The Motherhood Memoirs | Fresh Cuts

When I was a little girl, your grandma never allowed your auntie, or I get a haircut. She'd point to one of the ubiquitous Sears photo studio shots of us and our glorious manes, exclaiming, "You want someone to chop off all of this beautiful hair?!... The answer is NO!" Ugh.

 The "before" shots.

The "before" shots.

 Classic Vera.

Classic Vera.

 So. Ready!

So. Ready!

But, I rebelled. Second grade picture day rolled around. I just *knew* the super-short, asymmetrical bang look would work for me. And I went for it. Your grandmother was none too pleased. At five, I promised myself I'd NEVER make my children endure such brutal oppression.

 
 Lookin' fly with my sweet bangs.

Lookin' fly with my sweet bangs.

 

Flash forward thirty years. It's bath time. You two 4.5-year-old divas are reenacting Mama Imelda's epic rendition of La Llorona at Ernesto de la Cruz's sunrise spectacular.

Then a pause.

"Hey, moooooom! When can me and sissy get our hairs cut?!"

Time to uphold my childhood promise. We went for it. Found example images. Despite the disappointment of not being able to get longer hair, or change your hair from curly to straight (and vice versa) we trudged on.

Ru, as usual, your inner *spa girl* took the reigns. You sat up on that chair, said "I'm the qweeen  of the wuuwld!" and let the professional do her thang. Delightful. Every few mins since you've done a little hair toss, mixed with a duck face lip pucker. Big success.

Vera, you cracked me up. Always suspect, I was SURE you'd end up changing your mind the second we walked into the shop. Your excitement to have a new 'do won out, however (thank GOODNESS). Anyway, even though you were letting her cut your hair, your face said something closer to, "Is she sure, I mean REALLY SURE, she knows what she's doing?" But, every single time I pointed the camera at you, you smiled a huge sh@t-eating grin. Eventually, I got a shot of your classic "Vera the Skeptic" expression. It was all worth it. You hopped up and down for joy after checking yourself out. Too good.

 Gotcha!

Gotcha!

All in all, it was a lovely day with you newly-coiffed cuties.

For My Daughters: La Clase De Música

Just a funny little story about daddy, love bugs.

This week, because of Martin Luther King, Jr. Day, dad was able to join us at your beloved clase de música on Monday. I think he was able to see how enraptured you two are by the songs, dancing, singing, playing instruments. It made me think of a sweet story that I thought you girls would like too.

Daddy had just gotten home from a show in the city and was especially impressed at how the 8-piece ensemble (metal band at that) was able to stay in sync so well with with one another. He was so impressed, in fact, he stayed to chat with the band and when he asked, somewhat rhetorically, "how the hell do make music like that?!" the man guffawed, and said, "the only thing you need to make music are two ears... (then placing his hand on his chest) and a heart."

 Poor daddy had to learn the hard way that you turn into drama-mama when your shoes get taken off in music class.

Poor daddy had to learn the hard way that you turn into drama-mama when your shoes get taken off in music class.

 Vee, you NEVER have been more excited to be in music class. You were showing off your moves to daddy from the moment you walked (more like sashayed) through the door.

Vee, you NEVER have been more excited to be in music class. You were showing off your moves to daddy from the moment you walked (more like sashayed) through the door.

 You twirl the ENTIRE 45 minutes in class, Ru. As you can see I'm always quite amused by it :)

You twirl the ENTIRE 45 minutes in class, Ru. As you can see I'm always quite amused by it :)

 Dancing with scarves is your very favorite thing to do in music class. Vee, you love getting goofy with them too. Silly billy!

Dancing with scarves is your very favorite thing to do in music class. Vee, you love getting goofy with them too. Silly billy!

Then of course you love to jam at home.

IMG_9905.jpg
 Hoarding the recorders (I won't tell sissy!)

Hoarding the recorders (I won't tell sissy!)

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 Sis was serenading you, Vee. hehe

Sis was serenading you, Vee. hehe

I love you my little musicians,

Mom

26/52: Photog's Choice


This is your buddy, Harlan, boo boos. What a cutie, huh?!

Harlan is the very first friend you girls ever made (that is, other than mommy, daddy, and one another), when at just a couple weeks old - and you girls about one month old - his mommy and daddy brought him over for your first official play date. While the adults had fun, it wasn't all that exciting for you at the time. Boy have times changed!

