Friday, June 29, 2007

I'm Back!


I haven't posted an entry in forever. I've really missed it, too. I'm so lame--I can't do anything in my life without the words to a potential blog entry running through my head.
So much has happened lately, life has gotten so busy. First of all, S no longer works for Whole Foods. That's a good thing, but it has completely turned our lives upside down. Second, our house closed so WE ARE NOW HOMEOWNERS!!!! So we've been spending most days trying to coordinate with each other and adjust to both being home at the same time. It's been quite a challenge.
Some days home alone with the boys were so overwhelming, I would wish for S to be home to help out. I didn't realize just how much I had my routine locked down til he was around to disrupt it. At first I was really really resentful and tense. Now we're starting to get a flow going and it's nice.
He's working today and tonight his mom is babysitting, we're going to have "alone dates" which will be nice. I could use some alone time.
More later, babies are awake!

Sunday, June 17, 2007

Knit-O-Rama

I started a new knitting project today during my "alone time." So that means that I will probably not be updating for a day or two while I complete it. I really only have time for one or the other while the boys are napping and it's probably best that I choose knitting for a day or two, staring at the computer screen makes me feel crazy.
Tomorrow is Father's Day...I hope it goes well, I really did put a lot of effort into it.
I have tons of pictures and video of the boys on my camera that I need to upload...all cute, cute cuteness I promise. I'll put it all up shortly, promise.
Happy Father's Day!!

Friday, June 15, 2007

Go to bed already!

I am up late, staring at the computer. I hate it when I get like this...why can't I just go to bed? But luckily tonight I found some stuff that seemed worthy of my bleary-eyed attention. I found this site randomly and it made me smile. So that's good, right?
Ok, now I'm going to bed to cuddle my little muffins.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

So We Meet Again, Red Menace...

Well, the inevitable happened last night: I started my period. I have thorougly enjoyed saying "I haven't had a period since November 2004" but now I can no longer say that and "I haven't had a period since June 13, 2007" doesn't really have the same ring to it.
I should have known it was coming. I was super-bloated (thought I was eating too much chocolate) cranky (thought...well, nothing. I am sometimes cranky) emotional (ditto) and very baby-crazy. It was kind of a relief but I cried all night nonetheless. I know it was mostly hormones but I think I was also mourning the passing of another milestone in parenting. The boys have been subtly pulling away from me lately and this is just one more step away from babyhood. They are really little boys now.
We bought a crib mattress so S could build little frames and they could have the option of having their own beds in their own rooms. Today I bought sheets and a second mattress. They seemed really excited about it but when it came time to nap they headed towards my room. I was relieved. I imagine at some point they'll alternate sleeping between their room, my room and S's room and that will be fine, but I love co-sleeping with them so much I hope it's not too soon.
I had donated all of my pads and tampons to Safe Place, a local women's shelter last year so I panicked a bit last night when I saw the blood in the shower. I made the decision to stop using disposable feminine hygiene products after using cloth diapers with the boys. It just didn't make sense to throw away so much blood-soaked material into the landfill month after month. I had a Diva Cup I had never tried before and it was waiting for the opportune time. Which was last night, right before bedtime. I was so nervous for my pale-pink organic cotton sheets but I put a towel down and hoped for the best. I slept so soundly, better than I have in weeks, maybe months. S stayed up all night taking the last of my crap out of the boys' room (computer, table, etc.) and organizing the garage, then showering. Usually I would have stormed out of my room and yelled at him for waking me but I didn't hear a thing. And I woke up with no leaks anywhere. Emptying the cup was a bit strange, I wasn't used to seeing all that blood but there was no smell at all like there can be with tampons and I didn't have to worry about peeing on that stupid string. So I am pretty excited about that, I wish I had've tried it sooner.
I also busted out the cycle beads since I now have a cycle again. S said he thinks it's beautiful, I am getting closer to being my own woman again. I told him he has clearly never had a period.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Paw-Pow!


The boys are really moving the potty-training thing forward. I kept their diapers off a lot today and there were three poops made and none of them were in a diaper, which was great.

One ended up on the dining room floor, LeeLee was squeezing it out when I wasn't looking and was pretty much done by the time I grabbed his potty.

Moomers pooped outside, on the entrway to the front door and S had to hose it off and finally, the last one LeeLee made into his potty.

