Sunday, December 30, 2007

The version of "Pirates" you've never seen...

We received the latest "Pirates of the Carribean" movie on Netflix a few weeks ago, and intended to get around to seeing it before the kids were born. However, our busy schedules earlier this month actually lent itself to a great opportunity. Many DVDs now have commentary by the producer, director, or actors. However, a few days ago, we got to watch the "Dylan Voiceover version". This rare gem is not sold on DVD, and the general public didn't get to see this version in theatres. In short, the movie is 4 minutes long and the storyline -- while complex -- can generally be summarized as
As the plot unfolded in this instant classic, we learned that the plight of Captain Jack Sparrow is superceded only by "the grand quest for food". Fortunately, we got to see an hour of the movie the subsequent evening, and we'll watch the rest later.

Holidays with the kiddos

Pondering the "to do" list....

Ok...I'll wake up for the camera...

It is amazing how Grace and Dylan have changed in just a few short days. Denise got the advice "Don't blink" from a friend of hers, and it seems to ring true. The most obvious development is how both of their appetites have grown.

Christmas day with the grandparents was quite nice. As expected, everyone was jockeying for position to hold Grace and Dylan. We had a great meal with a centerpiece of a big beef roast, and lots of great desserts, including a pecan pie and cookies that Denise' s mom made, and a apple caramel pie that Denise made. It was a gourmet meal in our formal dining room, eaten on...nothing but the finest paper plates (we had to go low-maintenance on something!). The kiddos dutifully slept through the entire meal, adorned in their Christmas hats.

Dylan is a man of action and efficiency, and lets us know when something is amiss. After all, what's the point in dawdling around? Grace continues to be as observant as ever. Sometimes she will just wake up and look around for a long while, and is generally content in entertaining herself.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Chronicles of week one...

Many of you may recall the Peace Corps slogan "the toughest job you'll ever love". That would be a somewhat fitting characterization of the first night with Dylan and Grace. I think the kids were a bit anxious about the change in environment, and perhaps they sensed our nervousness as well. By the writing of this note, all readers have proof that we did survive! At 2:30am Sunday, with us both holding our kids...OUR KIDS!....we were just smiling at them and each other in the nursery. Nothing had to be said -- it was a look of "there's no other place I'd rather be."

On Sunday, things started to fall into place as we had the full day at home and started to get into a routine. Grace and Dylan exhibit new things about their personalities and traits every day (granted, it's only been five so far). Grace can make two distinct types of eye contact. Most of the time the glance is the "I'm a little princess make-you-melt" look. However, she can also display the steely gaze reminiscent of the look Clint Eastwood had in his eye during the movie Unforgiven, when after rightfully being accused of shooting an unarmed man, stated "Well, he should have armed himself."

Dylan can eat like a champ and after chow time sleeps baby!? I affectionately call him the D-train, as in "don't get in the path of the D-train at feeding time, or you'll get run over."

Today's most magical moment...we put the kids in the crib this afternoon, parallel as always, and when coming to check up on them, they had both scooted their heads closer to each other. Selfish dad was more preoccupied with capturing the Kodak moment than the fact that sudden bright flashes (for instance, the flash of a camera in a dark room) are somewhat disconcerting to infants. Here's the picture below.

Best buds...

Tomorrow is our kids' first Christmas!!! All the grandparents will be there and it will be a very special day. Extra hugs and kisses for the kids. Not to forget our "fluffy child", there are also some very juicy bones wrapped up under the tree.

Introducing Grace and Dylan

2:01pm Thursday December 20th marked the arrival of both Dylan Ramesh and Grace Shalini, and an exciting new chapter in our lives. Grace was 6 lbs 9 oz, Dylan was 6 lbs 8 oz, and both were 19.5 inches. Both of them and mom are healthy and doing well.

It was absolutely magical to see them brought into the world, and Denise was a trooper through it all. We came home on the night of Saturday December 22nd. We had the option of staying longer, but given that the kids' vital signs were all good, supplemented by the fact we were all a bit stir crazy from being in the hospital, we decided to bring them home.

A few highlights a few hours after their arrival --
Grace was very observant of everything on the evening of the 20th, scanning our faces and the room she was in, just soaking up information as if to say "hmm...this is a pretty interesting place"
Dylan won the "wiggle worm" award among all the kids in the nursery. On the nursery table, he managed to make a 90 degree turn on his back so he was perpendicular to all the other newborns. Looks like he's not one to follow the herd...

Here's the initial installment of the purpose of this blog...kiddo pictures!

Grace checking things out
Dylan flexing his day-old muscles
Time to get out of here and go home! Dylan, Grace, and happy dad in the operating room

Thursday, December 20, 2007

6:00 am conversation

R: " there anything you want to do today?"
D: "Have some babies!"

Heading to the hospital in a few hours, wish us luck!

Sunday, December 16, 2007

4 more 'til 2 more...

FOUR more days until the big day. The bags are packed and the child seats are all set to bring them home. We are really looking forward to holding our babies. Truman seems to have gotten into the spirit, annoucing to folks he's going to be a big bubba (left).

Yesterday, we decided to do something that will be very rare in the near future -- go out to a movie! We saw the matinee of "I am Legend". The movie was good (not spectacular), but what we enjoyed the most was just spending the afternoon together on a date. Hopefully, with the grandparents help, we can carve out time to have the occasional "date afternoon" or "date night" next year, even if that means just getting out of the house for an hour and enjoying a pizza! (Parents of infants and toddlers, insert laugh track here.) Granted, that might be the wildly optimistic thinking of a "rookie" -- we'll have see how that plays out.

Denise's last day of work was Friday, and she'll take a few well-deserved days off prior to the delivery date. My folks are flying in on Tuesday and they'll be around for a few weeks to help out and shamelessly spoil their first grandkids.

This is possibly the last pre-dad transmission....see you on the other side!

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Home stretch....

We had our 35 week appointment on Thursday and things are looking good. The current prognosis is that we've got a reasonable chance of reaching the December 20th delivery date. Of course, every day could be THE DAY, and whether we can hold on that long remains to be seen. The good news is that the bambinos are far enough along that they should be fairly healthy even if we're a little earlier.

Our son has been rather assertive in communicating his desire to see the world, expressing himself through a medley of knocks, kicks, and other calisthenics. Our daughter is somewhat more selective in her motions -- perhaps driven by her smaller portion of real estate -- prodding in areas she seems to have carefully chosen. A combination of diligent execution and strategic instinct...even before learning to crawl, they're (over)qualified to be management consultants.

We went to a Mothers of Multiples white elephant dinner in Clear Lake last night. Lots of good food, fun, and helpful advice from several folks. It was nice to connect with others that had "been there, done that", and it was encouraging to observe that everyone was happy!

Truman woke me up this morning, as is typical for Saturday mornings, with his classic "What part of 'I have to pee' don't you understand?" whimper. While trotting down the stairs with him, I mentally registered the fact that this could be the last weekend in a long time that it's the DOG that wakes us up! I'm pretty confident I can keep intact the morning ritual of letting Truman out, getting the newspaper with him, and giving him 2 milk bones each morning. A lot of things will change, but the daily stint of quality time with the dog will remain on the priority list.

Here are a few photos taken this afternoon.

Denise at slightly over 35 weeks

Truman watching Denise at slightly over 35 weeks

Sunday, December 2, 2007

How things have changed!

We just put holiday gifts and cards for our kids under the tree today. This is definitely a sign that it's starting to become much more real for us! This will be quite the exciting holiday season. Our outlook on things has certainly changed in the past few months -- as it should.

Here's a picture from May of this year when we were vacationing in Playa del Carmen. We knew we were expecting at that time (it was pretty early and we hadn't told anyone), however, we were spending most of the days just relaxing in the sun, checking out the sights, etc. I don't think the reality had fully sunk in with us at that time. Now we're in the home stretch and the bambinos will be arriving later this month. I imagine the next "big vacation" will be something quite different than our trek to Mexico!
Chillin' South of the Border...