Liner Notes 3/26

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I'm so used to posting every day that I feel like I'm showing up to class, five days late, and now I'm typing this a mile a minute because I have to leave to go to the dentist in an hour. A dentist that had to "check its archives" to find and retrieve my name and dental history. That's how long it's been since I was dentisted. It's funny because as much as I see myself as this person who thrives on chaos and impulsiveness, I freak out when my routine is compromised and these last few weeks it has been. Changes are afoot at this Circle K and I'm still trying to figure out how to cram everything into the phone booth. (We watched Bill and Ted's Excellent Adventure with the kids Friday night and it was most triumphant, air guitar solo.)

Anyway. Back to schedule! The oh-so riveting schedule! When I was pregnant with the Bo and Revi, everyone told me that the key to surviving the first few months (years?) of life with twins was to nail down a schedule. You NEED a schedule. So for the last six months it has gone something like this: sitter arrives at 7am, when I'm in bed feeding the girls their bottles. (When they wake in the middle of the night I bring them into bed with me/us. We have a futon in the office where Hal spends a lot of time these days.) So the sitter arrives, I hop out of bed and help kids get ready for school, slave over the stove cooking breakfast. (No, I don't), pack their lunches, and off to school we go...

I have a handful of hours (9-2) where I can work, catch up on emails, get errands done, exercise, update GGC, and even though five hours seems like a lot of time, it's not. Especially when there are giggling babies one room over. I know working from home is a total blessing and "best of both worlds" like scenario. However, there are some days when it feels "worst of both worlds" as in... I never feel like I can focus on work because I feel guilty not being with my babies. And then, when Tamara goes home and I'm with my kids, I feel guilty that I can't put the finishing touches on work. It's hard not to feel like I'm half-assing everything especially, today, when I'm feeling completely behind on life, barely dressed with a calendar full of appointments I shouldn't have made. And then there's Spring Break next week, which further complicates matters. Do I take a week off? Can I take a week off? Should I just not post something today? Is it weird to write a post about not posting? How about a post about not posting about posting?

How about we move on to baby news, because there are lots of babies in my house and every day they are growing inches and feet.
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Bo and Revi have officially switched places and now it's Revi who wants to be carried everywhere in the pack while Bo is happy hanging out wherever, so long as there are faces nearby. It's an unbelievable turn of events that I find myself hard to believe but it's true and this is happening and Thursday, when the girls go in for their six-month appointments I will get to the bottom of this mystery, I will. In the meantime, this is what I see when I look down. (Hi, Revi.)
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solid foods, what what?

I went to San Francisco for a day this week and on my way to the airport last Tuesday I had a full on panic attack in the back of windowless cab with a broken air-conditioner. It was the first time I had to call a cab from a cab. It was also the first time I had to call a cab from a cab in tears because "I can't breathe in here and will surely die." When the second cab picked me up from the first cab, it ALSO didn't have roll-down windows (Bell cab, NEVER AGAIN) but I was already late so I hopped in and prayed. And of course, to match the day's theme, my airplane window seat was windowless. It was almost poetic so again, I sat there, read my book and repeated various mantras while chanting.
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a room with no view

My stay in San Francisco was brief but really wonderful. Federated Media (my ad network) invited me to speak as a representative of "the independent web" so basically this was the lineup:

-Big Gun at Google.
-Big Gun at Facebook
-Big Gun at Twitter
-Big Gun at Microsoft
-Guy who started Instragram
-Guy who started LinkedIn
-God
-Me

I'm not even kidding. It was my first time (ever) putting together a power point presentation in a room full of people (geniuses) whose children were named Powerpoint and Presentation. I'm pretty sure I was thrown in the mix for comic relief because here is how the day looked:

-Fancy presentation presented by fancy genius.
-Fancy presentation presented by fancy genius
-Fancy presentation presented by fancy genius algorithm genius
-Fancy presentation with 3D graphic algorithm graph world domination PHD universe.
-Fancy presentation with laser display, fireworks, holograms and Matt Damon talking on a screen about saving the world, presented by fancy genius/friend of Matt Damon.
-Me showing pictures of my kids.

