When toddlers attack

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Bon nadal

The morning is done... the gifts are open.  Last night's tamales are vanished and the turkey is preparing to go in the oven.
All baby-themed gifts.
Last night we told two more friends, our neighbors -- they also said they were thrilled, but didn't offer to babysit.  Pity, and they live so close...

My half-sister spent Christmas Eve and morning with us and just headed to LAX to fly to the Bay Area to spend the rest of the holiday with my other half-sister.  She knew about our India adventure and the purpose behind it, but didn't know we were expecting twins.  She said she's excited at the prospect of being an aunt again (my other sister's kids are just four years younger than me).  I offered to send the twins to stay with her in Manhattan for, oh, the next five years or so.  She said she doesn't want to be an aunt THAT badly.

Someone's had enough of the holidays...

Argos is quiet and subdued this morning.  We think he has a bread hangover after eating an entire loaf of sourdough destined for the turkey dressing.  Or maybe it's just that he knows I'm posting un-dobermanly photos of him.

Note the Californian touches
Wherever you're celebrating and whatever your celebrating, I hope this has been a happy and fulfilling holiday season, and I wish you the best for 2012.

Thursday, December 22, 2011

חלק שני - The reveal

I'll tell you a dirty little secret.  Keep it quiet, okay? 

Here it is:  I love Christmas. 

My internal Yuletide alarm starts clanging as the days get shorter, and I battle with myself to not break out the Christmas CDs in October.  I could probably get away with it, since my tastes run to weird medieval and renaissance disks that don't sound very Christmas-y to most around me and that they find only slightly more enjoyable than being drawn and quartered.  I've tried to get my husband involved by buying albums like "Navidad Renacentista" or "Navidad Ibérica," but that only resulted in my knowing the words to songs like "Riu riu chiu" and "E la don don," that nobody knows even in Spain.  Okay, I know all the words to "The Twelve Days of Christmas" too.  Just don't force me to sit through "My Grown Up Christmas Wish."

Only in Santa Monica -- fair trade chocolate Hanukkah gelt and artisanal dreidels
Know why it's a dirty little secret?  I'm technically Jewish.  Yep, Jewish mom (from whom I ironically inherited the Christmas gene) and WASP dad (who hated Christmas), whiter than the snows of Maine from which he sprang.  No religion.  Not even an effusive Jewish grandmother.  And a big-ass noble fir in our living room every December. Jewish identity in our home was always expressed through food, mainly a weekly or so trip to the deli.  And maybe about a dozen dirty words in Yiddish. I can speak a passable Hebrew, but that's thanks to four years in the university preparing for a career in archaeology that never materialized, not anything my parents did.

So I was pleased last night to assuage my annual twinge of ethnic guilt by attending an impromptu Hanukkah party at the home of some very good friends of ours.  Conveniently, they invited most of our remaining good friends who are still in the dark about our impending event.

Four thousand years of calories on one plate
It's not as though we've kept our mouths completely shut -- a select group of friends has known what we've been up to from the start.  Mostly, they're people who either already have kids or are investigating the process.  And while it occasionally resulted in a revealing post that I hurridly had to delete from my Facebook page, for the most part everyone has kept his or her mouth shut.

The best reaction was from our friend Patrick, whose jaw dropped and whose hands flew to the sides of his face and hovered there for half a minute.  He then offered to babysit.  We were pretty sure they already knew -- I thought I remembered someone telling me that so and so had asked about our trip to India last April -- but no, they all assured us our news came as an enormous surprise. 

Ninety percent of the friends are now in the loop.  That leaves work.

My boss is back in the office on the 27th.

חג שמח לכולם! (For the Hebraically impaired...it says "chag sameach l'kulam," that is "a happy holiday to everyone!")

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

The first reveal

For the past ten years or so, we make an annual pilgrimage to visit two separate sets of friends in San Francisco, who (conveniently for us) tend to have parties on the same weekend in December.

This year, of course, we brought with us a secret so closely guarded, it's known only to my mother, her sister, about a dozen friends in L.A. and the throngs that flock to this blog.  We were a little worried at what the reaction would be to the big 12th Week reveal -- one of our friends is notorious for loving dogs but finding children about as pleasant as listening to Mariah Carey and Celine Dion sing a duet of "Grandma Got Run Over by a Reindeer."

