Category Archives: Family

Twin Pix – Months 5,6 & 7

You know how when you get busy and time just slips away from you? AKA, why you’re getting 3 months of photos in a single post…

A short Habertwin update. They are growing quickly. They are grabby as all hell, especially with things they aren’t supposed to have. They are eating a ton of baby food and still sucking down bottles of formula. Their dexterity is amazing. They are now able to grab a binky and put it correctly into their mouths. Of course, they are also just as apt to chew on some other part of the binky… can’t tell if that’s intentional or not. Meri is now combination army crawling/rolling across the floor to get to where she wants to go. Alex isn’t quite as mobile, but can still roll and scoot backwards a little bit. They’ve both got “monkey feet” which they curl their toes to grab things.

They are sleeping in their own room, each in their own cribs for about the past month. Which is a good thing, since they were rolling and knocking heads sleeping together. They generally only wake once per night. Unfortunately, that is only a generality. Last night they both were crabby and awake from 1:30am until about 4. Not good times. Meri has slept through the night a handful of times already. Alex is not there yet. That’s the thing with twins… Even if one perchance sleeps through the night, the chances of the other one doing the same thing are not great. So, we’re still getting out of bed anyway. The frustrating thing is we know they know how to do it now… they just choose not to.

We’re still crying on the commute home every day. That’s not fun. Nothing we attempt to do appeases them. So, they cry the entire 45 minute trip home. As soon as we get there, they stop. Go figure. Good thing that’s not stressful.

Anyway, without further ado, here are the pics. As always, more pictures reside on Flickr.com to view. Click the link or the individual picture to view them.

5 Months Old on Flickr

Feeding Time

Meri

Meri

Alex & Meri

Alex & Meri

This is what it is like attempting to hold 2 babies who’d rather be doing something else:
Mom with girls

6 Months Old on Flickr

You’ll notice that only Meri is wearing the sticker on her shirt with the “6 months” on it. That’s because we misplaced the other set. Still haven’t found ’em, nor really had much time to look. Oh well.
Alex & Meri

Meri & Alex

Alex

Meri & Alex

They aren’t getting any easier for mom to position…
Girls

7 Months Old – 4th of July on Flickr

Alex

Meri

Alex & Meri

Alex & Meri

Alex & Meri

So, there ya go. Hope you enjoyed.

Perhaps next month’s will be published before November, but I make no guarantees.

Lessons for my Daughters – #2

Meri & AlexSecond in the series of imparting my life’s lessons to Meri and Alex to follow as they grow older. If you missed the first go ’round you can find it here. I think my plan is to provide a dozen items in a post. Lot’s of good things come in sets of 12… donuts, juries, days of Christmas, beers, etc.

So, without further ado…

Life Lessons for Alexandra and Meredith.

13. Your mom and dad will always love you no matter what.

14. Search out belly laughs. Laugh so hard you can’t breathe. It’s good for you.
I’m not going to tell you that “laughter is the best medicine” because chances are, you know, medicine is the best medicine… However, if you laugh I guarantee you will feel better. If you laugh so long and hard that your stomach muscles hurt, even better. I can still remember times in my life where I laughed so hard I thought I would pee my pants. Those are some of life’s best times.

15. There are 2 types of people in this world. Those who return shopping carts to the proper location and those who don’t. Always return your cart.

16. Our rules exist for a reason, even if you can’t currently understand why.
Your mother and I will not invent arbitrary rules for you. There will always be a reason. Those reasons will usually fall into one of 3 categories: 1.) For your health and safety. 2.) For familial harmony or 3.) To make you a better more responsible adult.

17. Make your own money. Pay your own way.
If you are secure financially on your own, nobody can hold anything over your head.

18. Let sleeping Dads lie.

19. Bees don’t really want to sting you. Don’t be afraid of them. They give us vegetables and flowers.
Wasps on the other hand…

20. Having the right tool for the job always makes everything easier.
Trying to replace a screw with a butterknife will drive you insane and make things 10 times harder than they need to be. It took me a long time, a lot of frustration and gouged fingers before I learned this.

21. If you communicate on whatever technology exists, please at least attempt to spell words correctly.
If I see you writing, “thx 4 riteing me cuz ur 2 kool!!!” I will lose my mind.

