Fly High, Baby Girl.

This is Jessica Whelan. I didn’t know her. I’ve never met her. In fact, it wasn’t until I read an article about her today that showed up in my Facebook news feed that I knew she even existed. But that didn’t stop my tears or this feeling of utter disbelief and absolute sadness that has my stomach and emotions tied in knots even now—hours later.



(You Can Read Jessica’s Story  –>  HERE !!)


I didn’t know her, it’s true. Something I do know, however, is that she was a beautiful, brave, and strong little girl—right up until the very end. The fact that I never met or knew her is irrelevant. What matters is her story. Her strength. Her long-fought—albeit unsuccessful—battle and her will to live.


She was only four. Still a baby. A beautiful little girl who still had her entire life ahead of her. She’ll never have her first day of school. She’ll never go to her junior prom, or kiss a boy or fall in love. She’ll never have a chance to advocate for what she believes in. To fulfill her dreams. She’ll never get married, her Daddy will never have the chance to walk her down the aisle and give her away, dance with her at her wedding. She’ll never have children or a family of her own. Cancer stole all of that from her. Stage 4 Neuroblastoma—a well-known cancer that accounts for about 6% of all childhood cancers—with more than 700 new cases reported every year. The worst part of the disease is that it’s often diagnosed too late, its symptoms often undetectable. It angers me that there’s a way to test for it even before a child is born…and yet it’s not a standard after-delivery test. That it could be avoided—and possibly save hundreds of lives and children—and it’s not offered—is beyond me. It seems so inconsequential. It’s hard for me to accept that with all the technology we have these days, all the medical advancements and research we have…there’s still no cue. I hate to sound like a conspiracy theorist, but I wouldn’t be surprised if the cure to cancer has already been found—and Big Pharma is keeping a lid on it so that they can continue to profit off of sales of medications and chemo. I hate to say it, but money is truly the root of all evil. Big Pharma would rather people suffer and die than to do the right—the MORAL—thing. That doesn’t sit well with me, or ya’ll, no doubt.


These kids are so strong—so much so that it’s inspiring. It’s also so tragic and horrific—whether you know the child or not. When it involves a child—everyone (or most everyone) grieves alongside that child’s parents and his/her family. We’re human. So it’s only understandable that we care. And one of our most basic human instincts is to protect our young. Because of that, it’s hard to accept when we fail. But as humans, we can only control so much. The rest is up to fate and the universe. Some are lucky. Some live. Some don’t. It’s the ones that don’t, to some degree, that stay with you forever. That leave scars. That make you doubt yourself and the world and all the good that you hope and want so badly to believe still exists out there.


This isn’t just another sad story. Not for me. It’s personal. I’ve seen first-hand what Neuroblastoma can do to a child when Lena, the niece of my cousin’s wife, who was diagnosed with Stage Four Neuroblastoma when she was only 4 years old herself. She fought so hard—went through so much—and nearly died. At one point, the doctors told her parents to prepare for the worst. She wasn’t expected to live. However, by some miracle, she proved them all wrong. She fought. And despite the ups-and-downs and the horribly painful tests, surgeries and aggressive treatments, she survived. Incredibly, she went into remission. Unfortunately, it didn’t last long. Just a little over a year later, she relapsed. The news wasn’t as uplifting as we all hoped. Honestly, it was hard to imagine her going through all of that all over again…to imagine that she was strong enough to fight a second time. She was so little and vulnerable and fragile and weak—and no one would have judged her for giving up. But she didn’t. Not then. And she hasn’t, not even now. She’s by far, one of the bravest little kids I’ve ever known. She went through and survived more hell than most adults could even think to imagine, let alone go through.


Cancer. I fucking hate it. It’s taken so much from us, from me. It nearly took my mother’s life. She’s in remission now, but it’s like walking around on egg shells, fearful that it might have come back. I watched my grandfather struggle and ultimately fail to win his battle with blood cancer. I saw what it did to him. How it ravaged his body. How it took his strength. How it diminished his will to live. He suffered so much, for so long. It’s a small comfort that he’s no longer in pain or suffering…but it also hurts like hell still, even now – 17 years next month later. I think about him now and then, wishing he was here. I sometime wonder what he would think of the woman I’ve become…if he’d be proud of me. I think of how my nieces and nephews never had the chance to know him—and how he would have spoiled and loved them more than anything, just as he did with me and my siblings. I miss him. So much. I miss sitting on his lap, driving in that old classic car of his and playing/singing along to Merle and Johnny Cash on his cassette tapes (cassette tapes—gosh I feel old). I miss that serious, stern look of his that he was never quite good at—he never could keep a straight face. My family is crazy religious and always saying that he’s in a better place, that he’s in Heaven…and I’m just not able to imagine, let alone accept that. As I’m sure I’ve mentioned a dozen times on here, I don’t believe in that hype – that heaven/hell bandwagon they’ve so easily jumped upon. I’m more about the science. And proof. I can’t blindly believe in something that I can’t see, or that can’t be scientifically proven. I just can’t. As wonderful as that scenario they paint seems and sounds—I have doubts. I don’t think they’re right. I don’t believe that our actions in life determine where we spend eternity—or that eternity exists—not in that sense, anyhow. Personally, I don’t believe there is more. I think that we live and we did and then that’s it. We get put in the ground, our bodies decay until there’s nothing left but our bones, and that’s it. No pearly gates, no second lives, no burning flames…nothing. Just the ground. The dirt. Just the marks we left on the world – if we made anything. Nothing more, nothing less. And until I’m proven otherwise, I can’t accept it.