I was peeing and he came in and pointed and I said 'if you have to go pee-pee, too go ahead and do it in your potty then we can wave bye-bye to it.' (he loves to pee in his potty then pour it into the regular toilet and wave bye to it)

He left and came right back with his potty bowl and nestled inside was a perfectly formed little log. He looked so proud. I couldn't believe it, they are such big boys now.

There was a video that we Netflixed months and months ago. They seemed pretty into it and we kept it for quite a while but then finally sent it back.

S started singing one of the songs: "I can do it myself, I'm a big kid now, I can do it myself I've got POTTY POWER!" and the boys danced then put both arms in the air, fists closed like they did in the video. (see above picture)

It's crazy (and a bit scary, really) how much actually sticks in their little brains.

They've also been trying really hard to speak more. They ran around saying "Potty Power" (pah-pow) the rest of the night.

That's in addition to mine, tater tot (tay-tot), tattoo (tah-doo!) ball, etc. So anyway, I decided to buy the video from Amazon instead of Netflixing it again.

I interacted with the 'star' of the video, Jessica on myspace a bit. I told her I couldn't get the songs out of my head and she said my boys were cute and she hoped the video helped them potty-train. Pretty funny world we live in now.

I don't have a whole lot to report. S's days off start tomorrow, yay! It was great having him home early the past two days. He got home today just after I finished waxing and tinting his mom's brows. He brought barbecue home, which was yummy.

I should go to bed but I'm feeling antsy. There's nothing to look at online, I'm not too tired, we don't have any snacks that sound good to me right now...

Ok, enough rambling. I'll post when I can, the next two days are 'family time' so I don't know if I'll have much time to be online, but maybe I will.

Saturday, June 9, 2007

Another from the archives...

I'm up late...it's almost 1:30am. S and the boys are asleep. I'm always complaining of being tired yet when everyone is alseep something inside of me rejoices and races in here to hang out by myself. I've read all of my latest magazines and have skimmed most of Bill Clinton's book...and I have no knitting projects going so I keep just messing around online when I get a free minute. I really need to start knitting something so I don't just veg out online, it's really not relaxing.
Anyway, C emailed me while I was online and asked me to call her so I did and we had a fun conversation. Her little family was asleep, too but then her munchkin called her back to duty. But not before we got in lots of tasty gossip. I am such a housewife sometimes. I even find myself glancing towards my neighbor's open windows when I'm walking the boys...gotta keep up on what the neighbors are doing! Lame! I've always been kind of nosey, but being home most of the time has taken it to the next level.
I randomly looked at S's myspace page tonight, which I never do, and he has some old pictures of the boys. Look at how sweet they were before they grew hair! And they're wearing their very first pairs of Robeez...they have grown so fast.
He came home a little early tonight. Tomorrow and Sunday he has to work early. I'm annoyed because that means I can't go to yoga tomorrow and I really need it. So he was able to come home a couple of hours early tonight but we were both too cranky to enjoy it. We took the boys swimming and it was fun but exhausting...and I was already exhausted.
I implemented something new tonight: after dinner I told the boys they had ten minutes to play in their room. Then I set the timer and told them when it rang it was time to brush their teeth. That gave me enough time to do the dishes. Who knows if that will stick, but at the time it seemed like genius moments in parenting! They are much calmer when we brush their teeth now, partly because I've told them that after I brush their teeth they can help me brush mine and then I let them wiggle my toothbrush around in my mouth. They think that is hilarious and so they've been letting me brush theirs easier. But when they're tired, all bets are off.
I think I have Father's Day all figured out and I'm pretty proud of myself. Not like last year when I inexplicably bought him $100 worth of weirdo dad clothes from an oldschool cheesy department store (and yeah, they were something like that) and he hated them and made me return them. I spent so much I even received a free American flag baseball cap. When I returned the stuff they offered to let me keep the hat. I declined.

Friday, June 8, 2007

Rock N' Roll!

Here are the boys dancing to a Ryan Adams song. I'm glad they didn't inherit their father's deep distaste for him since I own about twelve of his albums.

That's teamwork!!

Here are the boys engaging in some side-by-side play action with one of S's hoses. So sweet...

