Tuesday, August 28, 2007

To Mamas

This post is to say thank you to all the wonderful women who have been reading and commenting on my blog entries lately. I have to say, I did not think there would be people who would be interested in my life and times. When I started it was an experiment really, and a bit of an indulgence, as I really love to write.

But now, well, this blog is a link. It links me to other mamas out there that are learning the ropes along with their little ones. It links me to women who have given birth to twins and watched them thrive and grow and change and become little people. I use these links as connections to the world out there, to the world of parenting. I love seeing it done so well by so many out there. And I have to admit it helps to know other mamas are losing sleep (duh), worrying over their babies and their actions, but also reveling in the joy of this strange phenomenon of parenthood.

I want to tell all of you that when I read comments my heart feels glad and full. I know I have never ‘met’ most of you, but I feel connected and wish you lived around the block so I could drop in with the boys and say hi and kiss your little ones. Or in the case of Ava, hang out with her beautiful daughters and maybe hook them up with one of my attractive brothers (really great guys, I swear, Ava.)

I think in the future I would love to get to know all of you even more…and find ways to connect. I wish I had more time to write and comment back, I try to find time to shoot a few replies out there. But I just wanted to say thanks to you all, Ana, Bea, Kaitlyn, Steph, Ava, Eva, Rae, Jennifer, Gabrielle, Sharon and so many others. I am not kidding when I write that you are making a huge difference in this experience that we are in. Sending you great big bushels of gratitude and, really truly, joy. You are all awesome women and I look forward to watching as your lives grow and change with your children. Thank god for mama-blogging. It rocks my world.

BTW: Kaitlyn, thanks you for the Rockin Girl tag. I have no idea how to pass it on because certain computer related things pass me by completely. If anyone wants to take a little time to explain how I can send that little button thing to other mamas out there, I would be most appreciative. Smiles.

Yep, already trying to model this behavior. Hey, since I am not planning on any more and we have no girls, I have to get one to follow in my fiber footsteps.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Fourth Month

Four years ago yesterday your daddy and I were married.

It was the best experience of my life. Up until you. We were married in a small chapel in the midst of tall old pine trees. We had 70 or so of our absolute best-est people with us for a magical three days. It was a lovely time, full of conversation and love and joy. Very little worried me that weekend. I felt that it would all be as it should, we would have all the necessary accoutrements of a proper wedding (though we were miles from any real shop that could assist if we did not), that the food and flowers would make it , that it would all be set up in time. And it was. Not without effort, the effort of almost very guest we invited, actually. It was what I like to call a working wedding. But it made all feel so welcome and as if they were a part of the commitment Tim and I were making to each other. On that day I knew we were beginning something new in our long relationship and it has continued to feel wonderfully fresh.

A year ago we decided to try and make you. We were in Canada, on vacation. We had discussed it, extensively, for over a year. We were excited and happy to be on the same page, but apprehensive. It felt like the biggest decision we would make. It was the biggest decision we could make. We had no idea if it would ‘work’ or what to expect. We just knew that it was the right time to try. We had planned our trip to B.C. to include camping on Salt Springs Island and a trip to Whistler for Daddy to experience the singularly spectacular thing that is Whistler’s bike trails. He spent a day that I know he will never forget, a day I know he longs to do again with all his heart. The whole trip was wonderful in many ways and we enjoyed it to the hilt, especially knowing it could possibly be our last as a couple. For a long while, anyway.

And today, well, today marks your fourth month hanging around these parts. You are different babies than before, things keep changing so rapidly now that I feel like I cannot keep up with them in words or photos. Some changes are subtle, some drastic (to us, anyway). This past month I bought this journal, a clever and efficient way of jotting down a daily line that will be reviewed year after year. It is how I plan to follow these rapidly changing events, a way of remembering this time that seems to fade as quickly as the daylight does now that autumn approaches.

Sure, there are some days that feel stagnant and rough around the edges. The days when I cannot believe this is what I do, I mama twins. What? A year ago I was hiking through trails in Vancouver, now I live out of my computer (okay, a little dramatic, we all know we get out a bit). But I also know that the decision we made four years ago and last year have changed us for the better. It is unbelievable, the double blessing.

I recall standing on the patio of this winery on Salt Springs Island, having bought a bottle of their delicious white wine and thinking I would keep it in case I was pregnant, it would commemorate your making. I remember my sister-in-law looking at me oddly when I declined a glass of wine at Tim‘s mother‘s wedding, saying I would sip Tim’s instead. At the time there was no news to tell yet, I felt a bit foolish for being so cautious, almost like it would jinx my hopes. Remembering these things brings a fresh perspective to my daily time with you, it makes me recall that feeling of hope and desire and anticipation.

