Monday, December 15, 2008

Choppin' Wood

Last year was our first year in our house, so of course Shae and I decided we needed to get a real Christmas tree. A fake tree was good enough for our little apartment the year before, but we couldn't have a plastic tree our first year in our house. So the first weekend in December, the plastic tree stayed up in the attic and Shae and I went out to find the perfect tree for our first Christmas.

Of course nothing is ever as easy as it should be, and getting our tree was no exception. The weather decided not to cooperate with us, and it was raining as we drove around looking for our tree. We found a Home Depot that had some trees, but after fighting the rain for about 45 minutes and not finding the right tree (too dry, too small, too expensive, or just too crappy) we decided to look elsewhere. Shae had done some searching online and found a couple of tree lots so we decided to try and find them (the Garmin Nuvi we got for Christmas last year would have been useful). We couldn't find the lot we were looking for, but we found a few other lots and checked them out. Unfortunately, all of the trees were really expensive and not very nice. We were just about to give up and go back to Home Depot when we saw a sign for the lot we had been looking for. We took the next exit, took a few lucky turns, and finally found the lot.

We checked out the pre-cut trees and there were quite a few nice ones, but they were still pretty expensive and we hadn't found "the one" so we decide to check the cut-your-own lot and see what we found. It was a good decision. We grabbed a saw and checked out the trees. There were good trees everywhere, and eventually we found the one we wanted. I climbed down in the mud and went to work on the tree, and after about 30 seconds we had our tree chopped down. They shook out the needles and netted the tree for us, and we loaded the tree into our car and headed home. We were drenched and tired, but we had our tree.

This year, things weren't much easier. We knew where we were going, but of course we had two little extra degrees of difficulty. We tried to go out Friday night after work, but even though the lot is open until 9p.m., apparently the cut-your-own lot closed at dark. So Saturday we headed back over to the lot, only now it was raining (well, drizzling). I guess we just go Christmas tree shopping in the rain; that's how we roll. We strapped on our Baby Bjorns and started searching the lot for the babies' first tree. It took a bit of searching, but eventually we found our tree. Ella and I grabbed the saw and cut down our tree. After I carried the tree from the back of the lot all the way up to the front we had the tree shaken and netted, and then it was time to carry it out to the car and strap it to the roof.

Somehow we got home without the tree flying off the roof of the car, got it inside, and got it all setup in our stand. We popped in Elf, and after a light catastrophe (or, more accurately, a light patastrophe) and a trip by Shae to Target for a new strand of lights we got to work getting the tree all decorated. Of course the babies gave us some help. Our tree looks great and we are very happy with it. Now it's time to get some presents around it.

Here are some more pics of our trip to the farm and of our tree.

Friday, December 12, 2008

A Day With The Babies

I decided to write this blog in response to the number one question I get asked: Is it hard?

I have no idea how to answer this question, so I will tell you what a typical day is like and you can decide.

I guess my morning begins around 3:30am. This is about the time when my sleep is interrupted by what sounds like a howler monkey. Most of the times its just Jack telling me to get up and make him a bottle NOW! Sometime it really is a howler monkey. This tends to wake Ella up and she comes to the realization that she too would like to be fed. I have a system where I can feed them both. Did you know that there are 4 episodes of Fresh Prince starting at 3am. There have been morning where I have actually watched all 4 episodes. If I don't turn on the TV, I tend to fall back asleep with two babies in the bed. After they eat they are pretty easy to get back to sleep. At around 6 I like to see what happens first. Does Pat's alarm go off, do the babies wake up, or does Lunchbox want to eat? The babies usually win. I guess this is the point where I tell you that they are pretty close to being on the same eating schedule so this makes it much easier. Most of the times they get fed about a half hour before Pat gets up so I get up and make two bottles, lay the babies next to me and Pat and stick some bottles in their mouths. Keep in mind I just watched a couple episode of Fresh Prince so I am pretty tired. Before we start, I change both babies. If I do it during the earlier feeding, they don't go back to sleep. Anyways, this feeding is pretty interesting, for one, I tend to fall asleep and drop the bottles, When this happens, they let me know. Very loudly. They also feel the need to be wide awake and then putting them down again becomes a chore. I can usually get them back to sleep until about 9 and then we get up for the day. This is where the fun part begins.

I guess you could say this is where the hard part comes in. I have to divide my time between the two babies. I always feel bad when I am playing with one and ignoring the other. While we are in the living room, I used to just lay them on one of the couch cushions, but now that they are very squirmy, I am afraid they will throw themselves off the couch. We don't want that. So, they hang out in their car seats, bouncers, or the floor. The rest of the day we have tummy time, feedings changing, snuggling, reading them stories, talking to them, taking pictures of them, and just trying to have fun.

If we decide to leave the house for the day, I have to give myself an extra hour to get ready. If we leave the house and the babies have not been fed, they will tell you about it in the middle of the store. It seems to be OK if we are in Babies R' Us, but nowhere else. They are kind of past that point where they sleep through the stroller rides. Now they just sit there wide awake. Besides being fed, they need to be changed, I need to make sure the diaper bag is packed, make sure the stroller is in the car, and then carry everything out to the car. The one good thing about all this crap I have to carry around is that it really makes me think twice about those quick Starbucks trips. I can't just run in and get a latte anymore. Now if I stop, I have to get the stroller out and set it up, snap Jack's seat in, roll around to the other side of the car and snap Ella's seat in, grab the diaper bad and hook it onto the stroller and hope there is someone around who can get the door for me. After I make my stop, I have to get the babies back in the car, take off the diaper bag, break down the stroller, put it in the back of my car and then we can finally take off. I swear a 5 minute trip to Starbucks now takes 30, but sometimes, you really, really, really need an eggnog latte.

Going to a store becomes a chore. Most normal parents have these nice little strollers. Do you know what does not fit in those little strollers? Two babies. We have two strollers. The one I take with me to the stores I like to call the limo. It is very long because both car seats snap into it. The limo is very hard to steer and maneuver around all the store displays. Since I have to use both hands and all my mommy strength to push this monster stroller around, I don't have any hands to carry things with. This past week I finally found somewhat of a solution. I got a Mommy Hook. It is a HUGE carabiner that hooks to the stroller handle. I can hook a tote bag to it and put things into the bag. I get weird looks but at least I can carry more then a few tiny items. This works most of the times, but grocery shopping is still way to hard. I just wait for Pat to get home and then go.

Back on the home front, I try and feed the babies at or just before 5pm. I like having them fed and changed when Pat gets home. The last things he needs after a long day at work is to come home and fight with a screaming baby. If I can have them fed and changed, then we can spend the next hour or so just playing and loving them. This is my favorite time. We each get to hold a baby and I don't feel guilty for leaving one in their seat. The rest of the evening is pretty mellow, we play and talk with the babies, I try and make dinner (sometimes we have to eat in shifts). We try to head to the bedroom around 10:30 or 11. We get all snuggled into bed with the babies for a feeding. Jack is pretty easy to get to sleep so Pat puts him down and drifts off. Ella is a different story! After she eats, she is just wide awake. I have to rock her for awhile before she finally gets drowsy. I put her down around 11:30 and they are both up an hour later for food. Before I know it, it is 3am again and my day starts over.

So I really don't know if my day is hard or just time consuming.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Growing Babies

Today was Jack and Ella's two month checkup. We don't have an easy/accurate way to weigh them so we had kind of been looking forward to the appointment so we could find out exactly how much they have grown in the past couple of months. The Cliff's Notes version: everything is fine. For those with a little more time, here's the recap.

We got to the doctor's office right on time and proceeded to wait for our turn to head to one of the exam rooms. I think they decided that because we had twins we should wait twice as long, but eventually we got the call. As the nurse guided us to the exam room we realized that we were heading to the same room where Jack got his junk snipped. I was hoping this visit wouldn't be quite as bad for him, but then again it would be kind of hard to be much worse.

After another round of waiting, a nurse finally came in and took the babies' measurements. Ella weighed 11 lbs. and was 23" tall. I guess this puts her right about average for weight and above average for height. Apparently my little girl is a tall one. I don't think she gets her height from her mother. At the rate Ella's going, she should pass Shae up somewhere around 3 years old.

Once the nurse was all done with Ella it was Jack's turn. Jack weighed in at a solid 11. lbs 6 oz. and was 22.5" tall. I guess he made up for being 7 oz. lighter at birth. Of course Jack cheated a little bit by eating over 10 ounces of formula before the appointment, but he was still the winner of the weigh-off. Even though Jack was 6 ounces heavier, he is a little below average because boys are usually a little bigger. All I know is he has almost doubled in size in the past two months so he's doing just fine.

The nurse left and the doctor eventually came in and took a look at the twins. Now we are very happy with the babies' doctor, but there was a kind of odd exchange today. He came in and looked at the babies for a second, pointed to Ella and said "That's the girl, right? I'm not sure what it is, but something in their faces helps you tell boys and girls apart." You know what else helps? The girl is wrapped up in a pink blanket and the boy is wrapped up in a blue one. That might be a clue too. After taking a look at the babies and their measurements he told us everything was fine and went over the vaccinations the Jack and Ella would be getting.

