital! Nearly 4 months old and not even 5 lbs. I still have this amazingly tiny dress - I swear it's barely bigger than Barbie size. Those booties she has on? The foot part is less than 2 inches long. Each twin came home attached to oxygen and an apnea monitor - whenever we all went anywhere together it looked as though we were leaving home for a month, so laden were we with electronic equipment, oxygen tanks, diaper bags, strollers...which is partly why I became the hermit I am today. #Lazy


Here they're about 7 or 8 months old, I think (did I ever mention that I am TERRIBLE about labeling pictures? Because I am). Clearly Becca was already trying to wear some sort of tiara:



One morning I discovered that my daughter knew how to climb into her brother's crib.



When Becca was about two, this is what "Go get ready for bed" meant:



Josh had the softest, wispiest hair so I let it grow and grow... until that time I gave him a buzz-cut and he's been sporting a Greg Brady WhiteBoy 'Fro ever since. Unless I cut it myself, in which case he looks sort of like he's got the mange. #TrueStory






Josh 2007

Becca 2007






There were middle-of-the-night phone calls with doctors on the other end of the line telling me that they didn't think THIS twin or THAT twin would make it through the night- so we'd rush to the hospital to sit and put our hands in the "baby terrarium", as I thought of them, and listen to the beeps and the whooshing of the ventilator and wait for the inevitable.
There were six months in the NICU and 3 or 4 Thanksgivings and Christmases spent in the hospital. For awhile I thought they were going to name a wing of the children's ward after us, or at least keep "our" room in reserve.

There was RSV and BPD and ROP and a bunch of other things with initials that I barely understood.
There was double hernia surgery and laser eye surgery and surgery to correct crossed eyes. 
There were staph infections and even a broken arm that was caused by changing my son's shirt whilst in the NICU - he of the tiny little brittle bones. There were breathing treatments and nebulizers and oxygen tanks and albuteral and lasix and digoxin and tegretol and synthroid and constantly changing medications and frequent seizures and paralyzing fear (well, that last thing was *me*).

Some days were super-tough and I felt like giving up...on you, on myself. But you never did, so how could I?


I continue to be amazed that here we still are, 20 years later.




How could I not believe in miracles? When I look upon those miracles every day of my life.
I love you, my babies. I'm STILL thankful for every breath that you take, every blink of your eyes, every morning that you wake. I love you with everything inside me.

You still make me laugh, you still make me cry, you still make me want to smack you upside your silly little heads.

If all the world was a beach, I would love you more than all the grains of sand added together. Times ten million.

Monday, February 02, 2015

Gonna wash that [gray] right out of my hair...

**Stuff I have to say: I received these products complimentary from Influenster for testing purposes. MY REVIEWS ARE MY OWN.

I'm not one to get too fussed about hair and coloring and cutting - except that time this girl was so completely NOT PAYING ATTENTION to anything except how angry she was at the previous customer (side note: NEVER ALLOW AN ANGRY HAIRDRESSER TO CUT YOUR HAIR NEVER EVER EVER) that I ended up with haircut that caused my dad to introduce me as his son Randy.
Although in fairness it did look pretty cute once it had grown out about an inch or so.

My natural hair color is blondish -- the shades have varied over the years depending on how much time I've spent outside in the sun. I did use lemon juice to streak it when I was young, I admit.






I colored my hair red once, but the shade blended so well with my regular color that it didn't look a whole lot different. Except of course when my hair was wet, then it was Ronald McDonald hair.
When I hit 40 though, practically overnight my hair went dark blond with lots of red and mousy brown...yes, just in time for the gray sprinkled throughout to really show up.
Since then it has gotten steadily darker over the years, so when Influenster offered me an opportunity to color my hair, I thought why not? 

They offered me about 4 selections - to be honest, I *almost* chose the black because I have always wondered how I'd look with black hair and eyebrows, especially since I've got the coloring of my Irish and German forbears.
SO TEMPTING!
But in the end I chickened out and picked another color, medium brown Age Defy from Clairol.


So easy to use, I didn't need help even though this was only my second time coloring my hair in 46 years.
Okay, let me be completely truthy - I sort of made a little mess around my ears and the back of my neck - HOWEVER, I was half-blind because I had my glasses off.

Here's the BEFORE - my natural, untouched color blend of blonde, gold, brown, red, and gray sparkly silver:



In addition to getting darker, it's gotten curlier, frizzier, and coarser. The Clairol Age Defy color is supposed to help with the frizzy and the coarse, because it's got Pantene in it (and I do like Pantene, it makes my hair feel so nice!).

