Monday, December 12, 2011

The universe is having a laugh

I sent Zazie out to write Friday night, and then once I put the girls to bed, I laid in bed and cranked up Built to Spill on my iPod and wallowed and felt sorry for myself and cried for a couple of hours.

What happened the next day? The babies I already have got a stomach virus. They needed love and attention in between all the throwing up. Both of them refused any receptacle, so we were cleaning up all over the house. They even ran through all their crib sheets. Sunday, they felt better, we went to the playground,they took a long nap. Sunday night, though, we made the mistake of giving them too much dinner, and the puking began again. Oh, and my period started. I stayed home from work yesterday because Zazie got it too.

Today I'm in jury duty. What awesome! Though I have to say that being able to blog from the jury waiting area is a huge improvement over the last time I was here, when there was no wifi.

I'm feeling a little more positive about the IVF. I put it off for another cycle. I'm using the time to get acupuncture, take supplements (CoQ10, royal jelly, Wheatgrass/chlorella), cut out caffeine/ booze (seriously, what was I thinking not cutting these out?), do a detox diet. My thinking is that while I can't do anything about my amh number, I can certainly improve my fsh with diet and acupuncture and exercise. My fsh was not crazy high, just a couple points out of the normal range. I'm already feeling better with the changes and it's only been a few days. I may feel so good that I stick with it, no matter the IVF outcome.

Wednesday, December 7, 2011

Funny, I just didn't think of that.

Bad news at the follow-up with the RE yesterday. Turns out that I have a low AMH and high FSH- both of those things are not good. AMH determines how many reserve follicles you have, FSH determines how well you might respond to treatment. The doctor said that even with IVF I have only a 10-20% chance of it working.

I'm not an optimist by nature. Those are really shitty odds, people. I'm only going to get one shot at this because we are doing this on a shoestring to start and after 1 cycle, my insurance will run out. I have to admit that this has really thrown me for a loop.

Monday, November 7, 2011

Looky Looky! That Ain't No Cookie!

It's only the second week of NaBloPoMo and I've already missed several days. Honestly, with my blogging track record recently, I am happy to be blogging once a week. I'm also happy to see my traffic going up. Hi everyone!

Love Invents Us has kindly published some prompts and thank g-d for that! I will definitely use some of them this month.

After our visit with the girls' aunt this week, I wanted to talk about all the weirdness and politics that goes on in our donor sibling group with our donors' family (our open donor from the sperm bank became a known donor after he died a while back), but I started writing that post and I'm getting all tangled up. Too many things to explain to do that easily, so I will save that for later!

So let's talk about toddler eating habits.

We have a girl who eats most anything (loves BROCK-y! olives! pickles! all the things toddlers don't normally like! ) and a girl who eats very few things. We are lucky that our girl who eats very few things mainly prefers plain and/or healthy things like tofu, but she still frustrates us daily. Regular foods both of them are: pasta, tofu, plain yogurt, peanut butter (on waffles/toast), black beans and rice, hot dogs (organic chicken, beef or turkey), bananas (and other fruit- they never refuse fruit!), waffles, eggs. Ru used to eat cheese, but she's stopped that too. They don't drink juice and they only have cake or cookies or other desserts on rare special occasions.

How do we get them to eat vegetables? I'd add veg to sauces if Ru would eat sauce on anything.

We are trying so hard to keep power struggles away from the table. We offer things, but we don't push. Instead, if Ru refuses to eat what's being served, we'll give her a serving of plain yogurt or beans or something else. But seriously, she LOOKS at food and decides she's not going to eat it. There's no "just taste it"... we don't even get to that point. As girls with food issues, we want to keep our kids from struggling- especially since they will most likely have weight problems with their genes, let's be honest. We don't want them to feel pressure because we don't want them to eat every bite of something just because someone offered it (unless they want to of course). But dang, sometimes you just want to force them to eat just a bite.

Anyone have tips? Or a cookbook you like?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

Oh what a blah day

Went to bed on time last night, but then I woke up at 1:30 and couldn't go back to sleep. Whenever I wake up in the middle of the night. I can't keep my mind from whatever bad stuff is going on. Right now that's money. There's not much you can do to fix that kind of problem in the middle of the night. Consequently, I was tired and down and anxious all day, culminating in a very teary ride home. So I'm going to sleep now before it gets any later!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

In under the wire

Donor's sister is visiting this week. She's twenty, and being around her makes me realize how very old I am. She just teased me for watching Cosby Show as my comforting palate cleanser after the goriness of Walking Dead. Apparently, no one her age ever watched it- they all made fun of it! Ah well. At least when I check F.b in the middle of a conversation with her, she doesn't think I'm totally rude! Guess there are tradeoffs. :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2011

Trick or Treat!

Trick or treating was a success! I have a cute video too, but I will have to wait until later to show you... I can't figure out how to move it over from F.b.

El was a bear, Ru was a kitty. We tried to use eyeliner and lipstick to give them whiskers and noses, but they flipped out, so we gave up. Our neighborhood has its own little parade. We took the girls over. El was so busy looking around at people that she kept running into strollers, curbs, and other people. Ru instantly got into the swing of trick-or-treating, but it took El a bit to warm up. After a few houses, they were ready to climb the stairs to get their treats. We didn't get them to say "trick-or-treat" but they were saying please and thank you. Polite kids make me happy.

Zazie gave them each a piece of candy corn yesterday, so all day long they were asking for more "Corn!" (they didn't get any). El carried two candy bars around in her left hand while she trick-or-treated. They'd shift, she'd set her pumpkin and the chocolates on the sidewalk, readjust the chocolates in her hand and keep walking. Thank goodness they don't know from candy yet, but I think I have a candy hangover from all that I ate last night. I think all the sugar made me catch a cold.

