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Waiting for an appointment (yeah right!)

There are so MANY things I could/should have done differently when I had my kids. Even though hubby is peds pulm, I feel as though we had a few bumps along the way choosing a practice that fitted our family. Since I’m a firm believer that mom/parent guilt is a total waste of time for me, I decided instead to share some of my thoughts on what I wish I had known, or what I might have asked if I had just known to ask when choosing a doctor for my newborn twins.

I will say that of all the things we did right, choosing a pediatrician BEFORE the littles came was one of the best. Knowing there was someone in place ready to watch over our premies was so comforting. If you’re having multiples this seems even more important since even though 36 weeks is considered full term (for twins at least), it is still premature AND there is no guarantee you’ll make it there. There is no way of knowing if you’ll have issues, or deliver early, but I would recommend that you have your ducks in a row (and not leave it till the end of your pregnancy) if there is any chance that you might deliver early.

In no particular order, here are the things I wished I had asked about or known about when picking a pediatrician, and things I encourage all parents explore when finding a doctor or practice to take care of your new bundle of poop and spit (ahem, I mean, joy).

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So three months into this whole parenting thing and it feels both like it’s been way longer, but also that I don’t know where the past 3 months have flown by.

We’ve come a looog way since this day

It seems like a lifetime ago I was on the other side of this parenting thing totally flummoxed by the sheer volume of things that I was “supposed” to buy for my impending prison guards. I constantly wondered how tiny people can need so much, and since I was having twins my list seemed to be three times as long (don’t ask how that works).

Since I grew up across the world, I was also wondering that if all these hundred things were “must-haves” how did the rest of the world (including my parents) raise kids without them? My husband and I did move from a one-bedroom apartment to a lovely 3 bedroom (1400 sq ft) home, but it still seemed too small to accommodate everything the experts say we absolutely needed. So in a quest to be minimalist about what I acquired, I asked all my already-mama friends what they thought were the essentials and tried to find the commonalities. The items that popped up consistently, I put on my list of things I needed.

Now that I am 3 months into having babies, the list has only shifted slightly. I’ll start this post with what has been most useful for us right after baby comes home.

NOTE: If you just want the list without my 2am ramblings, skip to the bottom. (more…)

Today I am grateful for warm blankets and hot tea. For plumbing that works (to take the ick away), 

And thankful most of all for a life that has been relatively violence free.

Although generally not celebrated in the US, the days between Nov 25th, the International Day Against Violence Against Women (VAW) and Dec 10, Human Rights Day, are known as known as the 16 Days of Activism, symbolically linking the two to show that VAW is a violation of Human Rights).

Let’s be aware of the multitudes of violence against women that permeate our lives and let’s do something, anything to stop it. This is something we ALL need to do, as a human family. Live, love, laugh. And end the violence.

Long time no write. I can list all the excuses, because that’s what they are, but I want this to be a positive post, and since all my “excuses” are really positive wonderful things that have happened this year, I will not turn them into negatives. But I digress.

This year I am very thankful for so much.

I am thankful for the grace of the sun shining down on me even when it is freezing. I am grateful for an office with windows, really for an office, let’s be honest for a job that I want to make a 3.5 hour daily commute for.

I am thankful for friends, for the knowledge that there are people on whose couches I can crash at a moments notice and stay on for weeks, for the comfort of knowing I can call so many either bawling or in fits of giggles and I will be welcomed with the same open arms, even more so if I offer to cook 🙂

I am thankful for a husband who pushes me farther, higher, even though he is secretly envious that I have a job that sends me off to travel (not really, but really).

I am thankful for planes, trains, and automobiles. For our ability to communicate, for skype, for the fact that people can now communicate face to face across the world untethered to anything. For people in my life that I can genuinely pick up with whether it has been a year or ten since the last time we saw each other. I am grateful that home is truly a state of mind that encompasses SO MUCH!