And now.... TA DAAAAH!!

The new me. Look, no gray!





It's so soft and so much smoother! There aren't a zillion little frizzies on the top of my head!
WOW, it is dark, I've never had dark hair like this before. It looks kind of weird because my eyebrows are mostly blonde and pretty sparse - my friend Amanda said I have Matt Smith eyebrows (Whovians will know what that means).
She is correct.
So I guess I should learn how to use an eyebrow pencil because I have no idea whatsoever.

What do you think?
Which do you prefer?
The light side or The Dark Side?

Au naturel?


Or THIS, softer, smoother, with no gray?

Sunday, January 18, 2015

Tiny Houses

So I'm guessing most of you are familiar with The Next Big Thing, which turns out to be Tiny Houses. I see a fafillion of them in my facebook newsfeed - some of them are so adorable! Energy efficient, cost effective - many are pretty much completely run on solar power. I think there's even a TV show about Tiny Houses on a cable channel.
I am intrigued by the idea...every time I see those walls made completely of glass, looking out onto the gorgeous scenery, I really really want one. Then I think about having to clean all the pollen, dirt, dead bugs, and birdshit off those windows and it's a little less appealing.
I do like the ones made from those pod storage or shipping containers - I'd make a "double-wide" out of a couple of those. My mom wants a tiny house. My cousin and his wife just bought some land (near Luther, where *I* grew up and he visited during summers, coincidentally) and they're planning to build a tiny house as soon as they can shove their last nestling out into the Great Big World.
Since you know I'm totes lucky when it comes to finding excellent bargains, there just happens to be a Tiny House available right near me and I'm pretty sure I can get it fairly cheap! It's a bit of a fixer-upper, but I've got a few years left in me before retirement (HAHAHAH RIGHT, like I'm ever going to be able to Not Work), so I'm pretty confident I can do most of the work myself.

So I present to you....my Tiny House.


Sure, it needs some work - a good scrubbing and maybe a new coat of paint for the front door.
But it has a fireplace, and I bet that'll be good enough to warm the entire house!



Okay, it needs a good sweep-out inside too, but there's plenty of room for a visiting kid. And see? Built in bookshelves too!



It's got a tiny stove with an open window to enjoy the view while I'm cooking:



And a little sink for the washing up. It's even wired for a landline telephone in case I move the house to a place with no cell-phone reception:



I think I'll put my sleeping area by the fireplace so I will be toasty warm all winter!



It's even got a quick-slide exit that could totally double as a wheelchair ramp for Joshua:


Back patio where I can sit outside with my coffee and enjoy nature:


And it's even furnished with a deep-freezer chest - it comes with the house! How lucky can you get?



The current owners even started building an add-on barbeque pit...well, I guess it's not really a *pit* because it's elevated. But it'll perfect for backyard summer parties, right?


I will be sure to invite you over - one at a time, of course - for a series of housewarming parties when I get moved in. Make sure you RSVP, please.

Monday, January 12, 2015

I should not be allowed to think about things.

I love music.
LOVE love.
Those of you who've suffered through all the incarnations of my radio show know what I like, which is almost everything between the 50s and the 90s, with a couple handsful of random songs from 2000 to now. I also like classic country music, but not too much of 'today's' country.

I love to turn up the radio and sing at the top of my lungs - in the house, in the car...in the grocery store.
There are a ton of misheard lyrics that I sang incorrectly for years, and I still do, because it's fun.
♪ Big old Chad and Lionel, don't carry me too far away! Oh oh oh big old Chad and Lionel, 'cause it's here that I've got to stay... ♫

But I don't usually stop and think about the lyrics. I mean, sometimes the story the song is telling is just right there and easy to follow and you don't really need to think about it.
And of course there's all the (c)rap and other songs with the horrible lyrics about fuck the police and having 99 problems but a bitch ain't one (yeah, because no girls want to get with you, doy) and "blurred lines" between consensual and forced sex.

Then this morning "December '63 (Oh what a night)" came on the radio - I was just listening and not singing along - and it struck me that there could be some room for interpretation, and frightening song lyrics are not a New Thing.

"You know I didn't even know her name
But I was never gonna be the same
What a lady, what a night..."  So, clearly already setting up to be a one-night stand.

"As I recall it ended much too soon..." This can only be premature ejaculation. Or erectile dysfunction.

"I felt a rush like a rolling bolt of thunder, spinnin' my head around and takin' my body under!" Uh-oh, sounds like someone got roofied!

