Twins Update, 9/28/10

Amazing progress for our girls.

Norah = walking pretty much everywhere, mostly looking like little old drunk lady; crawling up stairs at a high rate of speed; little buds of teeth FINALLY poking out thanks to pretty much an entire lifetime of painful teething (poor girl!); some tantrum-throwing, but we think that’s related to the teething; grabs stuff from her sister but sometimes shares back; serves as my alarm clock, talking loudly between 8 and 8:30 every morning.

Alex = crawling up stairs all by herself, pulls herself up, starting to stand on her own…walking is next on the agenda; repeating certain words, loves counting along with Mommy (especially “two” and “FIVE!”); loves to read and constantly brings over books for us to read; seems to enjoy selecting from the two outfits I hold up each morning; early signs of “neat freak” — stops every fourth step while climbing to hand us carpet lint, won’t take next spoonful of food sometimes unless she hands me a bit of leftover Cheerio.

Seventeen-and-a-half months of awesomeness.

Twins Update: 5/18/10

May 9th, Bottle Time.

It has been way way way way way (did I say way?) too long since I blogged about my incredible amazing fantastic children.

Norah was 1st to hold her own bottle, but Alex was the 1st to master picking up Cheerios and putting them in her mouth.

(Each girl does both with ease now.)

Norah eats everything. Alex scrunches her face when given food she doesn’t like, which is more often that we’d like. (Finickiness does run in the family on both sides, though.)

Norah is able to stand up, and even did a little bit of “walking” while holding on to the gate of our “Fun Zone” in the living room.

Alex is lazy like Daddy, but has recently started doing the “get on all fours and try pushups” phase — which was the precursor for Norah’s standing up.

Norah is now having full-on babble conversations with herself (or with imaginary friends?).

Alex is all about “Da Da,” but I’m 65% sure that she hasn’t quite attributed that title to me specifically. She does throw in a few “Mamas,” as does Norah.

Norah’s hair is coming in fast now — dark and straight.

Alex has had a mass of curls for a while, and it’s kinda “dirty brown” but still pretty light.

Norah enjoys splashing in the tub.

Alex enjoys fighting me when I try to get her in the tub seat. I have to basically hold her above it and wait for her to stop kicking or swinging her legs around. Eventually she gets tired and goes into the seat.

When she’s not standing in the Fun Zone, Norah crawls like a Navy Seal.

Alex has picked up the pace, although she uses her elbows and forearms more than her hands when crawling.

They just turned 13 months two days ago.

And being a parent is the most incredible experience of our lives.

So you’ll have to excuse me as a lazy blogger. I’m also a devoted Daddy.

Open Mother’s Day Letter to My Wife

Dear Shannon:

Seven years ago, if you told me that I’d be a husband and father living in Texas, I’d have laughed my a$$ off and asked where I could get the same drugs you were taking.

And here I am, an hour or so into Mother’s Day 2010…trying to put into words how awesome the mother of my children is.

Shannon, you’re my world. And the two amazing gifts you’ve given me — our beautiful daughters — will never be matched.

Even before they were born, you were an incredible and caring mother. During your pregnancy, you cut out caffeine, alcohol, and anything else that could be remotely bad for the babies. You did everything possible to give them a good home, like a good mom does.

And when they came early with all their health issues, you kept it together as we bounced from NICU to NICU every night for three weeks. You went into full-on Mommy Mode, soaking in every word the NICU nurses said and committing it all to memory. So when we brought the girls home, you were on top of everything.

In the 12.5 months since then, you have become SuperMom. Back surgeries don’t slow you down. Full workweeks ain’t nothin’.

I got lucky to find you, because you’re the perfect wife/partner/best friend. And I got even luckier when you turned out to be the perfect mom.

Happy Mother’s Day!



Twins Update: 1/31/2010

They’re 9.5 months old, and they’re still awesome.

Norah’s accomplishment of the weekend: Norah has learned to clap. Daddy’s original song “Clap Clap Clap, Snap Snap Snap” clearly hit #1 on her chart. And she’ll just start clapping her hands out of nowhere, so I can’t take it as a compliment for my singing/dancing/overall entertaining.

And Alex, not to be outdone, started letting out really loud happy yelps. Possibly one of the cutest things you’ll ever hear in your life,  if you’re lucky enough to experience them. It’s kind of like she keeps winning the lottery.

These are my girls, and these are their talents. What will tomorrow bring…

Happy birthday to me: The end of an era?

Today, I’m 37 years old. In case you were wondering, that’s 444 months. 1930.6 weeks. 13,514 days. 324,336 hours. Et cetera.

To commemorate this histrionic occasion, I’ve shaved my goatee. (Long-time fans of mine will know that this is not an uncommon occurrence.)

But more importantly, it marks the end of an era. The Earring has been retired.

It was August 1990 when I got my left ear pierced. In the most manly way possible, I strode confidently into Dazzles in the Roosevelt Mall and had it done. And two decades later, I have removed it for a variety of reasons.

Reason #1: I am not now, nor have ever been, a pirate.

Reason #2: It’s really hard to find earrings for men, and they don’t sell solo ones.

Reason #3: I’m 37. That’s three years from “Old Guy with Earring Trying To Be Cool.”

Reason #4: This is the most important reason, because it’s health-related. My beautiful daughters are getting really grabby and stronger by the day. Norah has already taken a strong hold of my left earlobe on several occasions. And I don’t want her to suddenly pull off a bloody earlobe.

Frankly, I never ever felt badass enough to pull off an earring. But then again, I’ve survived Crohn’s disease and pyoderma gangrenosum. I’ve lived for the better part of a decade with giant open wounds on my leg. And I’m a married man with twin daughters (who were really sick at birth and were in two different NICUs for three weeks).

An earring doesn’t define me or make me tough. It doesn’t even let passers-by on the street know if I’m tough or not. Besides, when I’m pushing my double-long stroller through the mall with my wife, that’s badass enough for me.

Goodbye, Mr. Earring. See you at my midlife crisis in about eight years.

Daddy Diary: May 11, 2009

Worked from home today so we could take the girls – in, naturally, crazyhorrible rain – to the pediatrician for Visit #1.

Went fine – the doc is really nice, and we got some nice “oohs” and “aahs” when walking around with not one but two carriers.

It’s quite a workout, lugging the two carriers. And the kids only weigh about 5 lbs. each, so my trapeziuseseses will be tremendous within months.

Back next week for a weigh-in, set up a few other appointments, but all looks good for our girls.

Drove home and cranked out work the rest of the day – in between changing/feeding/burping times.

That’s pretty much the process:
1. They cry. (Actually, usually just one at a time. My girls are good like that.)
2. Check diaper. If wet or poopy, change. If not, leave alone.
3. Warm bottle, try to keep baby calm until it’s ready.
4. Feeding. Chug chug chug burp. Repeat.
5. Some more burping, to try and avoid spitups. (They’re getting better – but now that I typed that, I’ll jinx it and get spit up on six straight times.)
6. Back to bed. Sometimes crying, sometimes for a half-hour or so. Starting to notice the different types of crying.

Back to work at the office tomorrow. Will be tough leaving the girls. Of course, it might be tough getting through tonight’s change/feed/burps. But Li’l Momma (that’s what I’m calling my beautiful wife now, when she allows it) says she’ll take over tonight and let me sleep.

We’ll see…;)

Daddy Diary: UltraMegaSuper Update May 10, 2009

They’re home! (The two sweetest words in language right now.)

Alexandra came home with us on Friday afternoon, and we picked up Norah on Saturday morning. Having both girls at home – and in the same crib (we’re seeing how that goes – so far quite well) is just incredible.

A few thoughts on things:

FEEDING = It’s crazy. Trying to get them to take a bottle, then when they finally do – look out! They chug like there’s no tomorrow. It’s scary, actually. And then they get out of breath from all the exertion of eating, then fall asleep. Then you try to pull the bottle out slowly, and their reflexes kick in. “Where you takin’ my bottle, son?” And they start chugging again like mad.

BURPING = I have two methods, both of which are “epic fail” at times, super-awesome at others. The “hold them by under the chin but don’t choke them and pat on the back” method that the nurse practitioners showed us is my weapon of choice…but the old standby of “over the shoulder” is pretty good as well.

SLEEPING = I am in a generally paranoid, freaked-out-of-my-mind-at-any-sound kind of state when they sleep. I worry that they’ll stop breathing. I worry that they’ll gag on their spitup. I worry that one will accidentally poke the other in the eye, spawning a rivalry that will last for decades.

But so far, things are great. They sleep anywhere from 2 to 4 hours at a stretch, sometimes 4.5 if they’re feeling generous (or extra-content).

DIAPERS = I never thought I would pray for somebody else to poop. That day has come. Apparently, bottle-fed babies can poop up to 3-4 times a day…or as infrequently as once every 2-3 days. And when it comes…hoo boy. I’ve been wondering if I can get some of that stuff the FBI used in Silence of the Lambs, that Clarice & Co. put under their noses to block out the stench. But you know what? It’s all good when it’s your kid, and you’re just happy they’re alive and poopin’.