The Pink Balloon

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For an hour, she wouldn't let it go. She carried it with her around the house and outside as we set up for the party, held it tight in her hand...
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Until finally, she let it go...
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Archer quickly snatched it up and...
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"POP!!!"
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(Tears!)
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So he brought her a new one.
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"I'm sorry, Fable."
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"Thank you, Ahbee."
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Once again, she didn't let it go...
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...until eventually, she did.
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He didn't pop it this time.
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GGC

Twenty Weeks

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The other day someone congratulated me on my impending birth.

"Any day now!" they said.

"If May was October then yes, ABSOLUTELY YES!"

I can't believe I still have four plus months to go. I mean... I'm twenty weeks pregnant technically, but also, in a way, forty weeks pregnant because two times twenty = forty (I RULE at math!) and we must not discount the fact that two are indeed incubating in one oven. So, hi, I'm nine months pregnant.
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So THAT's why I've gained thirty pounds! Aha!

Moving on...

I went to the symphony with my sister Friday night and could barely sit still without dying. The pressure has suddenly become severe on my pelvis and my heartburn has, in the last few days, turned into full-fledged acid reflux which is terrible and gross. Thus far nothing has helped sans for chewing several sticks of gum at a time and sit-sleeping as not to choke on my own bile. Charming I am not, although happy I undoubtably am.
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These pictures are beyond ridiculous.

As you can see in the above TMI belly shot, the unitard has been retired. I may invest in a larger size that will stretch beyond infinity but I think I might be living in skirts and dresses for the rest of the summer. (I've already outgrown two of the three pairs of maternity jeans I own, oy.) In the meantime, or as long as I have the balls sacs to post them, I'll be showcasing the bare belly in all its growing glory. (Re: stretch marks. I've been lucky enough not to get them my last two pregnancies. Apparently stretch marks are hereditary although I am anticipating I may not be so lucky this go 'round. In the meantime, I'm applying Josie Maran's whipped Argan oil Body Butter twice a day and trying to master the not-yet-in-existence art of skin exercise.)

The nursery is coming together, crib is on its way and my mom's getting started on the curtains (which will be in completely different fabric than originally decided. I can't wait to show you! It's going to look amahzing.) My friend ended up having the EXACT same rug I was going to buy new from IKEA, homeless and rolled up in her garage, so now we have our rug free of charge + excellent vibes from one of our favorite families. My parents drove the rocking chair up this weekend and I've spent the last two nights rocking back and forth in this mess of a nursery/office, puking in my mouth and rubbing ye olde giant stomach.

I go in for my next ultrasound Wednesday to measure babies' parts/fluids on the high-tech machine with the perintologist. If this was a singleton pregnancy, this would be my second (of three) total ultrasounds but because of the twin pregnancy, it's my zillionth. Quietly, I'm loving being able to spy on my womb mates. Hal and I were joking that by the time our kids are having kids, they'll have micro-cameras in their body cavities allowing them to watch their entire pregnancies on giant robot-screens, narrated by their generation's Morgan Freeman, and I'll be like, "when I was your age I had to drive five miles to see a HUMAN technician with cold hands..."

For now there's the following Babycenter diagram, featuring the babies as they look today, banana sized and kicking ass belly.
Twin babies, fetuses at 20 weeks - BabyCenter

As many of you know, every pregnant woman has a sign on her bod that says, "Feel free to talk to me about my uterus!" and also one that says "Ask how long I plan to breastfeed!" and another one that says "Please, I beg of you, tell me all about your unmedicated home birth and how I should do the same thing!" but my favorite unsolicited advice yet came Friday night during dinner.

My sister and I had just settled into our quinoa and vegan "cheese" covered potatoes at a local vegan eatery (which is AMAZING by the way, you should definitely go eat there immediately) when a beautiful dreadlocked bra-less woman approached our table with a makeshift note. She had seen me come in to the restaurant and HAD to tell me about the documentary that changed her life and that would surely change mine. She even went so far as to write me CliffsNotes on the back of a receipt.
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She was desperate for me to give birth at a camp in the Black Sea and when I told her, "That sounds amazing! I'd TOTALLY be down to do that but you see, I'm having twins, so it wouldn't be safe for me to...."

