Saturday, January 28, 2006

Their lungs are healthy.

True story:

I picked up the girls from daycare yesterday (Friday) afternoon at their normal time. Got them into their car seats and out into the car.

We had been blessed in that our girls like riding in cars. They usually either fall asleep or sit quietly and look out the window.

Note the use of the word, "had been".

I get on the bridge that separates daycare from home, when suddenly, out of the blue, Katherine screams.




I almost fishtail the car as I snap my head around, convinced Katherine's wrapped a body part in her seat strap, or had her blanket cover her mouth and she can't breathe.

As I turn to look at her (still driving the car, mind you), I check on Katherine.

She laughs.


Then she screams again, and laughs, just to show me what she can do.

Gone forever are the days of peaceful, quiet drives with my girls.

But at least I know her lungs are healthy!

Friday, January 27, 2006

Daycare Friends

I had an interesting discussion with a work colleague yesterday. She and another colleague are getting married in the near future, and while talking about their future plans for children, she remarked that she would never want her kids in daycare, and was horrified at the prospect of having to put her future babies into daycare. She thought it was just to horrible to contemplate!

I found her remarks funny, and those of use around the table who had kids in daycare (about four of us), gave her no end of grief for her comments.

As you know, Katherine and Caroline are in daycare. There are many reasons why Terri and I are happy with the situation:

1) We have no choice. We live in a part of California where we do not have the luxury of being a single-income household. Not if we want to pay the mortgage and eat dinner every night!

2) Terri and I both enjoy our careers. We are parents first, of course, but we both really enjoy our jobs. I could conveivably make more money doing another line of work, but I just have too much fun at my job. And Terri loves her work, as well, and is not ready to give it up full-time (as it is, she's cut down to part-time, so she spends two days a week with the girls, allowing them to go to daycare only part-time).

3) Daycare is fun for the girls. They love to look around, watch the other babies, and are always happy when we drop them off and pick them up. They even have friends, like their friend Sophie, shown here:

Caroline, Sophie, and Katherine at DayCare

4) The girls are getting "exposed." I'm no doctor, but I believe that having the girls exposed to a less than sterile environment will ultimately help them in the long run. Sure, they will have a few more sniffles, colds, and coughs, but in the long run, it will help build up their immunity.

Sunday, January 22, 2006

Brave New World: Solid Foods

The girls are five months, two weeks, and some odd number of days old this week.

It’s unbelievable how quickly the time has gone.

It just seems like yesterday that the girls were coming home from the hospital.

It seems like just last night that the girls needed to be fed every two hours.

That’s what made this past weekend all the more exciting.

You see, this past weekend was a big moment in the life of the girls: The start of SOLID FOOD.

Brave New World: Solid Foods!


Now, the start of solid food is big in any baby’s life, no doubt.

But as any parent of multiples will tell you, the start of solid food for multiples is even more momentous.

You see, most multiples, because they are multiples, are born as low birth-weight babies.

The first few weeks/months of life are spent carefully charting the daily milk/formula intake of each child.

Each trip to the doctor for an official “weigh-in” is a breathtaking adventure, where the parents silently pray, “Please have gained weight, please.”

Each ounce of weight gain is a celebration. Each step closer to being “average” weight means your baby is healthy, happy, and thriving.

So the start of solid foods is a celebration, in that it indicates that up to this point, all is well in the development of your twins, and that they are now ready to take the next step in their growth and development.


Our twins have been no exception. If you recall, Caroline started her first week of life being fed ½ ounce of formula every two hours from a “Nutritional Supplement System” (click here for the full story, "First Full Day at Home".

Caroline's First Week of Life: 1/2 Ounce Every Two Hours.

½ ounce! That’s not a lot of food when you think about it!

The girls were so small, they each could fit on one of Dad’s arms.

So to have Katherine and Caroline prepared to graduate to solid foods this week was something we’ve looked forward to for many weeks.

Once we got the okay from our doctor, we were bound and determined to start.


I’ll admit, despite being excited to start the girls on solids, I didn’t do much actual research on the subject, so when the time actually came for the first solid food feeding, I really wasn’t prepared.

In my mind, I pictured the solid food looking like a Cream of Wheat or oatmeal.

But, once I dutifully prepared the single grain cereal according to instructions (one part cereal, five parts breast milk), I was strangely disappointed.

I expected to see . . . . well . . . . SOLID FOOD.

What I had was more accurately – breast milk with little flecks of grain cereal.

It was a soup, really.

However, any disappointment I had was quickly forgotten once I got the girls settled in their high chairs, tied bibs around their necks, and spooned the first mouthful of soup – er, SOLID FOOD – onto the baby spoon.

You see, both girls have been attentively watching us eat our food for the past month.

They have followed our forks and spoons from our plate to our mouth, and actually open their mouths and mimic chewing as we put the food in our mouth, then chew and swallow our food.

So this time, when I spooned the food onto the baby spoon, Caroline (who I was feeding; Terri had Katherine), followed the spoon with her eyes.