"Seemed so wrong but now it seems so right..." It seemed so wrong because you got doped up, had 2 minutes of sex with some nameless stranger, blaming her for "mesmerizing and hypnotizing" you and now you're trying to rationalize it in the clear light of the next day. IT WAS SO WRONG. Leave it at that.

SEE? What a horrible song!

And don't even get me started on those stalkery songs of 1970-71ish...

Brand New Key, by Melanie
"I rode my bicycle past your window last night..." Yeah, that isn't AT ALL creepy.
"Sometimes I think that you're avoiding me..." Um yes, because STALKER.
"I asked your mother if you were at home - she said yes but you weren't alone..." See, for most people this is a big, unmistakable sign that you are NOT WELCOME HERE.

Knock Three Times by Tony Orlando
"I can hear your music playing, I can feel your body swaying one floor below me - you don't even know me, I LOVE YOU." So dude is laying on his floor, feeling the bass through the floor, getting off imagining the downstairs neighbor doing a strip-tease and is in love with someone based on the floor vibration. Yes. Sounds legit.
"Read how many times I saw you, how in my silence I adored you, and how only in my dreams did that wall between us come apart." Can you say PEEPING TOM? (Peeping Tony, whatevs). With his sick fevered and probably fetishy and nasty dreams about this woman he's never met. I'd get a deadbolt on my door if I was the neighbor in question.

And the pedophile songs...
"Love you so much, can't count all the ways...Girl, you'll be a woman soon. Soon, you'll need a man."
EW GROSS. Just what every young girl dreams of, Neil Diamond's old balls. #Pervert
"You'll be a woman soon" makes her sound pre-menstrual.

Gary Puckett isn't any better - he sounds kind of like a rapist.
"Young girl, get out of my mind, my love for you is waaaaaaay out of line..." Um YEAH IT IS.
"BETTER RUN, GIRL!" At least he tries to give her a warning...or maybe just a head start before he starts hunting her down like a 10 point buck on the first day of bow season.

Maybe I should just start listening to classical music.














Sunday, January 11, 2015

And the winner is...

...Kerry Housley of OKC! CONGRATS! (also very exciting because OKC is hosting a Spartan Race this year - so that worked out well, woohoo!)

BUT FIRST...
a stipulation or two.

If you find you are going to be unable to use the code, PLEASE either
1. Give the code to someone who will be able to use it OR
2. Let me know so I can re-draw for another winner.

Them's the rules, chillun, and you dasn't break them or you will SUFFER MY WRATH.
I say that with love and affection.

I would like to thank everyone who entered the drawing - it was done with a random name picker, and if a re-draw is necessary I will use that site again.

But wait - all is not lost for the big losers people who didn't win this time! This is the second time that Reebok/Spartan Race has asked me to promote them, so I am hopeful that in the future I will be able to get more free race codes to give to you!
AND.
For everyone else who entered (or even if you didn't enter the drawing but are still planning to race at some time this year) - you can get a 10% discount off one race when you use the code SPARTANBLOGGER while registering. The more of you who use the code, the better my chances are at getting to give away more free races. Just saying.

Thanks for your participation, thank you Reebok/Spartan Racing!
(PS - did you know that you can also look for a Spartan trainer/coach?)

I've done what I can for you - you're on your own now in keeping your resolutions.
Go away now.


Saturday, January 03, 2015

I have seen the face of Satan and his name is...

...BRIDEZILLA.
Satan has many names and faces, and they were all on that show called Bridezilla.

Okay, so I accidentally just watched one or two...seasons...of this show on Netflix.
WHAT. THE. ACTUAL. FUCK.

I have never seen more testicle-less men nor more rude, classless, nasty, trashy, horrible females in my life.
It was like watching a train-wreck happening in slow motion right in front of my eyes - I was horrified but compelled to watch, impossible to turn my eyes away.

All I could think was HOW AM I STILL SINGLE when these ginormous assholes are having weddings and making everyone around them miserable? They are not even humans. They were like sociopathic beings with sawdust feelings, crocodile tears, and permanent PMS. Or whatever that thing is that's like PMS on steroids...PMDD or something like that.

And none of them thought they were doing anything wrong.
I feel like I need to call a priest or someone to cleanse my house after watching that show.
#WhyIHatePeople

Now I have to watch a nice romantic comedy to get rid of the bitter aftertaste...like My Bloody Valentine.



Tuesday, December 30, 2014

This is...SPARTAN! Pt. II: Resolutions

So Christmas is just past and you're still excited about setting up that new FitBit until you lose it or by the time two weeks have passed you've forgotten to wear it more often than not and you haul out your New Year's Resolutions, or as I like to call it: Setting Yourself Up For Epic Failure And Embarrassment And Oh Yeah That Gym Membership You'll Be Paying Out The Ass For The Next 20 Years And Only Use It Twice.