"Nononononono!" she interrupted. "Twin births are no problem for Black Sea-birthers! It's the way nature intended!"

Apparently there were twins in the documentary, birthed naturally with the assistance of nature's own midwife dolphins.

I'll admit, I did check out some information on the doc and it looked undoubtably fascinating but, um,.... yeah, not for me. I'm perfectly comfortable utilizing modern conveniences like hospitals, epidurals, postpartum cotton underwear with built-in-icepacks...

My ideal birth experience = giving birth to healthy babies with as little postpartum discomfort as possible (which is why I'm going for a vaginal birth as long as baby A isn't breach. As in breach position, not leaping dolphins). That being said, in my next life, I'm very interested in attending Black Sea Dolphin Doula birth camp and will be taking the generous stranger's notes with me to the afterlife via my freestyle canoe.

Until then, I remain humbly... twenty forty weeks pregnant.
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you grow girls!

For those who inquired about my charm necklace, I posted about it, here. And thankfully for me, there is room on the necklace for two more names. Also, thanks for all your incredible comments on the name post. That was a fun one.

GGC

***

Baby Names for Sale, Never Used

&<span class=
...soon to be adding two more charms to the necklace.

A few weeks ago, Hal and I decided on two ever-so-lovely baby names. Two names we both totally adore that match sort of but not in a rhyme-y, same-initial-y way. They are the essence of themselves, flow well together and we couldn't be more excited to meet our babies and decide which name belongs to whom. (We'll wait to meet them before we decide.)

Choosing names was a family affair and Archer and Fable were included in the process. And even though we're now sure the babies are girls, we have two boy names in our back pocket just in case. (I'll disclose those names after the babies are born. I'm not quite ready to let go of them yet. EDITED: Boys names are now included below.)

Hal and I came up with two boy names (four including middles) we loved almost immediately. Most people have a hard time with boy names but I think girls names are much more difficult because the options are seemingly endless. We had our boy names after one week of discussion much like we did with Archer Sage which we were set on long before we knew I was pregnant with a boy. I still remember sitting cross-legged on the bed of my old apartment before Hal and I had even moved in together deciding that, yes, Archer Sage was the perfect name if we should have a son sun.

If Archer was a girl, he would have been Colette and if Fable was a boy she would have been Caspian or Noble, all of which were off the list this go around as not to recycle. (ED: I still adore all three names.)

Everyone has differing opinions when it comes to naming their children but for us names are hugely significant. Hal and I are both on the same page when it comes to giving our children unique names that are distinctly theirs. That (to our knowledge) are not owned by any other children in our past or even present.

Naming twins was tough for us because while we didn't want the names to matchy-match, we wanted to love them identically. It was also important for us to pick two names that flattered one another. There were names we loved for a single child that didn't work for twins, specifically same-sex twins. (See: Echo.) We also wanted names that were nickname-able in case the kids felt more comfortable going by shortened versions of their names. (I typically go by "Bec" because Rebecca is extremely formal sounding.)

As promised, here are the names that were at one time on our list of contenders but are no longer. I'm still in mourning, I'll admit, because I adore many of these names and am (ever so slightly) loath to part with them however hopeful that they might find a home and/or inspire those of you with babies on the way. Congratulations, mamas! Godspeed, names!

***

Delphine (F, French) pronounced Del-Feen, nicknames: Del, Delphi.

Delphine means “dolphin” a wise and whimsical mammal, free-spirited, strong… Also named for greek town of Delphi, town believed by the ancient greeks to be “the earth’s womb”… Also taken from “Delphinium” aka the larkspur flower. Other variants of Delphine I love = Delpha, Delphina, Delfina. (ED: Delphi was actually a fierce middle name contender.)