Thursday, June 7, 2007

Adventures at BTE

I went to BTE (best thriftstore ever) this afternoon during the boys' pre-nap window. (that is the hour or so before nap, after breakfast when I can either let them play in the backyard or run an errand) I got dressed but didn't put on any makeup or attempt to look cute, really.
Which of course is why I ran into my co-worker, who also used to be S's "pretend girlfriend." Which just means that he had a crush on her. He says the crush in no way deserved all the attention I have given it, and I believe him. The part that bugged me the most, though was that everyone at work had a crush on this girl and I was bummed that my husband was not more original. Anyway, she seems like a nice person and I'm sure if I sat down and talked to her we'd get along well, but everytime I bump into her I feel a bit flustered and awkward. I hope it's not obvious...it's not her fault. I was a bit peeved to see her in MY favorite thrift store. I don't want it to get out how rad this place is.
I had a decent time there today, nothing really super exciting. Not like the fancy jeans
I got for $10 or the rare children's toy (that I had when I was a toddler) that I found for $1.99, but the boys had fun riding around and pointing at everything and I got a few shirts, a muu-muu that is huge and comfy and has pink, brown and blue cherries on it. I don't think brown is a good choice for cherries but whatever. I also bought the boys a video of dump trucks and other construction machines. I haven't really let them watch tv other than the occasional Reading Rainbow episode but they are almost two and love machines so I thought it would be fine. I also got the boys each a new pair of shoes and one new toy.
I had the most irritating encounter in the parking lot on my way in: a woman with long, brown teeth and a white, frizzy cloud of hair loitered next to my stroller as I strapped the boys in.
"They look like their father, huh?" AL (annoying lady)
"Um, yeah." Me
"I'm sure he's so happy to have two sons" AL
"Yeah, he likes it." Me
"So, you had twins. How lucky for you." AL
"Uh...yeah, it was lucky." Me
"So, I am looking at you and with all those tattoos you don't look like you'd be responsible enough to care for a child but here you are with twins and they seem so happy." AL
weak smile Me
"Well, maybe one day they'll come off" AL
"Nope, they're permanent" Me
"Really? They won't come off?" AL
"No, and it's a good thing because I like them." Me
"Wave bye-bye boys" Me

It's no wonder I hardly leave the house alone. It's exhausting enough to load up both of the boys but then I have to deal with annoying people giving me their unsolicited opinions, advice and assessment of my children. (oh, that one's bigger...who has blond hair in your family...which one was first...is the father happy...) Ok, I guess I'm going to clean the house and prepare lunch so it will be waiting when the boys wake up from their naps...which hopefully won't be for another hour or so.










Wednesday, June 6, 2007

Not much to report

*Gabi, Caitlin and me at the birthing center right after Nicole's birth. Look at how exhausted I look, you would have thought I was the one to squeeze little Brighton out.

I don't have much to report. Things are really good and calm and mellow here right now. This is when I am tempted to start posting pictures of food and flowers and stuff because there's just no drama at all. Which is nice. But boring. Kind of. I do sometimes start picking fights with S when we're getting along too well which is a habit I am trying to break. It's usually subconscious so I am trying to bring it to the forefront of my brain so I can stop.
We had a nice evening last night, we just hung out and read and talked. Now we have officially lived here in Austin for three years. It doesn't seem like that long but at the same time it seems so much longer, so much has happened. I found my journal from three years ago and reading it took me right back there. It was so strange remembering everything: me saying bye to San Francisco and all my friends there, our crazy, sweaty drive through the desert to get here, losing Lester, our kitty boy in New Mexico, arriving here to our house that we had never seen before in person and starting a new, full life here in Austin. Now three short years later we have two kids and are about to own our house. There was an entry from May of 2004 where I was upset because I didn't think S would ever be willing to have children with me. The boys were born August of 2005. Surprise! We are not big planners, I like to plan but get overwhelmed and I think S does, too. So life just goes on for us. The cool thing is that things still happen, major things that I wanted but never thought I would have. I love being a mama, I am so happy here in Austin and am so excited to be buying our house. Things are falling into place and it's great.
Another funny thing I read in my journal was that most of the friends I was saying bye to were men. I had K, my bff but aside from that all of my friends were men. Here in Austin, all of my friends are women. And I have a lot of women friends. I like it. I guess when I was younger it was satisfying to have male energy in my life, maybe it made me feel more attractive. Now I am secure as a woman (I was still kind of a girl there) and find it soothing to have lots of female energy in my life. I do love men and have a few great male friends but most of my friends now are women.
For not having much to say I sure have rambled on for quite a while. I'm going to go now...Happy Wednesday, ya'll!

