Tuesday, October 27, 2009

wahm craziness

Oh, my fellow mamas... I am counting on you for a little help and inspiration! How do you do it - from cooking dinner and keeping the floors free of goo, to working an actual job from home without a nanny to entertain the kids - I need some ideas and guidance!

I posted about my quandry on my "professional" blog for Bamboo Village Press and I hope you'll take a peek and leave a comment. Returning to the life or working from home - now as a mama rather than a full-time employee who has a secure income is proving to be quite an adjustment.

I also hope you'll indulge me as I figure out this whole double-blogging thing... I've got half a mind to merge them into one, but I'm just not sure. Thoughts? WWYD?

Sunday, October 25, 2009

monster mash

Get ready, folks. Compliments of dear Whitney:

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Saturday, October 17, 2009


When you have twins, you're gonna get questions. Starting when you're pregnant, people feel very comfortable stopping you to chat about your size, how you became pregnant with twins (does it run the family?), and how you're going to cope. After the babies arrive, the questions - and comments - continue.

Are they twins?
How do you do it?
A boy and a girl?
Oh, that's double trouble!
You must be really busy!

They stop me while shopping to chat, they ask personal questions about my pregnancy, the boys' conception, and make guesses about their personalities. They want the boys to smile, and wave, and say "hi." They guess at who is older, which I find ridiculous because they're basing their guess on the fact that Shoghi is bigger - as if being a minute older than your twin would contribute somehow to your size??

I try to use this as an opportunity to connect with people - to stop for a moment and breathe, and remind myself that in our busy society, most of the time we don't even look at each other, nevermind stop to chat with strangers. I want to model openness and patience to my children. I want them to learn to offer a friendly smile when people bend down to talk to them.

Sept 2009

Sometimes, though, the questions and comments are less welcome. When I am running to enter a restaurant in the pouring rain, with one toddler in a carrier tied to my front, and the other in my arms on my hip, with my bag falling off my shoulder and rain dripping down my face, it would be nice if they'd just offer to help - to get the door or even hold a baby - rather than smiling and offering a mere "you've got your hands full".

playing together at Oxbow Park

Starting this summer, some have begun to ask me how close in age the boys are. When I say "one minute apart," they stare at me blankly before I add "they're twins." "Really?" they balk. "Yes, twins. They're fraternal, so it's just like two brothers in a family - except that they developed at the same time." "Wow, they look so difffffffferent," they say, not in an altogether kind way. Now that they've got a year under their belts, and their teeny-tinyness is gone, Shoghi and Max are obviously different. Shoghi is much bigger - two weeks ago, he weighed nearly 25 pounds, while Max was just hitting 20. Shoghi is about 3" taller than his twin. Max has straight, reddish hair and brown eyes, and Shoghi's got sandy, wavy hair and gray eyes. Max wears a size smaller in clothes and shoes, and soon, diapers, too, as I'm afraid I'm going to have to buy size large cloth diapers for Shoghi in the next couple of months.

Forest Hills Park, September

But there's one more question I've been hearing a lot lately... and it's one that sits so strangely with me that even as people continue to ask, I continue to not know how to respond. Complete strangers ask me if Shoghi has Down's Syndrome. In fact, it's been happening enough that we'll be seeing his pediatrician to find out conclusively. You know, it's been quite a meditation for me. If he does have this chromosomal abnormality, he will still be exactly my same Shoghi. We will just know something different about him - albeit something that may have siginificant implications. My perception will have to shift, my expectations for how I will parent him may have to be altered. But in a way,that's just the life of a parent anyway - personalities, temperaments, learning abilities and styles, physical strengths and weaknesses... sicknesses and diagnoses; they all come with the territory.