Now we watch you both as your motor skills begin to show. I have tried very hard to leave my training as a physical therapist in the back of my thoughts. You see, I once worked with infants, but they were the ones that needed help to thrive. They had none of the naturally developing skills that I see unfold in you both daily. In school we learned ‘normal’ development in order to have a baseline, but I have to admit, I have never witnessed it.. All my little charges required help in the developmental process. I marvel at the ease of your discovery, how you practice the same move over and over and then, suddenly, I can see the dawning of understanding in your gazes.

Mason, you know how to work a room, kid. You carefully study each face, categorizing almost. I see as you scan for the parents, then see your uncles, watch your Omi and Opa. You already modify your responses and always try to win the stare off game with Daddy. And lately you ‘tell’ stories at the same time as Mama. I start telling you a fearie tale or fable and you talk with me. If I stop to allow you to respond, you go quiet. So I will resume, at which point you start talking again. It is frickin adorable. And the sounds you make…I record them when I can because nothing had ever sounded so sweet. Oh yeah, you also learned to scream. Mama does not like that so much. No, indeed.

Owen this month you decided you like the world of people. You decided it was fun to talk to Mama and Daddy, that we were in your circle of friends (along with Fanny, and Wally, Doorframe and Window Sill). Once you get going, the charm and absolute devilry you can deliver with a lift of an eyebrow (yeah, you came out knowing how to raise only one in that rakish way) is really quite stunning. Sometimes you take my breath away with your smile. I realized I respond to you like I do to your Daddy. I so want you to like me, I live for your attention and feel like a million bucks when I get it.

Odd, how different you are, my two boys. You do not really acknowledge each other yet, but lately, when you lay down next to each other at play time, Owen reaches for Mason’s hand and gets it and holds it. It is as if he like the feel of it, the softness of skin that parallels his, but is not of him. Owen, you get it, Mason, you pull out of it, Owen, you go back to get his hand again. It is the neatest thing to watch. Both of you listen to ‘story time’ but in your own way. Owen watches the book, Mason watches me. But you are drinking it in, the attention, the love, the dedication. We do not always feel appreciated and you cannot reciprocate much yet, but we know it will all come back to us.

Now is the time that I can see a bit more clearly, with less apprehension. I can see you better and I know you well. There are still surprises. Those nights when the 730 bedtime just does not seem to be in Your (ahem Owen) agenda after three days of going down easy. Those afternoons when meltdown central occurs because Someone (ahem, Mason) won’t take that quick little catnap so we can eat dinner. These little kinks remind me to take it easy, to let it go a bit. I do not always feel the same day to day and I should not expect it of you two.

Lately morning time is the best. You both wake up happy, a little song I have sung since you were in your own room seems to have influenced something. It goes like this, “Wake up happy, wake up happy, you won’t feel crappy if you wake up happy.” Maybe I should not use the crappy word, but, hey, it rhymes. Anyway, you just laugh and roll around in your crib. We know soon we will have to introduce crib 2 as you are never where we leave you when we lie you down. Just the other morn we found you, Owen, with your head snuggled into your brother’s side. And I thought Mason would be the ‘toucher’. Like I said, you are full of surprises. It breaks my heart a bit to think of separating you, it makes me wonder if you will notice. I have started to wonder a lot about you, how you will interact, when the whole twin thing begins. It might already be there, maybe you do your ‘talking’ and conspiring after dark when we put you down to bed.

We celebrate you this month and we celebrate each other.

Nothing could have prepared us for this time, but the decisions we made 4 years ago and last year were blessed ones. They created the space into which you came, the place for you to be. I say to your Daddy, thanks to you for loving me and us. Thank you for marrying me when I demanded it. Thank you for proposing to me in our place despite my ranting on the church and preachers. Thank you for trusting and believing that I was the partner for you, that there was nothing to fear as we openly stepped into the new life we wanted to create. It has been an unbelievably inspiring and invigorating four years….I know 40 and more will follow. I love you so very deeply, my MCD.

Happy Anniversary, love. Your FumbElinA loves you.

Happy fourth month, boys. Your Mama loves you.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007


Interesting and busy few days over here. I had to put up these pictures because it is so frickin' hilarious.

Lately the Beans have gained in the motor area and we have great fun with that.

We sit,

We fly,

We totally barf on Mama.

Maybe we won't fly after dinner anymore. I did take a shower when we got home.

Parenting can be such an adventure. At least I didn't get it in the mouth.

