Friday, September 30, 2011

Cool, Calm, Collected Killer

Last night I wandered into the garage to find that I had left a light on in the car. I must have bumped it while running errands earlier. I had several items to carry into the house, and had left the door propped open while carrying items up and down the stairs, a mistake that came with consequences.

After turning off the car light, I wandered into a downstairs guest bedroom and was surprised to discover... a guest! We have had one such guest before, beckoned inside by that same door propped open. My surprise did not rattle me, however. You see, I know how to kill.


I gently placed the bait and then stood very still while my little guest ate piece after piece of the tiny green morsels. I heard that a bit of water will speed up the internal bleeding, so I even left a bottle cap of water near the bait. Cruel? Inhumane? Heartless? It had to be done.

Crossing Over

I have thought about this post for quite some time, and the easy thing to do would be not to say anything. While I may invite some criticism and verbal fire, I have to say this. There is a difference between how you are treated being childless vs. having (or expecting) children.

There really IS a magical line you cross, some rite of passage, some special unwritten club membership you receive upon getting pregnant. When you are childless, you sense that line is there, but you can't quite put your finger on it. It doesn't exist with everyone. There are those who manage to make it less apparent or invisible entirely, but as one who has recently crossed the line from a long barren drought, I say, it really does exist.

The reasons it exists could be greatly varied. I am sure it isn't an intentional exclusion. It isn't a conspiracy. It isn't that women who have babies are intentionally trying to shut out those who don't. It isn't some evil ploy, rather an unintentional clique. I suspect it has something to do with feeling like others can relate to them, and they have something in common. There are women in this world whose entire existence is consumed by child-rearing, and when they try to relate to someone who isn't experiencing or pursuing child-rearing (for whatever reason, intentional or unintentional), they are at a loss for words. They just can't connect. Unfortunately this can come off as being judgmental or aloof.

There are also those, I am sure, who find themselves unhappy in their parenting circumstances, and may be experiencing some self-loathing. When you aren't loving yourself, you sure aren't going to be able to share the love with anyone else! This is likely the exception, and not the rule, but maybe there are those who envy the childless, strange as it may seem. I know I personally have experienced firsthand the comments of close friends who literally, and rather vindictively said, "I can't wait to see YOU suffer." I wanted to reply, "I'd love to, if it would mean having children!"

Maybe they felt that I was judging them in their parenting (which I wasn't), or perhaps they just felt insecure about what they were doing. I can't really explain why someone would say something like that. Of course parenting isn't easy, but nobody should wish ill tidings upon a friend. Children are a blessing, despite the struggle they may inflict at times. Also, it's unfair to assume that one has not suffered simply because they have not had children. Indeed, not having children is a blistering fire of its own that a woman with children may never come close to experiencing.

Well, there. I have said it. There are those who will deny, or argue the point, but I feel I have genuinely been fair to both parties, childless and with child. It just had to be said. I just hope that I may be one of those friends that will never alienate a friend, no matter their status, parent or no.

It Happens Every Year

We have a pear tree. Just one. It's older than both of us put together, and when our arborist examined it, he was amazed it was still alive. The funny part is that it bears the most beautiful and delicious large pears in huge quantities. It's my favorite fruit tree on our property.

Each week C mows the lawn without fail. Before mowing, the fallen apples and pears must be picked up. The apples are often rather wormy, and inevitably several are lost before they are ripe, but the pears are a different story. They drop just before they are ready, so in a day or two, they reach the peak of perfection. It's a race to see if I can beat C to the punch and stow the pears in the garage long enough for them to ripen, but before the fruitflies take flight. Once the fruitflies appear, C wants to throw the pears away.

Here is the funny part. If I can manage to beat the odds, ripen those pears and dry them, C eats them like candy. You can't buy dried pears like this in the store, no sulphur, no sugar, just perfectly sweet dried pears dipped in lemon juice.

This year something different happened. After the first batch of dried pears (picked up with my robot arm because I can't bend over), C was suddenly motivated to save the pears in the garage for me! I guess along with all of that daddy growing up, some things are bound to change. Oh, and my yield of dried pears this year? At least thrice what it was in years past, and we aren't even done yet.

Oh, one more thing you should know, this was a great movie:

Thanks for playing! :)

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Twenty Happy Toes

Today I received the following text:

C: Please set up an appointment for tonight (or right now) to get a foot massage and pedi! No buts.
Me: For you?
C: Ha! For YOU! If I have to sit next to you I will, but you must get one!

I found a nearby spa that does Reflexology, and we were off for a couple's massage. We soaked in grapefruit oil, had our feet scrubbed, and then went to a candle-lit couple's retreat where we rested on massage beds while our feet received the royal treatment. Ah, my puffy cabbage-patch feet were happy, and C's? If falling asleep is any indicator of how relaxed he was, I'd say he enjoyed it quite a bit.

Peanut and Cricket have been very active lately. One of my favorite activities is watching my stomach jump around on its own. I never tire of feeling my little kickboxing babies. It never gets old. I just smile, even late at night.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

Somehow he knows...