After our longest wait yet, a nurse finally came in with a handful of needles. This was the hard part. Each of the babies got three shots and an oral vaccination. They were not happy to get their shots. It was not fun to watch them get jabbed. Poor little Jack, last time he went to the doctor he got snipped and this time he got jabbed. He's not even old enough for a lollipop yet so he doesn't even have that going for him.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Two Months

Today makes it two months since the little ones got pulled into the world and I figured it was time for another baby update. The babies don't give me a lot of time to sit down and type, so I'm going with yet another lazy-list.
  • I know everyone always talks about how fast the babies change, but you don't really realize exactly how fast until you hang out with the little guys every day. They change literally overnight. (And I mean in the real form of the word "literally", not in the "my head literally exploded" way that really means the exact opposite. It really annoys me when people use "literally" and mean "figuratively".) Over the Thanksgiving weekend, Ella woke up one morning smiling like crazy when the night before she hadn't even cracked a smile once. It's pretty cool to watch their entire personalities develop and change from day-to-day.

  • Speaking of smiling, they're doing a lot of that lately. Ella smiles like crazy (when she isn't crying of course), and Jack has been doing more lately too. They're a lot more fun to interact with now. Instead of just watching them sleep, now we can actually tickle Ella's chin and watch her smile. They're almost like little people.

  • Babies fart all the time, and it's really loud. You know what else it is? Hilarious. I don't care how old I get, farts are always funny. I laugh almost every time one of the twins rips a really loud fart when we're sitting out on the couch. Every so often Shae and I look at each other accusingly because it's hard to believe these little babies can make those noises.

  • Ella popped out a minute earlier, and she seems to be trying to maintain her status as the oldest. She's still bigger (just a little), smiled first (by about a week), and she's starting to laugh/squeal first. I'm sure Jack will catch up. Besides, he peed in his mouth first and I don't think Ella's going to catch him on that one.

  • The babies are in the middle of another growth spurt and are eating like crazy. They eat all night and all day. The other night they actually ate from the time we went to bed until we got up to feed LB at 6am. I hope they get threw this spurt pretty quick because Costco only carries so much formula.
That's about it for now. The babies go in for their two month checkup on Wednesday so we should have an update on their weights, health etc. after that. We're all doing fine, although Shae and I could definitely use a little more rest.

Saturday, December 6, 2008

Road Trip

I'm not sure how, but we survived our first road trip with the babies. Shae, the babies, Lunchbox, and I all piled into the little Mazda Tribute and headed North to King City/Lockwood for "Baby Shower North" and Thanksgiving. Eight days, 800 miles, and 8,000 diapers later we finally got back home. The trip was a lot of fun, but travel is definitely a lot more work than it used to be.

If you just want to look at pictures of our trip, here you go.

Northward Bound
The first few years I lived in San Diego, trips up to King City were pretty easy. I took off after work on Thursday night, made at most one stop (at Starbucks if they were still open and it was early enough), and generally arrived about six hours after I left. I could usually make the return trip in about 5.5 hours (less LA traffic and no stops) which wasn't too bad. Then Shae moved down and slowed me down. She had to stop for coffee and food each way, and she usually drove part of the trip (a little slower than I drove). The trip was now about 6-6.5 hours. Once Lunchbox started tagging along, the trips took even longer. Now we had to drive the Tribute instead of the TL so we had to stop for gas in addition to the food and coffee stops, and we also had to give LB time to do his business. Now we were up to about 6.5-7 hours each way, or a full hour more than it took me without the extra baggage.

This trip, however, was a different story. For starters, there was no way I was going to try to drive home Thursday night after working all day. I'm not that crazy, so Friday morning we woke up and got to work getting loaded up and on the road. I should have known what kind of day I was in for when it took us from 6-10 just to get the car loaded up. Let's just say that 2 adults, 2 babies, 1 dog, 2 suitcases, a "Pack N Play", 2 diaper bags, dog food, a laptop bag, a camera bag, and all sorts of miscellaneous other stuff is a Tribute load. There wasn't any room for the monster stroller so it got strapped to the roof rack. Luckily we had a plan for the return trip, as you'll see in an awesome photo below.

Anyway, after 4 hours of packing/feeding/changing we finally got on the road around 10:30. Three feeding stops and 8 hours later we finally got into King City. Not only do we have to stop more often with the babies, but it takes forever to feed them at each stop. I never thought I'd long for the days when the trip took "only" 7 hours, but by the time we finally made it I was spent.

After we eventually got to King City and got all of our crap out of (and off of) the car we got to relax for a couple of minutes before it was time for the babies to meet some grandparents. My dad and Dorothy drove down to get some extra baby time before the shower and got to see the twins for the first time Friday night. Jack was so excited he pooped. So to recap, we had 5 people (my mom, myself, Shae, my dad, and Dorothy), 2 babies, 2 dogs, and a cat all staying under the same roof. Fun times.

Baby Shower North
After getting some rest Friday night (or as much as two hungry babies who slept all day would let us), Saturday we headed out to Lockwood for "Baby Shower North". The last baby shower I had to survive involved a house full of ladies playing baby games while I tried to hide out in the office with LB. This shower involved BBQ, beer, bows (and arrows), and of course LB. The babies made an appearance too.

The 3 B's were great, but my favorite part of the day was all the people who wanted to hold/feed/change the babies. After almost 7 weeks with the babies we were more than happy to let everyone else take care of the babies all day while we enjoyed some time off.

The other highlight: the gifts. Holy Crap! We got tons of stuff. Clothes, books, toys, diapers, and all kinds of other goodies. Quite a haul for the babies. Thanks to everyone for the presents; I'm sure the babies love them.

Escaping From The Babies
Shae and I haven't been able to go to the movies for quite a while. For the last month or two of her pregnancy Shae didn't want to do anything that involved leaving the house, much less anything that didn't involve bathroom breaks every 20 minutes or so. Obviously, it's not any easier to get to the movies now (or maybe not so obviously based on the number of people who think it's OK to take babies to movies...but that's not us).Well , Sunday we were able to exploit my mom's love of her grandchildren to pawn them off on her and get out of the house long enough to catch a movie. Shae loves teen movies and vampires so "we" decided to go see a vampire love story aimed at 13-year-old girls: Twilight. It doesn't matter what the movie was, it was just nice to get out of the house and throw down some popcorn.

Turkey Day:
After a few days in KC and Lockwood, it was Thanksgiving day. As has become our tradition, we spent turkey day at the Fosters'. My mom, my dad, and Dorothy joined Shae, myself, the babies, and Shae's parents out in Lockwood for Thanksgiving. We also had plenty of dogs: Lunchbox, Ty (Shae's parents' dog), Kuge, and Bertha & Brandy (my dad and Dorothy's boxers). Quite a crew.

Every year we try to get a picture of the Thanksgiving crew (including the dogs) after dinner. Last year we ate late and by the time we got around to trying to take the picture it was getting dark. Mr. Box (seven-months-old at the time) didn't help matters by running all over the place throwing up dust and getting Kuge and Ty all riled up. Here's what we ended up with. This year we decided it might be best to take the picture before dinner while there was still plenty of light. Lunchbox may be a year older, but he still wasn't very cooperative at picture time. We finally got him to stop playing in the dirt long enough to get our picture, so it was time for some turkey.

As always, the food was great. We stuffed ourselves full of turkey, stuffing, potatoes, and everything else. The babies skipped the turkey and had some formula. They didn't get any pie either, but everyone else got plenty.

After dinner, it was time for our annual Thanksgiving evening walk. This is where the giant stroller really came in handy. It may be huge, heavy, and a pain to strap to the roof, but it sure is nice when you need to do some off-road walking after dinner. The thing took everything we threw at it: dirt, rocks, big piles of sticks, etc., and the babies just napped through the whole thing.

That's about it for the babies' first Thanksgiving. It was a good time, and they were very well behaved. They even watched a few episodes of the Thanksgiving weekend "Cool Tools" marathon on DIY (the Do-It-Yourself network) with Grandpa Foster. I think Jack wants a new wheelbarrow for Christmas and Ella wants a new screwdriver.

Cruising In Style

Saturday we loaded up the car to head back home, but of course there was a twist. We could barely fit all of our stuff in the car for the trip North, there was no way we were going to fit our gifts in the car for the trip home without a little help. That's right, it was time to strap the top carrier to the roof of the Mazda. As a kid, I always hated cruising in the back seat of my dad's station wagon with the dogs in the back and the top carrier strapped to the roof. So of course there I was with two kids in the backseat, Lunchbox in the back, and the top carrier looking super cool on the roof. Good thing my dad had an extra one to help us out.