Friday, August 17, 2007

Gables and Cables

I have a finished and beautiful object, the Green Gable top. It is by far my
favorite knit. It is a wonderfully simple pattern with the fit of a glove, skimming lightly over my post-partum curves, making them feel, well, curvy. I loved being able to try on and determine the length, it is one of my pet peeves, too short shirts. I think top down knits are the future of all my knitting for myself. It is just so rewarding to finally knit something that fits and flatters. I love it!

The yarn is Noro Lily, a cotton and silk blend. It has a nice sheen to it with just enough silk to soften and lighten the piece considerably. I appreciate the drape of the fabric and the lace shows nicely thought the yarn seems a little heavy to really show the pattern. Casting on with backward loop was a mistake for my knitting tension, I tend to be a loose knitter and the edge rolls a bit more than I would have liked, but it does allow the piece to have the ballet neck line I have always admired. When I was growing up in the dance world I perused endless catalogues of dance wear and always dreamed of having the stature and wrap clothing featured in the ‘dance class’ sections, now I have my ballet neckline (sans the stature of course, but I gave up on growing a longer neck a long time ago). Overall, I want to buy more Lily and knit this over and over, but I may go with another one of the Zephyr patterns next as I know I can complete it in record time (for me) and I think they have the right formula for my body type.

I did buy the book by Barbara Walker on top down knits and have made it a reading item, I do not think design is in my future right now, the numbers/figuring out thing still ain’t quite happening. But on the needles now in the famous Shedir, a tiny
cable treat that is easy to track due to the excellent pattern from Knitty. Some of my Calmer stash is being used, thanks for the suggestion, Katie. I think it will move along as a naptime knit, one teeny tiny row at a time, until the cooler weather hits here. Then, wah-la!, I will whip out the hat to keep my ears toasty. I may have need of it if we make it to the Cabin for our Thanksgiving celebration…the plan is for family from all parts of California to meet at the cabin and enjoy the holiday amongst pines and loved people. The way time is flowing, it will be here before I know it.

In Bean news, well, so very much and so very little, that encapsulates how I feel in the Mothering department. They seem to grow more rapidly every day, they stay awake longer and are starting a very interesting way of interaction with each other. They are so wonderful, but still so helpless in so many ways. I have stuck with the EASY plan I was so gung-ho about…with a few modifications. I want to write a whole post about it sometime, just to find out how many of my readers have ‘routines’ for their babies, and how it works for them. I try not to be too rigid about it all….but with two you have to do something to keep the days from spiraling into nuttiness. What I mean by that is they are at the point where they are much more aware and interactive with everything, but also the point where this tends to overwhelm them and tire them out. Naps are going, someday better than others. They seem to be ‘short’ nappers at times, they do not always make it past that dreaded 45 minute mark, waking themselves up with flailing arm and screaming lip….not sure why, considering moments before the occurrence they are so peaceful looking. Those are the times when Mama here feels a little despair, but for the most part they seem to be growing and growing well. I guess the bumps and bits of mama-hood will always bring up questions. We cannot complain, the boys are so good to us and for us.

Lately, despite weird daily naps, they have been giving us about 4 hours of sleep twice a night (with the occasional 5-6 hour stretch, ahhhh.). This helps me a bit as I have never needed sleep much, but I am starting to wish I had appreciated it more when I could have it. Lest you think we have babies that ‘sleep through the night’ I will post their new routine at some point. Basically, we get them in bed at 730, they sleep until 11 when we wake them to feed (the ‘dream’ feed), then they sleep until 4-5 (or sometimes 6-7, ahhhh.). And then the day starts again.

I think the thing I worry about most with them is that we will mess them up somehow. I try not to think that way, but I wonder if this choice or that choice will alter their course. I know it is a hard way to think, but I cannot stop that part of my mind, the worrying part. Tempering it is the time I get to enjoy while they are up and happy. I decided when I ‘Mommyblog’ I want to be as honest as possible about the current challenges and rewards of my experience in new Motherhood. I think it is important to do this to keep the account of this as it is, so in the future when I go back I recall it because my words convey it. I also think it is important because I can paint whatever picture I want to, so I want it to be honest and open for other mamas reading. I love this blog, her discussions lately focus on breastfeeding, a topic I can relate to but no longer share in. Giving up the breast was one of my first real decisions in this journey…it was so hard, but essential to my own health. Now a new challenge is leaving for a bit without feeling guilty for the leaving. My mom suggested I go to Joann’s fabrics on my own, to leave them with her for a bit. I needed to buy fabric for curtains…darker is better for sleeping babies. I did leave them, felt weird the whole time, but I guess I need to get used to it if I will be trying to get back to work a bit. And I got a great deal on some nice brown corduroy for ‘blackout’ curtains. Lots of plans for spicing them up, we will see where that goes. I am just glad I got Green Gable off the needles and Shedir on. Both projects are accomplishments in my book.