C recently had an "incident." If there is anyone who despises attention and drama, it is C, but there it was. After a long week of late nights, early mornings, driving for several hours, and then running a strenuous race with his nephew (having arranged for a special push bar for his nephew's wheelchair), C almost passed out while giving a talk at church. He quickly and abruptly sat down, and I sat there in the congregation perplexed as to what to do. Do I rush up to see if he's okay? Everyone is watching to see what I'll do, and if I rush up there, it will draw even more attention to him.

Instead I rushed to the primary room to gather chairs for the last primary program practice, and then spent the next two hours stuck on the stage running the primary program. I was a bit over-eager to see him that evening when finally he arrived home. I fed him scratch chicken noodle and put him to bed. After sleeping from about 6 PM til the next morning, he seemed to be refreshed and revived again. "You tried to be me last week." I later said to him, me being famous for over-doing it.

"And I couldn't handle it!" He said. We both had a good laugh over it. It has been nice to shift attention off of me for a while. Everyone I see now asks about him instead of me.

Today C texted me, "Want to do something fun tonight?" I had my last VT appointment around 5:30, but was eager to get out and do something. Later he texted and said that he knew just what we could do: go clothes shopping! I almost cried. That morning I had tried to put on a reasonably new pair of jeans. They were fine until I sat down. My belly has grown so big, that even though my pants fit fine everywhere else, the place where the belly band ends cuts like a knife into me. Most of my maternity shirts no longer cover my belly, and I have months left to grow!

That evening C was the best friend ever, picking out comfy and cute clothes, helping me try them on and take them off, holding my purse and waiting while I ran to the bathroom, and saying all of the right things when I exclaimed that I looked like unto an elephant in the mirror. I couldn't be more lucky to have a best friend like that, and to top it off, he is my husband too!

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

We Named Them...

Okay, you've had enough pictures for a little while. This one is just boring old text. Maybe some pics, we'll see.

I went to the doc - I should say WE... WE went to the doc, although the doc was late, so WE got the ultrasound and saw the nurse and then I waited and waited and waited and finally sent C off to work. Alas, the doc arrived (a loaner doc, since mine just had a baby) and told me that my babies were the absolute perfect weight. "Whatever you're doing, keep doing it! It's hard to keep twins at the right weight!"

They are one ounce apart in size, which is rare, and not too big, not too small, just perfect! "Well, I do eat Ben and Jerry's sometimes..." That didn't go over quite so well. For some reason, doctors feel it is morally wrong to endorse Ben and Jerry's, but I am sure they are thinking about someone other than me when images of icecream indulging pregnant women flash through their mind. That isn't, nor ever has been THIS woman. We are talking, 1/2 cup maybe twice a week. Reasonable fatty caloric intake to make up for the spinach salad, lean meat, whole grains, and fruit I ate for dinner. So C tells me that what I didn't tell the doc was all of the healthy food I am eating, and that's what really is getting these girls to where they need to be, but that's no fun.

We have had some fun with the twins lately. I read in a baby book that we should name them to help them seem more real. They are, after all, real. We aren't ready for real names, however, but Baby A and Baby B are a little too generic. Introducing our affectionately nicknamed baby girls, Cricket:


and Peanut:

Aren't those little lips so precious, and their little squishy noses with no cartilage in them yet? Chalk it up to 3-D imaging to make those hands look all funky, though. We are pretty excited. This morning, after a real live night of sleep (something I haven't experienced for weeks), C came over to me and started talking. As soon as she heard his voice, little Cricket started kicking. She is going to be very active for sure, and probably a Daddy's girl.

I had a dream last night that I gave birth. We have been attending child birth classes and much to the dismay of my better half, we have also had the pleasure of viewing birthing videos, including a rather detailed C-section. It is my deepest desire to have these babies without having major abdominal surgery, and in my dream last night I was able to give birth without complications. May it be so, oh, may it be so!

If you have ever met one of those Apocalypse fanatics that have a bomb shelter in their backyard and stockpile supplies like mad, that is now me. I don't just cook one pot roast, I cook 2, and then I stick one in the freezer. I make a pot of scratch chicken noodle soup, and stick half in the freezer. See, once upon a time someone promised to bring me a meal. I was tempted to make my own, but resisted. They never showed up. How silly to get upset about something like that, so I have a back-up plan. I am cooking for myself for later, when I am a total wreck and wish I had me to cook for me.

Well, Sleep is calling, that elusive pimpernel. I better push publish or yet another post will fail to see the light of day (I have a graveyard of unpublished posts). Adieu!

