It’s the fourth Monday of the month, which means that it is Perfect Moment Monday!

I’ve written over and over about unfortunate pottery incidents that have happened over the years. There are so many things that can go wrong, at every possible point in the process. Even once you bring it home, you never know when a piece, or half a dozen, will tumble and crash.

Every now and then, everything goes right.

Find more perfect moments at Write Mind Open Heart.

Perfect Moment Mondays are back!

My perfect moment started with a non-perfect moment, one that harkens back to a post in 2008 and another one in 2008 and another in 2009. Pottery is a fragile endeavor, whether through my own error in the creation process, someone else’s error in the pottery studio, or a butterfingers accident at home.

Before Burrito and Tamale were born, I’d reached a pleasant pottery homeostasis. I’d made pretty much all of the projects I’d had in mind: a full set of dinner plates in three sizes, all sorts of bowls, cups, mugs, garlic pot, vases, even a couple of serving dishes. Then, a few months ago, I opened the kitchen cabinet, and every berry bowl I’ve ever made came crashing down.

(Sorry about the takeout containers, and the avocado pit, and the granola bar wrapper, and — uh — the dirty diapers.)

These demolished berry bowls had been some of my very best creations, and they were all gone. To make it even worse, I would have to live indefinitely without any berry bowls, because who knows when I’d get back into the pottery studio again. It would be years, right?


I’m back!

Oh, how I missed you.

Head over to Write Mind Open Heart for the triumphant return of Perfect Moment Mondays.

Since Lori is going on hiatus for a while with Perfect Moment Mondays…

My perfect moment? Locking my keys in my car!

I’d gone to the bank in a neighboring town for one of many visits in which I’ve been trying, unsuccessfully, to close my mother’s accounts. You know what’s more troubling than closing your dead mother’s bank accounts? Being unable to close your dead mother’s bank accounts, over and over.

Anyway, a few doors down from the bank is a brunch restaurant that I enjoy but rarely get to visit. I put in my lunch order then headed to the bank. I quickly learned that this visit would once again not prove successful. This realization occurred so quickly that my food was not yet ready. So, I decided to clean out the car. It is very satisfying to clean out literally hundreds of fallen Cheerios, along with receipts, used tissues, and all of the other debris that collects in the car. Then I went into the restaurant to pick up my order.

When I got back to the car, I realized that in the process of cleaning out the car, I’d locked my keys inside.

I instantly realized that I was having another cupcake moment.

Instead of heading right back to the office so that I could gobble my lunch hunched over my keyboard, I had to wait 45 minutes for AAA to arrive. So, I sat on a bench in ideal weather, lilacs in bloom, listening to Radiohead, savoring my delicious lunch.

Maybe I should lock my keys in my car more often.

Head over to Write Mind Open Heart for the last Perfect Moment Monday for a few months.

My perfect moment actually involves the matriarch of perfect moments, Lori, and her daughter Tessa.

Burrito, Tamale, and I had the pleasure of seeing them both when they were in the neighborhood (neighborhood = 100-mile radius). The twins and I had last spent time with them, as well as Reed, in New York five months ago.

Before that, during the brief period between bedrest for placenta previa and bedrest for cervical shortening and preterm labor, we all went to the beach.

The first time I’d met them, I was 8 weeks pregnant with Burrito and Tamale. Tessa accurately predicted they’d be a boy and a girl. Reed’s prediction: dog and cat.

This time, Lori’s family has been enduring great difficulty, and they took a break with us by engaging in some retail therapy. Tessa helped me pick out some baby shoes, Lori eyed some yoga wear, and Tessa shopped in half of the stores in the mall. We also had lunch, and Tessa helped me feed the twins.

When I drove them home, Lori sat in the front seat and Tessa sat in the back between the car seats.

Background: It takes zero effort to get a smile out of Tamale, and very little to make her laugh. Burrito is a tougher crowd. He rarely smiles at strangers, and a very short list of people are able to elicit laughter.

