The Projectile Vomit

I have seen the stuff of legend; I have actually seen the projectile vomit…live, in action. Annalie, Story, Caragh and I are nursing colds. With all of us having colds, it adds that extra dimension of nifty to our days and nights.

As any parent will tell you, we (parents, that is) do most activities in the night in a sort of half-sleep-half-awake state. Last night I was abruptly taken from that half-and-half state; Annalie had just finished her 1am or 2am or maybe it was her 3 or 4am bottle, I’m not sure because they all seem to blur into one long sleepless night. Anyway, I put Annalie on my knee, gently patted her back a couple of times and then…burning hot Nestle formula was spewed forth…it cleared her clothing and as I watched it arcing through the air I made one of those “blink” decisions like when the secret service guys throw themselves in front of the bullet to save the President’s life.

We have new carpet in the nursery and as much as I like the Nestle formula I just had doubts about what it would be like in that room in the heat of the summer when the one drop I had not seen felt the heat of the sun. So my body contorted to take the brunt of the projectile. 

I felt it spray across my bare chest, ricochet off, hit my suddenly distended stomach, and then bounce off the bare skin. Knowing I needed a part of my body with more absorbent clothing to contain the spill, my last hope was my leg. Draped in my favourite silk pyjamas, it shot out.

The formula hit my upper thigh, then my knee. Running out of absorbency, my calf was my final hope. It cleared my calf. The carpet was doomed! But my foot! With other-worldly control my foot swivelled like Nadia Comaneci on the parallel bars….and caught the renegade vomit streak. The carpet had been saved!

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Annual Guy’s Dinner this Saturday at The Q Steakhouse

This coming Saturday I am going out for my annual guy’s Christmas Dinner. The location this year? The Q Steakhouse in Abbotsford. I will be live-blogging and tweeting the event from the dinner. This is a significant event because I have been a vegetarian for the past 15 years.

When I say vegetarian, I am the kind of vegetarian who will eat seafood, but I do not eat “meat.” So this will be fun experience to follow. This Saturday night, right here, let’s see how the steak tastes.

Curious, what kind of steak should I order? Thoughts?

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My Christmas Wish List

My Christmas Wish List

#1 To sleep through the night and awake in the morning refreshed and ready to go again.

#2 To sit in the evening and at about 7pm have the twins both just fall asleep and stay asleep as we lower them into their cribs.

#3 To have a conversation, a conversation not about poo, with my wife, uninterrupted by wahwhawahahahahahahah that goes on and on.

#4 To sit beside my sweetheart in the quiet and read a book as the twins sleep in their cribs.

#5 To have my Dad get his legs back so that he can get up and walk with me again…walk right out of the shit-stinking hospital and back home to be with my Mom, where he has been for the past fifty years.

But most of all, I want to sleep in my own bed with my sweetheart and be able to hold her and smile as we sleep and hear the twins in their cribs, sleeping.

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Blonde Bear moves into her own room

In a big move for Blonde Bear, and perhaps bigger for her mother, Blonde Bear has moved from our bedroom into her own bedroom. She has been sleeping in her own room since about 7pm (it is now 10:15pm). She has woken a couple of times and I have raced up the stairs with a bottle of milk to soothe her. Once she has had a drink of the formula I then gently placed her back in her own crib.

Neither Wifey nor I believe that it is healthy to “let them soothe themselves.” Leaving a baby there to cry until she goes back to sleep is not our way. Also, it would almost certainly wake Story if Blonde Bear were lying in her own room screaming, because Blonde Bear does not cry for long, it escalates to screaming within seconds. Then Blonde Bear is crying, Brown Bear is crying, Wifey is upset and well, I’m definitely not getting any…rest.

My prediction? Not a lot of sleep coming my way tonight. We’ll see.

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Twins, twins, everywhere are twins

Our weekly Sunday breakfast excursion turned into a family event this weekend. Caragh, Story and Annalie made the trek to Quan’s Kitchen with me this week. Caragh was a bit nervous about having the kids in a restaurant but I was totally comfortable with the experience due to my weekly outings. And the funny thing is that the place was full of families today.

Everywhere we go people comment on the kids…”Twins…” etc. So I usually strike up a conversation with these people. Yesterday while we were at Granville Island we shared a table with an elderly Chinese lady. She had limited English skills but her smile and adoring looks at our girls spoke volumes. In her very broken English she told us that her husband has twin brothers. And that is the funny thing, everywhere we go, people are always telling us that they are a twin, they have twin brothers or sisters, their kids just had twins…growing up I don’t know that I knew any twins. But now, thinking about it, maybe I did know twins without even knowing that I knew twins.

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Teething; Need I Say More?

With a title like “Teething” what more do I have to say? Story’s two front bottom teeth just came in one day with not a whimper. Annalie? Screams of inconsolable agony all evening. Screams of exquisite agony that send shivers down your back. Screams that made Jim Dawg whimper…and she is deaf and blind. So at a loss, I hand her over to Caragh, Annalie smiles beatifically at me, sighs, relaxes and goes to sleep.

