Wednesday, March 31, 2010

To Jinx or Not To Jinx. ...

That is the questions. Whether tis nobler in the mind to suffer the screams and anguish of outrageous misfortune, or to take joy in the z's of no troubles, and with no opposing, continue them. To die, to sleep no more, and by a sleep to say we end the heartache and the thousand natural shocks that flesh is heir to - tis consummation devoutly to be wished. To die, to sleep. To sleep, per chance, to dream. ... OK, little carried away with my Shakespeare, but a few choice word changes and this is what Shakespeare would have written had he stayed in Stratford and helped his wife raise their three children. Let me explain: We've now had a series of very successful evenings. Girls wend down, stayed down, and awoke happy. So my dilemma is do I mention the success and risk jinxing this blessing, or do I quietly enjoy it and keep my mouth shut? First of all, when have I ever kept my mouth shut? And second, when have I ever kept my mouth shut? So tomorrow I may post again, bitterly cursing the choice I made to shout from the highest peak or 3 day streak. Maybe I'll go with Richard V "once more into the breach dear friends, once more, or wall the hole up with our English dead". But today. ... today I'm enjoying my night of rest.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

I Want To Rock and Roll All Night. .... And Party Every Day

I think the people who right books about baby development are full of crap. They say things like "you're baby isn't sleeping because she wants (fill in the blank)". How do they know this? Have they spoken with my baby? Have they spoken with ANY baby? It's like people who tell you what's going through the mind of your dog. They don't have any clue, they're just taking a guess and hoping it's right so that more people will buy their book of so called answers. You tell me my dog wants respect in the pack. ... no she doesn't. She wants the bacon that I'm cooking on the stove, and that's pretty much the extent of her daily contemplation. These stupid books keep saying that you should let your child cry it out because they need to learn to self sooth. This may take 30 minutes to an hour. ... HA! Let me say that again. ... HHHAAAAA!!!!!!! I spent 11pm to 1:30 am on the couch last night listening to the so called self soothing while Gina frantically searched the internet for "answers" as to why our girls wouldn't go back to sleep. They were fed, they were dry and they were pissed! We were determined, though. This wasn't like the previous attempts at this. We were going to win this round. We didn't. We finally gave in (which is amazing because for 2 hours you stand your ground firm as a tree, but once 2 hours and 1 minute roll around you just break like cheap china). We come to the rescue and the girls were so worked up that they have sweated through all their cloths. So now not only do we have to calm them down, but we have to change their cloths and diapers at the same time. ... and both tasks are not conducive to one another. Girls finally went to sleep again around 2:30, after changes, rocking and a turn at the boob. Then they had the audacity to wake up at their normal time. ... I tell you, if they weren't so freakin' cute. Even Starbucks couldn't get us through the day. The only thing that gives us hope is the thought that they might be as tired as us and give us a break tonight. If not, I may just log onto chatroulette at 2 am and make our problem someone else's. It may work as birth control on a global level.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Can your kids come out and play?