The perfect moment was sitting in the front seat with Lori and hearing three little giggles behind us. Tessa did a great job of making not only cheery Tamale, but reserved Burrito, laugh hysterically. In turn, she was delighted by their laughter.

Babies and kid smiling (and laughing) in back seat. Dear bloggy friend in front seat. Perfect.

Perfect Moment

Just returned from NYC. I didn’t go to BlogHer, but I attended the ALI post-conference meetup in addition to seeing Dora and Sunshine the day before (and some other non-blog NYC things, too).

Perfect Moment #1: Sitting in Central Park with Dora and Sunshine. Burrito and Tamale both interested in Dora and both curious about Sunshine, but Sunshine and Tamale really hit it off. Hilarious laughing back and forth, cracking each other up, the rest of us not in on the joke but laughing too.

OMFG that baby is cute.

Perfect Moment #2: At the meetup, seeing Burrito and Lori’s daughter Tessa have their own moment. Burrito was quite taken with the pattern on Tessa’s dress and kept touching the fabric. Tessa was quite tickled at being tickled by a grinning baby.

Perfect Moment #3: Finally meeting bloggers like Calliope, Niobe, and Kristen whom I’ve “known” online for a long time. Almost entirely what I expected, in all the wonderful ways you’d imagine.

Perfect Moment #4: Three bloggy friends, Mel, Lori, and Dora had met Burrito and Tamale when they were fetuses — actually, Lori met them at both the embryo and then the fetus stage. It was wonderful for Burrito and Tamale to finally be able to meet these wonderful ladies, but even better considering that these women (and so many others) had been around when babies were just some distant, seemingly unattainable goal, when all I had to show for my years of effort were bruises, medical bills, and empty sharps containers.

Special thanks to my husband for sitting patiently in the corner, wrangling babies, while I did my thing.

L’shana habaah b’San Diego?

Perfect Moment

In this week’s Perfect Moment Monday, Lori asked for a time when a person reflected yourself back to yourself.

The best compliment I ever got came on the heels of the worst insult, both from the same person.

Regular readers will have a good guess as to that person’s identity: DH’s mother.

When Burrito and Tamale were new, we had a series of visits from relatives and friends to help us through those overwhelming, hazy early days of round-the-clock feedings.

There was one visit that I was dreading. In some ways it was better than anticipated, but in most ways my MIL was just as unhelpful and unpleasant as I knew she would be. DH even had to leave town on business for a couple of days, leaving me alone with her without him to act as a buffer.

At one point, she gave me the single worst insult I’ve ever received. It was obviously rooted in her own insecurities, but I didn’t know it was possible for one sentence to simultaneously debase my career and my mothering. She’s very talented with her insults.

Then, just a few hours later, she gave me the best compliment I’ve ever received. It was magnified by the fact that although she’s quick to spout opinions, those opinions are rarely positive. There’s not a lot of praise that crosses her lips.

She said that she’s never seen someone who is as good a mother as I am. That I am so attentive to their needs and so calm. That it makes her calm just to watch me with them.

She is probably the least responsive and least calm person I know, and I was surprised that she could even identify those as positive traits.

It’s very hard to feel competent in those first few weeks, especially with twins. A little praise goes a long way, especially considering the source.

It’s almost enough to make me lift the ban on ever letting her visit again.


Perfect Moment

(children mentioned)

I’ve been having a rough time again as I continue to deal with birth complications, the aftermath of which I now believe is far worse than I was told — and likely worse than any of my doctors thought. More on that soon, after I see what a new doctor has to say.

Anyway, I’ve been having a rough time physically, which extends to having a rough time emotionally. I was feeling particularly awful a couple of days ago when Tamale woke up at 3:45 A.M. Then as I was about to put her to bed, Burrito woke up at 4:10 A.M. Then we all slept for an hour and half until they were both up again, and I was beyond exhausted.

