Thursday, June 28, 2007

Taste of Utopia

Raise your hand if you want to join my commune.

Right now, my kitchen is a mess, my dining room is worse, I've mopped the floors 2x's and cleaned up many more sticky spills, there are toys EVERYWHERE, and the driveway is cluttered with bikes, skates, I don't even know what else. Normally, I would be feeling frantic, overwhelmed, and grouchy. But today, I spent the day with my friend Pammy; between us, we have 7 children under 8 years old. It was a lovely day, and my cup is full, and I am sated.

Today was, for me, perfect. We made lunch and dinner together, we held each other's babies when they needed it, we allowed the children to return to their god-given state (filthy, wild, and free to do what they wanted), we walked to the lake and let the kids throw rocks and make little "boats" out of twigs and weeds and wildflowers. We talked and sang and listened and sat in quiet. We were a tribe.

See, that's just it. Families used to live in tribes. Chores were shared, children were taught by a variety of adults, and babies were collectively supervised. I may be romanticizing it a little bit, but that's basically how I'd love to live.

Since it looks like an actual commune is out of the question, I would settle for community dinners each night. My day would be so very different if I knew that at 4pm someone would be coming to cook dinner with me. Think of it- the witching hour would suddenly transform into an energy charged bright spot, with new blood in the house, and the smells of different foods cooking, and laughter, and lightness of the load.

Instead we are each in our own little boxes, doing the exact same chores, using the exact same tired voices with the children, watching the clock tick-tick-tick until dinner can be served. I find this completely unnecessary. I can make dinner, you can check on the kids and set the table. I'll wash the lettuce, you can cut up the other veggies. I'll band aid the ouchie knee, you can call the others to come and eat. When the men come home, they'll find a houseful of happy moms and smiling children. Deal?

(We had such a great day that Pammy is returning tomorrow, to spend the night. Her husband is out of town, so this is a lovely, tribey way to pass the time).

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

The Veil Is Dropping

Kate has always been very connected to God. She's got her own direct line to The Man Upstairs, and she takes care of our family's spiritual needs. Our pastor friend has quoted her more than once in a sermon. She just gets it. Or at least she used to.

Kate: "Mommy, where is God?"

Me: "Well, God is everywhere."

Kate: "Is God in my grilled cheese?"

Me: "Ummm. Well, yeah. He's here, with us now. He watches over us."

Kate: "Why can't I see Him? If He's here, why doesn't He come in here and talk to us?"

Me: "Well... He's everywhere. He's in our home, but he's also with Daddy right now, helping him to drive safe. And He's with us when we are sad, or scared, and when we're happy too."

Kate: "But why can't I see Him?"

Me: "Because He's invisible."

Kate: "What's invisible? That means we can't see Him, but He's here?"

Me: "Yep."

Kate: "But I want to see Him. If I can't see Him, how do I know He's here?"

Me: "Well, we just know. We can feel it in our heart."

Kate: Clutching her heart, "Well, I can't feel Him. I don't feel a thing." Now she's really pressing her hand to her chest, feeling all around. "I really really don't feel ANYTHING in my heart."

Me: "Maybe you should ask Grandma these questions."

Kate: "Because Grandma is old? And old people know God more better?"

I once heard a radio program on NPR about children and faith. They talked about how all children, regardless of religion, have an instinctual connection with God. Until about age 3 or 4, children understand and know God intimately. Then, the veil starts to drop. We spend the rest of our lives struggling with our individual spirituality. Finally, as we near death(whatever age that may be), the veil starts to lift again, and God becomes clear once more. According to their studies, this happens across every faith and religion, and even in people who have no faith or religion.

So I guess Kate is hitting the end of her Knowing. Sad.

(Also, I told my best friend about this blog. Other than David, the people in my real life don't know it exists. I promised to send her the link, so: Hi Best Friend on the East Coast! Welcome! Um, Quality Control is a little lax around here, so please still think I'm wonderful and brilliant even though you find errors and typos and rambling thoughts! Thanks for the idea for this post! You're the best! See, I have mentioned you here!)

