Tuesday May 21, 2013
I was browsing Google Maps/Satellite View today. You know how you do… poking around, just looking at my neighborhood. Something seemed strange. I kept noticing something. In fact, the more I looked the more I saw.
Trampolines. A lot of them.
This piqued my interest. So, I started counting them in my head. It didn’t take long before I realized I needed to take a more scientific approach. There were just too many to keep track of.
Here was my methodology.
Google Maps provides 5 different views of an area. First, the top down normal satellite view. Then, as you zoom in, you can see a 45° angle from north, south, east and west. I looked at each of them and marked any trampolines I saw. Now, sometimes a trampoline at a house is not visible in all 5 views (you can turn the 45° view on/off in the dropdown on the right of the map). I still count those, as the pictures were definitely taken at different times. For example, there are markers in places that are dirt lots in other images. The top down shot is the newest, where the 45′s are maybe up to a year and a half old judging by the construction going on around us.
On to the shocking results.
I found 121 trampolines! Seriously. In one rather small neighborhood. You can go look for yourself here. Does anyone else find that odd?
When I was growing up, I had 2 friends who had trampolines. I enjoyed them just like every other kid did. It seemed like my friends who had them would only really jump on it when their trampoline-less friends would come over. Even then, sometimes they didn’t want to do it.
I wonder what happens when you, and every one of your friends own a trampoline. Does it cease becoming novel real quick?
I don’t know what it all means. I just found it… strange.
If you have insight and/or theories about this strange phenomenon, please leave a comment. Perhaps we live in the sweet spot between household income, number of kids, and lack of very large trees to obscure the view. I really don’t know.
Side note, a couple other interesting things I saw were a half court “Jordan logo” basketball court, and in one image, what appears to be a miniature Tennessee Volunteers football field. (bonus points will be awarded if you can spot them)
At least I know I won’t need to buy my kids a trampoline (not that I was planning on it) since at least one of their friends is pretty much guaranteed to have one.
Wednesday January 16, 2013
Life with toddlers learning to talk is just one of those things. Sometimes it’s terrific and sometimes it’s not. More so of both when there are two of them spewing words at you non-stop.
For example, months ago they adopted the word “milp” which meant “milk”. Simple enough. Jess and I even found ourselves asking them if they wanted “milp”. Fun to say.
Well, somehow, a few weeks ago they completely changed it up on us. They no longer say “milp”. Now the word they use for milk sounds way more like “nap”. Those were a difficult couple days while we tried to figure out what in the hell they were saying. I still don’t know how they both were able to change the word at the same time. I picture them laying in their cribs at night conspiring to confuse he hell out of mom and dad.
Last week I was with Alex and Meri while Jess was out. Alex walked up to me and said a word that sounded like “cut”. It was obvious she was asking for something, it wasn’t just a statement. She had nothing in her hands, we weren’t eating or anything. No context clues whatsoever. Just out of the blue. Being 2, she didn’t just say “cut”… it was more like “cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, CUT, CUT, CUT…”
I literally had no idea what she was saying. So I start fishing, “cut?” I ask.
“Yeah”, she replied.
Shit… that doesn’t help me any.
“Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut…”
“Something to eat? A toy? Can you help Daddy out?”
“Cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut…”
Amazingly, hearing the word 75 times hasn’t helped me understand what she wanted. In desperation I turned to Meri to see if she could possibly act like a UN language translator.
“Hey Meri, do you know what sissy wants? Do you know what she’s saying?”
Meri replied, “cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut, cut…”
Luckily for me, 2 year olds are easily distracted and we moved on to something else. To this day, I still have no idea what she was saying. Jess has heard it as well, and similarly doesn’t have a clue.
Some other word adventures…
The word “more” has been said roughly 7 million times in our house since they first learned it a year ago. However, now it sounds like “moy” instead.
The word “uh-oh” is also used contsantly. Unfortunately they do not understand the difference between an actual accident and something they are doing on purpose. Meri will be standing there unzipping her pajamas all the while saying “uh-oh, uh-oh, uh-oh…”. Sweetie, that is not an uh-oh, you’re just being naughty.
Alex’s big thing lately is “hot”. Everything is hot. If it’s not stone cold, it must then be hot. We have to constantly reassure her that her that nothing is hot.
They are addicted to the movie Monsters Inc. Specifically, the very first scene of the movie where the monster screams and then falls down in the simulator. They let us know they want to watch this by repeating the words “guy fall” over and over and over again.
“peas” = please
“doot do” = thank you
“kak-kah” = cracker
“coo” or “coo coo” = cookie
They’ll pick up their toy purses they got for Christmas from grandma, sling them over their shoulder and say, “bye-bye… seelater”.
Must to Jess’s chagrin, Alex will occasionally just call her “mom”. She gave me a “dad” the other day.
Alex has had a rash on her rear, and she’ll say “bum hurt”. Sad and funny at the same time.
They love to talk about toots and poo poo. They must be my kids after all.
Still, the most uttered word by sheer volume is “uhh”. This is the catch-all word that is repeated ad nauseum. Any time they don’t fell like using their words and/or don’t know what words they want, they just say “uh uh uh uh uh uh…” it is quite aggravating. That is one bit of this journey I won’t miss when we pass by.
There is certainly never a dull moment in the Habertwin household.