We spent most of Saturday helping one of our friends get his beautiful house atop Potrero Hill ready for his big holiday bash on Sunday.  That evening, fortified on the evening's first glass of wine, we took a big breath and broke the news to three of our best friends.

"I KNEW it!" our host shouted.  "Didn't I tell you guys that's why they went to India?"   Turns out he has another set of friends in San Francisco who are also doing surrogacy in India.  He demanded we move back to San Francisco so he can be a proper uncle. 

Mmm... tastes like jamón serrano
At the small party thrown later Saturday by our other friends, while Adrián entertained their dog by allowing him to lick the back of his neck for 15 minutes straight... well...

"Wha... no, really?" said she of the child aversion.  "Um... WHY?"  But her husband was delighted at our news and promised to make up for any her slack in the auntie-uncle relationship.

And a funny thing happened at the party the next day -- right when I was getting a little sad thinking that this was the last year we'd be able to all be together pre-holidays, for the first time, the party was filled with children: toddlers, first-graders, a lesbian couple nursing their two-month-old in the bedroom.  A new chapter begins.

While we were still in SF, our latest ultrasound arrived -- everything looking good and the babies looking more like babies, though Adrián thinks one of them looks a bit evil, as if rubbing palms together planning world domination.  At least the clown nose has disappeared...

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Nose news is good news

Any resemblance to this child is purely coincidental
One summer, when I was about seven and staying with my grandparents in L.A. on my annual visit from Hawaii, my grandfather caught me picking my nose.  We were watching TV on the sofa and my finger absent-mindedly found its way into my nostril. 

My grandfather looked over and casually said "You know what's going to happen, right?  You're going to stretch out your nostrils and they'll never go back to the way they were."

"Nuh uh," I said, lowering my finger uncertainly.

"It's true.  I used to have a nose like yours.  Then I picked it, and look at it now."

I was horrified.  My grandfather surely had one of the largest probosci ever to light on a human face.  Each of his nostrils was cavernous. As a child, it looked to me as if I could run the tracks of my electric train (a big Lionel, not one of those wimpy Tyco things) up one nostril and out the other, which would have been a lot more fun than that stupid styrafoam mountain that came with the train set, though similar in size and shape.   His nose jutted from his face in a magnificent arc that would have made a macaw proud.

My point is that, while I didn't inherit the Nathan nose, I know it's lurking in my genes, preparing to enthusiastically assert itself in a new generation (my mom got it, but I promised I wouldn't talk about why she no longer has it.  All I'll say is that it also was a rite of passage for a lot of girls at my high school).  And our donor appears to have a healthy schnoz.

Now, look what appeared in my inbox this morning:

 Is that baby wearing a clown nose? 

Okay, okay, I know it's likely what's left of the yolk sac.  And other nose-news is quite good -- Dr. Jolly noted nasal bones on both on this morning's report.

Bicho 1:
Approx. gestational age: 12 weeks 0 days
BPD - 14mm (help me out here, is that a little small?)
CRL - 53mm
Nuchal translucency - 0.9mm
No obvious gross transgenital anomaly (nuchal translucency and the presence of a nasal bone suggest a lower risk of Down's Syndrome and other genetic abnormalities -- normal is up to 2.0mm at 11 weeks)

Bicho 2:
Approx. gestational age:  11 weeks 4 days
BPD- 13mm (will we have children with very small heads but very large noses?)
CRL - 47mm
Nuchal lucency: 1.1mm

By the way, I'm trying to comment on all your blogs, but for some reason, Blogger keeps telling me I don't have access.  Not even to comment on my own.  But I am reading...

Friday, December 2, 2011

Wayward texts

Mystery texter in the 510:  Sorry, a little scattered.  Stopped for a couple of beers with buddies on way home and haven't had din yet.  For sure let's catch up off line and check out your works.  :)

Mystery texter in the 510:  So funny I still know ur number by heart.  Probably the only one I do.

Me:  Awww... that's sweet.

Me:  But... um... who is this?

Mystery texter: