Friday, September 30, 2005


David & Katherine - Late One Night (Week 7)

Terri & Caroline (in her favorite napping position) - Week 7

Being parents of a newborn is not without it's fringe benefits.

People always talk about the late night feedings; the sleep debt; the lack of a continuous nights' sleep. With twins, you double the effect.

All of that is true, to a point. But in my opinion, people who only focus on the negatives are missing the big picture. They are forgetting the fringe benefits of the late night feeding.

I'm talking, of course, about "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" and "Gangs of New York".


If you are like me -- a child of the 80's and college student of the 90's who spent WAY too much time watching television -- late night feedings are an excellent excuse to watch all your old favorites, plus all the new movies on cable television.

Thus, "Nick at Night" and the "Encore" channel have become our best friends in the early morning hours.

"Nick at Night" has the magical ability to give Terri episode after episode of "The Fresh Prince of Bel Air" (with the occasional "Who's the Boss?") any time of night.

"The Fresh Prince": Comfort television for those late-night feedings.

And no matter what time I wake up to feed Caroline, I can rely on the "Encore" channel to be showing "Gangs of New York" (starring Leonardo De Caprio, Daniel Day-Lewis, and Cameron Diaz) over and over and over and over . . .

For some strange reason, however, no matter what time Caroline wakes up to feed, I come into the movie at the SAME spot -- the last 15 minutes. I've yet to see the first 85% of the movie.

Chalk it up to another strange yet unexplainable function of parenthood.


Click on any photo for a larger view.

Sunday, September 25, 2005

Terri's Birthday

Terri had her birthday last weekend, so we had the family over for lunch and cake.

We had our first "family" photo with Mom, Dad, and the two girls!

Click on any photo for a larger view.

Jeannie, Terri's Dad, Terri, and Katherine

Sunday, September 11, 2005

First Time Dad

Terri and I are trying the "Babywise" strategy -- it's the latest "fad" book amongst parents.

The idea is to help get your babies on a schedule. Basically, you put them down for a nap/sleep, etc., and let them cry. You do NOT pick them up right away, because -- according to the theory -- this just teaches them that if they cry, they get attention.

As a new, first-time father, I'm finding the reality is more difficult than the theory.


For example, it's 1:00 P.M.

I just changed, fed, and burped Caroline.

According to "Babywise", you give her 15-20 minutes of "awake" time, and then when she starts to seem tired, you put her down for her nap.

Once she's down for her nap, you let her cry. You check her every 5-10 minutes to make sure she's okay, but you DO NOT PICK HER UP.

Terri out for a stroll around the block with the girls.

Katherine enjoying "awake time"


Caroline has her 15 minutes play time with me, then starts to nod off.

I put her down in her crib.

She cries.

I let her cry for 5 minutes, then check on her. I put my hand on her chest, and that calms her down. I stay there for a minute or two, then leave.

She cries.

I let her cry another 5 minutes, then repeat the whole procedure.

This goes on about three times.

The third time, Caroline cries, then suddenly she stops.


The "Babywise" wise method works.

Except . . .

Afternoon nap on a hot day (Caroline stretched out)


I tiptoe in to check on her. Sure enough, she has self-soothed herself, and is sleeping. Eyes closed, hands curled up around her face. Soon we will have a baby who goes down regularly for naps.

But wait a minute.

"Is she breathing?"

In a move known to all first-time parents, I start to panic.

I poke her. She doesn't move.

I poke her harder.

Caroline wakes up, looks at me with indignation, and cries. LOUD.

Back to square one, but it's all part of the fun (and panic) of being a new Dad.

Quit pokin' me! (Caroline)

The moral of the story: Let sleeping babies lie.
(Caroline in her favoiete bed: the Boppy)

Click on any photo for a larger view.

First time dad (with Katherine)

First time mom (with Katherine)

Friday, September 09, 2005

Good Doctor's Appointment - September 9, 2005

The girls had their one month old check-up today.

Katherine is now 8 pounds, 8 ounces, 21 1/2 inches long.

Caroline is 7 pounds, 9 ounces, 21 1/4 inches long.

Click on any photo for a larger view.

Sunday, September 04, 2005


Yesterday was officially the one month old birthday of Katherine and Caroline. We celebrated with "Red Eggs & Ginger."

