Posts Tagged ‘birthday’

Weekly roundup March 30 – 5 April 2013

April 8, 2013

Saturday:

TMD’s take:

After some early morning Shows and playing and some plants vs zombies we decided to go to a local soft play after picking up a package from grandma at the post office (snort’s favourite thing to do!) lots of fun was had before coming home for lunch.

Following their lunch I dumped some Lentils and rice in tray and they decided it made a good place to play with their playmobil – this lasted just long enough for me to eat a jacket potato. I’d hoped it would hold them for longer and it would have if they hadn’t started fighting over one brown haired playmobil girl and it all went to hell.

Coconut asked me to make Tom and the orange helicopter (which she’d wanted earlier(damn her memory)). One of our toy helicopters was not good enough as none of them have doors that open… However two yoghurt pots taped together with a door hacked in the side and propeller on the top seemed to suffice. Along with an orange jacket addition to a playmobil guy as Tom. This is all to go with her fire engine and fireman Sam obsession. Tom Thomas is the helicopter rescue guy. While this crafting nightmare was taking place Snort was looking at angry birds pictures on google images (go figure) and on finishing the “helicopter” I’m greeted with the question “we make angry birds?”. What could I say… I had to give it a go. These turned out waaaay better than the helicopter and if you’re lucky Existere may put a picture up for you to see. Anyway Snort was chuffed and Coco got in on the fun too.

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Having watched me do some making I figured it was their turn so I busted out the glitter glue/scrap paper eggs that I’d prepared earlier and they both got busy with these. They LOVE glitter glue and this is usually a Coco thing but Snort got really involved and was very proud of his egg declaring it was for Nana and Pops.

Coco and I played market while Snort played plants vs zombies with Mama and then I came up with a cool way to hit the green piggies off these plastic cone things we have with the birds. A hit with both kids. They watched some shows while I cooked dinner and then we all went out into the back garden, had a circus show, played hide and seek and generally had some fun. Time for a quick spiderman show before bath and bed.

The circus we did was collassal, y’all.

Sunday:

Woke up to eggy excitement. We have sold Easter as being a celebration of spring- sort of celebrating the pagan side but keeping the secular/Christian name. So the kids were informed of the Easter Bunny (okay, not exactly pagan, ha!) and were off egg hunting. TMD organised it all – small plastic eggs had mini eggs in, large plastic eggs had stickers in. There was a large poster hanging on the kitchen door labelled ‘Snort and Coconut’s Easter Egg Hunt Picture,’ and a drawing of some hills by water, sun in the sky, nice big tree. The kids then placed their sticks on the drawing – both LOVED this and got very into it. They then found their actual Easter baskets and ate a freakish amount of chocolate.

We then played/hung it/did weekly online grocery shop/etc. After lunch we headed into town, as an art gallery apparently had a great installation for children. We got there and it wasn’t actually on till 6 pm, so we went off for a wander and they had ice cream. Nutrition for the win. Found some temporary stuff set up for the weekend, and the kids got to try those giant trampoline things. You know the ones. You are strapped in, and your harness connected to high poles on either side. The kids FLEW in the air and both absolutely adored it. Pure joy. They then ‘rode zebras,’ these weird bike/soft toy hybrids that are propelled by you bouncing up and down.

We then happened upon a street performer playing drums and xylophones, much like the first concert we attended a few weeks back. Well, SHIT. The kids stripped off their backpacks and jackets and just boogied down. Lots of exuberant, free dancing and twirling along the riverside. Twisting around gates, leaping along the cobblestone, spinning. I took a video and cannot wait to watch it.

Afterward we climbed onto a smallish boat for an hour long ride. Went along the water section we had been down before, and then a huge trip through the city, under bridges and into areas i didn’t even realise had water near them. I LOVED it. So did everyone else, particularly Snort.

Monday:

Late start due to the clocks going forwards yesterday so they’re still on a lag! Coco up first so we did my last prepped craft (I’ve been so organised this weekend!!) a chick made out of a paper plate with orange concertina legs. Snort did his once he woke up and used up all the eyes and feathers making quite the masterpiece.

