The Girls

Hunter Thompson’s Ghost is Riding My Consciousness Wagon…

Okie dokie, folks.  We’ve just crossed the border from reason and logic to the swarthy land of full-on crazy sauce.  My left eye and both ears are currently hallucinating.  Everything looks like it’s on a slant, I’m seeing things that I know were here earlier – happily obeying the iron rule of gravity – floating inches above and to the side of where they belong.  Everything in front of me looks like that weird reality you accept when you take the 3D glasses from the man at the window and shuffle into a dark corner of the theater.  Yes.  There are shadow people.  All up in my business.  And even if I close my eyes the baby monitor, glowing that half-breed shade of pondwater green/almost-dead-goldenrod, streams a constant report of static-crumpled giggles, singing, chirps, conversations from three tables over in a crowded tea house (sliverware tinkling), whimpers, hisses, clicks, hiccups and – perhaps most disturbingly – dragging noises.

Although I’ve ingested nothing fun aside from some fajita chicken and the effigy of a chubby, jolly wee elf, whose chocolate innards pleased me intensely, I have only just understood what Hunter S. Thompson meant by “bad vibes, fear and loathing.”  Ugh.  I really want to go get my husband because, although sensation reports that reality has jumped ship, I know that he’s only a set of stairs away and that he would give me that pitying, irritated, bleary-eyed one-in-the-morning look and tell me to go to bed.  I could close my eyes and wait for whatever rift in the space-time continuum has been created to sew itself back up.  But I can’t bring myself to do that because I’m afraid of what I’ll see if I stand up and go around the corner into the dining room, which offers access to the aforementioned stairs.

Why?  Why, for the love of all that’s good and holy won’t Harper wake up screaming?  She always wakes up screaming about this time of night.  If she would wake up screaming, then my husband would wake up and I could slink upstairs secure in the knowledge that if I have melted into some some horrible and completely unintended bad trip, my husband will be able to pull me safely from the purple alligator-filled quicksand.  Won’t he?

I’ve always found Schizophrenia to be the most fascinating of psychological disorders.  Fascinating because it is terrifying.  To me, the thought of having no way to distinguish between reality and hallucination would be the absolute measure of terror.  And I’m being one hundred percent serious when I say that I can hearwhat I believe to be an unknown song by The Eagles very clearly through the white noise in this baby monitor.  This thing is evil.  Also, I would put my right hand on the bible and swear to you that I hear the floor above me creaking as if my husband is at the bassinet.  But not an earthly creature stirring.

I know that it’s a weird combination of lack of proper sleep, a day spent far more in the sun than others, matrixing sounds out of white noise, the chorioretinopathy in my left eye coupled with the almost complete shadow of my living room.  But I just heard someone burp into the monitor and my brain is working double time to try and convince me that the armchair across the room has turned itself to face me and is gently rocking itself, waiting patiently for me to get up.  And for what I care not to know.

Wow.  I really don’t understand how anyone could voluntarily do this to themselves.  Timothy Leary, you were one ballsy character because if this were to be a common occurence I think I would certainly just jump off a bridge.  Not sure how tonight is going to end up.  I think it’s time to turn on the television and wait (pray) for one of my children to wake up and, in so doing, wake my husband up, so that I can reconnect with reality.

Strange, strange things here tonight.

A Letter to My Husband, Who I Love, but Who I Hope I Like More Tomorrow

I can remember three separate occasions on which I’ve cried openly in front of my father since learning the shame inherent in crying openly.

The first was the night my mother left us.  I was fifteen, and he sat beside me in my bedroom while I sobbed into my pillow, hiding my face because I was so embarrassed and confused.  He stroked my hair, patted my back, and asked me if I wanted to go to my grandmother’s house for the night.  I told him no.  I never told him it was because I didn’t want to be the second woman to leave him that day.

The second was the night before I went to jail.  I was twenty-one, and he drove me from his house, where I’d gone to visit one last time, to my mother’s house, where I would spend the night before I had to turn myself in the next morning.  He told me that we all had to face consequences and that everything would work itself out.  It was only thirty days I had to spend away, but that night in the glow of the dash lights it felt like thirty years.  I faced the window and pressed my lips together tight, but the pitch of my voice gave me away.  I told him I was crying because I didn’t want to go to jail.  I didn’t tell him that it was really because I was so embarrassed for having let him down, and disappointed in myself for having to leave him.

The third was tonight, when you cut him off in the middle of his sentence.  He was telling me about his own memories of being my age.  The sun had just gone down and the overwhelming humidity of the day had finally broken and I was rocking in my rocking chair and listening to him and thinking how unusual – but how thoroughly nice – it was to have him visit and tell stories and just be with me.  I know you don’t know this, because you didn’t take the time to stop and wait for my attention.  You burst through the screen door with that wild, pissed off look I’ve gotten so familiar with, and you didn’t yell, but you hissed, “I can take this anymore.  They’re both fucking crying and I don’t know what to do.”  Then you stormed back inside to sulk and pout.  I’ll bet I know another thing you didn’t know.  I’ll bet you didn’t know that I’d been listening on the monitor and they’d been crying for under two full minutes.

Tonight is the last night I cry in front of my father over you.  Tonight, I’m going to let you deal with them the way you let me deal with them for the first three weeks of their lives:  all alone.  All those nights that I dealt with two howling newborns completely independently because my husband “needed his sleep for work.”  All those nights, frustrated and bewildered and completely forbidden to call you downstairs from your air conditioned bedroom to help me, or just to console me while I attempted to console them.  I had no idea what to do with them.  I had no idea what to do with myself all those mornings afterward, when I’d had no sleep and my breasts ached and bled from my failure at breastfeeding, which mirrored what I considered my horrible failure at motherhood, and when no one was coming to relieve me of any of it – not for a shower, not to go to the bathroom, not to sit quietly in another room or have a bite to eat – for hours.  And I figured it out because you gave me no other option.  And I’m a god damned good mother for it now, so it’s time you became a god damned good father.

I’ll be back tomorrow.  Until then, it’s up to you to figure it out.  If I can do it, so can you.

A Whole God Damned Month…

…has gone by since the day I had my abdomen cut open and two human beings ripped from my loins, as it were.  Couple of little Macduffs, anyway.  I can only hope that they’ll one day have a hand in unseating a possibly schizophrenic Scottish king.  *sigh*

Halloween is this family’s favorite holiday.  Of course it is.  Just look at us.  I’ve already got two costume ideas:

1) Identical Macduffs.  No one needs to know they’re girls.  No one can tell unless they’re dressed in pink anyway.  And what’s that about?  Just because one of them isn’t dressed in pink while the other one is, people just assume that one is a boy.  Gender stereotype much?  Kidding.  But for real…

2) The twins from The Shining.  I’ve already warned my friend Danny that I’m going to send them over to stand in front of his house on random days at random times and invite him to “come play with us, Danny.  For ever, and ever, and ever.”

The One About Poop

I’ve been posting all of the not-so-nice moments of parenthood and I sound like a Whiny McWhinerson. Oooh, speaking of whine which -> wine, I have a bottle in the fridge now that I’ve given up attempting to be Mother Superior and breastfeed twins. I know the social etiquette about drinking before five p.m., but what about drinking before five a.m.?

For the past two nights I’ve gotten these girls down at eight in the evening and they’ve not woken up until three in the morning. I think someone may be coating their bottles with Robitussin. And I love that person. But Thursday night was a bad deal all around. Harper was screaming bloody murder and absolutely refused to be consoled. Neither bottle nor poop cleanup nor dark of night could quiet the noise and I love her, dearly and with all of my wasted heart, but her cries can be mind-numbing and infuriating at the same time when one cannot puzzle out what it is that she wants.

Turns out what she wanted was to poop. Poor thing was constipated all that day, that night, and most of Friday. And let me tell you, after a quick convo with the pediatrician after discovering what can only be described as a poo cork on a Friday afternoon diaper change, the last thing you want is for your child to become constipated. Because what they want you to do before you resort to apple juice or Karo syrup…what they want you to do to your infant daughter with the thermometer and the Vaseline and the warm bath…well, it just seems as though it may border on wildly inappropriate and I really didn’t want to do it. I’m thanking all that’s holy that the warm bath was all we needed, and that the subsequent daily dose of apple juice has realigned the planets and kept Chaos at bay. They say that an apple a day keeps the doctor away. Well, apparently it keeps the rectal thermometer away as well, so I’m now the biggest fan of apples in the history of apple fans, I do declare.

My brother in law has really taken to these girls, and fawns over them and buys them presents as though they are famous socialites or something. The one thing he just doesn’t have the stomach for – bless his heart – is poop. He’s always here helping and playing with them but when he opens a diaper to find that they’ve cooked him a treasure he hands them off to us. Even the talk of poop brings a reflexive grimace to his face. I’ve assured him that having children throws one headlong into a necessary comfort with poop and pee and puke and all of the important “p” words, really. One month ago I would have needed an entire Hazmat scrub-down had I found myself with poop on my finger or puke between my breasts. Now here I am, having had a close encounter of every kind with pretty much every mucousy, smelly, biohazardy bodily fluid an infant girl can produce and standing here to tell the tale.

It’s amazing how comfortable one gets with children – and with all of their byproducts – when one is given the task of keeping one of the little creatures alive. It’s funny…the thought of handling another person’s baby still makes me cringe with discomfort, but I’ve gotten comfortable swinging mine around like those crazy ass mother apes you see on the Discovery channel.

Random note to close on: I’m craving cigarettes and chocolate soft serve ice cream like it’s my job. The ice cream I get. Ice cream is delicious. But I’ve not had a cigarette since day three of my honeymoon. The day I discovered that I was pregnant. The smell of cigarette smoke now turns my stomach. Yet all I can think about right now is rocking on my porch with a Camel Crush. What is wrong with me?

I Never Knew…

…that it was possible to love something as intensely as I love these.

Harper Lennon (right)

5:04 pm May 18th, 2012

6 lbs 11 oz

Juniper Cash (left)

5:06 pm May 18th, 2012

6 lbs 13 oz

And this is us 6 days later…

I don’t know how regular my posts will be for the next few weeks as I try to learn how not to kill, maim or otherwise damage my children (or myself).  What a long strange trip it’s going to be.  Love you, WordPress.

My Uterus is 45 Weeks Pregnant

…according to my OB’s tape measure. I’m only 37 weeks pregnant. So…

I dedicate this song to myself, just because of the last verse:

I, too, am losing my mind. I’ve retained so much water that my abdominal muscles are threatening to rupture.

For some reason, my mom finds that last video incredibly offensive.

I can’t even stand to do dishes anymore, because if my belly touches the counter it’s like a million electric needles being curb stomped into my skin by a sadistic acupuncturist. Speaking of doing dishes…haven’t done them in a week. My kitchen smells like:

My husband assures me that it’s just my supersonic sense of smell, and that nothing in our house smells that bad. Not even our own – actual – shit. I sense that he’s just trying to keep me (and thus, himself) from coming to this:

My fingers look like this (and I apologize in advance for this one):

And my calves and ankles have fused together into this:

If I make it to the 22nd, which is when I have my C section scheduled, I will have escaped pregnancy with at least one (very important) part of my body not annihilated by the process of doing this:

And, in case that wasn’t explicit enough, this is why I want the C section:

Voltaire et Brownies

I got a hankering for brownies today.  Sadly, I did not have the energy to take a shower and change out of my pink pajama pants, and I certainly didn’t want to be dirty pajama girl in the grocery store, going to buy a box of brownie mix.  So, instead, I baked a batch from scratch and got on Facebook.  The same friend who shared Frankenstein Drag Queens from Planet 13 with me yesterday had shared another song today.

Today, the song he shared was Voltaire – Death, Death, Devil, Devil, Devil, Devil, Evil, Evil, Evil, Evil Song.

No, really.  It is.  And it’s also fabulous.  Now, unlike FDQFP13, I am familiar with Voltaire and I love him.  I won’t go into detail giving you his bio.  You should just check it out here.  I’m a fan of primary sources, and also – confession – I just do not have the energy to write much or well these days.  Hence the reblogging of my tattoo artist’s Facebook shares.

I should be ashamed of myself.  And yet…Nope.  I’m just not.

Anyhow, check out the song, then make some brownies from scratch.  All the cool moms are doing it.

Homemade Awesome Sauce Brownies…Squeee!

24 T (3 sticks) unsalted butter – hey, I never said these were good for you.  Just that they were good.

3 c. sugar

1 1/3 c. cocoa powder

2 t. vanilla

6 large eggs

2 c. flour

2 cups add – ins of your choice

1.  In a medium sauce pan, melt your three artery-clogging sticks of butter.  Once they’ve been successfully disincorporated into a quivery mass of greasy yellow sludge, whisk in your sugar, cocoa and vanilla.

2.  In a separate bowl, beat your eggs like they just stole your car and pooped in the back seat.  Do it.  Get all that aggression you’ve been saving out.  Makes you feel better.

3.  Now, pour the chocolate mixture into the eggs and beat all that hot mess until it’s indistinguishable.

4.  Pour the aforementioned hot mess into the bowl that you should have assembled previously, which contains your flour and add – ins.  Today, I chose chocolate chips and shredded coconut, because I’ve completely given up on myself and I no longer care what the calorie content of anything is.  You might want to go a different route.  Walnuts and a few souls of the innocent, perhaps?  It’s up to you.  That’s the beauty of this recipe.  Lets you be creative.

5.  Now, if you don’t want to clean anything up when you’re done, too bad.  Because you’re still going to have a sauce pan and some bowls and utensils dirtied.  But you can lighten your load by lining a 9×13 inch pan with parchment paper before dumping the batter in it.  If you’re just hardcore like that, and you don’t give a fuuuuuuuuuuuuck, then go ahead, player.  Just spray some Pam in there.  Or lube it up with some KY.  I really don’t care.  Don ‘t do any of that if you want to scrape your brownies out of the pan with a chisel.  That’s fun too.

6.  You’re almost done.  If I can do it, so can you.  Just pop those brownies in a preheated oven (350 degrees) and bake for about 30 to 40 minutes.  When a toothpick can penetrate their beautifully moist surface and be withdrawn clean as a Mormon teenager, then it’s time to pull them out.  So do that.  Then try to control yourself.  It’s going to be hard, because they’re going to smell good.  But think of them as the underage girl that works at the chicken hut.  Hands off a little longer, there, killer.  Just lean in real close and sniff them every once in a while.

When they’re Kool and the Gang, go ahead and eat those bad boys.  And watch some Voltaire while you’re doing it.

Love you, WordPress.