Monday, November 19, 2012


Chronic inability to fall asleep or remain asleep for an adequate length of time.

[Latin nsomnia, from nsomnis, sleepless : in-, not; see in-1 + somnus, sleep; see swep- in Indo-European roots.]

This describes my life in a nutshell. I Facebooked quite a little lately about my inability to sleep. Many people have offered up their solutions to my problem. I love that people care and want to help. So tonight I am going to give a little backstory...

I believe that I have always had sleep issues. I remember having a recurring dream when I was little. I can still remember that dream...

It was at out house in Pueblo. I can still see it clear as day. Our neighbors, a girl named Marnie and a man that Dad called Squat-to-Pee (don't ask, I cannot tell you what this man's real name was, I just know that my Dad was obviously not fond of him) were in this dream. It was very weird. It involved standing in line and waiting to get into someplace, Heaven maybe? I've never been sure what we were standing in line for. I know that no one else in my family was in this line; maybe it was the line to Hell? I NEVER not once got to the end of this dream or the end of that line. There were things that flew, like the flying monkeys in The Wizard of Oz, but I can't tell you that they were bad things nor do I know what their purpose was. I don't have this dream as often anymore. Maybe once every couple of years but when I do the dream is the exact same, my six year old self standing in line and waiting.

By high school I was what people call a night-owl. I always, ALWAYS felt more productive at night. It was nothing for me to do homework or read until 2 or 3 a.m. I never had a problem running on a few hours of sleep. It was much easier with a raging metabolism and 25 less years than I have now. When I went to Lincoln after I graduated I took night classes and would often drive home at 1:00 a.m.

I read an article once, one of those What Kind of Person are You? articles. It talked about how a person dealt with life happenings. It turns out that I am a "RUMINATOR".

v. ru·mi·nat·ed, ru·mi·nat·ing, ru·mi·nates

1. To turn a matter over and over in the mind.
2. To chew cud.
To reflect on over and over again.


This is what happens when I go to bed. It's worse if I feel I've said or done the wrong thing at some point during the day. It's the one piece that stays in my brain and rolls around and around for hours. I remember the worst things about what I've done or how I've acted for YEARS after the fact; insignificant pieces of dialog that I wish I hadn't said or wish hadn't been said to me lodge themselves in my head and take up residence for years.
Now I add worry to my ruminations. This usually has to do with the kids and the older they've gotten the worse it is. There are so many things that I can't control now that they are in college. I lay in bed at night hoping that they are making good decisions. I hope they are eating and taking care of themselves. I hope that they are being safe. I worry about them getting in the wrong car or going on dates with people we don't know. It terrifies me that I will outlive any of my children because that isn't how it is supposed to be. I need them to get married, have kids, careers, happiness and success. I need them to grow old and yet there is now very little that I can do to get them there. Their lives are their own.
People say drink tea, and I have. People say go to bed the same time every night and I did for a long time. People suggest this herb or that OTC and trust me, I have tried them all. I took Ambien for 12 years and in the beginning it worked fantastic, however, the longer I was on it the more difficult my days got. It became really difficult to function. I NEVER woke up feeling like I slept although I know I did. I stopped taking it about a year ago and while I now go as many as 4 nights with little to no sleep. when I finally "crash" I'm out cold.
I think until someone finds a way to completely disable brain function and put it into "sleep" mode I'm stuck. I appreciate all the suggestions and when I come across 1 I haven't tried I do try it in the hopes that I will eventually happen on to the magic sleep solution.

On the up-side I had a good weekend with all of my girls here and I felt reassured that they are, in fact, making good decisions, making the grade, taking care of themselves. It is strange how the worries and concerns evolve with the years. You go from worrying about diaper rash to the first day of kindergarten to college applications to college graduation to whether they will meet someone who deserves them.

Take care all. Sleep tight...Don't let the bed bugs bite.

Sunday, September 30, 2012

Lists in a Bucket

Jeff and I married YOUNG. I was 20 and Jeff was almost 25.
I'm pretty sure there were a lot of people that counted us out.
Here we are 20 years later. How did that happen?? I don't
look in the mirror and see 20 years. I don't look at Jeff and
see 20 years.

I find lately that I'm lonely. A lot. I didn't deal well with the
chaos that 6 kids brought and now I find I miss it. I think about
MY future a lot. And Jeff. And another 20 years. We will be
young enough to do some of these things in 10 years when Rubi
graduates. I have classmates who have just started having kids and
I can't even imagine it. I'm at the tail end and am looking forward
to being able to enjoy the next 20 years.

