Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Random searches

When people post about the weird Google searches that have led people to their blogs, it always kind of cracks me up. And it’s also a little frightening. I mean, if I’m not careful about what I post, I could lead all kinds of unsavory characters to my blog.

How about my own Google searches and browser history, though? Since I’ve been slacking in the blogging department and a long update would be boring even to me, I thought maybe some of my own searches would neatly summarize what I’ve been up to recently. So, here goes:

pumpkin waffle recipe [These are amazing. I love, love, love my new waffle iron.]

Trout Fishing in America [I’ve been to two of their concerts, and I didn’t even take the kids to the first one. I love these people that much. And they’ll be back in town in June!]

www.paperbackswap.com [It’s how I get rid of all my old books and get new reading material. I love this site. There’s even a business dictionary on its way to me.]

kaboost booster [I think I’m getting two of these. They look like they’d work really well.]

Suni Paz [I’m always looking for more children’s music in Spanish for the boys. She’s charmingly retro.]

www.amtrak.com [Because a crazy week was made even crazier by a last-minute trip to New York for work.]

www.netflix.com [I added Freaks and Geeks and Arrested Development to my queue. I’ll upload them to my iPod Touch and my commute will be a lot more fun. You know what’s not doing so well since I got the Touch? My knowledge of current events. I need to start reading the Washington Post and The Economist a lot more.]

federal sentencing guidelines safety valve provision [I love working in Federal court.]

convert pdf to word [Because I have a huge translation coming up, but the source file is in pdf format. Since my love affair with Wordfast is still going strong, converting it to Word will make my life a lot easier. Adobe Acrobat is so expensive, but I’m considering investing in it and deducting it as a business expense.]

children’s national medical center [P got the ball rolling, and once we fill out a ton of paperwork, we should be able to get an appointment there.]

big balls [I swear, I had to research this for a translation I’m working on. It was not one of my most prudent Google searches. In fact, you shouldn’t really Google this unless you absolutely have to. And God, now anyone looking for big balls is going to find my blog.]

Business as usual

It’s pretty much been business as usual here the past few days. I’ve been up to my eyeballs in work, both in court as well as translations I’m working on here at home. It was a fun, busy weekend. We took the boys to the park and had a cookout with friends. I feel like last Friday’s appointment was both momentous and no big deal. Secondo is still Secondo. I still have deadlines to meet. There is still laundry to be done. I am still very excited about taking a break from work and watching American Idol tonight.

Secondo’s appointment was only a basic initial evaluation. About two minutes after we walked in to the room he obliged us by engaging in the single activity that worries us the most: He grabbed his toy truck and lay down on the floor, oblivious to the doctor and her toys, rested his cheek on his forearm and began rolling the truck back and forth, back and forth, back and forth. When I put it like that, it sounds kind of silly. There are other behaviors that have raised little red flags for me, but this one is somehow representative of all of them.

Now we hurry up and wait. P has been making phone calls and there is paperwork to fill out and appointments to be made. In the meantime, the specialist told us to do something I’ve been making a point of doing anyway, but I really liked the way she put it: Show Secondo that the outside world is more fun than his own. This morning, when he grabbed his toy car, I gently took it from him and turned it into a game, rolling it to him and helping him roll it back to me, and he dissolved into giggles. It was a good way to start the day.

Friday, April 25, 2008


Primo and Secondo had a playdate last week. That was a huge deal. Mostly they’re at home with their nanny, and when I’m at home I don’t have a car, so they really don’t get out much, at least not during the week. We see tons of other kids at the park, and we go to birthday parties and gatherings at friends’ homes, but those are all chaotic and the whirlwind of kids makes it pretty overwhelming, for them as well as for me. Having a specific playdate with a friend here at the house was different.

My friend came over with her son, S, who is about a month younger than the boys. We both work, she has a new baby, and it had been a while since we’d seen each other. It was a beautiful day, the first day I the boys and I wore short sleeves all year, so we grabbed sippy cups, crackers and cans of sparking water and walked over to the park.

I was completely unprepared to witness just how famously Primo and S got along. They chased each other up the slide, down the slide, around the park, shrieking and laughing the whole time. Primo shrieked in Spanish, and S gleefully repeated whatever he said. S made up words, and Primo imitated him, too. When S got on the swings and his mother pushed him high into the air, Primo wanted to be pushed too, even though he’s never enjoyed the swings for more than ten seconds at a time.

I watched the two of them so obviously enjoying each other, and my heart broke just a little. Because then I looked over at Secondo, who was at the other end of the park, wandering around and paying no attention to his brother, his friend, or to me, and my heart broke just a little more.