Sorry for the rambling bits, it is Friday, my favorite day because it means:
-Daddy is home for two days (Daddy who has been leaving early and getting home late for a bit due to work demands. Ick.)
-Friday means babies in bed, beer for Mama and daddy with some adult time without any chores, etc. (We just put it aside until tomorrow.)
-One more week complete, this has little significance but a hold over from when I used to work in the ‘work’ world.

So, on to our weekend, which includes a reunion for my husband’s family and a pre-wedding party for my cousin by marriage (who I have known since she was 7 or so and now she is getting married. What?). Hold a few prayers for her groom, he is shipping out to Iraq soon. We love that boy and wish him home as soon as possible (wish he did not have to go at all, really).

Signing out, I going to go sit with my husband and hang out until 11. Have a great weekend.

Tuesday, August 07, 2007


Have you seen Little Miss Sunshine? I want you to picture the scene with the little girl watching the beauty queen win her crown. Remember when she freezes the tape on the moment the new queen hears her name? That was my expression when I opened a box addressed to me. It contained this...

I rarely win anything, I think it has something to do with the fact that I rarely join any contests. I did put my 2 cents in over at Blue Garter, mainly because I wanted Sarah to know I thought she could accomplish her goal of finishing a sweater along with the Tour de France. She had a few obstacles, at one time I think she felt
like she was in the Alps part of the ride, but she did it! Her completed Brigette is lovely and my haul from winning was more than generous. So far I have yet to buy a ball of Calmer, I have received quite a few as gifts (Emily, I will send something some day, I swear. I will be a surprise). I love this yarn and mourn it's price because I think I would only knit in it if I could.

Now I am scoping through Ravelry to find projects that strike a fancy in me. I think I will look for projects for next Spring (when the Beans approach 1. What?) That way I will get the best out of the beauty of my prize-winnings. And the lace, well, there are so many patterns to choose from, I will keep it until the time when lace patterns make sense and I know I can do it justice.

My Green Gable has actually taken on the shape of a top and the progress heartens me. I have one great project in mind for the needles, a vest for Bean 2. I have one complete, chock full of lovely cables and satisfying moss stitch. No real photos of it on a child, it should fit right around Christmas. If they blow right by it, I will have great disappointment in my heart. I want to try to get them in the vests for a Christmas photo shoot, you know, for those announcement Xmas cards I plan on making from scratch (hmmm, stop now).

Thought I would hop on the 8 random things train so here it is:

* I always wake up with some random pop song coursing through my thoughts. Occasionally this can annoy the heck out of me as it tends to follow me around all day. Today : Thethe's This is the Day (now on an M&M commercial. Is nothing sacred?)

* I have two implanted teeth because I was born missing 2 mature teeth. I lost those 2 baby teeth at 21 and was actually toothless for a short time. The bar tender at my favorite bar thought I was a brawler. Flattering.

* I used to be heavily into Astrology and I would map everyone's Birth Chart with all the signs, houses, etc. But I never gave them to the people, so for a long time I just had scads of these things hanging around. I finally tossed them, once I felt like I was not throwing away a part of the person. I am weird like that.

* I cannot throw away photos because I feel like it would do something to the people in them (See above.) And I have to admit I have thrown away some in the past because I wanted something to happen to someone. Kinda' vindictive like that. Not so much anymore.

* I used to 'read' the dictionary. I love words, but have that disease when I know the meaning but not the proper pronunciation. This can be embarrassing.

* I was schooled with the same 40 people for 8 years, then the same 50 girls for high school. They were all much wealthier than myself (my family, really). This did not really affect me except I know money does not fix anything/anyone/any life and I have a healthy fear of getting involved with groups of people.

* I love information about people. That is why I like the blog world so much. I love hearing about people's lives, from the mundane to the sublime. It is also why I share quite a bit. I feel like I should reciprocate for those out there that read.

* I believe love can change any thing, situation, life. I believe it is a daily choice to love, one that can be hard at times. I believe if we do not choose to love we will lose what makes us beautiful creatures.

8 random things. Now, Mrs. Mama's Knitties, consider yourself tagged...and any others out there that read here and want to share your randomness.

And, yes, the photos are as random as the facts. I just love how Owen's thumb is stuck in his dot. And Mason is shmuggling with my friend Jenn, hair stylist extraordinaire.