The definition of "Bucket List" is as follows:


  • a number of experiences or achievements that a person hopes to have or accomplish during their lifetime: making this trip is the first thing on my bucket list

Most of my bucket list includes Jeff. Someday I'll tell him about it...

1. Travel to:
    New Orleans
    Ashville, NC to see the Biltmore House
    London to glimpse the Ginger Prince
    Paris to add our locks to the Pont des Arts Bridge
    Venice to ride in a gondola

2.  Finish my degree.

3.  Write a book and have it published.

4.  Stand in the ocean with Jeff.

5.  Be married for 50 years.

My list is short. I am content with what I have. I married a good man. I have six fantastic kids. I have a loving, supportive family. I have a nice house. I have great friends. Did I mention I married a good man?

Some day life will stop for us and I want to look back without regret. I want to know that I lived.

What's on your List?

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Time Marches On...

It's been a long time since I've written.
I've spent weeks trying to find the words
to explain graduation for the Triplets.

I am not sure there are words appropriate
to describe the feeling of pride I have
when I see this picture.

Graduation day was gorgeous.
We lucked out 2 years in a row
and had beautiful weather.
Our most favorite family members
managed to find their way here
to celebrate with us.

I'm shocked that 18 yrs have FLOWN.
I think most that came for graduation
felt the same way.

I watched them walk the aisle to take
their seats and all the crying that I
hadn't done, I did in this hour long ceremony.
The 1st tear fell with the first note of Pomp & Circumstance.

We were all pretty emotional with the
recognition of Cords & Collars.
If you had told me their Freshman year
that they would all eventually be on
National Honor Society and have a B
average or better when they graduated I
would have laughed. Hysterically, I might add.

To hear Olsen, Olsen, Olsen announced was
pretty special. To see them all walk the stage.
To see the diplomas were signed...
Relief was a feeling Jeff & I felt many times that day.

Once again I must say that Jeff & I did not
do this on our own. There are many that
we cannot thank enough for what they
have done for these kids.

First and foremost, their Grandparents.
Three pretty incredible people. They
supported, encouraged and loved these
3 kids, and us.

Someone so special surprised us,
Barb Schroeder. She is an Early
Childhood Services Coordinator and
the first person we met on our very long journey
with Parker. We managed to have some pretty
incredible ladies that helped get this boy to
this point. Parker was her 1st ECSC kid to
graduate and we couldn't have been more thrilled
to see her.

I cannot EVER repay what my sister Mickie
and her husband Chris have done for my kids.
These are 2 very special people and I love them.

And we cannot forget the most
amazing babysitter EVER.
Frannie is the person that managed to
help me stay sane. She started sitting
for these kids when they were 2. Most of
the time it seemed she was much better
at it than I was. She had WAY more control
that's for sure! We love you Frannie!

I have a pretty incredible family.
This day ABSOLUTELY would not have
happened without each and everyone of them.

My crazy babies...

It is now September and they have moved on.
ALL are in college and seem to be doing well.
Aspen is blazing her own trail on her own by
going to college where the other 2 are not.
Greer has been very social and is loving college
life. Parker is settling in. His schedule is pretty
light this 1st semester and he seems to like it
that way.

Our house is very quiet now. I jokingly
refer to us as The House With Half A Family.
Some days it's just too quiet...
Jeff and I now get to figure each other out
again after 20 years. We've been so wrapped up
in kids that time for us just hasn't happened much.
It's very different having just 2 kids at home.
We've never had just 2 kids.

So it feels like a period of rediscovery,
of new beginnings and good things ahead.
I'm lucky, I still see another 20 years with
the same man. I see lots of grandkids in
the years to come. I look forward to seeing
the 4 graduate from college and to Sadi and Rubi
graduating high school.

To everyone that shared the day with us,
please know how special it was for us to
have you here. These kids are the people
they are because of the people in their lives.

Friday, April 27, 2012

The Sum of the Three

“Our destiny is in the way we were born, in the way we were raised, in the sum of the three of us.”
Eleanor Brown, The Weird Sisters




People have wondered why I haven't written about the Triplets the way I wrote about Sofi last year. I don't really have an answer except that I am not overwhelmingly sad this year. Writing last year helped me alleviate my anxiety and sadness about Sofi leaving. This year I am excited. Excited about what they've accomplished and about what their future will be.

I cannot even begin to think how many people counted us out when we had 3 more babies less than 2 yrs after our first baby. I cannot even count the number of times in the hospital that I wondered if any or all of them would be born alive, healthy... Some moments are so clear and then others are so blurry and muddled.

I cannot believe that these tiny creatures have become full blown 18 year old, almost college students. Where has the time gone?

We've weathered Aspen's very critical start and Parker's diagnosis. We are still standing. I am so grateful for the blessings that my kids are.

I believe the saying, "everything happens for a reason". Most of the time it isn't clear what that reason is. The reason I was lucky enough to be given these children has yet to present itself. I'm keeping an eye out for it though.

Aspen was the first born, at 11:56 p.m., weighing in at a whole 3lbs 6oz. She came out fighting. She fought the nurses at every turn. She would have to be sedated in order for them to work on her. I can't tell you how many times she pulled out her own IVs. Seeing her with little patches shaved in her hair so that an IV could be put somewhere that she maybe couldn't reach it was heartbreaking. She came home after 6 weeks only to return to the PICU for surgery. She ended up back at birth weight after 2 weeks at home. I was probably more terrified at this than I was the first 5 weeks. While her temper could be SO frustrating I was so glad she had the determination and fight. I do not think she would have lived through this period without it.

She was a stinker from day 1 and took great pleasure in terrorizing Greer. She was often the boss in the first 5 years of life. The other 3 just kind of stood back and let Aspen take charge. I guess it was better than the fit that ensued if they didn't. She was the first to walk, the first to get teeth and ironically she was the LAST to speak. She and Greer had the twin language that people talk about. Greer would translate for Aspen on many occasion.

Aspen had the true awkward stage - so skinny and stringy hair, glasses too big for her face. She has turned into the most beautiful creature. She has beautiful curly hair and eyes that people would die for. She went from being the one that didn't talk to a state recognized Poetry contestant. She spends most free time with her head in a book. She has truly evolved into a completely fascinating person and I so look forward to watching her achieve many great things.

Parker was born 2nd at a whopping 3lbs 8oz at 11:57 p.m. He was in the worst shape of the 3. Statistically preemie boys tend to have a more difficult time than preemie girls and that was certainly true in this case. His lungs were not as developed as the girls' and he went immediately on a vent. He suffered collapsed lungs, a brain bleed and many other things as he spent his time in the NICU. He came home with Aspen after 6 weeks.

I started to suspect that things were not ok with Parker at probably 6 months. He had trouble holding his head up and had yet to roll over or attempt to sit up. At 9 months we saw the first of many specialists. It had to have been the most awful period. The first dr declared within 5 minutes of seeing Parker that he'd never walk, never hold a pencil. She told us the fair thing to do was to look at "institutional" living for Parker. It wouldn't be fair to our other children to try and raise him. I walked out of that appointment and never looked back. I knew that this boy was bound for greatness. I pushed and he pulled and somehow he's turned out to accomplish things that most able bodied people never even attempt.

At 18 months Parker had a tremendous grasp of the English language and was holding full on adult conversations with just about anyone willing to chat. He was/is pretty charismatic and you kind of get sucked in. I always attributed his verbal skills as a need based ability - he couldn't get to things physically so he had to be able to tell people what he needed.

I'm not sure at 18 months that I ever thought we'd see him run track or wrestle. Boy am I glad we didn't listen to that dr.! He has great ambitions for his future and I believe he's capable of conquering all of them. Keep watching ESPN folks, I gaurantee that one day you'll be listening to P call some sporting events, it may be dodgeball but it will be something!

Greer showed up at 11:59 p.m. and was all of 3lbs 4oz. She might have been the smallest but somehow she was the healthiest. She was born with this gorgeous bunch of dark hair and her eyes were deep. I swear you could see her soul when she looked at you. She never had a ventilator and had a feeding tube for only a couple weeks. She came home 1st at 5 weeks. She became Sofi's baby and was called Beer for quite awhile. Greer was not the easiest name to say for an 18 month old.

Greer was a very sensitive baby and as the toddler years crept up, Aspen put her to the test, A LOT. We always wondered why Greer didn't fight back and encouraged her to stick up for herself. We had no idea how this would manifest itself later. Let's just say that Aspen didn't see a lot of it coming.