But there's that part of me that's always hurt. Why are people asking me this? Even more - why do they think it's ok to ask me? Maybe it's the shape of his eyes. Our donor is Bolivian - maybe AmerIndian. Shoghi's eye shape has never seemed strange to me. In fact, he actually looks a lot like I did when I was his age. But still, having people ask me if my son has a possibly life-altering medical condition is - to say the least - uncomfortable. I hate that strangers make assumptions about my children, and while it's just a normal part of being a parent to discover that people do this, it has come as something of a shock. Why is it ok to ask something like that about a baby? Is it alright if I turn back to the same woman and ask if she is in menopause?


Just as I'm sure I'd have loved to have identical twins, I really adore the experience of having fraternal twins. It is an endless source of fun to have two such different children developing side by side. Whatever their similarities, whatever their differences, I am just so grateful to have them.

*top photo by Amy Crawford Photography

little boy blue

Friday, October 16, 2009


This afternoon I was listening to a little Louise Hay. Rather, a little Louise Hay was playing in the background as I busied myself with other things. Just for a moment, though, my attention turned and I heard her say: "I love and approve of you just as you are" and this made me think of my two gem-like sons, so different from each other, so uniquely faceted, and so dazzling to my eyes.

I never did write their one year birthday post. It seems that these major milestones come upon me, and I think "I must write about that" and then the significance swallows me up and nothing is written. The more of them pile up, the greater the mountain of things to reflect upon grows in my mind, and soon these moments of beauty become a chore to write about. I never wrote about their birth, never really told you all about our nursing experience in its fullness (and how it came to a close when they were 11 months old), and haven't kept up with the sleeping updates.. all of which continue to have effects on us to this day! Knowing how I tend to forget details, I'm disappointed that I haven't written these things down.

So, when I heard that affirmation, my mind turned here, to tell my boys how I do love and approve of them, now... in the moment... for everything they are - the things that make my heart sing, and the things that challenge me to my core. I love being a mama to them - I always knew I would... and sometimes, in the quiet moments before bed, or late in the night when one of them is up, I whisper "thank you for being my baby" in their little ears, and yes, I am overcome by a wave of the deepest gratitude. It is a prayer to bypass even their bodies, and speak directly to their souls... it is a prayer of thanks to God or the Universe or whatever Name you use for that creative, animating Force that unites us all.

Here's just a little happy glimmer of what is going on for the boys these days:

At 14 months, Shoghi, you are a little wonder. You are so tall - if we don't adjust your age for prematurity, you are in the 90th percentile for height and weight, which is crazy for a family of short people! Your feet are so big, they remind everyone of hobbit feet - you're wearing shoes that Ruby wore when she was 2! You have many new words that are trying to form - you make a funny sound for "juice" and another for "cheese" which sounds like a "shhh" sound in your cheek. It seems like learning to talk for you is going to be as much a physical experience as everything else! You are still learning to walk, you love the slide and all the other playground equipment, and continue to experience the world most through exploring with your body. You rarely get hurt - it seems like you just accept that bumps and bruises are part of the deal of loving to use your body so much.

Max, my little social butterfly, we all take such delight in your language skills! Where your brother is towering physically, you are soaring with your words. I'm guessing you probably have between 40 and 50 words now, which is really quite remarkable and fun! Mama, Auntie, Ruby, Memmae, Popi, and Emilia are people you will name; cheese, fish, cookie, cracker, juice, bottle, apricot, pear, peach, toast, apple, berry, yogurt, and puffs are some of the foods you ask for; sounds like moo, baa, ooo-ooo (what a monkey says), meow, woof, hoo-hoo, neigh, peep, tweet, shhh, ding, gobble, choo-choo, beep, roar, quack, and bawk animate your days; and words like car, belly button, nose, teeth, gorilla, moon, chair, bird, shoes, puppy, bunny, cold, rain, wind, book, ball, tree, walk, and more help you to tell us what you want. It's really quite an amazing time, listening to you learn to tell us what you see, what you want, and how you feel. All the while, you exercise your mouth and tongue, making the funniest sounds like "gobbledy-gobbledy" and "weddygo-weddygo."

signing "more" to Auntie


Now your Mama must acknowledge her own state of weariness and sign off. Until next time...

Saturday, October 10, 2009