Happy Labor Day!

Five years ago I was pregnant with twins. It was August in Washington. How big was I? I scarcely noticed anymore when people gasped and stepped back from me like they were worried I was going to give birth (or maybe explode) right there in front of them. Not that I spent much time in public. I had two XXXL floral muumuus I could fit, and I rotated them, having outgrown regular maternity wear at 6 months. I ate, read and slept in a green plush La-Z-Boy in our living room, purchased with equal parts of horror and love by the Big Cheese, just for me. I couldn´t climb the stairs. I had trouble breathing. I felt like a giant egg with arms and legs attached, waiting to hatch. I´d gained 65 pounds, most of it straight out in front of me. You know what? I never complained. It´s true. All I wanted, all I hoped and prayed and wished for, was to get those babies big enough to take home with me when I left the hospital, because preemies are so common with twins. They arrived five weeks early on Labor Day weekend – 12 pounds total of healthy, squalling, kicking babies – and they´ve kept us on our toes ever since.

It´s hard to believe how fast they´ve grown up. Happy 5th birthday, Hecate and Buckethead! Aren´t they cute? Look at Hecate up there, mad-dogging the camera! (That´s Enigma on the right). I can´t believe they are old enough to go to kindergarten! Of course, they won´t be going to kindergarten. No, on the advice of the experts (with which I concur), they will be spending another wildly expensive year at the Maryland Medium-Security House O´ Learnin´, refusing to nap and spitting food at each other. For Halloween, Buckethead wants to be a bumblebee, which is what he’s been for the last two years. He calls it “bumbeebee.” Hecate wants to be, and I quote, “the Big Bad Fairy.” You go, girl.

P.S. Here’s a photo of the top of their cake! We like to bake our own. That one’s devil’s food with a buttercream frosting. He wanted dragons; she wanted bunnies. Hence this year’s theme: The Fire-Breathing Dragon vs. The Calico Critters!! Mr. Critter’s thinking, ruh-roh. Just try getting your local froufrou bakery to come up with one of those. Think I should start my own kids’ specialty-cake business?

  • Rita says:

    What lovely children you have, March! Happy belated birthday to the little ones!

  • minette says:

    beautiful children. great cake. yes, you could do custom cakes – the dragon is especially cool!

  • violetnoir says:

    March, I can tell by the looks on their faces, all three of them, that they keep you and your husband busy. I love it! Your children are marvelous!

    Hope the twins had a great birhtday. From the looks of that ginormous cake, I have no doubt that they did. 🙂


  • Teri says:

    I have to echo Suzanne’s comment. I see lots of you in your Hecate. You should dig us up one of your pictures at the same age. (Aren’t you just about to kill me for suggesting that? lol)

    I so much enjoy that you ladies share your and your families’ pictures with us. This group already seems like a family, and now we are building a family album to enjoy as well. Please keep the pics coming.[-o<

    • March says:

      It’s fun to share pics. This whole fragrance-blogging thing is an experiment for me anyway, in terms of sniffing and writing, and you all seem fairly tolerant.:d At least, if you think my posts are crap, you move on without saying so…

      I do look a lot like Hecate (or she looks like me.)

  • Lucy says:

    What beautiful kids! All sooo expressive. Would love to seee a picture of Ms. Diva, too. . . is she open to that sort of thing? A belated Happy Birthday to the twins, and heartfelt congratulations to you, March!

    • March says:

      Hmmmm. I have something I wrote about Diva hanging out in my drafts. I expect I’ll stick it up on a day when I’m short a perfume post…

  • Suzanne says:

    Oh, I didn’t realize you’d be posting over the holiday, so I missed this yesterday. What a sweet surprise to come upon it today. Your children are absolutely adorable–as scrumptious as the birthday cake you made them. And I must say that Hecate looks so much like you (based on the vacation photo you shared).

    • March says:

      You’re right. Hecate looks very much like me at her age. The chief difference is that she’s at the 98th percentile for height; she may turn out to be really tall, if her doctor’s right. In terms of body type, Enigma and I are more similar. Diva’s a completely different kettle of fish, and Buckethead is the body-type (compact, husky, muscular) of his sport-lovin’ daddy.

  • Maria says:

    Oh, March, what a beautiful family you have!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    Buckethead, Hecate, and Enigma–all gorgeously healthy and healthily gorgeous. Congratulations!

    I was only 6 1/2 pounds when I was born and not the least bit early. They’ll do okay with a mother like you. What an amazing cake. Now how many parents would combine a dragon and bunnies for their kids?

    😡 to the March family!

