Friday, March 25, 2011

Breakfast of champions

What Elle ate for breakfast - Her own creation of chunks of mango and pineapple topped with plain yogurt, a sprinkle of chopped dried cranberries and a drizzle of local honey.

What I ate for breakfast - A spoonful of Nutella.

I win.

Two years ago today I talked about my best friend.
Three years ago today I loved my surro-baby.
Six years ago today I talked about poop and my dad was the only person reading my blog.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Happy, happy birthday babies

My surro-twins are a year old today.

It seems like only yesterday that I found out I was pregnant and that it was with twins.  And then I blinked and now they're a year old.  Because I don't see them every day I still think of them as tiny little newborns and not as great big one year old babies.

I feel a little sad today.  I don't know why.  Tomorrow my life will be no different with the twins being 366 days old than it was when they were 364 days old.  But still....  I feel like a chapter is being closed.  Something is ending.  Something I can't put my finger on or find the words to define.

I think that the hormones I'm taking to prepare for my next surrogacy are muddling things up.  These days I'm either crabbing at someone or crying over something stupid.  Take an already emotional person, add a large dose of hormones and a bittersweet milestone and you have a recipe for me eating chocolate and blubbering like a baby.

I'm not all sad though.  I'm happy that the babies are well cared for and healthy and loved so much by their dads.  They're lucky children.  I'm lucky that I got to be a part of bringing them here.  That makes me happy.

So Happy Birthday to my sweet, serious Girl and my bright and sunny Boy.  You are more special to me than you could ever know.  Thank you for the smiles, the memories and the stretch marks.

Two years ago today I loved my friend.
Three years ago today it was Easter.
Six years ago today I started this blog.  Crazy.

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

I'm thinking of renaming this to The Amazing Race Blog (With Some Poop Stories) (And Also Cervix Status Updates)

Who wants to talk some more about The Amazing Race?  I do!  After a two week double leg there's a lot to talk about! Exclamation points!  Let's see where the racers are at.

Gary and Mallory - They are running a good, solid race.  It's too bad they had to use their Express Pass to get them past the Dino Challenge of Doom but it was a good move and probably saved them from elimination.  I still feel like I should hate Mallory but darn it, she's just so darned adorable that I can't help but like her.

Flight Time and Big Easy - Meh.  I'm loving them a little less than I used to.  I like them more when they are a little more low key.  They're starting to grate a little bit when they're so "on".  I predict not many legs left for them.  They run an odd race, a combination of excellence and occasional moments of pure stupidity.

Jamie and Cara - I'm not sad they were out this last leg.  Cara was sort of a non entity and Jamie was not such a nice person.  I'm glad they got out before Jamie insulted someone for speaking own language in their own country.  Her xenophobia was never fun to watch.

Jet and Cord - Still adorable.  Still kind of dumb.  I think they'll be out before long. 

Kent and Vyxsin - Remember when I said Vyxsin seemed like kind of a rocking chick?  Yeah, I take that back.  Over the past two episodes this team ran the worst race I have ever seen any team run in all the seasons of this show.  They got lost, they missed a flight, they lost their passports, they lost their passports again, they cried, they screamed, they lied, they forgot to touch up their make-up.  When they finally checked into the Pit Stop they looked like sad little goth clowns coming down from a three day meth binge.  I felt a little bit sorry for them.  Not sorry enough to not laugh like crazy when the show went to commercial with a slow-mo shot of Kent falling off a ladder. 

Kisha and Jen - Hmmm, I remember not liking them in their original season.  What changed?  I don't know but I find myself rooting for them.  They're solid racers and so far there's no real drama from them.  They've really been able to power through some tasks that other teams struggle with.  I predict they'll hang around for a while.

Margie and Luke - Meh.  It seems like they're hardly on the show at all.  I'm looking forward to next week when Luke has to drink a lot of tea and cries. 

Ron and Christina - Ok, I admit it, Ron wanting to snack his way through China was a little bit funny.  I still think he's a grade A creep though.  When he was trying to stop a bus to get it to pick them up he decided to throw a rock at it.  Like, did he think that would work?  Who does stuff like that?  He's so weird.  Still, they're racing pretty well.  Christina is totally carrying this team though and I suspect that can't last too much longer.

Zev and Justin - Love them.  And it's because I love them that I can say I laughed and laughed and laughed when Zev was doing the wind chime challenge.  When he hung all the charms up in a bug clump and turned to the judge and said "Is that good?" Then he spun it and said "Now?" Reorganized the clump. "Now?" Angrily rehung the clump. "NOW!?!"  I love this team but they seem to bleed a lot of time traveling from one spot to another.  They need to tighten that up but if they can't I'm not sure how much longer they'll last.

