Monday, August 27, 2007

Breastfeeding at 7 months

D: Picture a 7-year-old boy playing hard in his bright sunny yard all day with his buddies. He plays and he plays and eventually he gets tired and thirsty. He runs in the house and yells for his mom to get him a glass of milk. She dutifully pours him a deliciously tall glass of thirst quenching milk and sets it on the counter for him. Not a second later the young child swipes the glass off the counter and gulps it's entirety in one frantic execution. Before the mother can inquire about the child’s backyard adventures the glass is slammed on the counter and the boy is back in the sunshine to run and play with his friends.

This is exactly how it feels to breastfeed a 7 month old. I feel so used ;)

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 3:29 PM :: (4) comments

Friday, August 24, 2007

What a great weekend!

D: Last weekend my Dad and his wife came out to soak up some Gubba love. We decided to head for the hills and escape to a little cabin in the woods. We had a great time watching the Deuce interact and play with their grandparents. And all the extra help and attention the boys were getting gave W and I a nice chance to kick back and relax. Thanks for coming out, Dad! We love you guys and can't wait to see you again.
Here are some pics from the weekend.










Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:18 AM :: (0) comments

Stroller Love

D: Sung to the tune "Rubber Ducky"...

Mountain Buggy, you're the one.
You make hiking so much fun!
Mountain Buggy,
you're the one for me!



Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 9:08 AM :: (0) comments

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Seven outs

W: We were reflecting the other night about all of our various adventures and outings over the past couple of weeks, and we came to a funny conclusion: we're kind of faking it here on our blog. This "faking it" hasn't been intentional, but we felt that we ought to paint a little clearer picture of our life with the Deuce. You know, come clean, so to speak.

Take a look at the picture below. It's super cute, isn't it? The photo was taken at the Deuce's first major league baseball game. The Mariners were playing the Twins (get it?), so we took the boys to see the action. A day game, no less. We asked a fella standing behind us to snap a photo to commemorate the occasion, and it was all Cracker Jack & hot dogs. Nine innings of pure baseball bliss, right?

But the truth is a little different. Between us, we saw seven outs at most. The boys were good, but incredibly wiggly-squirmy. So between feeding, fitful crowd-roar-interrupted naps, unwanted sunscreen applications, and teaching the fella that snapped the photo below how to hold a camera correctly, we saw a whopping seven outs.

And that's just one story - many of our pictures are just like that. They say that a picture tells a thousand words, but we just want to make sure that we're conveying what exactly those words are. The picture below: Seven Outs. But hey, we're out there doing it (whatever 'it' is), right?


Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 11:27 PM :: (1) comments

Wednesday, August 15, 2007

Adventurers

D: W and I have always liked to travel. We consider the road traveled almost as much fun as the destination. In our travels together, we frequently find ourselves in unusually adventurous circumstances. Our journeys have led us up to crystal mountain lakes, hiking the forests and deserts of several national parks, bar hopping in Paris, skinny-dipping on the remote beaches of Mexico, touring through Tuscany with the top down and getting lost on secluded roads with no destination but whatever lies ahead.

This past trip we've discovered a new sense of adventure…Twin Travel. I have learned in my past travels with the Deuce that no matter how much you plan, unforeseen circumstances will arise beyond your control. This time Twin Travel offered W and I the additional adventures of the three T's... TIME ZONES and TEETHING and (Chicago) TRAFFIC.

I don’t know why it was not on my planning radar (with all my researching and list making I’d done before we left), but the 3-hour time zone change did not ever occur to me. It was only after we arrived in the Midwest when W asked me how we were planning on adjusting the kiddos sleep schedule accordingly.

WHAT?! Adjust our near-perfectly-crafted, 3-naps-a-day, sleep-at-least-8-hours-straight-through-the-night schedule?!

We opted to not change a thing and see if we can keep the boys on Seattle time for the entire 8 days of travel. This may have worked the first day or two, but what we learned was that all humans (yes babies are humans too) adjust to the time zones they are in and actually children adjust much faster than adults do. This was apparent with O woke us promptly at 6am Indiana time on day 2 of travels, while we were still adjusting with the need for an extra hour or two of sleep.

Just as we were rounding out the 6th day of travel, and getting their naps to somewhat fall in line, we changed it back one hour as we traveled North to Chicago and they got all messed up again. Needless to say, the Deuce were even more confused than their mom about when they were supposed to go to sleep. They definitely let us know with their loud, frequent and ferocious middle of the night wake-ups. As I always say…you mess with a baby's sleep schedule and they WILL mess back!

