Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Yesterday, my mother posted this link on her Facebook page. I have always loved poetry but have strayed away in the past few years. Sarah Kay single handedly re-inspired this love with her poem "B" and the beautiful way she performs it. When I start to breath again, I am going to start writing poetry once more.

It's early and I couldn't remember how to embed the video, but if you're interested, the link is MORE than worth the click.

Thursday, December 10, 2009


A little irony: me, sitting in the car outside of our local natural foods store, scarfing down a Whopper as fast as I can chew.

Not appreciated? Was the guy in the silver Honda next to me, shooting looks of judgement and disgust in my direction.

So listen up, you pretentious prick, lest you should be reading:

That's right. I was eating a Whopper. A big, fat, juicy Whopper. With mayonnaise, in-humanely raised beef, and processed cheese product. Whilst sitting outside a store that sells wholesome, organic and delicious food. With my two fussing babies in the backseat.

Yes, that was me.

You know why?

Because I forgot to eat. That's right. Forgot. All day.

And at 2pm, I got hungry.

Insane, nursing-two-babies on zero calorie input, put some EFFING nourishment in my stomach, HUNGRY.

Because somewhere, in the midst of changing poopy diapers, begging my children to take naps, and creating miraculous, edible milk-product from my breasts, I got distracted and forgot not only to eat, but to brush my teeth as well.

So judge away, Honda Man.

For what it's worth, I think it's thoroughly ironic to sit in judgement outside of a natural food store, so I suppose we sit in irony together.

That damn Whopper was good.


Yes, one of my children spit up copious amounts of breast milk once we were within the safely organic walls of said store. No, I am not a responsible mother and did not have any appropriate items with which to clean said spit up. Yes, I used the sleeve of my jacket instead. Looks of judgement? Yes.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Well Hello.

I haven't felt like posting lately.

I have, however, felt like eating fudge, listening to Christmas music, and watching two incredible little babies grow.

Over ten months old.

I've been arguing with myself over whether or not I want to blog about why I haven't felt like blogging.

But here it is. At the end of the day, I'm a frustrated writer. Frustrated by the confines of my blog, and frustrated that I don't have more time to promote it. That's all. And so in a childish indulgence of that frustration, I spent a few delicious weeks waving a big old F*&# YOU to my blog.

I think I'm going to get over it now.

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Apparently somebody thinks I'm kinda fantastic.

And that would be a funny-as-shit fellow twin mama Joy over at Freckletree.

She gave me this award:

Along with the HUMONGOUS cash prize (checking the mail daily, Joy!) she also awarded me the right to drink before noon as much as I want.

Now if that's not a sweet deal.

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Poop. Yup. Poop.

So if you were so excited to get to the juicy details and skimmed over the title, let me offer it once more. This post is about poop.

Is this what it has come to? Am I forever reduced to the intrigues of BM's? Will I ever get out of sweatpants and brush my hair again? And when will Pandora get it through its thick cyber-brain that I unequivocally do not want to listen to songs by Barney?

But the reality is that this is a fleeting moment in time. Almost nine months have gone by. Nine months! And when I wanted this, I wanted it all. I'm going to savor every last drop: the faces they make when trying a new food for the first time, their fascination with Bella's food dish, the sweet, cooing mamamamamamamamama sounds they make. And poop.

Prior to motherhood, I had heard tales of this ridiculous obsession with poop that afflicts many new mothers. I knew that I would never be one of those. And for the larger part of nine months, I haven't been. It kind of went like this: Babies eat. Babies poop. Parents change diapers. Repeat. What's there to get all in a tizzy about?

And then we started solid foods.

From there, poop has just really gotten, well, fun. Kind of like the train wreck that is Jon and Kate Plus Eight. You're sick of it, sick of them. Yet you can't seem to pull yourself away. You've Googled them on your lunch break just to get one more bit of delicious juiciness. You never know what it will be next. Or when they'll pop up in the news next to important stories like current events in Afghanistan. And so it goes with poop.

Sure, my new-found interest in poop does little for the resume. I don't care. It may be wildly indulgent of me, but I'm embracing this long-awaited milestone of motherhood and sharing. Poop stories. I'll keep them brief.

I get periodic emails from Babycenter.com which I find mostly annoying. Recently, one arrived in my inbox titled, "Baby Poop. A visual guide." UGH, I thought. How disgusting. How insulting. Like new mothers have no need to know about more important things in this world. Three seconds later I was scooping that email out of my trash box like it was candy and scanning through the images while performing a mental comparison of every diaper I've ever changed. Satisfied that my babies are the proud owners of normal bowel habits, I closed the email and promptly deleted my browsing history. (Now you have to know, don't you? Here.)

The other day I was changing Quin's diaper. I love to make the babies giggle by giving them big tummy tickles and raspberries. I was going in for some good gigglage when I noticed a tiny little bead in his belly button. What a bizarre find! I scooped out a perfectly round little piece of clay. And as I was inspecting this clay, racking my brain to figure out how it got in there, holding it close to my eye to determine it's origin, it came to me. Feces. Poop! On my finger. Close to my eye. Out of my child's belly button. A perfect little ball of poop. Do not judge my diaper changing abilities, or the thoroughness of my wiping. They're perfectly fine. The poop ball just happened. I don't know how.

Every night before bed, the babies get a warm bath. We've gotten into the habit of changing them on the living room floor (does anyone actually use a changing table?) and then leaving the dirty diapers and clothes while we give them their baths and put them to bed. Once they're asleep, we get to the business of taking care of our messy living room, including putting the dirty diapers in the wash. The other night, one of the babies had a particularly huge blowout. After getting them to sleep, we decided a game of Rock, Paper, Scissors, would be the only fair way to determine which of us would be responsible for taking care of the poopy explosion. I looked over at the two dirty diapers, hoping I would not be the one. And then I did a double take. The diapers were still there, but totally poop-less. The wipes we had used were not on the pile of diapers and covers where we had left them, but rather set aside in a neat little bundle. Even these had barely a trace of what had been there only minutes before. I looked at Kyle. He looked at the diapers. And then we looked at Bella. Laying on her bed, licking her lips.

