Friday, June 24, 2011


Whenever we got behind on our lesson plans in elementary school, the teacher would have catch-up day or "ketchup day". The kids would get silly and declare it mustard day, then relish day. Oddly enough, nobody ever called it sauerkraut day. Go figure. Anyhoo, here's the past few days of my un-challenge. Because I'm stubborn that way.

Day 10 – Share your favorite recipe (or two)

Thanksgiving Soup:

Servings: depends on how much you make, and how big you want the portions
Total time: 5 months

I made this soup up one year, and now I have to bring it every Thanksgiving. I do not use recipes, so it is a bit different each year. The family doesn't seem to notice or care, just as long as there is some version of this soup. When I did the Thanksgiving day retrieval that resulted in my twins, I had to run home to pick up this soup before heading out to see my family.

Anyway, here's the soup method:

In July, cook off some Jersey corn. When corn is cooled, remove from the cob and freeze in a vacuum sealed bag. Keep it there until November. On the 4th Thursday in November, cook some coarsely chopped bacon in a big stockpot. Remove bacon to a plate with a paper towel. Drain the fat but leave the bacon-ey goodness that is stuck to the bottom of the pot. Add some olive oil and leeks, onions, garlic, thyme, rosemary, carrots and celery. While this is all cooking down, roast some butternut squash with salt and pepper. Don't skip this part, because it makes the soup so much richer and more flavorful. Once the squash is roasted, add it to the pot with the leeks. Then add most of the frozen corn and a chipotle in adobo or two. Throw in some chicken stock and let it cook a little while. Puree. Add cream to taste. Remember that it is Thanksgiving and the meal is supposed to be super indulgent, so don't skimp on the cream. It will taste good. Garnish with the bacon and reserved corn.

Day 11 – In what ways does being a lesbian/2-mom family impact your experience of parenting?

Like others have already said, I think we have a more egalitarian parenting style because there are no set roles for us to play. We've both just taken on the tasks that we like best. She drives, I cook. I brush the kids' teeth, she clips their nails. I didn't realize how truly evenly the work of parenting was divided until we spent some time with my stepsister, her husband and their two sons. The guy hardly lifted a finger to help with his kids!

Day 12 – Tell us about the first time you got drunk (as far as you can remember…)

Really drunk, was my first year in college. I had joined the rugby team because that's what you do if you're gay and go to a womens college. The team drank a LOT. I made the mistake of going to the first rugby party right on time, so only the hostess (a senior) and her friends who were helping her set up were there. I was shy, so I drank to have something to do, and because the drinks were being offered. We stood in a circle and drank (pounded) mind erasers. Suddenly the world was spinning, and everything was funny. Somehow I made it across campus to another party. It was so much fun. My first hangover was far less fun.

Day 13 – Tell us about the best job you ever had, and the worst

Don't think I've had my best job yet. My worst was working at one of the big casinos on a reservation. I worked in a windowless kitchen in a fast paced, low price restaurant with a small, boring menu. I hated that everything was so regimented there, and I hated not being able to see the light of day for the entire time I was at work. The pay was pretty low. For the first time in my life, I was working not just with other teenagers, but with people who had families to support. It was hard to know that they were making the same measly check I was. The only good thing about the job was that we shared a space with an authentic Chinese restaurant (jellyfish and chicken feet on the menu). The guys in the Chinese restaurant were really into French Fries, which we had on our menu. They would trade us yummy stuff for a plate of fries.

Day 14 – How do you typically dress? How do you (or would you) like to dress your kid(s)?

Because I've never liked my body, and because I am afraid of making a giant fashion misstep, my style has usually been pretty simple. Jeans and a plain-ish shirt. I'd rather not draw attention than show up on "What Not to Wear". Recently I've been trying to branch out a bit, because I find that I feel better about my appearance if I put a little more effort in. I've found that I actually like wearing dresses and skirts! And I don't really like prints. Which is good, because Elizabeth does like prints, and we don't want to be one of those twinsie couples.

How do I dress my kids? I try not to go too boyish or girly, but their styles are not exactly neutral. They each have their own clothes and don't share anything except onesies. I like polos for the boy, because he has a giant pumpkin head and t-shirts can get too stretched out. I don't like sports or cars for him, but he looks great in robots and monsters (especially since his nickname is monster). Baby girl looks good in bright, bold colors. Especially yellow, and blue because it matches her eyes.

Day 15 – What was your college experience like? Were you involved in any clubs, groups, etc?