Cypress (M/F) Like the tree, Cypress(es) are known for their durability year-round. They flourish in all four seasons, are beautiful, strong and have had literary significance since the dawn of meaning. They're also beautiful, as is the name, I think, which combines both a whimsy and strength. Possible nicknames: Cy, Essie

Echo (F) pronounced Ek-O, "to have a continued significance or influence", this was a contender before we knew we were having twins. (Echo also means "following" as well as reverberating influence which is the last thing we wanted either of our children to feel.) Love Echo. But not in the case of twins. possible nicknames: Co, Coco

Lark (F) songbird, a carefree or spirited adventure, amusing. I still love this name so much. It's feminine and upbeat and beautiful. You should totally use it.

Cricket (F) Loud insect of the night. We thought Cricket was cute, but maybe better as a nickname than a given one. Then again, I love the name and think the right family could pull this one off with aplomb and eccentric grace.

Forrest (M) Woods, woodsman. A strong, strapping name rooted (ha!) in nature. Forrest would equally rock as a girl's name I think.

Autumn (F) Season of harvest. Autumn is my favorite season, a beautiful name, but what to call her for short, that is the question. Aut? Tummy?

Clover (F) re: the idiom, "to be in clover" to live a prosperous life. For our fourth child, this seemed appropriate as the "four leaf clover" is a rare fluke of luck, kind of like conceiving twins after ONE night of unprotected sex whilst on the rag. TMI, sorry, but that's pretty... uh... rare. But much like Echo, Clover is a great name for a fourth child, singleton but not a twin, I don't think. We want both girls to come into the world knowing firm in the knowledge that they are equal blessings, luck charms. (For anyone expecting their fourth child, daughter? This name's totally for you.)

Pace (M) pronounced Pa-chay, meaning: Peace (Italian). This was a middle-name front-runner for a boy. Pace pronounced Pace, meaning "speed" is also cool.

Daisy (F) I love flower names and I agree with Meg Ryan in You've Got Mail re: Daisies being the happiest flowers. This is the only name that has been on all three of our "lists" and every time Hal says the same thing. "No!" And I respond with the same, "sigh..."

Dahlia (F) Another flower, this was a contender for a middle name as well. (We were considering flower names for the girls' middle names.) And Daisy and Dahlia are related so...

Zenith (M/F) the very top, (possible nicknames, Zen, Zeni) I like this name as a singleton but doesn't work as well with twins unless the other twin's name was, perhaps, Everest?

Belle (F) Beautiful. Belle was my late great-grandmother's name (she who birthed triplets and lived to tell the tale!) but naming one twin after a family member and not the other didn't feel right, even if we were considering it for a middle name. Also, I think my sister secretly wants it for one of her unborn babes. Tis yours, Rach.

Luna (F) Moon. Luna is too similar to Fable's middle name (Luella) and is also increasingly common in our neighborhood. But its still OH SO lovely and has all the elements we look for in a name, strength, meaning, poetry... sigh.

Castle (M) magnificent mansion (ED: I went to school with a boy named Castle and have always loved the name. It's strong and unique and, okay, maybe a little TOO strong. Forboding, even? I lost track of Castle after high school but as far as I can tell, he went on to become the Navy Seal he always wanted to be. With a name like Castle, of course he did.)

Harbor (F) a haven where ships seek shelter from stormy weather. I love Harbor as a name because it's a beautiful word and I love that it means safe place. It also sounds like Harper, so it almost seems like it might be a name even though it isn't one.

Paisley (F) ancient symbol of life and eternity, official pattern of "pyschedelic style"... I love Paisley even if my mom was like, "EVERYONE named their kids Paisley in the 70s." (I have yet to meet a thirty-something Paisley so I think she might have made that up.)

Brave (M), a potential middle name, meaning, well, Brave. Love.

Blythe (F) Happy. I've loved Blythe since I performed in our Junior High production of Blythe Spirit. In fact, Blythe Spirit is a great FULL name. Anyway, apparently Hal knew a girl named Blythe that he wasn't a superfan of. But it's so pretty and upbeat. Like Daisy. "Daisy and Blythe" would have made for some seriously edible twin girl names, no?

