Monday, November 24, 2008

One Week Later

It's now a week after my surgery and I've finally moved from my mom's couch to my own bed. Things are looking up!!! Here are some things I've learned during the last week:

-My parent's house is way more chaotic now than it ever was when we seven kids were growing up! My mom said one day, "I need to install a revolving door." She's not kidding! In one day all seven kids and the three in-laws will undoubtedly show up at least once. My mom will have at least one of her 8 grandkids (but usually more than one) at her house at nearly all hours of the day.

One night my brother (who lives across the street) walked in the door with his 2 year old son Josh. After a greeting of "What's up?" my brother said "Josh is on a mission." And boy was he ever. He NEEDED to go to Grandma's house because he NEEDED a package of Nemo Fruit Snacks. Good thing Grandma didn't let Josh down!

-My parents will probably always have to take care of their kids ouchies. My mom has been the world's best nurse and I love her for it!!! My sister who is married with three kids of her own, has a staff infection. Well maybe...we're waiting for the test results. As a result of the infection she has had a very large boil on her arm. (Who knew people still got those?) My sister still comes home for medical treatment. It's rather cute. The doctor did some damage to the boil (but in the long run it will not be considered damage) and my sister needed her arm to be re-bandaged. I wish I had a picture of her being doctored by my mom and my other sister. And it was Dad who had to take the drain out of her arm. Not her big, strong, very capable husband...nope, it had to be Dad. My sis isn't so good at taking her medication. Last night as she was leaving she told my dad she wanted to go somewhere with him today. "Please Daddy, I'll be good and take my pill." My dad or my mom bug her at least twice a day: "Did you take your medicine yet???" Makes me laugh a lot.

-Grandkids couldn't have better grandparents!!! Grandkids run this house. Sorry Dad, it's not you...it's the grandkids. Whether it's 7 year old Allie who comes every day to practice the piano, or Josh who needs his fruit snacks, or 1 year old Samantha who smiles and gets away with WHATEVER she wants, the grandkids have it made!!!

Heather's kids (the sister I just talked about) would go through serious withdrawal if they didn't come to Grandma's and Grandpa's house every day. They have NO PROBLEM being at Grandma's house, even if their mom isn't here. They are as much at home at Grandma's as they are in their own house. Funny...I think my mom and dad would go through as much withdrawal without seeing the kids every day.

-I have the best sisters in the world! Saturday I had a tiny little melt down. Being stuck inside, mostly immobile will do that to anyone. I was whining...just a little...about how I couldn't even clean my bathroom floor. Last night I went home to a sparkling bathroom floor...and bedroom...and house. My sisters cleaned my room better than I ever have. They did my laundry, did my ironing, changed the sheets on my bed...I was so happy I almost cried. Thanks girls!!!

I could go on and on but I won't. Let me just end with this: A few weeks ago we were all at Heather's house for Sunday dinner (all means 2 parents, seven kids, three in-laws, and the 8 grandkids.) We had finished our meal and were sitting around the table talking...and flossing our teeth. Yep, that's the kind of family we are. My sister-in-law said something about "the family that flosses together stays together" and I said maybe I should write a blog about that. I've thought a lot about that. With as much as my family spends their time together...flossing or otherwise...I think we're going to be just fine.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Ummm...I'll take the pain meds please.

This will be short and sweet. Hernia surgery is not for the faint of heart...nor is it for those who can't handle pain. Rats...I am faint of heart and I can't handle pain. I'll do my best not to whine too much during the healing process, and I'll be grateful to sisters who braid my hair and my mom who keeps me medicated.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Random Bits of Stuff

Random Bit #1

Every year we have a family Halloween party. We're not entirely festive. Only one of my sisters dresses up, and we don't pig out on tons of junk food. But we do have fun and we laugh a lot and we carve pumpkins. This year my brother was carving his pumpkin and I commented on it. "That's sure a lot of guts for one small pumpkin." (He was pulling seeds out forever.)

His response is still making me laugh: "Once, when I was in grade school, someone said the same thing about Heather 'that's sure a lot of guts for one small pumpkin.'" Ha ha ha...

Ben and Heather are twins and their relationship makes me laugh a lot.


Random Bit #2

Tomorrow afternoon will find me on a beach in Cancun. I'll be on that beach for about 5 days. I'm only slightly excited. It will be such a sacrifice to leave behind the cold and the mud and work and stuff.