I feel better. Purged, even.

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


I think I was in the third grade the first time that I realized that my world wasn't fully comprised of butterflies and cinnamon. I knew that THE world had dangers and sadness. I had seen the starving children on TV. But I didn't know MY world was susceptible. Ignorance? Innocence? Gluttony? Ethnocentrism? Being an American? Probably a combination. But then the news broke that the US was embarking on the Gulf War. I remember sitting in the living room with my family and begging my parents to cancel their upcoming trip to Florida. I pictured bombs falling from the sky and soldiers on street corners like in the books I had read about World War II. Surely plane travel and a trip to sunny Florida were perilous activities in the war-torn country I was certain we were about to become.

But then life went on. Our favorite shows were still on TV. I didn't know anybody who died. We could still buy microwave popcorn and ice cream at the grocery store. I licked my wounds and moved forward. In time, the illusion of safety settled in around me once again, with only the slightest ding in its shiny varnish.

And that's how things went. I became so accustomed to that illusion of safety that eventually it felt like an armor. People were killed in Kosovo and the armor suffered another ding. Matthew Shepard was brutally murdered, there was genocide in Rwanda, and hundreds of thousands of people died from cancer: ding, ding, and ding. I got it. Terrible things happened in the world. I didn't feel invincible. I just felt safe.

I was living by myself for the first and only time in my life when two planes crashed into the world trade center. This time, there were no dings. The armor shattered. As the dust settled, I looked around and felt stupid. Ignorant. I never had any armor. Luck, maybe?

A little over a week ago, not far from where we live, a mother and daughter were picked at random and attacked in their home while they slept. Four teen boys with machetes and knives stabbed the mother to death and slit her daughter's throat. They say the little girl is going to live. I wonder what they mean by that.

I don't understand this world we live in. A world with apple cider and fall leaves. Where miracle babies are born and learn to smile and laugh and crawl. Where incredible people overcome incredible obstacles. Where we strive to save the forests, save the whales, save the ozone. A world with tulips and warm puppies and grandparents. A world of good. Beauty, love, peace, and harmony.

This world. With poverty and disease. Where we send our children to war. Where we get up in the morning and make our coffee, knowing full well that somewhere, right this instant, there is rape, torture, hunger, and worse. Where four bored teenagers break into a home and massacre a sleeping family.

I don't know how we piece these worlds together. I don't know how to build an armor around my children. How to make that armor real.

I'm not interested in illusions this time.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009


Sometimes when we go to put the babies to bed at night, panic sets in. And it's the type of panic that might have once sounded to me cliche or inauthentic. But still it's there. We're giving the babies their baths and they have these soft full little tummies and tiny hands that splash the water and wet heads with hair that mats together and smells like lavender. And I feel panicked that I haven't loved them enough today. That I haven't breathed in enough of their baby-ness. Or made them giggle enough. The sound of their giggles makes me want to cry. It is the most beautiful sound I've ever heard. I panic that whatever I've done to mother them and make them feel loved is just. not. enough. Because they're them. Beauty and wonder and more than I ever thought I could know of anything. Ever.

And I suppose that's how this will be.

Eight months, almost nine, have gone by, and this has not faded. I love them more. Every day I know them, I love them more. And that is not possible. It is not humanly possible. It happens anyway.

And Kyle and I sit on our couch at night while the babies sleep and we say, "God they're fantastic. They're fantastic. Amazing." And it never gets old. Or stops being truer than the day before.

I wanted this more than anything. Would have moved the universe to have it. And it's more - they're more - more than everything.

The cows? Are in the freezer.

This weekend we held a yard sale with my family. Time to clean out, mostly because I've been watching all those shows on TV about hoarders and am now overreacting by getting rid of such essentials as our dish rack. Who really needs a dish rack, anyway?

So we're at the yard sale, and apparently I'm not the only one who has been affected by those hoarding shows because nothing is selling. And I think my junk is decent junk that anyone would be lucky to have, but our customers seem to disagree. I'm bored.

Until a neighbor shows up. A neighbor who owns a farm. With a mule. And cows. The mule. The cows. And it may be the boredom, but I suddenly get gutsy and decide that this neighbor and I are going to have a little chat about her animals. Because I need to know a few things. Like, will a hammer protect me? And why do your animals froth at the mouth every time I walk by? And that fence. How sturdy is it?

And you know what she says, after she finishes laughing?

"Well you don't have to worry about the cows any more. They're in the freezer."

And I suppose that means I really don't have to bring up the hammer now. Because, overkill, right?

I learn that the mule is named Doc. And that he's quite "social." I can't bring myself to mention that I've been considering giving him a concussion with a carpentry tool. I certainly can't mention that I may have wished EEE on him.

She suggests that I not put my fingers through the fence. Okay. I can totally handle not offering my dainty fingers up like so many carrots for the chomping.

I get home and Google "mule meat." Turns out it's illegal. At least in San Fransisco. But I got tired of Googling after that.

I suppose I don't really want Doc to end up in the freezer anyway. If I can survive as the mother of twins, I can handle Doc.

But I'm keeping the hammer, just in case.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Building on Obama's Nobel Prize...

...(and let's just start with a big old Hooray and Yippee, Mr. President!)...I've been reflecting on the ways that I work to contribute to global peace. When I can, I buy Fair Trade, eat organically, and support non profits that I feel are making a positive impact on our world. All nice things, but, let's be honest, a little lacking in creativity.

