Sunday, June 24, 2007

My Garden

Okay, there is a little more to our lives than just the babies. Okay, not much more, but here is what I've been working on in the back yard.
We've got Strawberries, Tomatos, Squash, Pumpkins and Marigolds.
It's really turning out pretty well. The kids liek going outside at night to take a look, and the little break each night where I pull some weeds and water the plants is really relaxing.
We've got lots of other beds around the house to fill with plants, but we're doing just a little at a time.

More videos

Here are some videos we recorded the last week or so. I know people are going to think that Reece dancing is just me moving him, but he's moving me. Honest.

Of Sleep and Solid Food

The focus of the last couple of weeks since I last blogged has been sleep. Both ours and the twins. A few weeks ago, we had 4 really good nights in a row with them both nearly sleeping through the night, then presto, whamo, two really bad weeks in a row with them both being up half the night, or up every other hour. We tried changing bedtime routines, changing who was putting them to bed, when they were eating, what they were eating, who picked them up during the night. Nothing was working.

Then Thursday night, as I was putting Lorelai down for the 3rd time before midnight, she slipped a little in my hands and twisted, so she was face down over the co-sleeper. But she stayed asleep. I couldn't roll her back over without waking her up, so I gently set her down in the bed on her tummy, tilted her head to the side, and she still slept. I watched here for a few minutes, just to make sure she was still breathing, and everything was fine. Reece woke up a couple of minutes later, and started to kick the side of the co-sleeper, but Lorelai slept right through it. I had to wake Lisa up to feed Reece, and we were both very nervous about letting Lorelai sleep on her stomach, as we have been relentlessly informed about the dangers of SIDS from everyone, and every publication we read. They basically say: "If you let your baby sleep on their stomach even once, they will DIE!". Yikes. What kind of a parent would do that? The answer: the sleep deprived ones.

Well, for the last three nights now, if Lorelai wakes up before midnight, I walk her back to sleep, and then put her down on her tummy. The first night it worked for 3 hours. The second night for 4 hours, and last night for 5 hours. She is a little grumpier when she does wake up because she can't see what's going on and won't wait there patiently, but we had some luck last night, and between the two of them, we only had to get up once before 3:30 AM, and then again around 6:00AM. It's like we've achieved peace on Earth or something. The angels are singing, birds are chirping, and Joe is blogging (since they're still asleep as I write this).

The other big news for the week is the introduction of food beyond Rice Cereal. They got their first taste of CARROTS! The reaction was a little subdued to the first dose (which we just added some water to), but they seemed to like it a little better yesterday when we mixed in the rice cereal with water and carrots. They'll get another couple of meals of carrots and rice today, and then we'll try sweet potatoes Monday and Tuesday, then Squash, and then Peas. we try to give them a couple of days on each one by itself so that if they have a reaction to something, it's easy to figure out what it is. If it were up to the babies, they'd be eating off our plates now. Adult dinner time is an exercise in eating one handed and watching for baby hands reaching for your plate. And if they can't get the plate, they'll try for the placemat. They're very quick.

I'm uploading more videos today, so get the popcorn ready.

Monday, June 11, 2007

Thinking Putty

A few months ago, one of my coworkers bought this stuff called Crazy Aaron's Thinking Putty. it an industrialized version of SillyPutty, and it's great for strengthening your hands, or just working out frustration. I bought 3 cans of the stuff. Two for at home, and one for the office. You can get it at I highly recommend it, and had no shipping issues. I use it every day, sometimes for hours.


I know it's a small thing, but yesterday the babies graduated from size 1 diapers to size 2. While we could physically still get them into size ones, it was more a matter of what we couldn't keep in the diapers that required the upgrade.

Sunday, June 10, 2007

Long Awaited Videos!

Baby Stuff

Every day brings something new with the babies. They are both 'talking' up a storm right now, though we don't know what they are saying. They will have conversations between the two of them that are apparently quite in depth. They are very polite and take turns speaking. I'll post some videos of that shortly. It's pretty funny to watch. We think Reece did say his first real word yesterday when he yelled 'HEY!' when Mommy put him down on the carpet and picked up Lorelai. It could have been our imaginations, but we all broke out laughing at the same time.