Also today we (writing this a week later so is a bit sketchy) went to the shop and bought sunglasses, had a snack in the cafe, came home and had lunch, got the marble run out, snort made mama an angry bird card (“I had an idea and I made it!”) made refrigerator cake (coco’s idea) then had a birthday party for mama! We watched the ballet of ugly duckling which they both really enjoyed and then Grampy arrived for some wild play time before bath time.

A lovely end to a lovely weekend.

Tuesday:

Much of the early morning was TMD’s dad being Cushion Man, a baddy who has the ambition to smack small children about their bodies with a cushion. Spiderman and Tree Fu Tom delighted in this game…..right up until the point we had to leave and Bunny could be found nowhere. Consequently we missed half of our monthly storyteller near the water, but at least Bunny was safely recovered.

Both kids took their pushchairs – Coco with Bunny and Giraffe, an old toy new to being carried around, Snort with a baby doll. Storytelling was like a home education reunion, with us knowing loads of people there – and we were particularly happy to see Catgirl and Artiste, FreeSpirit and kid, and SushiMama and children. Snort practiced writing the first letter of his name a lot during the colouring portion of the hour, something he hasn’t been very into but loved this morning. After the story we played out in the sun and freezing wind with Catgirl and Artiste, before heading onto the ‘pirate ship.’ Totally awesome to navigate tight spaces and stairs with two kids pushing toy prams. I was totally that parent, but luckily I don’t think we annoyed anyone.

We then had lunch in the cafe – I left the kids at a table while ordering, as it was the last table. School holidays are so shit! The world is so crowded and unpleasant. Afterward we mated the executive decision to go on an ‘inside boat ride.’ Imagine a giant greenhouse that floats, and you’ve about got it. What was amazing was the twenty two feet wide stairs with no handrail and a straight drop to the icy water. Luckily an older couple adopted us for the trip down and back up the stairs. They were totally lovely and helpful and we had a nice chat with them.

Snort passed out on the boat, Coconut toyed with her new sunglasses, I tried to not let the burning sun melt my face off. Quite a temperature shock after the chill of outdoors! We then came home and played in the front garden – away from the water and wind, it is actually quite perfect outside. After lots of playing, Coconut managed to slice her finger open on a hunk of glass obviously left in the flowerbeds when new windows were put it, so that smashed the joy out of spring. We are inside now and the kids are chilling with a bit of telly.

Wednesday:

Early morning was Coconut singing to herself while playing with the alphabet magnets and other magnets, while Snort pottered around.

As soon as TMD left for work, the serious birthday present making began. We hauled tonnes of craft supplies into the kitchen. Snort had his very own, very definite idea of the present he wanted for Mummy – making superheroes for her. He worked for almost two hours with total intensity – I cut shapes, he coloured, drew, and directed me in future shape cutting. He used his figures as a guide for how to make them, and they do look FAB. Coconut made a sparkling butterfly, a bunch of drawings. I want to make little books about why Mummy is loveable, and we did make two covers.

The kids also spent some time wearing bowls over their heads and ridding horses made out of stethoscopes. Astronaut cowboys for the win.

Coconut then decided we NEEDED to make cookies as I said it was too early in the week to make Mummy a cake. Cue them elbow deep in flour and sugar. It’s still coating their pyjama arms – yes, it’s 10:19 and they are still in their fleece monkey pyjamas. The recipe was vegan, and I think for sugar cookies, though it didn’t specify. Odd. Still, we added chocolate chips and dipped the dough balls in sugar. Most everything we cook is totally fucked during the mixing, playing, pouring stage, and everything tends to turn out edible. I think these cookies should be harmless, if not gourmet delights. They’ve said ‘Mummy will be SO HAPPY,’ and that’s the main thing.

Well, screw Mummy, apparently. Kids most of the cookies, then played superheroes for like an hour. Both dressed a superheroes and with the little figures. Had a bit of lunch, not the homemade pizzas I’d envisioned, then repeated science experiment/homemade crazy straw that’s ten feet long thing. More playing, wild chair dancing, kids writing and taking turns taking cafe orders from each other, five minute group tidy, and are now playing with our wooden fire engine together.

