October 31, 2005

How do you really feel guys?

While we had a great first day at the ol’ Childs Play household, TheMonk and Swee’Pea still wanted to voice their opinions on the latest events that have transpired. What can I say? They miss their Mommy.

The Middle Finger – TheMonk

The Middle Finger – Bri

My SAHD Experience: Day 1

12:45 a.m. – TheMonk wakes up for the first time. I quickly put him back to bed.

1:45 a.m. – Swee’Pea wakes up for the first time, screaming. I comfort her and put her back to bed.

2:45 a.m. – TheMonk wakes again. Put back to bed again.

3:30 a.m. – Swee’Pea wakes screaming. Put back to bed again.

4:00 a.m. – TheMonk’s nose in clogged. Won’t go back to bed. Put him bouncy seat and he falls asleep.

5:45 a.m. – Andrea’s alarm goes off.

6:00 a.m. – Start getting babies up to breastfeed as Andrea gets ready.

6:20 a.m. – Babies are on breast while dad makes coffee and oatmeal for the adults.

7:10 a.m. – Andrea leaves for work.

7:30 a.m. – Babies are still adjusting to end of Daylight Savings Time, take unexpected nap.

8:15 a.m. – Swee’Pea wakes up and therefore wakes J.T. up. They go in the kick-n-play to play for a while.

8:30 a.m. – Daddy realizes he has to go to the bathroom (and not the quick, stand-up variety, either). I’m in a conundrum. I think back on MIM’s experience and am thankful they’re not mobile yet. I decide to use the toilet closest to the loft and keep the door open. Fastest bowel movement ever.

8:50 a.m. – Babies get tired of kicking ‘n’ playing. I put them on their backs in front of me and take turns giving them raspberries. They seem to like this. I then lie on my back and pick them up one at a time and move them above me in the air while making airplane noises. They seem to enjoy this too.

9:10 a.m. – Everyone’s tired. I try to put J.T. into his crib to nap. Swee’Pea goes into her bouncy seat.

9:15 a.m. – After making it abundantly clear that he has no intention of sleeping in his crib, J.T. joins Swee’Pea in the loft in his bouncy chair.

9:20 a.m. – Both are asleep. I go downstairs to rummage for food. I start to look for something semi-nutritious but then I spot the overflowing bowl of Halloween candy that Andrea prepared last night. Ah, what the hell. Chocolate for breakfast it is.

10:00 a.m. – J.T. wakes up and is hungry. I try to distract him a bit longer but I give up and give him his bottle. Swee’Pea follows suit about 10 minutes later.

10:20 a.m. – Back in the kick-n-play for the twins. I suddenly realize I was supposed to start the chicken crock pot recipe by 10:00 a.m. I race downstairs to get the stuff together.

10:23 a.m. – I race back up to calm a screaming J.T.

10:25 a.m. – I race downstairs to finish preparing dinner.

10:28 a.m. – I race upstairs to calm a screaming J.T. Swee’Pea (I wasn’t sure until I entered the room)

10:35 a.m. – With J.T. in his bouncy seat, Swee’Pea and I head downstairs to finish making dinner. She watches from her feeding chair we have yet to use.

11:00 a.m. – Dinner is in the crock pot.

11:05 a.m. – After I clean up, I head upstairs.

11:05.30 a.m. – I run back downstairs to get Swee’Pea who’s still sitting in her feeding chair.

11:06 a.m. – TheMonk is asleep. I put Swee’Pea into her crib hoping she’ll rest too.

11:10 a.m. – I go get a screaming Swee’Pea and bring her out to her bouncy seat to join the sleeping J.T.

11:25 a.m. – Swee’Pea’s not yet asleep. Binky falls out of mouth and she starts to cry. TheMonk stirs, but doesn’t wake as I calm Swee’Pea down.

11:40 a.m. – Swee’Pea finally falls asleep.

11:43 a.m. – TheMonk wakes up. I get him out and we quietly play. I then take him downstairs and he watches me get the front of the house ready for the trick-or-treaters (fog machine, strobe light, caution tape, etc.).

12: 45 p.m. – TheMonk and I head back upstairs. Swee’Pea begins to wake up.

1:00 p.m. – I put them down to play on the kick-n-play once again (love that thing!) as I go get their bottles ready. It’s my job to get them use to the regular bottles (rather than the Haberman feeders they’ve been using ’til now) so I have to go dig them out. I make more formula and fill the bottles.

