Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Happy Halloween!

(This last one is my favorite!)


Thursday, October 25, 2007


Dudes, I totally screwed myself: I have a work interview tonight with a prospective family. I really don't need a new family right now, but I got hooked because the 5-month old baby (!) is the grandson of a woman at church. I keep telling myself that the family's just looking for drop-in care for a few days in December, but it's still rough. Here's the thing, though--drop-ins usually morph into part-timers, and part-timers sometimes morph into full-timers. I have 2 kids who'll be moving in late spring/early summer, so I need to be thinking about adding a part- or full-time family to my roster for that time frame. Sigh. I just wish I had more energy for all this. But on the other hand, there's the possibility of another BABY! So exciting.


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Another meme

This one's from JPP!

5 Things I Do Well

1. Organizing: I'm not an INFJ-emphasis on-the-J for nothing! I make lists, I sort, I prioritize, I plan. I'm totally Type A, can you tell?

2. Finding bargains: I'm a v. thrifty shopper--I use coupons, shop at secondhand clothing stores, and buy on clearance.

3. Managing crises: I can obsess for hours about minor things, but I'm calm and reliable in a true crisis. I did this work professionally for years and even was trained as a community responder in critical incident stress management. My brother likes to tell this story from when we were little: I was babysitting for him when he barreled into the living room, hand covered in blood, screaming, "HELP--I cut my hand real bad!" He claims that I took one look, sighed, and said, "Apply direct pressure and keep your hand above your heart. I'll call 911." It turned out that he was playing a joke on me--the "blood" was actually ketchup--but the joke was on him when I didn't freak out like he'd anticipated. Ah, sibling love!

4. Keeping in touch: I grew up an Army brat and learned early on that if I didn't make an effort at keeping in touch with my friends, I'd lose them. I'm proud that although I'm an Army brat, I still have a friend today whom I met in 4th grade.

5. Seeing: At my last eye exam I had 20/10 vision. Now I think it's more like 20/15, but still--I have great eyesight. Hello, Hawkeyes!

And now, for good measure...

5 Things I Do Poorly

1. Cooking: I'm lazy and picky and don't have any sense of which foods taste good together. I'm also bad at knowing when food is done, so I usually overcook or undercook. I hate cooking and I'm pretty awful at it, too.

2. Math: I suck at it, really and truly. An example: When I took the GRE the first time, my math score was in the upper-30th percentile. After I studied like crazy (again) for the math section and retook the exam, my math score dropped to the low-30th percentile. Whaaa? At any rate, I'm glad that Petunia's good at math cuz I sure as hell won't be able to help Hester with her homework once she's out of 3rd grade.

3. Confronting people: This goes against my nature. I'd rather run away than call people out. However, getting older, running my business, and becoming a mom are helping in this regard. I'm getting more assertive all the time.

4. Art: I'm a terrible artist. Painting, drawing, sculpting, etc.--I'm just no good.

5. Running: I once took an F in gym class rather than attempt a 5-minute mile (yes, it was an Army school). If you ever see me running, you'll know that A) there's an alligator on my tail, or B) I'm taking steroids for a tenacious sinus infection. I suck at running.

The end.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Hester hearts fall!


Monday, October 22, 2007

Adventures in babysitting

We're going to be meeting with a potential babysitter for Hester this weekend. Considering what I do for work, I'm surprisingly nervous about the meeting. We've only left Hester once--with my parents--and that was just a couple of weeks ago. I'm not sure we're up to leaving her with a stranger, but there you go. We'll do our very best to screen this person; we'll call her references and ask her assloads of questions. After that, we'll go with our guts. If you have any advice on screening a possible babysitter, I'd appreciate hearing it.

(An aside: Why oh why don't we know any local parents? A child care swap would be AWESOME.)


It's time for Spencers!

These are my v. favorite apples--they're a MacIntosh/Red Delicious cross. Interestingly, I don't like Macs or Delicious apples at all, but I live for Spencers.

What's your favorite variety of apple?

Fall in western MA

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Check it out

Friday, October 19, 2007

Attention future gift recipients

Please email me your real name and mailing address at lifetwokeys at yahoo dot com. Thanks!

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Meme fun

From Sster: Choose a word for each letter of your middle name (then you must tag other bloggers, one for each letter).

So alrighty then, here goes:

J is for jack o'lantern. Petunia's a master carver and I can't wait to see what she has up her sleeve for this Halloween. We're going out to western MA for pumpkins this weekend!

(I'm tagging JPP for this one because I think she might humor me and play along.)

O is for Olive. I have a slight hearing loss that's sometimes good for laughs, as in this scenario:

Petunia, several years ago, talking about the day after New Year's Day: I have all of Wednesday off. Isn't that great? I love Wednesday!

Clementine: What? Olive Wednesday? I've never heard of that. Is that some crazy Catholic holiday?

She puts up with a lot, doesn't she? But FYI--we now celebrate Olive Wednesday the first Wednesday after New Year's Day. We give each other olive-themed cards or small olive-y gifts. It's become an annual tradition.

(I don't care if it's cheating--I'm tagging Petunia because I want her to post again!)

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Holy cow!

Is this the best PMS care package ever or what? My psychic twin JPP sent it to me today! Isn't she awesome?

Thanks so much, JPP! And PS--the Zebra Cake is already history.

Monday, October 15, 2007

News about baby foods

This morning Hester went to the doctor for her 9-month checkup. Dr. Gentle told Petunia that Hester can have all sorts of table foods now, including egg whites, and said we can start giving her milk along with formula at ~11 months. The most interesting thing she said was that Hester can have peanut butter at 12 months. Whaaa? I thought that peanut butter was strictly verboten until 3 years, but apparently not. I just did some online checking, and it turns out that the AAP recommends delaying peanut butter only for children with a high risk for peanut allergy. Who knew?



Questions from frog:

1. How have your pets adjusted to not being your only babies any longer?

Thankfully, the furbabies have adjusted beautifully. They love their little sister!

Before Hester came home from the hospital, we lined the pet beds with her baby blankets and pet the furbabies while holding her laundry. When Hester finally came home, they seemed to know her right away. Clara is very protective of her and loves to play with her, Josephine comforts her when she fusses or cries, and Reuben doesn't interact much but likes sitting on a pillow on the rocking chair in her room. Of course, all three pets are used to kids (even babies) from my business. Still, I think we've been v. lucky with them.

2. How did you find your way to adoption?

The short answer: Neither of us had any interest in being pregnant and both of us have a personal connection to adoption through foster care.

3. What's the very best thing about where you live (city, neighborhood, house, you choose!)?

I wrote a post a while back that sums it up completely for me.

Friday, October 12, 2007

I won something!

A great big ol' THANK YOU goes out to Heather from Production, Not Reproduction...I won a random drawing on her site and am now the grateful recipient of a subscription to Entertainment Weekly!
How cool is that? Thanks so much, Heather!


In which I am a wicked copycat

From frog's blog:

By the end of the calendar year, I will send a tangible, physical gift to each of the first five people to comment here. The catch? Each person must make the same offer on her/his blog.

Who's with me? Let's get this party started!

Thursday, October 11, 2007

National Coming Out Day

There are certain people I always remember on NCOD: my first girlfriend; the children's lit professor who called me out; my best friend; my family. Petunia too, of course. I give thanks every year for having such love and support in my life.

But I also think of the LGBT youth I had the privilege of knowing in my work as a crisis counselor: the whip-smart transgender woman who got herself off cocaine by reading Harry Potter; the young gay man raped by his father and brother after coming out to them; the trans and genderqueer youth who danced around the center fighting over Beyonce's part in "Say My Name"; the lesbian grad students who fell in love and eventually got married; the young gay man who died of AIDS several hours after my coworker and I visited him. All the homeless youth, unsafe or unwanted at home. All the suicidal youth. All the youth who used substances to escape. All the accidentally pregnant young lesbians and bisexual women. All the queer kids in group homes or psych units who visited the center on day passes. All the youth whose parents, families, religions, teachers, coaches, doctors, therapists, and friends told them they were sick, evil, or wrong.

On this particular NCOD, I'm also thinking of someone new: my daughter. My beloved Hester. My precious little girl who's being raised by two moms, who has no idea now that someday she'll be called to defend or deny her family. The very idea makes me want to scream and throw myself in her path to deflect the hate and ignorance she'll certainly encounter, but I can't walk this road for her. All I can do is help light her way.


Happy National Coming Out Day to my queer sisters and brothers, and Happy National Coming Out Day to our many allies. May we live each day with pride.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

Hester's Baptism

Who knew that Hester's baptism would be so moving? She was amazing, calm and composed as she joined her community of faith. The ceremony took place in the church where we were married on the 6th anniversary of our wedding; it was performed by the priest who married us. Many of our friends and family were in attendance. The whole day was filled with joy and blessings.

Baby Hester a few minutes before the service began.

Blurry photo of Hester being baptized.

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Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Long weekend plans

Today is my last day of work till next Tuesday. HOORAY!!!!! Folks start arriving tomorrow for Hester's baptism, and we'll have a busy, fun time of it from then till Monday. I'm especially looking forward to introducing Hester to her other great grandma. I think this is going to be a really nice long weekend.

Hester's baptism dress and bloomer (read: butt sweater) are drying on the washer as I type this. I'll add a button to the back of the dress and ribbons to both pieces this evening; after that, the dress will be completely finished. I'm glad that Petunia had the idea to make Hester's dress ourselves.

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Tuesday, October 02, 2007

CPR recap

So, the CPR class sucked. It was VERY long. I got home at 10pm all cranky and turns out that even mild wrist and ankle sprains are not conducive to repetitive life saving. Who knew?

For those who wish to skip the latest recert class, I present to you the info I relearned last night:

1. For infant/child CPR: 30 chest compressions to 2 breaths.
2. For infant/child rescue breathing, it's 1 breath every 3 seconds.
3. For conscious choking, it's 5 back blows and 5 abdominal thrusts for kids; 5 back blows and 5 chest compressions for infants.
4. For unconscious choking, it's the same as your basic CPR, only you're trying to clear the airway rather than to circulate blood. Check the kid's mouth after each cycle of compressions to see if you got anything out of the airway.
5. For chest compressions, the rate is 100 compressions/minute; kids' compressions go 1-1.5 inches deep and infants' go .5-1 inch deep.
6. An infant is anyone under ~1 year and a child is anyone ~1-12 years old.
7. And finally, the Red Cross Gold Standards: Check-Call-Care and Airway-Breathing-Circulation. If you don't know what the hell I'm talking about, you'd better start with the standard CPR class.

That'll be $30, please.

You're welcome.


Monday, October 01, 2007

"Baby baby are you okay?"

--Early Intervention came today to assess the little guy I've been worried about. They didn't find any delays in his basic development, but they don't know what's up with him. They're referring him to a psychologist and an occupational therapist, however. I'm hopeful that soon we'll have a better idea of how to help him.

--Hester, Petunia, and I went to Baby Loves Disco over the weekend! It was really fun.

--I fell down last night and now I'm a mess. My ankle, wrist, and hand got the worst of it, but nothing's broken or even badly sprained. I'm just tender and sore, which is fun.

--I have my CPR recertification class tonight. There's nothing better than waking up in the wee hours, working a 10-hour day, and then sitting in a CPR class for 3.5 hours. Oh, I can hardly wait.