Monday, May 26, 2008

'Cuse wins! 'Cuse wins!

Big day today... Syracuse beat Johns Hopkins to win the NCAA Men's lacrosse championship. Also, we packed up the kids and headed out to Novato to do a little bit of shopping as they are already starting to grow out of the preemie stuff we borrowed from the MPOMC preemie closet. Apparently this growing will continue for a while. Also, we picked up the makings of a heading-to-college care pack for my niece Karrah. We learned that you need to allocate a bit of extra time whenever trying to attempt this sort of trip. This is not because of the extra time to get out of the house as I think we are doing great getting them ready and out the door, but because everybody wants to talk to us. This is somewhat new to Erin & I as we are generally the reserved, get in, get out shopping types. It is definitely not a bad thing, as we met a lady who's twins were heading to UC Santa Barbara in the fall (also the alma mater of Uncle Matt... go gauchos!) as well as a girl who was a twin herself, but will take some getting used to, I think.

Saturday, May 24, 2008

I am a rock, I am an island

Today I am here by myself with the kids while mom heads in to the city with cousin Lynn and Nana to visit the farmers' market and see the city a bit. So far so good. They woke up separately for their feeding which was very considerate of them, and then went back down for a nap without too much resistance. The worst part about having two kids and one parent is not being able to go to the bathroom. You have to decide if they will be ok and not start crying too much if you want to go before the feeding because once they start it could be 30 to 60 minutes of sitting until you have your next chance. I am not sure how Erin manages when they feed so much, but so far I have opted for holding out until the feeding is done. I haven't posted in a few days, but they have been full of action. I took the bus in to work on both Tuesday and Thursday, then worked from home on Friday. I was hoping to get caught up, but it seems like that is not going to be possible any time soon. The positive reasons for taking the bus are the following:
  • It gets me in to work about 45 minutes before other people generally show up, which gives me some quality time to get stuff done.
  • It costs about half of driving across the Golden Gate bridge and then paying for parking and gas. This didn't matter so much when both the wife & I were working in the city and commuting together, but now it seems like saving around $1700 a year in commuting expenses plus the environmental benefits makes a lot of sense. When the kids get a couple months older or so, I plan to try and bike home from work once or more a week. It is about 12 or 13 miles and somewhat hilly, so it should both save $3.50 a trip and get me back in to shape.
  • It bookends the day nicely so that I don't go so engrossed in work that I forget to go home (yes, that tends to happen to me, it is both a blessing and a curse to love your job). I generally hop back online and work some more at night, but at least i can get home to see the family and get some quality time in.
There are also a few some minor negatives:
  • Australian non-stop talking about junk the whole trip both directions guy on the bus. I know every public transportation line has this guy (or girl). Fortunately they can be tuned out with an iPod and a book.
  • Lack of flexibility when at work. I can't leave early unless I want to take a $30 (?, not sure of the cost) cab or a $9 ferry home. Plus, if I ever did need to work late (or even go out after work in the city), the last ferry is around 9PM. After that it is cab territory.
  • Commute time goes from 20 minutes to 45. Since I am able to surf the 'net or read a book, this is not a big deal, really.
The biggest thing to happen while I was at work was the kids' first baths. Judging by the picture below, it looks like my wife was selling tickets:

Regardless of the process, it was nice to come home to fresh smelling and happily clean babies after work.

Finally, I would like to make a point to new dads that you should make sure to clear the couch of kids (or at least be aware of their presence) before sitting down. This morning I wasn't quite awake yet when and I went to sit on the couch I tried to brush away a pillow as I was sitting only to find out it was a kid sleeping. I don't think I would have actually sat on Matthew as I realized it was a really heavy pillow I was moving, but Erin decided to scream at me as additional insurance. Next time it will be coffee first, sit second. Lesson learned.

Monday, May 19, 2008

Back to work

As promised in the previous post, here is a picture of the family taking our walk together:

Sadly, though, tomorrow will be my first day back to work. It has been an awesome 2+ weeks with the babies but it is about time I get back to makin some bacon. Hopefully everything checks out tomorrow at their follow-up visit to the pediatrician and Erin can bring them in to work on Thursday for show-and-tell. I can't wait to show them off!

Sunday, May 18, 2008

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn...

...where Brooklyn is a euphemism for 'until they turn two', I guess. Last night we got almost no sleep. Apparently the kids are going through some sort of growth spurt which means that instead of sleeping they are awake and crying a lot and feeding even more. I think I got around 4 hours of sleep and the wife maybe half that. I suppose that isn't so bad, since it could have been no hours of sleep, but still much less than I am used to and less than they have been letting us get to this point. I really shouldn't complain since this means that they are super-hungry and growing like they are supposed to, but I really hope that we can work a deal out with them so that when I go back to work next week they let me get just enough to not be a zombie at work. Thursday and Friday they were sleeping enough that I was able to install a new-to-me open source CMS (Umbraco) and set up a website for the Make-A-Wish New Leadership Council in NYC and it was nice to get back into the tech state of mind for a little while. Once we get a live url I will post it. At any rate I hope to be able to balance the demands of the kids (and wife ;)) with those of work. Stay tuned for updates.

