My Day in The Dispatch

The phone rang at work. It was the call I was hoping for. “Just one minute, let me switch phones,” I said, buying myself a couple of minutes to compose myself. It was Jonathon Turner from The Dispatch/Rock Island Argus. He was calling because I am going to be in our local paper for being in the top 100 entries for my Reader’s Digest “Your Life” story entry (link here to read and vote).

My heart was beating so hard I thought it was going to jump right out of my chest and start flopping around like a fish out of water. I took a couple of deep breaths and gave myself a little  talk.

Calm down, girl! You are used to talking to people and even standing in front of large groups of people talking. You can handle a phone interview/discussion about your writing. Get ahold of yourself. All that schooling and training from your Ambrose education has prepared you for these things. They put you through the ringer with presentations for the education department just to graduate.

“Thanks for holding,” I said.

Here we go… I was so excited and nervous. I have been trying to plan out in my head how this would go and what I could say, if and when I got the call. When it came down to it, I wasn’t sure what I was going to say. I guess I would wing it.

I think I might have stuttered. I felt like I couldn’t put a complete sentence together.

I could hear him typing at a hundred miles an hour as we were talking.

We started talking about my kids and blogging and I started to calm down and relax.

I hope I said what I meant to say. I hope I included everything I needed to. I wish I would have said this…or maybe that. I’m sure it was fine.

Time went so fast. The conversation was coming to a close.

Send a photographer to take our picture at 5:00?!


Oh, wait. “Tonight is Bradley’s school carnival. We can’t miss it,” I explained.

So they came to Bradley’s school and took pictures in his kindergarten room. How perfect!

I can’t wait to see the paper!!

Thanks Reader’s Digest.

And a great big thank you to all of you who have supported me and who are voting for me. I really appreciate it!

You can check out my Reader’s Digest “Your Life Story” with this link here (you can read my story and vote. You have to sign in to facebook to do this. Just follow the prompts, it only takes a minute).

And don’t forget to look for us in the paper this weekend! I will link to it when it is published.

Thanks again.


Writer’s Workshop: My Flower Bouquet

Mama’s Losin’ ItThis weeks writing prompt: What types of flowers would be in a bouquet that best describes you?

Of course I had to write for this prompt. I am surrounded by buckets of flowers every day. I have been for the last fifteen plus years, off and on. Miller’s Florist is like my second home. I started working there when I was in high school. I grew up there. I raised my first two babies there. I was lucky to be able to bring them to work with me.

But as I think of this prompt, it is hard. What flowers would best describe a bouquet about me?  

I design floral arrangements everyday. I could do it in my sleep. The flowers don’t always talk to me. They are my tools, part of the business. When you are around them everyday, you forget to notice each one’s uniqueness and individuality.

So at work while I was thinking of this prompt, I started to pay more attention. The buds and blooms softly call my attention; soft and silvery lamonium, each million star of babies breath, weedy and wild solidago, daisies, carnations, lilies, roses, and that last hydrangea that is begging me to use it for a nice and expensive bouquet. Rose petals fold around each other like a perfect piece of artwork.

They wait in the cooler, some of their heads tangled together, some of them standing in bunches, waiting to be grabbed, cut, and sent out.

A white larkspur leans in the green bucket, waiting to be included in a tall vase. Long viney buds fly away in crazy green spirals from its base. Maybe I can be a larkspur. I have lots of little ones surrounding me all of the time.  I’m not tall, but I’m skinny again (finally! three babies in two years takes a while to lose that weight). 

I asked Connie, What flowers do you think represent you? If you were a bouquet, what would be in it?”

“I love heather. That is one of my favorites,” she said. “I like lilies, too. They open up like arms for a hug. They are versatile. You can put them in an everyday arrangement or you can dress them up.”

“That is it,” we both said at the same time.

“Definitely you. You can fit in anywhere,” I laughed.

Hmmmm….what flowers are in my bouquet?

I am everything.

