Sunday, September 23, 2007

Fifth Month

Now I know I have read it and heard it and seen it happen to others over and over, but now I believe it. This parenting thing, this baby thing, it just keeps changing, doesn’t it? It just keeps evolving; our rhythms and your rhythms, our wants for you and your needs from us. There is no constant in this except for the love that flows from us and that we start to witness coming back from you.

This has been a hard month but also a rewarding one. And I can reflect and say that about all the previous ones too. Because it is hard…to be on constant duty, constant alertness, constant demand…but it is the constancy we want to provide for you. It has required some interesting sacrifices, ones of sleep and occasionally nutrition. But also of Self. It makes me ask myself what is my Self? Before I was Mama I was Amiee, now I am Mama with the occasional Amiee thrown in. but that is starting to even out in new ways.
Before I had you two in my life I felt a bit aimless, and bit undirected. I was 30, I was somewhat enjoying my work life and I was free with my time and what extra money was to be had lying around. The friends your Daddy and I have had through the years were changing themselves, we were all moving into new and varied stages in life and watching each other sometimes grow together and sometimes apart. It is interesting to reflect now on that time because there was preparation in our lives for you, but then, it is true that one is never really prepared.

Now my days look so different. It is true that I keep them fairly structured in order to provide you two with the constancy and security to allow you to grow and change and develop. Sometimes this constancy feels restricted and tight on my person, other times it is a comfort, to know what you need and when you need it. We wake up and eat, we play, we nap, we repeat until Daddy gets home then we have our evenings. My favorite part of the day comes at 6 p.m. that is when we go to the park up the street. We take the Meesh, a big blankie, a few toys and tennis balls galore for the doggy to fetch. We rarely need the toys as the two of you lay on your backs and watch the trees. Your fascinated gazes watch the bend and sway and when the wind comes you both kick and squirm like it is unbelievably awesome that something could make those trees move so. Mason, you have taken to this rapid breathy breathing when you get really excited, like it is all so cool you can hardly take a breath. And Owen, you really love the trees, like, really love them. They hold your attention and even when you start to tire out, we can distract you with their presence.

This month we were witness to the great accomplishment of rolling from back to tummy by you, Owen. We watched the initial stages, when you learned to pull legs to side, scissoring them in the air then finally reaching them down to the ground. Next the head, rotated at such an extreme angle we pondered the possibility that it could maybe just spin around. You got a bit stuck there for a few days, with the weight of your head preventing any further progress. Then I showed you once or twice how to lift the noggin, an, lo and behold, not a day later you were very deliberately lifting your head with great concentration and determination. And even using the force of momentum. And it was intentional and continues to be, the only issue Mama has is that you cannot quite figure out how to get back to supine when you are done with prone, so that is where Mama comes in.

Mason, little guy, you have different interests. Your toes for one.
They fascinate you, you curl and stretch out your toes in ways that would make Monica, my yoga instructor, proud. You study them, their positions and flexibility, you tug on them and almost fit them into your mouth. Not quite yet, but soon. And just days after Owen’s mastery of the roll over you started in the bending, sidelying archy position that got your brother so far. Almost as if you watched Owie and thought, yeah, that looks cool, I think I’ll do it too.

I think we are witnessing the future developments, how it might unfold between you two. Owen, you excel in motor skills, so adventurous and almost restless in your movements and ways. Not one to be left too long in one position or place, you like cuddling and grabbing, especially Mama’s boobies, well, what is left of them. Macie, you are our social butterfly, ready to chat and interact with any and all passerbys and family members. Easily startled, but even easier to provoke laughter from you, you are so free with your smiles and giggles. I think you watch and learn the strengths from each other, and share these during your private evening sleeps.

Your needs are becoming so varied and new and the challenge to keep up sometimes
seem impossible. Now the Gymini is your best friend, the rings we once dangled and tried to get your attention with are your best friends and hand puppets are your best friends and actually entertain you. Because movement is developing but not yet developed the challenge is to keep you interested in something while in any one position. So, if you add up two babies, two hours of play time and multiple activities, well, that adds up to one tired out mama. This month you discovered the joy of pool swimming, when temps hit 110 we hit Shelly’s salt water pool many an afternoon. Now fall is approaching and our little baby pool (used on those days we could not get to the real pool) lies in a forlorn heap in the backyard, to be put away until next year.

There were days this month when I felt great despair, not over you, but over all that this is. It is so hard sometimes, but I am reassured by Omi and others that I am doing okay, a good job, you are fine….I hear these things and try to believe that it is all right. I have been reading this book on a slow but daily basis, just to help re-establish some spirituality and reflection time for myself. I love Dr. Dyer’s messages and have taken to using the mantra, “There is no way to happiness. Happiness is the way”. Simple yet powerful reminder to this Mama that I can choose how to view the challenge and blessing of having twins. This amazing CD has helped quiet my restless mind when insomnia strikes, the chanting somehow allows me to let it go, to remember each moment is new, each day is new.

Today I went on a quick trip out with you, Mason. Owen, you stayed with Omi and played and slept. Mason, you were the best shopping companion. It was so easy, we sailed into the Children’s Orchard and picked up bunched of cool weather clothes, we hit up Trader Joe’s and bought tea and wine and pasta sauce, we quickly and efficiently executed all that needed to be done without a hitch. I thought to myself, “This one baby thing is a breeze…” and a little part of me felt bad for feeling that. The time we were out I kept thinking about Owie and what he was up to. I enjoyed our solo time and will have to do a trip with Owen, but it made me realize that you two are just entwined in my heart, my life and my arms. There is not one without the other. And though I know it is harder than the having one at a time (thanks to all those folks that constantly point that out to me), I could not imagine our lives any different.

So, as we keep growing and changing, as we provide that constant that you need, remember your Mama loves you and looks forward to all that is coming…all the changes and all the constants.

Saturday, September 15, 2007


We had so much fun today...we went to see the Harlot. A few weeks ago I read in my Ravelry group that she was going to be in LA. I remember thinking I would get the GP's to watch babies and I would get out there to the LA Public Library (a beautiful building in downtown where they hold a lot of really neat things). Then last night I read a post by Katie where she was getting out to see the Yarn Harlot in Seattle and I thought, when was that date? Well, it was today and I spaced it. No GP's, they were watching little bro run x-country (he medaled, go Jon!). I called Ana but she had work (which I wish I could have changed, Ana, sorry for the late call). So, that left Daddy. And he was totally game. We loaded up the kiddos and headed to LA, not a bad drive at all. I forget our proximity to the city proper, I used to work in LA and take the train.

Now, being a new Mama, I never thought that there might be a waiting list, or like, that we might not get in. But there was a waiting list, we grabbed standby numbers 13/14, and without much trouble found ourselves ushered in. It was a beautiful place to see and hear the YH for the first time. Man, that lady is funny. I laughed with the boys the whole time, Daddy smiled but I think it was because he was afraid he might be strung up by rabid knitters if he did not go along. Tim made the funniest comment right before YH started speaking, he was sitting next to me and remarked on the odd sound that was filling the space around was the sound of hundreds of knitting needles clicking away. The acoustics were great, you could really hear them all.

One funny, I totally did not realize she was 'speaking', I thought it was going
to be a casual book sign/mingle around a hall thing, not a seated 90 minute session. I was a little nervous at first about having the boys in that setting, but then I realized that we were in the company of all knitters and they are truly the coolest people in the world. I figured a few squeaks and burps out of them would be tolerated and they were. And they were entranced by the hall and the speaker and the laughs generated by her wry and quick wit. I laughed so well, I feel like a newly refreshed person. I highly recommend you check her remaining tour dates and get out there to listen if you can. She will make your Knitting Day.

We finished our rather long day at the park, our favorite evening hang out. The sun wanes so much earlier these days, the air cools quickly, but we are eeking out what we can from the early evenings. While there Owen displayed his developing skill with his hands...not truly successful but a good photo op. And Mason displayed his new favorite face, we call it the Bitter Beer face (remember those Keystone commercials?). It cracks me up every time. This face is the exaggerated version.