I was there to share my story and talk a little about branded content, how I make my living ... but because it was my first presentation and I only had ten minutes and I was slightly nervous to be on a stage speaking to geniuses who knew how to spell algorithm, I opened my mouth and forgot how to close it. As in, I went SO far over my ten minute max, I had to be escorted off the stage. Because the producers of the conference who were jumping up and down in front of me saying "TIME IS UP!" were invisible? So were the flashing red lights. And the timer that said "00:00!!!!!!!"

Oh well. At least I went up there and gave it my amateur all, right? At least I did that.
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with Rosa Terrazas and Helen Jane of FM
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Back home, because everything happens at once, we shot our first episode of Child Style at my house, in the girls' nursery, an all day affair that went off without a hitch, which, with twins in the house and a zillion people in and out of the house, was a pleasant surprise, I think, for all of us. In the house. (The producers thought it would be cool to shoot episode one in my space before we explore our fourteen other locations. Ack! So pumped!) I'm in love with the production team and think the show is going to be something really special. Still no word on when the series will go live on HGTV.com. I'll keep you posted.
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This morning, when I dropped Fable at preschool she cried for the first time in months. She screamed like I was leaving her forever which has never happened before.

"It's because I keep leaving," I explained to her teacher. I keep going on little trips and my kids aren't used to it.

Neither am I, caught in this weird limbo every time I go out, leave, do something work related that requires travel and/or the odd late night...
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Part of me is like, "OH GOD! I can't leave my children! I can't leave my babies when they're so small and who will carry them around in the Ergo and ohhhhh..." And the other part of me is doing The Roger Rabbit followed by The Jessica followed by an encore presentation of The Running Man. Because freedom is tasty and I want to eat it all!

... Until I get a stomach ache, of course. And then, BOO, FREEDOM! BOOOOO!

But a crying child screaming, "Mommy, don't leave me!" is a horrible thing. And knowing that her sudden separation anxiety was caused by me and my new quest for career excellence made me feel terrible and sad and angry at myself. Because ultimately I want to be a stay at home mother AND a working one. I want to present shitty Power Point presentations and attend dinners and meetings and travel but I also want to put my children to bed every night, take them to school every morning, be here.

Fifteen minutes after I reluctantly left Fable's school, I got a text from Fable's teacher telling me she cried for a minute and then was fine.

Same here. All of that. Exactly.
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GGC

36 comments:

Shea Goff | 2:01 PM

Just so you know, I would have sat through all of those other presentations just to hear your's.

So there's that.

laura @ hollywood housewife | 2:27 PM

I'm so impressed with your presentation-ness! I'm sure your juggling it all way better than you think you are.

Aimee | 2:32 PM

I was thinking the same thing! Why don't you present in SD sometime when you visit your parents, please! :)

Kris | 2:39 PM

Your kids slay me in the best kind of way.

Also, any updates to report on Esteban? Apologies if I missed something, but I hope everything is on track.

Cynthia | 2:42 PM

The photos of Archer reading to the twins (and their expressions) are seriously amazing. Adorable.

AmandaRose | 3:22 PM

I'm going to New York in a few weeks and alternate between jumping up and down with glee and sobbing because my baaaaaaby.

GIRL'S GONE CHILD | 3:29 PM

Nothing to report on Esteban. Short Sales are a long process so we're hoping we'll have our news from the bank in the next two weeks. HOPEFULLY.

Chara | 3:54 PM

Is there anything on earth more threatening than geniuses who know how to spell algorithm? Great story.

helenjane | 3:55 PM

You were totally amazing!
(Seriously, she blew 'em all away.)

Emily Jacobsma | 4:14 PM

How about you take the week off next week but all of us continue to come back and click on links and stuff? Is that like a paid week off?

I don't get blogging...but no one would blame you for not posting to vacay.

Kristen Chase | 5:23 PM

Hot cabs are THE WORST. Seriously. And also, the pic of BnR chewing on Sophie? Killed me dead. And I was already dead from Archer reading to them.

Off to revive myself.

wendy @ mama one to three | 5:34 PM

wow you are impressive! I don't think I managed to keep milk in the house for my toddler the first six months of the twins' life; she may or may not have been very late to her school every single day during that time as well. you seem to have it going on!
beautiful children!