Last night was bath night, so while Gina was prepping I was entertaining the girls in the living room. It was still light outside and I noticed the little boy who lives across the way playing by himself in the grass out front of our door. Now this is probably the loneliest little boy I've seen. He lives in a one bedroom with his mom, her girlfriend (yes girlfriend) and a few adult relatives. While that may seem like a very social environment, realize that there is no one in that cramped space that he can really relate to. And most of the time the girlfriend (who reminds me of Jeff Foxworthy) is yelling at him for no apparent reason. I see him, almost daily, either playing by himself or desperately running after other children in the complex trying to interact with them. He's rarely successful, and when he does mingle you can tell it's awkward and lacking practice. But he's very cute. He'll often shout "Hi" at me from across the complex as I'm walking to my car or the mailbox and after you say "hello" back he stares at you as though you should ask him to play hide and seek. Unfortunately if Gina caught me playing hide and seek with the 5 year old across the way instead of coming in side to relieve her I'd get a frying pan upside the head. ... come to think of it if his mom saw me playing hide and seek with her 5 year old son I'd probably get ride in a cop car AFTER the frying pan upside the head. Anyway, I saw him out front yesterday and I felt bad for him as I watched him walking repeated circles around the large pine tree out front. But what could I do? So I looked back down at the girls for a moment and suddenly I got the feeling I was being watched. I looked out the window and there he was, plastered against the glass like a stuffed Garfield cat with suction cups sewn to his paws clinging to the rear window of a 1996 Dodge Caravan. I awkwardly turned my attention back to the girls but a few seconds later I glanced my eyes back that direction. He was gone from the window. .. .now he was plastered against my screen door. I chose to just try and ignore him for the moment. Maybe he just wanted to observe life in our house for a while, and if it got to long and creepy I would just close the door and draw the blinds. Which wouldn't be the first time. ... the kids in our complex can't seem to grasp the idea that it's rude to stand and stare in peoples windows. But we are one of the only units with only one family living there and add the fact that both parents live there too + there are twin infants and you've got yourself must see TV. Gina says she feels like a fish in a bowl all the time. I feel like a chimp in a zoo wondering what they heck is so entertaining and why can't I seem to get out of this place. Anyway, I turn my focus back to the girls and suddenly I hear "Can your kids come outside to play?"... I look up quizzically, "what?" "Can your kids come outside and play with me?" I pause for an eternity to internally debate if he's serious or not. Can my little blobs, who can't yet sit up with out support, come outside and play? I had to move quickly to stifle the Kopp Sarcasm before it escaped and made him feel stupid. "No, I'm sorry. They're not old enough to play outside yet," I responded. "Can I come in there?". ... "No, I'm afraid it's bath time for them and then they have to go to bed". I was in a really nice mood so I was very gentle with him. "How about when they're older?" If we're still living here when they're old enough to play outside I will be so depressed. "Sure, when they're older I'll send them your way." "OK." And off he skipped in to the twilight air, happily filled with the knowledge that, in 3 years or so, he might have someone to play with. Gina then poked her head out of the bathroom "Did he seriously just ask that?!" "Yes hon. ... yes he did."

Thursday, March 18, 2010

How to Stop Time

First of all Happy St. Patrick's Day. Now to today's blog:
For eternity man has been looking to stop or slow the process of time. Ponce de Leon sought the Fountain of Youth, Einstein thought about moving faster than light, Joan Rivers replaced her flesh with plastic. All have tried, all have failed. But I have discovered the secret. Well, that's not fair - I have been shown the secret which many others before me have known. Gina and I have been welcomed into a fraternity of others who have experienced the slowing, and sometimes the total stoppage, of time. This fraternity may go by many names but I call it "the Screamgoodnightie". These are parents who've attempted the "let your child cream themselves to sleep" method. We've attempted this once or twice in the past few months, but it's always been in the middle of the night when one of the girls had woken up and would not go back to sleep. This was the first time we've tried it with both girls and at the beginning of bed time. I can't tell you what was in the air, but both girls were fit to be tied by their 8 o'clock bed time last night. Genevieve woke up from her evening nap in a foul mood. I had to drag her from her nap at 6 and she just cried with her eyes closed until 7 - me shoveling rice cereal into her mouth every time she opened her mouth. After that she just had a scowl on her face until bed time and then went back into the same fussy mood she'd been in earlier. Arianna was the opposite, she was just all giggles, which taught me a new math lesson. (Giggles + bed time) x (tired/unaware) = angry, screamy baby. So Gina and I finally decided that maybe this was our opportunity to try the scream it out thing. Girls were fed, dry and tucked in. Both were awake, so there was no threat of them waking each other up. It was still early in the night so we wouldn't have to lay in bed, exhausted and listen to the screams (we could just turn up the TV and eat dinner). So we agreed - we'll give it 15 minutes and see what happens. I started checking the clock approximately 45 seconds into the first minute. I swear that was the longest period of time in my life. Longer than my first oral book report in elementary school, longer than my wait for results from the mini bar, longer than the pause after I asked Gina to marry me. That 15 minutes went on for about 12 years. In fact, we didn't even make it to the full 15. I started standing by the door at 10 minutes and Gina finally gave in at 13. The worst/most confusing part of it: we scooped up the girls (Gina had Genevieve and I had Arianna) and they were passed out with in 8 minutes. So know I'm trying to figure out another math problem - if we gave them 13 minutes and they fell asleep 8 minutes later would 21 minutes have been the magic time to wait? Or if the 8 minutes of us holding is equivalent to hypothetical (x) amount of time necessary to fall asleep than does 13+(8/x)= 21*x? If so. ... what the hell is x?!!! They told me math would one day be relevant to life in the real world. ... they were finally right. Anyway, heck of a way to spend St. Patrick's day. Used to only have to multiply the number of beers by the price per pint and then divide by who was in the best shape to drive. My how the times have changed.

