Saturday, February 27, 2010

Parents Night Out

Oh optimism, you are a silly whore. Tonight seemed the perfect opportunity for a parent's night out. Our good friends were throwing a 30th birthday party, Genevieve had just slept 8 hours straight the previous evening, and I'd suckered my mom and my sister, Cassie into baby sitting. We left the girls asleep and thought - they usually don't wake up until 11:00/11:3o - we've got at least 4 hours to act like adults (not grown-ups, mind you - that's different). Somewhere between the birthday cake and the nipple luge (and ice sculpture of a well endowed woman's breast through which you pour shots that dispense out of her icy aureoles) I made the mistake of calling to "check in" on the girls only to find out that "they're awake. ... have been since you left." ... fantastic. I just polished off my 5th beer and was on my way to drop off Gina's margarita refill. "Honey, we have to go", "why", "because the girls are up and won't go back to sleep". .... "shut up", "no, I'm serious". .... "shut up, that's not funny", "no, ... I'm serious". ........ "WTF!". That was a fun car ride home. Get home to find my poor mother pacing with Arianna, who is wide awake and smiling, and my poor sister shut in the bedroom desperately rocking Genevieve. This is the difference between parents (who know their kids in and out from 24 hour a day experience) and the unfortunate aunts and grandma's who have been suckered into babysitting - "Cassie, how's she doing?" "Her eyes are closed, not really asleep though." "Well, she looks asleep to me" grab the baby and lay here down. ... not a peep since. "Mom, how's Arianna", "She's wide awake". Grab the baby, relieve the suckers and send them on their way. ... baby asleep in 2 minutes. No wonder parents forfeit their life for the first couple years. ... it's no worth putting your other loved ones through the trauma. So what do we do now? Still buzzing, not ready for bed. ... where's a good nipple luge when you need one?

A New Leaf???

Yes, I know you all normally hear from Kyle, my witty, clever, eloquent husband...but this time it is me. I barely have time to shave my legs in the shower these days let alone blog about our lives with the girls, and creating full coherent sentences that wouldn't seem like gibberish from some long lost civilization, is definitely something from the past when you've been working on as little sleep as I do. That should just give you an idea of how chaotic life is for me from 6:30am-4:30pm (2:1 baby to Mama ratio!!) and the chaos just ensues once Kyle gets home anyways. Tired babies crying, frustrated Daddy screaming...ugh, not a fun night. But as I write this, and you wonder, "It's 4:30am...probably a bad night for the Kopp's"...I can happily disagree. Genevieve, who normally wakes up every 2-3 hours all night long for a snack (thus the reason for my sleep deprived delirium & the imaginary "Open All Night For Business" sign that hangs around my neck, nestled comfortably in between my enormous milk filled breasts that would put Dolly Parton to shame at times) went 8 hours straight with only a few Binky forced coaxings to go back to sleep (of which usually DO NOT WORK!!! It turns out she is smarter than she looks folks, and doesn't mistaken a Binky for the real thing!). This is an momentous occasion here people. Now, I am not going to get my hopes up, as I am sure she will go back to waking up every two hours...two hours from now...but this means that she CAN go 8 hours without eating (yes, by the looks of that chubby belly, I am sure you can all agree...she has enough extra chub to feed a small country!) And tomorrow night, as I return to waking up, coddling, soothing and eventually feeding her to coax her back to sleep (a last ditch effort as I am trying to break the habit) I will look longingly back on this night, and hope that maybe this will happen again. Genevieve has mistakenly shown me what she has been hiding all this time-the ability to actually sleep, and now I will embark on making that talent a reality more nights. The "All Night Buffet" can finally hang up it's dusty "closed" sign that hasn't been used in months and the employees can finally get some rest. A decent (aka more than 2 hours straight) sleep more than once every 4 months isn't that much to ask is it?? No, but it definitely is hard to come by in the Kopp household these days.

