Posts Tagged ‘husband’

I once thought that lists as blog entries were a somewhat lazy substitute for organizing one’s thoughts.  I changed my mind a bit, however, because a list seemed the only appropriate way to distill into a halfway cogent structure the muddle that has been my brain recently.  I was thinking about what the subject of my next blog post would be, and feeling guilty again that so much time had passed since the last entry.  Every topic that came to mind of course was baby-related. This was frustrating to me because I had promised myself prior to giving birth that I would not be completely defined by my children, that it was essential to have a life and interests outside of them.  I confess, I also smugly thought that I would not become one of “those people,” you know, the ones who talk about nothing but their kids all the time.  Let me just say up front that the birth of my boys completely eradicated many of my smug thoughts about “those people.”  The following is a list of random anecdotes about my current life with twins so far that have been bouncing around in my brain like a pin-ball machine whenever I sit down to try to write.  I think I need to cut myself a break.  Having two three-and-a-half month old babies pretty much ensures that the only thing on my mind is BABIES (and occasionally the dog who lays on the couch all day and makes me feel guilty for neglecting her…oh, and my husband, sometimes).  So I figured I would get over my reticence to write about nothing but my kids and get it all out in one post.

  1. Poop.

Yes, poop.  I specifically recall a good friend of mine telling me that when you have kids, you will be obsessed with it.  When do they poop, how do they act when they poop, what does the poop look like, smell like, etc.  You get the picture.  I of course knew I would never be so banal as to let a bodily function invade my everyday discussions.  Ha.  For the first two months of my boys’ lives, based on a chart I kept, I could tell you the exact date and time of day each of them pooped.  A couple of weeks ago, my husband and I had a couple over for dinner.  The amount of time that passed before poop was discussed: 20 minutes.  (This couple also has a five month old).  I called my husband at work the other day.  I used to call my husband at work to plan a lunch outing at a new restaurant in town, to ask a question about some element of criminal law, or to ask a question about how best to pursue a certain legal matter.  The other day I called my husband to inform him that our son had pooped (our son had issues with this for several days in case you were curious).  The sad thing is, my husband actually paused a conversation he was having with someone in his office to discuss it.  I really hope this person has kids.

“You’re the Mom and you’re in charge? Yeah ok, we’ll let you think that…for now.”

  1. Things overheard at an Austin Mothers of Multiples Meeting.

I went to my first AMOM meeting in June.  I don’t want to be overly dramatic and describe it as life-changing, but I will.  It was life-changing.  After the general meet-and-greet,  we split into groups based on the age of each person’s children.  I made my way to the newborns/infants group.  A group of approximately twelve of us sat around in a circle and looked at each other.  One new mom who had six-week old twin girls broke the silence by confessing, “I’m here for someone to tell me that it gets better.”  The group released a collective sigh and what followed was what I can only describe as a group therapy discussion.  It was truly what I needed that night as I had completed my first couple of weeks alone with the boys after all the mom-saints left to go back to their own lives.  My favorite quotes from the evening’s discussion: “You have to just look at them and tell them, ‘I’m the mom!’ or they’ll gang up on you,” “My husband needs friends and I want him out of the house, does anyone else’s husband need friends?” and “Does anyone else curse at their babies? I mean, in a singsong voice and everything, but still….”

  1. The Sliding Scale of Cleanliness.

The same friend that coined “down the baby rabbit hole” (described in my prior post) introduced me to this phenomenon.  It describes how one’s standards of cleanliness and what constitutes good hygiene are once again magically altered by the birth of children.  Before children the standard was this: “Gross! There is a stain or some substance on my shirt, I’d better change it.”  After children:  “Hmmm, there seems to be a pee stain next to the spit-up stain on my shirt… well, as long as it’s not poop!”  A second scenario: Upon pulling back the covers to your bed, you discover that the baby you laid there momentarily earlier in the day while you threw on some clothes did in fact spit up in copious amounts.  According to the sliding scale of cleanliness, your desire to change the sheets is weighed against the exhaustion you feel and the knowledge that you will be up again in a few short hours.  Thus, you crawl into bed, lay directly on the spit up because, well, at least it’s not wet, and fall blissfully asleep.

“First step in the master plan: disarm her with complete cuteness!”

4.  Twin Celebrity

When  you have multiples, it is difficult to exist under the radar.  This has required some getting used to on my part because I am in my comfort zone under the radar and twins bring attention.  Constant attention.  Even with the incidence of multiples on the rise, having twins is still a novelty and people love to  inspect the phenomenon.  Sometimes this is not a bad thing.  Yesterday, a woman at the grocery store let me cut  in front of her in line even when she had already unloaded her cart.  She turned around and looked at me and the boys and demanded that I go ahead.  I was extremely grateful, although in my head I wondered just how harried I looked!  When I take the boys on the daily morning walk in the neighborhood, everyone that we pass turns to stare and those who are a bit bolder stop to peer into the stroller.  A couple of weeks ago at Sam’s Club, I received a hug from a complete stranger in the parking lot and assurances from two other strangers inside that I was blessed and that they would be praying/thinking of me.  Young children usually point and say loudly, “look- two babies!”  Yesterday at Babies ‘R Us as I was unloading the babies into the car and wrestling my behemoth stroller into the trunk, an older woman told me that I was a brave mom to leave the house.  I told her it was not so much an act of courage as it was an act of desperation! There is certainly no quicker path to the end of sanity than being confined to your house with two babies whose master plan is obviously to join forces and conquer mom.  In fact, the first advice I received from a fellow mother of multiples was “you can’t show fear.”

