Sunday, September 21, 2014

The Last Week

Only a few days left of the easy life. Once my parents head back on Wednesday we will have to do everything on our own. I am happy to say that we have had a great visit and many things have been checked off the lists. Our houses are really getting into shape for these babies.

My energy has been pretty decent this week except for a little cold, so we will see how that changes. Early on Tuesday morning I even snuck over to the Zoo during one of my prep hours. Too bad I didn't have my camera because the low light coming in through the mist was incredible. I was one of only a handful of visitors, so it was fun to feel like I had the place to myself.

Mom and I took a trip to the Ikea and as always, ended up with more than we came for. Still need to install some cabinets in the bathroom and when that is done things will run more smoothly. We tried the cloth diapers this week and they worked out well. Good to have that system installed, then we can use as we like.

This weekend was spent at the Cottage. We all had a nice time. Yesterday Naomi and I did something completely new for both of us - bought clothes at full price. Strange experience. We shall see if we continue to do this or not, but it sure is nice to have the luxury of giving that a try. We also had a nice lunch outside with a live band. Good to have babysitters!

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Settling In

I have been trying to remember what happened this week, but it comes back as a bit of a blur. A good blur. Mom and Dad have been a great help - Dad got here Wednesday. We are getting used to taking care of the twins, but it will be quite the shock when Mom and Dad leave.

School went fine, and on Friday we even went to the Zoo. It was sunny and nice. I seem to be having a decent amount of energy given the splintered nights, but that all might change when we are on our own.

For now, September continues to be one of my favorite months. Plenty of sunshine, lots of nice walks, no shortage of things to keep us busy. So much has changed since last September!

Sunday, September 7, 2014

Back to Work

Happily, I was able to start slowly this week. Monday was a day of meetings with a nice lunch. Tuesday was just a few lessons. Wednesday I had off as the school was able to arrange the schedule so I don't have to teach then. Thursday and Friday were full of teaching, but the lessons went really well. I was even able to organize my space and hang up some posters. A much better start than last year.

The babies are doing quite well. Gaining weight and changing fast. They already look much different from when they were born. Mom was able to take over my nighttime duties on the days before I needed to teach, and this along with all the other help she is able to provide makes the start of the school year seem manageable. Things would be pretty rough if she wasn't around!

We were even able to go to the Cottage for the weekend. It was some work setting things up there for the babies, but we did have time to relax and enjoy it too. Even had the time last night to watch an entire movie on our new couch! This coming work week will be a lot heavier, so we will see if the positive spirit continues...

Sunday, August 31, 2014

Sleep...?

This week has been all about establishing the routine. Abigail and Amélie are doing great. We are figuring out how to deal with all the different tasks and the lack of sleep. The tasks have been falling away though. No more recording data - they got back up to there birth weight in half the expected time, so that is good news. Last night was also the first time that we didn't help them out with hot water bottles. This means they are better able to regulate their own body temperatures now.

We have been having more visitors lately, so that is nice, but also a bit draining. Naomi especially was sad to see our helper go, but we learned a lot from her. Now my mom is here, so thankfully we are not on our own. It is hard to imagine doing this by ourselves!

School starts tomorrow for me. It would be nice to have more time, but I think I have done what needed to be done this summer, and I don't think it could have gone much better. We shall see how things change as work starts up again...

Bath time.

Nap time.

Food time.

Weighing time.

Sister time.

Sunday, August 24, 2014

Babies!

Something quite strange and wonderful happened this week. A lot has changed quite suddenly around the house. At the beginning of the week I had a very large, complaining wife and lots of spare time. We took a trip around the corner to the hospital and all of the sudden I have almost no spare time, a shattered sleep cycle, and two of the cutest tiny humans I have ever seen. All of it feels rather like a surprise - I didn't have an intuitive grasp on what was happening inside of Naomi.

Kalia came all the way from Alaska to help us out, and we were so grateful she did! It has been a gift to have her around and part of this whole process. She got here on Monday and already left yesterday - we all wish she could have stayed longer.

Tuesday morning we checked into the hospital. They ran some tests and gave Naomi a pill to induce labor. They planned to give her another every 4 hours until she began to dilate and said it could easily take 8 pills for that to happen. Fortunately the first one did the job. By two or three in the afternoon she was around 3 cm and they put her on a oxytosin (sp?) drip to speed up the contractions. It made her a bit high. Kalia and I and even Naomi to an extent had a lot of fun for the next few hours. Naomi came up with the funniest descriptions of her contractions and Kalia and I laughed and recorded them for a later day.