So the other day I was preparing to depart on our long trek to Trader Joe's, and remembered that, shockingly, I was without cash for the toll. I am too stubborn to break down and pay for an E-ZPass, so I run into this issue every time I have to travel a toll road. With the babies already loaded into the car and strapped into their car seats, I considered for a few brief moments that perhaps I would just speed through the toll without paying. Since we hadn't yet left the driveway, I decided the better course of action would be to sprint into the house, grab some change, and pay the toll like the good little law abiding citizen that I reluctantly admit to being. Grabbing a few quarters turned out to be more difficult than I anticipated. Our change jar was full of pennies and various world currencies never converted back into US dollars after Kyle's last business trip. Rather than throw a handful of pennies at the toll attendant, I grabbed a few Euros and ran back out to the car. Because I'm a member of the global community, people. Euros are worth more anyway.

Apparently the toll attendant didn't agree. And so even though I quickly pressed my Euros into her palm and sped away, she still found the time to press the alarm buzzer and make the red light go off before I was through. So now I'm waiting for the grainy photograph to arrive in the mail, which will show me and the babies speeding through the toll like tax evaders and be accompanied by a hefty little fine. And I think it's totally unpatriotic and un-world-peacely that I will be fined for trying to broaden the global horizons of this fine state. Besides, I had no quarters, and everyone knows that pennies aren't money any more.

I like to think that our fine President would be proud of me. Or that he would tell me to stop making pathetic attempts to pass off my coin shortage as a stand for world peace. One of those.

Unrelated and far more exciting...

Thank you! to Musings of a Wannabe Mommy for the Kreativ Blogger Award! The accompanying rules are as follows (and remember...I am law abiding!):

1-Thank the person who nominated you for this award.
2-Copy the logo and place it on your blog.
3-Link to the person who nominated you for this award.
4-Name 7 things about yourself that people may not know.
5-Nominate 7 Kreativ Bloggers.
6-Post links to the 7 blogs you nominate.
7-Leave a comment on each of the blogs letting them know they’ve been nominated.


So...seven things you may not know about me (good god...is there really anything I haven't shared?)

1. Fall is my favorite season.
2. I'm embarrassed to admit it, but I think Paris Hilton is a comedic genius.
3. I make delectable maple sticky buns.
4. I enrolled in culinary school and dropped out a week later, before classes even started.
5. I was a cheerleader in college, and ultimately left the sport to become more active in the Feminist Collective.
6. I gag when I touch dry sand, chalk, or cotton balls.
7. I can not be counted on to not half-ass most home improvement projects.

So, to share a little love, peace, and goodwill, I'm passing this award on to the following talented bloggers: Freckletree, Nourish the Soul, The Maybe Baby, Parsing Nonsense, on the m104, Poop and Boogies, and Maybe If You Just Relax.

And on a closing note, I'd like to add that I ate a huge piece of chocolate cake for breakfast, and it was really awesome.

Friday, October 9, 2009

Writer's Block

I hate writer's block. I had my longest running case of it when I was pregnant and found myself so dumbfounded that for once, I had nothing to say. It was all I could do to pick my chin up off the floor. For the past week I've been battling another nasty case of this dreaded affliction, and half-written posts have been piling up from my twisted, frustrated attempts to communicate something coherent, witty, or at least mildly amusing.

Perhaps it was purging my Bella guilt that has left me silenced. Perhaps it was crossing the line and then trying to figure out whether to stay on the other side or bashfully retreat back into the safe territory where I talk about peeing on myself and cutesy baby things. We'll see.

Two paragraphs in, I should mention that this little incident of writer's block is still very much with me at this moment. It's like getting cut off by someone going 15 mph under the speed limit when you've just moved into the passing lane, over and over and over and over again. And with two babies at home, it's not like I can simply hit the gas pedal when that car finally gets out of my way, because I guarantee that by then someone will have a massively poopy diaper and my motherly guilt will force me to change it rather than whipping open the laptop to let my inspiration flow. And I'm not complaining. Simply explaining why this post might suck, why I might suddenly have the writing skills of a third grader, and that I am posting anyway out of guilt and obligation and fear that those who follow might get bored and simply move on if I don't throw out at least one or two niblets of amusement on a somewhat regular basis. So.

Although I cannot be depended upon to write anything spectacular at this specific point in time, I figure I can give a few updates on past posts that may have left some things hanging. And if it sucks, well, fine. Let's have this post also symbolize a big old F*** YOU to writer's block.

Sleep Training
After agonizing for months, we finally gave in/took the plunge/gathered the courage/were about to gouge our own eyeballs out - and started sleep training (read: crying it out) with the babies. Our strategy was to let them cry for ten minutes and then go in and rub their backs (but NO picking them up) for two minutes...repeat...repeat...repeat...until asleep. I knew that once we committed to this, it wouldn't be fair to the babies to not follow through. Thus began my first experience in loving discipline. Not punishment. Discipline. To anyone who thinks that sleep training is a cop out for lazy parents who are sick of taking care of their children at night, think again. Sleep training has been much more difficult than getting up with the babies every hour (or every twenty minutes) all night long. But. It is working. The babies are finally getting more sleep (10-12 hours a night) and sleep in stretches of 4-8 hours at a time. They are napping during the day. Most amazing to me is how much their development has picked up since they started getting more sleep. At the beginning of the summer, our OT gauged the babies' development 3-4 months behind their actual age. When she came and visited this past Monday, she gauged their development in the 6-8 (Quin) and 8-10 (Rhys) month range - perfectly on target and vastly improved from just a few short months ago. I'll write more on sleep training some time soon, because it is deserving of its own post. The sheer amount of wine I consumed is deserving of its own post, if we're going to really get honest.

