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 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.

Ta-da: things you may not know about me (good 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.