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

This Is More Like I Imagined...and also, Updates

This morning, Joan and Kate had Tot Lot, a local summer program. I picked up their friend JJ and dropped off all three kids. Then Marin and I met a friend and her 2 year old and baby for coffee. Marin slept in her car seat and then ate some pineapple. While having coffee, I ran into my favorite babysitter-now-college student and arranged for her to come over this afternoon so I could get groceries sans chillies. Then I ran to Walmart to pick up a few things that they don't have at the (better) grocery store in town. Then I picked up all three kids, took JJ back to his daycare, came home & made lunch, let Babysitter in, and went grocery shopping.

The whole time I was thinking, "Look at me. I'm so good at this. I'm a competent, functioning ACTUAL mom." That may sound weird, but for the first couple of years of motherhood, I was frustrated because I wasn't needing to do all of the "mom" things I'd always imagined myself doing: carpooling, meeting for coffee, running errands while the Big Kids were at school, hiring a babysitter. Instead, I found myself sitting in my living room reading the same books over and over and actually finding enjoyment in Baby Einstein. And basically eating my own brain with a soy sauce and a fork. It just wasn't at all what I'd imagined. But now it is, and it's extremely satisfying. Did anyone else find that it took awhile, um, like, years to feel like a mom? Just wondering.

Anyway, here are some updates:

David's hearing has improved greatly. He can talk on the phone again, and converse normally. He has a little trouble in large noisy rooms, or in big groups of people. Also, he's still missing quite a bit of the upper ranges... but being able to communicate is the most important thing. We are very happy and relieved. And my personality disorder is in remission, at least for now.

Kate saw a doctor here and got an actual cast, placed right over her splint. It's BRIGHT PINK. She does not complain about it, or about her arm hurting, or anything. Ever. Except for the blinding florescent glow, you'd never know she broke her arm. Oh! Except for that the doctor said Absolutely No Swimming. But David has been using his Madd MacGyver Skillz to fashion a plastic wrap/ace bandage thingie, and she's been swimming, like, 52 times.

Since this post, Marin has cut two teeth, started pulling up on furniture, and started crawling. She's sleeping better, I'm sleeping better, and although I don't love waking at 5 am, it's much more do-able now that she usually sleeps all night. Except for when she doesn't. Anyway, now that she's mastered crawling, I no longer receive nightly internal injuries from her violent half-slumbering/half-awake frustrated little body.

Also, we did find a bike helmet for her. She hates it. She does like family bike rides though, so she's usually a team player. Check out her "Ok, FINE, I'll half smile for you, but I hate this effing helmet" look:

Camping with 7 kids and 8 adults was fun. I swear! We came home dirty and tired, but also richer, for spending so much quality time with such wonderful people. I should have mentioned David's, I mean MacGyver's Hand-washing Station: Camping Version in this post, but instead I'll include a picture (usually there's a hand towel tucked into the rope):

Finally, we have a new pool in town. Here's the Green children, before the baby got blisters on her toes:

P.S. What is up with the spacing on Blogger whenever I add photos to my post? I have all how I want it, hit "publish" and Blogger adds spaces willy nilly all over the place. Anyone else have this problem or know any trick to fix it?

Monday, June 25, 2007

I'm Not The Fattest Mom At The Pool

The sun kicked my a$$ today! We went to the (NEW!) local pool, and I've been sun drunk ever since. Tonight, while touring my group of first time parents at the hospital, I was verbally barfing and also tripping over my own feet. Also, my skin was still so hot from the sun (but not burned...???) that I felt feverish and goose bumpy the whole time.

It was a strange experience, to be in a swimming suit in a town this size. Other summers, when going swimming in neighboring towns, we would maybe run into a family or two that we knew. But swimming here is like putting myself on a parade float down main street. At least I can carry Marin to help hide some of the tum. (Would it look to obvious to tie her to my ass?)

Also, my Mother of the Year dreams are once again squashed. Marin, who just started crawling, like, yesterday, I swear, was crawling all over in the zero depth area. I tried reasoning with her, and fussed a little over her poor knees, but then I just let her do it for awhile. She was having so much fun! Now her poor baby toes, those sweet little miniature sausages, are raw and blistered. Makes my bottom lip go out every time I see them.

Also, here's what I've lost, er, misplaced recently: my watch and wedding rings, my cell phone, a new bottle of baby sunscreen, and my CAT. I know! My CAT! So far I've found my watch and rings... and that's it. I hope the poor cat is OK. I can handle finding out she had a quick and sudden death, but I just can't stand the idea of her suffering somewhere.