Mommy went to grad school with Harlan's dad, Allen during the 2012-13 school year. It was during that one-year program our families discovered that both Harlan's mommy, Ginger, and I were expecting new additions -  within mere weeks of one another!

In the blink of an eye nearly two years have passed. Seeing your relationship develop from your infancy to your toddler-hood, has been simply fascinating. We had Harlan, Allen, and Ginger over for a farewell barbeque, as they are moving to Santa Cruz to begin a new chapter in their lives.

Looks like your guys' next play date will have to be on the beach!

Two Sweet Boys in Their Second Day of Life | A Berkeley Fresh 48 Newborn + Family Photography Session

Meet radiant new mommy Natalie, enamored new daddy Mitch, and their handsome newborn twin sons, Micah (with the milk mustache) and Noah:

Today is these cutie pies' one-month birthday. As they have been in my thoughts, I wanted to share not only some of their Fresh 48 photos, but also a bit about why they mean so much to me.


To help build a foundation, I will give a little background as to what a Fresh 48 Photography session is and why I feel particularly called to do this type of session:

What is A Fresh 48 Session? | A Fresh 48 session is a somewhat non-traditional (i.e. no babies in baskets) form of a newborn session in which you have your new family documented within the first 48 hours of your child(ren)'s birth. Usually this session takes place in-hospital (as typically you are still in the hospital during that time frame), but can be done at home, in a birth center, or really anywhere your family is within the first 48 hours of your child(ren)'s birth.

Why Does it Matter To Me? | My daughters were born in Berkeley, California in September of 2013. We were in the hospital for about four days proceeding their birth. While much of that time is a blur now, I do have two vivid memories from those days. The first is the unprecedented sense of euphoria, gratitude, and sheer bliss that was abounding throughout that hospital room. The second memory I have is a bit more tangible; It was early evening and I was writing in the girls' journal, sitting beside the wall-to-wall window that overlooked the street that led us to that room, the sun was coming down and the golden hues in the room were a true reflection of how I felt deep within my soul; warm, enlightened, peaceful. I looked up to catch a glimpse Joe leaning into the ubiquitous, no frills hospital baby bassinet that we had put both girls into to share some bonding time. With tears in his eyes, he was gently whispering to his new daughters; stroking their faces and stealing kisses with a newfound tenderness in his touch.  In that moment I had a realization. I realized that this was our team. Whatever ups or downs may come, we're together now and will always be there for one another.

One regret I carry with me, in terms of that time directly following Ruby and Vera's birth, is that I did not photograph it. You see, while I certainly do have those couple memories to carry with me, I grieve for the details that time will take away from us.


While contemplating writing this post, I found myself overwhelmed by the gamut of emotions that welled up within me. What an unexpected, wonderful journey this documentation story has taken me on - from my first communication with Natalie months ago, to meeting her and Mitch at their Oakland home to discuss our session, to the day (a mere 42 hours from them welcoming Micah and Noah into the world) I stepped foot into their hospital room to photograph their new family. I knew from those first few emails with Natalie that we would hit it off - though, I never could have expected the profound connection and friendship that have come to be. This really is what life is all about.

Because of my personal experience, I was OVERJOYED when Natalie and Mitch chose me to document this intimate time in their lives. But, more than that, I felt a deep understanding and reverence for exactly what it was that I would be documenting for their family. That morning in the hospital was a real bonding experience; many tears were shed (mine included), many laughs resounded, songs were sung. Simply put, there was no room, in that room, for a contrived photo session. The documentation of that pivotal event had to be real. And it was.

The above photo may need some explanation:

As I was packing up to leave the hospital room, I turned around and saw Natalie and Mitch looking at each other in this beautiful gaze. I couldn't fit you all in the frame so I decided to take two exposures and composite it as one panoramic still. I was processing these images together and, after much tweaking, kept coming back to this: with the boys double-exposed in the same center still. My first thought was that this is their birth story as a family, in that whatever chaos may occur (and the profound beauty in that chaos), the strength of Natalie and Mitch as two pillars for not only one another, but as parents for the boys, will allow them to withstand any gales that may sweep through. Then my second thought was that, in I suppose less of an artistic angle, these are their chromosomes; this is their crossing-over. That is, before this whole journey began there was Natalie (represented by your crisp, smiling image on the right), and her best friend, her husband, Mitch (represented by his clear still on the left); and within both of you the potential to come together and, through the miraculous intricacies of meiosis, the potential to create these incredibly distinct, perfect humans; with, indeed, great potential of their own! So, essentially the discrepancies in the image (double-vision aesthetic) are very purposeful in representing that blending and layering of (now oh so many) chromosomes.

