Saturday, March 3, 2012

Recap: Babies' First Year -- Part I

It's been over a year since we got back from India and over six months since our last posting.  All is well (knock wood): the kids are great (woo hoo!) and Daddies survived the first year (true, with lots and lots and lots of help, but we still count it as a win).

There are so many things to report.  The real question is where to start?  In these situations, it's best to listen to Julie Andrews, "Let's start at the very beginning, a very good place to start."  And since a picture is worth a thousand words, we'll recap the last seven months with pictures.  Plus, we have a party to go to -- for a three-year old -- and I'm a bit pressed for time.

(Aside: do you remember when "party" had a whole different meaning and it usually involved other 30-year olds -- not 3-year olds -- and it usually ended at 2:00 am rather than started at 2:00 pm?  How times change, huh?  On the other hand, if I had known about sippy cups then, it would have saved a number of embarrassing spills.)

Gold star kiss for a job well done.  They continue to be good eaters and are in runway shape: both are 90% for height and 10% (her) and 20% (him) for weight.  We continue to feed them like we're making pate, but it may be hard fattening them up when her favorite food is broccoli and his are carrots.  Oh, well, good for them:

Marching in their first Pride Parade (sorry, kids, this is likely to be the first of many political events to which you will be subjected):

I still can't believe that our babies were ever this small:

"... and that's how a bill becomes a law."

Second parent adoptions are finalized (yeah!):

"So, a duck walks into a bar ..."

"J Lo's got nothing on me!"  All we're missing is a bear skin rug and we're set:

Happy babies:

First shoes.  She loved hers.  He hated his.  We're in trouble.

"No, no; don't bother.  I can feed myself":

Since we began this part of the recap with KK, we'll end with Jenny saying, "I love my bouncy seat."

Monday, June 27, 2011

Time Flies Like an Arrow ... Fruit Flies Like a Banana

Wow, does time fly!  The Twinkies were 5 months old last week.  Jeff went to drop off some items to friends who had a (BEAUTIFUL!) little girl in April and came back saying, "Our children were never that small!"  This despite the fact that their daughter was more than twice as big as Jenny was when Jenny was born.

Where to begin with an update?

First, the kids are happy and healthy and Daddies could not be happier (more rested, but not happier; in better shape, but not happier; less terrified, but not happier; richer, but not happier).

Second, they may be twins, but they are completely different people.  KK is a perfect angel.  Sweet and cuddly and thoughtful.  Plays and smiles all the time.  Drinks his bottle, burps, and then promptly falls asleep.  Jenny is also sweet and beautiful and smart, with a smile that lights up the room, and she's absolutely brazen.  From the moment she wakes up, until the moment she goes down, she's in charge.  As I said in the last post, there's a pecking order in our house.  I thought that I was in charge (or I thought that at least Jeff A. might be), but I'm not even close to the top.  For a while, Gloria (our baby nurse) thought that she was in charge, but she was also mistaken.  Jenny is ruler of everything that she sees (except Kaden).  Then comes Gloria, then Jeff A. and way, way, way down at the bottom is me.  Fortunately, she's a benevolent dictator.  (KK's lucky: he's totally exempt from Jenny's reign.  He's on his own schedule and does and gets whatever he wants, whenever he wants it.  "It's good to be the King.")

Third, although they are growing like weeds, I think that we have grown even more than them, in both obvious (waist line) and not so obvious ways (it's hard to worry about the house being clean when you can't even see the floors because of there is baby stuff e-v-e-r-y-w-h-e-r-e!!).

Fourth, the babies had their Christening.  The church was great.  I don't know what religion (if any) the babies will choose when they are older, but the sentiment of the service was perfect.  The officiants spoke about the Christening as the beginning of the babies' spiritual journeys, regardless of which path they choose to take.  Since we're Christian (mixed with a little attention deficit disorder) and their egg donor was Hindu and their surrogate was Muslim, they have a full menu from which to choose.  But regardless of what choice they may ultimately make, they were adorable and well behaved during the service.  And (thanks to Vicki), they were beautiful.  Plus, Jenny spit her pacifier into the baptismal font, so now she has a holy binki.  (Seriously, it works.  Put that thing in and she immediately gets quiet.  Thank heavens for small miracles.)

The babies could not be luckier than to have such wonderful Godparents in their lives.  We're hoping that Steve can teach KK how to do guy stuff (as long as you don't count showing up at the gym about once a month and spending the whole time talking with friends as "guy stuff" 'cuz I already do that pretty well).

Fifth, they are both eating solids.  We started them on rice cereal and they are champs.  Although we were warned, I was still not ready for what comes out the other end.  Pheww!  Can't wait to start the fruits and veggies to really see what they can produce.

Sixth, they are rolling over.  Way to go, little ones!  They aren't quite sure what to do once they get to the other side, but they can do it.  Now we have to start baby-proofing the house.  Until we had kids, we didn't realize how much dangerous crap we accumulated over the years.  At least I finally have an excuse to get rid of the tchotchke.  And if a few things "accidentally" break, Jeff A. can't get upset with me.

Seventh, Jeff A. is a great Dad.  Not that it's a surprise, but he's really a great Dad.  And he does it his own way.  After I leave for work, when the kids are just getting up in the morning, Jeff goes into the nursery.  If Gloria is there, she takes a break and he gets the kids out of their cribs and spends the next hour or so feeding and playing with them (before they get their morning baths).  They have their own secret little games and I'm not allowed to know about them.

Eighth, there are a million and one other things to report from their first Pride (They insisted that they wanted to celebrate marriage equality in NY and who were we to stop them?  Plus, they got to march in the next Mayor's contingent.), to Jenny's efforts to stand and walk, to their first Easter outing, to the fact that KK melts hearts where ever he goes, to the fact that we still don't know what to have them call us ("Daddy 1 and Daddy 2"?  "Daddy and Papa"?  "Hey, you, dude with the bottle"?) or what to call them ("Thing 1 and Thing 2"?).

Oh, finally, it's probably not a surprise, but I smile whenever I think about them.  Just look at them; how could you not smile?

Sunday, February 27, 2011

The New Pecking Order ... Or Why I Love My Job

[Warning: this posting contains scatological references that may not be suitable for young readers (but will probably delight anyone who enjoys the idea of the Jeffs covered in it).]

Hi, gang, sorry for the long delay between postings.  We're slowly getting used to the new pecking order at home and the "adorable little angels" are just now giving us a break.

Before we get into the latest update, here are the vitals: the kids are growing like weeds!  Woo hoo!  In the first six days that they were home, Kaden gained a pound and Jenny gained 7 oz.  We were elated.  This week's results were even better: in seven days, Kaden gained another pound (a 7 pound behemoth) and, even more shocking, so did Jenny (all 5 lbs, 10 oz of her)!

Given that their reward for so much great work was a vaccination shot, I doubt that they will keep up this pace.  On the other hand, they don't really have a choice: every three hours, like clockwork, they get another bottle  Given how much we are feeding them, you would think that we were making goose liver pate.

So, here they are ... the new, bigger, and (if you can believe it!) even better Jenny Lynn and Kaden (no, they're not fighting ... at least not yet):

Just look at those adorable round little faces (and Alix, thanks for the outfits; the kids love 'em).

In other news, we've slowly come to understand the new pecking order around the house:

First, it's Jenny and Kaden.  No question.  They may only be a month old, but they are firmly in charge.  Despite my best efforts, they absolutely refuse to be properly potty trained, sleep through the night, or pick up after themselves.  And, as they taught us today, they make the rules around the house: we're still allowed to have dinner parties, but only if they start by 5:30 pm and end by 6:00.  "PM" that is.  Not like the old days when we could easily stretch a few (dozen) bottles of wine into the wee hours of the morning.  After Jeff and I tried a (small) repeat performance last night, the Twinkies decided to make it clear that they like their schedule just fine, thank you.  No deviations. No interruptions. Nothing fancy.  Just feeding, peeing, pooping, and sleeping (sometimes all at the same time).

After the kids comes Glorious Gloria.  If the kids don't rule the roost, she does.  "Jump!"  "How high?" I'm not embarrassed to admit it: if you can guarantee me six hours of sleep, I will do whatever you say, too.

Third, is Jeff.  Hee hee.  Okay, I had to put that in there, if only to humor him.

Then, at the bottom of the totem pole is me.  And this is why I love my job.  At least there, sometimes (rarely, but sometimes) my colleagues will pretend to listen to me.  Not at home.

The problems with being at the bottom of the heap are obvious.  If you've forgotten, just remember what they say about sh*t rolling downhill.  Kaden was kind enough to give Jeff and me a reminder.  Oh, and it doesn't so much "roll gently downhill" as "thoroughly coat everything in its path".

Last night, about 1:15 in the morning, after a nice dinner with family and friends, after getting full bottles into both kids, after burping and changing a sweet (read: "clean and quiet") Jenny, Jeff started to change Kaden only to discover that Kaden had a blow out of record proportions.  We finally know where all of the formula we've been stuffing into him over the last month went.  Everywhere.

As those of you who have been here before know, formula is a liquid with few, if any, binders, yet, when it comes out the other end, has this amazing viscosity that defies physics.  On one hand, it will flow from place to place like water.  On the other, it will stick to anything that it touches like superglue.  Kaden's onesie?  Yep.  Jumper?  Yep.  His entire clean change of clothes?  Yep.  Jeff S.?  Yep.  Jeff A.?  Double yep.  The half box of wipes that we plastered to him?  Yep.  The giant towel we used?  Yep.  The drop cloth that we almost threw over him in desperation?  Yep.  Just about the only thing that it did not adhere to was Kaden's diaper.

This all would have been an unpleasant and exhausting, but tolerable, pain if it had happened to Jenny.  She would have laid there getting progressively more annoyed, but probably would have kept the announcement of her displeasure to a level slightly below that of a low lying jet flying directly overhead.

But this was Kaden, who differs from Jenny in many respects, particularly in that he (1) goes from "off" to "full throated melt down" in microseconds (no gentle progression for our little boy) and (2) has a wail that makes a sonic boom sound mild in comparison.

So, while we were desperately trying to clean up his home-made superglue and stop it from spreading like a toxic ooze, he was letting our friends in southern California know that he was being tortured mercilessly and that they should send for help immediately.  Thankfully, one of our neighbors is fostering a stray dog with "separation anxiety" who started howling at the sound of Kaden's screaming and didn't stop until this morning.  It was so bad that the neighbors had to walk around the block dropping off apology notes on everyone's doorstep.  (On a side note, we're proud of our little boy for already learning the valuable lesson of "blaming it on the dog".)

Thankfully, 20 minutes, a full box of wipes, and two changes of clothes later (plus a detox shower for each of his Daddies), Kaden was clean and sound asleep, acting as if nothing had happened.

Nevertheless, kiddo, we could not be happier.  And, as Mary says with cake, "Welcome Home".

Thursday, February 17, 2011

Does this onesie make me look fat?

The twinkies had their 2nd weekly checkup with their pediatrician, Dr. Rostek, this morning.   Guess what two teeny tiny preemies increased their body weights by 10% and 20% in one week!

Jeannette was 4 pounds 3 ounces last week and today she tipped the scales at 4 pounds 10 ounces!

Kaden was 5.0 pounds one week ago.  Today he weighed in at exactly 6.0 pounds!  We've actually taken to calling him "butterball" in the last couple of days. ;-)

Everything else in the checkup went equally well and the doctor was visibly pleased with their was Gloria, our baby nurse, who is taking personal pride in every ounce.   This is as it should be since she long ago mastered the art of the double simultaneous feeding without assistance.

The twins also had one of their first in-home visitors here in SF.   Tim Greeff, who works with Jeff A at CEN, was in town for some meetings.  Jeff brought him over to the house after their last meeting so that he could meet the twinkies.   Being just an overgrown kid himself, he was naturally a bit hit with both kids and even got to help out with the 6 pm feeding!

Finally, as we previously mentioned, our good friend Jay took some time to decorate the nursery for us before we arrived home from India.  Here's a quick movie that showcases his handiwork!  Thanks again, Jay!

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

2nd try - Steve's Video of Baby Shower and Arrival

Ok, think that we finally figured out how to post videos to blogger.   So, here's the video that our friend Steve put together of our baby shower and our arrival at SFO with the twinkies!

Thanks, Steve!

Sunday, February 13, 2011

Sunday Morning

One of my favorite memories as a kid was waking up early on a Sunday morning after my parents had friends over for dinner the previous night.  It was the only time that not every dish was immediately cleaned up and put away after a meal.  Among the leftovers, you could always find something (usually some dessert).  Plus, since everyone else slept in, I had the house to myself.

Last night, Meredith, Steve, and Nazly came over to see the babies (we dispensed long ago with the notion that anyone will ever want to come see us again; smart people).  Jenny and I got up early and snuck downstairs to raid the refrigerator.  Thankfully, there was some leftover strawberry-rhubarb pie, which I devoured while Jenny enjoyed her pacifier.  Seems like she got the raw end of the deal.

While that was a treat, it does not compare with how sweet it was watching Jeff dancing last night in the living room with Jenny in his arms while she waited for her midnight feeding.  No wonder I fell in love with him.  Wish I had a taken a picture so I could show it at her wedding while she dances with her Daddy.

Later today, when everyone else is up, Kaden and I will take pictures of the new nursery.  Adorable.

Saturday, February 12, 2011


Last time, we mentioned that our friend Steve surprised us at the airport.  What we did not mention is that he has been a producer for multiple national news programs.  Here's what I consider his best work:

{technical difficulties posting - see new post above for embedded video!]

Thank you, Steve!