22. There were only 3 Star Wars movies ever made.
Someone someday will try to tell you that there are actually 6, but they’re trying to fool you. Just believe me on this.

23. Courage is not the lack of fear, it is acting in spite of it. – Mark Twain
It’s ok to be afraid. Everyone get’s afraid, even if they don’t show it. Don’t let fear keep you from doing anything you want to do.

24. If you’re reading this, call your mother. She misses you.

 

You both are about to turn 7 months old. Never thought we’d survive this long but we’ve made it. You girls are even sleeping better now. Your mother and I are very thankful for that. I hope I didn’t just jinx us. One of my favorite parts of my day is when you’ve finished your bottle, and are settling in to fall asleep in my lap in the recliner. In your room, nice and dark, you swaddled up and giving in to sleep. Thank you for that.

In 3 weeks we begin our grand adventure taking you to Pittsburgh. Still not sure what to expect, except like I said… an adventure. Your family back there could NOT be more excited to meet you.

Until next time.

Love,

-Dad

My First Father’s Day

Now that I’m in the club, I get to have one more day of celebration a year. Of course, 6-month olds don’t really subscribe to this philosophy. Here’s what my day was like.

Jess said that she would get up with the girls and let me sleep in on my day. Hey! That’s about as good a gift as one could want! Unfortunately, some other people in our house didn’t think that was such a good idea. So, when the girls started squawking around 5:30am, Jess rolled out of bed to deal with them. On a normal day, the girls will usually quiet down once someone gets up to acknowledge them and get them out of bed. This day, not so much. One, and/or both of them decided that they wanted to cry/scream/shout. I laid in bed and tried to block it out, unsuccessfully. First problem was the baby monitor was still on, so it sounded like they were in the room with me. I rolled over to Jess’s side of the bed to kill it, but by then I was mostly awake. I stayed in bed and tried to force myself back to sleep, but I could still hear the cacophony from the next room.

Eventually, Jess gave up and brought the girls into bed with me and we started the day.

After some goofing around trying to keep the girls distracted and not crying Jess brought in my card and gift. Oh yeah… I nearly forgot. In addition to a great card, Jess got me a sweet video camera. Now we can shoot real video of the girls as they grow. It will definitely be fun to play with going forward. Thanks again, babe.

And with that, we started the day. We all got out of bed and got going. Jess said she had designs on making me breakfast, but Alex and Meri weren’t really into sitting quietly by themselves this fine day. I told her to not worry about it and had leftover cake and a cup of coffee for breakfast. Works for me.

My other gift for the day was not having to change a single diaper, which was also pretty sweet. So, as I entertained 1, Jess took the other to get changed and dressed for the day. Swap and do it again.

Time to feed them and figure out what we were going to do for the day. Like I said, the girls were extra fussy, so we knew we had to get them in the car at some point and go somewhere. They will usually sleep in the car (unless it’s 5pm and we’re coming home from daycare. That is a guaranteed cry-fest, but that’s a story for another time). Jess asked if we maybe wanted to drive out to the Birds of Prey area, but that seemed like a long ways to go. So, instead I suggested we go to Costco. So, we loaded up the car and left the house about 9:30am. Sounds early, but I’d already been awake for 3 hours…

The girls are usually really good at stores, and this was no different. They just chill out in their car seats in the Snap-N-Go stroller as we get to do some shopping. This time around we did get some fun stuff… some 8gig SD cards for the camera(s)… a new digital weather station deal… a new pair of shorts. We also got some not so fun things like diapers. I don’t know if you’ve ever been to the Nampa Costco at 10am on a Father’s Day Sunday but it’s nice. The place was pretty empty. Unfortunately, we got there before they got most of the samples up. Oh well.

Two Hundred bucks lighter it was time to go. We get home and try to feed the girls again and then take turns distracting them so we can eat lunch. Then it came time for naps.

For some reason, these girls are horrible nappers. They don’t want to sleep, and when they do, it’s never for longer than an hour. It is usually a battle with them, which isn’t fun. This day, it was an even bigger battle. We tried to swaddle and bottle them and put them down, but they were not having any of it. Both of them were just fighting the whole process and driving Jess and I nuts. Aggravation. So, we abandoned the nap idea and put them in the jumperoos to burn off some more energy. An hour later, we tried again. They’ve got to nap or we’re in for a world of hurt later. We swaddle them back up and try to rock them to sleep. After 30 minutes, they have apparently fallen asleep, so we put them in their crib. Not 5 minutes later, the screaming begins again. *sigh* Back to the rocker and try again. Alex was NOT having it. She was making me crazy by being so stubborn. You could tell she was exhausted but would just not sleep.

