Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Day 69 - Small Victories

I haven't written in a while--we had a guest in town last week. She was a huge help and great fun. Then she went back home to Minnesota. :(

We've noticed that whenever guests leave, the following day tends to be pretty insane with regard to baby temperaments. Yesterday was no exception. Boy had a day of major...dissatisfaction. He was inconsolable for several hours straight--towards the end of which I was nearly out of my mind. What can be so upsetting to infants, I wonder? You go through the list, checking off all the usual suspects until it is (and you are) exhausted. And then it stops. And it's fine. SO frustrating.

Today I decided to pack up for an outing before their 11:30 feeding. Pretty ambitious, I thought. We went to our local hangout--a Westfield mall--to look for trouble. There was, in fact, no trouble--at least not until feeding time. Twin Pop grabbed a couple of tacos and a drink just in time to avert a double-duty hunger crisis. Then it was off to the Family Room--if I haven't mentioned this here before, it's a really cool space with a row of changing tables, comfy chairs, curtained-off nursing areas and a parent/child restroom. We like it there. I'm not used to feeding the babes without a fairly wide chair--both laying between the outside of my legs and a pillow/armrest. No luck here. The chairs, while comfy, are narrow--so I was short a couple of limbs.

After packing up and returning home, I changed their car-jostling-induced barf-soaked outfits. (See how cavalier I am about this now?) And I decided to make another attempt at an afternoon nap. (Them, not me. That's still all but impossible.) I was shooting for 1:30, but I got them down at 1:45. Pretty good. At this moment, it's 2:40 and they've been remarkably quiet! HooHaaaaay!

It's the little victories like this that give me the optimism to face the next challenge. Let me tell you, friend, it is stinkin' hard. SO much harder than I'd ever imagined. I can't in good conscience recommend this to anyone. Don't get me wrong, I love being a dad and I love my babes. I can't always say that I love my job. But.......

Raise you hand if you can. Exactly. Pipe down, Twin Pop.

We're getting some baby giggles around here!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Day 59 - Mayhem to Merriment

Yesterday was the single most difficult day yet. The babes were miserable from most of late morning through the afternoon. I felt totally helpless and incompetent. Yes, I know I'm not--it just felt so at the time. We're attempting to regulate naps during the day to improve bedtime. It's also to get them on a schedule--with the goal of giving Twin Pop some reasonably reliable time to accomplish...anything during the day. I should mention that we're on a four night stretch of through-the-night sleeping, which is simply wonderful! Bedtime, however, continues to be a little chaotic. Especially...no, pretty much only for Girlie. She's our bedtime banshee! We can pretty much count on 15-30 minutes of screaming each night. Could be worse, I guess. Has been worse! Anyhow, I'm just glad yesterday is behind me--it was a moment of total and complete weakness in which I felt like running screaming through the neighborhood. Perhaps I should have. I would likely have been given a little mandatory vacation--complete with free room and board! And I could have made some new friends!

This morning, following their first feeding, Wifey brought the babes in and laid them in bed next to me. This has been our norm for a while--it gives me a few moments to awaken and to remember that I'm no longer childless. And how. We've been attempting to keep them awake with some playtime until their morning nap. So far it's had little or no success. The playtime is fine, bus as soon as they're set in the crib, it all falls apart. But....and a very big but...
My little girl laughed this morning!
What a beautiful, rough, awkward little laugh it was. It's funny to imagine, if you'd never laughed in your life, how it would sound. Well, it is stinkin' cute. I was rattling a toy with all kinds of shakers, bells, and stuff and she apparently thought it was very funny. I tried a few times just to make sure. And I am; she did. :)

Today was glorious--which was greatly needed. 

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Day 57 - ♣ A Lucky Break ♣

Happy St. Patrick's Day! 
It has indeed been a lucky day for Twin Pop! Wifey took the day off to make up for some extra hours last weekend. We all piled up and went to breakfast at a local pancake joint. The hostess seated us all in an empty side room. Privacy or expulsion? You decide. Great way to start the day though--and the babes were angelic!

