A drive to the West End of Vancouver

Today was another truly exhausting day. It started too early in the morning for us and went too late in the day for the twins. When that happens they have mini-meltdowns and cannot hold themselves together. It typically happens when we try to jam too much into a day and the kids then miss their afternoon nap. You might think that we would learn from our experience.

This morning just before we left the house we found the breast pump making a weird noise and delivering no milk sucking action. Great. On a weekend when Childrens’ Hospital store for all things boob is closed. And with twins the breast pump is a necessity, not a luxury.

So off we go to Vancouver for our adventure. We end up in the West End of Vancouver, parked directly across from English Bay. Nice. Walk up Denman, looking in all the shops and restaurants with the twins eyes wide open taking in all the sights. We decide that if we were rich enough to not have to work we would live in Vancouver and eat a different ethnic food every day. And then when it came time to decide what to eat today, we spun the wheel of restaurant chance and ended up in Vera’s Burger Shack on Denman. Kind of funny when there are Shwarma places, Greek food, Legendary Noodle House, sushi, pizza and so much more and we end up in a burger shack.

We both order the veggie burger combo with the works. I defer to the guy on the till what to add to the burger and he makes it great. I especially like it when a guy working in a place tells you you have ordered too much food. That gives them instant credibility in my eyes. So we cancel one order of fries. When the burgers arrive we are very pleased. Nice texture and very good taste to veggie patty. And with cheddar cheese, a splash of jalapenos, and garlic mayo, these burgers are deelish.

By the time we were done with the burgers and fries and driving back to the burbs the girls were overdue for their afternoon nap. As we drive home the meltdown begins. Story loses it and will not sleep in the car seat. And it grows from there culminating in a foul-smelling poonami that required a hosing down.

Honestly, I don’t have the energy to say anymore. It really was a long day.

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A lovely weekend sleep-in

It is up and at ’em for another day! Story is in the exersaucer…a device brought to us from an Afghani prison used to torture prisoners by preventing them from sleeping. It is similar in sound to someone gently taking all the plates, bowls and mugs from your kitchen, putting them in a plastic garbage bag and then twirling it around over head without worrying about hitting the walls and light fixtures. The twins love playing in this device. Perhaps they are training to be future CSIS agents or something equally exciting.

It was a long night last night. Annalie was up at midnight, 2:30, 4:30 and then 6am before insisting on getting up for the day at 8am. Ugh. The stupid part is that then she is tired, just like Story will be tired, and they get to go for a nap while we get to do laundry, wash bottles, walk the dog, clean the cat shit box, and generally get the house looking more like it is lived in than a deserted house being inhabited by squatters. Just about as we get done, the girls awake.

And now Annalie has just projectile vomitted some foul smelling clear liquid onto my leg at the same time Caragh’s breast pump quit working. The weekend has begun.

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Sears portrait studio saga carries on

And the topper of the day was that once again we skipped the girls afternoon nap so that we could make it to Sears to pick up our photos from the August photo shoot. We arrive at Sears photo studio to hear; “Sorry, it appears that the order was not put in when we thought it was.”

So we still do not have our August pictures! This is truly comical now.

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Needles, pain associations, H1N1 and mice

A couple of things this evening. We took the twins into the Fraser Health office where they received their six month shots. These will apparently protect them from diseases like diphtheria, smallpox, tetanus, hepatitis A or B or C or D or whatever it does. They get one massive needle deep into the thigh tissue that makes the little ones screw up their faces and scream like they have have just been stabbed in the leg tissue with a needle. Horrible to see them go through this. I asked why they do not rub the skin with a freezing ointment pre-injection and was told that the freezing stuff is believed to counteract the stuff that is being injected into the leg tissue. It just sucks to see that kind of pain being expressed on your kids face. I make damn sure that the kid I was holding had a good look at the nurse’s face when the shot went in. I don’t want them having my face in their memory associated with that kind of pain. The nurse can wear that one.

I refused the H1N1 shot for the girls though. The nurses did their damndest to get us to allow them to stab the twins with another needle but I held firm. I would not relent because I just do not trust the H1N1 shot enough to allow them to inject my precious little princesses.

On another health care note, this evening I went over to the hospital where they continue to hold my dad. As soon as you step on the elevator to go up to the ward where he is the smell of shit fills your nostrils. And then when it opens on the floor where he is, the smell hits you like you have just stepped into a shithouse at the Merritt Mountain Music Festival. Un-fucking-believable.

And then the topper on the evening with my dad? We are sitting in the “Garden Lounge” watching the Canucks game and we see a mouse come out from behind the television and scurry down the hall. Welcome to the hospital where my dad is being held. Disgusting.

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At the StaceyRobinsmith.com desk

A look at the blog centre for StaceyRobinsmith.com. Note the ever-present baby bottle beside the even more ever-present Blackberry.

Story and me in the office

Story and me in the office

And here is me with both of the princesses:
The three of us

The three of us

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Waking up to a smile

In some ways, having twin baby daughters is very good for my male ego. Where else could a middle aged guy who has not yet lost the chubby belly associated with pregnancy, usually wearing socks and t-shirts that were laundered days ago, unshaven, and teeth unbrushed with the associated bad breath make a female so excited when she wakes up that a smile spreads from ear to ear and arms and legs flap wildly?