I thought the trip up was long, but the trip home was even worse. Apparently everyone else thought it was a good idea to head home on Saturday to beat the rush too. The babies fall asleep instantly as soon as the car is moving, but they don't do so well in stop-and-go traffic. So there we were stuck in LA traffic with both babies screaming for two hours. That was fun. Nine hours and two eardrums after we left Lockwood we eventually made it home, got the car unloaded and finally relaxed for a few minutes before bed. The baby shower and Thanksgiving were great, but it's always nice to be home.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Six Weeks

Today makes it six weeks since the little Lorigans got pulled out of Shae and stole our sleep and free time. Not a lot is new, so I figured it was time for another list.
  • The first couple of days we had the twins I thought the black tar meconium poop was really gross, but at least they only went once or twice a day. Then they got through the tar-poop phase and started destroying 5-8 diapers a day and spraying poop all over the walls. I missed the meconium days and longed for the days of 1-2 dumps a day (*2 of course). Now the babies have moved on again and are back to 1-2 a day but let's just say the size and smell makes me nostaligic for the 8-a-day period. I can't wait until they start exploding out of their diapers. Babies are fun!

  • These little things eat constantly. I seriously don't know where it all goes. Jack isn't that big; I have no idea where he hides the 1.5-2 lbs of milk/formula he eats a day. His poops are huge, but not that huge.

  • We'll be heading up to King City on Friday. a 380 mile drive with two starving babies and a restless dog. This is going to be super awesome!

  • If you haven't checked our image gallery lately, there's some new pics of Jack.

  • A while back I wrote about the local strip club's efforts to attract business. Well they've repainted again (this time it's gray and pink), they still have the balloons, and now they've added a new attention grabber. Today when I got off the freeway I was greeted by a guy enthusiastically spinning a "Little Darlings" sandwich board sign. I guess they're hoping the same guy who sees one of those signs and decides he needs a sandwich or a condo will make a detour on the way home from work. I was also wondering if the sign guy can take his payment in lap dances.

  • Shae has been playing with image editing software lately and updated her "Daily Photo" blog again (still not anywhere near daily, but at least it's updated). They're kind of cool, so if you have a few minutes take a look. Here's a sample:

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Working Babies

Not much new has happened in the past week. The babies still eat, poop, and sleep and that's about it. They're awake a little more during the day and they're sleeping OK at night (but they still wake up two or three times to eat). Oh, and Jack has perfected the art of peeing all over Shae, the wall, and himself (I've been able to dodge him but it's close).

The babies are definitely growing too. The day we brought them home, their outfits were huge on them. Yesterday they wore the same outfits and barely fit into them. They don't really look that much bigger, but it's pretty easy to tell they've grown when Jack's pants stop at his ankles and Ella's dress is way too short (a problem I'm sure I'll have to address again in several years).

I figured the kids had gotten a free ride for long enough so yesterday they spent the afternoon at work with me (Shae tagged along too). My co-workers had been asking about the babies for a while and I didn't feel much like working on a Friday afternoon so I decided it was a good day to bring my babies in for show and tell. Of course they were a huge hit, and in a minor upset neither one of them pooped in my office. The highlight (at least to me) was that I had to get visitor badges for the babies. I'm sure that 5.5 week old babies are a serious threat.

In case anyone hasn't been told, we'll be having "Baby Shower North" next Saturday (11/22) up in Lockwood (starting at 11:00). We'll be having a BBQ and (of course) the babies will be in attendance (Lunchbox too). If you're in the area and want to see some babies and have some food, bring a dish and a chair. Oh, and we're registered at Babies R Us and Target.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

One Month

On Friday, the twins turned one month old. To celebrate, they ate, slept, and crapped. It was lots of fun. There really isn't much else to report. Like Shae said in her post, they both have colds (Jack's is worse) so they aren't as happy as they could be but they're still doing OK. The whole sucking snot out of their nose thing is gross. You'd think someone would have come up with a better method to clean out their nose by now, but I guess not.

I started back at work full time this week, so I'm a little tired. It's a little harder to get plenty of sleep when I can't stay in bed until 10 or 11. I'm still working from home Tuesday and Thursday, so Shae isn't totally alone with the kids all week. Lunchbox likes Tuesdays and Thursdays because he gets to go to work with me.

If anyone is wondering the difference between boys and girls, here's my take. Girls cry and fuss a lot and boys pee in their mouth. I'm sure there are other differences, but those are the ones that stand out.

Thursday, November 6, 2008

Long Days

There hasn't been an update in awhile so I think it's time to fill you in on the happenings in the Lorigan home. As I am typing this, I am holding a sick little boy. At only 4 weeks old, both Ella and Jack have come down with colds. Jack is much worse then Ella. They are both very congested and Jack has a cough. My babies are so sweet and kind that they decided to share their colds with me. I don't know if they actually gave me a cold or if it was the lack of sleep, but a couple days after we noticed the twins were sick, I was sick.

As an adult when I get sick I tend to whine a lot and make sure everyone knows how bad I feel. Now imagine two sick babies. They really let us know how they feel. Unfortunately, they let us know when it is time for bed or right as we are falling asleep. I at least make sure people are fully awake and are giving me their full attention before I start my complaining. These kids have a lot to learn.

My days have definitely gotten harder. I wake up between 5 and 6, depending on when Ella decides she needs her food NOW. We spend about a half an hour feeding and changing them and then I put them back in their bassinets with the hope of getting a little more sleep. Some days this works really well and other days I can kiss my sleep goodbye. The rest of my day consists of feeding and changing them over and over again. It seems like I feed them until they can't eat anymore, go to change them and by the time the new diaper is on, they are crying for more food. I can't figure out where all this food is going. I mean they are so tiny. When I finally get them to fall asleep for a few hours I am usually too tired to get all the important stuff done.

Night time is when it gets fun. Usually we head to the bedroom around 10 or 11. We feed and change the munchkins and try to put them down to sleep. They usually fuss and cry until around 2 or 3 and then it is time to feed them again. During this feeding both Pat and I almost always fall asleep and drop the bottle. This kind of pisses them off. During the night I have been averaging 4 hours of solid sleep. Pat tends to get more because he does not wake up at every little sound. Lucky. Last night we were all so tired that we headed to bed at 8. I was hoping our bedtime game would end early. No such luck. Once again they fussed and cried until about 2. So no matter what time we go to bed, I am not going to get to sleep until after 2.

On the plus side, I get to watch a lot of great infomercials. My favorite is for the Jawhorse. It is a $200 sawhorse with a vice. Who would pay that much for a sawhorse? Oh, and I like the ExtenZe one too. I won't go into much detail, but I will say it is a product for men and endorsed by Ron Jeremy. Anyways, to make a long story short, My day is extremely busy for not doing anything.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Snip Snip

Today was the big day. The day Shae and I have been (somewhat) dreading for about two weeks. That's right, today was the day Jack got circumcised. We were hoping to get this taken care of while we were in the hospital, but the doctor wanted to wait until Jack was over 6 lbs before giving him the snip.

The appointment was today, so at 11:30 Shae and I were sitting in the lobby of the doctor's office waiting to head back to the little exam room. As we were waiting, another set of new parents commented on the twins and made the "wow...I can't even imagine two" comment (we get that a lot). They were there for their first exam with their 6-day-old baby. I've only had kids for 3 weeks and I was already thinking, "I remember those days." Well, that and "Please don't wake up babies. Please don't wake up."

Eventually they called Jack's name and we went on back to our exam room. We stripped down Jackson, got him weighed (6 lbs, 11 oz) and then did some more waiting until the doctor showed. up. Without going into too much detail, they threw some disinfectant on his "region", gave him a painkiller shot (Lidocaine), and then trimmed his junk. Shae and I didn't really watch, but we did glance over from time to time to see how things were going. The highlight was when the doctor was putting on the little ring thing after the snipping and we heard, "That doesn't fit. We better get a bigger one. Yeah, that's better." Just saying.

After a bit of crying, Jack is doing OK. He still isn't very happy whenever we change his diaper, but he's going to be fine. However, tonight during bath time we discovered a serious consequence of Jack's junk-cut: his range has drastically increased. Before diaper changes were exciting, but the most damage he normally did was to pee all over his outfit (to the extent where yesterday Shae took away his clothing privileges and left him in a diaper the rest of the day because she got sick and tired of changing his outfit every time she changed a diaper), but tonight as he was sitting in the bathtub on the dining room table he let loose and managed to fire a shot that landed just short of our couch (about 10 feet away). A little squirt hit right next to Lunchbox and startled him. I think it's pretty safe to assume that things are about to get a lot wetter around the house.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


A long time ago (like 2 weeks), the lactation consultant at the hospital told us to expect a growth spurt from the babies when they were about 10 days old. She warned us that they would be hungry all the time and not to worry, just keep feeding them. At about 10 days, we noticed they both had started eating a lot more and thought they had hit the growth spurt. We were wrong. At about 2.5 weeks (or a couple of days ago) Ella hit the "real" growth spurt and last night Jack did the same.

This is ridiculous. Pretty much every second they're awake both of them are crying for food (well, Ella cries, Jake squeaks for a while before giving up and letting us know he's serious). We feed them, they're quiet for about 10 minutes and then it starts up again. I feel sorry for Shae's boobs, and I'm starting to worry about the motor in our pump. There was a span of about five hours this afternoon where both of them were wide awake and hungry. Then they slept for about four hours and then woke up screaming for food again. According to Shae's Internet research this whole eat for hours, sleep for hours thing is called "Cluster feeding". All I know is it's super fun.