And now I have to end this brief snapshot of my life.  From the sound of it, it appears the boys are mounting an offensive against my husband in the living room, and I’m pretty sure they’ve detected fear.  Mom to the rescue! (or hopefully, naptime).




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                      I feel somewhat guilty.  I have been neglecting my blog.  And for almost seven weeks!  But this time, I feel like I have a pretty good excuse — being very pregnant with twins!  After a long period of waiting, hoping, ups and downs, crossed-fingers, prayers and tears, my husband and I have been extraordinarily blessed with the two tiny lives that are now growing inside me.  Words cannot begin to express what we felt when we saw the first grainy images of not one, but two little black and white blobs shimmer and then come into focus on that ultrasound screen.  I didn’t know it was possible to feel that surge of love and protection for two beings that only recently came into existence and whom I have never even met.  I walked, no floated, out of the doctor’s office on cloud nine, or quite possibly cloud ten or eleven.  I spent the drive back to work dreamily contemplating the rest of my pregnancy.  I am pretty sure that day-dream involved me looking pleasingly rotund,  postively glowing with the aura of pregnancy, walking through a sun-shiney meadow of some sort in a mother-earthy dress and bare feet.  There might even have been some Disney-esque cartoon birds landing on my fingers and singing the joys of pregnancy.
                      Fast- forward four weeks — when instead of being rotund and glowing in a meadow, I am instead perched precariously over the toilet, dry-heaving and convinced that Walgreens has certainly given me sweet-tarts in place of the anti-nausea pills I pop religiously.  Friends have assured me that this passes after the first trimester, that at thirteen weeks a magical switch is flipped and I will no longer want to do nothing but sleep until I am forced to get up to pee or barf.  All I can say is that I am now two days away from my fourteenth week and my damn switch must be broken.    
                      Please don’t get me wrong.  I am still so happy every day when I think about the two little ones inside me, and I get misty eyed any time I see a father playing with his kids and add Dad to the list of wonderful things that my husband is.  But right now, I just want someone to fix my switch. 

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Soul Food

I had a surgical procedure this past Monday, and took the entire week off from work to recuperate.  Which means, of course, that by Tuesday afternoon, I was completely bored out of my gourd.  I was only able to be a dutiful patient until Wednesday at noon, when I met a friend for lunch,  then later drove to get frozen yogurt, and even later, met my husband for dinner.  While these outings did somewhat alleviate my “stir-craziness,”  I spent the rest of the night hugging a heating pad and re-acquainting myself with my friend Vicodin.

But Thursday — Thursday was a completely different day altogether! Thanks to the Vicodin, I awoke to find a day of possibility!  I did force myself to stay on the couch until noon, but here is the problem with daytime television:  it makes me think I can do things,  all kinds of things in fact.  For example, after watching a reality show about a bridal salon, I can totally picture myself opening one — I mean, how hard could it be?  Then I watched a woman construct a $1,300 birthday cake for a three-year-old’s party.  Awesome!  I could totally do that… just a quick run to Williams Sonoma and Whole Foods for the appropriate tools, and I’m in business.  (In this respect, I am incredibly fortunate to have an extremely practical and level-headed husband).  But the channel that finally did me in was of course the Food Network.  By noon on Thursday, I had come up with the brilliant idea that I wanted, no needed, to cook clams for my husband.  This was in part because it was infinitely more practical than opening a bridal salon, and also because he had been very stressed at work (not to mention that he survived with commendable grace the hormone tsunami that ravaged our house the week prior…).

And what better way, really, to recover from surgery than to teach yourself how to cook clams?

Being from Long Island, New York, my husband is in love with seafood — especially things with shells.  Crabs, Lobsters, Mussels, Clams, you name it.  If it has a shell, he’s drooling over it in the pages of Bon Apetit or Food and Wine Magazine the way some men drool over Hustler.  My experience in cooking anything with a shell is limited to staring at them in the case at Whole Foods, a little freaked out that they are still alive in the ice,  and imagining whether you can hear a tiny clam scream as they are thrown into the pot.  In my head, it’s something like a high-pitched “eeeeeeeeeeeee!”  (My husband assures me this is not the case).

I also decided to make Gruyere Gougeres, a French recipe for a savory sort of cheese puff pastry/roll.  Baking I can do, so if the clams were terrible, at least we could gorge ourselves on Gougeres and beer.

After a quick trip to Whole Foods (I tried to block out the noises the different kinds of seafood make when they scream- did I mention I have an over-active imagination?) I came home and Googled “how to prepare clams.”  There were all kinds of suggestions, from soaking them in actual seawater so they would purge their sand, to doing nothing more than shucking them and swallowing them raw.  I finally settled on scrubbing the outside and putting them in the fridge covered with a wet dish rag until dinner.  I do admit that I tried to open the fridge as little as possible that afternoon due to feelings of guilt — poor little guys knew that now that they were scrubbed, it was only a matter of time until the giant boiling pot….

Then it was dinner time.  After sauteeing some applewood-smoked bacon, onions and garlic in a large pot, I added two cans of diced tomatoes and some chopped roasted red peppers.  I brought it to a boil, and then it was time for the clams.  I took the clams out of the fridge and as fast as I could, dumped them in the pot, slammed the lid on, and ran out of the kitchen, just in case there really were any audible clam-screams from the pot.  About ten minutes later, I ventured back in and lifted the lid, and there they were– all beautifully open and simmering in the sauce.  Is there really any better smell than a sauce full of garlic and onions simmering away?  It is truly a salve for the soul.

Now, I must admit that immediately after eating dinner, I once again was forced to lay on the couch with a heating pad for the rest of the night.  But the look on my husband’s face when he came home and found clams for dinner made it completely worth it.

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