Monday May 7, 2012
The Habertwins just keep growing. Well, not that much, since at our last doctor appointment they are still in the 5th and 8th percentiles for weight and all. Let’s say they are “advancing” at a rapid pace.
They can probably identify easily over 100 different items by name. If we say go get “xyz” toy, they can find it in the pile. Reading their picture books, we can ask them “which one is the cow?” and they can point it out. Verbally the aren’t as advanced yet but are improving almost daily. The words they do say (da da, momma, bye-bye, night-night, cheese, shoes, etc.) they are starting to put them together to form thoughts. Just yesterday, I went into our bedroom while Jess was playing with them. Alex turned to Jess and said “da da bye-bye”. Mind boggling that is happening already. We are also working on them saying their names. Alex does pretty good with her “Allllll-cexs”. Meri falls back something close to “momma” but is working on it.
You can tell Meri, “Let’s go change your diaper” and she will drop whatever she is doing and start heading to her room. Pretty funny to watch. She gets so excited about it for some reason.
We survived another round of sickness/simultaneous teething. The progression is like this… they start teething, so their gums hurt. They chew on their fingers constantly to make their gums feel better. Fingers in the mouth end up getting them sick. Thus, we have 2 children who are teething, uncomfortable, in pain, and can’t breathe because they have colds. Wow. Not good times.
We have reached a point where the following is completely true. If we have one of something, we have zero of something. Because, if there is just one, they will battle over it. As an addendum to that, if we have 2 of something, but it is something they can carry in one hand, then we’re still screwed because one kid will end up with both of them with the other kid screaming. In those cases, we need at least 5. One for each of their hands, and a “floater” to assuage any additional problems. I can see this getting out of control rapidly.
On the positive side, 2 days in a row last week we had 100% cry free afternoon commutes. 45 minutes of total silence from the back seat. No crying. No screaming. No nothing. I can probably count the total number of times that has happened in 14 months on one hand. So, you know, rare. About two thirds of the way home, Jess and I were looking at each other afraid to say anything that would screw it up. It was like a pitcher with a no-hitter going and nobody wanting to break his concentration. Alas, the string only lasted 2 days, but those were 2 glorious days… We are hoping to have turned a corner on this, but it is too early to tell.
With the weather finally getting nicer, the girls absolutely love being outside. They have been exploring the backyard, picking up rocks and digging in dirt. Good times.
They love eating bites of pizza. They must really be my kids after all.
All in all, every day that passes they are becoming more and more fun to be around. Their personalities are really coming out. The days that they are both in good moods are like gold. I wouldn’t trade those for anything.
Without further ado, here are some pictures. As always, go to Flickr to see all of the photos.
Twins – March 2012
Twins – April 2012
Tuesday February 21, 2012
Damn. How time flies anymore…
Alex and Meri are growing like crazy. Granted, they don’t seem to be getting a ton bigger just yet, but they are running now. Usually in a direction away from us when we call them. They think that is hilarious. They both have crazy fascination with their coats and want to wear them all the time. They absolutely LOVE zippers. Can’t keep their hands off them. Want to move them up and down. Alex will grunt at you to zip up her jacket so she can play with it more.
We’ve upgraded from their old “bucket” style car seats to their new big-kid type seats. They adjusted to them pretty well. Jess and I had a little more work to do, since we now have to wrangle the kids in and out of the car, rather than just grabbing the whole seat. We’re getting it figured out.
They are both learning more words. They don’t know what all of them mean and they are just mimicking Jess and I, but they do know somethings like “banana”, “duck”, “night night” (nap/bed time) and others. Some of the recent additions are “sissy” (what we call each of them), “boom”, “go go go”, “done”, “yeah”. It is quite fascinating. Although, the still don’t like to perform on command. Go figure. The do know what the sound of the bathtub being filled and will come running and attempting to strip off their clothes. Yeah, they love baths.
Meal times are still trying. Alex, for the most part will eat without much complaint. Meri, on the other hand wants nothing to do with us feeding her most times. She only wants to feed herself finger type foods. All well and good, unless you’re trying to feed them some bananas and yogurt in the morning and still get out the door at a reasonable time. Yesterday, Jess and I spent about 4 hours preparing 10 different recipes of baby food and filling our freezer with stuff to feed them. All fresh veggies and meat. Provided they eat it, they will definitely be eating better than their parents do.
Anyway, without further ado, here are more pictures of these crazy kids. As always, more available on Flickr.com than are posted here. Enjoy!
Habertwins February ’12
Wednesday February 1, 2012
So, today is football National Letter of Intent Day. In layman’s terms, it’s the day when all those high school seniors can officially sign with the college team of their choice. It’s the culmination of the long and arduous recruiting process.
Obviously, since college football is such an obsession with many fans, yours truly included, a great amount of attention is paid to recruiting. Stands to reason that if you don’t get the best players possible, your team won’t be as good as it can be in the coming years… or something like that. Fans buy magazines devoted to recruiting. They pay for websites that track potential recruits and learn what other schools players are considering. At this point, recruiting information is big business, and is just getting bigger.