Let’s not forget that I led zombie exercises. Yes, they were zombie babies and I was their zombie mama/zombie football coach. We alternated arms reaching and growling for brains, stomped our energies into the ground, shook aimlessly like a confused zombie, and did facial grimacing. Healthy living for the win?

We played plants vs zombies for a bit, and then all cuddled up in my favourite chair where I read ten thousand of those shitty little board books. You know, the tiny ones where the stories are heavily abridged and the book is so small it’s tricky to let two kids see the pictures without your normal sized fingers obscuring the entire book. Also watched a cool YouTube video on how to make ketchup. If you go to YouTube and type in, ‘how to make….’ you can find anything. We also watched some Olympics coverage – synchronised swimming, swim races, and diving – both were into it. Snort then watched a bit of male gymnastics and was glued to it.

Thursday:

Lots of two knights attacking me. Lots of marble run, including a nice discussion about how the big round bit has the marbles swirl around just like poo does before going down the toilet. Pipes are always a fascination to Snort, and Coco joined in this am with a song about wee and poo. We also did a weird spot of Snort and I being teachers, with pointers and everything, while Coconut say at the little table and wrote notes/drew pictures on what we were saying. Kids have now taken off all their clothes, bar underpants, seconds before friends are coming round. They’ve said my blue circle chair is the beach and they need their clothes off to swim. Fair enough, I guess.

Catgirl amd Artiste came round from 11:30 till 4:30ish. Playmobil, garden fun (hide and seek in the snow, freezing hands from shovelling in our ‘pond’ AKA sandpit full of water and dirt and gross stuff), Angry Birds cartoons that are newly discovered and will ruin both households’ lives, lots of talk abut hoarding and craziness with Artiste, three naked children swimming in the pool AKA blue chair, discussing screen time and home education, etc.

Friday:

Frosty, sunny walk to the pharmacy. Lots of shadow play on the way – stepping on each other, doing shapes from gymnastics, watching the effect the sun has on them. Then went to the shop the kids believe is the source of all things good and bought Spiderman crocs, boy short underpants, cards for TMD’s birthday, etc. Snort was over the moon to find chilli pepper seeds, as he wants to grow real chilli peppers like the ones from Plants vs Zombies, which we play every single day. Coconut chose tomato seeds. Had nice chats with various people while out in both places, and a lady on the shop commented on how confident the kids were!

Came back and I blew up six thousand balloons, to the peril of my lips and lungs. They are scattered ‘artfully’ throughout lounge. Kids then played for about an hour on their own…I wasn’t watching them, not really, but I did manage to see a hell of a balloon based dance party. I was then drafted in for the weird throwing stuff for them to fetch as they pretend to be dogs game.

On Coconut’s gleeful suggestion, we decided to bake birthday cake cookies. Aka We know how to make cookies, and despite all the amazing cake memes on Facebook lately, we stick with cookies. Talked about solids and liquids, as the recipe called for melted butter. Couldn’t find the candles, so the kids shoved in Christmas cake decorations, tiny football players, a bottle cap, and other assorted crazy shit. They’re sort of adorable. I’ll post a picture soon.

We then had a joint dance party with naked-but-for-underpants-and-old-lady-dress-up-hats. Some
seriously rocking moves. Then Snort found baked beans in the fridge and requested them. So we had a weirdo snack time – bowls of baked beans, and then the kids made cheese tacos and consumed their body weight. Used the opportunity to talk about wholes and halves again, and introduced quarters.

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Happy birthday to me!

September 5, 2012

Woke up to three people very excited about my birthday. Snort exclaimed, ‘Your birthday is NOT tomorrow!’ and keeps singing Happy Birthday to me. Coconut said, ‘Mama, is your birthday a chocolate or ice cream one? I think chocolate.’

Snort picked out a Yankee Candle that was the exact flavour (Mango Peach Salsa) he bought for TMD last Christmas. Spooky.  Coconut got me the heavenly smelling Red Velvet. Made me laugh as they each picked a candle that was their twin’s favourite colour.

Anyway, I also woke up to this from my sister.

