17 months of being a Father

It is the night before Father’s Day. My second one. The funny thing is, I do not even remember the first one. Oh well. This one I get to travel for work. So I won’t be here for this one. Meggi has gotten me addicted to Huffington Post blog articles. They have post some really good posts lately on Father’s. I hope some day my kids think of me they way those bloggers feel about their dads. I have never been one for having people go out of their way for me. I do not remember ever thinking I wanted big birthday parties. It was embarrassing to have people fuss over me… As a matter of fact it still is. I am one of those people that believes that you should show how special a person is everyday or you should feel special everyday. Especially as a parent. As some of you might have been able to catch onto in my oh so not subtle way, the first 12 month or so, was not my piece of cake. Even now there are moments that I wish would go away. But at the end of each day, when I take stock of all that is important in my life. When I put those two little kids down, I feel special. I feel privileged to be their dad. I think back to the times when they come running to me crying, wanted to be comforted by me. I am their special comfort machine. I love how they try to mimic whatever it is I am doing. One of the reasons I have not gotten this post out until now is that I have been working on building a storage shed, and as frustrating as it can me, all they want to do is help. Both Riley and Hattie will grab nails and try to put them in the wood. Riley even grabs a hammer and pounds on the walls. When I cook, Riley wants the spoon or spatula and wants to help stir. If you give him a spoon and a pot, he will stir things up. When I shower in the morning. Hattie will push these little foam numbers and letters under the shower door. I push them back out with my feet. Just the other day, she started pushing them back in the shower with her feet. In the morning, when I put my socks on, they will bring me my shoes. Just today, after I had gotten the roof on the shed and the windows, I sat inside I was admiring my work and they both came in and sat down on my lap and just hung out with me. It was great. It is all those things that occur each day that make me realize how much I mean to them. I do not need a special day. I have every day.

As far as the kids development, there is not really anything big recently. I mean they continue to have more and more understanding of what we say to them. They have not learned any new words really. I guess we listen to, too much music. They love music, especially Hattie. Each morning, she goes straight to the computer and says, Ba Ba… Which is her word for music. You start it up and both her and Riley start to dance. Awhile ago, I posted this video

. And then tonight I posted this video. And then of course here are the latest (well two weeks old) and greatest photos. Enjoy!

 

2 + 2 equals 4?

Could it be? Is it really happening? Not once but twice?! I thought 2 was hard enough, now 4. This has to be some kind of joke, right? I mean chasing down two is hard enough. How will I ever keep up with 4?

I guess we can keep the dogs on leashes and let the kids continue to run around in the park. That should do nicely. Now that Riley and Hattie have gotten a taste for the outdoors, they want more and more. Of course, they just have to start getting smarter. They know that if you put their shoes on them, it means they are going outside. They will bring you your shoes. It is getting kinda scary to think that they are becoming functional human beings. As mentioned before, you say bath, they go to the bathroom. Hattie has started nodding. Though I am not 100% convinced she knows what she is nodding to, but when it seems like she is done eating and you ask her if she wants out, she nods and raises her arms. It is pretty wild. They are quite the explorers when they are outside. Not that, that is any different than when they are inside. Our house is a nightly deluge of empty drawers. The spice drawer was quickly becoming a favorite. Paprika and Garlic Powder seemed to be his favorite. He really seemed to like the mustard also. Once they started dumping them all over the floor it was time to box them up. Though, really, lets face it, they were doing us a favor. Those spices and herbs were so old. We needed fresh ones anyways.

For those of you who did not remember March 23rd was Meggi’s birthday, the first of many 29th birthdays. It was a good day. Her dad was in town and we all went to the park. Meggi really wanted to have the kids swinging and so we tried that. Both of them loved it. As you can tell by this video, Hattie really loved swinging with Meggi.