Of course, this giant increase in the babies' appetites comes with a bonus: a matching jump in their diaper usage. I thought these little things were crapping a lot before, but this is crazy. On Friday we bought a new 92-pack of diapers. In under 36 hours they went through about 50 of them. Holy crap! Seriously...that's a crapload of poop. Costco doesn't carry newborn diapers, and it seems like they don't make the jumbo packs of them (or at least they don't have them at Costco or Babies "R" Us). I guess the logic is that people don't stock up on them because the babies grow out of them so fast. Obviously they need to talk to more twin parents.

In other fun, we took a little family field trip yesterday. Shae and I, Lunchbox, and the twins all piled into the car and headed over to the dog park to get LB some exercise. Shae sat outside at a picnic table and fed the babies (seriously, they are eating constantly) while I took Mr. Box into the park to have some fun. I'm sure everyone will be happy to hear that he didn't hump any of the other dogs and got nice and dirty.

Oh, Jack's diaper rash is gone. I guess Butt Paste is more than just a funny name. That's about it to report right now. I just heard Ella go through diaper 51 so I guess I better go change her.

Saturday, October 25, 2008

Daddy and his Babies

Yup, more photos today. This time I wanted to get some pictures of Pat with the munchkins. The full album can be seen here. The ones below are a few of my favorites.

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Jack's Red Butt

So, little Jackson has diaper rash. Know what that means? It's Butt Paste time! I'm way too excited to pop open the tube of Butt Paste.

Babies in Blankets

Today our babies had their first professional photo shoot. I actually found a photographer on Craigslist who does awesome newborn photos and she was looking for twins for her portfolio. There was no sitting fee and we get a free 8x10. In anticipation for this shoot I figured I should get the babies used to the camera so I broke out my good camera and started doing some photos. Grandma Allen knitted some wonderful blankets for the babies that I used for the backdrop. Both Jack and Ella were a little too awake when I did this, but I still got some pretty good shots. I will try again when they are both sleepy so I can get them both in the same picture. Here are a few of my favorites. The rest can be seen here.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One Week Home

Yesterday marked one full week since we brought the babies home from the hospital. It's been an eventful week, but we're finally getting into some sort of routine. My mom and Shae's parents were here through Thursday, so the last couple of days we've been trying to figure out how to do everything on our own. We're actually getting quite a bit more sleep than I thought we would, even if our kids have their day and night confused (as Shae detailed in her post). The first few nights were rough, but the last few we've been able to sleep most of the night (with the obvious breaks for feeding and changing). We had their first doctor's appointment (well, first one outside of the hospital) and they are both doing great.

I think the most interesting part of the week is how different our kids are. I've never been a fan of babies, especially newborns. They just seem to eat, sleep, and crap. Everyone told me that I'd feel differently about my own kids (and I do), but I still figured it would take a while before we'd get a feel for their different personalities. Boy was I wrong.

Just looking at the twins it's obvious they're very different. Ella is covered in her dark hair and darker complexion, while Jack has about as much hair as I do (and his skin color is about the same too). However, it's their personalities that are completely opposite.

Jackson is the sweetest little thing. He lays next to us on the couch (or in his bouncer, bassinet, crib, car seat, whatever) and makes the cutest little squeaks. The few hours a day he's awake and alert he has some great little expressions and faces, including one that looks like Zoolander's "Blue Steel". Of course, I never have a camera handy when he's making his faces so all the pics we have of him are when he's asleep. With the exception of the first night home when he didn't have enough blankets Jack has yet to let out more than a one or two second cry, just enough to let us know he needs a little attention. Then it's back to laying there and looking cute.

Then there's Ella. I love my daughter, but she is not quite as quiet as my little boy. She is quite the crier. If she's unhappy she lets everyone know about it. She's a little colicky and it seems to hit her worst as soon as we go to bed. We feel so bad for her because we can tell she's in pain and her stomach hurts. We've been using some anti-gas drops that seem to help quite a bit, but she still has her bouts and there isn't much we can do except try our best to help her feel a little better. On the bright side, when she sleeps she's really cute and has some funny little snores.

That's about it for now. It's time for bed so I'm looking forward to the next round of Ella's crying. Tomorrow is football day, so I better go get some rest. I'm sure tomorrow will hold more fun with diapers and bottles.

Night and Day

Time for an update from mommy. There are things people seem to leave out while describing what it's like to enter the adventure of parenthood. We learned at our classes that babies will be changed on average 8 times a day. What they don't tell you is that each changing can take up to 4 diapers. I always figured you take off the diaper, wipe things clean and then put on a new one. Nope. I was wrong. It's more like take off the diaper, wipe things clean, try and put on a new diaper only to have the baby pee or poop all over the place ruining the new diaper and their outfit. So then you have to start the process all over again and then once the new diaper is on they decide to poop all over it again. Start the process over and go through another couple diapers before things are finally nice and clean. On this same subject, people don't tell you about the projectile pooping. Our little girl managed to spray the wall 3 feet from the changing table. Our precious baby boy decided to spray my arm, but at least he missed his diaper. Our diaper genie seems to get filled up way too fast.

Another thing people tell you is that babies need to be fed. Well yeah, everyone knows that. But why does it have to take an hour to feed them. You have to get the bottle filled, heat it up and start feeding them. Jack does OK with the whole eating thing even though it takes a while. Ella on the other hand seems to forget how to eat. she will suck on the bottle for about 10 minutes and then I will check it it only to find out she had not sucked out a single drop. It can take her an hour to eat 2 ounces of food. Do you know what that does to my TV watching time?

Night and day. I know newborns keep parents up at night, but I think ours have their nights and days all mixed up. during the day all they do is sleep. We have to force them awake just to eat and even then they never fully wake up. Right before we go to bed they seem to know what time it is because they decide to wake up needing attention. Do you know how hard it is to get them back to sleep after having slept all day long. Very.

I guess other then that things are going well. I am recovering pretty fast so I can actually get up when my babies need me. I am sure Pat will be givin his perspective on things soon.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Mr. Box's Babies

One of the things we were kind of worried about while Shae was pregnant was how Lunchbox would handle the babies. We know labs are great with kids and he has always loved being around kids, but we were still a little anxious about how he would handle having his world rocked. Until last week, LB was pretty much the center of our world. He was our little puppy and didn't have any competition for our attention. Obviously that's not the case anymore.

It turns out we didn't need to worry about Lunchbox. He was a little hesitant about the babies at first, but within a few minutes he got over that and moved on to being a protective older brother. It's really funny/sweet to watch. The other day a door slammed and startled the Box. He jumped up and immediately ran over to the couch (where the babies were sleeping) to make sure Jack and Ella were OK. Whenever one of the babies (Ella) has one of their (her) screaming fits Lunchbox goes to check things out. At night, he camps out in front of their bassinet to make sure no one hurts his babies. Well, he starts out there; eventually he heads over to his bed. He might have babies to watch, but that doesn't mean he has to sleep on the floor. Lunchbox may not be an only child anymore, but he's still our spoiled little puppy.

Also, we uploaded some more pics of the kids so check the gallery.

Saturday, October 11, 2008

First Night Home

Last night was our first night home with the twins, and I can't believe I'm saying this but I kind of miss the hospital. Don't get me wrong, we're very happy to be home. The food's better, the bed's more comfortable (mine at least, Shae misses her adjustable hospital bed), the TV's a lot bigger, and the Internet access isn't restricted to Gmail and CNN (in other words, I can access my fantasy football teams). Still, it was kind of nice to have nurses around to help with the babies and take care of Shae. Also, last night we really could have used the 2-hour break when the nurse would take the babies out to run tests on them.

I don't know if it was because we had both babies back together, or that it was a little cold in our room last night, or some other reason, but last night was not what I would call super. Jackson is usually pretty mellow, but last night he was a very unhappy baby boy. Combined with Ella's standard fussiness the babies were screaming most of the night. Shae was in quite a bit of pain, which didn't make things any easier. Eventually the babies settled down for a couple of hours of sleep and we survived, but it was the longest night yet (out of a whole four).

Of course, the night wasn't all bad. It started of with a chain of events that was just ridiculous at the time but probably should have foreshadowed the night ahead.

We set up the twins' bassinet in our bedroom about a week ago and had it all ready. It's not the easiest thing to get the mattress set up, but we had it all made up with new sheets just waiting for the babies. Of course, the second we put Ella down in her bassinet we heard the all-to-familiar explosive sound of my daughter ruining a diaper.

Going into this whole baby thing I was under the assumption that Jackson would be the baby to pee all over the place. Boy was I wrong. Jack does his part, but Ella seems to find a way to pee on everything around her every time her diaper comes off. This time was no exception as she found a way to soak her new diaper, her sleeper, the pad we put down to keep the sheets and mattress dry, and she somehow managed to make a mess of the sheets too. After going through the entire process of changing the sheet on the bassinet (which is a lot more work than I expected), it was time to try again to put the babies to bed.

