March 6, 2005

Caleb at 8 1/2 months

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March 3, 2005

Picture of the day:

Jake got a bath in the sink this morning:

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February 9, 2005

New Pictures!

I've uploaded some recent pictures from February. Check them out here!

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January 20, 2005

Two naps, or not two naps, that is the difference

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It's become clear to us that getting these guys to nap every 2 or 2 1/2 hours (or when they look tired) is essential. But, trying to put two very different boys down for naps at the same time, in the same room, doesn't work (yet). Jake is likely to be fussy and cry loudly for a long time (1 + hours) and, understandably, Caleb doesn't fall asleep with that noise in the same room.

We have tried putting Caleb in a portable play-pen in another room for his nap. Most of the time he is able to fall asleep after 10 minutes of crying and fussing. He then sleeps anywhere from 45 minutes to 2 1/2 hours. This is excellent and we can usually count on a morning and afternoon nap from Caleb.

But, it's not his crib and it's not in his room.

After nursing, Jake is put down in his crib for his nap. We've been following the advice of Dr. Weisbluth and letting him cry himself to sleep (it works for Caleb). Sometimes he'll cry for 20 minutes and then nap for 15 or 30, but as a general rule, Jake does not take morning naps in his crib. It is more than likely that he'll cry for an hour straight and not fall asleep at all. After an hour of letting him cry we call it quits and go get him. We are all frazzled and feeling guilty by that point.

So, currently our situation is less then ideal.

Our plan is to first get each of the boys, one at a time, to fall asleep for naps in their cribs, in their room, without requiring someone to be there with them. The second step is to get each of the boys to fall asleep for naps when the other boys is also in the room.

We've heard stories that day-care providers are able to get 6 and 7 month olds to nap by rubbing their backs. So, this week we've changed the routine a little by staying in the room with the boys when we put them down for naps and trying the back rubbing method.

With the baby on his stomach, and almost pinning him down if he wants to roll over, it takes 10 to 20 minutes to have Caleb fall asleep (Interestingly enough that is the the same amount of time it takes if I let him cry it out).

With Jake, I've now had two successful sessions of rubbing his back until he falls asleep. It takes 20+ minutes and he cries the whole time. Slowly, he falls to sleep, but has only slept for about 30 or 40 minutes at a stretch. It is progress, but more work lies ahead.

One of the fall back routines is to have Diana take Jake to our bed and nurse him to sleep on our bed. She's able to get up and leave the room and today, for instance, Jake got about a 50 minute nap in. Great that he napped, but not great that its not in his crib or that he had to be nursed to sleep.

Our other standard operating procedure is to go for a drive. Bainbridge Island and the Kitsap county area are good for that because there are not a lot of stop lights. As long as the boys are well fed and clean they like riding in the car and will sleep for more than an hour at a time. It's good that their sleeping - just not good that they'll have to be moving in a car to do it.

Recognizing that we look at our situation through a magnifying glass, and that as one day melts into another, and then into another, I am sure we are more difficult on ourselves than we need to be. We are seeing progress on routine and need to remember that these little guys are only 7 months old and are doing really, really well.

Our nights are getting better, too. (knock on wood). Last night the boys went to bed at 7'pm and slept till 4'am and then woke up for good at 7:30am. Yahoo!!

Comments?

Posted by johnbenj at 10:54 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2005

So much to do and so little time

It has been too long since the last post but there is so much to do and write that it is hard to even get started :) There are lots of new pictures to from Christmas and Santa Fe to up-load, lists of books we are reading to post, descriptions of Jake eating his first solid foods, Caleb's first swim in the pool and more. Keep checking back - We'll get more up soon!

Posted by johnbenj at 6:55 PM

December 31, 2004

Goodbye 2004.

We are filled with grief because of the tsunami disaster.  The power of nature and the impact on human life is jaw-dropping and humbling.   It is an unprecedented tragedy and we hope that the world's governments provide an unprecedented response of aid and service.  What a humbling reminder that humans are fragile visitors on this planet and that no life, and no day, should be taken for granted. 

