Monday, May 31, 2010

All About Me

I ran across this list on my oldest friend's Facebook page and I thought I would share with my loyal blog readers. You know, so you can really get to know me. ;-)

1. I was born in Sedro-Woolley, Washington

2. My parents were hippies and lived in an “Earth Ship” until I was born

3. I would like to write a book someday

4. I’d rather be home than anywhere else

5. Despite having to get rid of a bunch of pairs after my pregnancy, I still own over 100 pairs of shoes

6. I love what I do (sell health insurance)

7. I suffered from post-partum depression until my daughters were 16 months old

8. When I found out I was having twins, I started crying and said, “NO!… I don’t want twins!”

9. Being a mother defines me like nothing in my life ever did before

10. I have the Sunscreen Song on my iPod and live by the lyrics

11. I’m a licensed massage therapist and trained in Thai Massage, but I’ve been on “maternity leave” since the day in #8…

12. I believe that the meaning of life is the interaction and relationships we have with each other

13. I find spelling errors everywhere without even trying – on billboards, advertisements, etc.

14. In the 5th grade spelling bee, I misspelled foreign by putting “h” at the end instead of “n”. DOH!

15. I graduated from UW with a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration when I was 21

16. I love reality TV. I still watch Survivor religiously.

17. I love twin-mommy blogs

18. I’ve worked for the same company for 11 years and I love my boss 

19. If there are cookies/fudge/chocolate in my house or office, I will eat it ALL

20. I hate hiking, direct sunlight and vanilla ice cream

21. I am a real blonde and used to get asked if I was albino

22. I’m half Italian and Bonasera (my last name) means “good evening” in Italian

23. I never wear red (and don’t put the girls in red), but for some reason, I love red cars (3 out of my 5 cars have been red)

24. When I’m on an airplane, I always order tomato juice or bloody mary mix. Always.

25. I have more “blonde moments” than I care to admit. The other day I walked right into the men’s room!

Me, 4 years old.

Sunday, May 30, 2010

Twin Pop

I remember seeing this on a license plate before having my babies. It conjured images of the perfect nuclear family, with the parents happily engaged in all aspects of the children's upbringing.

The year that followed my daughters' births was not one of perfect images, by any stretch of the imagination. And instead of being engaged (which implies a certain eagerness), my husband and I extracted every ounce of energy into survival.

Still, I found such strength in this man that, before having his own children was reluctant to hold a baby. But, from the moment my (first) water broke, he transformed. He captured the first moments of his daughters' lives with the videocamera, and meticulously instructed visiting friends and family the proper way to bottle feed a preemie.

When they arrived home from the NICU, he made feeding two babies simultaneously in the obscene hours of the morning look easy. He connected a string to their cradle and tied it around his foot from the couch so he could multitask while rocking them. He could prepare dinner with a baby strapped to his chest. He could do the grocery shopping, singlehandedly, with two infants - one in the cart and one in the Baby Bjorn.

To watch a man become a father is priceless. To observe him raise twins is incomparable.

Friday, May 21, 2010

Sugar Sand and Razor Clams

We spent a glorious, relaxing weekend with family on the majestic Washington coast.
At first step onto the expanse of beach, our bare feet voraciously sampling the sand, Jaeda remarked, "sugar sand, mama" and I marvel how, at three, her descriptions can be so simple, and so precise.

We awoke at first light the next morning to join the ritual that is razor clamming. While my husband, my sister and her boyfriend dug feverishly to catch their limits, the girls lovingly placed blankets of sand over these strange, yummy creatures.  
Meanwhile, I meandered. The edge of the earth calls my name. It beckons to me with promises of serene calm and a still mind. It never fails to deliver.
My dad helped me paint the girls' toes, to match my Mother's Day pedicure and I couldn't resist getting a picture of our toes in the sugar sand.
And what trip to the beach is complete without a stop at Cabelas on the way home?
The End.

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

New Normal

This past Mother's Day, Seattle was blessed with one of those unexpected but cherished sunny days here in the Northwest.   

I'm casually trailing my vivacious twin 3 year old daughters as they eagerly pedal their tricycles down the sidewalk. They are both sporting butterfly wings and brightly colored mismatched skirts and shirts. A car drives past and I hear, "hey butterflies!" and it occurs to me how we must look. Now that I'm immersed in motherhood, I don't give a second thought to letting them leave the house in last year's Halloween costumes.

