Monday, April 30, 2012

Sleepful Nights

Kids will change you.

That's what people tell you when you're expecting a child.

For the most part those people are correct.  Your outlook on life will change.  Certain things just won't be as important as they once were.  You'll be forced to grow up in a hurry if you haven't already, and you'll face the most challenging yet rewarding experience of your life.

But it isn't a catch all.  It doesn't mean that everything about you will change.  In fact some aspects of your personality will only be augmented with the introduction to a child in your life.

For example, an entitled douche will only be more entitled and douchey about his or her kids.  Now they'll not only expect everything to be handed to them without working for it, but they'll also expect the same for their kids.  Someone that cares more about appearance will turn every day into their own little fashion show for the son or daughter that was born to be accessorized.  A hypochondriac who imagines illness will only fear (read: imagine) that his or her child will get sick at every possible moment.

I bring these examples up because, like everything else, I want to relate it back to myself.

Ever since my wife and I met, she has known that I'm a heavy sleeper.  I can sleep through just about anything.  Pretty sure that I could live next to an airport and never hear a plane landing in the middle of the night.  In fact my family used to live very close to train tracks when I was growing up.  The trains would come by throughout the night.  I of course slept with the window open and was never the wiser.

This knowledge of my sleeping habits hasn't stopped my wife from getting upset with me when I fail to jump out of bed in the middle of the night when the girls cry.

Don't get me wrong.  I care about their well-being.  It's my number one priority.  This just hasn't manifested itself into changing my REM cycle.

The thing is it is entirely out of my control.  I don't consciously avoid waking up.  I just don't wake up.  And I can't understand why that should get me in trouble.  I understand that my wife has earned sleep too, but it isn't like I'm willingly ignoring our daughters.  It isn't as if I'm punishing my wife and making her get up at night to tend to them.  Yet I have heard about it from the moment they were born that I need to start waking up in the middle of the night.  She doesn't hesitate to point out how she was yelling from their bedroom at 2am while I just slept.  I've even been laid with the guilt trip that if someone broke in and murdered my entire family that I'd probably sleep through it.  That isn't hyperbole.  This was something that my wife actually told me.

I can have the guilt of some worse-case scenario laid at my feet, but it isn't going to change who I am and how I sleep.  I just can't control it.  I wish I could if only so I could stop being made to feel bad about it.  But a fish has to swim.  A bird has to fly.  And I have to sleep.  And if twins can't change it, nothing will.

Friday, April 20, 2012

Daddy Daughter Days

Hello to all my lovely readers.  And the ugly ones too.

Back again for another week showcasing my day off with the girls.  With the weather changing most of the day was spent outdoors and the girls couldn't have been happier.  They love being outside.  So we start with some pictures from Wednesday evening in the back yard.  Running around in the grass always puts a smile on their faces.

Or they rock their funny faces as you can see Grace presenting here.

I think Ana looks so much like Erin in this picture.  Erin disagrees.  But we agree that she is beautiful.

Grace loves rocks.  I thought this was a boy thing, but Grace doesn't want to be put into some gender profile.

Help!  I'm trapped in some sort of outdoor jail cell.  No.  Actually this is just a patio cover.

Grace likes to run laps around our house.  She runs through the kitchen and entry way around our stairs.  She also screams the entire time she's doing it.  It's a good way to use up energy in the morning...and make sure dad is really awake.

Grace admiring her work from Easter.  That or she just wanted to reuse the stickers and stick them to something else.

In order to keep my San Francisco Giants label streak alive...

Ana now says "Elmo" when prompted.  She also likes to kiss Elmo and now she likes to drum with him.  I feel like she's trying to pull a Yoko on this one.

Grace is basically running away in this picture.  She was so excited to go on a walk.  Ana has started holding my hand on walks and will not let go.  It seriously makes my heart all explodey.

There was also a trip to the park, but you couldn't imagine how low a priority taking pictures becomes when Grace is putting handfuls of sand on her head and Ana is trying to get down from the jungle gym without the aid of a slide or steps.  Yeah survival becomes the number one priority.  Hence no pictures.