The Line
I don't have cancer in my butt. I know, because I finally went for the colonoscopy. And folks, I don't really want to talk about that. Once the mental scars have healed, I may consider a post on this topic. But for Christ sake. I just had a camera up there and need some distance from the whole experience. What I will say is that the doctor who is now far too familiar with my back-door-areas told me that I am spoiling my children because I'm not planning on giving up breastfeeding at the one year mark. Maybe shoving a camera up a person's ass imparts such a powerful feeling that it becomes necessary to give bad and unsolicited advice about all topics in all areas, or maybe this doctor was just an ass herself. But really? Either way, I refuse to be offended by the ignorance of a woman who has chosen to make a career out of rectal examinations. And Dr. Igari, if you're out there, I'd like you to know that I may well breastfeed far beyond the age of not one, but two. And might I also just mention that this would be totally in line with the recommendations of the World Health Organization. But hell. What do they know.

Food, mobility, and general development. (And here's where both babies have woken up from their naps, both have poopy diapers, mommy has a raging headache, and let's just wrap this up already! sets in)
They're eating. Sweet potatoes, apples, avocados, lentils, and bananas. Must post entirely about food and include pictures. Coming soon to a blog near you. Way more entertaining than one might expect.

They're crawling. Everywhere. Main goal: seek danger.

They're developing. Language, personalities, and the ability to pull each other's hair.


As I search for a witty closing line or amusing summary, I do nothing but come up empty handed.

I hate writer's block.

Friday, September 25, 2009


One time when Bella was a puppy, we made the mistake of letting her "chew" on several corn cobs. She was on her sixth one when the thought finally permeated the cheap plywood of our skulls that hey...where are the previous five cobs...OH LORD IS SHE ACTUALLY EATING THEM???

Ten days and zero poops later, we were at the vet's with one seriously backed up puppy and several hundred dollars worth of x-rays confirming the presence of six mushy corn cobs, all neatly lined up in her intestines.

Overly anxious and slightly neurotic pet mother that I once was, I asked the most pressing and logical question that popped into my head: "Is she going to die?" When his laughter died down, the vet sighed and looked at me.

"Just you wait. She's the center of your universe now. But in a few years you'll have a baby, forget about the dog, and then come in crying and wanting us to fix it because she's developed all sorts of behavioral problems."

Well thanks, jackass. Love the bedside manner.

I angrily explained to him that there was no way I would ever allow that to happen. Explained that Bella was special to me. I couldn't tell him that maybe I wouldn't have a baby in a few years. That I was trying and it wasn't working. And that Bella was the stand in, the willing recipient of my excess maternal energy.

For two years, our little mother-baby/pet owner-pet relationship worked. It was ignorant bliss. She absorbed my sadness and helped me feel needed. She stayed by my side as I ran and ran and ran. I petted her, adored her, babied her, nurtured her. We went to puppy class, to the beach, to the relatives' for holidays.

And then I got pregnant.

At first I didn't think much would change. I was excited for Bella to be a big sister. I didn't have the energy to run and play, but we snuggled a lot and life went on.

And then my water broke.

In all the craziness that ensued, I remember one moment clearly. Kyle and I, rushing to get out the door and into the car for a frantic trip to the hospital. Blood, blood, blood. Everywhere. Scared Bella. Bella trying to run out the door with us. And Kyle yelling at Bella to stay. Yelling. Out of panic and fear and necessity. It was the first time either of us had really ever yelled at her.

What followed is mostly now a blur. Weeks in the NICU - functioning - barely. Bella staying at my parent's house. I could not stand up straight. Could hardly feed myself dinner. Did not have the emotional, physical, or mental capacity to wash a load of laundry. The idea of Bella coming home was terrifying to me.

I don't remember when she came home. I don't know if it was before or after the babies were released from the hospital. I only remember realizing that I could not be relied upon to feed her consistently, and delegating that job to Kyle. Eight months later, it's still his job.

Bella, my former muse, my joy and love, is rarely mentioned in my blog anymore. I've avoided writing about her because I'm embarrassed. Embarrassed of how often I walk by her and feel nothing but disgust for the burden that she is to me. Embarrassed because she deserves better and is stuck with me because I'm too stubborn to stop believing that things will change.

Embarrassed. Because when I pull into the driveway, she runs and greets me like I'm the most amazing person in the world. And with the belief that today is a new day. And the willingness to forgive and forget. And the wildly desperate hope that I will do something, anything, to help her feel loved once again.

Embarrassed, because she drops her head and sulks away when I tell her to "move it!" in my nastiest voice.

Embarrassed, because my dog surpasses me in loyalty, forgiveness, and unconditional love.

I'm searching for the day where I stop letting her down.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Copious amounts of snot.

So lately I've indulged in a little light bragging about the health of my children. Perhaps I am a bit sensitive about having had them two months early, but it seems the expectation is that preemies would be constantly sick and frail and snotty-nosed. But mine are not.

Aside from our initial stint in the NICU, the babies have been healthy for the larger part of eight months. We had a blip of a cold that lasted a day this spring, but that was it. And since I have two babies, that's like sixteen cumulative months of health. So I've been all, "Go me and my miraculous healseveryailmentbringitonH1N1you'vegotnothingontheseboobies breast milk."

Nobody likes a brag.

So of course what happened next is that we all got sick.

Rather than spending my week recounting our thrilling adventures to the Internet, I've instead been working on developing my bulb-syringe skills. And wondering if I'm the only mother who has to sit on her infant to create even the slightest chance of a successful nose/syringe interaction. And popping homeopathic cold remedies into the babies' mouths like Skittles.

Consider me humbled.

Wednesday, September 16, 2009

From now on I'll be blogging about irrational animal fears.

Last week the babies and I were chased by a demonic cow.

This week?

An asshole of a mule with an extraordinarily large penis.

I wish I were joking.

With my trusty hammer safely tucked into the under-basket of our stroller, I set out on our typical route for a nice autumn walk. As we approached the scene of the cow chase, I scanned the fields warily. No cows.


I noticed an absolutely benign looking mule. Half donkey, half horse. Typically infertile. Finally, an animal I have something in common with. He stood next to the fence grazing. I gave a psychic little hello and walked on.

And then he brayed. A terrible, bone rattling bray.