Eventually, I’d grown weary of it and instead loaded her into her car seat. We were going for a drive. Jess stayed behind with Meri, who was asleep in her arms and I hit the road. From our house at Chinden & Meridian roads, I went to Ten Mile, then down to the freeway. By the time I got to the freeway, Alex was asleep. So, I drove the freeway all the way to the outlet mall exit, then back up the freeway to the Idaho Center exit in Nampa and up to Chinden and back home. Almost an hour in all. Worth it, just for her to sleep.

When I got home, Meri slept for about 5 more minutes until she was awake. Ok… it’s bath time. We bathe them one at a time and then try derail fussiness and get some food into them. As Jess shoveled peas into them, I decided I needed a cocktail. So I made myself a vodka tonic and a gin & tonic for Jess. We then got them changed and dressed and it was time to head to my parent’s house for a combination Birthday, Father’s Day and Birthday celebration. It was my Dad’s birthday on Saturday and Jess’s birthday on Tuesday, so we were rolling all 3 into one big event. Since it was my day, we dressed them in matching Boise State blue and orange denim overalls things. Really, those things are more of a pain in the ass then their worth. Not very flexible. Tough to keep them on. The girls just chew on the straps and buckles. But, they looked cute. I think we got some good pictures.

Dinner was great. Even better was there were other hands to occupy my children for a little while. They can be exhausting. After dinner and gifts and dessert, the girls started to lose it (even more) so it was time to head home.

Upon getting home we immediately made a couple bottles of formula and changed and swaddled the girls. Fed and rocked, they fell asleep in about 30 minutes, which is pretty good. Apart from Alex waking up in a screaming fit about 20 minutes later (gas bubble) they were down.

Jess and I collapsed into bed about 9:30pm.

Whew.

All in all, I know I’ve had worse days, even with the girls being difficult. Thanks for everything Jess. One things for sure, no two Father’s Days will ever be alike from here on out!

Twin Pix – May ’11

I know I owe you all pictures from the girlies 5 month photo shoot… and for that matter the 6 month photo shoot which has yet to take place. Watch this space for those images coming soon.

Instead, enjoy these pics I’ve take over the past month, May 2011.

As always, there are more pics on Flickr than are posted here. Go view them all.

Enjoy.

Meri & Alex

Is it just me, or can you practically see what Alex will look like when she’s an adult in this picture?

Alex

Meri

Meri & Alex

She loves those prunes

Trying out our new shades

The Family

More to come.

Lessons For My Daughters

4 Months OldThis is what is planned to be the first of a series of posts I will be doing for Alex and Meri. I want to jot down life lessons and other words of advice for them as they grow up. And since placing things on the web is what I do, I might as well do it here.

I haven’t worked out the exact format these will take, so they may not be very consistent to start, but eventually I’ll find the sweet spot and will get a rhythm going. Some may be single lines. Some may be whole paragraphs. It’s all about how the mood strikes me. There will be no chronology. Kid lessons will be mixed in with adult lessons. You’ll figure it out. Let’s see where this goes…

Enjoy.

Life Lessons for Alexandra and Meredith.

1. Your mom and dad will always love you no matter what.

2. Learn how to lose
You will undoubtedly grow up in this era where everyone gets a trophy for participation. People don’t “keep score” any more. People don’t want their precious snowflakes to have hurt feelings. You know what? Real life is not like that. Life does not give you awards just for showing up. Like it or not, life is about winning and losing. And if you are always made to feel like a winner, even when you didn’t actually do anything, you never learn what it really means to win. Winning is important. Losing is important. In my life, I have learned FAR more from losing than I ever did from winning. Losing teaches you what is essential. Losing can bring focus and drive and desire. Losing can help you figure out what is really meaningful in your life. If you compete and lose but don’t feel bad about it, it wasn’t that important to you to begin with. But, if you lose and it hurts like hell, then you know more about your desires. It will teach you to do what is necessary to achieve a victory. And because you worked for it, that victory will be all the sweeter.

