The “why I exclusively do things exclusively my way exclusively” list.

hc

There’s this new wave of lists on Facebook. You’ve seen them. The “why I exclusively breastfeed my ten year old” list. The “why I refused a c-section so that I could give birth naturally in the arms of my husband, next door neighbor and two dogs” list. The “why I encourage my six month old to learn Mandarin, Spanish and Swahili” list.

These lists annoy me. I know they annoy you too. Of course they’re intended to be helpful and informative lists, but they piss me off. I have a proclivity towards being an annoying mother. I am definitely someone who would write a list that would piss you off.

I would co-sleep with my kid until he left for college and I would breastfeed a whole town of babies if I could. But I was saved from being an asshole parent by the birth of my twins. Twins prevent you from being an asshole because you are too tired to be one. So instead you become an asshole to your husband and close friends. But that’s another story for another post.

So here’s my list.

Enjoy.

1.Why I encourage my two year-old twins to eat off the floor”
a. Because the organic tomatoes that I bought after work yesterday cost as much as my sweater and tank top and when they chew them up and then spit them on the floor I feel like I am dying inside and so I respond by telling them to eat the eight dollar tomato off the floor….the one over there….in the pile of the dog’s hair.
b. Because my house is super dirty  and if they eat off the floor, it’s one less area I have to vacuum.
c. Because let’s face it, they don’t know what eating off the floor means and if I phrase it right, they’ll think it’s a cool adventure and eat even faster.

2. “Why I let my children run around naked”
a. Because each child has to “pee-pee mommy and make big poo poo mommy” every…twelve…minutes.
b. Because I am so very very tired. Like you don’t get it kid. So so so….so tired.
c. Because I am hiding in the bathroom crying and don’t know that they’re naked.
d. Because I am so tired and feeling so fat that I’m also probably naked hiding under my comforter.
e. Because coordinating putting a toddler’s foot through a miniature underwear and shorts hole while they keep tripping and falling over is like a slow, slow death.

3. “Why I intentionally don’t bathe my toddlers each night”
a. (See Question #2 answer #b.)
b. Baths make them hyper. It’s like the bath tub is filled with mountain dew instead of soapy water. They get out of that tub with more energy than I’ve ever had in my life. And that, makes me tired.
c. Have you ever cleaned poop out of a tub? Yeah, I thought so.

4. “Why I believe in letting my kids watch television….sometimes for a long time”
a. I often think about what mothers in the dark ages did between 5pm-6:30pm. This is the time of day, often referred to as “the witching hour” in which your toddler becomes a tiny demon. They scream. They sweat. They hit and spit and thrash and then laugh creepily. This is why I let my children watch seven episodes in a row of “Daniel Tiger”. Mothers in the dark ages are stronger than I am. Maybe they were so cold that the kids just sat there shivering instead of being jerks?
b. Because when they’re watching television, they are (for the most part) not talking. Cut to me lying on the floor whimpering . Those 11 minutes in which an animated tiger learns how to be a helpful big brother are like an oxygen tank to my soul.

5. “Why I breastfed and formula fed and whatever-else-I-could-find fed my twins”
a. When I said I was tired in question #2, I would just like to add that this level of “tired” is actually laughable when I compare it to the “tired” of the first six months of having twins. That tired, the first six months tired, is like being run over by a train car that’s filled with trucks that are each carrying atomic bombs. Because of this, when pulling  a breast out of my shirt to feed a kid became too much, I fed them formula. And when warming up formula for two babies at 4:30am became too much, I reached for rice cereal. And when finding rice cereal became too much, I cried and refilled my wine glass.
b. For all you self-righteous breastfeeders out there, I ask you this: have you ever had two people eating off of your body at the same time? Have you? Because it’s strange (and amazingly wonderful) and tiring and hard and infuriating and beautiful and creepy for your husband to see. But no really, it’s fine and great to advocate for exclusive breastfeeding through your kid’s first semester in college, but until you have had two babies eating off of your body simultaneously through the night, you cannot understand why a person reaches for formula….or rice cereal….or wine.

