Monday, January 30, 2012

My Life On the Altar

There are always rites of passage in life.  Be it a bar mitzvah, a quinceniera. ... your first fist fight. ... whatever.  We, as a species, feel the need to mark the passage of time by ceremonies and, of course, the parties that come afterwards.  The first big one in the Greek Orthodox community is the 40 day service for a newborn.  This is the first time the infant is brought in to the church and the priest takes them up on the altar and blesses them and everyone oooh's and ahhh's and then stands around the courtyard telling you how beautiful the baby is afterwards.  It's an important piece because, according to tradition, the baby can't be baptized with out this first step and if she can't get baptized then she can't be married and if she can't be married then she's going to end up an old cat lady who talks to herself. ... something like that.  Be it as it may, you know the real reason for the tradition is something to do with health and safety 100's of years ago; a church order to keep the baby inside and away from other people until a point when their immunity system was developed enough they could handle exposure to the elements.  Turns out if you want people to take care of themselves you just tell them it's God who wants them to do it and they'll suddenly pay attention.  Amazingly God has remained silent on deep fried chicken and the lack of cardio exercising up to this time. 
So the girls and I went earlier so they could take communion. ... of which Genevieve wanted seconds and Arianna wanted nothing to do with the guy in the robe holding the spoon. ...although she happily scarfed down the bread (Jesus body, good. ... blood - eh).  Then she spend the next 45 minutes whispering to me "Daddy, all done?"  And "me no eat mum-mums this time. ... next time, ok?"  Not to mention the sparkle from their dresses come of quite easily, so every time I'd look down the pew to check on Genevieve (they were going back and forth between me and my sister in law 5 bodies down) it looked like a disco ball had been reincarnated as a church pew.  Finally, Gina came in with the baby and the priest did his thing and carried her down the aisle with Gina following behind.  At this point both girls were done with us and wanted momma so they popped over the front of the pew and trotted of down the aisle after mom.  As Gina knelt there, in front of the priest, each girl climbed the steps and took a place kneeling next to Momma. ... sweetest thing I've ever seen.   They both remained in position through the whole thing, just watching their little sister and basking in the comfort of Momma's side.  It was really beautiful.  I remember, distinctly, 2 years ago when it was the girls up there.  And now, to watch them up there as big girls and have it be Rosaline. ... I'd be lying if I didn't say I'm getting a little misty eyed just typing this for you now.  It's not so much the ceremony. ... it's the marking of the passage of time.  It starts with 40 days.  Next is 6 months, then walking, then talking. ... before you know it she's going to be one more toddler to add to the pack.  God knows the years between kindergarten and college are going to fly by as well.  And that's the point of this blog.  In my old age, when the memory is fading, I can look back on this picture and read exactly what was going through my mind.  My 4 favorite people.  All in a group.  Up on a pedestal.

Friday, January 27, 2012

Pic of the Week

"A Pair Eating Pears. ... Apparently."

note that a single bite has been taken from each pear in the bowl.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Guys I'll Never Let My Daughters Date

Something has been bugging me for a long time. ... the question was if, and how, to bring it up.  When I started this blog the purpose was for the few family and friends we didn't see regularly to be able to keep tabs on the pregnancy.  After losing Zoe so late in the term, people were some what anxious with the twins. ... as were we.  Once it got underway things just kind of snowballed from there.  I became an unstoppable blogging force. ... or something like that.  But it dawned on me early on, once pictures and video's and names and references to places started getting posted, that I may be playing with fire.  Now early on let me just assure you that nothing bad has happened.  No one has been harmed or exploited and to the best of my knowledge we're all safe and sound. ... but I'm getting a little creeped out.  You see, Blogger has some great features that allow me to keep tabs on every aspect of this blog.  I know how many people visit the blog every day, what posts they read, what countries their in - I can even tell what operating system they're running the Internet on. ... pretty sweet.  I also have the ability to see what sites they're coming from and, if they got here via a search engine, what it was they were searching for.  Enter the creepy guys.  You see I've been watching this go on for quite some time and I finally have to bring it up. ... I have to address the issue.  The overwhelming majority of searches are for things like "kopp", "kopp twins", "Gina Kopp", "twin babies". ... stuff like that.   But a few aren't.  So I'm introducing a new feature which I will be running from time to time called Guys I'll Never Let My Daughters Date, in which I'll be sharing with you some of the creepy searches conducted that have landed perverts at my daddy blog.  Here's the opening list:
1) Victoria Secret Twin Models
2) Girls of Manchester United with Ass
3) Rub Her Butt
4) Sister in Law's Ass
5) Hello Kitty on the Ass
6) Doodie Girls
7) Sissy Me
8) Hot Twin Blog
9) Twin Sister Pic
10) Twin Babes Corvette