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Family outing #1

This morning we had our first non-medical related family outing. After having a nice breakfast and getting the kids fed and sleepy we loaded them up in their car seats and dropped into the double snap-n-go. We didn't go too far, just down to the bike path and back, maybe two miles total, but it felt great to get everyone out of the house and moving after pretty much just sitting here for the past couple of weeks. The weather was perfect as it was sunny and warm but with a slight breeze and they slept the whole time. We ran in to a bunch of our neighbors along the way who had already gotten the whole story from either Nana or Grandpa Mike and everybody loved the kids. Nana happened to drive by while we were walking so we got our first family action shot which I'll post as soon as she sends it to us. Overall the trip was a smashing success and will hopefully lead to more and farther outings.

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Birth weight, mission accomplished

We went to the pediatrician for the first time since Friday today to get a status on the kids' weight gain as they were previously not gaining weight at the appropriate pace. For the past 5 days we have been supplementing each feeding with a little formula just to make sure that they would be able to gain the recommended ounce a day weight gain. We were also getting them up every 2.5 hours for feedings which meant that Erin hasn't been sleeping much during the night. For some reason she has been kind enough to do most of the night work herself, leaving me the fairly basic task of just rocking them back to sleep each time. As it turns out the pediatrician had apparently told us to get them up every 3.5 hours, not 2.5, but both of us had either been staring at the kid we were holding or just generally spacing out when she said that as neither of us heard it. We probably could have gotten some extra sleep out of that schedule, but our diligence was rewarding by the fact that both of them had not only gained more than the requisite ounce a day, but had actually passed the birth weight threshold. Matty is up to 5 lbs 9 oz and Sarah is 5 lbs 13.5 oz which is fantastic. Not only does this put them back into the 'normal' baby category, it means that we can let them more or less tell us when they need to eat instead of keeping them on a strict schedule.
Ideally we could end up getting a solid 3 - 4 hours of sleep tonight but in reality they seem to both be cluster feeding so it may not be any different than the other nights. That isn't all bad, though, I would rather have them plumping up than happily sleeping away their health. Here is your cute twin pic o' the day titled: Not talking.

Monday, May 12, 2008


Not much to report today. Both kids felt like last night was not an opportune time to sleep and so we had to rock them to sleep after each feeding. Overall, still not too bad since i am off work again this week and they are sleeping well once we get them down. Erin had an OB appt today and everything checked out great with her healing process so we feel good about that. So tired. More later. Here's a relative indicator of how big they've gotten...
For reference, that is Sarah's foot next to a size 1 chuck taylor. It is still amazing to me that they are perfect replicas of a people in such a small package.

Sunday, May 11, 2008

Trip to the ER? Check.

Last night was fairly interesting as we had to take Matthew to the ER. Being a first time dad I am trying to be self-aware and not over-react to things as they come up as they are inevitably all new to me. So when Matthew's eye started to leak ooze and swell up exponentially over a couple of hours yesterday, I tried to think logically and do some research on the interwebs to figure out the best course of action. A bunch of minor things came up indicating a blocked tear duct, post-birth reaction to the Erythromycin given at birth, and the like. In addition to the 'not-so-serious' problems were things like viral infection, bacterial infection, and permanent damage to the eye. In the end we called Nana and Poppa Joe over to watch Sarah while we took the little man to the ER. Not exactly what Erin had in mind for her first mother's day. We initially went to the hospital to where he was born, but it turns out that they have no clinic there and would only take him if he needed to be hospitalized. Fortunately they were super nice and sent down a pediatrician to look at him and decided that it was not serious enough to admit him and gave us directions to the other campus. We got to the real ER a few minutes later and again got lucky in that it was a Saturday night and they were not too busy. After 45 minutes or so, they had taken a bunch of cultures for testing and suggested it was probably just conjunctivitis. We got some antibiotics for him and headed home. This morning his eye looks so much better and despite potentially over-reacting I think we made the right move in not waiting for it to get worse before deciding to take action. Happy mothers' day, wife (and Mimi and Nana)!

Friday, May 9, 2008

Weight Update

We all packed up and went to the pediatrician again today. Both kids had gained 1/2 an oz since yesterday, which is better than losing weight, but not up to the normal newborn 1 oz gain a day. I'll give them a pass since they were not even supposed to be here until next thursday. They are still not really able to regulate their body heat too well and get dehydrated easily, so we need to keep them well fed and bundled. The pediatrician recommended that we not leave the house except for doctor appointments until they both regain their birth weight plus a bit.

Tough to be the dad

I'm trying to find out if the following scenario will result in an automatic revocation of my dad license... I put Matthew in to the swing to calm him down after his 2:15 feeding last night because he tends to try and fight off the sleep. he has been enjoying the swing and my arms are really tired right now, so it works out great for both of us. At some indeterminate point later in the evening/morning, my babies' momma came in to get him because he was screaming and the swing had stopped swinging. I somehow managed to sleep through his noise even though my head was on the floor not more than a foot from the swing. Any thoughts?


Welcome to my blog. This is sort of a branch off of the blog my wife and I had during her pregnancy called AllTheToys. I figured since I'm their dad and they are now here in the world, I should have my own blog to describe my experiences with them. I'm doing this for me and them so hopefully once they are old enough I'll have some great stories to share with them. I guess to start I explain they were born on May 1st, which was about 2 weeks ahead of schedule. Sarah came out first @ 3:36pm and weighing in at 5lbs 11oz followed by her brother Matthew @ 3:38pm who was 5lbs 5oz. I was in the operating room and opted to see them pulled out from Erin by the doctor and it was the most amazing thing i have ever seen. I would highly recommend it to any dad to be. By the time we left the hospital 4 days later, they had both lost about 10% of their body weight which was within the normal tolerance for getting out. Both seem happy and healthy are what we always dreamed of.

- will