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Friday, March 28, 2003

  Okay, I've had to totally beef up the photo gallery after some kind of bug deleted all my old photos. So - now there are 49 photos up, many of which were not there before. Take a look!
  I've noticed that the photo album link no longer links to photos (at least not to me). I will try to correct this shortly and get some new photos up there for everyone's pleasure.

Thursday, March 27, 2003

  I've refrained from mentioning the big news of the past days in this blog because I've concentrated on keeping it as a baby-blog. But if anyone has checked out the few links I have up, you probably know that I support what the Americans are trying to do in Iraq. In a few years, if the regime there is not removed, Iraq will be in the same position that North Korea is in now - able to blackmail the world with horribly destructive weapons. As well, intervention is the best way to remove the cloak of terror that Iraqi citizen's have lived under for the past 30 years. I wish for success for the coalition and applaud their resolve in taking on this task.

Our Canadian government does not share that view. There have been the juvenile anti-American outbursts from a few MPs and a never-ending stream of waffling, wishful-thinking, fence-sitting, and self-righteous nonsense from the cabinet. Sad - but what can one expect from a government that uses a weather vane and a party donor list to determine its policies?

Unfortunately, this poorly thought out stance tarnishes the image of Canadians in the US. It will take a long time for this rift to heal, but it can be sped along average Canadians showing that the government's position is not theirs. There will be a pro-American rally on Parliament Hill this Saturday the 29th at noon. I'll be there, send me mail if you'd like to join me.

Tuesday, March 25, 2003

  Okay, so I'm a little late with the photos. My computer picked last night to once again express its extreme hatred of me. And as I tried to knock some sense into the stupid machine, Talia and Max suddenly required my assistance to deal with various bodily fluids that had somehow come out of many of their orifices.

But now I have some the new photos for you to look at. The first is me and Talia getting some rest. Then we have Uncle Rene with his niece and nephew, and finally the twins tucked into bed - so cute!

Any news? Not really - Talia is almost completely over her feeding difficulties, Max seems quite big and is growing fast, no new fun behaviors have been noticed. I will try to keep the site up a bit better than I have.

Bye for now.

Sunday, March 23, 2003

  Photos tomorrow!
  Been quite a while since I've posted. My apologies. We've been spending most of our hours satisfying the insatiable needs of our children. And the hours I'm not involved in those activities, I'm satisfying the demands of my wife - who wants the basement painted. (Tomorrow I'll be finished dear, I promise!)

Our children are growing, growing, growing. Talia weighed in today at 2720 g (6 lbs), and Max hit 3180 g (7 lbs). Maybe that still sounds small, but we have really noticed the changes. They're gaining about 30 grams a day.

I'd add more right now, but some little people are rebelling at the idea of sleeping...

Friday, March 14, 2003

  One month old today! A short month, but it still counts. What changes have we noticed in our little darlings? Are they growing up before our very eyes?

Well, I have to be honest and say I've not noticed very much change since they were evicted from chez Michelle. First they lost weight, then they gained it back, and then they put on a bit more, but they are still pretty much the same size as they were 28 days ago. They still have limp necks, and their eyes still wander about mostly at random.

But there have been a few changes. Smiles have been seen on their faces. Smiles that are not really in response to anything, but which are nice nonetheless. They feed better. Max aims for the nipple with pretty good precision and takes what he needs quicker. Talia continues to improve, but still needs to be finger-fed at times to make sure she gets her calories. And they have both improved in their ability to save their waste release to times when I have them naked on the changing pad (which I am grateful for because it makes each change an adventure).

They're still technically premature, since the due date for them was March 20th. So I think they're doing pretty well. But I think this next month will have quite a few more changes.

Tuesday, March 11, 2003

  All great creations of our culture are available on the web. The Gashlicrumb Tinies, an amusing children's alphabet story, is no exception. Enjoy!
  So Talia started breastfeeding again! Michelle was overjoyed and needed to tell someone. I was out taking Musette to her doom to get her fur clipped. So she called our friend Maggie. "Maggie! Listen to this!", she said, and held the phone to capture the sounds of Talia gurgling, sucking and swallowing. After Maggie presumably heard enough of this, Michelle came back and asked her what she thought. But it seems Maggie was out for the evening and the person on the other end and who listened to Michelle's exciting news - was the babysitter.

Monday, March 10, 2003

  This post will be a simple news update. Talia is now feeding better, though we still have to finger-feed her to make sure she gets enough. But we use the syringe to deliver Both babies were weighed today and both have gained significantly. We're still keeping to the three hour schedule, but are refraining from waking them when they are deeply asleep.

Michelle has become Super-Mom, drawing strength from who-knows-where to provide sustinance and comfort to her children. Last night she got only a half-hour of sleep, but is right now feeding and talking melodically to Max as if nothing happened. I've only managed to convince her to let me take one night shift so far, but I'm hoping she'll let me do it again tomorrow.