So that’s my list. There’s more, oh man is there more. But guess what?

I’m tired.

-A

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

WARNING: this entry will be terrible.

hc

Hello old friend. I’ve missed you. But I’ve also resented you because I feel stupid in the brain and like I no longer have anything to say. Did I ever have anything interesting to say? So there. Warning-this entry will suck.

The “babies” will turn three years old in a few months. I fluctuate between being horrified by the passage of time and being excited for what’s next. But the truth is, we are having a ton of fun together right now. They are opinionated and passionate and silly. And did I mention opinionated? Holy hell the opinions.

“I want milk”

“I don’t want any milk”

“I don’t wear shorts”

“My shorrttttttts. Mommy MY SHORTS!”

Sometimes I walk outside and shut the door to get a break and then they follow me and I run towards the backyard pretending that I can’t hear them and they chase me and say “Mommy you going?” “Mommy goes to work?” and then I feel like I should go ahead and report to prison to serve out my sentence for being “the worst mother possible”. But instead I suck it up and turn on “Calliou” and give them string cheese and things get better. For a minute.

But really. They’re pretty awesome. They are learning to swim and it’s so incredible to watch them try new things-things that were previously terrifying to them. When I try to help they say “I do by myself” which makes me laugh and then cry softly to myself. How can being a mother be such a dichotomy of emotions? How can I feel as though my heart will explode inside my chest with pride and then seconds later dissolve into a mushy puddle of tears? Man, I thought pregnancy hormones were bad.

So that’s us. That’s where we are in life. Life is changing so quickly-faster than I have time to recognize, to breathe  and to think on it. It scares the shit out of me, but it’s life.

So I better just hang on.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

A week of very big moments.

me

A lot has happened over the past seven days. On Tuesday of last week, I successfully defended my master’s thesis in public health. The picture is of me hours afterwards at the mattress store with my husband. I look nerdy and tired and excited to finally buy a king-size mattress. The experience was not anything that I could have expected and I am proud of myself for what I’ve accomplished.

The Thursday after this picture was taken, I had a job interview. I won’t disclose where it is, but I will say it’s  fantastic place and I would be honored to work there.

The Friday after the job interview, I was moving boxes into our new house (yes, we are also moving) with my mom, the kids and our two dogs. It was pouring rain outside and we were moving things in and out of the house. The kids were taking turns hiding in the closet and slamming doors both loudly and dangerously. At some point, I realized our dog Bingo (the sweetest and dumbest dog that’s ever lived) wasn’t anywhere to be seen. I began freaking out and within minutes had jumped in the car and begun circling the neighborhood billowing his name between tears. My mom ended up having to take the kids home. My dad came to help me look. I had multiple people posting “lost dog” announcements to various social media outlets; every restaurant in a five mile radius was on the lookout, and my husband came home early from work to help look. This dog is incredible. He is so loyal and gentle and all that he wants in this world (besides the occasional opossum chasing) is to be kissed and loved and petted. The thought of him wandering an unfamiliar neighborhood in the rain, all the while wondering what he had done to make his parents get rid of him, made my heart throb inside my chest. After almost three hours of looking, I had begun to expect the worst. I wandered back into the house aimlessly and for absolutely non reason opened the closet door. And guess what? Out sauntered all 30 pounds of our dumbass, debilitatingly sweet dog Bingo. There are no words to describe how that felt.

And then today. Today is Sunday. And just a few hours ago, my mom took our childhood dog Emma to the vet to be put to sleep. Emma is a 14 year old chocolate lab who….I was interrupted writing this by a phone call from my dad, who’s voice was breaking, to tell me my mom was back from the vet and that Emma had died. I picked her out before I went to college. She was a little brown puppy who preferred to climb over something or around it as opposed to walking the practical way and avoiding it. Even as she got older, she spent summers jumping in and out of our pool-swimming to the deep end and back to make sure we weren’t drowning. She never thought of herself as a dog. She wanted to be inside with her people and her stuffed animals and her treats. She shared her dog bed with our cat when it was raining outside. A month ago, she tore her ACL very naturally and the vets said that because of her age, they wouldn’t operate. They tried multiple pain medications and nothing seemed to help. She wouldn’t eat. She couldn’t go outside to use the bathroom and she could barely walk. She whimpered at night in pain. And now she’s gone. And I know I’m an adult and this sort of stuff should’t hurt as much as it did when I was a little girl, but it does. It is absolutely heartbreaking to me. And there’s really nothing more I can say about it.

