Friday, May 4, 2012

Abnormal: Gut Check

John Holt expressed this radical idea that retarded children are made, not born. First - I am using the word retarded because his books were written when this was the common language of definition for people with developmental disabilities. Even this aside makes me kind of despise the psychoanalytical language that is so commonplace now - I personally don't find dis-abled any more comfortable to say than retarded.

Back to John Holt. In his book "How Children Fail" he goes into a lengthy description of an experience he had at a concert in a park and seeing a young girl and watching her interactions with the concert and her family - how she ate her food, waved at the orchestra when it was over, and how she tried to do things properly for her mother. This takes place in a journal entry of his from August, 1959.

Holt notes that he often sees a type of anxiety and tension in retarded people and that he doesn't believe it is innate but a reaction to how they are treated -"So it may well be that the tension we see in retarded children is caused, not so much by their being prevented from doing things that to them seem perfectly natural, as by the horror and revulsion that their inappropriate behavior arouses in all who see it, including, and perhaps above all, their own parents. For we may be sure that, retarded or not, they sense and understand these feelings, which are vastly more effective and terrible than any punishment"(104).

Inappropriate behavior - that is a key word for me. I feel quite strongly that the only inappropriate behavior I see is when one person intentionally infringes on the physical and/or emotional space of another person or does something to harm another or animal (with that intent: I eat meat).
According to Holt, "We have to draw some line between behavior approved and disapproved, or how is the child to learn? But the great difference between the normal child and the retarded child is that the former is punished for his "bad" behavior; the latter may not be punished, but he is abhorred, which is far worse"(105).

Holt makes the argument that retarded children are slower to learn - not incapable of learning. That our insistence on the pace and requirements of knowledge is what hinders them and makes them "retarded" at all. The visual aspect of the 'other' in developmentally disabled people is an ocean I won't even wade in for this post. Our expectations and illusions of others carry a lot of weight in this world. If one is to spend all of their time pushing and teaching things that can be expected rather than stepping back and taking in the individual in front of them a monster can be made where only a little girl exists.

Of course, for Holt, this ties back to a story about an institution unwilling to change a label. Once a child was labelled as retarded the possibility of that label every being removed, EVEN if that child caught up with the rest of their peers, was impossible. We, as a culture, are obsessed with being correct and protecting our institutions. I thought this topic was pretty controversial - especially his descriptions in his book - but nonetheless important to be open about. We should all think about our reactions to those "less capable" than us and pay close attention to what it says about who we are.


Holt, John. How Children Fail. New York: Pitman Publishing Company, 1964.

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Distraction: Philosophy and "The Mommy Wars"

I am a stay at home mom (mostly). I read. I often read snippets here and there, whole books, non-fiction, fiction, you name it. I like blogs and articles, too. A couple of years ago, I read a book about the mommy wars and since then I have tried to keep at least one finger on the pulse of the arguments (conversations?) between women who are mothers. In my own way, as time passes, I can't help but feel like everyone is missing the deeper points of introspection offered by it all.
1. Clearly, all women have different personalities and different life experiences and different opinions. It's totally fine; and it totally makes other women angry. I'm not exactly sure why, but I would guess it has something to do with the insane amount of pressure women are under - mostly from themselves- to believe in what they are doing, the choices they make, without adhering to a group wholeheartedly that they agree with. I think women are awesome and most days I kind of feel like a big failure - this doesn't really make sense and I think it is more common than it feels.
2. Why do we need to feel that we are marking off boxes and stepping up to the plate by following a structure provided to us - which clearly, we have been trained to rely on - in order to feel like we are doing alright? in order to feel like we are keeping the confusion monster at bay? what is the confusion monster? what is wrong with being confused and thinking, for days,weeks, about how we approach our lives rather than where we fit in? is it okay to slow down and wonder? does a job give us worth that we otherwise wouldn't be able to acquire? does being a parent? WHY? some of the questions I come up with when I read... and talk... to moms.
3. I think #1 is a distraction. I think #2 is what our time would be better spent thinking about and engaging in 'conversations' regarding. Peel back the onion, ladies and gentleman. Stop and think and wait - but most importantly, learn to identify when the world is trying to distract you from the things that mean a lot to you by teaching you not to see them at all in the first place.

I would love to talk about this - what do you think?


Linda R. Hirshman http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2006/06/16/AR2006061601766.html

Leslie Morgan Steiner http://www.amazon.com/Mommy-Wars-Stay-at-Home-Choices-Families/dp/1400064155

Elisabeth Badinter http://www.huffingtonpost.com/elisabeth-badinter/tyranny-of-modern-motherhood_b_1446962.html

Friday, April 27, 2012

Getting deep in here.


With me - and I am hoping with most human beings - my ‘head’ life feels very cyclical. When I state ‘head life’ I am referring to the constant roll of thoughts and issues on my mind in conjunction with how I feel about those thoughts and issues in relation to what is happening outside of my head, in the real world. 
So: homeschooling. Unschooling. Institutionalization. Research. Culture. Norms. “common sense”. 
The last few days a bunch of books came to me through interlibrary loan. Thankfully I live in a library system that lets me search a major metros resources or there is no way I would have found these books to borrow. John T. Gatto, John Holt, Ivan Illich - all names I wrote down from watching Astra Taylors talk at the Walker Art Center ‘The unschooled life’ (http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LwIyy1Fi-4Q).
This is how I make decisions. I read - I think - I read more - I talk. I talk a lot. The last part is where my head really starts rolling - the part where my head life and my mind in the world come together. I realize I live in a place where there is not a large concentration of people, period. There is most definitely no easily identified network of individuals who are interested in having conversations about the things going on in my head life so I reach out to the people I love and who won’t think it is too strange for me to pick their brains a little. 
note: I have twin four year old boys. In the state of Minnesota, children who are homeschooled are required to identify as such in the ‘system’ from ages 7-16 and the ‘system’ requires they take an annual standardized test. It is the parents’ responsibility to educate the children in the subjects deemed necessary by the state and upon request the ‘system’ can request proof of schedules, curriculum, resources, etc. - as of 2012, the state can no longer request and demand this information without a court order. Anyhow, thats the basics of the laws for a homeschooler in MN.
Now, ‘common sense’. I keep trying to have conversations about topics that I have thought deeply about for many months, analyzing and adjusting and testing out my perceptions of specific ideas. I keep trying to have conversations about these topics with people who, in many instances, have not thought deeply about them at all. This is one of my many many character faults - I would really like a posse of people always thinking about the same stuff as me and be totally available for spontaneous discussion. This is actually how I think. 
In the real world, this doesn’t happen. We all have lives, all over the country, the world, and everyone has their own distinct ‘head life’. So I want to talk about schooling. Education. Children’s lives in our culture. Things that affect each and every one of us, right? So, enter the cultural acceptance of ‘common sense’. 
There is nothing common about the sense it takes to intentionally plow a path outside of  our cultural institutions and all of the ‘comforts’ it provides. I know I’m not in high school anymore, but why is it I feel constantly compelled, still, to say “just because everyone is doing it doesn’t mean its smart or the right thing to do”. Shouldn’t this be obvious as an adult, something that is common sense? 
So what is fascinating to me is how  many people, in the world not just my social circle (ha, ha), have such strong opinions on something that they have just accepted and fallen in line with rather than researching and thinking deeply about for many months? Why is that common sense? I wish common sense was to stop, listen and think before conveying the standard accepted rules of society. To understand that none of these things exist separate from each other but are completely intertwined and complex. It’s all actually a little complex, and in my opinion the lives that we give our children deserve a little complex consideration.  
I am hoping this ends a season of my ‘head life’ by writing it down - but I will still be pondering what in this culture, as a mother of two 4 year olds, is already making me so completely preoccupied with defining and defending my choices as an educating parent because I am pretty sure they should just be having fun for at least a couple more years.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Nothing so radical as normal

