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They call it the terrible twos for a reason. However, I don't recall Rylee and Reagan being so obnoxious. Madison and Jordan have found that "louder" gets results. Their tantrums even start bothering their siblings, who up to this point, I was sure were immune. Rylee will put her hands over her ears and inform them that they are being too loud. I was thinking tonight that it would be great if they came with a mute feature. I might be somewhere close to sane, if that were the case.

Some new words have emerged in the twins vocabulary. I don't know what they mean. That is probably part of the problem. "Tee!" is the one that comes to mind. Sometimes it means tea, as in iced tea. Other times it is used at full volume while pointing at any number of objects, shoes, doors, and light switches, among others. Kari and I think that it may be an attempt at the word "please." They sure do say it loudly though.

I have been trying to decide lately if we are lucky or unlucky. Standing back and looking at my life, I would have to say lucky. However, the last several years have been...trying, for lack of a better word. I look at all we went through with our twins. We ended up in a car accident on the way to the hospital to save their little lives, we were told that, most likely, neither of them would live, but they did. We were told that if they did live they would have serious health/development issues, but they haven't. On that count I would have to say lucky. I guess on most issues, as long as everyone is still alive, you could say "Well, it could have been worse." At any rate I feel like Murphy's law applies to us more often than not.

Most recently I took my truck in to be serviced because the check engine light was on. It turns out that it needed a new fuel injector pump, a $1200 part, among other things. The same pump that I spent thousands of dollars on just two years ago (I won't bore you with the details). So after $3400 I am driving home and the check engine light comes back on.

I am not even surprised at this point, I almost expect it. Kari just got over surgery to correct an abdominal hernia. And in the equivalent of a check engine light, her hernia has started to pop back out again. But that isn't the worst of it. On top of her stressing about having to have surgery again and another month of recovery, while trying to look after four kids under five years old, her doctor is telling her to just live with it.

She went in and told him that she was having the same sensation of "something popping out" except it was worse now. He felt around her stomach for 30 seconds and told her that he didn't think she had a hernia. She was incredulous and told him so. He told her that if she could make it pop out, then maybe he could tell what it was. He said "If it is a hernia, it will get worse, if it pops out and you can come show it to me. I think I would have seen it on the MRI if it was a hernia so I am not going to order another one." And he sent her home in tears. I was so livid that I could have choked the guy. He could at least work on his bedside manner. So we are looking for a new doctor.

This has all been very distressing. But again I am wondering "lucky" or "unlucky." I know, it could ALWAYS be worse. She doesn't have anything terribly life threatening, unless it become strangulated, in which case it would be very life threatening. But it isn't like they have told her to get her affairs in order, so it could be worse.

At any rate, health issues weigh on me heavily, with me being gone for days at a time. Even if there were not kids involved, I worry about my wife. She has low blood sugar, which on occasion has been incapacitating. She recently has had a migraine (that the doctor assures us was not a migraine, but doesn't know what it was) that was incapacitating and slurred her speech. She has a hernia (that the doctor says isn't a hernia and doesn't know what it is, even thought she just had hernia surgery for the same symptoms) which could be incapacitating and life threatening. I find it all quite alot to worry about. Not to mention the fairly bleak financial situation. So there...when is this going to be better?

Thanks for listening to me vent.

The latest difficulty has been Rylee's mastery of passive aggression. Example:

All four girls are seated at the kitchen table. I use the term seated very loosely. Rylee sits with her feet up on the chair in a cannonball position. Reagan leans on the table with her elbows supporting most of her weight, and her favorite plush toys snuggled under her chin. Madison is standing, while Jordan kneels. Both are pounding on the table with the palms of their hands and shrieking at the top of their lungs.

