When toddlers attack

Friday, May 4, 2012

Cue the jacarandas

The jacarandas are blooming.  How did they sneak up on me?

Southern California isn't big on seasonal displays -- no fall foliage, no exuberant springs, just a few scattered wildflowers on the hillsides if it's been a rainy winter.  But for a week or two every May, streets are lined with lacy, billowy clouds of blue flowers and sidewalks below become slippery with purple goo as people tread them into the pavement.

For the six (yes, six) years I was in college, my classes in Spanish and Hebrew looked out on a courtyard filled with them.  As I watched them bud and bloom each year, April turned to May and it meant that finals and summer were approaching fast. 

This year, though, what's approaching fast is the arrival of our twins -- for something that dragged on so in the beginning, it seems like it's accelerating a little more every day.  In a little more than three weeks -- if the babies don't decide to upstage us -- we'll board an Airbus 380 for a marathon 48-hour trip across the Pacific.  When we come back, our lives will bear no resemblance to what we left.

Baby clothes?  Check, three boxes of slightly used onsies, jammies and t-shirts, thanks to some very thoughtful friends.  Stroller?  Check.  Carseats?  Check.  Minivan?  Working on it.  A place to live?  Errrr....

Construction on the house is now scheduled to start mid-June, and plans now include a family room, a half-bath, a master suite, and so much demolition to the existing structure they don't leave much room for sleeping newborns.  We're putting the word out to friends to look for kind-hearted owners of guest houses and empty duplexes who would be willing to rent their unit out at a negligible cost.  Or maybe someone has a spare stable and manger somewhere... it seems strangely fitting:  the two of us, neither of whom had to lose our virginity to give birth to these miraculous infants; a star overhead (Hugh Jackman, please); three wise queens bringing gifts of duck liver crostini, homemade cassoulet and a nice Central Coast pinot... "Ooh, gurl," they'd say, snapping their sassy fingers, "where DID you get those FAAAAbulous swaddling clothes?"

Okay, maybe not.

My mother, ever the font of helpful ideas, has decided the answer is a trailer.  She dragged me last week to a trailer and RV rental facility and decided that in spite of the cost, a trailer was just the thing.

"Yes, we'll rent a trailer and park it in the driveway."

"The trailer is longer than the driveway," I protested.

"Then we'll park it on the side street," she said. 

"It's too expensive."

"I'm sure," she insisted, without proof, "that they'll take 800 a month."

"Okay, you handle it," I told her.  It's not entirely a bad idea; it would sleep all of us, we could keep an eye on the house,  and it would enable us to escape whenever things got too messy or noisy.  But when I got home from work a few nights later, Adrián told me that she had come up with a new idea:  two trailers; one for us, the newborns and the nanny (who will only be there during the day); the other for her and the dog.  I'm trying to let her know gently that, while she can stay with us (wherever we end up) if she likes, she has three options:  being in close nocturnal proximity with screaming babies, sleeping in a construction zone, or staying with my aunt, the Dowager Countess, in Palm Springs.  She doesn't get to live in luxury in her very own trailer, like a redneck princess.  And the dog sleeps with us.

Meanwhile, I'm passing my days obsessing over fetal weight and what would happen if our babies were born today... or the next day... or a week from now.  I've made a chart of what their weight and number of weeks was at the last scan, what the average weight of a fetus at this stage is, and a week by week estimate of what their weight should be so I can REALLY freak out when they don't hit that mark at their next scan.  I love it when I can put my neuroses to good use.

If they're not born first.  Did I mention that that prospect also make my stomach do a little flip-flop?


  1. our babies are due around the same time!!!have been checking up on you a lot.ours too is due in a little ove 3 weeks i e 37 weeks and got a cord round her neck too so c section is almonst certain.time is flying so fast and as at the 33 weeks s/he measured in at 5 pounds 7ounces.i just hope she stays put till the 37 because am not ready just yet....

  2. So excited for you guys !
    My man and I hand built our house (and I don't mean co-ordinate the subcontractors), looking back our only oversight was to live in the house as we built. It gets way messier, way dustier and way more exhausting to live in an environment being worked on - the RV is A FANTASTIC idea and is exactly what we should have done at the time. Best of luck with your decision and how exciting to be sooooo close now... : )

  3. lol. The last 2 paragraphs sound like me to a T.

    Only a little while left. So excited for you!

  4. welcome to stomach FLIP FLOP LAND! Right there with you...though you are having twins so it's a bit different. But I have to say that it won't surprise me if we are having our babies within weeks of each other. say get a Jet Stream -- they're UBER COOL! And sorry we missed you in LA...too much stress! Big, big hugs to you and Adrian!

  5. Your post is so funny! Loved reading it. Tummy flip flops are all part of this rollercoaster ride. Best wishes for smooth sailing.