Greer was a beautiful baby and child. As a matter of fact she looks exactly the same now as she did when she was 2. Greer is clearly the most social of the 3, people just gravitate towards her. We wondered when she got to highschool whether she would learn anything or just make friends. She's vice president of the National Honor Society so I guess she's learned something.

Greer surprised us in high school by deciding to play basketball and run cross country and track. It turns out she loves athletics. ( I know those of you that know me are wondering how that happened.) Her love of these things is shaping her future. I expect to attend sporting events for the rest of my life, first to watch my kids play, then to watch Greer coach and finally watching my grandkids.

I don't suppose I had any idea here just what the next 18 years was going to be. I'm ok with that. I may have run for the hills if I'd known. I'm grateful, a lot, that I was 21 when I had all the babies. We kind of lived by-the-seat-of-our-pants and somehow they've made it.

They've become speakers and runners and wrestlers but above all, survivors and I am truly blessed. I am so excited to see what their future brings. It'll be a walk in the park compared to their first 2 months of life. They are going to do great things and change people's lives. They changed mine 18 years ago... For the better.

Congratulations Graduates!

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

You Are My Sunshine

Wow I've not written in months. I'm not sure why. Life is busy. I'm trying to soak in the last several weeks of the Triplets high school days. 

I am not going to talk about my own kids today. With the upcoming prom and graduation seasons I am compelled to write about someone else's child.

Last week we buried one of Sofi's closest friends. A girl that had spent some time with us while they were in school. She was killed when the car she was riding in rolled several times ejecting her from the car. Yes there was alcohol involved. The driver was well over the legal limit at a blood alcohol of .16 according to published reports. Legal limit in the state of Nebraska is .08.

I have been reading the comments attached to the online articles at The Kearney Hub website. The exchanges have become heated and have gone back and forth but the following comment triggered a need to write:  "Sad.......the focus is lost here.....4 lives were changed that night".

I beg to differ, MANY lives were changed that night. I will even say that communities were changed by the decisions of 4. The consequences for these actions will linger for the rest of the family's lives and the lives of the survivors, of which there were 3. Rebecca was the only casualty.

For those that knew Rebecca they would know that she was a force to be reckoned with. Her personality was larger than life and the theme that came up over and over during the last week of pain was that she loved life, she loved to make people laugh and she loved to laugh. She was beautiful. Her parents and siblings were able to tell stories of Rebecca and how she was such a comediene. It was easy to see where Rebecca got her strength from. She has a very strong family.

She died on March 31. April 1st was her 19th birthday. Last year on her birthday the community sang as she was crowned Prom Princess. This year the community sang as balloons were released in her honor.

The class of 2011 is a very tight knit group. I never dreamed last year as I sat watching them cross the stage to get their diplomas that less than a year later I would be attending a funeral for one of them. I mean when you're 18 you're pretty invincible right? What a wake up call for these kids and a horrible way to grasp the concept of mortality.

Rebecca was brighter than the sun and there aren't enough words to describe this girl's power to make people smile. When the song You Are My Sunshine was sung at the service it was so very approriate.  The number of flowers was incredible. She touched MANY lives. I'm not sure there are any Gerber Daisies left in northeast Nebraska. They were Rebecca's favorite.  After the service and before the burial, a number of pink, green and purple balloons were released one more time for her. Sofi says that Rebecca used to say when she died she wanted 1000 balloons released at her funeral. I don't suppose any of those kids realized how soon that they would be called on to do just that.

I am heartbroken for this class, my daughter and most especially her family.

I am hoping that something good and positive will come from this horrible tragedy.  If even one kid chooses not to drink, not to drive when drinking or not to get in the car with a drunk driver because they remember how Rebecca's too short life ended than I feel that she will not have died for nothing.

I do not know how I feel about the driver. We were all 20 once. We have all done some really stupid things and I don't imagine that any of the 4 thought the night would end in such a terrible way. I want to be angry and place blame but the sad fact is, is that all 4 people and their decisions contributed to the end. Again, hopefully this sad, tragic story will make people pause and think. Please let Rebecca's death be your lesson.

I am going to end with a piece written by Rebecca herself. She was pretty special.

Born This Way

Last night while writing this I had the most difficult time trying to think of what to write. I took stand up comedy into serious consideration and realized that I didn't have a clue what to do it on. Then, I thought of the song "Born This Way" by Lady Gaga and wanted to somehow relate it to that. Finally, I thought of the perfect thing to write about and that was my imperfections.