I am the droopy headed asters when I’m tired, but always with a sunny middle and smile.

I am big thick sunflowers standing in the sun. I have a strong and sturdy base.

I am zinnias that grow wild in my garden. I tend to go every which way in a flurry of color and excitement.

I am delicate violets who thrive in the light. I like lots of attention, but can be left alone on the window sill and thrive, just like these fuzzy leaved plants.

I am a venus fly trap who captures and makes its own food. I can make a meal (edible, but not delicious) out of just about anything.

I am versatile. I am unique. I am a wildflower bouquet with a little bit of this, and a lot of that, and put in some of this… a little bit of everything. You just have to look real close. You never know what you may find.


Hot Dogs and Kentucky Fried Chicken

“What do you want to be for Halloween?” I asked Bradley at dinner time.

“I want to be a hot dog,” Bradley said between bites.

He said it so matter of factly. He didn’t have to think about it. He just wants to be a hot dog for Halloween.

I tried not to laugh too hard. “A hot dog?”

“Yep. A hot dog, Mom.”

“I guess Collin could be the ketchup.”

It just so happened that Connie, my boss, was out shopping today and actually found a hot dog costume. Bradley loves his costume. It makes me laugh. He looks so goofy, but cute.

Thanks, Connie!

When I was taking Bradley’s picture in his costume I told him to smile.

“Mom, hot dogs don’t smile,” he said to me.

“Oh, just smile for the picture, please,” I urged him.

And he smiled his little smile and said, “Eat me.”

I was cracking up. We have also been having fun with, “You have mustard on you,” and “Where’s the ketchup?” 

This is way different from his costume from last year (which I didn’t get to help pick out because I was in the hospital on bed rest).


AND…Bradley learned a new song at school today. Listen closelyto the way he says Kentucky Fried Chicken. 😉


Caterpillar Poop

We kept it in an old fish container that had lots of tiny holes on the top so he could breathe. We put tape on the two bigger holes so he couldn’t escape. It seemed like the perfect artificial habitat for our little caterpillar.

Bradley found a couple small sticks to put in there so he could climb. We fed him milkweed leaves because that is what we found him on. Aunt Terry even special delivered milkweed leaves for our hungry caterpillar and we stored them in a baggy in the refrigerator.

We put him high up on a shelf so Collin couldn’t reach him. We were afraid he would let him out, shake it; or even worse, smoosh him!

We got him down the next day to look at him. He ate almost all of his leaf! It is unbelievable such a wormy little thing can eat so much. The other leaf was dried and shriveling.

“Bradley, we will have to give him more food.”

“Yea, Mom. Because caterpillars eat and eat like in the book (referring to Eric Carl’s famous book, “The Hungry Caterpillar”). He has to get really fat first before he turns into a butterfly. Right, Mom?”

“Yep. We will have to put a few more leaves in there for him. Not suckers or pies like in the book. I don’t think he will like those things. And don’t forget, he will be a chrysalis before he is a butterfly. Remember?”

“What is all this stuff on the bottom, Mom?” Bradley asked, his nose was practically smooshed on the glass to examine his new finding.

Small brown pellets littered the bottom of the container and some were stuck to the sides.

I held it up closer, squinting, to investigate. I thought they were little bugs, but they weren’t moving. I thought they might be eggs, but there were so many of them.

“Bradley, I think that is caterpillar poop.”



Three days later…

We checked on our caterpillar everyday. We cleaned out the poop and gave him fresh leaves to chew on. We looked forward to having a chrysalis and wondered what kind of butterfly he might turn into.

Then one day, he was gone. He just disappeared. (Shhhh…Don’t tell Brad.) We looked and looked everywhere. We couldn’t figure out how he escaped and we couldn’t find him anywhere.

I gave a little shudder thinking of this hairy wormy creature roaming my house. For several days I would keep my eyes on the wall and the windowsills thinking I would find our lost caterpillar. I was a little creeped out and irritated. “We fed you, we gave you a nice house, we cleaned up after you, and you just disappear?! I even kept weeds in a baggy for you in my fridge!”