My heartfelt condolences and thoughts go out to Jessica Whelan’s family during this difficult, unimaginably horrific time. I didn’t know her or them, but my heart breaks for them nevertheless. Loss is loss…loss is universal.




Twinnies Turn ONE!!

So my two favorite little monkeys are celebrating their first birthday today!

Tyler ❤
Jakey <3
                               Jakey ❤

It seems so completely unbelievable that it’s already been a year. It feels like just yesterday when my Mom called and said that after four days of waiting, the doctors had finally decided to go ahead and take the boys and were getting my sister prepped for a c-section and that I needed to get to the hospital ASAP. I remember sitting in that waiting room with my mother and my brother-in-law’s parents, on the edge of our seats, just waiting…and then hearing the chime on the phone indicating a new text message…and then there they were, these two little scrunchy-faced bundles of absolute perfection. Finally, after two years of trying, a year of fertility treatments and failed pregnancies, my amazing sister finally got her happy ending–she became a mother to two beautiful, healthy, incredible baby boys. I don’t know which moment was more amazing–seeing those boys for the first time, or seeing my sister in the recovery room holding one bundle in each arm, an exhausted but absolutely content and happy smile on her face as she showed them off. I don’t think I’d ever seen her looking so happy before…and it was just a wonderful moment. My big sister–the person I’d looked up to my whole life–was a Mama. Her dream came true that day…and I couldn’t have been more proud.

What A Difference A Day Makes...
  What A Difference A Year Makes…

I don’t know if I can even put into words how truly blessed I feel to have been such a big part of their lives this past year, but I am. SO, SO blessed. When I moved in with them back in January, I honestly never expected to stay. Or that I’d even want to. Looking back on this past year, I’m so glad that I did. Being a part of these little boys’ lives like I have been, has been incredible. I’m not going to lie, I’ve had my moments. Taking care of twins is HARD. I mean, taking care of one baby is one thing, but when there’s two–it’s incredibly difficult. People who say or think otherwise don’t have a clue what they’re talking about because it is hard. Oddly enough, it was easier the first few months. I got into a routine that worked well. And then they became mobile. That’s when the scale tipped, BIG-TIME. Now they’re crawling and standing and taking first steps…even climbing on top of things! They won’t sit still for any length of time and they’re constantly everywhere and into everything. And on ME. The past month or so, they’ve gotten into this phase where they both just want to be held–at the same time! And they’ll throw a fit if you don’t appease them. Think one baby crying and screaming is bad? Try TWO babies crying and screaming at the same time! Honestly, I don’t think I’ve ever questioned my sanity as much as I have in the past month.

Even still…I wouldn’t change it for anything. Not a thing. I love those two boys more than I could possibly convey in words. They have my heart. Leaving them is going to be one of the hardest things I’ll ever have to do, I think. I mean, I’ve practically raised them. I’ve been with them every day. I’m the first face they see each morning when they wake up–and more often than not, the last when they go to sleep.

They’re a huge reason why I know that I’m ready for this next step in my life…the move to Tennessee next month. They make me want to be better, if that makes sense. They do. My sister keeps telling me that I need to settle down and have a few of my own…but I think I’ll wait on that bit…for the time being. Right now, I want to focus on making something of myself. Something they and the rest of my family…myself even…can be proud of. Once I’ve done that and I’m ready for that next step…then I’ll do the rest. At this point, that’ll be the easy part. At least now I know that I’ll be ready for that, when the time comes.

I’m leaving in less than a month. Leaving my little monkeys and everything I’ve ever known. I’m excited–super excited, and a little scared. I think, more than anything, I’m just hoping that I’m not making a mistake. I’ve screwed up so much in my life…it’s time I finally did something right. Hopefully, this move is a start in the right direction. And yes…I’ll be a crying fool on that long drive come next month…but I have all these moments that I’m bringing with me. Memories and photographs…they aren’t the real deal, but they’re the next best thing. I can do this…because of them.

