Saturday, July 31, 2010



What do you do with a cat that you no longer can provide a home for?

Because the cat is a) a miserable recluse living in fear of ANY NOISE, and you happen to have 3 noisy children. b) so miserable that she has taken to peeing on things, especially when you are WATCHING, and also pooping on things. c) has started attacking the children- unprovoked, like they are just walking by- with a vicious sounding noise and intent to hurt. d) also attacked your head and hurt you while you were simply sitting on the sofa.

She's healthy- at least physically. A month or so ago I put an ad for her on craigslist and petfinder (before she started the peeing/pooping and mean attacks) trying to find her a quiet home where she could be happy. Even without the litter box and aggression habits, I wasn't able to rehome her.

Peeing on things (and thus, in many cases, ruining them, as cat pee smell is nearly IMPOSSIBLE to remove) (and some of the things she's already ruined include the original hardwood floor of the office) is a deal breaker. I hate to sound like a total animal-hating dickweed- and I can assure you I really abhor ANY kind of animal abuse or neglect- but I simply can't have a cat pissing on things, especially when there's no physical reason for doing so.

She can't go to a farm because she's TERRIFIED of the outdoors.

Seriously, what do you do?

Because David emailed our vet's office about euthanasia, and that might be the only option we have at this point. I mean, it's hard enough to find a home for a healthy, friendly KITTEN, much less a scared, aggressive, pissing CAT.

(It's our cat Coco- pictured here as a baby- who started off shy but sweet but has slowly spiraled to her current state...)

Friday, July 30, 2010

Mommy Guilt

So, before I launch into my planned soliloquy of how horribly guilty I've been feeling as a mother, I want to clear up something about yesterday's post: there's absolutely nothing wrong with bragging about one's kid, and I didn't mean to say that there was.

The bigger point I was trying to make was that often parents (I include myself in this, most definitely) orchestrate these odd little things- the things I listed- so that their kid reflects a certain... image, I guess, is the word, to the world. And I find it funny and amusing that we parents (especially at the beginning of our parenting journey) find our children to be such a mirror reflection of ourselves and of the job we are doing as parents. Good, polite, early-learning, variety-eating, potty-trained-as-babies kids means that we are smart parents that are doing an excellent job in raising our child.

The irony, of course, is that our children are NOT a mirror image of us, and the rate at which they reach milestones has virtually NOTHING to do with how well we parent.

Also, as I said, I was definitely guilty of doing those types of things when my twins were little.


This morning I was sitting with all of our playgroup friends- a fantastic group that I don't give nearly the accolades in this space that they deserve- and the older half of the kids announced they were doing a "show" for us. (Sound familiar? My poor friends, whose children are suffering from the influence of my children.)

I think it's important to note that I was up very late last night (3am-holla!), having some lovely porch time with Tea and Beautiful Neighbor. And while I a) didn't intend to stay up that late and b) none-the-less didn't mind staying up that late, for the company was worth it, I was feeling a maaaaajor sleep hangover this morning.

So, I'm sitting there on my friend's couch, ready to be mildly amused and also mildly irritated at the "show" (those things always cause me to roll my eyes at least once), when the group of little girls started dancing. They had worked it out so they were doing these actions in unison, and it was really amazing, actually, since they put the whole thing together themselves in about 5 minutes. One of the moms said "Can you guys just picture them in a few years, as high schoolers?"

Well. I think about that kind of thing ALL THE TIME, but something happened in that moment, and I suddenly so very clearly COULD picture it, and the next thing I knew I couldn't stop crying. And then the other moms were getting teared up, and I thought for one brief second that I might go into the Ugly Cry, and wow.

It just came out of no where. How fast it's going, how they are only "mine" for such a little time. How they (Kate and Joan) will still reach for my hand in a parking lot, still want to be tucked in at night, still sit on my lap. HOW MUCH LONGER WILL THEY HOLD MY HAND?

And I was bowled over with guilt. Because these beautiful, innocent, precious girls deserve only the best, only the happiest and most pure experiences in their childhood.

But you know what? Aside from my brother (the jerky one) growing up, no other humans on this planet have seen me at my most vicious and ugly and angry. I have not been so boiling hot mad at ANYONE ELSE, at least not to their face. These little girls- that I undoubtedly love more than even I can understand- are some of the humans that I treat the worst.

