Adventures In Motherhood: Don’t Forget Jackson, and Other Tales From the Trenches


photoI wake up every day and there is a monologue in my head.  I suppose we are all like that, but mine just goes and goes and goes.  Sometimes I find I’m talking to myself — but now that I have these two babies — I pretend I am talking to them.

I generally am talking to them.

Two babies.  Did I mention we have two babies?

I got the wine! Jonathan says as he locks the door.

Wait!, I said, as I strapped James into the stroller.

What?!? We have everything.  The diaper bag, the wine, your hat.

Yes, honey, but we don’t have Jackson.

Now CPS should know we were never really in danger of leaving one baby asleep in the crib while we walked to our regular Friday night dinner at Nicola’s — but sometimes you can get so far ahead of yourself you find you are twenty steps behind the sleeping baby.  It had been a long week and Daddy was excited to relax and open the bottle of wine.  I take comfort in the fact that had he actually LOOKED in the stroller, he would have seen only one baby.

Now whether he would have realized which baby was missing is another story …


This past month I have had to surrender fully to the fact that I will write when I can — and that has not been as often as I would like for it to be.  In theory I am writing all day long as I self-narrate my day as a form of entertainment for me (mostly) and the over thirty pounds of babies that have taken up residence in our life (occasionally).

Fortunately for me, they think I am quite hilarious.  Their amusement helps when I am sleep deprived.

After the ever popular question from strangers, Are they twins? — the number one question people who know me ask  — what are you going to do with the blog? You need to blog more.  

I smile, and say no, actually, what I need to do is sleep more.  When I am sleeping more, I will blog more.  When I am sleeping more I will eat more.  When I am sleeping more I will make baby food.  When I am sleeping more … I’ll rule the freaking world because what I am doing on very little sleep is effing extraordinary.

I don’t know if I mentioned this yet, but the Dumplings are eating solid food.  Am I making their food?  Please see the sentence that reads:  I need to sleep more.   After obtaining five consecutive hours of sleep (something that has not happened since September 2013), I will whip up some baby purees in my Boba Baby food maker — but right now, it’s all about Ella’s Kitchen and other “fine pouches.”

I had a cat that ate food from pouches once.  Not Boomer.  Not Raylan.  Buffy.

James and Jackson eat from pouches? Yes. But not cat food.  And not directly from the pouch.

There was a time when I would see some kids eating directly from these pouches and I think, how lazy is that?  What kind of mother would let their kid suck on a pouch for dinner?

I don’t judge anymore.  Whatever you need to get through the day, sister.

The fact that I know what Babies First TV is and that I let one watch while I change the other one after bath time every night will probably have my kids in therapy because they viewed a talking Toucan named VocubuLARRY before the age of two.  Do I really believe this?  No.  I can tell you first hand, any therapy I ever underwent had nothing to do with my viewing of Oscar the Grouch or other fine Muppets before the age of two.

To those judging me, I say, would you rather they watch Law & Order SVU or the age-appropriate talking Toucan?  My kids are more likely to have therapy from too much time spent interacting with ceiling fans than said VocabuLARRY wielding Toucan.

Last night with our oats, barley and spelt cereal we opened a pouch of spinach, apples and rutabagas.  This morning it was peaches, bananas and apricots.

Mealtime is quite a show in this house.

For those of you unaware that I majored in musical theater, well, I did.  I can now confirm that my entertaining nature was worth every penny because my kids love dinner time.

Why do they LOVE dinner time, you ask?

The Js and breakfast

It all started innocently enough.  I opened my iPad and placed it between the high chairs on the table and started singing each bite of food right into their mouths.  I did not pretend it was a train or a boat or a motor bike.  I just sang and they ate it all, especially dinner.

Earlier this week I was singing Princess of This Prairie, one of my favorite Carly Ritter songs, which I wrote about here.  As I would sing the chorus and get to the part the coyote howling, they would laugh and James would try to make the howl and sing with his lips.  He was mimicking me.

James breakfast

Jackson breakfast

Note to self, your every move is now being mimicked.

Eventually, I just played this song on a loop and every time it started they would both start dancing in their high chair.  This made a very strong case for me being able to dictate the things I had to listen to over and over and over and over again.  At least for now.  Luckily, I love this song.

Last night as James and Jackson were laughing these guttural belly laughs as I sang each verse, I realized how very far away I was from where I thought I would be when I was majoring in musical theater in Boston so long ago.  I have never performed for sold out Broadway shows — and no longer have the desire to — but now I perform countless shows a week for the only audience that has ever really mattered.

All the things I have done in my life, ultimately trained me to be flexible in these moments.  Not to get too worked up about all the things I should or shouldn’t be doing, and focus intently on raising happy, flexible kids.

Yes, I can stress out about the stomach sleeping, the vocabuLARRY watching, the pouch eating and the fact that sometimes I would rather put these kids in bed with me than sleep train on any given morning (guilty as charged) — but I don’t.

These kids will probably always be stomach sleepers, VocabuLARRY might teach them a thing or two (or they might have Toucan nightmares) and on those mornings (this morning) when I wake up and there are not one but TWO babies in my bed — I feel so much joy waking up next to their infectious smiles full of love for Mama and Daddy.  I know there might be some long nights of distressed crying in my future to break this 5-7am habit that is forming, but today it feels worth it.

As for scheduling (something I do, in fact, strive for) — I have read schedules for twins and triplets from one end of the internet to the other and all I have to say is this: THEY. ARE. LYING. (or kidding themselves)  I read one schedule that actually says they took their kids on a 15-minute stroll each morning and each afternoon.  Are you kidding me?  It takes me 15-minutes to get The Dumplings IN the stroller.  Once I get them in there we are strolling for at least 30 minutes, if not 45!

After I read that particular micro-managed schedule, I realized a lot of these posts Mommies write on their blogs are wishful thinking.  I have yet to find a schedule that allows for life to happen (not to mention breathing) between all of the activities.

That’s the one I am striving for.  The one that let’s real life in all the cracks, after all, that’s what we’re here for.  Real. Life.

P.S. for those of you Instagrammers, Terrilox is now on Instagram.


  1. Gina Galante says:

    Thanks Terri for telling it like it REALLY is! Love your Blogs. Thanks for keeping me up to date. The boys are just extremely handsome “little men”. Breathe…….

  2. Lisa Pritchett says:

    I absolutely LOVE reading your blogs. I whole-heartedly agree: let life happen and enjoy every moment! Your babies are precious but they don’t stay little long (as I sit here gagging over the smell of my 16-year old’s feet). Sing, dance, laugh, love! Nothing they see on tv will ever take the place of interacting with Mommy & Daddy. God bless you both for the incredible love you are giving these two angels.

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