Friday, September 01, 2006

Moving Day

Whereas there are some things Blogger won't let me do and I waaaant to, and

Whereas I am too cheap to pay for my own domain, and

Whereas the Jellyman hasn't posted on his blog since February but is totally going to contribute to this new one,

Be it therefore resolved that we are starting a new blog here. (Jane! I get to use the Fruit Salad thing! How freaking cool is that!?)

Pretty please with sugar and cherries on top, join us there?

Wednesday, August 30, 2006

You Have to Ask Me Nicely

Last night in the library's children's room, a librarian somewhat discourteously asked me to have Raisin refrain from spinning a rotating book rack.

Her request was completely reasonable, and I imagine spending 8 hours a day in that room can sometimes be Just Too Much.

Still. I am 8 months pregnant with twins. Pretty much every day you see me is the worst day of my life (movie reference, not meant to be literal). I would really have liked for her to stand there ... and with her Harvard mouth extend me some effing courtesy (movie reference #2, because it amuses me even if no one else gets it).

In unrelated news, The Cookie Cart today sold cookies with TWO causes. Not only did they help at-risk youth develop workplace skills, but they made a grumpy pregnant woman very, very happy.

Monday, August 28, 2006

How Much Pregnancy Whining Can The Internet Handle?

Raisin's birth story isn't where I thought it was. I was present at the birth, so reasonably I could reconstruct it out of my own head. But why do that, when I KNOW I saved it somewhere and I just need to find it again? Also, I clearly cannot post the "Where Raisin is Now" story without the "How It All Began" story, and that is why instead of those posts, which are only interesting to me, you are all getting more pregnancy blather which is, um, only interesting to me. Gosh, this is an awesome blog. (The other choices for blog topics today were a debate about whether capris can be formal and Why I Hate My Bra. Really, I think you should consider yourselves lucky.)

I thought I had learned about upheaval when I was pregnant with Raisin. Well, that was the river, this is the ocean, baby.

What surprised me most about pregnancy, version 1 was the way my primal self took over. I shook my head over emotional outbursts that could not be tied, even tenuously, to a Reason. I marveled, especially during the birth itself, at how my body just knew what to do. I have always tended much more toward the cerebral than the physical (read: I sucked at four-square), so it was bizarre for me to dwell so thoroughly in the world of the physical.

In version 2, this immersion is even more complete. I can vaguely recall a time when I could write a to-do list or pack a suitcase all by myself. I would even have gone so far to say that organization was one of my strengths. Now, not so much. I make attempts, I grasp at the straws of logical thought. But then somebody kicks my ribcage, or I have another contraction, or I am just so bloody tired that my shopping list peters out because I have started to sing something I heard on Sesame Street.

My brain has bowed so completely to the needs of my uterus that I actually find it hard to overdo. (That sound you just heard was the Jellyman snorting in disbelief, since virtually every evening I collapse, groaning, as soon as Raisin goes to bed. "How is that not overdoing?" he asks.) But I know better; if my brain were still in command, those piles of baby clothes would all be washed and folded and put away. I also know this is for the best. It is the Triumph of the Uterus that has kept my babies safely inside me this long. Oh, the loss of independence, it chafes, though.

And that, too, is vastly different from my first pregnancy. During the last trimester with Raisin, I certainly wasn't climbing ladders to clean cobwebs from the ceiling, but for the most part my activities weren't all that limited. I cooked, I cleaned, I worked, I managed my life the way I was used to doing.

I'm a Christian, and the church we attend focuses a lot of attention on ministry. There's a whole class, which I've taken, on finding one's personal ministry. What are you good at? What are you passionate about? How is God calling you to use those gifts in service? They don't teach you how to be the recipient. They don't tell you what to say when friends and acquaintances say, "be sure to call me if there's anything I can do to help." (I'm guessing they're not really interested in cleaning our gutters, for example.)

It seems simple on the surface. Fact #1: my friend has offered to help. Fact #2: I am drowning in laundry. Unfortunately, the simple equation fails to account for fact #3: I seem to be incapable of allowing someone outside my family to help me unless I am also gainfully employed. I cannot let her help with the baby clothes unless I spend that time on another project, like Operation Assemble Baby Swing. And then I apologize for the state my house is in, and explain that I'm dressed like a slob because I have to save the maternity outfits that fit for work days, and generally wear myself out faster than if no help had been offered in the first place.

Now, some single parent out there is reading this and wishing they could deliver a swift kick to my ample booty. And they are right. I'm swimming in blessings and complaining that the water is just too wet. My only defense is that the Uterus is in control, and she's temperamental.

Thursday, August 24, 2006

Blah de Blah Blah

Before the babies are born, I'd like to do some posts about Raisin. I want to post her birth story, and just document who she is right now, while she's still the only child.

But all those posts are likely to be sappy and weepy, and I just did one of those, so let's explore some of the other random thoughts floating about in my head. That's always fun!

On the Grape Family Vacation this year, there were 4 kids present: Raisin; my uncle's two boys, ages 6 and 8; and my cousin's son, age 12. (My uncle is 16 years younger than my mom, making him much closer in age to my cousin than he is to my mom and her sister. That's why I have cousins who are younger than my other cousin's kids. Confused? Good, my work here is done.) Anyway, Raisin was very much in awe of the "silly boys," gladly oohing over the frogs and fish they caught and trying valiantly to keep up with them when they'd let her. To their credit, they are all great with her. Still, I think it's safe to blame them for the fact that at dinner one day this week, my adorable princess asked me to pull her finger.

I wake up several times during the night, but usually I'm able to fall back asleep pretty easily. On Tuesday night, I made the mistake of attempting conscious thought before drifting off again. Conscious, not rational. It occurred to me that I have no emergency formula stash, that I haven't sterilized a single bottle, and that I haven't swaddled a baby in two years. Obviously all things that need to be addressed before any more SLEEPING goes on. Honestly. (For those who are concerned, I managed to restrain myself until last night to buy the formula, although I was sorely tempted to send the Jellyman on an early-early-morning grocery store run. I have plans to sterilize bottles this weekend, and to look up the swaddling technique and practice on a doll. Because then I'll be ready for the babies to come. For sure. You know, once the room is painted, the crib's made up, and all the clothes are folded and put away.)

Oh, and I have kind of maybe sort of decided what to do about Apple being breech. I am leaning toward scheduling a C-section during week 38 (4 weeks from now). If I go into labor before that, we will do what seems best at the time. It's not much of a plan, but it's something.

Monday, August 21, 2006

Fish Stories

Raisin learned the quintessential Minnesota skill last week: she "caught" a three-inch sunfish off the dock (my dad baited the hook, put the line in the water, saw the bobber go down, reeled in the fish, and removed the hook from its mouth, but Raisin was present and may have had her hand on the pole at some point -- that counts!). Then, my dad taught her to say "great big fish!" with her arms outstretched so she could tell the rest of the family about it.

With some interruptions, my extended family has been taking these collective vacations at least since my own childhood. The scenery is a little different -- when I was a kid we camped, now we rent cabins on the other side of the lake. The cast of characters has changed some -- those of us who used to beg to spend all day in the water are now explaining to our kids why they can't.

Most things are blessedly unaltered. Every year, we play the same games and tell the same stories. (Do you remember the time we left the Nerf ball out overnight and a skunk chewed it into pieces? Or when my aunt was SURE another picnic table would fit in the screen tent because she had "measured it with her eye?" I can no longer tell if I actually remember the events, or if I've just heard the stories so often they've become part of my memory.) We mercilessly tease for mistakes made years ago, but we also make each other laugh harder than any of us get to do anywhere else.

These trips formed a backdrop to some of my best memories, my most important moments. These are the people who know the best and worst of me, and who love me no matter what. This is the village that raised me, and now they are raising my daughter, too.

Friday, August 11, 2006


Tomorrow is the first day of the annual Grape Family Up North Vacation Extravaganza.

Raisin's agenda: "Go swimming, Mommy? Go on the boat! Where Mommy lifejacket? I wanna go on vacation NOW!" (Since we've been "practicing" riding in a boat on the couch in our living room, I wonder what she'll do when confronted with the real thing. Also, she believes that one can catch fish a la Ernie: "Here, fishy, fishy, fishy!" I have no comment about whether I have encouraged this belief for my own amusement.)