As their personalities continue to emerge, you can’t help but wonder and almost worry about how they will turn out. Just this last weekend, on this radio show This American Life, they did a show about Bad Baby. The mother that is featured in the first story has a blog at myfamilymyvillage.com.  She is an amazing person. Though at this stage, I do not see anything that thinks Riley will get this bad. He has some of that attitude about him. He does not care, he is taking the toy or object you or his sister is playing with. He drank all his milk and takes his sisters from her. He pushes her out of the way and anyone else for that matter to make room for himself. So I worry. I hope that we do right by teaching him empathy. If you do not listen to the entire episode, there is a Dr. they talk to and said people are the meanest/worst when they are about two years old. Thus the terrible twos. Most all kids grow out of it. I hope Meggi and I have the skills and the patience to help our kids if they do become little monsters. I really think the hardest part will being fair and balanced not punishing one kid or while rewarding the other kid more. I previously dated a woman, who at the time had 8 year old twin girls. And I remember her saying, that you have to be equal about things at all times. I use to think, why? You can give a little to one this time and a little to the other another time. Truth is, (I can see this already in these two), they do not think outside the present. They do not remember that an hour ago you gave one of them a fruit snack and now it is the other ones turn for a fruit snack. They want a fruit snack now also. There is definitely something to the thought of, “Don’t tell me what to do if you have never been in that situation (aka being parent or parent of twins).” And then of course there are many ways to raise good kids. Ya just have to keep doing what you think is working.

Well with that… Here is another fun video of me chasing the kids with the camera.

And… Fun pictures from our family day at the park and the 15 month photos. Enjoy!

Spring has Sprung

Well I thought I would give you a little mid-month post. It got really nice this last weekend and we made our first trip to the park since learning to walk. So I thought I would share a few photos of the fun. Also, we have been shooting some videos, so we have some new videos for you all. But otherwise, not much new in the world of the babies. Hattie did get a “black eye” (eyelid) while at the park when she fell and hit her eyebrow on some park equipment. Still no talking yet. They can maybe say a couple of words like dog and ma ma. But that is about it. They can wave goodbye and Hattie will blow you kisses. Riley will give Meggi a kiss on the lips. Though the little pervert has tried to slip her the tongue a time or two, complete with lots of drool. As I talked about last time, when going out, it can be quite the adventure dealing with other people. Meggi found this video on Facebook the other day… It is pretty darn funny and quite accurate.

I did add two videos to my vimeo account. This video, is fun. It is of Hattie and Riley playing peek a boo while eating. They love to play this with blankets and with their little chairs but we caught it this time with me behind their high chairs.

Then I also uploaded this video. This one is a little more boring and 10 minutes long. (I warned you, you can not get these 10 minutes back) I like it, because it gives you a glimpse into what the day is like with the twins. You can see how messy our house is by the mid afternoon. Though is has been interesting for me at least, as they seem to be getting even more clingy. They are like little shadows that follow you everywhere. If you try to cook, Riley and even Hattie will squeeze in between your legs and the stove and then look up at you and cry, trying to get you to pick them up so they can see what you are doing. I have this suspicion that if you want to smother your kid in attention, they will be all independent and such. And if you ignore them and do chores around the house, they will be on you like white on rice. It is basically reverse psychology.

The other thing I keep forgetting to also link to, is this other parenting blog. It is pretty funny and of course very accurate. Her kids are a bit older, so it gives me a glimpse of what is to come. It is called Illustrated with Crappy Pictures™. So if you are looking for some other fun kids stuff to waste your time with, this will do.

So here are your mid-month pictures…

 

 

 

1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10 !!!