Friday, September 16, 2011

Blackberry Festival: Of the Edible Kind

From Seattle you may hop the ferry to Bainbridge, Bremerton,or even Victoria. Because I wanted to visit Yang's Botanical, we opted for Bremerton and landed ourselves smack dab in the middle of the blackberry Festival.
You must know that blackberries grow like weeds throughout Washington state, along almost every road. This makes it rather inexpensive to whip up a batch of soft blackberry brew, but I still wasn't convinced there were any blackberries in it.
We resisted the urge for a fried Twinkie,
and instead opted for something we knew had blackberries in it.
In addition to delectable fare, there was plenty of eye-candy, like this spidey halter top, a must have for every wardrobe.
The offerings were colorful and varied, appealing to every age group of the feminine kind.


Wednesday, September 14, 2011

Going Botanical

Welcome to my first late-night feeding of the twins. I have made it this far without needing to eat outside of the normal grazing hours. Hopefully this isn't a pattern.

Last night we watched Thor. I must confess, we both enjoyed the film and the fact that it was a clean movie. Clean movies are hard to find these days. The actor playing Thor had his shirt off for a minute and I told C that he was my ripped Thor. Nay, he is even better than Thor. He not only practiced kissing my hand to make me melt, but he also spent much of our vacation doing exciting "guy" activities like visiting botanical gardens. He also paints my toenails, buys me beautiful, bright flowers, and kindly tugs his lumpy lady out of the car wherever we go.


Monday, September 12, 2011

Taken Over By Alien Lifeforms

My conference was delightful. I flew out from Seattle to enjoy the company of 2000 individuals consisting of friends, associates, and colleagues who literally showered me in kindness and goodwill. Even strangers had something kind and wonderful to say. It was a week full of generosity and cheer. My lecture went reasonably well, minus the fact that it was on Saturday, and by then I had overextended my lady lumptious self.

What a strange feeling, indeed, to be taken over by alien lifeforms, tiny creatures dwelling inside of you, kicking and pushing as you watch your body moving through no force of your own. Sometimes you reach down and feel something hard pushing against your skin... a head? a tiny bum, perhaps? Thump, thump, thump. They remind me that they are here and growing (they'll double in size over the next few weeks!). Those maternity pants that fit last week are tight across the belly, despite the "comfort panel," and that shirt that once looked like a tent now fits perfectly over your swollen belly. 

Alien life forms also make you do things that you never thought you would do, like walk very slowly, and buy "Shape-ups" shoes because that extra weight is just too much for your little feet. Aliens make you request a wheelchair at the airport because the hurried 5K walk to the next terminal in O'Hare will bring on contractions. You drop things on the ground and leave them there because it just isn't worth that five dollar bill to bend over and pick it back up. You ask other people to lift your luggage into the overhead bin on the plane, and you willingly let your petite girlfriend haul your luggage AND hers up two flights of stairs and thank her profusely for doing so! 

Aliens also make your eyesight worse, and you are truly grateful when the party favor at the conference banquet is a magnifying glass so you can read the small print on your credit cards again. Aliens not only make you grow two bladders (one that needs emptying now and the other ten minutes from now), but your feet swell like balloons when you attempt to stand too long. This requires that you willingly accept when your friends stand to offer your FEET a chair. Did I mention how nice everyone is?

It's getting easier to accept help, something I never thought I would see myself do in a million years. Independence and provident living runs deep in my veins. Although I have been quoted on many occasions to say, "Give generously and accept graciously," self-sufficiency is the unspoken, unwritten law that governs my actions. Oddly, people seem more than happy to help, even if I seem reticent to ask or accept.  

I was once inspired by the women who were prego and running races, working as a doctor until the day she gave birth, but now, don't even tell me about it. I don't want to hear about that woman. I thought she would be me, but she isn't, and while I am going through mourning accepting that fact, I am also starting to figure out that growing babies, just plain GROWING BABIES is a lot more work than I ever knew. Gestation is a full course meal on its own, so here's to my own little race, growing girls in my own little incubator, and everything else is, well, an extra side dish.

What's on the menu for tonight? Our first birthing classes! C is SO excited (at least he is trying to pretend he is). Neither of us are very thrilled about 2 1/2 hours of sitting, but it's all part of the job. 

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Market Meanderings


It isn't the Space Needle that makes Seattle special, but somehow it stands as this monument to a place I adore. It isn't because of some Meg Ryan movie, or because of one place or event. It's the place my man loves. It's where he lets down his hair and is completely at home. It's a place where we always find a bit of magic together, just the two of us, and where we just enjoy being together, no matter what we are doing.

Sure, I am a foodie. I guess that's why I love the market. I love the bright colors,



Unique people...


Incredible fresh fish...


The produce...



Delectable cheeses and crumpets...



Adorable hats that I would be tempted to buy for my baby girls if they hadn't been out of the bunny ones...


Funny T-shirts...


Strange stores that carry things like the largest collection of Castile soaps I have ever seen,

Strange concoctions in brown mayonnaise bottles,  

...and things like this: 

We had to eat some Ivars at the pier, because the seagulls MUST be fed french fries. And for dessert? 

You guessed it. The best huckleberry ice cream in the world from Steamers. I am pleased to announce that this trip, one cone did the trick. 

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