Jellyman's agenda: Have an occasional beer in the presence of adults who won't whine that they can't have one too.

My grandfather's agenda: Fish. Preferably without my offspring present, as she may have inherited my tendency to drop lucky fishing poles into the lake. Play cards. Quarter antes are acceptable, nickel antes are better.

My agenda: Every few hours, pretend to try to get up out of a chair so my grandma and mother will screech, "What are you doing!? What do you need!? Sit back down, I'll get it!" Also, sleep.

Wednesday, August 09, 2006

Well, Shoot. Now What?

People, I am flummoxed. Here are the facts of the case:

The Jellyman and I had pretty much decided that I would not return to work after my maternity leave. It was all unofficial -- I certainly didn't want to give notice before exhausting my benefits, and I was trying to keep an open mind in case all of a sudden going back to work seemed like a really good idea.

Given the costs (both financial and emotional) of finding and paying for a good day care for three kids, though, staying home just seemed to make sense.

Until my new boss told me that upon my return from maternity leave, she is prepared to offer me a promotion, a raise, and a flexible schedule. She can't offer me part-time, but is willing to consider just about anything else.

Also possibly relevant: my new manager was promoted to this position. She is one of my closest friends at work, and until 2 weeks ago was my peer. As my peer/friend, I had told her of the possibility that I might not come back.

Also also: I have done no research into daycare/nanny situations that would suit our schedule and budget.

I have no idea what to do. I don't have to decide today, since the offer won't be final until my leave is over (kinda silly to give a bunch of new responsibilities to a woman destined to crap out on them at any moment).

For now, I am adding this to The List of Things I Will Think About Tomorrow, Because I Am Scarlett O'-Freaking-Hara And I Can. (See also: "weight gain, pregnancy" and "delivering twins, you want me to do what now?")

PS At my OB visit today, I cowboyed up and asked for a referral to a counselor. I don't know if I'll make an appointment, but I feel much better just having the option available. Thank you all for your kind concern.

Monday, August 07, 2006

The Rules

For the remainder of my pregnancy, I do not wish to discuss the following topics:

1. Whether I am outgrowing my maternity shirts. Honestly, co-worker who suggested this possibility, what were you thinking? Not only am I probably more sensitive about my size than at any other time in my life, but I am hormonal and emotionally unbalanced as well! You are lucky I didn't sit on you. (PS, to the other co-worker who cannot believe that I am having twins because I am so small -- you are my new best friend, and I do not care if you were lying. Lie to me some more.)

2. My work schedule before delivery and my work schedule after maternity leave. No matter how many times you ask me, the answers will still be I don't know and I don't know (Well, technically I do know but I sure as heck am not burning any bridges until I absolutely have to). I am here until I'm gone. The end.

3. I definitely do not want to have this conversation again:

Other Person: You're still here! How are you feeling?
Me: I am tired.
Other Person: Yeah, just think how tired you'll be after the babies are born.

Thank you. I hadn't thought of that! I mean, I totally have never lain awake at night, desperate for sleep, but unable to get any because I am terrified at the thought of TWO newborns who will need me 24 hours of the day. Also, having never parented a newborn before (Raisin having been born 6 months old), I really have no idea how they behave, so it's a good thing you're here to point it out.

4. Projects the Jellyman and I had planned for our house. For example, someone asked the Jellyman last week why The Tree is still standing in our backyard. Except it was phrased like, "weren't you going to get that taken care of?" And I heard "slackers" clearly implied at the end of it. (Might just be me.)

Instead, please let us focus on the freaking awesomeness of the Jellyman. He is currently running our household almost 100% on his own, as I frequently have to lie down after washing one dish, require help carrying a load of laundry up the stairs, and am far too emotionally volatile to deal with Raisin's two-year-oldiness consistently. This is in addition to all his work to move his office downstairs and get the nursery ready for the twins.

And last night he told me, without sarcasm, that he felt lucky to be married to me. This is a prince among men, people, and the next person who implies that he could be working harder is going to get their ass kicked. Right after the mean co-worker from #1, and right before the President.

Friday, August 04, 2006

Forcing My Mind Open

I have not read Linda Hirshman's book. I have just read about her, for example on Parenting Pop Culture. I didn't like what I read.

Then I saw her on "The Colbert Report" (I know, I know. But honestly, is "real" news that much better?), and I did not hate everything she said.

I still disagree with her, a lot. The whole "marry down" thing makes me throw up in my mouth a little. And, while defending her "all moms must work" theory to Colbert, she said something like, "Just because women choose to stay home doesn't make it right."

Now, feminist isn't the first label I usually slap on myself, so maybe I'm missing something here. But I kind of thought that the point of any civil rights movement was choice. As in, being free means having the right and the opportunity to choose your life. I suppose Hirshman would argue that women aren't really choosing, but I can't agree from where I stand.

Anyway, at the very end of the interview, just as I was firming up my mouth in self-righteous indignation, Colbert suggested that all moms could work "one house over," caring for the neighbors' kids. Hirshman responded, "Well, at least if they did that they would get Social Security."


Thursday, August 03, 2006

Dear NSA, I Am Only Kidding

According to "The Daily Show," which honestly is where I get most of my news, the President weighed in at 196 pounds at his recent physical. My first thought was that this is uncomfortably close to my own weight.

Then, I realized, "If it weren't for those pesky Secret Service agents and the fact that I'm toting two extra humans around in my abdomen, I could totally take him."

I know it speaks to some deep-seated issues on my part, but that really made my day.

Wednesday, August 02, 2006

There Art Thou Happy

(Romeo and Juliet, Act 3, Scene 3)

Today I am grateful because:
  • Blog readers send me nice comments when I moan, instead of telling me to get over myself.
  • I got some sleep.
  • This zit is FINALLY going away.
  • It rained.
  • Raisin didn't have to be asked to give me a bye-bye kiss this morning.
  • The Jellyman has been working his butt off to get our house ready for the babies.
  • I have not been banished from Verona.
  • I can walk outside without fear of heat exhaustion.
  • I've made it through one more day.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


I have put off writing this post, because even in my head it sounds unnecessarily whiny. It is, but I have decided to write it anyway. This blog serves as my journal more often than not, and maybe if I just have my whine out, I can move on.

Every afternoon, I fight tears. Every day, I find myself thinking that I cannot do this anymore. I am too tired, too weak, too heavy, too swollen, too sad. Nobody signed up for this version of me. My husband deserves a better wife, my daughter deserves a better mother, my work deserves someone who gives a damn.

We all know I'm not so good with the change. The transition from mother of one to mother of three scares the shit out of me. I think what scares me most is that I might spend the next several months as this woman, the one who is making it through each day -- and that is all.

But I don't want my life to be something I survive. I want it to be something I live and enjoy and love. In my better moments, I imagine myself surrounded by three kids and I am overwhelmed by the joy I feel even at the thought of silly giggles and small confidences and sweet kisses. I believe I will make it to that day and that I will know this was all worth it.

I just wish making it there weren't quite so hard right now.

Friday, July 28, 2006

Help Me, Obi-Wan!

If anybody out there has an idea why this blog is all wonky when viewed through IE, please help!

Um, until then -- use Firefox?

OB Round-Up

Now that I am treated to bi-weekly visits to my OB's office, I think I have met most of the doctors who might be on-call when I go into labor. Unless I schedule a C-section, which I'm still undecided about for reasons that will become apparent as we Meet the Docs....

First up, Doctor Newbie, my regular doctor. Well, she's new to the practice, not necessarily to being a doctor -- although she's plenty young, so she can't be that far past her residency. I like Dr. Newbie pretty well. She's confident and knowledgeable, just a teeny bit brusque, but I can deal with that. At my first OB visit, she told me that as a practice, the doctors had all decided to schedule C-sections if one twin is breech. This is important, as we had quite a lengthy discussion about it. She told me that since not all the OBs were comfortable trying a version during labor, they had all agreed not to do it.