Here we are… 10 months, 10 days later. The babies have spent more time out of the womb than in the womb. Ok, that was true for last month also, but I didn’t think of it that way till now. As we have crossed into November and the temperatures have chilled, the babies of course are becoming ever more mobile and curious. It is a sad cruelty of living in a 4 season location. But we have been keeping the little buggers busy with life on the indoors. Lots of climbing on things they should not be climbing on. They have figured out how to open the kitchen cabinet doors. And you can buy them the most fancy toy in the world, but that salad spinner is the coolest thing ever to them. The have developed a great balance of independence and dependence. While they have started to refuse any food that we feed them, they are more than happy hanging on your leg and right in your feet the whole time you try to prepare any food for them. Hattie is the queen of the leg hold. She will climb up your leg and hold on for dear life, or until you pick her up. If you do not pick her up in about 30 seconds, the crying will ensue. Riley will just sit at your feet or stand up using the cabinets and scream until you pick him up or give him some food. But, seriously, do not, I repeat, do not try to feed these kids with a spoon. They use to love yogurt, oatmeal and other great foods. Now, its two bites and it is over. But give them a hand full of diced chicken, some blueberries, baked apples, salad shrimp, string cheese and life is all good again. Of course there is the ever famous rice puffs. I can see why people just give their kids Cheerios. Those rice puffs are like 4 times as much. Heck, you can get organic toasty O’s for less. But they are still a little hard for the kids in my opinion. They are still only dealing with the two bottom teeth. But there are more teeth in the works. Their top gums are quite swollen. But as with the first two, we have been thinking they would get those top teeth any day for the past month. It is quite funny how every time our kids are cranky, we mark it up to teething.

We did survive our first cold. Of course the whole family had to get it. Mostly just a lot of runny noses. It took a solid week to get over. But no one was ever really, really cranky. But you could tell they were tired from not sleeping very well.

We did make it to the pumpkin patch. Of course by the time we got there, they were pretty much picked over. The pumpkin plants had gotten a couple of good frosts. But it was great none the less. we got some great photos. We also spent a couple of days in a few spots getting fall pictures. So we got some new fun pictures. But as I have mentioned previously, it is getting harder and harder to get these two to sit together and smile at the same time. As you will see from our 10 month photos. I have a feeling, the monthly photo, for a little bit, will be not so much smiley, but more of a here they are type of thing.

I must say, I am really loving this time with the babies. They love to play and interact. You can crawl around and they will chase you. Until they find something more interesting to play with. They love to roll around and “snuggle” with their blankets. So you can get on the ground and roll around with them. They laugh and giggle. They both have their tickle spots. Riley’s feet are his weakness right now. It is too funny. As they area becoming more aware, there are some difficulties. Of course, they want to play with or eat whatever you have in your hands. If you take away that “toy” that they should not be playing with, you get the temper tantrums or just straight up crying at this point. They love to get trapped behind closed doors, smash their fingers in anything that can smash fingers. They will bang whatever they can on the floor until it breaks. Or you can be the no fun parent and take it away and prepare for the ensuing cries.

It is crazy to think that in a little more than 7 weeks, they will be a full 12 months old. I know most people like to say they grow up so fast. I think that is because they do not want them to grow up. For me, it is more of a, “I cannot wait for them to grow up.” The older they get the more fun they get. I know, I have lived with pre-teens, it will change. But it is always changing. For a person like me, who likes change. I embrace it. I love watching them learn new things, explore new items. Or be afraid of some items or noises. I think the key to not letting yourself think, they grow so fast, is to embrace the growth they make and celebrate it. It makes the time so much more enjoyable and you are not stuck thinking about how they are no longer this or that, or whatever you idolized them to be. Cause lets be honest, at some point, there is always some thing at some age that you could not stand and thought, thank god they grew out of that. Of course, then there are those things they never grew out of, right. Oh well… Some times that is just life.

