Did I forget to tell you all I was moving?

I did.¬† I got a new blog for the new chapter in my life ūüôā

I will say that I feel like I’m starting a little slow, my brain juices are slowly getting back up to speed, so forgive me if these first few entries aren’t as witty as some of my other gems here.¬† I promise, I’ll work on it!



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Have I maxed out my internal memory (has my brain been filled)?

I looked at a collage picture I made of Dean after his first year.  Most of the pictures are of him from about 7 months to 1 year old.  He was so cute!  I looked at it with my husband and we identified which picture made us think of Claudia and which of Charlotte.  It really is amazing how our firstborn contains the features of each of the twins when it seems like the two of them are so completely different!

Then I looked again and my breath caught in my throat.¬† I looked closer, frantically thinking, going back in time, trying to remember a particular moment and how it felt.¬† Trying to remember my son at that age… and I realized,¬†it was gone.

Dean at that age has been replaced by the girls who are at that age right now.¬† I got sad, how could I forget?¬† He was like an extension of myself for so long, another piece of my heart that walked around on it’s own.¬† He and I were one… and now I can’t remember how that felt.¬† It was like the new memories I am creating of the girls each day are replacing, overlapping, deleting the old memories of Dean at those same ages and stages.¬† That’s why everyone needs back-up storage.

I kept a journal when Dean was little.¬† I didn’t through his pregnancy and wished I had when friends asked me questions about what was going on with their pregnancies.¬† I kept it in a weekly planner, a two-page spread showed an entire week with space enough for a short paragraph under each day. I jotted down things like when he ate a certain food for the first time, the first time he smiled, or the first time he walked.¬† I’ve referred back to this journal often over the years either for my own pleasure, to compare to my new babies’ growth, or to answer questions that friends have about “is this normal”.¬† I haven’t done as good a job with the twins.

The reason why is obvious: I have so much less time!¬† I kept¬† a great pregnancy journal (filled with my darkest guilt and frustration… not an extremely pleasant read, but it was a rough pregnancy) but once the girls came there was just no time anymore!¬† I don’t use a real book anymore because I can type 90+/wpm and I dont’ have the patience to write things out by hand when time is at such a premium.¬† I go about a month or two¬†between entries as compared with the daily or at least weekly updates¬†I gave with Dean.

Looking at those pictures it was just so scary to realize: I’m going to forget these moments too.¬† I can’t let that happen.¬† I have to make sure to write down that my favorite thing about Charlie right now is when she gets excited her whole body tenses, arms and legs straight, her eyebrows fly up and she makes a kind of monkey “UOogh” noise.¬† It’s hilarious!¬† And how is it possible that one day I’ll forget how devilishly cute Claudia looks every time I “chase” her up the stairs.¬† She’ll climb two steps and then look back over her shoulder, eyes crinkle up in a smirk that reaches from her chin to her eyebrows,¬†just waiting for me to growl at her before she frantically scrambles up a couple more stairs.

It’s a good thing I’m realizing it now, before more beautiful moments slip me by.¬† I suppose I shouldn’t be here telling you about it at all–Off to the Journal!

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I’m smoking mad…

Or rather, I’m MAD at smoking!

Let me set the stage.¬† It’s June and we’ve had a really hot spell over the last three days.¬† The temperature has been at or above 90 for three days running with only a tiny bit of precipitation.¬† It’s HOT and DRY.

Today on my errands (with a sick baby in tow, the other two were at daycare) I drove over to the bank.¬† Outside the bank building is a nicely cultivated area along the curb with bushes and a steeply sloping bank covered in mulch.¬† As I drove by the mulch before I turned into the parking lot I saw a tendril of smoke reaching up out of the mulch.¬† I debated for a split second and then decided I couldn’t just drive on by so instead of going to the drive through (the baby was asleep at this point) I pulled into a parking spot close to the smoke.¬† The smell of burning wood was strong though the two gentlemen standing and chatting a few spots over didn’t seemed bothered.¬† I left the car running and walked across a bush to look down the slope toward the curb.¬† Sure enough, there it was: a cigarette.¬† This cigarette looked as if it had been smoldering for a while, not a shred of white was showing, it was a stub of ash and smoke.