Now it was Jack's turn. As soon as I put the babies down on their fresh sheets Jack started fussing. A quick look verified that sure enough he had made quite a mess down there. Not to be outdone by his older sister, just when I was almost done changing him Jack followed Ella's lead and peed all over his sleeper and new diaper. After another change of sleeper and diaper, Jack took things to the next level by exploding all over yet another diaper. Now, I'm not sure where he stores all the urine in his little tiny body, but somehow he manged to pee all over yet another sleeper during the third change.

At this point, Shae and I were pretty much on the ground laughing. Of course, Shae's still recovering from her surgery so every time she laughs it hurts. You know how Ella responded to our laughing? I'll give you a hint: it rhymes with "schmit her schmipers". Basically, every time we touched one of our kids they pissed or crapped all over themselves. By the time this whole thing was over, we had a pile of filthy diapers, a bigger pile of pee covered clothes, and a wife in need of some percocet. Good times.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Jaundiced Jack

Well, apparently Jackson's bilirubin levels (thank you Google) were too high on his jaundice test so he had to go camp out in a blue tanning booth for a while. They tested him a 4 a.m. yesterday, and then re-tested him around 11 and his levels were still a little high so they took him upstairs to the pediatric hospital around 4 p.m.. I know this is pretty common (both Shae and I cooked under the lights for a while when we were babies), but it still isn't fun to have him in a different part of the hospital and it's still kind of sad to look over at his empty little bassinet.

I spent most of last night feeding/changing Ella, then heading upstairs to feed Jack. He's definitely got a nice little setup upstairs, and he's pretty cute in his eye covers. He looks like he's just lying in a tanning booth (except for the fact that it's blue). The nice part about the whole thing is that they take a plate of food to his room each meal so I get some of the awesome hospital food that Shae has been enjoying for the past few days.

It's about 10:30 on Friday morning right now, and Shae and Ella both have discharge papers (for whatever that's worth), so they should be able to leave soon. I've already packed up all the extra diapers, wipes, burp rags, blankets, etc. (they're lucky I left the towels) so we're just waiting for the OK and then we'll be gone. By "be gone" I mean that we'll head upstairs and camp out in Jack's room for a bit. The doctor is supposedly stopping by sometime around noon to take another look at Jackson (he checked in on him earlier this morning) and hopefully he can be discharged shortly after.

So we should be heading home sometime this afternoon, and then the fun begins. There will be some more pictures uploaded once I get home.

Here's a pic of my little boy in his blue tanning booth:

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Day 2

Well, the babies are 36 hours old and seem to be doing just fine. A few "highlights" from the past day and a half.
  • It didn't take long for Jackson to pee on both Shae and me. He got me yesterday the second time I changed him and got Shae this evening the first time she took his diaper off. Glad we got that out of the way.

  • The lactation consultant stopped by today. This was another time I wasn't booted out of the room but wished I had been. It was pretty awkward watching the consultant analyze and comment on my wife's nipples. Awk. Ward.

  • Last night around 3am our nurse took the babies to the nursery to do some tests on them. Our nurse recently informed us that she's going to need to take them in a little bit to get tested for jaundice. She told us that we're free to go with the babies and watch if we want. Now I love my babies, but if someone wants to take them away for an hour or so I'm not going to waste the opportunity to grab some sleep. Somehow they sleep all day but manage to wake up the second I climb into "bed" (a chair/bed monstrosity that I think is causing me long-term back problems. it's awesome).

  • Shae is doing much better today (that could have something to do with the large amounts of percocet and ibuprofen she's on). She's not nauseous anymore and is moving around OK. They pulled out her catheter, IV, compression cuffs, etc so she's no longer tethered to the bed. Now she can get up and move over to my chair/bed thing. Super.

  • Everyone that comes in asks if Shae has farted and seems to be really excited that she had a little toot earlier. I'm not sure they'd be so excited if they had ever been around her after banana smoothies.
That's about it for now. Shae's parents and my mom get into town tomorrow so the babies get to meet some grandparents. We will probably be heading home Friday morning so that will be nice. Hopefully we'll have some more updates and pictures soon.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Baby Day

So, today was the day we finally got to meet Jackson and Ella. The twins were born at 7:52 am (Ella) and 7:53 am (Jackson), both 19 inches. Ella weighed in at 6lbs, 6.4oz and Jackson was 5lbs 14.8oz. So far everything is great and Shae is doing OK although she's still feeling the after effects of the anesthesia. I have uploaded some pictures of the babies and more will be uploaded as we take them. (For whatever reason, the hospital's WiFi access doesn't allow me to go access the site where I store my photos so I have to go home to upload any new ones which means they won't be updated as much as I would like). If that's not enough for you, here's a little recap of the day.

4:15 a.m.
Alarm goes off. Lunchbox decides that since the alarm has gone off it's time for his breakfast even though it's almost two hours early. When we don't feed him he's really disappointed. If only he knew what he was in for.

5:30 a.m.
Somehow we arrive at the hospital on time. When I hand in the paperwork for our monthly parking pass to the attendant, she recognizes Shae's name and wishes her good luck with the twins (I had already dropped Shae off at the hospital entrance). I think it's safe to say Shae has been coming here a lot.

After parking and hiking back up to the entrance, we check in with the guard. When we inform him that Shae's here for her C-Section he tells her to head over to the admittance desk. When I try to follow her, I'm told I have to sign in and get a visitor's badge. After Shae fills out all of her paperwork, they take her back to a birthing room to prep her for surgery. This time when I try to follow I'm told to have a seat in one of the lobby chairs and that a nurse will come to get me in about 15 minutes. I'm starting to think this day isn't all about me.

6:00 a.m.
After about 20 minutes of sitting in the lobby, the lady at the admittance desk yells over to me that I can head in to Shae's birthing room and I head in. While I was staring at the fire sprinklers in the lobby Shae had changed into a gown and started her prep. I guess they kept me in the lobby so I didn't see Shae change. Based on the reason we're here, I think it's a safe assumption that I've seen her naked. Anyway, the nurse hands me a bag with an awesome paper jump suit, booties, a hair net, and a mask. I feel like a surgeon with all my gear.

What they should have done while I was in the lobby was put in Shae's IV. Apparently she has really small veins and it was not fun watching the nurses try to put in her IV. They got it in eventually, but that was a few minutes I would have rather been watching the guard try to stay awake. After the IV was in, Shae's doctor came by to check in and then the anesthesiologist popped in to tell her about all the fun stuff he was going to give her.

7:30 a.m.
It's finally time for the surgery, so Shae heads off to the OR and I get sent to a new room. At least this one had magazines, even if they are several months old (Sports Illustrated thinks Michael Phelps has a pretty good chance to win 8 gold medals...we'll see). The 15 minutes I'm supposed to wait turns into more like 30 (I later found out that they were having trouble giving Shae her anesthesia and it took longer than normal), but eventually a nurse comes in and leads me to the OR.

7:52 a.m.
About a minute after I walk into the room, Ella comes out followed closely by Jackson. I'm officially a dad. After the nurses do some cleanup on the babies, I get to go take a look at them and take a few pictures. My favorite is the one where Ella is flipping Jackson off (I'd provide a link, but since I can't get to the site right now, you'll just have to go to the gallery and look at all of the pictures).

After another minute or two, the nurses brought the twins over to Shae so she could see them. After about 30 seconds (just enough time for the anesthesiologist to take a couple of pics), the babies and I were whisked out of the OR and into the NICU (I carried Ella).

8:00 a.m.
The next 2.5 hours were pretty weird. I hung around the NICU for a little bit, but I was pretty much just in the way and I could only stand there and watch them do tests for so long before I decided to go make phone calls. After one of the nurses tracked down Shae's purse (which had my phone) I made my calls. Once that was done, it was back to watching the babies get poked for a while, but after a few minutes of that I decided I should go find our stuff. I found our bags at the nurses' station and they told me where Shae's recovery room was going to be so I grabbed everything and took it downstairs to our new room.

So now I have all of our stuff in our new room downstairs, but the babies are still upstairs in the NICU and I don't know where Shae is or when she'll be brought down. I made a few trips back and forth to the NICU, but I was still in the way and now all of our stuff was sitting in an empty room downstairs so I didn't really want to leave it unattended too long. So basically, I spent a couple of hours alternating between sitting in an empty room downstairs and trying to stay out of nurses' ways upstairs. Fun.

10:30 a.m.
Finally, Shae got wheeled into the room. Of course, the first thing the nurses did when they brought her in was boot me out of the room so they could move her to the bed. At this point, I'm almost positve this day is not about me. Oh well, at least I'll see my babies soon.

1:00 p.m.
The babies finally get wheeled into our room. Five hours after Shae had the babies she finally got to hold them and get a good look at them. It may just be the fact that they're my kids, but I have to say the twins are pretty damn cute. I usually think babies are pretty funny looking, but mine are just cute.