And starting trotting along the fence next to us.

I walked faster. He trotted faster. I picked it up to a jog. He galloped.

In the distance, I could see the electric fence cutting through the field sectioning it off. Safety was in sight.

As I sprinted toward it, I started to have my doubts.

What if the fence is only for looks? What if these farmers did not pay their electric bill and it's not working? What if this incredibly well endowed mule leaps over it in a frothing, blood thirsty frenzy?

The fence worked. The mule stopped.

I stopped.

I turned and looked at his ugly squinty eyes and long nose. It occurred to me that I have developed a raging farm animal phobia. I googled this. Zoophobia. Ah ha.

And I don't know why I suddenly seem to have this raw animal magnetism. The last thing I want is to attract the attention of large domesticated animals. Is it our bright orange stroller? Is it the patchouli? Or is it that they sense the fear oozing out of my pores like fat on bacon?

The realist in me does not intervene to come up with helpful, practical reasons why these large beasts will not break through their fence and stampede me like kindergartners on ants. My inner realist does, however, show up three thoughts too late to remind me that a hammer is likely a poor choice of weapon against an attacking mule in the 800-1000 lb range. Stop mule, stop! I insist. Disobey me and I will render a massive goose-egg on your head! A MASSIVE GOOSE EGG! I wonder if Google can help me get one of those tranquilizer dart guns they use on Animal Planet to sedate lions.

I find myself casually hoping that a mosquito infected with EEE or West Nile Virus will stop for a little mule snack on its way through the neighborhood. Does that make me a bad person, or just an optimistic Zoophobe?

Where am I going with all of this?

I have no idea. But probably not on a walk. Not until Google comes through for me with those tranquilizer darts.

Saturday, September 12, 2009


They say you cannot live off of vitamins alone. That vitamins are for "supplementation," a sort of nutritional insurance policy, if you will.

But I wonder. Maybe they're just saying that. Maybe you can live off of vitamins alone. Maybe the need to eat actual food is simply a fictionalization brought on by lobbyists just like corn subsidies and the rest of our corrupt food system in the US.

See, I have recently given up food. So you can probably understand why I'm hopeful that perhaps boatloads of vitamins will be enough to keep me kicking.

First it was dairy, and then soy. My determination to exclusively breastfeed wasn't about to be squashed by a little reflux and the delicate, immature digestive systems of my little loves. After months of cheating and sneaking teensy bits of dairy here and there, I finally kicked the habit and stocked the house with sheep's milk cheese, coconut milk ice cream, Earth Balance butter substitute, and goat's milk.

Problem solved.

I sat back and started counting the days until the babies' digestive systems would allow for the delicious reintroduction of things like MOZZARELLA (sigh) and BEN AND JERRY'S (sniff).

And then something happened.

I share a lot with you, Internet. I've shared stirrup stories and incidents of accidentally urinating on myself. I've shared postpartum depression and infertility. And all that sharing has been nice. But I have standards. There is a line. I actually didn't know if I had one, one of those line thingies. But I do. And I've stumbled upon it. Suffice to say, I am not going to share details. But something happened. It happened once, then twice, and then a third time. Three days in a row.

And I was concerned. Alarmed, even.

It involved blood and what I could only suspect might be my intestines. Ahem. The line.

I called the doctor. Made an appointment. She and I had a nice long chat.

The good news? Now I can breastfeed until the babies are eleven (I won't) because who cares if their still young digestive systems are finicky about what I put into my mouth?

Because apparently, my own digestive system has developed some raging, bloody (The line. The LINE...dammit!) finicky-ness of its own.

Did my doctor suggest a colonoscopy? Oh yes she did. And to avoid having a camera poking all about the business of my bum, I've decided to take option B and first try cutting out gluten and kissing dairy goodbye for...forever?

If things improve? Apparently I have colitis.

If things don't? Hello, bum-cam. And in the back of my mind, I am trying to quell the raging fear that I have cancer in my butt.

Until then, I am living on a totally delicious diet of, um, vitamins.

And can I just add that there are like, a lot of body parts? Pretty, glamorous things like arms and legs, and then neutral things like noses and toes. Yet with so many options, I, with my inability to respect the line, end up with issues in my effing ass.

That's right, Internet. It is all EFFED UP. My derriere. Butt. Bottom. Booty. Tush. Keister. Heinie. Rear. Caboose. Fanny. Rump. Badonkadonk.

Crap. (Get it? Get it?)

Screw the line.

Thursday, September 10, 2009


While we were on our totally awesome and relaxing and you-should-be-jealous-of-its-fabulousity camping trip, Quin cut his first tooth. A tooth!

It is razor sharp and adorable. I'm waiting for him to bite a nipple off, and in my head have been practicing saying "NO" in a gentle yet firm voice. We'll see.

Would I bite you, Mama?

Rhys is also teething, although seems quite far from actually sprouting any teeth. Either way, I've been trying to be especially mindful and appreciative of these last few weeks of big, toothless grins.

These new days of teething have led to my becoming acquainted with a little product that moms-in-the-know have affectionately nicknamed "Baby Crack." Stop being horrified and just agree that it's funny.

Apparently the box itself provides some teething relief.

I know, I know. Good mothers do NOT allow their babies to chew on packaging.

My babies are seven months old. They are beautiful and growing. Looking through these pictures with Kyle tonight, we kept looking at each other and saying, "We MADE them!" Holy crap. We made beautiful little people.

My little Bee, Quin.

Rhys, my little Bear.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009


When I take the babies for a walk in our super-duper BOB stroller that cost more than my first car, I tend to bring a hammer along. For protection. Just in case. I think it's a hormonal thing. I used to go walking and running pre-babies totally hammer-less. But now. Babies. MY babies. What I lack in stature, I like to think I make up for in scrappiness. And innovation in weaponry choices, apparently.

And if I had to, I would use it.

I probably won't have to.