Cha.. Cha.. Cha.. Changes

Can you believe it has been 8 months! 2/3 of one full year. As pretty much anyone in the Wood River Valley will tell you, August was a crazy month. It all started August 7. When a lighting strike started a fire just west of Blaine County. Five days later, the fire had grown and was in Blaine County. Four days after that and the fire was not only knocking but burning down the door to the valley. That night/morning, we were evacuated from our house as the fire roared down Croy Canyon and Carbonate Mountain. Most everyone in the valley were spared due to the amazing work of over 2000 firefighters at one point. One one house was burned down, which was in a valley north of where we live. But at 3:30 am, we loaded up the kids and went to Grammie Rothgeb’s house. We were able to return later Saturday afternoon. From the 12th on, I was on 12 hours a day of work. Making maps for some local firefighters, the police and of course dispatch. I also developed and updated a webmap. (http://maps.co.blaine.id.us/beavercreekfiremap). To say the least, I was pretty busy and Meggi had to stay home to watch the kids. Sadly, the fire put a kibosh on the babies and beer cans adventures. But that is alright. It was fun. And who knows maybe next summer we can go on many more adventures.

On to the baby updates… Hattie was the first baby to pop out teeth. They are still just little tiny razor blades on her bottom gums but they are there. Riley started to pop his about 2 weeks later. Riley on the other hand has started to give us a taste of mobile babies. He can not crawl but instead do a little scoot/crawl. It is kinda cute actually. He gets one leg stuck under him and so he uses it to just push himself up, and then scoots the other knee forward. But his favorite new trick is being able to go from his belly to a sitting position. So for the past 3 nights at 4:00 am, (oh and at bedtime), he decides that he wants to sit up. So he will sit up in his crib and stay awake making noise for a while. To top it off, he has figured out how to grab the top of the crib and pull himself up into a stand position. Which of course he is then stuck and starts screaming at the top of his lungs. He has already taken a few falls on the ground and hit his head. I just hope he doesn’t get any concussions. Hattie on the other hand seems quite content for now to just be able to sit up. She is starting to lean forward to reach for toys more often and has done a few face plants. So, I have a feeling she is only a couple of weeks behind. The kids have also started to crawl/squirm out of the tiny tub, so bath time has become a lot of work. We were thinking of remodeling the bathroom and put a tub in it (it only has a shower currently and the master bathroom, bathtub is three feet deep). Instead, we are going to just make a tub with some shower tile liner material and some PVC pipe. Then our kids while probably be more of a shower type kid. That or they can stand in our tub.

As for the parents, we are doing good. There is less crying. More whining but I personally can handle that a little better. Hattie sometimes sleeps through the night, Riley still gets up 2 or 3 times in the night. That sucks. We want to try the whole cry it out thing with Riley, but why wake up Hattie? That has probably been the hardest part of raising kids. What do you do? What is right? What is wrong? Will this make them serial killer? Will it make them needy and overly dependent children? I swear the internet makes this parenting thing more difficult. You have so much information out there and so many different experiences that are shared and you get too many choices for dealing with your children. One person says this method is good, another person tells you it will scar your child for life. It is an internal battle. Luckily, so far, whatever we have been doing seems to work. Check back in 15 years and see if one of them have killed us in our sleep, if that is the case, guess we did not do the right thing. One last thing, if you want to get a lot of attention in public, have twins! As an introvert, this has been hard to deal with in public. Everyone wants to see the babies, make conversation/ask lots of questions and all I really want to do it pick up dinner for that evening. The funniest are the people who drive by as I am walking and they give me a thumbs up or this one lady was even “Way to go dad!”. You have the people that have to get their faces right into the babies. Riley will give ya big smile. Hattie screams like she just saw a ghost. So their little personalities are definitely coming out.

