Friday, May 27, 2011

the hunger games

Part of my absence in the last few weeks can be blamed on the four days I spent reading "The Hunger Games" series by Suzanne Collins. I was an absentee wife, mom and employee while I plowed through all three books. Several people have asked me questions about the books and the upcoming movie, so I decided to write a blog about it. I have tried to avoid spoilers in case you decide you want to read the books too!

Summary from GoodreadsIn the ruins of a place once known as North America lies the nation of Panem, a shining Capitol surrounded by twelve outlying districts. The Capitol is harsh and cruel and keeps the districts in line by forcing them all to send one boy and one girl between the ages of twelve and eighteen to participate in the annual Hunger Games, a fight to the death on live TV. Sixteen-year-old Katniss Everdeen, who lives alone with her mother and younger sister, regards it as a death sentence when she steps forward to take her sister's place in the Games. But Katniss has been close to dead before—and survival, for her, is second nature. Without really meaning to, she becomes a contender. But if she is to win, she will have to start making choices that will weigh survival against humanity and life against love.

The Hunger Games is intriguing, smart, haunting and addicting. I couldn't put the books down and when I finished the first I was immediately anxious to read the next. The books have a lot of killing and military like content, but because it is young adult literature it thankfully lacks gruesome details. As a huge fan of the Ender's Game books, I found this a suitable comparison in that it uses children in decidedly adult roles in sort of a futuristic way. I loved Katniss as the main character, a young woman who I thought was portrayed mostly accurately for a 16-year old girl. Bottom line: this is a great series.

I LOVED the first two books (The Hunger Games and Catching Fire). Those two books have great continuity and tug at the same heartstrings. Nothing that I thought would happen did. I kept turning pages because I had to know what happened next. The final book in the series (Mockingjay) is my least favorite, but I understand that it was not going to be able to continue as the first two had. Even though I didn't love Mockingjay, I had to read it because I needed resolution of the story.

The Hunger Games movie comes out in 2012 and casting is nearly complete. Jennifer Lawrence has been cast as Katniss and Josh Hutcherson as Peeta. I don't have a lot of feelings about either of them, as for some reason I never had much of a vision of their faces in my head. They were both in critically acclaimed films last year so I imagine they are deserving of their roles. Lenny Kravitz will play the role of Cinna. Kravitz certainly doesn't fit the image I held in my head of Cinna, as I envisioned someone a little less sexy. Elizabeth Banks will play Effie. That one is great casting as is Woody Harrelson in the role of drunken Haymitch. Stanley Tucci will be playing Caesar, the interviewer. My husband doesn't really agree with that casting, but I can't really say for sure. All of the people from the capital should be costumed and made up strangely as the book describes, thus making for speculation of their characters difficult for me.

This is one of those series that will stay with me for a long time. The idea of putting teenagers in a fight-to-the-death match disturbed me the whole time I was reading, but I couldn't put it down. This is definitely a series you don't want to miss!


I almost didn't go to graduation on Wednesday night. I had meetings for work scheduled Tuesday and Wednesday that required me leaving the house in the morning earlier than normal. By Wednesday afternoon I was feeling detached from my babies and I was aching to go home and snuggle with them. But I had already arranged to attend graduation that night to watch some of my former students receive their diplomas. I was feeling overwhelmed with mom guilt at the thought of leaving my girls again. I tried to justify skipping it, thinking maybe my former students wouldn't notice if I didn't show. Besides, my husband was home sick, with pink eye too, and I couldn't very well leave him with two babies, could I?

In the end I left the husband with strict instructions on hand washing and I got myself downtown in time for graduation. I was only there a few minutes before running into one of my former students in the bathroom and it was just moments until I was fighting back tears. I needed to be there.

Just a few years ago they were bouncy freshman who brightened my classroom with joy and enthusiasm. They, like all of us, thought that in 2011 they would be graduates of Loretto High School. Two years ago I watched them as they were forced to choose new schools and new paths. As I watched the sea of young women in white caps last night, I wondered what they were thinking. I wondered if they related to everything the speakers talked about, or if they were thinking of how their experience was different from the rest.

As I watched the young women I used to know sit before me, I realized it was okay that I left my babies at home last night. Because the "Loretto girls" are my family too. I may be the weird old aunt they don't want to talk about, but still I am part of their past and they are part of mine. They are a part of my life that I am immensely proud of, a part of my life that has forever changed how I look at young women, and a part of my life that I will always miss. As I watched the Loretto women receive their diplomas I remembered that I always envisioned a family full of boys; I got twin girls. Sometimes I think God knows exactly what we need.

Loretto, I ache for you. Loretto women, I hold you always close to my heart. Red Robots, Loretto Class of 2011, I wish you congratulations. Thank you for allowing me to be part of your lives.


