Sunday, December 30, 2007

With The Thoughts I'd Be Thinkin'*

1. Garrison Keillor: literary luminary, or Humongous Bighead? It's hard to tell sometimes -- maybe he's both?

2. In the 2008 presidential election, I would like to cast my vote for someone who opts out of the political game. Tell me the truth. Tell me what you really think, and not what you think I want to hear. So far, the only candidates willing to do this are friends of Shirley MacLaine or they believe that "illegal alien" means the same thing as "American dream killer." Please tell me these are not my only choices.**

3. When Raisin chooses names for dolls or imaginary friends, they are always things like "Kaweeza" or "Halla." When I was a child, I had an imaginary friend named "Seeley Galeely." Um, my child and I are normal, right?

4. Orange walks on her knees. Why does she do that? (She will walk on her feet if she's holding someone's hand, so I'm not worried about her development. I'm just wondering...)

5. Why didn't anyone tell me about "Wait, Wait ... Don't Tell Me?"*** I had no idea public radio could be so funny.

6. Making your own hummus is easy. I assumed there'd be some trick to it. I've been missing out, apparently.

7. New Year's Resolution: go back on Weight Watchers. Good thing hummus is low fat.

8. Pre-New Year's Resolution: eat all the junk that will tempt me after New Year's. That way, it won't be here to make things harder later. Logical, right?

*...I could be another Lincoln, if I only had a brain. Phew. That was like leaving "two bits" out of "Shave and a Haircut."

**Except maybe John McCain. So add one more caveat: candidate must be willing to think outside the box on health care, the mortgage crisis, education, and most importantly, Iraq.

***Get it?

Monday, December 24, 2007

I Knew There Was A Reason I Married This Guy

This wasn't my best Christmas Eve. The kids were tired from celebrating yesterday with my mom and dad. I tried all day, with extremely limited success, to unpack their loot from that party so they could play with it and leave me some time to clean up for our company tomorrow. I have to work tonight, and so will miss the family gathering at my Grandma's house. We haven't made it to church at all this week, what with tired and/or sick babies and bad weather. By the time the Jellyman got home from work, the house was a disaster and his entire family was crabby. Merry Christmas.

He just called me from upstairs. "Take a break from checking email, and see the mess I've made in your kitchen," he said. So, I went.

He's making beef stroganoff and popovers, which is what my grandmother always serves Christmas Eve.

He's mine, and you can't have him. *Sniff*

Thursday, December 20, 2007


Raisin starred* in her preschool's Christmas program this week. If it was unclear before, it is now quite obvious to me that I am raising a march-to-your-own-drum kid.

She sang along with the first song, but as an echo. This actually makes sense; that's how the teachers help the kids learn the songs, so it's logical that she thinks that's how the song really goes. But since the rest of the class was singing in unison, and she took seriously my suggestion that she should sing loudly -- well.

During the recitation, she was so enthralled by the Oscar-worthy performance of her peers that she forgot to say it with them.

While the rest of the class sang "Jingle Bells," she was trying to push her way to the front to tell the teacher something, and missed the whole song.

And while the whole school sang some other bell-related song (this is my favorite part), Raisin sang "Jingle Bells," which actually made for a nice sort of medley. (Like that Sting/Bing Crosby carol where Sting sings "Peace On Earth" and Bing sings "The Little Drummer Boy.")

She looked so beautiful and confident up there, waving to us before her part began. She listened politely to the other classes, and she even managed to enjoy the twirliness of her skirt without hiking it up around her waist for a better look.

It sounds like I'm kidding, but I honestly have never been so proud.

*The other families probably thought that their kids were the stars. We'll just have to agree to disagree.

Friday, December 14, 2007


In your family, do people stay no matter what? Do they show up for the big family functions even when they're mad at somebody, just because they believe it's important for family to be together? Or do they stay away, maybe for years, maybe forever, because something has hurt them, and they can't or won't get over it?

My mom's family, with whom my brother and I spent most of our holidays and special occasions growing up, is the first way. We may not have a good time, but darn it, we are THERE. Through divorces and remarriages and awkward moments and bad memories, everyone just keeps showing up. The difficult things sometimes get talked about, sometimes not, but eventually things even out again and we are glad that no bridges got burned in the process.

My dad's youngest brother has been estranged from us for years. Not a complete break, but enough of one that he was not present at my wedding or my brother's (he was invited). There is a lot of stuff there, dirty laundry that I won't air on a blog, even one as anonymous as this. The point is this: I contacted him again, got rebuffed again, and got angry, and maybe a little reckless. I asked him why -- what could I have possibly done to create this distance?

He answered me. I think we can make things better between us. Not perfect, but better.