She opened her mouth, mimicking what she did all the other times she watched me put food on my spoon.

But this time her eyes got big as she realized, “He’s bringing the spoon towards ME!”

She kept her mouth open, and I placed the spoon into her mouth.

She closed her mouth on the food.

Caroline's First Solid Food

Now, if this were a Hollywood story, I’d tell you that Caroline swallowed her food eagerly, gulped down the oat/breast milk mixture, then happily opened her mouth for more.

That’s not what happened in the real world.

In the real world, what happened was this:

Caroline closed her mouth on the food.

The look on her face changed from one of great anticipation to the look one might get when they’ve sucked a sour lemon.

Caroline looked puzzled, and slightly disgusted.

She promptly spit out most of the food.

She then looked up at me, as if to say, “This is what I’ve been watching you do for the past month? Why do you enjoy it so much?”

In hindsight, I guess the single grain cereal can’t be all that tasty – perhaps she expected better. Or maybe the hard plastic spoon was a surprise to Caroline.

In any case, after I stopped laughing at Caroline’s reaction, I spooned another helping of food on the spoon and started again.

The final tally – more soup was on the bib then got into Caroline’s mouth. But she got some of it down, so it was a good start.


Katherine, on the other hand (always the better feeder), took to the spoon pretty quickly. She got a good deal of her food into her stomach, and probably would have eaten more if we had let her!

Katherine & Mommy

Katherine's First Solid Food

We’ll keep up the single grain cereal for the rest of the week, before starting in on other foods.

But if the first feeding is any indication, we’ve entered a Brave New World by starting on solids. Consider:

Our first foray into solid foods took a dozen more pieces of Kleenex, two more bibs, soiled perfectly clean outfits, and took about 30 minutes longer than our bottle feeding.

Tell me again why I was so eager to start on solids?

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Cut Me Mick!

This weekend was not completely injury free . . .

Last Friday, when I picked up the girls from day care, I received a note from the girl's daycare: "Please cut Katherine and Caroline's nails."

This is one thing I will not do for the girls: Cut their nails.

You see, during the first month of the girls' life, I tried to cut Caroline's nails, and ended up cutting her finger. I was so traumatized that I drew blood from my own child, I have not yet gotten the courage to try to cut their nails again.

Well, Terri was working all weekend, and too busy Friday night to trim their nails right away.

I, of course, wouldn't touch them.

So of course, what happened on Saturday morning as I was holding Katherine?

Katherine loves to grab anything within reach, and so as I was holding her up over my shoulder to burp her, she reached up towards my face, and . . .

You got it -- a long one inch cut on my cheek from her sharp talon-like nails.

I was impressed with my little girl -- she actually drew blood!

Actually, I think her and Caroline talked, and Caroline asked her to "pay back" Daddy for the accidental cutting of her finger in Month One.

The cut is healing nicely. The only long-term damage is now whenever I see myself in the mirror, I think to myself, "Cut me Mick!"

Cut me, Mick!
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If you don't know what I'm referring to with that quote, click here.


Here are some more photos from Daddy-Daughter Weekend:

Lounging in the nursery.
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Post Meal Stupor
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Caroline & Daddy: Look closely at Dad's right cheek, and you'll see the cut.
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Monday, January 16, 2006

Weekend Off

Terri is working all weekend at the hospital. I've had the girls all three days. No time to post blogs, except for now, where both have fallen asleep at the same time. Katherine is strapped to my chest with the Baby Bjorn, so if I stop typing mid-sentence, you'll know the typing has woken her up!

Lots of good stories to tell about this past "Daddy-Daughter" weekend, but the details will have to wait until later this week.

Whoops! Caroline is up -- happy MLK Day to everyone!

Daddy-Daughter Weekend
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Monday, January 09, 2006

Godzilla & Mrs. Kravitz

Godzilla and Mrs. Kravitz live in our house.

I can't recall exactly when they moved in, but for the last few days, they've waged a battle through our house for the attention of Mommy and Daddy.


Godzilla also goes by the name of "Caroline".

You see, Caroline loves to "talk". And when I say "talk", I mean a high piercing scream that reminded me instantly of the scream of Godzilla, King of the Monsters.

The first time I heard her "talk", I ran into the room, certain she had hurt herself, only to find her screaming and smiling as she babbled on and on for a good ten minutes.

If you don't believe me when I say Caroline sounds like Godzilla, listen for yourself:

Listen to What I Have To Say!
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Godzilla or Caroline? - click to play
Caroline's Godzilla Impersonations - Click to listen
(wait about 10 seconds into the clip to get the full effect)

Godzilla: King of the Monsters!
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Godzilla or Caroline? - click to play
Godzilla - King of the Monsters!

Caroline loves to scream in the morning when she wakes up.

She loves to scream in the afternoon, while being carried around.

She especially likes to scream while the T.V. is on, making it impossible to hear what is on the screen!

And while she screams, she's always smiling and looking at you, as if she is positive you know exactly what she's saying.