Tomorrow, Monday, we move out of our house. Tonight will be the last night that we sleep here. My husband and I were just engaged when we bought this house. I stood on our front porch a week after I found out I was pregnant with twins and watched the weather transform into a warm spring air. I came home from the hospital to this house after the twins were born. I wept in this house because they didn’t come home with me. I brought our daughter home to this house and mourned the guilt I felt for having to leave our son at the hospital. And then, weeks later, I brought him home and like that, my family was complete. This house has heard horrible, shameful fights, and seen beautiful expressions of love. This house has seen us change and grow and it has supported us through it all. And tonight is our very last night here. Tomorrow we start new memories. And that change is very difficult for me to digest.

And so in this week of very big moments, I have felt my heart pulled in two different directions. I have felt proud and brave and fearless and I have felt terrified and anxious and heartbroken. I have felt ecstasy over Bingo coming home and I have felt devastation at the loss of Emma.

The last line of Samuel Beckett’s “The Unnamable” reads:

“You must go on.”

“I can’t go on.”

“I’ll go on.”

And so we go on. We go on into a new house with new rooms and new sounds and new very big moments. And this house, the one we leave behind, will go on and provide another family with everything it has given us. We go on into new careers and new stages of life. We go on with new pets and new love and new experiences. It all goes on.

And so,

we go on.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

When everything becomes about poop.

h and c

My twins are 2.5. And everything is centered around poop. Sometimes they’re the ones making it, other times, they’re just the ones discussing it. In the past week, here are a couple of times in which the topic of poop has come up:

1. My son came out of the yard holding something and exclaiming proudly, “Mommy, goggy poop. Goggy poop mommy”. How precious I thought. He’s found a rock and thinks it’s poop. I walked towards him smiling to myself at my adorable child. Getting closer, however, I realized goggy poop was in fact doggy poop. He held it up proudly for me to see. “Mommy, I am having goggy poop!”. After an hour of hand sanitation and multiple lectures on how gross poop, specifically goggy poop, is, I figured we had moved on.

Driving out of the driveway my son said “Bye house. “………”bye house”……..”bye bye poop. see you soon!!!!”

2. Sometimes I take my daughter with me when I walk our dogs. My mom stays at home with my son and it gives my daughter and I a chance to have alone time (something rare with twins). Our dog Bingo sniffs around for a bit, all the while my daughter says “Hey Bingo, time for poop. Poop bingo!” as loud as she possibly can. We keep walking. Finally the time comes for Bingo to do his business. Our daughter gets into a full squat as close to Bingo’s butt as she can so that she is literally eye-to-eye with his bottom. She waits with bated breath for the poop to come. “Bingo, poop time. Come on bingo. Make poo poo”. Finally he does what he needs to to. A smile spreads across her face. Her eyes gleam. She looks at me and screams for the whole neighborhood to hear “Mommy!!!!!!! Bingo making huge poop!!!!!! Gggggrossssss bingo”

3. Both kids think everything that is small and round and on the ground is inevitably poop. It could be a rock. It could be a blueberry from breakfast that someone threw on the ground. It could be mud. Whatever it is, they are certain it is poop. And I’ll tell you what, they’re excited about it. If we are walking through a parking lot trying to get to a restaurant, one will shout as loud as they can “Mommy!!!! I see poop on the ground” which is followed by the other kid shouting “Peeeeeeeeeee-yewwwwwwwwwwwwwwww” which is followed by hysterical laughing. A couple of days ago, our daughter collected a pile of “poop” which was actually small black stones and carried them in her pockets yelling “poop in pocket mommy!” Yesterday our son picked up a handful of “poop” in the backyard (pebbles) and threw them in the air yelling “rain poop”.

