Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Random Confessions of a New Mom

That tree, the nine and a half foot tall one, the one that I begged my husband to help me put up on Novemeber 12 of last year, it is still standing tall in our foyer. We have now started to think of ways to keep it up all year long. Maybe hearts next month and eggs or four leaf clovers in March. Soon there won't be any reason to take it down, it will be close enought to Christmas to just leave it up.

I take a shower not so much to get clean and shampoo my hair but to be alone for five minutes and not feel guily about it. Of course, yesterday Trauma started to cry while I was showering and it became a two minute shower.

I used to have a ten time a week habit at Target, now I get to go on Saturday morning while Ward stays home with Trauma and Trouble. I used to think that I would be the kind of mother who would never leave her children, not until they were pulled away from me and put on the bus to go to Kindergarten. I realize now that no one should be like that, I'm not saying that I want to get away from my children. I just want to go outside. So that I don't end up like this:

I miss the belly. I know that goes againt Post #1, but it's true. Not all the time but occasionally I feel this way. I miss how easy it was to take care of them in utero, now I worry about every cough and wonder why Trouble still spits up through her nose. I miss them wiggling and pushing. I miss the way Ward treated me, like I was carrying precious cargo (and in our opinions I was).

I keep telling myself that it will get easier, but I don't really believe this and I don't think that I should. It probably won't 'get easier', I will just get better (hopefully) at my new position. How can dealing with a toddler going through the terrible twos or a defiant teenager going to be any easier than a six pound infant that sleeps (although in cat naps) for fifteen hours a day?

A terrible thing happened on the way to my blog...

Originally, today's post was going to be about my take on the current state of the economy and these proposed refunds that all americans are going to get in mid-May.

But when I woke up this morning a terrible thing had happened. We had no connection to the internet.

I didn't realize how much I rely on the internet currently until I couldn't access it. With the birth of our children we decided we wouldn't watch TV in their presence, well if I am home they are in my presence so I haven't watched TV in almost a month. So I use the internet to get news, updates about the primaries, the death of Heath Ledger, the governments proposal to kick start the economy. I use the internet to check the weather, I know I could just step outside but I don't actually need to go anywhere, checking the weather is just a habit. I use the internet to stay in touch with friends since no one calls the house anymore. I check my e-mail almost hourly and myspace daily. I shop on-line buying birthday gifts and new music, since I can't go anywhere. I use the internet to watch videos on uTube and funnyordie.com. I use the internet to read about and see trailers for movies I'm not going to be able to watch for a very long time. I know that I sound pathetic but I need the internet to continue to feel a connection to the outside world, to continue to feel human.

It was like a cruel joke that I couldn't log on today. I tried all morning and when at 3:15 I tried and up popped the google search engine, I was finally calmed.

Monday, January 28, 2008

The BEST of 2007

We have decided to compile a list of our favorite music releases of 2007. This was a tricky task as their just wasn't alot of noteworthy new music released in 07. Had we begun blogging say in 2007, a 2006 list wouldn't have been nearly as difficult to compile.

Here they are in no particular order:

1. Magic Bruce Springsteen

2. Cassadaga Bright Eyes

3. We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank Modest Mouse

4. Dirt Farmer Levon Helm

5. ga ga ga ga ga Spoon

6. Wincing the Night Away The Shins

7. Sky Blue Sky Wilco

8. Some Loud Thunder Clap Your Hands Say Yeah!

9. Traffic and Weather Fountains of Wayne

10. The Stage Names Okkervil River

Honorable Mention:

The Good, the Bad and the Queen The Good, the Bad and the Queen

We were each going to make our own list until we realized that there weren't many good new albums out in 2007 and that our lists were tending to duplicate each other.