Tuesday, June 5, 2007

I heart my overbite....

Well, not really. But I'm trying to. For as long as I've had my permanent teeth I've struggled with accepting my overbite. My brothers would tease me about it when they were feeling particularly mean. Even now I can't type the names they called me without feeling humiliated. I know they were just fighting dirty, being kids and trying to be mean. But still. It sucked.
There was a period when it seemed like I was going to get braces, around 6th or 7th grade. Then it was almost fashionable to have braces, to coordinate the tiny rubber bands with your outfits. But my parents couldn't afford them so I didn't get them. I was so frustrated and angry. I assumed one day I would just pay for them myself.
There have been times when I have seen myself from a particular angle in pictures or videos and been completely embarrassed. Look at my teeth! I've even toyed with the idea of getting braces fairly recently. I have insurance, it wouldn't be that big of a deal monetarily.
But now, I'm on a path of trying to accept myself as-is. This is who I am, this is what I've always looked like. It's me. My teeth are strong and healthy. I didn't have a single cavity until I was 18 and this was after not taking the best care of them. I didn't even really know how to floss until I was in my twenties. I now have four fillings.
Everytime I get a checkup or a cleaning the dentist usually remarks that my teeth are in really good shape. This was hard to accept at first. I was so ashamed of them I expected to hear they were terrible. But for the most part I didn't.
There was this asshole dentist I went to in January. He went over my x-rays and didn't find any cavities. Then he told me I should get my teeth bleached. I asked if my teeth were stained and he said no. I asked why they should be bleached, then and he said 'well, everyone's teeth could be whiter.' Well, yeah, but should they be? Then he told me that my teeth stuck out wayyyyy too far (he actually pronounced all the y's) and the lower third of my face could be way more attractive. He said that I had spent thirty years with ugly teeth and after two short years I could spend the rest of my life with nice teeth. I asked if he thought I needed braces for a medical reason or just a cosmetic one. He said cosmetic. I was just there for a cleaning and exam. I got the exam, then his unsolicited opinion about the attractiveness of the lower third of my face. I managed not to cry or tell him to fuck off then I left and found another dentist.
Since then I've tried to be more accepting and loving towards myself and my teeth. S and the boys both have dental issues. They are costly and painful. Through dealing with that I've come to really be grateful that my teeth are so healthy. So I have an overbite. There are worse things. I think I'm pretty attractive, imperfect lower third and all. Also, the current trend of super-bright white, straight Hollywood teeth is kind of scary to me. Like dentures.
I was so bummed when Ben Stiller"fixed" his teeth. They were charmingly snaggly before and now they're like huge chiclets. I noticed that in most of the photos I found of him, his mouth is firmly closed. That makes me really sad.
When someone I care about expresses unhappiness about a particular feature or "flaw" I usually don't get it. It's just a part of them and the fact that they are so unhappy about it surprises me. I'm an esthetician and I like "makeovers" but I usually get upset if someone I care about wants to do something drastic to their appearance in the name of perfection. Humans aren't perfect and that is part of our exquisite beauty. We live in a really strange time when people are hacking themselves up in order to fit into a really rigid esthetic ideal. I believe everyone should look their personal best and take care of themselves but the quest for perfection is such a trap. Once you "fix" one thing, then you fixate on another. Focusing on the external and trying to get validation from outside sources is draining and futile. I am trying very hard to love and accept myself, warts and all. I mean. I don't have warts, yuck. If I did I would so get them removed. It was just an expression. Ha, just kidding, but you get what I'm saying. (I hope, because this entry is getting really long and I want to just post it already... ;)
So, what's your "worst feature" and what have you done to embrace it?

The unattractive lower third of my face...

Escapees

It's been raining a lot here lately. Last week it rained so many days in a row, the boys and I were tearing our hair out. They desperately wanted to play outside and I desperately wanted them to. The days are very long when we're cooped up inside. This is what happened when I went to the bathroom. I was gone maybe two minutes and was listening to make sure they were ok. Quiet as little mischievous twin mice they dragged their chairs out of the kitchen and to the front door where they stood on them (a big no-no) and tried to unlock the door. *sigh* I'm in big trouble.