That is the typical response when I peek into the crib where a twin is napping. I can watch their eyes and brain grow focused on my face and then that smile erupts into a joyous grin. Love it.

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Race to the school drop off zone

There is a wild and fiendish group of drivers who avoid public scrutiny by and large but who are nevertheless, a hazard to life and limb. That group is the parents, typically mothers, who drive their kids to school in the morning and then pick them up after school.

We live near a small private school that is attached to a Catholic church. And while they are behind the wheel of their Navigator or Escalade, the people who come to these institutions will fear no living man, woman or child. They wheel around the corners, of our residential streets all wild-eyes staring straight ahead, all four wheels churning and engines racing as their vehicles lunge forward, hurtling them to their destination…that spot about two feet from the front door of the school.

Look out if you are trying to go for a peaceful walk with a coffee and umbrella in one hand, a bag of dog shit and leash held in your other hand, small child strapped to your chest and blind dog blissfully unaware sniffing the trail. These streets are taken over by people who do not cast their eyes to the side; they are focused, like a NASCAR driver on the track with every intention of winning the race to the door. Do not dare step off the curb as these demon-possessed divers roar along the streets in exhilarating race fashion.

And then they get to their final destination where they can step out of their gas-guzzling SUV, while leaving it running, and help their porky little progeny out of the back seat. And then they see their kid’s friend, walk across the parking lot to say hello, all the while leaving their gas-guzzler spewing greenhouse gases into the environment.

Together then these mothers look with derision at the other mothers wheeling into the parking lot, just as they have done mere minutes ago. And you can imagine them thinking to themselves, as they pull their children a little closer to them, “You shouldn’t drive like that, you might harm my precious.”

And then the bell rings, the children pour into the school, the gas-guzzlers retreat to their lairs for the rest of the day and once again, our neighbourhood becomes safe for the residents. Until 3pm when there will be an encore presentation.

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Pics from the first couple of weeks in the NICU

Met another mother of a preemie baby today. Meeting her made me think back to our days spent in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit (NICU). Sometimes I grumble a bit about the pain in my left arm because I have developed tendinitis in it from the way I hold the babies all the time. Therefore, it is good to occasionally think back to where we came from. The following is a picture of Story from sometime in the first couple of weeks of our stay in the Royal Columbian Hospital.

Story in the RCH NICU

Story in the RCH NICU

And the next picture, below is Annalie in that same first few days at the Royal Columbian. And to see them now!

Annalie in the RCH NICU

Annalie in the RCH NICU

Tomorrow we go to get our six month warranty check up with Nurse Kelly. It will be interesting to see what the girls weigh now that they are so much more mature!

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Free baby swag…sign up for it

Perhaps the greatest thing about having a baby or two is the free stuff that is available…that is if you know it is out there and where out there it is located. For example, the Heinz baby food division has a program where you sign up and they send you free stuff, stuff like product samples and a reusable shopping bag (who doesn’t need these now that bags cost everywhere) as well as coupons to keep you buying their products.

Once you sign up with Heinz they deliver information to you by mail or email every couple of months starting when your baby is about four months old. Of course seeing as yesterday was the twins seven month birthday, we are a little behind schedule on signing up for the newsletters and coupons but we are excited to now be signed up.

Another one we signed up for was the Nestle Baby program. As soon as we were signed up for their program we received a free backpack that works great as a man-style diaper bag. I am not into carrying the diaper bag that holds two of everything you own baby-related so this backpack came in very handy). We also received a giant book of coupons for a variety of Nestle products. We have been trying out the Nestle product line and have been very pleased with the rice cereal they offer (I personally cannot stand the taste but Annalie LOVES a little bit mixed in the boob milk I feed her).

At this time we are still trying to see who will become the exclusive baby food choice of the twins. It is more up to the twins than it is to me, I will keep you posted though.

At any rate though, if you have new born children, get registered for the freebies. Companies are willing to let you try their products to help you see what your baby likes. Take advantage of the freebies in that research.

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Baby Food Comparison

The twins have grown to an age when they eat more than just boob milk and baby formula. They eat actual food now. Some rice cereal stuff, what we used to call Pablum when I was a baby. But they also eat from those little jars of baby food. And have you slowed down and read the label on some of these jars, take for example the T-bone steak baby food…just kidding.

Seriously though, the Nativa, Organics butternut squash stuff. One jar has 60 calories, 5 mg of sodium (salt ya kno’), 3 grams of fibre (and we all know that fibre is your friend) and 3 grams of sugars.

Now same company makes sweet potatoes. 120 calories per jar, 70 mg of sodium (that salt stuff again), 2 grams of your friendly fibre, and 6 grams of sugars.

And then compare those to peas (my taste favourite) 80 calories, 120 mg of sodium!! 6 grams of fibre and six of the sugars. Yikes on the sodium.

Is it any wonder I like the taste of peas better than the other two? That sodium is what makes it scrumpdillyicious. Wonder how that if the kidlets need that much sodium? They have not been asking for water after eating…

Here is a picture of Story eating her carrots…not her favourite…

Story not eating her carrots

Story not eating her carrots

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