Monday, September 29, 2008

35? Not so bad. Humid, but not so bad

98% Humidity at a medieval fair? I'm just glad I wasn't the one wearing armor.
Or diapers. Poor Thomas!

It was a pretty fabulous birthday weekend. Despite raining on and off, I had the nicest time with my friends and all my boys.

Friday I got a home-made cheesecake (with fresh strawberries and a macadamia-chocolate crust!) and a gift card for the GAP from my lovely co-workers... so now I can get those cute baby jumpers I wanted!

That night I went out with girlfriends for some wine and cheese puffs. It was fun to just sit and chat. We were at an outdoor bistro, under a wide awning and it was drizzling lightly. It was totally lovely and quasi-parisienne.

I went home and watched the debates. which were like an extra gift.

And that's all I will say about that.

Except that Tina Fey doing Sarah Palin on Saturday night live is also quite a gift.

Saturday, the Manhattan Twins Club's picnic was canceled due to rain, which bummed me out. But, it gave us a chance to mostly finish the boys nursery - which I will share with everyone when it is more totally done.

Their new stroller also got put together and, while it is very sharp looking, it is kind of disappointing because people don't get to see both babies at once. In their old stroller they could turn their flirt on and it was like being hit by high beams and low beams at once!

This photo is to demonstrate what the new stroller looks like overall....
Thank you John Owen for modeling for us

Max is having a party up front

While Thomas is keeping things intimate....

with all the ladies in the back...

I predict that the old stroller will continue to see some use. Ahem, Eugene and Claudia like all the attention that twins get...

We ordered in Indian food and just chilled out Saturday night, knowing that Sunday was the big day at the Medieval Fair!

And, verily, it was quite a day.

We had to wait out some rain in the morning, but by 12:30 it was clear enough to walk up. We had 6 kids, 2 infants and 7 adults. Amazingly, no one got (really) lost.



Amy and the kids watch the jousting forsooth!

There was jousting, sword fighting, birds of prey displays, a grillion vendors, medieval pirates, medieval princesses, medieval wenches, medieval fairies, medieval goths, medieval astronauts, medieval pocahontas, medieval mermaids. Really, the list is endless.

John and William and their special medieval horns

Really you could be anything and call it medieval if you had a corset or a sword or a cup attached to your belt.

An exhausted but jubilant crowd heads for home.

We hung out for quite a while and then wandered back to the apartment where we gave the boys a bath (is there any better present than adorable nekked babies?) and put them to bed.

Still the best birthday present ever...

Then we collapsed into a pile on the couch and fell asleep while watching Eureka on the DVR.

Really, it was a great day.

And I got my bag!

Saturday, September 27, 2008

What Now

I'm looking forward to a porter shake, maybe a BBQ pork sandwich? Tomorrow morning Jenn and I head down to McMinnville Oregon for one last outdoor concert before we go back to being cave-dwellers here in the Northwest. I love the Edgefield, and Jenn and I always have fun. Did I tell you we went to Skate King together recently? We did! Same carpets, same mushroom-shaped, uh... what are they? Benches? We went to Red Robin first and had drinks with umbrellas, a chi-chi for me. Helped my skating a LOT, believe me. I know you do.

It' supposed to be 74 down in McMinnville tomorrow, 84 the next day. Perfect milkshake weather. I'm not sure I have enough faith in weather reports to actually pack for that, though. I was thinking wellies and a toasty sweater under a windbreaker. I'll take a chance and pack a t-shirt too, sunglasses for sure. Polaroid? Digital camera at least, it's been so underused lately.

I blame the driving for the lack of photos. Not road trip driving, where thoughts roll out ahead of me like a ball of yarn that has gotten away of me. Commuter driving, the kind where you get out at the end and can't remember anything at all about the drive. I've been listening to books though. Persuasion, Tim Egan's The Worst Hard Time, now the last Harry Potter book. It helps me get out of the apartment in the morning, but it's not conducive to the kind of wool-gathering that leads to blog posts or to the kind of looking that makes you take out the camera. Without the books on CD, commuting is pretty soul-deadening. Though if JK Rowling makes Hagrid take out his "table-cloth size" handkerchief one more time, I might... anyway, Lolita is next. That'll be good for sure, if a little disturbing.