So here’s to my little monkeys. Happy Birthday baby boys. I love you more than you could possibly imagine.

xoxo MESSIE (aka Auntie Jo Jo)

Treasured Moments…& This Auntie’s Dilemma

Well, he did it. My little Ty Bear took his very first steps yesterday! It was beautiful and perfect and absolutely one of the best moments ever! Its the sweetest thing, really. I mean, he’s been crawling around nonstop for weeks, pulling himself up on everything, everyone, and anything, so it’s been coming. But still…I wasn’t prepared. At. All. I didn’t even notice it at first. Jacob did. Yep. I was on the phone with my grams at the time and I look over and Jake is sitting on the floor just staring up and I look at Ty and I literally had to do a double-take. No joke. There he was, at least a foot or so away from the recliner, not holding on to anything. And for a second he just stood there, not wobbling, nothing. Just stood there. Then out of nowhere, he just moved his little foot forward and then the other and then he turned his little head and looked at me like “uh, what do I do now?” And god, it was the most amazing thing. Really. Amazing. Incredible. The adjectives are endless.

I freaked of course. Meanwhile, my grams is on the line going what, what?! And I was just going, oh my god, oh my god, oh my god…tears going and all…it was something. A real sight to see. Me, the crazy Auntie a blithering mess of tears and oh my gods, and Ty probably thinking, yeah, she’s lost it. And I had, because I was so afraid that I wasn’t going to be here to see it. I mean, I know most babies start walking before they’re one and he’s been on the move, but I figured it’d be my sister or brother-in-law that saw it first–which would have been completely fine and all–but yeah. I didn’t think I’d ACTUALLY be the one to see his first steps. But I did and I was and gosh, it was just an incredible feeling. My little Ty Bear is mobile.

bashful ty 10.31.14

The rest is going to be blur, I know. Next thing we all know, he’s going to be 16 and getting his license and we’re all going to be wondering where the years went. It’s crazy. Gosh, they grow up so damn fast. It’s not even fair. It’s really not. At all. In fact, I just had a phone fight with my oldest niece, Angelina earlier this afternoon….which is a perfect example of the insanity. So my mother calls me to get the information on her iPod, something about needing it replaced because she cracked the screen or whatnot–details not really important. Anyhow, the conversation quickly escalated into how my mother took away the iPod because Angelina’s been using it nonstop and my mother’s caught her on Instagram and other sites that’s she’s been told not to go on. Now, Angelina is eleven. ONLY 11 years old. Which, in my book, is WAY too young for social media–that includes Instagram and Facebook and Twitter and well, you get the point. Now, my mother’s not really in-the-know when it comes to the internet or social media for that matter, but she knows that I’ve told Angelina not to use Instagram–AND that I’ve deleted the app from her iPod on several occasions already. Anywho, my mother’s talking to me and Angelina’s in the background telling her to shut up and whatever and so I have my mother put her on the line. Angelina comes on and as usual, immediately starts LYING about how she didn’t have Instagram on there and when I told her I knew that she did and how she’s already been told NOT to use it, she told me to shut up and hung up on me. Oh yeah. I looked at the phone and was like–what the hell?! She did NOT just hang up on me. Ironically after, I was on my Facebook and ranted about it and a couple of people commented back about how times are different and that we (us adults) were just like that when we were growing up, wanting to do things that our parents told us we couldn’t…and that we have to learn to adjust with the technology and teach them how to be safe rather than trying to stop them from using it altogether…and things of that sort. So naturally, I responded back with MY OPINION. Which basically amounted to…um, hell no!

I’m not an idiot. I know that things are a lot different now than they were when I was growing up with the technology and whatnot. But I’m not ancient. I’m 27. Which means, all this social media stuff, came out in my generation. We’re the ones that have implemented all of it. I know how it works. And for that reason, I do not want my 11-year-old niece using it. I’m an adult. I do know how it works, so I know how unsafe certain aspects of social media can be. She doesn’t. She’s a child! I’m not saying that she shouldn’t be allowed to use the internet or be barred from using technology altogether. That’s ridiculous. Especially in this day and age. But she does not need to be uploading selfies to Instagram. And she sure as hell doesn’t need to be “networking” on Facebook. If she wants to network, she can do it the same way NORMAL kids have done for decades before Facebook and Twitter existed…in school. These parents who let their 9-year-olds go to school with their own iPhones and let them set up their own profiles on Facebook because they think its cute–it’s for the birds. What was said in some of those comments on my rant was true–in that the times are different. They are. Because, I don’t know about the rest of you, but I don’t remember kids EVER being as cruel as they are today. I’m constantly reading stories about kids being bullied in schools across the country and now with the internet and Facebook–cyber bulling is one of the biggest threats. And there’s little that can be done about it. You can’t monitor everything. To think that you can is just a joke, because you can’t. Kids are going to be kids and they’re clever little devils, especially the kids today. They know how to get around on the internet, some even better than we do…which is saying a hell of a lot considering I think I’m pretty good at maneuvering the ins and outs of the internet. Like I said in my response though, it’s not so much my niece that I don’t trust. I trust her–somewhat–I mean, she is a kid so the trust can only go so far–but she’s at that age where she’s so impressionable. And trusting. She doesn’t have a clue yet how cruel the world–and other kids for that matter–can be. She doesn’t GET that there are predators lurking in the shadows of the web, just waiting to pounce on unsuspecting children like her. That’s what people are forgetting. The monsters aren’t just on the streets now. They’re in our homes. On our computers. They’re in places where you can’t see.