After the park, we took baths and waited for mom to get home.  So dad popped on an episode of Yo Gabba Gabba and danced with the girls.  Here is DJ Lance being a total creeper, yet the girls can't get enough of it.
That's all from this week's adventure.  Hope everyone out there has a great weekend.  See you next week.

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Kill Your TV

I read a post the other day from Becoming Supermommy about TV shows and movies that she finds okay to show her kids.  I actually agree with just about everything she wrote (although I've never seen Follow that Bird, but I still have time).  And it got me thinking about our television habits.

Normally we don't plop the girls down to watch television.  That isn't to say that I'm some judgemental parent that thinks less of parents that do plop their kids in front of a TV.  How dare you show television to your child!  Think of all the irreparable damage you're their little minds.  You monster!

I actually don't care. You do your own thing that works for you.  We just kind of don't like the idea of the television being constantly on instead of reading or interacting with each other.  Especially since whenever we put it on, Ana turns into a zombie.

It is impossible to have the television off at all times with the girls.  Well not impossible.  But there are times when the TV is just going to be on around the girls.

There are some notable exceptions:

1.  Yo Gabba Gabba is sort of a go to in our house.  At first I was skeptical because DJ Lance freaks me the hell out.  I mean I can't be the only one that thinks he is creepy.  Also so much orange fuzz.  But, as Becoming Supermommy points out, the show does encourage your kids to move.  And Grace loves to dance along.  It also features a lot of great musicians (BIZ MARKIE!) and usually comes with some great messages.  Also the damn songs are like earworms that you've never encountered before (Don't stop, don't give up).  It also serves a purpose when we're trying to get dinner ready or clean.  The girls gladly watch instead of trying to trip you as you stand at the stove.

2.  Every Sunday night we put on a movie before the girls go to bed and watch a portion of it with them.  We try to incorporate a nice family film after bath time to unwind on Sunday night.  Usually Pixar although we've also popped in The Iron Giant and some others from time to time.  It's just nice to put the pillow pets on the floor and snuggle up with Erin and the girls.  The wonder in their eyes while watching a Finding Nemo makes me all fuzzy inside.  This past Sunday we watched Toy Story.  Maybe we'll pop in number two this weekend.

3.  When the Giants are on, so is the television.  I know I should limit their exposure and be a responsible dad, but I just can't miss the game.  I watch sporting events live.  There are too many ways it would otherwise be ruined for me if I watched a taped version.  And I figure we might as well get the girls used to the reality that is our house during baseball season.

Those are the three instances that warrant the television being on when the girls are awake.  I'm sure this will expand over the years, but for now that will work for us.

Ana watching a movie

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Once again I'm back to post my random thoughts here on my blog.  Maybe one day I'll get a Twitter Machine account, but I wouldn't count on it.  Especially since my wife has one and passes along the tweets of all the people I'd follow anyways.

So for now I'll post them here and hope for a positive reaction from you, the readers.  Any LOLs or comments are appreciated.

-We're still trying to figure out where Ana figured out "knock-knock"
-After the Tupac hologram "performed" at Coachella, how long before we just replace every not-actually-dead artist with a hologram? #elvis
-Now I get why Tupac was a part of digital underground
-Seeing Lane Pryce beat Pete Campbell up made my week #madmen
-I may be flirting with alcoholism. My Vanilla Coke Zero just didn't taste as good without the vodka
-Tell me why a Secret Service agent should have to pay for sex when they have the ultimate pick-up line
-That of course being "I'll take a bullet for you, baby"
-Kim pretty much summed up exactly why I love living in Northern California in her blog post.
-The pictures of Pippa with the gun-wielding guy just make her a little more dangerous and a little sexier
-Rock of Ages looks like it could be the perfect car-wreck movie. Can't look away as horrifying as it is.
-Brad Pitt and Angelina Jolie are getting married in what is a disappointment to every woman everywhere
-Why are movie trailers and teasers getting their own teasers? So lame.
-Outside Lands lineup announced. May be the first year I'm not excited for it. #getoffmylawn
-I love quite a few of the acts, but it just doesn't grab me like previous years.
-Especially since there's no way Jack White, Dispatch, Andrew Bird, Bloc Party, Fun and The Walkmen will play on the same day
-Grace loves playing with stickers. Doesn't matter what the sticker has on it.
-Erin and I are like 2 episodes away from finishing The West Wing again. Need a suggestion for #whatsnext.
-I love the Bird-Magic story about as much as anyone, but I think even I wouldn't go see a Broadway show about it.
-I actually fear my wife replacing me with a hologram #justlikepac
-They tried to do a hologram of Notorious BIG but they didn't have a big enough projector
-There is something very un-Coachella about Rhianna and the actors from Glee attending

That's all for this week. See you next Tuesday, fake tweeps.

Monday, April 16, 2012


No this title isn't a reference to Elaine on Seinfeld.

I'm talking about my girls.

They are little sponges that soak up everything around them.

Ana in particular is like manimal.  She not only is sponge-like, but she also incorporates parrot-like tendencies.

She blows kisses.  She knocks on doors and says "knock-knock".  She holds phones to her ear and says "Hi.  Who is it?  Bye".  She repeats and mimics everything Erin and I do.

Now I know why I need to watch what I say and do around them because I have no doubt that I'm one well-timed curse word away from hearing their innocent little voices repeat it.

The other thing that has become very clear is their incredible ability to learn.  They're wired for it.  It makes me feel like I should be teaching them everything I can.  The secrets of the universe that I've somehow managed to figure out in these past 29 years seem to be wasted if I don't pass it all along to them.

But I know that I'm not going to spend every available moment that we have together teaching them long-division.  Instead I'm going to teach them what I can while also enjoying the moments that we have together.  And I'll hope that they keep picking up on stuff like they have been.

Oh and I guess I'll watch my language.  Damnit.

Saturday, April 14, 2012

Daddy Daughter Days

It's been a long time since I've posted one of these.

I almost don't remember what to even write about...

Oh that's right, my children.  My children that enjoyed an entire day indoors thanks to the storm of the century that rolled through our town on Thursday.  Well maybe not the century, but it was at least the storm of the month.  There was some definite cabin fever involved, but we still made the most of it.

Erin purchased a ham for the sole purpose of making soup out of it.  At least that's what I tell myself since I've never really been fond of ham.  I can't really explain it.  There are just so many other meat choices that I prefer.  But Ana seems to like it a lot.  I fried up some ham and eggs for breakfast which Ana scarfed down like it was going out of style.  Grace boycotted the ham and wanted an English Muffin instead.  Just like her dad.
Like I wrote before it rained pretty much non-stop all day on Thursday.  The only time it cleared up was when the girls were napping.  Just their luck.  But the pined for the clouds to break up all day.  They did get to hear thunder and see lightning.  The looks on their faces when the thunder rumbled around our house were classic.

Ana is obsessed with taking pictures of herself on the iPhone.  This is one of seven pictures that she took of herself.

All Grace wanted to do was read.  All Ana wanted to do was have a tea party.  This is called a compromise.
This was only a portion of their dinner.  They had tofu and green beans and other stuff.  But they decided that the bowls of cottage cheese were fun and delicious.  There are better ways to eat.  In fact they are both quite good at using spoons.  I actually think they learned this move from me when I drink my milk out of the bowl after eating my cereal.

This one was actually from this morning.  I just think it's so adorable that their hair is getting long enough to put bows and such in their hair.

The one thing I didn't get a picture of was Erin after her run.  She has been running and working out more and more recently, and I'm so proud of her.  In fact she is doing a 5k tomorrow.  Basically she is putting me to shame.  She has gotten so dedicated that she went out in the pouring rain on Thursday to keep her running streak alive.  When she got back she was SOAKED.  Like dripping wet.  That my friends is dedication.

I hope everyone has a wonderful weekend.

Friday, April 13, 2012

Picture Perfect

I promised like two different times over the last couple of weeks to post pictures of the girls.

This obviously hasn't happened.

And I'm going to blame it all on my wife (which I'm sure will go over well).