    • March says:

      M — well, I was used to popping out big babies, so 6lbs. was a bit of a shock to me. But if you multiply that by two…

      I’m getting away with a joint birthday cake while I still can. My guess is it’ll be separate cakes and separate parties in the not too distant future.

  • Marina says:

    Happy Birthday to the sweet twins and WELL DONE to you, March!!! 😡

  • trinity says:

    OMG, March, your children are gorgeous! I actually spit out my tea when I read the comment about “the big bad fairy”. LOL Sounds like my type of gal!

    Have a good Labor Day!!

  • Dusan says:

    Hey, I was gone for a month and y’all go posting photos of your families and yourselves! Lee, you look dashing, matey (saw your comment at NST – aw, 😡 ) Patty, the pic of your boys cracked me up, we want more!
    March, you are just.incredible. Four grand kids and you make it all seem so effortless. Happy birthday to the lovely twins!
    I’ve missed you all!
    P.S. Bryan, it’s your turn now! 🙂

    • March says:

      Um, I’m not sure about the effortless part:-” ask my friends and kids how effortless it’s looking when I’m in the middle of some snit.

      Yeah, where were you for a month, anyway?

      • Dusan says:

        What I meant was, looking at how you do it, having children seems like the most gratifying experience ever. Which I’m sure is true.
        I treated myself to nearly a month of beach delights. And darn, much as I tried, this fair skin of mind refused to tan. What’s even more frustrating is that every time I get back from holiday, without fail, people ask me if I’ve been on one. Arrgh!

  • Helen T says:

    Oh, March, they are so cute, but doesn’t the time go so quick? I just pushed my 5 year old DD through the door of the school, sobbing her heart out, and then went of for a good cry myself. It was actually easier on her very first day at school last year!

    Not even a sniff of Black Orchid is cheering me up 🙁

    But love your cake! How amazing is that? My efforts are definitely very amateur in comparison to that. But I do it just to see the reaction of DDs face when she spots it complete for the first time!

    Hope you all had a fantastic celebration.


    • March says:

      Helen — I fished you out of the spam filter, sorry about that. If your comment fails to appear, just re-comment telling us to go look for the darn thing, that usually works.

      Diva cried and sobbed and clung to my leg every morning for a week when she started kindergarten. I dropped her off and cried all the way to work. It was the most terrible feeling.

      Kids … they love stuff like that, don’t they? They don’t see that your cake (or your other efforts) are “amateur.” They see that you love them.@};-

      • Helen T says:

        Thanks for fishing me out! I kind of thought maybe I’d pressed the wrong button, imagined I’d written something, or been filtered out by the spam filter at work!

        And Imogen is busy picking her cake out for December already. Or I think at the last count, all three cakes she is apparently having!

        • March says:

          Imogen!!!! Now THAT is a really wonderful name. As is Helen. A long time ago I tried to badger a friend into marrying his girlfriend just because I loved that name so much.

          • Helen T says:

            I think we ended up with Imogen because my husband still has a crush on Imogen Stubbs, who was (possibly still is) an actress in the 80s (key crush time in his life obviously). And that it was unusual. She was nearly Amelia but we met three at lunch in one day, so that was off.

            Funny how we get to these names, I remember the endless arguments about boys names, which thankfully we never needed to resolve!

  • katy says:

    😡 Happy birthday kids 😡

  • helg says:


    they are adorably cute! Happy birthday to them and I agree that no displeasure is too big compared to having kids.
    Hope they have biiiiiig pieces of cake and stuff themselves silly.:x

    • March says:

      Helg, thank you! We all stuffed ourselves silly. My in-laws think our consumption of sugar is disgusting. They are People of the Salt. My sister-in-law brings us boxes of donuts as some sort of test, and is always amazed when we polish them off.

  • chayaruchama says:

    OOOH, March !
    Love those kids….
    [I didn’t realise you guys were posting- bad, bad Ida !]

    So you were pregnant too, Labor Day w/e ? Lots of fun, weren’t it ?!

    Yesterday was Jacob’s 17th- a loooong way from going into labor a month early, and singing “En Vain pour Eviter” while pushing Mr. Big Boy out, in front of a crowd of curious strangers !

    We’ll swap cakes !
    [J’s an Amaretto fiend, so his was all dried fruits, macerated in the stuff, with tons of President butter…sounds like a cross between Arabie and 1270 !]

    Enjoy them- they’re gorgeous, they change your life, break your heart-
    And I wouldn’t give up ONE moment.

