Monday, June 28, 2010

Mother's Intuition

I hear a child rustling in the early morning hours, groping through the dark in our new camper, a still unfamiliar sleeping arrangement. 


I sense her confusion and bolt out of my warm bed to rescue her - she won the twin sister lottery for the top bunk, another new sleeping arrangement, and I'm not entirely confident that she can get down by herself, especially in the dark.

Back in bed, I lay there wondering - how did I know it was Jaeda and not Tristyn? And why did it matter, really? My child needed assistance going pee at 2am - a perfectly normal occurence.

I recall a night perhaps 2 years ago, before the girls had turned one. We were staying at my father-in-law's place in White Rock, just outside of Vancouver B.C. The girls slept in pack-n-plays at the foot of our bed.

Without any warning or reason, I suddenly knew that Jaeda needed me. Mind you, this was in the midst of 11 months of sleep deprivation, and I would have done anything to avoid an interruption of sleep, especially without reason.

Both girls were gloriously quiet.

But as I reached into Jaeda's crib, my heart was pounding and I began to call out her name as I realized, horrified, that the elastic cord of the sleeping bag placed between the sheet and the mattress for padding was wrapped around her neck and torso so many times that I could not untangle her from it's grip.

Seconds felt like minutes as I freed her and felt her breath on my neck. I cradled her tiny body and cuddled her up next to me, holding her as though my life depended on it.

A moment in time can drastically change the course of so many lives. Tristyn would be a twinless twin and my husband and I would lose a piece of our hearts forever.

I can only hope that I have more positive life changing moments in my life than negative ones.
Mommy & Jaeda (1 year)

Tuesday, June 22, 2010


I unplugged this past weekend; turned off my celly, left my laptop at home and went camping with the fam.

I love hearing the voices of my Northwest neighbors through the rhododendrons and fir trees.

We need these forays back into wilderness, sans electronics, to reconnect with ourselves.

Upon arrival at our campsite, the girls rushed to investigate the lush landscape. Leaves were of particular interest.

The girls attempted to re-create the eco-structure built by their 7 year old camping companion. Her mother is an architect; can you tell?

Watermelon was ignored. Instead the coveted big-as-your-head marshmallows were consumed as often as I would allow. (Note my beer awaiting my attention).

We explored Scenic Beach, which was chock full of pearly white oyster shells, which made perfect cell phones, containers and rock chippers (?)

Despite the cloudy weather, we were happy campers. :-)

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Light Socket

I'm making dinner, rushing to finish before my trainer and friends arrive for our Monday evening workout session. The girls are playing contentedly with play dough and rolling pins.

It's easy to mistake pre-school savvy with worldly knowledge.

Without warning, Tristyn stands beside me earnestly pushing a screwdriver (recently used for changing batteries in their cherished Zhu Zhu pets) into the electrical socket that is eye level to her.

"OH NO-NO-NO-NO-NO-NO!", I shout and grab the screwdriver from her eager hand.

She crumbles into tears as I kneel down to hug her tight. It is one of those moments in motherhood where my heart feels as though it's being squeezed and I just want time to stop while I embrace the precious life in her small body.

Cause and effect is a complicated subject to explain to a 3-year old as her twin scolds me, "Don't yell at my sister, mama!"

I flash back to my childhood - I am 7 years old and my brother, Che', and I are arguing about standing atop 2 flat steel posts sticking out of the ground (oh what a different world we lived in 30 years ago). Impatient for my turn, I push his legs out from underneath him. He crashes down onto the sharp steel projections which puncture his back, nearly collapsing his lung.

Today, the scar that blemishes his perfect olive skin below his shoulder blade still brings me shame.  

But my mom tells me she did not scold me. She knew as my mother what I didn't even know myself; I had learned my lesson without anyone even telling me.

My husband, in all his fatherly wisdom, echos that sentiment when I relay the incident to him. He lovingly tells Tristyn, "We learn from our mistakes".

Che' and I with our wise mama

Sunday, June 13, 2010


I'm not ready for this. This new stage of parenting. Up until now, conversations have been pretty one sided in our household where children are concerned. When Tristyn requested that I talk to her, I figured she meant it. Me. Talking. To. Her. Like telling a story. Then she said, "Mama, what's your favorite food?"