All sorts of media outlets have their own rankings of high school players. Every player is given a star rank, from 1 to 5 stars. The 5 star kids are the biggies. The golden boys. What everyone is chasing. ESPN has their “Top 150″ list of the top 150 players in the country, and lists what schools they’ve committed to. Sportingnews.com, CBSSports.com, Rivals.com and Scout.com and many others all devote huge amounts of coverage to college recruiting. If you google “college football recruiting” you’ll get 18,700,000 hits. Arguably there is maybe more interest in college recruiting than there is in hockey at this point. Every one of these outlets will ultimately give each school a rank from 1-119 as to how well they did with this year’s recruiting class. The fans of the school with the number 1 recruiting class will get all giddy and dream of the 3 national championships that class is certainly going to win in the coming years. Fans of the teams that don’t get a high ranked class will worry about the direction of their program and why their coaching staff couldn’t recruit better. Coaches have literally lost jobs over perceived poor recruiting rankings.
And you know what? It’s all bullshit.
Oh sure, your team has to have good players in order to win. Nobody is disputing that. But if you actually believe that any 1 media outlet has the means to accurately scout, evaluate and rank every high school football player out there, you’re deluded. For the record, I am no insider. I have never been through the process. I’m just a fan, and this is what I observe. Allow me to provide you with some statistics.
According to the National Federation of State High School Associations, in 2010/11 some form of organized football (from 6-man through traditional 11-man) was played at 15,513 high schools in the US. At those schools, 1,134,347 boys played football. If we divide that number by 3 to get only the seniors (that number is an estimate, since not all schools/players play 4 years of football, but this is just rough calculations anyway), we get 378,115 recruitable athletes, if we assume that a kid who has the body and ability to play college football could come from any of those schools, which doesn’t sound like that much of a stretch. Further, if we say that maybe 10% of those players could even be considered skilled and/or big and fast enough to play at the highest levels of college football, that still leaves us with almost thirty-eight THOUSAND possible athletes.
Don’t you suppose that the resources required to accurately rate every one of those kids is WELL beyond what anyone is currently capable of? Oh sure, they could easily scout the biggest football-factory type high schools out there. Which is generally what they do. But I’m going to guess that some very good players could EASILY slip through the recruiting media’s nets. Just for reference, Kellen Moore was 2 or 3 star recruit coming out of high school.
Ok. Say that doesn’t convince you. That’s fine. Even if you believe that it is possible for the recruiting media to see every single possible athlete out there, what about their actual evaluations? You know, those handy dandy star ratings stuck on every player to which everyone pays so much attention. Think they’re always 100% accurate?
Sure, they can measure how big and tall someone is. They can measure how much they can bench press. They can measure how fast they run 40 yards. They can even watch film from the games they’ve played. That may give them an idea. But these boys are 18 years old. They haven’t even become what they’re going to become yet. I would argue that a LOT more goes into making a successful football player than just “measurables”. What about work ethic? A kid will have to juggle football, workouts and classes all at the same time. What about maturity? That kid may well be away from home for the first time in his life. What about desire to get better? Drive? Coachability? How do they measure those? What about smarts? Sure they could look at his GPA, but how well a kid does on his history exam doesn’t exactly reflect how well he can read a defense.
If you need any more evidence into just how much of an inexact science football evaluation is, just look at the NFL. Yeah, they do quite a little bit of evaluating of players leading into the draft. They have a MUCH smaller group of players to look at. Players who are older, more mature. More tape to watch of players against top talent. There is the combine where the top players gather in one place and show EXACTLY what they can do. There are hours of interviews. More tape. Teams literally have millions of dollars riding on every evaluation. You know what? Even THEY wiff on players. It happens every single year. Jamarcus Russell anyone? If an NFL team can’t even properly evaluate the #1 pick in the draft, I totally believe that Rivals.com can totally accurately rate a 17 year old pimple-faced kid from Paducah, Kentucky. Sure.
The thing is, every one of these recruiting services has absolutely zero incentive to be accurate. Follow me here. They have incentive to make money. Sell subscriptions. Drive ad traffic. That’s it. If you look at the rankings every year, you’ll always see the same bunch of teams at the top. They are the Texases, the Ohio States, the Alabamas. You know, those teams that have huge, rabid followings. Sure, they all get good players, but if you want to attract that traffic to your publication how do you do that? It’s not by giving them rankings in the 30′s or 40′s that’s for sure. Why is it that Notre Dame has had a top 25 recruiting class every year but hasn’t been relevant in college football since the early ’90s? Couldn’t be that their player rankings could have been skewed, huh?
Where is the incentive for them to be accurate? There is none. Nobody is going to go back to Scout.com in 4 years and say “well, you gave Michigan a top #3 recruiting class but that team finished 6-6 three years in a row. You’re fired”. In the NFL front offices get fired for poor decisions. Yet everyone just gives these recruiting services a pass. You see articles like this from a very respected college football writer wondering why Boise State doesn’t recruit better. He looks at a number of supposed reasons except the one that is shouting from the back of my head… THE RANKING SYSTEM IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT. I’m going to go ahead and trust Coach Petersen to get the kids he wants to get. He’s got actual skin in the game, so to speak. He has said repeatedly that he doesn’t pay attention to star rankings, because he knows what he is looking for. He is certainly not looking at what everyone else thinks of his recruits. Plain and simple. Obviously, he is getting good players despite what the rankings say. He can’t go 50-3 in 4 years by recruiting one-legged hobos and escaped mental patients, which is what the national press seems to think we’re doing.