I had no hands to knit with at the YH talk but I did get a few more rows in on the Cable Vest for my second sweetie. I have to say, my love and fire for knitting was renewed by her musings and humor. I love it all ,the fiber and the process. I am glad that in the maelstrom that is my life right now, I still have the wherewithal to get a row in when I can. An accomplishment in a life that feels so crazy at times, watching the tiny cables multiply makes me feel awesome. And we might actually make a Xmas deadline for this one. I have had the first around for quite some time, I am finding the second as pleasurable to knit, if not more. Back when I first did this project, cables were mysterious, pattern notes were taken, knitting in the round was explored. This time around I used the chart I made once to set up the cables, I breezed through the tubular cast on and I can just pick it up, knit a bit and put it down without losing place. Sure there are a few errant stitches but I refuse to go back, no one will know but you, my readers (and any non-knitters have absolutely no idea what I am babbling about at this point)(I doubt I have any non-knitter readers anyway.). Point being, I love that I am a different knitter, that I have learned about this craft that I so love and cherish in my spare moments.

So, go see the Yarn Harlot if you can, go fondle your stash and dream of the next project and then pick up those sticks, people. Today I rejoice in the fact that knitting feels good.

Monday, September 10, 2007

She Did Shedir

The last few days I have been trying to post because I actually finished a knitting project and I think it is my favorite yet. Last week during our 110 degree heat wave I pulled the yarn through the last stitch of Shedir. I have eyeballed this cap for years, since the pattern came out on Knitty. I have always wanted to try it but felt slightly intimidated by the whole pretty but twisted stitch appearance. Well, let me tell you, it is the most satisfying little cable project ever. So simple to follow once a repeat is done, so quick, so pretty. I am planning on a family of Shedir caps for Tim, Mason and Owen so as we have warm heads when the 'cooling' comes to our little area of Southern California.

This weekend we made a quick trip up to Mt Baldy behind our house, first time up there with the boys, first time up there in years actually. Odd, we live by mountains but prefer to drive 5 hours to Shaver Lake to vacation. The Sierras do hands down beat out the San Gabriel foothills, but it is good to remind ourselves that we can get to some fresher air by driving 30 minutes up. Mt Baldy actually has a really intense peak height of 10000 or so. Dry as a bone this time of year, but with our cooler weather and new backpacks for the boys, we thought it would be a good trip. It really was. The boys did well in the backpacks, we realized just how out of shape we are, and true to form, Owie fell asleep in the pack. That baby boy can sleep anywhere. Our hike was short and sweet, we spent most of it on the access road up to the trail, but we did it. It is nice to see that little parts of our former lives can be visited, though in modified forms. And for younger babies, the Beans really do quite well with all of our shlepping them around. I hope our stamina and theirs will increase at about the same pace. We have tentative plans to try a January Sierra trip and I would love to snowshoe with them in the packs, especially because it means we could get them little snowsuit outfits.

It is hard to believe we are entertaining thoughts of winter's approach. The evenings here are cooler, comfortable, almost chilly for us. I smell autumn, usually my favorite time of the year. I love the change of season but cannot help but think how different this one will be. Halloween with two little ones to dress as we please. Christmas coming with the return of my long traveling brother and his fiance (they left in June for a world tour and are due back in December). I know this time is fleet and I have to gather these memories as the boys grow. At an almost alarming rate. They seem huge to me, like different babies. And I love it so.

Things here just keep coming in waves, the changes with the babies continue to both excite and exhaust me. Sleep was an elusive thing for me for a time, I had a bout of insomnia (oh, god, I shudder to even think on it) and have tried to control this with yoga and meditation. It is amazing how quickly your system forgets you ever once slept through a night. I have adjusted as best as one can, but, man, having two babies is tough. I think I will stop this line of writing, I get a little tired just thinking on it. So, little question for other Mama readers....what do you do with your four/five month old babies for entertainment time? We have the Gymini and foam pad, captain chairs and an increasing pile of toys. Just curious....having two to keep happy sometimes seems impossible and I would love any suggestions.

And in the same line as my last post "to Mamas" I would like to shout out to this blogging Daddy of twins. I have been reading him for a month or so and I love the way he writes about his beautiful toddler twins. I love hearing the male side of parenting and the obvious love he has for his family and his role as Daddy. Matthew, you make me anticipate with eager heart our future with our boys. Thanks for sharing so much of your life with your readers.

And that is all for now. I do have a small sweater project on the needles but it is barely off the ground. I used a tubular cast on to start it off and it is such a beautiful edge....find a great tutorial here. And congrats to her too, she is waiting on her first bean. I'm out.

Owie's Eyelashes captured