No really. I would not treat anyone else in the world how I sometimes treat my kids.

And I know, I KNOW, that our kids push us to places that we've never been before. Caring for them is a relentless and extremely taxing job that never ends and never gives us a break and always demands more from us, even when our wells have run completely bone dry.

And I know that there's no lack of love in my children's lives. We have happiness and laughter and silliness and affection...

But I don't get so pissed off at anyone else in my life. I am not so impatient and unkind, rude and harassing to ANYONE like I am to them. I don't snap at my friends, or hurry my friends through a meal, or say to my friends "BECAUSE I SAID SO. JUST DO IT" in a rude exasperated tone. If a friend asks me a question for the third time, my blood doesn't boil, I don't feel LIVID at ALL THE TALKING.

Even my husband- who can be annoying as fuck sometimes, I assure you- doesn't illicit this kind of response in me.

Why do I treat my children that way? Why? Why, as a mature, educated adult who wanted these children more than anything in life, do I treat them so poorly sometimes? There is no one else I love as fiercely or entirely, as completely and unconditionally, as I love my daughters. AND YET.

All of this was causing the tears this morning. It was very humbling to see those little bodies, dancing and grinning, perfectly perfect in every way. To realize that tomorrow- TOMORROW- I am going to wake up and it will be July 31, the year of our lord 2020. And those little gap-toothed faces will be 17 year old seniors in high school.

This season in our lives is so short. It seem long when we're in it, yes, but when viewed in the context of an average human lifespan, it is honestly and laughable short.

I want to do better at honoring my girls- even when they are being annoying little shitheads- as people who deserve respect and kindness and patience.

And I feel so guilty that I haven't been doing that all along.

Thursday, July 29, 2010

Things Parents Do for Bragging Rights

The longer I'm a mother, and the more parents I talk to (or read), the more I see it: things parents do so that they can brag up their kid. Sure, they may sight lots of logical reasons for doing these things, but underneath it all- if they were to be completely honest- they are doing it for bragging rights.

These things include:

-early potty training their kid ("Well, my daughter was potty trained at 15 months!")

-extra focus on teaching young kids-or babies!-their letters/numbers/colors/shapes (He's been able to write his letters since he was 2!") ("She knew all of her colors by 13 months!")

-feeding babies and toddlers unusual fruits and vegetables, possibly even things the family didn't eat much of before baby came on the scene ("If you ask her what her favorite food is, she'll say fennel!")

-using complex words for things that have a more common and simple name ("She said to me the other day 'Mommy, I need to use the commode.'") ("He loves to sit in the barcalounger so much that barcalounger was his first word!")

-insisting the child be absolutely accurate in their vocabulary, even when they are just learning to talk ("No, sweetie, that's not a puppy. It's a dingo.")

-taking away things that most babies/toddlers still need or use ("He's been using a cup exclusively since he was 9 months old!") ("She moved to her big girl bed on her first birthday.")

Sure, some kids are just bright or ahead of the curve. But the thing that seasoned parents know- and new parents quickly learn- is that, for example, the age at which a child is potty trained does not have much at all to do with how smart he or she is.

I was definitely guilty of a couple of these things, especially the first time around. How about you? And what did I miss? There must be more that could go on this list...

Tuesday, July 27, 2010

Old Clothes

I love old things. Have I told you that before? It's sometimes weird with blogging, the things we share and the things we don't, and how sometimes we assume that our readers just know things, but we've never actually written about them. Like, my girls (the twins, especially) being terribly shy. From my photos and posts, you were not able to gather that information, and yet everyone that knows us in person knows this, because, in person, it's totally OBVIOUS.

So, anyway, I like old things. Table clothes and aprons I'm especially drawn to. Quilts too. I also love old furniture, but have much less of that due to it costing so much more than a table cloth, ya know?

Recently, David and his siblings decided to finally go through the attic at their childhood home.

David's mom died when he was a baby (he was around 18 months old). He was the youngest of six children. After her death, they did what an good old fashioned MN farm family would do: they packed up her stuff, carried on with their lives, and rarely mentioned her again.

The attic was left nearly completely untouched for the past 35ish years. When David's dad remarried (he was 6), his step-mom packed away a few additional things: mostly clothes and toys that the children had outgrown. She added these things to the attic stash.