For a few months I have been ruminating on an important decision; what kind of future do I want for my kids? for my family? How can I answer my own conscience every day in a way that won’t make me feel kind of sick?

When the boys were younger, under 3, I would daydream of full nights’ sleep, time to myself to read and think, forms of freedom I used to know. I accepted the idea that one day my kids would be in school as was so often repeated to me “Oh don’t worry, soon enough they will be in school and you will be able to start your life/career/goals again.” It used to be kind of refreshing to hear. Then, when the boys were close to 4, I suddenly started having some strange anxiety about my kids growing up. What was going to happen to my role as a mother? What did our future look like? They were growing so fast, becoming so independent. Nurturing them, feeding them, keeping them safe (while still important) would no longer encompass the breadth of my priorities/responsibilities. What exactly did it mean that I could ‘start my life again’ when the kids went to school? Why wouldn’t I want to spend every day with them if I was able?


As they headed to preschool, we decided it was a good time to have another baby. The boys would love a little brother or sister, we felt we were ready and as a plus, I would get to remain the kind of mom I had become accustomed to being.

I had a miscarriage after becoming pregnant the first month of trying and it was kind of devastating. It felt like the one thing I had counted on keeping my life moving forward was not in the cards. Then I became a bit sickened when I realized how much weight I had placed on it working out - on our family growing, as planned, and what my role would be. How could I be so dependent on something that was completely out of my hands? How desperate was I feeling, WHY was I feeling desperate at all?

There were many questions bomb-shelling my brain for weeks on end, but over time, I came to see that having the miscarriage may have been a “blessing in disguise” or “serendipitous tragedy”. It threw me. It really really threw me in a way that I couldn’t have seen coming. I started to turn around and look at the children I already have and I realized that they do still need me, and will continue to, for a very long time. Then I became aware of something that truly shifted my paradigm.

I don’t have to hand my kids off to an institution for the rest of their lives.

I really don’t.

The state will not take better care of them than we will. Some private or Christian schools may do a good job, but no one will love them like I do and support them in the ways that I can.

I feel I have to note here that I imagine a virtual chorus from people reading this that sounds something like ‘but kids need so much more than that, it would be very very hard to do’. I may be a bit paranoid, but I have started a type of tally in my mind of knee jerk responses from people that are rooted in an interesting dependence on the societal status quo.

There are options. Parents have brains and choices and resources at their disposal. I believe that every parent has to make these choices for themselves, they have to work within the realm of their own conscience to decide the best thing for their family. I am truly blessed to have a partner who supports me and our children, who has a completely different skill set than I and a different approach to life (and can make enough money to pay the bills for the foreseeable future). I love work- LOVE WORK. I know, though, that to do the work you love is the most meaningful way of living. Nothing brings me more joy than my family, seeing my children happy and fulfilled and confident and hopeful. The possibilities are endless. I’m not planning on sheltering my kids in our kitchen for years on end or trying to make them see the world as I do, or even fulfilling my own dreams for what I want them to do with their lives. I know the only thing that will bring me peace in old age, if I am lucky enough to get there, is the belief that I did everything I could to help them become critical thinking, self-reflective responsible people who know how to live joyfully. Institutions aren’t teaching these things to our children.


If anyone reading this knows that feeling and has always felt like they have to accept it and live with the bit of sadness, I encourage you to listen to your intuition and read - read what’s out there. See if there is a way to make it a better life.


unschooling rules

Astra Taylor, Filmmaker



Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Open the floodgates

My undercurrent of consciousness lately has consisted mostly of the choices I will be making regarding raising my children. I do think about this often no matter what, but I really want to get a feel for whether or not I think I can homeschool - what that means - how comfortable I am with people thinking I'm bonkers - and on and on.
Some people who know me would not be surprised to hear that I am considering an option like homeschooling. It may seem that I have made some unusual decisions in my life, but it is always terribly hard for me. I am kind of a coward who thinks about being brave all of the time. The one thing that keeps prodding me along is that I know I am a good teacher with my children and I really want them to have all the chance in the world to be the best, happiest people they can be. I want to teach them things that I know will only be a side thought if I send them into school, I want them to be critical and have all the tools to make good decisions rather than leaning on someone else to make decisions for them.
A lot of the casual learning that happens in a family can be very important, but I also want to teach them how to write a 5 paragraph essay and master debate and understand how the world works.
Anyhow, this is a highly controversial thing that I understand to be a very personal choice. I am giving myself a year to figure it out and I hope to keep blogging through the decision.

Tuesday, February 1, 2011

A pacing day

That was me today - pacing pacing pacing in my kitchen. It seems I handle stress like a bulldog head on alternating with a stifled anxious baker. Today I made homemade rolls to use for our hamburgers tonight (they will be dutifully toasted and delicious) an on the fly caramel apple pie in addition to the average meal preparation. I have a lot of dice hanging in the air, causing me to feel a lingering pause.

I recently was offered a job by a huge corporate employer to serve as a deli worker, in the evenings. This is going to be a change in my routine - my time with the kids, I am hoping, will be more devoted during the day since I know I won't see them at night. Also, we will have a minute amount of money to pay our bills and drain less on the purse of society. They have yet to set up orientation and this is just hanging there hanging there, I don't know when it will start but it will. Then there is the trip planning, which is starting to just be exciting, especially if I don't think about all of the small boxes to tick off the paper. Finally - an exciting opportunity showed up for me, today! A friend of mine recommended me to one of HER friends as someone who would be able to help audio-archive their parents history. I AM THRILLED LIKE A 5 YEAR OLD WHO ACTUALLY GOT A UNICORN FOR CHRISTMAS at this idea. I wish I could call that exaggeration, in good faith, but I can not. I am so excited at the possibility of helping this family audio-document their lives it just about makes me pee. Now I must wait and ponder, seeing if this will come to fruition.
Hence the pacing and baking and pacing.
My poor kids.... All they want is more food all of the time and all they get is a loony mama and promises of a delicious dessert... AFTER their dinners.