“You’re Smart and Pretty and Cool and I Want to Be Just Like You,” says Stephanie Tanner to DJ Tanner

When I was little my sister was not a human.  She was my God.  She was defiant, not eating any foods that resembled membranes.  She checked the packaging on every meat we ingested to make sure it wasn’t killed by our father’s hands pulling a trigger.  I trusted her above all other sources.  I ate what she ate.  I wanted to do what she did.  She was my world.

My sister was impossibly intelligent.  My mom would not let her take baths because she would read in the tub until she got wrinkly +hours.  When we peaked in the shower she was just doing the same thing… with the water spout turned inwards.  She could read a book in hours.  I watched her eat up novels, one by one… in every place we traveled.  I always wanted to be in the world she had found for herself as I clumsily trounced through my life.

My sister was my imagination.  Around her I wasn’t Blondie.  I was a mermaid.  I was diving in our pool not for golf balls, but for magic shells.  Anything could exist.  Anything could be.  It didn’t matter if I was three or four or fix or six.  We’d build cruise ships out of rafts and on them our dolls would float to exotic places that I knew one day I’d see myself.  We had a Saturday night sneak out club.  We wrote in notebooks of the places we’d escape to.  We could sleep on the roof, under the table, anywhere…. Though we may have never left our beds it was about the possibility of the all in front of us that made me feel like the world wasn’t impossible to conquer.

My parents divorce was almost as scary as thunderstorms.  When either happened I would crawl into my sister’s bed.  I knew she could keep me safe.  I knew she understood something I didn’t.  Somehow it all made more sense when I saw that she was OK.  She was stronger than I was… older and wiser.  I managed to get through everything mostly unharmed from her hugs and occasionally covering up my ears while turning up the TV to mute out the arguing.

My sister and I thought we could get anything via rhyme.  Our favorite restaurant was Red Lobster, though both of us didn’t eat seafood.  We wanted to go simply to eat baskets of the cheesy bread that came before any meal.  Together we’d sing songs of why our parents should take us, snapping our fingers in a way only a very convincing childhood duo could do.  This was the stuff of legends.  THIS is why our diet consisted of a lot of cheese bread.

At some point I became the annoying little sister instead of the friend.  I wanted to follow my sister around everywhere.  I wanted to understand her.  I wanted to read her diary (and to my shame, I did, even leaving comments in the margins).  I felt left out as she grew up without me.  Me, without boobs & wearing a pink K’s School of Dance shirt when I thought I could do jazz competitions for a living.  I didn’t know what I wanted without her.  I didn’t know what I was supposed to do on my own.

Then my sister left for college.  Occasionally, we would get lost in the car a lot in the upcoming years… once for hours trying to find Old Navy.   Another time we got hopelessly lost coming back from {awesome amusement park}.  Lost we were never lost.  We laughed.  We talked.  My sister is the reason I’m not afraid to be unsure as an adult.  I can enjoy every moment of uncertainty and love the people around me like crazy doing it.  It’s OK to be unsure.  It’s OK to not follow anyone’s plan.  It’s OK to be different.  These are all the things I gathered from her wisdom & still all the things that get me through every single day I live to date.  I still totally suck at directions, but it works out alright because I’m always open for adventure.

Years later my sister is a mother to twins and a loving wife in a just over ten year relationship.  It’s funny because she always told me she had twins in her belly when we were little. I thought it was because she didn’t want me to punch her in the stomach, but perhaps it was something more.  She is selfless and patient in this way I have never seen a human be.  She is a fun and creative mom and it makes me giggle with glee that now her children will get to dive for mermaid/men shells.  I know that when they are sad she holds them just like she used to hold me when I was angry or scared.  I know that when they are lost she will laugh and show them that misdirection can end up beautiful.  I know she’ll protect them in a way I used to think was reserved just for me. I know she’ll show them that it’s OK to be different, in fact, it’s preferred.

And watching her instills a sense of faith in me that love and family can exist in a remotely non-painful way.  To see genuine love, something my sister and I always believed in,  get found makes it feel safe for me to hold out for something just as great when all my friends seem to be moving on in their lives.  I’m strong alone, and because of my sister I know that it’s not about if it exists, it’s about being patient and just having faith in yourself until it gets there for you.