Since most of the stuff was not packed in a preservation friendly way, much of it was ruined from the extreme temperatures of the attic, the dust, and even the mice. They were able to salvage some fun things though. David brought home 3 large boxes of his childhood: mostly toys and clothes.

A few things are precious keepsakes that will be gently cared for, but most of it is hardy, well made things from the 70's that we can allow our children to enjoy.

Many of the clothes are fantastic. Our girls have been having a blast dressing up. Several of the pieces will also become part of their daily wardrobe.

Here's Marin in David's old snow suit. I think she'll probably actually wear it for playing outside this winter:

These two outfits seem perfect for playing doctor. In this case, Marin was the doctor, and Joan was the candy stripe:

At first I thought this dress would be for "dress-up only", but once I saw it on Joan, I loved it. So did she:

I DIED when I saw this shirt. Most of this stuff is homemade, and the store-bought stuff is missing tags, so I was so excited that it actually fit Marin:

This one is a great dress-up piece. Raggedy Ann, no?:

Marin wore this orange sundress all day today. It has rick-rack and a sash!:

Oh, my. The pattern on this dress features CHICKENS!! Can you even stand it??:

Do you guys remember wearing slips like these? I totally do, and yet in my 7 years of raising daughters, they've never owned a slip.:

This dress is probably my favorite of them all. It's almost... flapperish (?):

When we moved into this house, we had wallpaper almost exactly like this. Funny, but I like the dress version much better:

This outfit was one of David's all-time favorites. It fits Marin perfectly. It even has his name stenciled on the back!:

Either Grant's mom or his sisters made these kerchiefs. They will get plenty of use around here, seeing as how Little House is making a resurgence.:

Oh, man. Old things are such fun.

(As usual, there's more photos on Flickr.)

Monday, July 26, 2010


A few weeks ago, I finally got around to taking a Meyers/Briggs-type personality test. My friend Tea has been encouraging me to do so for years, and David has also taken it a few times, and I was so thrilled to finally be participating. (I took this one, which isn't- as I understand it- the "full" or "real" one, but yields fairly accurate results, I'm told.) (If you're curious about taking it, this version only takes a few minutes.)

According to the test, I'm ENFP. I found the descriptions eerily accurate, to the point where I had to laugh. "Has lots of great ideas but lacks follow-through." YES. You see? I can't help it! I'm an ENFP, and that's just how we are! We are, after all, the champions.

All snort-chuckling aside, I found it very interesting to read/see/validate certain traits of my personality. I hope to use the information not as an excuse for my actions, but rather to recognize my own strengths and weaknesses. I think that's exactly what the results did for me: articulated parts of my personality that I had not seen/heard articulated before.

When I posted it on facebook, I got tons of people sharing their personality types. I found this very intriguing. David couldn't remember his type, so he retook the test as well. It wasn't a surprise to us that we are almost exact opposites.

Have you ever taken a personality test? Do you think they hold any credibility?

Wednesday, July 21, 2010

Recipe: Sausage, Potato, Kale Soup

[**Edited to add: this is my favorite soup recipe. EVER. And I? I like soup.]

This is supposed to be the recipe for Olive Garden's Zuppa Tuscana. It's close, I think.

Sausage Potato and Kale Soup

1 lb mild ground Italian sausage
1 1/2 tsp crushed red pepper
1 large diced onion (red or white; I usually use red)
4 TBSP bacon pieces (optional)
2 cloves minced garlic (or 2 tsp garlic puree)
10 cups water
3 TBSP chicken bouillon (or about 5 cubes)
1 cup heavy cream (8 oz)
1 lb sliced potatoes and/or a few turnips
(I don't measure this; I just use whatever amount of the two I have on hand; usually about 4-6 cups, chopped)
1/2 to 1 bunch kale, chopped

*brown sausage with red pepper and set aside
*in stock pot, saute onion, bacon (if using), and garlic for about 15 minutes, until onions are soft (if not using bacon, add a glug of olive oil)
*mix chicken bouillon and water, add to onion mixture and bring to a boil
*once boiling, add potatoes and turnips and cook until soft (about 1/2 hour; less if potatoes/turnips are sliced thin)
*add heavy cream and heat through
*stir in sausage
*add kale just before serving

I usually slice the potatoes and turnips quite thin, to speed in cooking. Especially in the summer, I don't love standing over a hot pot any longer than needed.