Next, Dr. Frownyface. She's got a good 25 years on Dr. Newbie. We didn't discuss labor and delivery because she was too busy freaking me out by scheduling a fetal fibronectin test. It was negative, for anyone interested. (Also, negative is good.) Even though I don't know Dr. Frownyface's opinion on the C-section debate, I feel pretty confident in saying that she would not be my first choice to deliver my babies (not because she ordered the test -- caution is good -- just because I didn't feel comfortable with her).

At my next visit, I met Dr. Man -- the only male OB I've met so far. According to Dr. Man, if the presenting twin is vertex, I can try for a vaginal delivery. Once that baby is delivered, he said, we'd try to turn the other one. (Really!? Reeeeeaaaallly.) His only caution to me was that I'd have to be prepared for a C-section if that baby wouldn't turn. I liked Dr. Man, he was very personable. He did, however, use a portable ultrasound machine rather than Doppler to look for the baby's heartbeats. This, he told me, is because he "has trouble" finding two separate heartbeats with the Doppler. Confidence-inspiring, yes?

Yesterday's appointment was with Dr. Amish. Another young, female doctor, which I appreciate. But... the heat index in Minneapolis has been hovering around 100 Degrees for the last several days. The air conditioning in the clinic, while effective, isn't exactly what I'd call Arctic. Yet Dr. Amish entered the exam room in a crisp white long-sleeved shirt buttoned up to her neck, a wool (!) cardigan, and a heavy black ankle-length skirt. Fortunately she is capable of using words like "cervix," or we might've had a serious problem.

Actually, in one of those ironic twists I so enjoy, Dr. Amish's one-twin-is-breech policy is the most liberal yet. Not only did she assure me that I could attempt a vaginal birth if I so chose, but she even suggested that a breech delivery of the second twin was possible if a version failed. Dude. Their staff meetings must be fascinating.

Next time I go, I'll see Dr. Newbie again, and one way or another she and I are going to have another long discussion about this. I don't feel the need to have my birth plan all set in stone right now, but I would really like to understand how I could've misunderstood her so badly at our first meeting.

As for that birth plan, I have a lot of mixed feelings. I would like to try a vaginal birth if I can. I don't want to have to recover from abdominal surgery while trying to care for three children. On the other hand, I don't want to go through labor and one vaginal birth only to need a last-minute Cesarean. That would mean having to recover from BOTH. Yuck.

There's also the argument that by scheduling the surgery, I would have some control over the timing and the doctor who would preside over the birth. Since they do have such differing opinions, it might be nice to know what to expect. And it might make things easier for Raisin if everything was scheduled. No need for a scene like, "Mommy's water just broke! Um, don't worry!"

Basically, I have no sense of The Right Decision. For now, I have decided not to decide. Procrastination rules!

Monday, July 24, 2006

And the Winners Are....

Jane, for the twin names of Apple and Orange! (I also loved the idea of Lemon and Lime, but I knew I'd keep forgetting which one was supposed to be which. But thanks to Karen and Jane for that idea!)

And K., because I'm stealing her suggestion of "Jelly" as a name for one of the twins, and turning it into "Jellyman" for DH (you know, like Finding Nemo with the sea turtles -- it's a lot funnier if you say it with the surfer-dude voice).

Jane and K., if you're willing to give me an email address, you will be receiving an Amazon gift certificate as your reward. Please email me at "grapemn AT comcast DOT net" to claim your prize!

Thanks to everyone who sent in ideas. This was fun for me. And really, that's the most important thing, right? Of course right.

Friday, July 21, 2006

It's Amazing

...what 11 hours of sleep will do for a person. (Well, 11 hours minus all the times I woke up to pee, shift positions, or try to convince one fetus or the other to stop kicking me.)

Yesterday I told my mom I wasn't sure why I'd ever wanted to be pregnant again. My back hurt, my legs hurt, my feet were swollen, my nose was running, I felt feverish (that's probably less from the pregnancy than from the summer cold I have), and the morning sickness was back. When my dad came over last night to help DH finish up the dry wall in our basement, my mom came to entertain Raisin and put her to bed. I myself retired at approximately 6:45.

Today, while you won't find me leaping tall buildings in a single bound, I think I could manage to sidestep a building of Legos. I may even be able to stay awake until after the sun sets. We'll see. (It sets LATE in Minnesota in the summer, ok?!)

Winners of the Baby Blog Name contest will be announced on Monday. Happy weekend!

Tuesday, July 18, 2006

Name My Babies

Well, not really. We have real names all picked out already -- names our moms don't even know, so don't try to trick me into giving those away.

But I do need your help with the blog names. To avoid confusion, Raisin will stay Raisin and I will remain Grape. DH and the twins are up for grabs.

And if I pick your name, I'll even consider possibly giving you a prize maybe! Who can resist an offer like that!? Bonus points for names that are vaguely fruity or at least food related because I kind of have this theme thingy going sort of.

Jane and Karen, your suggestions are already in the running.

Monday, July 17, 2006

I Wonder....

Have I always been this clumsy? Just this morning, I have dropped the following on the floor: my contact case, two washcloths, the cap for the orange juice, the twist-tie for the bread, and my book. Is it really always this bad, or am I just more aware of it now that retrieving the dropped item involves a sumo-wrestler pose and some serious defiance of gravity?

How can we convince Twin A (I'm still working on blog names. So far I've come up with Banana Boy and Berry. Are those too lame?) to flip himself over? His sister is actually the presenting twin right now, and she's vertex, so that somewhat lessens the chance that a C-section will be necessary. Having them both vertex would be awfully, awfully nice, though. Berry seems to be similarly minded; she delivered a swift kick to her brother's face while we were watching the ultrasound on Friday. Just wait until you don't have all those membranes and amniotic fluids to protect you, buddy.

When my mom comes over to help me for a day, and I suggest that she could vacuum up the icky spiderwebs from the laundry room, and she instead spends two hours scrubbing the entire room including the floor, is she really just trying to get things back to the way she "knows" I would want them, or is she subtly pointing out that the room was never that clean even when I wasn't pregnant?

Thursday, July 13, 2006


Once a Plan is in place, I generally prefer that it be left alone. DH views a Plan as a work in progress. He will continue to research options, and if he finds something he likes better, he'll change The Plan. Just like that! Who cares if Plan 2 is better than Plan 1? The point is we had a Plan, and now The Plan is gone. What will become of us? Oh, the humanity! (And you can all just shut your traps with your "logic" and your "reasoning." I ain't buying.)

This is the area of our relationship that is most likely to spark Serious Discussions. For example, we might Discuss which of us is possibly more rigid than tempered steel, and which of us is maybe CHANGING THINGS AGAIN OMG PLEASE STOP CHANGING THINGS. During these Discussions, I am fond of pointing out that I am much more flexible than my parents. Being less crazy than your family of origin is proof of some kind of evolutionary success, I feel. That should count for something, even if it doesn't discount the fact that I am a pathological stick-in-the-mud.

Raisin falls more often into the Today Should Be Just Like Yesterday camp. I can't tell yet whether that is simply a function of being two, or if that's her own personality coming through. If it is, in fact, the latter, then we may have some work to do towards ensuring the continuation of my Evolution Plan.

Case in point: Before we left for California, the hairdryer started making a suspicious noise. My MIL has one for us to use while we visit, so I didn't replace ours right away. On Tuesday, Raisin and I shopped at Target, and I quelled my inner need to buy the exact same hairdryer (they didn't have it), and purchased a replacement. I even used it yesterday morning, and I feel that, in time, the new hairdryer and I may come to be good friends. (See? Positively brimming with flexibility over here.)

Last night was the first time I attempted to dry Raisin's hair with what I now realize is Satan's own hairdryer. It dares to be "chrome" in color. "BLACK ONE, MOMMY!!! BLACK ONE!!! [sobs hysterically]" Also, it is clearly "too loud! Mommy, too loud! TOOO LOOUUUDDD!" (How this can be, given that the old hairdryer was decommissioned because of the suspicious noise, I do not know. Nevertheless. TOO LOUD.)

Any bets on how many days I will spend explaining that the black hairdryer is broken before she accepts this new intruder? And if DH is able to fix the old one (he wants to tinker with it to see if he can diagnose the problem), will it meet with as much resistance if/when it is reintroduced?

Parenthood is so glamorous.