Today is my sister’s birthday.  Though it kills me every single day to not be around her and her lovely wife and children she’s with me in every moment.  She’s the stack of books I can’t wait to consume on my bedside table.  She’s the little dance I do in front of the mirror as I yell out lyrics she taught me. Most of all when I ever feel lost or confused she’s the voice in my head that keeps me calm and safe.  She’s the first true love I ever experienced… the kind of love that only we can understand.

Happy Birthday, Existere.  I love you more than words can say, and though I probably don’t say it nearly enough, thank you for everything you’ve taught me and for everything you’ve contributed to who I am today.  You’re the most wonderful person I have ever had the chance of getting to know and you are truly my hero.

Wow, huh? Just wow.

 

Here’s where we begin praying for good weather, so a first experience for the kids can ROCK.

September 1, 2012

We quite often pass a sign advertising a huge bunch of tents on display. The past couple of weeks I’ve thought we should go check it out, especially as it is the end of the season and bargains might be had.

TMD and I both worked at a summer camp in Country A. That’s how we met. It was very primitive, with tents, no electricity, and latrines that were holes in the ground. We also once went on a two week road trip camping adventure (every stop unplanned, but all wonderful) shortly after I moved to Country B.

Since the kids were born, and probably before that, I’ve been so so so keen to take them camping with us. But the reality of twins coupled with my physical problems has meant that here they are, at the ripe old age of three, and they’ve never been camping.

This morning I suggested we go to the tent place. Just to see.

Our current tent we own, too small for a family, was free. TMD worked at a camping store, and it was a display model with one snapped elastic cord. They were going to throw it away. And it was a great tent! We are hanging onto it as we anticipate needing it in the future.

The tents today were another matter. Tents here look a lot different than tents in Country A. Radically different. Don’t ask me why, but camping here also looks different – largely in empty fields as opposed to in forests or by lakes. So maybe that impacts the tent formation?

ANYWAY. We looked at all the tents, surprisingly difficult to do when your children insist on stripping off shoes and clothes upon entering each tent, and liked them all okay. One of the ones that stood out for me was, of course, a display model with holes in the roof where pigeons had torn it (but it was mended with superman tape). My inner snob turned me away from this tent.

TMD then spent a large chunk of time ferrying Coconut to and from the bathroom, as multiple poop attempts were made, so Snort and I had some time to check out more tents. Until The Tent Guy started putting up another tent. Snort was fascinated. We talked about poles and guy ropes and pegs, then the guy was like, ‘Would you like to help me? I’ve got a job you can do.’ Snort was over the moon. The guy handed him a folded up pole and asked him to click it all into place.

Once this was accomplished, he refused to put the pole down and held it tightly until the guy needed it. Very cute.

The tent was finally erected and Snort was chuffed when the guy told us that ‘they’ had put it up together. He and Coconut, by now with no trousers or shoes on and us resigned to the fact, raced around and around inside the tent, as the bedroom pods hadn’t been up yet so it was a huge open space. I stepped in and was sucked into it. I already knew I’d be predisposed to it because Snort helped put it up, but it was nice.

You guys, it was a new model of the display tent I liked. The guy was like, ‘This is 250, but honestly? I’d get the display model. It’s way cheaper, the tape is a very good mend and it’ll hold out for years, etc.’

TMD was all, ‘Considering our last tent was free, spending 50 on this one is actually a big step up in the world’ and ‘Getting a display tent with holes really is more our style.’ Plus it was so cheap that it really isn’t a big risk. So we got it! She’s big, blue, and beautiful.

We are already booked in to camp next Saturday, just for the night, at a place that seems nice. But the best thing is we found another super local site that actually allows campfires (usually a no no in Country B) and is a very close commute to TMD’s work. Seriously. If it is nice we will be there a lot, for days at a time. Next spring and early summer might be difficult if TMD is heavily pregnant as I’m still essentially a partial cripple you cannot count on, but YOU GUYS. I want to live on a campsite.