1:10 p.m. – TheMonk starts to fuss. He’s hungry damnit! I get him into his bouncy seat and hand him a bottle that looks like a straw with a nipple on the end. He doesn’t know what to think in his hungry state but begins sucking at the nipple. He gets it and I can see the formula makes it way from the bottle, through the tube and into the nipple. I can now turn to Swee’Pea. She has a harder time with the newer nipples and is an absolute mess down the front. We get through it, however, and I change their diapers.

1:35 p.m. – We’re now playing again. After a bit of playing, I get out the foam wedges, prop them up and let the babies have their tummy time. Both are doing very well and they extend their heads up like a prairie dog looking out of its hole. Soon, it is evident they are getting tired.

2:20 p.m. – I put them into their cribs to nap.

2:25 p.m. – I bring them out to their bouncy seats where they both sit quietly. Aaaaaah. Peace and quiet. I realize the only food I’ve eaten is from the cocoa family so I head downstairs to fix some lunch. Leftover pork ribs and some chips and salsa.

2:35 p.m. – I bring the food upstairs and sit at the laptop and eat my ribs. The babies look like they are finally asleep. After the first crunch of my chips, however, the babies stir so I decide crunchy food can wait.

2:50 p.m. – Crunchy food or no crunchy food, Swee’Pea wakes up screaming and then so does J.T. I sit in front of them and rock them back to sleep.

3:00 p.m. – Both of the babies are asleep. I sit in the big chaise lounge and relax a bit.

3:30 p.m. – J.T. begins to stir and wakes up. He scrunches up his face as if he’s gonna cry. I rush over and soothe him before he erupts and wakes Swee’Pea. I pick him up and bring him to the chaise with me. He soon falls asleep in my arms. I smell his head. It smells like lavender. We both doze.

4:00 p.m. – Swee’Pea begins to stir. I get both of them up and wake them up a little by playing with them. I tickle and laugh with them for a while.

4:15 p.m. – Mommy comes home from work! Kisses and hugs all around.

4:30 p.m. – Babies breast feed with Mommy while I rest for a little. I take a quick shower too. I want to look my best for the ghosts goblins Darth Vaders out there.

5:15 p.m. – The babies have been fed and changed into their costumes. A flower for Swee’Pea and a Lion for TheMonk (Rooaaar!). We sit them downstairs while we wait for Trick or Treaters. TheMonk and Swee’Pea are big hits with parents and toddlers alike.

6:00 p.m. – Dinner is ready and we eat while dishing out candy.

7:00 p.m. – Trick or Treaters are winding down. It’s time for dinner and bed routine for the babies.

7:45 p.m. – Babies have been fed, cleaned and pj’d. They are finally in bed.

7:50 p.m. – A brief hug and kiss for the wife and we head downstairs to clean up.

8:20 p.m. – Kitchen is clean, Andrea’s lunch for tomorrow is packed. I come up to post this blog.

8:27 p.m. – I’m tired. It was a great, wonderful day. I’m glad it’s over.

What’s that you say? I have to do this again tomorrow? I’m going to bed.

October 30, 2005

My SAHD Experience

Starting tomorrow I will be taking five weeks off to spend time with my babies. Andrea returns to work and we didn’t want to put the twins in daycare prior to six months. So, here I am, totally psyched to start this experience.

As I write this the twins are in their bouncy seats. Swee’Pea is blabbering away with her fist stuffed halfway down her throat while TheMonk practices his new found ability to make a raspberry sound with his lips (I have no idea how he learned that. Really. No idea at all). I cannot believe how fortunate I will be to be able to spend so much quality time with them.

While imagining this experience for the past few weeks, I realize that I have it a lot easier than Andrea did. First, I don’t have to breast feed. I mean, I could try but I don’t think we’d be very productive (but don’t think Andrea hasn’t suggested it :) ). Second, they are at a stage where milestones are being met left and right. They are both so close to rolling over that I’m certain we’ll see this in the near future. Third, since I’m only bottle feeding, I can take them places for longer periods of time. They really get stimulated by being around others so hopefully we can find time to take them to places like Starbucks the zoo.

Now, I realize I’m pretty naive about how this is going to go. I’m certain that I’m not going to go around all day eating bon bons (Note to self: order bon bons next time I order groceries) and kicking back while watching soaps all day long and I’ll be kept plenty busy with play time, feeding time, diaper changes, baby laundry and all the other stuff that comes with taking care of two babies at once. But they have to sleep some time, right? I’ll have time to sneak in a quick blog post about my experiences, won’t I? You bet I will.