And these kids don’t get the consequences of their actions. Take sexting for example. These kids are sending texts of themselves to their boyfriends and girlfriends, thinking there’s no harm in sending a few pictures…when in reality…there is. Aside from the fact that you’re sending something across a connection that isn’t as secure as you’d like to think to someone who, chances are, you’re probably going to break up with in a week or two anyhow, how about the fact that should these pictures fall into the hands of the authorities? What then? Suppose you’re a 17 year old guy and your girlfriend is just shy of legal? Well sorry, but that “completely harmless” sexy pic just landed you a lovely spot on the sex offender registry buddy. Is that fair? Well, no. But the laws haven’t caught up to technology just yet so there’s nothing you can do about that. And that’s just one example. I could give you plenty others.

Don’t get me wrong, I love social media. I do. But I’m an adult. I can protect myself. My niece can’t. And she shouldn’t have to. At least not yet. She should be able to surf the web and be a kid and not have to worry. That’s all I want. And some may call me a hypocrite or call me overbearing, but the fact of the matter is, I don’t want my niece to be another headline that someone like me is going to read when they scroll through their news feed one day. I don’t want to see her beautiful little face marred by tears as she’s holding up cards in some YouTube video she’s posted because she’s decided she can’t take one more day of being cyber bullied–god forbid that should ever be something she’s confronted with. And I don’t want her taken advantage of by some sicko who’s trolling for kids on the internet. I realize that I’m going to be leaving and moving to another state soon and that I’m not going to be physically here to monitor what she does and it breaks my heart that I won’t be able to protect her from everything–because god I so badly want to, more than anything, to protect her from all the evil in this world…but I can do what I can now. I can try to convince her that right now, she doesn’t need to use these sites. It’s not that I’m trying to stop her from growing up–as much as I wish I could–but that’s not my intention. I just want to give her a chance to be a kid, while she still can, you know? She doesn’t realize how fast it goes and how precious this time really is–and all too soon she’s going to learn that things aren’t as black and white as they seem to her right now–and she’s going to want this time back. I guess, I just want to try to save her from herself, in a way. I mean, as her aunt–as someone who loves her–and I do, I love that little girl so much–I just want to keep her safe and protect her. I just want what’s best for her. Though, come to think of it, a nice little bubble that’d she fit in would be absolutely PERFECT right about now… oh there I go again, wishful thinking…


The Little Moments…

So my sister and I took the twinnies to the pumpkin patch for their first time today…

IMG_4587edit   IMG_4581edit

It made me think of all the little things that I’m going to miss when I leave. Which of course, made me tear up…which is so unlike me. I’m not the emotional sort. At least not out in the open. I cry…a lot. I just tend to do it behind closed doors. I don’t like to show my emotions. I don’t know why. I remember even when I was little and I’d get hurt, I wouldn’t cry. When I was upset, I’d bottle it up. When I got older, the same thing. When I was twelve, I started writing in a journal. It was always a journal, never a diary. I don’t know why I never called it a diary. I guess I just always thought I was too old for that sort of thing, even then. I was always older than my years, so to speak. I swear, sometimes I feel like I’ve lived a lifetime in these 27 years. But yeah. There was my journal…and some other not-so-healthy outlets that I’ve (thankfully) since grown out of.

But these days, with the boys, it’s like nonstop waterworks–all the time. Like when Ty started crawling. I just stood there in complete shock, tears running down my face for a few seconds before–naturally– I ran to get my phone so I could record the whole thing to upload for my sister to see later. I guess it’s just that I feel so grateful to be able to be here to see all of it, to be here for these firsts. I’m the one that noticed both of the boys first teeth coming in, both of them rolling over for the first time, seeing their reactions when they try different foods for the first time, their first holidays and big celebrations, Ty crawling AND standing up on his own for the first time. Ty even calls me Mom–though I somehow convinced my sister that he’s calling me “Mim” and not “Mom” (she’s super-touchy about that lol).

Gosh, and here I thought it was hard when I left for college the first time around when Angelina–my oldest niece–was a baby. I was 18 then and school was only 40 minutes away. This might as well be another continent away, for how it feels. I’m starting to feel homesick already for the boys–and I haven’t even left! I can’t imagine how hard it’s going to be when I DO leave. I feel like my heart is being torn into pieces. I didn’t think it was going to be THIS hard. I keep telling myself that they AREN’T my kids. But for all intents and purposes, they kind of are. I mean, I’ve been with them since they were born…well, almost. Since they were a couple of weeks old anyway. Every day. 24/7. I know their cries. Their sounds. Their little laughs. I know that Jakey is NOT a morning person and that Ty LOVES to be cuddled as soon as he wakes up. I love these little guys like they were my own and it’s gonna absolutely kill me to leave them. I don’t know what I’m going to do. Pictures and Skype just aren’t going to suffice. I’m going to be in Jakey and Ty withdrawal. It’s going to be soooo tough. I really hope my sister learns how to take good pictures because she’s going to have to take A LOT of them every single day. And hopefully they won’t forget me. I know they’re really little…but hopefully they’ll remember. Because I will. Either way, I’m still grateful I get all these little moments with them. Their first year. It’s not everything, but to me, it’s so, so much.

me and tyler kiss   ME AND JAKEY SEPT. 2014

Avie J.

pretty avie (border)

So Avie and I have this cute little thing that we always say to one another:

I love you to the moon and back.
I love you the most-est.
I love you too much.
Pinky promise with a kiss.
Forever and ever.

