Wednesday, June 30, 2010

berry fever

Just spontaneously yesterday morning, I packed us up and drove out to Sauvie Island Farm, the place we picked marion berries last summer. I was surprised and delighted that both boys occupied themselves: Max headed straight for the raspberry canes, and Shoghi played in the wagon the whole time. We three had a lot of fun, and I picked 14 pounds of berries! I also got one of those wonderful confidence boosters, having a successful outing alone with my sons that didn't involve restraining them in one way or another.


Sunday, June 27, 2010

market day

Today was my second time at the Farmer's Market here in our neighborhood (I know, right? Neighborhood farmer's market? AWESOME.). It was another gorgeous day, and while it was a really long day, it was fun, and much more successful than my first time. I actually sold most of my cotton produce and bulk food bags! I also had Laurie's cards, which people are just gaga over, and it's always more fun to talk up my sister than myself.

I will say, though, for many reasons, it was a very grueling day. Shoghi's got something going on... teeth, or allergies, or maybe bronchitis... he just isn't giving me a clear read on it except that he's going on 4 days of being overtired. He's had 3 nights of terrible and long night wakings, doing his typical loud wailing crying, pushing me, and back arching for 2-3 hours in the middle of the night. Today he also displayed this behavior for the first time during the day. It's really hard to know how to respond to this very physical communication that I don't understand. I hope the cycle has already broken, and that tonight he will sleep well. I really need more than 4 or 5 hours of sleep. I need to not be wrestling my 30-pound toddler in the middle of the night.

But now that this farmer's market is done, I can finally (please, children) do some major and desperately needed cleaning around here, and get the house ready for our departure next weekend. I'm bringing my work with me, in more ways than one. I hope to work on more produce bags for our next four market dates, as well as re-write my resume, finish my grad school application, and generally (hopefully) gain some clarity about what the hell I'm doing with my life in the three weeks we're with my parents. Tall (and probably unrealistic) order. I am so, so ready to have this break.

Saturday, June 26, 2010


Dear Tomorrow,

Please be kind to me. I have worked so hard, and with such loving support to get here, and I really need your merciful favors.

With gratitude,

Friday, June 25, 2010

better than ice cream

loving sunshine here in the good state of oregon this week.

very challenged by my own recent insomnia compounded by long, emotional night wakings of both boys (more teeth for s? or is it allergies? poor boy's lower lids are just raw.)

enjoying watching the boys with our growing garden, learning how real food grows, hearing them say "pick it" and "eat mint" and "bessies" (berries). hearing the crunch as then eat fresh snap peas, still warm from the sun.

cannot wait to step onto that plane headed for boston on 7/4 and leave some of it behind for a few weeks.

can. not. wait.

Thursday, June 24, 2010

dry run

If there was a picture-of-the-day for today, it would be of me and the boys, taken this morning at the airport. We went there for a dry run, to introduce them to the airport and show them some planes before our trip on 7/4. It was actually quite fun - they loved walking on the moving walkways and escalator, and looked out the big windows at the planes outside. It was a great outing for $3.

But the picture would capture one of the moments there - it would show me, sitting on the floor just in front of the security gates, laughing and sweating, holding one trying-to-run-away toddler down with my leg while I struggled to get the other one, kicking, crying and arching his back, into the Ergo on my back.

Guess what I learned from this practice? You guessed it: toddlers must remain in stroller until we have reached the gate. Whew! We drew quite some amused glances (and a couple of helping hands).


Wednesday, June 23, 2010


a late afternoon nap on mama's back

Sometimes we get so caught up in the largeness, the constant pull to now-ness, of these children, that we forget just how small they are.

a trip to Laurelhurst Park involved much tree touching and looking up, up, up.

On Monday, we took our annual trip to the beach for Laurie's birthday. It also happened to be Solstice. We were blessed with a mostly rain-free day, and the boys got to re-discover the sand, the surf, the waves. Having grown up in the salty air of Cape Cod, returns to the coastal waters are refreshing for my very soul. It was a good day.

Thursday, June 17, 2010

Nevertheless, I am willing...

I dare to believe I am headed in the right direction.

I dare to believe our family life meets all of our needs.

I dare to believe I will meet my soul mate after all.

I dare to believe that being twins is the perfect thing for my sons, and that it will (and does) bring them happiness.

I dare to believe that I will be able to visit my East Coast family 2-3 times a year from now on.