Merry Christmas.

Friday, December 07, 2007

'E's Not Dead, 'E's Sleeping!

Um, Hi. The new job is not perfect. It is better than the old job, but I'm not sure it's enough better, and I am trying to figure out how to make it livable, and the posts I keep thinking of are not that joyful, and while that may be cathartic for me it is probably not that fun to read, and that's why I am not here.

Here is something joyful, though: after helping me stuff our Christmas letters into envelopes, Raisin decided to make out her own, and she spent about 1/2 hour "writing" letters and folding them carefully. "And this one is for Uncle D and Auntie K, and this one is for Auntie J, and this one is for E and A..." And she gave me the biggest stack because she wanted me to have something to read at work.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Missing You

How old will my children be, when the simple fact of my presence will no longer be enough to bring them comfort in the middle of the night?

When will they grow self-conscious about their bodies? When will we lose that blessed innocence that lets me bathe them, change them, "keep them company" while they go potty (Raisin loves that -- I can't say it's my favorite hobby, but I appreciate the trust)?

When will they stop thinking that I am funny? My humor repertoire consists mainly of zerberts on bellies and knock-knock jokes, but my kids laugh like I'm their pick on Last Comic Standing.

How many more years before my stock of wisdom is insufficient? Already Raisin is unsatisfied with the answers we provide -- needing backup from a teacher or a grandparent. How long before she doesn't even ask us anymore?

How long before my babies aren't babies anymore? How long do I have?

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

On Joy

At the end of my last post, I said I was rejoicing over my new job, which I was. The sad truth is, I don't do enough of that. I am, by nature, a worrier. I fret over things I could be doing better (eating healthier, making more time to play with my kids, keeping a cleaner house), over hypothetical situations I couldn't prevent anyway (Raisin getting hurt at school, Jellyman losing his job, a family member getting sick), over anything really. Give me a subject and a couple of minutes to think, and I can probably work up a pretty good case of panic over it.

Thanksgiving is as good a time as any -- better, perhaps -- to take a break from that. We have a warm, safe house in a good neighborhood. We have plenty to eat, and we are both able to work. Our kids are healthy, happy, bright, loving, beautiful. Our extended family takes extraordinary care to make sure we don't sink under. We have luxuries like Tivo and the ability to eat in a restaurant from time to time.

It's true that the more you have, the more you worry about losing it. It's also true, but harder to believe, that the Fruit family could live without most of the stuff with which we're surrounded. We are rich in all the essential things.

I am making an early New Year's resolution, which undoubtedly will need to be re-resolved by the time we get to New Year's Day (hey, let's be realistic here, eh?). Starting now, every worrisome thought is going to serve as a reminder to me: whatever MIGHT happen is less important than what IS HAPPENING.

I am going to spend Advent rejoicing in God's gifts. All of them.

Saturday, November 24, 2007

What's New?

Since the last post, I have:

Eaten two Thanksgiving dinners

Broken my little toe (I think -- it was bent funny naturally, but now it's bent funny and also black and blue and painful)

Slept a lot, but still felt tired

Watched the first snowfall of the season

Found a new job

Quit my old one


Monday, November 19, 2007

I'm Sorry

I keep writing down post ideas, but then I never actually post them. In lieu of actual interesting content, will you accept a list of excuses? I thought not, but here they are anyway.

-I worked 35 hours last week. The next 2 weeks are much better, but they keep scheduling me until 11:30 or midnight. I said less than 30 hours, and no later than 11, but I guess they're asking everyone to put in more time for the holidays. They appreciate my flexibility. I am looking for something else.

-Apple keeps throwing up in his crib at night. None of our theories thus far has panned out, so I am starting a journal to look for patterns. And living in fear that he will choke on his own vomit, because he doesn't cry after he throws up, and sometimes we don't know about it until morning.

-Apple and Raisin have coughs at night too. (Yes, I have considered the possibility that the coughing is related to the throwing-up, but he does not seem to cough to excess right before he throws up, so that is not the whole story.)

-I am not getting much sleep.

-I have developed a caffeine habit, and right now my hands are shaking a teeny bit as I type. That is probably not a good sign.

-My house is a mess, I have masses of vomit-y laundry to do, and I haven't showered yet today.

Please send tequila. Thank you.

Thursday, November 08, 2007

Two More Things

... about my job, and then I'll shut up about it unless I have something interesting to say.

1) Forgot to mention the discount. The discount is very, very important, since we spend ridiculous amounts of money at Target anyway.