Dinner has just been served and there is a moment of quiet while I am dishing up a plate for myself. Rylee pipes up "Water! I want my water right there by Mommy's computer." She is referring to a sippy cup perched on the counter.
"Okay, go get it." I said. I had felt like the proverbial chicken with no head while fixing dinner and minding our loud, whiny spawn. And I was glad that she wanted something that was within her ability to get for herself.
"No. I not going to get it." She said, looking somewhere between hurt and defiant.
"Okay, don't get it." I said, feeling annoyed.
"I want water." She continued.
"I want you to get down and get it. I am not your personal servant." I replied.
She stared at me, not moving. I was really starting to lose my patients.
"Get down... and get your water." I said, a little more forcefully. She complied. She got the cup down and then sat on the floor, moping.
"Now, go get in your chair and eat your dinner, please." I said. She, very slowly, climbed back into her chair, set her cup down, and stuck out her bottom lip.
"Eat your dinner." I siad.
"I'm sad." She said.
I bent down next to her. "I am losing my patients, Rylee. Please don't give me attitude. Okay?" I said. She just looked at me.
After about five more minutes of her sulking I laid down the ultimatum.
"Rylee, if you don't eat your dinner and lose the attitude you are going straight to bed. Do you understand?" I said.
Needless to say, within ten minutes she was in bed screaming her head off.

So I am wondering if we are born with the passive aggressive gene or is this a learned thing? She sure is good at it, which makes me think that it is an innate behavior. But, maybe some of it is learned too. Maybe we have caused it, as parents. She should probably give seminars to soldiers on how to resist when in captivity. I will suggest that to her when she gets a little older.

Im back

Sorry to anyone who might still be following this blog. I have been in a funk. I couldn't think of anything to write that was interesting and not sound like I was whining. However, this has kind of been my journal and I realize that if I don't write some of this down it will be lost forever. are a few more things that I didn't want to forget.

Kari has a lot on her plate, to say the least. I was gone on this last trip for four complete days. I try to bid for trips that start late and get done before the kids go to bed, but that is not always a reality.

After a long day of crying, needy kids Kari was nearly at the end of her rope. Jordan was grasping her diaper and chanting "Poo poo, poo poo, poo poo, POO POO!"
"I just changer you... do you have pee pee?" Kari asked.
Jordan grasped the sides of her diaper and tried to pull them off again saying "Poooo poo."
"Ok, common I will change you." Kari said.

This has become an issue lately. Both Jordan and Madison insist on being changed all the time. Sometimes even when they are completely clean and dry. To appease them I sometimes will take off the dry diaper, open the drawer (like I am getting a new one) and put the same one back on the them. Those things are EXPENSIVE. They have not caught on yet but it won't be long. But that is not the point of this story.

As Kari, with Jordan in her arms and Madison starting to chant "Poo poo, poo poo.", walked to the changing table Rylee piped in.
"Mom, I want to ask you a question. (Pause)Mooooooom. I want to ask you a question."
"Rylee, I am changing Jordan's diaper. You will have to come in here if you want to talk to me. I can't hear what you are saying."
Kari finished with Jordan and started on Madison. Rylee appeared.
"Mom...I didn't hear your answer." she said.
"I said that I was changing diapers and if you wanted to talk to me, you should come in here."
"Soooo...What was your question?" Kari asked.
"Uhm, (a long pause) I don't know."

Bill Cosby may have been on to something when he said that all kids are brain damaged.

The other thing that Kari and I were talking about was the twins lack of patience. we where trying decide why they would continue to scream at us when we where working as fast as we could to accommodate them.

For instance when they want a cup of milk they will go to the fridge, stretch their arms up and say "Moi" which is about the same word they use for "more". Even as we are opening the fridge and pulling out the milk they are starting to go into a full on fit. Just barely getting their finger tips hooked over the top of the counter, they try to pull themselves up, launching into a screaming fit.
"I am getting it for you right now, be patient." I will say to them.
"Whaaaaaaaaaaaaaa" is generally the reply while they stamp their feet. It looks like they are doing the running man, but not quite as fluid.

When I asked Kari why she thought they were acting that way Kari said to me "Either they don't get it, they don't listen, or they don't care."

So much has happened since I posted last that I won't even try to conical it here. It has been a busy, stressful couple of months, but I resolve to post on here a little more just so I don't forget those little moments that make it all worthwhile.

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