(Oh! That reminds me. I had another story about the glamour, and it's really not long enough for its own post. On Tuesday when we got back from Target, it was already Raisin's bedtime. I decided to skip her bath, until I went to change her diaper and discovered that it was full of sand (MOMMY GUILT ALERT. SHE SPENT AT LEAST 3 HOURS IN THIS CONDITION.). Since a bath was now in order anyway, I asked DH if he thought I should wash her hair, too. "Nah," he replied. "Just rinse out her butt." Now, I ask you, in what other stations in life do you ever get to utter THAT phrase?)

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Hello. I'm back.

For the record, I was going to use this as a title for this post, or this. So it's not my fault that the actual title is so lame; all the good ones were taken.

We got back Sunday, and I spent yesterday catching up with all my blogs -- I mean, important work emails. Now that I know what's going on with you, I'd like to write a brilliant and witty post summing up our vacation.
I would like to write a post like that, but I yust can't think of one, so yust forget it. (Stop laughing at me. Stan and Doug are awesome.)

Anyway. Raisin was incredible on the plane. She was thrilled with the airport ("Look, Mommy! Another airplane!!" "You're kidding, Raisin! Where?"), and she handled every leg of the trip exremely well. I think she cried during one landing, but was quickly appeased with a Dum-Dum sucker.

That was just one of many things on this trip that made me realize that I am now raising a child, not a baby. For example, she spent a great deal of time dressing "myself." Also, she loved playing in Grandma and Grandpa's pool. The second day, she realized that if she stayed on the steps, she could "swim alone" and not be carried around by an adult. Offers after that to swim into deeper waters were met with great suspicion. She even slept in Grandma's day bed, and only fell out once (she sleeps in a big-girl bed at home, but we don't have a frame for the mattress, so there's not far to fall).

We went here (courtesy of Go City Kids, courtesy of Jinkies!). If you are traveling to Orange County with young kids, I highly recommend it. All the rides and activities are designed with little children in mind, and Raisin had a blast. Much cheaper than any of the bigger theme parks, too. By the time we left, we were intimate friends with the carousel guy; it was situated right in the center of the park, and Raisin couldn't pass the "horsey!!!!" without getting another ride.

In summary: excellent trip. I am totally hott in a maternity bathing suit. California is sunny and warm. My child is all grown up (sob). I'm back at work, and it sucks. DH and I have already counted the weeks until our August vacation "up North." (About 6, if you're wondering.)

Friday, June 30, 2006

I'm Off to CA, See You in a Week!

Packing list:

1 DH
1 Raisin
2 Fetuses
4 Boxes Ready-Cut Spaghetti (Hi MIL! We remembered!)
1 Maternity Swimsuit (Is California ready for this? I doubt it!)
1 Letter from OB saying the flight attendants have to be nice to me
1 Diaper bag whose contents will probably keep Raisin entertained for 20 minutes. Total travel time: um, way more than 20 minutes. That's why I need the letter.

Sounds like a vacation to me. Happy 4th, everyone!

Wednesday, June 28, 2006

Realizing How Apt A Metaphor It Is

Dear Elephants,

I think it would just be easier for everyone if you stopped pooping altogether. Thank you.

Now, if you'll excuse me, there's an escaped lion wreaking havoc among the acrobats, and the ringmaster is having a panic attack.



Thursday, June 22, 2006

The Elephant in the Room

I don't usually write about work here, mostly because it would be insanely boring for everyone involved. Yesterday, though, something happened that might be a little more interesting than normal, and I would very much like to tell the whole Internet all about it. I also would very much like to not get Dooced. I introduce you, therefore, to the Hyperextended Metaphor. Enjoy.

Let's say, for the sake of the metaphor, that I work for a circus. When I started at the circus 6 years ago, I had no experience in the circus industry. I was given a training-type position -- one where I could learn the business and still serve a useful purpose by performing tasks the more experienced circus members didn't have time/didn't want to do. Let's say that one of these jobs was to clean up after the elephants.

Now, I'm sure it's pretty obvious why the more experienced circus performances didn't want to have to clean up after the elephants. The job is monotonous and repetitive, and there's a really good chance that you'll end up covered in elephant crap. There is an element of risk to Elephant Crap Management, however, because if it's not done well, the animals will get sick and the circus will lose customers.

When I first started in Elephant Crap Management, this element of risk was heightened because the equipment -- hoses and such -- that we were using was outdated and in disrepair. Nevertheless, I eventually became pretty good at ECM. I also learned a lot of other cool tricks, and I was gradually promoted to throwing cream pies at clowns and even tightrope walking. Even after being promoted, though, I was still in charge of ECM -- the bosses could just never find anyone else to take it over. (Read: I am spineless, and never insisted that they make the new kid do it.)

Then, a little over a year ago, I got a job in the circus' administrative wing. My first project, fittingly, was to develop a better Elephant Crap Management System. I should note that I was only SLIGHTLY bitter that I had spent 5 years up to my ankles in elephant crap, only to be given the task of making the job easier for the person who followed in my footsteps. Still, I didn't have to spend every day reeking of elephant crap, so it was an improvement.

The ECMS project team worked for about six months developing better ECM equipment, and we came up with a much better system, if I do say it myself. Which I do.

This year, with more project experience under my belt, I saw some things we could've done better. So I told my boss that with funding, I could fix some bugs in the ECMS to make things easier still. The head circus people conferred and gave me the money -- they even gave me extra so we could develop some new ECMS features. (Um, like a disinfectant sprayer thingy? This is where the metaphor gets more and more difficult to maintain.) And ECMS Phase II was born, and that's what I spend a great deal of time on these days.

Which brings us to the current day. (Thank God, sigh the readers who haven't given up yet.) Yesterday, the circus brass found out that the Federal Board of Circus Freaks (FBCF) has revised the Elephant Crap Management section of the Circus Act of 1954 (circus act! ha!) -- section 15(g)(ii). It's not clear yet, but it appears the revised language indicates that ECM is now the responsibility of the elephants themselves, and not the circus. Or something. If that's true, ECMS Phase II will be canceled, and the entire ECMS will probably be retired.

The thing is, I think I've developed some kind of weird Stockholm Syndrome with the elephant crap. I've spent 6 years of my professional life trying to clean up the crap, and now all of a sudden it just might be totally gone. And then what will I do?

Monday, June 19, 2006

Good System

The WeightWatchers pizza I brought for lunch only made me want real pizza. Which I went out and bought.

What? The babies are hungry.

Wednesday, June 14, 2006

Balancing Act

I'm not the only one who had something to say about the NY Times article.

While we're discussing hot-button parenting issues, I've been thinking a lot about this and this.

The hardest thing about parenting for me has been the constant tightrope walking.

Don't introduce solids too early! But don't start too late, either! (I think we already covered the Other Great Feeding Debate.)

Is your child getting enough creative time? Enough active play? Enough time alone? Enough time with other kids?

Why can't she sleep? Is she overstimulated? Understimulated? Bedtime too early? Afraid of monsters?

What the Dooce and Amalah posts have me pondering is this: How can we best reassure our kids that Mommy and Daddy are capable and in control, while still helping them to understand that we are human? Because I think that's a really important lesson for our children, too. Raisin needs to know that Daddy will sometimes need a break, and that Mommy makes mistakes. She needs to know that's OK, so she can give herself permission to screw up sometimes, too.

It feels like yet another tightrope on which I have to balance. And yet, the mechanism to deal with a failure is built-in. It's an opportunity to forgive myself and show my daughter that strength is sometimes just perserverance in the face of weakness.

This weekend, Raisin ran into the kitchen carrying DH's glasses. "No! Raisin, those are Daddy's," I scolded. She looked surprised and hurt as she handed them carefully to her dad. She'd seen them in the bathroom and brought them to Daddy, thinking he might need them. When I thought about it later and realized what I'd done, I apologized.

I hope she'll come to respect our discipline more if she knows we discipline ourselves. That she'll trust us more knowing that we question our own trustworthiness. That if she knows that we are trying to be good parents, she'll be more ready to accept the times when we are not.

God, I hope I'm not wrong.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Oh, Let's Just Call the Post "Boobies." The Google Searches Are Coming Anyway...

Should mothers be guilted into breastfeeding? According to this New York Times article, some US officials seem to think so.

