A Kiss on the Steps


Today was the first real warm day of spring. In the late afternoon the babies and I took a walk to the park. All the neighbors were out on their porches. (I still want to say “stoops”.) We said hello, met some new people, then headed to the playground.

When we got there B was asleep, but I got M out of the stroller and put her in one of the baby swings. She is in love with swings. She kept flashing her amazing, two-teeth grin, which transforms her entire face, then kicking her little legs. That kind of joy is contagious. Plus we were just wearing sweatshirts, the babies in sun hats in the warm evening sun.

When we got back to the house they’d switched, M was asleep and B was awake. I decided not to disturb M and just took B out and sat on the front steps with her. Though our side of the street was in shade, it was quite warm and I took off B’s hat, trying not to be distracted by the cradle cap situation, which I recently made worse by trying to treat. Across the street, a neighbor came out with a book and sat on her steps with a cup of wine. A handsome brown and white cat came by and meowed a few times. I said “meow,” too, and B got that intent look she gets when she’s learning something. But the cat quickly thought better of babies and disappeared into the alley between the houses.

I got the Sophie the giraffe toy from inside and handed it to Bean. She dropped it on the steps. I handed it back to her. She dropped it on the steps. I handed it back to her, she laughed and dropped it on the steps. I handed it back to her and she cackled with pure joy, knowing what would happen next. She dropped it on the steps. It actually made me kind of happy, too (I didn’t have to get up to retrieve the Sophie.)

As we were sitting there, D got home. All day, as I met new neighbors, I felt like I was seeing myself through other peoples’ eyes. I’ve been trying to make an effort not to look completely disheveled and frazzled. I’m trying to attract new friends, after all. Today I managed to put on a bit of makeup, but I still need a haircut, and I was wearing a saggy old sweater I’ve painted in. But somehow (I don’t know how this happened) this is what I look like now, sitting on the front step holding a baby when my husband got home. He bent down to say hi to B and she leaned forward and gave him a kiss.



For the First Time This Week


This week Bean starting clapping. 

This week M pulled herself up to standing. 

This week they ate cheerios. 

This week they ate three bags of avocados. 

This week, if you accidentally pulled their hair or caught their ear while adjusting a hat, they screamed as if it were the worst thing that had ever happened to them. 

This week M insisted on feeding herself. 

This week they gave kisses. 

This week they gave hugs. 

This week they crawled all over the living room. 

This week B has a second tooth coming in on the bottom. When she is overcome with happiness,

sometimes she throws her head back and laughs at the ceiling. 

Strange and Mysterious Object #7


From the Journal of Space Monkey Twins


There is something hidden under the rug. Some sort of grid. We pull the rug back to get a better look, but the grid goes on and on. We suspect it may be touch sensitive, perhaps monitoring our movements within the compound. Alternately, this may all be some sort of holographic space, of which we’ve revealed the ragged underbelly. SMT team gravitational investigations continue. At the same time, we make every effort to disassemble the grid by pulling and stripping, but humans intervene quickly. Suspicious. We will keep at it. Maybe we can eat it.

Signed as always,

Your Space Monkey Twins

I Know This Post Isn’t Making Me Any Friends: Why I Don’t Like Trader Joe’s


Growing up in Northern California, Trader Joe’s was the stuff of lore. Sometimes my grandparents would stop there on their way to us from Southern California. Eventually one opened about a half-hour drive away and sometimes we’d make a special trip.

But now, after taking a few years off from Trader Joe’s and coming back, I’m convinced something has changed. Since we moved to Pittsburgh we’ve been conducting an informal experiment by eating exclusively Trader Joe’s. I’m home all day, just me and the Trader Joe’s. My diet now consists of…junk food: Just the Clusters Vanilla Almond Granola Cereal, Frozen Veggie Enchiladas, Masala Burgers, fries, Multiseed with Soysauce Savory Thin Mini Rice Crackers. Even the trail mix has yogurt and peanut butter chips. I’m full up on salt and carbs. And the fruit and veggies…at first I was all dreamy about bagged pre-washed, but (surprise) turns out they don’t taste that great. And this, too:

1. Why don’t they have organic ice cream?

2. Or humanely-raised meat?

3. They don’t sell baby food.

4. I feel unhealthy.

I realize I have myself to blame for my food choices. As my sister points out, I can’t blame Trader Joe’s that I feel bad today after having eaten half a bag of TJ’s chocolate chips. Point taken. Today wasn’t the best day. D swears by their taquitos. And if we had the time or energy to cook (like in pre-baby days), instead of eating frozen food, this would’t be such an issue. Basically I just miss the Park Slope Food Coop, which is where we shopped in Brooklyn. Don’t worry, tomorrow back to regularly-scheduled cute baby announcements.


Baby Sketchbook

Baby Sketchbook

I spent a bit of time in the play pen today sketching the babies. They move around a lot, so not easy, but still fun. Bean kept crawling over and trying to grab my sketchbook, then crying because I wasn’t paying enough attention to her. Actually I was paying a lot of attention to her, but not the type of attention she was looking for.