I suddenly remembered my perinatologist's supportive words to accept the interminable pseudo-contractions that began at week 20 during my pregnancy as my "new normal".

I don't think I could have comprehended then how prophetic those words would become.

When I am in public with my two butterflies, I've come to expect the unexpected.

Now that they have been blessed with language, modesty has gone out the window. On a recent trip through Safeway, Tristyn loudly announced to me that her undies were falling down (indeed they were - darn tights). And upon being pulled in at the Canadian border for a random search of our RV, apropos of nothing, she yelled "VAGINA!" in the very serious and somber holding area reserved for travelers asked to leave their cars. Jaeda followed suit, of course, with the pop hit "vagina song" and my husband and I could only look at each other in disbelief.
Each day that passes, my girls are gathering up their awareness of all things inappropriate, rude, disgusting and just plain silly. My husband and I are merely observers of this fast-moving train, yelling over the noise of the engine as we futilely attempt to keep them on track. ;-)

Thursday, May 6, 2010

The Red Leotard

My very first memory is of the red leotard that I received for my third birthday.

As my daughters' third birthday approached, I felt inclined to provide them with a similar memory. I scoured ebay for matching leotards, but they were impulsively cast aside in the excitement of the birthday festivities.

Recently, my local drive-thru espresso stand baristas were recalling the extreme heat this past summer when our town lost power. I have no memory of this - something that happened less than a year ago. So how can I expect my girls to remember their third birthday 30 years from now?

And as fate would have it, Tristyn was scheduled to have surgery one week after her birthday. A client told me the same surgery was his first memory. What if her first memory is being in my lap on the surgery table while I held her arms down so the anesthesiologist could hold a mask over her face? And what about Jaeda? Will she remember the day mommy left her behind to take her sister on "a field trip to the hospital"? The sibling bond is a strong one, and identical twins even more so. My brother and I are 2 years apart yet I have a vivid memory of the first time I was separated from him (for more than a day at school). I was 13 years old.

I know this is the beginning of many things that I will not be able to control in my daughters' lives.

Memory is a mysterious thing. We file them away and recall them at random. I heard an NPR story about perception of time studies. Apparently, the older we get, time appears to pass more quickly. The reason for this phenomenon is that when we are young, everything is new, so our brains take longer to graph the new experience, and therefore more likely to cement a memory that can be recalled in later years. After 35 years of birthday cake and similar circumstance, its no wonder I can't remember most, except for the ones that were a little different.

So what is the secret to staying young? It's switching up the routine of daily life and challenging our brain to create more memories, thereby SLOWING DOWN the passage of time.

And what better way to do that?

Have children.

Sunday, May 2, 2010


"You look gorgeous", I sputter unexpectedly to a pregnant woman in my office building. We've never met, but we are standing outside the second floor ladies room waiting for maintenance to finish re-stocking. Neither of us want to venture to the first or third floor - she is 7 months pregnant, and I'm in my favorite black pumps (and blissfully UNpregnant).

What is it about a pregnant woman that is so magnetic? And how come I never felt that way when I was pregnant?

My pregnancy was a myriad of swirling emotions, feeling as though I was alone in the desert with sand storms all around me. Every day felt like that rushed morning routine when you feel as though you forgot something important on your way out the door. My brain was mushy, confused and anxious. Fear threatened to invade at every corner.

My favorite part of my pregnancy happened while attending a Crave party. As my best friend and I perused the all-female vendor aisles, she ran into an acquaintance. We were introduced and M told her I was expecting twins. Her face lit up and she immediately bent down to cradle my belly in both of her hands. For that brief moment, I felt that glow that women speak of.

In this hypersensitive society, where a pregnant woman's belly is off limits, I teach my girls to cherish the bellies of my pregnant friends, telling them that "there is a baby in her belly!" And (assuming they are okay with it) I urge them to place their little hands over the life force that resides underneath.

I know I'll eventually need to explain additional sordid details to my children, but for now, it's simply gratifying to see the dawn of their knowledge of the human body, and the magical commencement of life.  

Why does the stork get all the credit?

The reason that pregnant women are so magnetic is simple, really. We are witnessing the glimpse of procreation which, ultimately, is the reason we are all here.
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