Most of the time, I don't bother with the bacon. If we happen to have some bacon pieces (like for salads) I'll add them, but I haven't noticed that it makes a huge difference either way.

Last night, David added about 2 bunches of kale (at least twice the recommended amount) and it was still awesome. I actually loved the extra kale.

(SmugslashBrag Factor: the onions, garlic, potatoes, turnips, and kale were all fresh from our CSA, which a) is awesome and b) is so damn lucky. All of these, ripe the same week!)

Oh, Lordy

Yesterday and today have been the type of day where a 7-hour-school-day-sized-break from the children seems juuuuust about right. I guess I should be proud to have made it to the half-way point in the summer before feeling like this, but mostly I'm just wishing I weren't so damned SICK OF THESE KIDS.

BUT! David's sister has left the state, and the disturbance in the force is GONE, and WHEW.

Several of you said that you'd love to hear some crazy SIL stories, so I'm trying to figure out a way to tell them to you without a) boring you to tears with all the back-story explaining and b) making this blog a googling bulls-eye for SIL to find.

In other news (and I use the term "news" very loosely here), our CSA produce is coming fast and furious, and we're enjoying some truly delicious meals. There is something so... honest about freshly harvested food. I really like planning our meals around what produce we need to use up before it liquefies in the crisper, and a year or two ago I wasn't sure I'd be the type of person that *could* enjoy that kind of meal-planning-restriction. So, there's basically a large Smug Factor that plays a part, yes.

Last night I made our family's favorite sausage/potato/kale soup (and by "our family" I mean "David and me" and NOT the children, because the small people of the house firmly believe soup is poison in a bowl). And while soup is, in fact, ideally served on a crisp fall day- perhaps the first snow fall of the year- summer soup is something that must be embraced, due to the garden-fresh-ingredient-factor.

Tonight we're having grilled chicken on a bed of either steamed or sauteed chard, baked summer squash, and fresh cucumber slices. Tomorrow we're having lemon and basil pasta, and I'll make some pesto for the freezer.

And really, this talking about food was just a smoke screen to distract myself from the bickering/hitting/scratching/pinching/screeching children. And it worked, for a moment. But NOW, I really DO need to go see what in SAM HILL is the problem FOR THE LOVE, can't we all just GET ALONG???

Friday, July 16, 2010


In order to distract myself from David's crazy sister, who is currently making her yearly visit from out-of-state and nearly driving me MAD with her insane antics, I've been editing our photos from the fair.

Seriously, she's crazy. And a little manipulative and mean. But mostly just diagnosably-something.

Anyway, I guess we're lucky to have the county fair in town to distract us from HER.

And we love the fair.

After a brief-but-intense cloud burst, we were rewarded with a rainbow (above and below).

On a mission to find their favorite snow cone stand:

A teensy baby, with FAIR HAIR! (I asked permission to photograph her):

Checking out my photo (we are dorks, yes):

Holding puppies:

Getting 3 quarters at the kiddie coin find:

Concentrating on bingo:

And winning!:

She was so excited that she had several people chuckling:

Not being sure about holding a chick:

But with Daddy's help, warming to the idea:

Leaving with sore feet:

G'night, Fair!:

Thursday, July 15, 2010


I got a blue ribbon (1st place) for this photo!

Which was the one that received the most votes, so you guys were supah smart, as per usual. AND it was one I probably wouldn't have entered if I hadn't done that little poll, so. Internets = awesome.

"Marin" was "dying for a snowcone" yesterday, right around 1pm, which just happened to be when the buildings opened. My other girls were at a playdate, so I did what any good mother would do, and stopped at the fair to get "Marin a snowcone". And, ah, walk through the buildings, natch. ;)

(I still can't believe that I actually got a ribbon!)

And then last night after dinner, when we took the whole family to the fair, we played bingo at the bingo tent, for 25 cents/card. We played 4 games, and both Marin (slash David) and I got a bingo, and won $5 each.

The Tiny Town Fair... it's off to a good start.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The Fair (an Update)

Reading everyone's comments on which photos were your favorite was so much fun, and as a bonus, had surprising results.

Since a single favorite didn't seem to clearly emerge, I decided to tally all of the votes. I also asked several people IRL and added their votes to the tally.

So the options were:

1. Twilight:

2. Tree lover:

3. 4th of July:

4. Easter Morning:

5. Miss Daisy:

6. Childhood:

At posting time, my favorites were 4th of July and Childhood. But I was also strongly considering Miss Daisy. And I loved Twilight, but was less confident about a landscape photo...