Hey, look at how fun it is out there....
















Now if we can just unlock this door...

Silly Faces

Below: I said to M-- "show me your cranky face" and here is what he did.

I'm a fan of the self-portrait. It hasn't always been this way. When S and I first got together I discovered that he had, in his possession, more self-portraits than anyone else I had ever known. And this was hilarious to me. Why would you take so many pictures...of yourself? But now that I'm a mom I feel like I don't get adequate representation in photos with the boys. So I've been taking them myself. Plus, I like playing with my newish camera. Here are a few recent gems.


Open up and say ahhhhhh!!! Me & Moomers

















What? We're cute? Aw, shucks...
Mama & LeeLee

Tough love

LeeLee is a bit less delicate with his affections than Moomers is. Usually, he tries to give kisses and hugs and Mooms is screeching like he's being tortured. Here he is trying to lay some tough love on his brother.

Sunday, June 3, 2007

Date night

The husband and I finally had a date night tonight. My in-laws watched the boys while we snuck away for a couple hours. It's been forever. She told me today that they could watch them so I felt kind of frantic all day trying to prepare, making sure the boys took a decent nap, etc.

Today was also my alone day and instead of going to yoga I went to Whole Foods and bought some stuff for the boys teeth, a tincture from my favorite herb company, some tooth gel and some homeopathics. I hope it slows the bacterial decay and/or halts it altogether.

I think they (M at least) will still need caps on several teeth but hopefully no new cavities/carries will form on his new teeth. I also went to my local music shop to buy a cd but they didn't have it in stock so I bought this instead.

I couldn't seem to put it down but I really had no other good reason for buying it. I had a store credit leftover from a Christmas present return and I never go in there so I just decided to spend it on something and I get overwhelmed looking aimlessly through stacks of cds. I make it a point not to buy just one of anything for the boys but I had convinced myself that it was for me?? Of course, the boys fought over it the second they laid eyes on it.

My point in mentioning all that was that I had already had kind of a full day before finding out we were having date night as well so I felt a bit scrambly trying to prepare. I also waxed and tinted my friend, K's brows while the boys napped. Luckily, she read them a few books while I did the dishes so I did manage to pull it together before my in-laws came over.

S actually researched things for us to do which he never does. It was so great and a really lovely surprise.

We went here for the re-opening and it was so so perfect. We swam just before the sun went down and listened to some (what else, it's Austin) live music. Then we walked around holding hands in the shallow end...and it's really shallow, only 6" in one part. Which is great, the boys love swimming but I never felt comfortable taking them places where they couldn't touch. I think we're going to go back tomorrow after breakfast and take our little munchkins.

After that we went and had a casual, romantic dinner complete with a margarita...with two straws. :) The evening passed really quickly and before I knew it, we had to go back home. I was happy to see the boys and it turns out we missed a milestone...LeeLee went poopy in his toilet for the first time.

He's peed lots of times, but apparently my MIL noticed him start to poop in his diaper and asked if he wanted to go on his potty and he did. So she took his diaper off and he went. My big boy.

So I had a really nice, full day today. I put the boys to bed in S's room, we were going to co-sleep tonight. After they fell asleep in his room we went to my room to cuddle and he fell asleep in there. So I guess I'll sleep in his room with the boys.

Which is fine because he has a super-plush king size bed, I just wish we could all sleep there. We bought the bed for that purpose but last time we slept in there with him, he dreamt that he was in bed with squirrels so I guess all the kicking and rolling around doesn't work for him.