Every single successful person in life will tell you one thing. They have lost more than they have won. But, because they knew losses were temporary setbacks that can be overcome, they didn’t let themselves become discouraged by them. You can be great… if you want it.

3. Righty tighty, lefty loosey.

4. Please and thank you go a long way
This one is for your mother. Nothing makes her crazier than not saying please and thank you. I still make this mistake with her, though I try not to. You should make it a habit to thank anyone who provides you a service. I don’t care if it’s the cashier at the grocery store, the waiter in the restaurant, the driver in the cab. Everyone works hard in this world, and simple courtesy of “please” and “thank you” can really brighten someone’s day.

5. Sunblock is not optional. It is required.

6. Don’t be afraid to ask questions.
I know there will come a time in the not too distant future where you both will pepper your mother and me with nonstop questions. Why what why where why? I promise to do my best to answer them for you. Even when I’m having a bad day and don’t feel like answering “what is the dog thinking?” for the 27th time.

7. Spend time reading every day
There are so many good books that you could never read them all in your lifetime, but you can sure try.

8. In history class, don’t be the person who asks, “do we have to know the dates?”
Even if your teacher doesn’t say so, dates are important. You should remember when the Civil War was. You should know when the Declaration of Independence was signed. You should know when Columbus landed in the new world. That is part of being an educated person.

9. If something is worth having, it’s worth paying cash for. Be very careful with credit.

10. Learn to drive a stick shift.
I will help you do this.  I know most cars nowadays are automatics, but someday you will be in a situation where the only available means of transportation will be a vehicle with a manual transmission. It’s not as hard as you think.

11. Make a big deal about Mother’s Day for your Mom. You wouldn’t believe how hard she works for you.

12. Be wary of anything you post online.
Before hitting “submit” think to yourself, is this something I want my parents, teachers, grandparents or boss to see? Nothing is “private” online. Know that anything you post online will be there forever.

 

That’s all I have for now, but I’m compliling a list which I will post periodically. You can find them all by clicking the “Lessons” category at the top of this post or in the right column.

I can’t wait to watch you grow up.

Love,

Dad

 

 

 

More Pictures

Someday, there will be a blog post that does not revolve around the twins.

Just as I suppose that someday there will be a time that Jess and I are well rested and able to accomplish more than tending to these girls every beck and call. When that day will be? Anyone’s guess.

For the record, in the past week we’ve been dealing with both teething as well as dueling ear infections. I’m sure you parents out there know the joy of which I speak on both of those subjects… now, just combine the two and multiply that by 2 and you’ve got what we’ve been dealing with. I’d come up with a joke about it, but I’m too damn tired.

So, without further ado, some pictures of what we’ve done lately.

As always, there are more pictures on Flickr, so click on an image or a header to go there and view ’em.

4 Months Old!

4 Months Old

4 Months Old Alex

4 Months Old Meri

4 Months Old

4 Months Old

First Solid Food!

Meri takes the first spoonfull

Hmmm... I might like this, mom.

Alex, patiently waiting her turn

Alex's first spoonfull

Meri aftermath

Alex aftermath

Break on through to the other side

See if you can guess what we’re looking at here:

If you guessed 2 teeth forcing their way into existence in Alex’s mouth, you’re the big winner.

Jess and I were each feeding a respective baby this evening when Jess says to me, “Um… I think Meri is teething.” “Impossible,” I reply, not wanting to believe on top of the non-stop feeding we’ve been doing that it was time for this as well. “Come here and stick your finger in her mouth,” she insisted.

Instead of getting up from my chair with Alex, a bottle, a pillow, the iPhone and TV remote, I figured I’d just do a little test on Alex instead. What I felt filled me with dread.

Teeth. Little, bumpy, nubby teeth. Two of ’em. Son of a…

So, we got that going on now. Time waits for no man, and all that jazz. Maybe it was those teeth that caused me to get a whopping 4 hours of sleep last night. At least 3 of those hours were in a row. In my world, that’s almost a victory.

All in all, this has been a pretty eventful few days. 4-month appointment last Friday where the girls both got excellent bills of health and the go ahead with solid food, rice cereal, from the doc. They’ve taken to it fairly well, but get angry if you don’t shovel it in fast enough. They’re still burning through breastmilk and formula like it’s going out of style. Then the other morning, Alex was laying on the bed next to me as I struggled to get myself up and going for the day, when she decided to do a barrel roll and go from back to front. Great, they’re mobile.