I'm going to limit this to 10.  I think it's enough to get the point across.  You can also see some themes here.  Definitely a lot of interest in twin models and people's butts. ...I'm a little concerned about the "doodie girl" guy. ... he seems to be alone in his preference.  Anyway, this is just a good reminder that there are a lot of weirdo's out there and as I continue this blogging adventure it's important to keep my girls safe from those types of people.  So I'll continue to refrain from mentioning my home address, our telephone numbers or posting any bath tub pics of our girls. ... I'm sure "bath tub pics of twins" is a popular search for these guys.  I'll also go on record and remind these types of guys that I'm 6'4", 225lbs, I work out daily, run a 6:25 mile and I sleep with a non sanctioned aluminum baseball bat under my bed. ... so ease up on the "creepy" fellas.

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Orange You Just Like Daddy

First of all let me just say that after a 13 hour work day yesterday I came home just in time to see the girls before bed.  As they sat on the couch getting "jammied" I lay down on the bed next to a freshly changed Rosaline.  I talked to her for a moment and she gave me a series of wonderfully dimpled little smiles. ... nothing is more pressure relieving then that.  What rough work day?  I don't know what you're talking about.  I'm recharged and ready to go!

Ok, now to the post.  After the girls had gone down and I had polished of a well deserved beer (baby smiles go along way, but a cold Corona is the icing on the cake) I went to the kitchen where Gina was kindly putting together a plate for me to eat.  Now I have certain quirks. ... yeah. ... quirks is a good word.  I can't pass a refrigerator with out opening it and looking inside. ...even if I'm not remotely hungry. ... I have to go to the bathroom like 6 times before I can go to sleep at night. ... I tend to crack my neck when I get stressed. ... and if there's a bowl of fruit in front of me. ... I juggle it.  I don't know where it came from.  I taught myself to juggle when I was a kid and for some reason it evolved from tennis balls to citrus.  I do it with out even thinking about it.  Bowl of oranges?  1, 2, 3.  Now it's a great party trick, don't get me wrong.  Standing around at in a house party and start juggling - people go crazy.  Ok, maybe not crazy, but they're intrigued.  It's even better with kids because it's borderline magic to them.  And my girls are no different.  The watch me and think it's fascinating.  Well, being California, there's never a shortage of oranges - and someone we know must have dropped off a crate or two because the kitchen has been full of them for weeks (lemons also. ... lemons aren't being consumed quite as rapidly though).  So last night I start juggling while talking to Gina and she quickly informs me "You know, your daughters are copying you."  She doesn't say it like it's a good thing.  She says it like "You know, you're single handily responsible for a series of messes that I have to clean up. ... and I'm not thrilled about it."  Turns out, my two year olds are trying to learn to juggle as well. ... and they've also taken a shining to fruit.  So far Arianna is content to hold one orange in each hand and wave her arms up and down saying "wow, wow, wow."  Occasionally they come loose and fly around.  Genevieve on the other hand. ... well she has taken to just picking up one orange and launching it overhand across the room. ... I'm not sure she grasps the concept of juggling just yet.  I also think, just like me, she may have confused oranges with tennis balls.  Either way, when Gina confronts her she just looks at her perplexed, like, what did I do?  I was just juggling, mom.  You go into parenthood knowing that kids are going to mimic you.  So you watch your swears, you pick up after yourself, you practice good hygiene. ... but it doesn't matter.  They'll find something that you do that you shouldn't be doing and they'll make you pay for it. 
Knock, knock.
"Who's there?"