TMD has just said it would be a great job to own one. I so want to. This is seriously my new life ambition. Buying a field somewhere, living in nature, meeting new people, etc.

Seeing the kids squelch barefoot in mud today, blowing kisses at frogs and picking snails off the tent bottom as TMD rolled it up…..oh, it’s reawoken something in me.

I turn 34 on the fifth. I think 34. So next weekend will be my little birthday camping treat, and hopefully it bodes well for the year to follow.

And…um…it’s an eight man tent. TMD is about one hundred percent certain she only wants three kids (though we do want to foster in the future), but hey….the extra sleeping berths can’t hurt, right?

This is what superheros look like on their third birthday. In case you needed to know.

August 16, 2012

32 candles…..plus one to grow on.

September 5, 2010

Happy birthday to me, happy birthday to me. Happy birthday to meeeeeeeeee, happy birthday to me.       

Today I’m 32, which we only know for sure because a prescription bottle last week said I was 31. Am I really so old I don’t know how old I am? 

Birthdays also seem to have much less significance for the adults in the house, now that there are children. I think it is official: we’re growing up.

She is smart, pretty, and cool and I want to be just like her.

January 26, 2010

Today my sister turns 26. For her, a handful of select childhood memories:

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Bite Monster: the scariest fucking game in the universe. She would chomp her teeth together and advance on me; she was like Michael Myers. It didn’t matter how fast I ran or where I went, her slow and steady gait inspired a level of terror in me you would not believe. For awhile I thwarted her by stiffening my arms into straight lines, making fists, and moving them up and down in an alternate way. This stopped working as soon as she realised I wouldn’t actually hit her.

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Behind our house and nice green grass with requisite trees was a strip of woods. These woods had a teensy tiny creek. In the winter we would snowsuit ourselves up and slide along the ice on our bellies. One year the ice cracked (I’m talking a trickle of water here, people) and the brown water began to pool on the ice. We freaked and semi-climbed a tree, staying there for hours.

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Blondie also liked to try to punch me in the stomach (seeing a pattern here, people?). I stopped her doing this by telling her I was pregnant with twins: Daisy and Joey. A few years in and a triplet appeared: Petunia.

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The anger in my chest as I realised she and her friend had gone through my paper journals with a red pen, making bitchy little notes in the margin.

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The pride that swelled in me every time I got to see her play volleyball in high school. Or run track. Or do that scary ass high jump thing. She was really, really good at sports and I was really, really good at sitting in the stands and sending her good vibes.

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Saturday Night Sneak Out Club. No list of memories would be complete without this on the list. I decided that every Saturday night we would wait until our parents were asleep, then find a location in the house to have a slumber party for two. I even dedicated a notebook to recording our escapades. We never actually did this; she says that she used to come and try to wake me up and I would just flail at her in my sleep.

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Camping in …uh….Country C. The way you could earn a button/badge thing for every bag of garbage you collected. Riding our bikes to the nightly educational movies. Climbing the rocks at the end of the beach. Stony beaches. The island on the sand dune. Bears at the dump.

Did you know, Blondie, we went when you were very little and stayed in a tent? You rolled over on top of a lantern and your sleeping bag melted.

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Watching my mother dive into the swimming pool to rescue baby Blondie after she had rolled in and sunk to the bottom. Watching the babysitter drop Blondie on her head on the hardwood floors of our family room. Watching Blondie fall on her head onto an asphalt parking lot.

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Vampires: a semi-scary, delicious game. (All our games involved biting, apparently.) We would take turns securing ourselves in a pile of pillows and blankets. When we were ready, we would call out for the other one to pretend to be a vampire and break into our little nests. This one was good shit. I know it sounds lame, but it was fucking awesome.

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Both in the bathtub, slipping and sliding back and forth, water sloshing everywhere. We had another lame-o game (but still awesome!) that involved trying to avoid letting a washcloth or multiple washcloths touch us while we were in the tub.

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I remember when Blondie was a baby in a walker, and there was a tornado watch. My grandparents were over and we all sat in the kitchen while she rolled around, looking at us each in turn. This memory is the yellow colour of faded photographs, and one of my happiest snapshots.