Another test of our Twin Travel skills was the appearance of F’s first tooth, with O’s close behind. The uninvited travel companion made its grand entrance on day 3 of our travels. F Gubba announced his protest to the unwanted guest in the form of a YELL (not cry) louder than we’d ever heard before. Let me tell you, there is nothing like knocking on the door of our welcoming hosts with two teething 6 month olds in tow, not knowing what kind of new screams our babies will learn during our stay. Never the less, all of our family and friends with whom we stayed with were more than gracious and accommodating for our traveling circus. Thank you Annie for sharing your nurse/mother wisdom about sleep, teething, infant medications and bottle-feeding (all of which I still am unable to fully comprehend).

The last of our trials involved the ungodly temperatures currently blanketing the Midwest. The heat was heavily weighing down on us, keeping us ‘air-conditioning hopping’ indoors throughout the week. I may sound like a wimp, but us Seattle-lites (the Deuce included) are not used to such heat and humidity. On the way up to the family wedding in Chicago we found that our rental car’s AC did not work nearly as well enough to keep our precious cargo cool and happy while in traffic. The Deuce protested the heat off and on for several hours while we inched our way through the bumper-to-bumper traffic. What are ya gonna do.

Looking back W and I are so happy that we made this trip as fun filled as we possibly could…with friends and family welcoming our whirling dervish with open arms at every turn. With the amount of work it takes to pull a trip like that off, I can see how some twin parents might choose not to travel. But I encourage them to try it…as long as they are feeling adventurous.










Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 11:00 PM :: (3) comments

Monday, August 13, 2007

Can we do that again?

W: We're back home, safe and sound. Our plan to keep the boys on Left Coast time seems to have worked out alright for the most part. They were little angels on the plane last night - both slept most of the flight, albeit a tad restlessly. This morning F-Gubba woke up and seemed to say, "Can we do that again, Dad?"

The trip was more than a success. The Deuce met so many family members and so many of our close friends, and they earned their stripes as travel-tested twins. As for me, the happiest surprise was how much fun I had sitting in the eye of the storm with D and the Deuce. Sure, we had some stressful moments, but the good far outweighed the bad.

Not only that, but an eight day odyssey was just what D and I needed. In a few of our particularly go-go moments, I glanced over at D and realized that we were so tuned into each other's movements, we were so focused, that we were communicating at a level we'd never reached. And then on the flight home, I stole a glance at D with babe in arms, both peacefully sleeping, and I realized that over the past eight days I'd fallen even harder for her.

And so with that, we're headed onward to our next adventure...


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Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 7:45 AM :: (2) comments

Thursday, August 09, 2007

Corn, Buggies and Camp Birdhouse

W: My apologies - I've been hogging all the blog space while we're on the road, but D promises to share her motherly insights on airplane and road trips with teething 6 month old twins in one of her travel review posts early next week. Promise. Until then I'll keep banging out some thoughts from the road.

During the first part of the trip, we headed to rural Indiana to visit Grandma and Grandpa at what is now called "Camp Birdhouse." Last fall, my mom and her husband Steve got the bug for living the Rural Life and put thought to action. I admit that I was skeptical about the move at first, but my skepticism was doused after hearing how happy my mom is living in the country.

And when I say country, I mean it. Corn, pigs, soy beans, and the Amish folks. Yeah, that's right, the Amish. In fact, during a summer thunderstorm on Monday, an Amish fella rode by our house in his horse-drawn buggy, sopping wet, smiling, his wide-brimmed straw hat held with hand so he could see, his other hand holding the reins.

That afternoon, after the storm, we loaded up the Deuce and headed to the Amish market down the road to buy fresh corn, tomatoes, and cantaloupes. While we were at the market, the Deuce met Ellen and Helen who are identical twins in an Amish family (numbers 6 & 7 out of 15). Country culture, indeed, and my mom's new community had it in, ahem, spades.

Quick aside: Since I'm a bit of a foodie, I want to coin a trend: If "Buy Local" is the new "Buy Organic," then "Buy Amish" is coming soon. Not only do the Amish farm organically, they don't use one ounce of fossil fuel to produce their crops. Talk about environmentally sound farming! When we arrived, the Amish merchants were out of corn, but they assured us that all we needed to do was wait around for 5 minutes because a cart was coming back from the field with a freshly picked bushel. D and I agreed - it was the best we've ever had, the kernels jumped into our mouths.

D and I also agreed that we're exceptionally lucky to have Camp Birdhouse as one of our family outposts. It was a perfect location for the family reunion on Sunday where we were able to introduce the Deuce to so many people that love them so dearly - from their great-grandma and great-aunt and uncle, to their aunts and uncles, and all their wonderful cousins. We certainly see many rich and fertile returns, and hopefully soon. Thanks Grandma and Grandma for everything...