So stay tuned while I get to experience this side of parenthood for the first time. I’m a Stay At Home Dad with twins for the next five weeks. To borrow a phrase from The Bean’s Dad, did anyone really think this was a good idea?

October 27, 2005

A new chapter begins

On Monday Andrea’s maternity leave will come to an end and she will return to work after five and a half months away. I know she does this with sadness and apprehension that only a new mother can truly relate. I know the transition will be rough because, as I can attest to, being away from the babies for long periods of time is difficult.

But, Andrea, I want you to know what a great job you have done over the past four and a half months and how truly proud of you I am for the way you have handled every challenge that has presented itself. From pregnancy to breast feeding you have done more than most people would. I thank you for that. I have also truly enjoyed seeing the transformation of my best friend and lover to the role of wonderfully devoted mother. Your bonding sessions with the babies during breastfeeding and the way you lovingly play with them during the day and the way you give each one of them the attention he or she deserves is truly inspiring. You never let fatigue keep you from doing what the babies need and that is truly amazing. The babies love you and they will continue to love you for the rest of their lives. I am so proud of you. I am so fortunate to have you in my life and every time I look into Swee’Pea’s face and see you looking back at me it is just a reminder of how blessed we are to have created such wonderful little beings.

I know you are sad about returning to work but we will survive, indeed thrive, through all of this. We have a strong family and it will only get stronger as we teach and impart the values that are important to us. Keep that in mind when we’re apart from them. We are their parents – no one else can give them what we can. Not daycare providers, not teachers, not friends. Go back to work with peace in your heart, dear Andrea, and know that we are doing the absolute best we can for our children.

I love you with all of my heart and I look forward to watching you grow as a mother as much as I look forward to watching our children grow into adults. Someday we’ll look back at this time and wonder where the time went. But for now let’s just enjoy the time we have with them and accept the roles and responsibilities that have been presented to us with resolution and commitment so that we can give the best to TheMonk and Swee’Pea. Good luck on Monday Sweetie, we’ll be here for you.

October 26, 2005

The Trick is Not Eating the Treats

Less than a week before Halloween and we’ve already eaten two bags of chocolate intended for trick or treaters. Actually, that’s not quite true. We’ve almost eaten two bags of chocolate. Early this week I stopped pretending that we weren’t actually eating the candy and pulled the last two pieces out of their bags and placed them on a decorative serving tray that sits on our kitchen island so that I could throw away the superfluous bags. I figured the last two pieces would be gobbled up promptly and that would be that.

But there they sit. One Kit Kat and one mini Twix bar. It’s as if neither Andrea nor I want to be accused of eating the last of the chocolate. I keep expecting to come home and find the two pieces of chocolate gone and then I can say to Andrea, “So, you finally ate the last two pieces, huh?” To which I’m sure she would have a witty comeback about all the wrappers she’s been finding around the house. In fact, she’s probably waiting for me to eat those pieces of chocolate to confirm that it was, in fact, I that ate all that chocolate. (Yeah, right.)

So, there they sit. Tempting me as I walk past them during my kitchen-related duties and suddenly will-power is not in question. I will not be the one who eats the last of the chocolate, I tell myself. Andrea, who is (in a very endearing way) the most stubborn person I’ve ever met, will not eat that chocolate as well. I just know it.

So, with Halloween five days away and our candy supply dwindling to just two pieces I am clinging to the hope that we only get two trick or treaters. But somehow I think the neighborhood kids will be attracted to the house with the large spiderweb in front. So now I have a Plan B. If we do get more than two trick or treaters, I can always take TheMonk and Swee’Pea out trick or treating to get us some more candy. I mean, it’s not like they can eat it or anything.

Do Spiders Eat Cats?

October 23, 2005

Swee’Pea = Genius

I’m fairly certain Swee’Pea said her first word today.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. She’s not even five months old, right? Well that’s what I thought too. But now that I’ve heard her say it a few times, I’m pretty sure she said her first word. In fact, I’m positive. What’s the word, you ask?


Now, I know that sounds like a pretty big word for a girl to utter for her first word ever spoken but she’s said it a few times already today and it’s definitely a word. Usually, it’s in the middle of babbling something and then she’ll hit me with it. The pronouciation is not perfect but it sounds something like this…


See?! Tell me that’s not Onomatopoeia.