Saturday, January 21, 2012

Give Away: Sparty Party Pack

Ok, so let's face it; in the land of women I'm still a man.  And as a man I like things like blood, fighting and half naked guys in loin cloths. ... wait, what?!  So when I got an opportunity sent my way to give away a Spartacus Party Pack for the premier of Starz original series Spartacus: Vengeance on January 27 my inner gladiator let loose a blood curdling war cry. ... meanwhile my outward persona responded with a polite "yes, I'd love to give away a party pack to my readers."  Party Pack includes 4 Spartacus themed shirts, two sports bottles, $20 Domino's Pizza gift card and, of course, you're very own bottle of fake blood. ... because what kind of viewing party can you hold if your guests aren't all covered in battle wounds and blood?!  Sheesh.  So here's the deal, in the comments section you tell me what your gladiator name would be and I'm going to pick my favorite.  I know that seems like I hold all the power but. ... I do. ... cause it's my blog.  I, for one, am going with Daddius Maximus of Estrogenonia.  Also, don't forget to catch the season premier and let all your friends know (that's the best way to hold a party, by inviting people) and send them a tweet using #spartacus.  I leave you with the following images. ... the man I picture myself to be and the party pack that could be yours.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Once, Twice, Three Times a Lady

There's so much about having a newborn that you forget. ... so much.  Like what it feels like to rock them to sleep. ... for hours and hours and hours. ... and hours.  Or how far they can projectile vomit and that cute little face they make afterwards that briefly erases the fact your covered in puke.  Then there's noises they make in their sleep that make you sit up from yours, turn on a light, rush to their side, only to see them happily snoozing away.  There's the bevy of soiled clothes drying on the shower door when you come home from work and cirque de solie routing to try and find a new and more effective burping position.  There's the attempted nursing on dad's bicep and the rush to try and stand up before we even have control of our neck.  And then there's the diapers.  Sweet baby Jesus. ... the diapers.  Thank god we got the girls on the potty trained when we did.  I don't think we could handle any more diapers. ... and by "we" I mostly mean Gina.  Last night, some time between the hours of "I'm so tired" and "What the F' are we doing up?!" Gina brought Rosaline in to bed to change her.  I'll be honest, I was groggy so I'm not sure if this was pre-feed or mid-feed but I do know that as soon as the new diaper went on. ... it became an old diaper.  "Really child?!" Gina exclaimed, "You just pooped!"  With a sigh she set about clean up number two.  That diaper went on and just as she raised her up to feed again a volumous, earth shattering rumble erupted from the 9 pounder in the room.  "Are you kidding?" Gina sighed.  All I could muster was "Pali?!"  - Greek for "again".  It's amazing how much Greek I know when I'm delerious or frantic. ... I think because most of my Greek is either swears or exclamations.  Anyway, final count was three poopy diapers back to back to back. ... or butt to butt to butt. ... that's probably more appropriate.  And I got off easy with out being called in to the rotation on this one at all.  I think if there would have been a fourth I might have gotten the call - but don't feel bad I still have my fair share.  In fact, I just deleted an additional story that would back this up. ... but it's a little too gross for 7:00 in the morning. ... count yourself lucky.  Oh the joys of newborns. ... where's this chapter in "What to Expect"?!

Wednesday, January 18, 2012


We thought this day would never come; they were bald for so long.  We were ecstatic just to get pony tails in for the first time. ... but actually get their hair cut?  It was a fantasy.  But the day came.  It really came.  Arianna go to the point where she can't eat with out her hair up because it covers her face like Cousin It and Genevieve. ... well. ... you can't just send Arianna for a hair cut and leave her out.  So we trekked down to the salon where Gina and I get cleaned up, and had our stylist Lindsay work her magic.  I have to say I was amazed.  I thought the first hair cut would be all kinds of drama. ... but I should know better by now.  The girls were angels, in fact, one lady in the chair next to us commented how dramatic their behavior changed from being in the chair to back on the floor.  While they sat there, each of them was quiet and calm and attentive to instructions, and once that cape was removed and their feet touched the dark tile of the floor again - poof - we were two year olds again; running around and showing off our Elmo dolls to ladies waiting with curlers and foil in their hair.  Meanwhile Rosaline just hung out on the couch asleep and absorbed the "ooh's" and "ah's" from the waiting salon patrons.  And like the geeky dad that I am, I took way too many photos and videos for a simple activity like my kids getting their hair cut. ... here's a few:


Tuesday, January 17, 2012

Saving Cinderella

You know it's going to happen to you.  Every parent has a story.  Something precious is left behind and heaven and hell must be moved to retrieve it.  Growing up we had a family friend who's daughter had this little doll.  At their house, one time, he showed me a closet in the garage that was stocked with replacement dolls.  All back ups in case such a situation arose.  Well, after a lovely Sunday morning at the book store we were driving home when Gina suddenly asked "Have you seen Cinderella?"  She's referring to a ballerina Cinderella Barbie doll that my mother got Arianna, along with a similar Ariel doll for Genevieve, with their dance shoes when they started ballet class (I haven't blogged about that yet?!  Crazy!).  Baby Ballerina Cinderella - as she's referred to - has lately been the go to +1 for Arianna anywhere we go.  And this day was no different.   But she wasn't in her hands right at that moment and that was enough to raise alarm between us.  I shook my head.  Suddenly, the little voice in the back quivered "Me left Baby Ballerina Cinderella at Starbucks."  Let's avoid the obvious caffeine addiction my wife and I have when our 2 year old can say the word Starbucks and assumes that must have been the last place we visited, and focus on the fact that I don't even need to turn around.  I can feel the doe eyes boaring in to the back of my head and the quivering lip is causing a great disturbance in the force.  What to do, though?  We don't really know where the doll is; we went a lot of places that morning.  And nap time started 15 minutes ago.  I reassuringly tell her that we'll go back and get her later - while glaring at my wife and shaking my head ever so slightly.  She'll forget soon enough.  Life will go on.  Another doll will rise to fill the void of the fallen.  Nope.  Not at all.  At bed time the flood gates again threatened to breach, but Gina assured her tomorrow we'd get her.  Well yesterday we were going to the aquarium with their cousins. ... but Baby Ballerina Cinderella was the only one she really wanted to share the day with.  So I called the book store (figuring it was while we were destroying the kids section that she probably set it down) and after the lady there left me on hold for 10 minutes listening to the same bad cover of "Mad World" on a grainy loop she finally came back on and told me they had her at the cash register.  I actually felt a swell of relief.  I smiled. ... a sincere smile.  Genuinely happy that they had found Baby Ballerina Cinderella and kept he safe all night.  So after lunch we drove down the freeway, back to the store and Gina and Arianna went in to save the princess - we'd built up the whole "rescue from the tower" aspect of this thing.  As they came out of the store and paraded through the parking lot I couldn't recall ever seeing that kid so happy.  This smile wrapped all the way around her face and touched somewhere on the back of her head.  The whole way home she hugged that doll like. ... well. ... like I might hug them.  It actually made the entire endeavor completely worth it.  Because if you think of it like a dad we just spent more money on gas driving back there then we would have to buy a new damn doll.  But the smile wouldn't have been as big.  The joy of rescuing her wouldn't have been as sweet.  And those things are worth much more to me.  Much, much more.

Thursday, January 12, 2012

A Lesson in Soap

You know that old saying "fool me once"?  Well, apparently that one doesn't compute so well with 2 year olds.  Last night we deviated from the norm slightly.  Gina's step-dad was battling the flu bug so he was quarantined upstairs away from everybody else.  Of course, that's where the big bath tub is that we use for the girls, so we opted for a shower instead last night.  Now we've done showers with the girls before, so this isn't a first, but usually they're the really quick "in and out" type of showers saved for when we come home from something late or need to clean of some other unpleasantness.  Anyway, here's the deal: the girls wanted to hold the soap (adult soap, not the baby soap from their bath).  Gina told them to make sure they didn't get it in their eyes. ... so what they do?  Immediately rub their eye.  Genevieve starts screaming and clawing at her face.  Gina tries to rinse it out and Arianna copies the exact same move.  Gina starts rinsing Arianna and Genevieve picks up the soap and does it a second time.  Seriously?!  She drops it in horror and the screaming Arianna picks it up again, immediatly putting her resoaped fingers back in to her eyes. ... it's like they were determined to clean the insides of their eyelids or something.  I'm yelling at them to drop the soap (the exact opposite of prison advice) and Gina's trying to keep them from removing their eyeballs.  By the end of it Genevieve is combatively pushing the soap away from her and it keeps sliding back in her direction. ... taunting her. ... daring her as she pushes it away again, while Arianna just sits in a pile on the shower floor sobbing.  As I'm combing hair later, everyone is red eyed and their poor little faces are all marked up from their fingers and rubbing.  I'd like to say the lesson was learned. ... but I know it wasn't.  Next shower everyone is wearing swim goggles.