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Ooooh Mexico

It only serves that since I forget this blog exists, others will as well - BUT I know some day I will look back when my kids are grown and be happy for the records.

In less than a week we are all going to fly to Mexico. Acapulco - A nice resort, we are meeting my husbands family for a week long vacation. I am immersed in planning and constant mental preparation for the trip and will remain so until we are back home in two weeks.

Questions I am asking and questions I am answering.
1. How can I, as one person, keep my children safe while not instilling fear and avoidance in them and my family? I kind of can't do it alone. I am praying A LOT for this.
2. Do I need to be concerned if my belly hangs out a little in the bikini I am going to wear on the beach? No, I wish I cared more but I really don't care. Thank God for that.
3. When I see people in Mexico and don't know what to say, would it keep me safer if I said ' long live el chapo' or would I be securing our fate by showing allegiance to the wrong drug cartel? Well, I think the answer to this is that I should make sure that if I am going to behave like I have terets I should also make sure I limit the amount of news reading I do so as not to dig my own grave unintentionally by being a naive over informed American.

Not a lot else today. Maybe if things get too tough before we get on the plane, I can have a comedy routine prepared for when people glare at me for having unruly 3 year olds on a plane that are making them crazy. I'll put that on the list.

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Still Mothering!

How long it has been since I posted to this page.
The twins just turned 3, and Anton is walking around the house with a pastry blender "cutting" up kleenex. Maybe I shouldn't let him have the pastry blender, but I am kind of a why not 'mom'.
It balances our their dad ;)

I think I am going to buy them djembe drums off ebay for their sole Christmas present. I can't wait.

Sunday, July 25, 2010

Heading towards two years of silence?

I do not like opening a blog and reading the top of the last post and having it say "It has been a long time since my last post.." yet here I am, once and always, kind of doing just that. Almost as if I was a natural hypocrite? Time passes, but we are always a version of the same, so now to start off here and today.
My husband and I went for a float in the lake which is filled with big green clumps of algae and mayfly larvae exoskeletons. It was nice as long as I kept my eyes to the sky.
Today I hissed back at geese who didn't want me to sit next to the river and they moved away.
And the day isn't over yet.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

Forever and Ever Amen

Never wake a sleeping baby. This is true in so many respects; Oddly enough, I am recognizing it the most lately in terms of life changes. So, in this metaphor, the life change is the sleeping baby.

Life change 1 has become a monster of its own. It has awoken and now I am arguing with my husband using mathematical reasoning.

Life change 2 has also become a monster of its own. It has awoken and now I am finding so much self worth that I am becoming a know it all kind of hassle maker nagging my husband to work out for goodness sake.

I woke the sleeping babies... these peaceful little monsters that have been waiting inside of me to come out, lying dormant.

This is actually a silly analogy, because really, all the the saying 'never wake a sleeping baby' means is if your baby is sleeping, by all means, do not be an idiot and wake them up.
Take that time and use it (to awaken whatever sleeping life change you have hidden in you!)

SO Robyn, blah blah, more blabber, I have to keep you checking back or maybe we will run out of contact for too long. Good job with the prod.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

A lot of carbs - beware! worthless filling material follows.

It has been a very long time since I posted. I feel like the donut guy (link on this blog) who totally sold out once someone found interest in him as a food writer - except, not only did no one find interest in me as a food writer, no one found interest in me as a writer at all! Truth is, I became a stay at home mom. The people that find me the most interesting these days pitter patter on the floor behind me just waiting for the moment I open a "forbidden" door, i.e. the bathroom or our bedroom.

So, though I have been spending ( at minumum) 4 hours a day multitasking the cooking and television episodes on hulu.com - I have totally neglected writing. Why why why? Well, I have been desiring distraction far more than the need for contemplation and synthesizing my thoughts.

Boys are getting little mulletts (sp?) and working on " Wub Wub Wub buh buh mamamamama" language, and finding giggles in between diaper changes.

Whats not to love? Getting a bit sick of my house - I am a self titled "home - body" but this is a little much even for me. This is where the pumpkin latte's fit in. Window shopping and pumpkin lattes, though enjoyed in my past, have become as important to my weekly well being as pennywise CD's were to me getting a good nights sleep when I was 15.

Here's to it not being so long between posts next time. And yes, that is my nightly glass of wine I am toasting with. OUT OF A BOX.

At least these carbs won't make you fat!! cheerio!

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

sweaty and contemplative

As I sit here avoiding housework in the sweltering heat, afraid to open the windows for fear of increasing degrees, I have been inspired by acting.

When was the moment in time that I first looked over at G and realized he was the most important person in the world to me. What was the moment in time that he became home.

The day when I was on a getaway road trip with my best friend and almost died in a car spin out and realized when I got home and G had left town for the weekend and all I had was a voicemail that he was the one person I wanted to see again. Maybe the night I almost used a cigarette on the balcony as an excuse to make a run for it after a trusted conversation scared me to the bone but realized this was the one person I never wanted to see hurt again, ever; and decided I would stay because I wanted to show him Love and never walk away.
The moment I understood that forgiving G for something that he condemned himself for was the one thing I could do to change his heart, and mine.
Most definitely the day I gave birth to our children and looked on exhausted as he smiled, confidently holding one in each arm, and I realized that I would depend on this man for the rest of his life to raise our family.
So he became home. I think of the looks I gave him before I knew who he would be to me, I think of the laughter we have shared confessing shameful truths about our choices and our thoughts, and I love having this home.
Like all shelters, it would fall apart without upkeep.
I thank God for all the new chances, every day, to realize that.

It never seems to stick, but each new day is a new opportunity for the slippery substance to become glue.

Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Becoming little boys







Diagrams make better sense sometimes.

I have been thinking lately about what exactly postpartum depression is.
I don't know how hard every other woman in the world finds the journey of early motherhood; I know it is something that others find difficult, some breaking down in our society from all of the pressure to do everything, be everything- and the innate desire to do just that for our children.

I have been having a lot of day dreams and desires for independence. I have felt like running away, chasing any sort of reality that is less scary to me, something that will feel free. It has been horrible feeling this way! I have these incredible little boys who look at me with such love and adoration, and TRUST! and here I am, thinking these things. Trying to make wholesome home-made food, trying to breastfeed, spending all of my breaks at work pumping milk for them to drink while I'm away, washing their clothes, keeping them safe, and meanwhile trying to make a living and have a marriage. Sure, it's a lot- but I tell myself, people do much more all the time, who am I to complain?

But here's the thing- I think its this tough I Can Do It attitude that creates a sort of postpartum depression. Because the reality is, you can try and you can do your best, but we are all just human and what matters the most is to have your heart and mind available for those children, that is all they really need. I have been thinking about this a lot lately, trying to find an answer that will heal my mind a little bit.