Today Secondo had his appointment with a developmental specialist. (Is that even a title? I’m not sure it is. I’m not quite sure what her title was.) She watched Secondo play and asked us questions. She used words like special education, autism and IEPs, and then gave us a stack of referrals.

I don’t believe in mother’s intuition. I've been wrong too may times when it comes to the boys. But for the past nine months or so, I’ve been stuck in a cycle of worrying about Secondo one minute and being convinced that everything is fine the next. Waffling, back and forth, questioning what I saw and felt and listening to people pooh-pooh my concerns whenever I brought them up. And also, wanting so badly to be The Mother Who Does Not Freak Out. Because I am, usually, and I take great pride in that. Nor did I want to be accused of comparing twins, and feeling like I was, in fact, comparing them caused me some grief.

His appointment today was wonderful, in that a professional told me, I see what you see, and I can see why you’re concerned. We walked out to the waiting room when we were done, and I sat down and breathed a huge, huge sigh of relief. I hate the word journey, because it makes me think of stupid reality-show contestants, but it feels like we’re embarking on one, regardless of whatever I want to call it.

Secondo is young, and anything can happen. Who ever knows what will happen, anyway? All I know is he’s my beautiful, blue-eyed little boy, who has cheeks so scrumptiously pinchable that I finally understand why adults want to pinch them. He loves playing patty-cake and Itsy-Bitsy Spider, and being flipped upside down makes him laugh and laugh. He loves cars, trains and fire engines and can sing Twinkle, Twinkle, Little Star, and he knows the words to Sur Le Pont d’Avignon in French. He’s shy and not too fond of strangers, and he only recently worked up the courage to slide down the slide. His very first two-word phrase was Quiero Primo, because he loves his brother, even though he doesn’t always show it. He is constantly perched on my lap, saying otra vez, otra vez, otra vez, whenever I finish a book. He has a stubborn streak a mile wide.

And he gets lost in his own little world sometimes.

Tuesday, April 8, 2008

Cool! Cool! Cool!

So, I have a break between jobs this afternoon and finally read the article about the Jennifer Lopez/Marc Anthony twins in that issue of People I’ve been carting around in my purse for a couple of weeks. After everything I read about it in blogland, I had a feeling I wouldn’t enjoy it, and I was right. The fancy strollers! The questions about conception! The gushing about having twins! Everything so hunky-dory! But I read it, because I like to read about twins.

I don’t have much to add, but I do have to say, they lost me from the very beginning of the article with the following quote: “It’ll be 3 in the morning and we’ll be like, ‘Next feeding in 30 minutes! Okay, cool!’” After that, I was unable to take any of it seriously. I feel like I have to preface this with all kinds of disclaimers about how much I loved my babies, even though the beginning was pretty rough, but never, never once did I think, “Cool!” after settling one baby down and realizing the second one was sure to wake up within the half-hour. I thought many things, but never that. In fact, the things I thought were not very nice.

I do sometimes miss the days of tiny, snuggly babies. But I do not miss the sleep deprivation. And the cute, tiny babies been replaced with funny, affectionate toddlers, which is pretty cool.

They’re challenging, too, but at least I’m getting more sleep.

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

Jumping the crib

Last weekend during the boys' naptime, I heard a huge crash upstairs. Then silence. Then what sounded like a stampede. I made it up there just as Primo was starting to toddle downstairs, giggling the whole time, he was so pleased with himself.

People are always telling me it gets easier as they get older, and in many ways, I agree that it has. I like not having to carry them around all the time (though they sure are heavy when I do have to carry them), they can now climb into their booster seats at mealtimes, or go get the book they want me to read, and I can mostly trust them on the playground equipment at the park. But Primo can also climb out of his crib, apparently, they both move our dining room chairs all over the downstairs so they can climb and get things they want, and they're not afraid of walking downstairs by themselves now, which they're not quite ready to do. Watching them every single minute so that they don't hurt themselves only to watch them hurt themselves anyway while I'm standing right there takes a lot of energy, and it's plenty frustrating. As wonderful as they are at this age, I'm ready for that part to be over, or at least improve.

They're currently in our tiny bedroom, which is barely big enough for two cribs and a changing table. This weekend, they get to move to the bigger bedroom. Though Primo hasn't jumped out of his crib again, I guess toddler beds—or mattresses on the floor—will be part of the deal. I'm not ready. I wish I could ignore it, kind of like the way I'm ignoring the two potties that were purchased months ago and are now gathering dust in the bathroom. I'm definitely not ready for that.