H1N1 vaccine reconsidered because…

If you had twin baby girls at home who are too young to get vaccinated against the H1N1 flu and you worked in a place where some of the people believe it is important for them to come into work even though they have been positively diagnosed with H1N1, would you reconsider getting the vaccine yourself? I am reconsidering.

We have come too far to let our little ones come to such risk. Caragh was hospitalized at week 29 of the pregnancy because she went into pre-term labour. That means that she was in a hospital bed, not allowed out for anything other than toilet trips until the twins were born. You try laying in a hospital bed for four weeks. All we did was pray that we could get to 30 weeks so our little beans’ lungs would be better developed. Yeah, babies are born earlier than 29 weeks but it makes their lives so much more complicated. We wanted to get to week 30. And we did.

So then we pray for week 31, and then 32. And then I got the call from a doctor telling me to sit down, stay calm and listen. When someone says stay calm, the first thing you do is panic. “Something has happened to the babies…their heart rates have dropped by half and we are monitoring the situation. You best get here as fast as you safely can.”

Just a little less than 24 hours later, on day one of week 33, we had twin daughters. Born at 1705 grams and 1750 grams. 1705 or 1750 grams is tiny. And then they lose weight. They dropped to 1500 grams and you wonder when they will begin to gain weight. And you wonder when they will be able to eat and breathe on their own. And you sit there ina chair with this baby, the tiniest baby you have ever seen, you sit there and hold this tiny baby and wonder what kind of a miracle made this possible. Then you think back and realize it was actually a bottle of red wine, a little Barry White and that back rub that made it all possible…

And then you wonder when the feeding tube will come out. And then you wonder why she has blood in her lungs. And then you wonder if she can eat more than 3 grams of food at a time. And you wonder if the breast milk will come seeing as you cannot be with your babies all day and all night…it does, and it did. And then the doctors shave one of your little babies pretty little head because her hand is so small they cannot get another needle into it. And you wonder when that will grow back…and why did they need another IV in her?

The days go on, the weeks roll by, and going to the hospital becomes part of your daily life routine. Sitting and holding a tiny little baby who doesn’t seem to ever get bigger. Babies that look more like skinned rabbits than babies, but babies you think are the most beautiful ever born.

And then after seven weeks of going to the hospital the doctors say, “you can take one of your babies home but not the other.” And you wonder if they will be okay being away from each other. And Baby B has to stay in and you wonder why she is not able to eat and breathe like her sister suddenly can.

And then a couple of weeks later you go to visit and the hospital people say you can take Baby B home.

And then you have two miracle babies at home. A week before they were even due to be born they are at home and they are beautiful and they are all ours and we love them more than anything else in this world and it is all right. It is so perfect. And you realize that you would do ANYTHING to protect your precious babies and you do. Because these are the most incredible babies in the world. And even though you realize probably every parent goes through this same routine (with some mods) you know that your babies are the best, brightest, and most incredible.

I will do whatever I can to protect these precious little ones. And if that means I need to risk myself by getting a vaccination to protect me from contracting H1N1, I will do so.

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Daylight savings time

I guess the twins did not get the memo about the clocks all being moved back an hour last night. Ususally at 6pm we take them upstairs and bathe them, get them into clean sleeping sacks, argue about how much baby powder to use on them (I err on the side of never too much) read a little Brown Bear, Brown Bear or the new edition of Ernest Hemingway’s classic “A Moveable Feast” to them, feed them a bottle of milk and then hold them for a few minutes while they fall asleep. This ususally happens at 6pm. Well today their 6pm happened at our newly assigned 5pm…they are not happy with that change thank you very much and even mentioned moving to Saskatchewan where there is no silliness like daylight savings time. They liked the clocks just they way they were and have voiced their displeasure with the change in the system. Although they are now pleasantly asleep.

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Movember in support of men’s health issues

In support of the fund-raiser for mens’ health issues I have decided to shave my beardy-thing off and sport a moustache for the month of Movember. I suppose I will now have to look into how the fund-raining aspect of this process works. I was hoping Greenpeace would not hear about this shaving today, it was some serious old-growth beard I was cutting when I shaved my chin clean. And you know, when we went for our walk today, it was uncomfortably cold on my chin!