The rest of the day was pretty much just hanging out in the room taking care of the twins. Shae was really naseous from the anesthesia and couldn't even sit up very well. I somehow ended up taking care of all the diapers and using a dropper to feed the babies formula. I snuck away for a little bit to get some non-hospital food and play with Lunchbox. In the afternoon/evening we got vists from Erica, Chris, Sharon, and Katheryn and phone calls, texts, etc from just about everyone. Eventually things quieted down and we even found a few minutes to get some sleep between baby feeding and changing.

That's about it for now. Hopefully I'll have time to post some updates in the next day or two, but I think the babies are going to keep me busy.

Monday, October 6, 2008

39 Weeks

Less than 12 hours to babies. Here's a picture of Shae at 39 weeks:

Sunday, October 5, 2008

One More Day

Well, it's just about that day. Friday was my last day at work so now there's nothing for us to do except sit around and wait for Tuesday morning. We had a pretty laid back weekend, but I did manage to get over to the La Mesa Oktoberfest. Erica and I hopped on the trolley, grabbed some bratwurst, sauerkraut, and German potato salad and then brought home a bratwurst for Shae.

We've got a few last things to take care of tomorrow (putting in car seats, making sure everything is charged, some cleanup, etc), but mostly we're just trying to relax a little while we still can. Then Tuesday morning it's off to meet some babies.

It's kind of weird knowing that in less than 36 hours we're going to have two kids. I thought I would be really nervous or excited, but I'm just kind of anxious. At this point I'm just ready for the kids to be here. For the past month we've just been waiting for the twins to decide they were ready to come out. I'm sure I'll get nervous and excited tomorrow night or Tuesday morning, but right now I'm just tired of waiting and am ready to meet my kids already.

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Stickers and Babies

Since I refuse to drive a mini-van, I needed a place to put my mini-van sticker so here it is.

In other news, we finally have our official c-section date. We will be going in on October 7th at 7:30 am. We actually have to be there at 5:30 to check in and get prepped and all that fun stuff. Pat and I decided that we wont be getting any sleep Monday night. Of course I can always go into labor early! I hope not though. I don't want to deal with any of the pain. We will keep you posted.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Still Chugging Along

There still isn't a lot going on, but that isn't enough to stop me from making another list. Just an update on a few things.
  • Shae is still chugging along with the baby-growing. She'll be 38 weeks tomorrow, which is already about two more than we ever thought she'd go. Every day the babies stay in there is a good thing, but Shae is over this whole pregnancy thing. I wouldn't be surprised if she talks them into popping out sometime this week. We'll see.

  • We had another rodent sighting. We have confirmed it's a mouse (and not nearly as big and scary as Shae led me to believe after her last experience with them), and I'm pretty sure it's a single little mouse that's stalking Shae. This time Lunchbox saw the little guy and chased him out of the house. We were so proud. Then Shae set a trap and LB almost got his tail caught in it. Quite the hunter.
That's about it right now. Like I said, there just isn't much going on. We're just trying to enjoy our last few days of quiet before the babies change everything. Shae has another round of appointments on Tuesday so maybe we'll have another update then.

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

What do you mean 2 more weeks?!?!

I had yet another NST and OB appointment yesterday. I feel like I am there almost every day. I guess it is a good thing I was able to buy a monthly parking pass. Anyways, the actual appointments were not all that eventful. Both babies did well on the NST after I woke them up with some ice. During the NST I get my fluid levels checked to make sure there are no leaks. They do this with an ultrasound machine. While she was looking around, the nurse came across Jack's package and said, "Wow, his boy parts are sure getting big. I hope the rest of him is growing too." That's my boy!

After the test I headed across the street to see Dr. Castillo. As soon as I walked into the office the receptionist looked at me and said, "Still? How can you possibly still be pregnant?" I was wondering that same thing. I finally got to go into the room where the AC was cranked up so high that I was actually cold. I have not felt cold in a very long time. It was kind of a weird feeling. Anyways, the ultrasound machine came out and I guess Jack decided he wanted to talk to his sister because they are both head down now. I have a feeling Jack is going to be a handful! My doctor told me that at this point I have a choice of what I want to do with my delivery. We can let things take their natural course and wait for the whole labor thing, or she can go in and take them out. I told her I just wanted them out! We decided to schedule a date for a c-section. It was not the date I wanted. Apparently we were unable to go back in time and deliver last week. Instead, we are going to be scheduled for either the 6th or 7th of October. It just depends when there is an open room. Do you know how far off that is? 2 weeks! How am I supposed to deal with these things inside of me for another 2 weeks?!? I have a feeling it may be sooner. I have been having some false labor at night while I try to sleep. The only remedy I have found is to sleep in the corner of our sectional. If I am somewhat upright I don't seem to notice anything. My doctor was not too concerned and just told me to watch out for the other signs. I guess other than that, nothing much is going on. For the next 2 weeks, we will be sitting and waiting.

Monday, September 22, 2008

No Babies Yet

Looks like they're going to let me watch the Chargers game. I think I'm gonna like these kids.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

The Michelin Woman

On Tuesday Shae had yet another doctor appointment. Actually, she had a non-stress test and a doctor's appointment. A few people have asked what the hell a non-stress test (or a "nst" for the cool people) is. Basically, Shae sits in a chair with three monitors strapped to her belly (one for each baby and one to monitor contractions) and drinks apple juice while listening to the babies' heart beats. Every so often the babies kick the monitors and it sounds like someone is smacking a microphone. This goes on for about 45 minutes or so. Very exciting. On the bright side, I got to read "The War Of The Wizards" (don't worry, the wizards worked it all out in the end) and a Scooby Doo story (don't worry, Scooby and Shaggy got to the bottom of the mystery) while I waited.

Anyway, back to Tuesday's doctor's appointment. After the excitement of last Wednesday we thought we might be scheduling a C-section at the appointment so I tagged along again. After dealing with several crazy old guys trying to run me down in the parking lot I finally made it up to the office. Eventually we got into the little exam room and the nurse took Shae's blood pressure and then told Shae to drop trou and put a sheet on. A while later the doctor came in and we got our normal look at the kids (not nearly as cool as it seemed before we started going to the specialist with the good ultrasound). So far, so good.

Then things got awkward. In a scene reminiscent of a bad trip through customs, the doctor threw on some rubber gloves and went under the sheet. Shae's responses indicated this was not a gentle exam. After about 30 seconds of Shae wincing, the doctor's head popped back out from under the sheet and she said, "Oh yeah, he's not head down so you're having a C-section. I guess we don't really need to do that." We did learn that Shae is about 1.5 cm dilated, which I guess doesn't really mean much at all other than the babies could be coming anytime from soon to a few weeks. We could have figured that out without violating my wife.

After the gloves were taken off we got into how Shae's doing. She's swollen, having headaches (occasionally, not all the time), and basically is getting pretty tired of being pregnant. I guess her blood pressure was higher than normal because they made her lie down and then came back about 15 minutes later and took it again. It must have been OK on the second take because the doctor didn't seem all that concerned. As she was finishing up, she just gave us some general instructions: "Continue bedrest and call us and come right in if she experiences headaches or blurry vision, gets a pain in her right side, or she starts looking like the Michelin woman." The doctor put it all in the computer, told us to make an appointment for next week, and said her goodbyes.

After she left, Shae and I just kind of looked at each other. Our first reaction was the same: "You're/I'm on bedrest?!?" I'm not sure how Shae missed the memo (I'm blaming her since I've been avoiding most of the appoinments lately), but somehow we weren't aware Shae was supposed to be on bedrest. Of course, her version of "active" is pretty much couch-rest so I think we're OK. It also occurred to us we might have trouble spotting the other symptoms as well since she has headaches all the time (pregnant or not) and the pain in her right side is named Ella. As far as the "Michelin woman", all we could come up with for that is the doctor meant to be worried if she woke up white and puffy. Shae and I both agreed that white and puffy pretty much describes her right now so I'm not sure how we'll tell.

So right now we're kind of in a holding pattern. The babies will be 37 weeks on Monday, which according to Shae is "fully baked" so we're hoping to hold out until then. I'm hoping they make it until at least Tuesday because the Chargers play Monday night and I don't want to watch the game on the little hospital room TV.

Here's a pic of Shae at 36.5 weeks. Still looking great. We also uploaded some new pics of the baby room over in the baby stuff gallery.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Home Invasion

I had every intention of sitting down today and writing up one last post about my pregnancy woes, but something happened the other night that changed all that. We had a home invasion. Before you get all worried let me explain. At 4am I had finally fallen back asleep after a trip to the bathroom when I was awakened by something scratching at our window screen. I was a little freaked out so I turned on the lamp next to my bed. This of course woke Pat up. The next thing I knew, something jumped off our window sill, ran across our floor and took sanctuary under the recliner. I told Pat I thought I just saw a mouse on our window sill. He was groggy and a little upset from being woken up and he told me to just go back to sleep.