I loved college. I specifically chose the place I went to because it was very gay friendly. I had known I was gay since middle school, so I was eager to be out. In high school, I had an insecure, controlling best friend who didn't "allow" me to socialize with others, so college was a chance to actually make friends. I joined all of the gay clubs, and was co-chair of the LBA. (This is before the "T". I went to a womens college, so there was no "G".) I joined the rugby team. I socialized and occasionally paid a little attention to my classes. On the days when I'm bored at work, I kick myself for not taking college more seriously because I think if I had, I might have found a career path I liked more.

Day 16 – How many friends do you have in real life that you talk to regularly? How many friends do you have that you feel are ‘true blue’ and how long have you known them?

Only one, and she lives out of state. For all the friends I made in college, we drifted apart after graduation. We made a lot of new friends when we moved to our current location for Elizabeth to go to grad school, but there was a mass exodus when the twins were born. The friend who excitedly told pregnant Gayby Rabies that she'd come by EVERY WEEK to walk our dogs once the kids were born has shown up exactly zero times. The friend who said she'd love to babysit has not seen them since they were 2 months old. I knew things would change since we were the first of our social circle to have kids, but I didn't expect it to be so sudden. I am so, so happy that we had twins, because it gave us the opportunity to join a local mothers of multiples group. We've started meeting new people through the group, and I know they won't abandon us because we have kids. I think we'd be at a loss on how to meet people and very lonely right now if we had a singleton.

Day 17 – (for parents) What is your favorite thing about parenthood? Your least favorite?

I love seeing their personalities develop. They are such interesting little people, with such distinct personalities even from a very early age. My least favorite is that I know there will times when I have to be the bad guy for their own good. Like when they make that pouty face because I won't let them stand in the bathtub, or eat sand.

Day 18 – How do you feel about astrology? What’s your sign, baby, and do you think it matches your personality?

I don't really believe it too much, but it's fun. I think everyone likes a chance to talk about themselves and analyze their friends. The twins and I are all Leos. Elizabeth is a Taurus. Leos have a reputation for being bossy and opinionated. I suppose that's true, because the babies and I totally rule the house. Elizabeth is only in charge of the dogs. :)

Day 19 – How do you (and your partner if applicable) feel about PDA?

I feel like I'm always very conscious of who is around me. I live in a liberal state, so it's not like I need to worry too much. Still, I find myself looking over my shoulder before I give her a kiss or hold her hand. I wish it weren't that way.

Day 20 – What is the kindest thing anyone has ever done for you? Did you repay the kindness?

A lot of people have done kind things for me. The thing that comes to my mind is when I was helped by a stranger. It always amazes me when people help you even when there is nothing in it for themselves, and they know they'll never see you again.

I was a sophomore in college, and I got a call that my grandfather had just had a heart attack. I raced home to be with my mother and brother. By the time I got home, my mother her siblings had started gathering at her father's house, which was a few hours away. They were all sure it was the end. She told my brother and I we didn't need to come. But we decided to go anyway and left late at night. As we started getting closer, we realized that neither one of us knew exactly how to get to the hospital. We asked for directions at a toll booth, and got off at the next exit. The hospital was eerily quiet. We finally found an information desk, and asked for information on our grandfather. The woman at the desk said there was nobody by that name at the hospital. My brother nearly lost it thinking we were too late. Then a doctor getting off his shift noticed us and asked if we were okay. Somehow in the conversation, we realized we were at the wrong hospital. So he met us in the parking lot, and drove ahead of us and led us to the right hospital. From there he worked his doctor connections and found out where our grandfather's room was, and got us permission to go to the ICU to see him. As we walked down the hall to his room, he explained everything to us and told us about our grandfather's condition. He prepared us for seeing him hooked up to lots of wires and machines, and told us that his prognosis was good. And just as quickly as he appeared in the lobby of the first hospital, he said goodbye and left. We had been so preoccupied with my grandfather, that I never got the doctor's full name. He spent about an hour with us, after what was surely a long day at work and really helped put us at ease. Nearly 15 years later, I am still so grateful.

Day 21. What child(ren)’s names do you like that your partner hates and thus you could never use?

If there are any names I liked that Elizabeth hated, she was too polite to tell me. The name she got stuck on for a long time that I could never use was Wendell. Poor kid would get beaten up every day with a name like that!

Day 22 – What is your most beloved childhood memory? What memories are you trying to create (or will you try to create) for your child(ren)?