Here, kitty, kitty, kitty....

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Magic of a Clean House

Upon some serious self-reflection, and a great buzz from the Excedrin Migraine I snorted, I realized that the root of my frustrations were the Disaster Area that has become our home. I took some serious measures, cleaning like a mad man until midnight last night. Actually, I didn't have much of a choice about the cleaning, since Book Club is meeting here tonight, and I didn't want anyone to catch anything from being in our filthy house. But. Ahhhhhh. My brain functions so much better when I'm not overwhelmed with chores.

Also, guess what- It helps to not parent from a chair. Or from in front of the computer. Today I am trying to be more present with Joan and Kate, and they are mucho more pleasant in return. They only chased each other with knives a few times, and they really weren't running all that fast.

And! The Girls are coming over tonight. David is in charge of bedtime, and of keeping the kids UP STAIRS, DAMNIT, and I get to have quiet and food and fellowship. Also, frozen yummies from the blender (adult version).

Finally, to balance out yesterday's Brat Talk, here's a picture of all of my favorite people:

To make things simple for everyone, Kate went ahead and broke her arm, elimaniting the "Who's who" question for a good 6 weeks. Silver Lining.

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Can I Tell You Something?

My kids are brats.

They fight, they scream when the don't get their way, they smoke non filters, they don't listen to a blasted word I say, they bite each other regularly, they stay out all night drinking and sleeping around, and I'M TIRED OF IT.

I know I should be writing this post about why their brattiness is really about me and my own shortcomings as a parent, and I'm sure it is. I'm sure it's not the actual brattiness that bugs me, but the way the brattiness reflects on my sucky parenting. But I'm too tired to write about that. Instead I just want to complain, ok?

Sure, they are cute kids. Beautiful, funny, smart (too smart, maybe, thanks to the brainiac husband- Hi David!). The last 4 years, under the tutelage of Profs. Kate and Joan Green, I have learned more about love, devotion, patience, and gratitude than I knew was possible. I have been a good and humble student, doing my homework, getting extra credit for reading aloud and snuggling often. I have kept my studies at the forefront of my priorities, going 16 months without ever leaving them for more than a few hours. I have redone assignments and corrected my mistakes. I've completed the Suggested Reading List- tons and tons of parenting books and blogs and websites. And yet. They are brats.

And Marin, living here in Bratville, will probably soon be a brat too. I want to shield her eyes from the blinding bratness, lest she burn her retinas. But she sees. Every day.

*Sigh* You know I love them dearly, right? I just need peace around here. Some unity, some loving of thy sister. Or mother. Maybe they'll let me bum a smoke.

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Book Club and Baby Greens

A couple of months ago I started a book club. It's something I've wanted to do for a L-O-N-G time, since my days at The Bookstore. I've always been a big reader, and I rely heavily upon recommendations. In my Bookstore days, recommendations were shot at me day in and day out, making me wish everyone would just. stop. writing. for. awhile. So I could catch up. Now a days, it's very easy to get into a reading slump. I still read quite a bit, but I sorely missed the being around others who were excited about books.

Book Club consists of about 12 women, all of us moms, but ranging in age from late 20's to early 50's. We meet one Friday a month and talk book. There is also food involved, and wine, and iced tea, since more than half of us are pregnant or breastfeeding. I've taken on the leadership role, since I brought the group together, but the group is slowly developing its own identity. Maybe one of these days we'll even hork up a name, besides Book Club.

Anyway, I'm telling you this because we are reading "Plan B: Further Thoughts on Faith" by Anne Lamott this month. I'm reading this book the way I eat chocolate ice cream- I want to gobble it up, then slowly lick the spoon while the flavors register on my tongue, then dive in for more bites. I want to put it away, and give myself time to digest it, but as soon as I get the cover on the carton and the scoop washed, I'm back for more, already missing the sweet and bitter chocolate buzz. It's DE-LISH-OUS. I'm even underlining stuff, it's that good.

