Wednesday, September 9, 2009

The search begins...your advice wanted.

If you want to make a group of people laugh tell them you have 5 month old twins and you line dry your laundry. If you want to make a group of people go completely silent with disbelief, tell them you have 5 month old twins and don't have a dishwasher

So I'll admit, the dishwasher thing isn't by choice...but the line drying is. I hate hate hate our energy sucking dryer but luckily I live in Sunny Southern just makes sense to line dry. 10 mins to hang, 2 hours in the sun, and presto...dry clothes. The bonus: I don't have to rush to get them as soon as they are dry so they don't wrinkle. Heck, I can leave them on the drying rack all day! And the bonus bonus is feeling smug that I didn't have to use any electricity.

It seems so simple to me and yet people think I'm crazy for line drying. You would not believe how many people think I will stop line drying now that we have twins.

Everyone has certain ideas about how they want to live. Mine include trying to be as Green as possible; trying to make as little waste as possible. I believe in tote bags versus plastic or paper grocery bags. I believe in walking more than driving...if you have to drive, make it the smallest car possible. I believe in cloth diapers and glass bottles. I believe in composting, recycling, freecycling, and craig's list. I believe in using my own refillable water bottle. I believe in Etsy and other made-by-hand websites. I believe in opening windows rather than using AC. I believe in eating what is for sale at my weekly farmers market. I believe in drought-resistant, California native plants instead of water sucking unnatural green lawns.

Sadly, I don't get to live all these beliefs every day. We rent so the garden is out of my control (though I am strict with the sprinkler one can accuse us of ignoring the water restrictions.) We live in LA so we have to drive more than I'd like...but we do walk much more than the average Angeleno (the mileage on our last car was so low that when we went to trade it in the dealer accused us of turning the odometer back). And as you all know... my dreams of driving like a European in a tiny car were dashed when faced with the realities of two rear facing car seats. I'm Green but I'm also realistic. I suppose, on the scale of Green living, I'm still a pale, pale lime. But I'm trying. And I don't think having twins means I have to stop trying.

So my next big step in practicing what I preach... cloth diapers. Or a biodegradable diaper. Or last resort, a disposable diaper made of post-consumer recycled content (free range wood pulp anyone?). Surely there must be a diaper out there that can contain my children's poop and yet doesn't have a half life longer than uranium.

And so the research begins. I'm looking into these and these and these. And I have set the goal of cutting down our diaper-footprint by the time the twins are 8 months old. That gives me 3 months to figure it out and 3 months for them to finish getting over any little Ethiopian souvenirs they might have growing in their poop.

Here's where I actively seek your advice. All those who have diapered before me--singleton or twin poo--what did you do for diapers?
Seriously, have you ever seen cuter bums then these? Not to mention the quality of head control and tummy time... but I digress. Diapers people...please help me find a diaper that works AND doesn't exist longer than my kids!


Sunday, September 6, 2009

Home again, home again.

So, we're back. We have gone and returned from Ethiopia. And we have returned with two of the most gorgeous, funny, wonderful, gassy babies you have ever seen. Seriously gorgeous. Like, Baby Gap model gorgeous. And seriously gassy. Farts so loud and rumbley they caused people on the plane to comment. Luckily, they are gosh darn cute when they toot...

Our trip was amazing... in every respect. Everyone we meet, everything we saw, tasted, felt, experienced...the good, the bad, the ugly... all of it amazing. We truly lucked out in many, many ways and for that I am grateful. None of us got sick while traveling (though being at home is a different story). Our twins sleep pretty well for 5 month olds...and were superstars on the long flight home. My best friend Lori went with us so we had an experienced mom to help out, our own photographer to help record the week and a good friend to share this special time with all rolled into one. Our paperwork and embassy appointment went super smoothly. We had a chance to visit with family friends while in Addis (and let's face it, going to a friend's home always makes a trip better). We gained a life long friend in Solomon, our wonderful driver. Even the dreaded rainy season was reduced to only one or two crazy, hard, short storms a day. I am sort of embarrassed to talk about how lovely our trip was over all. I know that Ethiopia can be a hard place to visit under any circumstances and that meeting your children and their family, trying to bond and attach...all that can be difficult and heavy but for some reason we lucked out. I am aware of how blessed we are.

Don't get me wrong, it wasn't all fairy dust and unicorns. We saw heartbreaking things and heard tragic stories. But even in all the heartbreak we were still amazed and in awe by the country, the people, the experience. I am so proud to say my children are Ethiopian.

We have actually been home for almost two weeks. Sorry to leave you all hanging here in BlogLand but it's been hard to write. Why? Well #1-I think I've mentioned that we have twins now. TWINS. Two parents. Two babies. Kinda hard to hand off a kid when your husband is already holding a kid! #2-they are unnaturally it's hard to tear myself away for a blog. Oh! He made a raspberry noise! And #3-because I'm just not sure what to write. Let me rephrase that...I'm not sure HOW to write this blog now.

I want so badly to post pictures and info on my children. I want to prove to you that they are the world's cutest twins. I want to wax on and on about how crazy soft their skin is (like touching AIR). I want to share every detail of our trip and our return. But... I am hesitant to do that. How can I post pictures and details about my sweet innocent 5 month old children when my own husband chooses to remain anonymous? I could make this blog private but then I'd miss out on all the random visitors. I could make up code names for the twins... Jayna and Zan? And just show you photos like these

Or I could just get over it and out my husband so that we are all equally exposed on the world wide web. What to do, what to do. I'm just not sure yet. I want to keep the blog...I like having a place to put my thoughts and I like your companionship. So I just need to figure out how to go forward. Anyway, that's why I haven't posted until now. But I figured I needed to post something and let you all know I was alive and happily ensconced in a family of four before I got another "WHERE ARE YOU??" comment (which I love by the way! Thanks for missing me!)

Here's something that I can write about now... the other major life changing event I've gone through since we last spoke...

This is what I used to drive. My zoom-zoom, my Mazda 3 hatchback that is perfect in every single way except when it comes to holding 2 rear facing car seats.

This is what I was hoping I could advance to, the Mazda 5, a mini-mini van. Three rows of seats, sliding side doors, great mileage, not your parent's mini-van when it comes to parking or looking cool.

This is what I've ended up with. A Honda Odyssey. The mothership of all mini-vans. Membership to Youth Soccer Leagues included.

Sadly, the Mazda 5 just wasn't big enough for 2 adults, 2 rear facing car seats and the largest double stroller known to man. Or was JUST big enough for those things and nothing more. The Odyssey holds all of us, our gargantuan stroller, two loads of Costco shopping and 15 beverages all at the same time. (Yes, the Odyssey holds 8 passengers, and has 15 cupholders do the math).

Don't get me wrong. I really appreciate a mini-van and what it does...I just thought we had a few more years before we had to get one. I will love it in a week or two, but for now I'm a bit startled to see it in our driveway. And have I mentioned how much I love my Zoom Zoom? I get a little weepy at the thought of The Esquire getting to drive it to work every day. Sigh...I'm counting on the 15 cup holders and automatic sliding side doors to help me get over this pain.

I guess that's it for now. I'll figure out where to go with this blog and be back soon, I promise. But now I have to go watch Twiddle Dee and Twiddle Dum sleep... they both do this crazy little thing with their thumb that we just can't get enough of...