Bradley was a little bummed, but then he was just ready to go find a new one.

To this day he still hasn’t shown up.

Maybe he will be that pesky moth flying around the chandelier light while we are trying to have dinner. If that does happen, I hope I remember our little hairy creature before I smash him with a fly swatter. Because that annoying moth could be our little guy.

Note to self: Shoo moths out of the house nicely if there ever is one.


Where I’m From – Writer’s Workshop


I am from friendship bracelets knotted and twisted from embroidery floss, jelly shoes and riding a ten speed when it was cool, from Nintendo, Mtv, and dial-up Internet .

I am from the hot summer days with freshly cut grass that sticks to the bottom of bare feet.

I am from stinky marigolds growing around the front porch steps, the streets lined with trees and painted mailboxes. 

I am from boating on the muddy Mississippi and boring parents who were home every night, from Linda and Jean and Lorraine.

I am from the dinner at the table every night at 5  and eat your vegetables.

From do your homework right when you get home from school and do your chores before you go out and play.

I am from sleeping in on Sundays and slumber parties, popcorn and movies, and of course, staying up late.

I’m from the heart of Illinois, Land of Lincoln, hamburgers and hotdogs on the grill, corn on the cob and cantaloupe.

From the nights watching Grandma Linda get ready for Bingo and her fancy perfume, the searching for four-leaf clovers for luck, “Here, Grandma! I just found one for you!” From picking tomatoes and chasing lightning bugs on Grandma Jean’s farm, hot sticky days splashing in an old washbucket.

I am from a box of Polaroids and faded pictures on my parent’s back porch. Some scattered here, others scattered there, old pictures in frames sitting against the attic wall. The old ones tucked safely away, the new ones hanging on the living room wall, smiling grandkids around a Christmas tree.

Thanks Mom and Dad. I love where I’m from.
Mama’s Losin’ It

This post was from the amazing Mama Kat, I just love her site (link on the button above). I had so much fun doing this exercise. If you want to give it a try you can find the template here…and don’t forget to share your link!

Will SpongeBob Make Your Kids Stupid?

I was looking through the newspaper before work. The headline read, “Will SpongeBob make your kids stupid?” I laughed to myself, but I had to read the article. I LOVE SpongeBob. I would love to “live in a pineapple under the sea” and be his neighbor. I think I would name my pet snail Snuffles. SpongeBob and I could walk Gary and Snuffles together to go and visit Sandy, I have always wanted to check out that bubble thing she lives in… but I digress.

SpongeBob making our kids stupid? Oh, please. So I read on. The main points of the article that I read are based on a study published in Pediatrics, the Journal of the American Academy of Pediatrics, and are as follows (and I am copying from the newspaper – The Dispatch’s Monday, September 12, 2011):

  • The study suggests that watching just nine minutes of that program can cause short-term attention and learning problems in 4 year olds.
  • The problems were seen in a study of 60 children randomly assigned to either watch “SpongeBob,” or the slower-paced PBS cartoon “Caillou” or assigned to draw pictures. Immediately after these nine-minute assignments, the kids took mental function tests; those who had watched “SpongeBob” did measurably worse than others.


I just had to laugh. I let Bradley, my kindergartener, watch “SpongeBob” before he went to school this morning; which, according to the study, is very bad for learning.

One part of the article says, “Parents should realize that young children are compromised in their ability to learn and use self-control immediately after watching such shows. ‘I wouldn’t advise watching such shows on the way to school or any time they’re expected to pay attention and learn.”

That is just what we did. We haven’t had any problems.

So now we might alternate watching “SpongeBob,”  the Disney Channel, or PBS in the mornings before school. But most of the time SpongeBob rules.

We love SpongeBob in this house and he is staying on our tv. What about yours?


If you want to find out more about this study or opinions on it, just Google, “Will SpongeBob make your kids stupid?” and you will be bombarded by articles, blogs, and lots of opinions. It’s crazy.