This book is full of one-liners, and I promise to give you a taste in the future. Until then, here's a glimpse of the baby here in the Green household:

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Camping With Young Children: The How-To Edition

We've been camping with Joan and Kate every summer of their lives, taking them for the first time when they were only 5 months old. (Well, technically, their first trip was in utero, when David and I went to the BWCA during my pregnancy... before I found out I was expecting twins). Here are some of the things we have learned:

1. Camp with friends. The best part about camping with other families is that the children play and the adults talk. You get several days of communal living (sharing meals, clean up, and supervision of children), so everyone gets time to relax and enjoy.

2. Be ready to be dirty. Celebrate how filthy your children are when you put them to bed. Do not fuss over the sand and dirt in your tent. You cannot keep it clean, no matter what you do.

3. Camp in a group site whenever possible. The best "adult time" happens after the children are in bed. If you each have your own campsite, you will be stuck at your own fire pit after the kids are sleeping. If you have a group site, the adults can all dance around the fire together and still be close to the sleeping (or not sleeping, but pretending) kids. Staying together on one site also makes combining meals, doing dishes, and other activities easier.

3.5 Many group sites also include a picnic shelter. This is KEY for rainy mornings. (If it's going to rain all day, get out of there! Go to a movie or bowling or cow tipping or something until it lets up.)

4. Avoid camping on the beach, if possible. The Sand In The Tent factor will drive you mad. Also, the children are waaaayyyy too close to the water for accidents to happen. Camping on a site further away from the water eliminates both situations significantly.

5. Teach your kids how to pee in the woods. This is handy in the middle of the night. Bring 1 adult bike and 1 child's bike (or bike trailer, for littler campers) for commuting back and for to the bathroom/shower house.

6. Don't expect much napping to happen. Often, the tents are too hot for sleeping during the day. If naps are Necessary for Sanity of the Family, then plan scenic drives for nap time.

7. Always stay at least 2 nights. It is not worth it to pack all that is needed for only 1 night's stay.

8. Plan meals that the adults will enjoy. Let the kids eat out of the coolers as needed (yogurt, juice, sandwich meat, cheese sticks, crackers, candy, chips, etc). They will playing so hard that they will always be hungry, except when you've gone out of your way to cook them a kid friendly meal on the friggin camp stove. They will not appreciate your effort. Nutrition is not a factor when camping with children. The adults, on the other hand, will savor every morsel of your lovingly cooked camp meal. (This last trip our meals included: ribs, pizza, chicken and steak fajitas, and breakfast sandwiches. The kids ate cheese and cereal and jelly beans. It was bliss, for all of us.)

9. A stroller doubles as a highchair for infants. It also makes for a good Napping Place (see #6). Make room for it in the van- you will not be sorry.

10. Bring music. And booze. And coffee. Do not put the cake you baked for your friend's birthday at the bottom of the cooler, no matter how well covered it is. It WILL be water-logged by the time you take it out to serve it. Apparently, ice melts.

Your turn. Please add your expertise and experiences to the list!

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Sharing Custody... of the Grandkids

Last May, my dad moved out of my parents' home suddenly, without my mom knowing, and in with his girlfriend. His girlfriend was someone who had spent time with BOTH my mom and dad. He was carrying on, right under my mom's nose. Jerk. It was a shock, but also, it was a the elephant in the room for such a long time that it was also a relief, for my mom and my siblings and also me. Also, let's say also, again. Also.

My 2 brothers, my sister, and I were all very upset with our dad. I mean, duh, right? My parents exchanged a few not-so-nice dialogues in the days following The Move, and about a month later my mom filed for a divorce. It was a clean break, no wavering back and forth, but it took awhile for it to sink in. My parents quit talking to each other. Completely. That's normal, right? Living together one week, not speaking EVER AGAIN the next? My dad was all like, well, at least you didn't end up Latchkey Kids... Because I guess he's Noble Father for screwing around on my mom all these years but not leaving her for the children's sake.

Anyway, they had not spoken or seen each other in a YEAR, until this May when a funeral forced them into the same vicinity. I looked across the lawn at the grave site and saw my parents hugging. It's about time! You've got 4 children and 4 grandchildren together, so let's just try to be adults, shall we?

So when my mom took Kate and Joan home with her, I was naturally curious how things would go between the Grandparents. My mom took our van, and my dad was meeting David halfway today, so this meant he would have to leave my mom his vehicle, meet David, and drive my mom's vehicle back. And then switch vehicles with her. AND he would have to arrange get the girls from her, pick them up, etc., all the while acting like a decent human being.