Here's how the tallies broke down:
1. Twilight: 9 votes
2. Tree lover: 16 votes
3. 4th of July: 6 votes
4. Easter Morning: 4 votes
5. Miss Daisy: 12 votes
6. Childhood: 5 votes

So my top favorites had some of the least votes. Hmmmm.

After picking up the printed versions, Easter Morning was clearly out of the running. The rest cropped ok, but I didn't love how 4th of July and Childhood's crop changed the photo quite a bit. Actually, I didn't love the cropped version of ANY of them as much as the originals, but. My fault, yada yada. Should have found a better printer than WALeffingMART and printed them sooner than the day before the deadline blah blah blah.

(Will I ever learn not to procrastinate? Yeah, probably not...)

Also, I was so surprised that Tree lover had the most votes, and by quite a bit. I love that photo of Marin, but I wasn't even strongly considering entering it at that point.

Twilight was a favorite of mine all along, and I was pleased that so many of you liked it too. And Miss Daisy... ahh, I love that photo too, but I was a little bothered by the focus not being really crisp and clean.

Basically, after seeing them printed, it was between Twilight, Tree lover, Miss Daisy, and maaaaybe even Childhood.

I played with putting them under the frame's mat. Tree lover was my (new!) favorite. Twilight also looked great matted, but I was lacking confidence in that one. The newly-cropped Childhood was ever-so-slightly more cropped under the mat, making it unacceptable.

Miss Daisy was great under the mat, even in it's cropped version. While I don't think that photo is the best in terms of quality of photo, I think it has the most appeal.

So. I ended up submitting Tree lover and Miss Daisy. Which are exactly the two with the most votes. Thank you so much for your help!


As I stood in line with people holding loaves of bread, vases of flowers, needlework, vegetables arranged on paper plates, and all kinds of framed art work, I marveled at this thing called a County Fair. I've never entered anything into a fair in my life, but for many small-town people, it's something they've been doing since early childhood. Like my husband, for example.

I learned that only one person judges. And the judge remains anonymous, even AFTER the judging is over. I learned that artists' names are hidden during the judging, and then revealed afterward for the fair-goers to see. I learned that ribbon winners actually earn CASH MONEY. (Grand prize is, and I'm not joking, $2).

I left chuckling to myself and feeling like REAL Tiny Town dweller and small-town girl, now that I've entered something into the fair.


The judging happened last night, and the fair opens today. Tiny Town County Fair week is my favorite time of summer, and we go to the fair nearly everyday that it's here.

Tonight when we get there, I WANT to be all cool and nonchalant... not all mouth-breathing and rushing to the Creative Arts building. I want to wander around, enjoying the sights and sounds, and not snapping at the kids to WALK FASTER and NO WE CAN'T STOP AND SEE X because we have to get to the Creative Arts building RIGHT NOW.

(It's funny how I really don't care if I "win" or not... and YET. Once I started the process, I started to care. Ya know?)

Despite how I want to act, any bets on how things actually go down?

Monday, July 12, 2010


*****UPDATE: I decided to print them all 8x10 to help me decide. HOWEVER, #4 Easter Morning and #6 Childhood were significantly changed when cropped to be 8x10 (and printing 8x12 isn't an option). With #4 both girls on the sides are cut in half. It might still be an ok photo- I might even like it BETTER- but it might look really odd. It was hard to tell. With #6, I had to chop off the little boy on the left side completely.

Does this change anyone's mind??

(Original post:)

I know I'm not giving you very much time for this, as I have to submit my photo(s) TOMORROW. But I thought I had it figured out and now I don't know and AEIIIIIII.

Ok, so here's the deal. Tiny Town County Fair is coming to town this week, and I am entering 2 photos- just for fun- into the Creative Arts building "contest". Meaning: all the photos entered will be judged and ribbons will be awarded.

I really don't care much if I win or not (like, at all), but if everyone I know in Tiny Town is going to potentially be SEEING my photos displayed on the wall, then I want to make a good selection.

So, here's what's in my pool of possibilities. Please vote for TWO. Please? (And thank you.)

(If this kind of thing makes you squirmy, leave me an anon comment.)

