Thursday, August 28, 2014

Day 1317 - Cardio Done for the Day

Just put my little girl on the bus for her first day of school.

My heart is pounding--about what I'd expect after bungee jumping.

We were so nervous that she'd be scared, anxious, or even experience a meltdown when it was time to board. We had also expected the bus to be very late--which was an educated guess. And then, as should be just as educated a guess, kids surprise us. She was GREAT!

When the bus pulled up, she jumped up and down with excitement--not unlike Daddy's heart. Then we boarded together, whereupon I was scolded and kicked off! Apparently the school forbids parents from getting on the bus. In trouble already. Full circle.

What a milestone. Yes it's "only" preschool. But I sent my baby off on her own to do something that, frankly, I know very little about. We saw her classroom, met her teacher, read the class info--but she's now at school without me--listening to other people's rules, and...having a life. 

Boy is attending another school, which starts early next week--and he gets to ride on Daddy's bus. Maybe a bit more dull. But they get to experience independence from one another, which makes Wifey and me really excited. See, when you're around Boy--there is little independence to be had. He consumes the spotlight, and Girlie has not been exempt from his influence--except she's never known life otherwise! So this is especially important for her!

Breathing again. Holy $%#! I had also wanted to set up a video recording of the event. Yah, best laid plans of butterfly-ridden dads. 

Boy noticed that I was flustered upon returning inside. I was futzing with my laptop, to write this, and he said, "Daddy, are you sad that [sis] is gone?" We then had a discussion about anxiety, love, pride, and nostalgia. Can I tell you how hard it is to toddlerize those concepts?! Maybe it was good for me too. :)

Now we're going to find a city bus to ride. Because that's how it works with twins when one gets to do something the other doesn't. 

In love with them.

Tuesday, January 14, 2014

Day 1,091 - The Stages (Not?) Set

3 years old. Holy toddleredo.

As the stages and milestones come and go, I sometimes catch myself forgetting what we've all been through. I mean, while keeping it in perspective, it's been...really hard. By perspective, I mean that I'm well aware that we're all reasonably healthy and we have the food and shelter we need. Good fortune. Given that, man has it ever been rough!

Now back to aforementioned forgetfulness--before it's too late. We've made it through the spit-up-geyser stage. We've survived teething, averbal frustation, diapermania x2, and a handful of ER visits.

And what have we learned, class? For one, I've learned that we adapt. And adaptation doesn’t always feel warm and cozy. Sometimes it simply means that our survivalist minds make/allow us to forget how much the previous crises hurt relative to the current one(s)! In other words, damn this whiny, "I don't want to ______!!" Stage. It's the worst ever! Nothing could be worse than thi—oh, right. I literally cried from all the spit-up in year one. I didn't think the three-hour sleep cycles would ever end. I thought for sure I'd be changing 12 diapers a day. Forever.

Well, we forget. To some degree. But, sadly, we forget much of the good stuff too. I don't remember what it felt like to hold two babies whose combined weight was about that of a gallon of milk. And I can't quite access the thought of how it felt to pat their little bottoms as they stuck up in the air while they slept.

So all I seem to have, aside from terabytes of pics and video, is the thought of the current bads and goods. And so I try to stay mindful that the bads are just stages that will fade into history. BUT, generally speaking, they don't make it onto video!

To stem the excessive curmudgetude, please note that the twins are far more delightful than not! I am so happy that they can often verbalize their needs and that potty training is well underwear. Way. They are funny, learning, and increasingly different in personality.

And I love the socks off 'em.

Wait. Didn't I already write this blog?

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

Day 1000 - Wait, WHAT?!

How can this be? Answer me!

Well, my friends, this is a serious milestone of numeric proportions. I've never done anything hard for 1000 days straight. I've contributed--a decent percentage--to keeping two tiny humans alive for 1000 days! Some might even say they're happy, tiny humans. At least for much of the day.

When I signed up for this gig, of course I had no idea what to expect. I had some vague notion that it would be the hardest thing I've ever tried. But how does one really know what that will mean? Let me just say that despite the heavenly joys, triumphs, and treasured memories, there definitely exists a challenge--day to day--that I could never have anticipated. And furthermore, the game changes on irregular but frequent intervals!

Here's the latest from my world:

After approximately eighteen months of miserable toddler-sleep-habits (e.g. finally falling asleep two hours after being put down, and waking crying more than once a night) I am over-freaking-joyed to report that the past three weeks have been nothing sort of magical. Having tried many, many techniques, tricks, bribes, books and even pharmacological assistance, the wheel finally landed on the correct combination and sleep...returned. The first week was sketchy, ups and downs, but smoothed out and has since been great--not even relatively speaking; it's just been great! Kids are even, on occasion, putting themselves to bed! If I believed in jinxes, I'd probably be discussing poop again now. TwinPop & Wifey's happy sleep has subsequently enjoyed a great resurgence!


