Friday, November 30, 2007
D: Our little pair sure are having fun discovering their new talents (and newly discovered body parts!)
• Can paddle himself all the way up the basement stairs, while supervised. We probably have the most dangerous stairs in the universe, so supervision is key. Luckily, there has been no attempt at turning around and trying to get down.
• Enjoys chasing formula cans (if you take off the lable you are left with a bright shiny toy/drum/object of desire).
• Dances mainly with his head, shaking his it back and forth...as if to say "this song is really groovy, Mom".
• Has found his tongue. Or maybe it has found him. He has reacted to it as though it were a creature that has crawled up through his mouth and is trying to escape. It is obvious he is not quite sure about this new “mouth friend”.
• Will eat just about everything you put in front of him, if you cut it into small chunks. Favorites are small orange slices and pasta.
• Sleeps peacefully through the night, and has been for several months now. There was a 2-3 day set back, when he was cutting 2 teeth at once and was sick as a dog. But for the most part, it appears they sleep better than I do. Maybe someone should feed me warm milk and sing me a song before I hit the hay. Hmmm.
• Can also maneuver his way up the stairs, at a rapid pace. There was one time when he stood straight up and turned around. One sight of the heights he had climbed sent him into a dizzying, tipsy panic. He of course was quite relieved by my comforting arms that assured him he did not have to master the descent quite yet.
• The formula can is also F’s favorite toy at the moment (close behind is the plastic hanger). When they are both in pursuit of the can it is quite an entertaining race around the living room. Once they reach their goal, with one hit it goes rolling across the floor to be chased after again. Hours of entertainment.
• F also found his tongue and loves to mimic others in a game of “you show me yours, I’ll show you mine” with tongues. He thinks it’s hilarious.
• Favorite foods are thin slices of apples, and any thing with apple sauce poured over it.
• Also sleeping through the night. Gotta love that.
• F loves to dance, especially to the Dixie Chicks. He clutches on to the side of his crib or the living room baby-gate and rocks back and forth, from side to side, foot to foot. His dance is always accompanied by a huge grin and sometimes you can even hear him singing along (in the form of a loud piercing scream)…
Speaking of screaming, both kiddoes are trying to out-do each other for the loudest scream. Or maybe this is their secret twin language that I’ve heard about. Either way, screaming has been their #1 way of expressing themselves. Their “call” can be heard from room to room, and they often call out to one another from different sides of the house and banter back and forth like birds.
Our living room couch has been transformed into a 4-tier jungle gym*. The boys have endless fun chasing each other around on it, from the floor to the cushion, to the box spring to the floor, and back again. They are incredibly strong and agile, and like most boys, bounce right back from a fall.
*The same couch is also an enormous fort, a cave, a trampoline, a puppet theater and sometimes a good place to take a nap.
Saturday, November 24, 2007
D: You would think that with all the joy in my life (a great job, loving family, supportive husband, awesome friends, totally amazing kids) I would've woken up Thanksgiving morning wide eyed ready to list my many gratitudes. But on Thursday morning as I rolled over and looked at the clock, I gave thanks to only my blissfully sleeping children...who let us sleep a whopping two hours past their normal wake up time. They really do love us.
This past Thursday we had our dear MN crew filling our house with holiday cheer. There were twelve total around the table…including the Deuce. Our festivities began with a few rousing games on our new Wii game system. For a few hours the Wii transformed our family room in a bowling alley, tennis court, boxing ring and then golf course. If you haven't had the chance to play these games on a Wii, I highly recommend it. (This is HUGE coming from me, since I do not hide my disdain for most sit-on-your-couch-and-don’t-look-up-from-the-TV-for-hours type games.)
Walker fried a turkey this year and it turned out beautifully. The secret, he said, was to inject the turkey ahead of time with a marinade that he whipped up in our juicer (onions, apples and herbs). All of our MN friends of course arrived predictably and lovingly with a casserole type dish in hand. It would not be a room full of Minnesotans if there wasn’t at least three items on the menu that had cream of (something) soup in it, and at least two apps with mayo.
Everything was delicious and the Deuce both ate a bit of everything that was offered to them.
It was everything a thanksgiving evening should entail. I had a bit of a sentimental moment when I looked around the dinner table and realized how amazing it was to see my two children sitting at the table, enjoying the laughter and stories amongst such great friends. It was a perfect first.
Tuesday, November 20, 2007
D: The other day I was out for a walk with the Deuce in our stroller. I rounded the corner when two young girls, probably around 7 years old (mind you, I think all children are around 7 years old) started ohhing and ahhing over the twins.
Girl 1: "Ohhhhhh, their so cute!"
Girl 2: "Are they twins?"
Me: "Yes. Identical twin boys."
Both girls: " LUCKY!"
At this point I thought maybe they were talking about me. "Aren't you lucky?" is a frequent comment I get from strangers while out with the boys, yet I believe 50% of the time the comment is meant as sarcasm.
I soon realize they are not talking about me, but the Deuce.
Girl 1: "I want a twin!"
Girl 2: "I want a twin too!"
Girl 1: "I'm going to ask my mom for a twin".
Girl 2: "I'm going to ask my mom for a twin too!".
Me: "Good luck with that, girls".
They are right. The Deuce are incredibly lucky to have each other. I'm a little jealous myself.
Sunday, November 18, 2007
W: The other day I was catching up on some reading over on a friend's blog, The Baby Monkey, and I feel compelled to crib the observation because it's just so damned good.