    • March says:

      Well, it’s a long story but coming home from the weekly OB/GYN appt. that Friday we were in a car accident and it all changed from there. Blood tests at the hospital revealed I had HELLP (a fairly rare complication) but I had none of the symptoms. It’s in less than 1% of pregnancies but has something like a 25% mortality rate. I’d never heard of it. They re-tested on Saturday and my doctor came in in her scrubs and told me I was having a c-section in 20 minutes. I had no idea there was a problem until then. I didn’t even bother calling the Cheese! There were enough people in the room already (8 including me?) She told me later that accident was probably one of the luckiest things that ever happened to me, things could have been pretty ugly by the time she saw her test results on the Tues. after Labor Day. So I feel extra extra lucky.

      • chayaruchama says:

        We should talk…
        I didn’t want to say anything- but so did I.

        It was a 40 hour V-BAC labor, and I was in liver failure, but they didn’t know it; within 24 hours of delivery, my pituitary failed, then I went into acute renal failure, and splenic failure.
        [All the sweet young things that work in OB usually don’t have a lot of medical nursing experience- my temp was 106, so I dragged my sorry ass out to the hall, and begged for them to call Internal Medicine. IM confirmed it; I was told never to get pregnant again, or I would die. So, I haven’t.]

        Now, I have a form of autoimmune lupoid hepatitis.
        I wanted to murder the liver specialist I saw a year ago, who cheerfully informed me that her SIL died from HELLP [what a NICE lady !]…

        I’m lucky-
        It could have been worse.
        But it seemed awfully ironic to have to be sterilized ‘for my own good’, after having all kinds of surgery, chemo, etc, just to be able to live, and reproduce.
        Funny world, ain’t it ?

        • March says:

          Wow, that’s amazing! I guess because it’s so rare and they’re so focused on other things … I dunno. They kept asking me, how do you feel, how do you feel? And I felt fine. It was just the coincidence of going to the hospital. So I was no help whatsoever. It wasn’t until I did some reading on the internet much later that I realized how lucky I’d been.:o I’m sorry you’ve been through so much!

  • sybil says:

    First, congratulations to you on doing what was needed to produce thriving twins. (And your older two, as well!) Your kids are adorable…but the best part is still their zooming little brains. The Big Bad Fairy, gotta love it! When DD2 was about that age, she was a also a fairy for Halloween. Not just any fairy, she pointedly told me, “I am the Nature Fairy Queen!” Nice work if you can get it! Love the cake…we always do our own, too, but never that creatively!

    • March says:

      Oh, I want to be the Nature Fairy Queen!!! It’s so Thoreau sounding. The girls got a lot of just regular old layer cakes (they pick the flavor combination) and the occasional sheet cake if there was some special theme involved. But I can’t bring myself to make two cakes for the twins. At some point they’ll want/need separate birthdays with different friends, and I’ll start then.

  • Tina says:

    your kids are adorable and really beautiful :x. I think that the pics tell a lot about their happy childhood, because they look healthy, happy and very smart ;). did you or your husband have any twins in your/his family, like sibblings or twin parents? because my dad has a twin brother and people have already told me (much in advance, I must say ;)) that there is a fair good chance of me having twins (and my DH’s grandma was a twin, too :o). oh, my…

    • March says:

      Yep, there is a fair chance of you having twins, they definitely run in families, so you have the genetics.

      However, the other way you get twins is advancing maternal age (over age 35). And the risk goes up exponentially from there, it’s a random ovulating thing (none one month, two the next). That’s how I got mine.:d

  • Flora says:

    What a lovely family you have, and they are all obviously so happy too! How fortunate you are to have them in your life, as they are equally lucky to have you.

    Oh, and by the way, you can bake me a Dragon cake any old time! 😡

    • March says:

      You sure you want a dragon cake? I’ve pretty much mastered those 70s Barbie cakes of my childhood where the doll skirt is the cake…

  • Patty says:

    They are just adorable, as well they should be, coming from their adorable mom.

    i’m still just floored by the cakes you do. if I attempted something like that, we’d need to call the Birthday Disaster Fairies to rescue the kitchen. 🙂

    • March says:

      P, anything that allows me to maintain my close personal relationship with Sugar…/:) We’ve had some failures. I’m terrible at anything that requires a candy thermometer…

  • Lauren says:

    March, your children are lovely – thanks for sharing them. And the cake rocks, too.

  • tmp00 says:

    Happy birthday kids!