In the middle of feeding them both, I paused to burp them, with each baby sitting on one of my legs facing the other baby.

Then Burrito smiled at his sister for the first time ever.

Then Tamale smiled back at her brother, also the first time ever.

Then Burrito laughed at her smile.

Then Tamale laughed at his laugh.

It went on like that for several incredible minutes.

In all my life, it’s the most joy I’ve ever felt.

It was literally the most Perfect Moment I’ve ever had. Just when I needed it most.

Perfect Moment

This week I tried something on for size a couple of times.

No, not my old jeans. I can’t even pull those up, much less button them.

I tried being honest about infertility.

Babysitter: Do twins run in your family?
Me: Not really, we had twins as a result of fertility treatments.
Babysitter: Oh, okay. I was asking because my mom is a twin, and my sister always says that she thinks we’ll both have twins.

It turns out the “do twins run in the family?” question sometimes has a non-nosy motivation.

Colleague who came over to meet the babies and bring us a casserole: Did you know that you might have twins? Do you have a family history? Were you shocked?
Me: They were the result of fertility treatments.
Colleague: Oh, so you were just glad it wasn’t three or four or more!
Me: Actually yes.

I outed myself and the world didn’t end. In fact, every time I have done so, it has gone rather well.

Still not ready to go as far as telling our families, but I could get used to this honesty thing.

Find more Perfect Moments at Weebles Wobblog.

Perfect Moment
Last March, when I was barely pregnant, as in ‘only one beta and even that had been done early because I was flying away to the Land of Don Quixote’ pregnant, I made a couple of purchases. Both were tremendous leaps of faith that the pregnancy would stick around and result in a Real Live Baby. Both of the purchases waited in a box until the time, if and when, they would be useful.

One of them I’ll post later this week at Show and Tell.

Here is the other one: a mobile we bought in Barcelona. DH and I stood in a museum gift shop for a length of time probably suspicious to gift shop employees, debating with ourselves and each other whether we really could let ourselves buy something for a baby that we didn’t yet trust to come into existence. Together, we made that leap of faith.

It didn’t seem right to put the mobile up when I was pregnant. Too presumptuous.

After the babies came, things were too crazy to put it up. When they calmed down a little, momentarily, I tried to put it up, got out the ladder and everything, but the spot I picked wasn’t amenable. It was impossible to find a time when the babies were both out of the nursery yet I was available to drill holes in the ceiling.

Then, instead of the spot I’d first picked, I wanted to use it over one of their cribs, but I couldn’t figure out a foolproof way to ensure that it was safe to dangle over the crib. When I bought a developmental mobile with a built-in crib clamp, DH said with a little hurt in his voice, “But what about our mobile?” It was so sweet.

Finally, this weekend, I figured out a way to put up our mobile that did not involve a power drill or risking anything crashing onto my babies’ heads.

The first Perfect Moment is actually getting something done.

The even more Perfect Moment is seeing one of my babies look up from the changing table, watch the mobile turning in the breeze, and laugh. That is why I made that purchase. That is why I did all of it, really. All of the years of treatments, and waiting, and emotions, and more waiting. I did it all for that little giggle.

view from the changing table

See more Perfect Moments at Weebles Wobblog.

Perfect Moment
(Children mentioned and sort of pictured)

Perfect Moment #1:
DH’s grandmother’s health isn’t deteriorating as much as we were led to believe. Given her age, she’s doing fantastic. We don’t know what the future will hold, but that’s true for all of us.

Perfect Moment #2:
Although I couldn’t manage some other introductions I wanted to make, I conquered infertility in time for her to meet her first great-grandchildren. She smiled from ear to ear. She called over everyone within earshot to share in the cuteness. “Come meet my twins!”

Perfect Moment #3:
Burrito, age 16 weeks, reaches out to his great-grandmother, age 99 years.

first encounter

Go encounter some other Perfect Moments.