SO | 5:34 PM

The "don't leave mommy meltdown" is the worst thing in the world. My daughter has split her time between me and her dad's since she was a baby and man it comes and goes and has for years, but it is absolutely brutal. She's been better lately about the transfers, but her last big meltdown lasted for over an hour pre-pick up and was so devastating that it landed me in bed for bulk of the afternoon afterwords. That is one thing they do NOT put in the pregnancy books.

Mandy | 5:59 PM

I second that!!

Kelsey | 6:55 PM

When I was 3 or 4, my 12-year-old brother had been watching Bill & Ted and so I watched with him. I got so obsessed with them that I adopted two imaginary friends, conveniently named Bill and Ted. I still love those movies so much!

Jack's Mama | 8:06 PM

Great post!!!
-I work part time, and I should be putting in more hours, so brilliant they invented "working from home" I thought as I went back to work after my son. NOT, when i'm home I just want to be home! I still do some work from home but its hard to really get anything really good done at home, but is helpful to be able to wrap somethings up or keep some project moving along but still it is not dreamy as imagined. And sometimes it just makes me more confused on what i accomplished at home or at work and where to get started again when working on something.
-Anyways, the twin switching thing, so as I am a twin w/my sister, she was a demanding child I from a young age I kind of got that and took the default as the easy one, but i swear i did feel like i did have the ability to cause drama the times my sister was being chill, because of course my mom had to have someone demanding more attention then usual or what would she have done with herself? So if it wasn't my sis being demanding 85% of the time I made sure I would fill in for the 15% of the time. So my mom got 0% break.
-I want to see a video of you doing your powerpoint! And yes I've had to do some powerpoints and its soo easy/really hard to talk forever, um I might have talked for 45 mins at one event...
THANKS FOR THE GREAT POST!!

The Wholefood Mama | 8:28 PM

Hi Rebecca, I just discovered your blog via 'oh happy day' and I'm so glad I did. I love this post I wanted to laugh out loud at your story of presenting to geniuses except my two year old was napping on my lap and I dare not wake him and miss a precious moment of reading more. You are a born writer. I think we working mothers can all relate to feeling torn between our children and our work, I'm beginning to think though that the 'never enough' feeling happens in different forms at every stage of life. Love your children's names too by the way and your twins and I share the same birth date except of course the year. I look forward to reading more.

Micheline Ludwick | 9:40 PM

Oh, the relatedness! That makes no sense -- I mean to say I can so relate. I just started working a full time job out of the house for the first time since my 3-year-old was born and it's a lot. Cracking up about the roger rabbit, jessica, and running man. I feel you, girl.

I would've loved to see your presentation, too. The word algorithm makes me tired.

stef | 6:13 AM

the part about your presentation made me lol. you are awesome, no sweat.

Lisa @ Global Villager | 6:23 AM

Go girl! You've done so much and I fully relate to how you put it all. I work for a big internet company and spend an unusual amount of my day trying to remember my surname in emails, let alone trying to follow geniuses (geniusae?) of algorithm on a public stage. It's so cool that despite feeling way more comfortable at home and around your family, that you're putting yourself out there and pushing those personal boundaries. It's beyond brave to write as honestly and as openly as you do in any case. But pushing those personal boundaries is a step beyond. And whilst you have to deal with those sometimes heartbreaking goodbyes to your children, I can see you're also setting a fantastic example to them about being yourself. Love your writing. Love your style.

Arnebya | 6:47 AM

I want to print and stare at picture #2 (if it wasn't stalkerish/weird like I actually "know" you to have your babies on my desk) because it makes me smile so. The first word that came to mind was rapt.

Poor Fable. Poor you. I know that feeling, the drop off scream. Hell, even my 8 yr old can muster a tear sometimes on bad mornings. And admittedly, I have cried when dropping off my 2 yr old. He NEVER cried when daddy drops him off. But me? I get the leg cling, the please don't go, the mommy, no! And then I stand outside the door and hope he stops. He does. But it still does something to me, throws my day off (to the point where I've cried as well once at work, in the bathroom stall, especially when I see the kids at the daycare in my building). But we have to go. We have to. And believe me, as she gets older, she will be so proud of your accomplishments that crying at daycare won't even register as a childhood memory.

Caroline @ The Feminist Housewife | 7:13 AM

Oh my goodness, I think I just died over the cuteness of Archer reading to the littles family members. AWWW!

amyunicorn | 8:17 AM

Honestly, that poignant picture of Archer waving brought tears to my eyes. Part of me is thankful I'm past that stage, but the other part of me is yelling "You should have felt worse about that stage when you were in it!"

