Friday, November 30, 2012

Adventures In Crawling

It's official.  We have two crawlers now.  Aaron has been crawling for a while.  It has been kind of a crude crawl/drag/hip swivel type movement, but he has been mobile for a while.  Jeff recently became mobile and started crawling very well.  He went from barely moving to somehow crawling the length of our apartment in a minute within a few days.  I guess Aaron then saw that if he didn't swing his leg around the side and kept his knees on the ground he would crawl faster too.  All of a sudden Aaron's awkward slither/scoot/wriggle became a very efficient crawl too.

A couple days ago I felt like Indiana Jones.  You know that scene when he is running through the ruins (I think he was in some ruins...isn't he always searching ruins?) and he loses his famous hat?  Remember?  He reaches under a quickly closing door and grabs his fedora, his most prized possession, at the last second?  Well, I'm like that now.

Apparently little babies learn which rooms they shouldn't enter and decide to have an affinity for those places.  Jeff's favorite place is the bathroom where we keep the kitty litter.  We have to keep the door open so the cats can use their litter box and we have to keep the door closed so that our little munchkins don't get into the litter.  This is like one of those 8th grade logic problems.  You know the type.  It's like the problem when you have a goat, a wolf and a head of lettuce to get across a river.  There is an answer, but you have to be creative about it.
A couple days ago I was washing bottles.  I was keeping an eye on the little ones, but the reality is that my attention had to be split a little bit.  Jeff was at one end of the apartment happily banging toys together.  I washed a bottle.  I looked at Jeff and he was now clapping and smiling.  So cute.  I washed another bottle.  I saw Jeff rocking on all fours smiling at Aaron.  Adorable.  I wash anot --- oh $#*! -- Jeff is suddenly at the bathroom door!  How did he get there???

I threw down the bottle I was washing, turned off the water, ripped off the rubber gloves, ran over to my speed demon and scooped him up at the last second just before his hand hit the litter mat. 

Aaron can be just as devlish.  I swear I turned my back for two seconds to make a bottle for lunch and somehow the little munchkin disappeared from right before my eyes.  Then I heard a wail.  He had crawled between the legs of a kitchen chair.  It's funny to watch him crawl when something gets in his way.  He doesn't quite know how to get over obstacles yet.  Every once in a while he manages to struggle his way over a pillow or a diaper bag, but it's more luck than skill.  This time he got his upper body across one of the little bars at the base of a chair and then didn't know how to get his head back out or his legs across to the other side.  He got stuck in there for a few seconds.  I had to maneuver the chair around his body while holding him, made sure I didn't bump his head and quickly got a bottle into his mouth.  This was just like Indy removing that statue and replacing it with an equally weighted rock so as to not trip a booby trap.

Yeah...I'm just like Indiana Jones.

Thursday, November 29, 2012

Thanksgiving -- A Few Days Late

I had a lovely Thanksgiving and of course I have so much to be thankful for this year.  My kids ate jars of potato & spinach and chicken & sweet potato last Thursday for the holiday.  Those were the closest flavors I could find to a Thanksgiving dinner of mashed potatoes and turkey.  We didn't actually take pictures the day of Thanksgiving.  It was pretty  much a normal day for them and our normal Thanksgiving tradition of spending it with a good friend of mine from college and his wife and daughter.  However, since the boys just turned eight months old we took their eight month pictures a couple days ago.  Here they are.

Wednesday, November 21, 2012

The Truth, The Whole Truth And Nothing But The Truth

A few years ago I made the decision to start the surrogacy process as a single guy.  After years of dating I gave up trying to find a partner in life and decided that being a dad was a more important goal than finding a husband.  I knew that fatherhood alone would be hard.  Well...I thought it would be hard.  I didn't know what hard was.

My parents and my brother are on the east coast and I'm in Chicago.  I love Chicago.  It feels like my home.  I have spent almost my entire adult life in Chicago and several years of my childhood.  I had hoped that I'd be able to be a single dad here in Chicago raising my son or daughter fully knowing that it would be a lot harder without family nearby.

The idea of twins rarely entered my head as I started this process.  I knew twins was a possibility, but when I envisioned myself as a dad I saw myself cuddling one child, driving that one child to play rehearsals and taking that one child to Disney World.

During the surrogacy process I met someone and we are engaged now and hoping to get married soon (if these stupid, discriminatory laws will ever change -- but that's a topic for another day).  The truth is I don't know what I would have done had I not met him.  Even with two of us I am exhausted, stressed and overwrought.  I can barely function some days after being up only half the night while he takes the other half.  When the crying is too much for me to take I have someone who can give me a break.  When we need formula because we're almost out he can watch the kids when I run to the store.  When I have washed 4,218 bottles and I don't want to wash one more I wake up the next morning to find all of the dirty bottles cleaned.

Two weeks ago I got sick.  Very, very sick.  On Sunday I was so sick I could barely get out of bed all day.  I think about the fact that I went to a walk in clinic on Saturday and didn't have to lug my kids with me because Derek watched them.  I think about the fact that for 4 nights I was able to sleep all night (and half the day) because Derek took care of them.  Had I not met Derek I can't imagine taking care of two kids 24/7 while have a sore throat, muscle aches, fever and chills.  I have no idea how I would have done it.  And Derek did it all without asking me to lift a finger.  He did an amazing job.

I have a lot more respect for single parents now.  I have one friend who is a single mom of twins and I am in awe of how she has survived two plus years with them.  I have other single parent friends who have dealt with evil ex-es, gravely sick kids in hospitals, huge life changes and I now am blown away by how they conquered tough situations AND took care of kids on their own. 

So this Thanksgiving I am grateful to have Derek.  Had I been doing this alone I would have had less time with the kids, more stress, less sleep, less money, more worries, and more meltdowns.  When Derek offers help I have to remember that we are doing this as a team and it's OK to not do it all on my own.  There are times when I get angry that he wants to help and it's because I want to prove to the world that I could have done this on my own had he not entered my life.  The truth? -- maybe I could have poorly survived parenthood because you figure out a way to deal with what life gives you, but I would not be as good of a parent as I am.  I would not have time at home with the boys to watch them grow and figure out the world.  Without Derek the twins would not have eaten squash, known the joy of a Johnny Jumper, be with a great pediatrician and have as many pictures and videos to celebrate their lives. 

So thank you, Derek, for entering my life, taking this wild parenthood ride with me, enriching the lives of Aaron and Jeff and making my dreams come true.

Aaron is standing!

Jeff has teeth!

Friday, November 2, 2012

The First Halloween

I've been catching up on my blogs today and I've been looking at adorable kids in adorable costumes from Halloween.  I love opening up the blogs and seeing pictures that make me smile.  Then I realized that I haven't shared my Halloween pictures yet.

Derek and I thought about being twin Popeyes with twin Sweepea babies.  After looking at the costumes online, though, we weren't sure that the Sweepea costumes would fit our boys.  They only come as buntings and my kids are right on the cusp of outgrowing them.  So after some thought we came up with these costumes.  Hope you like them.