I loved having lazy summer days with my brother. We were totally unsupervised and would spend all day playing outside or swimming at "the crane" (our name for this place that was really sketchy now that I am remembering it as an adult...there were these cranes and bulldozers at a small sand quarry near the railroad tracks. The pit would fill with water, and the two of us would just jump in there and go for a swim!) We liked to make forts and we'd try to catch rabbits with that box propped on a stick tied to a string thing that you see in cartoons. I hope that my kids will have a good relationship with each other. I hope I can get them to play outside, and I hope I will not be the type of parent to hover too much. Oh, and I want a yard where I can grow raspberries for them. I used to love having raspberries growing in the yard as a kid.

Day 23 – What are your favorite activities to do with your kid(s)?

Eating dinner. The rush of getting everyone out the door to work and daycare in the morning does not leave much time to enjoy each others company. At dinner, we get to sit down and relax. We've just started all sitting down together, letting the kids eat what we eat, although their version is usually modified somewhat. It means we're eating a lot earlier than we'd like, but I really love having the time as a family. I love that they're being introduced to new foods too. I'd really hate it if we had the kind of kids who only ate chicken nuggets.

Thursday, June 16, 2011


Because I'm the type who rises to an un-challenge, here's the first installment of my catching up!

Day 4
What surprised you most about parenthood...

I was most surprised by how it changed my relationship with my mother / mother in law. I had always considered myself lucky because I get along pretty well with my mom and mother in law. Now, they make me absolutely insane! All of the "helpful comments" and "we always did such and such with you" etc. They hover, they question everything we do, and they pout when we ask them to stop doing things that go against how we want to parent. I know they mean well, but it's frustrating that we have to fight to raise my kids the way we want to.

Day 5
What do I prefer to do on my birthday...

My best birthday by far was my 31st. I spent it in the hospital with my hours old babies. Had they been born 2 hours later, I would have shared a birthday with my kids! I like to do simple, laid back kinds of things for my birthday. Going to a favorite restaurant with friends is always nice. I think my ideal would be to have a potluck, where everyone prepares something they love to cook. Nobody gets away with bringing ice or napkins.

I never had big parties growing up because my birthday is in the summer, so it was hard to get people together. I think I'd like to keep birthday parties small for my kids. It will be interesting to see how it turns out with twins.

Day 6,
the last time I tried something new...

It was a few weeks ago and it was swimming. Ok, so I've known how to swim since I was a little. I was a total fish when I was a kid. But then somewhere in middle school, when I realized I was chubbier than the other girls, I became too ashamed to be seen in a bathing suit. I would go swimming in shorts and a t-shirt worn over a bathing suit on very rare occasions (less than once a year) and only when there were few to no people around. Then someone in my multiples playgroup arranged group swim lessons and asked if I wanted to participate. Since it's so important to know how to swim, and my kids love playing in the bath, I decided to suck it up and go. I bought a swimsuit for the first time in at least 10 years. And you know what? It was okay. My kids had fun. Of course, it didn't hurt that everyone else in the group had given birth to twins in the past year!

Day 7

My favorite thing for breakfast is coffee. I missed it so, so much when I was TTC and pregnant. I went without it for 2 years! As far as food goes, I love going out to places where I can get sweet AND salty stuff...bacon and waffles, french toast AND apple chicken sausage, etc. And anything with Hollandaise sauce. Mmmm. Unfortunately, since I'm usually so rushed in the morning it ends up being cold cereal or toast. On the really bad days it's a kashi bar in the car.

Lunch is usually leftover dinner food, or a sandwich or some Greek yogurt. Again, it's a time thing. I don't get much of a lunch break at work so I don't bother preparing anything elaborate. It's usually anything I can eat at my desk.

Dinner is a bit more fun, since I get to cook or order out. We are surrounded by Indian restaurants where we live, so we do that a lot. When I cook, I tend to do Indian or Asian inspired foods jut because that's what's nearby and easy to buy. I always have Thai curry paste on hand so that if I'm short on time and creativity, I can just throw whatever I have into a curry. In the summer, I love going to the farmers markets and making a lot of different veggie dishes for dinner.

We're having a lot of fun doing solid foods with the kids. Our ultimate goal is to have them eating the same food as us, eating when we eat. Baby girl is out little purist. She loves all fruits and veggies, and now that they've come into season she's become a total berry junkie. Screeches like a pterodactyl when she sees a pint of blueberries. Baby boy loves protein. I made a baby version of curry chicken which he gobbled up. He also really loves scrambled eggs with garlic and spinach.

Day 8
If you had to teach something, what would you teach?