2) If you buy your groceries at a store where an employee bags them for you, please do not assume that the employee will know how you want them bagged. If you need to have all your cold stuff in one bag, for example, SAY THAT. Because I promise you, 5 minutes ago that same employee was chastised by a customer because they weren't cramming enough stuff into the bags. And before that, there was a customer who didn't even trust her enough to bag the stuff but wanted to do their own. And before that, there was a guy who actually said, "Oh, my God, you can't put those two things together!"*

*NB -- You can have your groceries bagged however you want. It's your call. Just please tell me, because I cannot possibly guess. And also, "oh, my God?" Possibly, you are taking the whole bagging thing a little too seriously.

Tuesday, November 06, 2007

I Don't HATE My Job

There are definitely things to like: a relatively flexible schedule, which allows us to keep Raisin in the preschool she loves and to keep all three kids out of an expensive daycare situation. Managers, coworkers, and customers who are mostly pretty friendly. The fact that they pay me -- that's good.


In my pre-twin job, I had the opportunity to build relationships with clients and with coworkers. I miss that.

I am so bone-tired. I hope this will get better as I get used to the new normal. Or, I will spend large portions of my new salary on coffee. Either way.

I think I might be a little bit of a job snob. There is nothing wrong with this work, but I feel like I have to explain to people why I, with my college degree and years of experience, am working as a cashier. I don't like that feeling.

I need to figure out how to avoid coworker R, who evidently thinks he is funny and helpful, but is actually the most insulting, patronizing person I have ever met. Insulting example: I went through his check-out lane to buy some dinner during a break. I dropped a couple of coins while I was digging out my cash, and he called me a slob. Patronizing example: the computers keep track of the speed of each transaction a cashier does, and then spit back a percentage of "good" sales versus sales that are too slow. R said to me, "I can work the system so that I get more "Gs" than "Rs" -- you'll figure it out eventually." Since the percentages are prominently displayed on each monitor, I could see his. It was the same as mine.

Thursday, November 01, 2007

Because, because, because, because, because... Because of the Wonderful Things He Does

Remember when I said I'd be posting here more often? Wasn't that funny? Yeah, I thought so too.

I do, actually, have several post ideas saved up. Of course, by the time I actually write them, they'll be old news. Kind of like how I realized the World Series was going on right about the time it ended. How about 'em Red Sox, huh? Wow.


Did you know 3-year-olds ask a lot of questions? Because when I read about this in child development books, I didn't really understand what they meant by "a lot." Like, babies cry "a lot," but mine rarely cried until I was ready to set fire to my own eyebrows just for a distraction. Or, toddlers say "no" a lot, but I always thought that was sort of cute.

Now I get it. If it were just your average scientific inquiry I could probably still deal. "The moon looks like that because the sun is shining on it." "The trees lose their leaves when it gets cold outside." I could spout answers like that all day and only be mildly annoyed.

Unfortunately, Raisin is also going through a phase (please, please, let it just be a phase) of questioning ME. And perhaps I have some kind of self-esteem issue, because it is making me absolutely bonkers. As in, the 3-year-old doesn't think I'm quite cut out for this job, and I think she might be right!

We have a lot of talks that go something like this:

Me: Are you getting dressed like I asked you to?
Raisin: Yes. Do I need clean underwear?
Me: Yes.
Raisin: Why!? Why do I need clean underwear?

(Please note that a) SHE ASKED ME, b) she DID need clean underwear, and c) if I had answered "no," the next thing out of her mouth would've been "Why DON'T I need clean underwear?")

It probably goes without saying, at least among parents, that I now fully understand the beauty and simplicity of "Because I said so, and I AM YOUR MOTHER!!!!"

Wednesday, October 24, 2007


To really appreciate the following conversation, you must understand that it took place while I was cooking dinner. The Jellyman had just finished a bunch of yard work, and was in the bathroom trying to get cleaned up. Apple and Orange were both screeching in their high chairs, which was actually an improvement, since their previous activity had been screeching and holding on to my legs. Ok, carry on:

Raisin: Mommy, what does blanyet mean?

Me: "Blanyet?" I'm sorry, honey, I don't understand what you're saying.

Raisin: Blanyet, Mommy, blanyet. What does it mean?!

Me: Are you saying "blanyet?" Because I have no idea what that means.

Raisin: Yes! Blanyet! Blanyet!

Me: Maybe it would help if you told me where you learned this word. Then maybe I would be able to figure it out.

Raisin: I just made it up.

And that is how my day went. The end.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Stick a Fork In Me, I'm Done

AKA, The Week That Kicked My Ass

AAKA, How You Can Do Everything Right and Still Be Very Wrong

On the good news side, I am now gainfully employed, pending the results of a drug test and criminal background check. As there is nothing to find in either category, I'm feeling pretty good about that.