A small recap of events for our 2004:

On May 30th, Diana gave birth to our two healthy boys.  Diana and I have been working together everyday to care for the boys and thus have been spending almost 24 hours a day together. The work of taking care of two infant boys has been very tiring and required patience and teamwork beyond what either of us imagined, but we wouldn't change a thing if we had a chance to do it over again.  We consider ourselves very lucky to have been able to both spend this time with the boys and try not to take anything for granted.  It's getting a little easier as we pass the 7-month mark.  The boys are really starting to be aware of their surroundings and developing into their own.

This summer was very busy for us.  Not only because of the twins but because we moved to a new house in late June.  We've started to put down new roots, both figuratively and literally, by meeting new friends and planting trees around our house. 

Diana and I celebrated our 10-year wedding anniversary this year!  And our oldest child Casey (OK, you're right, she is a dog) will be turning 15 years old in a few days!!  The cats, Rudy and Emma, are doing well, too.

And, of course, who could forget that the Red Sox actually won the World Series this year :)

John, Diana, Caleb and Jake wish everyone a happy and peaceful new year. 

 

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December 19, 2004

New Gallery and Pictures!

I have installed new gallery software on http://thebenjs.com/gallery and uploaded new pictures taken this month.   Please go check them out!

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December 11, 2004

Six Months

Time has flown by.  I have been meaning to write an update for the last two weeks so there is a lot write about.

Since the last update the boys have celebrated their first Thanksgiving, had their first over-nighter,  partied on their 6-month birthday, got a clean bill of health from their doctor, met Santa Claus and had their picture taken with him,  trimmed their first christmas tree and hung their stockings with care.

Img_3649We travelled to Portland to celebrate Thanksgiving with Diana's sister and her family.  This was the first time the boys were sleeping away from home.  The did OK, but not great and none of the four of us got much sleep.   At one point we had both the boys and Casey (the dog) on the bed with us - and with a full-size bed it was a crowded affair.  The boys were good-travelers and easy spirits for the two days we travelled.  Our next big adventure will be 7-days in Santa Fe for Christmas.

The boys had their six-month checkup.  Here are the details:

Jake's details are:

Caleb's details are:

More details later....

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November 4, 2004

Caleb, Do you like your bananas?

We've started to give the boys solid foods. Here is a video of Caleb tasting his first bananas.
Download caleb_did_you_like_your_bananas.mov

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October 27, 2004

Now the boys will be able to say

I was born the year the Red Sox beat the Yankees and went on to win the World Series!

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October 26, 2004

New Pictures!

The Red Sox have won games 2 and 3 now. They have four chances to win one more game. Hard to not think that they are going to actually win the world series this year. But, we just saw them beat the Yankees after being down 0-3, and knowing the history of the Red Sox failures, it is wise to assume nothing. Ask me in botton of the 9th tomorrow and I'll let you know if I think the Red Sox are going to win the World Series.

October Pictures have been uploaded

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October 24, 2004

Caleb Sleeps Through The Night

Caleb went to sleep at 7:30 pm last night and slept till 5 am. Jake woke up at 1:30 am for a feeding, but we let Caleb sleep and we didn't hear from him until the morning. Yahoo! Oh, and the Red Sox won game 2!

Posted by johnbenj at 9:54 AM | Comments (0)

October 15, 2004

How can I miss you if you never go away?

it's 11:15pm and i'm sitting in the nursery while diana breast-feeds both boys. Jake woke up 10 minutes a go grunting and crying and woke Caleb. It's a safe bet that after they're done they'll sleep till 3'ish. Lets hope so. They are holding hands tonight while they are eating.