Next week - Teams have to drink a lot of tea and Luke cries.  I cackle in anticipation.

Four years ago today Elle was cute on video.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Butter is better when you're not bitter

Every so often I get the urge to do some Urban Homesteading.  In the summer this is easy.  I garden, I can, I pickle, I jam, I hang my laundry on the clothesline.

In the winter I have to be a bit more creative.  (And yes, it's still winter here in Minnesota.  All over the place people are celebrating the return of spring and here we've still got a three foot layer of ice and snow on the ground.  Gah!)

During the winter when I want to do something homesteadingish I sometimes choose to make butter.  "That will be fun!" I think and then two thirds of the way into it I start to question what horrible thing happened to me in my childhood that would make me think butter making would be fun.  It always goes the same way.

I drive to the store to get heavy cream.  I am shocked by the price and when I consider the cost of butter versus the cost of cream I am forced to admit that this particular project will not be saving me any money.

I drive home with the cream.  I put it into a canning jar and screw on the top.  I start to shake the jar.  I shake it and shake it and shake it and shake it.

I shake and shake and shake.  I start to get bored and eye my phone. I try to figure out a way to shake and play Angry Birds at the same time.  I fail.

Shake, shake, shake, shake, shake.  I start to wonder if perhaps I got the wrong kind of cream.  I inspect the package to see if I accidentally bought non-buttering cream.  I didn't.

I try to get Joseph to take a turn at shaking.  "It will be fun!" I reassure him.  He's been suckered into butter making one too many times to be fooled.  He rolls his eyes at me and goes back to reading The Ultimate Lego Guide Book.

Elle wants to take a turn.  She's made butter before but she's young and her brain isn't fully formed so she can't remember that she doesn't like it.  I hand her the jar.

"Be careful so that you don't bump your-" There is a loud clunk as Elle slams the jar into her chin as with all the might her spindly little arms can muster.

After a quick break to dry the tears Elle wants to give it another go.  "Look at me!  I'm shaking!  I'm making butter!"  She triumphantly waves the jar in the air.  Three seconds later she gets bored, sets the jar down and wanders away.

I shake some more.  Shake, shake, shake, shake.  I lose the feeling in my arms. 

Shake .... shake ... shake... I curse Urban Homesteading under my breath.

Suddenly!  A muted "thunk" comes from the jar.  Butter!  I have achieved butter!

I pour off the buttermilk and give it to Elle to drink.  She promptly spills it and then yells at me because it's somehow my fault.

I drain, squeeze and wrap the butter.  I put it in my fridge where it will sit forever, untouched and unused.  I put too much work into the butter to actually use it. It's special butter, for when company comes over.  It occurs to me that we never have company because I'm too busy doing things like making butter to go out and make friends.

And that's how I make butter.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Ash Wednesday

This last Wednesday was Ash Wednesday.  Those of you who don't live in the middle of Catholictown USA might be a little confused about what this means.  Allow me to eplain:

Ash Wednesday is a holy day that happens once a year.  Every year Ash Wednesday is marked by me telling a total stranger that they have some dirt or something on their head and then feeling like an idiot because I forgot that it was Ash Wednesday.

Two years ago today Joseph was in a bad mood.
Three years ago today I saw a bad movie.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Award winner

Elle has gymnastics class once a week. 

She really enjoys the class and it shows.  She smiles and laughs and doesn't really seem to notice that she's ... um, not a very good gymnast.  Half of the time she walks across the balance beam she falls off because she's so busy checking out her reflection in the wall of mirrors off to the side.  When she attempts a cartwheel she sort of ends up on all fours and kind of weirdly hopping her whole body to the side.  When she does a cartwheel she ends up flopped on the floor, flat on her back. 

She enjoys herself though.  She always has a smile on her face and she laughs her way though the class.  Her lack of skill doesn't bother me.  I just want her to have a good time and she does.  She really does.  Most of the time.

At least one each class Elle bumps or stubs or twists some part of her body and it is always THE MOST DRAMATIC THING EVER!  She cries.  She moans.  She clutches the hurt body part and weeps in agony.  Sometimes she makes enough of a racket that the owner of the studio will come in and bring her an ice pack.)  She does deep breathing to calm herself down.  That in itself is big production because she has somehow figured out how to turn deep breathing into a Very Serious Thing.  She puffs out her little cheeks and her eyes get big and sorrowful and she huffs and puffs like a woman in hard labor.  It is impossible to watch her do this and keep a straight face.

My baby may never win a medal at the Olympics but this gymnastics class is going to be a huge step towards her winning an Oscar.

Four years ago today I talked about unschooling.

Monday, March 07, 2011

More Amazing Race chatter

Ok, so let's talk some more about the Amazing Race.  I don't care if only one person will read this.  The Amazing Race is awesome!

Amanda and Kris - Eliminated in the first round.  This is sad for three reasons.  1.  I was never really able to recall who they were.  2. They seemed like the rare "dating couple" that the show casts that didn't act like they wanted to kill each other.  3. I like the way Phil called Amanda "Amander".

Gary and Mallory - I like Mallory because I only have to see her one hour a week.  I think her level of enthusiasm would wear on me really quickly in real life.  No one can possible love life that much?  Can they?  Gary continues to impress me.

Flight Time and Big Easy - Ok, I don't think for one second that they took someone else's Amazing Fanny Pack on purpose but they maybe could have handled the returning of it a little better.  And the ching-chonging they were doing during the prayer ceremony?  Errr... not cool.  But I still like them because they're funny and nice to each other and that counts for a lot in my book.

Jamie and Cara - Still can't tell them apart.  Still don't like them.  Jamie has a serious case of Ugly American.

Jet and Cord - Come on guys, get it together.  You're adorable and you seem like really nice guys but you're racing like you've been bucked from one too many bulls.  Smarten up!  (But they're still really nice to each other and as I said, that counts for a lot.)

Kent and Vyksin - As long as I live I will never forget Kent warbling "Children!  Bring me children!" Vyksin seems really invested in her "look at me, I'm so ALTERNATIVE!" thing but I think otherwise she kind of rocks.  She's clearly carrying her odd, wispy boyfriend through this race.

LaKisha and Jennifer - Hmmm.  I'm starting to like them again.  Not a lot of drama, competent racing, nice to each other.  (I know, if I had my way it would be called The Amazing Who Can Be Nicest Race.)

Margie and Luke - Meh.  Still not a fan.  They seem to be holding their own though.

Mel and Mike - I liked Mel and Mike.  I'm glad they're out of the race though because I was not interested in watching the Mel Dies in the Mud show.  In their original season Mike was funny and quirky.  This time all he did was worry and whine about Mel.  Still, they seemed like great people and I'm glad for them that they got the chance to run the race again.  And I'm glad they didn't die doing it.

Ron and Christina - Hey, here's something interesting - Christina is engaged to someone she met on her original run of the show!  It looks like she picked herself a copy of dear old Dad.  The guy was an ass on the show.  Ron is ... just ... bleh.  Awful.  I like Christina but I hope this team is eliminated soon just so that I don't have to listen to her whine "Daddy! Stop!" as Ron travels the world verbally assaulting everyone within a ten food radius of him.

Zev and Justin - LOVE THEM!  Good racers, funny, kind to each other, cute as can be.  They've got it all. Go Team Aspie!  Oh, and I've read some criticism of them saying people should not cheer for them simply because Zev has Aspergers.  To that I say this: Bullshit.  Most neurotypical people would not be comfortable doing something like the Amazing Race.  For Zev to do knowing how outside of his comfort zone he'll have to be is amazing.  Zev is a rock star.  As is Justin.  So there.

Three years ago today I watched Survivor.

Friday, March 04, 2011

Oh universe, you slay me

I have goosebumps.  The kind that even go up to your head so that all your hair is kind of standing up and it looks really full of body and fabulous.  What a day this has been.

So remember like a week ago when I was all "Oh, maybe I'll be a surrogate again, I don't really know.  We'll see."?

Yeah. I remember that.  And now I just got off the phone with a pharmacy in California to arrange delivery of my surrogacy medications on Monday.

I will never get used to this nervous excitment and happiness.  I keep switching between smiling and thinking "Ack!  So much left to do!"

And there is a lot left to do.  Contracts to finalize, ultrasounds and blood tests to schedule, a psych evaluation to pass (stop laughing!) and schedules to juggle and organize.

But for right now?  Eeeeeeee!

Three years ago today I fit into my jeans.

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Thin Mints?

A box of Thin Mints contains 28 cookies.  14 per sleeve.  The cookie box claims that four Thin Mints equals a serving.

I'm not saying how many Thin Mints that I consider to be a serving but it sure as heck isn't four.  I can accidentally inhale four Thin Mints just while opening the box.

So what do you think?  How many Thin Mints make up a reasonable, normal person sized serving?  (And if you leave me a comment lecturing me about calories or trans fats then I'm just going to delete it because you're being a creep and for the love of pete, I just want to talk to the nice people about Thin Mints.)

Two years ago today Jesse and I were awesome.
Five years ago today I said something I swore I never would.