Mrs. Kravitz showed up at our house a few weeks before Godzilla.

Mrs. Kravitz is also known as "Katherine".

For those of you who spent your childhood more productively than me, you will need to know that Mrs. Kravitz was the nosy neighbor of Samantha and Darrin Stephens in the 60's television show, "Bewitched".

Mrs. Kravitz was always poking around the Stephens household, trying to see what was going on.

Mrs. Kravitz: Always Looking Around
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Katherine is like Mrs. Kravitz. She must absolutely, positively know what's going on at all times.

If she hears you cooking in the kitchen, she will strain her neck from wherever she is sitting or being held to try and see what's happening.

If someone walks into a room she will swivel her neck around almost 180 degrees to try to see who it is.

She is so curious, we practically have to feed her in a darkened room to keep her focussed on eating -- otherwise she moves her head to and fro trying to look around, and thereby spilling most of her bottle on her chest.

In addition to playing the role of Mrs. Kravitz, Katherine will often also play the part of Chinese Acrobat (see previous Blog entry), in order to see what's behind her.

Life is never dull having Godzilla and Mrs. Kravitz in our home!

What's Going On?
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Saturday, January 07, 2006

Daddy Detective

Sometimes I feel like being a parent is like being a detective. You have babies who can't communicate with you, and yet you are constantly trying to figure out their wants, needs, and desires. This morning was a good example of that.


We've been spoiled for the past two months, in that the girls have been sleeping longer and longer stretches at night. And even when they wake up to feed, they had been feeding, then dropping right back off to sleep.

Notice I used the past tense "had".

This morning, Caroline and Katherine woke up at about 4:00 A.M. Terri woke up to nurse them.

At 5:00 A.M., I woke up because Caroline would not settle down in her crib.

She started by babbling, but the babbling soon turned into fussing, which then gave way to full-blown crying. The full-blown crying is what got me out of bed.

This was unusual behavior for Caroline. She had been sleeping through the night until at least six or seven.

But here it was, five o'clock, and she wouldn't go back to bed. I needed to investigate and find out what was wrong with Caroline.

This is where "Daddy Detective" sprang into action.

I went into her room, where suprisingly, she stopped crying and smiled when Daddy came to pick her up.

In my half-sleep state, I failed to notice this first important clue:

"she stopped crying and smiled when Daddy came to pick her up"

Thinking Caroline might still be hungry, I warmed up some formula and tried to give it to her.

Caroline took a few pulls on the bottle, but then spit it back up and laughed.

In fact, Caroline seemed more interested in the television set (which Daddy has foolishly turned on), and the lights in the living room.

Once more, I failed to pick up this second important clue:

"Caroline seemed more interested in the television set (which Daddy has foolishly turned on), and the lights in the living room"

I checked her diaper -- dry.

I carried her around the house to sooth her.

Surprisingly, she did not put her head down on my shoulder, but kept her head up, and was looking all around in whatever room I walked her to.

Being a college graduate, I finally picked up this third clue:

"she did not put her head down on my shoulder, but kept her head up, and was looking all around in whatever room I walked her to"

There was nothing wrong with my girl -- she just wanted to play!


I tried an experiment.

I put Caroline back in her crib.

I left the room, and stood just outside the door.

Within 30 seconds -- LOUD crying.

I walked back in the room. I stood over Caroline's crib.

Crying -- STOPPED. She looked up at me and smiled.


There are those of you who might think what I did next was cruel.

I walked out of the room and closed the door behind me.

You may ask: "How can you deny your daughter play time when she so clearly wants it?"

Five reasons:
  1. It's five o'clock in the morning.
  2. Caroline needs her sleep. She was not ready to wake up, even if she thought she was.
  3. It's five o'clock in the morning.
  4. If I play with her now, she'll want to play every morning at the same time, perhaps even earlier. We needed to get her back on her normal sleep routine immediately.
  5. Did I mention -- It's five o'clock in the morning!!
I left the room, and Caroline started howling.

I turned off the baby monitor in our bedroom (so Terri could sleep), then I went into the living room, sat down on the couch, and started writing this blog.

I steeled myself for a long, drawn-out, battle of wills.

But surprisingly, the battle only lasted about 5 minutes.

Caroline cried loudly for about 5 minutes. Then, the crying stopped.

I tip-toed back into the room to check up on Caroline.

She was fast asleep, sucking her thumb.

Once again, another case solved by the Daddy Detective.

Ready to Play, 24/7.
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Five Months

The girls turned five months old this week.

There have been a number of fun things going on in their lives.

  • The girls started day care three times a week while Terri starts back at work. So far, so good.
  • The girls are much more talkative -- at least to each other. They lay and face each other and babble and laugh for long periods of time.
  • The girls are starting to sit in their high chairs at the table, and will start on solid foods in a few weeks.
  • Katherine is now able to roll from her stomach to her back at will.
  • Caroline is now able to hold her own bottle -- even when full!

Katherine & Caroline: Five Months Old
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