4. I came home from school the other day feeling particularly professional and impressive. I had straightened my hair that morning and was dressed up because of a meeting at school. It was one of those rare moments where I felt like my old self again. I didn’t have oatmeal in my hair. There weren’t sweet potatoes wedged unattractively under my fingernails. I felt like a pretty secretary from Mad Men. And then I came home to poop town USA. Our son had removed his pants and diaper and was practicing sitting on the potty. Usually he sits there for a few minutes pushing out (nothing ever comes out) and then he will get up and exclaim proudly, “Mommy, pee pee!” to which there is rarely any in the potty.

This time, however, he jumped of the toilet after minutes of pushing and climbed up on my lap for kisses. I was feeling like mom of the year until I smelled and felt what couldn’t be denied. Poop. I closed my eyes and waited for the inevitable….

“Mommy.”

“Hmm.”

“Mommy? Poop. Itchy. Poop on mommy. Mommmmmmmy? Itchy poop”

***cut to me taking off my pants and walking directly into the refrigerator in search of wine***

It’s a good thing that I think poop is hilarious.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Here’s to the year of challenging “I can’t”.

11021071_10102903768586324_2898746922860518570_nSo I had the stomach bug this weekend. My kids each had it last week and my husband had a taste of it as well. I was the final victim claimed. Best part? I got it Saturday, approximately one hour before all my friends were coming over to celebrate my birthday. My husband had spent hours putting this party together-not to mention spent a good bit of money on it as well. About 5:3opm, I realized what was going on. And from that point forward, I was as sick as I can ever remember being in my life.

So why post about the stomach bug under a label entitled ‘The year of challenging “I can’t”?

In November of 2013, almost a month after my twins turned one, I got my wisdom teeth taken out and suffered a terrible bacterial infection that put me in two different hospitals for over a week. I had two surgeries and ended up with drains installed in my face to remove the bacteria from my body. It was utterly horrible and represents a very dark time to me. I emerged from that experience, however, as a new person. I declared that 2014 would be the year of me challenging “I can’t”.

Let me explain.

Although I consider myself a tough person, someone who has dealt with a lot health-wise, when it’s all said and done, I’m kind of a baby. I enjoy being taken care of and doted on-something that is frowned upon by my family of tough, southern women. When people would ask me to run a 5k with them, I’d reply without a thought “oh, I can’t run more than a mile”. When someone asked me why I don’t cook more I would say “oh, I can’t cook, I just can’t”. It was an automatic response-something that was so inherent in me that I didn’t even think about what I was saying when I said it. When I finished the second surgery in 2013, and felt about as depressed as a person could, I decided that 2014 would be the year I changed-the year I found what I was capable of doing. When I wanted to try something new and felt the “I can’ts” coming up, I said “Why not?” instead. I began running long distances, I started cooking at home and I tried new things whenever they came my way. I did not allow myself to be a victim and I have to say that I felt more empowered and braver than I ever have in my life.

So why the info on the stomach bug?

Somewhere along the way, I lost that voice. I am still running and I am still cooking. But I am also allowing issues with my health to take ownership over who I am. I had something very sad and disappointing happen last fall (2014) and instead of pulling myself up and growing my proverbial balls, I sort of let it defeat me. I found myself sinking into the role of victim again. Whiner again. Needy me again. On Saturday, when I was in the throws of vomit-town, I fully embraced the feel sorry for myself role. My sister told me to buck up and to pull it together-to be tough for my family, and instead I wept like a baby on the floor. It’s not just the stomach bug that had me down. It’s the constant, never stopping neediness of my two year-old twins. It’s an overwhelming, never-ending exhaustion that encompasses my physical and mental being. It’s the fact that I defend my thesis in less than a month and I’m not nearly ready. It’s the fact that after all this school, after all these proclamations that “I am finally in the field I want to be in”, I have no prospect of a job-no idea of what I want to do. It’s the shame I feel around not being who I thought I would be at 32. And so as I sunk my head into the toilet for another round, I sobbed over all the things that have been building up inside me. I let myself be a victim.