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Baby becomes a greased ferret

I remember when I was a kid and we lived on a rural property (calling it a farm would be a stretch) my Dad brought home, through some complicated Tom Sawyer like trade, a “pet” ferret. Now anyone who has had a pet ferret might disagree with my observations, be that as it may…

A ferret is more like a snake with fur than anything else. It can twist and turn on itself in places that you would not think a fart could move in. If you try to keep it in a cage, well, good luck. They are master escape artists. Any crack or opening that they can see through, they can move through.

Their ability to twist and turn is of particular interest to me today because I am starting to wonder if Story is perhaps part ferret. A couple of weeks ago I mentioned how changing Story’s diaper is akin to some bizarre Greco-Roman wrestling match. It is now more like trying to change the diaper of a fully-greased ferret. When we got home yesterday afternoon the unique odour of baby shit followed us into the house. As parents we do the typical, hold the ass to the face and breathe deeply. I sniff and pause before saying, “Clean”…my pause was long enough for Caragh to hold Story up to her nose and get a wiff of that ripe baby poo-goo. Honestly, I didn’t mean to hesitate…

The diaper throwdown begins. Somehow it is my turn to change the diaper. I assess the situation and immediately call for reinforcements. This is bad. The poonami has fully breached the perimeter and has moved to the small of the back. Hold still and this will be…the ferret twists and writhes…we have a full on shit storm. Baby shit to the shoulder blades…it has now reached the back of the arm, on the crib bedding! An arm shoots out…Story pulls in the clean clothing I was supposed to put her in post-poo storm. I’ve been foiled. She twists and turn, I pick her up, she begins to liquify the situation! I call out again, “I’m under enemy fire! I need help here!”

Caragh arrives, “what’s the trouble, this is my everyday.” Thanks for that support sweetheart. Take the baby wipes from the little warmer that seems to never let them go when you need them, scrape the baby shit from her shoulder blades down, Caragh is wiping as I try to hold the greased little ferret without letting the shit storm hit my body.

The change station looks like a disaster zone. We may have to call a Hazmat team for clean-up duties. Bio-hazard scene.

Upstairs and into the baby tub. Have you ever tried holding a shit-soiled baby in a tub of water? Go ahead and add soap to add that n’th degree of advantage to the squirmer. She gets loose, bonks her head, screams in agony, her mother arrives and demands to know what in the name of all things ridiculous are you doing to the baby?

“I’m trying to bathe this greased ferret.” At which point Story looks up at her mother and an ear to ear grin with her two front teeth prominently displayed, splits her face. And we all laugh and marvel at how lucky we are to have these two unique blessings in our lives. It is so cool.

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New Single Application for Newborn Birth Certificates and MSP

You remember what it was like when you first brought your baby, or in our case, babies home? Especially if it was your first baby, the stress was intense. At least for us it was. We didn’t know whether we were coming or going for the first few days. All we could think about was trying to get the boobies to work and get the twins slurping up that mommy milk.

And then you have to start thinking about paperwork…register their birth to get birth certificates, register for MSP, Extended Health benefits, apply for Social Insurance Numbers, Child Tax Credit and so much more. It seemed like so many pages of paperwork…times two because we had twins. And then the doctors were phoning because they were not yet registered for MSP and…my GAWD it was crazy.

Now my good buddy, the former security guard from Vancouver Shipyard, the Honourable Kevin Falcon, Minister of Health Services (what a title! must make his mom proud) has introduced what he calls common sense changes to allow BC parents of newborns to use a single application form to apply for a number of child benefits and services including MSP, the Canada Child Tax Benefit, Social Insurance Number and birth certificates.

So now instead of sweating the paperwork, you can enjoy those first full days and nights of having a baby in the house. More details at http://www.bcliberals.com/20091211-4

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Heinz Baby Food Recall

Just when we have started our twins on solid food, the news came across that Heinz has recalled some of their Mixed Baby Cereal because it contains a possible carcinogen. YIKES.

It should be interesting to see how Heinz handles this product recall. Hopefully they do not have the same public relations people as Tiger Woods has been working with.

At any rate, check the link posted above to see if you need to throw out the baby food from your cupboard. In a nutshell the stuff being recalled is “Heinz Mixed Cereal, Stage 2, From 6 Months” with UPC code UPC 0 57000 02516 8.

You can also try calling Heinz at 1-800-565-2100 if you want to talk to them directly. I say try to call them because when Storkcraft had their crib recall their website crashed and their 1-800 number was jammed for days.

Check your baby food.

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Life Perspective

It is funny to occasionally stand up and look back through the stages of your life. It is particularly interesting to look back at life pre-twins. Want to go the pub for a beer and nachos? Not a problem. Go to the cabin for a weekend? Not a problem. Load the dog and a cooler in the car and away we would go. Now if we want to go the store to buy groceries, we prepare what seems like enough provisions to embark on an odyssey and we load every object that has a primary colour on it into the car before we even consider pulling out of the driveway.

Would we change anything to have that simpler life? Not a chance.

On a separate note, I did manage to get the rest of my Christmas lights up on the house. Not without some struggles, but the lights are all up now.

Hanging Christmas lights

Hanging Christmas lights

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