However, I will say there is one positive aspect of this entire industry for us here at Boise State. Every one of the type of kids we get feels slighted by the rankings. They know the 2 stars they got isn’t accurate. Coach Pete looks for those kids with a chip on their shoulder and looking to prove someone wrong. And that is exactly what they do.
So, later today when you hear about how well, or how poorly your favorite school did in recruiting this year take heart. None of it is by itself indicative of how your team will do in the coming years, good or bad. Just relax. Spring football starts in a few weeks anyway.
Tuesday January 3, 2012
It was bound to happen sooner or later. Last week, it was my time to shine.
With Jess going back to work after Christmas and my office being closed for the holiday (as well as our daycare being closed), it fell upon me to man up and maintain the Habertwins for 4 straight days all by my lonesome. To say it was an adventure would be an understatement.
These girls are high energy and completely mobile. They just don’t stay in one place for more than 37 seconds at a time and are usually heading in opposite directions. Actually, that is probably a good thing since Alex has a penchant for horse collar tackles of Meri and mashing their heads together. Anyway, the best we can do in our house to keep them corralled is to close all the doors to bedrooms and bathrooms. However, the main living area of our house is one big open room of kitchen, living & dining rooms. It is impossible to keep them in a small contained area. One day, as I was feeding Alex a bottle, Meri was occupying herself by dunking a book in the dog’s water bowl. Needless to say, I spent a good deal of time chasing them down. If I had a dollar bill for every time I said either of their names, “come here” or “no” we could retire early and hire a live in nanny.
Here is a visual representation of what went on in our house. This first picture is all of their old toys and new Christmas stuff semi-neatly piled up out of the way:
After 2 hours:
And after 4 hours:
You might notice that the density of toys seems lower in the last picture… that is because many of the toys have since migrated out of the living room area and are now in the kitchen, dining room and elsewhere.
One thing I learned fast was to break the day down into more digestible chunks.
First chunk was getting them out of bed, diapers changed, bottles fed, breakfast fed, another diaper change (poopies this time), play time, then down for their first nap, sometime between 9:30am and 10am. Yeah, they’re weird. For some reason, they can sleep 12 hours, wake up for 2 and be tired again.
During that nap, I can finally relax, maybe take a pee, and polish off the coffee without having to keep little hands out of the mug. The thing is with these girls, you can’t set anything down where they might reach it. Because they WILL reach it and dump/poor/spill/wreck anything they can. However, one benefit of being the only one home watching them is that I get to drink the entire pot of coffee myself. The caffeine jolt helps quite a bit. About an hour after they go down, you start watching the clock, just knowing they are going to start hollering soon. The first day I got them up when they only napped for 45 minutes. That was dumb. By Friday when they squaked at an hour in, I let them spend 10 minutes crying when they fell back asleep for another hour. It’s all a learning process.
Chunk 2 is getting them up from the nap, doing more bottles, more diapers, then some lunch. Feeding them is probably one of the most stressful parts of this whole deal. They keep you on your toes. You just never know what they’re going to want. Sometimes, they HAVE to feed themselves, and will do the tight-seal-mouth-turn-the-head method of spoon refusal. Other times, you’ll get out some pieces of cheese or banana or whatever on their tray and they won’t touch it. One time, Alex would pick up a piece of food from her tray, look me square in the face and drop it right on the floor with disdain. *sigh* Or, food they loved yesterday and couldn’t get enough of, today they will spit out the second it touches their tongue. I don’t even want to think about what this bodes for the future. One thing they always seem to like is Cheerios. Which is a good thing, unless the dog is at doggy day care to stay out of dad’s hair for the day. Tuesday, there were roughly 4,739 cheerios spread across the floor.
The afternoons are not as structured as the mornings. It is a lot of play time. The thing with 1 year olds, is that at least as far as I know, they aren’t really into organized activities. Which makes killing time so difficult. On Wednesday, the Grandparents took the girls for 3 hours which was like a mini vacation. I came home and napped. Thursday and Friday the weather was so nice (in the 40′s) that we were able to take LONG walks around the neighborhood. Friday afternoon in particular, we went almost 4 miles in an hour and a half. They slept a little in the Bob stroller. I put on my headphones and could zone out for a while. That was nice.
Hopefully, they’ll take an afternoon nap somewhere in there. Afternoon naps are iffy though. Most often, they’re pretty short. Then it’s just killing time until mommy comes home to help out. I can remember one day looking at the clock on the wall and thinking, “Ok… just 5 hours and 10 minutes until Jess gets home”. Then looking at the clock again at what felt like 40 minutes later… 5 hours and 5 minutes until she gets home. Ooof.
One day, Alex pooped 4 times. Throw in 2 for Meri, it made for a stinky day.
I admit, shortcuts were taken as well. They stayed in pajamas all day. Life was just easier that way. Besides, we weren’t in public anyway. In fact, Dad stayed in pajama pants and a t-shirt as well. Funny how everything else goes right out the window. I didn’t get dressed. I didn’t shower. I only put actual clothes on when I took them for a walk. Only one of the 4 days did I even remember to eat lunch. I didn’t accomplish a single other thing than tending to the Habertwinadoes. I’m guessing that it probably takes a month or 2 before you reach a point where one could watch kids and still accomplish other things like cleaning up or doing laundry. I’m certainly not there yet.