Ruby has started saying "yes, ma'am!"- that's a little weird, because we're not a yes ma'am no ma'am house, but sometimes, I'll say yes ma'am in response to something. Maybe that's it?

Speaking of the opposite of polite, we went to the neighborhood Chinese place to get dinner on the way back. A pre-teen came in with his buddies and he was asking the guy behind the counter how much a chicken wing costs. Guy tells him 1 wing is a dollar. Kid says Will you give me 2 for $1.50? (Uh, yeah, kid, this guy's going to barter with you) Guy doesn't respond for a minute. Kid gets belligerent, saying something like "You know, it's Bloods' week and I'm gonna tell them to come pop you." Kid turns to his friends, who are both like, no man, they're not going to come all the way out here for Chinese food. Then he's saying stuff about s*ck my *ahem* to this guy. It was all I could do to not say "look, kid, my girls don't need to hear your foul mouth," but I held my tongue. Until the kid turns to me when we're walking out the door and says "did you hear him tell me to s*ck his *ahem*?" Well, that just flipped my old lady switch. I said,"I'm sure he did NOT tell you any such thing. And you need to not be so disrespectful to him." I'm not sure what the kid thought the outcome would be, but it was clear he was a little taken aback. Thank goodness that turned out well because it so easily could've gone the other way. Preteens are scary because they're unpredictable.

Sunday, October 30, 2011


It's October. It's gonna be a long winter!

Saturday, October 29, 2011

Friday, October 28, 2011

Tumbl for ya.

I'm on Tumblr, too, people. Here, right here: Present and Accounted For.


Jenni is a long-time blog buddy who I've known since 2003 or so (?!) when I had my other blog. She's thinking she's going to get back to blogging for this year's NaBloPoMo. I've been writing a lot this week, so I'm thinking I'm going to join her in blogging every day! Can I do it? We shall see...

So tired.

El started crying at 5:45 AM this morning. The thing about El is, for the most part, if she wakes up, that's it. She cries and cries and gets so worked up that you're in for at least a half an hour or more. I went in, patted her and she laid back down. I had a feeling she'd freak out if I left, so I laid on the floor for a few minutes, willing either her or me to go back to sleep. It was quiet, I tried to leave, got all the way out to the hallway and then... she noticed. Crying, hiccuping, screaming "Mama, Mama"?? What are you going to do but go back in? El and I sat in the chair for a few minutes, but then Ru woke up too... completely awake and talking once she heard we were up. So... ugh. I turned on the lights and we got started with our day. Normally, I get at least another hour, more likely an hour and a half, more sleep. I am so sleepy. I've been trying to cut down my caffeine intake, but jeez. I've already had two cups of coffee and I think I'll go get a third. 

We may have finally decided on Halloween costumes for the girls. We've been procrastinating on it... ideally, we'd make some creative costumes for them (after jeerleading for the roller derby and doing Mermaid Parade so many years, we feel a little embarrassed not doing something from scratch), but it is not to be this year. Last year, El wore the hat from a bear costume my cousin gave us- this year she's going to wear the whole thing. We put it on her this morning and she loved it, so that overrides my misgivings about wearing the same costume two years in a row! Ru's going to wear El's leopard print coat and a pair of kitty cat ears. They're going to look cute even if they're not the most uniquely dressed. 

The girls' aunt (our donor's sister) comes to visit Tuesday. We are looking forward to her visit... she's a great girl and she loves our kids. I'm feeling thankful for the connections we have. 

Thursday, October 27, 2011

Problem Solved

So that annoying thing that's been happening with the paragraph breaks, ie there haven't been any? It's because Bl.ogger opens up in html. Well, gee, if I'd noticed that, I would've put the g-d
tags in myself, now wouldn't I? Annoying. Well, now I know.

Also thanks to lovely K over at Role Playing, I finally know why I wasn't getting any comments. I mean, aside from the fact that I don't have many people reading. I think I've fixed the commenting problem. Oh, Bl.gger, you are a pain in the butt... it's a good thing you're free.

And speaking of K, she had the great idea to solve the girls' splashing, Mama steaming issue: clear shower curtain. Keep them behind it while they splash! I'll be picking up a clear shower curtain at Tar-jay next time I'm there.

In cute things, Ru came into the bathroom while I was blowdrying my hair. When I finished, she told me "good job, Mama." What a sweetie. Of course, that probably means I'm not doing the unconditional parenting thing right. Oh well, I'll take it.

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

I'll be honest...

I'd like to go out and get a drink. Not now, silly, it's the middle of the workday. Just, you know, sometime. Go have drinks, get all buzzy, talk about stuff. You know, girl stuff. Or just stuff.

Problem is, I don't have anyone to do that with any more. The only people we know that still go out to get drinks still go out on the reg-uh-lah. They do things like go to movies and plays, go drinking, and they don't have kids. They make me feel boring, like maybe I should gloss over my completely mundane existence (which leaves me with, well, NOTHING to talk about unless they want to hear about my latest tv interests Warehouse.13, Downton Abbey, or Walking Dead). They're also not people who we know very well, so it isn't like I want to confide in them about how frustrating parenting can be, or how broke we are, or how isolated we feel. All my get a drink or come over for a drink buddies live elsewhere now. Sads.