Random Bit #3

A few days after I get home from Cancun I have to have surgery to repair some rather painful hernias. Yes, hernias...and yes more than one. When I do something I have to do it right.

Random Bit #4

What good is a DVR if it randomly decides to not record one of your programmed shows? And why is it that it ALWAYS records Becca's shows? It's just my shows it messes with...and it's usually Survivor. Grr...


That's enough randomness for now. I'll think of you while I'm swimming with the dolphins. (We better get to swim with the dolphins.)

Thursday, November 6, 2008

I've Been Tagged...

Here you go: Everything you ever wanted to know about my childhood. Trust me, you wanted to know this stuff!

FOUR SONGS I LOVED AS A CHILD AND STILL ADORE:

1. Manic Monday - The Bangels

*One year we took my dad's business partner's mini-van and drove to Disneyland. We didn't have a car big enough for the entire family to ride comfortably for that long. Thanks to Lon we were on our way to bigger and better adventures! Lon had a Bangels tape in the tape deck and we listened to that tape OVER and OVER again. Manic Monday became my favorite song. That Christmas I got my very own Bangels tape and a new tape player! I was one happy kid!!!

2. Cathy's Clown - Reba McIntire

*I'll be honest. I have NO recollection of this song being my favorite song. However, my dear sister Becca swears that this was my favorite song. She claims I sang it all the time. Out of the two of us, I have a much better memory and I thought I had won this battle...until my mom said that Becca was right and I was wrong. This is me admitting that I guess I might possibly have maybe been wrong.

3. Barry Manilow - any song.

*My mom had this old, old, old pea green radio that sat in the corner of her kitchen counter for years. Saturday -cleaning day- she would turn the volume up and sing along with Barry Manilow. One of my most vivid memories is of my mom mopping the floor. She always used Pinesol and to this day I can't hear a Barry Manilow song without smelling Pinesol and seeing a mop bucket filled with dirty water and Cheerios.

4. Platt Men - singing any song, any time.

*My dad and his brothers have amazing voices. They can harmonize better than anyone I've heard. One of my very favorite things is to sit and listen to them sing. We have family songs that have been passed down through a few generations, and our family reunions just aren't complete without an hour or two spent singing. It makes my heart happy.


FOUR FRIENDS I HAD AS A CHILD THAT I STILL KEEP IN TOUCH WITH:

Oh dear...I didn't have any friends. I don't say that thinking 'poor picked on little ol' me'. My greatest friends, and the ones I did everything with were my brothers and sisters. We were all really close in age (my mom had 6 of us under the age of 4 - triplets and twins will do that for a person) and so we did everything together. We had neighbor kids we played with and I still see some of them from time to time, but my siblings were the only real friends I had. UNLESS...can I count 'things' as friends? Sure I can, this is my blog.

1. Cheer Bear Care Bear - The pink one with the rainbow on his stomach. My grandma gave it to me. I LOVED LOVED LOVED that silly little bear and I still have it.

2. Pink Blanket - Lovingly made by the same grandma. It's old and threadbare but when I'm sick or feeling sad, I wrap myself up in that blanket and the world always seems like a little better place.

3. Punky Brewster - Can you honestly tell me that she didn't feel like your friend too?

4. Grandma Rasmussen - I realized that besides my siblings, she was my very best friend. (Yep, same grandma who made the blanket and gave me the care bear.) I had sleepovers at her house nearly every weekend. We talked on the phone many times a week, and my childhood was blessed because of her.


FOUR WEAKNESSES I HAD AS A CHILD:

1. I was nosey. I hated not being part of every conversation and not knowing everything about everyone. I wouldn't say that I purposefully listened in on conversations - I was just incredibly observant. I saw and heard things that no one else ever knew anything about. As a child this was a weakness because I didn't have the ability to put some things in their proper perspective and it caused me a lot of angst. And by default, that caused my mom a lot of angst. Sorry Mom.

2. I was afraid of living. I would never allow myself to try new things, or experience much, because of my fears. As long as something was within my comfort zone I was fine, but the minute it went beyond that comfort zone I would freeze and refuse to do anything.

I have tried extremely hard to overcome fear. And I think for the most part I have accomplished that. I will do things now that I AM afraid of, to prove to myself that I can do it.

3. Hmmm...my dad would tell you I didn't like to admit when I was wrong. But from my very mature 10 year old view point, neither did he. When we were in trouble for something it was ALWAYS me who stood up for our rights...who defended our actions...who told Dad that this time he was wrong, not us. Ha ha ha...made for some lovely times growing up.