Every other baby memory that doesn’t involve threatened cranial damage involves her thick, thick black hair and her endless baby screaming.

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Another memory: a tornado coming, Mom tucking us into a cardboard box in the basement, throwing a thick mattress on top of us. Endless other tornado times in the basement, Grandma’s afgans pulled over our faces in case glass broke.

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A morbid thing I always did…slowing down my actions, flipping my hair, laughing. Saying, ‘This is how you’ll remember me when I’m dead.’

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The mirror, the mirror, oh the mirror. Arching our backs randomly and just saying, ‘SAVE me, from the FIRE.’ Always done with a grimace.

Or the mean little song from a Muppet-type movie: Blondie, never really learned how to play…oh eee oh…she’s always been a stick in the mud. Blondie, now I’m gonna show you the way ….oh eee oh….why you wanna be a dud. She sang this to me as well. It was like the ultimate insult.

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Forehead pushes. We would face each other, bend over, and push our foreheads together as hard as possible while, yes, grimacing. This was satisfying to me in a weird ass way.

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We liked Full House. On one episode, Michelle said to DJ, ‘You’re smart, pretty, and cool and I want to be just like you.’ I always said this to her….’Because I’m smart, pretty, and cool and you want to be just like me?’ We laughed about this a lot.

When we grew up, she told me that yes, I was smart, pretty, and cool and she wanted to be just like me.

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My sister is a survivor. My sister tries to heal her wounds and is not sure how. My sister is an explorer, a poet, a smart businesswoman, a creative shape-changing she-girl who is always reinventing herself. My sister lives for the woods, for adrenaline, for new things. My sister longs for stability and romance and a perfect understanding of things.

She is beautiful, curious, brave, funny, quirky, hopeful.

Happy birthday to you,
happy birthday to you,
happy birthday, dear sister,
happy birthday to you.

I am glad you are the one that remembers our childhood with me.

I had five years without you in my life, and the first time I held you in my arms, I was stunned by happiness. I finally had my baby, my little sister, and I was gentle with you. Forgive me for the times I was not as gentle, but remember that there is always a five year old in me who is amazed, deeply, at how much I love you and how much you belong in my life.

Happy almost birthday, Existere.

September 4, 2009

This is my last day being thirty; tomorrow, I venture properly into this decade of being (allegedly) more confident, sexy, strong. But what a year thirty was.

The day after my 30th birthday, TMD and I did three things: went to the fertility clinic for our initial consultation, went to lunch with Corporate T and Aussie (where I cried and cried about IVF versus IUI), and TMD threw a big ass surprise party for me (the first of my life). That was roughly 365 days ago, and how things have changed.

I can’t believe it, or even understand it, sometimes. Sitting here this afternoon listening to India Arie’s Beautiful Surprise, holding our daughter in my arms, our son safely tucked into his carrycot, thinking about where I am now. TMD hanging up armfuls of muslins, my underwear, her hair slipping out of its ponytail. This is where I would choose to be, again and again.

This time last year we were making sure we knew how to get to the clinic. We were debating when, exactly, we would begin trying to make a baby. Over the last year, I learned how to give myself shots. We got pregnant with twins the first try. I grew hugely pregnant, and then got even bigger. Three and a half weeks ago, we were holding our real live babies in our arms for the first time, suddenly aware of what it meant to have two new people in our lives for the rest of our lives.

This has been a long year; this has been a short year. Individual days have dragged on. In November my ovaries were heavy, in January I was run over, I spent months on our couch. This past year, I felt our son and daughter kicking in my womb. TMD said the same poem over and over to my tummy. I gained pink and purple marks on my belly, I felt hiccups from the inside out.

And in this time, this journey from birthday to birthday, I now somehow have two more people in my family, a deeper appreciation and love for TMD (in our tenth year together…our anniversary was the 15th, just after they were born), and no small amount of wonder at the two beautiful, farty babies that lived inside me for nine months.

Happy birthday to me, tomorrow. But as far as today goes, it’s just about perfect.

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I look like summer today.