For example, the piece mentions PSAs depicting a pregnant woman being thrown from a mechanical bull. Her choice to ride is, according to the ad, as risky to her child as would be the choice to formula-feed.

Senator Tom Harkin of Iowa has proposed adding cigarette-style warnings to formula packages.

Here's what I thought was the key paragraph from the Times:

"... Urging women to breast-feed exclusively is a tall order in a country where more than 60 percent of mothers of very young children work, federal law requires large companies to provide only 12 weeks' unpaid maternity leave and lactation leave is unheard of. Only a third of large companies provide a private, secure area where women can express breast milk during the workday, and only 7 percent offer on-site or near-site child care, according to a 2005 national study of employers by the nonprofit Families and Work Institute."

I'd say, given the obstacles facing a new mother, putting a warning label on a formula canister is kind of like putting a Band-Aid on an amputation. If the good Senator really wants to promote breastfeeding in the United States, he and his colleagues can:

1. Make it easier for mothers who return to work to continue to nurse their babies.

2. Do some research. Why are black mothers less likely to breastfeed than Hispanic mothers? When women choose not to breastfeed, or to stop nursing "early," what are their reasons?

3. Use the research to improve the odds for moms who want to nurse. No agendas, no pressure -- that turns people off -- just opportunities.

4. If you're gonna pay for public service announcements, start with the stigma around public breastfeeding. No parent trying to do what's right for their family wants to get a dirty look. (In all fairness, this works in reverse as well. I know some moms feel they've been harshly judged for bottle-feeding.)

I think most moms know that breastfeeding=good. I think we also know first-hand that it's hard. And maybe we could use a little help, instead of guilt and threats.

*Disclaimer: I am lucky. I work for a company that DOES provide a private lactation room. My husband, boss, doctor, and daycare were all supportive of me. They supported me when I attempted to feed Raisin just breastmilk, and they supported me when I couldn't pump that much and had to supplement with formula. Because I'm lucky, I was able to breastfeed until I was ready to stop. My opinions are colored by my own experience. If your opinion and/or experience is different, feel free to share. But be nice.

Monday, June 12, 2006

I Feel Pretty

I've developed a twitch in my left eye. Watching myself in the mirror, I don't think it's something anyone else will notice, but it's driving me crazy and I feel like my face is one big nervous tic.

Women pregnant with multiples and women pregnant for the second or subsequent time are more likely to start leaking colostrum earlier in pregnancy. Ask me how I know.

My haircut appointment isn't until Thursday. Except for the boy-bangs, now thankfully grown out to an acceptable length, it needs to be cut NOW.

Acne sucks. Being too tired to properly wash one's face, and therefore being partially responsible for one's own acne outbreaks sucks even more.

I knew the stretch marks were coming. I know there'll be plenty more by the time we're all done. Still, bah.

If belly buttons were like those pop-up things on turkeys, it'd be time to head to the hospital. Past time, in fact.

Blah blah life-affirming pregnancy glow blah blah blah.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

I Wish I'd Said...

"Dad, I'm 28 -- two years younger than Mom was when my brother was born. My back hurts because I'm pregnant with twins, not because I'm 'not that young anymore.'"

"Sir, I can see you glancing pointedly from my abdomen to my left hand and shaking your head. It is absolutely none of your business, but I had to take off my wedding ring because my hands swell sometimes."

"You are the first person in two months of informal surveying who has actually given up your seat for me. God bless you." (I DID say, "Thank you," but it felt inadequate.)

"Raisin, I am sorry I spit ice cream at you. But when Grandpa asked, 'Are you a boy or a girl?' and you responded, 'Bird!' it was just too funny and I couldn't help laughing even though I had just taken a big bite."

Tuesday, June 06, 2006

I Love You, Sears.

I always thought I'd be much more likely to write a post about my devotion to Target. (And I would not be alone in the blogosphere. I won't try to prove that I love Target more than these people, because I think I would lose. However, I will try to prove my own awesomeness by pointing out that the Target closest to my house was THE VERY FIRST Target. Ever. "T-1," as those of us in the know like to call it. It's not really T-1 anymore, because they just tore it down and rebuilt it as a Super Target. But, really, doesn't that just make it - and by extension me - more awesome? Yes it does.)

Anyway. Target does not have appliances, and Sears does. So just for a little while, I am flirting with Sears. (I still love you, Target!) In fact, Sears has just brought me some brand new, shiny toys. A washer that holds twice the clothes but uses half the water. A dryer that actually maybe will sometimes dry things faster than they'd dry hanging on the line in the rain. A refrigerator/freezer in which ice is made -- and it stays frozen! Revolutionary!

There is a possibility that I am more excited about these arrivals than the coming birth of my children. But, see, when the washing machine was delivered, it didn't hurt a bit.

Thursday, June 01, 2006

A Bunch of Posts That Are Too Short On Their Own, All Lumped Into One!

Eternal Sunshine of the Messed Up Mind

I woke up the other day completely freaked out about how a parent handles the high school graduation open houses of twins. Do they have one joint party? Two separate parties? What's a mom to do!? (For the record, I've decided that we should plan, in 18 years, to offer our kids a choice. If they want a joint party, it can be bigger. If they choose separate open houses, they'll each have to sacrifice a little bit. It's good to have these things settled.)

Who The Heck Were These People?

DH recently destroyed an icky storage shed erected by the previous owners of our house. It violated code and was ugly and useless, so he tore it down. Underneath, he discovered what appears to be the contents of a woman's wallet -- NOT a woman who has ever lived in our house. Fortunately, DH looked her up and she is still alive and well.

You Have to Consider All the Angles

We have finally started to get serious about names for the babies. In fact, I think we might be set, but we're still thinking. You see, sometimes danger lurks in the best-sounding names. We thought we had the girl's name all figured out, and oh, how we both loved the name. It was perfect. Except the initials were KFC.

Perhaps I Eat Too Much Cheese

Theories abound about what precipitated the conception of our twins. There's the family history, and the fact that I stopped taking birth control pills not long before we conceived. And now there's this. (In case you can't see the article: a study now suggests that women who eat dairy conceive fraternal twins at a much higher rate than women who do not, possibly because of the increased use of bovine growth hormones.)

Thursday, May 25, 2006

100 Posts, 100 Things

So, yesterday's lame post was my 99th. Which means this is the 100th post on this blog!!!! {Balloons and confetti stream from ceiling}

In honor of this auspicious (?) event, here are 100 things about me:

1. I can’t stand candy that is sticky or chewy. No Jolly Ranchers, suckers, Rolos, or jelly beans for me – all gross.
2. Raisin seems to have inherited this issue, because she constantly wants to wash her hands when they’re dirty or sticky.
3. I love to travel, but I also love coming back home.
4. I have been to about half of the states.
5. I’d like to visit them all someday.
6. I have also been to Canada, Mexico (technically, although I don’t remember it), England, France, Switzerland, Germany, Austria, the Czech Republic, Hungary, and India.
7. I’d go back to any of those places in a heartbeat.
8. I have a long list of other places I’d like to visit, too.
9. I speak a little German and French.
10. I used to be pretty fluent, but now I’m forgetting everything because I never have a chance to speak them anymore.
11. I have never lived anywhere but Minnesota.
12. I met my husband on a Minneapolis city bus.
13. The official story is that neither of us was stalking the other. (He totally thought I was cute and was following me. Really.)
14. When I was in high school, my friends and I memorized entire movies.
15. I can still quote large sections of our favorites.
16. We also had parties where we’d watch a day’s worth of movies, play movie trivia games, and re-enact our favorite scenes.
17. For example, we once made grilled cheese sandwiches with an iron.
18. “…for grilled cheese, I might’ve used a wool setting.” “That’s what I told him!” Never mind.
19. Raisin’s real name means “grace” in my father-in-law’s native language.
20. He’s from India.
21. He and MIL live in California now, right by Disneyland.
22. Our kids are never going to want to leave their house when they get older.
23. My parents live in a Minneapolis suburb.
24. Right by... golf courses and soccer fields. Fun.
25. When I got bored in class, I used to do “free associations” to keep myself busy. I’d write a word, then write the next thing that came to mind, etc.
26. Writing this list is kind of like that.
27. Yes, I know I’m a nerd. I was also in orchestra and academic club. Got a problem with that!?
28. Every spring, I re-read The Secret Garden.
29. If I had a green thumb, my garden would totally be like that. But I don’t, and it’s not.
30. At the time of this writing, I am pregnant with twins: one boy, and one girl.
31. Heh, that just made me think of this sappy Colin Raye song I love.
32. I don’t have snappy Internet names for them yet, but I’m thinking I’ll need something fruit-related.
33. Fraternal twins can run in families. Identical twins technically do not. Dr. Google just taught me that.
34. Yes, I have a family history of fraternal twins. It skipped several generations, so I thought I was safe.
35. I hate ladders. I can never climb up more than 2 rungs.
36. I just thought of that because there’s a window washer suspended outside my window right now. I hate that too.
37. At least he’s cute.
38. Of course, that only makes it more sad that he might be moments away from plummeting to his death.
39. I love mint and chocolate together.
40. Pineapple is the ideal pizza topping.
41. It’s “duck, duck, gray duck,” not “duck, duck, goose.” If you are not from Minnesota, you most likely say it wrong. It’s not your fault, you didn’t know.
42. May 6, 2006 was my first blogiversary.
43. I kind of missed it because I had just found out THERE ARE TWO BABIES IN MY UTERUS.
44. I had a speech impediment until I was about 15. I had to go to therapy.
45. It never worked. Once a teacher told me I’d never get a job because of how I sounded.
46. Then I got my braces off and the problem went away. Go figure.
47. I have a job. So there, stupid teacher.
48. I’ll probably quit after the babies are born.
49. It feels weird that I know that already, but I can’t say anything for several months.
50. Someday I think I’d like to go back to school.

51. Not sure how that’s gonna happen with three kids.
52. I never know what people mean when they explain themselves with their astrological sign. “I’m a Leo, so that’s why I’m….”
53. I’m an Aries, if you care.
54. I had to look up Aries to make sure I spelled it right.
55. I love reality TV like “Survivor” and “The Amazing Race,” but I hate it when the contestants are mean to each other.
56. Apparently, reality to me means that everyone should just get along.
57. I re-read my favorite books over and over.
58. This includes, but is not limited to, Little Women, Anne of Green Gables, and anything by James Herriot.
59. I have many, many allergies.
60. Fortunately none of them are life-threatening.
61. Also, none of them are to food. That would be really bad.

62. I am generally pretty moderate politically, with a definite slant to the left.
63. I believe that one can be a Christian and a liberal, and it drives me nuts when people imply otherwise.
64. I am disproportionately worried about what will happen next year on “Gilmore Girls.”
65. I do not watch “Lost” or “American Idol.”
66. Yes, I am the one.
67. I hate my feet.
68. As a result, I also hate shoe shopping.
69. Someday they’re gonna revoke my girl card for that.
70. I do enjoy pedicures, celebrity gossip, and pretty purses, though. I hope that’s enough to keep me in the club.
71. I don’t usually like sauerkraut, but last weekend I ate some and it was awesome. I’m blaming the pregnancy hormones.
72. I don’t like to write with pencil. Pens only, and they have to be the right kind.
73. My church youth group was once on the news in Ontario because part of our group got lost at Sleeping Giant Provincial Park. I wasn’t one of the lost ones.
74. My other television credits include a two-second glimpse of me when my elementary-school dance group performed at the opening of a bridge, and an interview in my high school’s video yearbook.
75. No autographs, please.
76. I love to go boating, canoeing, and swimming.
77. I don’t like fishing.
78. I am too sensitive.
79. I changed my name when I got married, mostly because I like the idea of my whole family sharing a last name.
80. I do NOT like the idea of being “Mrs. John Smith.” I throw away mail that comes addressed that way, unless it’s from my grandma.
81. She gets a pass because she’s old enough to forget that I dislike that convention.
82. I am already planning to go back on Weight Watchers after giving birth.
83. I refuse to contemplate how much weight I may have to lose (because I refuse to contemplate how much I have left to gain).
84. WW has a nursing mom’s plan – I figure I get extra points for nursing two.
85. I have a hard time admitting I’m wrong.
86. For example, this week a co-worker disagreed with me about the placement of a comma. I looked it up in a grammar guide to prove I was right.
87. I was.
88. I suppose at this point it goes without saying that bad grammar and punctuation bother me.
89. Except, of course, errors that I make.
90. Like “bring” and “take.” I can never get that right without a seriously involved thought process.
91. I hate cigarette smoke. Not just normal hate, but active loathing.
92. I think Minnesota should have a law like that city in California, where smoking isn’t even allowed outside.
93. Usually this would offend my sense of individual liberty, but cigarette smoke is the exception that proves my rule. Plus it smells bad.
94. I have an internal hierarchy to decide who deserves a seat on the bus.
95. I’ll get up for an elderly, pregnant, or disabled person (when I’m not pregnant myself, of course). If you’re relatively young and not carrying anything heavy, you’re out of luck.
96. There are very few people who will give up their seat for an obviously pregnant woman. That really chaps my hide.
97. The list of blogs that I read should really be much longer than what’s on my blogroll, but I am too lazy to make it a separate page.
98. I think “grey” should always be spelled that way, not “gray.”
99. This list has taken me almost 2 weeks to write.

100. My favorite color is blue.

Wednesday, May 24, 2006

In Search of Interesting Material

Dear Internet,

Last night I watched "House." It was confusing. Tonight I think I'll do laundry.

My daughter thinks the moral of Five Little Monkeys is that it's fun to jump on the bed while shouting, "NO MORE MONKEYS JUMPING ON THE BED!"

My brain is numb from doing boring paperwork.

Talk to you again soon.


Thursday, May 18, 2006

Sometimes the Internet is Mean

I know this has absolutely nothing to do with me. Dooce has never heard of me. But ouch.

Especially when I started to read the comments, including, "this isn't meant to be offensive, so please don't get is because of people like your sister that i am choosing not to have any children."


When acquaintances first find out that we are expecting twins, the response is usually, "Congratulations!" Or maybe something like, "It's a double blessing!"

It is. I know that. I know that women everywhere are fighting with their entire beings to conceive a baby, have a baby, keep a baby, adopt a baby. We're unbelievably, undeniably blessed.

Also, if you're gonna have twins, you really couldn't ask for a better set of circumstances than these. Both sets of grandparents have already offered sacrifices of their time and money that absolutely move me to tears. There's no way we WON'T be OK -- our families will make sure of that.

Still, I worry.

I'm worried that I am going to be too tired and careworn to appreciate my children's babyhood.

I'm scared that I'll go into labor prematurely, or that something will happen to one of the babies. (When I thought I was pregnant with just one baby, I could deal. Now, not so much.)

I am so, so afraid that Raisin will spend the rest of her toddler years playing third wheel.

It's this last one that's really keeping me up at night. (Well, it would be, if I could keep my eyes open EVER.) I was fretting about it anyway, as I'm sure any mom does when her precious, first-born, center-of-the-universe child is about to become "baby's big sister." Now, as well-meaning friends and family point out, Raisin's world will be undergoing an even more drastic change. These assvicers pretty much have me convinced that I've spoiled Raisin horribly thus far, and that there is no question but that I will utterly ignore her once the twins arrive.

But hell, I can beat myself up over my awful parenting, and I can vow that I will do everything in my power to get some one-on-one time with Raisin to help her make the transition. The real question is, what do I do about the strangers who will, apparently, be gushing all over the twins while Raisin is shoved aside? (I don't find this scenario hard to imagine. When Raisin was a baby, a stranger at Target asked me if it would be OK for her to lick Raisin's toes. You can't trust people around babies.)

I'm starting to think that I should wear a sandwich board when I'm out with all three kids. It could say:




Or, the less courteous but more honest


Saturday, May 13, 2006

Just Watch What You Say To Me

Him: I like your pregnant belly. You know that, right?
Me: Do you like my big, fat pregnant butt, too?
Him, sensing danger: Yes?
[stony silence]
Him: I mean, your butt doesn't look any different than it usually does?
Me: So it's always fat?