March is half-way over. I feel like crap run over today-even two days out of vomit-town. It would be easy to flush 2015 down the toilet (see what I did there?) and focus on 2016 being my year of challenging “I can’t”. But then again, what better day than the day of your birth (tomorrow) to become the person you want to be-the person you know is in there. Because that’s the thing right? Deep down, I know that I am a tough motherfucker. It may seem like a breeze, the stuff I deal with, because it’s been so long. But it isn’t. Dealing with a chronic disease is harder than anyone will ever, ever understand. Everyday is a battle-everyday is another disagreement between you and your body. Everyday is another round of needles and pokes and blood and bruises and depression and doubt and fear. But I do it. I have done it for 21 years. 21 fucking years. So if that doesn’t prove that I have strength and guts and a fire inside of me, then I don’t know what will.

Here’s to my year.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

The Island of Sodor…may it float away forever.

thomas-character-guide copy

Dear Thomas and all other inhabitants of the island of Sodor,

Your entire being makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know if it’s your lack of a neck, your non-stop murderer like smile or general ineptitude that boils my buffers, but whatever it is, I hate your guts.

Thomas-you are terrible at your job. You are terrible at your life. Not one time have you EVER delivered what was needed to where it was needed at the time that it was needed. You get overly distracted by funny sounds. You are creepily jealous of your fellow engines. Your relationship with Sir Toppem Hat is unprofessional. And frankly I have questions about what’s going on between you and Percy.

Which brings me to the next subject.

Percy-why oh why does your voice sound the way that it does. My daughter loves you. She carries around your little figurine body all day everyday. She kisses you. She hugs you. She tells you “night night”. It’s freaking precious. So imagine my surprise when I heard your horrifying voice for the first time. What a whiny little bitch. I’m sorry, there is just no other phrase for it. You are worse than Thomas. You mess up and then you cry about it. You have no friends and you’re scared of loud engines. You serve no purpose whatsoever.

Emily-of course the ONLY female character is an anal retentive, over-achieving kiss ass. Have you guys not read “Lean In” yet? It is 2015. Women who are assertive and successful and not general fuck-ups like their counterparts (ahem, Thomas and Percy) are not by definition bossy and horrible. Just because Emily “likes to be the best at what she does, all the time” does not mean she has to be such an unlikeable brat. I can just see Emily in high-school, all Tracy Flick with no friends and no boyfriends, terrible style and an unfortunate hair-cut. I feel certain she went to Wellesley.

Sir Toppem Hat-I am utterly shocked that the island of Sodor still stands. Under your leadership, trains filled with children runoff the railway; picnics are ruined; Christmas trees are butchered. Stop eating so many crumpets and try managing for a change. What sort of a lesson are you teaching the children watching your program? To be terrible at what you do? To keep on employees who steal, cheat and lie their way down the railway?

To the other engines-start a coup. Get together when no one suspects it and figure out a way to overthrow the authority. Since Thomas can apparently do NOTHING that warrants a dismissal, you need to take it a step further. Go for the leader. Go for Sir Toppem Hat. Take him down. Start a rumor, get him exiled, hell run over him if need be. When the island dissolves into complete chaos and the people begin eating one another, that’s when one of you can rise to the throne. I considered suggesting Henry because he’s the oldest and he has the cutest name. I like Edward but he’s waaaaaay to0 gentle and fair to be a strong leader.

I’m talking about Emily. The over-achiever. The one everyone dislikes. The one who has been called a kiss-ass and a bitch her whole life. Women have backbone because we’ve been cleaning up after our male colleagues our whole lives. Emily was born to lead this island.

And on that note, I think I need to get away from my computer and stop watching tv with my children.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Why I haven’t written in almost two months.

twins

I’d like to blame it on January.