Holy Guacamole, Batman, they can interact without fur flying. It's funny, and not funny ha-ha, how a funeral, or little children, can bring people together in a way that other attempts will not. It's not that I want my parents to get back together (in fact, I don't think they should), but they need to be able to be in the same room, ya know? I mean, I'm willing to have 2 birthday parties or whatever, but it's kinda hard to talk the minister into two baptisms for the same child. Or two wedding ceremonies for the same couple. Plus, it was making me tired... and self-righteous.


This weekend we are going camping with a group of friends. There will be 8 adults and 7 children under age 5. And 3 dogs. But there will be communal meals, and campfires, and dirty exhausted children collapsing into bed without a peep, and Adult Conversation. Also: boating, hiking, and Laying On Our Asses. (I'm being optimistic and bringing both a Sudoku book and a book to read.) I only have to cook 1 meal in 3 days, and since David is Fire Chief, and since I'm planning pizzas in those nifty sandwich maker thingies, it'll probably be David doing the cooking. What? That's fair. It is! And the other wives will be jealous they didn't think of it.

Maybe I'll post pictures. Oooo, the unveiling of the Green family...

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Breaking News

Yesterday, at supper time, Kate fell off the couch and broke her arm.

She's 500 miles away from home, at Grandma's.

My husband is almost completely deaf. My baby is hurting but not wanting to come home. She actually said, on the way to the hospital, "Does this mean I have to go home early?"

Pretty much, I am helpless. I can't make David hear. I couldn't be there for the Xray, the IV, the setting of the tiny, broken 4 year old arm.

And yet. I am OK. We are OK. When I got that "family emergency" phone call at work last night, my mind zipped all over, landing again and again on the planet of Worse Case Scenarios. BUT. It's only a broken arm. The arm will heal. She may be far away from home, but she is with people who love her. David is frustrated and scared and a little lost, but he's here. The important things in life are in clear perspective, and we sleep at night with grateful hearts.

(BTW, my comfort food of choice is Caribou Blend Ice Cream Nuggets. These things are changing. my. life. I could find out that they were made directly from Caribou Poo, and I would still gobble them up, lick my fingers, and go back for more.)

The piece of art David gave me for Christmas comes to mind. It is circular, hangs over our fireplace, and is beautiful. Around the circle it reads:

Our family is a circle of love and strength. With every birth and every union, the circle grows. Every joy shared adds more love. Every crisis faced together makes the circle stronger.


Monday, June 11, 2007

Genetic Gifts

Him: They are *TOTALLY* your daughters.

Me: What? I didn't do anything.

Him: I was telling them that Daddy can't hear very well so they need to talk loud and clear. Before I could even finish, they were both talking gibberish to me. And laughing.

Me: I swear, I didn't teach them that.

Him: Yeah, but that is totally something you would do!

Me: Totally?

Him: Yeah, TOTALLY.

(The things this man puts up with. A house full of little MiniMarie's, acing Sarcasm 101.)
(And his hearing has taken a turn for the worse. Eff you, Strong Fucking Steroids.)

In other news, my big girls went home with my mom yesterday. They are 500 miles away. I'm crazy with missing them. And also not. It's so quiet around here. I'm realizing how much of my time and energy goes into them, into just keeping their bodies and my house clean. So it's just the baby and me until Thursday night. Well, and David too, in the evenings. I'm hoping to balance my time and spend it wisely. So if I start writing too much, do me a favor and tell me to SHUT. IT. By "balance my time", I do not mean a week spent tooling around on the Internet. Off to a fine start, I am.

Our weekly play date is today. We just switched to our Summer Schedule. Winter Schedule meets on Thursdays, at each other's houses, and the host makes lunch for the whole crew. Summer Schedule meets at a local park, and everyone brings a picnic lunch. I think I'll go anyway, with Marin. It'll be such a treat, not having to parent my big kids. I'll just sit back and watch the other moms at work. David suggested I bring a box of bon-bons for myself. (See? I'm not the only one that mocks around here.)

Friday, June 8, 2007


Ok, so now that David's hearing has returned somewhat, it's time I come clean about why this is really just about ME.