She takes all sorts of pictures of the girls with her fancy-pants camera that I bought for her a few Christmases ago.  They are of a higher quality than what you get on a camera phone.  Not only that but she is always at the ready with her camera whereas I'm not always prepared for pictures.  Holding my phone to snap a pic of them would take one of my hands out of play to catch them or grab them in case they get themselves in a precarious position.

Now this wouldn't be a problem if I had access to every picture she took.

What normally ends up happening is the pictures remain on her camera for an extended period of time, and I'll get so far from an event that it would be useless to post them here.  This stems from the fact that memory cards with huge amounts of storage are inexpensive, and thousands of pictures can remain on the camera for months without needing to be transferred.

The other problem is she puts all the pictures on her work computer which I don't use.  I use the house computer to write and access pictures.  This is the same reason my facebook page rarely gets picture updates.

In response to this, she will say that everything goes on an external hard drive for back up, and I can just access the pictures there.  Okay, I'll give you that one.  But that's also a pain in the ass because the hard drive isn't in the office.  It's next to her normal spot on the couch (read: a place I never sit), so to access it I'd have to either sit on her lap or push her aside from her spot.  Or I could reach over her and the couch to unplug it and put it somewhere else.  Like I said pain in the ass.

I'd promise that you'd see more pictures of the girls, but I'd only end up dropping the ball.  So I'll say that you'll get nothing and like it, so that way when pictures get posted you'll be pleasantly surprised.  With that being said (or more accurately "written"), look out for an actual Daddy Daughter Day post tomorrow.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

So I know that I haven't posted much of anything lately.  I won't apologize for that.  Living life just seems so much more important than blogging about it.  But I do feel like I've been dropping the ball over these last few weeks.

The girls are doing so much more.  And I really do want to write about all of it, but I also don't want to miss any of it.  Also vegging out and watching TV at the end of the day seems so much more appealing than whipping my computer out and typing up a bunch of crap that no one will read anyway.

But the old standby is ready to roll out every Tuesday.  So the Twitter Machine is back again like clockwork.

-The best thing about Easter: The Girls in their Easter dresses #adorable
-Second best thing: Erin hates Cadbury Creme, so I get to eat them all #delicious
-We both love Reese's Eggs like everyone else, so we have to distribute those evenly
-Why am I more okay with girls sitting on Santa's lap but not the Easter Bunny's lap?
-Either way you look at it, the dude in the suit probably can't be trusted and is a petrie dish for ebola or something.
-Probably never a good idea to talk about loving Fidel Castro in Miami
-For Ozzie Guillen's next trick he's going to go to synagogue and talk about Hitler's underappreciated qualities #knowyouraudience
-3 Teachers won part of the Mega Millions jackpot. That is awesome.
-How anonymous do they think they'll stay pulling a new Benz or three into the teachers' lot?
-When people say they want more money going to schools, is this what they mean?
-Finally saw The Hunger Games. Very good flick. Seeing children die on screen really crystallized how brutal the story is.
-Apparently an app that takes old-timey pictures is worth a billion dollars #instagram #howmuchforpolaroid
-I love when celebrities complain about being famous like the good totally doesn't outweigh the bad #perspective
-Caine's Arcade may be the most heartwarming thing I've seen. Go watch it.
-Was anyone really clamoring for a Three Stooges movie?
-I don't normally watch Justified live. I should have made the exception tonight.
-Haven't watched The Biggest Loser in 3 weeks, and I think I'm a better person for it
-We were asked to be the leaders of the baptism team at our church. Honored.
-Why do people assume that we'll give the girls candy just because it's Easter?
-It worked out for me with the extra Reese's eggs and other assorted candies

That's all for this week.  I promise that I'll actually post some other crap this week.

But I'll leave you with this...
Easter Morning (yes those PJs have penguins on them)

Grace rocking her Easter dress and new sunglasses

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

Twitter Machine Tuesday

Welcome back to another edition of Twitter Machine Tuesday a.k.a. the only thing I consistently post.

And is there anything wrong with that really?  Everyone craves junk some times, and this is the junk of my blog.  Which is to say it provides no nourishment and are the empty calories of the reading world.