M decided she would ignore what I was doing and sit with her back to me on the other side of the super yard, but eventually she looked over at me, with Bean lying in my lap, and started crying. I called her and patted my lap but she didn’t want to come, so I just took her up and gave her a hug and a zerbert and that seemed to fix things.

Clapping and Sleeping


Bean is clapping. D claims that when he sang “If You’re Happy and You Know It,” she knew to come in with the claps at the right place. She looks so cute, concentrating on pressing her palms together. We are very proud.

And I think they’re giving kisses. At least, that’s my new interpretation of what’s happening when they lean in, mouths open, to very tenderly eat my nose.

Also, today M fell asleep in the highchair. Not just snoozing: out. She didn’t even wake up when I unbuckled her, lifted her, carried her upstairs and put her in the crib. It’s tiring all this learning. At dinner D and I were remembering our birthday parties as kids. I remembered how I always wanted a sleepover party. Now I understand why my parents weren’t too keen–what a hellish proposition! Of course these days it’s hard to imagine the appeal. Now it’s: “On my birthday I’m gonna go to bed at 7 pm!”

Speaking of which, maybe tonight will be the night that we actually manage to go to bed early.


your Sparrow

It’s Coming!

spring1 spring2 spring3 spring4

Despite the roadkill robin I discovered on our street this past week, and even in spite of the random snow shower this morning, spring has sprung! This afternoon the sun came out, and suddenly there are flowers. Crocuses, and leaf buds ready to burst on every tree. I even caught a whiff of damp mulch. Oh, yes!

I realize these photos aren’t the best, but I’m posting because I’m excited. Every spring is crazily exciting, but this spring is particularly exciting! It’s been a long winter…

Bedtime Is Bliss


It’s a good thing I write these blog posts at night, because if I wrote them during the day they’d be much more depressing. Depressing and short.

Luckily I write them at this magic time of night after baby bedtime. I try not to make the whole day a march toward this time. But truly the evenings are amazing. Right now D is making dinner. I’m sipping a beer, sitting at my computer in the quiet house, writing…life is good!

But daytime is another story. Alone between these walls: me, non-talking babies, and the Internet. It’s the stuff of insanity. It’s feeding time, walk upstairs with a baby, change diaper, carry baby downstairs, feed babies, clean one baby, clean the other baby, clean highchairs, carry upstairs, change diaper, carry downstairs, it’s nap time, swaddle first baby, into crib, swaddle second, into crib, it’s feeding time, carry downstairs, etc. etc.

Meanwhile there are glowing screens everywhere. I can’t walk past my computer without checking email. Internet nonsense balloons out of proportion. There is no one around but Internet. A post appears on my Facebook feed, someone is anti-vaccinations and I can’t help myself from commenting. Facebook has its ugly talons in my brain. My heart is pounding, blood pressure rising.The future seems bleak.

The babies skip their morning nap. I sit with them in the play pen and begin to build towers out of cups and soft cubes. They are curious but hesitant to touch the tower I’ve built; they reach toward it lightly, but I’m suddenly petulant. I knock it down myself. I build more towers and knock them down. I throw foam cubes against the playpen walls, and that’s when I start to worry about myself. Also I narrate everything I do out loud constantly (for the babies). I don’t think I can stop even when I go outside anymore. My brain is turning like a dog who can’t lie down. Time for more chocolate!

Luckily I don’t blog during the day. And luckily, these things pass. The babies and I get out of the house and take a long walk, then come home and make some actual progress on projects. I talk to family on the phone. And then it’s bedtime, reliable like the weekend. I love these babies more than words. I know this time at home with them is limited, and I am so grateful for every minute. Still, stay-at-home parenting is not for the weak.

Play Hard, Sleep Hard


Every waking hour these babies are working: reaching, chewing, tasting, fingering, craning around, exploring. And if not working they’re out like lights, pink cheeks pressed to the crib mattress, soft baby hair, sleeping like angels (or babies). I’m sure there’s some lesson I should take from this.

Munchkin is now officially crawling. It is very deliberate and amazing to watch. Right arm, left arm, right leg, left leg, repeat. Each appendage lifted higher than necessary and placed carefully. It’s amazing how we have to learn to control our body in this way, like a machine. 

Also, suddenly her whole body shape has changed. Gone is the soft roly poly baby; now she’s tall and wiry. When you hold her she’s a ball of energy, constantly twisting around looking for something new to explore. Just last week D and I could relax with the twins in our laps in bed in the morning. Now suddenly it’s more like trying to keep them on the bed, them scrambling over a terrain of legs trying to launch themselves over the edge. 

And their emotions, they’re all over the place. They have the giggles, then they cry, are disgusted, amused, ecstatic, shocked. Munchkin has a new expression. She lifts her upper lip so her mouth is kind of squarish; I think it expresses something like, Oh My Gosh Heck Yeah! Also, lately when they’re sitting in the high chairs and Munchkin cries, Bean seems finds it amusing and starts laughing. Then M laughs, too. I don’t know what that is. It’s a roller coaster. 

And then they sleep for twelve hours. It’s tiring being a baby. Or a parent of babies. 


ps: I forgot to mention that Bean has a tooth now, too. She got one on the bottom a few days after M. Got two snaggletooth babies, here. Look out.