Red Eggs and ginger is a traditional Chinese celebration at the baby's first month birthday.

David's Mom boiled and dyed some eggs. The grandparent's also gave "lysee", the money in red envelopes, to the girls as a birthday gift.

We didn't have any ginger because no one in our family likes eating plain ginger!

Tradition also says that the baby's heads should be shaved completely for good luck. No doubt this was because in the old days, hair was a good way to contract lice, or other nasty diseases.

Like the ginger, there was no head shaving of Katherine and Caroline. We did, however, get some good photos, and a pretty good egg-salad for lunch!

Grandpa & Grandma giving "lucky money".


Here's a good, brief history of the Red Egg & Ginger Tradition:

In Chinese culture, a baby's first month birthday calls for a celebration. Proud parents introduce their latest addition to friends and relatives by holding a red egg and ginger party. Traditionally, the baby's name is also announced at this time.

Guests attending red egg and ginger parties bring gifts. Lysee or "lucky money" in red envelopes is often given to baby boys, while girls may receive expensive jewelry. The guests don't leave empty handed, either. The parents hand out red-dyed eggs, symbolizing happiness and the renewal of life.

Red egg and ginger parties have their origins in ancient Chinese culture. As in other countries, infant mortality rates in China were quite high prior to the medical advances of the twentieth century. A baby who reached one month of age was likely to survive, and so the event was celebrated.

Traditionally, this was also a time to reintroduce the mother to the world. The Chinese believe mothers are in a highly weakened state in the period immediately following birth. Just as English custom calls for new mothers to enjoy a brief period of confinement, Chinese mothers have traditionally been expected to rest indoors for one full month after giving birth. This helped ensure they didn't become overtired, or contract any germs or illnesses from the outside world that could prove dangerous in their weakened state. Besides resting, they drank a nutritious broth made with pig's feet, eggs, vinegar and ginger. Many new mothers still follow this ritual today.

In the past, due to the traditional importance of male children in Chinese culture, red egg and ginger parties were sometimes given for boys only, or the celebration for boys was more elaborate. Today, parties are given for babies of both sexes.

In recent years, some of the traditions surrounding red egg and ginger parties have been modified. Parents may choose to hold the celebration at a fancy restaurant, complete with costumed Chinese performers or even a children's magician. Also, the baby may be anywhere from one to three months old by the time the party is held. But the custom of passing out red-dyed eggs continues. Parents may also use the brightly colored eggs to announce the birth; an even number of eggs are sent out for a boy, and an odd number to announce a baby girl.



Friday, September 02, 2005

You think you know . . . but you don't!

Just when we think we've got this parent thing figured out, one of the girls will do something to prove just how much we don't know.


Earlier this week, Caroline would NOT got to bed between 10 PM and 1 AM. I volunteered to stay up with her while Terri slept.

Up to this point, I had been pretty successful in getting Caroline to settle down. Usually, she would wimper for a few minutes, but I had figured out various songs, walks, etc. that would calm her down.

Or so I thought.

On this night, Caroline would scream bloody murder if you put here down even for a moment. Not at all her normal self.

Nothing calmed her down -- feeding, diaper change, swaddling, singing, dancing, bouncy chair, swing chair -- nothing.

All the tricks I had learned over the last month were suddenly worthless!

I continued to held her and rocked her, but she would not fall asleep.

What's wrong?

By 1:00 AM, I was considering whether I should call a doctor to find out if something was seriously wrong with Caroline.

Right at about that time, I hear it: FAAAARRRRRTTT!!

An explosive bowel movement from my little girl. Out both legs of the diaper, up her back, onto her clothing -- it was everywhere!

Who knows how long the poor girl was holding it in? It must have made Caroline miserable to have to poop and not know how to let it all out, or to tell someone that's what's bothering you.

Sure enough, that did the trick. Within 15 minutes, Caroline was changed, wolfed down a whole bottle, and passed out within 5 minutes.

The lesson learned: Just when you think you've got this parenting thing figured out, the girls remind you . . . you don't!

It's great to be parents of twins!

Click on any photo for a larger view.

The girls are one month old this weekend!

Both girls are growing well. You can tell when you pick them up that they are a lot heavier.

They have another doctor's appointment this coming week, so we'll get updates on their weight at that time.

Click on any photo for a larger view