And god, do I love her. I do. She’s like sunshine in a bottle. A breath of fresh air. She’s all energy and more energy. Nonstop. It’s crazy. She does everything at a run…like she’s afraid that she’ll miss out on something if she slows down. She’s smart and funny and wickedly independent. She’s absolutely and without a doubt, amazing.

The fact that she’s nearly 4 1/2 years old already…well, it just seems so surreal to me. Where oh where has the time gone? I remember the day that she was born. I remember it, like it was just yesterday. I remember holding her in my arms and looking down at her, thinking it was impossible to love someone as much as I loved her. She was beautiful and perfect. And she saved me.

She saved me.

She did. I was in such a dark place before she was born. It was like I was going through the paces…but I wasn’t really there. Or I didn’t want to be anyhow. So much had happened that I was certain I would never be happy again. And for a long time there, I honestly didn’t feel like I deserved to be. My secrets were slowly tearing me down and there was so much pain and resentment…and fear. There was a lot of fear. I was scared of everything. Scared of living.

But she was like this sudden, bright ring of hope in my world of darkness. She brought me back. Her smiles, the absolute trust in those gorgeous blue eyes of hers…and her unconditional love.

She saved me. My little wonder-upon-wonders.

My little Avie J.


Father Of The Year–I Think Not.

Sorry in advance, but I really have to vent right now.

My brother in law is driving me absolutely crazy. Then again, crazy isn’t really word for it. He’s pissing me the f**k off. Yeah–that’s better. I don’t get him, I really, really don’t. For example…last night. My sister was at the school all day to get her classroom ready in preparation for the start of school in September, so I had the twins and my niece Lena who stayed after the boys’ baptism on Sunday. No big deal. I’m used to having the boys. That’s not the problem. The problem is their damn father.

He’s useless. I’m sorry to say that, but it’s true. He does nothing. Absolutely nothing. And yesterday was no exception. He pulled his bullshit again where he comes home from work, changes his clothes, then holes himself in the office playing one of his damn computer games non-stop. And by non-stop, I mean for hours on end. It’s true. He’ll literally sit in front of that computer, or TV, or iPad and play his stupid games. His idea of interacting with the twins is to crouch down in front of the jump-a-roo for a minute smiling and saying “hi buddy” and ruffling their hair…and that’s about it. One minute. If that. He doesn’t interact with them at all, unless he’s told or asked to, and even then–he only does it grudgingly. He doesn’t see anything wrong with that. In fact–he’s under the impression that he’s in the running for father of the year. He’s got everyone fooled. No one knows what it’s like. He’s convinced his parents that he’s a doting father and accepts their praises when it’s all total bullshit. Not that they’d care if they knew the truth because for some damn reason, they seem to think that he walks on water. Well, newsflash–he doesn’t. At all.

Anyways…last night.

Like I said, he got home and stopped on his way into the office to play his game to inform me–which I already knew–that my sister wouldn’t be home until really late, and to tell me that if I needed him, he’d be in the office. Yep. He stayed in there the entire time AFTER he let the damn dogs into the room, which woke up the babies from their much-needed afternoon nap–right after I’d just gotten the sleep, by the way. Ohhh, I was pissed. I was just like really–are you effin kidding me, dude? He doesn’t care. I mean, so what if it just took me ALL day to finally quiet them down long enough to take a nap…oh well. So what if Tyler’s cranky and teething bad right now and is screaming his head off. So what. He just ignores it. I don’t know how he does it, but he does. Don’t get me wrong–crying it out is healthy sometimes. But there’s a difference between “crying it out” and crying because something’s actually wrong. Not that he’d know the difference. My sister and I know that there’s a difference between a crying-it-out cry and a pain/really needing attention cry…but he couldn’t tell you the difference even if he had flashcards. That’s how oblivious he is.

My sister has tried talking to him about it, on many occasions. It seems to just go in and out of his ear. She’s tried everything. She’s tried punishing him by limiting the time he can play his game or watch the TV…but that only lasts a few days and then he’s right back at it, doing the same damn thing–ignoring his children. Oh, how I’d love to “talk” to him about it. I really would. You have no idea. It wouldn’t be pretty–that’s for sure. I want to tell him exactly what I think of him, I really do. I want to tell him how much of a selfish, obnoxious, useless jerk he is. I want to tell him that while he may have the rest of the world fooled–he doesn’t fool me one bit. He likes to complain about my sister/aunt neglecting and having nothing to do with her kids…when hello–he’s no better.