Friday, February 26, 2010

Thank God for Mommas. ... and Vodka

Running noses, screaming tantrums, terrible sleep patterns. ... and that was Daddy! Arianna has been sick all week, her poor stuffy nose is so bad that she's had to sleep in her car seat to keep her head up. She's also had a real tough time eating as a result and what she does manage to get down she ends up spitting back up during coughing fits. ... just not a fun few days for her. And her sister has been no picnic, either. Although Genevieve didn't get the runny nose and cough, she certainly isn't feeling herself. She's been crabby and temperamental - not her normal jovial self - so Daddy's had the pleasure of enduring long screaming fits during which nothing makes her happy, while waiting desperately for Momma to return from her yoga class. There is something about Moms that makes them so much better at parenting than Dads. Maybe it's the nine months of bonding, maybe it's the milk production, or maybe it's soothing sound of a her voice. Personally I think it's that the kids know that Daddy has a larger life insurance policy so if they can give him a heart attack early on then they can just be "trust fund babies" and have ponies and clowns and cars when they turn 16. What ever it is, moms know what to do. Dad can hold and coddle and rock for 3 hour straight to no avail. All Momma has to do is walk in, pick them up and say hello and the banshee wail turns to a coo and the teary eyed, beat red face turns to a smiling, plush pink. Then, after the kids are in bed, Momma calmly walks to the liquor cabinet and pours Daddy a stiff drink - this time turning frustrated grumblings into a giggle and his teary eyed, beat red face into a smiling, plush pink. All is well, order is restored, the world is safe again. Thanks god for Mommas! And Vodka.

Tuesday, February 23, 2010

The Joy of Cousins. ...

... means that their Saturday runny nose becomes your Monday runny nose. Both girls came down with their cousin Connor's cold bug yesterday. And both girls responded completely opposite of one another. Arianna handles sickness like Gina. She smiles in between snorts and snot bubbles and laughs between coughs. Mucus rolling around in her sinus cavity sounding like a pool vacuum out of water, yet eyes still sparkle with happiness. Even this morning at 5am, after one of the worst nights of sleep in a long time, she still was all smiles. Almost as if to say, "don't worry about me Dad, I'm fine" as Gina and I argue out of sheer exhaustion. Genevieve. ... she takes after the old man. The slightest hint of a cold and she's all drama and fussiness, crying and screaming and wailing until she passes out. Her actions seem to say "forget Arianna! Hold ME, love ME, make ME feel better!" And she barely has a hint of a sniffle. Two kids, two very different styles. And we will get to see the grown up version tonight. Gina is now feeling it coming on so it's inevitable I'll have it by sun down. Of course Gina will go about teaching inspiring yoga classes and playing with babies. You'll find me sprawled on the couch with a box of tissues in one hand and my last written testament in the other, begging to be coddled.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Genevieve and Her Noises

We have moved on to "roaring".

Princess Party

Went to our first birthday party for someone in our age group yesterday. It was a princess themed party, so the girls appropriately donned pink tutus for the occasion. We also made a stop before hand to see Thea Ilianna and her cheer team compete down at UCI. Fact: Add twin 4 month old's in hot pink tutus with a thousand cheerleading tweens and you are the most popular person on the planet. The girls loved watching the routines (and weren't even phased by the deafening electronica mixes playing during each set) and while we were looking down at the stage there were constantly half a dozen women turned around making googly eyes at them. For a brief second I thought it might have been me they were making googly eyes at, but alas, even if I had sported a matching pink tutu I would have remained invisible next to the girls. Of course, it's not hard to see why