So, I came up with this diagram to describe what it has been like, this journey from woman to mother. I'm aiming for the green trajectory, but I'm going to stop putting pressure on myself, if I stay blue for a while that's OK too.

re-ci-pe; wholesome curry wraps!

I just tried this today, and I think it worked really well. I'm kind of excited about it because it is cheap, easy, tasty and actually pretty healthy.

What you need:
Golden raisins
Cous Cous
Curry Powder
Olive Oil
A tomato based Curry/Indian simmer sauce (found in ethnic section of grocery store)
Garbanzo beans
Tortillas

Cook the cous cous as follows (from The Big Book of Vegetarian by Kathy Farrell-Kingsley)
-Warm 2 tsp. olive oil and add 3/4 tsp. curry powder, stir constantly cooking for about a minute.
-Add 1 1/4 c. water or broth and 1 c. golden raisins and bring to a boil.
- Stir in 3/4 c. cous cous, remove from heat and let stand for 5 minutes.


And now to my additions -

Let cous cous mix cool with the lid off. Add one can of drained garbanzo beans and maybe about a cup of the Indian tomato based curry sauce (depending on how moist you want the mixture) and blend all together.

Spoon about 1c. of the mixture onto the center of a tortilla, wrap entirely to form an enclosed little burrito. Wrap the burrito in wax paper, tape up, and store in fridge to take along as snacks or what have you. Good heated up!!!

I got the idea from a local vegan company that makes wraps. I'm trying to find ways to break away from cheese everything - and this is actually delicious to me!

Friday, June 13, 2008

Butterflies are free; A love story

She walked down the hallway following the smell of mass produced chili.
'Never again' Angie thought, 'Never again'.
For months, Angie had been carrying a stone around in her pocket. She got it at a Native American gift store when she traveled to visit a college she was looking into for after high school graduation. Last night she decided it would be a good time to give it away.

Angie met George the day she went to his house and watched a home-made video in his bedroom. She was with a boy she was dating at the time, for just a few days, but couldn't believe how neat she thought George was. That first afternoon as they all sit in his messy teenage boy bedroom, he played a Louis Armstrong tape and sang to it- baritone and all. Something about his not-based-in-reality-huge self confidence was irresistible. She switched gears that day and decided to pursue skinny, awkward self confident George instead.

The stone she had been carrying had a picture of a butterfly on it, and it had meaning. It was supposed to ease transitions in life- make change smooth, like the transition from caterpillar to butterfly.

Georges family was moving to a different town. His father had recently been diagnosed with parkinson's disease. His mother needed to move to to a larger city so she could find work; there wasn't a lot of business in such a small town for divorce lawyers, husbands and wives were staying together no matter how miserable they were in the conservative community. His father had been providing for their family as a surgeon. His symptoms were worsening every week making it almost impossible for him to perform.

Angie had talked to George online for hours last night.

It was Friday, and Angie got up early to make sure she was at the school waiting outside the entrance so she could catch George.
Around 7:56am she saw George walking down the road with his hooded sweatshirt and scarf wrapped up, hands in his pockets. She pulled out the stone and a note as she waved him down.

"George!" Angie said.

"Yo" said George.

He was avoiding her eyes, he must be upset, Angie thought.

"I have something I want to give you. Do you have plans for tonight?"


"Yep" replied George, short answer once again. Angie started to feel her heart sink. She handed him the stone and the note, smiled and walked away.

The conversation they had the night before was important. She was trying to convince him how much she cared for him; that she was there for him, no matter what, through anything and that he could talk to her. Sure, she wanted to kiss him and such- but it was most important that he let her into his life as his friend.

Sometimes you didn't get what you want, Angie thought. She knew waking up this morning that George could respond to her in one of two ways this morning. She hoped he would look her in the eye and smile, knowing he had something great. Instead, he chose to forsake any closeness they had forged.

I'm tough, thought Angie. I can give my heart away and get nothing in return.

By lunch time, she was a mess, so sad she could hardly hold her head up. As she walked down the hallway towards the lunch room, she felt like an idiot. 'Never again, No, I am not tough, and I will never let this happen again' she repeated like a mantra, convincing herself to do something that had always been unnatural for her.

Angie found a bare table in the lunchroom and sat down, putting her head in her hands. A kid from her social studies class saw her and walked over to tease her about beating her in their last WWII Jeopardy game.

"Hey - I got you with that answer about Denmark's resistance to Hitler didn't I?" said Allen as he sat down across from Angie. "Whats going on? You look like someone killed your cat!"

Angie thought about what he said for a minute, then answered " I just lost something this morning that was important to me."

"It can't be that bad - You are here, you're alive and I heard they are giving away cream cheese muffins leftover from Home Ec. class...." chided Allen.

Maybe he was right. What she had given away hadn't cost anything... Butterflies are free.

(the end)

*************************************************************************************


My comments: I realize that when I write stories, they mean more if I describe what it is I was meaning to convey. Often times, the reason I love writing is because of the challenge of trying to communicate something complex, creatively. I think life is pretty serious. The idea that we can give so much of ourselves that it hurts has always been a theme I find myself coming back to. The challenge to turn that pain into a gift is something I will always subscribe to. It's hard to turn pain into a gift! and I don't think I communicated that well with this short story, but mostly I was trying just to write something. Adolescence is hard - and the love story part of this story is her friend from social studies class, not the boy who she was sad about. Often times I think people put the label of love on all sorts of wrong relationships, but it is the moments in life when we are touched with kindness and humor that really breed love.

On a separate note; I AM NOT FEELIN THE LOVE OF NATURE RIGHT NOW. I live in pollen=death valley.


I never thought I would be okay with walking around in public looking like this.
Well, the level of misery has astonished me - hello mask and safety goggles, goodbye pollen!


Wednesday, June 11, 2008

Oh Yeah

You know you really have to go to the bathroom when you round the corner to see if the door is open, and upon seeing it available you do a little ' Yes!' arm pump. No one can see, but for you, this is a meaningful moment.

Tuesday, June 10, 2008

Why my Mom is awesome; Example 1

The Catch, well- one of them...

I remember a few months ago when I thought that the worst had passed; I had made it through months of sleepless nights, before the boys' birth and after. I had made it through a lot of physical challenges, emotional challenges and fallen in love with two tiny, unpredictable and helpless men.

I have come to cherish the routine of my days, adore watching these boys grow into their personality's and playing games and kissing them all over while they giggle.
But this last weekend, that 'catch' of motherhood, the one that I have heard women speak of but kept thinking I would somehow evade, became clear in my heart. The catch is in the heart, that's where it is.

so -I will define this catch. As a Mother, my well being will forever be tied to the well being of my children. This might sound obvious; like, when it rains if you don't use an umbrella or a rain jacket you WILL get wet. Or, if you are watching a special on wildlife on PBS someone with a British or Australian accent will be narrating. It really wasn't that obvious for me, though. I remember when we used to have to hold the babies' heads securely in the nook of our elbow to keep them safe. I remember thinking, 'I can't wait until they can support their own heads! They will be able to hold on and their heads will be steady!'. Now, when I pick one up like a sack of potatoes they grip my shirt with both hands and have a look on their face like I do when I am on a roller-coaster ride.

I could handle keeping their heads safe- it was intensive and all consuming making sure they were breathing and their neck was supported but nothing like trying to grab B before he cracks his head open on a brick, just because he is careless and strong getting around.

This weekend they were sick. They had fevers and were weak, they cried and screamed and I totally lost it. I wanted to run away. I wanted to leave my house and not come back for days while simultaneously wanting to hold and love A and B until I washed away all their pain.
So it hit me- They will have a lot of pain in their lives. I will always be their wishing it would go away for them. But the real catch here is selfish- of course I will want them to feel good for their sake, but mostly, I will want them to be happy for MY sake; because the idea of feeling so helpless all the time in the face of adversity scares the crap out of me. I can take care of myself, this much is true. But its really hard to imagine doing that when a new and permanent part of the equation is trusting my children to the world and their own devices.

So I will work on welcoming it. I will repeat the phrases of wisdom I have heard through my life and work hard on letting go. I will be working hard on letting go for the rest of my life, every day, going forward. This is what I signed up for, and though I love it, I am also a little bummed about it. Thank God for my parents - I can't believe they have been doing this for so long!!

I could go on, but mostly I should write shorter posts more often.

B stylin' sideways and A cheesing out. =)

Saturday, May 17, 2008

If you are ever in the neighborhood, and like bacon.

Elkton, Oregon.

Cafe: Arlene's

Best buy: BLT with Homeade Potato Salad.


I will testify to this, we passed through there last night and this afternoon, and I have had two BLT's in the last 24 hours.

It's kind of like everything I love about America that I don't find very often anymore. Inspiring.

Yes! Even bacon can be inspiring.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Ode to Orange Beer

I used to study old poems and I always liked the 'ode' structure. Because I have to say, I often feel like complaining about things; life, money, marriage, money, work, weather - so it is great to either 1.) turn on the sarcasm and write an ode to vent or 2.) think of things I truly enjoy and love and write an ode to said thing(s).

Orange, the beer of my beers-
The citrus cusp on my lips brings love to my heart
and bubbles to my belly
Seasonal? I think not; Delicious? I think so

Aroma is alive and fills tender clear glass
Oh my Orange Beer, I have found you at last
It is true, there once was a time-
before you, Orange Beer, I always preferred wine!

Taste is not relative, Do not listen to what they say
Each good person, with you my love, has a better day
Though tired in the morning, I will most likely be
I will not regret you - My life is richer with you, you see!

Cheers
Currently enjoying - Buffalo Bill's Orange Blossom Ale



(Thanks Mike!)

Disclaimer/Correction

My last blog I started the second paragraph with the line:

'I have a very intelligent husband. I think to myself, he is so smart, he has realized that if when he does laundry he throws all of the dirty clothes out of the hampers onto the floor ( a hem... Sorts them, I mean) that I will never ask him to do laundry again! In fact, I might ask him to please not do the laundry!'

He was offended that I assumed he would do that on purpose, and said it is not true that he had that realization, because no realization was had.

sorry GR and thanks for the humorous fodder!

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Could you start some laundry??

This seems like a simple enough question. "Hey G, would you mind putting the clothes in the dryer and starting a load of laundry today?" "Sure! no problem, I'm on it."

So I come home and notice that all of the dirty clothes are out of their location in our bathroom and think, wow, he did the laundry! awesome.

Then I head to the pantry/laundry room to get some snacks for my work lunch and see the floor.

I have a very intelligent husband. I think to myself, he is so smart, he has realized that if when he does laundry he throws all of the dirty clothes out of the hampers onto the floor ( a hem... Sorts them, I mean) that I will never ask him to do laundry again! In fact, I might ask him to please not do the laundry!

I know they are already dirty, but do we need to walk all over them for the days in between "sorting" them and getting them in the washing machine?

So here is to you, husband- Thanks for sorting the laundry this time, but next time I will take care of the clothes; Go take a nap!!!

I know they say to be grateful for any help, but like any other honest person in the world, I kind of like things done my way, especially when I don't make more messes in the process. So today, control freak is a synonym for.....she who likes to not slide on dirty clothes and break neck.

XO GR!!

Thursday, May 1, 2008

Hair and Crawling

It really is important. I saw a picture of half my face, really close up today. My face is fuzzy. I have fuzzy little hairs all over my face. I bet everyone does, but maybe I am extra fuzzy. There really is no way to know. That would take a huge, strange research study and there are enough of those going on in the world right now.

Or is there? I'm kidding. There is. There really, really is. The world spends most of its time trying to publish studies that dispute the earlier study that disputed the study before that, that was arguing against the original study.

Exactly!

So, Basil just did the cutest thing. I feel kind of bad laughing when babies cry, but tonight I just couldn't help it. The boys are finally old enough that they cry when they are upset and stick out their bottom lips, etc. Basil has been sticking out his bottom lip for a long time - he really expresses sadness, this one.

He is starting to get up onto all fours - close to crawling. So I am on the couch, writing this blog, and on the baby monitor I hear the boys waking up. I wait to see if it is going to be a feeding time, and then suddenly Basil goes " wwwwwwwwaaaahhh waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaahh" this really really drawn out, sad cry! I go into their room to get him up and right when I get there he is on all fours, he had crawled to the very corner of the crib and he falls forward and bangs his head on the side and then came the big sad cry again. I know its not funny that he was stuck in the corner hitting his head on the crib walls but.... he was 3/4 asleep and it was so adorable.
I love these boys so much. I don't want them to ever grow up.

Wednesday, April 30, 2008

Seasons change!

As I wrote the title to this blog, I couldn't help but sing an old song in my head. My first real 'cassette' was Expose, Exposure. I loved it, but it wasn't exactly popular; if I remember correctly, the reason this was my first cassette is that it was in the clearance bin and cost $2. What a steal! I still love it. Now if I could just find a bottle of Electric Youth perfume....

So, flashback is over. Currently, I left Symantec and started a new job as a bookkeeper. So far - perfect fit. I get to work part time (morning hours to myself, coffee and books) and not worry about my job moving to India or some high level administrator team deciding how to rearrange my workflow to be more productive, all the while making life hell. I also got new glasses. Very exciting.

The babies are growing like weeds; the goal currently is to get them so they aren't waking up every 2 hours at night. It turns out this is my fault, because I started waking them so my milk supply wouldn't go down while I went back to work. It took one night. ONE night, and it was a habit for them. The doc says they just know I am there, and use it as mom time. It's adorable, really, and some of my favorite time with them.... if only it didn't come with sleep loss. Sacrifices, this being the least of which I will see in my life for these boys.

I love being a mom. I think it is the most incredible thing in the world.

To juxtapose that sentence, I hate laundry. To make this unevenly negative, I hate cleaning the kitchen too.

OK, TO BE FAIR TO THE TONE, I LOVE MINI SNICKERS! This is because there is more chocolate than the big kind, but I eat so many it adds up to at least one candy bar.

Off to finish the book I'm reading. I love Jennifer Weiner. Such a good read.

Friday, April 18, 2008

A Thought - On the Pope

Recently, the Pope visited America and made shows at several locations around the U.S.

My thought is about the popemobile.

I do not understand why there is a popemobile. I do not understand why everyone knows about the popemobile.

Mostly for the following reasons:

1.) Would Jesus ride in a popemobile? For some reason, I don't think so.

2.) Apostolic succession; Would an apostle ride in a popemobile?

3.) Who is the pope being protected from with all of the security? It is my understanding that one of most faithful ways we can live our lives as Christians is to not have fear - because fear is the opposite of Love.

4.) If the very own self named Vicar of Christ, Gods representative on earth, does not show his fearless nature then how are his followers supposed to incorporate this truly into their own faith?


I just think these are some questions that someone should be asking. So why not me, on my little blog here. Hej Da.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

June Bugs never scared me...

and other lies I have told myself over the years.

I want to be a dark blonde.
There is no boogeyman in the water tower.
People are all good, deep down.
It is the right thing to do to ride bike against traffic because I can see people.
One cigarette won't get me hooked again.
I'm better than that.
If he loved me he would never hurt me.
I shower every other day because it is better for the environment not because I am lazy.
I really do like hiking up steep mountains.
If its turned inside out, its actually still clean.
Whoever brought this to the thrift store had to have washed it first.
I can handle eating brocolli.
I can spell brocolli.
Thong underwear is comfortable.


I could write this list for days! If I could just find someone to babysit....

Monday, April 7, 2008

About Time - And the internet connection cometh

The first thing I have to say is that I need an internet connection. It is a long time coming, supposedly April 7th, as I broke down an decided to stop spending hours (literally) trying to be a rogue wireless user of some neighbors network and guarantee myself the WWW whenever needed. I have this workaround – write on a word program then put on my thumb drive then take to work where I can upload it on my break. Often times this just doesn’t happen. So it follows that the stories and ideas don’t get written down at all, they just ruminate in my already too full mind, and slowly disappear. Sometimes workarounds are a lot less likely to reach the final destination.

I read Newsweek while I “pump” at work. I really hate it that the word I need to use is “pump”. I keep envisioning elderly men who lost their ability to procreate and need some assistance from a machine, a different kind of pump. (note: how do you write lucidly about topics such as this when blogging and be as witty as you would like while still not being too graphic or inappropriate?). So while I am pumping I start thinking of all sorts of things – politically and socially. I have ideas and concerns I want to write about but they stay in the little un-ventilated room with the blank walls and single chair.

NO MORE I SAY! INTERNET COME HITHER!

Friday, February 29, 2008

Teaser for upcoming entries...

* Working mother, wayyy more difficult than I imagined.

* Tradition, society, and why it eats dirt that our government doesn't either give us naps or a year off for parental leave (paid of course).

Thursday, January 31, 2008

the tape goes on and on

I was just toasting an English muffin and thinking about all of the stupid things I think about a lot of the time. Like what constitutes a good English muffin and why, why companies name things incorrectly to get people to buy them, how frustrating it is when people at work use creative signatures on their emails when we are all supposed to follow a standard script. Why does that bother me? I keep getting flashbacks to this Ayn Rand novel they had us read in 11th grade and how everyone had the same name. I guess I want people to follow in line because I have to. I do believe though that nothing too terrible would happen to me if I varied myself, but I guess I like the structure - I like looking at something and knowing that I did it the right way, rather than my way. That's why I go to work - to do what people tell me and exercise my judgement within a controlled set of circumstances. It is very unlike my personal life. Thank God.

I realize now that my husband and I both are working 24 hour shifts. Even when I sleep, I'm on the job, the momma job. Then there is the house and the food, then where I go to make money. I know this sounds crazy, but I never really thought of having kids as a 24 hour job. Maybe then, Anton's screeches and giggles are like my bonus'.

It is going to be really hard going to sleep at 8pm in the summer.....

Monday, January 28, 2008

Commitment!

I knew starting writing again, and writing a blog, would be a commitment- One of many I needed to take on after becoming a mother! Unfortunately, working and staying busy trying not to lose my mind has taken precedence as of late. Hang in there, I'm not leaving, I'm just taking longer breaks between posts.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Dry air makes for bad headaches

... or it could be going back to work, waking up early, looking at tiny print all day. Who knows. But the dry air is definitely bad. Supposedly, our minds replace old information with new, so things that occupied brain space when necessary, once no longer necessary, go away- become obsolete, just stored somewhere. So I am back at work, and that stuff is all coming back. but what is it replacing? no matter what, from here on out, my children will take up the most of my brain space. Thank God they have GR here taking care of them so I can give my brain a break.

Pumping at work is hard. I'm stressed about how long it takes, making sure I get enough for the boys, all of that. I know it will most likely all be okay, but of course I worry about it. I don't want to get emaciated little boys who aren't getting enough food... so far so good. They are down for a nap, frozen pizza in the oven, going to watch a "house" from season 2. I can not wait for this week to be over and to see my husband again.

I think this work stuff took all of my brain that I could use for creativity. I feel about as creative as a squirrel who gives up on a nut because it has a hard shell.

oh, and basil rolled over yesterday, it was very cool.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Back at work............

Yesterday was my first day back at work. Today is my second. I just went to the assigned room and pumped, second time at work, and it was a little less daunting. I hated yesterday. I really wanted to be home with the boys, it just feels natural. But I will adjust, as I need to, and get used to working again. GR did a good job at home with the boys, sooner than later he will have a routine and it will be even better. Thats all for now - I'm on my lunch break! More to follow soon.....

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Back to work prep, woes and woes and woes

I'm heading to a hot bath in a few minutes to attend to the prescribed treatment for my troubles. "engorgement" or "plugged ducts". I am truly frustrated and hating this transition from always being here to feed the babes to having to use the mechanical pump to keep them fed, at least two meals I will be at work. I am having a lot of trepidation. That word, trepidation, is something I have been using a lot lately. I am very nervous about my milk supply and the boys' well being. I have to hope that everything will work out OK. So far, it's as if my body was made for mothering. Now lets hope it's made for working mothering. =(

I can not wait until the spring. Actually, it will be a relief when the boys have total head control, because we are buying a super duper jogging stroller/bike trailer to hold the boys, and then I can take them on walks every night and GR can take them on runs. They even make ski adaptations for this thing. AND Burley, who makes them, is right in town here, so we are supporting local business. Active life on the horizon again, I can almost touch it.