My cold is gone. Turns out it was a sinusitis and Michelle has me on antibiotics. But because I need always have some health problem, I managed to mess up my wrist while shovelling snow. Thus I still have an excuse to avoid painting the basement. But if it snows again (God forbid) we're completely screwed since I absolutely cannot shovel with this pain.

It's tough, but we're making it through. Now, I have to go help with Talia...

Sunday, March 09, 2003

  New photos have been added to our photo gallery. Included are many close-up Max and Talia shots and a view of our house after the latest dumping of snow. Unfortunately, my camera does not give unique file names to each photo (or it can and I haven't figured out how to set it up), so the photos are out of order in the gallery. You'll have to poke around to find the new ones.

Saturday, March 08, 2003

  It has been pointed out to me that I have been very remiss in not mentioning the very great assistance provided by my mother-in-law, Marjolein. She has been here nearly every day to pick up the slack and allow Michelle and me to deal with some of life's other requirements. She has brought us food (today: peanut butter cookies!), done laundry, washed the dishes, swept the floors, and helped in feeding and changing the babies. I don't know what we would have done without her. Thanks Marj!

And while I'm passing around the praise, I should mention Rene, my brother-in-law, who has made a weekly trip to help out and bring food. Our friend Maggie has been a big help with the breastfeeding difficulties and general support. Marion, Christine, and Judith have also provided support in their visits. Thanks you, thank you.

And the gifts. We have received so many nice things from so many nice people that I could not list them all here. They have all been hugely appreciated by us. Some of the clothing is a little large right now, (and the rest of the clothing is extremely large right now,) but they will grow into everything and look extremely darling when the time comes. Thank you everyone.

Anyway, I don't want to turn this blog into an Academy Awards speech, so I'll just leave it at that. Further tales of caring for newborns will follow...

Friday, March 07, 2003

  Stressful day here today. Talia's problems with breastfeeding have been diagnosed as very serious by a good friend that may or may not have been brainwashed by breastfeeding cultists. We've decided to take no chances and follow her advice. Talia has been banished from the bottle and we have moved to 'finger-feeding' her. We stick a finger in her mouth along with a thin tube connected to a bottle of Mother's Finest. She sucks, she gets milk. Easier than the breast, more work than the bottle. She also gets plenty of opportunities to try the breast straight.

As you can imagine, this takes a bit more time than bottle feeding. It is more frustrating for her and us. Lots of stopping and starting, fussing and screaming, and trying to keep her awake. With our three hour cycle, we have had little more than an hour break between feeds today. But we have just received a syringe upgrade to our system that will make things easier. Instead of her sucking from a bottle, we can control the flow with the syringe and reward her for sucking well.

That's the theory anyway, we have yet to try it. Please Talia, stop fighting us!

Thursday, March 06, 2003

  Apologies for not posting for so long. Duties with the two little people have kept us pretty busy. As well, I'm suffering from the Mother Of All Colds - a real doozy. I've had the blistering sore throat, the gagging post-nasal drip, and now am in the midst of my nose gushing endlessly. I swear I must force out enough yellowish-green goo from my nose in a day to make an Aliens sequel. A week and a half I've been like this. And I didn't even mention the headaches and muscle-aches I've also endured.

Poor me. But the worst part is that I can't even enjoy the good things that come with a cold: a kind caring wife bringing sugary tea, or resting in bed with a good book. Instead I've got to be at her beck and call, because she's the one that has to deal with our children, who are growing a little more fussy as they get older.

We've set up a three-hour feeding schedule. Seven o'clock, ten o'clock, one o'clock, etc - our days are built around these times. At a typical cycle, Max is led to the breast first, because he is the easiest. (Right now the babies are not very self-motivated so they are fed separately.) He goes at it for about a half hour while I wake up Talia and get a bottle of breast milk ready for her. Then I'll take Max and hand Talia to Michelle. (It's really not that easy to exchange babies, if you think about it.) I burp Max and change him while Michelle tries to get Talia on the breast. She was easy last week, but has been getting difficult lately. The bottle is there to make sure she gets her feed in. Depending on whether Max is easy to get to sleep, either Michelle or I will change Talia and put her down. Michelle will then strap the motorized milking machine to herself and add to our Strategic Milk Reserve.

All this takes between one (real lucky) to two (slightly unlucky) hours. And then in one to two hours, we start all over again. The cold has given me one benefit: Michelle allows me to sleep through the night. After the ten pm feed, I get to snooze in the guest room until seven am. It's pretty wonderful. Unfortunately, Michelle hasn't had a period of uninterrupted sleep like that for almost a month. Hopefully this will change soon.

Okay, that's it for now, gotta go do stuff....

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