Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Just Write: Home.


 

Looking out the big, bright windows in my mother's office, I trace the treeline on the surrounding mountains and watch the wisps of cloud make their way through this small town.

The gabled rooftops block part of my view - these houses, made to mimic Victorian opulence in a subtle and modest way, with little touches of grandeur that are hardly noticeable unless you're really looking, and I do that - really look.

People smile and wave at each other in this small neighborhood, these homes sitting on what once was a tent-city of burlap and dirty canvas, and farm fields, and men who had a lust for gold - or was it freedom? - in their hearts.

We'll walk the charlie-puppy down to the old schoolhouse grounds, where he'll run and yip and play with other dogs, and the walk home will be filled with the view of the hilltop vineyard, and the old barn, and the mountain retreats peeking up over the trees of the rising Siskiyous.

Up the trails near the concert grounds, there is the bronze statue of the old miner, panning his hopes and dreams and watching for his fortune in the silt. Sometimes dreams slip through the cracks of the pan, and sometimes a small piece of golden rock changes a life forever.

We don't have thousand year old churches here, or grand statues or museums with art;  this place was built on rugged individualism and enterprising men and hardworking Chinese miners, oh, and resourceful and hard-as-nails women, and Native Americans, who once filled this valley with the smoke from their fires.

Just Write. 
 

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

twins: I heard but didn't believe (until now).

So, twins.

I was supposed to go visit another twin mama friend today. We planned it out last night: I would wake up at 6:45 a.m., get the girls loaded, take Andy to work, come back, do naps and get ready, do second nap, and then head over whenever they woke up. Then, I would pick Andy up at 3:00, take him to a job interview (!), and wait for him while visiting another friend who lives close by. This is all considering the girls cooperate. Ha! 

For some strange reason, both girls decided to be up from 3 a.m. to 5:30 a.m. this morning. We did recently take the binkies away at night, but they've been doing well, so I'm not sure what happened. When Andy woke me up to see if I still wanted to take him to work, I told him to just go ahead; I didn't want to wake them after the last few hours.

Wouldn't you know it, five minutes after he leaves, they're both awake and ready to play.

Gahhhhhhh.

I wanted to cry, but had no energy. After a peek out the window, I see so much rain. Brilliant! Not only are we up early, but we also won't be going outside at all. I start praying fervently that they will be in the best moods of their short little lives today. After this morning, chances are slim.

Lesson One:

If these are your first children, it may take you months longer to adjust. I have some friends who, a week or so after having their baby, were already out for breakfast or visiting friends or going to church. We haven't been to church since July, and our home community attendance is hit-or-miss. I want breakfast so bad I can taste it. I want to go and do like we used to, and I can't. It's hard.

I'm quick to berate myself and wonder why I can't get it together to be out and social like before, and maybe the reason is because I'm lazy, or doing something wrong, or being too strict with their naps. I know part of the reason is because we only have one car, so if I don't take him in the morning, I'm neighborhood-bound. But none of the other reasons are true. So I've realized that I need to have double the grace in this area, and realize that it's simply harder when you're juggling two little baby schedules.

So if you're new at this like I am, be kind to yourself and don't compare or expect to be able to handle a singleton mom's load with only one of you and two of them. Know that however long it takes you to adjust is the right amount of time for you. Pretty soon you'll have it down. I'm hoping I do.

Monday, February 20, 2012

guest posts: letters to ames and chasing silhouettes


I'm a guest today at two wonderful blogs, written by women that I truly admire:

The Mama's Makin' it Work series at fellow twin mama Rachael's Letters to Ames

and

a re-post of my "Pop Tarts" piece at Chasing Silhouettes, a blog for individuals, families and caregivers struggling with eating disorders. 

Take a look!

Sunday, February 19, 2012

[im]mortality and some Sunday links.