Pizza, of course, I tell her. What's your favorite food, Tristy? Her response (I kid you not): "Edamame".

I realize parents of much more sophisticated 3 year olds all over the internet are laughing. And maybe I'm being naive. But I've been in this twin-induced fog for years now, and I'm just starting to glimpse the bright sun through the clouds. My babbling babies are becoming loquacious children with opinions and endless inquiries. 

This morning, while lounging in bed, Jaeda assaults me out of sleep by facetiously gnawing on my big toe, and Tristyn burrows under the covers to kiss my belly-button. Questions ensue until it is discovered that mommy has an earring hole (how do they know these things???) where I used to have my navel ring. The inevitable question follows: "Why do you have an earring hole in your belly button?"


I don't have an answer, of course. Instead, I employ my tried and true distraction technique. "Who wants pop-tarts?!"

Befuddled by this new found offspring intelligence, I settle them on the couch to watch Pinocchio, and regain the normalcy that I crave. Just when Jaeda turns to me and says, "Mama?"

"Yes honey."

"You're beautiful." 

Me and inquisitive Tristy at the Vancouver Zoo

Friday, June 11, 2010

Living Out Loud

"It's really funny the things that are inside of you that never come out, and then they come out in your kids." 
 -Danny Devito in Living Out Loud

Most of the time, life with children is a blur of activity, discipline, schedules and messes. But there are moments - everyday - that take my breath away. It's almost like an unexpected shift in a monotonous movie, that turns suspenseful and intriguing.

During a daily task or routine, one of my daughters will say or do something that brings me back to life, brings my awareness to the amazing capacity of such little beings; their incredible skill of retention - something they saw or heard a few days ago, and are just now coming full circle with the knowledge. Or the exacting way in which they can mimic one of my actions or movements.

It's amplified in twins simply because there are two of them - I'm witnessing their development simultaneously and in duplicate. What I might miss in one, I'll observe in the other.

I try to capture images with my minds' eye; the two of them engaged in exclusive conversation or performing a clandestine activity.

Or I will see them as only a mother can - a look in their eyes or a tone in their voice that lets me glimpse, ever so briefly, their precious, rapidly developing minds.

A big shout out to whomever knows which one is which :-)

Renee was the first to comment, just 12 minutes after this post was published! But Auntie Natalie got it right! Here's what's really funny: I asked the girls this morning which one was which and they BOTH got it wrong!

Saturday, June 5, 2010

Lunatic on the inside

"Dwell in possibility; Don't wait for evidence."

I was postpartumly depressed until my precious daughters were 16 months old. No one knew; not my husband, my mom, my best friend or my boss. New mothers are *expected* to struggle, and discussing the difficulties is conjecture. Personally, I attributed it to sleep deprivation and exhaustion. Actually, I became quite adept at making excuses for my foul mood and disconsolate outlook on a given day.

Most days I knew I was faking it; keeping up the facade of normalcy that I yearned for.
Once I admitted that I might be depressed, I spent an entire day crying (mostly with relief, not just sadness) and wondering why I didn't realize it before. Being medicated felt like a failure, and I still sometimes resent that it is the last thought before going to bed or leaving on a trip - do I have my meds??
They have become my lifeline of sorts, my bridge to normal.

Depression can be prompted by a variety of many things and manifests itself in different ways for different people: for me, it was the anger when things didn't go as planned. I've said before that I felt the kind of intense anger everyday that I had only felt a few times in my entire life before having children. I'm a pretty mellow person, so that was a huge red flag.

To put my experience with depression in perspective, there is a tiny part of me that still doesn't believe that I was depressed, or that I even still need to take my meds. It's a ridiculous thought, but one that I hold on to.

If anyone reading this thinks they may be depressed, what I'm trying to say is _don't wait for evidence_ that you might be depressed. You'll never truly get any confirmation. It's a leap of faith, as they say.

And what's most important is enjoying your life and your family. And you cannot do that while you're fighting the beast that is depression.

This post is dedicated to TL.
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