Day to day activities have taken a serious toll on me. Sometimes the pull and drag and push and refereeing of my days just builds up to the point where my brain heads upstairs and starts packing for Bora Bora. These kids' cognitive abilities (and accompanying manipulation skills) are increasing at an exponential rate. Once you think you've figured out their wily ways, they pull the parking brake and Tokyo Drift your ass.

But comes the reprieve! I've been granted some leave! So my Day 1001 is also the first day of my mental/physical vacay! Haven't yet figured out exactly what I'm doing, but frankly I'd be happy to spend some time sleeping in the attic. Insulation as my pillow.

I love my kids more than words can say. And I will continue to love them as I watch a movie, ride a roller coaster, catch a fish, dig a ditch, and/or bungee jump off TwinPop Tower!

I'll let you know how it goes. Maybe by Day 1245. FREEEDOOOOMMMMMMM!!!

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Day 757 - Coming Out of the Dark - for now

It has indeed been the better part of a year since my last entry. I'd like to say that I've simply forgotten, or that I haven't had the time. While there is some truth in both of those, the rest of the truth is that I've been afraid. Sometimes I feel like maintaining the facade of strength and okidokiness. I know it serves no purpose, but I think it's a guy thing. Ingrained.

The fact is that the last several months have served to shatter, to a degree, some idealism regarding my kids. Girlie has been struggling--as, consequently have we--with some anxiety and something of an emotional hair-trigger. As I've mentioned ad nauseum in blogs previous, I have no real frame of reference when it comes to raising kids--only the other twin. So when such a huge divergence occurs, it's hard to ignore. Before I turn both of you off with a completely depressing blog, I'll ask you to stay; it gets a lot happier!

But not quite yet.

On Fathers' Day, eight months ago, our dog bit Girlie on the lip necessitating several stitches. Physically, she's fine and will have only a slight scar which may be all but invisible when she's grown. But this seemed to set off a chain of events, the result of which left her emotionally . . . different. She became somewhat withdrawn, wheras once she would hug and cuddle with people she'd only just met. She also loved to dance--just moving and swaying to the beat like someone who was, well, not a toddler! :) These things all but vanished, replaced by poor sleep & appetite, much more frequent tantrums, and chronic clinginess (but only to Mom and Pop.) We've sought help from several professional sources and have seen some improvement, but only what I might call slight. I had gotten into the habit of taking them both to the gym with me, dropping them off in child care while I worked out. I'd sweat it out, then take a leisurely, hot shower before retrieving them. It was majestic! And then one day, about two months ago, Girlie suddenly started melting down when I'd try to leave. And I mean core breach meltdown--no workout, no how. Subsequently, I've tried to slowly reintroduce her to the child care room--staying there to play, showing her pictures of the room before going in, etc. Suffice it to say, I have not since worked out there unless Wifey has been home with the kids.

Ok, I think now comes the happy part.

At the risk of counting my chickens and/or jinxing the situation . . . Girlie has had a breakthrough! For three nights in a row she has gone down at a reasonable time and for the past two nights (the current night is yet unfolding) she has slept through till morning. This is huge news in Casa TwinPop, amigos! (Incidentally, I haven't mentioned Boy much in this post. While I, of course, love them equally . . . Boy is a sleep rockstar. Girlie was too, but not since her
shift.) Anyhow, in a matter of days, her appetite seems to be returning. So too seems to be her attitude, sleep, and confidence. But what may be the greatest joy is, well, her joy. And she's dancing again! I feel like we're getting our happy little girl back from a long, bittersweet hiatus. Again, and I guess this is mostly for me, I'm not trying to fool myself into believing that she'll never again shed a tear or soil a diaper. But no matter what this is, it's certainly not a step backward. And, frankly, I haven't been this happy in several months. Because we know, us parents, when something is different, don't we? How did I get this instinct/insight/perception? Maybe it's airborne, released from tears and diapers. I don't know.

I was on cloud nine today. The previous paragraph was actually a little hard to finish, as it started getting blurry for me. Serious emotion. I don't know what else to say about it.

I suppose I'll finish my longest blog to date by saying how much I love my family. All of them. Oh, and . . .

Happy Valentine's Day!

Love your loved ones . . . even more!

Sunday, May 13, 2012

Day 480 - What Can Brown Do For You?

Happy Mothers' Day!

