Let's Chat: Permanent Contraception

Momversation's new format asks that we address (solo) what's bugging us. For me, this week, it's birth control. Specifically permanent birth control, which was my knee-jerk "Yes, I must do that" reaction to finding out I was carrying a third and fourth child. We always knew we wanted two and then we went back and forth for an entire year re: being a family of five. But six? Oy and eep. Exciting! But still very oy and eep.

Moving on.

I am positive that after this, I'll be very much finished with the babymaking portion of my life. Hal, on the other hand isn't convinced. (Hal doesn't want a vasectomy, which I totally support. We have a full-support zero-pressure system in our marriage so although compromise is what holds us together, so is our understanding of the other's free will and feelings. Also, if it was up to Hal we'd have 89890231 kids because he's an insane person.) Hencefoth! This shit is on me. Because unlike Hal, I am convinced that four is PLENTY of children to raise and adore.

Behold, a short one-minute vid where (once again) I appear to be pooping in the still:

I think its a really interesting conversation mainly because it's a huge deal to permanently alter your body in such a way. And there's a part of me that wonders "what if I change my mind in ten years?" I am only thirty. Then again, exactly. If I don't do something permanent I am at risk for having 981908903281390 children and subsequently my own reality show disaster. Then again, what if somewhere down the line a family member or close friend wants to have children, cannot, and needs to borrow my uterus? I am totally down for surrogacy and feel it's only fair for those blessed with fertile bods to assist (if they can) those who aren't so fortunate. It feels almost selfish to close my shop. Or maybe that sounds totally naive. I've gone back and forth so many times, my head is literally spinning. I told my doctor several appointments ago that if I end up with a C-section (it's looking increasingly likely I'll be able to deliver vaginally) I want him to tie my tubes. I have since changed my mind. Then changed it back. Then changed it again.

The (above) video went live on Tuesday and after conversing with various commenters both here and on twitter, I'm pretty sure I'm going to experiment with the ONLY form of birth control I haven't used: The ParaGard (copper) IUD. Even if it makes me cramp more during periods and bleed all over myself for the first six weeks or whatever, I'd prefer that to the hormonal non-period lose-my-hair-and-sex-drive alternative. (For more on my Adventures with Mirena, you can read here, here and here). If that doesn't work, I'm seriously considering undergoing the Essure procedure, which is non-invasive, very permanent and seems to be the safest, most effective way to cease procreation.


I would love to hear from you regarding whether or not you've closed Uterine Shop permanently and if so, what you chose to do. Have you had a permanent procedure? A tubal? Essure? Has anyone ever regretted their decision? Or on the contrary, has anyone regretted NOT doing something more permanent? (ED: Please don't tell me Hal should get a vasectomy. If the roles were reversed and he was pressuring me to do something that might compromise my reproductive system against my will everyone would agree that would be uncool. Same goes for him because he is also a human with feelings.) It's a very personal choice, birth control but I feel like sharing stories (much like with my Mirena debacle) is both enlightening and helpful for those of us on the fence. Like me.

Thanks in advance for sharing your thoughts on this. You rule.


Eat Well: Corn in the USA

The following post was written by my mom, WWW. Thanks, mom!
When I was little, corn on the cob in the stores was yellow and starchy. I will never forget taking a trip with my parents to Pennsylvania and stopping at a stand to buy corn. We brought it back to my grandparents to eat and I had never tasted anything like it. “Now THAT is how our corn tasted on our farm,” my mother exclaimed. “We used to boil the pot of water, run into the fields to pick the corn, quickly shuck it, and then drop it into the boiling water for exactly 3 minutes.” My dad chimed in with his Midwest memories, where white corn grew in abundance “White corn is the sweetest,” he insisted. I drooled at the thought of being able to have such a magical food all summer long.