A few minutes later I actually saw the mouse run up the air conditioner cord and onto the window sill. He stood up on his hind legs and started scratching at the screen again. At this point, I realized two things. 1. This was either a HUGE mouse with super human strength, or a rat. 2. I needed to close the window or else there was going to be a hole in the screen pretty soon. Pat thought it would be a good idea to take the screen off, wait for super mouse to crawl back up and then he would just go out the window. I thought this was a great idea. Pat spent about 10 minutes trying to get the stupid thing off the window before giving up. During this whole mouse/rat ordeal guess what my awesome watch dog was doing. Absolutely nothing! This dog wakes up to every little sound, but as soon as there is something at our window, he sleeps through it. I do have to give him a little credit. He cleaned up after the monster mouse by eating all its dropping off the carpet. This was definitely not a pregnant mouse because there was a lot of droppings.

Anyways, after Pat got back into bed it was about 4:30 and I was wide awake. There was no way I was going to fall asleep with this stupid rat making a ruckus. I knew both Pat and I needed to get some sleep, so I moved into the living where I thought it would be quiet. Boy was I wrong. First of all, our house has an open foundation with hardwood floors and we are not sure the walls are actually insulated. You can hear every little noise! Our bedroom on the other had was added on much later and is very quiet. It makes me very thankful for our bedroom. Ok, by the time I get situated on the couch it is about 4:45. Do you know what happens at our house at 5am? The sprinklers come on. I never realized how loud they really are. We have 3 stations that are sprinklers go through. The whole thing takes about 20 minutes. At 5:20 the sprinklers finally turn off and I feel like I may be able to finally get some sleep. Nope.

Guess what I saw: another super human strength mouse. It ran across the living room floor and behind the curtains that are right next to the couch. How am I supposed to sleep knowing this mouse man is right next to me. I guess it ended up climbing onto the window sill because it dropped down onto the arm of the couch where my head was. After a few choice words for this evil demon, I decided it was just a mouse and it wouldn't kill me. As I lay there thinking I really need to get some sleep, I realized it had been an hour since I last went pee, so up I got and headed for the bathroom. I finished my business and went back to the couch. I looked at the clock and saw that it was 5:50ish. Shit. in 10 minutes round 2 of the sprinklers would be kicking off. I said @#$% it and turned on the tv. I figured Pat would be up soon anyways since the dog never lets us sleep past 6 because thats what time he eats breakfast. Once again I was wrong. Apparently, he lets Pat sleep in until 7. What the hell is wrong with my dog?! During that hour I think I may have actually fallen asleep for about 30 minutes. Don't worry, I was finally able to get some sleep later because it was football day.

I have a doctor appointment tomorrow so we will probably have something to post on the pregnancy front tomorrow.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Checking The Levels

I've always been a procrastinator. In elementary school, I put off reports and projects as long as possible and then got everything done at the last minute. Things didn't get any better in college, I just had to work a little harder at the last minute. At work it's the same thing. Every task gets put off as long as possible until I end up working on about 10 things at once killing myself to get everything done. Shae's a bit of a procrastinator herself. In fact, sometimes she makes it seem like I'm just an amateur compared to her. She puts off doing every little task around the house until everything is a huge job.

Of course everything is completely different with the babies. Shae and I have had everything ready for their arrival for weeks. The nursery is ready, the car seats are installed, and the whole house is clean and ready. Or not. To say we aren't quite ready would be an understatement. Of course, we still have lots of time to get everything set up. Or not.

On Monday night, Shae went in for one of her non-stress tests. I guess something didn't look right because on Tuesday we got a call from the doctor's office saying we needed to go in for an ultrasound. Shae had an appointment with her doctor on Wednesday morning and the ultrasound was scheduled for Wednesday afternoon. We figured there wasn't much to worry about, but just in case I tagged along to the appointments.

There wasn't much unusual about the doctor's appointment at first. The doc asked if everything was OK and took a quick look to see what position they were in (Ella is head down, Jackson's not as cooperative and is all over the place). The fun part came when we asked if there was anything we should tell them to look for in the ultrasound that afternoon. She told us that the babies' AFI (basically, the amniotic fluid level) was low and that it might be time to get the kids out. I guess the levels were low for a "normal" pregnancy, but she wanted the high-risk pregnancy specialist that does the ultrasounds to take a look. At this point, we were starting to think there was a chance we could be parents by bedtime. When the doctor said goodbye and added "Maybe I'll be seeing you guys in a few hours" and told us not to worry about scheduling an appointment for next week since we may not need it, we really went into panic mode.

At this point all Shae and I could think about was all the crap we had been putting off that we had to do in the next five hours. I ran into work and tied up a few loose ends, talked to my supervisor, and basically tried to get everything setup in case I was going to be gone. Shae made a run to Babies R Us to pick up some stuff we needed and packed up the hospital bags we would need if we went right from the appointment to the hospital. Basically, we both spent the time before our appointment in a daze of excitement crossed with what I would call "Oh-crap!-ness". It was an interesting day, to say the least.

So at 3:00 Shae and I were sitting in the ultrasound room thinking of all the crap we didn't get done and trying to figure out how we were going to get ready while the tech was looking at the babies. When she got to the part where they check the fluid levels we both got interested and paid close attention. Since the main reason we were there was that the fluid had been low on Monday night, the tech measured a few extra times. I'm not sure what happened on Monday, but the AFI was right where it was supposed to be on Wednesday afternoon (actually, the fluid levels were pretty high which I guess is good) and we didn't have to go to the hospital for a C-section. So after all of our running around and panicking we were right back where we were on Monday morning: waiting for the kids.

We don't know when the babies are going to get here, but we do know it's going to be soon. Shae has another appointment on Tuesday and we'll probably schedule a C-section for sometime in the next couple of weeks (with Jackson not cooperating with his positioning Shae pretty much has to get a C-section). At least now we have time to do all of the things we have been putting off. On second thought, we still have a week or two, what's on TV?

"I want these little $*@&ers out of me!"
--Shizzle (I think she's ready to meet her babies)

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Nesting, Leaking, and Peeing

There hasn't been much new happening on the baby front, but I figured I should go ahead and give an update anyway.

Shae hit 35 weeks pregnant yesterday, so it's getting close. The doctor has always said that she'd like Shae to get to 37 weeks, 36 weeks would be nice, and she wouldn't stop them at 35. I don't know exactly what that means except that 35 weeks is way too soon. Between non-stress tests, weekly checkups, ultrasounds, and whatever else I may have forgotten it seems like Shae visits a doctor's office or hospital almost every day. At any one of these they could decide it's time for the kids to come out, so I'm starting to get the impression I'm actually going to have kids. Soon. Shae has a trip to the doc and an ultrasound scheduled for tomorrow so there should be some updated news.

An update on the prego:
  • She pees something like 6000 times a day. I've given up ever getting through a TV show without pausing for a pee-break. A movie is completely out of the question. She says it has something to do with two babies taking turns squeezing her bladder.
  • About a week ago, Shae informed me that her boobs were leaking. Uhh...gross. That's all I've got on that topic.
  • Shae tells me that when we started dating her measurements were something like 36-27-36. Just for fun, she took her measurements a few days back. The results: 40-47-40. Shae thought I should share that.
  • The other night it almost happened. I almost had to get up and sleep on the couch. I know I snore a bit, but I can't come close to competing with pregnant Shae snoring. At one point I had Shae snoring on my left and Lunchbox barking in his sleep on my right. I kept waiting for them to wake each other up. Never happened. Snore, bark, snore, bark, snore, bark...
  • Yesterday I came home from work to find the laundry hamper almost empty, the bed covered in clean, folded laundry, and missing buttons replaced on about five of my shirts. I think this is what they call nesting. I've been trying to get Shae to do some laundry and fix my shirts for almost two years. So, all I have to do to get my shirts fixed is put up with constant peeing, leaking boobs, and eardrum shattering snoring. Oh, and spend the next 20-something years of my life taking care of kids. Totally worth it; I was getting really low on shirts.
That's all for now. Hopefully we'll have some more info soon.

"*SNIFF* My cleavage smells like mac and cheese. *SNIFF* No hot dogs though." --Shizzle

Monday, August 25, 2008

Report Cards For Mr. Box

When I was in 9th grade I brought home a progress report that had a few "U"s in the behavior category. Somehow I was able to convince my mom that U stood for "Unbelievable" rather than "Unsatisfactory". Since she's a teacher I'm not sure how I pulled it off, but for a day or two I got away with it. Of course, eventually she talked to my teachers and the whole scheme fell apart. Oh well, it was fun while it lasted.

I bring this up because I recently realized that I never posted about any of Lunchbox's report cards. For a few months he went to Supplemental Obedience and Socialization (SOS) class once a week and brought home a progress report each time. He's been on summer vacation the last month or so (more accurately, our trainer hasn't been sending her kids in for tutoring so we haven't been able to do a trade for SOS class), but here are some of his report card highlights. Let's just say that if I had brought home reports like this it would have been a lot harder to convince my mom I was doing unbelievable.

5/27: This is from his first day of class. Shae said dropping him off was like dropping off a kid the first day of school. He cried, Shae tried not to, and the teacher threw him in a crate. Well, maybe not exactly like the first day of school but close.
He/she did good on: Most obed.
He/she needs to work on: Calling out of play. Pulling.
Notes: Lunchbox was a bit of a wild man today! He should be tired!
He was tired alright. He came home and slept all afternoon and evening. Of course he woke up around midnight full of energy and ready to play. That was fun.