Raisin's toy vacuum: Oh, boy! This place is a mess!
Me: Shut your trap, Dusty.

Friday, May 12, 2006

I Look Like a Boy

She said, "Do you want your bangs a little shorter this time?"

I foolishly agreed, "Sure, a little bit."

And then she cut off an inch and a half in one snip.

Tuesday, May 09, 2006

I've Got Nothin'

But I'm posting anyway because let's talk about something other than the twins for a little while.

For example, why does Nicole Kidman still love Tom Cruise? Seriously? He hasn't killed that feeling for her yet?

Or, how funny is that Bush impersonator guy that's been on "Meet the Press" and "Today" this week? I especially like his opening line, "First, I'd like to welcome you to xxx. Third,...." Comedy gold.

I hate "The View," but I might watch if I'm on bed rest this summer or while I'm nursing babies this fall. I hear that Star Jones and Rosie O'Donnell hate each other, and I would love to see those two scratch each other's eyes out. Funny! And also probably really good for breastmilk quality, don't you think?

How come every time I read Anne of Green Gables, I forget that Matthew dies in the first book? I always think it's the second book, and then it happens, and then I cry. Unfair.

There. Let's discuss.

Thursday, May 04, 2006

The Rest of the Story

Or, Blogging as Emotional Outlet and Free Therapy

Part I: In which nobody figures out I'm carrying twins until 18 weeks

In retrospect, the "diagnosis" explains so many things: why the "morning" sickness has been so awful; why I'm so, um, large; why I'm extra tired and emotional; why I felt movement so early (and in places I didn't think such an early fetus should be). But denial, she's a powerful animal, and alternative explanations were so easy to come by. Every pregnancy is different; this is the second time, so you'll "pop" sooner; you already have a toddler to care for; maybe it's gas; blah, blah, blah.

The midwife did say that looking back, my uterus was bigger at 13 weeks than "normal." It was just wasn't enough bigger that she got concerned. Plus, they plunked down the Doppler twice and heard a healthy heartbeat -- nobody thought to maybe wave the thing around a little to see what else was in there. And, since we spaced the visits farther apart (at the midwife's suggestion), there was never another chance for an actual professional to say, "hmmm, something's different."

Oh, well. We could've found out in the delivery room, I suppose.

Part II: In which the Discovery is made

We were late for our ultrasound appointment yesterday. I wrote 7:30 in my planner, but we should have been there at 7:15. The witch at the front desk pointed this out to me three times. I apologized the first two.

I apologized again to the ultrasound tech (after all, she's the one who actually had to wait for us). She, of course, was very nice about it, and she assured us there would still be time before my midwife appointment to do the full scan. HA HA HA HA HA HA.

About 15 seconds after she started moving the wand around, she started making faces. That made me nervous, and it didn't help when she said, "Who's your doctor again?" Then she twitched the wand up to the top of my uterus so we could see both heads at once, and said, "Do you see what I'm seeing here?" And then she had to get out the smelling salts. Almost.

She said she got suspicious because she started on the side of my belly AWAY from the bulge, but found a baby anyway. She sneakily confirmed it for herself before showing us the money shot, hence all the frowny faces.

So, there was not time for a complete check-up on either baby, but she hit the high points (heartbeat, placentas, skull circumference, and the sex of the babies as a bonus for us). The Level 2 u/s tomorrow at the perinatal clinic will be more complete.

Part III: In which we realize that this might maybe sort of be OK a little

There was much crying and panicking yesterday when I first got the news. I never wanted a large family. In fact, I made a big deal about not being outnumbered by our kids (again, HA HA HA HA HA HA HA). It's hard to explain the feeling -- I mean, when you see your child(ren!) for the first time, any expectations become irrelevant anyway, right? I was -- dumbfounded, I guess.

Now that I'm recovering from the shock, I am willing to admit to some cautious optimism. My pregnancy is now higher risk, but I am healthy. I will miss my job, but we will all be less stressed -- and the budget will be less tight -- if I stay home for a while. It will be hard work, but our families and friends have already promised an overwhelming amount of help and support. We will be OK.

Part IV: In which we demonstrate that laughter is truly the best medicine

After Raisin retired for the night, DH and I finally had a chance to discuss yesterday's events, including:

One of DH's first reactions: Well, I'll ask the doctor about a vasectomy.
One of my first reactions: Poor, poor Raisin. What have I done?
My favorite new word I learned yesterday: hyperovulation. My ovaries, they are hyper. Calm down, girls, the party's over.

Wednesday, May 03, 2006

Take a Deep Breath

Here's what we know so far:
-Each baby has its own placenta and amniotic sac. Good news.
-Best guess is that I'm carrying one boy and one girl.
-Both babies are measuring right on schedule for 18 weeks, and the quick scan the ultrasound tech was able to do looks good.
-I can no longer see the midwives, but I can see an OB in the same office, so hopefully the basic philosophy of care will stay the same.
-I have an ultrasound at a perinatal clinic on Friday so they can do a more thorough check on each baby.

The list of things we don't know is infinite and frightening, but includes:
-Whether I will be able to travel as planned this summer.
-Whether we can afford day care for 3 kids.
-Whether I am going to lose my mind 100% or if parts of it might be salvageable.





I am a complete freaking basket case. There are so many decisions to make, and so many things to think about. I'm off to a good start, though, I think. So far today I:

1) Cried
2) Ate
3) Showed up to work 1.5 hours later than expected

So I can scratch those 3 things off the list. Whew.

Monday, May 01, 2006

Birthday Party

I am jealous of my daughter. She's got perfect hair and eyes and a stunning complexion. Not fair. And now, she has better toys than I do.

Seriously. My dad built her an entire miniature kitchen for her birthday. There's a refrigerator, a sink, and a range/oven. There are real working lights in the fridge and oven. The fridge has a crisper drawer, the oven has removable baking racks. The tiny utensils my mother-in-law gave her are in way better shape than my real ones. She has stainless steel cookware, people. And itty-bitty oven mitts. And wooden knives with which to cut up her wooden veggies. (Have you seen those things? The ones with the pieces velcro'd together so you really can cut them open? SO JEALOUS!!!!)

DH and I gave her a tricycle. She can't quite pedal on her own, but the model we picked out has a removable steering handle so an adult can push it from behind. Of course, between the rain we had all weekend and the houseful of grown-ups ready to bow to her every whim, she now believes that this is a prime way to get up and down our hallway.

"Mommy turn!" she said to me at one point yesterday.

"Oh, honey, I don't think I'll fit on your bike," I said (NAIVE MOMMY!).

She turned around and gestured impatiently at the handle. "No, Mommy turn push!"

Mm-hmmmm. You're lucky you're so cute, sweets.

Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Time Flies

Dear Raisin,

Today you are 2 years old. Yes, you really are, even though you told Daddy last week that you're 8, and even though you refused to let us sing "Happy Birthday" to you this morning. The force of your will is mighty, but I'm afraid it's not strong enough yet to actually influence time.

The last 2 years have been nothing like I expected, and everything I ever wanted all at the same time. I am so in love with you. I love seeing the signs of the person you're becoming. As you leave babyhood behind you, you are showing us more and more glimpses of a girl who is bright, funny, fun-loving, caring, and joyful. I am excited to find out what's next for you.

You might be surprised to hear that, since lately things have been kind of difficult at our house. There is an undercurrent of change that is hard on everyone: in a few months, you'll have a new brother or sister. At the same time, you're learning to sleep in a big-girl bed and learning how to use the potty. You're finding out that you have some control over the things that happen to you, and you're trying to figure out what to do with that control. It's a lot to deal with, and I want you to know that I understand when you get frustrated.

You need to know that your Daddy and I want you to be a strong, independent woman someday. It's just that sometimes we also want you to just let us buckle you into the car seat already. That's why we sometimes get frustrated with your experiments in self-determination -- not because you shouldn't express your opinions, but because we are still used to being parents of a baby who can't make choices on her own.

We'll learn together, Squirt. Bear with me.

In the meantime, please don't grow up too fast. Don't stop giving mid-air kisses with that audible "mwah!" sound, or trying to burrow your way into my chest when you're tired or scared. Please still get excited about every puppy that passes our house. Don't become too mature for rides up and down the hallway in a laundry basket, or to run around the house with your Hello Kitty hamper upside-down over your head. You can be a big girl and Mommy's baby at the same time, OK?