Stacey sans beard

Stacey sans beard

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Saturday sushi dinner time

So after our exhausting day with the twins yesterday we couldn’t even bring ourselves to make a salad for dinner. We were so wiped out I was sent out of the house to forage for food for us. Being semi-vegetarian this is sometimes a bit of an adventure. Semi-veggie to us means that we will eat fish but we do not eat other meats like chicken, pork, beef and so on. This is not always the case (there was this place in Texas called the Big Texan where they have a 72 oz steak…) but by and large, we like to eat vegetarian style.

Last night I drove up North Road to a sushi place in Burquitlam, a place called Hanano Sushi and Grill. It is a classy looking place and we have had take-out from them before with good results.

Tonight I was hungry so I ordered more take-out than I probably should have. I can usually tell if I order too much food because of the number of chopsticks they put in the bag to go. I guess I had this one pretty close because they only put three pair of chopsticks in the bag.

I ordered the Party Tray A which comes with two of each tuna, salmon, and ebi sushi, california roll, dynamite roll, tuna roll and salmon roll. I also ordered a yam roll and my sweetheart’s favourite, a chopped scallop roll. All pretty tame, North American style sushi pieces.

All the food was delicious; it tasted fresh and was nicely packaged with an eye to the esthetic quality. As usual, the ends of the rolls were far too big to eat as they sat so I rose to the occassion and dismantled them before eating them. Very good flavour!

Located at #14-555 Clarke Rd, near a Scottish store that rents out quilts and across Clarke Road from the Dairy Queen. This is a definite return-to place, especially if we could sneak away for a meal without the kids!

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Email question received

To the individual who emailed me to ask, “How do you come up with all this stuff” the answer is simple; I just go out the front door of my house. This is our life. I don’t think I could make this stuff up if it did not actually happen to us. Welcome to our world.

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Breakfast at Quan’s

Story and I are home from our Sunday breakfast at Quan’s Kitchen, our local diner. Story behaved like a little angel this morning saying that the extra hour of sleep made her feel so much more rested this morning. Personally, I thought it just gave her another on-the-hour opportunity to wake up. Whatever it did, she had a very good morning out. Now we are ready to head out in the Mountain Buggy for a stroll. I’m glad for the exercise because I am still trying to lose the baby fat I put on during the pregnancy. After our walk one of the lucky twins will get to go with me and visit Grandma R.

Oh one more thing…before going for breakfast this morning Annalie tried a taste of avocado and seems to have really enjoyed it. It is funny to see the way the twins are developing; Story is much more physically active; she is rolling sideways all around the living room and Annalie barely leaves her blanket. However, Annalie will try different foods and eats from a spoon whereas Story will not eat from the spoon. Interesting to observe.

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My generally stinky attitude

Some have commented that I seem, well, let’s say, “gruff” with the people around me and the customer service people I encounter. And yes, this is in response to the emails I received re my Sears portrait experience and my offer to have Paul McCallum kick a field goal between the uprights of the next person who says, “Twins? Double trouble!”

Keep in mind when you say this, that like every parent who has gone before me, I am really freaking tired. I have actually literally fallen asleep at, among other places, my laptop station, in the glider chair where we feed the babies, in front of the tv, at work in meetings and so on. Head falls forward, body jerk and then I am awake again. It is a terrible feeling. And please see my emphasis on the fact that this not just me who has been tired from raising babies, I understand that others have been through this before but it is me being honest about myself and my feelings about my situation. I am no super-hero, I try my best and give it all I have but I can be grouchy in some situations.

The night before the Sears shoot we were up every hour for 15-20 minutes each time. And then at 6am the twins decided they were going to throw a pity party that day, and the rest of the day was, exhausting. They would not nap after the photo shoot and they would not nurse. All they would do was wimper and whine…and after several hours of wimpoering and whining I was exhausted. They were wimpering unless they were in their Mountain Buggy and rolling along.

Which is fine except that then we have to be walking. And Caragh and I were both craving a few moments to lie down and rest. Bless her heart though, when Caragh’s father arrived, they went for another walk. I then had time to wash all the used baby bottles, fold the laundry, prep for the next round and then, the glorious moment…I lay down in bed for an entire, silent, uninterrupted 20 minutes of deep sleep.