I had to call the lactation consultant today to ask about my "engorgement" problem, and returning to work pumping etc. I also expressed my concern that the boobas only eat 5 times a day, but turns out if they are growing and happy thats ok. How lucky am I? 3 month old twin boys who have the exact same schedule, go to bed at 8 am for 6 hours, then another 6 hours and only eat 5 times? you just never know what life has in store.

Ok, bath is calling. I hope to keep writing. I'm not feeling very inspired lately.

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Ode to Morning.

I love the morning. I really really really love the morning. Every morning I feel a renewed hope and excitement for what is to come. I feel refreshed and prettier, I feel like I want to be gracious and kind, I feel HAPPY. I love the morning time. That's all. =)

I'm in love!

Basil giggled for the first time today! it was the best thing in the world!!.... now, his brother...

Monday, January 14, 2008

Just existing causes problems some times

I have always been fascinated with how I affect people. I have this uncanny ability that ensures I leave almost no one I meet without a definitive opinion about me. This opinion seems to run either hot or cold. There is hardly ever any indifference. I had thought that as I have gotten older, this tendency was lessening as my interactions with more people has lessened. I must step on peoples metaphorical feet, offending their ideas of how the world should work. I remember when I was younger, I could even have conversations with people who I had not only nothing in common with but strong differences; conversations that were based in logic and respect, not because we saw the world the same way but understood we had a limited understanding. I now know that there are people in the world that would rather hold tightly to their view of the world than just love their family.

That is my necessary meandering about something that is bothering me very much, and I can only hope it never offends anybody. I was having a conversation with GR today about how interesting it is that what people believe of us sometimes we have a tendency to emulate for them, even if it is not necessarily true or who we are. We are working hard in our lives to be more sincere and honest with ourselves and life, and I have to say: it makes for good conversation, among other things ;).

This week we are having what I call a "dry run" for when I go back to work. We started bottle feeding this morning, during the time I will be at work, and I ran errands and things pretending not to be here. It will go fine next week, but I figure it is good to ease the boys into it instead of throwing them at their father screaming when their is no back up.

They H A T E bottles, esp. Basil. .. but they drink it, thank God.

I L O V E these little boys with all of my heart (I feel it breaking e v e r y day)

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Dreams

I had a dream last night that one of the babies was crawling and I was picking people up at the airport and I lost my purse. Then I went to go out to my car to see if I left my purse in my car, and my car was gone, too! sounds like a bit of anxiety, right?

The night went well, but I have to say I think we all missed the Dad.

I can not wait for the boys to be past the gassy stage. I think they will be wonderfully happy kids. Gas seems to be the only thing that really gets them, makes them so sad it just breaks my heart.

I was talking to my husband about some general sexist things the other day, and how interesting it is to me that men seem to always have very expensive, active and justified habits and hobbies. Like hunting, skiing, biking, etc etc, things that require equipment. Women tend to be generalized as such, but they seem to shop as a hobby. Of course there are a lot of women with other hobbies, ie writing and traveling, etc etc. I think my favorite hobby is restaurant hopping. Guess I really like food.

These boys will grow up having a much different idea of pancakes than their peers. I can't wait for the conversations I get to have with these little boobas.

Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday; Hark the new journey (not the band)

I was thinking last night about how I used to see and interpret the world around me. Before I met GR I used to see potential mates everywhere. With every attractive man I met that seemed my type it was like I would follow him with my eyes to see if when he moved a certain way his shirt collar would reveal a sparkling glimmer and I would know he is the one. If only it was that simple. Wouldn't it be wonderful if the world gave us cues like that? We could walk around expecting magical things, little fairies darting around the heads of daydreamers and little clouds with rain over the heads of sad children who need help.

GR didn't have a sparkling glimmer under his shirt, but there was something magical about him. I think it mostly had to do with the fact that he owned the CD "symphonic star trek - the next generation". It made me laugh really hard. The actual music, not just the fact he owned it. You should give it a listen when you need a pick me up.

He is leaving today alone for a three day weekend skiing with his parents. Me and the boys will survive, with the help of a dear friend, and hopefully GR has a fulfilling time before I go back to work in a week and $%^& hits the fan. =)

The boys have been cute. Anton had an echocardiogram this morning and he did very well. I had to lie on the side of him, rub his face and hold both of his hands and his pacifier in his mouth to keep him calm, but hey. I think it has something to do with these boys being twins, and comfy and close in the womb, because they LOVE feeling close and cozy, esp. having stuff touching their face. who knows.

Hopefully I get to write this weekend. Maybe at some point I will start a blog with movie reviews on it, I love that writing. I was just speaking with GR about that, how much I love expository writing compared to creative writing. I like wrapping things up and pulling details out that help paint pictures of someone else's art. I would like to be an ego-less critic, but given this is impossible, I can at least be a critic that is self critical.

"never change the mind of someone who has given all of their thought to happiness"

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

first bath with me alone!






I'm very proud of myself, and these boys! they were great for me and waited patiently in their seats in towels between turns.

Then and Now

While my husband has the good fate of his favorite country songs coming on the radio while he is in the shower right now, the babies are napping and I'm all too deep in thought.

I ask myself quite often how it is that someone who loves their family so much can choose to live so far away from them. I ask myself why I left. I know some basic reasons, mostly I wanted adventure and change. Now I have change, very little adventure, and a whole lot of homesickness. I don't have too much homesickness - I left years ago. I wrote this poem to my mother in one of my journals about how I felt the first couple of days after they dropped me off:

But wait, is this what I asked for?
Because it's hard.
Did you know it would be this hard?
For me.
My conscious subconsciously threw it
in my eyes how much I missed you
when I wished so much after my
dream ended before I opened my eyes
you would be lying there
giggling in my face like we were three year old twin sisters
but you happened to raise me and nurture me
into doing the things that are now so difficult.... with finesse.


I don't know about the finesse part. I was obviously feeling pretty proud of myself at the time, =).
I hope my family knows how much I love them and miss them.
I am the kind of person that, if asked my first priority, would make it clear that it is the people in my life. I feel like a walking contradiction being so far away from so many of those people.
I have wonderful people in my life here, but it's a bit different.

Having kids has felt, in some ways, like pouring the concrete on my decision to live this life I have chosen. Sometimes frighteningly suffocating and other times the only solace I know.
It's so hard living with the choices I felt I had to make. But trusted myself then, and I trust myself now so I should quit whining, cuddle my children and watch the new sitcom I ordered from Netflix.

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

Token cute baby pics



early yesterday afternoon. before the terrible night came.

No supermom here.