We then visited a nearby community park for a ~2 mile lakeside stroll. Babes slept for half, and fussed for the other. Not a huge deal. I should add that this was the first day with a temperature much above the 30's. We got some low 60's! Truly a slice of heaven!

When we got home, Wifey fully took the reigns and I went out to the movies! My first solo recreational outing since becoming a dad. I had popcorn! And soda! Ah, careless disregard of calories. So great.

Following a brief, duty-bound trip to the supermarket, I returned home to get the corned beef dinner underway. My BabiesMama is a saint--I really needed that recharge. :)

We also tried Baby Einstein today--well, Baby Bach to be specific. At 3.5 months, I wouldn't have thought it so appealing to the babes. I mean, their attention spans seem little better than a moth's in a discotheque. I made that up myself. Anyhow, they sat there, transfixed for nearly the entire 30 minute segment. It's baby crack! I can already see how difficult it's gonna be not sitting them in front of that stuff every day. I shall resist.

Leprechaun emoticon  A truly great day. And I'm not even Irish.  

Monday, March 14, 2011

Day 54 - Mad Skillz

Forget the smiling, rolling over, sitting up, Dah-dah babbling. My kids are strikingly skilled at precision puking. OK, OK, spitting up. I know--it's not yet supposed to be called vomit. Whatever you call it, it is consumed--and then unconsumed in short order. The point is, they are infantile masters at placing it where I desperately don't want it.

I have developed a generally successful feeding strategy in which I sit in a chair with baby bookends--their feet at my back. I put a burp cloth under each babe and fold a blanket into a tube--wrapping it around their chins to hold up their bottles. As I mentioned recently, it's a hands free performance. All well and good until burp time.

This is boring.

Saturday, March 12, 2011

Day 52 - How Hard Can it Be.

Feeding the babes as I type this. Oh, I've got the hands-free thing down cold. That is until burp time. (Then I'm about three hands short.) It's a peaceful moment--both making little cooing/gurgling sounds as they drink from their little bottles. This is one of the sweet & happy parenting times. Frankly, it's a complete and total relief.

It's been particularly stressful lately. I had a moment yesterday in which I felt 100% incapable as a parent. It was a wail-fest, folks. Absolute inconsolability for two hours straight. Perhaps I'm spoiled, but this was the first time I've been faced with such...intensity from them. Passers-by might have thought the babes were being dismembered. I'm glad it was cold out--there were no passers-by. It's moments like those that I feel as if we've made a mistake bringing children into the world. Or, at the very least, wishing that I had majored in child-development.

I knew this would be hard. I never knew it could be Olympic, triganomic, tax code, soufflé, encyclopedia-sales hard. Despite the frequent social proclaimations to the contrary, Super Dad I am not. I am just Dad. Doing my best, failing more often than I'd like, and just trying to remain sane enough to give my children the best lives possible--with the tools at my disposal.

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Day 49 - Evening 1

Little Girl had an ophthalmologist appointment today. We were concerned that she may have a lazy eye. Turns out that preemies have a higher propensity for that sort of thing--eyes slightly crossed, poor at tracking, etc. Doc says she's far-sighted, which she explained was actually a good and normal thing for infants. For one thing, I was surprised at how much can actually be diagnosed in a child who can't exactly sit in front of the lens monster picking out backwards E's. There's apparently a lot that can be learned, optically, from measuring the clarity of the light, the distance between nerves and corneas or some such. Anyhow, Doc said, in her opinion, that my girl probably won't need glasses as all. (I'm assuming it's not a free pass through middle age.) Girlie was so good; she had her pupils dilated and only cried a smidge.

Tonight, Wifey has a late meeting. So it's actually my first full day as Twin Pop. I was a little concerned, following naptime today, that the rest of the day would be a bit Chernobylesque. But, come bedtime, they actually settled down a bit. As I type this, they've been in bed for 40 minutes and the last 15 have been quiet. Keeping my fingers crossed. ajkqfoip cqajopq %q

I had a lovely, albeit short nap with my babes today in my recliner. We listened to the 1933 King Kong soundtrack. Hey, I hardly consider anything weird around here anymore. It was very sweet. The reminds me. I haven't discussed music here. I've compiled a fairly extensive library of musical pieces for the [hopeful] benefit of the kids. Classical, jazz, new age, light swing, some soundtracks, etc. (King Kong is not amongst the set.) Wifey and I both want this to be a musical household. The notion that someday the sibs could sit down and jam together is alluring. We want to play music for them as they sleep, but we also want to be careful that they don't rely on it. I really think it stimulates their development and I can't wait to witness their musical tastes!