January. Such a nauseating word. A month filled with pathetic attempts at weight loss and life changes-a month of broken promises. A month in which we sit at our computers, pale and ashy from the lack of sunlight and outdoor time-looking out the window wondering where Christmas went and exclaiming “wasn’t it just Halloween?” This month in which we are told we can start over, start fresh. It’s a new year. A reset button allowing us to stop eating carbs after seven and start loving ourselves first.

I will take the offer then. I blame January for my lack of writing and for my overall shitty mood.

I am in the last semester of graduate school. I have a mere four months until I am back in the world. I am thrilled to be finishing, but I am disheartened by the fact that I still don’t know what I want in life. I feel continuously pulled between my role and identity as a mother and as a professional. I thought I would have accomplished more by now. When I was in college, I remember the ferocity I had towards life. The way in which every cause, every issue moved me. I wanted to be a teacher, a peace corps volunteer, a lawyer, an anthropologist. And today? I don’t have a clue what I want to be.

It’s as though, as we age we become more and more lobotomized. The issues that once touched us, and drove us to action have been clipped away one by one until all that is left is a self-centered cynic without a care in the world. A pale and ashy cynic as well.

As I’ve said before on this blog, the phrase “women can’t have it all” has always troubled me. For starters, it’s exclusive to same sex couples who are struggling with work/life balance. How do you apply “women can’t have it all” to a gay or lesbian couple? The breakdown of the modern day couple challenges the phrase in and of itself. Additionally, I have always found the phrase to be unfair to men (or should we be honest and say unfair to the partner who earns more money than the other). Nobody has it all. My husband feels a profound need to provide for me and for our children. That need is almost biological. He “can’t have it all” because of that need. He misses bedtime because of that need. He misses first steps and “I love you’s” because of that need. Having kids means that no one will ever again “have it all”.

But I will say this. And this is only one mother’s perspective. Before I had children, my identity was rooted in my professional accomplishments. I was well-known in my very small pond. And I reveled in that. I envisioned my future self a professional at the top of my game. And after kids? I search for an image of my future self-I squint my eyes to try and make out who this blurry, unknown and unfamiliar woman is in the distance. I can’t see who she is. How can she be the accomplished, impressive woman that she wanted to be her whole life while simultaneously being the fun-loving, always energetic and present mother? I don’t know how those two women co-exist. And further, because my role as mother is so all encompassing, it’s as if my brain doesn’t have any more room to envision another future of myself. My brain is filled up with thoughts and feelings about being a mother to two wonderful children. There isn’t room for anything else.

So that’s what has me depressed on this cold, windy January. That’s what has kept me from writing for two months. I am going to make an effort to write more. A lot of really crazy, very funny stuff happens to me on a daily basis. I should share it.

In the meantime, I will enjoy my last carbs of the day, apply lotion to my ashy legs, drink more water and love myself more 😉

-A

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Thanks Giving.

10357834_10102708060312274_684484639980468688_n
Today is Thanksgiving. It’s a day devoted to giving thanks for all that you have, for not wishing for the things you don’t have, a day to be happy with exactly what is.

This has been a bad month for me. I’m not going to go into details, although I’d like to. It’s important to keep some things private. I am writing though, because as I process the pain I am feeling, I am simultaneously aware that today is about giving thanks and I have thanks to give.

Because today is about not wishing for what you don’t have, but being supremely happy with what you do have.

And just look at what I have.

My beautiful, perfect, sometimes drive-me-crazy best friends. I am genuinely so thankful for them. For my gift(s). For children that I’ve longed for my entire life. Children that many people can’t have. A friend of mine said recently, in an effort to cheer me up, that getting older means you begin to be thankful and aware of what you have instead of unhappy and unsatisfied with what you don’t have. I guess it has something to do with perspective-knowing that you won’t live forever (something I felt certain of when I was in my 20’s). You learn to be appreciative of what the world has granted you. And I have been granted so very much.

Ok then.