You see, I'd rather pilgrimage to the holy land in ballet slippers than deal with David asking me "What?" 3756 times a day. If I were a good person, I would understand that he couldn't help it and calmly repeat myself. Instead, I start getting all shrill and exasperated. A few more misunderstandings, and I'm talking back to him Loudly and Inappropriately. And rolling my eyes. And generally acting like he's learning impaired and I'm the hateful caregiver. With hemorrhoids. Then when he needs me to translate for the children, because their high pitched voices are hardest to hear, I go into full on Asshole of the Year, complete with a trophy and speech and people booing.

And the offspring are watching.

I know, I totally suck.

And also? I can't be trusted not to mess with him. You know, like mouthing words so he thinks I'm talking out loud. Or saying "What?" back to him, just to be *funny*. Or mistranslate, just BECAUSE I CAN. I'm not saying I've done these things, and no one can prove that I have. God, if you are reading this, please heal me.

Hearing Aids, you're thinking? Not really a good option for David. Because he has hearing in the lower but not the upper ranges (is it ranges? octaves? pitches? I haven't retained all of the correct terminology, busy as I am thinking about myself), a hearing aid would always hummmmm or buzzzzzz. We've been told that it would be very difficult to calibrate as well.

Some people can adjust to this, but David is not one of them. He is a man who labels his socks. Did you know that socks have a right and left foot? Something about the seam, and the big toe, and being stretched out. I could walk around with cockel burs in my socks without noticing, so I'm not genetically predisposed to understanding this.

He is also the one who developed our breast milk storage system, rivaled only by the card catalog. When making Mac and Cheese, he warms the milk and butter together in a glass measuring cup instead of just pouring it in cold like every other American. There is a Method for drying after showering. This man is particular, if you see where I'm going with this. So learning to live with a hummmm or buzzzzzz? He'd have better luck learning to surf on a geyser.

But! The steroids are working, and I've turned the shrill down a few notches. Later, I'm going to kick myself in the gut, for being such a jerk.

Thank you, Strong Fucking Steroids, for turning David's hearing parts into body building, six-packed, shaved and oiled machines.

Thursday, June 7, 2007

The Other Ear

Back when I was pregnant with Joan and Kate (whoa!- that was 5 years ago now), David suddenly lost the hearing in his right ear. It happened one night while we were watching a movie. He complained that he couldn't hear well on the right side, but he also had a major head-cold going on, so we thought his ears were just plugged.

The next morning, the hearing loss was more profound, so he went to the doctor. He was diagnosed with having sudden neurological hearing loss, presumable from a virus. He was told that had he went in earlier, they couldn't have stopped and/or reversed the hearing loss with a heavy-duty steroid.

Over the next few weeks, he slowly gained back some of his hearing. He now has about 60% in that ear. He uses his "good ear" (left) for talking on the phone, and always tries to sit so his left side is closest to me. This makes conversations in the car, when he's driving, infuriating as hell. He's constantly turning to me and saying "What?". I understand why old people get so crotchety with each other- it's maddening not being heard.

Which brings us to last night, when David suddenly lost the hearing in his other ear, his good ear, his left ear. This time he went in to the ER right away, and is taking some seriously fucking strong steroids. He had a hearing test and saw a specialist today. As before, the most profound loss is in the upper octaves, the higher pitches, like the kids' voices.

He's been so stoic to me about this, unable to speculate on what this could mean for him. It's sometimes like that with the ones we love the most. But I read some of his IM conversation he had with his sister last night (I think he left it up on the screen, hoping I'd see it.) It said that he was worried about not being able to hear or understand Marin's first words. He said it was heartbreaking to have Kate or Joan try to tell him something and not know what they were saying.

It killed me, reading those typed words, knowing he wasn't able to yet say them aloud. He wants me to keep the faith, and I do. I do.

Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Life With Twins, Part 1

I remember my first ultrasound well. I was 23 week pregnant (that's a little over 5 months) and was completely obsessed with finding out the sex of my baby. On my way the appointment, I was thinking "I'm not getting off that table until they tell if I'm having a boy or a girl. I'll stand on my head, drink Mountain Dew, WHATEVER it takes to get this baby into the genital-peeking position."