A Sh*tty Morning

Saturday morning…

I shoved my foot in my shoe. “I really appreciate all your help this morning,” I said to Brad with a chuckle (Yes, I chuckled. It was for the sarcasm). “We make a great team.”

“I was sleeping,” he said.


It was a shitty morning, literally. My alarm went off and I hit the snooze button. The babies started crying in the other room. I wish they had a snooze button. I had already given them their bottles and there was nothing else to buy me ten more minutes in bed. So I dragged my butt out of bed.

I could smell it as soon as I walked into the hallway. It was so bad I was afraid to go in. I opened the door; Mallie was hanging on to the crib rails with red eyes from crying. She had brown smears on her cheeks. Her hands were covered in brown goo, and it wasn’t chocolate. Yes, my friends, it was poo.

“Oh crap!”

Collin stood next to her. “Ewww, Mum,” he held up his hand and was studying his fingers. He was covered in poo, too. He stood there with a bare butt and a diaper at his feet.

“I know, sweetie. Just don’t touch anything else. Stand still,” I said, trying to buy some time.

Elsie sat behind them. She was laughing and crying. She was covered in it also, but not as bad as the other two.

“Awww, shit,” I muttered to myself while simultaneously thinking, How am I going to get this all cleaned up?

I wish I could have seen the look on my face when I entered the room. My eyes must have been bulging and big as round as a toilet stool, which I wished the poo was in.

I ran downstairs. Brad was asleep on the couch.

“Wake up! There is shit everywhere,” I said. You could hear the kids fussing upstairs.

“I’m sleeping,” he mumbled and tried to roll over.

Nag mode set in.

“Brad, c’mon! Get up and help me. There are 3 kids up there in the crib covered in head to toe shit! Let’s double team this and get them in the tub.”

“You should have got up earlier,” he said.

Really?! You’re gonna blame me?

“You could have got up, too,” I bitched as I headed upstairs.

I looked at the clock. 6:55 a.m.

“I can’t be late for work,” I yelled over my shoulder. “And I still have to get in the shower.”

There was no time to waste. I wasn’t sure how I was going to conquer this mess, so I just dove in.

I grabbed Mallie first because she had the most crap on her. I reached for a blanket and stripped her down. There was poop on my arm. Ugh! I know I’m not going to stay clean with this job.

First off, get the crap off her face, so disgusting. And the only thing I kept worrying about is e-coli and whatever else a horrible mess like this might bring. I scrubbed hands, fingernails, toes, and everything in between.

The water was running, I didn’t want to wash her with shitty bath water, so I just let the water run and go down the drain. She was still crying and mad. She looked up at me with those big blue eyes with red rings around them and a little tear.

Finally I remembered this was probably scary for her; your mom races in, yanks you out of bed and throws you in the tub first thing in the morning.

“It’s okay, baby,” I say to her, remembering I should talk to her and sooth her. It’s not like rushing to get the dishes done, for crying out loud.

I can still hear Collin in the room, “Mum. Mum. Ewww, Mum. Ewww.”

I wrapped Mallie in a towel and delivered her to her dad. “I have two more to go,” I said and ran back upstairs. I guess I had given up on him coming upstairs to help. The least he could do is take care of them after I clean ’em up.

Elsie next. The smell was so gross. Washing off caked and smeared on poop that is starting to dry is one of the hardest thing to get clean, as most moms know, because a mess like this usually happens at least once during the baby stages… and moms always seem to get the dirty jobs. Oh, well. We get the best jobs, too, like carrying them, nursing them…

I ran the game plan in my head over and over again at a hundred miles an hour. Collin next, clean the crib. Where’s the disinfectant? Rinse the clothes, stain stick and get them in the washer. Throw me in the shower. I’ll probably have to re-stainstick the clothes when I get home.