I realized this the other day when getting ready to take the babies out for a little stroll. I also realized that 1. I have an active imagination and 2. Imagination + hammer + willingness to use it, may = trouble.

In an effort to avoid having to leave our neighbors a note to the tune of, Dear Neighbors...I apologize for throwing a hammer at your dog. I thought she was a bear! Oopsies. Should we BBQ sometime? I decided that perhaps I should wean myself from the hammer. Immediately.

So we walked, hammer-less.

And really, at first, it was fine. The sky was blue, the birds chirping, and the teensiest wisp of fall hanging in the background.

But then we approached one of the several farms on our road. And I should take a moment here to explain that I live in the country. Grew up here. This does not, however, necessarily mean that I am a country-girl. For instance, and please do not laugh, I am terrified of horses. Because JEE-SHUSH. Look at those things. It's not just horses. I lack a general trust of bugs, dogs, and wildlife in general. Animals can sense my fear.

I pushed the stroller along the road, attempting to be absolutely casual as I scoped out what sort of farm-stuff might be hanging out in the field. Two cows. This I can handle. Cows, I am not so much afraid of. Like I am supposed to be intimidated by their ferocious moos. Feeling bold, I kind of threw my shoulders back and did a little "I can totally walk without a hammer" swagger.

And maybe that's what pissed them off. Because all of a sudden, these peaceful bovines charged their rickety fence. Cow-bells jingling, they did a sort of moo-growl and snorted steam out of their noses and flickered the fires of hell in their big ol' brown cow eyes. And they charged the fence again. And again.

I picked up my pace, thinking to myself, "I bet I should not run. I bet I should not run" and then I started running, pushing our massive stroller and startled babies in a DANGER! DANGER! kind of way. And then the cows started running too.

When cows run, the earth shakes. And their beastly hooves go CALLUMP! CALLOMP! And did I mention that these cows were sporting horns?

I ran until I could not run anymore. It is not easy to maintain a sprint while wearing Birkenstocks and pushing a double stroller down a bumpy dirt road and constantly looking over your shoulder to see if one of the Cows of Doom has broken through the fence yet to recreate the running of the bulls here in my very own neighborhood.

And all I can keep thinking is "I'm lactating too, bitch" like that really matters but it's the only thing I can think of that me and these cows have in common and perhaps we should all just go about our day in a peaceful manner and GOD are they lucky I don't have my hammer with me.

But then we have passed by them and hammer or no hammer, we're all safe and intact.

And don't you go thinking that I then was so shook-up that I turned us all around and retreated home. No sirree. Cause that would have meant doubling back past the Cows of Doom and Hell Fire and Poisonous Rattlesnake Venom all over again and NO WAY was I about to do that.

No, we took a nice long walk. Nice and long with fresh air and sunshine and the knowledge that those cows would have to go back inside sometime. And they did. And we went home.

Incidentally, I'm taking the babies for walk in just a couple minutes. Coming with us? My trusty little hammer.

Friday, September 4, 2009

Help NiNi Bambini

NiNi Bambini is a maternal wellness center I go to with the babies and sometimes refer to in my posts.

This amazing business provides critical support to expectant parents and new moms by providing a warm and nurturing environment for support groups, baby play groups, and SO, SO much more. Having this resource has helped me make it through some of my darkest days as a new mom. And I shudder as I write that: Darkest days as a new mom. After wanting to be a mother for so long, should there really be dark days? Shouldn't I spend every day basking in the wonder that is new life? NiNi Bambini has helped me to reconcile this nagging question. Being a new mom is hard work - exhausting - and working through that doesn't make me ungrateful or less of a mom. It makes me human. NiNi Bambini has provided me with a safe space to explore my transition and growth as a new mother. Every community should have a NiNi Bambini.

So I'm sad when I consider that this business is struggling to stay afloat in these difficult economic times. And I'm frustrated, because Wal-Mart will make it through, despite the fact that it adds no character or sense of life to my community.

Recently I worked with some of the other moms from NiNi Bambini to nominate this little business for a $100,000 small business grant. This grant would make a world of difference for so many families that will walk through NiNi Bambini's welcoming doors.

I hope that you'll join me in supporting NiNi Bambini by clicking the link below and endorsing our nomination. The more endorsments, the better the chances that it will be chosen.

Every new mom needs support.

Please visit Shine A Light and endorse NiNi Bambini...thanks!

Wednesday, September 2, 2009


I've always found comfort in the philosophy that there are no absolutes. As though there's a Get Out of Jail Free card waiting around each and every corner if you can just remember to look for it. But although I find comfort in it, I don't live my life around it. I suspect that's true for most of us. And that can make things more complicated than they need to be. Getting caught up on something, anything, because that's the way we expect it to be. Or because that's the way it's supposed to be.

Am I making sense?

If I'm not, it's because there's a baby crying in the background. And with every little tear that is shed, a piece of me just crumples and dies.

Because I'm letting my babies cry.

On purpose.

Because there are no absolutes.

In my heart of hearts, I truly believed I would never resort to sleep training. To "crying it out."

I have.

What we were doing was not working. Not for the babies. Not for us.

For seven months, Kyle and I have dutifully responded to every cry within seconds. We have stayed up around the clock rocking, bouncing, and nursing the babies back to sleep. I don't really want anyone to know how many nights we got up every twenty minutes all night long and then dragged our exhausted selves out of bed the next morning to face the day. Sleep deprivation is scary. Dangerous.

It. Was. Not. Working.

I've agonized over this issue. Advice has been abundant. I've been terrified to do the wrong thing. And although I hate to admit it, I've been loathe to be judged.

And here I am.

Feeling confident. Feeling heartbroken. Feeling like I'm doing the right thing. Feeling the weight of responsibility that comes with really doing this right. Understanding commitment in a new way. Commitment that impacts my children.

Letting the babies cry breaks my heart. But this is ultimately not about me. It's about them. For them. Because they need sleep so that they can grow and develop. And because setting loving boundaries is our job as parents.