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Twilight Zone episode

So I'm constantly saying how everywhere we go the twins are the "it" attraction. ... well today was our twilight zone episode. Everything started off normal (as all Hitchcock episodes do), Gina's godparents took us to breakfast at Schooner or Later's for my birthday, and aside from the powers that be stealing an hour from my slumber with the time change, it was business as usual. Girls were getting googly eyes and compliments from all the other patrons and we played the grateful and proud parents role to the "t". After breakfast, though, we headed to the OC Swapmeet to see about some hair (or lack of hair) accessories for the girls which we'd seen a couple weeks ago but it was at the end of a long day and the girls weren't up for 5 more minutes of shopping. So we thought we'd try today and only go and look for those with out pushing them too much. We got to the parking lot, circled for a bit because the girls were sleeping, parked but sat with the engine running for another 15 minutes because the girls were still sleeping (seeing a theme here?) and then Gina fed the girls so they were fat, happy and rested heading into the swap meet. Then Genevieve pooped through her outfit, which is always frustrating when you make the effort to dress them the same, then somebody has to go and ruin the ride by pooping or throwing up and then the back-up out fit comes out and we look like a chef who pairs a fillet minion with a side of french fries. Both look good on their own, but they don't go on the same plate together. Anyway, as we venture toward the entrance an ominous older woman stops us to look at the girls. Business as usual, right? Then she says "wow, it must be 'twin's day at the Swapmeet, we've seen a dozen or so others!" Really? Cool. We can almost be normal. That'll be great! .... I miss being special. She was right. Not only did we see a ton of twins, we ran into friends of ours with twins from Mission Viejo who we haven't seen in over a year. What are the odds. We were then stopped by a woman later, not to oogle our twins, but to ask us we've seen the triplets? Triplets?! What, twins suddenly aren't good enough for you?! I see how this is. It's all about the one uppance. If my uncle went to jail for 2 years, you've got to tell me about your uncle with the life sentence. I have a splinter, you have a rail way spike through your temple. What ever. We don't need this. We got our cute little bows and headed on out. We decided Starbucks was a necessity before venturing on to my friends house for a St. Patties Day party. As I walk out I look at the car parked next to us. "Happy 7th Birthday Quintuplets!!!" You're freakin' kidding me? Three of a kind wasn't enough to trump our pair of Queens, now someone is seriously pulling a five of a kind to take the pot? What are the odds? Actually I know the odds - 1 in 60 million. So it's kind of like the reverse lottery or getting hit with lighting twice while watching the Russian Ballet perform Swan Lake in December at the Outdoor Performing Arts Center in Minneapolis . ... ok, maybe those are even more drastic odds. Whatever though. They can keep their five babies. I've got my as much as my arms can hug at the moment.