Today I will focus on what is here. What I have been given. What I have been granted. And I will focus on my family, my parents, my children, my husband, my friends, my sweet loving dogs who kiss me and wag no matter what kind of a day they have had. I am thankful for a home and a warm bed and a hot shower and a full tummy. I am thankful for the trees flashing yellows and oranges and browns that blend together into a daily awe-inspiring mural. I am thankful for the air in my lungs and for the sky up above. I am thankful for life.

I am thankful for those of you who continue to read my blog 🙂

My life is full. My heart is fuller.

Thank you.

Posted in Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Two two-year olds.

bday
Sunday was the twin’s birthday. They turned two years old. I am really big on birthdays. My family was growing up, and I’m aware that sharing a birthday isn’t particularly fun, so I try to make a big deal of it. On their first birthday, I found myself awake at 2am making party favors for other people’s children who I knew deep down either weren’t coming, or wouldn’t want five plastic whistles from Target. I became obsessed with the idea that everything had to be perfect. That I had to project an image that we were a successful family who held beautiful Pintrest birthday parties. Of course both of my children cried throughout the entire party. They hated their cupcakes and were terrified of the “Happy Birthday” song.

Then came this year. Over the past several months, I told family and friends it would be a small affair and that I wasn’t going over the top again. And in some ways I didn’t. We kept it very small. Only family and godparents invited. But then I found myself Thursday afternoon melting down over the idea that we didn’t buy enough of the fancy hummus and only the publix brand that nobody likes. It got worse. My husband’s birthday is the day before the twins and so in addition to trying to make their party perfect, I wanted his day to be perfect as well. And for every plan I meticulously made, the universe laughed in my face. Here’s a quick list of this weekend’s failures:

Saturday am: tried to make breakfast for husband. miscalculated water to pancake mix ratio (how hard can that be) and made wet bubbly pancakes. Burned my wrist on the pan trying to lift it from the burner; son threw his plate on the floor splattering eggs on the wall and balloons I bought for my husband.

Saturday afternoon: took kids to the park to give husband the house to himself. Son ate a handful of dirt under the slide. I tried to wipe his tongue off and instead triggered his puke button. Son projectile vomits all over my face, hair and shirt. I take off my shirt and throw it away and spend the rest of the park day freezing in a tank top.

Saturday evening: I had planned and looked forward to a fall festival in the twin’s favorite park. I had dreamt of apple bobbing and strangely sized ponies available for petting. I picked perfect fall outfits for each and even waited (learned from last time) to put said outfits on until moments before we got into the car, so as to avoid soiling from food or puke. We drove over and picked up their godmother. We pulled up to the park only to see the festival shutting down and a smug park volunteer taking down the sign that read (Fall Festival: 10-2pm). It was 3:10pm.

Saturday night: I made cupcakes for the twin’s birthday and you can imagine how that went. Burned. Dropped. Wet. Bubbly. Awful.

Sunday am: the morning of their birth. I put them in the wagon and pulled them down to our farmer’s market for a surprise donut. The whole time they were literally HORRIBLE. Think screaming, hitting, hair pulling, spitting, laying on the ground refusing to get up. People looking, people grimacing with a “man, that looks really bad” face. Me glaring. Me crying. Twins crying harder. Dropped donut. In the mud. Ruined. Screaming, pulling, punching, grabbing.

Sunday afternoon: we had made plans to take a short zoo trip before the party started. This was originally one of my stupid ideas where I imagined my family strolling leisurely into the zoo on a beautiful day and my twins being unbelievably and unintentionally adorable the whole time. Incorrect. Screaming. Punching. Sweating. Pooping. Hands inside of diapers. More pooping. We returned from the zoo almost as soon as we had arrived.

Sunday evening: party time!!!!!!!

I realize that our son has an ear infection. He tugs painfully at each ear while simultaneously wailing. Guests are arriving. He is screaming. Daughter is super jealous of the attention brother is getting and begins pulling on her ears and crying. And the thing is, the ONLY person who can comfort them is me. My parents try to help. My husband tries to help. But all they want is mamma.