White corn showed up in my neck of the woods in the late 60’s at Chino’s Farm in Rancho Santa Fe. We would drive to the stand, 20 minutes each way, for our Saturday night summer family feasts and we cherished each ear of corn as if it were gold. My parents didn’t even flinch at the high price since each bite brought them back to their childhood. Sweet, juicy, succulent…there is nothing better than fresh corn on the cob.

Today, we can get cheap and abundant fresh, white, sweet corn at our local grocery stores and farmer’s markets thanks to plant hybridizers who have developed all sorts of new varieties of white corn that retain their sugar content for a longer period of time before turning to starch. But there are still some tricks to picking out and cooking corn to optimize flavor and sweetness.

First, look for ears that have medium sized kernels. You actually are getting less for your money if you pick out the biggest ears since chances are the sugar has already converted into starch. I feel the cob around the middle and find ones that aren’t too fat. Then I peak inside and look at the kernels:
Test kernels to see if juice is clear.  Notice the size of the kernels..these are perfect.
If they are too large, I keep searching. (Make sure they are developed, however. If they are really small and without color, they aren’t mature). The other thing to do is to pierce a kernel with your fingernail.
clear juice
If the juice is clear, it’s a fresh ear with a high sugar content. If it is milky or dry, it has turned to starch. I even sometimes sneak a kernel from the top and taste it. Then you know for sure that it is sweet! Always buy corn the same day you are going to eat it, store it in the refrigerator and shuck just before cooking.

Often our no-fuss summer patio dinners consist of several salads (including a fruit salad and green bean salad), veggie burgers, and always, fresh corn on the cob.

Boiled Corn on the cob
Bring a big pot of water to a boil, add corn, and bring back to a boil. Boil for 3 minutes. Serve immediately with butter and salt and pepper for those who want it (I like mine just plain!). I always cook a few extra ears so I can use them the next day in salads such as the green bean salad below.

Grilled Corn
The simplest way to grill corn is to remove loose husks, cut off any silks that are exposed, and then soak the corn for about 39 minutes in a large tub of water, placing a weight on top of it so it is completely submerged.

When time is up, pour out water and grill, turning 3 or 4 times, for 10-20 minutes. Don’t worry if the husks get brown or burn.

If you want to be a little fancier, after you soak the corn, pull back the husks on each ear, leaving them attached at the stem, and remove the corn silk. At this point you can spread softened butter mixed with chili powder or paste or herbs.

Cover back up and tie at the top with a thin piece of cornhusk and grill. Lime juice goes great with this, too!

OR…… You can grill the husked corn on the grill as in the following recipe. ED: David and Alyssa gave me a subscription to Vegetarian Times a few months ago (which I LOVE), and this recipe was in the July/August 2011 issue:

Thai-Style Grilled Corn with Roasted Peanuts
2 T unsweetened, reduced-fat coconut milk
1 tsp. light brown sugar
1 ½ tsp. reduced-sodium soy sauce
1 ½ tsp. lime juice
1 tsp. grated lime zest
¼ tsp. chile-garlic sauce, such as sambal oelek
¼ cup lightly salted dry-roasted peanuts
4 medium ears fresh corn, husked

1.Brush grill grates with oil, and preheat grill to medium.
2. Whisk together coconut milk, brown sugar, soy sauce, lime juice, lime zest, and chile-garlic sauce in bowl.
3. pulse peanuts in food processor until finely ground. Transfer to large plate.
4. Place corn on grill and cook 8 minutes, or until browned and lightly charred in spots. Turning occasionally. Brush with half of coconut milk mixture, and grill 2 minutes more.
Transfer to platter. Brush with remaining coconut milk mixture and roll in peanuts.
(served with homemade quinoa veggie burgers + green bean & corn salad, recipe below)


I love adding fresh corn (cooked or raw) to salads. First cut the corn kernels off of the cob using a very sharp knife and using your fingers, break them up into their individual kernels.

Then use the back side of the knife to strip down the cob to get the inside of the kernels left on the cob.
Right now I have an abundance of green beans in my garden and green bean salad is one of my summer favorites, so I added corn and made this easy salad. You can either use the corn raw or after it has been cooked.
Green Bean and Corn Salad
2 lbs of green beans
2 ears of corn
1 pint of cherry tomatoes, halved
½ small onion, thinly sliced (red or sweet yellow)
1 clove chopped garlic
3 T red wine vinegar
3 T olive oil
salt and pepper to taste
2 T fresh basil

Bring a pot of water to a boil. Cook corn for 3 minutes and set aside. In the same cooking water, cook beans for about 2 minutes.
Blanche beans
Beans should still be crisp. Immediately drain and plunge into ice water to stop cooking process (you can add the corn to the ice water, too, to cool it down).
Plunge in ice water after cooked
Cut beans into 1½ inch pieces. Toss with all ingredients and season to taste.
Refrigerate and serve cold.

Other corn ideas:

- Fresh corn off the cob is wonderful in an omelet and this one is particularly delicious:
-It’s delicious in quinoa salads, bean salads, and is fabulous in salsa with onion, black beans, lime and cilantro.
- And don’t forget stuffed quinoa peppers which uses lots of lovely summer corn and makes a great company dinner!
recipe, here.

Enjoy your summer corn! And happy 4th to those celebrating this weekend!


Via Nowness: Time Doesn't Stand Still

The following was taken from Nowness.com, which has become a daily must for me. For those of you unfamiliar, Nowness posts daily videos, interviews and photo essays featuring the latest in film, fashion, literature, photography, and art in all forms. A daily sampling of thought-provoking things, if you will. Occasionally the site takes itself a little too seriously but for the most part it's a wonderful place to pick up imaginary hitchhikers.

The following short stars Benjamin Millepied (yes, Natalie Portman's) and Lea Seydoux, directed by Asa Mader and is so stunning to look at, I couldn't help but reach for my pack of invisible cigarettes and stare longingly into the eyes of one of the construction workers next door, dangling by his jackhammer outside my window. Hope you enjoy:

Time Doesn’t Stand Still from Asa Mader on Nowness.com.

More on the film, here.


Twenty Four Forty-Eight Weeks

This week marks my forty-eighth week of pregnancy, which is what I'm officially now calling myself when people ask. Next week, I will be fifty whole weeks pregnant, which will sound impressive to July 4th beach-goers.

At last week's appointment with the perintologist, I was told that the babies were kicking so much ass they were actually one week bigger than what singleton babies typically are at this stage... Which means... something EXTRAORDINARY! Or not. I feel like they're compensating for the fact they will be born early (Due date is mid to late October-ish, but because they're twins, the first week of October is the very latest I'll give birth) which makes me want to give my belly a high five. And also, take a long nap. Grow on girls/ouch my bod!
Twin babies, fetuses at 24 weeks - BabyCenter
Babies are the size of large "ears of corn" this week. That's twenty-four inches (twenty-seven, c/o growth spurt) of lady power! And hormones! Boom/Sob!

This week marked the beginning of my, "okay, I give up and am going to sit down/take a nap/fall down in a heap in the middle of the floor" phase. I worked from home last week (instead of my usual coffee shop writing on nanny days) and since today is officially our first day of summer and Archer's home from school and here with me and Fable I find myself staring out the window onto the patio wondering what the hell we're going to do for three months. Alas, I've been told by my doctors that although I'm doing great and the babies are kicking dat ass, I should be resting mine.

I gave the whole "sorry, guys but we'll be spending most of the summer here, at home, with the blow-up pool" speech. Which sounds idyllic now, as I'm typing, but is really only idyllic for one minute and then the kids are like, "I'm over it, now what?" and I'm lying on my back in the grass pretending to be asleep hoping they can figure that part out on their own.

Last night I took the plunge into "stuff-for-twins-ville" on Etsy and before I knew it had 78798271893 things in my cart. I settled on two - one for the nursery, one for the babies' newborn heads. Because, really, how could I not?
Tweedledee and Tweedledum Alice In Wonderland Silhouette Print
Tweedledee & Tweedledum print, found here
Then, out of the box came Thing 1 and Thing 2, Dr
Thing 1 & Thing 2 hats, found here

Spent the entire weekend watching Hal put together (one of the cribs) and move the bookshelf from the garage to the nursery, hang the curtains, use power tools... The room is getting close to being complete. My goal was to have it finished in the next six weeks, mainly because "thirty weeks" is the magic number when carrying multiples. I want to be prepared in case of early labor, bed rest and any other complication that may arise. I want to be at full capacity so I can shop, organize, tape decals to the wall... And right now, at twenty-four weeks forty-eight weeks pregnant I am perfectly capable of doing, organizing and telling Hal where to move things. And then move them somewhere else.
Last night, amid my flurry of Etsy purchases, Hal came into my office and placed a card on my lap. I had just emailed him the link to my purchases ten minutes earlier (while he was working on HIS computer in the other room. Ahhhh, modern love!)

"What's this?" I asked.

"It's a card I got you at the store."

I opened the envelope to find this:

And inside:


Doesn't this all just blow your fucking mind?...
Fuck yes, my dearest darling. Mindblownonadailybasisfuckingfuck.




"I'm Fable and dees ah my happy gasses."



Nine Days of Photos c/o Hal's Inbox (Sponsored)

The following post is part of a two-part series sponsored by Yahoo! Mail, email carrier pigeon to the stars. Or, you know, regular folk like us.


Being that Hal works in production, his hours vary from awesome (11am call-time, woohoo!) to awesome on opposite day (be home at midnight, boohoo-sad-face-emoticon) so pretty much all throughout the day I send Hal pictures. With notes. So he doesn't feel left out. So he knows we're thinking of him. Because we are.

Here are some emails + photos I snapped in the past couple of weeks, mainly of Fable (Archer typically hates having his picture taken). Nine days in the life via Hal's inbox.

To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Fable dressed herself this morning

She put this entire ensemble together, including my sunglasses (which she then promptly broke, sigh). I'm especially impressed with the tank over dress. Layering for summer can be tricky. Not for this girl!


To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Our son looks like he's sixteen...

Can you believe he's graduating Kindergarten next week? Dude. I can't even deal.


To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Lulus

Fable and I just got home from lunch at Lulus. I think it was the first time we went to lunch just the two of us. I felt like I was there with my pal. Like, who is this person sitting next to me with four straws in her ice water? She ordered a quesadilla + a side of fruit all by herself. Because she's Miss Independent Woman '11, apparently...

And then she passed out on the way home. She's still sleeping.


To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Archer's field trip

Took these of Archer in the cop car on today's field trip. Later on, the police officer congratulated me on my pregnancy. Apparently, Archer spent his allotted two minutes in the car telling her all about his family. I love him.

To: Hal:
From: Bec
Subject: Tiny Dancer

I have a video to show you when you get home that will melt you... but these should do the trick for now. We love you.

To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Look what my mom brought for Fable!!!

It's that dress I loved from Maissonette! Isn't it to die? We just got home from lunch. Doctor appointment went well. Babies look gorge, twenty waving fingers... Having a lovely birthday so far. Can't wait for tonight! xo!

To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Uh oh.

She asked if I could "tattoo" stars on her wrist. Uh oh spaghetti o's...

To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Twirlin' it up o'er here!

The kids wanted to go out for ice cream. Okay, so it was my idea. Because I was craving mocha yogurt + pralines. Fable ordered "pink". Archer had sprinkles with a side of chocolate and we all lived happily ever after, the end.

To: Hal
From: Bec
Subject: Reading books with Fable

Resting in bed with my feet up (swollen ankles, ugh) and snapped some photos of Fable and her happiness. You, me and the Bachelorette later. You game? What am I saying. You're totally game...


(He was game.)