Monday, May 23, 2011

how to eat a pb&j sandwich, erin style

hi friends. i know, i know: it's been awhile since i've written a blog. i've got a whole list of reasons i haven't blogged:
  1. i was sick
  2. i didn't want to interrupt any exciting coverage about the rapture
  3. i got myself involved in too many things again
  4. i have twins
  5. a dinosaur ate my computer. rawr.
but really i have just been feeling a little uninspired. which leads me to this post... i took pictures of how i eat a peanut butter and jelly sandwich. yes folks, we have reached a new low. so without further ado...

1. a peanut butter and jelly sandwich in its entirety. i am a CHUNKY peanut butter person. BG likes creamy. that means in our house we always have both kinds. but if you ask me, there is no excuse for creamy peanut butter. ever.

2. i eat the crust first by tearing off pieces. i do not bite.

3. crust has all been removed and consumed. NOW comes the yummy part.

4. sometimes i tear, sometimes i just bite in. the only thing that matters is that this is the BEST part of the sandiwch and i enjoy each little bite.

5. yum. pb&j with raspberry jam. all gone.

i know. you can hardly stand the excitement in this blog post.

Thursday, May 19, 2011

I should have known

I was afraid to have two babies.

I wanted at least one of them to be a boy.

Sometimes I am reminded that God and the universe know better than I do.

These are the babies I was meant to have.

At night I go in at least three or four times after they've gone to sleep. I rest my hand on their chests and I wait to feel their tiny lungs rise with a breath of air. When I feel the subtle movement, I breathe out my anxieties and find peace watching them sleep. I move my hand to their heads, where I run my fingers down their cheeks and whisper my love to them.

And again I think, these are the babies I was meant to have.

I am grateful. I am blessed.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

People are going to get pretend angry now and unfollow me

It took me awhile to come around to the Twitter. I had all sorts of fears about hashtags and understanding how the Twitter worked. In the last month or so I have embraced the Twitter and spend way too much time tweeting. Don't get me wrong, I find the Twitter immensely entertaining. There are a lot of people that I love following. In fact if those people unfollow me I will be hunting them down in twitterville. But there is much about Twitter that bothers me too. Let me share:
  1. Most people on Twitter don't know each other in real life. After years of "stranger danger!" and "you don't know who people really are on the internet" I guess I didn't expect for there to be so many friendships based on blogs and 140-character tweets. There are certainly several Twitterers (and Twatters...) who I would like to know in real life, but for the most part Twitter is like "Second Life" with relationships that would never have existed if it wasn't for the internet.
  2. Tweeters (WTF is the correct term for a person who tweets?) are passive-aggressive. There is an awful lot of gossip and cruelty between the women. And the use of "DM" to imply that there is a direct message being sent is cruel, as it can only make every other woman wonder, "Is she talking about ME?!"
  3. There are cliques. Just like in seventh grade. Getting into the clique requires wearing the right outfit, knowing the right friends, having the cutest blog design and having the right number of blog followers.
  4. Are there even any men on Twitter?
  5. The answer is yes. The one man I know in real life who uses Twitter left his fiance for a woman he met ON TWITTER. So happy my husband prefers to "tweet" his 140-character thoughts on his blog. Also, that guy is a douche bag (the cheater. not my husband)
  6. Twitter is, for some people, where they get all of their support and advice. While on occasion I need some love from the internet, I cannot comprehend turning to the Twitter for all things going on in my life. I have my husband, my mom, my sister and my fabulous, fabulous friends to cry with, to laugh with and to talk to when I am looking for emotional support. Yet somedays my Twitter feed looks like a mom's support group.
  7. I know more about some of the people I follow on Twitter than I do about my self. Boundaries, people.
  8. There are a lot of people without a good sense of humor. I tweet things that are hilarious and I get nothing. Post some inane tweet? 20 responses. What the hell?
  9. What made you want to follow me anyway? I am some random chick in California with some babies and a job. Why yes, I DO think I am an awesome friend. But when it comes to the internet, I am a nobody. So for the most part I think you just want to follow me in hopes that I will read your blog and give you more followers.
  10. Yes, your life is awesome. Yes, we all wish we could be you. Yes, we will now all tweet at you about how amazing your life is so you can feel warm and fuzzy while the rest of us quietly throw up in our mouths a little bit.
  11. No, this is not about you.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011


There are some days, some moments, when everything seems like it is happening at once. I am suddenly overwhelmed and caught up in a tornado of emotions. Today is one of those days.

This is a perfect song for a day like today.

Sunday, May 8, 2011


After being a religion teacher in Catholic school, I assume that my family and friends know how I feel about my faith. I don't really have a reason why I don't mention it much on my blog. But today is a special day for me and my family as the girls were initiated into the Catholic Church through baptism. It was a choice that I do not take lightly and I am so happy that today Ana and Grace were christened in the presence of family and friends.