When I delivered Natalie, Mitch, Noah and Micah's images I ended up visiting with them for quite a while; holding Noah (Micah will get his turn next time!), sipping on coffee, munching on pastries (our new tradition!), chatting about everything under the sun, and going through their collection of Fresh 48 photos. When we opened up their USB and began scrolling through the photos Natalie said, "Oh wow, I don't even remember that! Those days are all such a blur now." 

Now they don't have to be, friend.

25/52: Dancing


Ohhhh my Ruby girl,

We went out to see your cousins, Auntie Laura, and Uncle Marshall in Fresno back in May. Hazey was playing "Frozen" songs and even put the movie on one night. You have been OBSESSED (no exaggeration) ever since. Your favorite song, by far, is "Love is An Open Door," or, as you like to refer to it, "Door." You've begun to get the song stuck in your head and sometimes I'll peek over at you, reading or doing a puzzle, and you'll just start singing to yourself, "doooooo-or-or." I'll sing it to you while you're having breakfast and you fill in the blanks to all the words. Just too cute. 

Whenever I put the song actually ON you just lose it - twirling, clapping, stomping your feet; adding any number of self-choreographed moved each new time. Here you are, yesterday, in the backyard. Jammin' out as only my sweet, spunky Ruby tudes can. (Don't worry, lovebug, your arm wasn't disappearing - I just wanted you to see how smooth your moves were by slowing down the shutter speed).

I love you baby,

Mom

23/52: Rule Of Thirds


Vee Vee,

Whenever anyone asks me something like, "What makes your girls' distinct? How are their personalities different from one another?" I always, first of all, think to myself "What kind of question is that?! I mean seriously, how the heck am I supposed to answer that while standing in line at the grocery store (or wherever we may be)?!" Then I take a deep breath, in an effort to gather my abbreviated version of just what makes you and your sis unique little humans. Then I usually look at you and say, "Well, Vera here *while stroking your hair* she is our bashful one; she has to get to know you before she opens up. But, once she does, she's the biggest goof ever!"

Now, that may be true when it comes to you and about 95% of the people you meet. But, NOT with your Uncle Nick. I swear, Vee, you not only have been smitten with your Uncle from the first moment you met, but, he brings out a side to you that your daddy and I have never seen before. One time you sung and spun around in circles (aka dancing) for an entire song (and, believe me I KNOW you would have stopped would it have not been for your Uncle Nicky watching). Very impressive. 

Yesterday your Uncle came over to watch the (amazing!!!) Warrior's game. We played in the backyard for a little while before the game started and as usual, Vee, you were showing off your skills -- this time of sitting at your picnic table like a *big kid* --  for precious Uncle Nick.

I love you you cutie pie,

Mom

For My Daughters: Twinheritance

Hi boo boos,

We had some friends over last night to watch the Warriors game. You two have really made progress in your reaction to daddy -- well, pretty much everyone in this case -- hootin' and hollerin' at the top of their lungs when something exciting happens in a game. In fact, you even joined in; flailing your arms up in the air and shouting "yeah! yeah!" when you noticed the commotion. Vera, you have always been especially sensitive to abrupt noises. I'll never forget, when you were just a few months old daddy had a little cough and you would WAIL each time he cleared his throat. It made for some long nights, but was certainly adorable. So NOW, your growing ability to pause and determine the type of reaction you have to those loud noises, it just makes me so proud of you.

 
 Here you are, Vavvy, strutting your stuff at Hazel's school carnival last month

Here you are, Vavvy, strutting your stuff at Hazel's school carnival last month

 
 Daddy asked you to pick out your own outfit on Saturday, Ru. You got SOOO excited and, when you did your fashion show for me, holding your plush doggie "Door" tight in your arms, you giggled with delight! Then daddy and I did too!