Can you tell I'm fretting about the lack of blog posts? I am.

What I'm fretting about more, though... is the Birthday Present Problem. Gold hoop earrings!? I hope that was a hint for your husband!

xoxox
H

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Hahaha

Eugene at the Medieval Fair.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Birthday Wishlist

Best. Birthday presents. Ever.

Here it is again, the time of year when Mom and Dad want to know what I want... and again I don't know how to answer because.... surprise surprise... I feel like I have everything I want!

There are a few things that I have my eye on though, and I am sure that they are pretty telling items.

First, I need a desk. I think about Mom's desk from the breakfast nook, and I can totally understand it now. I want a slant-front secretary that will fit into the space between bookshelves in our foyer. A desk that is big enough for me to sort bills and small enough that I don't let them pile up.

And with a lid that I can close so that no one can see if I have let them pile up.

Look, here's this nice desk from Tar-jay! Only $189.99 and free shipping!


Perhaps, too expensive to expect for a birthday gift, so what, less pricey, things do I want?

Well, mostly I want cute stuff for the boys, because I love dressing them up... so I would like any of these adorable things from BabyGap, or anything similar... because anything with ears is cute on a baby...



Grrr... baby bears! And it comes in two colors!
Can you imagine how cute on their round little heads?


Euge might think this a bit girly... but I think it would be ridiculously adorable. They are growing quick and are wearing 6-9 month sized clothes! We need wardrobe!

Ahem.

I'd also like more mixed CDs - because we wear out the last one you made me driving back and forth to Vermont... I especially like that raspy-voiced song that says 'we belong together... we belong togther...'

It makes me all happy and weepy at the same time. Who is that?

For my last items, I will be ridiculous and splurge-y

Big, but thin, gold hoop earrings:

2" in diameter! GORGEOUS! I just have to remember to take them off before the boys see them and want to grab them to pull me in for kisses...

Or this handbag:


Which is actually quite practical because it is the same as the handbag that I have now and I can it my breast milk pumping supplies in it for work! Hahaha... how our considerations change.

In reality, I am hoping for some extra sleep - courtesy of Eugene, a nice brunch with perhaps some wine or bloody marie's and some friends and a trip to the medieval festival at Fort Tryon Park...

Does it get better than that? Not in my book!

Unless you were here, of course. Then it would be infinitely better.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Sometimes You Can't Help But Be a Little Random

I lose my way as a writer a lot. More often than not, in fact, I am lost. I try to be okay with this, but really, I'm not. I am a writer of missed deadlines, self-doubt and wasted words. Lately, I have been a writer of blank pages. Sometimes the writing time is spent just shuffling files, changing margins, reorganizing folders.

So, okay. I make note of this. I think about longevity, and distance, and time and how there are muscles in writing that get lost from lack of use. In the absence of writing, I read, as though I were a runner with an injury who could somehow benefit from watching someone else run.

Always, eventually, touch wood, something saves me. It was two things today. Barb sent me an email, about a post I did a while back, saying that she had saved it, was thinking about it. She was encouraging me, and when I read the email, that post seemed so long ago that I could barely relate to what she was saying. Still, something kindled in me.

Then tonight I went with mom to see Richard Russo and he was exactly what I hoped for him to be, clever and funny, reading a big sprawling essay that in the end was about the best subjects of all - love, laughter and writing.

"You have a right to write badly," he said "But you aren't a bad writer until the day you don't write." Okay, I'm paraphrasing, but get the idea. Again, encouragement.

All of that persuaded me to come here, the starting place for writing, the rough draft place, the place of meandering and babbling and false starts and dead ends. A blog, at least a personal blog like this one, is kind of a place of literary forgiveness, if you ask me, or at least it should be.
I wish I could remember what I said to Jessica the night we said goodbye to her. It was a fun night, all summer cocktails and pretty dresses, feathers in my hair and hats on the boys. Jess smiled and drank and laughed like it was a birthday party, but it was an occasion much more heartbreaking than that. She was off to NYC, where she is now, making her way on her own.

