Thursday, February 28, 2008

Just call me Erin Hussein

This blog post is to show support for something the MOMocrats are doing. They are making today Just Call Me Hussein Day. My name, Erin, was not popular at all when I was growing up. I think there was only one girl who had the same name but she was a bit older. I didn't like my name because it was so unique. People in my neighborhood would often pronounce it like this, "Aaron" and ask me why I had a boy's name. It also bugged me because my name doesn't really lend itself to creating a nick-name. No Jen or Liz or Terri. In fact, the only nick-names that I remember from my childhood are "Air" and "Ernie" (that one was from my Dad).

My name actually means Ireland in Gaelic which I always thought was pretty cool. However, around St. Patrick's Day someone would dredge up the saying "Erin Go Bragh" which means Ireland Forever. Again, a nice sentiment. Until someone made it into "Erin Go Bragh-less". Ouch.

I think the worst name related snafu I experienced was when the new 8th grade teacher called roll for the first time and pronounced my name "Erwin". Just think about that for a moment. I don't know what your 8th grade experience was like but I'll paint you a picture - I was descended upon by piranhas and mocked mercilessly. I hated that.

I like my name now. It is not as unique as it was when I was a child but it is mine. My children also have unique names (or at least unique spellings) and I hope that they aren't made to feel bad because of the loving name choices we made. I remember a saying from my childhood, "Sticks and stones will break my bones but names will never hurt me." But it's not true; you can hurt someone by making fun of their name.

P.s. There was one Erin who made me proud of my name. I must have watched her on Buck Rogers.

Wednesday, February 13, 2008

The Twin Defense

After we found out we were having twins 2 plus years ago, we were in shock. After we talked with some twin parents, we went into even deeper shock. Basically they said that we could write off the next 18 months or so of our lives. We would be so sleep deprived and so busy that we would have trouble forming complete sentences. We thought, "lovely" (in the ironic "oh crap" sense).

So we knew, going into twin parenthood, that it would be difficult. And we quickly understood, based on the reactions of the people we told we were having twins, that we had a "get out of jail free" card. It was called, "the twin defense". Parents of a singletons generally see a parent with twins and think about how hard it is to parent just one child. They tend to feel sorry for twin parents automatically because of this. People who don't have children cannot even imagine what having two at the same time would feel like and they really feel sorry for twin parents. Again, this is generalization, there are always folks out there who are either in the "get a grip" category or the "having twins should be easy - you are just more efficient" category. But from the beginning, we knew we could invoke "the twin defense" should we need it. Little did we know how often we would need to invoke it!

Our older daughter (did I mention we have a total of 3 kids?) is a great sleeper. Once she falls asleep, she is OUT for the night. Our boys, however, are not like their sister. When they were newly born, they got each of us up several times every night. Have you ever tried to function after being woken up 4-5 times a night? Did you know that one technique for brainwashing is sleep deprevation? It is also a form of torture. Let's just say we were not at our best...literally for YEARS. We are still getting up an average of 2 times per night. I cannot tell you how much better that is from getting up 4-5 times per night. And I cannot tell you how much I long for a full night of uninterrupted sleep. The problem is, on the few nights when all our children have actually slept through the night, I wake up anyway and wonder if they are ok. Then I have to go check to see if they are breathing. It is crazy.

All of this to say, if you have ever felt slighted because we missed your birthday, your child's birthday, an important celebration or anything that you felt we shouldn't have missed, we are sorry. We didn't mean it. We love you and care about you, really. It is just, well, we are not right in our heads. Some day we hope to be but in the meantime, we contine to invoke "the twin defense". We hope some day we won't have to any more.

Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Creating a new habit

At some point I stumbled across a blog called Zen Habits which I have been reading regularly ever since. Here is an excerpt from the "About" page on the Zen Habits website:

"My name is Leo Babauta, I’m married with six kids, I live on Guam, I’m a writer and a runner and a vegetarian and I love writing Zen Habits.

Zen Habits covers: achieving goals, productivity, being organized, GTD, motivation, eliminating debt, saving, getting a flat stomach, eating healthy, simplifying, living frugal, parenting, happiness, and successfully implementing good habits."

I have enjoyed being inspired by Leo's posts and have tried to make some changes in my life because of them. One thing I am currently involved in is a challenge to create a new habit. The idea is that if a) you get into the habit of doing something daily and b) you report on your progress daily, you are more likely to create a habit. As such, I joined the February Challenge with the goal of doing my back exercises every day. I didn't read about it until February 4th but I have been doing my exercises and posting every day since then. My back thanks me.

Even better, the energy I am getting from meeting my committment to myself seems to be spilling into the rest of my life. The other day I finally cleaned off my dresser, I have been trying to keep the kitchen counter clutter free and I started the first paintings I have painted in I-don't-know-how-long.

Are there any habits you would like to cultivate? If you decide to join the challenge...let me know. I am planning to create another habit next month.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Cause he likes bows?

R: "Why did Uncle Bobby and Auntie Brooke name their dog Bowie?"

Me: "I don't know. Maybe they just liked that name."

R: "Do you think it was because he really, really likes bows?"

Me: "Yes, that's why. I think they named him Bowie because he really, really likes bows."