We all celebrated
Wifey/Supermom today--her first Mothers' Day in which the babes knew who she is. Wifey made waffles at my request--before I remembered what day it was. Bah! Blew that one! I endeavored to make it up to her by making the rest of the day all about her. Breakfast was followed by nap time for all four of us!

A word about napping--before getting to the titular subject. And oh, it's a story alright.

I had heard it said, and seen it written, that the transition from two to one nap can be...rough. Oh, babies. Again an example of a time to heed the warnings. (Though what I would have done differently eludes me at the moment.) It happened one day. And I mean
one day. The night before, bedtime was nightmarish. I forget how late we were up, but I think I may have heard birds outside. Then again, they could have been flying in small circles around my head. Those babes....were....mad. And it became almost instantly clear that nap #2 had slipped off the endangered list into extinction--with no chance of Jurassic-style DNA retrieval.

This new wrinkle took about four days to iron out. The worst part for me, now that I am reasonably confident that the babes will endure and adapt, is that my daytime schedule has been literally turned inside-out. I felt like I was
just getting into the swing of playdates, lunches, and errands. (With the occasional and extremely welcome social peer-outing.) Now if I want to leave the house, it's in the morning, getting back for lunch and then putting them down for naps. And not many of the babes' friends are yet on this schedule. Feeling a little lonely again. :'(

And now for the story I promised.

For Mothers' Day dinner,
Wifey was honored/imperiled with my offer to cook--which I did. It went pretty well; I have a rather limited repertoire, but this is something that all involved parties recognize and accept. Dessert, however, was her doing--and it was a fantastic chocolate fondue!

Babes in highchairs, bibs snugly in place, garden hose at the ready--melted chocolate was served. This was tasty stuff--complete with banana, pineapple, and strawberries. The babes dug it. Did you ever see the movie, or its remake,
The Blob? There's a scene in which a farmer pokes the just-impacted meteorite containing the baby Blob. It crawls up his stick and begins to envelop his arm--and ultimately his entire body. That's sorta' what happened this evening within the two highchairs in our kitchen.

I can not believe how much this chocolate multiplied. It was surely breeding. By the end, Boy had it up and down his legs, up both arms, and covering roughly 65% of his face. Girlie fared better--as she's a neater eater--but was still bordering on envelopment. A friend, who had seen photos of the aftermath, asked if they had murdered Willy

We had to video chat. We called some cousins, one of whom encouraged Boy to slap himself in the head--or hair, more specifically. It was

Boy was extricated from the chair and
Wifey rather adeptly disrobed him and headed upstairs to draw a bath. Girlie was mine to wrangle. I got her out and immediately noticed the familiar aroma of #2. PANIC set in. It was true. She was my dutiful daughter. Why was this worse than any of the thousands of dirties I'd handled? I couldn't set her down without getting chocolate--or worse--on whichever surface she landed. And you can't just throw a child, in that state, in a bathtub!
  • Fortunately, our nearby changing table was between laundry stages and did not yet have a cloth covering. Vinyl sounded like a good choice of surfaces! 
  • Unfortunately, we were out of wipes!
  • Fortunately, there were wipes upstairs in the nursery!
  • Unfortunately, I had to carry a poopy, chocolaty, naked baby upstairs by her ankles. 
  • Fortunately, I didn't collide her into any doorknobs or corners.
  • Unfortunately, there weren't any wipes in the nursery.
  • Fortunately, Wifey came to the rescue after setting Boy down in the empty tub!
  • Unfortunately, without getting too graphic, it was that clay-like sticky business that needed....aggressive wiping.
And into the bath! By this time, the tile above the tub had several brown hand prints. Would have been funnier had I not just returned from Pootopia.

I've said it before and I'll say it again:
Babies are gross.

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Day 438 - The Twins of Change

Yesterday was one of the most change-filled days since birthday #0. Wifey came home and we tagged off, giving me some much needed Mespace. Several minutes in, the three of them barged into the mancave to demonstrate the change of which I speak. But first, a brief refresher for both of you who religiously read my unreligiousy updated blog:
Boy has been walking since month 11.5. And he's become progressively uncontainable. Girlie has been standing for a couple of months and taking 1-5 steps between grownups after significant encouragement.
But that all changed when I was informed that Girlie decided to start officially walking. Wifey says, "What happened to my kids today?"
"What do you mean?" Says I.
Girlie, she explained, is now walking like a pro. And Boy suddenly knows [most of] the motions to Head, Shoulders, Knees and Toes!
"I didn't do it." I admitted.