-June and Ward

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Love is a Mix Tape

Last year about this time a friend of mine who works in a book store recommended a book to me that had just been published by a semi local author (we don't have many local authors here so we claim the ones who lived here at some point). The writer, Rob Sheffield, had lived in Charlottesville once and had a written a book, Love is a Mix Tape, memoiring the courtship, marriage and death of his wife Renee. Each chapter of the book begins with a mix tape. I wasn't familiar with a lot of the songs on the mixed tapes but I spent hours on Rhapsody after I finished the book listening to many of the songs.

One of the reasons I loved this book is because I am a fan myself of the mix tape. I have been making mix tapes for as long as I can remember.

In chapter two, hey jude, Sheffield lists many reasons mix tapes come into being. I myself could relate to many of them:

The 'I want you' tape:

Once, as a geeky teenager in love with music and crushed on a boy, I made said boy a mix tape. I spent days deciding what should go on this tape as this boy wasn't 'into' music and I felt that I, alone, could sway him. I put the Violent Femmes, Rusted Root, The Pixies, They Might Be Giants, The Cure, Modern English, and others on the tape. I don't know what I was thinking. I even had my sister help me make a clever cover. I was so proud. I later found out the boy gave the tape to his sister. I asked for the tape back. I'm not kidding. You should never waste good music on boring people.

The 'Road Trip' Tape:

I've made several of these but my favorite was made to accompany me and my best girlfriend on a spontaneous trip to Philadelphia during spring break. I was really into the Eels, Cake and Fountains of Wayne at the time. We listened to the tape a half dozen times on the trip before the car stereo (the year was 1998, the car was a 1982 Nova) went out. It was a long and silent trip home.

The 'You broke my heart and made me cry here are twenty or thirty songs about it' Tape:

I made dozens of these. Turns out my heart was never broken. Not really, not even once. These tapes had a lot of Tori Amos, Ani Defranco, and Morrissey on them. I still can't listen to Chris Isaak's 'Wicked Game'.

"I believe when you're making a mix, you're making history." -Sheffield

I agree.


Wednesday, January 23, 2008

My Late Night of Last

Since coming home two weeks ago I have been trying to catch up on sleep that I lost during our extended hospital stay. I know this is ridiculous as one can never catch lost sleep, it is lost forever. One can only hope to get more sleep and feel replinished enough to go on. I have yet to feel rested, and have faced the reality that sleep is a thing of the past.

I try to do as all the books recommend. I try to sleep when they sleep. But there are two of them and they like to sleep in shifts. I think maybe they want to keep me company.

I try to be keep things loud and bright during the day and dark and quiet at night. My children seem to prefer the dark and quiet for their wakeful hours. I try to play soft music, they want to stay up and hear the next song perhaps.

I try to remember that babies don't know what a schedule is, and that it could be months before they sleep for several hours at a time at night.

But last night...

Was difficult.

My son decided 9 p.m. was as good a time as any to finally awake from a sleepy day to party with mom. Ward, who hasn't been getting any sleep, had temporarily moved to the guest bedroom so he doesn't fall asleep while framing a roof and fall off. At first spending this time with my son was nice as he had been asleep all day but at around 11 p.m. I started to wonder when he would go to sleep. He'd been fed, changed twice, held, sang to, rocked, left to cry while I was panged with guilt of him losing his trust in me (thank you for this fear Dr. Sears).

At midnight, still wide-eyed, I fed him again.

At 12:45 a.m. his sister decided she wanted to join in on all the fun.

At 1:30 I let my son cry himself to sleep, leaving me to feel like a complete failure.

At 2:30 I let my daughter come to bed with me in the hopes that I could get some rest.

At 4 a.m. they were both hungry and needed to be changed.

At 5 a.m. with them both awake, I thought to myself what do people mean by sleeping like a baby. Do people really want to wake up every hour hungry? I, on the other hand, want to sleep like a teenager.

Finally, sometime around 6 a.m. I fell asleep and managed three hours. Three hours of sleep at this point is amazing. A gift almost.

I hate to wish my children's life away as I am constantly warned that they are only little once, but I find myself dreaming of the future as I read promises from baby books that one day my babies will sleep for six hours at night.