Saturday, February 20, 2010

Battle Scars

Well, Arianna received her first war wound today. The Elephant Rocking "Horse" at Grandma's house, with it's alluring eyes (quite literally the plastic eyelid around the glass eye), scratched up her leg something fierce. There was even blood on the inside of her pants. And the sight of blood (OK, a very slight hint of red that didn't even bleed through to the other side) is enough to send new parents into a google induced panic. Can we use neosporin, is hydrogen peroxide ok on infants, will bacitracin stain a onsie - and more importantly is it pronounced back-si-trace-in or bass-eh-trass-in? An overkill of sterilization and an unnecessary application of gauze later and we're now watching the signs of infection to see if amputation is needed. ... this is the same guy who has been to a doctor only once in the last decade and has no concern when I lop off a digit with blunt knife, now seriously stressing about a scratch that will most likely be gone in the morning. This is stressful. What happens when she breaks an arm, catches the flu or goes on a date? At least one is cured by intimidation and an unloaded firearm, but all are going to induce a cold sweat and a coronary. How am I supposed to make it 18 full years? Maybe I should buy stock in bubble wrap and surgical masks. That should take care of almost anything. ... including scaring off any potential dates.

Wednesday, February 17, 2010

New Trick

Taught Genevieve a new trick. When you growl at her, she growls back. Not sure if it was me or Karma (dog), but I might as well take credit for it. It's one of the cutest things I've ever seen. It's a very serious growl too, followed by the silliest giggle, like she knows how funny she's being. Things like this make me wonder how anyone could not want a child. ... or two.

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Happy Valentines Day


I've watched the HBO show "Entourage" once, a long time ago - but I got the general idea of the premise. A world famous actor goes about his life while those around him cling to his coattails and bask in the attention that he attracts. When you have multiples, you - as parents - seem to become the entourage of your children. Everywhere that you go the double stroller is like a giant marquee sign begging people to come and talk to you. I took the girls to Target to buy a Valentines Day card while Gina was teaching a class and it took me 30 minutes to get it done. ... only 10 of which was looking for cards and 5 was standing in line. The other 15 minutes were people (mostly women over 30) coming up to coo over the girls and tell me how brave I was (brave? I'm not brave. Crazy maybe, but not brave). When we go to the swap meet it seems like every person passing us by either mutters "twins" under their breath or says something to us directly. I had a women with a child about the girls' age pass us with her husband as I pushed the stroller yesterday. "Wow, now look at that Daddy" she said. "Your daddy can barely handle you, let alone two of you". I don't know if this made the husband feel very good about himself or his parenting skills. ... but it's almost as if people can't pass us and NOT say something to this effect. Vendors stop us, not to sell us wares, but to talk to us about the girls and get a closer look. Now I know twins are the bottom rung of multiples, so I can only imagine what Octomom goes through on her shopping trips. We are very proud, obviously, when such attention is heaped - and for a brief moment we allow ourselves the think it has something to do with us. But let's face it, we are the entourage. We are the "cling on's". We are the unfocused folks in the back of the pictures in OK!, Star and People magazine. And we are very much ok with that.

Friday, February 12, 2010

The Yawn

The yawn is the mariners siren for parents. A mythological creature whose tempting songs lure sailors to their watery graves. When your baby yawns your mind says "she must be tired" and, even though you know better, your subconscious begins to believe that this means you will soon be laying down to rest your self. Oh you silly soul. ... you are being seduced by the illusion, only to find yourself dashed upon the rocks in a few short hours. As you sink below the waves and down into the abyss, you realize your error and vow to learn from it. But tomorrow, be warned, you'll hear the melody again. ... and you'll find yourself changing course in it's deceptive direction.