Friday, March 12, 2010

Lunch with My Ladies

First of all, let me say that only a father with multiple daughters can say "my ladies" and not sound totally creepy. If a single, childless man is ever talking to you and he references his "ladies" I give you permission to punch him out. ... he's a creep - and you can tell him I said so. Anyway, MY ladies came and met me for lunch today - which was perfect because it was glorious outside. We had some subway in the park near my office. I know it doesn't sound right, but smack dab in the middle of Santa Fe Springs is the most amazing little heritage park. It was the original homestead in the area and they left the entire property to the city under the condition that it remain a public park in it's original form. ... which isn't much because the main house burned down early last century. But the barn and windmill and atrium's are still there, along with several fountains and the foundation of the mansion. Anyway, we had subway and sat in the sun and the girls wore little dresses and sat in their "big girl" stroller seats - they've upgraded from the baby carrier attachments and now can sit up. It was a very nice break from the energy draining florescent lights under which I know write this entry because - let's face it - who wants to return to work after a lunch date like that?!! I guess the sunshine inspired the girls too, because Gina stopped by Carters on the way home and, judging from these pictures, the girls are clearly ready for summer and full time sunshine.

Monday, March 8, 2010

Snot Bubbles

Oh, we'll pay for posting this one day. ... but it's hard not to share.

First Family Trip

Girls first trip to the cabin and the snow.

Friday, March 5, 2010

Camera Shy

Maybe you've noticed a couple videos of Genevieve on the blog and on facebook. Some she's grunting, some she's talking, some she's growling. Well I've had the comment made that I'm showing favoritism. That I need to put video of Arianna up so that it's fair, so that people know I love her too. ... allow me to explain why there is no video of Arianna posted yet. My daughter is camera shy. I know, I know. Allow that to sink in for a minute. The daughter of Kyle Robert Kopp, failed actor, "face time" addict is afraid of the camera. You know some parents hearts break when their child grows up to a baptist, some when thier child comes out as a fan of USC. For me, it's when my daughter shows the early signs of camerashytus (that's the medical term for camera shy). As soon as the little red light goes on and the lens focus on her she freezes, deer in a headlights, kid on a train track, goose in a 747 turbine. If you move the camera, she follows it like a snake with a snake charmer, a total trance. Last night she was making the most adorable noises when I was getting her ready for bed. I though to myself, I NEEEED to get this on camera. I run out to the living room, grab the flip camera, return to the room - she's still going to town. I turn the camera on behind my back so she doesn't see it. I lock eyes with her and keep her focus on me. I slowly raise the camera from the side - SNAP! Head turns, eys widen, frozen horror creeps over her face. I turn the camera off, put it on the shelf above the changing table - SNAP! Giggles and squels return. This is going to take some cunning. My hand raised above the second shelve I blindly turn the camera on, press record and ever so slightly edge the lense over the shelf so it's pointing down on her. Nope! She senses something is afoul. She stops, face turns serious and the eyes slowly glance around the room. SNAP! She sees it. "Circular glass eye from hell, I'm on to you," she seems to say. It's a show down. A classic spaghetti western film moment. A tumble weed blows by. A dog howls in the hills. An elderly woman gasps. Who will make the first move, the camera, or the baby? ... You win this round Arianna. But you haven't seen the last of me. ... you haven't seen the last of me.

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

Pulling an All Nighter

When you become a parent you know your life is going to change more parties with friends, romantic nights alone, hanging out at bars till the wee hours of the night, etc. But what they don't prepare you for is that, you will be up at the same times you used to be-just the reasoning behind staggering around at 2am is so much different. As the girls have been sick (Arianna all last week & Genevieve this week-yes, it would have made sense for them to be sick together, but do children ever really follow what "should" happen!) we have been up numerous night rocking, soothing, re-applying Vicks BabyRub, sucking boogers out of the nose (yes, that is their favorite!) administering Tylenol etc over the past week and this past night wasn't any different. Poor Genevieve couldn't even breathe through her little nose at all, so every time she fell asleep breathing through her mouth, her body would automatically go into the habit of breathing through her nose, she would choke & startle herself awake & screaming would ensue. This happened from about 8:45pm on never mind the steam shower or the warm bath that we tried to clear out her sinuses and soothe her. I finally broke out of "mommy mode" ("She is tired therefore she must sleep!!") and just snuggled on the couch letting her relax in my lap and watch late-Night Nick Jr (apparently there are other children up at these hours). And as her eyelids slowly started to droop, and her breathing evened out (through her nose because all my efforts finally paid off a bit!!) I realized, that although it was 12:30am (the first of 3 other times I would be up with her that night) and what would have previously been "last call" for us, I enjoyed snuggling on the couch with my little one so much more than I could have ever possibly imagined & I wouldn't change anything for the world...except maybe NOT teaching the 5:30am yoga class that I now have to get ready to teach now. Ugh...just another exhausted day for Supermom I guess!