Today, our little fam braved the crowds at OMSI to see the Body Worlds exhibit. Basically, people donated their bodies to this project, and their cadavers were filled with plastic and then molded and cut into displays. A dancer, a soccer player, ice skaters...sliced, diced, and dissected.

Yes, the human body is amazing. But this was mostly on the creepy side. We were made much more aware of our fragile mortality - Andy said his body ached after looking at all the muscle and tissue and ligaments - we truly are held together by strings. Later, Andy also told me he was glad I had skin, because what's underneath isn't so great to look at. Taking that one as a compliment and sticking it in the love tank!

 (We've hit the "gimme your face!" stage)

Luckily, our tickets were comped after giving blood at the American Red Cross. We are at the same time both charitable AND cheap. I may not have free-flowing cash but I do have some fast-flowing blood.

 (My personal best! A pint in 4 minutes. I have some tricks. Andy almost fainted.)

I cannot think of a more appropriate way to celebrate our frail human state and losing a pint of blood each than by watching the awkwardly angst-ridden "Twilight: Breaking Dawn". MY body ached after watching. Yeouch. But I had fun perfecting my lip-bitey shifty-eye Kristen Stewart impersonation. 


Here's what I've been reading and looking at this weekend, in between the craziness:

- Laughing hard over the baby sleep positions on How To Be A Dad. We have experienced all of these positions in some form or another.

- Apple Pie Oatmeal from Family FeedBag, made some this morning. I soaked the oats overnight, added some honey and cream, and was pleased. Andy watched this video on poaching eggs, and made them perfectly.

- Re-visiting "A Mother's Prayer" by Tina Fey. I read this before the girls were born, and will enjoy reading it again and again.

- Thinking about what to do with a bag of Meyer lemons. Preserve them?  Make lemon bars? Lemon pudding? Or perhaps, lemon curd?

- Reading Sarah Bessey's article about women and shame, and loving it while feeling convicted at the same time.

- Googling "my seven month old baby just vomited on me" and "how to wean from pacifier"

- Pinning some cute stuff.  Follow my boards on Pinterest!

What have you been up to? 

Thursday, February 16, 2012

what a difference seven months make.

Can you believe the difference? 

Here's what is good:

Chewing on everything and everybody!
Grabbing their feet at every opportunity.
They are rolling, scooting, and turning around (mostly Afton).
Still both eating every 3-4 hours (same throughout the night).
Their giggles are precious, and they're getting excited about things. It's incredibly cute.
They aren't very interested in solids. I tried for a week but their mouths clamped shut after a few days. I'm still trying every other day or so. For now, just mama's milk it is.
Their weights are great for being five weeks early! They are actually ON the seven month growth chart. I've worked really hard for my milk, and I'm so thankful.

Here's what is hard:

Binkies. I love them and now I really, really hate them. 
Teething. I feel helpless. 
I'm tired. We were seeing 4-5 hour stretch for a few nights...where did that go?
Their cries are getting louder and becoming more "screamy". 
Deciding when to move them into their own room. I'm having a hard time knowing what is best, so for now we're not making a decision.


Oh, they grow up so fast. 

Any advice about getting rid of binkies in a less painful way?

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Just Write: chocolate.



For Valentine's Day, my husband gifted me with a little bag of specially chosen organic Verdun chocolates. He thought of me as he picked out each flavor, knowing I wouldn't like cherry but that I would like coffee and pistachio. It feels good to be in his thoughts, because our life is busy and where seven months has gone, I can hardly tell you.

He reminded me to store the chocolate in the refrigerator, because I have the unfortunate habit of storing chocolate up and then it going bad. The "special" reasons to eat it never come, and then I find myself with artisan squares lovingly poured by hand instead covered in chalky white powder.

Instead of savoring and finding special moments to unwrap a treat, there was spoiling and decay happening - all because the moment wasn't right.

So I have five pieces left, and for each one, I could find a "special" moment during the day and think about it. Or, rather than be so sappily sentimental, I could just sit here on the bed, while the girls nap, think about all the things in my life that I'm thankful for, and eat them all.