Happy birthday, sweet girl. I love you.

Love, Mommy.

Wednesday, April 19, 2006


After posting yesterday, I thought of a couple more things I meant to record here. This is more for posterity than anything else, so feel free to move on if you're not interested in the internal workings of my daughter's mind.

Her favorite foods are chicken (meaning nuggets), cheese, juice, "kepup" (ketchup), and "syrpup" (syrup).

She's figured out that in a restaurant, you tell the server what you want, and then they bring it to you. Being a toddler, however, she's not keen on the part where you have to wait between ordering and eating. We're sometimes able to distract her with crackers or crayons, but often she'll crane her neck around constantly, looking for the server. When that hapless employee does pass our table, Raisin yells, "My chicken? MY CHICKEN!"

Once we went to a small family-owned place near our house. They were understaffed and really busy, and the poor waitress kept passing our table with trays for other patrons. She started apologizing every time she walked by us, because she was followed throughout the restaurant by Raisin's indignant cries.

Hmmm. I'm sure there was more, but of course I never think of these things while I can actually post them -- always while I'm driving down the freeway. So there might be another installment to come!

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

The Power of Positive Thinking

Lately I have often caught myself doing this whole "poor, poor, pitiful me" bit. I flatter myself that I've not inflicted it on anyone beyond my immediate family (and possibly the internet), although there's really no excuse for doing that to Raisin or DH. So, today, we try to move beyond "wah, I'm pregnant and my back hurts and my daughter is so sick and why must God mock me this way?" and try to look at the bright side of life. You know, Pollyanna. Raindrops on roses, whiskers on kittens. Etc.

Really, things are better. The number of hours since either Raisin or I have vomited is steadily increasing. We're hoping to set a new record. Score!

Also, Raisin is unbearably cute despite her trials. She's graduated to the big-girl bed, which she loves. She even asks to go to bed sometimes, although she really has no intention of staying there. She just wants to visit.

Her favorite phrase, "what doing?" has become a constant in our house. Despite our best efforts, DH and I have not been able to convince her that "sleeping" is an acceptable response to this question. If she's awake enough to ask "what doing?" we had better be awake enough to provide an interesting answer.

She loves to play pretend, and she's quite the little housekeeper. She cooks excellent pretend snacks (Grandma and Grandpa are making a mini kitchen for her birthday next week), and she'll stand on a stool at our kitchen sink "washing dishes" quite happily -- sometimes for minutes at a time.

Our family's love affair with ducks continues. There are at least two pairs nesting on the pond near our house, and Raisin loves to visit them. Unfortunately, the path around the pond is designed so that you can't get really close, which leads to a lot of disappointment. She makes up for it by shouting, "HI DUCKIES! QUACK QUACK QUACK! WHAT DOING, DUCKIES?" I'm sure the neighbors love that.

She knows her colors really well, which is a big hit with the grandmas. She's also learning letters, although I think her biggest joy in the alphabet right now is just that she thinks the song is funny. Maybe not, though -- a couple of weeks ago she handed me one of the letters from her bathtub alphabet set, and said, "i!" "My kid's a genius!" I thought. She's reading letters, and she's not even two! Of course, then I handed her an "e," and she called that an "i," too. But still.


I'm definitely feeling movement from Baby, usually at night. I had a sneezing fit the other day, and the kid most decidedly did not appreciate being jostled. The responsive kicks were as strong as some I remember from Raisin's third trimester.


And, as a final random thought: At our big family Easter/April birthdaypalooza this weekend, my grandmother (age 79, or thereabouts) showed up with a bright pink frisbee for my uncle's dog. When we arrived, my uncle wrestled it away from the dog to show my mom. "Our mother will not tell me where she got this," he said. We all gathered around to take a closer look; it was decorated with the logo of a Minneapolis nightspot where "girls! girls! girls!" are the primary source of entertainment. We still don't know how my grandparents obtained the frisbee of questionable morality, or why such an establishment would be giving away frisbees.

I feel better now. How about you?

Thursday, April 13, 2006

The Trouble With Faith

Or, How Raisin's Mommy Lost the Last Shreds of Her Sanity in Just 5 Days.

Saturday: urgent care. Diagnosis: pinkeye. Could be viral, could be bacterial. No problem, I can handle this. Either the drops will help, or it will clear up on it's own. I believed.

Sunday: emergency room. Diagnosis: croup. This means the pinkeye is viral. Slightly scary, but doctor says we caught it early, and they give steroids that will hopefully prevent a more serious attack. Should clear up on its own after that. I believed.

Monday: at home. No new problems, so Raisin must be recovering, right? Sure.

Tuesday: at home, fever is 103. No appointments available with regular doctor, so back to urgent care. Diagnosis: secondary bacterial infection because immune system was weakened by the virus. (It seems she has a double ear infection, bronchitis, a new round of bacterial pinkeye, and possibly strep throat. $%&#.) Still, I believed in the power of the antibiotics, and it was a relief to be able to do something more concrete.

Wednesday: at home, still. Again, hoping for a day of rest so Raisin can recover. She starts throwing up, her mommy throws a tantrum. I'm running out of faith, calling the clinic in tears, moments away from insisting that SOMEONE in the medical profession had better $%&#ing FIX my child RIGHT NOW. Diagnosis: it could be a reaction to the antibiotic, but it's too soon to tell.

Then, Raisin looks over at me and says, "Mommy, what doing? I hungry." So she eats some grapes. All of a sudden, she's almost 100% back to normal. I feel like I've been run over by a truck. This parenting thing is, like, hard, dude.

Thursday, April 06, 2006

Four Years

Today marks four years that DH and I have been married. By the numbers: four years, 1.33333333 kids. We're in our 2nd house and our 2nd and 3rd cars. We've travelled halfway around the world together, and had adventures in our own backyard.

Some people think it's romantic to say that they can't imagine their life without someone. I think that just shows a lack of imagination. I can imagine my life without my husband, and that's why I stay. No matter how furious I am that he has left his towel in a sodden heap on the bed AGAIN, I would never choose another life but this one.

DH, happy anniversary! I love you. Thank you for being so good at loving me.

Tuesday, April 04, 2006

Search Strings!

I had nothing to write about until... I checked my recent search strings. I'm a real, live blogger now, kids -- I actually have some interesting ones!

life skills class mn: I'm pretty sure I specifically said I have no skills. At all.

playb0y Brooke Shields: I don't even want to think about the kind of traffic that's gonna bring me.

Julie loves Kirby: I just said I admired the guy, OK?

raisin picture: If you're looking for pictures of my daughter, I'm very sorry that I lied to the whole internet. I'll never do it again. If you're looking for pictures of dried grapes, I'm gonna need to know why.

jamba juice pregnancy: Rock on! Just watch out for the "femme boost" -- a snotty Jamba Juice lady lectured me about ordering that one while pregnant.

Friday, March 31, 2006

Things Are... Different This Time

If it weren't for the physical symptoms of pregnancy, I would not feel pregnant this time around. I mean, it's kind of hard to ignore the puking and the growing belly (they weren't kidding when they said I'd "pop" earlier the second time!) and the constant need to eat -- post-puking, obviously. I could even swear I'd felt movement, if it didn't seem so ridiculously early.

Even mentally, I think it's sinking in that we are having another baby. I keep making lists of things we need to do. I am looking forward to the fall, and worrying about how we'll manage the needs of two kids. I keep telling people I have a "boy" vibe this time (I was right about Raisin, so we'll see....).

Emotionally, though, I'm just not getting it. I'm not experiencing the kind of connection to this baby that I felt with Raisin. Truthfully, I'm not even sure I remember how I felt with Raisin -- maybe I'm projecting the connection I feel with her now back onto the pregnancy? Either way, it's bothering me a little, when I'm not too tired to think about it at all.

I mentioned the feeling to the midwife, and she thinks it's normal. "I wouldn't say a pregnancy can take care of itself, exactly," she said, "but it almost can. Your focus needs to be on your daughter, and that's OK."

Reassuring words, but I could use some more. Did anyone else experience something like this with a second (or later) pregnancy?