Around six things started to get bad, so Kalia went off to find some dinner. We were expecting some progress after all the pain Naomi was in, but she hadn't dilated much further. We were quite disappointed as the doctor (who we really like - she skipped her kite surfing to deliver our babies) said it would be normal to add one centimeter for every hour of contractions. At this point they got far too painful and they added a morphine drip to the oxytosin. This helped but Naomi lost her upbeat attitude entirely.

After two hours of intense pain, the doctor came back to check and was surprised to find that Naomi had opened up to 8 cm. She had done a great job of relaxing. At this point our room filled up quickly. About 8 doctors/assistants came. They brought many large machines with them. Naomi had to try so hard not to push.

Around 8:30 the pushing began. No need to dwell too long on what happened in the next 45 minutes, but I will say that I can't adequately describe the moment that they came out so I won't try. Abigail was born at 9:08 and Amélie at 9:18. It felt like a lot more time in between though. Abigail came out head first and Amélie butt first. I cut the cords.

Naomi was in really rough shape the next day, but was quite fortunate to not need a c-section. She asked a nurse to stay another night in the hospital but the nurse said there was no medical reason so we had to go. Shortly after one of the doctors we like came in to congratulate us and to tell us that she had arranged for another night which was a big comfort.

On Thursday we came home. It is standard here to have help in the home for about a week after birth so our helper came. We really like her. She teaches us all about how to handle and take care of the babies. She does the laundry. She cleans and changes the bed. She washes dishes, will cook for us, and even run errands. Why don't they do this in America!? We would have such a rough time without her.

The babies are really good. They are both gaining weight now although they lost a lot early on. They seem to want attention in the evening before midnight, but after that they have been sleeping soundly until their feedings. When they sleep they sleep. You can talk at a normal voice around them, vacuum clean right next to their crib, even give them a little prick in the foot to take blood and they don't wake up.

Because of all the help we have I am starting to adjust to this strange sleep cycle. When all goes well in is an hour and a half of work followed by an hour and a half of rest. They need to eat every three hours. Afternoons have been the time where we have been getting the most consecutive sleep and it is paying off - I start to get a bit of energy again.


Week 36


The Birthing Suite - with a private bathroom.

And a nice view.

We're Ready!

Great Success. 

Incubating.

Climbing feet.

Separate for the first time.

Happy Auntie.

Finally home. 

Warm, clean, and dry.



Bath time.


Sunbathing.

Fashionista.

Pinky pacifier.

Sweet babies.



Week 37


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Vacation at Last

Even though school ended a month ago, I have had so much to do that this was the first week that actually felt like a vacation. The house is pretty much ready to go. So I relaxed. Haven't done that in awhile! I even had a chance to work a bit more on my story...

He was about four years old, his hair was cut so short it was almost shaved, and he had crusty streams of snot coming from his nose and eyes. He held up two grubby fists in Jack’s direction as if offering him a present and one of the women grabbed onto his shirt so he wouldn’t fall. 

The boy stuck up his thumb and said, “kelen.” He then stuck up a stubby index finger and said, “fila,” the third finger was “saba,” then, “naani, duruu, woro,” continuing until all ten digits were up in the air. 


Marcel, along with the ladies in the truck, were taken aback when Jack repeated precisely what the boy showed him. Had he studied this language before? He must have. So why was he here? The children just cheered and wanted more. Jack happily obliged. 


Week 35

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Finishing Furniture

Finally! After almost a year of working on and (mostly) off the Maple project for the hall/bathroom is finished. I had trouble finding a replacement for the 'Wipe on Poly' that I like so much, but after some research, tried mixing varnish with boiled linseed oil (about half and half) and after three coats things were looking quite good. It took a long time to dry, but the finish has the silkiness of the oil mixed with some durability from the varnish. I am quite happy with it so far.

On Thursday some of Naomi's family came all the way from the east side of the country to clean up our house. They did a great job of picking up our slack in that department over the last 6 months or so, although finding things has been a bit tricky lately. I have been working on getting things fixed up the way we want them over the last three days and still have quite a bit of work to do. Figured it would be done by now!

Naomi had another trip to the hospital yesterday. This time for some nasty headaches - she was even seeing spots. They know her quite well by now. We have a maximum of 9 days left, and Naomi is starting to switch from counting down the days to counting down the hours...


Week 34

A friend helped me out with the first coat of finish.