Alicia observed that her tot is like a little Terminator - remember in the movie when you could see first person out of the Terminator's eyes as he assessed a situation and methodically calculated what would do the most damage? That's what it would look like looking out of each of our little guys' eyes. Little Terminators.
Nothing is safe. I'm sure that they'll be climbing the bookshelves before too long. The other day they each had two hands on the pole of a cherished floor lamp, driving with their little baby quads and little baby calves until the lamp toppled over. They had a look of victory in their eyes. It looked like the famous picture of the marines putting up the flag at Iwo Jima, but in reverse.
D and I have slightly different opinions on the subject of child proofing, though neither of us falls into the extreme of either camp. We're both moderates, so the result is that we don't go too far in one direction. But like all things with twin parenting, just when you get something figured out, the rules change, and we're on to a new phase.
I saw a glimpse of the next phase yesterday - biped locomotion. I was playing with O as he expertly "surfed" along the couch. Nowadays, he steadies himself while standing with one hand, which allows him to survey the room (and look for things to destroy).
He let go. (Look, dad, no hands!)
Wobbling for a few awkward seconds, he made a face that said, "Oh shit! What am I doing, dad?" before he quickly plopped down on his tush. But still, he made a concerted effort to stand all on his own.
I was excited and then confused. During these breakthrough glimpses, I tend to ask myself "do I really want this [insert new thing here] to happen?" I mean, of course I want my kids that walk around, run even. But I wasn't sure that I was ready for it right then and there. The bookshelves still need to be bolted to the wall!
But I am thankful for the glimpses because they allow us to get ready for the changes. Mentally. Physically. When Dana was pregnant, I used to joke that there's a reason pregnancies last nine months - it takes us that long for our brains to switch gears. It's the same with our children's developmental milestones.
And during that process, I guess we parents let go too. We let go of the past phase, as we prepare for the next. We wobble. We fall. Things get broken.
But eventually we get the hang of it. And we do it again.
Friday, November 16, 2007
W: I appreciate all the questions and comments about the photos that we post on our site. I love photography, and early on I was lucky to have great resources around me that inspired my inner-Annie Leibovitz. My dad took tons of photos when we were younger, and I used his 70's Minolta in my high school photography class. That class led me to snap photos for my high school newspaper and yearbook my senior year. I inhaled a lot of developer, stop bath, and fixer fumes in my younger days.
The most common question that folks ask in the comments section is what type of camera I shoot with. I shoot with a Nikon D200. It is a wonderful machine, and I'm lucky to have it (thanks, Dad!). I prefer to shoot my D200 with a fixed 35mm f/2.0 Nikkor lens, which has beautiful depth of field and is super sharp. Between those two things, the camera and the lens, the most important piece is the lens, not the camera.
I prefer fixed lenses because they are sharper than zoom lenses. If I need to get closer or further away, I move my ass forward or backwards. It's pretty simple, really, and I think the results are worth the extra movement.
But really, neither the camera or the lens has anything to do with good photography. Having good equipment might make taking photos easier, but they don't take the pictures, you do. When I was getting up to speed on the D200, I found this wonderful website, www.kenrockwell.com, and then stumbled upon his thoughtful essay, "Your Camera Does Not Matter."
Read the essay - Mr. Rockwell speaks the truth. Really, it's like anything else - take golf, for instance. In golf, if you don't have the passion for game or the desire to learn, it wouldn't matter one iota if you used Tiger Woods's clubs, you aren't going to be any good. Ever. The exact same is true with photography. So don't go spend a ton of money expecting wonders unless you've got the desire to learn about the craft.
Now, a quick note to all those parents who raised children in the age before digital photography: HOW DID YOU DO IT?!??
I have a newfound respect for you old school film-shooting parentals. Good lord! You must have wasted so much film on awkward shots, closed eyes, heads-turned, drool...roll upon roll, shot upon shot. I don't think I could have endured, so my hat's off to you. Onward to the next shot...and then the next. Thanks for watching.
Friday, November 09, 2007
D: 'Schedule' is a word that you hear a lot around these parts. When I come home each night and ask our caregiver "how'd they do today?" she knows I am referring to how close or how far they’ve deviated from the schedule. What kind of mood the kids will be in, how great they will sleep, if they are sick or teething is all revealed to us by how far they’ve strayed from their normal schedule. Each month their schedule changes slightly, but something tells me very soon that big changes are on the horizon for the Deuce. Before our routine is altered too much, I'd like to document what life is like on a daily basis for the Deuce…on a good day.
Wake between 6:00 and 6:30am
One baby gets a bottle, one gets to breastfeed.
Change, dress, and play in nursery
Solid food breakfast: Between 8:00-8:30 (4 oz each of any combination of mixed fruit, bananas, cereal, yogurt and apple sauce)
Nap: Between 9:30 and 10 (usually lasting 2 hours)
Bottle: Between 12:00 and 12:30pm (6-8 oz breast milk)
Solid food lunch: 12:30pm (4 oz each of any combination of pureed veggies or meat, avocado, cereal, cottage cheese, apple sauce, or warm soup)
Nap: 2:00pm (hopefully for at least an hour)
Bottle: 3:30pm (6-8 oz formula)
Snack: 4:00 (apple sauce, fruit)
Play or take a stroller walk
Dinner: 5:30pm (4 oz each of pureed veggies and meat with apple sauce)
Play, book, or bath time
Bottle/breast feed: 7:00pm
Bed time: 7:30pm