I'm prattling on and barely holding my eyes open, so that's all for now. *yawn*

Saturday, June 2, 2007

Mom*Mama*Mommy

What makes a mother a mom, mommy or mama? I have known since I was pregnant that I wanted to be called Mama. I bristle when S calls me "Mommy" to the boys. I am not a mommy. Mommy's are different. Perkier. Or something. I don't know.
My own mother has always been "Moma", that's how she's always spelled it. This became silly to me when I lived in San Franscisco and the Moma was the museum of modern art.
I heard a mom at the playground the other day refer to herself as "mommy" like, 'sweetie, that's yucky give it to Mommy.'
I was very interested in this and it made me wonder...how do you know which one you are?? I just know. I'm MAMA. I hope they'll always call me that, but they may choose the more casual 'Mom' at some point.
My uncle still calls my Grandma 'Mama' and I think it's so cute. Quite Southern.
So, if you're a mom how did you know which you were. And if you're a dad, what do you prefer to be called? S is currently Dada but the boys also learned to say 'Papa.' It is so so cute to hear them say that although personally I find Papa to be a bit creepy. Don't know why.
My MIL wanted originally to be called Nana although now she calls herself Nanny, which I don't care for. I still call her Nana to the b0ys.
I called my maternal grandmother 'Ma' which seemed totally normal as a kid and seems weird now that I think about it. (she died when I was nine so I haven't said it in a while)

Jen's Guide To Ending Your Nailbiting Habit

I have been a nail-biter since about the age of three. I always hated getting my nails trimmed and I discovered that if I chewed them off I did not have to endure the nail clippers.

Never mind that I was left with unattractive raggedy stumps where my nails should have been. I quit for the first time right before my senior prom and I was so proud!

Now I mostly like having long nails. But still kept pretty short since I tend to accidentally scratch the boys or S when they are too long. When I am actually doing facials I have to keep them pretty short too so they don't hurt anyone or get in the way.

But I have been chewing them again for at least a month. They were doing fine, albeit a bit on the soft side. I usually have pretty strong nails but I think my nutrition is out of whack. Anyway, I gnawed them off during a stressful time in my marriage and just kept on doing it. I usually start again if I am really upset or if they start breaking. After that, it's just a subconscious nervous habit and I do it without even thinking about it.

S hates seeing me do it and gives me a hard time. That makes me mad and then I do it even more. I think: "they're my effing nails I'll chew them if I want! I like it!"

But, it looks gross and I'm over it. So I'm quitting again. I decided to share my patented technique with you, the world-wide web.

  1. Decide mentally that you are quitting. Say to yourself: "I am not biting my nails anymore."
  2. Gather your supplies. You will need the following: a good four way buffer,some good cuticle oil or cuticle cream, a cuticle tool, and some good hand cream.
  3. If you feel like it (I usually don't) you can soak your hands for about five or so minutes in warm, soapy water. Rinse, pat dry. Rub oil or cream liberally on all cuticles.
  4. Take the cuticle tool and push back all of the cuticles. Mine creep up really far onto my nail when I'm not paying attention. Add more oil or cream, be sure to get the area right below the nail that sometimes gets raggedy and irritated.
  5. Take the buffer and using the roughest side file all of your nails until they are smooth. This may seem weird, since they are so short but it will get all of the rough edges so you won't be tempted to chew them off.
  6. Using the next side lightly buff the surface of the nail.
  7. Using the polishing side, buff until shiny. The point is to make your nails a different texture than you are used to so when you put them in your mouth your brain will think "oh, oops. I'm biting my nails and I don't want to do that." Optionally, you can skip the buffing and paint your nails with a clear glitter topcoat instead. This too will change the texture making you aware that you are biting your nails. Plus, it looks kind of cute and tastes slightly bitter when you bite it.
  8. Apply hand cream, admire your slightly more attractive hands and think of how nice they'll look in about a week.
Keep the file and cuticle cream handy for any rough edges that will be sure to pop up as the days go by. I like to keep it with my lipbalm. Apply some lippy, smooth some cuticles.

Oh, how I love being a girl...

Three Good Things

I am stealing this from one of my mom's group. It's similar to the gratitude post I did a while back, but more structured. I heart structure. So here's what happens: I list three good things and my role in making them happen. Here goes.

1. My whole family is bathed and sleeping, giving me a much-needed break. I, too am showered.
My role: I put on night-time diapies and nursed the boys to sleep after S gave them baths and I showered.

2. Tomorrow is my "alone time" day and I am going to yoga.
My role: I insisted that I get some time to myself every Saturday, even if it's just a couple of hours.

3. My house is pretty clean right now.
My role: I cleaned it.

What one thing could I do today, no matter how small that would increase my joy? I'm doing it right now: eating Spanish artisan chocolate from WFM and winding down by writing in my blog.

Yay, that was fun.