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Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 8:02 PM :: (2) comments

Monday, August 06, 2007

The Irrational Fear of Flying

W: In their insightful chapter about Parenting, the authors of Freakonomics write about how humans generally make poor decisions in the face of irrational fears. The classic example concerns people who are afraid of flying in an airplane but yet have no fear of driving in a car. The authors, using their economics wizardry, show that the chance of imminent death are roughly equal for both modes of travel, and thus, the fear of flying and non-fear of driving are irrational.

I say this to the authors of Freakonomics: Yeah, I hear you, but I don't care. I hate flying because I fear flying, and I don't care if I'm being "irrational."

So, over the years I developed two extremely successful methods of coping with my "irrational" fear of flying. If my flight is before 10:30 AM, I call upon my gentle, yet quite effective, pharmaceutical friend Ambien to take me to Dreamland from runway to runway. No consciousness = no conscious fears. And if my flight was after 10:30 AM, my method involves, as you likely surmised, a vodka martini or three in the airport and a few maintenance drink orders onboard the plane.

Obviously, those methods involve a concerted effort to deal with my "irrational" fear of flying by altering my consciousness, by either completely shutting it down (Ambien) or by significantly dulling it (martinis).

On Saturday, we had an early flight, but since we were traveling with the Deuce, both of the above-described methods of dealing with my "irrational" fear were out of the question (irresponsible, negligent, possibly criminal).

Well, one 4 1/2 hour flight later, I'm happy to report that both methods were unnecessary. My new method of dealing with my fear of flying is called "fear displacement." With O-Gubba on my lap, my fear of flying didn't even register! In its place, a new, more powerful fear took its place: Me As (possible) Parent of Crying Baby on a Plane.

First, I admit that I'm probably guilty of giving "the look" to a parent carrying a baby on a plane. Embedded within "the look" are a multitude of thoughts such as "I better not be sitting next to you," "Why in the hell are you flying with an infant anyway?," and above all, "You better keep that thing quiet."

With the Deuce in tow, we pre-boarded the plane and sat down in the bulkhead. Then as the rest of our fellow passengers boarded, about 90% gave me "the look" or at least I imagined that they did. Regardless, I heard them loud and clear, and my new look back to my fellow passengers said, "Hell no I don't want to be the parent of the screaming baby - I'll do everything I can!"

And so I focused every ounce of energy in my body on O-Gubba from take-off to landing.

Two things happened: He didn't make a peep, and I didn't even realize we were in the air. And if you don't even know you're flying, you can't be afraid.

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 10:09 AM :: (2) comments

Friday, August 03, 2007

Life in the "High Occupancy Vehicle" lane

W: Here it is, that moment of truth: The eve of our first full-fledged family vacation. Over the past couple of posts, I wrote about the end of the Deuce's sedentary, stationary life. Well, it's the end of mine too. I've been on a stationary plan since well before the Deuce arrived. Then I went back to school, and then I had to take that silly exam that pretty much wasted my entire summer. And so finally, after a long and crazy haul, I've got room to boogie a little bit, and we're taking the kids on the road. It's Twin Tour 2007!

To an outsider, it may appear that I have my shit together, but really it's all Dana's doing. She's the meat and the potatoes in this operation, and she keeps me in line. Like the Deuce, I'm her ward. This cold, hard reality made itself plainly evident when I set out to pack for our trip about a half hour ago, and I honestly have no idea what to do other than wait for her to return home.

It was just last year that, after more than three decades of tears and toil, I learned how to take care of myself on the road. It was a major milestone. And now the rules have changed? I'm supposed to bring the Deuce's stuff in my pack too? I'll tell you this much, it is going to be awkward when I trip over myself in the early morning light trying to put on a onesie thinking it is a pair of boxers.

As you can see, my limitations are in plain view. So rather than continue to hack away at them, I've decided to pursue a different tack. From here on out, I'll be taking on a more spiritual role in this our little family endeavor by channelling that famous travelling father, the one and only Clark Griswold.

I may not be able to actually find the worlds largest ball of twine (Dana is our Navigator), but you can be damned sure that I can get Dana and the Deuce excited about seeing it. You just wait to see the looks on their faces when I post the pictures...they'll look soooooo happy in those photos...it will be like they were whistling zippity do da out of their......

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 5:11 PM :: (3) comments

Wednesday, August 01, 2007

Jump!

O-Gubba sure likes to JUMP!

Posted by Blogtime In Twin Town @ 11:27 AM :: (3) comments