So with that, here are some new pictures. According to our bathroom scale, Riley is up to 19.5 lbs and Hattie is now 16.5 lbs. We have gotten rid of the infant cars seats and have gone with the convertible car seats now. Still rear facing…

We Built This Family On Rock and Roll

So what has been going on with the Corwin Family lately you ask? Well more babies and beer cans. We tried a trip to the tourist trap known as Redfish Lake. But we went on a weekend and later in the afternoon, thus it was so packed we tied to complete plan B but by then Riley was tired and so it did not go well. A couple of weekends later we went to City of Rocks. It is a national preserver because it was a stop on the Oregon Trail. Now it is a very popular rock climbing place. So we got some pictures there as you will see below. Since the beer can photo contest ends in two weeks, there will probably not be many more adventures. We will try to get to Redfish one more time and get some photos first. But other then that, the other trip involves climbing the tallest peak in Idaho. And well, I am not in that good of shape to take a baby up and neither is Meggi. So it will be just me a a few beer cans.

Otherwise it has been more of the same old. We are eating all kinds of foods but not liking others. Well, truth be told, I think its more of a texture thing. Riley is not a fan of tough or grainy things. If the pears are not good and ripe, he does not like them. Same with the quinoa and the millet. Yes, millet. It was in the baby cookbook we bought. And no, we are not likely to start having millet during meals.Both Riley and Hattie are getting better at sitting up and are getting close to crawling. Not sure why, but we keep encouraging them to crawl but they are not quite ready. That is good. I have a feeling once they get there, it will be all over for us. We are going to have to actually clean the floors on a regular basis. For now, they play on their blanket with all their toys. Riley is the toy stealer of the duo. Hattie just sits there and gets all excited and pounds her arms. Then she finds a new toy and moves on.

As far as us parents go. The sitting up has been huge. It has allowed us to get up and do a few things from time to time. Though every once in a while they still get mad when we leave. Though, we have yet to really get to the point where we take the time to clean the house. We occasionally get the kitchen clean but otherwise we have to take the kids to grammy’s for a few hours and then clean. We had a great little garden going until the dogs figured out what was in it one day. They jumped/bulldozed over the cheapo fence that had kept them out all summer and they ate all our broccoli first. Then the squash and now the cucumbers. To say the least, they are not our favorite living things right now. Guess for next year, its a taller stronger fence. The past 7 months have been a blur. Its hard to believe that we are already a week into August. It is already starting to get dark sooner. Which is nice for the bed time routine. But these kids are going to be moving about the time its too cold outside to play. That will be a challenge.  Overall, it has been a good time. The crying baby still sucks. At least now, most of the times you can comfort them. Though when driving in the middle of no where Idaho, you have no choice but to either listen to it, or pull over and take care of it. Since there is no room for a parent in the back seat. We are about to move up to convertible car seats. That will make going places with the kids a little more work. It will require us to strap them in, take them out, put them in the stroller and then walk around. Now, we have been able to keep them in the car seats. Well, only 6 months of that, then they will hopefully walk everywhere and we won’t need the stroller. Right?

Well with that, I will leave you with the latest and greatest photos, including the 7 month photo. Crazy how big these little things are!

6 months down, Many… Many… more to go…

So here we are, 6.5 months into raising Riley and Hattie. We have had our ups, we have had our downs, we have had our melt downs. We survived the yearly Allen and Co. conference. Thanks to the help of Grammie and Great Aunt Susan. We have traveled. We have stayed at home. Its definitely not like as it use to be but its not like we don’t have some resemblance of our old lives either. The babies change everyday it seems like. During the week of Allen and Co., they seemed to change by leaps and bounds by the end of the week.

The week before the conference, just before the 6 month mark. We scheduled a photo shoot with the same person who did our engagement and wedding photos, Dev Khalsa. It was proof that with kids, you never know what you are going to get. We got the babies there shortly after their morning nap. But that did not stop them from being cranky. Especially Hattie. So we got some great pictures but we only got a few with Hattie smiling. Who knows, maybe she is just camera shy. We got some fun pictures and I am happy with the results because Dev is pretty darn good. But it is a quick reminder that when it comes to photos, we might not want to spend a lot of money on pro photos because you got 1 hour and you better hope that the kids are happy during that hour. Plus, now that I have all this great camera gear, we should be set. Guess I just need to get going on taking more photos of the babies, right!?