I dare to believe I will find a career that truly channels my talents and my joy.

I dare to believe I can do this, and do it with excellence.

I dare to believe that I am a happy person.

I dare to believe that I will be loved for who I am, rather than for who you wish I would be.

Mondo Beyondo exercise, taken from my amazing friends Miriam and Korin. What do you dare?

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

tiptoeing back

I'm out of the swing of posting again, and my camera... oh, my camera. It's still not working. I'm relying totally on swiping photos from Laurie.

my garden prayer flags, hanging up at the farmer's market

Well, Farmer's Market weekend went well, but sheesh, everything is in a shambles as a result of the time I put into getting ready! I stumbled downstairs yesterday and looked around, and literally every square foot of this place is a disaster. I started in one spot while the boys napped, and didn't get much farther than that. At least it's a beginning.

This morning, today looked to be shaping up into a nightmare, but I have to say, it was a really nice day for me and the boys. After 3 agonizing hours of sibling rivalry, I loaded us up and we went to Old Wives' Tales for breakfast. It was almost totally empty. The boys played joyfully together in their awesome play room, and stood on the wooden sailboats to look out the window at the construction equipment with deep interest. We played together, ate a gorgeous meal, and headed home for naps.

In the late afternoon, Korin and I took all the kids to OMSI, where I let the boys run around the discovery room. They had a blast, and I got to practice letting out my tether on them as they ran from one activity area to another while I tried to keep both of them in my lines of sight. They had a blast, we got to pick up Laurie after work, and we all came home and had an easy dinner and bedtime.

More on the market experience soon - I don't want to forget about it before my next booth date - 6/27.

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

no idle hands here

Just thought I'd pop in to say I probably won't be writing until Sunday. First, my camera's batteries are dead. Second, every spare moment is going into preparing for this Sunday's opening day at Montavilla Farmer's Market, where I will be one of the two artisans sharing a booth. I'm really excited and nervous. I've invested a LOT of time and goodly amounts of the money I have left into getting ready. I'll be there three times this summer, and I hope my items are well-received.

I've got some cloth produce bags made and something new, as well, these lovely garden prayer flags I made for our own garden last week. I've got 4 done, and I hope to have 10. I have SO MUCH to do before Sunday morning... and only 6 more babysitter hours in which to get it all done. Of course I'll have other farmer's market-themed cards and journals, and my printed things from Bamboo Village Press, but my focus has been on making these cloth items.


Wish me luck!

Sunday, June 6, 2010

all summer in a day

All this rain. Day after day. A break, a brief break, and then... more rain.

OK, I know. We in the PNW should be prepared for this. All the green, all the gorgeous moss that hangs from these grand Ponderosa pine trees... it wouldn't be here but for the rain.

If I didn't have kids, I probably wouldn't care. I'd curl up with a nice book and a warm cuppa and enjoy the humid, saturated air. But with kids? With two toddlers??? It's insane. Crazy. Impossible to tolerate.

Yesterday we had a day of sunshine, and I couldn't help but be transported back to my junior high days, when we read All Summer in a Day. Did you read it, too? Or see the film? The children pouring out of the barracks, soaking up the sun for the one day it would shine in their, what, lifetime? It has felt like that this spring.

Although, I will say, I am proud to send my boys out in their rain pants and raincoats to romp in our backyard jungle even when it is raining.

the day after the sun...

blossoms blooming and melting...

Shoghi, as the rain suddenly falls:

Friday, June 4, 2010


Laurie and I were talking tonight about the house, about our feelings of it being so cluttered and chaotic. I think I might just take a bunch more toys out of circulation. It seems like they really engage with their playthings for such a brief time, and then they just become things to throw.

Just now, I was on mdc, and felt disproportionately relieved to find a thread in the "parenting multiples" area where everyone was talking about how they felt keeping the house clean was an impossible task.

Let's see how it goes - I'd like to spend the next few days just slowly paring down the available things for all of us in our common areas. A neat, open space would be a huge relief.

Do you have any secrets of keeping things tidy with young children around? I would LOVE to hear them.

