Sunday, April 11, 2010

The First Weeks

My mom (a.k.a. Grandma, a.k.a. Mrs. Kathy) stayed with us for a week immediately after getting home from the hospital. My dad (a.k.a. Grandpa, a.k.a. Mr. Kathy) stayed in town for a few extra days too, but he stayed at his new home away from home, the Milpitas Days Inn. (Note to anyone thinking of becoming pregnant: Never have a baby while living in an apartment. You end up with the crib and play areas in the living room, and if you're lucky, room for only one grandparent to stay with you.) Over time we developed shifts - Mark having the easy shift (but then again he goes to work) until 2 - 2:30 a.m., me with the 2 - 2:30 a.m. until 5 - 5:30 a.m. middle shift, and my mom having the hard shift (since babies start to wake up for good) of 5 - 5:30 a.m. and after.

Happy grandparents

"Alright, the yellow pacifier is the divider. You stay on your side, I'll stay on my side."

Grandma made an awesome gift basket

Julia likes to grip

James lost just over 10% of his birth weight his first week so we took the twins to Kaiser's Newborn Club at least once a week. (This is laughable now since James is our multiple-chinned chunky monkey.) The Newborn Club is basically a collection of nurses and lactation consultants that weigh babies, observe breastfeeding, and determine a good feeding schedule. Their help was invaluable, especially with our premature babies.

According to James Lipton, the appropriate term of venery is "an armload of babies"

Mark feeding James

Julia shows off her kung-fu grip

Julia strikes a pose-- watch for her in America's Next Top Model Cycle 33

Because of her immature stomach, Julia had a lot of spit up issues. They weren't helped by her penchant for going bonkers at feeding time, gobbling down her bottles, and frantically crying when we'd stop to burp her. (A few weeks later we discovered we were actually overfeeding her so things improved somewhat after that.) She was also sad a lot of the time. (Mark called Julia "Sad Face." I used to tell Julia how I couldn't wait until she grew through this and was a happy baby... like she is now!) Often the only thing that would stop her from crying was being held, sometimes for hours. My mom often napped with her on the couch, and would prop her arm such that Julia was firmly between her and the sofa back so Julia would be secure when my mom fell asleep (I'd also keep an eye on them) and she quickly became Julia's favorite sleeping buddy.

Kathy with Julia

Doggy tries to blend in with the babies

James as Rodin's "The Thinker"

Baby stare down

My mom noticed the first week home that James appeared to be fascinated by the three framed artworks over our sofa, probably because babies like contrast and the frames are black against white. Mark didn't believe her because he didn't think babies could see that far. He also claimed that babies don't learn anything for the first three months, and essentially said that talking to them was pointless. (Mark determined all of this because of his extensive background in pediatrics.) Then at Newborn Club, one of the nurses was impressed at how James was so interested in looking at everything around him, and said his curiousness was like a baby older than his age. And so begins the pattern of Mark being told about something impressive that James can do but not believing it (or pretending not to believe it) until there is outside confirmation.

Julia's first visit to the pediatrician

Mark imitates Julia's "champion" pose. (You can see the framed artwork James likes so much in the background.)

"Come closer, Daddy. Yes, just like that..."

"Right cross to the face! Sucker..."

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