Option 1: Twilight from my front step:

Option 2: Tree lover:

Option 3: 4th of July

Option 4: Easter morning:

Option 5: Miss Daisy:

Option 6: Childhood:

Thanks again, ya'll.

P.S. Whatever I choose will be printed (at Walmart, UGG) as an 8x10.

P.P.S. The judges are folks from the Tiny Town Art Council. I have NO IDEA what they look for, if these particular judges will happen to know lots or next-to-nothing about photography, or if it's mostly "professionals" that enter vs. amateurs. I always look at the photography display, but though I can't recall with complete certainty, I remember it being mostly less-professional looking photos...

Saturday, July 10, 2010

Time Alone

*Reading The Girl Who Played With Fire
*Visiting a new local winery with friends
*Taking a phone call from my sister instead of sleeping in
*Running away- for the day- with Tea
*Eating fish tacos, outside, near waterfalls
*Watching a storm roll in... and leave again just as quickly
*Spending birthday money from my dad on camera stuff
*Finding some fun, cute things on clearance on Target
*Trying "salt-ice cream" for the first time. And dying. OBVS.
*Sleeping with the tv on, so as not to hear little noises and scare myself
*Marveling at the only messes that are being made are MINE
*Walking on a wooded path and smoking (a few) cigarettes with a friend... and feeling bad
*Contemplating entering a photo (or a few) to the Tiny Town County Fair
*Turning lights on before dark so that after dark I don't scare myself
*Watching the cats pace the house, looking for the girls
*Hoping to sleep in tomorrow (hint, hint, Seester)

[David took the girls camping this weekend (he and his sister take all the nieces/nephews every summer), so I've been on my own... and loving it, of course.]

Thursday, July 8, 2010

Party On My Porch

Yesterday was my birthday. I haven't decided yet if I'm going to tell you how old I am, but I can tell you that this particular birthday made me feel O-L-D.

David invited all of my Tiny Town friends over for a little celebration. He put on a nice spread, no?

Ok, fine. I was involved in making the table look pretty. But he's totally responsible for ordering that yummy cake from the Tiny Town Bistro.

Several of my friends brought flowers, usually picked from their own gardens, which is probably one of my favorite things in the world. A bouquet, picked and arranged from one's currently-blooming flowers, is just so... honest and simple and pretty to me. LOVE.

Although my little rugrats were hanging around for the (beginning, at least, of the) party, everyone else left their kids home with their husbands, and came over for cake and wine after dinner.

Here's my girls, before they got booted back into the house, for the bothersome offense of "hanging over the cake". Those were my exact words, I believe.

(But hey, it's my birthday, and if I don't want three little girls breathing all over and poking my cake, that's my right, right?)

They were, however, allowed to eat a piece of cake. IN THE HOUSE. Actually, as I was falling asleep last night, I felt bad for how I treated them. Shooing them away from the party like they were untouchables or something was not my most proud birthday moment.

On the other hand, BACK AWAY FROM MY CAKE, LADIES.

Anyway, it was a good party. As in: 11 bottles of wine good. As in: that's how much this group consumed throughout the evening.

Well, actually, couple more ladies came after this photo was taken. By then, I was shitfaced tipsy enough that I didn't think to take another photo of the whole group.

David had requested on the invite "no gifts" but many of the ladies brought wine. I thought the supply we had on hand was plenty- about 4 bottles, if I remember right- but boy was I wrong. Wine toting friends, FTW!

But seriously, it was very sweet of my husband to plan this. I'm going to have to think of something equally satisfying for him, for his next birthday.

(11 bottles of wine!)

P.S. I'm 35. Thirty five. Which is closer to 40 than I'd like. Which makes me feel like AAEEEIIII I'm old. Which is unusual, since birthdays (or my age) usually don't bother me at all.

Saturday, July 3, 2010

Blogger Spacing Issues

I installed Google Analytics on this blog shortly after I began writing here, and I'm sad to report that I have basically NO IDEA what to make of all that data. I do click over there once in awhile (weekly? biweekly? not very often, anyway), and I like to see where people are viewing my blog from and which google searches brought them here.

Over the years, my most common search is "I have blogger spacing issues" or some variation thereof. I did, in fact, do a post about that long, long ago, but I offered absolutely no solutions for such problems, and I assume when people search those words, they are looking for solutions.

So, I thought I'd give all those google-searchers some REAL knowledge... except for that I STILL have blogger spacing issues, and I still have no idea (usually) how to fix it.