All of that being said, it was probably a good thing for me to have done this. If anything, I figure if I can do that I can do just about anything. Plus they did get some quality Dad time. Not that they don’t get a good amount of that on a regular basis, but with mom nowhere to be found, they couldn’t be dependent on her. I think by Friday, the girls were getting used to Dad’s program as well. Having one less set of hands makes putting them down for a nap different. Instead of them each getting one on one rocking and bottle time, they got to share Dad’s lap. I held a bottle and a baby in each arm and rocked them. Tuesday, they didn’t like this much and cried for 20 minutes after I put them in their cribs. By Friday, they went right down for their nap with nary a peep. No muss, no fuss.
And, all of the work aside, they can be a lot of fun when they’re in good moods. And even when they’re choosing to not eat, sometimes they can be pretty funny. I also was able to spend some time teaching them where their noses and ears are. It is pretty cute to see them point to their noses when I ask where they are. However, Meri will often stick her finger IN her nose… which I suppose is still correct. Unfortunately, they don’t like to perform in front of others. So, it’s a pretty tough skill to show off.
I’m pretty interested to see what 2012 has in store. I can almost see these girls getting bigger every day. Each day they get better balance. They learn something new. They are sleeping in now, if you can believe it. During the break, they slept til 7, 7:30 and once til almost 8am. That is a far cry from the 5:45am days. In fact, this morning when heading back to work we had to set an alarm, get ourselves up and ready at 6:40, before waking them up. I never thought I’d see the day. It was the first alarm I have set in 13 months. Crazy.
I’m really trying my best to soak in the things I enjoy before they’re gone. Probably my all time favorite is the few times a day when they’ll nestle their heads on my shoulder when holding them. If they only knew that was the perfect way to keep dad from ever putting them down…
Monday December 5, 2011
To quote Ricky Bobby, “That just happened.”
Damn right it did.
Alexandra and Meredith, and more miraculously Jess and I, have survived a whole year. I can scarcely believe it.
One year. 12 months. 52 weeks. 365 days. 8760 hours. Let’s break this down a little. Doing some quick calculations, I’ve come up with the following facts and figures. A glimpse into the first year with twins.
Diapers. Roughly 4,380 diaper changes averaging 6 per kid per day. However, that might be conservative. I know there were days were I changed 6 diapers by 10am. We performed 2/3 of those (the others were at day care), dividing by two of us, means we have each changed roughly 1,500 diapers. Also, we’ve probably spent about $800 on just diapers. That’s a lot of money to just shit on…
Feedings. We did finger feedings for them for the first month. Every three hours. Total of 240 times, give or take. I don’t even know how we did that that many times. Seriously. Brutal.
Breast feeding. Jess breastfed them as many times as we finger fed them. Which is even more remarkable. Sure, we switched to bottles about a month in, but Jess was still pumping after every meal until about month 4.5. She fed and/or pumped easily 1100+ times. Filling gallons of bags.
Formula. They go through about a can a week, give or take. Cans cost us $25 each. They breastfed for 3 1/2 months. Starting about 3 months in they started with formula, so, that’s 40 weeks give or take. Upwards of $1000, and we ain’t done. Not to mention having filled and mixed all of those bottles 4 or 8oz at a time.
Baby food. They average maybe 3 or 4 containers a day since month 4. We’ve bought pallets of that stuff. It is quite amusing when we go to the grocery store and Jess piles 50 or 60 containers in the cart.
Sleep. They started reliably sleeping through the night around month 9. So, that’s approximately 240 nights in a row of interrupted sleep where we got up to tend to them. Over half of those entailed getting up more than once. The first 100 days or so, neither of us slept for longer than 3 hours at any one stretch.
Rounds of teething. At least 6 separate times, they’ve simultaneously begun teething. These episodes last about a week, and really really suck.
Photographs. I’ve taken somewhere in the neighborhood of 13,000 pictures. That seems like a lot, but I think I could have easily taken more.
Daycare. Jess went back to work start of month 4. Girls have been in daycare for 9 months. $700 per kid, per month. $12,600 on day care. Excuse me while I vomit into my shoes.
The girls have been moving non stop since they were born. They were army crawling by month 5. Standing by month 7. Alex started walking before 10 months. Meri not far behind. They currently both have multiple bumps bruises on their heads from their wacking their melons into things. Looks like they were in a prize fight or something.
On Sunday we had a big shindig to get all the friends and family together to celebrate. The girls were really good all day. Jess and I were amazed. They couldn’t have been better. They had a blast digging into their cakes. Whipped cream everywhere. Then the gifts… wow… everyone was way too generous to us and the girls. They got tons of new books, new toys, new clothes. They really cleaned up. We can’t thank everyone enough. Photos will be coming. Watch this space.
Today was their actual birthday and that didn’t go quite as smoothly. After rousting them and getting them ready for the day, I was holding Alex. Just about to put her in her car seat when she proceeds to projectile vomit. Ever been puked on so much that you had to change every article of clothing you were wearing? Including socks and underwear? Yeah, that was me. We got her cleaned up, thinking maybe she just choked on something. Get them in the car to go to work and not 3 minutes down the road, Meri pukes all over herself in her car seat. That seals it. We turned the car around and came home. Clean everyone up and then put them down for a nap.