I wrapped Elsie in a towel, tucked her under my arm like a football, and ran downstairs for the pass. Brad was still laying on the couch with Mallie in a towel. Really?! I hope she pees on you, I thought.

“C’mon! Here’s the other one. Just help me!” I stood there dumbfounded, looking for an open spot in his arms to tuck her in and take off. I’m in a hurry here.

“I can’t hold them both,” he said.

“All you have to do is get them dressed!” I sat Elsie on the floor and ran back upstairs for the next poopy monster.

Just let me get this done!

I felt guilty for leaving Elsie on the floor crying. But I had another covered in shit upstairs, and besides, her dad was right there.

Priorities. Get the shit cleaned up first. I ran to get Collin clean.

“Arms up,” I flipped the shirt up over his head.

“Eww, Mum. Eww,” is all Collin could say.

 I pictured the clock in my head, must be at least 7:20. I just may make it to work on time. I was getting good at this…and super fast. I threw Collin in the tub and scrubbed.

Ugh! How did all of this happen? What a shitty morning.

I am assuming sometime after I made the twins’ bottles Collin got up and snuck quietly out of his room. I can tell by the path of destruction that he was at the bookshelf, I had to step over “The Joy Luck Club” and an old Stephen King paperback when I was in the hallway. Then he must have went into the girls’ room and decided to hop in the crib and play with them. He was probably jumping in the crib, which he gets in trouble for… even though it is funny because the girls bounce around and laugh their pretty little heads off. I’m assuming that when he was jumping with a full morning diaper that it  was so heavy it just fell off.

The rest is the mess from there.

I made it to work on time…with a few minutes to spare!

Damn, I’m good. And it’s a good thing they are so darn cute!

Even though it is darn near impossible to get a good picture of all of them together. Next time I will bribe them with marshmallows.


p.s. See what motherhood does to you? I can write a whole blog post about cleaning up shit. I really need to get out a little bit.

Something to Chew On

At 3 a.m. I turn into a tooth fairy. It’s not what you imagine with wings and a wand. It’s not nearly as glamorous as it sounds. There are no frilly tutus or magic wands. It’s just the standard flannel pajamas and fuzzy slippers. I know it sounds hard to believe, but give it a second and read my story and you will see.

I work in a dentist office by day. My life is surrounded by teeth, gums, and saliva. “Open wide. Gargle. Rinse and spit.” Your general dentistry shit.

But that is not how I got this job. I sort of fell into it by chance. With five kids it is hard to make ends meet and I had been praying for some sort of miracle or help landing on my feet. Sometimes you get just what you ask for, but it may not quite be what you expected. 

One night I was still up after the baby’s middle of the night feeding. I rinsed the bottle and tried to clean the sink. A shiny black roach raced across the counter. I snatched it up in an old paper towel on the sink. I squeezed and felt its body pop in the wad of paper. “Go and tell your friends,” I said as I squished it even more and threw it in the trash. It was starting to feel like a bad scene from the Erin Brokavich movie, except I’m not Julia Roberts and I don’t have big boobs.  

I glanced out the kitchen window at the full moon hanging low in the dark sky. It whispered of hope and a way to get the mortgage paid. I rubbed my eyes. I really do need sleep. I heard movement upstairs. Water was running in the upstairs sink.

I walked along the outer edges of the stairs so they wouldn’t creak or groan. I expected to find my two-year old son in the bathroom, standing on the toilet and leaning over the sink to fill up his little plastic Batman cup for a drink. It drives me crazy when he gets up in the middle of the night. At least this time he wasn’t sucking on the tube of toothpaste for a midnight snack.

This bad habit of his scares the hell out of me when I find him out of place. He should be in bed. I will be going downstairs to make a bottle and there he will be, standing in the hallway or sitting on the steps scavenging stuff he’s not supposed to be into. It always startles me. He looks like he should be one of the Children of the Corn kids staring blankly at me with pale blue eyes and an albino face.

But this time I found someone else.

A stranger stood in my bathroom with a toothbrush and a foamy Crest smile.