Besides, I read in one of the few many baby magazines we get here at home that Daddies tend to use bigger words around their babies than Mommies do.

So it’s obvious that the plethora of multi-syllabic morphemes that eminate from my oral cavity circadianly must have positively contributed to the stratospheric level of percipience demonstrated by my female offspring.

So, yeah, my girl said her first word.


October 22, 2005

Sorry, My Bad

Once again, the sound of a baby crying blares out over the baby monitor in the early morning hours. In a now regular routine, I move quickly to the babies room to quiet TheMonk before he wakes up Swee’Pea. I open the door and quietly and swiftly move to TheMonk’s crib where I pick him up in one quick scoop. I bring him to my chest to comfort and soothe his crying. But the crying continues.

It is only then that I realize the crying is not coming from TheMonk but rather from the crib across the room. Oops. I put the now awake Monk back into his crib and go and comfort Swee’Pea who only needs a quick hug and her binky before it’s back to dreamland.

TheMonk on the other hand…

October 21, 2005

7 Things

Not-for-profit-dad asked me to do this. It was a lot harder than I thought it would be. Anyway, here it goes!

7 things I want to do before I die:
1. See a Major League Baseball game in every MLB park
2. Run for political office
3. Give my daughter away at her wedding
4. See an Olympic 200 and 400 meter final
5. Retire before the age of 60
6. Explore all 50 states
7. Have another baby (shhhh. Don’t tell my wife)
7 things I cannot do:
1. Change the oil in my car
2. Say no to a donut
3. Understand the appeal of “Carrot Top”
4. Picture myself old
5. Stop kissing my babies’ cheeks!
6. Sleep in
7. Wear cheap sunglasses
7 things that attract me to the opposite sex:
1. Eyes
2. Intelligence
3. Legs
4. Butt
5. Smile
6. Small of the back
7. Independent streak
7 things that I say most often:
1. I love you more
2. I’m so tired
3. Hi Babies!
4. Do you want me to pick up dinner?
5. This is Matthew from the Y…
6. I need to talk to you about your budget
7. Who’s your Daddy?
7 celebrity crushes:
1. Shania Twain
2. Kristen Bell
3. Rachel Ray
4. Kelly Clarkson
5. Jennifer Garner
6. Kate Beckinsale
7. Gwen Stefani
7 people I want to do this: (Only if you want to!)
1. MIM (Also tagged by MetroDad, so come on MIM!)
2. Amy at Savage Stories (A twin mommy)
3. Aunt Liz
4. Andrea, my wife
5. Clare’s Dad
6. Eric at More Diapers
7. BIYF (Who is a scholar and a gentleman)

October 17, 2005

100 Things

I’ve been intrigued by this phenomenon of people posting 100 things about themselves. So in an effort to explain myself, here it goes.