He may provide them with food and shelter, but that’s about it. Now, some people might think that’s plenty enough, but I’m not one of those people. The way I see it, it’s not even close. It’s not. I mean, how can you honestly call yourself a good father–or just a father in general–when you barely have any interaction at all with your kids? You just can’t.

I don’t get it. Actually, it’s ironic. He claimed he wanted kids so badly before the twins. I mean, why would you go through over a year of fertility problems and spend thousands and thousands of dollars on procedures and treatments if you didn’t want kids? It doesn’t make sense. I’m starting to really believe that it was all just about appearances. I don’t think he wanted the kids–not really. I think he just did it because it was expected of him. He was at that age and married and financially secure and the oldest of his siblings, so logically the next step was to have kids. I honestly think that’s all it was to him. A duty he fulfilled–that’s it. Nothing more. Whether he wanted them or not though, is besides the point. The fact is, they’re here. And he has a responsibility towards them whether he likes it or not.

My sister’s given up trying to get him to step up, as its only proven to be a waste of time and a waste of her breath. But I’m sick of it. I really am. The guy needs a reality check. A big one. He needs to realize that it’s not about him anymore and get his priorities in check. I’d love to help him with that–oh, I really would. He wouldn’t like it–that much I’m sure of. My sister thinks I should just ignore it. Well here’s what I think about that–HELL TO THE NO. I’m fed up.

She knew I was pissed when she got home from the texts I’d sent her earlier in the night, and she knew why. Apparently she had a talk with him when they went to bed and get this–the bastard had the nerve to lie and say that he tried to help me, but I wouldn’t let him. The hell he did! All he did was tell me on the way there that he’d be in the office playing his game if I needed him. Well, I didn’t need him. I’m perfectly capable of taking care of the twins on my own. I don’t NEED his help…but for christsakes, it’d be nice of him to at least OFFER once in a while. Like he could have offered to help me feed the boys dinner and give them their baths and play with them. Did he? Of course not.

My sister says that I should have gone in there and made him come out and help, but why the hell should I have done that? I mean, come on…they’re his kids! I shouldn’t have to ask him to help me. We shouldn’t have to ask him to interact with his own children once in a while. And I’m not going to beg him to own up to his responsibilities. He should do it on his own…because he wants to. But does he? Nope.

I’m dreading the days when school starts and my sister goes back to work, I really am. Because she works an hour and a half away, she usually doesn’t get home until 6 or 7 o’clock at night most nights, meaning by then that he’s been home for several hours already. Which pretty much means, I still have the boys until then. My sister will text him sometimes and tell him that he’s to tell me I can go upstairs when he gets home while he takes care of the boys, but that rarely happens and when it does–I usually don’t even bother. Mostly, because I don’t trust him. I don’t. Not with the boys. Granted, I don’t think he’d deliberately hurt either one of them–but I do know that he’ll have no problem ignoring them. How am I supposed to go upstairs and do work–especially when my online courses start up in a couple of weeks–when the boys are screaming their heads off downstairs and not being taken care of properly? I can’t.

Things have got to change or I swear to god I’m going to lose it on him. I’m sick of having to do it all. Hell, I’m sick of having to do HIS job. They’re his kids. They aren’t mine. I mean, I love them to death, but if I wanted to have twins, I would have gone out and had them. I don’t want to raise someone else’s kids, damn it. I want to have a life.

I’m grateful for my sister for all that she’s done for me, but it’s getting to the point that I really just want to tell her that she’s going to have to get someone else to watch the boys until I leave for Tennessee in December, because this is bullshit. I don’t want to be here. The only reason I am is because my sister needs my help, and I owe her that at least. And I’m here for the boys, because despite their shitty excuse for a father, I love them more than anything. I’m not doing it for him. I’ m doing it for them. But I can’t take much more. It’s not right and it’s not fair. Not to me. And certainly not to the boys.

They deserve better. Frankly, so does my sister.

He needs to step up.

And soon.

Or by God, I won’t be responsible for what happens. That’s all I’ve got to say about that.

xoxo, MESSIE


in the eyes of a child.

So there’s this old picture frame that I hung on the wall in my oldest niece’s nursery when she was a baby that displays the timeless quote of “A Child Is God’s Way Of Saying That Life Should Go On”. While you’ve probably surmised from many of my numerous posts in the past that I’m not the biggest religion/God fanatic, I’ve always loved that quote. Although the existence of a God has been and most likely always will be a debatable subject on my end, I still think babies are amazing. And that they’re a sign of hope–maybe not from God, but from something. The universe maybe. I don’t know, but from something. They really are. The evidence is right there in the fact that these tiny, little human beings can change your entire world and outlook on life simply just by being. It’s incredible, really.