Tuesday, October 25, 2011

Positive Parenting for Multiples

So I mentioned I was reading Unconditional Parenting last week. I'm still reading it, though I've slowed my pace a bit. I have 2 hours' commuting a day, which leaves plenty of time to read, but I have podcasts to catch up with (WTF with Marc Maron, Risk, This American Life, Planet Money... seriously, the list of things I feel I must listen to gets longer every week) and sometimes, reading falls by the wayside. I also worry that people will see what I'm reading and think I'm one of those silly, permissive parents that lets their kids get away with murder. "Unconditional"? Bougie yuppie... The ridiculous things that pop in to my head, I swear.

Reading Teacher Tom's post, I'm thinking about the girls, obviously. We are going through a snatching, pushing, mine! phase at our house. The bloggers/educators I've been reading seem to all say that you shouldn't necessarily intervene unless someone's being hurt. You narrate, you don't praise or scold. I think we are possibly a little more adept at this than we might be if we had a singleton... if we were to intervene every time, dang, we'd be intervening every two seconds.

Slightly related: Last night when I went home, I was confronted with a challenge to my attempt to do this positive parenting thing. Bathtime.... argh! The girls have taken to splashing, splashing, splashing. At first I tried the "do that again and you'll have to get out," but they don't really seem to care if I take them out of the tub AND they keep splashing the next time. It's my fault- when they were little, I encouraged the splashing. Now that they're bigger, their splashes are getting puddles on the floor and getting me all wet. This is especially annoying because I usually still have my work clothes on. So telling them to stop and then taking them out doesn't work. They just look you in the eye, laugh, and keep doing it. Then I tried not reacting at all- maybe no attention would get them to stop? That worked for a couple of baths and now we're back to splashing. We got them more bath toys- maybe they were bored? No, they just use the boats we got to dump more water on the floor! In weaker moments, I have yelled- completely ineffective and it makes me feel terrible. Last night, I tried pointing out the water on the floor- I told them it was dangerous and that I didn't like having to clean it up. Next attempt will be separate baths. I have been putting that one off because damn... After dinner, bath, and bedtime routine, Zazie and I still have to clean up and do the dishes and I'd like some evening to chill out. Two baths instead of one just adds to the drudgery time.

I think I need to fast-forward in my book to the part where they talk about ideas for how to put unconditional parenting into action... right now, I'm still in the section about how conditional parenting can affect kids. Problem is, most of these parenting books don't talk about what to do when you've got two kids at the exact developmental stage. It's a whole different ball of wax when it's two-on-one.

Monday, October 24, 2011

First Visit

We took the girls with us to the consultation. It went exactly as you might suspect a visit to the doctor with two 2 year olds might go. Yeah, that's right... the doctor and I talked while Zazie chased them around in a conference room. Kind of defeats the purpose of her coming with me... it's hard to ask questions or comment on anything when you can't hear the conversation!

I went back again yesterday for some blood work. It's just exactly the same, down to the weird, not-unpleasant smell of their freshly cleaned bathroom. Some of the procedures have changed (pay first, get your red paper and hand it to the nurse who comes to get you. They also take your picture now- I guess they must've had too many cases of insurance fraud).

At the same time, it feels much different. When we were trying (and trying...) for the girls, I went to every morning monitoring, every test, every consultation, for the most part. Now, that's just not possible because we don't have many people who are willing (or able) to watch the girls. I'm a little sad about doing everything by myself. Last time, morning monitorings led to lovely mornings wandering around the city. Now I'm by myself there and by myself back and I feel guilty wandering around because I should be home taking care of the girls since Zazie does it by herself all day when I'm at work!

I did walk from the doctor's office down to Times Square yesterday. It was so quiet. And so... surreal. Times Square is such a weird , not real New York place. There are so many chain stores and restaurants. Please, bloggers, if you are coming to New York and need someplace to eat, I will recommend a THOUSAND places to you... don't eat at Olive Garden! You can do that at home! Sorry, dropping stereotypical New Yorker crap now.

Thursday, October 20, 2011

Oh, ya'll.

The appointment is at 1:30pm and I'm nearly jumping out of my skin right now. We couldn't get anyone to watch the girls, so they are going with us. I was so nervous about how bringing them with us might turn out (visions of loud toddlers pulling things down in the doctor's come to mind) that I was going to go by myself, but that thought just made me sad. So Zazie's picking me up from work and then we are headed to the doctor, girls in tow. If we strap them into their strollers, that should work, right??!

I am reading Unconditional Parenting right now. My parents were fine, they did what they could do, but there are things about my parenting inclinations that I'd like to change for the girls. Maybe it's where I'm at right now (two gorgeous girls, planning on another), but this book is really getting to me... it's giving me some pretty crazy insight into the way I was raised and how that might have affected the person I am today. I'm still in the here's what not to do section, I'm assuming that he's going to give great suggestions. I highly recommend, and I'm only 1/4 of the way into it!

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Our little bag lady

El loves to walk around all day long with many things in her hand. This morning, it was two Halloween pumpkins (the kind for trick-or-treating), two felt purses, and a couple play silks. Yesterday, she walked around with a pair of pants and a sweater. Other days, she walks around with her play ice cream cones, or dinosaurs, or take your pick of toys, she's probably walked around with it.

Speaking of playsilks, did you know that you can dye them with kool@id? You can! Check out this awesome tutorial, complete with color recipes at Tried and True: Dyed Playsilks. I wish I'd seen this tutorial before I made the ones for the girls' birthday. Mind you, it probably wouldn't have helped, since I could only find red, orange and yellow in our neighborhood grocery. Whatevs. The pot was too small, so they're a little one-tone tye-dyed, but here's what they looked like. I felt pretty proud of myself.