The babies are now both sitting up on their own. They started doing this about 4 days after the photo shoot! Stubborn babies. Riley has a bit of a flat stop on the back of his head. We went to see a specialist and he said nothing to worry about, it should pop out now that he is starting to spend less time on his back. Both kids are pretty much sleeping through the night. Hattie likes to wake up around 3-4 am to have her pacifier put back. Riley though has been sleeping till about 6:00 am. If we could get one more hour, that would be perfect. They both take 3 naps during the day. About an hour each time, sometimes more, sometimes less. Both can be big talkers. Hattie is definitely the biggest talker. I swear that girl already likes to just hear herself talk. Riley likes to whisper. Riley is up and likely over 17 lbs. We have another appointment in a week or two, so we will have an update on that. Hattie is about 13-14 lbs. Both of them are eating solids twice a day. We have introduced them to apples, pears, peaches, plums, avocado, peas, green beans, zucchini, sweet potatoes, (both normal and “yams”), cauliflower, carrots, and oatmeal. Meggi has stopped pumping. With work being crazy, it was time. It was becoming a big stressor for her and we were comfortable with the fact that we made it six months with breast milk, so its now formula. It will cost us about $400 a month in formula but we are still saving a fortune with the cloth diapers. I can honestly see why people who feed their kids formula, rush to get their kids on solids. That stuff is not cheap, especially when your kid has a milk allergy!

So that is the update on the lives of Riley and Hattie. And here are the great pictures by Dev. Enjoy.

The 3 Month Mark

As I mentioned yesterday, Meggi went back to work today. That meant when I came home for lunch, there was no babies to feed, to hold to burp to change or to love. So I spent some time editing the more recent photos from this last weekend. Here are the wonder twins at three months. It has gone by fast that is for sure and they sure are getting big. We have survive cloth diapering. Meggi has endured breast pumping 6-7 times a day. We have gritted out teeth through massive crying fits for no reason. It is a good thing babies start to smile around this time. Your nerves start to wear and you need those smiles to help you get through those tough times. Oh, I am sure we would survive if there were no smiles, but they sure do help. Heck, even bath time (before Hattie starts freaking out after you take her out) is a nice time to sit back and watch your babies slash and enjoy the warm water. I wonder if taking Hattie out of the bath water, reminds her of birth? Maybe that is why she freaks out so much. As you can see from the pictures it is not all fussiness. Plenty of smiles to go around. Hopefully in the next month or two, this bout of colic goes away. For now, we try to get to bed and hope they sleep for many hours to come.

I haven’t forgotten about you.

Just a quick note before I race off to bed to try and get a little bit of sleep before the next feeding. I just wanted to let you followers of the blog to know that we are all here, we are all doing great. Hattie has been getting a little extra fussy around 5 pm. So when I get home its try and make dinner, try to get babies feed and then try to get some sleep. Hattie is up to 9.5 lbs and Riley is already 12 lbs! I will try to get you all some new pictures and even up load some from a photo shoot Meggi’s friend did. For now, its good night.

Special Public Thank You!!

So, you get a double post this time. I have been meaning to write this but babies keep getting in the way.

I would like to take some blog space to thank Grammy Rothgeb. She has been a personal hero on many a day. We has bought us many delicious meals that she has cooked herself, even while trying to diet. She has called and asked if we needed anything for dinner, and has gone out and brought us a quick meal, when, trust me, I did not want to cook. She bought us this AMAZING rocking chair that is super comfortable and has been a life saver a couple of nights. She would watch one of them, so we could eat. She even helped us the first night get them home and get situated. She has offered many times to watch the babies for us, so we could nap or do whatever. Though we probably don’t take advantage of it as much as we should… Damn possessive parents… My babies. heh.

So, a great big thank you Grammy Rothgeb for being a very helpful grandmother without being all up in our grilles. You have been a true blessing to have so close by.