People have always said that you never really know true love until you look in your baby’s eyes, and they’re right. It’s so true. It doesn’t just apply to your own children though, I’ve learned. I’ve always said that it was love at first sight when I met my oldest niece, Lena, for the first time. And it was. I fell in love with that little girl the moment I laid my eyes on and held her in my arms…all brand-new, two-hours old, baby soft skin and big brown eyes…of her. I was unabashedly smitten with her and she had me wrapped around her little finger from the start. In the 11 since years, that hasn’t changed much. I still love her death–bad attitude included. It blows my mind just how quickly those 11 years have gone by. It really does. She’s growing up so fast and all I can think is damn, if I could just freeze time. If only. She’s still my little Angelbug…for now, at least. She still likes hugs and cuddling up watching “our shows” together….and making “pinky promises with a kiss.” She still lets me call her “Bug” and “Bean” and let’s me say “I Love you” in public. Heck, I can still pick her “light as a feather” self up and carry her around on my back. For now. It scares and saddens me at the same time that in just a couple short years, all of that will be a thing of the past. Scares me because she’s so independent and so much like me that it’s not even funny…and saddens me because she’s so impressionable and naive and innocent–completely unaware of the evil that exists in this godforsaken world. I hate knowing that she’ll one day know pain and heartache and sorrow. I know it’s inevitable and that it’s just a fact of life, but still. I’d give anything to spare her every ounce, I really would.

Sometimes I look around and for the life of me, I honestly can’t understand how or why we could ever want to bring a child into this world. I mean, hell, it’s a freaking horror show out here. We’ve got murderers and rapists and sociopath running around free, wrecking lives and wreaking havoc at every turn. We’ve got parents abusing, neglecting and killing their own children. We’ve got people living on the streets and hard-working people going without and just scraping to get by, while the government gets fat with tax money and is allocates funds to undeserving big businesses. We’re got psychopaths buying guns and shooting up classrooms of 1st graders. We’ve got terrorists making bombs and driving planes into skyscrapers. We’ve got rebels shooting down planes, taking hundreds of innocent lives in the name of separatism and some supposed holy jihad. Society  is going to hell in a hand basket and people are more concerned with pointing fingers and casting blame than doing anything productive at all to try to fix things. We’re a mess. A disaster. And from the look of things–an almost certain lost cause.

But I see hope in the eyes of my nieces and nephews. In their smiles and carefree ways. In their innocence. They make it better…they give you a purpose…another reason to hope. Another reason to care, one way or another. They make you want to believe in a better world. They convince you to take a leap of faith and trust that everything happens for a reason. They light up an otherwise dark and dreary world. They make you believe in magic again.

Despite some of the crappy cards I’ve been dealt,  I’ve been blessed. I get to be here and watch some of the most amazing little human beings on their journey of growing up. I get to be a part of their moments and memories. I get to help mold their dreams and futures and cheer them on from the front line. Just as I was for my nieces, I get to be here for the Twinnies and this amazing, huge capacity. There’s nothing more wonderful than seeing the smiles and toothless-grins on their sleepy faces when they first wake up for the day. Or hearing their little laughs and joyous high-pitched giggles. There’s nothing more soul-warming than to see them raise their tiny little arms up, silently asking to be picked up and held.

The world may be a mess, but they’re perfection. In all its truest, purist, most wonderful glory. Yep.



Two By Two…

Ehh, so I should be sleeping…but sleep is a rarity these days. Speaking of these days…mine are filled with taking care of the cutest little guys, my twin nephews Jakey and Tyler. They’ll be five months old in a couple of weeks…ALREADY. It’s crazy how fast time flies with the little ones. Sometimes I look at them and I just want to wrap them up in a bubble and keep them this little forever…and then I look at them and can’t wait for them to crawl and walk and talk and do all the things that little boys do. It’s going to be so hard to leave them for Tennessee in December…I know that much. Being with them every day is a blessing…but also a curse, in the sense that I’m already so attached that it’s not even funny. Oh, I love them to pieces.

Moving out here to help my sister with the boys was a good decision. They’re good for my sanity…though as of late, the crankyness might just be contradicting that. 🙂 Still, I’m glad I’m here…and that I can help. My sister’s done so much for me, it’s the least I can do. It helps that my work is freelance, so I can do it from practically anywhere. I’m not going to lie though, it’s hard. Taking care of twins is HARD. One at a time…that’s a piece of cake. But two…honestly…I don’t know how people who have 3 or 4 or 5 or godforbid more multiples do it. Or why you’d want to…but that’s just me. I mean, I love these little guys like they were my own…but they’re a handful. They sure are the sweetest little things though.

Ty…he’s my little guy. My “little monkey”, I call him. I know it’s wrong to have “favorites”…but he’s such a little cuddler and lover that it’s hard not to. All I have to do is look or talk to him and his whole face lights up with the biggest smile. And I swear that when he coos, he’s saying “love you”…it’s the cutest thing. It drives my sister nuts actually because she’ll sit there with him and plead with him to say “love you, love you” and he’ll just look at her like she’s gone nuts…then I’ll sit down and go to Ty, “say I love you JoJo” and he’ll smile and coo it. It’s hilarious. And so sweet.