They slept for almost 2 hours, and I was able to work from home. The got up, had a little bit of bottle, played some. Seemed to be much happier. Not long after that they went back down for another 2 hour nap, which was great. When the got up, we tried a little cereal which they ate. They were really thirsty so they did drink quite a bit. All systems looked like we were good. They went down for one more 50 minute nap at 4pm and we thought we might be in the clear.
We did some bath time, since they both smelled like vomit. Half way through we saw something floating in the water. Green and stringy. Still don’t know if this was puke or poop. I didn’t see anyone yak, but that doesn’t mean it didn’t happen. Drain the tub and use the shower head to rinse them off well, which made them cry. Finally get them calmed down and Jess is rocking Alex… I’m in the other room with Meri when I hear “Um… she just puked all over me.” Re-clean her up as Jess strips off puke filled clothes. Meri is still fussing and starts to make that sound like she is going to puke. I hold her near the kitchen sink, hoping that if it comes I can angle her correctly. Despite many false alarms, she never pukes. We finally put them down after giving them a little water to drink and Alex crashes. Meri cries herself to sleep. Luckily they are both down now. Whew. Happy Birthday indeed. I thought this much puking was reserved for your twenty-first, not your first… I can’t wait to tell them about this someday. For the record, not one drop of puke landed anywhere near the hardwood floors. Every single bit was on carpet somewhere. Nice aim, girls.
Raising twin babies, you quickly become immune to things that would have horrified you previously. You think getting barfed on is as traumatic a thing as can happen. Meh… no biggie. Poop shooting out the side of a diaper? So what? Snot running down their faces? Whatever. Parents just learn to be bulletproof.
When well, the girls are infinitely more fun then they’ve ever been. Alex is into pointing at things. Everything. They love eating Cheerios. Just today, when we were in the office, Alex had a post card and Jess said, “go give that to daddy!” and she walked right over to me with it outstretched in her hand. We haven’t tried to teach her anything like that. She did it all on her own. Amazing.
I will say, that just about the highlight of my day is when we walk into day care to pick them up. They will be playing, walking, or doing whatever. Then they stop, look up at the door at us and both get the biggest smiles on their faces. Now, they will toddle over and grab our legs. Sorta makes everything else worth it.
This past year has been rough. But the payoff is incredible. I love those crazy little girls.
I’m never doing this again.
Monday November 14, 2011
I know I haven’t written as much about Boise State football in the recent months as I did early on in this blog. Probably a function of less time to blog, and more important events going on. But, I’ve held my tongue enough. In the wake of the loss to TCU this past Saturday, I have some observations I’d like to pass along.
Note, I have not read a single analysis, recap or opinion of this game. I’ve been in a self-imposed 100% media blackout since that field goal try went wide right. So, if anything I’m writing here has been repeated elsewhere just know that these are my thoughts and my thoughts alone.
Also, this is not just about that game, although there will be plenty of thoughts about that in here. There will be season long reflections as well. Some of these things have been nagging away at me, and took the focus of a loss to bring out. For the record, I did enjoy the orange uniforms with the white helmets. Unfortunately, with the outcome of the game we may not see that combination again any time soon…
Here goes nothing.
First off, let me say that losing sucks. Losing at home sucks worse. Having been to every home game since 1992, I’ve seen plenty of losses. 1996 comes to mind when we went 2-10 including 6 home losses. However, we hadn’t lost a regular season home game since 2001. Hadn’t lost a home conference game since 1998. That is domination. I don’t care who you’re playing.
So, this is uncharted territory.
Saturday was the perfect game to highlight what went wrong with this team. Some in our control, some not. There is plenty of blame to go around.
1. I think it was obvious that our coaches got out game-planned. Because TCU had rushed for 390 yards the previous week against Wyoming, that was what Boise State’s coaches thought they would need to stop. However, TCU’s coaching staff knew that Petersen and co. would go that route, so they decided to go the other way and throw over the top. You can tell that Boise State’s defense was geared up to stop the run. That is why the DBs kept jumping on the play action and pump fakes leaving wide open receivers to catch 75 yard touchdown passes. I’m sure they had been drilled during the week that they would need to support the run stoppers. By the time the 2nd half rolled around and adjustments could be made, the damage had been done. I mean, we won the 2nd half 21-16. Unfortunately, we were down 20-14 at half. Side note, we did stop their run. They only had 33 rushing yards on 26 attempts. Unfortunately, they also threw for 473 yards…
2. Injuries. Oh god the injuries. Let me say that we really missed having Jerrell Gavins in this game. The senior CB was having a huge season before his season-ending injury. Jamar Taylor, a junior CB is also hurt. Ebo Makinde apparently pulled his hammy on one of those bombs. This left us with sophomores and freshmen with limited experience at corner. TCUs game plan went right at these guys. While some of these guys will be really good, true frosh Lee Hightower I’m looking at you, they weren’t ready for prime time on Saturday.