Friday, October 7, 2011


El now refers to shoes or socks as shoezen or sockzen. Where did we get this German baby?, we wondered. Oh wait! We usually say let's put on your shoes and socks. Or socks and shoes. Socks and = sockzen! But how to explain Ru's new habit of "chow" for cow. Or "towel" for owl. (Towel! Whowho!) Or mice for rice OR ice. This morning, she looked out the window and started telling me "bird. iswalking. bird. isflying." I told her that the bird was called a pigeon and she said "Chicken! BockaBOCK!" Oh, seriously, the cute? It's too much.

Friday, September 30, 2011

Did it, Did it, Did it! Ack!

We've been on the "do we, don't we?" baby #3 merry-go-round for about a year now. I knew trying to convince myself I didn't want to give birth to a baby wouldn't work, but I started thinking about all the reasons things are already hard with two (financially and logistically) and why am I so special that I need a bio-babe when I already have two awesomely delicious kids. At the end of the day though, I feel like there's really no logic in the decision to have a baby or not. I want to have a baby, and if I don't, I know I'll regret it.

So I made the appointment with the fertility doctor today. We go in next month for our consultation. It'll be the same place we went for the girls with the same doctor. This time, we're going straight for IVF. With our donor not around, we need to conserve the vials we have and use them wisely. So many months of trying last time were so disheartening- plus who can do all those appointments for months with two small children!

I just really pray this works right away. Please please please. Since I decided I wanted to go for it, I've been seeing 11:11 often again, just like I did when we were trying to get pregnant with our girls. I believe this is a positive sign.

If you did IVF, did you do acupuncture too? At what point in the process did you start acupuncture treatments!

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Happy birthday to two delicious girls!

Our girls turn two today! This picture was taken yesterday when Zazie took them for ice cream (it was strawberry, in case you're curious). We can't believe how lucky we are. Happy birthday, E and R.

I have so much catching up to do here, I just need to wrest the computer from Zazie's hands.

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Oh boy, oh boy!

Check out this great post on Family Equality Council's blog, featuring our sweet baby at Pride this weekend: Pride for Pride's Sake.

Thursday, June 16, 2011

Right now, planning is my number one hobby, followed closely by Facebook, mahjong on my ipod, reading up on "real food" and watching episodes of PBS Masterpiece and Arrested Development. I play with my kids when they're awake. Sometimes at night, I drink a glass of wine and try to read American Rose without dozing off (not because the book is bad, I just can't stay awake). I think about sewing, but I'm such a perfectionist I can't bear to start because I'll get so frustrated when I don't do it right.

I really can't stop thinking about where we want to live next. First, we decided we were moving to Atlanta. Then, it was the NJ suburbs of NYC. Last week, it was the NJ suburbs of Philly. Now it's Los Angeles. I look at real estate. I look at neighborhoods. I read City-Data. I check on schools. It gets pretty consuming and then I wonder why I'm even bothering... we don't plan to leave NYC for several years yet.

I do it because I'm tired of NYC and I'm ready to go. I'm ready to leave the crowds of people and the dirt and rudeness everywhere. I'm ready to leave our 1 1/2 bedroom masquerading as a 2 bedroom, 1 bathroom, combo living/dining room, no dishwasher, no washer/dryer. I'm tired of being so broke for no good reason. So many people we know are leaving the city... it makes me sad and frustrated that we have to stick it out here for a little while longer. Things are so hard and isolating here that I'm dreaming of somewhere better. I hope we can find it.


This morning, I asked Ellie for a hug and she gave me a kiss on the lips (doesn't happen very often). Then she walked over to Lauren and gave her a kiss. Seriously, that kid.

Friday, June 3, 2011


Anyone else using Blogger? Why the frick can't I get it to insert paragraphs? Even when I put TWO returns between paragraphs, it still smushes everything together into one paragraph. I'm better than this, I swear!

Entertain me.

Dear people,

It is Friday. That means it's pretty slow at work and I'm looking for things to read. When I say "things to read," I'm talking about new posts on your blogs. Can you help a sister out? You've all put up new posts that are password-protected, so I can't read them. Don't make me beg and cry.

Which reminds me that we got a new Baby Faces book, and every time El gets to the "boo-hoo" page, she cries hysterically. And yet she still wants to read the book again? Go figure. And what is up with the babies of color being assigned to all the "negative" feelings (boo hoo, yucky, etc.)?


Please help these ladies make a documentary.

Please visit Kickstart and kick in a few dollars to help these ladies make their film.

Wednesday, June 1, 2011

Dance Dance Dance

Okay, I'm going to admit something. My kids watch "tv" for about 1/2 hour in the morning while I'm getting ready and Zaz makes their breakfast. I say "tv" because they watch videos on YouTube... Caspar Babypants, OK Go, old Se.sam.e Str.eet, Poco.yo, and and L.ola, mostly, though sometimes we end up watching cats snuggling with puppies or puppies trying to roll over after clicking on one of those "you might like this" links at the side (That can really get you in trouble- we watched a cute video of a cat making biscuits on a dog's back, but the "you might like this" choices were oh. my. NUH-uh.)

El has a serious thing for What the heck? I always swore my kids would have nothing to do with him, but dammit, she loves him so much she asks for him by name. Most of the new Se.same is awful, but there are some skits? pieces? numbers? from when he first came on the scene that are good. The one with Adam S.andler and Elmo cracks us up (It's not about a dragon... who likes to kiss and tell-mo...)

The one that is possibly the biggest hit right now is this one with Paul Simon. Ru loves to dance and run around when she hears it. If Zazie and I start clapping and singing "Dance, dance, dance", both the girls start dancing. Ru even says it to herself randomly, but it kind of sounds like "dass, dass, dass" when she does it.

Sunday, May 29, 2011

Stop. Throwing. Food.