March 20, 2009

Broke my non-vomit streak on Wednesday. Essentially, I’ve been thinking of part of TMD’s birthday gift for awhile now. I am crap with getting her birthday things, though she insists I always do. Well, I ordered it Wednesday and was feeling very proud of myself.

That evening she asked me point blank to buy her the thing I had just ordered that day. The next thing I know, I am sobbing – calling her a Present Ruiner, no less – and then bam. I vomited up the nutritious, delicious, and LARGE dinner we’d just eaten.

I felt like some kind of huge failure. Five full days with no food/acid bath for my teeth, and then I threw up like a fucking champion. Completely filled one bowl and had to negotiate a switch to an empty one partway through.

Still. I am now on Day 2 of a new vomit-free streak. And I just ordered her something else she will never, ever expect – I hope it arrives okay. I am back into being the Birthday Fairy, big time.

Things are looking up.

March 16, 2009

I’ve decided to pull my finger out and take some pregnancy photos. I don’t know – I’ve not been anything like what I thought I would be like when pregnant. I envisioned weekly bump pictures, all neatly uploaded. Perhaps keeping a written journal of my pregnancy so the babies could have it one day. Instead, I’ve done..well..nothing.

Today I look and feel particularly pregnant. Thank god for Sil’s maternity clothes.

It’s also been a three day stretch with no vomit. This is a new pregnancy record for me. I am feeling super good, with the exception of some physical niggles which are causing me pain but I don’t feel bad about or anything. I could gross you out with a decription of my unstable pelvis, but perhaps we will leave that little treat for another entry.

Today is sunshiney and gorgeous and I’M NOT WEARING A COAT. I love love love it. Going to go straight home after a play therapy session off base this afternoon, because all the walking really is killer. I hope the sun is still out and perhaps I’ll even sit in the garden.

Really cannot wait for 20 week scan now. TMD and I won some baby clothes off Freecycle this weekend – a huge amount of really REALLY nice girl clothes. Things so fashionable and pricey we would never have got them ourselves. So now we are hoping one baby is a girl merely so we can keep these clothes!

While I’ve been convinced from early on it’s two boys, I am now thinking about girls. The midwife said it’s too early to predict gender from their heartrates, but old wives tales point in the direction of girls as they are both at the top end of fetal heartrates for pregnancy. Only three more weeks and one day to wait. (I’m 16 weeks 6 days pregnant today.) I’d better hurry and get TMD a fabulous birthday present as the scan is the same day as her birthday. The big 3-2. I think. No, definitely.

Soup-rise!

September 10, 2008

For a few weeks before my birthday I felt a mild irritation with TMD. In the week before my birthday, this escalated to something more. You see, a couple of months ago I dropped very strong hints that I would love a surprise party. I’ve never had one, and thirty is a big birthday. Then I stepped back…and back….and back.

So far back that I didn’t plan anything with anyone, other than Corporate T and Aussie. Suddenly it was days before my birthday and friends were asking me what I was doing to celebrate. I felt embarassed that I hadn’t invited them to anything.

Then we went to the clinic, where I think we all know I stepped into a little world called ‘I am no longer ashamed of crying in public, because I am too distressed and overloaded to care what other people think.’ The plan for weeks had been to meet Corporate T and Aussie afterwards for lunch, and then TMD said she’d invited them up to ours for the weekend – and we would also be rollerskating. Because I had said I would indeed fancy rollerskating – around the time I said I would like a surprise party – this seemed very realistic to me. I genuinely did not question it at all.

After lunch (more tears, great presents, got a wee bit drunk) we went to a pub where I was greeted by friends who’d got there early to set up balloons and banners! They were wearing crowns and blowing horns. A really nice mix of people came – from Day Job, my counselling course, family. Brother-In-Law and Sister-In-Law even brought GingerBabe on her first trip to the city! Lovely!

TMD went through such a huge effort, apparently sending covert emails and texts all the time. I didn’t notice a thing. Perhaps I was too wrapped up in my annoyance at her supposed lack of planning? It was a nice start to thirty, which I have to say is a pretty good year so far. Five days down, 360 to go.