I would protect them from every sadness, every harm, every disappointment, if only I could.

I hate that I can't.

And I owe it to them, these babies that we have brought into this world, to be honest with myself about that.

Sunday, August 30, 2009

This post has entirely TOO MUCH INFORMATION, but I'm switching to Pampers.

Not for the babies. Nothing but the best unbleached cotton pre-folds for their cute little tushies. No, the Pampers are for me.

Remember the crazy astronaut lady who drove across the country wearing diapers to kidnap her romantic rival? Perhaps we were all too quick to judge. I'm not advocating deluded cross-country treks to tie people up with duct tape. Just diapers. For grown ups. And I don't mean Depends. I'm not looking for a little light leakage protection for those inconvenient times where I might laugh so hard I pee. I'm looking for pee-freely-all-day-long convenience.

Because I have two babies. And peeing, apparently, is a luxury not afforded to the likes of me. After my little grocery store bathroom/pee on the foot incident, I was pretty glad to have that awkwardness behind me.

So imagine my chagrin the other day when I took the babies out for errands and suddenly had to pee. Right. Now.

Unlike my episode in the grocery store, this time I was without help and therefore wearing one baby on front and one on back. And after my little episode in the grocery store, I determined that I was way too smart to even try and use a public restroom with babies hanging off all sides of me.

So I held it.

I made it through the store, loaded our purchases into the car, strapped both babies into their car seats, and begged my bladder to hold on until I could at least get out of the vehicle at home, at which point I fully expected to pee myself, but hey, at least I'd be at home with two six month olds as the only witnesses.

But then Kyle called. With car trouble. And needed me to meet him at the garage for a ride. In an hour. No time to make it home and wet myself.

And I decided, I can totally handle this. I had a birthday present that I needed to purchase, so I calmly made the decision to drive us to a department store, where I would strap one baby on my front, carry one, and make my way to the restroom like a normal human being. Relief being had, I would knock out another errand in purchasing the present, and we would then calmly exit the store and drive to the garage.

So I drove to the store. I strapped Rhys on my front and hoisted Quin onto my hip. We entered the store. I located the restrooms and shuffled in with the babies. I found an empty stall, squeezed inside, and somehow managed to slide the lock closed with my one free hand. Then, through some David Blaine-esque wonders of squirming and dexterity, I managed to hold onto Quin, see over Rhys, and unbutton, unzip, and ahhhhh. And then it was over, and I was all, "phew!"

Except it wasn't over. Because then I had to use my kind-of-free hand to wrestle with the toilet paper, and then attempt to re-button and re-zip while somehow managing to not drop a baby on the disgusting and gritty tiled floor. After quickly determining that it would be wholly inappropriate to set Quin down on said floor, I swung my leg up against the stall wall, perched Quin on top of it, and using the crook of my arm, hugged him around the waist to create enough free hand-age to properly clothe myself. It worked. But apparently, out of fear of dropping him into the toilet, I squeezed Quin just a teensy bit too hard. He made a sound like the emptying of a ketchup bottle, and let loose with the most foul smelling baby poop that's ever crossed my olfactory path.

No matter. Because I'm basically a professional mom and can deal with this sort of situation. We would quietly exit the restroom, select and purchase our gift, and finally squeeze in a quick diaper change in the car before picking up Kyle. Cake.

And then I remembered that in my haste to get out the door, I neglected to bring wipes. That I in fact said to myself, "I'm only going out for one quick errand. I'll only change a diaper in an absolute emergency. And in an absolute emergency, wipes...meh."

And then my little remembrance was broken by two loud wails. And it occurs to me that golly, babies need to eat. And since I was only going out for "one quick errand" I had kind of forgotten about that.

So we made our way through the store, dodging dirty looks and pretending not to notice the stench of feces or the FEED ME NOW DAMMIT cries emanating from my hungry little angels.

Channeling the optimism of the Little Engine That Could, I made it through checkout, signed our receipt with one lopsided hand, and dashed to the car. I settled one baby on the passenger seat, handed him a totally safe package of antibacterial hand wipes to play with, turned on the engine for a little AC, whipped out my boob for the other baby, and waited for the Mother of the Year award people to come find me like the Publisher's Clearinghouse people and their big fat checks. Or DCYF, either one.

With one satisfied baby and another hovering dangerously close to figuring out the child-proof wipes lid, I whipped out the other boob and switched babies. Discretion, privacy...meh. Once all were fed and happy, I strapped them into their little seats and crossed my fingers in hopes that we wouldn't end up with squished poop leaking down the sides of Quin's thighs and all over the car seat.

I drove to the garage while contemplating the poop situation. Poor Quin, sitting in poop. To change or not to change? And then got a call from Kyle that he was running late.

In all of my motherly glory, I somehow could not bring myself to let my little bee sit in his own fecal matter for one more minute. And at that moment I remembered my totally appropriate in-a-pinch toy; the antibacterial hand wipes! I quickly scanned the label, paying particular attention for any warnings to the tune of "do not use on your baby's genitals" and finding none, I pretended not to notice the warning to "ask a doctor" before use on anyone under the age of two.
I had him changed, re-diapered, and happily playing with an actual toy in his car seat before Kyle even arrived.

And I've like, totally got this motherhood thing down.

Yes, Quin has a raging diaper rash.

Yes, I am treating it. With actual diaper rash treatments, and not just an old can of Cherry Dr. Pepper I found in the back of my refrigerator.

Vacationing...because that's what we do.

So we went camping with the babies.

And I wonder, in retrospect, what caused the insane delusion I had earlier in the summer when I wistfully described to Kyle how wonderful it would be to camp as a family on the ocean. How we'd set up on the beach every day and he and I would take turns playing in the surf while the babies peacefully played under their sun shade. How we'd enjoy a few cold beers around our campfire at night and then turn in to bed while the waves lulled us all to sleep. Ha.