Thursday, June 3, 2010

ridiculously tired

learning to share is a big developmental process the boys are in right now
sometimes it goes smoothly, as it was this morning
when m was giving crackers to s

things to remember about today....

you may think that by the time your twins are 22 months old (gasp!), you can safely take cold medicine at night, but you should really not give in to the desire for deep and dreamless sleep. it will only kick you in the ass when they wake up at 5:30am.

i can't wait for the time when they have the ability to do a single activity for more than 7 minutes. i thought giving them a bath this afternoon would kill a good half hour. shoghi had to be taken out of the tub 7 minutes later, because he was too thoroughly enjoying the game of banging the glass shower doors. argh! i now realize that the maximum time both of them are in the tub is about 10 minutes.

the boys both like the song "michel finnegan" right now - it's the first song shoghi reliably dances to! funny!

these are the backings on some prayer flags i made today for our garden

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

this week last year

m and s
photo by Laurie

I was wondering last night what was on my mind a year ago, and serendipitously came across this letter to the boys I wrote a year ago today. It reflects thoughts I still have about my sons, about my life. In the past couple of months, I have thought a lot about my long journey of healing from childhood trauma, beginnings of marriage, the drive to become a mother, and the dissolution of marriage (etc etc)... and how amazing it is that now I can have moments of wonder and peace about my long years of separation, search and longing for the thing I desired most.

I am reminded of this Sufi tale, recorded in the little book The Seven Valleys and The Four Valleys. It is about the importance of the act of the search for our heart's desire, and while in this context it is finding God, my heart's desire was always to be a mother. I think my children are key to my own spiritual journey in life, and they have always been in that timeless way of the soul.

The Valley of Search

The steed of this Valley is patience; without patience the wayfarer on this journey will reach nowhere and attain no goal. Nor should he ever be downhearted; if he strive for a hundred thousand years and yet fail to behold the beauty of the Friend, he should not falter.... No bond shall hold them back, and no counsel shall deter them.

It is incumbent on these servants that they cleanse the heart—which is the wellspring of divine treasures—from every marking, and that they turn away from imitation, which is following the traces of their forefathers and sires, and shut the door of friendliness and enmity upon all the people of the earth.

One must judge of search by the standard of the Majnún of Love. It is related that one day they came upon Majnún sifting the dust, and his tears flowing down. They said, "What doest thou?" He said, "I seek for Laylí." They cried, "Alas for thee! Laylí is of pure spirit, and thou seekest her in the dust!" He said, "I seek her everywhere; haply somewhere I shall find her."

Yea, although to the wise it be shameful to seek the Lord of Lords in the dust, yet this betokeneth intense ardor in searching. "Whoso seeketh out a thing with zeal shall find it."

Tuesday, June 1, 2010

success and challenge

Laurie has been using the idea of documenting the day's successes and challenges in her daily posts, and tonight I'm extra tired and have a cold, so I'm just going to steal the premise from her.

Today's success for me was focusing on a single task during my babysitter time. I printed a bunch of burlap labels for new baguette bags and other sewing projects I'm working on for the farmer's market. This was made easier by setting everything up for myself yesterday. Tonight while we watched This Emotional Life, I started the hours of ironing that lie ahead of me. I don't usually have the capacity to work at night, but maybe it was fueled by another success:

an easy bedtime. Korin reminded me to give the boys some homeopathic chamomila before bed, and I don't know if that's what did it, but it was a deliciously easy, and happy, sleepytime for the boys.

My greatest challenge today was probably that I just couldn't think of anything novel to do with the boys this afternoon. They both had unusually short naps, so they were tearful, clingy and grouchy, and having something interesting on-hand would have been good. Instead, we ended up just going on a long walk in the light rain, which was just fine for all of us.

It would have been nice to have kids when I was in my 20s - my creative energy was so powerful back then, and I know I would have had all sorts of homemade games at the ready. It's not like I didn't try, though, so we'll all just have to deal with me being a tired old mum! ;)

And today's photo:
This morning a friend asked some of us to send her our birth photos. Looking back through that visual record of the boys birth was full of emotion. This photo made me remember the moment, probably a half an hour after they were born, when I was finally out of recovery and allowed into the resuscitation room next to the OR. I asked the nurse:

Can I touch him?

It stirs a well of sadness that I didn't get to even touch my boys until that moment, and that it took hours after that for me to be able to hold them. I don't think about this often, nor do I really feel traumatized by our birth and NICU experience, but remembering the barriers of separation between me and my babies really is very sad for all three of us.

I wonder if I will have the opportunity to give birth to another child, and whether we will have that skin-to-skin moment of birth and those lingering hours of mama-baby connection afterward.