I know what you are all thinking "How could somebody like Rebecca Fischer have any imperfection"? But it is true, I don't have many, but there are a few. The imperfections have been a part of my life forever and at times have given people, even a few of you, a good laugh or two. They sometimes make me self-conscious and uncomfortable but just recently I have come to except them and realized that they are what make me, Rebecca.

First, I think the most obvious one and the one I get made fun of the most for would be my pinky toe on my left foot. It sits on top of my #4 toe and just hangs out up there all day long. I never thought of it to be a problem until one day I was in the house with sandals on and my dad asked me if I put it up there on purpose. Once I told him no he got really concerned about it and told me I could go and see if a doctor could fix it. I told him no because I liked it up there. To be honest I'm just afraid to experience the pain.

The next thing would probably be my ears. I have never noticed how small they actually were until someone pointed it out. I always just assumed they were normal sized. Although when the subject comes up I get really self-conscious about them I just realized not to long ago that I would rather have small ears than big ears that stick out like some peoples.

Finally, my last imperfection would have to be that one dangly thing in the back of your throat. Most people have one, but I however have two. When I went to the doctor for itshe was surprised to see it because she has never seen one before. This made me feel super special until last night when I Googled it and it said that it's caused by the soft palette not completely fusing during embryonic development. Once I found that out I no longer had that special feeling inside.

These are all minor deformities that make me up. I'm glad none of them are serious, medical, or painful. These are all characteristics of me that over time I have come to except. And, although I may get made fun of for them it doesn't bother me that much because I know they could be a lot worse. Everybody has something they feel uncomfortable about. I'm just glad that I have become close enough with the people in this room to share these things with you. I hope that when you meet new faces and people you don't judge them on what they look like or what they have wrong with them. I hope that you get to know them on who they truly are, because you never know they could have been born that way.

Rebecca Jo Fischer
April 1, 1993 - March 31, 2012

Thursday, January 5, 2012

May Your Memories Be Yellow

It's been a long time.
I hadn't realized how long until I was asked if
I was still blogging.
I wasn't sure anyone ever read this.

November is a hard month.
My Grandma died 3 yrs ago.
She was my yellow Grandma.
I don't mean yellow as in cowardly or jaundice.
I mean yellow as in her favorite color.

This was my Grandma's house.
When I was little it was red.
The hallway upstairs was REALLY wide.
The bed I slept in when we stayed here had a "roof on it".
Great fun for a little girl.

Gratefully it's still in the family and still yellow.
The day it becomes something else will break my heart.
This house was made to be yellow.

Now this is not my Grandma's actual kitchen but the cabinets are right.
The kitchen was bright yellow for years.
When they left they went to live with my Hollyhock aunt.
She's now living with Grandma.
I'm pretty sure there is Chicken Tuesday in Heaven.

My Grandma had a little yellow Ford Pinto like this.
I loved this little car.
Bucket seats, hatchback... VERY cool for a Grandma.
She almost killed my sister and me in this car once. :)
We camped at White Crane with her every summer.
On the way back from town we'd stop at the damn to check the gates.
OH how she would have been fascinated by the water pouring from them this summer!
Anyway... She pulled in and forgot to put it in park. I flew from the back seat
when the car hit the pylon.
It was funny then. It's funnier now...

Funny how the first flowers a child brings you is yellow... 

I sent yellow roses during Caring Rose week for years.
Just because...

Yellow is spring...

My maternal Grandma had a chair like this.
It seemed to be a fight in her little bitty kitchen which of us
would sit on that chair.
I got a yellow one.
And then I made her match Daisy...

When I was able to order my mixer there
was no doubt I'd have yellow.

Thanks to my sister I have a new obsession.
Temp-Tations stoneware.
While my kitchen won't be yellow.
I have no doubt because of my memories of Grandma's yellow kitchen
you'll see a great deal of yellow in it.

November is a difficult month.
I had a horribly fractured family and hung on these memories
for all they were worth.
I hope in death my family is finding the peace and love
they didn't always have in life.

I'm pretty sure Grandma's heaven includes a yellow house...
with a yellow kitchen...
where she wears yellow clothes...
and crazy, sparkly socks,
and drives a little, yellow Pinto
to Chicken Tuesday's with HollyHock Aunt.

Thank you for my yellow memories...