Now this.

Does this mean we can now ply them with shots of whiskey like our parents did?

What’s new with the Habertwins?

After BathHere is a sampling of what’s new and interesting (or not) in the lives of Meri and Alex (and those of us sequestered to care for them).

Day Care

As of the first of March, Jess is back to work. Which means that the girls were now spending their days at day care. Jess was anxious to get back to work as well as anxious to leave the girls. I was just ready to begin the next phase. Luckily, the lady who we have watching the girls is outstanding. She only watches infants and has help in the form of some Boise State nursing students. She is a twin and had twins, so she knows exactly what we’re going through. “Grandma Pam” we call her. Grandma Pam has scrubbed their cradle cap off. She feeds and holds and generally loves on them. The girls couldn’t be happier.

Of course, they weren’t there 4 days before we get a call that a few other kids there were diagnosed with RSV. Luckily, we dodged that bullet… for now. However, that very next week both of the girls got colds which they then gave to me. Weak sauce. You can just call her “Typhoid Meri” since she was the first to get it and infect us. You know, the only thing worse than getting up at all hours of the night to deal with sick twins?  Doing it while sick yourself. I think I have permanent brain damage from the experience. In fact, in the past month, I’ve been sick 2 separate times. I think my body is finally disintegrating.

In fact, there was a time a couple weeks ago when our entire house was sick. Both twins and both parents. We shoulda just napalmed our whole house to keep the disease from spreading.

Feeding Time… and I mean NOW!

We were on a good track here. Notice the past tense “were” there. A couple weeks ago, the girls were pushing 5 or 5½ hours between feedings at night. Well, then some sort of switch was flipped and the girls turned into bottomless pits which we could not keep full. Overnight we went from 5 back down to 2½ or 3 hours between feedings. That first night Meri ate 7 ounces of milk at one feeding. We had to refill her bottle 3 times. For reference, on the day care sheet for the previous Monday, it said she ate a total of 8oz over the 8 hours she was there. So, yeah, a drastic increase.

After 2 days of their new “schedule” Jess was running out of breastmilk. She just couldn’t keep up with their demand. We had already made the switch to full time bottles (no actual breast time for the girls) in an effort to streamline things.  We were getting dangerously low on our breastmilk stores since they were now eating 2 or 3 times what they were just a few short days previous. Coupled with Meri’s dairy intolerance we had to talk to the doc to come up with a plan. The doctor put us onto a soy based formula which should work for them. So, for a few days we were mixing formula with breastmilk in an effort to make it a bit more palatable for them. I’m guessing this step was unnecessary since they were eating like a 500lb. guy at an all you can eat buffet.  Judging by how they suck it down, they like the formula just fine.

For the record, I’d like to debunk a popular myth that I’ve had repeated to me. “Formula helps keep babies full and they sleep longer than on breastmilk.” Yeah… um… not really. We are now giving the girls formula at night, and it makes no bit of difference in how long they sleep. They are just as hungry at 3 hours on formula as they were on breastmilk. Thanks conventional wisdom for getting my hopes up that I might get to sleep a little more. Screw you.

At least the stress we had with worrying about how much milk we had and how much they were eating is mostly gone. We just stick food in their face until the stop eating.

Unfortunately there have been nights where we end up feeding all night long. Since we don’t do a big formal feeding if we can help it, we just try to top them off individually. Mainly so we don’t have to wake a sleeping baby. Just don’t do it. They’re sleeping. Leave ’em alone. Well, this gets us into the occasional situation where you top one off for 20 minutes, put her down and 10 minutes later the other one is starving and has to eat RIGHT NOW! So, you pull her out and feed her. Put her down and some 30 minutes later the first one is hungry again. Repeat until you want to stab yourself in the neck.

Digestion

Speaking of which, just a quick mention here. Hey, did you know what soy formula looks like coming out the other end? Neither did I. Now I wish I didn’t. The girls are still on their new “every couple days” pooping schedule, however now when it arrives it’s even scarier. We’re talking a nice sage/olive green. Thick and pasty. And HORRIBLE smelling. In fact, just the other day I was holding Alex after a feeding. We were doing some standing on dad’s lap just for fun. Well, she went from happy smiling to a rather darker expression. She then started to poop and actually started to cry. This all happened in about 20 seconds.  I’m assuming the poop was thick enough to cause her bum a bit of discomfort on the way out. Now that is good times.