"There's an old saying in Tennessee — I know it's in Texas, probably in Tennessee — that says, fool me once, shame on — shame on you. Fool me. ... you can't get fooled again."
President George W. Bush, Nashville, Tenn., Sept. 17, 2002

Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Bite My @$$!

The way I see it my daughters are already going to hate me by the time they're 16 and realize this blog is for real. ... so I'm not going to keep a gem story like this from you.  I pulled up to the house yesterday after work and I could hear the screaming from inside my car. ... and that's with the giant wall around the house, not just the usual walls of the home itself.  Once inside I find Gina feeding the baby, my sister-in-law "time outing" Genevieve and Arianna in the middle of our bedroom with Niagara Falls pouring from her eyes.  I quickly deduce that she was bit on the butt by Genevieve, but she won't let anybody near her.  The quick back story is she was going down the slide in our back yard on her belly.  Genevieve was at the bottom "catching her" and in the excitement of playing decided to take a bite out of her ass. ... you know. ... that classic "I love you so much I'm going to recreate a scene from Alive and eat your bum" feeling.  It's really quite common.  I have a similar story (and scar) from my sister and a fork. ... but that's another blog all together.  Anyway, I finally just pick her up against her wishes, pull her pants down to make sure there's no blood (there isn't, but there's a nice little bruise forming) and set her back down.  I ask her what's going to make it all better: a kiss, some water, a pack of ice?  She sucks in a breath and responds in a quivering voice, "Neow-neow band-aid."  Of course.  We've got this pack of Hello Kitty band-aids that we've been using on a toe that Genevieve stubbed.  Arianna has been wanting one of these "stickers" for a while but hasn't had an injury. ... she finally has a reason to get one.  So we walk to the bathroom, I pull her pants down and slap a Hello Kitty across her cheek. ... the world is wonderful again.  And she proudly wore her ass cat sticker for the rest of the night.  And you can bet your Hello Kitty band-aid this photo is coming out on her first dates. ... and her wedding. ... and maybe even when she gets sworn in as the first female President of the United States.  We'll see how things go.

Monday, January 9, 2012

"New Sissy is Giving Me a Hard Time"

From the mouths of babes, right?!  Or so they say. ... whoever "they" are.  But it's true.  Some of the things the girls come up with (or worse, repeat) just astound me; it's brilliant, incitful. ... and just plain hilarious.  Last night we were driving home from a family friends birthday and Rosaline was getting a little fussy in the back.  Nothing serious, she was just whining very slightly.  Of course, Genevieve - who I'm going to soon title the Assistant To The Momma (in her mind that's Assistant Momma. ... perhaps you watch The Office too?) - is attempting to control the situation and calm Rosaline down.  She's tried holding hands, talking gently and forcefully implanting a pacifier in to Rosaline's face hole.  None of this is working.  Finally, in a slightly frustrated little voice I hear her say "new Sissy giving me a hard time."  Gina and I turned and looked at each other.  "Did she really just say that?" I asked.  "Yes. ... yes she did." Gina smiled back.  So I asked her what she had said and she once again offered "new Sissy giving me a hard time!"  I'm still laughing just thinking about it.  Add to this that Arianna, at one point the night before (during the great poop disaster of 2012) casually glanced at the crap covered bathroom around her and made a case "Me big khaka Daddy. ... two MM's?"  Or that they refer to their bubble guns as Bubble Gum's.  That every night they repeat the phrase "Tissa, Mum-mum's, nite-nite" (potty, dinner, sleep) like it's military mantra because that's how Dora's map lays out her game plan every episode.  They're like a treasure trove of spoken gems.  I could just listen to them all day. ... it's magic.  Pure magic.