They are becoming so engaged in one another! It's often quite sweet. Yes, there are early hints of squabbling--and no I'm not surprised. Girlie wants to bite Boy and he wants to push her and/or pull her hair. Ah, yes. This is where the fun starts, right? The sweetness I mentioned occurs, for example, when Girlie pushes a little walking toy around the house chasing Boy. This is usually accompanied by hysterical, screaming laughter from her and silly giggles from him. I waited so long to see these types of interactions--ones that I thought would occur sooner than they did. For many months they seemed little more than vaguely aware of each-other. Twins of Change indeed.

This evening, whilst shopping for a toilet, I had chosen to bring Girlie along leaving Boy home with Wifey. The toilet part is non important, by the way. So I was driving home from an unsuccessful mission and really began pondering and reflecting upon the differences between singles and multiples. (I hate the term singleton by the way. It sounds clinical--and lonely.) While I have no real frame of reference regarding only children, I thought about how our parenting time is divided amongst the twins. We have such hopes that the kids will get along as they grow. I have no illusions that it will be all grits & giggles. But I SO want them to be each other's advocates and supporters! So what did it mean to be to be out and about with just one? Well, we didn't really interact much. She wasn't babbling at all--just content. Content means a lot. That's for sure. But it was also just nice to be in her presence without distraction. Don't get me wrong, I would feel and have felt the same way with him. I'm just talking about a special moment that doesn't often present itself. Very sweet. I love them.

Are we losing anything from not having a single just as we gain so much from having two? I suppose it's irrelevant, but I wonder if they're missing out on something special. Everyone's experiences growing up are strikingly different, aren't they? Why am I humming I Got You, Babe?

Thursday, February 9, 2012

Day 386 - Nothing Ever Changes!

If you believe that title, I have some land for you.

Ok, so it's been several months since my last visit. What can I say? Life happens. And happens BIG. 
I guess I'll just list a few of the notable changes since last post...

  • Boy is not only walking, but has perfected it and now rarely chooses to crawl. 
  • Girlie has taken a couple of steps here and there, but as with crawling, is taking her sweet time.
  • Boy has all but mastered "Dad" placing a huge emphasis in the second D. Dad-duh. Somehow fitting.
  • Boy has also taken on "dog". It currently comes out as a nearly unstoppable string of "Duh, a-DUH, a-DUH, a DUH, a-DUH...." etc. and repeat. 
  • Girlie has the occasional "mama" and "dada" but by far her most adorable is, "tsah?" Meaning, "What's that?" Everything new, and many things not, are met with her request for a label. It's heartwarming.
  • Solid foods are no longer a big deal for them. Two days ago, in fact, Girlie learned to dip a spoon into yogurt and feed herself. Thank you, Grandma C!
The list could go on and on but who wants to read lists? It's my dry and brilliant twin-life observations that keep my droves of readers returning. Is 17 considered a drove?

Let's talk about teamwork. I'm beginning to see some in them. And it frightens me! They're already forming the early semblances of Twinese. Soon they'll be conspiring against us, no doubt. Before long they will be hitting Wifey and me from all angles. My weapon will be anecdotal online research. It may not be much, but I know there's a good amount of data on the subject. Accurate and effective data? Who knows?

Personalities are emerging. Well, they're
refining. And I've read a bit about the so-called hard wiring of the genders. Let me categorically confirm its validity! We have exposed them both to the same toys--never once pushing a traditionally boy or girl toy on either of them. That's not that because we're fighting gender-themed toys or identities, we just don't have many of that type. And yet...Boy gravitates towards cars and things that vroom and roll. Girle, without question, prefers plush, cushy animals, pillows and such. The great experiment continues.

1st births-day came and went. We had 9 babies and their parents at the house. THAT was chaos. But it went without incident. Babies had their first cake and it mostly stayed out of their hair!

Another milestone was the passing of the one-year-mark for Twin Pop's @Home Adventures! I've survived. Happy and surprising!

Backtracking a bit, we've already had
two E.R. visits--both of them for Boy. One morning we found blood in his ear. He had cried out in the middle of the night but it didn't last long enough for us to drag our old carcasses to the nursery. Anyhow, we brought him in, fearing a ruptured ear drum. Turned out he'd scratched his ear with his fingernail. Ouch!

E.R. trip #2 was more significant. He had fallen onto the corner of a wooden shelf and opened up a little gash over his eyebrow. I suspect that many of us have old scars right around there! So he had two stitches--somewhat traumatic--but he did
very well and was laughing within 5 minutes of the procedure. Stay calm, Daddy! That's my lesson here. Oh, and not getting offended by the third degree from hospital staff. I'm glad they do it--it's just sad that they have to.

And that's it! Nothing to see here. Please disperse.