I couldn’t utter a word. My tongue was twisted and tied. My stomach flip-flopped as my eyes googled over this shirtless stranger. I didn’t know they made abs like that anymore.

A smirk and a grin played across his face.

This can’t be for real. I’ve been working too many long hours. I think I might have transported myself into a Harlequin romance novel with no plot.

He grabbed the hand towel from the rail and I realized this was real.

“Are you ready?” he asked.

I tried to answer. I tried to speak. Still nothing would come out. I should be screaming and shouting, but there was a calmness about him. Could he be my Edward from Twilight? He wasn’t sparkling, but that was fine. He had no fangs or hairy face. I tried not to follow, but nothing was out of place. It was smooth calmness. It was part of my fate. 

He grabbed me by the elbow and whisked me through the hall and into the kitchen. I couldn’t resist that devilish grin.

“Take a bite,” he held an apple to my lips. “You will understand everything with this.”

My hand brushed his wrist as I sunk my teeth into the tender flesh of the yellow apple. 

Old knowledge appeared before me, stuff I always knew but had forgotten. This was my place. I just missed the target by a little trace.

That is how it all started, how I got my job as a tooth fairy. I found a handsome stranger at my sink. I had asked for help and it had appeared. It may seem like luck, but it was always part of my calling. It is not quite the full-blown out tooth fairy job. I would call it more of a carrier type of position. I collect the bags and deliver them to the secret place lost baby teeth are kept.

Haven’t you ever wondered what the tooth fairy does with all those teeth?

If I can trust you maybe I will let you know.

Every night when the rest of the house is asleep I sneak through the kitchen for a night-time snack. I bite into an apple that is as full as a harvest moon; special apples to help me travel through the night, light as can be.

The hours are not very long, but the pay is good. Who would have ever guessed the tooth business to be so lucrative, except maybe a dentist.

There are some downsides to the job, too. Lately my teeth have been tingling. I also felt something strange in the roof of my mouth, almost like a lost popcorn kernel wedged between those lines on the roof of your mouth.

It was sore and tender and sharp. It can’t possibly be. I’m too old to be growing more teeth.

I met my Crest man one night and told him of this crazy predicament after a second tooth grew.

“It’s time then,” he said.

“Time for what?” I asked.

“Don’t worry. It happens to everybody in this business. It’s time to meet the man.”

Hint: Whoever said the tooth fairy had to be a woman with a frilly dress and wand?

The head guy, nice as he is, is greedy as hell. Teeth are his specialty and he has plenty of them. He regrows them in his own mouth. Hundreds of them, sticking out of dirty gums like an old picket fence in a dead cemetery. He only wants more, like a weird addiction.

“After you have been delivering teeth, you start growing more. It’s part of the magic. Now you have to pay your dues,” the Tooth Fairy man explained to me.

“Don’t worry. It’s not so bad,” my Crest man whispered in my ear before the Tooth Fairy’s minions grabbed me. Their hands were bony and gripped my arms like a vice. There was no getting away.

I was flattened to a board. A large roll of clear shiny tape reflected the metal instruments hanging from the ceiling. Large tape was pulled from a roll. They wrapped me like a hot dog in Saran wrap from shoulders to feet. But this was not Saran wrap, it was some sort of industrial tape that stuck humans on it like a fly gets caught on that yellow sticky tape. When I was little I remember counting dead fly carcasses hanging from the tape in my Grandma’s garage. Red gooey black bodies with no legs clung lifelessly to the tape. Luckily there were no carcasses on this tape.

I couldn’t move.

“In just a minute you will feel pressure and pulling,” a strange voice said.

The only thing I could see was pain shooting like stars. Sheer pain searing through my jaw and head.

I wanted to scream. I wanted to yell, “Don’t take them. They’re my babies.” But I couldn’t utter a word as a million centipede fingers pulled on the edges of my lips.

The long needle passed over my head. Why the hell did I look? It probed my gums and assaulted the roots of my teeth. They shot up my mouth. I could feel it going down in deep. 