Then I was awoken when Caragh and the twins came home with a howl and a scream.

So if I am threatening to send a Paul McCallum field goal kick between your uprights, then please understand, I’m just tired and I probably still love you too.  Because after all, when I wake up and see my beautiful family, Caragh, Annalie and Story, my heart still sings.

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The portrait “package” for holiday-themed photo shoot

So the tears have stopped, the cries have abated, the twins are in bed asleep and I have a glass of Vino Collapso (wine from a box, surprisingly nice wine from a box I might add) in hand. What happened? Well, first off, we had scheduled with Sears a 10am portrait shoot for our twins. It was to be a Halloween themed shoot, babies in angel outfits with a little wand in hand and wings on their backs. Yeah cute.

10am is typically nap time. Typically meaning every day at 10am the girls are in their cribs asleep. So today we accept the appointment and hope for the best. The best was not the result we ended up with.

When we arrived we enquired about the photos from our previous shoot. A shoot that took place sometime in August. The reply, “Oh yeah, we were going to call you to say they were here.” And then she tries to hand me an envelope with three 8x10s in it. Me with a baby in one arm, and enough gear to outfit an expedition. Thanks sweetheart, my hands are full.

So then we get the angel costumes on the twins. Weird frilly skirts and wings that have elastics that go around their arms. Really cute, really uncomfortable for the girls. So we enter the studio. The “photographer” rolls out the background and we begin to shoot photos. Well we try. She says put the two babies, in these costumes they hate into a basket. The basket only holds one screaming baby. Go ahead and put the other baby on top of the other baby she says.

And on from their, one baby screaming while the other was being soothed, then shoot a couple pics, baby begins screaming, switch off babies, soothe, switch. Shoot.

And then you come out of the studio, the young photographer says wait a couple of minutes while she preps photos on the computer. She does, with all their glossy touch-ups and doo-dads so they look pretty darn good.

We then get to view the pictures and choose the shots we want. And of course the best deal is the package of shots…for $269 but a special deal today and we can have it for…

I snap. Enough of the crying babies, stupid baskets, uncomfortable angel wings and package deals of photographs. I assume the role of the bad guy and say in no uncertain terms, “I am not buying another package of photos, we want three sheets, I trust my sweetheart to choose the pics” and I walk away with the screaming baby I am holding.

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Holiday-theme photo shoot

Want to spoil a perfectly sunny Saturday? Schedule your twin daughters in for an early morning Halloween photo shoot at your local Sears photo studio. More a little later…after the ringing stops in my ears and I am able to sit down comfortably without weeping uncontrollably.

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Reality-perspective check pour moi

Funny scene in the house today. Caragh was downstairs visiting her mother (she had a stroke a couple of years back and is paralysed except her right arm and her jaw which never stops moving…I’ll probably hear about this comment, but what the hell…) and I was taking care of the twins in the living-room. Annalie was on her play-mat and I was holding Story when for whatever reason they both went into total meltdown. Screaming, flailing, wailing, tears flowing, the whole bit.

I’m trying to soothe Story and stop her from freaking out and Annalie is screaming like someone is stabbing her with a spoon. I am trying to warm some milk up in the microwave and watching the longest 25 seconds of my life tick by as the twins continue their scream fest.

I’m feeling frustrated (read as supremely pissed off) and wondering where fuck Caragh is when I really need her to help me, after all, what the hell am I supposed to do when both are screaming like maniacs?

She comes back upstairs (remember that show, King of Queens? Doug and Carrie? that show is based on my life and my house). I am just fuming at having been deserted in my time of need. And then Caragh has the nerve to snap at ME!

“Why aren’t you helping Annalie?”

My response is mean and to the point, “How the fuck am I supposed to help her when I am trying to stop this one from blowing up?!”

And Caragh, never one to miss an opportunity to prove a point smiles divinely and says, “And how do you think I do it all day when you are at work?”

At which point my respect for her grows even more, I melt inside a little, ask for a hug and understand her life just a little better. She really is an amazing mother to our twins.

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