Saturday, January 7, 2012

My Sh!tty Saturday Night

By now you know my official tittle in our household.  Today put even my superhero ability to clean up fecal matter to the test.  Before dinner both girls were sent to go to potty.  I was sent to make sure it went smoothly. ... I failed.  Genevieve got seated ok, but Arianna kept saying she didn't have to go.  I finally pulled down her pants and sat her and suddenly got that strange feeling that something was on me.  You know. ... that feeling that a spider or a piece of hair is crawling around on you.  I looked down at my hand and in slow motion I followed the brown trail from the middle of my wrist up to the tip of my thumb.  I then turned my head toward her underwear in my left hand and saw the brown star-burst of a slight poop stain in the rear crotch area.  Instinctively I called out "Gina help!"  But got no response.  My father-in-law pipped in from the garage "do you need something."  No. ... better sit this one out George. ... this is not the one you want to lend a hand on.  I rushed from the bathroom (they were both sitting comfortably now) to show Gina - let me point out that I had just changed my shirt moments earlier because Rosaline had thrown up inside my shirt. ... not on my shirt. ... inside. ... all the way down to my belly button.  After venting, I returned to finally wash of my hand and talk to Arianna about the need to go in the potty, even though I'm convinced it was just a little turtle head that had slightly poked out because the underwear barely had any mark.  That's when I saw it.  What ever had happened down there had gone atomic.  It was not just a little streak on my hand; it was all the way down her leg.  It was all over the Elmo potty.  Not just on the seat, I'm talking on the back of the back rest. ... e-ve-ry-wh-eeeeerrrrreeeee.  After the shower and a packet of wipies, an industrial fire hose and hazmat crew, I'm still not sure this one is clean.  If your not familiar with Dumb and Dumber-er (sequel to the famous one) there's one scene I'll share with you that instantly popped in to my head. ... and I totally felt like Bob Saget at that moment in time. ... probably the only time I'll ever feel like Bob Saget, too.  I hope.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

"Big Sister" Looking Good on Them

Part of the fear bringing a new baby home is how your old babies are going to handle it.  You know you love them just as much as before and, for all intensive purposes, they know that too. ... that doesn't mean their going to share you.  The twins were a perfect example of that.  Forced from conception to share everything (even a uterus) the still fight like the Hatfields and McCoys sometimes.  We did everything imaginable to make the transition smooth.  We continually talked about the baby in Gina's belly as if she was born already, we bought them their own babies to practice with, made them kiss the belly goodnight. ... the list goes on and on.  And, at this point in the game, it seems to have paid off.  The past few weeks the girls have been amazing with Rosaline.  They don't get greedy when Gina needs to feed her and they don't fuss when she needs to be held.  They're extremely gentle with her and, at least for appearances sake, seem to really enjoy having her in their lives.  Last night I had a wonderful moment with Genevieve that really summarized things.  I was sitting on the bed, playing with Rosaline.  Genevieve wandered over to see, trotted off and came back with her bathroom stool.  She climbed up on the bed and asked to hold the baby.  There wasn't much back support so I didn't want to give her complete control, so I sat her in my lap, scooped up Rosaline and "placed" her in Genevieve's outstretched arms - keeping actually control of the baby underneath.  We sat there for almost 10 minutes, just looking at her and talking about her - the girls love to update her every move: "New sissy move. ... new sissy open eyes. ... new sissy 'eh, eh, eh, eh'".  If not for the call of dinner I believe she'd have sat there all night, just holding her little sister and studying her every detail.  I have no doubt this kid is going to fit right in with our pack of girls. ... that's a great feeling as a parent.  It's like when your two best friends meet for the first time. ... and eventually become best friends themselves. ... and you find yourself alone on a Friday night watching a rerun of Charles in Charge.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Warms My Heart. ... Kind Of