The bitterness of the injected juice slipped down the side of my tongue and sat at the back of my throat. I could taste the bitterness and the smell singed the insides of my nose.

The strange surgeon looked down at me with a light on his forehead, like a spelunkers in a cave. His features were a blur. The light on his forehead shadowed his face so I could not see his sadistic face.

I tried not to look at the instruments. Was that a pair of pliers? It sure looked like a pair of regular old pliers and not the usual shiny dental instruments.

Before I knew it, it felt like pressure on my whole head, an unnatural pushing on my entire face and twisting and turning.

I heard something crack.

“You’re all done,” he said. The masked assistant removed bloody gauze from my mouth, a trail of saliva sticking to my lick as if it was mozzarella cheese. More gauze was crammed into my cheeks. I couldn’t speak.

“Do you want to see it?” Crest man asked me.

“No!” I mumbled with bulging eyes. I did not want to see the unnatural teeth that was yanked and pried from the roof of my mouth.

“Do you want to see the place where teeth go?” he asked.

The Crest man motioned for me to go. I held his hand as we crawled up a pile of sharp and stubbly rubble. I looked down. I looked all around. We were surrounded by piles and mounds of human teeth. We were wading in a sea of teeth; incisors, molars, and sparkly fillings galore.

“This is the cemetery where the teeth are kept.”

I would never have dreamed of this kind of sea, but it is real. You just have to find it. It is someplace where the ends meet the sky and imagination is reality. Be careful what you ask for.

“Now that is something to chew on,” I thought.

writers' week

The Beginning of Complicated

Exactly one year ago today the complications of my pregnancy with the twins became very complicated. It was a traumatic experience and I am very thankful to be here today with two healthy babies. I have been thinking about it a lot lately, since it was exactly one year ago today.

It was the hardest thing I have ever done in my life. It was the beginning of a very long bed rest and being two hours away from my children and family for the first time ever. The medical issues and the helicopter rides and the doctors and the list goes on…

I didn’t write through this period of time. I wish I had. So the following posts are my memories of that experience. It may not be exact in all the details, but it is the exact way I remember it and how I feel about it.

It will be in several posts. I was on bed rest for 6 long and lonely weeks. It was rough. I can’t go through it all at once again. So you will get the story in “bits & pieces.”

To read about when I first found out I was pregnant with twins you can find that post <here>.


Brad was cooking barbecue chicken on the grill. He made a straight path that he followed frequently; flip the chicken, through the back door and straight to the tv to check the football game. He stood with his arms crossed in a defensive stance in the doorway, ready to yell or cheer at the tv.

I tried to keep my eyes open as I sunk further into the recliner. They wouldn’t stay open no matter how hard I tried. I have never felt a tired like this except with my pregnancies. The sheer exhaustion and toll on my body from carrying twins was twice as much.

Collin, who just turned one, was hanging on my knees bawling. I couldn’t pick him up. I was not supposed to pick anything up. I rubbed his back the best I could to try to sooth him, but I think I fell asleep sometime in between there.

I woke up to a quiet house. The kids were napping and it must have been a lull in the game because Brad wasn’t yelling. That was the calm before the storm.

I came down the stairs slowly, waddling, holding the weight of my pregnant belly. “I need to go to the hospital right away,” I said.

“You’re kidding me,” Brad said. “Today is the first day of football. This is the first game.”

“We have to leave now,” I said, even though I couldn’t get any emotion or urgency into my tone. “I’m bleeding.” And from there I was on a mission and that mission was to stay calm and get to the ER.

I have never seen him move so fast except for the other two times when I went into labor. But this was record speed. It was September. I wasn’t due until December.

I clenched the steering wheel and drove as fast as I could. I had cramps, but I didn’t think I was having contractions.

“You need to slow down.”

“I need to get there NOW. I just feel it.”