I know some people got the impression that Lorelai was a little terror. That really couldn't be farther from the truth. She is a little sweetheart. She loves to curl up on daddy's chest for a nap after daddy gets home from work, and can just break your heart with her smile. She's very observant, and will show off whenever strangers are around by flashing her smile and flirting with them. We'll need to have a talk about that someday, but for now, it's really adorable. When she gets tired, she can be a little difficult to get quieted down, and reaches pitches with her screams that wake up all the dogs in the neighborhood, but she loves to lay down between mommy and daddy in our bed and spread out her arms and declare that this is her land and she will now go to sleep. We try to minimize the amount of time she spends in bed with us, but sometimes its the only way to get her to sleep, so mommy can get sleep too.

Reece is our active one now. He loves to walk around (with just a little balance support from us), and loves to dance. Yes, I said dance. Hopefully we'll be able to get a video of it today, but the boy has moves. We have an electronic keyboard here with about a hundred different rythms, like Salsa, Mambo, 80's Pop, etc, and he just loves to stand up on the piano stool and dance. He knows when the music stops, and knows when the beat changes, and really seems to love it. He has his preferences for some types over others as well.

We've started feeding them at least one serving of rice cereal a day now, and they just wolf it down. Lorelai will occasionally take a bottle now, but usually just as a cereal chaser. Reece likes the cereal so much that he will start to cry if you don't feed him fast enough once you get started.

Both babies are getting lots of tummy time now, and will roll over from time to time. Lorelai is able to roll from her back to her side as well, and Reece has been working at getting his legs under him so he can crawl. Once he puts his mind to getting something done, he's very focused on that. He does get frustrated from time to time, but he'll take a short break, and then be up for trying it again.

Some other pictures

1. Lisa, Marilyn, Lorelai, Marcia and Reece
2. Elizabeth, Eric and Reece
3. Reece being a couch potato
4. Lorelai all bundled up from watching mom work in the garden
5. Lorelai just hanging out

Some recent pictures

Like I said earlier, my sister took some really good pictures of thee babies, but here are some other pictures you may enjoy.
From left to Right
Marcia (Grandma), Marilyn (Great Grandma), Lorelai (Baby), Lisa (Mom)

Daily Surfing

I know, I promised to post something about the babies, but I was thinking of something else first.

Everyday, while eating breakfast, I have a select few websites I surf to catch up on things. I usually do them in the same order, since I guess I have a little bit of obsessive compulsive in me. Here are my favorite sites

  1. If you don't read Dilbert on a daily basis, you must not work in an office. Lately Scott Adams (the creator of Dilbert) has been hitting really close to home for my job. I think he's got a spy in there sending him meeting minutes from our leadership's planning sessions.
  2. I go there for their coverage of the Detroit Lions / Detroit Tigers.
  3. General catchup on sports
  4. Not that I've ever bought anything from them, but lots of people at work do, and they're always talking about it, so I need to see what's for sale that day if I want to be part of the conversation
  5. Since I generally don't watch the news anymore on TV, it's my quick glance to see just how bad things are out there in the rest of the world.
  6. This is a really funny blog for parents with young kids. After reading all the bad news out there, it's good to get a laugh. I put a permanent link on the side of my blog
  7. I can't get to this one from work, but it's a really addictive professional networking site where you can connect with all kinds of former coworkers and peers from school. Hopefullly someday I'll be able to use it to help land a new job of my dreams
  8. This is the blog of a small town reporter in Michigan, who has fairly good coverage of the Lions. He's not the best writer in the world, and he's a little corny, but he definitely doesn't tow the NFL line, and has not much good to say about Roger Goodell (the new commissioner of the NFL) and the new policies he's been creating regarding Internet Media.

Anyway, those are my top sites. I hear that most people find a few sites that they read religiously, and only go to others if they are searching for something specific. If you have others that I absolutely can't miss, let me know.

Saturday, June 09, 2007

Playing Catchup

I know, I know, it's been a long time since I last blogged. I'll not make any excuses, I'll just try to catch you up on what has been going on.

Let's see...