Today and yesterday Diana and I split up with each of us taking a baby and doing something different. Diana took Jake both days because he's not taking a bottle now but Caleb is. Today, Diana took him to their play group with other mothers we've met through PEPS group. I took Caleb for a hike with an old friend from Seattle. We attempted to climb Green Mountain but headed up the side of Gold mountain instead. Failing miserable even with a GPS :) Yesterday, Diana went into Seattle and shopped with two other moms, with Jake. I took Caleb for a walk along Rich Passage inside Fort Ward State Park. Great fall color, amazing sky and sunshine. We spent the rest of the afternoon running errands and picking Mom up at the ferry.

Both the boys have been in good moods for each of us. Each day we've been excited to see the other boy and find out about their day...

The boys finished about 11:35 - time for bed.

Posted by johnbenj at 8:05 AM | Comments (1)

October 12, 2004

From Bainbridge

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It has been almost two weeks since I last posted an update about Caleb and Jake. In some ways it has been more of the same: they cry, poop, laugh, eat and poop some more. Long nights with three or four trips to the boy's room so Diana can nurse them back to sleep are still the norm.

There have also been a lot of great new stuff, too. Slowly but surely, right in front of our eyes these guys are getting bigger and stronger. For instance, we've now purchased our "convertable" car seats for the boys because they are getting too big to use their infant seat. Caleb lis starting to enjoy lying on his back, something he didn't like to do before. Maybe it is fun now because he can suck his toes.

They are both able to hold their necks without support now (most of the time) From their backs, you can use their arms to pull them into a sitting position, and since just yesterday, to a standing position! Stay tuned for pictures of that!

Health wise the boys are both doing well. In that regard, no news is good news.

We'll be buying the boys high-chairs in the next day or two and starting to introduce them to solid foods.. Rice cereal to begin with. Look for video and or pictures of that soon.

Stay tuned for more....

Posted by johnbenj at 9:24 AM | Comments (0)

October 1, 2004

4 Months Old

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Yesterday was September 30th and the 4 month mark for the boys! It is a great milestone. They are both much more attentive, and laugh and squeal, like most kids their age. It is a lot of fun to have the interaction with them rather than have little response. For example, Caleb now likes to be lifted into the air briskly while you yell "weeeee". The almost always makes him laugh and smile. Jake, from across a room, will make eye-contact with you and crack a smile. Enough to make your legs melt.

Jake's cold has passed and hence his congestion has cleared up which has allowed him to sleep more easily.

We all, including Casey, took the ferry to Seattle yesterday to visit Children's Hospital so that Caleb could have two procedures done to investigate why he got a bladder/kidney infection. He had an ultrasound and a Voiding Cystourethrogram (VCUG). A voiding cystourethrogram is performed by inserting a catheter into the urethra. Liquid contrast material is then instilled into the bladder through the catheter. X-rays are taken before, during and after filling of the bladder. When the bladder is full, the catheter is removed. While the patient voids, additional x-rays are taken.

Needless to say, Caleb screamed and cried a lot during the VCOG. Because X-Rays are used, Jake was not allowed to be in the room and that meant that Diana stayed out as well. I think it was harder for Diana and Jake to hear Caleb screaming from outside the room not being know what was happening inside the room. There was cherry-syrup to dip his pacifier in that made it a little better - and a numbing solution for the penis - but it is a pretty horrific process. They strap the boys to a board, legs and hands and head and then stick the catheter inside.

The good news: no reflux was found.

The boys had their 4 month check up yesterday with Fred Walters. Caleb's weight was 13 lbs, 13.5 oz, with a height of 25 3/8". Jake weighed 12 lbs, 8 oz and is 24 3/4" long. Those are really great measurements for twins- Caleb's weight puts him into the 25 percentile and Jake's into the 10th percentile. Caleb's length places him in the 50th-75th percentile. Jake's length places him in the 25-50 percentile. Both have increased their weight and height relative to their peers so they are growing very well. Jake's head is bigger than Caleb's with a circumference of 42 cm compared to 40.6 cm.