One more random thing, did you know 'meme' rhymes with 'theme'? I did not until I read it somewhere. One less embarrassing moment (if I ever have to actually say 'meme.)

Last random: Little video of the Beans (a little cranky but cute) talking to Daddy.

talking beans from mamie and Vimeo.

Friday, August 03, 2007


First off, thanks for all the encouraging comments generated by my last post. I usually try to be really upbeat about my posts, but, you know, it is nice to share the other reality and know I am not alone. I started this post a few days before the 'bad day' and laughed when I realized that I had misspelled the title. I left it to support the point of this post...that nothing is perfect nor does it have to be.

I recently started my Green Gable (why am I always, like, a year behind in the knit world?) Anyway, I noticed something about myself during this knit. I do not really care when I make mistakes in my knitting projects. I am one of those slippy sloppy knitters that truly believe that no one will see that skipped/slipped/dropped stitch and, if they did, they would likely not care. I rarely rip, when I do I find it to be only when things have gone drastically wrong. It made me recall something I once heard but I know not where I gleaned it from. This happens a lot to me, I tend to pick up tidbits of information and know not where to lay the credit. It is a thing I have always done, I cannot even blame the parenting of twins for that one (yeah, giving up the pregnancy excuse, moving on the the parenting defense. Very cool aspect of having children.) Sorry, major digression.

Anyway…the imperfection thing. I recall hearing/seeing somewhere that weavers of fabric leave a line of imperfection in their pieces. This allows them a ‘way out’ of their work, a way to keep themselves from being held in their weaving. I thought that was a lovely concept, that in our creation is part of our Self. I think that I what has knitters identify so strongly with the act itself. And I love that imperfections tend to not bother me. A reminder I do not live a perfect life, nor do I desire to.

Which leads me back to Green Gable. You see, she is on the needles and moving along and I did the terribly novice thing of twisting the stitches when they were joined in the round. I caught it by the third row and corrected the twist….refusing to rip because do you know what I took to get it cast on in the first place? The twist is in the back at the neckline (at least I managed to get it in a semi-concealed area) and I see it each round and in a way it makes me a bit happy. Because I can let go of things. And move on. (And,yes, it may make me seem a bit like a lazy knitter, but I like to think of it in the other way.)

We will see how it goes with this project. I want to stay committed to it, but I have a few distractions cropping up. And I am not talking about the babies.

I decided to experiment with a few simple sewing projects, a little embroidery, some iron-on graphics for the plain onesies. You know how it is, seeing others’ blog about all their projects inspires. I love these little burp clothes my friend gifted on us and want to emulate them with cute fabrics. Which brings me to another digression. The burpies she gave us came from a little boutique in our downtown area. I opened the gift and had to laugh because the fabric panels on them are by one of my new fave fabric designers, Heather Ross. She has the most whimsical prints and I am constantly trying to score fat quarters on eBay. Imagine my delight to receive them. So sorry the boys spit up on them, Heather. Anyway, the burpies are simple and quick and satisfying. So far there is only one, I (badly) embroidered a little saying on it (clever, am I not?).

The onesies graphics are beyond simple, just print and press with hot iron. I do love me some good punk rock and figure it cannot hurt to let the boys declare themselves early on. Not that I want babies with Mohawks (wellll, those faux hawks are pretty spanking cute) and safety pin jewelry, but we have already crossed the legwarmer line, so why the heck not?

And then there is my lovely friend Danielle (super mama to triplets). She does stamp and card demos and I was able to slip out a few Sundays ago to make these. I cannot believe she has the time to prepare all the “raw” bits for these cards. All we have to do is sit and stamp and glue and leave with 8 lovely handmade cards. I want to provide support in her endeavors so if any of ya’ll out there want some sweet little stamps for quite reasonable prices, please visit her here. The only problem with the stamp session was it started a fire in my belly to create Xmas announcements (we did not do any for the births). Scary. I should really limit my ambitions at this point.

Anyway, I want to remain true to the Green Gable as it is simple and pretty. I am using Noro Lily yarn, my mama day present, and it slides so easily on the needles. I think I can do it, especially if I avoid too many other ‘commitments’. Now I am gonna’ get a few more rows in while they sleep.

I'll finish with one of the perfect things I do count in my life. Mr. Mason is modeling a tank i knit while pregnant. I recently completed it with those sassy buttons from Michael Levine's. They were initially to go to my rock a billy friend V, but I had no project done for them, by default they landed on the shoulders of this quick little knit. I love it but only have one...maybe I can add Tank 2 to my list for Owen....hmmmm.