Sunday bedtime: I’m exhausted. I haven’t eaten all day. My hair has hamburger meat in it. After what feels like hours, I finally get everyone upstairs. My dad helps me. I ask him to leave and give me a minute alone with my babies. Who aren’t really babies anymore. But who will in a sense always be my precious, unexpected, unexplained babies. They climb onto my lap and begin sucking their thumbs, and for the first time in days, they are quiet. I hold them in my arms and inhale their warm breath and wet fingers and lavender smelling hair. I wipe frosting from my daughter’s ear. I hold them tightly against my chest and I tell them about the night they were born. About how my world changed in two minutes.

11:15pm and 11:17pm.

The greatest minutes of my life. The hardest journey I’ve ever taken. The best decision I’ve ever made. I weep softly to myself, thinking about the sound my son made when he took his first breath. I think about how tiny and soft my daughter was against my chest the first time I held her. I gasp for air thinking about the amount of love that I never knew I was capable to feel. I whisper quietly in each one’s ear.

I love you.

I love you.

It was a perfect weekend.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Turning two.

10610599_10102594597298064_2465492052256700620_n

In one month, my twins will turn two years old. If you know me, or if you’ve kept up with this blog, you know that I aim to lead an intentionally “live in the moment” life. As I’m sure we all do-or at least strive to. It sincerely irks me when well-wishers say “gosh, they grow up so fast don’t they?” and “It goes by in a flash”. As I’ve said before, I believe parents are acutely aware of just how fast time is moving since having children. Why must we be reminded of this in blogs or Facebook comments? The truth is, time is strange. On the one hand, being pregnant with these two seems like ions ago. Recovering from a C-section and spending time in the hospital feels like a different life altogether. And yet when I say the words “two years old” out loud, it hurts. I find myself subtracting the age of my children from 18 so that I can begin to grasp the concept that one day they will leave me. I re-ground myself by remembering how lucky we are to be here. Right now. Right now. I remind myself of the people I’ve lost this year-and how quickly and unexpectedly they left. I’m reminded of how fleeting and unpredictable the concept of “health” is. And this thought process brings me back to where I’m standing-it puts me back inside my life-inside this moment and I’m given perspective.

This afternoon was like a manic episode. When I got home, I felt good and strong and like an amazing mother who has great ideas and always encourages my children to be wild and imaginative and creative. And then one of them had a crying episode (for absolutely, and I mean this, no…reason..at..all) and I felt like ripping my hair out and my face got hot and my patience weaned and I told everyone to “calm the hell down!!”. And then it started raining. A big, bellowing summer thunderstorm that threatens significantly more than it delivers. And the thunder boomed deep guttural booms. And our daughter looked up at me with these big beautiful gray eyes, searching my face for comfort or reassurance as to what was possibly causing this noise. She climbed onto my lap and clasped her hands tightly around my neck, burying her wet nose and warm breath into my neck. She sucked her thumb and made little shakes every time the thunder clapped. I inhaled her smell and her hair and the little sounds she kept making and I thought to myself “we made this”. Just as I thought it couldn’t get better, that I could literally die the next morning and feel complete and perfect, our son climbed onto what was left of my lap and began rubbing our daughter’s back. And then he leaned over and kissed her on the head very gently before exhaling “ahhhhh”. We sat together for fifteen minutes listening to the summer rain pound against the window pains and race through the gutters. It was one of the most beautiful moments of my life. I lay there and wished for the minutes to become hours and the hours to become days and the days to stretch on and on until they slowly dissolved into nothingness.

But as it is with most things, the moment ended. The thunderstorm let up, the dogs began to whine for their supper and the babies slowly but surely regained their confidence and climbed down from my lap, racing full speed back into the playroom. I watched them run from the room, leaving behind what we just experienced, and what will live in my mind and in my heart for as long as I can hold on to it. I wanted to reach out and pull them back in-to clasp my arms around the whole lot of them, dogs, babies, everyone, and just hold on.

For one more minute. 

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment