Saturday, May 29, 2010


Mark and I already took the twins around Google so, at the beginning of May, I decided to show them around my work. (At that time, it was still my work since I had few weeks of unpaid maternity leave remaining, but not long after this I told my employer that I would not be returning. Nanny care would have obliterated my salary so economically it made sense for me to stay home with the twins. We also thought it was best that babies be at home with me during their formative years when they're sponges soaking up the world around them. We are very lucky that we are able to do that.)

Anyway, I put James and Julia in their finest formal wear to parade around my work. It's no fun showing off your baby girl unless she's wearing a ridiculously oversized bow. Here's what they wore:

James, the emcee. (Actually he went pantsless. Tres risque!)

Julia. (Her shirt says "this is my little black dress.")

James and Julia, ready to go to the brother/sister prom. (Don't they have those in Alabama?)

The twins were asleep when I visited Marketing (my department), but then I took them out of their stroller so they could be passed around like groupies at a Rolling Stones concert. James cried very briefly at the end of the visit, but unfortunately while in the vast area where the brokers sit. I held him the rest of the time which is why there are more pictures of Julia with my co-workers.

Lindy with Julia

The ladies (well, Julia) love Sean

Lindy holds James while he contemplates my boss Sabine

Lindy and Sean with the twins

Val says, "I'm taking her to girls night out!" Julia practices her look for when an ugly baby tries to hit on her.

"You like margaritas, right?"

Tiffany and Pauline hold the twins

Picasa tried to identify the person in the tiny frame behind Pauline and Julia!

Julia & Julia. That's a good name for a crime fighting show. One's a Romanian real estate broker who knows the ropes. The other is her rookie partner with unusual but effective methods (like pooping her pants). Together they're Julia & Julia.

"I'll start fighting crime after I finish drooling."

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

Mostly February (a.k.a. The Third Month)

Mark's parents (Bubby and Grandpa Hersch) visit in the middle of the month. It's newly Grandpa-fied Grandpa Hersch's first time seeing his grandbabies.

Later in the month, Mark takes one of his paternity leave weeks and we take care of the babies on our own for a week. It's a really tough week. On one particularly hard day when I call my mom in San Diego she asks if it's a plea for them to come back earlier. I say, "I'm trying not for it to be..." Thankfully the rest of the month my mom stays with us (and, though I'm not proud to admit it, she does come back a day earlier because of that phone call). My dad makes several visits as well. He announces that since he calls me "Punkin" (as in Pumpkin), he will call Julia "Butternut Squash" and he says that he and Julia have decided that her future daughter will be called "Zucchini."

At the very beginning of March, a "mother's helper" comes over for the first time. I had e-mailed a request for help to a sorority at Santa Clara University and received lots of responses to help out with the babies and light housework. Anjelica (and later, Samantha and Jessica) comes over several times during the week for a few hours a day. It gives my mom and me a much needed recharge.


Wonder Twin powers activate! Form of... adorable babies!

Julia's still trying to figure out this bearded Grandpa person

Grandpa, his Punkin, and his Butternut Squash

James as Superman. He's secretly a stud muffin.


Sometimes Kathy feels like she has three babies...

James continues to love his activity mat, and now starts grasping the hanging animals... and then doesn't let go. The boy has a strong grip. We were concerned when the twins were born that their heads didn't fill the head supports of their car seats. Now James' head easily fits. The boy has a big head.

James doesn't usually pee while being changed, but during one 24 hour period he does it on four separate occasions! I think he had lulled us into complacency just so he could really get us when he turned on the fountain. At the end of being breastfed, James often smiles a very satisfied eyes-closed-smile and then falls asleep, which cracks us up. The cute mop top of blond hair James had at birth disappears by February, except for long curly reddish blond pieces in the very back. It's reminiscent of the Mayor of Munchkinland.

Which one is James and which is the Mayor of Munchkinland?

Poor James. Male pattern baldness kicked in at 2 months.

James gives us a clue to what he ate for lunch (and dinner... and breakfast...). Hint: It rhymes with Zilk.

James has the cutest spiral belly button

The babies started smiling at the end of January, and continue to smile throughout February, especially James. His sweet smiles on the changing table actually make me cry. Julia's smiles are fewer and farther between which - I know this sounds corny - make them something even greater to appreciate, like a shooting star, but by mid-month she's a big smiler. Her crazy smiles are very entertaining.

James is so polite he doesn't cry for his pacifier. He tries to self soothe by eating his fist (all the books say this is good) or lick his pacifier when it's too far away. (This is so pathetic I give it back to him.)

I cut Julia's thumb while cutting the nail. (In my defense nail cutting has to be done and no one else wants to do it.) Mark sees a tiny nail clipping and claims it's the piece of skin I cut off, and then teases me. "No cutting off fingers!" (Mark's rebuttal: No, Mark sees a tiny nail clipping and sees a little chunk of dried skin which exactly matches the shape and size of the scab on Julia's finger where her insane mother maimed her.)

You can tell it's a fun chair when it needs a harness

Julia and her panda feet

Angelic James

Which one is Julia and which is Hannibal Lecter?

Where did Julia's mouth go?

The twins engage in lots of cooing by the last couple weeks of February. Sometimes the cooing is like words - Julia's vocalization is light and beautiful. James' grunt (which could be mistaken for a beached whale) eventually gives way to a vocalization that's more like talking. Julia has her first laugh on 2/25 and James has his on 2/27, but they're more like squeals (something Julia is very good at).

I finally figured out that to get good pictures I needed to take them by the window in our extra bedroom where there's natural lighting. As of this month there are more posed photos with backdrops (a.k.a. blankets). This one of Julia is one of my first attempts.

Julia tries to tame Patrick Pup

Maybe I've seen too many Flintstones episodes but James looks like the Grand Poobah from Fred's Loyal Order of Water Buffaloes

"Are you seriously making me wear this hat?"

Julia loves her duckie towel

No one told Julia there would be cameras at bath time!

Weights and Lengths:

12/07/09 (birth)
James - 5 lbs., 9 oz.; 17.8"
Julia - 4 lbs., 9 oz.; 18.1"

1/07/10 (1 month)
James - 7 lbs., 2.9 oz.; ~21"
Julia 6 lbs., 4.4 oz.; ~18 1/2"

2/08/10 (2 months)
James - 9 lbs., 0.0 oz; 21 1/4"; head: 14 3/4"
Julia - 7 lbs., 11.5 oz.; 20 1/2"; head: 14 1/4"

3/06/10 (3 months)
James - 11 lbs., 2.6 oz.
Julia - 9 lbs., 8 oz.

Saturday, May 22, 2010

Google Outfits (a.k.a. Shilling for the Man)

I dressed the babies (at 4 1/2 months) for their Google outfit close-up. The only piece of Google swag I didn't put on them was their super cute "I'm feeling hungry" Google bibs (that would have covered up their onesies). It was tempting to have them wear their Google outfits a month earlier for their big Google visit, but we went with their evil twin outfits and hoodies instead.

Mark sent the top photo out to his co-workers with the note:

I referred a couple eng candidates. They received great marks for Googliness but, unfortunately, in all other respects they absolutely bombed the phone screen.

Even though they probably weren't the first candidates to cry during the interview, the interviewer also faulted them for "lack of focus and excessive wiggly-ness". Julia didn't do herself any favors by insisting on talking into the earpiece and James really needs to bone up on algorithms-- his attempts at a fairly straightforward graph problem were, frankly, laughable.

Better luck to the rest of you!

Whatever nerd speak that is.

Google Smurf?

Thursday, May 20, 2010

The Birth Announcement

It only took four months but we finally sent out birth announcements last month. We incorporated all but one of the newborn photos that our friend Sophie (of Sophia Field Photography) took when the twins were one month old. We only ordered one photo of Julia from that session and many of James (between crying and sleeping, Julia wasn't exactly the best model). I didn't want Julia to see the announcement one day, count pictures, and realize she'd been shorted so we found some pictures of Julia that I had taken. Mark Photoshopped in a black background to make it all match. You can see that Julia no longer has that newborn quality about her in her St. Patrick's Day dress - she now has cute chubby cheeks.

I'd like to take credit for designing the announcement but I just didn't have time (something about taking care of two babies). Instead I submitted our photos and text to Purple Stork and they did the rest.

Monday, May 17, 2010

First Playdate, er... ScareDate

The twins had their first playdate two weeks ago. Candice and Steve were in town along with their 6 1/2 month old daughter Nora. Nora is two months older than James and Julia, and she's already crawling and pulling herself up to stand. Meanwhile the twins are talking are walking have gained weight.

You might think from this photo that the babies all played together nicely, but this is the only "friendly" photo of the babies together. (Note Julia trying to throw a punch in Nora's direction.)

I called Nora a little howler monkey since was full of energy and was constantly laughing and squealing. She also seems like the sort who, given the opportunity, would fling her poo. (Just kidding!) She wore me out just watching her. She even crawled through our coffee table. When she wanted to breastfeed, she'd just scamper up Candice and suckle away. Meanwhile the twins stacked blocks climbed a jungle gym just laid there. Much like the trip to Google the twins were shy around new people and didn't "perform."

Also, I think the twins were scared of Nora. In almost every picture you can sense their fear.

Nora meets James. James is already afraid.


James scared eyes close-up!

"Who is this baby and why is she trying to steal my pacifier?"

Julia scared eyes close-up!

When Nora decided to climb through our coffee table, we should have attached a Swiffer to her.

Outfit for Nora?

Steve holds an active Nora.

Julia and James wisely close their eyes when Nora gets close.

James is happy that Nora can't get inside the crib.

Nora and Julia talk smack at each other.

Nora throws a kick in James' direction.

Julia hopes Nora being distracted by James will allow her to get a punch in but she's too late.