Wednesday, September 22, 2010

like a flame to a moth...

…or whatever the expression is.

Yes, we quickly discovered one way to draw out the neighbors.

As a way of introduction – our neighbors are special people. There is the professor who loves Wallace Stevens so much you can hear his heart sing. So as we walk by his house we whisper ‘the house was quite and the world was calm’ from the twins’ book of poetry. There is the father from Iran who says over and over:

There is the husband-wife printer team who give us jars of homemade jam. There is the school teacher. The family from Albania. The ninety-something-year old woman who says there is little difference between her and Henry.
Yes, I think quietly, just a century.
The power-intellectual-couple who preach and practice for peace. The Doctor who piloted the needle-box program for the City. The man no one ever sees. The neighborhood mother.

Friends. Mothers. Fathers. Children. Grandparents. Who all live together, on top of the hill. We are blessed to be here; and to be able to share our children with them. 

Via the wagon, of course. The wagon. What a tool! What bait! I wheel them around the cul-de-sac and out they all come to ogle. At the new hat.

Ah the hat. I bought it in a moment of weakness. I have yet to have one of these baby-clothing-swoon-moments. But I did with the hat.

Big time.

I actually had the nerve to go into a Janie and Jack.

That was pulling me in. I had to get it for my Sophia.

Gasp. I know. But wouldn’t you?! Look at it! Its perfect! And she doesn’t rip it off! The neighbors came out to compliment her on it. And her new Dutch sweatshirt from my friend Loes. 

And Henry? Yes, that is an Eeyore knitted sweater. With ears. Hair.

And pinned on tail.

And pensive expression. 

So after dinner we make a nightly round. To tuck in those who live, like us, on top of a hill. Up here we all say goodnight to the sun together. And good morning to the moon as it sails into the sky. Where we fit into this, I am not sure. Snuggly, I suppose.

Like in Hundred Acre Wood, I think, as I look at My Little Man.

Monday, September 20, 2010

the post-nap surprise

When Tony and I found out we were having twins *loads* of people told us not to expect them to be "on time" with their various developmental benchmarks. Twins are quite a few steps behind their peers we heard way too much a lot.

Whew! We thought. No need to rush into baby proofing the house! We're having twins! They'll just sit and stare at us adoringly until they are like 12 months.


Way wrong.

They turned 8 months last week. The day after they turned eight months, both Henry and Sophia sat up. Not one of them, BOTH of them.

No big deal, I thought.

The next day BOTH of them pulled themselves upright using the laundry basket.

Ho hum. Still fine, I thought. A fluke - it'll never last.

Today, I heard Sophia stirring after her nap and went in expecting to coo at my sweet little girl who would, of course, be on her back.

She was eye-level.

Wednesday, September 15, 2010

edge of the season

The summer is over - the laundry was out all day Monday and still not dry. That is, after all, how you know. Although E.B. White said in Charlotte's Web that it was actually the crickets. Do you all still have a special spot in your heart for Wilbur?

I do.

I remember once reading this toxic essay that said everyone grows up from Charlotte - like Fern. That we all forget Wilbur and his friends and learn to embrace financial advisors at cheese and wine events, look for eligible suitors and have a side of bacon without a thought ever devoted again to our dear pig.

I hated that essay.

In honor of loathing that piece, I read CW aloud in between bouts of trying to wrestle the text away from the babies, as the summer took its bow.

{No, lit majors, not wrestle the interpretation away...which has a beautifully evocative visual to it - literally, I was trying to get them to not eat the book}.

Goodbye summer we cooed and photographed {summer, obviously, is disappearing through the clouds}

Mondays now are long stretches of days; Tony has class in Boston after work. So its just me, Henry and Sophia from dawn until post-dusk, and well into storm-filled nights. Whereas weather is a very commonplace subject in New England, I will not discuss it - save the fact that we had a storm this Monday. With hail.

And without Tony.

