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You've Been Ropered: Stephanie Bernaba

Today's victim: Stephanie Bernaba

So, I have a confession. While I love blogging, the fact is I’m not the greatest Citizen of Blogonia. Which is to say, I don’t regularly read and comment on a whole lot of other blogs. There’s just so much out there, and I’m so damned busy that I tend to be more of a sampler when it comes to blogs — dipping in here, taking a pinch there.

Therefore, in the interest of good blog citizenship, diversity, and the fun of shaking things up a little (but not too much. I’m not Mark Zuckerberg, for God’s sake) I’m going to invite some folks from elsewhere on the Interwebs over here for an interview from time to time.

To start with, I’m going to subject fellow parents of twins to this, but that may expand to other people as well: authors (as I did with Jenna Blum and Barbara Almond), celebrities, politicians, Nobel Prize winners. If you have any suggestions, I’m open to them, but please don’t take it personally if I don’t pick your blog or favorite Nobel Prize winner. I don’t plan to do interviews more than once or twice a month, tops.

With that, on to my first (well, third) interview! The lovely Stephanie Bernaba, whose blog was brought to my attention via Twitter. It’s on the newer side, but I immediately dug Stephanie’s honest, irreverent tone and her upfront-ness about the challenge of mothering three (three!) under two. God love her.

Stephanie’s also all about Good Blog Citizenship (again, something I lack) — inviting guest posters and spreading the word about other blogs — which is why I feel she’s a great first choice for me to subject to a big bad Ropering. So let’s get started.

Welcome, Stephanie. Please have a seat in my virtual armchair, circa 1967: it’s burnt orange, with a lucite end table next to it for your Sanka. Now, for starters, what flavor twins do you have? (Fraternal, Identical, Boy/Girl, Girl/Girl, Girl/Monkey, etc.) How old? Any other kids?

Well, we’ve got boy-girl (fraternal) twins (Maggie & Michael) who are 7 months old and a 20-month-old toddler named Matthew. It’s sort of a full house.

Wow. Please don’t tell me you also have a dog. If you also have a dog, I will suspect that you are an alien with super powers, and I will alert the appropriate authorities.

No, but we do have three cats. Luckily, only one of them is needy.

(Three children, three cats, one of them needy. You heard it right here, folks.) Speaking of super powers, do you work? Other than, you know, the massive job of mothering three very small people.

I used to. Two jobs. Credentials on the wall. I actually wrote over at Scary Mommy about it a week or two ago. I guess you can say my credentials have changed a bit in the past few years. Do I work now, though? Oh, do I ever! And for free!

And besides the nonexistent wages, what is your favorite thing about having twins / being a mom in general?

The novelty. My husband and I are the first in either of our families to have twins, so we’re all still a bit awed by the situation. Also, when you find yourself with twins, other twins/twin parents seem to come out of the woodwork, and I find that great for support, tips, and help with staying sane.

And besides sourcing the woodwork, do you belong to a mother of twins club? I went to a meeting at a local one when I was pregnant and it scared the crap out of me. So from there on out I just stuck to going to their used clothing sales.

Nah. I’m not much of a club person. I, like you, though, really enjoy cheap (or free!) baby stuff.

As far as my favorite parts about being a mom, I really enjoy watching my kids learn. It’s amazing to witness the evolution of a tiny human being right before your eyes. I also love watching the babies interact with each other. I am an only child, so this all is as much a learning experience for me as it is for them.

And your least favorite?

Spitup. The sheer number of diapers we use. Baby grime in general.

They really are dirty little creatures, aren’t they? Cute, but filthy. Back to the twin thing: what’s the strangest thing anyone has ever said or asked you about your twins?

“Did you plan that?” which usually launches me into a tirade that questions why one would, with a four-month-old son, plan to get pregnant with twins.

Yes!  I got the “was it on purpose” question once, from a man that I barely knew. I didn’t even know how to begin to answer.

I also get “If they’re twins, how come they don’t look alike?” I don’t usually dignify that one with a response.

As well you shouldn’t. So, next highly personal and possibly inappropriate question: has having kids affected your relationship with your spouse/partner?

Well, I think it’s definitely made our fuses much shorter on the whole, due to the pressure of running a home and keeping all 3 babies happy for any extended period of time. Also, we’ve come to a point where we don’t really know what to do with ourselves if not taking care of the babies. Sometimes we send them off with family, then sit in the car staring at each other, wondering what we’re supposed to do. Then we go buy baby gear.

Moving on to more important matters: What is the last book you read? How’d ya like it? (I won’t be mad if it’s not Eden Lake)

Ha! Find me some time (and a quiet place) and I will more than happily read anything you give me! I wish there were time. I have a list that’s been burning a hole in my Kindle for a while. I will get to it. I swear.

Brief tangent: are you a Kindle convert? Or do you go both ways? (Books and eBooks). I’m a bi-reader myself.

Honestly, I think nothing beats holding a book in your hand. A real book. Nothing beats the feel, the smell…Now there I go off on a tangent!

I, fortunately (or unfortunately), always had a summer reading list in school. I was the dork who looked forward to that. So, truly, I will always be a book fan, but for the sake of ease, convenience, and I guess, availability, I go with the eBooks. Really easy to travel with, and you can read anything, anytime, anywhere.

And, last but not least, tell us a bit about your blog. And, more important, whether you think your kids will hate you for it and end up in therapy for years as a result.

I do. It’s called Momma Be Thy Name. My inspiration? Showing people what life is really like with three babies under age 2. Lousy. Kidding! (Am I?) I enjoy capturing both the sweet moments and our misadventures. And we have a lot of misadventures. Also, blogging allows me to bitch about things that irk me. Like Jersey Shore.

As for the kids? I’m sure they’ll find themselves in therapy for a host of other reasons besides the blog.

That’s what I tell myself, too. Also: so many people blog about their kids now, and we’ve become such a culture of public sharing that I think kids may take it in stride. Either that or we’re fucking up a whole generation. I hope it’s the former. Now, before we go, is there anything you’d like to take this opportunity to plug? Your blog, your book, your next movie role, your line of cosmetic products?

The blog. It’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy comments (even nasty ones!) from readers. It also doesn’t hurt that I’m hilarious. You can find me at Momma Be Thy Name, on Facebook, and on Twitter @MommaBeThyName.

Thanks so much for agreeing to be Ropered, Stephanie. And I promise to read your blog occasionally.

 

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Check out my novel, EDEN LAKE

Other good reads here on Babble:

5 “Mom” Things I Never Thought I’d Say

Separated by a Common Language

Eating Our Words at Book Club


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