Posted by johnbenj at 7:11 AM | Comments (1)

September 21, 2004

16 weeks

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This sunday marked 16 weeks since the boys were born. We've been very tired this last week. Lack of sleep is starting to catch-up to us and take its toll. Jake had some cogestion from a cold this week and it made it difficult to sleep. On Saturday night we had him sleep sitting up in a swing and he slept for 5 hours before waking, which was a great improvement over the 30 minutes of sleep he was getting the night(s) before.

On Sunday night, Jake awoke at 9'ish, nursed and then slept till 5:30 - the longest he has ever slept in one strech. Last night, Monday, Caleb slept really well as well, only waking once and quickly going back to sleep after nursing.

Today, Diana and I tried to start putting a better routine in effect for napping during the day. It took 1.5 hours of nursing and calming before they both fell asleep but then they slept for 2.5 hours, awaking at 4:30 this afternoon. We'll try again tomorrow, and the next day, and the next day. The goal is to have them napping twice during the day and helping them get used to falling asleep on their own during the day and during the night.

On Sunday we took a long drive "around" the Hood Canal. We took a detour to see Lake Cushman where we found this awesome view:

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I've put more pictures in a new photo album - Click here to lake a look.

Posted by johnbenj at 11:04 PM | Comments (0)

September 17, 2004

a long, long night

7:55 am :: Ey! Ey! Ey! Last night was very long. The boys went to bed at 7:30, as usual, but Caleb woke up again at 11:00. Then again at 1:00 am, and Jake at 2:00. And Caleb at 3:30 am. And Jake at 4:00 am. And Caleb at 5:00 am. And, again at 7:00 am. There is now no more hope that we'll be able to crawl back into bed for another 30 seconds of sleep. Our day has begun.

Our best guess for why the many awakenings is that the boys are gassy. A diaper change at 4:30 revealed wet, but not soiled, diapers and we could hear lots of tooting from each of them.

Diana is going to try eliminating milk from her diet to see if that makes a difference. That is going to be very hard on her. But, we're out of answers at this point, and tired as hell, so anything sounds like it is worth trying.

Posted by johnbenj at 8:03 AM | Comments (0)

September 13, 2004

Are those twins?

With Diana's Mom here we ventured to Port Gamble and Port Townsend for sightseeing and lunch. The weather was much better (warmer) than we had expected. We have been using the new twin stroller with much better results than the first couple of tries. At first, Caleb would only cry in the stroller but on this trip he enjoyed the motion and even slept a little. Port Gamble is a small tourist focused town that has a farmers market and antiques fair on saturdays and sundays.

Laree and Diana:
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Diana and Caleb:

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After Port Gamble we drove on to Port Townsend to eat at a mexican restaurant we like ( El Sarape Mexican Restaurant. 630 Water Street). When we arrived in Port Townsend we discovered that the annual Wooden Boat Festival was going on, along with a art and crafts fair. http://www.woodenboat.org/festival/

We strolled the fair a little before going to the restaraunt. We were very worried that the boys were going to starting screaming and crying in the middle of the restaraunt but we had a great meal and the boys were perfect angels. Caleb slept and Jake just sat quietly looking at his Mom and his Grandmother. It was very nice.

Today, Monday Sept 13th, we walked onto the ferry and went into Seattle. John was able to get some work done at a client's location while Diana, her Mom and the boys explored Pioneer Square and the Pike Street Market. The new stroller worked well again - but even though it is the same width as a wheel chair it is impossible to get into and out of places. Very frustrating, really.

When we are out with the boys there are so many people who stop her to ask about the boys. It makes us feel uncomfortable with all the attention. Diana said that today, at Pikes St Market, peope were taking pictures of the twins in front on the famous flying fish counter - not pictures of the fish - but pictures of some strange twins. I think they are cute, of course - but I am suprised that others really think the boys are worth taking pictures of. Flattering, I guess - but weird.

And lastly, Caleb and Jake were 15 weeks old yesterday!

Posted by johnbenj at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

September 12, 2004

Keeping up with the garden

Diana and I got a little yard work done the other day.

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Caleb wasn't too happy when his hat went over his eyes:
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Posted by johnbenj at 4:33 AM | Comments (0)