It was so cool, seeing the little skull and the tiny beads of fetal spine. The technician was showing us all of this and explaining things, and we were beaming. Then she said "Oh, you know what we have here..." Seriously, being the dorkus that I am, I closed my eyes and thought, "This is it. Boy or girl? Boy or girl?" I think my hand was even flung onto my forehead, dramatic Scarlet O'Hara style.

This is why, when the tech said "We have two babies", David and I were stunned. And that's putting it lightly. The first words out of my mouth were: "They are not conjoined, are they???" David was standing at my feet, utterly white. Then I kept saying "But I only want ONE baby." And David, patting my foot, would reply "Ummm, it's a little late now honey." The tech was probably like NICE.

At dinner that night, eating at the mall food court ( "feeding frenzy!"), we kept seeing people walk by with their baby in strollers. I just kept saying, "See! She got to have one baby! Why do I have to have two???"

Joan and Kate, they've grown on me since then. It's just that I had this image of what an excellent mom I was going to be. My baby and I, we were going to be the best baby and mommy team ever. I would be so cute, shopping with my baby in a carrier, in a stroller, sitting sweetly in a shopping cart. I would breastfeed, buy organic, and never ever loose my patience. It was all very clear to me that my mothering skills would be so genius that people would flock from all over, just to have a look at perfection. *Ahem.* The idea of having twins shattered all of that. I couldn't imagine how I would even leave the house with TWO babies.

Now I know that image of motherhood would have been shattered about 12 hours into it, regardless of how many babies were involved. But still, having twins did effect my mothering. I just couldn't be there for each of their needs all the time. In the end, this was a good thing- it saved me from being the "wash each and every toy that touched the ground, another person, or room air, in bleach water" type of mother. I just had to relax and go with it. Our parental learning curve around here was a *spike*, I'm telling you.

I did breastfeed the girls until they were 16 months old. I know, hard core, right? But it worked well for our family. And the first two years we were on Survival Mode quite a bit, but we enjoyed it quite a bit too. And the tiny matching clothes? Forget about it, it's too cute to even talk about without gushing. Loved. The. Clothes.

Now, 4 years later, being a family with twins is so much a part of our identity that I couldn't imagine it any other way. And to be completely honest? I usually like the extra attention.

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

Blogging Questions and Bike Helmets

So being the novice blogger on the block, I thought I'd pick your expert blogger brains on a few things:

1) How did you decide whether to go anonymous or not or somewhere in between? I just can't decide if there are people I know that I want reading this, or if that would just lead to more headaches and attempts at censoring my writing.

1.5) If you are writing anonymously, does anyone know about your blog? How do bloggers like dooce and Linda protect themselves and their children? Or are there just less ax-murderers-looking-for-bloggers than I realize?

2) Do you keep track of how many people visit your site? I've tried Google Analytics, but I don't know what half of the data means. (I sure wish I had paid attention in that college Statistics course I took. But the girl next to me had some seriously foul breath, and I was hung over a lot back then, so it took all I had, statistically, to not barf.)

3) How do you decide what to blog about? Do you keep a list or just have some potential blog post swirling around in your head or just sit down and write?

4) What are some characteristics of "good" blogs? What makes a blog interesting?

An finally, an unrelated question: Do you know of any "infant" sized bike helmets? David just bought a baby bike seat on ebay. Now I know I'm probably supposed to wait until the baby is a year old to use the thing, but we're feeling rebellious and a little bored (have I mentioned this town is small), so we need a helmet for Marin. I'm pretty sure that using the bike seat before the recommended age won't send child protection to my door (though, they are probably bored too), but smashing up her cute little skull in a bike accident, when the rest of the family is properly clad in helmets, might make my neighbors talk.

Monday, June 4, 2007

Me Humbled

"Kate, come here, honey, Mommy needs to talk to you."

"What Mommy?" eyes glimmering with importance and curiosity.

"Lately, everytime Mommy or Daddy says 'No', you fall apart, screaming and kicking. That's not ok. Screaming doesn't get you your way."

Eyes, big and brown and serious now, fixed on me. I have her complete attention. I can hardly believe this is going so well. And also, what an excellent mother I am.

"What do you think we can do about this, Kate? We can't have you screaming all the time."

Eyes, big and brown and grave now, make contact with my own eyes. A beat goes by, then two...

"Well, you and Daddy could just say 'Yes' when I ask you something."