While we’re talking injuries let’s look at running back. Drew Wright, the 4th or 5th string running back was in there at the end, to fumble away the chance we had to salt the game away. That fumble is what gave TCU the ball and the chance to come back. Nice enough player, but the guy you want to see running the ball when you’re up 35, not at crunch time. Doug Martin, the clear #1 running back was injured a week ago against UNLV. He was in uniform, but obviously couldn’t go. #2 DJ Harper had a good day running the ball, but was apparently injured on the previous possession. Malcolm Johnson, who probably would have been the 3rd RB blew out his ACL in fall camp. True freshman Jay Ajayi could have burned his redshirt year, except he blew out his knee in practice a couple weeks ago. Leaving really only Drew Wright to tote the rock, against a team who’s only hope was to force a turnover. Note, after the fumble when Boise State got the ball back, Doug Martin went into the game but he was obviously not 100%.
3. Our receiving corps. We have a lot of good players at receiver. In the off season I got really tired of hearing the national media say how we’d never be able to replace Titus Young and Austin Pettis. I thought we’d certainly have the players to do it. Now, while all of our receivers are good, none of them are explosive. We basically have 5 possession/slot receivers. Shoemaker is really good. Miller is already really good, and may someday be great. That deep ball that Kellen Moore completed to true freshman Dallas Burroughs on Saturday was the first true bomb I can remember seeing all season. We’ve had long touchdowns, but they’ve usually been caused by poor defense and were passes of 15-20 yards that the receiver took the rest of the way. Nobody has elite speed. Nobody can get open deep. They can all run good routes and get open, and Moore is amazing enough to fit the ball into tight spaces. But that deep threat is not there. Geraldo Boldewijn was supposed to be that threat, but I just don’t think he’s up to the task (and he missed the first 4 games of the year).
4. I think we miss previous offensive coordinator Bryan Harsin more than I thought we would. No offense to current OC Brent Pease, but the offense just doesn’t seem to have the same spark… that same precision as in previous years. Harsin (now at Texas) is a supreme play caller. He would get a defense on it’s heels, then press every advantage. I’m not sure I’m seeing that this year. Feels like we’ve had way more 3 and outs. I know, fans who complain about play calling are usually idiots and all. I’m not saying I could do it better or anything. I’m saying I think that Harsin DID do it better. That’s the limit of my knowledge in that area.
5. Speaking of coaching, the end of the game I have a problem with as well. It’s been well known that we have a serious problem in the kicking game. Obviously, when you attempt a grand total of 4 field goals in 8 games, that doesn’t scream confidence. Not to mention, I’ve seen more missed/flubbed/blocked extra points this year to last me a good long time. Now, I don’t want to pile on our freshman kicker any more than he’s already gotten. Instead I have issues with the coaches. After a decent last minute drive to get in position we had the ball on the 20 yard line, with 20 seconds and a time out. Instead of riding the arm of your Heisman finalist and winningest QB in NCAA history, you decide to have him run into the middle of the field and lay down, to set up that ill fated kick. I will never understand that call. You HAVE to keep the ball in Moore’s hands. He’s done it before, see VT last year. He’s a senior. He was 46-2 for a reason. Instead, you decide to put the game on the foot of a freshman who’s made 3 field goals all year. I just don’t get it.
6. Frankly, I just don’t think we’re as good as last year. Good enough to kick Georgia’s teeth in. But still, not as good.
7. What really bums me out is with this loss, and the Nevada loss last year, is we’ve essentially wasted the last 2 seasons of Kellen Moore. We got to the BCS in ’10 vs TCU and won. But last year, we were really primed for something special. We’d have gone to the Rose Bowl. Instead we had to choke away that Nevada game. This year we had perhaps an admitted longshot at a national championship game. At worst, we were looking at a probable Sugar Bowl. Now? We’ll be lucky to get back into the Las Vegas bowl. It’s just depressing. You only get so many chances to see a transcendent player on the biggest stage. We blew 2 of them.
8. I hate having a college football system where we have to go undefeated to get a taste of anything above facing the 8th best Pac-12 team in some crappy bowl nobody cares about. Despite how we’ve made it look in previous seasons, going undefeated is hard. I don’t care who you play. If it was so easy, more teams who play so-called “weak schedules” would do it. That really sucks.
9. I really hope our pass defense isn’t as bad as it looked. San Diego State has been known to throw the ball around and we have them in their house this weekend. Yikes.
Ok, on to a few of the more positive things I’ve got.
1. If we had to lose this year, I’d pick to lose to TCU. At least they have some national cache. If they hadn’t choked away 2 early games, they could have easily come in here undefeated. I wanted to beat Georgia. Badly. That gets the “you’ve never beat an SEC team” monkey off our back. Losing to anyone else would have be way worse.
2. At least now I can stop worrying about polls, and what other teams are doing and everything else. Small consolation, however. Perhaps this next weekend I can just enjoy football without hoping that Georgia is winning, and Oklahoma State is losing or whatever else. I just know that none of it really matters now. That being said, I still did enjoy watching Oregon stomp a mudhole in Stanford’s ass Saturday night. I KNEW Stanford was overrated. They hadn’t played anyone. At all. And got exposed. That was fun.
3. TCU’s coach Patterson said after the game that the Big 12 should absolutely get Boise State into it’s conference. Of course, that probably isn’t going to happen, but was good for someone to say.