    I want to see more of the cake…

  • Louise says:

    March-your stunning babies (all 4 of ’em)are so lucky to have you as their mom! Happy b-day to the whole family! And don’t eat the rabbits…

    • March says:

      L — if you look closely, I (the control-freak mom:-” ) have taped the rabbits’ tiny feet to a white card, so they didn’t get frosting on their furry feet. The dragon, being plastic, went straight in. I thought about it later — hope he’s not coated in lead paint.:-?

  • Lee says:



  • Bryan says:

    What Moms go through for us! You have a beautiful family and I wish them the Happiest Birthday full of dragons and bunnies (with minimal bloodshed). Take care.

  • TexasSnow says:

    And you went through your last 3 months in the summer !!!11! ^:)^
    You are certainly a woman to be reckoned with. Happy birthday to all.

    • March says:

      Funny, I can’t really remember the heat. I spent an awful lot of time those last couple of months reading or asleep. :”>

  • Carol says:

    What beautiful, beautiful children! How lucky are us moms?! Happy belated birthday to them and Labor day and weekend to all.

    • March says:

      We’re really, really lucky. As someone who would have laughed in your face 15 years ago if you’d told me I’d be a mother of four, I am aware of just how blessed I am… particularly as I had difficulty getting pregnant with the first two. The twins were one of those little cosmic surprises. And, man, were we ever surprised! The Cheese was so surprised he didn’t speak to me for several days while he digested the news. Now, however, he’d tell you I’m lying and he was excited from day one.;)

  • Judith says:

    Oh, they are unbelievably adorable!:x Happy Birthday to them, and happy Labor Day to their gorgeous, wonderful (and very, very smart):d MOM!! (the Big Bad Fairy, indeed! She’s a girl after my own heart).:)

    • March says:

      I felt like telling her, hey — I’M the big bad fairy! Watching her play pirate ships with her brother is so much fun. AFter two older girls it’s nice to have a change in the toy selection.

  • annie says:

    #:-sOMGOMGOMG….I can tell these lil’ gorgous creatures are so innocent,so happy!…job well done,girl(you could have a few more,just so we all can enjoy them,along with you!!

  • Gaia says:

    I’m dying of cuteness. Happy birthday to the twins and congrats to their mother.

  • Gail S says:

    Oh, what beautiful children you have! And I am absolutely blown away (lol!) by your cake. I’m afraid I had to resort to commercially baked cakes if my daughter wanted anything more than a simple layer cake 🙁

    • March says:

      Gail — it’s not like I’m some expert baker. Mostly I’ve used it as something fun to do with various kids, since we all have a sweet tooth. 🙂 What’s better than licking a batter bowl?

  • Christine says:

    Your kids are wholly beautiful and I wish them a Happy Birthday! My sister is a Labor Day kid too, this year hers falls right on the Monday itself.

    But really I had to comment because of the cake. It is genius. Man, if you lived closer I would commission you to bake for all my occasions.

    • March says:

      I am glad you share my sense of humor. At various times in my life it’s been painfully obvious that not everyone does — particularly other moms…:-“

  • Denise Sheffield says:

    Your kids are really cute and you bake like an expert.My boy-girl twins turned 15 July 27th.So I love reading about yours.I really enjoyed reading about your vacation with the family.This blog is is great, I’ve learned so much from this blog!

    • March says:

      Thanks so much! 15YO twins, wow. We’ll be there before I know it… the triplets across the street just left for three different colleges, their parents hardly know what hit them. They like their lives back, but it’s a pretty drastic change. He says it’s very … quiet.

  • Robin says:

    Cute is a massive understatement. Happy birthday, and hope they got lots of goodies.

    But if you’ll forgive the one-up-manship, must tell you that I gained 65 pounds (actually, a little more) and wasn’t even having twins. I looked like a beached whale. But in those rare moments when my mouth wasn’t too full of vanilla ice cream to speak, I was complaining up a storm.

    • March says:

      Wow! And you’re a tiny little thing too — you must have been enormous! I was on this incredibly boring gestational diabetes diet, so no ice cream for me…

      • Robin says:

        I think the medical term was “ginormous”. I would have killed for a La-Z-Boy.

        • March says:

          Ah, yes. Ginormous! I think the Cheese was pretty sure he’d go through his entire life without seeing the inside of the La-Z-Boy showroom on Rockville Pike. 😉

  • rosarita says:

    March, your offspring are gorgeous, and all look to be loads of fun. The twins’ facial expressions (behind the Firey Death to Cutsie Bunny Cake) speak volumes! Oh, what labor on Labor Day…
    have a great time


    • March says:

      Thanks! She thought it was funny, I promise… she was whacking the bunnies with the dragon. Then the bunnies walked the plank on the new pirate ship.