Saturday, March 5, 2011

Day 46.5 - Our Will Be Done

Ladies and Gentlemen....we have achieved, all of us, a full-night's sleep. The three magic words that been so coveted and yet so elusive: Through The Night. Three-months-and-a-few-days-old. I'll take it.

Now. I don't even begin to fantasize that this is a permanent, or even a beginning of a pattern. But, as with each previous hour-milestone, there's been a great glimmer of hope that we're doing the right thing! Rolling the dice for a second night now. Problem is, they woke at 6:15am last night which is more than an hour ahead of our preferred first feeding of the day. So their clocks were out of whack today. We'll see. We plan a celebratory outing tomorrow (Sunday) night. Let's hear it for small victories!! 

These babies are really beginning to be grinners. It's so much fun to watch them gaining the ability to smile. It's sometimes hard to remember that stuff like that has to be learned. A couple of days ago, Boy made his first observed purposeful hand to mouth motion. He was sucking on his fist. Just to be sure, I pulled his hand down to his waist and he slowly, clumsily, put his fist back into his mouth. So adorable.

Wednesday, March 2, 2011

Day 43 - Twins vs. Braves

Went for a Synagis vaccine and checkup yesterday. Of all places for a twice-baked meltdown, I suppose the pedes office is amongst the "best". More on that in a moment.

I arrived at the office with both babes, feeling a little like royalty--doors being opened for me left and right. Haven't quite gotten the knack for door opening with a carrier in each hand. Must continue my training. (But O Master, where art thou?) I barely had time to set down the carriers and check in before the traveling peanut gallery opened for business.

 "Oh, Honey, TWO!" One lady began, somewhat innocuously. 
Another lady followed, "Oh, you're brave!" Beg pardon? I'm not even sure what she was trying to say. As a nurse led us back to a room, I responded to the lady, "Like I have a choice." The nurse laughed. Seriously, "brave?"

I guess I take this stuff too seriously. In my mind, it's not unlike dealing with rude/stupid drivers. You know when you get so mad at someone who cuts you off or slights you in some other vehicularly impaired manner? Sometimes I find it difficult to remember that it's only one person--not the same person, out to get you every time. Everyone's entitled to a mistake, or a lapse in judgment. Am I arguing for or against myself? Just trying to rationalize my venting.

Boy's diaper rash finally seems to have gone. I can't believe it took three months.  (Almost to the day.) It seemed like it was often on the verge of resolving--like there was something preventing it from reaching 100% I just couldn't put my finger on it. (Eww.)

So, back to the twinfuriaton. Upon arrival at the pedes office, both babes were sleeping like...(hah, that's a ridiculous axiom)...babies. The nurse showed us to a room, gave the usual "down to the diaper" instruction, weighed them and left. It was about then that they let loose with perhaps the single....double....largest co-conniption I had ever seen. I was rocking, swaying, bouncing (not shaking) and shushing my heart out--to no avail. Meanwhile, Boy was clearly doing a lousy job at concealing a poopy diaper. I changed him on the table, both still wailing, and returned to my feeble attempts at soothing. That lasted about five to ten minutes until they finally regained control. I never knew how incredibly frustrating it would be to endure a tantrum that has no apparent motivation. x2. This played out like a bad Mr. Mom/Daddy Daycare/yadda yadda movie; it was seriously no more than 30 seconds of calm before.......the nurse returned with the syringes.

Needles to say (sorry) there was another period of...unrest before we were able to leave. (Regardless, they have to wait ten minutes following Synagis in case they break out or swell up into blueberries, etc.)

I wish I could say that they spent the remainder of the afternoon sleeping it off. Unfortunately, I suspect the Synagis may have been laced with Red Bull.