In our parish we use full immersion baptism. Adults walk into the baptismal font, babies are dunked. Unfortunately my grandmother was photographing without a flash so all the pictures are blurry. Here is a mostly clear picture of the font. As an advocate of full immersion baptism, I love this:

And there she goes! Grace being baptized by Fr. Dillon, the priest I grew up with in my parish. He is phenomenal. For those who are curious, he only immersed them up to their chins. They were immersed three times and both girls cried shortly by the third dunk. As soon as they were wrapped up in towels they stopped crying.

 Our family with our newly baptized girls:

This is Grace wearing the gown and bonnet that my mom, sister and I all wore at our own baptisms. Maybe one day a fourth generation will wear this as well! (There is also a nearly identical picture of me in this gown).

Ana looking adorable. When we found out we were having twins I was very upset that we only had one family gown. So my mom found this beautiful gown and we decided who wore which based on fitting.

 Brandon and I with the godparents and the girls.

After the ceremony we hosted a dinner at our home. After all that excitement, I am exhausted!

Thank you to everyone who shared this day with us. I couldn't have asked for a better Mother's Day gift than to witness the welcoming of my beautiful daughters into the faith. Brandon and I are truly blessed to have amazing families and friends.

Grab a beer and check out my photos, YO

grab a beer button

Happy Mother's Day, y'all!

1. Grace does not like her new menu.
2. Ana does.
3. Ana has discovered how to pull blankets over her face. She does not know how to take them off... so she screams.
4. There are geese everywhere with their goslings. It is adorable. Unless you are afraid of birds.
5. Don't worry, we didn't actually let her drink the margarita. But it didn't keep her from trying.
6. I am back in the pool. I swam four workouts last week. Hope I can make at least three this week!
7. I covet these shoes for my sister-in-law's wedding. They cost $395... so I will be looking for knock offs.
8. My husband "remembered" what I wanted and got me these from Mountain Girl Silver.Thank you babe!

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

on my swim goals

somewhere around the time we moved last year, when the winter was at its darkest and coldest, just before i discovered that i was harboring twins inside me, i stopped going to swim. so after a year hiatus from my illustrious swimming career, i dove back into the pool yesterday for the first time.

not gonna lie: it kicked my ass. i have aerobic endurance. what i don't have is one ounce of strength in my arms. but today i dragged myself back to the pool and signed myself up for the torture again.

i am so happy to be back in the pool (minus the heinous sunburn. note to self: don't forget sunscreen). today i took a step toward accountability and commitment for the next eight months of swimming; i spoke out loud to one of my coaches a personal goal. in telling her what i want to accomplish, i now have someone to help me in my journey.

so sometime between now and february 21, 2012, i will swim in a swim meet.

this might not seem like a big deal to anyone else, but i have never been a good swimmer. i swam because it was fun, because my family did it and because it was good for me. for the first time i am choosing to participate in a swim competition to prove to myself that i can. i have also set a time goal for one of the events and i am excited to work toward that goal.

i have high hopes for my health and weight goals. i am proud that a year after slinking away from the pool, i have returned unashamedly and declared that i will accomplish something.

Monday, May 2, 2011

girls: six months!

i can't let today pass without acknowledging that my girls are six months old. it is also almost a year to the day that we learned we were having twins. that was a day that i will never forget; i was so confused, scared and shocked. i spent days in denial, weeks in complete shock and months utterly terrified of how my life was going to change. if i had known how much i was going to love having my twins, i certainly would have enjoyed my pregnancy much more! i don't do monthly updates, so don't get used to this. but six months seems like a good time to stop and see where the girls are in life so far!

to my girls: i have no idea how much you weigh or how long you are. but i know you are growing because when i pick you up you just keep getting heavier! you keep growing out of clothes, which is great because to be honest i get tired of you guys wearing the same thing every day. you two are totally on your own page when it comes to milestones, which is okay with us. we are happy that you are your own people.
ana, you can roll in both directions but you seem to forget that, because once you roll onto your tummy you just start crying. your favorite toys are an eeyore rattle and your sheep. you don't like large crowds of people and we are starting to think you act a bit like your aunt cristina. you are so strong and you act like you want to crawl! sorry, you are still immobile for now.

grace, you are the social butterfly. you smile at everything. you still like to read the warning label in the bathtub and you love the jumperoo. you tried banana this week and although you don't seem to like the taste, you keep swallowing it anyway. your calling card is your patented screech. it sounds like a combination of a raptor and a dying cat. it is hilarious. i like to think you are trying to sing.
the best thing about having two of you is watching you interact. you like to sleep snuggled up together and often you hold hands. and then there are the occastional goofy moments like today when intervention was needed to protect ana from getting kicked in the head.

i love my girls more than anything and i look forward to every moment i can spend with them!

Sunday, May 1, 2011

grab a beer!

grab a beer button

Can't believe Kim has been hosting this for eight weeks already! Wow!

I've gone for a different format this week. Not much explanation necessary. My girls are adorable. My storage closet has become an office space and I spent a lot of time outside enjoying the spring weather. My girls are finally big enough to go in the jogger that I bought second hand and I love it!

Have a great week!