Grandparents team up - Grandma buys the outfit, Yiayia takes the photos

Perpetual Motion

For centuries now, men and woman of science and engineering have toiled in the pursuit of perpetual motion. A machine, which once started, could run under it's own power indefinetly. No such machine has yet to be created, however, I believe we've proven the principal in theory. We have our own perpetual motion machine in our house as we speak. It's called "twins" and it works like this: babies decide to wake up at the same time, around 3 am, and scream bloody murder. Mom and dad rush to the rescue, scoop up said screamers and rock back to sleep. After sleep has been achieved mom and dad attempt to replace componants in their compartments only for the screaming to instantly restart. After several laps around the house (which at 900 square feet doesn't take long) it becomes obvious that the girls are really only looking to be coddled. We're all for love and affection in our home. Hugs are great, snuggling even better. ... but not at 3 am. 3 am is for one thing and one thing only. ... sleeping. I mean, even the college kids are passed out by 3 am on a Thursday night. Granted they had help from Jose, Jack and Jim, but no excuses. So we deliberated (which means that I got frustrated and Gina yelled at me for being frustrated and then I yelled back at her that I wasn't frustrated - doing my best to conceal the frustration in my voice) and decided that maybe this was the time to attempt the "cry it out" method. It made sense at the time, the pieces were all there - they were crying, we were tired, whalla - sleep. But here's where the theory of perpetual motion kicks in. When Baby A screams it angers Baby B and she to begins to scream. When Baby A runs out of steam, Baby B continues screaming alone. This quickly frustrates Baby A who joins back in just as Baby B begins to quiet. Baby B becomes angry from Baby A's screaming and once again starts up her war cry. And this cylce continues. It does not end. Once set in play it is the perfect example perpetual motion in action. The only thing that ends it is when parents cave because they feel they are 1) emotionally damaging their children, 2) not getting any sleep anyway, 3) feeling pity on the neighbors. Fortunatly, once the crying is stopped again by the parents loving (/tired) arms and tummies are refilled with milk, exhaustion from this experience takes over and sleep is restored. ... for 30 minutes, until dad's alarm goes off reminding him that it's Friday and he has to go to work. Gina was right. ... should have tried this on a weekend.

Thursday, February 11, 2010

On a Serious Note

Life is precious, it's fragile and it's beautiful and it's it's fleeting. We are reminded of this as we watch the daughter of our very good friends battle a rare autoimmune deficiency the past few days. Only weeks from her first birthday she's now had several blood transfusions, surgeries and has nearly lost her foot because - for unknown reasons - her body has turned on it's own red blood cells. Her body is, essentially, trying to kill itself. A little perspective on the story, they were pregnant with Maddy at the same time that we lost our first daughter, and they were a big part of our support during that time, so I know they had great respect and appreciation for their own little blessing. Now, to sit and watch helplessly as breathing tubes are inserted and blood is pumped in and out of their poor little girl, they are being wrecked, slowly and painfully. A dagger twisting and turning as it creeps through their heart. After several intense days doctors seem to be optimistic that a full recovery will happen, but there's still a ways to go. Our prayers have been with them, and will remain with them, but it also causes us to pause and thank God for what we have been given. Not that we don't do this every day, but it's rare that we dwell on the fragility of our existence. Now our children's lives have become more precious than our own, more valuable to us and more important to preserve. I know our friends would gladly change places with Maddy, take on that pain, that suffering, that risk - as would I for our girls. It's amazing what parenthood does. It takes a man and it makes him a willing martyr for a greater cause - the life of their child. How precious life is, how fragile, how beautiful, how fleeting. Please pray for Maddy. Her parents are amazing people, and she carries their hearts with in her.

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Just Threw-up in My Mouth a Little Bit

There should be a new warning on all babies. "Never kiss me until 30 minutes after I've eaten". Because no matter how big a burp you've gotten out of them, the moment you lean in to show your affection they are going to find another one. And if you're leading with your lips. ... it IS going to end up in your mouth. That's just science. Thanks Arianna! Love Daddy.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

Check Up Time

The girls had a visit to the doctors office today. Another round of shots and check ups. The immunizations went way better than last time - just some flinching and a few tears, not the Bellagio water works display that occured the last time. Over all the doctor was very impressed with the girls. Arianna is up to 13lbs 12oz and Genevieve is tipping the scales at 14, 8 (I think we're going to cut back her midnight snacking habit). They got extremely high marks for social awarness, of course their our kids so that's to be expected, and their over all strength is way beyond their three months. I guess three month olds typically have a tough time standing up on their own. ... which our girls have no problem with. It's just the balancing that eventually brings them down, and Daddy has the same issue sometimes. In the end the Doctor said we were very lucky because they were both exceptionally great girls (which we knew). ... of course I'm sure he says that about all the ladies. What a flirt.