4. I was a clean freak. Perhaps you're saying that is not a weakness...but when you're 12 and you haven't figured out how to have patience with those around you who aren't clean freaks...trust me, it's a weakness.


FOUR STRENGTHS I HAD AS A CHILD:

1. I was the world's greatest second mother. I know, that could be a weakness, but I choose to see it as a strength. My poor siblings put up with a lot from me. But at least we weren't late for school, and we usually had our homework done...right?

2. I was a clean freak. Ask my mom, she will tell you this was a strength!

3. I could talk any babysitter, any time, into letting me stay up later than the rest of my siblings. The most frequent babysitter we had was kind of afraid of our big, dark house, and I could usually convince her that my staying up late was her greatest source of protection. I'm laughing at the memories.

4. I knew what I was getting for Christmas every year...before Christmas day. That I can recall, there was only one year where my mom won the game. She found a hiding place that I didn't. Well done Mom...well done.

FOUR PEOPLE I WANT TO ANSWER THESE QUESTIONS:

1. Tia
2. JaLae
3. the esteemed Mr. Woolley (will he stoop this low?)
4. anyone who reads my blog but never leaves a comment

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Sleep Issues

I can't sleep. Ever. Okay, ever might be an exaggeration. Let me rephrase. I can't sleep soundly, or solidly, through an entire night. Ever. And this time the ever is not an exaggeration. My sleep issues have been years in the making. When I was really young, maybe two or three, we had bats that lived in the attic of our house. There were a few times the bats escaped the attic and flew into my bedroom. I remember burying myself beneath the blankets, crying for my dad. What kid wouldn't have trouble sleeping after that?

When I got a little older my mom would tuck us into bed and leave our radio on, with FM 100 playing softly. When she went to bed she would turn the radio off. This happened every night, without fail. One night she and my dad went to a meeting and said they would be back 'soon.' We had gone to bed, and the radio was on. I woke up about midnight and the radio was STILL ON. As a kid I worried about everything, EVERYTHING, and when I realized the radio was still on, I was sure my parents had died in some horribly tragic accident. I got out of bed and confirmed what I already knew: my parents weren't home. I'll spare you the dramatic details of what happened next, it was pathetic really. The experience traumatized me enough that it was years before I could fall asleep with music playing. And by years I mean that even now I can't completely fall asleep with music playing.

As I got older I couldn't sleep because I was certain every bad man in the world was out to get ME...not my sister who shared a bunk bed - in my mind she was always going to be safe, it was just me they were after. Thankfully I got over that fear...(I think it was when I found out that Ted Bundy had finally died).

I couldn't sleep if there were lights on - anywhere. Our radio had this little light that blinked and I would have to cover that light every night. My sister thought I was psychotic. Hmmm...maybe I shouldn't have put that in past tense.

Anyway...where we live now I get it all: lights, noise, train tracks, loud neighbors, music...everything except the bats. I've tried covering the windows with black paper but it doesn't last because ironically, I like waking up to the sunlight. I've tried sleeping with an eye mask - I'm not a fan. I use ear plugs on occasion and I think they actually help.

I envy those people who can close their eyes and be out in two minutes. I think all of my siblings have that ability. It takes me an average of two hours before I can finally drift off to sleep. (And no, it's not a guilty conscious, for those of you who are going to suggest that.) Sadly, the idea of a nap is a foreign one to me. IF I do fall asleep in my attempt at napping, it lasts for maybe 10 minutes.

About once or twice a month my lack of sleep catches up to me and I crash. I can go to bed at 9 or 10 and sleep the entire night. I love those nights. Last week I took a sleeping pill two nights in a row; I loved those nights too. (I am not generally a pill popper but because of all of my bruises from the fall, I needed some extra help in the sleep department.)

Last night I had all the classic symptoms of "it's going to be a good sleep night." I was super excited to get home and get to bed. Alas...and alas again...Becca chose last night to bake her pumpkin seeds she's been saving since Halloween. My bedroom is above the kitchen and all smells - good and bad - float upward. Baked pumpkin seeds? Not such a great smell. And it was STRONG...and didn't fade the entire night. I think I awoke three or four times thinking our house was on fire.

Sigh...my next "it's going to be a good sleep night" probably won't come around again for a few weeks. Sigh again.