Monday, March 1, 2010

Little Cupids

The girls popularity in public has always been a way of life since they've been born. I've mentioned it before, strangers constantly coming up to us - most of the time we pretend we don't see people and just keep walking, because if you make eye contact than they start into their story that somehow relates to twins, babies or the meaning of life and you've lost 12 hours of daylight. Gina was stopped in Babies R Us last week by a woman who wanted to show her pictures of her grand kids - not twins just babies. ... and Gina wasn't asking her about them, she just felt the need for Gina to see and some how have a connection with her. Gina was also compared to Octomom by a group of senior citizens waiting at the pharmacy of CVS when she accidentally dropped a box of decongestant onto one of the girls while they were in a stroller. ... that's a good feeling. "See that lady with twins, she's just as bad as that woman who had 14". No where else in life can we compare 2 to 14 and justify the relationship. Can a two year old go to PG-13 movie on their own? If the Carls Jr. cashier charged you $14 for a hamburger, tell me you wouldn't slap her. If God had told Noah build an ark and fill it with 14 of every animal, Noah would have said "screw that, I'll just sign up for swim lessons at the Y!" But a woman has 2 infants and she's suddenly comparable to a woman who had 14. But I digress - the girls latest encounter gives them a new title and purpose in life .... matchmakers. We took the girls to Costco yesterday (Sunday) because we had no food in the house and I was seriously contemplating taking the cabinet shelves to work for lunch the following day. It's not like they were doing anything, just sitting there empty, might as well eat them. We took along Gina's sister, Alkisti (the girls 16 year old Aunt) because she was home alone and board (she must have been board, she jumped at the opportunity to go to Costco). As we walk through the aisles she noted the attention we were getting - it also helped that we don't use a stroller at Costco because of the cart, and opt instead to use the baby carries that attach like a back pack in front of you so the girls can just float chest level and absorb the world as it passes. At one point we were stopped to get some apples and a young man, a veteran, came up to me and noted that I had a baby and that Gina had a baby but Alkisti had none. We kind of thought that was a good thing, she is just 16, but apparently he disagreed. He then took it upon himself to take Alkisti by the hand and dance with her in the middle of the aisle. Now it's kind of hard to dance with a teenager who's arms are locked at the elbow in terror, but he did his best. He then exclaimed "now you're MY baby". AAAAWWWWWWWWWWWEEEEEEEE! So what if it's a little crazy, the guys a vet, he's aloud to be a little crazy. Alkisti thanked him, but thwarted his advances. I can't imagine why. OK, he was married - but his wife had passed. And he did have kids - but they were older. Was it the grand kids that turned her off, or the great grand kids? OK, when I said he was a "young man" I meant comparative. ... to 104. But he was a vet. ... of World War II. C'mon, that's Tom Brokaws favorite generation right there! I'm just saying, you've got to keep your options open. Here was a man who served his country, loved kids, AND knew how to dance. ... so what if dementia had set in, you can't get picky when it comes to a good man these days. Look at what Gina ended up with?! But alas, it seems their love was but a fleeting moment in life's turbulent ocean. As the frail Casanova was carried away by the waves of shoppers (and time) crashing against one another for a free sample of microwavable chimichongas I doubted the two lovers would ever dance the aisles of a mega warehouse store again. But they will always have that Sunday afternoon. And every time the smell of b.o. and microwaved cheese wafts across the air, I think she'll think of him. And he. ... will probably be dead.