When it was time to say goodnight, I put my arms around her and whispered something in her ear, and when I pulled away for one last look at her pretty face, her eyes, and mine, were all filled with tears. I'm so sad to say goodbye to her, after all those summer nights and Maldives shows and Sunday trips to the farmer's market and bloody marys and a zillion text messages. We'll always have texting, like Bogey and Bergman always have Paris, and I'm grateful for that. My life will be a little more grown up with her gone, and that's not necessarily the greatest thing.

Still, in the few days she's been gone, she's made even the distance between us fun for me. I've sent her to the Tasting Room for coffee and Momofuku and when she went to the Strand, I gave her our old address and she said she'd look for it, and I felt so happy for her, remembering how exciting it was to be in your twenties in New York. She's smart and pretty and so much fun. She's gonna do great. And hopefully the rest of us will all get to live vicariously through her.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Good Times

video

We weren't in Vermont this weekend, we stayed in the city to try and get the boys' room painted. A project fraught with difficulty.

Yes, I said fraught.

My advice? Don't marry a man with a creative mind and decorating ideas of his own. It can only lead to 3 hour debates on what the appropriate shade of blue is for a room for baby boys.

And what color did we end up with? Green tea. Not any shade of blue, but quite lovely.

The room is still not done - there were also some issues with spackle not drying in the humidity - so the apartment is all upside down... but that's okay because it's nine o'clock on Sunday and all my boys are sleeping!

Any hoo, I thought I would post the video because I thought it was funny! Don't worry - no beer was consumed - at least not by the baby...

It reminded me of an afternoon spent at Dakota's brother's house... of Mom and Dad and their generic Beer.... of rail riding with Leigh and Larry and getting lit on half of a bud light... good times!

I especially love Max's shiver at the end.

Hopefully, Child Protective Services doesn't get a hold of this.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Things I Haven't Told You

I got a housekeeper. Did I tell you that? I don't think so. My personal assistant found her. Together, the two of them changed my life. Really. Jess somehow got me out from underneath a guilt-ridden pile of stuff, and Kelly has whipped this place into shape to the point where it's almost like I live here. So, that's one thing.

Here's another thing we haven't talked about. We're having a little return of summer here, weather-wise. And I know this doesn't make sense, but I realized today that it's kinda bumming me out. The weather comes and I'm stuck indoors, or somehow unable to take advantage of the sun, and it's not like mid-summer, where you think, hey, no problem, I can take advantage of the NEXT sunny day. This time it's painful, like missing the going away party for someone you love, and then not having a phone or email or even letters to get back in touch with them. Something you love is gone, and you're just stuck with that.

And that's why the Kelly thing is so big. Cause here's what we do for the end of summer, for missing love and missing light - there's the couch, and there are hot beverages, and there's knitting and all of that requires a clean apartment, right? There are books too. I never did read that last Harry Potter book, so maybe there's that, and if not, then there's some Nobel Prize winner that I should probably read like J.M. Coetzee, or the new Alice Munro story in the New Yorker, or whatever else anyone tells me I should read to distract myself. Until we're back in summer in one way or another, in some new flowering that, now, when all we know is that every day of summer is probably the last, doesn't seem like a place we'll ever get to.

A few weeks ago Regan sent me one of those Getting To Know Your Friends emails, the kind that asks things like:

What is your favorite pastime?
What was the last thing you ate?
What are you listening to right now?
What was your most memorable recent birthday?

Anyway, one of the questions that stumped me was "What's a day on the calendar that you are really looking forward to?"

And what I realize I haven't told you, in addition to the trivia above, is that the day on the calendar I'm looking forward to is the day you land in Seattle with those boys for Thanksgiving.

Miss those little devils.

Miss you.

xoxo
H


P.S. Miley Cyrus is the worst singer ever, for reals. Did you see Fashion Rocks? Beyonce with JT? Oh, yes. Miley? Hell no.