I promise this post will have no puke-related topics unless you feel the need to purge afterwords...and that's all on you.

-So happy for the news that Matt Cain signed an extension and will stay with the Giants. One of the good guys. #sfgiants
-People say "$100 million is too much money for a baseball player". This falls under the heading of not my money, so who cares?
-I say that $2 billion for a baseball team is too much especially for the Dodgers. Again not my money.
-The girls went to an Easter Egg hunt on Sunday. Adorable was in excess. Pictures and such to come later this week.
-Other blogs I follow seem to get stupid and rude commenters all the time.
-I'd love to have stupid commenters. If you have any stupid friends that'd like to comment on a blog, send them my way.
-Ashton Kutcher to play Steve Jobs in a movie. Insert stupid "Is this an elaborate Punk'd" jokes here.
-Rock, Chalk...not so much
-April Fools Day is a total Bro-liday. I still like watching pranks happen to other people though. Does that make me a bro?
-I don't like a James Bond that prefers Heineken to a Martini. If it was a good beer, maybe. Maybe.
-Alec Baldwin is marrying a 28-year-old. Jack Donaghey can meditate perfectly, so he's earned it.
-I didn't win the Mega Millions. I also didn't play, but who's keeping track?
-Betty Draper in a fat suit was only slightly more distracting than Peggy Olson in a fat suit #madmen
-Erin seriously asked if January Jones actually got fat. Yeah an actress that completely trades on her looks gained a ton.
-It was at least a creative way to deal with her real-life pregnancy.
-A Twins sequel with Eddie Murphy? How are some Hollywood-types still employed?
-Baseball season starts for real this week. There is no better day of the sports year than Opening Day.
-I hate that they've broken it up over 3 days and play games overseas weeks ahead of time.
-Erin and I have a date to see The Hunger Games tomorrow #finally
-This of course will probably change #inevitable
-It's not even a question anymore that Ryan Leaf was the worst pick of all time #NFL
-Anchorman 2 may be the best news of the year. Granted the year is young, but I'm willing to call it.

Seriously though about the comments.  Feel free.  I know there are some people out there reading my blog.  Even if you want to tell me how terrible I am, go ahead.  I welcome the discussion.  In fact I may even agree with you.

Monday, April 2, 2012

Sick Days

You know that sickness the girls had that I promised I'd write about last week?

Yeah I got it.

This would explain why I didn't write about it or much of anything at the end of last week.

It started with the girls though.

It started so simply.  There were runny noses.  Nothing a little tissue couldn't help (or a lot in our case)  But the runny noses begat horrible diapers.  Horrible diapers begat throwing up (more on that in second).  There were nights filled with screams and no sleep.  It was all times two.  Erin wore down and got sick too for good measure.  Basically it was no fun in our house.

One morning during the plague that struck our home, I came in to change diapers before work like I normally do.  It reeked in there.  It was a smell I didn't recognize.  I came over to Ana's crib to pick her up and something crusty was in her hair.  Apparently she had thrown up in the middle of the night while Erin and I were sleeping.  It obviously didn't bother her too bad because she just slept with vomit in her hair.  Needless to say I was glad to be heading off to work.

The girls had pretty good attitudes during the light of day.  In fact Ana sat in her crib with a smile and crusty puke hair that morning.  She wasn't fazed.

And I thought I escaped the insanity and sickness myself until about 3am on Saturday morning when it all caught up to me.  It was the first time in a very long time that I was sick to my stomach without the aid of alcohol.  I remember that I'm not fond of the feeling, and I didn't even get to enjoy being drunk beforehand.

I wasn't able to keep anything down.  I mean anything.  Toast?  Nope.  Water?  Not happening.  Sprite?  Not so fast.  Gatorade?  Maybe later.

It wasn't a good day and a half for me unless we're talking weight loss goals.  I literally lost four pounds over the course of 24 hours.  I finally was able to eat some Ramen noodles around 8pm without feeling the need to yack. 

Any time a twin parent say it's harder than one, they're talking about stuff like sickness.  It just has to be harder than one kid because...come on.  But we made it through and know we can do it again (hopefully not for a long, long time).