4. All things being equal, we’re still living in an era of 46-3 with those 3 losses coming by a combined 5 points.
5. I still love Boise State. No loss, no 10 losses, no 50 losses will ever change that. Ever.
6. When we got home from the game, I was obviously still pretty salty. But we walked in the door and Alex saw me and came walking right over to me wearing her little Boise State shirt. Sorta puts things into perspective. Doesn’t mean I have to like it, but perhaps it’s not all as bad as it could seem.
Friday October 21, 2011
We made it another month… Double digits, baby.
The girls are going like gangbusters now. Alex has no fear, and will let go of the couch and just recently walked like 6 steps before tumbling. It’s amazing, and frankly a little disconcerting to see a person less than 2 feet tall walking. If she wasn’t so cute, it might be something out of a horror movie. Meri, is still walking only while holding on to something. She isn’t as adventurous as her sister. However, she is generally less perturbed about things than Alex is. Meri can entertain herself more than Alex. Gets less upset when hurt than Alex, except for when mom does the nose sucker… she does NOT like that.
We’re sleeping through the nights still. Bed time is around 7pm which is awesome. It gives Jess and I some decompress time before we crash. It’s really nice. We also have a routine where while Jess is feeding them, I’m making something for she and I to eat. Usually something simple, but still… home cooking.
They both are eating well. They are getting 3 “solid” meals a day now. Jess and I take turns with who gets to get the girls up and fed in the mornings, and who gets to sleep an extra 20 minutes. Basically, one of us will roll out of bed around 6am. Get both girls changed, warm up some formula and get that in them (put them side by side on the couch while you double fist two bottles). Then, get them in their highchairs and mix up some of their oatmeal and maybe mix in a little fruit. Feeding them solids can still be a bit of a challenge as they don’t like to pay attention. Also, when the food gets on their face they like to smear that around. We gotta use strong spring clips to keep their bibs on since they like to pull theirs off (or, their sister’s depending) and wave it around. After breakfast is over and they’re cleaned up, they go in their jumperoos while we get ready for work. Usually, while they are in those, one or both of them will poop, so they’ll have to be changed again before getting dressed for the day, loaded in their seats and out the door. Somehow, we are able to leave the house around 7:20am every day. Whew.
Without further ado, let’s make with the pictures. As always, click an image to view it, or the whole set on Flickr.
Tuesday September 6, 2011
It’s that time again. I’ve finally cleaned the memory card of photos I’ve taken in the past couple months. Here is what Alex and Meri have been up to lately.
Let’s see… what’s been going on…
Well, we successfully drug the girls across country to Pittsburgh PA. That was a serious accomplishment, if I do say so myself. Full post on that trip is forthcoming, I promise.
After a few more teething rounds, which were not fun at all, we now have 5 teeth each. Nothing can stop these pip-squeaks from growing. I remain completely blown away how 2 kids can both start teething within 12 hours of each other. Amazing.
We took the girls to the Western Idaho Fair a couple weeks ago. It was hotter than hell the day we went, but they were total troopers. Nary a cry was heard. They are almost always good in public, though. They didn’t get much out of the fair, I don’t think. They just kinda rolled around in the stroller with the same bewildered look on their face. Next year will undoubtedly be more fun. One side note to taking twins to the fair… for once WE were not the biggest freak show/attraction for people to stare at and comment about. Between carnival rides, food booths, farm animals, and hot tub sales, there was plenty else to keep peoples’ attention off of me any my kids. I can’t adequately describe how nice that was. I wish I could go to the fair every week for that reason alone.
However, the biggest news has come from changes to our bedtime/sleep routine. We had settled into a routine of rocking them to sleep every night. Some nights, it would take 45 minutes… sometimes 90 minutes. To be perfectly honest, it wasn’t that bad of a gig. Jess and I would each get a beer, have our phones, sit in their dark room and relax ourselves. The problems came in keeping the girls asleep. If they woke up, we could be stuck rocking them back to sleep because we didn’t know what else to do.
Well, Jess had ordered a DVD called The SleepEasy Solution and we chose to try their method. It basically consists of performing your regular “wind down” bedtime activities as usual… pajamas, stories, bottles, etc. But not letting them fall asleep. Then, you put them down awake and leave the room. Of course, they cried. You set a timer for 5 minutes, then you go into the room and let them see you, but don’t touch them, and reassure them that you’re there and they can do it. Less than 30 seconds. Then, you set a timer for 10 minutes. Repeat. If they’re still crying, set a timer for 15 minutes and repeat. Basically, you’re teaching them they can fall asleep without a crutch (our rocking). The first night they cried for about 35 minutes. The second night, we didn’t make it to the 15 minute check, they fell asleep at about 28 minutes. Eventually, in 5 or 6 days they are asleep in less than 5 minutes after we put them down. Seldom do they cry as we leave the room. We will listen to them on the monitor and they will jabber to each other in the room, but not cry. Then they just fall asleep. Damn, this shit almost works like magic. Amazing. Plus, it gives Jess and me 30 to 90 minutes of our days back. Not to mention that when the girls wake up in the middle of the night, they seldom cry. If they do, we still don’t go in and they just fall back asleep.
Now, we’re still rolling out of bed at 6:30am, but there isn’t much we can do about that…
Anyway, without further ado, on with the pictures. As always, there are more pictures on Flickr than posted here. Click on the picture itself, or the link to go there.
One of the girls at daycare french-braided our hair!
So, there ya go. More to come!