Mealtimes are annoying. The girls throw their food off their highchair trays at nearly every meal. If they don't like something, off it goes. We've tried saying "We don't throw our food." Or we take their tray completely off until they chill out. In an attempt at "positive discipline," I tried saying "We keep our food on our tray." The dropping continued. Is it the age? Or are we just not saying the magic words that will stop them??

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

Another thing to phase out?

Last week, I had several nights of semi-sleepwalking (semi- because that's not exactly what happens). It happens every so often, though not much anymore, thankfully, now that we no longer live next to a power transformer (a dear friend told me there's a connection between dreams and electromagnetic waves, so that makes sense). I wake as I'm walking around at the foot of the bed, or in the living room, convinced that I'm looking for something and I can't find it. Or I jolt upright in bed, panicked about something, eyes open, talking gibberish (Side note: seriously, how does Zazie stand me?).

Those nights last week were pretty intense... I woke up in a panic and found myself out of bed pacing at least 3 or 4 times per night. I'd had either take-out or something commercially prepared that may have contained MSG and I wondered if there was a connection.

Well, I think there may have been. What do you think? MSG Side Effects. Now all I need to avoid is anything on this list... shouldn't be hard right? Hah.


The girls love these eggs. They love to open the container, they love to put the tops and bottoms back together, they love to squeak the little chicks inside. This morning, though, was the cutest...

R. took the shell off of one egg, said "Hello", then put the shell back. Then she took the shell off the next one, said "Hello", and then put the shell back. She did that for every single one of the eggs.


Monday, May 23, 2011

Day two

I don't know... I think the cutting out caffeine and reducing booze is making me lose my mind. Or maybe it's spring. I've been cleaning closets, giving and throwing away stuff. Now I'm on day two of this: How to Quit Shampoo Without Looking Disgusting. We'll see how that works out... I'm just hoping to free myself from the must-shampoo-everyday chains.

Friday, May 13, 2011

So. Annoyed.

I wrote a really long draft post about my feelings on being in contact with the donor's family, but it appears to be disappeared. Think B.logger had problems this morning, so we'll see.

This is day 4 of a caffeine slowdown. I've been a major consumer of caffeine since I was a teenager. I'm now down to 1 cup a day, though cup is more a description of the container than the amount- the lines on the side of the coffee pot say I'm drinking more like 4 cups. :) The goal is to cut out entirely in preparation for the fall. I feel like I definitely noticed jitters after this morning's cup, so I may cut it out entirely very quickly instead of slowly tapering off like I'd planned.

Day 4 of no alcohol either. I'm not a big boozer, but I have been in the habit lately of at least 1 glass of wine a night. Aside from my creeping dependence issues, it makes me bloated, it makes me lethargic. And do I need another regular source of sugar in my diet? Though I might have to have a mimosa at brunch this weekend.

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

We're Baaaa-ack...

We had a fabulous trip to Florida!

We started with two days with my grandmother, which was a horror show. My grandmom is lovely and I enjoy her company, but, well, she's 83 and her house is absolutely not babyproofed. We turned her living room into our fortress, moved the furniture around, kept all the doors closed, put the knick-knacks away. We bought those Pea.pod travel beds for the girls just before the trip and they HATED them! Bedtime had them hysterical... they'd start to fall asleep, but the zipper on the top was so loud that zipping it would wake them up again. We were ECSTATIC to go to Zazie's sister KT's house. The girls had room to run around and a very patient dog to obsess over. Plus it was nice to hang out with all the sisters and husbands too.

And then...this happened:

The promised meetup with the girls' half-sibs and the donors family happened! We stayed with two of our favorite families for an entire week (the rest of the families came Thursday-Sunday). We first explored these connections because we wanted to foster them for our kids as they get older, but N & A and their 3 1/2 year old b/g twins, and A and her 2 1/2 year old daughter are friends. It was so nice to hang out with them and their kids this past week. Sweet kids, awesome parents, similar parenting styles.... everyone in our house was a joy. I just wish they all didn't live so far away. Of course, we enjoyed hanging out with the girls' grandmother and their aunts (donor's mom and sisters). The other families were nice to see too, though we probably won't go the extra mile to see any of them unless there's another big group meet up.

Our situation is so crazy unusual and I love it. The girls' aunt brought home videos featuring our donor and the rest of the family growing up. Their grandmother told us about growing up and told us lots of great stories about our donor. Toward the end of the weekend, we talked with their grandmother about trying to have another baby in the fall and she gave her blessing. We really weren't sure how she'd feel about it, though we were pretty sure her reaction would be positive- it's been a year since his death and there are still babies being conceived! She said that her son didn't get to be an organ donor, despite his wishes and her pleas at the hospital, because of the circumstances of his death (vehicular homicide), but she's happy that he will continue to help people.

We are sad to be away from our peeps, the sun, and the relaxation. We feel like we left NY with babies and came back with little kids! The girls seem to have gone through a developmental growth spurt. E. is almost caught up to R.'s number of words. Last night in the bathtub, I started to count to three... I said One.... and E. piped up with TWO! I even got her to say Three with coaxing. Seriously. Love my girls.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

New Ways to Adore Me

Haha. No, but seriously, I've set up on Tum.blr and Inst@gram... if you're set up too, follow me! I'm ze.ebah on Insta and ze.ebahtro.nic on Tum.blr (ignore the dots in my name on both)...

Tuesday, April 19, 2011


It just hit 11:11 am. For several years now, I often find myself glancing at the clock randomly at 11:11, am and pm. It's apparently a thing. It started as we were trying to get pregnant with the girls- I'd notice the clock, and pray that we'd conceive. Or I'd notice the clock while Zazie was pregnant, and pray that the girls made it here healthy and whole. Now I just pray for the health of my family and the people we know.