Also, my friend is legally married and happy. The last time I was in a wedding (my brother's), Raisin was 4 months old, and I spent the whole day worrying about her, and then fainted during the ceremony. This time I was actually helpful to the bride, and I remembered to eat and drink. Probably also helps that I'm no longer lactating.

Not-so-good-news: This one nap/two nap thing sucks with twins. I mean, it just sucks in general, but evidently it sucks more with twins. On Wednesday, I tried leaving out the morning nap for both Apple and Orange, and it was an unmitigated disaster. By lunch, they were too tired to eat, and both slept fitfully in the afternoon and the next night. Orange MIGHT have been OK if Apple hadn't woken her up so many times.

Since then, they are both back to two naps, and that's working for now, but I realize that I'm going to have to deal with the reality that Orange may be ready before Apple, and I won't have the nice neat option of having them sleep at the same time anymore.

And, finally, Raisin got hurt goofing around with the Jellyman at the wedding reception, so we are now the family with the screaming, bleeding kid. Everyone was very nice about it, and she's going to be fine. Still, not exactly the way the evening was meant to end.

I should be proud of us for making it through this week, for everything we managed to do. Instead, all I am is tired. Too tired to deal yet with the next big problem, which is this blog and whether I made a big mistake by moving back here and putting up the ads.

Stay tuned, I guess.

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

This Week

Why, darling daughter Orange, have you chosen this week to be maybe sort of unsure if you really need two naps? This week, with its job interviews, my best friend's wedding on Saturday, and the visit from your Grandpa (who is, to be fair, the World's Easiest Houseguest, but he is still your Grandpa and I like to leave him with the impression that his beloved grandchildren live in an environment that is at least occasionally clean).

GO TO SLEEP. Or, if you're going to be awake, be happy about it. Thank you. Love, Mommy.

Monday, October 15, 2007

We've Come a Long Way

It's a cute story, but it also struck me how different life is for a child born in 2004 (in the US) than for one born in 1950 or even in 1978.

On Friday, the Jellyman took Raisin to urgent care. She had complained of a sore throat that was getting worse instead of better, but it's impossible to get an appointment at our clinic the same day unless you call first thing in the morning.

I attempted to prepare her for the experience by explaining that she was going to see a doctor, but it would be a new one instead of Dr. F. "OK," she said, "when I see the new doctor, I'll tell her my throat hurts."

Sensing trouble coming, I pointed out that the new doctor might even be a man. She seemed puzzled, but she didn't say anything else until she and the Jellyman were in the waiting room.

When she brought it up again, the Jellyman said she was worried about having a boy doctor. Would he do a good job? Would he be nice? Finally the Jellyman said, "You know, Raisin, D (the husband of a college friend) is a doctor."

"NO! D's a DOCTOR!? I didn't know that!!!!"

That eased Raisin's mind, and we all got a good chuckle, especially D's wife when I told her about it. But it struck me later -- Raisin had absolutely no concept that a man could be a doctor. Her perspective is the complete reverse of the assumptions that existed for our mothers, and really even for us.

When progress sometimes seems so slow, it's comforting to see how far behind us the starting line lies.

Friday, October 12, 2007


It's funny that the Secret Awesome etc. etc. had the Superpower challenge, because last night I had the idea for a post on the same topic. It's not about me, though, it's about the super things my kids can do.

Obviously, my children are incredible in many, many ways, but they do each have one unique ability that goes beyond everyday brilliance.

Apple's is the funniest: Nuk radar. If there is a pacifier anywhere in the house within his reach, he will find it. Under the couch? Not a problem. Behind the crib? He'll get there. Two rooms away in Orange's mouth? By the time Mommy figures out where he's going, he'll have two Nuks and Orange will be crying. It's astounding to watch.

Raisin's is a more subtle gift, probably because she has honed it with 2 extra years of experience. Since she was a baby, she has charmed everyone in her life. She can negotiate her way into or out of anything she puts her mind to, except with her mean mom and dad.

And Orange? Orange has these:

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Job-Hunting Sucks

Especially when it's limited to part-time, preferably with hours that don't conflict with your husband's day job. There is a very good chance I'll end up in red and khaki (which admittedly is preferable to a royal blue vest*).

Another potential problem: after a full day explaining to Raisin why Saturday comes after Friday and how I am getting older and won't ever be a baby again, my brain is very, very tired. Does anybody know someone who will pay me to watch Survivor and House?

*The Jellyman has just informed me that they don't wear vests anymore. Not that I would know that, since I haven't darkened Wal-Mart's door in years.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007


Today I saw a bumper sticker that said, "January 20, 2009: End of an Error."

I want the person driving that car to be my best friend.