Jakey’s a little sweetheart, too though. He’s the smaller twin…but he’s a little fighter. The kid’s got a temper already, for sure. And he’s spoiled…big time. He loves being held and if you put him down…well, prepare yourself for a headache. He likes to cuddle too though…and giggle. He giggles constantly…at everything. It’s like the whole world is funny to him or something. His smile is infectious so you can’t help but giggle along with him.

I love how different their personalities are though. It’s incredible. I mean, Ty is more laid-back and quiet. Jake is anything but. Ty’s content just sitting in his monkey swing, talking to the monkeys on the mobile or the fishies in the fish tank next to him in the swing. Jake, on the other hand, won’t sit still…literally. During feedings and him growling at the bottle, I have to sit there and keep rearranging him in the car-seat because he wiggles and squirms so much that he practically gets himself out of it…though where he thinks he’s going when he gets out of it is beyond me. 🙂 He’s the younger twin, by a whole minute, but he’s definitely going to be the instigator. I can picture it already…him trying to pull Ty into doing something they shouldn’t. Oh, my sister and brother-in-law are in for it, I know it. I’m happy for them though…they’re such good parents and they made two pretty perfect babies.

I know that leaving is going to be hard…I’m prepared for that…or as prepared as I’m going to be, I guess I should say. But at the same time, I’m grateful because I’m lucky enough to get this time with them. I get to see their sweet little faces every morning when they wake up and their smiles and hear their coos and giggles. I get to cuddle their little bodies and watch them roll over and try to crawl. I’m with them all day, every day…me. They’re happy little guys, and I’m a part of their world. I’d say that’s a pretty lucky place to be. But that’s just me. 🙂


my two little loves. <3
my two little loves. ❤

Two Little Monkeys…

So it’s been one hell of a week so far, to say the least. And hectic like crazy, thanks in largely to my sister having her babies. She went to the hospital and was admitted on Tuesday for a planned induction Tuesday night. Though its technically only the 38th week, they consider 37 weeks full-term for twins…thus the inducing. Even so, it’s been slow going. Fortunately, she made a lot of progress yesterday. They broke her water and gave her an epidural and then it was pretty much just a waiting game from there. Which is what we did. We waited ALL day and still no babies. Admittedly, I was a little disappointed when visiting hours were up and it was time to leave for the night. I had really hoped to be there when she finally had them. Just IN the hospital, I mean…not the delivery room itself. Not that I would have been permitted in there had I even WANTED to be since it wasn’t a typical L&D room she was going to be delivering in. Because it was twins and because of all the complications that arose throughout the pregnancy, she was considered high-risk. As such, she had to deliver in an actual OR room. They wanted her to at least try to deliver the twins naturally, if she could, but just in case anything did go wrong and they had to do an emergency c-section, she’d be right there, ready and prepped to go.

After four long days of unsuccessfully trying every which method of inducing that there is…they finally ended up taking the babies by c-section around 9 o’clock this morning. Honestly, they really didn’t have a choice at that point. She wasn’t dilating, which was only putting more stress on both of the babies. And on herself, obviously. She had a time-release IV drip epidural, but even that stopped being effective at one point overnight. She was in a lot of pain…so much so that she was literally delirious, my mother said. So they did an emergency cesarean around 9 this morning. We pretty much pegged it almost from the beginning that they’d go through all that they did for nothing, and end up just taking the babies by c-section in the end anyhow. We were right…which was somewhat frustrating. I get they’re just doing their jobs and that there are procedures that have to be followed…but honestly, I don’t think it was right for them to put her through four days of that hell…just to end up giving her a c-section after all.

Frustration aside, it was all worth it. All that mattered was that they were healthy, which they are. Tyler Joseph came into the world at 9:08 am weighing 8 lbs. 4 oz, followed one minute later by his little brother Jacob Michael, who weighed in at 5 lbs. 14 oz. Tyler’s a little chunker compared to his brother, but they are both perfect. I know you’re not supposed to play favorites, but between you and me, I’m on Team Jacob…or Team “Jakey”, as I call him. Tyler’s going to be the tough, rowdy one I think and Jakey’s going to be our little introvert. He’s so tiny and cute…they both are…and I just can’t get enough of them. I love them to pieces already and they’re aren’t even a day old yet.

It was pretty emotional. Not just for me, but everyone else as well. We’re all just so happy for my sister and brother-in-law…my sister especially. She’s gone through hell and back for the twins, and then some. She had to endure all the IVF rounds with all  the shots and the medications. She miscarried more than once and had actually thought she’d miscarried the twins early on in the pregnancy, but thankfully didn’t. Then she found out that she had gestational diabetes, meaning everything she ate, drank, and did had to be strictly monitored every day. I know it’s been really hard on her, but now she can relax. It’s still such a strange concept to me–my big sister having a baby and her becoming a Mommy. But she’s going to make a great one. She deserved this. She deserved these boys. And god knows, she earned it. Earned them…And here they are :


tyler                                           <3TYLER JOSEPH<3

jacob7                                    <3 JACOB MICHAEL (JAKEY)<3

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