I'm second fiddle.  I get that.  I'm ok with that.  I'm kind of like the super pumped back-up quarterback to the perennial all star who knows if he ever took the field he'd be ripped limb from limb so he'll just keep holding the clip board and collecting the super bowl rings while hi-fiving el numero uno as he trots off the field.  It's a good gig.  But occasionally I want to be wanted.  I want to be needed.  I long to be missed.  When Gina used to go to teach (and will again in a few short months) it was "no Momma yoga" and "me miss Momma". ... but I'm at work for 9 hours a day. ... not a whole lot of "me miss Daddy" or "no Daddy coordinate facilities and authorize purchase orders for high end office equipment".  So this morning I was a little tickled when Gina called me to relay that Genevieve had woken up calling for my presence. ... that is until the end of the story.  So here's the scoop: early this morning Gina heard Genevieve softly calling "Daddy. ... Daaadddyy" over the monitor.  She went in to find both girls awake and Genevieve quickly pipes up "Where's Daddy?"  "He's at work honey, he'll be back later today."  "Where Daddy go?"  "Work, honey.  Only a few more days and then you can have him home all weekend, ok?"  "OK".  She then gets them out of bed and headed towards our bathroom for the morning "business" before changing in to big girl panties.  Once in our room Genvieve again asks "Where's Daddy?"  Gina's starting to get a little perturbed, "Work, honey.  Just like yesterday.  He'll be back later today after your nap."  "Daddy nite-nite?"  "No, Daddy's not sleeping. ... go ahead and check the bed for yourself."  At this point Genevieve walks past Gina for the first time to inspect our bed, and Gina puts it all together.  Protruding from Genevieve's back side is a "tail" that clearly indicates someone has mistakenly trusted a fart and now has to deal with the fall out.  Apparently she wanted to make sure Daddy was the one who made the discovery as I've built a reputation as being a softy when it comes to such matters - and let's face it; I am.  Gina's not so understanding.  So it turns out that my sweet little girl didn't so much miss my presence as she just needed her Dad to handle shit for her.  I guess what that means is while I think of myself as the back up quarterback, ready to go in at any moment. ... I'm actually just the towel boy. ... with grand illusions of stardom.

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Silence of the Dad

You know that tickle you get in the back of your throat?  The one that says "a storm is brewing son."  Well, I got the tickle around Wednesday of last week.  By Thursday I was pretty much mute.  My voice had become what was described by others as that of a "frail, old woman". ... and that was at it's loudest.  Month end at work only made things worse as I found myself inundated with phone calls, each one telling me how terrible I sounded and yet keeping me on the line for a continued conversation that stripped away more of my vocal ability.  Well doing business with out a voice is nothing compared to parenting with out a voice.  The past 5 days or so I've found that improvised sign language is not effective with 2 year olds.  The international sign for "stop" (outstretched arm and flat palm) just receives a high five in response.  The "come here" wave equates to them running away and giggling.  Never mind asking them to pick up after themselves. ... it's best if you just collect things yourselves.  And a whispered "no" is just a waste of everybodies time.  Needless to say I'm looking forward to my voice coming back some day, because a dad has no bite. ... he relies almost solely on that bark of his.

Sunday, January 1, 2012

To Auld Lang Syne

I write this to you know under the influence of a slight losing streak playing beer pong with people half my age at the annual family New Years party tonight.  And like 40% of this evening's revelers I find myself covered in puke.   However, unlike 78% of those vomit covered revelers I am covered in someone else's puke.  Mine is not that of a 3 weeks in girlfriend or an over zealous high school buddy.  Mine's not from a stranger in a surging crowd at some urban hot spot with a cover charge or even some random person I shared a cab home with.  My vomit comes from the mouth of a 2 week old infant who I've already decided I'm so in love with that I have yet to even change the shirt despite the feeling of cold "used" breast milk soaking through it and dampening my skin beneath.  So why is it important for us to have this conversation now?  Because it's officially a new year.  2011 is history.  It is no more.  The chapter has closed.  And once again that year was magnificent.  It was magnificent for all the reasons that I didn't intend it to be.  Biggest of all - we had a child. ... on accident.  I toast each new year in with the claim that something big is going to happen this year. ... something amazing.  And once again the year did not fail to provide.  The most amazing thing that can happen did.  And her name is Rosaline.  She's to my right right now.  She's nursing.  She's beautiful and perfect and. ... mine.  I didn't ask for her.  I didn't deserve her.  I didn't anticipate or plan for her, she just kind of showed up.  And as the year that brought her. ... the year that she really defined if you consider that 9 months of the 12 were racked with worry about her impending arrival. ... as this most recent loop of the roller coaster comes to an end. ... I smile.  I laugh.  I weep a little, but only out of joy.  Because the hands of fate and the passage of time has brought me something big this year.  It's given me one more thing to sing about. ... one more person to toast. ... to kiss at the stroke of midnight. ... one more year to declare in full confidence that this next year. ... something big is going to happen.   Because it always does.