1. I come from a small family.
2. I have a younger brother by five years
3. My father died when I was six
4. This remains the single most profound influence on my life
5. My mother raised my brother and me entirely on her own
6. I was a “track star” in high school
7. While I regularly had the fastest times in the county, I never won an individual championship.
8. That bothers me more than it should
9. I was captain of the high school team & co-captain of the track team my senior year in college
10. I still consider myself a runner but I hardly ever run anymore
11. I attended an Ivy League college
12. Graduating was one of my proudest achievements because I always felt like I was in just a little over my head.
13. I played the snare drum in my high school marching band.
14. I was voted “biggest flirt” in high school
15. I would characterize myself as comfortable around women, but not a flirt
16. I grew up in a surf town but I never learned to surf
17. My closest friends today are still my childhood friends
18. I don’t live anywhere near my childhood friends
19. People consider me an outgoing personality
20. I’m shyer than people think
21. I have always liked to be funny in front of others
22. I’m not always all that funny
23. My undergraduate degree is in Psychology
24. My graduate degree is in Sport Psychology
25. My current job has very little to do with Psychology
26. If I had the money, I’d be a much better dresser than I am now
27. I have never traveled beyond North America
28. I have traveled throughout Mexico while sharing buses with livestock
29. I once took the train across Canada from Vancouver to Toronto.
30. My ultimate vacation would be to spend a summer watching a baseball game at every Major League Baseball stadium
31. I play the lottery about once a month (all you need is a dollar and a dream)
32. Part of me feels like I’ve already won the marriage and baby lottery so why not go for one more.
33. The car I currently drive is 10 years old.
34. It is the only car I have ever owned.
35. I am impulsive by nature. Planning is not a strong point.
36. I play fantasy football.
37. I have won the league I’ve played in twice in four tries.
38. I am a bigger baseball fan than I am a football fan.
39. I lived in New York City for six years.
40. My first job in NYC was as a receptionist for a publishing co. It paid me $19,000 a year.
41. I somehow still managed to pay my bills.
42. I like Top Ramen and Macaroni and Cheese.
43. I’m not sure I have a favorite food but if Fish & Chips is on the menu, I usually end up ordering it.
44. I collected baseball pennants as a kid.
45. I don’t collect anything now.
46. I met my wife via the internet in July 1997.
47. We met face to face in August of 1997.
48. If it wasn’t love at first sight, it was awfully close.
49. I had to convince her we were right for each other.
50. I wore her down.
51. We’ve been married five years now.
52. I tell people I’m 5′ 8″ tall.
53. I’m really 5′ 7 ¾” tall.
54. I’m right handed.
55. I broke my right wrist in 4th grade. My teacher made me write with my left hand.
56. Angela Crawford broke her wrist a short time later. She was given a typewriter. I’m still bitter.
57. I’m very competitive.
58. I broke my left wrist in high school after falling while leaning for the finish line at the end of a 200 meter race.
59. I beat the guy I was trying to outlean.
60. My hairline is receding. I can’t wait until I can clip it really short.
61. I would like to run for political office someday.
62. I am a leader by nature. I have held leadership positions in just about everything I have ever done.
63. I make really cute offspring
64. I am kind of messy and my wife is not. (Sorry Honey.)
65. I tend to think of many things at once. The problem is that because of this, I sometimes don’t finish what I’m doing before I’m on to the next thing in my head.
66. I like public speaking.
67. I like to wear baseball caps but I don’t often do so.
68. I have read each Harry Potter book immediately after its release.
69. If I could do another career completely unrelated to mine, I’d be a children’s book author.
70. I love Dr. Seuss books.
71. I have always enjoyed creating rhyming poems.
72. My favorite type of movie is the romantic comedy.
73. My favorite type of wine is a Sauvingon Blanc
74. My favorite alcoholic drink is a Margarita with chips and salsa.
75. While I’ll drink an occasional beer, I don’t really like the taste of it.
76. I love sweets. My favorite restaurants are judged on their dessert menus.
77. I have never met a donut I didn’t like.
78. The main thing that keeps me from eating a more nutritious diet is lack of will power.
79. My biggest pet peeve is people who don’t use their turn signals (or stupid drivers in general)
80. I have never been stopped by a law enforcement officer while driving.
81. Not that I haven’t deserved it.
82. I like to listen to sports radio right up until the time they start taking calls. Then I change the channel.
83. I hate hearing or seeing people do things that make them seem stupid.
84. I don’t regret many things but my biggest regret is not asking Mercedes Blair to the Junior Prom.
85. Since then, I’ve tried to never settle for second-best.
86. I always feel guilty when I spend money on something that is soley for me.
87. I always encourage Andrea to spend money on things soley for her.
88. I’ve never felt very secure when it comes to personal finances.
89. I manage an annual budget of 2.1 million dollars at work.
90. I’m easily moved. I cry while watching Hallmark commercials.
91. I had a turtle named Flash as a teenager.
92. I have a cat named Nutmeg now. I love that cat.
93. I generally don’t care what other people think of me.
94. I’ll easily act goofy if it makes a child smile.
95. I love that my job helps develop youth to become tomorrow’s leaders.
96. If you ask me for help, I’ll most likely help.
97. My best traits are my concern for others and my sense of humor.
98. It takes a lot to anger me. But don’t push me that far.
99. The two things I want on my tombstone: Great Husband, Great Father.
100. I love every second of being a father.

October 16, 2005

Open letter to all within a 50 mile radius

Dear Community Members,

Please ignore the loud shrieks eminating from my residence. Contrary to what it sounds like, I am not torturing my daughter in any way. In fact, if you happen to call Child Protective Services, please have them come and visit me. Perhaps they’ll have some insight into how such a loud sound can come from such a little body. But have them bring earplugs. I don’t need any lawsuits.


A Deaf Daddy.

P.S. Make sure they knock loud.

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