Now, I’m from Maine and I take unattended fire pretty seriously. This was nowhere near a forest and even if it broke out into true flames it was unlikely to get out of control–but why risk it?¬† I leaned down and tried to stomp the cigarette.¬† The mulch slid down under my foot, the slope was almost 45 degrees.¬† The top layer that slid revealed a smoldering mass beneath.¬† YIKES!¬† I ran back to my van and grabbed a water bottle.¬† I heard sizzling as I poured the entire bottle down onto the spot but the smoking did not stop.

At this point my heart was beating, I hated the idea of fire out of control no matter how small it might be at this point.¬† I hopped back into my car and sped around to the drive through (I’d have gone into the bank but I had a sick, sleeping baby, I wasn’t about to mess with that!).¬† I told the teller I wanted to deposit some money and that a fire was smoldering in their mulch.¬† She thanked me profusely and they sent someone out.

May I just say to the smokers out there: I don’t like having to be around you or be somewhere you just were BUT I believe you have the right to do whatever you want to your own body.¬† I know what it’s like to be addicted to caffeine and¬† I have tendencies toward compulsive eating so I understand that a bad habit is not easy to shake.¬† However, the way in which you choose to smoke is 100% under your control.¬† Don’t smoke near me or my kids (I’m talking to you at Stop ‘n’ Shop smoking along the side of the building where the Infant Parking spots are and all the kid carts), don’t smoke in enclosed areas with YOUR kids so they come to school reeeeeeking of cigarette smoke, and please, please, PLEASE be responsible with your buts!¬† Don’t throw them out of your car onto my lawn, don’t throw them onto sidewalks, don’t toss them at the edge of playgrounds and DON’T toss them out your car onto flammable woodchips!!!

Thank you.

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Why you should have a “Rainbow Baby”

Rainbow baby is the term for a baby born after a loss.  For example, my amazing friend S. is expecting her perfect rainbow baby in 21 weeks (give or take) after the loss of her daughter, Ellie (some of you know about that), and a subsequent miscarriage.

Having “gone through” S.’s trauma with her (via a close-knit group of internet mom’s… I’ve never actually met most of them!) I have a deeper understanding of what kind of loss losing a baby is no matter how far along they were.¬† I thought about it and realized that almost HALF the mom’s I know have had¬†some sort of loss, most of them early miscarriages.¬† Statistics tell us that anywhere from 10-25% of “clinically recognized” pregnancies end in miscarriage (from the¬†American Pregnancy Association) but many more may occur so soon after implantation that the woman doesn’t even realize she’s been pregnant.¬† Knowing that so many others have felt your loss probably doesn’t help someone going through a miscarriage or who has had a recent loss but I read something recently that made me smile a little about this very sad topic.

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Miracle in a name

I named my first daughter Claudia.  I have been planning to name my first daughter Claudia since I was about twelve years old, after my father, Claude.  When I became pregnant with twins and then found out they were girls I knew that Baby A (who would make the first appearance) would be named Claudia.

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Adventures in Cloth Diapering [twins]!

Twins are expensive… heck ONE baby is expensive!¬† These girls go through a ton of diapers each day and with me taking the year off next year we’re in the red with our budget.¬† We’ve gotten rid of cable (rock on netflix!), we’ve cut back on groceries, eating out, personal spending, basically everything we could.¬† Diapers were the next logical step.¬† We spend about $80 a month on diapers and wipes each month (5 diapers/day X 2 babies X 30 days is 300 diapers a month!).¬† So the decision was easy.

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All the things I never thought I’d allow…

My 8-month-old babies can sleep with a 3-year-old throwing a tantrum less than 10 feet away.  What can yours do?

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a new committment

It’s not a New Year’s resolution but it is a new resolution.¬† I’ve decided that since writing is something I aspire to do “professionally” someday that I’d better get going!¬† So I’m making a plan to write at least 15 min every day.¬† I learned at my professional development today that if you commit to small goals you’re much more likely to follow through… 15 minutes is no where near the 1-2 hours my writer-cousin-in-law does (on weeknights, she writes 8 hours each weekend day!!! she has another full-time job but–obviously–no kids of her own yet!).¬† But I figure that 15 minutes of time that I set aside to do something I enjoy instead of something I feel like I should do for someone else is a good thing.¬†

Will I be posting a blog every day?¬† Heck no!¬† 15 minutes isn’t always enough time for me to write a first draft of a post sometimes, let alone the revision time.¬† I also have a long-term goal of adding pictures to almost every blog post… I take enough!!!¬† I also have other projects I’m working on (journals for each of my kids, my book ideas, etc.)