Last night was the first time that both A and B were completely inconsolable. I held them, walked with them, swung them, fed them and nothing. I had to call GR home from work early to help, because I broke down and checked out. It was a bad feeling and I truly hope it never happens again.

The boys should sleep well today, because they missed quite a lot of sleep yesterday when they were upset. It was a horrible night.

But when I went for a drive to catch my breath, I stopped by a local bakery and they were handing out free pies. That was nice.

Monday, January 7, 2008

Resolved?

I am not one to make resolutions for the new year. As I mentioned below, the new year tends to mean little more to me than frequent embarrassment at writing the wrong date for a couple of months. But this year a lot has happened in my life that has screamed at me " You better work on changing some of this stuff, or your life will look like THIS!" ('this' could be anything from a broken up marriage, needing to buy size 18+ clothing and having difficulty walking to the local mini mart, having to be dug out of my cluttered house in 10 years when there is only 10 feet of walkable space to raising young children to think negative self doubting is the only way to approach the world)

So anywho, I have decided to set some real goals for this year. Though the above statement may sound like last year was horrible, it was a great growing and learning time. That is just some of the stuff I happened to learn that I didn't want to happen, =). My relationship with my husband has grown stronger, I gave birth to two children 20 minutes apart and so far have lost all but 10 pounds of the baby weight. Gaining 40 lbs of baby taught me I never want to put that much stress on my bones ever ever again.

I have to think about these things when the babies finally settle down for a nap and I see the dishes and the laundry and the stuff on the kitchen floor. Because I don't want to do it. I don't want to clean, I don't want to cook healthy meals, I truly would like to step over it all and walk into my REAL house, the one where everything is magically in order and makes my head a tropical sunset kind of place to be. I've gotten a much more vivid imagination in the last year. I day dream a lot. But when I am not daydreaming, I am remembering all of the things I mention above in order to motivate myself.

Something I think about quite often: Most of the knowledge I have, I do not put to use.

This is a sad fact to me. It feels like a waste. If I wasn't a knowledge junkie, it may even dissuade me from wanting to learn new things. I will carry on, I will do the laundry and eat healthier snacks and be more frugal. OR ELSE....( dun dun dunnnnnnn)

Sunday, January 6, 2008

Presidential Debate Addiction

Last night was the presidential debate in NH. My husband and I watched all of the candidates and talked a lot about the choices. I'm pretty sure he is going to register Rep. and I'm going to register Dem. See, we haven't registered since we moved.

I found this old newspaper clipping my father sent me years ago, by his favorite editorial columnist. It is about the importance of how we vote and who we vote for. It was an interesting time to find the clipping, and it gave me a little perspective on how to watch the debates. It made me crazy, I hate watching politicians arguing. But I did take away one thing; I do not like Mitt Romney, I think he's a bully.

Last night we were winding down with the boys when I showed my husband a trick I learned the night before. If Basil is being fussy, and we put a blanket next to the side of his face, he will turn his face into it and calm down instantly. It worked on Basil just as expected, so GR tried it with Anton; lo and behold, it worked with Anton too. I took pictures because I thought it was really cute (go figure).



GR stayed up late last night watching a replay of the Rep. debate instead of lying in bed without the babes. I was dead tired but still found time to think about how insane my husband is to want to watch more of the aspiring politicians. This morning he woke up and started watching commentary and interview about the debates, first thing, and was mad at G. Stephanopoulous for being so mean to Huckabee.
My life is really not what I thought it would be when I was 19. On the other hand, these baby boys think things are just perfect so maybe I should learn a lesson from them.

Something like "don't puke where you eat or you'll end up eating puke, but sometimes it tastes the same as it did going down so that's OK".


Saturday, January 5, 2008

Scentual

Good Morning dreary rain! I would write a love poem to the weather right now, but starting my day with that kind of sarcasm is probably not a good idea. I have my coffee, with my cream and perfume syrup, cartoons on in the background and all of my men back in bed after the last feeding.
I wonder what kind of smells and sights I will associate with this time in my life. Though the obvious would be all of the gross stuff, like the spit up, I have a feeling it will be things much more nuanced. I remember when I was 17 and worked for months to save money to fly to California (from So. Dak.) and got in tip top shape to spend all of that money enjoying myself or shopping for clothes. I wanted so badly to make that special time ingrained in my memory, I had a memory plan. I bought a couple of bottles of pillow spray, it smelled like eucalyptus and some citrus-y notes, and I sprayed my pillow every night as I laid in bed listening to the traffic and the palm trees move.
What I didn't plan for was Bath and Body Works discontinuing that scent and pillow spray, so now I sit here on a dreary morning thinking of how much I wish I could smell that smell again and it could take me back to a much more innocent time.
If I was really thinking ahead, I would have bought more at the time. I could have secured myself a lifetime supply of memory tricker.
Needless to say, the scents in my life seem to be very effective at capturing my feelings which are easily retrieved by a whiff. I also really love the smell of mustard and melted butter mixed together on bread.

Basil has been having a good couple of days; He is smiling more and more all the time and he LOVES it when I sing. He gets so excited he smiles and talks and kicks and wiggles. Anton has had a fussy couple of days, I have noticed they seem to switch roles. I am mostly glad that they take turns. It is much more difficult when they are both fussy and sad at the same time.

Below is some pictures of the men this morning. I didn't want to sleep, I wanted to write.



Friday, January 4, 2008

No Comment

As if! I am so full of comment, it is not even funny. I recognize once and a while how quick to comment I can be in some situations; specifically when my husband makes mistakes, =)

The babies had their 2 month check up today, they will be 11 weeks this coming Sunday.
Anton and Basil are both 23 inches and A is 12 and 1.5 oz and B is 12 and 1 oz. They are so close!
I was truly surprised about this. I won the weight bet between my husband and I and we went out to Applebees after stopping and picking up some bigger onesies - I have felt like I am torturing the poor kids pulling on the little ones that barely pull down over their diaper.

Anton has a heart murmur, so the ped wants us to get an "echo". Trying not to be nervous, know that is fairly common in babes.

Why life is funny:

I was actually enjoying myself immensely while I stood in front of my boys as they sat on the couch and I sang 'I'm a little tea pot' and acted it out. It made them smile, and it really made me laugh.

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Baby Carrier Sedative

Last night was the first night of me tracking the babies' sleep and eat patterns. I put them down in their crib around 9:30 and by 11 they were both sleeping (one had moved to the pack and play in the living room). Within half an hour they both woke up gassy and we moved them into their car seats to see if that would work. It worked! slept their until their feeding at 1:30 then they went back into their car seats until around 6:30a! Last night was the first night my DH and I have had where we actually got to sleep without a baby in either of our arms. I had wild and crazy dreams, several of them!

I look forward to tonight, I want to see if we can get an actual pattern down. Life with these babies gets a little easier everyday.