My sister, Cindy, came out to visit at the end of may, and took a lot of wonderful pictures, most of which are on line at with a bunch more on her flikr site By the time she left, Lisa had serious camera envy, as the little digital camera we have is no match for the behemoth that Cindy lugs around. I feel a little intimidated posting pictures taken on the little camera that could, but I'll try to do it on a regular basis so that no one goes into total baby withdrawal.

Immediately prior to Cindy's arrival, the entire family was sick with a cold. Lisa and Reece got it first, then Lorelai and I got it. Having twins is difficult enough, but having sick twins is a whole different kind of grueling, especially when you aren't functioning at your top level either. It usually takes about a week for me to get over a cold, and this was no exception. Lorelai probably had it the worst though, and we spent a couple of nights trying to keep her nose clear. It wasn't pretty.

Prior to the cold, we had a visit from Lisa's grandmother, Marilyn Spear for a few days, and then we loaded up the family for a trip to the east side of the mountains to Lisa's mother's house. It's about a three hour drive from our house, and since we hadn't done it with the kids before, we tried two different theories:

Option a) Leave first thing in the morning, after the 4:00 AM feeding, and get there before the babies wake up. Sounds nice in theory, but it takes 2 hours to get 2 adults showered and 2 babies fed d ready, and then 10 minutes to get the baby that had a butthole explosion just as you were on the way out the door, out of the car seat, changed, calmed down, and loaded back up. We stopped about halfway there and move Lisa from the front seat to the back between the two car seats to keep crying babies a little happier. Still, with a bout 20 minutes to go, the babies had had enough of the car seats, and were ready to mutiny.

Option b) Leave as the babies are going down for the night, on the theory that they're tired and will fall joyously asleep as soon as the car starts rolling. A couple of points here. If they aren't asleep when you put them in the car, you may want to reconsider. Point 2, if they have finally gone to sleep after an hour of travelling, don't stop for coffee, not even a drive thru Starbucks. It will always take 30 seconds longer than your babies ability to stay asleep without the sound of the tires on the road, and the coffee is never that good.

The time at Lisa's parents was a nice break from the routine at home. There were plenty of extra hands to hold babies, and for the most part, the conversation was a little more involved than the "gooo gooo hah gack" we talk at home most days.

I know most of you are saying "What about the babies?" I'll get to it, really, I will, but I have to recap everything else first.

Last weekend, Lisa and I took the babies to the farmers market in Puyallup. That may sound kind of routine or dull for some people, but this was our first trip out in public with the babies for any extended period of time. Sure, we've walked down to Starbucks, or hauled them to the doctor's office for their checkups, but we spent about an hour just browsing and shopping for ordinary stuff, vegetables, fruit, flowers. This was a major milestone for us, a brief sign, a glimmer of hope that there is life after twins! After the farmer's market, we made a quick trip to Target to get some baby clothes and some new gizmo's, and for the most part, everyone survived that as well, though Reece got a little cranky at the end. Still, for a brief three hour period, we were back out in the world, together, as a family. It was pretty cool.

We've also been taking advantage of the good weather recently to do some work around the house, including installing brick edging around our garden beds in the back yard, and planting a vegetable garden, with Tomatos, Squash, Pumpkins, Strawberries and Marigolds. The vegetable garden is my little project, and it seems to be doing quite well. We have some plans to clean up the rest of the flower beds around the house, but we're trying to do one little project at a time. Last summer, I hit a rock with the lawnmower because of the unfinsihed edges in the back, and the rock smashed a large window in our living room and set us back about $350.00. I can't imagine what it would have been like had we had babies in ther at the time, so it was important for me to get the edging in. I still have a lot more bricks to put in, but if I can do 20-30 a weekend through the summer, I should be done sometime in 2009.

We also, took on a project that had been bugging me for about 2 years. Putting together our wedding album. We had the box of pictures from our wedding sitting on the floor of our spare bedroom, constantly getting in the way. It took me about a week of working an hour or so a night after the kids were put to bed to get it done, but we finally finished it up today, and I can mark it off my to do list. It was kind of nice to look back at our wedding day, and to realize just how beautiful everything was that day, and how much fun it was. It was truly the greatest day of my life.

Anyway, got to take a break now. I'll write about the kids the next chance I get, and post some pictures and videos.