Monday, September 08, 2008

Six Months of Luv

video

Now that we are at the six month mark with the boys, changes are afoot - even if the boys aren’t yet.

Haha. Get it? Afoot?

Sigh. Lack of real sleep = tired sense of humor.

So what's happening at six months, you ask? Or you don't, but I will tell you anyways.

Well, there’s lots of blond hair happening. You can’t see it in photos much, because it is quite fine, but when I lather their hair up I am able to make some handsome little faux hawks.

There are also teeth happening! Or rather a tooth. In Max’s mouth. Despite being a bit more diminutive than his brother, he is showing his precociousness by sprouting some chiclets. We’ll see what happens to the breast feeding plan when my little hoovers turn into little sharks.

Our other activities include jumping around like maniacs in the Johnnie Jump-Ups (see above). Flirting wildly with every woman - and many of the men - in sight. Making lots of babbling noises. Stealing each other’s binkies all night. Stealing each other’s toys all day. Grabbing their own toes and sucking on them. grabbing each others fingers to suck on. Oh, and grabbing my cheeks in order to suck on my nose is also very popular.

The grabbing of anything is always entertaining when you are trying to change a diaper. Speaking of which,there continues to be a trend towards pooping.

Lots and lots of pooping.

It must have something to do with the sweet potatoes and carrots that have become a part of their new extended menu.

All in all, they are fantastic little men and every day they manage to wind themselves a bit more tightly around my heart.

We had our first outing as a couple without them this weekend - Eugene's Mom was babysitting and I believe you may have called and interrupted a very important stage in the Bedtime Routine.

Since I spent three days emphasizing the importance of the Bedtime Routine and how not following the Bedtime Routine would lead to Certain Doom, I am afraid that you may have gotten a bit of an abrupt greeting.

Of course, Carolyn did a fabulous job with the boys and Eugene and I were able to enjoy ourselves, knowing that they were in loving - if somewhat terrified - hands. I'll admit to a certain amount of jealousy when I saw other babies at the wedding... but not when they all started getting cranky around seven o'clock with nowhere to go!

That's when I was pleased that my own little niblets were safely tucked into their crib... and I ordered another glass of wine.

Partaay!

It was a beautiful wedding with laughter and tears and sunshine and rain. There were sunflowers and barbeque and a fabulous Lily Pulitzer wedding dress. And if I hadn't had our camera tucked into the diaper bag for Claudia to religiously record the boys' daily activities, I surely would have taken five million photographs.

As great as it was though, when we got home - just in time for the midnight feeding of the piglets - I was happiest just seeing their sweet little faces, smelling their sweet little necks and kissing their chubby chubby cheeks.

I can't believe it's already six months.

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

This Is Not About Saying Something


Wyatt's new school supply set, which he used to draw, you guessed it, a keyboard.

It's just been a while, you know? We had ten posts in August. Thirteen each in June and July. I didn't think the blogging drought had been going on that long, but I see that it's been a year since the months of 20+ blog posts. So I just thought I'd show up, pick a photo, and see what happened.

I've been thinking about last year anyway. I always do that when the season turns, as it is now, or when some big annual event like Bumbershoot comes whizzing by my head again. Bobby and I went to Bumbershoot together again, and sat in almost the exact same spot, in front of the Broad Street stage, but this year we improved on the whole experience by eating an elephant ear. He looked a lot cuter this year too, since he's gotten over his love of scrawny mustaches and slightly but not really ironic "vintage" (ie from the 90s) t-shirts. What if we have an even better time next year? Mercy.

This time last year was also about letting the twin news sink in. We didn't know they were boys, that they were Thomas, or Max, or that Allison would make it look so easy. I had two job offers, neither of them for the job I'm doing currently, and I was only just starting to write the stories that make up the little group I'm still chipping away at now.

I'm just saying. It's fall. I'm thinking about stuff, but not in any way that seems to add up to anything. And that's fine, right? It's school season, and that means empty notebooks, new sweaters, and new math, soon enough. And if some of the cute boys are the same ones from last year, that's okay too.