Mar | 8:35 AM

My daughter cries because she doesn't want to leave daycare, lol

Zoe | 8:59 AM

My 4 yr old will still cry and cling at drop-off on occasion, while her 18 mth old sister happily gets on with it. It never gets easier, except it looks like daddy has taken over drop-off so my mornings will be less stressful, but then I miss the girls being in the van. What is wrong with me? Luckily I have big brother to keep me company.

That pic of Archer reading to Bo and Revi, with Revi burying her face in the rug cracks me up. It's like she can not take the excitement.

Anonymous | 9:30 AM

Do you think you could manage a picture of Bo and Rev sharing a large submarine sandwich? I would like that very much. Thank you.
Vicky

Nicole Lauren | 10:46 AM

Such adorable pics. I wish I could have seen your presentation. I bet it would have been cooler than a presentation with fireworks any day. =D

Kris | 11:32 AM

I did the work-with-child thing too, albeit a little differently. I took my baby into work with me. People always told me how lucky I was to be able to do that, but they didn't realize I was dying inside because I couldn't do anything right. I couldn't give my full attention to either my work or my son, which made me feel like a complete and utter failure as both a worker and mother.

I'm glad you're making it work, but when people give you the holy "you have it absolutely perfect what are you complaining about" speech, know that there are other people out there that know that "perfect" situations aren't always so. Please don't feel guilty, because I felt guilty all the time (got that speech a lot) and ended up in therapy because of it.

Maricris @ SittingAround | 7:36 PM

I love the photo of the twin with Archer reading a book for them. What a sweet big brother.

mlp | 10:26 AM

I'm pretty sure the majority of humans would prefer to listen to you and look at your power points any day of the week. And, that a LARGE # of us reading your blog thank you for giving voice to the sentiments in so many of our hearts.

oh, jenny mae | 4:39 PM

i've never been able to tell others when asked who is the "easy one/out-going one/quiet one/etc" and i don't think it's very polite to ask. my girls still trade roles on a daily basis. verbalizing their differences has always been hard, but it has gotten easier for us over the years.

Jessica | 9:26 PM

Man oh man, I have tears in my eyes. I want to be a working mom and a full time stay at home mom too. And I am so torn, but the crying child with separation anxiety just kills me. I was late for the first time ever picking them up from school because of a client call that went over by 20 minutes. I called the school, they explained why I wasn't there. Then my twin daughters got in the car and cried for 10 minutes and told me, I don't like it when you're not here to pick me up from school. There are far worse problems kids all over have to deal with, but that one, totally avoidable if I wasn't trying to work, that one hurt me.

jessica | 4:09 PM

Hi there, preschool teacher here... You can blame yourself, the new babies, any change in the home, weather or wardrobe but the truth is that sometimes kids just start crying. It may be you going away, absolutely, but it may also not and you'll never know unless you live in some alternate universe where you can compare her behavior to you not having gone away this week. This happens A LOT to many children. Kids who walked in to class just fine days 1-150 sometimes start crying right before the year's done and we never figure out why. Children are funny that way. We like to tell the parents not to beat themselves up and/or give themselves too much credit ;)

jessica | 4:09 PM

Hi there, preschool teacher here... You can blame yourself, the new babies, any change in the home, weather or wardrobe but the truth is that sometimes kids just start crying. It may be you going away, absolutely, but it may also not and you'll never know unless you live in some alternate universe where you can compare her behavior to you not having gone away this week. This happens A LOT to many children. Kids who walked in to class just fine days 1-150 sometimes start crying right before the year's done and we never figure out why. Children are funny that way. We like to tell the parents not to beat themselves up and/or give themselves too much credit ;)

Delania | 6:03 PM

"Because ultimately I want to be a stay at home mother AND a working one. I want to present shitty Power Point presentations and attend dinners and meetings and travel but I also want to put my children to bed every night, take them to school every morning, be here."

YES. EXACTLY. How can we do this??
I am still trying to figure it out!

Guerrilla Mom | 6:32 PM

The part about your presentation made me laugh out loud. The part about leaving Fable at preschool actually gave me pangs of separation anxiety- and my son is only 16 months. I'm a wreck.