Monday, April 18, 2011

Sweet Girls

Zazie called this morning to tell me how sweet the girls were. They were hanging out in a diaper box together (we keep a couple at a time so they can play in them), and Ruby started patting Ellie's head, then she gave her a hug. And then, she leaned forward and kissed her on the cheek (complete with kissing sound)! Then she went back to patting her head and saying soft. Cuties.

On another note, Di.s.ney week with half-sibs is coming up! We're excited... we're sharing a house with two of our favorite families. We met one family (two moms, b/g 3 year old twins) in March and we Skype with them every few weeks... their girl even draws pictures for our girls. The other mom and daughter (who goes by Ruby too- there are 3, including ours) live out west, so we haven't met them yet, but we get along well with them on IM and F.b. Then there are a bunch of other families coming, but we like some of them less than others, so we're glad we're not sharing a house with them. Haha. That'll make 2 weeks in Florida total (we fly down a week early for Zazie's sis' graduation)... yay vacation!

Friday, April 15, 2011

Changing Perspective

Also, this: Grabbing our Way to Peace. I made the mistake of posting it on my F.b status yesterday. You should have read the outcry! My mother actually called me to beg me not to start trying to reason with the girls (Yes, serves me right, friending my mom). Honestly, unless you have experienced parenting two children exactly the same age, I'd rather not have your admonitions on this topic, thanks.

The girls are at the grab everything stage. One grabs something, the other cries, grabs it back, then that one drops it like she was never interested in the first place. We have been stepping in with "Ruby's playing with that", "give it back"- these are also the main "suggestions" I was given after posting this article (uh, duh, thanks for the obvious tips). However, now the girls are looking at us, expecting us to step in, which isn't how I want to continue- they should learn to negotiate and solve some stuff for themselves, no? So we're trying to dial down the intervention a little- it's hard to give them space when our living space is so small! :)

Mostly what I like in the article is the respect that is shown to the kids' perspective. I'm not really down with the level of negotiation that went on in the story that was told (our girls are 18 months like the kid in the story and that approach would be a waste of time), but I also like the idea of a kid being motivated to do the right thing on his own eventually because he wants to do the right thing, not because there are consequences or external forces that will make him do it if he doesn't (That was another suggestion from a family member- just tell them do it, and if you don't there are consequences).

I am trying to be a thoughtful parent. I want to have a good relationship with our girls. I don't have a good relationship with my parents and it kills me to think that I might end up in the same place with Ru and El, so I want to parent in a way that will foster a good relationship with them as they get older. I've been reading Raising Our Children, Raising Ourselves and finding some good insights.

Hysterical Laughing

We woke up this morning to hysterical laughter from the baby monitor. It's times like those that make us wish we'd sprung for the video monitor so we could see them without them noticing us, since they immediately stop whatever they're doing when we come in. We'd hear THUNK! and then hysterical peals of laughter. They both have activity mirrors tied to the rails at the end of their crib, so I'm guessing someone (El probably) was flipping it out and then back into the crib. I tried to get a good picture of their happy morning faces, but they know our tricks- a camera comes out and they want to play with it. It's my fault for showing them that you can change the lens on my ipod so it's pointing toward you. And for downloading one of those stupid kid apps last time we went on a trip. Ru wants to grab it out of your hands so she can tap tap tap on it.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Hat Trick

I do the wake-up routine with the girls in the morning. When we hear them on the monitor (or I finally decide to get out of bed), I go in, take off their sleep sacks, change their diapers and clothes. When both girls are dressed and ready, I usually say "Let's go see Mommy" (the only reliable phrase that will get them to stop what they're doing and leave the room) and we all walk over to the door. If they still have their pacifiers, I'll pull them out of their mouths with a cluck of my tongue (somehow the tongue clucking keeps them from being annoyed that I've just made them pacifier-less), put the pacifiers away, and then we go to the living room. What happened THIS morning was a little like some old-fashioned comedy routine. Ru was standing on one of the car seats when I pulled her pacifier out. I turned around and crossed the room to put her pacifier away, and when I turned back, she had another pacifier in her mouth. For a second I was a little confused- maybe in my half-awake state I only thought I'd pulled it out? So with a cluck, I took the pacifier out, turned around to put it away, and saw that yes, I'd already pulled one out because it was in the box already. I turn back around and what do I find? Ru with another pacifier in her mouth! Ru somehow had not one, but THREE pacifiers! I couldn't stop laughing. Ru laughed like she was in on the joke, but maybe she was just laughing because I was. :)

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Oh, too much.

The eating, the eating. Both of the girls have taken to swiping their arms back and forth and knocking the food on their trays onto the floor. I don't get the feeling that it's just because they're finished eating. We have their highchairs set up right in front of our dining table. Last night, Zazie put a plate of the fried rice she'd just made on the table to cool, not realizing it was in arms' reach and BAM! El reached for it and knocked it to the floor, so we lost the portion they were supposed to eat and the plate it was on (we normally use the melamine plates when we serve them, but Zazie put their food on one of the breakable plates). We tried to give them the remainder (there goes OUR dinner!) of the fried rice. First, we put some on the trays, but neither of them would eat it, so we put it in their bowls and gave them spoons. Ru completely refuses our help now if a utensil she can use is in sight. We can't give her a pre-filled spoon to feed herself, she won't let us guide her hand to pick up food, and god forbid she take anything spooned into her mouth.... she just sits there and stabs at whatever's in the bowl, not picking anything up. When I tried to help her, she started crying and screaming and crying and screaming. El on the other hand? That girls just wants to eat. She'll give eating with a spoon a shot, but if you feed her, she doesn't complain, because that means the food gets to her belly faster.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Bossy and cute.

All of us (and the judge) on our adoption day:

Some cute stuff about...

-Ru: has been Houdini-ing her way out of her sleep sack during the night. Has been "helping" me fasten the buckle of her highchair, so I'm sure Ms. Picky Fingers will figure THAT out soon, too. Walks up to her sister and says "Share" if she wants whatever El has.

-El: slower and less frequent with words, but when she says them, she does so perfectly. We always ask the girls for "pats," and they pat us on the back. The other day she started patting me and saying "pats." This morning, she pointed to her aunt's baby picture on the wall and said "baby."

In the last week, they've started playing a game where they'll run to the opposite end of the room. We clap our hands and hold out our arms and they come running to give us a hug before running off again. They LOVE doing head-shoulders-knees-and toes. They can't sing along, other than saying "heaaaa--" and touching their heads, and they skip shoulders and knees and go straight for the toes, but they love it.

Also, I dunno. Maybe writing all that stuff out yesterday worked the "what if we didn't have another kid" out of my system? And maybe I still want to have another kid? Jury's still out until September, I supposed.

Monday, March 28, 2011

Have I had a change of heart? Our adoption went through last Wednesday. Just the week before, I'd received a call from our attorney saying we still had a few other pieces of information that needed to be finalized. Two days after that, we were told the adoption was going through because the judge needed to clear his caseload. Procrastinating! Sometimes it doesn't bite you in the ass! It was a very anti-climatic five minutes in a conference room, alot of yesses and that is corrects, and then the girls were legally mine! I won't have to wake up in the middle of the night, worrying that we hadn't finished the adoption. And suddenly, I felt like a weight was lifting. Then I saw an ad for what would be a more prestigious and better paying job. And I applied and was told by the recruiter that she was passing my information along, so my spirits were lifted higher. Basically, our plan has been for me to stick with my job long enough to get pregnant and take maternity leave. My job offers faboo reproductive benefits, so I will be able to do IVF right off the bat and have it covered. After our experience trying to get pregnant with the girls and all of the failed IUIs and the sads that go along with that, and having limited supply of our donor, we need to get right to it. Time frame has been to start right around the girls' second birthday. If I switch jobs, I need to do that in the next two months so that if everything sticks, I'll be at that job for a year to take maternity leave. That's IF the job offers reproductive benefits, which not all do. All of the sudden this weekend, though, I started thinking about what it would be like if we don't go for a third. No need for a behemoth car. We might even be able to AFFORD a car. (Haha) The possibility of staying in NYC (3 bedrooms are a rarity, but 4 bedrooms under 3000 a month? Not happening with three kids). Lauren going back to work. My switching to a more lucrative job. There are so many things that will become more difficult with three kids, as well: day-to-day care, paying for those kids (clothes, braces, food, classes), the strain of having three kids on OUR relationship (we don't have much help and we can't afford help now WITHOUT three kids), more years of Zazie staying home. We'll have to move, most likely not in the tri-state area. Not to mention, I am FREAKING out about moving back South, with or without the second-parent adoption. Here in NYC, it's just a given that there are out gay people and if you have a problem with that, then YOU'RE the freak. Religion isn't seen as a polite topic of conversation. Even if we don't have close gay and lesbian couple friends, we know many as acquaintances or through parent groups. It is conceivable that we could move to a neighborhood where our girls will be one of several kids from same-sex households here. Atlanta? Maybe, but I'm not sure we can afford the "gay" neighborhoods on the salary I'll make there, and so that sets them up for an uphill battle I don't want for them. Religion is front and center there. Plus, I just won't be able to have the kind of job I'm hoping to get and I certainly won't get paid as much. Zazie will have difficulties finding design work at all. I always wanted to have a kid. Now I have two and I love them with a heart full-to-bursting. Are they enough or do I want another that has my genes? Does my desire to have a baby outweigh all the sacrifices we'll have to make? Zazie's staying out of it and being very supportive, but I know that she'll be relieved if I say two's enough. I don't want to say, ah, forget it, let's stop and then end up regretting my decision after it's too late. Any other non-bio mamas in my situation? Or anyone, really... thoughts on this?

Wednesday, February 2, 2011

I can't believe I'm admitting this.

A friend (not a close, see-them-all-the-time friend, more like a past shared-activity friend with mutual friends) has invited to her wedding reception/party, to be held on my birthday in our old (cool) neighborhood at a bar we used to love (and that her fiancee owns). I am excited about going, and also not at all excited, to the point that we have talked about possibly not attending. This is a 100+ people invited, Evite kinda party, so we won't exactly be missed.

I am honestly hesitant to attend for several reasons. You know that fat feeling? The one you get from eating and drinking the stress of fertility treatments/pregnancy, new family members, raising twins, sole breadwinner woes away? Except it's not just a fat feeling, I've really put on the pounds. The majority of my old clothes no longer fit, and the ones I do fit in I feel self-conciously porky in. I could go buy new clothes, but jeezy pete, the dress standard is so freakin' high- the people we know who will attend are some styley mofos. These are the girls we were je.erleaders with, the ones we dressed to the nines with and for. And it's in the neighborhood synonymous with "h.i.pster" BK style and the bride is a fashion designer. And we don't go out anymore and I have nothing interesting to talk about, unless you want to talk about the girls, Doctor.W.ho, or my latest dentist appointment. Oh, and I'm feeling really fecking old and tired these days.

But it'll be my birthday, and it's a party to celebrate really nice people, and maybe we'll go have brunch at one of our old haunts.

I just don't know. I guess I have a month to think about it. I'll definitely need to go shopping (and possibly starve myself. Joke! I'm not down with deprivation.)

