The day I delivered my babies is both completely blurry and seared indelibly into memory.
After a long, surreal lead-up to my scheduled c-section, there was nothing left to do but deliver some twins. On July 22, at 38 weeks, we were actually sleeping when the alarm sounded at 4 a.m. For the last time, I peeled my enormously pregnant body from the bed and got in the shower, following with my full hair and makeup routine. My husband, David, couldn’t understand why I would bother, but of course I knew 1) there would be pictures! And 2) it might be a very long time before I managed such a feat again.
For the last time as a family of two, we left the house with our bags packed. It was a warm, beautiful early morning, and we snapped a picture of the moon over our house. Minutes later, we arrived at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center where we had our pick of prime parking spaces at 5 a.m. — a dream for a Los Angeleno, and an auspicious beginning to a big day! I noticed a sign that advertised discounted parking at a weekly rate, and as I shuffled into the hospital, I asked the parking attendant how to get the weekly pass, which would save us $10 over the course of our four-day stay. David couldn’t believe I found the energy to focus on such a pursuit, but I reminded him that every dollar counts with two babies on the way! And I’m nothing if not a hustler for a great bargain.
We made our way inside to check in for labor and delivery, at the same desk we had seen on our maternity ward tour when the reality of this day seemed infinitely far off — as if it were actually on another planet instead of just weeks away. This time, it was we who were checking into the hospital to deliver babies, and it was still too enormous to process. Read more…
One of the very best things about travel is seeing something you’ve never seen before. How many times in our adult lives do we really get to do that on a given day? (That’s one reason David and I have a strict no-repeating-country-stamps-in-the-same-passport policy.*)
Still, the lure of a perfect beach is a tough thing for me to resist, and so, if left to my own devices I might never have pulled myself away from the Big Island of Hawaii’s Kona coast, were it not for the hospitality of the Volcano Village Lodge up near Volcanoes National Park, which hosted us for two nights of our last and final (?!) babymoon.
After dragging ourselves away from the Four Seasons Hualalai‘s spectacular pools and beaches, we set off for the drive to the lodge, without knowing much of what we’d find. Although we were told to plan for about three and a half hours, we easily made the drive in under two and a half. (I kind of love how Hawaiians give you estimates based on island time — I feel like in L.A., we’d say instead, in a moment of desperate wishful thinking, “Leave an hour if there’s no traffic,” and then it would take you that long just to execute your first left turn.) Read more…
I’ve been a vegetarian for so long (20-plus years!) that I don’t experience any sense of active compromise when I’m quickly scanning menus for the limited dishes I can eat. And certainly when I travel, I don’t necessarily expect to eat that nation’s specialty, and I don’t bemoan it if I can’t. I’m very used to this, and I like to think I’m low maintenance in that regard, though I do actively seek out vegetarian restaurants when I travel if it’s a possibility.
You’d think that a babymoon in Europe (France, Italy, Spain) would be kind of a perfect scenario for a pregnant vegetarian: first-world cleanliness practices, and tons of bread and pasta and cheese as national specialties, available anywhere from street corners to fine dining rooms (especially compared to some of the more far-flung or meat-loving places where we’ve traveled recently, like Indonesia, Istanbul). Easy peasy, right?
Totally wrong, as it turns out. American pregnant women are not advised to eat unpasteurized cheese (or milk, or juice), and it turns out Europeans are not real big on pasteurizing their stuff. Ironic, right? Given that Louis Pasteur‘s birthplace was indeed France. Read more…
When I was a thousand weeks pregnant, David and I were looky-looing a ginormous open house down the block from us—an event that typically brings all the neighbors out in our extremely real-estate-obsessed community. (#Angelenos.) The broker told me I should be sure to meet another neighbor who was also there looky-looing, who’d just delivered twins a couple of weeks before. So I did, and we had a great chat. Mostly what I took away from it was that she looked like she’d never been pregnant in her life—and I had renewed (and it turns out false) hope for my immediately postpartum bod.
Now our twins are eight weeks old, and hers are 12. David and I love walking by their house in the evening. It’s one of our favorite houses in the neighborhood—so quintessentially deco Spanish—and they’re often sitting on the front porch with their babes, so we exchange wisdom and pleasantries. It’s very 227 as L.A. goes.
Given their babes are four weeks ahead of ours, we often get useful information about the best twin baby products we’re going to be needing ourselves any day now. Thanks to this neighbor mom, I have a new list of amazing product recs I am completely drooling over. And of course, I have my own list of things I love and can’t live without—widsom I impart to anyone who listens. Without further ado, here they are: Read more…
I’m eight weeks postpartum now, with enough distance from my twin pregnancy to see things a little bit more clearly. If I could, I’d love to be able to communicate with my recently pregnant self and give her a little advice based on what I know now. Today, I wrote for Parents.com a list of the things I wish I could tell her, like…: Read more…
Hear ye, hear ye!
We are so excited to announce the birth of our twins!
Jordan Oscar Rosen (6 pounds 6 ounces, 19 inches long, at 7:42 a.m., “Twin A,” on July 22, 2014)
Maya Zoe Rosen (5 pounds 12 ounces, 19 inches long, at 7:43 a.m., “Twin B,” on July 22, 2014)
Maya has dark hair like her dad and Jordan is platinum blond like me as a little girl. They are amazing, devastating, precious little people, and we can’t believe we made them!
We all left the hospital on Saturday and are starting our journey together at home.
Posts here might be sparse for a while (because: NEWBORN TWINS!) but I’ll be back in full effect after a little bonding time off.