I am grateful for the beautiful roof over my head, appreciative of the fact that even though we haven’t unpacked, Deep and I can laugh about how neither of us sees the point even as we trip and fall over the boxes.

I am thankful for children who grow up to be beautiful, poignant, stunning, thoughtful adults, whose cheeks I can pinch and say, “I knew you when you were thiiiis high.”

This and so much more, both tangible and not makes my journey worth the bumps.

Ok, now a days it’s one of many “homes” (my aren’t we fancy), but I’ll be heading to Kenya with my husby in tow (for the first time). Here is our (potential) itinerary:

**Click to open the whole calendar

I’m watching “I Can Be President: A Kid’s-Eye View, and I can’t help notice that the kids generally have a sense of fairness and equality, they talk about how a president should know everything, that they should work hard, that if they were president they would make sure people would not loose their jobs and if they did how they would help these people. they talk about giving help to the homeless and protecting equal rights (of women), and really I can’t help wonder whether children with their clear cut view of right and wrong are born democrats.

Because as the parties stand now, not the behind the scenes politicking, but according to the crazy 24 hour news cycle rhetoric, I honestly can’t understand how you can be a thinking human being and even contemplate electing any one of those GOP candidates.

Using the Kony2012 campaign model, if the kids get it, why can’t you?

I was browsing the interwebs and I came across HijabMan’s post, “Three Beautiful Things Thursday…” If you’ve never heard about him you should check out his website. He’s funny, charming and has an incredible love story, not to mention this epic journey through his faith. I really admire him, and more importantly his Facebook updates generally educate or entertain me.

Back to the point, he asked for readers to leave a comment about something beautiful, and I was just remembering the conversation I had with my mom earlier today. So I wrote a little brief thing, thinking nothing of it:

Today I was reminded just how lucky we are. I was talking to my mom who is in Kenya right now, and it just reminded me how far my family has come. In 2 generations, we have gone from being illiterate, to becoming a family of gainfully employed professionals. We have overcome poverty, we have traveled the world, we have experienced new and wonderful ways of living and most importantly we have been open to it. And that is beautiful.

But as I began typing the words, I realized this is a much much longer post. In fact it may be more than a post, a book, several volumes worth of history waiting to be written.

Before I get ahead of myself, let me start here: right now my husband and I are in a state of complete and utter flux. We are living in LA, I am unemployed and my husband just gave notice on his job, we have several months on our lease but don’t know whether we will be here to service it, we’re trying to conceive, and we have no idea what our next move is (we only know it’s eastward). Although I am not truly worried, I am anxious about finding a job, about not being able to conceive/having a hard time adopting, about finding a great job and then getting pregnant right after (remember that dastard Murphy), and about what kind of expectations await us when we move closer to our families.

And yet, I am not worried. Not really. Not like my mother was worried that even though both her and my dad were highly educated professionals, they would not be able to educate us (they did). Not like her mother who had to worry about being kicked out of a country she was born into. You see I have a comparatively easy life. Not easy by many standards, we all have our crosses to bear, but comparatively, my husband and I are so fine.

We will never be homeless, or have to worry about making the rent. We are highly educated and highly motivated to work. We love our chosen professions. My parents have continually, repeatedly taken me in  when I worked close enough to where they live, and over the years have actually learned to treat me like an adult (and not the 17 year old who lived with them full-time before college). We will never lack for food. We will always have good clothing, and nice shoes. We even own luxury items like computers and smartphones. We are lucky.

There’s been a lot of hype in the media about the Ocupy Wallstreet movement talking about the 99% of Americans not standing for the greed of the 1%. And for the most part I agree.

But the truth is, and here’s the shocker America, you also need to be grateful (not that things can’t be even better) because generally speaking, we’re doing alright.

At least my husband and I are. Because even though I worked only 6 months last year, our combined income puts us in the top 2% worldwide. And that’s not bad for the granddaughter and grandson of (some very smart) farmers, laborers, and illiterate housewives.