Sebastian (M) venerable, respected. A classic. I've always loved this name but Hal was always very "eh" about it. I think because he assumed I wanted to name our unborn child after my favorite band. (Uh, no.)

Phoenix (F/M) a person or thing as uniquely remarkable (see also, Phoenix rising from the ashes, self-renewing) Hal loved this name (his idea, actually) but it's become increasingly common around here so I vetoed.

Nova (F) new, bright star. A high contender for first (and middle) name, we both really liked Nova.

Aura (F) physical halo, subtle (spiritual) illumination surrounding an object, essence of an individual Hal and I both liked this but found it difficult to say. It's feminine and like Harbor, sounds like a name even though it isn't typically. I loved its light. It's airy and feminine. Would fit really well with Nova as first or middle names.

Marigold (F) In many cultures Marigolds are regarded the "celebratory flower" and used in worship, weddings, funerals, celebrating life... (Nicknames: Goldie) Hal didn't like Marigold so that was that but I hope someone out there falls in love with it as I did because I looooove it for a child, teenager, woman, little old lady in a rocking chair, and could SO see one of my children running around barefoot, flowers in her hair, Goldielocks.

Apollo (M) God of music, poetic inspiration, medicine... the sun. (ED: this name was off the table because Hal's friend just named his son Apollo. Solid taste, Hal's friend.)

Azure (F) bright blue like the clear sky. Lovely.

Lumina (F) Sunshine. Unfortunately Chevy got to this one first. Also, too similar to Fable's Luella.

Meadow (F) Too Sopranos-y, but such a lovely name, nonetheless.

Season (F) - Sea I LOVE for short, Season was something that matched with Saffron (below) but also represented natural change and four quarters of one whole. I envisioned four seasons and how together, they make each and every person and la la away I go again. Season was not a favorite for Hal so I mourned it and moved on. Kind of.

Beatrix (F) - One of my favorite old names. Bea is perfection for a little girl - and Beatrix is gorgeous for all ages. I also quite like Trixie.

Saffron (F) - A spice, yes, but also one of the most healing spices in the world, not to mention the most precious. I loved Saffron with Marigold, for first names OR middle names because they were both bright and happy sounding. Who wouldn't want to spend an afternoon with Saffron and Goldie?

Valentine (F) sweetheart. I actually love this for a boy as well. (Henry Miller's middle name was Valentine.) Val is cute for short.

Zephyr (F) - West Wind. This was a top contender for me, even if it was on our past list as a boy's name. We could call her Ephy (Effie) for short. Someone please take this name and give it a good home thank you amen.

***

Archer's suggestions:
Manhattan & Newyorkcity

Fable's suggestions:
Meow & Moo-Moo


xo,

GGC

Updated: Had Boheme and Reverie been boys we would have named them Vox Shepherd and Revere Blaze. More on that, here.

Eat Well, Pregnancy Vegetable Comparison Edition: Heirloom Tomatoes

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
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One of Rebecca’s reader's (hi, Sydney!) suggested that each week we feature the vegetable or fruit that Babycenter uses to compare the weight and size of her “womb mates.” I love that idea so I am going to give it a try. I have missed 18 weeks of veggies and fruits, but will start this week and we’ll see how I do. It will be a bit challenging so bear with me!

I am rejuvenated and bursting with ideas after attending a beautiful wedding in Grass Valley, California where an unbelievable five course vegetarian meal was catered by Magpie Café in Sacramento. You can only imagine how gleeful I was when I heard that the dinner was sans all-things-animal, and when the courses kept coming, each one more amazing than the one before, I was like a little girl in a candy store. I took copious notes on the ingredients of each course, but stupidly didn’t take pictures to share. Suffice it to say, if you live in a 100-mile radius of Sacramento, you must try this restaurant. The one completely new idea that I took away from the dinner was cooking with pea tendrils, the tender young leaves and shoots of pea plants. Magpie Café made a Fettuccini dish with the pea tendrils and it was absolutely to die for. I am so excited to try some recipes with these next winter, as my pea plants have been long replaced by my summer garden and are now fully composted.

At 19 weeks, the babies are compared to heirloom tomatoes, and although it is a little early in the season to be finding them in abundance in farmer’s markets, I have started to see them in the grocery store. It is also time to plant them in most parts of the world, so I thought I would talk a little about growing them as well as using them in recipes. (See my last summer’s post for a few more tomato recipes).

According to Wikipedia, “an heirloom tomato (also called heritage tomato in the UK) is an open-pollinated (non-hybrid) heirloom cultivar of tomato.” Basically this means that they are older varieties of tomatoes that can pollinate by themselves through natural means and are not cross-pollinated with other species of tomatoes. This can lead, however, to some problems such as susceptibility to diseases and to cracking which we all have seen on heirloom tomatoes. Basically if you are going to grow them in your garden, find out which varieties do well in your area by asking other gardeners. I have had mixed luck growing them in my garden but have found two types that grow really well for me and give me a great harvest: Brandywine and Momotaro. Here is a picture of my Momotaro tomatoes last year.
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And here is my Brandywine plant this year…tomatoes are already forming which is a really good sign!
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Heirloom tomatoes should NEVER be refrigerated as it makes them go starchy. So, leave them on a counter out of the sun until you need them. They keep for several days, even up to a week, at room temperature unless they are badly cracked. Then they need to be eaten up rather quickly.

I eat my heirloom tomatoes raw. They are usually too juicy for cooking unless you are using them for a sauce or a soup. You can also freeze tomatoes for cooking by putting them whole in a plastic bag and then putting them into the freezer. I used them all winter in my recipes and it was so fun to have my delicious garden tomatoes reminding me of summer.

There is nothing like an open-faced hummus sandwich topped with a thick slice of heirloom tomato, fresh basil or arugula, and a drizzle of balsamic vinegar. This is my go-to lunch most summer days. And then there is salsa and bruschetta (pronounced [brusˈketːa]. Home made, they are so much better than anything you can buy and are so easy to make. Make sure you use vine-ripened tomatoes, the sweeter the better. If local vine-ripened tomatoes aren’t available in your stores and farmer’s markets yet, look for Campari tomatoes sold in plastic boxes. They are delicious, very sweet and work great for both.
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***
Salsa (Pico de Gallo)

2 large heirloom tomatoes, 3-4 medium vine ripened tomatoes
(or a box of Campari tomatoes)
¼ cup chopped cilantro
½ cup finely chopped sweet onions
½ seeded finely chopped jalapeno (leave out if you like your salsa mild)
½ lime, freshly squeezed
Salt and pepper to taste

Chop tomatoes and let the extra juice drain out of them. Combine with the other ingredients and serve immediately. Serve as an accompaniment to any Mexican dish or serve with chips.
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served on a bean tostada

NOTE: You can adjust the quantities of the ingredients to your liking. I never measure and just keep tasting it until it tastes right to me. You can use any onions but I am a big fan of sweet onions.

NOTE #2: The salsa will keep for a couple of days in the refrigerator but it will become watery.

Tomato Bruschetta
2 lbs chopped tomatoes
½ chopped onion (I like sweet)
2 cloves chopped garlic
1 bunch chopped basil
4 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste

Combine all ingredients. Toast thick slices of Italian or French bread (or cook on a grill). Rub bread with fresh garlic clove and top with the tomato mixture. Serve as an appetizer.
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VARIATIONS:
1.You can drizzle some balsamic vinegar on top if you want.
2. Add extra olive oil, 2 more garlic cloves, omit the onion, and serve on cooked pasta for an easy dinner!!

***

(These two tomato salads are so easy and are my favorite ways to use fresh tomatoes.)

Heirloom tomato salad
5-6 cups heirloom tomatoes
(you can use several colors for a fun presentation!)
¼ cup fresh basil, finely chopped
2 T balsamic or red wine vinegar
4 T extra virgin olive oil
Salt and pepper to taste

Cut tomatoes into large chunks. Add basil. Pour vinegar and olive oil over tomatoes and basil and mix well. Add salt and freshly ground pepper to taste. Serve or refrigerate for several hours.

Caprese salad
Buffalo mozzarella or other FRESH mozzarella
Heirloom tomatoes, thickly sliced
Fresh basil leaves, sliced
Salt and pepper
The finest olive oil you can find

Slice tomatoes and mozzarella into thick slices. On a large platter, arrange the tomato slices with a slice of mozzarella on top. Sprinkle basil leaves all over the slices. Drizzle with olive oil and sprinkle with salt and pepper. Serve.
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These easy recipes bring out the full flavor of fresh vine-ripened heirloom tomatoes and all can be doubled, tripled, quadrupled, etc. to meet your needs.

Enjoy!
Love,
WWW

***

ED: GGC now has a search function (see right sidebar) so anyone needing to search specific recipes or archived posts, you now can! Sorry it took me six years to implement such a function. Big love to all!

Nineteen Weeks

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ED: I appear to have a penis in this picture but I'm just going to go with it.

Because the average twin birth delivers at thirty-six weeks and I'm optimistically hoping I'll go all the way to thirty-seven or eight... ish, I'm marking this week the halfway point. Happy half-zero'th birthday, babies!

Friday I went in for another ultrasound/appointment. My doctor's been having me come in every three+ weeks for the last couple of months because the babies are looking good and I've been feeling surprisingly fantastic.

I've put on eight pounds since my last appointment three weeks ago, (currently clocking in at 164 lbs) which is healthy for my size and considering I'm about halfway there, is right where I should be. Still. It's hard to put oneself in the mindset that gaining weight is GOOD! Pack on the pounds, sister! Healthy as it may be for the babies, I'm still a woman dammit.

The babies are flourishing - they look fantastic and happy, lots of kicking and flailing. They're positioned horizontally in my person, with their heads at each other's feet like yin and yang and baby A is backwards, so every picture thus far has been of her back. Baby B on the other hand, is face front so every time my doctor presses the ultrasound wand against my belly, this face appears like the ghost of Christmas future, her little hands waving around, like, "hello, folks!"
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Baby "skeletor" B, saying hello. Check out her massive fetus brain!
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Baby "nice spine" A, also brainy, although shy.

I decided against all amnios, neck fold tests et al because I was told they'd only produce an "almost accurate result" which means (to me) more distress than knowledge. Also, I'm allergic to tests. Also, I hate them. Also, no thank you.

Hal has started referring to the babies by name (by the way, they ARE indeed girls, doctor's sure of it now) which is terrifying for some reason... I think because I'm still sort of in shock every time I go to the doctor's office and there are two in there. It doesn't seem real yet even though I can feel them moving and kicking and I'm visibly Winnebagoesque.

Babies are the size of large heirloom tomatoes (six inches, head to bottom, aw) this week and according to Babycenter are trying to impress us with their extreme flexibility.
Baby, fetus at 19 weeks - BabyCenter
I'm getting increasingly excited that I get to mother three daughters. Girls are so much fun and although in the beginning, I'll admit, I was slightly disappointed not to have an equal penis/vagina household ratio (I love me some boy), I couldn't be more excited over the prospect of starting a Spice Girls cover band with my ladies (Zadie, our Boston Terrier has already dibbed Posh. The remaining four of us will have to draw straws).
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Gotta get with our friends

It feels right, this soon-to-be-six-member posse, although, Hal and I recently had the "permanent birth control" conversation and Hal was like, "but what if we want five children someday?" and he was totally serious.

Don't worry. I slapped him in the face. Softly.

Having a big family will be fantastic, I'm sure, but four is PLEEEEEEENTY of children. For me, at least. I told Hal if he wants to knock up some other wife, he's totally allowed, but this one? Is happily retiring her uterus this holiday season.
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GGC


***

last day of five

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This morning he woke up early. He ate breakfast at the table with his sister. He played with his car tracks, fought with his sister, made up with his sister, snuggled on the couch with his sister. He stayed in his pajamas past eleven, dressed himself in plaid pants and a blue shirt, waited for his dad to take him to the car museum, to watch the ball track, which they did for half the day.

We talked about his birthday cupcakes, the flavor(s) he wanted for school, which he had to repeat twice because I wasn't listening, distracted by the hiss coming through the hole in his smile, missing space from the tooth he lost last week.

***

I accidentally cried in front of him when he showed me it was loose.

"Don't worry, mom. It doesn't hurt," he said, but it did for me. Because his baby was literally falling out of him. Because I remembered so well when those teeth first came in, how he cried and cried. How I rocked him on my shoulder and he cried.

The tooth fell out days later, I was the tooth fairy, tip-toeing across the room by the glow of the night light.

How does this happen?

It just does.

***

Today I asked him how he felt about being six tomorrow.

"This is your last day of five," I said.

"Nooooooo!!!! I don't want to grow up!"

Me either so I had to convince us both.

"But growing up is great! It's the best!"

"Why?"

Because you get to become more interesting and you get to learn and help and teach and be a better person. You get to fall in love and learn to drive a car and go to dances and have your first kiss. You get to be an art scientist if you want or a builder or fly to the moon. You get to eat ice cream for breakfast, stay up all night, wander around the world and meet strange and interesting people. You get to have children and name them Archer and love them so much you think you might possibly explode into a new universe.

We worked on tying his shoes. Archer's homework assignment this week was to set a goal to meet by Sunday and all through the week, including today, we went over knots and bunny ears, mastered the whole thing except for the very last step. I showed him what to do and he tried, over and over again, both of us equally frustrated until finally, he exploded into a fit of cries and screams and "IT'S TOO HARD! I CAN'T DO IT!'s and I took the stupid shoe and threw it across the room.

"No more!" I said. "We're done."

A few minutes later I came back. And we sat on the couch side by side for a long time before I got up to pick up the shoe, handed it to him and we kept going. Bunny ear, around the world and through the hole to pull...

***

For dinner he ate fish sticks and broccoli and Hal made him a hot fudge sundae for dessert.

"How does it feel to be almost six?" Hal asked.

"But I'm still five," he said back.

***

We're having a party for him next weekend but he didn't want to invite anyone from school, not even his best friends. He wanted a bouncie in the backyard with a slide and family only, no friends allowed.

"Are you sure?"

"Yes, mom. I'm sure."

I love him so much for that. For being himself, little man stuck in the body of a boy who doesn't want to grow up, yet in so many ways already has. The other day he called himself my sun, told me his three sisters were like moons, that without him, there would be only moonlight, which is so totally true. Without him, there would be no us. No Fable. No family. No house. No nothing.

Tomorrow he will be six years old and I will be six years a mother and we will be six years a family.

Or as Archer says, "onto the second hand of things"...

"I'm sorry I threw the shoe across the room. That wasn't right."

"I'm sorry I can't tie my shoes yet. I need to be more patient."

Onto the second hand...

It was just another day, today. Much like tomorrow will be even though it so isn't. Not for him or me or any of us. Happy birthday to you, happy birthday to you, happy birthday dear Archer, happy birthday to you... Life will continue to move forward, cupcakes will be devoured, teeth will fall out of mouths, Archer will tie his shoes. In the meantime, we'll continue to eat Hal's sundaes, love each other, grow up. Because those things can't be stopped. Not time. Not love. (Not ice cream.)

Every day we must force ourselves to let go of what was to make way for what is, what will someday be: another birthday he'll someday want to celebrate without us. Friends only, no family allowed.

But not yet.

Tonight, like he says, he's still five.

GGC

Gone Maternity: like totally to the maxi

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The following photos were taken sporadically over the last month. I thought it would be fun to do a maternity series based on styles that are comfortable, practical and wearable through pregnancy. Naturally, maxi dresses are #1, a great investment for any pregnant woman who wants to wear her maternity clothes happily ever after. All the dresses below were purchased at non-maternity stores but work just as great (better, I think) than what you might find overpriced and unimpressive at your local pregnant person store.

Maternity jeans are a must-have obviously (more on that, later) but for those who find themselves pregnant in the summer, (Fable was born October 2nd, and these babies will likely be born around the same time) long and loose dresses win. Here are some of mine.
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Dress: $20 find at Melrose Trading Post swap meet
necklace: 70's vintage, Melrose Trading Post swap meet
Sandals: Steve Madden
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This will fit me all through my pregnancy and beyond. It is currently my favorite article of clothing/proof that thrifting wins. There is no better feeling than digging for treasure you never knew you were looking for. This dress is my happy place. I also can't help but notice how in ONE MONTH my body has completely changed. These pictures were taken when I was fourteen weeks pregnant. I'm eighteen weeks, now, and my body has seemingly doubled in size.
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This next dress is by far the most comfortable article of clothing in my closet. I bought it when I first found out I was pregnant. It will stretch to infinity and I'll be able to wear it for the brutal postpartum still-looking-pregnant months. The sweater is falling apart but its my favorite and the shoes are deceptively comfortable. Definitely pregnappropriate.
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Dress: Anthropologie
Sweater: Splendid
Shoes: 80%20
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This next sassy little number was an early birthday gift from my mother. It's plenty big for me to wear through my pregnancy and is more comfortable than sweatpants. I've worn it three times in the last two weeks and slept in it once (is that weird?).
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Dress: Anthropolgie
Flip-flops: Havianias
Cardi: Fluxus
Earrings: a gift from my brother & his lady
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More stripes! Because they are my best friend! Everything in my closet involves stripes. Stripes, stripes, stripes. They're always on trend, classic, appropriate, easy to accessorize and for some reason, everything with stripes is always superiorly comfortable. Like this next maxi/top combo, jersey heaven.
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Hat: Hal's
Dress/tee: Anthropologie
Flip-flops: Havianas
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I like how Hal got all arty with this next picture. Foil(ag)ed again!
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Also a gift from mom, this dress was so-so on the rack but on my body I love it so. It's comfortable, looks great with jackets, sweaters and will look just as lovely fifty pounds from now. I hope.
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dress: Anthro
Jacket: Madchen
Sandals: Sam Edelman
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What? You're over stripes? NOT ME! Don't worry, these ones are green. I bought this dress last fall on sale for $12 at Veronica M on Beverly. I was with my friend, Bethany who was like, "buy it!" and because I trust her pro-stylist opinion I did. And never looked back. The boobs are a little out of hand in this one c/o me accidentally buying an XS (which is NOT my size) instead of a Medium. I was able to pull it off sans jacket before I was pregnant but now, two bra sizes later, I'll spare the public my offensive cleave.
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Dress: Veronica M
Jacket: a million years old
Sandals: Sam Edelman
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Hal and I were arguing during these photos, can you tell?
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And then we made up!
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This next one isn't really a maxi dress. It is long-ish and loose-fitting and a great vintage find. I wore it Monday with my unitard and decided to include it in this post because maxi it may not be, but roomy it absolutely is. Also, I've always looked pregnant in this dress and now when I wear it I can finally be like, "Pregnant? Why, yes sir. Yes, I am."
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Dress: thrifted (Melrose Trading Post)
Unitard: AA
Boots: thrifted
Body: growing massive-r by the minute

***

Looking to do some maxi dress shopping? EVERYONE from Piperlime to Zappos to Nordstrom to ModCloth is fully stocked in the maxi department right now. If you're pregnant, make sure to go with dresses sans waistlines (no matter how elastic) in a jersey/spandex fabric and always purchase a size (or more) up. Happy maternity-ing!

GGC