I often hear people talk about how awful it was for them, or must be for me, to be heavily pregnant in the summertime. And I generally disagree wholeheartedly—it’s been mostly fine! But there is one majorly uncomfortable issue with being pregnant in these hot months, and it’s not the heat. Here’s the real reason why summertime pregnancy is tough: FOMO.
Given I’m carrying twins—and big ones at that, about six pounds each (!!) at last measure—I outgrew maternity jeans weeks ago, and closed-toed shoes on my swollen dogs sound like torture. So, thanks especially to my wardrobe of flow-y caftans and maxi dresses from the likes of Rachel Pally and T Bags, being pregnant in the summer suits me just fine (notwithstanding that three-week period when our home AC decided to poop out, because: Murphy’s Law).
But there’s this: Summer is my jam. My husband has always said I have a solar battery, and I get totally charged when things heat up. I want to be everywhere, every weekend: somewhere far flung out of town, somewhere fab within driving range, or at the beach or hiking right here in L.A.
Now that I’m close to 36 weeks pregnant and using a motorized cart just to get around Target, aint none of that happening.
My best friends all planned a camping/July 4 party weekend in Northern California, and I gulped with—what was it? Envy? Longing? (Maybe acid reflux.) It would be the first time, pretty much ever, that I’d miss out on a trip like that. I even sort of half considered, “Well, maybe…” and then I’d remembered that these days I cannot actually turn over in bed without David’s help, or make it to the bathroom at night without using multiple pieces of furniture as crutches, or that I could go into labor any day. So even relentlessly, mercilessly festive me had to admit it was time to wave the white flag on that idea.
But! We had a plan. Read more…
Shortly after David and I started dating, we went on a camping trip to Big Sur with friends. There was probably alcohol involved when we ended up doing an impassioned fireside a capella duet to LL Cool J’s “Around the Way Girl.” My girl Melissa said, “Man, you dorks were made for each other.”
And the rest is history, a marriage built on the fundamentals of, among a few other key things, a shared love of ’90s hip hop. Appropriately, on our wedding day, my MOH sister Elisabeth and bestie bridesmaid Avril kicked off their shoes and did an epic rap in lieu of a toast to MC Rob Base and DJ EZ Rock’s “It Takes Two,” with new lyrics just for us. *Tears.* It was the best. (Note to self: Launch retroactive viral video campaign. First dig up video.)
Four years later, now that we’re expecting twins — guess what? The “It Takes Two” theme works equally well as a celebratory anthem! (Twins! Two?! Get it?) So the wedding party crew was back at it as hostesses behind an amazing ’90s hip hop baby shower theme.
Behold some of the photographic highlights from the day: Read more…
File this one under B for better late than never — but since I’m on a remodeling-post roll, I’m inspired to share a couple of before-and-after photos from our 1930s kitchen remodel… which we completed two years ago.
I can’t overstate how much I loved this house when we first saw it. It felt so right. It was like that magical Say Yes to the Dress moment. Is this the one? Oh yes, gurrrl, this is the one. But I’ve said a hundred times before on this blog, the only thing not ideal about this house is its size, at about 1,350 square feet. (Fine for a couple, but not so much for growing into as a family.) The kitchen was among the rooms in particular that did not feel large, but part of the problem wasn’t actually the size itself, but rather the dearth of storage. There seemed to be just a few cabinets willy nilly, but nothing that maximized the space. Read more…
What happens when you have a two-bedroom house and two babies on the way? Well, first thing is you can kiss your sweet home office goodbye in favor of a nursery. Second thing is, you can figure out what the heck to do instead if you are a writer-editor who works from home.
Our solution (after considering other options like buying a new house, for instance) was to go for a detached garage office conversion. At first, I was opposed to this idea (proposed by husband), because I’m not sure you really see ROI from a future sale of a home, unless you add square footage onto the main house. But I really started to warm up to the idea when I began realizing its utility as a major custom feature for a new mom who makes her living as I do; I can be close enough to be accessible, but still two closed doors away from babies and nanny and noise enough to have the reasonable expectation of actual work. That’s a setup that works for me.
Beyond that, we needed to maintain some storage space. Otherwise, what would happen to husband’s 23 crates of ’90s hip-hop records from his DJing days, or my endless hoard of sentimental artifacts (I know, I know, call A&E — but I just love life and people and memories)? So we divided the garage into partial raw storage, and partial office space. That sounds sort of simple, but required hoop jumping to accommodate the movement of the existing garage door, as well as un-motorizing it so the motor didn’t run through the ceiling of our space.
With those considerations all addressed, prospective garage-office converters among my dear readers will be pleased to know the project was a fairly simple one! Read more…
One of my best friend’s Holocaust-survivor bubbies had an expression. She’d say — and you have to imagine this in an old-country accent — “Everywhere is it nice, but home is it the best.”
This is more or less my own life’s most fundamental mantra, and the underpinning beneath every word written on this blog. I want to go everywhere and see everything, and in between I want to come home to my own coordinates, on my teeny-tiny piece of the earth, and sit in my sweet little 1,350-square-foot house, surrounded by my family and my friends and rascally cats. That’s the nougat filling if travel is the chocolate coating.
So quite literally every time I touch down at LAX, or pull into the driveway after a long time away, I say out loud — affecting the same Yiddish accent — “Everywhere is it nice, but home is it the best.”
After more than six weeks out of our house, living with parents and in-laws and traveling out of town every single weekend, our bathroom remodel finally wrapped up and allowed us to move back in earlier this month. And by then, home felt more luxurious than even the most far-flung five-star resort.