Friday, January 21, 2011

Step One

I finally went to the dentist this morning. I hadn't gone in years and then a couple years ago, I had one single visit to a new dentist that was so horrible I couldn't bear to go back to get any of her suggested work done. It took me this long, but I finally found a new one and went this morning. Whew. Don't get me wrong, I have about fifty bazillion cavities (okay, that might be an exaggeration, but I'm scheduled for two one-hour filling appointments, if that gives you an idea), and the words "possible root canal" and "possible crown" came up, but I didn't want to cry afterwards. For years, I've been mortified that I've taken such bad care when my parents went out of their way to ensure I made it to adulthood with few dental problems. With TTC coming up at the end of the year, I want to make sure that all of the things that affect fertility that I can control are taken care of. Dental care: step number one. Next, exercising, eating better, and cutting out caffeine and wine. My teeth are aching but I feel a little lighter because I'm getting sh*t taken care of.

In other news, we're combining our visit to dear friends with a side trip to meet up with one of our fave donor sib families! So excited!

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Things are looking up!

When I got home from work, I checked the mailbox as usual. I finally received the check I'd been expecting from a class action settlement I was part of- even better, it was twice the amount I was expecting! There was much whooping and hollering in our house tonight. This means our plane tickets for the Disn.ey meet up with the other donor families is paid for. AND we can pay for plane tickets to see our dearest friends- we haven't been able to spend more than a few hours with them in a year! To top the night, we received word that a good friend had her baby boy tonight.

Things are looking up in the Zeebah Zazie house.

I'll leave you with this.... We took the bus to the big grocery store Saturday. The bus was really crowded, but a nice man gave up his seat near the window. Ellie was in front in my Er.go. Several times, she reached over to pat the man on his shoulder. She wasn't feeling his jacket, she was patting him, one-two-three. We always ask the girls to "give us pats" and I guess it's carried over. Sweet girl.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Get "Clowned"

If you're TTC, apparently you should get clowned shortly after you do-the-do (whatever your version is). Or skip the creepy clown and just see a funny movie.

Totally jazzed!

Okay, I'll admit I have had two cups of coffee already this morning, so though my fingers are typing along at their regular speed, my brain is running twice that. Over at Love+Love, they're getting ready to TTC- Jessie mentions needing to give up coffee and oh my gawd, I have to give up coffee! And my occasional Diet C.oke! And my wine! If we're planning to start right around when the girls' birthday in September, how much time do I need to give myself? Obviously, it's just healthier to cut down on all of those things in general, but they are my crutches and I don't want to give them up until I need to. We're going to Orlando at the beginning of May for a trip to Disney with the donor sibling families and donor family... when we return, I'll taper down over the rest of the month. The same approach worked for kicking cigarettes nearly three years ago- and that time, my quitting coincided with the beginning of TTC the girls.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Your Blog Here.

For YEARS, I used Bl.og.lines as both my RSS reader and my list of links on my blogs. BL was bought by another company, and when they switched over, not only did the interface suck but I lost most of my links, including yours, most likely. I'm picking up the pieces with another neat reader called Bloglovin', but if you're reading this and I should follow you, leave a comment!

The answer is...

Our answer is jeans. For the moment, we are able to keep the girls off the couch by putting them in jeans instead of their usual cotton stretchy pants. I don't know if it's that their jeans are slightly too big or what, but it seems to do the trick.

Ruby loves shoes. The sight of one makes her say "shoe!" She also says "shoe" if she sees a sock. Right part of the body, so points for that.

Ellie has been doing a funny thing where she'll run leaning forward, arms behind her while making a weird, smiley duck/kissy face. We don't know where she got it, but she does it just to get a laugh.

I always want to make each post stick to one topic, which leads to a lot of half-written, never published posts. Things I'd like to talk about: the increase in familial obligations when you find other donor sibling families and donor's family, what obligation (if any) do we have to introduce the girls to their Jewish heritage (we were both raised Christian, but donor was Jewish. Many of our friends and some family are, and we've always been interested in Judaism anyway) and to what extent should we do it, looking toward my trying to conceive baby #3 at the end of the year and whether that makes us bat-sh*t crazy, our prospective move. Comments, questions for me if there's anyone out there reading?

Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Oh my.

My girls know what they want and they know how to get it. Or at least, they think they know how to get it. Geez. Their current obsession is getting on the couch. Non-controversial action, right, climbing up onto the couch? But no, it's the standing on the couch, climbing on the couch arms, teetering precariously at the edge of the couch that we don't like. If our floor weren't so hard (parquet over concrete) perhaps, or they were more coordinated, or they weren't so small that it's a loooong way to the floor- sure, why not? However, I don't want to take someone to the emergency room for a broken collarbone, so we have been trying to keep them off the couch. I say trying because when your back is turned WHAM! How did she get back on the couch so fast?

Take them off the couch and you get back-arching and crying and vibrating with frustration (Ellie mostly). If they're in the right mood, that turns into a really not-fun round-robin of Take Mama's Glasses Off Her Face, followed by Stand on the Toy Piano, and then Pull the Plastic Fence Down. Seriously, in the right mood, they'll do one after the other after the other. In the bedroom, it's Open the Dresser Drawers, Pull the Curtains, Touch the Hot Radiator, and Play with the Humidifier. Keep them from one thing and then they immediately do all the other things they're not supposed to do.

We don't want to yell. Our Ladies of the One-Track Mind are only momentarily slowed if you remove them from the situation (not much room in our apartment to remove them anyway). We're at a loss. They'll grow out of the toddler phase just in time for baby #3, I'm sure.