First there was the issue of Bill. As in Hurricane Bill. Included in his little bag of tricks were eighteen foot waves, a high tide that swept nine feet beyond the shoreline, and one night of torrential downpours. The only things frolicking in the sea were several tree-sized pieces of driftwood and three drunken guys on boogie boards who prompted me to make Kyle promise, PROMISE! that he would not dive in to rescue them should they begin to drown. I kept envisioning the headline: Dashingly handsome husband and father drowns while rescuing local drunken idiots. Drunken idiots alive and well; offer heartbroken wife conciliatory six pack. And then, several weeks later, the follow-up: Heartbroken wife attacks local drunken idiots; removes eyeballs and penises.

But I have truly digressed here.

Aside from Bill, we found that camping with two babies is just plain old hard. There were the mosquitoes, and the guy at the site adjacent to ours who one night made the loud announcement, "who let the fire go out? Shit! Somebody get me a lighter and the bug spray." Surely, I thought to myself, the lighter and the bug spray are in no way connected to his plan to restart the fire. Two minutes later there was a pop and a flash, and then the peculiar chemical odor of burning DEET.

And before babies, we would have been all, "...and we were totally high off the burning DEET, which was hilarious, even though it's a bummer that now we will probably get cancer and die." But somehow, with our babies' little lungs in mind, flaming insecticide is less funny. I considered running over to his site and screaming like a maniac: "Do you know how HARD we worked for these babies? And you're burning DEET!" but then decided a better punishment would be to quietly wile away the hours until bedtime when our babies would show our environmentally responsible neighbor a thing or two about neighborly-ness.

We had planned to stay for three nights, which in retrospect seems foolishly aggressive. As the evening of night two settled in around us, I sat in the tent desperately attempting to entertain our increasingly stir-crazy babies, while Kyle worked outside in the rain to keep our fire alive (sans explosive chemicals) so that he could cook some dinner. I found myself cursing our three-night ambition and wondering if my back could survive another two nights nursing two babies while laying on the bumpy hard ground and swatting away mosquitoes. I wanted to go home but couldn't say so, lest I should appear to be wimping out on our "vacation."

Kyle walked up to the tent and looked in at me. "I think we should consider leaving tomorrow."

Hallelujah. And thank god for husbandly ESP.

We got up at 6am, wiped the slugs off our gear, and beat it out of there.

We're learning.

Thursday, August 20, 2009


Tomorrow is my five year wedding anniversary. Well, not just my anniversary. Go figure, it's my husband's also. I struggle with this issue of language in my blog. Whether to say I or we. Mine or ours. Me or us. Partly because I am the author and don't want to speak for him, to drag him into my crazy ramblings. But partly because he's private and I respect that. I tease that people must read my blog and think that I'm a single parent, or that I make all the decisions, or that he's just not that involved. Until today. Happy anniversary, babe. I'm breaching your privacy.

I fell in love with Kyle in high school. We started off casually dating and making good use of empty parking lots. I had no idea I was falling in love until one day in study hall I sat watching him and noticed that he had gone from being just a boy to being a boy who glowed. A luminescent, golden glow. Regular high school boys do not glow. Not before you love them.

We dated for the next six years, and when I was finally certain that it would never happen, he asked me to marry him. I said yes.

Never in my life have I ever been so sure of anything as I have always been of Kyle. He is the most perfect human being I have ever known. He's good at life.

He is quietly confident and confidently quiet. He is proud, sensitive, and determined. He is the best listener. He never just tries - he does. He is fiercely loyal and wiser than he'll take credit for.

He cooks dinner.

Through infertility he stood by me, carried me, dragged me, pushed me, pulled me, saved me and saved me again.

He gives me the big piece whenever we share something good.

He is genuine, honest, and beautifully good.

As a father, he is unfailingly patient. When the babies were born and I couldn't be with them, he stayed with me until I was okay and then rushed to be by their side. He stood vigil over them in their little isolettes for over five hours telling them to fight and be strong. He is even more magnificent as a father than I'd ever imagined. He changes diapers, reads books, sings lullabies, wears a Moby wrap, tickles, plays, and wakes up with us at 3am. He holds us steady and strong as a family.

We've been married for five years, together for twelve. I still have a crush on this man.

A thousand times over, I am a better person because of him.

I love this journey.

Monday, August 17, 2009


Loving my babies is easy. Addictive. Intoxicating. Rewarding. Amazing.

Parenting is hard. Hard because it takes restraint. Discipline. Decisions.

I want so desperately to get it right. Because here we are with this grave and awesome responsibility of having created two little lives. Two beings who we yearned for, cried for, hoped for. Two tiny people we pushed and pulled into being.

And here they are. Being, learning, growing. Becoming. Right in front of our very eyes.

At first all we had to do was love and nurture. Nurse them when they needed comfort. Hold them close. Keep them clean and warm and dry. Not that it was easy. But it was rote.

Things seem to progressively become more complicated.

Sleep continues to be a struggle. Some days we have no naps. Some nights we seem to have no more than thirty minutes of sleep. We need to make a decision about how to work through it. Do we let them cry it out? Or do we wait for their systems to work through this?

I have my own opinions on this. I have instincts. I've researched. I've read. I've asked just about everyone I know. And yet I haven't found clarity.

Every cell in my motherly self screams "NO!" to cry it out. How can I sit there, as my sweet babies call out to me in the one way they know how, and not respond? I want them to feel secure in the knowledge that when they communicate their needs, they can trust me to help. But then there's the lack of sleep. They need sleep. Their parents need sleep. And they need to learn boundaries. And to self-soothe. But then there's consistency. If we start down a path of cry it out, can I stick to it? And if I don't stick to it, what does that teach them about trust and security?

I think to myself, "I just want to love them" and know before the thought has finished forming in my head that these decisions are part of loving them. Even when I don't know the answers.