Daddy asked you to pick out your own outfit on Saturday, Ru. You got SOOO excited and, when you did your fashion show for me, holding your plush doggie "Door" tight in your arms, you giggled with delight! Then daddy and I did too!

Girls, I've had something on my mind lately that I want to share with you. Two days ago, on June 6th, you turned 21-months-old. I think for any other mom in the world they might say, "Today you girls are 21 month old! Only 3 more months until your 2nd birthday!" Something of that nature. But, for me, you girls turning 21-months old immediately made me think of one thing. My mom. Your Grandma Melody. 

I'm very sure, by the time you read this, you will have been told approximately 1,000,000,000 times that it is "sooooooo amazing" that you are twins that have a mommy that is a twin and uncles that are twins. Well, at the risk of sounding redundant, I will tell you that it truly is amazing, love bugs. In fact, back when mommy was just a few months old, your uncles, auntie, and I were photographed by the local newspaper in Fresno and your grandma and grandfather were interviewed for a little article about just how unusual it is to have two sets of twins! Kind of cool, huh?

 This article says "19 months," but I think your grandma may have been too tired to do the math. Oh well!

This article says "19 months," but I think your grandma may have been too tired to do the math. Oh well!

Aside from the sheer amazing-ness of you girls being twins, I often times ponder (and probably even more often am asked by strangers to ponder), "How in the world was your grandma able to manage so many children at once and (on days when your Great grandpa couldn't help) on her own?!" As, shortly after this, your grandfather was no longer in the picture. Then, sadly, my next thought is "I'm not sure she did manage."

Eight days old. Eight. Days. That is how old your siblings would be today if mommy (and daddy) had a second set of twins at exactly the same interval as your grandma Melody did. I've been thinking a lot about how it would be to incorporate two newborns into our family. Even with the wonderful support system our family has, it would be a struggle. A struggle financially? Sure. A struggle physically? YOU BET! A mental struggle? Let's just say, I am sure I would probably be too stressed for my own good. Period.

 You were so fascinated by your cousins' slinky, Vee. You knew you were being silly and just kept on doing it. I love that about you!

You were so fascinated by your cousins' slinky, Vee. You knew you were being silly and just kept on doing it. I love that about you!

 Ru, you want to be a big girl so bad! I think these girls were jealous of your sweet shoes ;)

Ru, you want to be a big girl so bad! I think these girls were jealous of your sweet shoes ;)

I think I may be subconsciously skirting the main reason I want to share this with you. So, I want to be frank. When I said that I am not sure your grandma was able to manage all four of us at once, what I am saying is that she allowed that stress to get the better of her.

Your grandma Melody had Bipolar Disorder.

Simply put, when she was up, she was up -- extremely energetic, creative, impulsive. It was during these "up" episodes that she would go on her vision quests, of sorts; once vanishing for a couple weeks, returning home to tell us she had been seeking out her biological family, spouting off tales of her adventures; never alluding to her real goal of trying to find understanding and acceptance of her own childhood struggles.

And, when she was down, she was down -- erratically violent and abusive, recklessly self-medicating, and deeply depressed. It was during this time that I would find myself pacing outside her room, told "LEAVE ME ALONE!" in my 8-year-old effort to comfort her as she loudly wept behind her locked bedroom door. My heart still breaks for her in recalling those low moments.

Because she is no longer living, the only way to recollect those very dynamic moods is through the hindsight of memory. Unfortunately, however, in an effort to protect both you girls as well as myself from the pain of my past, it's difficult for me to ruminate on your grandma's mental condition. So, for these thoughts to cross my mind, upon you girls reaching 21-month-old, I wanted to be open and honest about them with you.

I guess the big thing I want you to know is that you don't ever have to be ashamed of your feelings. Right now in your life you are both unabashedly honest about how you are feeling and what is on your mind. It is an admirable quality to be freely expressive of your emotions. Even if it is not the most positive of emotions sometimes.

One of your very favorite books is "Wherever You Are: My Love Will Find You" by Nancy Tillman. Whenever we get to the page that reads, "So hold your head high and don't be afraid to march to the front of your own parade..." I repeat it emphatically, as the thought that you would choose to be anything other than YOU in an effort please others would be depriving the world of the unique marvel of Ruby Joan and the unparallelled wonder of Vera Kathleen. So, I'll reiterate it again:

 

 

Hold your head high

and don't be afraid

to march to the front

of your own parade.