Here's what I do know:
1. loading photos messes everything up
2. switching back and forth between "edit html" and "compose" mode also messes things up- most notably the font (both type of font and size).

When I load photos, I load them in reverse order of how I want them to appear. The photo I want to end my blog post with? I upload that one first. After I upload all the photos, THEN I write the post. I've found that trying to add photos into already-written text just causes headaches.

If I've already written a post and then decide I want photos, I'll add the photos (again in reverse order) (they will automatically load at the top of the page, with all of the text being shoved to the bottom). Next, I'll cut and paste the text around the photos, instead of trying to move the photos around the text.

I only use "edit html" mode if I'm adding html code, and if it messes up the font type or size or any of the spacing, I usually just publish it that way. Sometimes, I can go back to the "edit html" mode and muddle my way through fixing some of the spacing things, other times I cannot.

So, there you have it, google searchers. Good luck!

P.S. My other two main google searches are "ballerina hair" and "define gossip". I've mentioned each of those topics exactly once (here and here), but I'll save you the clicks: I know absolutely NOTHING about ballerinas OR hair, much less how a ballerina styles his or her hair, and my post about gossip is, well, it was written a long time ago, ok? And honestly I have no idea what it says, because I was cringing so much reading the ballerina hair post that I didn't (re)read the gossip one...

Friday, July 2, 2010

Day's End

I ended today, laying (lying? I never know for sure) on my porch swing with Marin, watching the fireflies and bats, and smelling her sweet scent. She smells like apples and bread and... baby powder (?) and oatmeal. I think. It's hard to describe.

We both dozed off- it was late; 10ish- and then we roused ourselves, and I carried her into the house. Then I asked her to walk so I could carry a basket of clean laundry upstairs, and she happily agreed, but only if I'd lead her by holding her hand, because she "was asleep" and therefore couldn't "see anything".

She easily settled into bed, and then I called my husband, who was driving home from an adventure with Kate and Joan. I talked to both of them about their day (there was swimming! with a teen aged cousin!), and I was so happy to hear about it all. But they were squabbling back and forth- nothing serious; just the normal- and I had to pretend that Kate didn't tell me that Joan swam without a life jacket, because Joan wanted to tell me that herself, and...

Well, and that's when it hit me. I never got a peaceful night on the porch, lazily watching the summer creatures, with the older two. Because there were TWO of them, each on a constant vigil to ensure she was getting her due attention.

It's the plague of twinhood, for sure, the never being able to be just ONE. I mean, we do make an effort to do things with them individually, but the score-keeping that goes on! And the one-upping! It's exhausting. The path of least resistance (and the most peace) is to treat them as a two-piece unit that must be equally tended.

I am not proud of this. I, in fact, cringe to write that sentence. I don't want to treat them as a two-piece unit. And yet...

I remember when they were newborns... I would nurse one of them, and she would fall asleep in that perfect, heart-squeezing way that only newborns can do. And she'd be all curled on my chest- damp and comfy and softly breathing- and I'd want more than anything to just hold her like that until she woke.

But I couldn't. Because her sister needed to eat.

So I'd pull her off my chest and reluctantly either settle her elsewhere or hand her off to David so I could repeat the process with her sister. And then her sister would fall asleep, but I couldn't just cuddle her either, because either I needed to pee, or I needed to eat, or the other baby needed me now.... And if I *did* manage a few extra cuddles with one or the other, it never felt quite right. It felt either unfair or like someone was missing.

The prevailing feeling of those early days was that there wasn't enough of me to go around. Even though there was, technically. Everyone was being fed and bathed and changed and loved. But my attention was constantly being torn in two places.

And dividing my love and affection between my twins is very different that dividing my love and affection between one of the twins and Marin. It's something about being at the same age, and having the same needs... Marin's needs are so different from theirs, that it's easier not to get into a "IT'S NOT FAIR" contest with her.

I've comforted myself by saying that what they didn't have in undivided attention from ME (or David, or whomever), they made up for by having this really special twin relationship. I do believe this to be true, in many respects.

But as my youngest dozed in my arms tonight- lightening bugs twinkling in the yard all around us (and her elbow lodged firmly in my ribcage); me with no place else in the world I needed to be- I hoped upon hope that what my twins got (and continue to get) from me is enough.

Man, I hope it's enough.