Happy Valentine's Day to you! 

Linking up with Heather @ the EO for Just Write

Monday, February 13, 2012

twins (and more) resource page.

 (via)

I'm a researcher by nature. I enjoy it - actually, I might even call it my hobby. From what vacuum to buy, or the best place to stay in Paris, to whether or not I'm vaccinating my girls, I try to read absolutely everything I can get my hands on.

I know some people aren't like me, but are still looking for answers to questions about twins and all the interesting complexities that come with being a parent of multiples. Because it is different!

With this in mind, I finally put together a resource list of blogs, books, and websites that helped me. You can find the link to the list on the left-hand sidebar, and I hope to keep updating it as I discover any relevant or interesting information.

If you have any suggestions, would like to me to consider adding a link, or have any more specific questions, please leave a comment below OR you can email me at meg(dot)kimmelshue@gmail(dot)com.

Please enjoy! 

On to my next project...writing our birth story. Eegads!

Friday, February 10, 2012

easy apple turnovers.


Since the girls were born, I've spent a lot of time down at my parents' house. It's nice to have the extra hands - and extra sleep - and it gives Andy a chance to get all his work done for his MAT program. One of our rituals when I'm home is baking treats to have with our nightly cup of tea. This particular visit has been all about light, crispy and flaky phyllo dough. We had a roll left over from Christmas, so we thawed it and made up some apple filling. They're small, just about bite-sized, and are the perfect evening treat.

My sister also just bought herself a Canon Rebel, and we've had so much fun playing with it this week. Making yummy food gives her a good excuse to practice her food photography! I also took a million pictures of the girls with it...and now I really want one.

Dough
1 package phyllo dough (there are usually 2 per box)
1 stick melted butter
Powdered sugar (for dusting, optional)

Filling
3-4 apples, peeled and diced
1/3 cup cane sugar
1 Tbsp. cornstarch
1 tsp. orange zest
1 tsp. cinnamon
1/4 cup raisins (optional)

Directions

 - Combine the filling ingredients together in a saucepan over low to medium heat. Cook until thickened.


- Melt butter.
- Remove the dough from packaging. You have to work fairly fast; phyllo dough can dry out quickly.
-  On first sheet of dough, use a pastry brush to brush with butter.
- Fold sheet in half, then brush with butter again.


- Fold again, and brush with butter.


- In the corner, add a spoonful of filling.
- Fold up to form a triangle, as demonstrated below.




- Brush the outside of the finished triangle with butter.
- Place on cookie sheet, and bake for  10-15 minutes at 350 degrees.
- Let cool, and sprinkle with powdered sugar.





Enjoy with tea! Then eat the leftovers for breakfast. 

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

pop tarts.

I went grocery shopping by myself tonight, and it was good to be alone.

I bought a box of Nature's Valley organic toaster pastries. I stood there staring at the box, and they reminded me of when I was first married, when Andy worked at Costco and we had an Executive membership, and we'd always buy a case of black beans, a bag of frozen burritos, and a huge box of the same kind of organic poptarts, strawberry and blueberry.

Those were the days when I was sick but on the road to getting better. When I knew in my head that eating one microwaved burrito all day was not healthy, but I was high on that glorious feeling of control that I couldn't let go of.

When I hear people quote Kate Moss saying, "Nothing tastes as good as skinny feels", I get sad. Because that kind of skinny doesn't always feel good. That kind of skinny is only meaningful for a short period of time.

That kind of skinny doesn't bring lasting love, or fulfillment, or all the things that make a woman feel alive and beautiful. And it is hardly ever enough.

Unpacking the groceries, I open the box and the foil pack. I pour a big glass of our beloved farm milk. It's been a long day. And I know, for a fact, that there are things that taste better than a certain kind of skinny feels.

"Hey babe, want a pop tart?"

Linking up w/Just Write
and Imperfect Prose

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