But don't let that discourage you.
Really.
I mean it.
Have a cookie and a Netflix binge.

I do know that there are a select group of you who will actually follow through with your
1. Get in shape/exercise/lose weight!
resolution. At least for longer than...January. So YOU PEOPLE, this is for you.

Last year I wrote a post for Spartan Races/Reebok, and I guess I did a good enough job that they've asked me to write another this year to tell you about some new and different stuff they've got happening. I looked at the Spartan Race website and I tell you, it was nearly enough to make me want to enter a race myself. [nearly. that is an important qualifier]
It is ADVENTURE RACING at it's finest. I like the way they put it on the website: "Spartan Race is on a mission to get you active, healthy, excited about change, and return to our ancient roots where running through the woods, getting dirty, and facing adversity was part of everyday life. Our events are all about challenging today's perception of normal."

***I HAVE A FREE RACE CODE TO GIVE AWAY! Details at the end! FREE BABY!***

The coolest new thing in my opinion happens in March - you will TAKE A CRUISE to the race! From Port of Miami you'll be taken to Great Stirrup Cay, Bahamas for a Spartan Sprint - which is a brand new thing.
A CRUISE. Travel in style before you go pound the crap out of yourself on the course! TOTALLY worth it and I'm not even being sarcastic.

As I mentioned last year, my friend Sean and some of his family and friends are frequent Spartan Race participants:








They tell me that some of the races are brutally intense but they've never had more fun.
One of the nice parts about the Reebok Spartan Races is that they're accessible to most everyone. For beginners, sign up for a Spartan Sprint! Beginner/entry level doesn't mean it won't be challenging though, so suck it up, Buttercup, and prepare to get down and dirty.
There is an intermediate level, an advanced Beast level, and an extreme level Death Race.
I will pay you upwards of $5 to show me some pictures of you in the Death Race.
I'm totes good for the money. Also? I TRIPLE DOG DARE YOU. So you cannot refuse.

Need some help with the workout? They've got Workout Of The Day motivation and Food of the Day recipes to keep you on track. Also this year be sure to listen to the Spartan UP! podcast - hosted by bestselling author Joe De Sena.
Need to know where to race? They're scattered across the country so most people will be able to find one close - here's an upcoming race schedule - in fact in just a couple of short weeks you could be racing in So. Cal! (Local Okie friends - there's going to be a Super Spartan race in OKC in 2015 - get registered!)

There are even age-appropriate courses for the littlest kids! If your kid is entered in the Spartan Kids race, you get 2 free spectator passes as well. I think this is one of the most awesome parts of the Spartan Race experience, especially since so many schools have lost their phys ed programs and some elementary schools have even done away with intramural sports. It makes me sad, since I loved playing basketball and softball all through school, since I was about 8 years old. (gratuitous personal photos to follow:)





Do yourself a favor and get a SEASON PASS - start off with a sprint and soon you'll be headed for the Death Race!
I AM TALKING TO YOU, my triathlon-running friends, Warrior Dashers, and workout fanatics. Don't make me call you out by name on social media (although I probably will anyway).
At least go check out the website - there's a bunch of stuff I didn't even mention here because some of you have the attention span of a gnat and I know you *coffcoffJenniferDuplantiscoffcoff* are already thinking "TL;DR".

Do you remember me mentioning a FREE RACE CODE? Just leave a comment of some sort here, or on Facebook or Twitter, letting me know you want to be entered for the drawing. Every RE-TWEET and/or SHARE of the link to this blog post will earn you additional entries! Got ello.co? Share the link to this post and get another entry!
Drawing will be JANUARY 10th so you can get into an early race if you want.  Go forth and share!
***Added bonus: Get 10% off any race when you register with the code: SPARTANBLOGGER






P.S. Dear Reebok, I don't suppose that there's any chance you could hunt up a pair of those classic plain solid white leather sneakers with the embroidered round emblem on the side, the ones I can't find anymore? Women's size 9. I think they're NPC II classics. I'm just saying it would be a nice gift for some deserving someone. It might even inspire a person to train for a Spartan Race. #Maybe :)
These ones:



(**Disclaimer: I am receiving NOTHING for posting this advertisement. They asked and I posted because
1. Fitness + Fun = Good times and great memories
2. I DO WHAT I WANT
C. I could totally keep the free race code for myself if I wanted to. But hey, I'm all about the readers getting something good. I'm totes unselfish like that.)