And for the record, other parents, save your “oh, you don’t know nothing yet… wait til they get to solid food” comments. Yes. Thank you. I get it. The poop will get worse. Quit reminding me… Sorry, I’m cranky.

Growing

Big news in the Haberman household, the girls are almost out of newborn sized clothes. They are mostly fitting in the baggy 0-3 month size. Just ignore the fact that they are actually 4 months old…

Outtings

Due to the fact that we’ve gotten a lot of practice getting the girls out the door every morning heading to day care, we have actually voluntarily ventured out from the house on occasion. A couple of weekends ago, we took them on their first Costco run. They were just fine. They liked looking at the lights overhead and the large stack of colorful merch on the shelves.  Of course it was one of our quickest Costco trips on record. Not a lot of time was spent perusing things. Get what we’re getting and get out before all hell breaks loose.

We’ve also been out to family and friends parties with them. It was funny this past weekend we were at some friend’s daughter’s first birthday party. There were a lot of people we didn’t know there. A few offered to hold babies so we could eat. Jess and I didn’t even hesitate to hand them over. Ahh, what twin exhaustion will do to you. “Sure… you can take ’em for a while… no I don’t know you, but at this point I don’t really care.” But, apart from the guacamole that Alex gave me while we were there, they were totally fine and slept well when we got home.

Attitudes

Life is easier in other respects. The girls really do like to smile a lot. They laugh now (sorta). We’re still waiting on the big belly laughs, but that can’t be far away. Alex is a total chatterbox. She will lay there just talking up a storm. I think she likes the sound of her own voice, which probably doesn’t bode well for me in the coming years… Meri will do it from time to time, but Alex does it all the time. She’s a nutcase. Meri, on the other hand has learned to blow raspberries. She loves to spit everywhere and giggle about it. I call her “Rasp-Meri” when she’s doing it.

It’s tough to remember that they used to cry every time we put them on the changing table. They used to cry every time we pulled a shirt on or off of their big ol’ heads. None of that fazes them any more. They even seem to mostly enjoy bath times. It is funny to see them slouched in their bath chair with their big old bellies hanging out. Enjoying the warm water poured over them.

Routine

This is what our average weekday is like.

Morning: rousting, feeding, changing, feeding more, clothing, entertaining, dressing ourselves, grooming, packing and heading out the door. Commute in, drop them off at day care, drop Jess off at work, go to work.

Work the day away with the help of 4 or 5 cups of coffee.

Afternoon. Pick up Jess at work and head over to the day care. Get the rundown from Pam on how the girls were today, how much the ate, slept and pooped. Pack them up and hit the road with thousands of other commuters all going the same direction. We’ll usually get home between 5:30 and 6. Then the real work begins. Unpack the girls and all their gear. Get some grub going for them. Feed the dog and start feeding the girls. We get to play with them during and after feedings, however this is usually their witching hour where they are pretty much crabs. At some point in there decide if there is going to be dinner for us or not and act accordingly. Come 8ish the girls finally start slowing down. They get swaddled and lay down to sleep. About then, Jess will sleep as well. Personally, I’m the most awake I am for the entire day at 7-10pm so I don’t go to bed. Plus, the worst part of my day is every time I get out of bed, so I have to limit the number of times I do this. I think every time I wake up, it shaves 90 minutes off my life expectancy, although I can’t prove that.  I use this time to shower or watch tv, or play on the xbox for a little while. Roust the girls again sometime between 10-11pm to do another feeding, then finally go to bed. They usually sleep pretty well from 12-3am (usually) but it’s after 3 that we have our issues. We just then try to survive and get as much sleep as possible before 6am rolls around and we do it all over again.

Such is life. Each day greatly resembles the day previous and will probably greatly resemble the day following.

So, there ya go. Our lives in a nutshell.  Stay tuned for more updates.

I do have a lot of pictures to post and hopefully I’ll get around to that in the next day or 2. But, like I’ve said, we don’t have a lot of spare time or energy at the moment.