If they could manage to pull together and sleep these six hours at the same time, well that would be like winning the lottery for me. Here's to hoping my odds are better than 1 in 10 million.


Friday, January 18, 2008

May I Recommend...

That you rent or even buy the movie The Green Street Houligans, just make sure you watch it.

That you listen to Luna's Penthouse.

That you eat at Moe's Western Grill or California Tortilla.

That you read The Time Travellers Wife at least once.

That you try Munchos, the best potato chip ever concieved.

That you buy The Decemberists' Picaresque.

That you watch The X-Files starting with season one.

That you not put too much faith in the Colts, Manning is only a man.


I'm so excited!

I finally managed to squeeze in a shopping trip at amazon (if you're wondering what took me so long please give me a break as I gave birth to twins in the interim and have since been recovering). I was still longing to replace Disintegration when I read that Stephen Merritt had just completed another album under the Magnatic Fields name. Having been a fan of Merritt's songwriting since I heard a local artist cover All Dressed Up in Dreams I knew I had to look into this new album, the first in almost four years for him.

While at amazon I decided to look into some other artists that I enjoy because with the new year I thought it would be nice to have some new music to listen to. So I decided to pick up a Belle and Sebastian c.d. I had never purchased but has the song Like Dylan in the Movies on it. I also ordered The Formats Interventions and Lullabies. If you're not familiar with The Format I suggest you check them out. One of my nephews recommended them to me and I must say I was instantly hooked after buying Dog Problems last year. I also picked up the new Radiohead but I must admit that was more for my spouse than for myself.

And of course Disintegration.

Amazon assures me that my items will be here on Monday (I almost paid more for expedited shipping but I refrained).

In addition to my new collection of c.d.s soon to arrive in the mail, I got a very wonderful Christmas gift from my sister that I am very excited about, The Brit Box, a compilation of some 78 songs from artists like The Smiths (they're everyone's favorite right?), Teenage Fanclub, The Stone Roses, and the list goes on. I must admit I am not familiar with all of the artists but I am hopeful from the list of the artists that I do know that the whole thing will be pretty good.

Now if only I can find the time to listen (and I mean really listen) to all this new music.


Wednesday, January 2, 2008

I have been misled

After almost six years of trying we finally succeeded in getting pregnant.

At six weeks, we learned it was twins.

So after finding out I was going to have not one but two babies my pregnancy was recategorized as high risk. This didn't mean that I got to see the doctor more often but only that when I saw her that she would continue to remind me that twins are often born premature "small and sick", that their mothers almost always develop gestational diabetes, preeclampsia, anemia, placental problems, or something just as bad and that I would almost definitely experience bedrest no later than week 20. My many books on twins reinforced the notion that twins often come early, too early and have to spend time in the NICU, so gain weight early, at least 50 lbs. These books, as well as magazines and other helpful advice from friends and family continued to remind me that I would be lucky to carry two babies for 32 weeks, the majority of twins are born premature.

I was warned about vanishing twin syndrome.

I was warned about the costs of twins and the medical costs associated with prematurity and long NICU stays.

I was warned to buy a pump and plan to use it to keep milk production up while the babies spent time in the NICU.

I was warned that most twins are born via C-section.

So I expected Thanksgiving babies even though my due date wasn't until January 2008. But (fortunately) they didn't come. Then I expected early December babies. As we neared Christmas and I began to dilate I began to expect Christmas babies. They'll be here by New Year's, I thought. It has finally dawned on me that these babies are never going to be born.

Now don't get me wrong, I love carrying around 40 extra pounds and so does my back. I love having feet that look like bricks but feel like jelly. I love having stretch marks that don't just cover my belly but everywhere else, at least those places I can still see. But I must admit that why I was warned of prematurity, bedrest, small babies, and weeks in the NICU I was able to prepare myself emotionally at least a little bit for what was in store. BUT what I wasn't prepared for was making it until my 39th week, which is a miracle for which I am grateful when well rested, but I feel as though I have been misled.