6/3: A few weeks later. Lunchbox did much better, but as you can tell he still had a few issues.
He/she did good on: Good stay
He/she needs to work more on: Don't hump!
Notes: He had a great day!
If I ever brought home a report card that contained the phrase "Don't hump!" I'm pretty sure I would not get to have a great day.

7/1: One of the last sessions he went to. Doing great, but still not what I would call a perfect report card.
He/she did good on: All obed
He/she needs to work more on:
Notes: Lunchbox had a great day! He listened, he came out of play when he was called, he didn't hump (much). All in all, an excellent dog!
Again, if my report card said "he didn't hump (much)" it wouldn't be followed up by anything close to "excellent".

See mom, it could have been a lot worse than unbelievable.

In other Lunchbox news, we took him to the dog park yesterday. There were quite a few dogs there, but the highlight was a full-grown Great Dane. LB had no idea what to do with that giant thing. He gave Shae and me a look that said, "You guys see that thing, right? It's freakin' huge! What the hell am I supposed to do with that thing?" Mr. Box's day at the park can be pretty well described in one sentence: "Needs to work more on: Not humping."

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Baby Math

Over the past few weeks Shae and I have attended a couple of baby-related classes (which I've already written about), and they've thrown out a few facts and figures. I thought I'd do the math on some of these and share.
  • According to our Baby Care Basics class, newborn babies go through about 10-12 diapers a day. Since these kids are mine it's probably safe to assume they're going to be closer to 12 a day. So, with two kids that means these little things are going to use 24 diapers a day. You know how many that is a week? 168! A month (we'll use 30 days)? 720! What the hell?!?! 720 diapers a month? Crap. Literally.

  • Towards the end of the Childbirth Prep class we were informed that babies should be fed 8-12 times a day. Because it makes math easier, we'll feed our kids 10 times a day. Each. So 20 times a day a baby is going to be latched onto wifey's boob(s). Wow.

  • Also at the Childbirth Prep class we learned that the average baby sleeps 13 - 17 hours a day. I'm all for more sleeping so this isn't one of the scary facts. I'm assuming my kids are going to sleep 17 hours a day because it makes me feel better.

  • Something doesn't add up here. If babies sleep 17 hours a day, how the hell can they eat 10 times a day and still have time to mess up 12 diapers? Even assuming they multi-task and take care of the diapers while sleeping and eating they still seem to have a pretty busy day. No wonder kids these days are over scheduled, they're overbooked the day they pop out.
We haven't posted a picture of pregnant Shae lately, so we took another one yesterday. I think she's gotten a little bigger since last time we posted a pic. Let's just say Shae + (2 babies * ~32 weeks) =

As you can see in the second pic, Shae's shirt (thanks Mom!) has two very true messages. There are twins in Shae's belly, and her twins are moving south.

Finally, it seems like everyone nests differently. Some clean, some get the baby room ready, and some make new mirrors for the master bathroom. You can guess where Shae falls.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Prepping for Chidbirth

It was a tough two days, but Shae and I survived our "Childbirth Prep" class. Since I'm such an expert (we have a certificate and everything) I thought I'd share what I learned. Basically, it all comes down to one thing: this whole process is gross. If that's not enough for you, I'll recap the highlights from the class.

Before I start the recap, I have a couple of general thoughts about the weekend:
  • First, it's become apparent to me that humans are not made to sit in any sort of class all day. I don't know how kids do it. No matter how old you are, or what the class is, eventually everyone starts to drift off, watch the clock, and hope for the class to be over. It doesn't matter if it's elementary school, college, work-related training, or (apparently) childbirth prep. You might think that a two day class that you sign up for voluntarily (well...Shae volunteered for both of us) and pay for might be different, but you'd be wrong. By the end of the first day both Shae and I were completely exhausted. We came home and immediately took a two-hour nap. We found out Sunday that pretty much everyone else did the same thing, including the teacher. The women have an excuse (growing babies and all), but the guys don't (unless you count putting up with pregnant women, which is exhausting but doesn't get the same sympathy as actually being pregnant).

  • I don't think anyone in the class was mature enough to have kids. Obviously everyone there has had sex at least once, but that didn't seem to make the conversations any less awkward. The entire weekend was full of giggles, "that's what got us into this in the first place" comments, and basically the maturity level of a sixth grade sex ed lecture. Shae and I fit right in.

  • This isn't related to the class at all, but I don't think NBC knows what "Live" means. Last night after our long day of class Shae and I were relaxing while watching some of the Olympics. I had seen the outcome of the events hours earlier online, yet there was "Live" up in the right corner of the screen. At one point (9pm to be exact) they decided they'd prove they were live by showing the time in Beijing and the time in the US. I could be wrong, but I'm pretty sure 8pm central is not equivalent to 9pm pacific. Then it got worse: as I sat there and watched I had to listen to the anchors brag about how NBC was doing us a huge favor to bring us these events live. I have a whole rant on tape-delayed events in the age of the Internet, but that's not what this post is about so let's just move on.
OK, on with the weekend recap.

Shae and I got to class bright and early and were the first students there. We got our little visitor sticker badges, found the conference room, signed in, and grabbed copies of all the goodies provided for us. We got a diaper, a book, and a ton of useful information that will probably sit on a table unread until after we need it. Since we were the first couple there we had our pick of the seats. Obviously we chose pretty much the worst seats in the room. We rule. My chair was the squeakiest in the room so for the rest of the weekend every time I switched positions the whole class got to hear about it.

Eventually the other couples (and one single) showed up and we got the party started. The teacher seemed to understand her audience (pregnant women and men who had been dragged to class) and she was really good. We learned a lot of good stuff, but rather than go over all of it here are a few highlights (that's right, another list; I might rename this blog "Lists Of The Lorigans").
  • We started with the standard introductions where all the parents-to-be share their due dates (once again our date was a month after everyone else's and yet Shae looked the most pregnant), baby names, baby sexes, doctor, etc. In response to one of the doctors, the teacher asked her what she thought of him. "Uhhh...he's okay. Ehh...he was kinda creepy at first, but..." Not the biggest vote of confidence. I didn't take it as the best sign when our teacher figured she should remind us that we can change doctors right up until the babies pop out if we want. I'm glad we like our doc. I've just about forgiven her for finding that extra baby.

  • To help explain why women have so much discomfort during pregnancy, we were shown pictures of the female anatomy before and during pregnancy. Stomach pushed up (in Shae's case, just under her boobs), bladder squished, and everything else shoved out of the way. The picture showed one kid, but I'm sure that there's not much difference with two in there.

  • We learned some tricks to help when the kids (especially Ella) are kicking the same spot over and over. Apparently the flashlight trick that Shae read about a few months back annoys them and they'll move to get away from it. Also, you can ice the area where her foot is kicking and she'll move to get away from the cold. I'm all for new ways to annoy my kids before I even get to see them.

  • We were talking about when the babies "drop" and someone asked how she'd be able to tell when it happened. They went over a whole bunch of ways I didn't really pay attention to. I'll be able to tell when our babies drop because Shae's boobs will stop resting on her stomach. Then Shae's boobs growled at me. It must have been getting close to lunch time.

  • They used to teach kegle exercises in the class, but the guys got...umm...excited (the teacher's word) so they don't do that anymore. I think I'm happy that part got dropped from the curriculum.

  • One of the signs of impending labor is Shae will start nesting. Apparently she's going to randomly start cleaning everything up in the middle of the night to get ready for the babies. I'm hoping that phase lasts a long time and the house gets vacuumed.

  • About 11% of the time a woman's water breaks to indicate the start of labor. In my vast experience (TV and movies), it's closer to 100%. I'm sure the teacher must have been wrong because Hollywood wouldn't lie to me.

  • We learned a few positions that are supposed to help Shae get through labor. For a few, there were cards with pictures that were given to a couple to act out and then the rest of the class tried it. Here's the transcript of an exchange between the teacher and one of the dads over the position they were supposed to demo (well, just his questions, the teacher answered yes to all of them):
    You want us to do this?
    With the pillow?
    Do we put one on the ground for her knees?
    I snapped a picture of the card with my phone to share with you guys. If you remember my earlier remark about the maturity level of the class you'll be able to get a decent idea of the reaction to this position.

  • After being shown the vacuum that is sometimes used to help pull the baby out, I had a question: If you have good insurance do they use a Dyson vacuum?

  • We spent quite a bit of time the second day on breast feeding. There are way too many jokes about boobs to make about this section of the class so I'm not going to make them all here. Rest assured I made plenty during class.

  • The teacher showed us a few ways to hold our babies, one of which is the "football cradle". One of the other dads informed her she was doing it wrong because she wasn't covering the baby with her off hand. I bet she fumbles a lot.
That's about it for the recap. Throughout the class I wrote down some or the more interesting events/quotes so I wouldn't forget them later. I can only imagine what the girl next to me must have thought when I grabbed the notebook and wrote furiously at what must have seemed like random times.

"They shove pills and balloons up there? What am I, a drug mule?" --Shizzle (after watching a video on methods of inducing labor)