The thunder was so loud and the lightening so sudden that my eyes filled with tears. I winced at the thunder and stared at Henry, who was staring back:

Okay, I thought. This is the make or break time. I can tremble and be scared (what I wanted to do) - or just totally ignore it and embrace it as a learnable/teachable moment. Henry was clearly looking for guidance. His eyes pleading "how do I respond to this (thunder/weather/noise/fear)?"

So being any good semi-lunatic mother, I reached outside, grabbed a handful of hail, put it on the tray of the high-chair, and let him play with it.

I documented it just to prove its brief existence:

{hail to the left of the squash}

I realized that I have to be careful of such moments - so my fears do not become their own.

And how to play with pieces of ice from the sky and hold it until it melts away like summer.

Saturday, September 11, 2010


I have little doubt that this picture will drive some of you completely insane. The color is off, Henry is blurry and the only focused items in the picture are the corner of the piano and the lower keys.

Sorry to say, this was intentional.

My apologies to all those offended.

But this photograph captures the moment perfectly; my arms wrapped around his little waist as he looks at the contrasting keys - some tall/some short, some long/some stout, some black/some white, some high/some low, some left/some right. Each making a near-perfect sound (one more tuning session and the piano will be pitch perfect...)

I have never known so much soul could fit into a body so small.

I do have one picture, in focus, with my little man smiling and happily banging away on the keys like a real baby should.

Maybe I'll post it when I'm in a less thoughtful mood.

Until then I leave you to imagine the music of an 8-month old. Which isn't really as loud as you might think.

Wednesday, September 8, 2010


There are many surprises I hadn't considered about being a new mom. Here are three which come to mind:

1. I never thought nine o'clock would be an obscene time to get a phone call.
2. That my babies' pediatrician would suggest I walk around the house topless. And he wasn't being fresh.
3. What are considered 'normal' sensory habits and patterns go out the window when you're 8 months old and figuring out your world.

You see with your ears,
hear with your nose and
smell with your tongue. Oh and feel with your mouth. Like, everything. :)

Times two.

I love these pictures. Tony and I each held the twins arms and let them 'smell' the rosebush (to prevent accidental grabbing...there are thorns).

Surprisingly, or not surprisingly actually, they didn't quite know what to do.

And so licked the petals.

Monday, September 6, 2010


I think they like it. 

I finally finished draft #1 of my thesis and dropped it off at Clark. I also brought home a copy for the twins to read over and provide their earnest feedback. When I put it down on the blanket outside, they abandoned their toys and really went at it. 

Quite impressive. 

They literally devoured it {note Sophia in the background with the title page}

Friday, September 3, 2010

chew on this

We went to the farmer's market in Barre again this weekend; in addition to our weekly trips to the one in Worcester. And, for a treat, got some grass-fed beef.

Since we are, arguably, unfit parents, we let Henry have a bite (he's teething like mad). So yes, this picture (with remarkable depth of field for your novice photographer) shows Henry gumming a well-wrapped piece of beef.

I have this philosophy that parenting is like driving through Kelley Square in Worcester. Everyone closes their eyes and just goes. And that's what makes it work.

Please don't report us - he liked it, I swear.

It was a peaceful day. Henry and Sophia completely love the grass. To feel it, run their fingers across it, pick it (how sweet! we left with grass-fed babies too!). We try to keep them on a blanket, but that doesn't usually last very long. Like little weeds, they just can't keep out of the grass.

(I'm sure there's a better metaphor to use for cuddly infants, but that's all I got, its very early).

Oh! And a find! What trip out to Barre wouldn't be complete without finding something completely random being sold on someone's lawn? Its like freecycle only you have to pay. Which is, arguably, nothing like freecycle. 

We but we found this (slightly used, but completely beautiful!):

We thought that the twins wouldn't be interested or 'old enough' to use it until next Summer. 

But when we got home, they insisted (really) on trying it. 

I know - the 'cute' is totally addicting. I don't know how I get anything done. 

I love that they have this "have I seen you before?" look on their faces.