If you're still my small babe

or you're all the way grown,

my promise to you

is you're never alone.

Promise promise.

 Being chased by daddy on the UC Berkeley campus. You are so beautiful Ruby!

Being chased by daddy on the UC Berkeley campus. You are so beautiful Ruby!

 I love this expression, Vee. You were NOT happy when we first arrived at Hazel's carnival (you CANNOT deal with no nap), so we left and decided to try going again after you girls had eaten and calmed down a bit. I'm so glad we did. You were roaming all over that elementary school lawn like you owned the place. Love that sass!

I love this expression, Vee. You were NOT happy when we first arrived at Hazel's carnival (you CANNOT deal with no nap), so we left and decided to try going again after you girls had eaten and calmed down a bit. I'm so glad we did. You were roaming all over that elementary school lawn like you owned the place. Love that sass!

 At Illum's 2nd birthday party, you girls wore your new swimsuits that your cousin gave to you. Ru, you were most excited to swim...

At Illum's 2nd birthday party, you girls wore your new swimsuits that your cousin gave to you. Ru, you were most excited to swim...

 and Vee, I think you were most excited to show off your new suit :)

and Vee, I think you were most excited to show off your new suit :)

I love you so much boo boos,

Mom

 

 

 

Featured on Fearless & Framed | "Turn Bring Your Kids to Work Day into a Documentary Photo Shoot."

So honored to have been featured on the fantabulous Fearless & Framed blog today! I'm especially proud of the fact that it was a post originally written For My Daughters. Link to the feature can be found by clicking on this photo:


For My Daughters: Mommy's Special Day

Hi lovebugs,

Some say that when you pass away, scenes from your life flash before your eyes. If this is true, I like to imagine this as presenting in animated vignettes; spliced together from all of the significant, powerful, or inspirational moments of my life. It also might involve Joe Cocker's version of "With A Little Help From My Friends."

Yesterday was one of those days for me.

It was Mother's Day, and you two made it an unforgettable day, indeed. Now, I know *officially* it was my second Mother's Day, but I consider it my third, as when I had you two growing inside me, our strengthening bond was growing as well. I must say, though, with you two now being increasingly able to interact with the world around you, days like yesterday come to feel much more unpredictable; spontaneous; sublime. 

For eight of the nine or so months I was pregnant with you girls, we lived in Daly City, just south of where mommy was going to grad school, and north of where daddy was working. During the latter part of that time I would get wiped out pretty easily. On the weekends, feeling exhausted from the demands school, teaching and pregnancy had taken on my body during the week, I'd beg your daddy to take me to the beach. To me, there is nothing more centering than the ocean; its humbling expansiveness; its fresh, restorative breeze; its unhurried, lapping tempo helping to re-sync amidst the fast-paced rhythm of daily life.

As you can tell, I really liked to go to this beach.

 Vee, you showed me where that sound of crashing waves was coming from ;)

Vee, you showed me where that sound of crashing waves was coming from ;)

 Ru, tactile one you are, immediately dug your hands into the freezing, wet sand. I was sure you'd begin to cry.

Ru, tactile one you are, immediately dug your hands into the freezing, wet sand. I was sure you'd begin to cry.

 But I was mistaken.

But I was mistaken.

It became a regular routine. On Sundays, daddy and I would drive down to Pacifica, only about 10 minutes from where we lived, have crepes (and I'd have about a gallon of fresh orange juice) at The High Tide, and afterward, stroll down to the beach. It became a really nice ritual.

When we moved out here to Berkeley in August of 2013 and, shortly thereafter, when welcomed you beautiful girls into the world, that ritual quickly became a thing of the past; and, truthfully, the last thing we considered trying to fit into our new-twin-parent schedule.

That is, until yesterday. As a special Mother's Day excursion, your daddy and I brought you two to our special spot. We had breakfast at the High Tide and you two could not get enough of the beach (really though, Ru I think you brought back as much as you possible could with you!).

 There was a really nice woman sitting behind you, Ru, gushing over you two. I decided ask her take our photo. Vee, you were too busy with you banana pancakes to look up; I think that amused you, Ru :)

There was a really nice woman sitting behind you, Ru, gushing over you two. I decided ask her take our photo. Vee, you were too busy with you banana pancakes to look up; I think that amused you, Ru :)

 Vee, you've been SUPER into drinking your water out of a straw lately. You have a new technique where you bite down on the straw then purse your lips in and out while drinking.

Vee, you've been SUPER into drinking your water out of a straw lately. You have a new technique where you bite down on the straw then purse your lips in and out while drinking.

 In action.

In action.

 "Hey! What are you lookin' at me for?!"

"Hey! What are you lookin' at me for?!"

 Ru, you were content singing songs with your precious daddy!

Ru, you were content singing songs with your precious daddy!

 My sweet Ruby ♥

My sweet Ruby ♥

It was, by far, the best, most exhilarating time I had ever had at that beach. I look forward to many more.

Thank you for such a special day baby girls (and daddy).

I love you,

Mom




For My Daughters: Tuesday Tomfoolery

Hey boo boos,

You two have grown increasingly more sweet with one another over the past few months (thank. GOODNESS!). Now, unlike a few months ago, when daddy or I ask either of you to "give a [insert toy/snack/pacifier/musical instrument/book here] to your sissy" you actually DO! I'm afraid with your *terrible twos* rapidly approaching, that magnanimous attitude may change a bit, so I'm going to relish in it for now.

On Tuesday, you were being particularly silly and sweet. Quite a lovely combination of traits for me to witness. I decided it would be the day I would open up your Minnie Mouse instrument set you got as a gift for your first birthday. It said it was for ages 3+ so, being the worrywart you know I can be at times, I held off for a long time to open it up for you girls. Only thing is, it had a transparent case. You poor things had to stare at the maracas, whistle, castanets, A RECORDER; all without the ability to actually PLAY with them. So, when I finally pried open that case, you two were hysterically giddy...

 You were very inventive, Ru, utilizing the recorder as a drumstick. Much better grip. Vee, you weren't so taken with the innovation.

You were very inventive, Ru, utilizing the recorder as a drumstick. Much better grip. Vee, you weren't so taken with the innovation.

for about five minutes.

During those minutes, though, we sung and played "If You're Happy and You Know It..." because that's how mommy gets you girls to do silly commands like, "touch your nose, dance around," or, of course my favorite, "give sissy kisses!"

 Moments before a sissy smooch!

Moments before a sissy smooch!

You were battling a bit, Ru, with the whistle. I showed you how to play it several times. But, you just couldn't quite get it. After you got frustrated and threw it on the couch, sis took her opportunity to snatch it. Didn't look like you minded.

 There's a grin on that cutie face. Nice snatch, Vee!

There's a grin on that cutie face. Nice snatch, Vee!

 
 "I don't need no stickin' whistle!"

"I don't need no stickin' whistle!"

 

After a while I thought I'd try "If you're happy and you know it, pretend you're sleepy" 'cause you've been so silly with fake snoring lately; especially you, Vee. Instead, you girls did the SWEETEST thing. You laid your heads really gently on the couch and just looked right at mommy. I kept the camera down so my eyes weren't blocked by it (and hoping it wouldn't be a distraction). I could cry even right now just looking at the sweet expressions on your faces here:

The moment was short-lived.

You started up with the shenanigans once again.

When daddy walked in the door, he grabbed the camera, thinking the light looked cool on my face, and took these photos of me. I figure you might think they're silly.

mom.jpg

I love you,

Mom

For My Daughters: Temps

Hi lovebugs,

Yesterday was "Take Your Kids To Work" Day. So,  I decided that it would be fun to dress you up in band t-shirts and head over to daddy's work for the activities they had planned. What a fun day it was!

 First order of business: mess with the blinds.

First order of business: mess with the blinds.

 The sun was shining so brightly on your face here, Ruby. But, I wanted you both to see how elated your dad was to have you two (and mommy) come spend time with him at his office.

The sun was shining so brightly on your face here, Ruby. But, I wanted you both to see how elated your dad was to have you two (and mommy) come spend time with him at his office.

 Ru, you were fascinated by the enormous window overlooking the streets. We counted the cars and whenever I would get to 3, you'd say "niiii... ten!" A for effort, my love.

Ru, you were fascinated by the enormous window overlooking the streets. We counted the cars and whenever I would get to 3, you'd say "niiii... ten!" A for effort, my love.

There was a band there just for kids your age! They were called the "Alphabet Rockers" and performed songs all about things you girls love: animals, the ABC's, food... very heady stuff.

 Your first concert! You go INTO IT, Ru!

Your first concert! You go INTO IT, Ru!

Daddy's company brought in a frozen yogurt cart, as well. Needless to say, you two were ALL OVER that. Good thing there were plenty of distractions, otherwise I'm afraid, when I took away your yogurt, we would've seen the biggest tandem tantrum (you see what I did there?) in Schmidt history!

 Vera, your eyes were on your prey!

Vera, your eyes were on your prey!

 Cool kids with your Beatles and Bob Marley shirts.

Cool kids with your Beatles and Bob Marley shirts.

 Vee, you took a while to warm up to the whole new environment. You set in the comfort of daddy's lap for quite a while, but, as soon as you were acquainted with your surroundings, there was no stopping you (literally, you were running circles around your daddy and me!).

Vee, you took a while to warm up to the whole new environment. You set in the comfort of daddy's lap for quite a while, but, as soon as you were acquainted with your surroundings, there was no stopping you (literally, you were running circles around your daddy and me!).

 Daddy and his girlies.

Daddy and his girlies.

At one point, dad went downstairs to grab your diaper bag and I was chasing after both of you like a crazy person! One moment I stopped you, Ru, from pulling down a (very expensive yet unmanned) laptop from a table, then turned around to see you, Vee, about to take a sip of an abandoned, opened soda container. By the time your dad got back, I had worked up a sweat and, almost certainly, everyone in the place knew your names (middle included) from me bellowing them loud enough for you to know I meant business.

Chaotic as it is at time, there's no way your daddy or I would change a single thing about your exuberant, budding personalities.

I love you two crazies!

Mom

15/52: Balance


P52_Balance-2.jpg

Dear Lovebugs,

The moment your daddy and I discovered that we were going to have you both (at once!), we were thrilled and, believe it or not, relieved. As you know, your Auntie Michele and I are twins, and your Uncle Marshall and Uncle Marco are, too. So, we weren’t as surprised as others in the same circumstance may have been. But, that didn’t mean our jaws didn’t drop when the midwife, quite taken aback herself, asked me to “count the heartbeats” on the ultrasound monitor. It gives me goosebumps, even now, just thinking about that moment.

The several weeks leading up to that first ultrasound, I had experienced horrendous morning sickness; feeling extremely queasy all day; displeasing scents within what seemed like a mile of me setting me into fits of dry-heaving, resorting to shamelessly lying down on any stable surface as an attempt to calm the perpetual spinning in my head. You can ask your dad to tell you the stories about just how bad it got. At points in those first weeks of your gestation, I certainly asked myself, “How the hell do women do this more than once?!” No fun, to say the least. Yet, at that moment, when we discovered that all of that morning sickness was due to the fact that there were two of you -- and, more specifically two robust, life-giving placentas -- within me, I learned to embrace the discomfort, knowing that with every twinge of nausea was a sign of your further, healthy growth. In the cheesy, infamous words of John Mellencamp, it hurt so good. Bad, I know.

On the day you were born, once FINALLY in our arms, a new type of feeling overwhelmed me; fear. Not fear of being a good mother to you two. Not fear of being able to feed you two. More so, I feared that I would be able to strike the right balance when it came to dividing myself between the two of you. What if you both needed me -- to nurse, to wipe your tears, to stroke your head, to kiss your boo boos, to read your favorite story, to dance cheek to cheek, to go down the slide with -- at the same time, and, I simply couldn’t attend to those needs without hurting one of you by tending to your sister first?

I will say, in the last 19.5 months, some days it has been very difficult. But, really not as many as I had feared. You see, one thing I had taken for granted is the times that you two would, indeed, not need me whatsoever! For instance, a couple days ago, Vera, you were playing with one of your toy boxes and ended up dumping it out and climbing inside of it. I grabbed you one too, Ru, as you were giggling uncontrollably at your sis sitting in there. Needless to say, you two were blissfully unaware of mommy’s presence.

I love you silly girls,

Mom