Absolutely, without a doubt, photocopier jam repair.

Day 9
What is the most important lesson you learned from your own mother (or other primary caretaker)?

On the positive side, the most important thing I learned from my mother is to just go for it- take a stab at anything, even if you're not sure you can do it.

On the negative side, I learned that it is important to listen to people. My mother does not listen very well, and tends to jump to conclusions, which leads to a lot of frustration.

Friday, June 3, 2011

Guilty Pleasures

Gotta say, I'm loving this non-challenge!

Guilty pleasure #1
Gelato, ice cream and pretty much any other frozen dessert. Although there is almost always a pint in our freezer, there's something about going out to the scoop shops and seeing all those different flavors lined up that makes me giddy. Even hearing the music from an ice cream truck makes me perk up and check my pockets for cash, just in case the driver decides to stop for me.

Guilty pleasure #2
Reality TV. Some of my favorites are RuPaul's Drag Race, Top Chef, 16 and Pregnant (though it made me horribly bitter and jealous when I was TTC), Sister Wives, 19 Kids and Counting and Hoarders.

Guilty Pleasure #3
Crisps. I'm not trying to be cute and randomly toss British terms into the conversation. I just really love all the different kinds of British potato chips. I know, the flavors are all crazy artificial, but I can't help myself. Cheddar and red onion chutney, anyone?

Guilty Pleasure #4
Seeing jerks get pulled over. I'm not the hugest fan of law enforcement, but when someone has been weaving, speeding, and forces me to slam on my brakes with my kids in the back, I get a little thrill when I see them pulled over.

Guilty Pleasure #5
Fake sick days. I rarely call out sick because I rarely get sick. But once in a while I'll treat myself to a mental
health day. I'm always a little bit worried about getting caught, but there is something that just feels so deliciously naughty about having a leisurely lunch at a restaurant while everyone else is at work.

Thursday, June 2, 2011

un-challenge day 2, My high school self

Ahh, my high school self. That girl just could not wait to get out of high school. I took AP classes and was a total overachiever, especially in Spanish class. I even went to Spanish nerd camp one summer. I did lots of non-athletic extracurricular activities just so they'd show up on my transcript and I could get into college and get the hell out of "ye olde quaint New England towne". My high school was on the smaller side, and I didn't know anyone else who was gay. I had figured it out by middle school, so I spent a lot of time feeling trapped and feeling like I just didn't fit in. Once I got to middle school, I didn't have a ton of friends because I wasn't interested in the same things the other girls were. Try as I might, I couldn't fake a crush on Luke Perry.

When I got to high school, I found another outcast like myself. (Lets call her B) She was the outcast because she was the biggest girl in school. I was the outcast because, although I hadn't come out at that point, I was obviously different from the other girls. We had a few other outcast friends, but for the most part B was pretty possessive. She'd get upset if I tried talking to people she didn't approve of. She told me that nobody would accept me if they knew I was gay. She made me feel like I was lucky to have her as a friend, because there was just no way I'd get anyone else. We were inseparable because I had nobody else. When I found a gay youth group a few towns away during my senior year, B was pretty pissed. I began hanging out with the kids from the youth group and at the risk of sounding cliche, I finally felt free, felt like I could be myself. We would stay out late in coffee shops and diners, go camping, go on road trips and pull crazy stunts (many of which involved staging barbie dolls in crazy scenes in public places- don't worry, nothing lewd!). I hardly spent any time with B anymore. When I started dating someone I met in the group, that was it. B was furious and ended our friendship. Fortunately, all the hard work and extracurricular activities paid off, and I was accepted to my top choice college.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Non-challenge day#1

Where do you blog?

Like many of you, I blog from work. Isn't it lovely?

I couldn't get everything in the picture with my crummy cell phone camera, but I did my best to capture my desk as it really is. I didn't clean up for y'all. I left my travel mug and my heating food in the office microwave mug and my brita (budget cuts, no more water cooler) out for all to see. My desk is usually covered with notes and packages and other things people dump there for me. As you may have guessed from the pile of books and the barcode scanner gun, I work in a library. My desk is not very private- the office is one big room with desks plunked all over, and I have 2 cubicle walls with a big gap between them. But it's a pretty laid back atmosphere thanks to my boss. Everyone has their own way to waste time, be it blogs, video games or facebook.
I rarely blog from home because I'd rather spend that time with my family. I'm out of the house from about 7:30am -6pm. Not the longest workday, but it doesn't give me too much time with my babies if I want to get them to bed at a decent hour.