Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Cruel jokes to play on new mothers

If these photos look overwhelming to you, think of how they looked to me, a new mother of twins, sleep deprived after weeks of feeding every 3 hours (or at least trying to), when I ventured out to Target a couple days ago to buy some baby necessities. Adding to the fun, each and every item I had to buy was something I'd never before purchased, therefore requiring a lot of product comparisons and label-readings. For example, who knew that pacifiers came in "sizes"? Cruel, cruel, cruel.


The City of Binghamton's (population 45,000) racial composition is about 80% White, 17% Black, and a little bit "Other." Which is why I love the fact that, even with this tiny "other" population, I was still able to find a totally Vietnamese owned/operated nail salon (called "Diamond Nails," of course.)

I did make it to the nail salon yesterday, which went a long way toward making me feel more human, post-baby. The thing that strikes me about the Binghamton Vietnamese nail salon is that the people who work there speak waaaaaay better English than any salon I've ever been to. Not sure why this would be the case. Maybe it takes longer for the immigrants to trickle up to Binghamton from their original port-of-entry into the U.S? Sitting atop a stack of outdated "People" and "Marie Claire" magazines, this Vietnamese-English dictionary was a real find. I taught myself how to say, "Damn, I already ruined my toenail polish when I was putting on my flip flops- can you please, please fix it before I leave?" A life-saving sentence, to be sure.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Declan & Finn have arrived!

Declan & Finn were born April 2nd at 12:10 am and 12:11 am, weighing in at 4 lbs, 8 oz and 5 lbs, 6 oz. Small (although typical for twins) and perfectly healthy. We have been on a quite a steep learning curve for the past week but there has been no shortage of entertainment. A few disjointed thoughts, since my sleep deprivation is kicking in at this point and I'm not very good at long-range holding on to thoughts.

First of all, it's tough to tell the boys apart. Most of the time, we end up calling them "This One" and "The Other One," which aren't exactly catchy nicknames. In a pinch, they are still wearing their plastic hospital wristbands, so we better figure it out soon because those things are really going to be digging into their arms by the time they get to high school. Finn's hair is a little lighter than Declan's, which is lucky since "Finn" means "fair" in Gaelic (Note: approximately 90% of Irish names mean "fair," similar to the way 90% of Norwegian names mean "warrior" or "bride of warrior.")

Finn is skinnier (4 lbs, 4 oz. as of yesterday) so he looks a bit like a baby chimpanzee, with big eyes and flat cheeks. Or maybe he looks like Benjamin Button? Sometimes I call him Old Man Finn.

They are good boys, overall, but still so tiny that they probably require a bit of extra attention at night when they are fussy. We learned some tricks to activate their "calming reflex," such as swaddling (to mimic the feeling of being in the womb), rocking, white noise, etc. One night when This One (or was The Other One?) was acting up, I heard John say, in all seriousness, "I'm going to swaddle you like you've never been swaddled before!"

We took them to the pediatrician for their 1-week appointment this week, and the doctor made 2 comments that cracked me up:

"Their penises are looking great!" (why, of course they are!)- they got circumcised and she was commenting on how they are healing; and

"They are going to be big boys- they have big hands!"
OK, their hands are like 1-square inch, not kidding. I had to laugh.