Archive for February, 2012

Instead of living more of a “drawing room life” (as I’ve been calling time spent reading and talking and playing music — maybe cards, too) I’ve taken a turn towards the technological.

This past weekend I attended the Bay to Ocean Writer’s Conference, a conference I’ve never been to before.

It felt great to cross the Chesapeake Bay, which was grey and choppy and all churned up — the way I felt as I headed away from mommydom and into something brainy and new.  It’s been awhile since I’ve attended a conference, and I was looking forward to (more…)


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I wish we had a piano.

If we had a piano I feel like I could skip watching TV and have Jane-Austen, George-Eliot, Downton-Abbey kinds of evenings.  My husband and I would sit around, listen to one of us play music, read books, play cards, gossip about our neighbors and relations, and take periodic turns about the room.

For someone who thinks she’s against TV, I watch rather a lot of it.  Not even close to the national average of 4+ hours a day*, but still — more than I’d care to admit.  But at the end of the day, after taking care of lovely but often wild eleven-month-old twins, and trying to cram writing and blogging and household chores into their nap times, I’m often too tired to do much else — at least on weekdays.  Maybe I can have drawing room evenings on the weekends …

The twins don’t watch TV.  We’ve had PBS on only rarely.  One twin got deeply into (more…)

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The twins’ first birthday is next week, and it got me thinking about the past year not only in terms of memories, but also in terms of stuff.

When I was pregnant I had the enormous good fortune to have a friend with a two-year-old and a fetus that was one month older than my twins. She gave me fabulous advice as to baby gear, and many of these items have been tested by all four of these babies! Of course, these are just recommendations. Get what you feel you need, skip what you don’t. And enjoy!

One other thing I recommend is to join Amazon Mom — especially if you have a c-section, twins or any other reason (uh, like a newborn!) why it’s hard to get out and about. They offer three months of FREE two-day shipping, 20% off diapers and wipes which are auto-delivered to your doorstep (with Subscribe & Save) and other promotions geared toward parents. If you right-click on any of the images or links below, you can open a new tab or window showing you the item on Amazon.

Brass-tacks basics: what we found we really needed

  • A diaper pail

Baby Trend Diaper Champ Deluxe, Blue What makes this great is that you can use ANY bag as a liner. Also comes in pink.


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Last night was the last episode of the current season of Downton Abbey.  There’s a season three, but it’s months and months away.  What to do to tide you over?

In my last Downton Abbey post I wrote about being a mother to baby twins, and how it felt like living in another, slower century — not much happened, but there was lots of time to ruminate about what did.  It reminded me of drawing room life, which is what I propose to return to — at least a little bit — in honor of dear Downton.

But I don’t have sisters or servants and I don’t play bridge.  So I think I’ll curl up on my non-silk sofa with a good book instead.

Perhaps I’ll choose …


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As I was looking at the devastation my twins caused in their Twin Kingdom (which is what I call their gigantic playpen), a riff off a Robert Frost line slid through my head: Something in baby doesn’t like a stack.

The line was a play off Robert Frost’s “Mending Wall” (which you can read here).

Here is my — our — version:


Something in baby doesn’t like a stack,

But moves immediately to destroy it,

And scatters the books across the floor,

And rolls the rings into corners.

The work of gravity is another thing:

Often a wobbly stack has tipped

Leaving not one block on block,

But would have the lowest out from under

To please its lettered face …

Oh, this is just another kind of in-door game,

Me vs. baby.  It comes to little more:

They are all mess and I am all order.

But my order will never contain

Their mess – nor does it want to.

Big messes mean big play-time.


Twin Kingdom before:

Twin Kingdom: before


Twin Kingdom after: (more…)

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So tonight is the second-to-last episode of this season of Downton Abbey.  Alas.

For the first few months of the twins’ first year I felt like I was living in another century.  Not much happened (other than eating and sleeping and diaper-changing).  I didn’t get out much.  I didn’t read much.  I didn’t see many movies (on Netflix) or even watch much TV.  And when I did read or watch something, it felt like I had many days to mull it over while I rocked a baby or jiggled a bouncy seat.  It reminded me of drawing room life — especially for a woman: lots of sitting around and processing the few things that actually happened.

This drawing-room mood was helped by the first movie I saw in a theater after the twins were born: Jane Eyre.  And then, on TV, Downton Abbey.

It’s been awhile since I’ve watched a series on TV — as opposed to via Netflix.  I chafe at the waiting for each episode, but (more…)

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What made me do it?  Google “twin skin” and compare my post-baby belly to theirs?

If you, dear reader, Google “twin skin” (or click here) you will see what carrying two babies at a time can do to your abdomen.  None of these pictures is of me.  I have no desire to add my belly to the bunch — or compare mine with others.  So why did I do it?

When I was pregnant I looked fairly monstrous.  Each twin weighed over seven pounds so I was carrying over 15 pounds of baby, plus all their accoutrements.  That’s a lot!  Now the twins are nearly a year old and I’m pretty much back to normal.  Everything but the belly, which I think looks like a cross between a brain coral and a yeast dough.

Sometimes I care deeply about this.  Other times I’m too busy living life instead of fretting about the state of my stomach.  If I complain about it, others think (more…)

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