I pressed down on the accelerator as another small wave of cramps spread across my stomach. “Somethings wrong. I just feel that I need to get there because something big is happening. I just feel it. I’m in trouble. This just isn’t right. It’s not bad now but I’m scared.”

I have to say that the ER was ready and on the ball. As soon as I said I was pregnant with twins and bleeding I was whisked away in a wheelchair and straight to Labor and Delivery. It is a route I know well, having had two other children at the same hospital.

I was moved to a hospital bed, which was also familiar, and IVs, monitors, and nurses surrounded me with a million questions. I tried to get comfortable against the cool white sheets.

The monitor said I was having contractions. Why do I never know this? I never knew it with my other two pregnancies either, not until it was really bad.

I don’t remember much after that. It must have been the drugs, good ol’ Magnesium to try to stop the contractions. I was in and out of sleep with blurry faces coming and going.

I remember a nurse who looked like one of my friends said, “I can only get one baby on the monitor. The other keeps moving,” she said as she moved the paddles around, searching for the other baby, her neck craned to see the screen. I wasn’t too worried. They could never get both on at the same time. I fell back asleep. I couldn’t help it.

I remember hearing the nurses say, “Someone is to be with her at all times.” And they never did leave me alone. Every time I would roll over I would see a nurse or Brad.

I remember Brad pulling out the sofa bed. We were here for the night.

Then it hit. I was fully awake with wicked pain. There was no more sun peeking through the blinds.

“Brad! Wake up!” I yelled.


Nurse call button. Where was my nurse? It was the first time I was ever left alone.

***Note – now is the time to stop reading if you are uncomfortable around labor and delivery rooms, have a queasy stomach, if blood bothers you, or anything about things that can happen with a complicated pregnancy might scare you or gross you out too much. It gets scary and gross. You have been warned.***

She came through the door in a second.

“It wont stop gushing,” I screamed. I cried. I squirmed. “Make it stop! What is happening to me.” I could feel it pouring out of me. I could feel the pressure.  I could feel substance to it. I could feel it everywhere, spurting out. I tried to look down at my body. The white sheets were bright red, and not just a small spot. I tried not to look after that.

I felt helpless. I felt reality slipping away. “Help me, please,” I cried. “Just make it stop!” I felt like I was delivering spawn. I felt like the Exorcist girl flopping around in bedand tied up with IV lines and wires for monitors. My head already felt like it was spinning.

And it kept pouring out of me, bright red blood thick between my legs.



I remember her dark eyes and long dark hair through all of this, it was a new nurse. She looked worried but she worked fast and knew what to do. Some code blurred through the hospital speakers. It was for me. 

“Doctor is coming,”  she said.

But it only got worse.


Leave a Light on for Me

I don’t know why we were talking about lightbulbs, but we were because somehow the conversation led us that way. And every time I change a lightbulb, or see one that is out, I think of Donna. It’s just one of those weird things.

“I still haven’t had to change the lightbulb at the top of my steps,” Donna said. “Roger (her husband who passed away in the house) must be looking out for me. He knows I could never reach it.” Donna is as short as me, which means just about 5 foot tall. Shhh. Don’t laugh at us short people.

“I still can’t believe it hasn’t gone out. How long has it been now?” I ask. But yes, I do believe her.

“Twelve years.” 

“You know, that is crazy. Nobody would believe you if you told them,” I add.

“I know. But I haven’t ever had to change that lightbulb. I don’t know how I  even would if it went out. It is right at the top of the steps at the highest part of the house. Even if I put a ladder there I wouldn’t be able to reach it and I would be dangling over the stairs.”

“I just can’t see a lightbulb lasting that long. But your house is weird anyways,” I tell her.

She has told me so many stories, I think her house is haunted…or has visitors you just can’t see. Lights flickering when the grandchildren are around and many other strange tales. Her aunt and grandmother passed away in the house, too. Maybe she just has a lot of guardian angels.

But who in the heck has ever had a lightbulb last 12 YEARS?!?! That is nuts.