So, I’m off to start my 15 minutes (because does telling you about the resolution count as part of the resolution?).¬† Maybe I’ll get a blog out in the next few days ūüôā¬† Oh, and for those of you who are missing my ridiculous blogs: school ends after 3 more weeks and I’ll be “free” after that!¬† Maybe I’ll up my resolution time…

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Mother to Mother

I just wanted to share how lucky I am.¬† I’ve often felt alone as a mother, stuck in the house with children feeling at the end of my rope but in truth I’m surrounded by a strong community of women who, if I ask, would do almost anything for me!

I put myself out there when I had Dean and integrated myself into some pre-existing groups (the Mom’s Group at Manchester Memorial Hospital–every Tuesday 10-11 open to all mom’s of infants!) and then when the girls were born MOPs (the Manchester group which meets at Trinity).¬† I was a founder of a playgroup that I started using Yahoo groups which sprung from the Mom’s group.¬† I still see many of those women regularly even though our children are nearing three and a half.¬† I have an online group of women I met through my sister who are available literally round the clock.

I did put the effort to join these groups but I was also very lucky that they were so open and such a good fit for my parenting style (basically the groups accept all parenting styles and I do too!).¬† Many of my mom friends in other areas werent’ so lucky.¬† I had forgotten or not thought about the fact that many, many women don’t have what I have!¬† How sad and scary it must be to try and figure out new motherhood all by yourself or (possibly worse) with only a narrow view given to you by potentially unsupportive family members.¬†

It really does take a village to raise a child, in large part because it takes a village to support the mothers of those children.¬†¬† As I’ve said many times before I firmly believe that a happy mother is what makes a happy child!

So, if you’re a new mom get yourself out there.¬† Don’t worry about not being a perfect mom–that’s why we need each other: no one is perfect!¬† The support of other women going through similar times is the best¬†pick-me-up you could ever ask for!¬† Just knowing you’re not alone does wonders!

Your hospital will have information on local groups, possibly one at the hospital itself.  Also, look into groups through your local library (EVERY library has one!) or even a mommy-oriented excersize class at your local gym!  Often towns will offer adult-ed type things that are geared toward moms. 

Other organizations to look into:

Mothers of Preschoolers

La Leche League

Happy moms = happy kids, do it for them!

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Dinner For Four By One: A short story

The sky was grey as the van trudged onto the highway.¬† Wipers swishing as¬†it merged gracefully as a large vehicle can and sped on towards home.¬† The woman driving was tired, very tired.¬† caffeine addiction seemed to be an ongoing battle,¬†conquered¬†for a week with a swift backward slide a week or two later when the children kept her up a few nights in a row.¬† She found herself rubbing her temples, her whole body aching for a cool, refreshing, fountain diet coke…¬† Snapping back to reality she contemplated her dinner plans.¬† In an ideal world she’d have at least 30 minutes to create a culinary masterpiece for herself, her children and husband (if Rachel Ray can do it so could she!) but she knew that a few minutes here and there were all she manged on an average night.¬†¬†“30 Minute Meals”¬†never shows three kids¬†crawling or running underfoot with a husband who doesn’t¬†get home until after bedtime. ¬†The chicken she’d purchased that weekend sat, untrimmed and unmarinated, in the farthest corner of the fridge, mocking her for her inability to get her hands dirty with chicken goo with two infantsvconstantly needing her attention.¬† Her husband had promised to prepare the chicken the night before but lately he’d been promising a lot of little things like that and then not following through.¬† It was a symptom of the problem of her being back at work, a entire¬†story unto itself!¬† So, regardless of how or why there was no meat ready to cook and no creative vegetarian options available on short notice at home.¬† So what to do for dinner and her aching head? Continue reading


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