Thursday, June 30, 2011

Our First Purchase

It's official! We have started buying things for the babies. We are the proud owners of a 2011 Baby Jogger City Select Double stroller. Check out the video; it is pretty awesome. Major thanks to our amazing friends/colleagues that have extra luggage space. They have volunteered to transport it in addition to their luggage (which is no inconsiderable task!). But, that means we won't be able take it for a test drive until we get back to India.

Since it is already tomorrow is India, it is safe to say that we are seventeen weeks pregnant. Everything is quiet in Delhi, which is a good indication things are going smoothly. We believe there is a routine checkup scheduled for today/tomorrow (whatever-however you want to look at it. The time change is harder from this side of the world).

I spoke with our housekeeper this weekend to check on our house and our dog Jyoti. Everyone seems to be happy and Jyoti loves our new house. Apparently she is enjoying the sun on the balcony and people watching at the security gate. She said the monsoon has arrived and they are very happy for the break in the temperatures.

We are back in Indianapolis until Saturday, then we head out on our two week camping/hotel trip. We are having trouble finding campsites for the first two nights of our trip. We have procrastinated too long and might have to sleep in our car on our way up to Montreal. After two nights there we will head down to Maine, then Vermont for J & K's wedding, then visiting friends in Providence and Boston, then upstate New York (Douglas conferencing, Chad casino-ing), then a mad dash back to Indianapolis for one week before heading back to Delhi. Wow that is a mouthful and definitely a monthful!

Meanwhile, in utero, it is time for the body fat to start forming... unfortunately that NEVER stops. Douglas was at the gym early this morning trying to get rid of some of his baby fat. The babies are about the size of an open hand. The eyes and ears are almost in place, and the babies can move their heads, mouth, lips, arms, wrists, hands, fingers, legs, feet, and toes. That is so exciting I can't wait to see the next ultrasound pictures and videos from Delhi.

Take a look at our new stroller:

Chad and Douglas

Friday, June 24, 2011

Summer Fun

I haven't had much to say lately. We are enjoying a quiet second trimester, and I am a teacher on vacation. While I have been working on a number of projects, and I've already attended one professional development conference, my mind has basically been turned off for the last few weeks.

On the occasions when I have turned my grey matter back on, here are a few things I have noticed:

First, during all of our travels this summer, I've continuously been asking myself (and Chad too), what will this be like with babies? We can't stop thinking about it. We got upgraded on our flight to Florida yesterday, and I can report that flying first class with babies will be just fine, if that ever happens again. Thinking about the travel question jumpstarts our thinking about how long will it take us to get the kids ready, pack everything up, load up a car or a taxi, or head through security in the airport. How many days ahead of time will we have to leave before we get to our scheduled destination? If diaper bag A leaves town X headed east at 30 mph, and diaper bag B leaves country Y headed west at 80kmh, how many minutes does it take before the complexity of the whole operation makes us want to throw in the burp rag and head home?

Second, parenting--you know, the part that happens after these babies arrive--has been on my mind a lot lately. What kind of parents will we be? I know what kind of teacher I am, and I am sure my teacher sense will inform my parenting (and vice-versa). But so far, the parenting question has mostly been defined by how I don't want to parent. For example, I just downloaded The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother on my kindle. I've only read the first chapter, but I can already tell you that my style of parenting will not be Chinese.

I've got a few books that I'm starting to read right now about baby schedules, raising twins, and parenting, but I have to express my disappointment that almost all of the really comprehensive, in-depth, newborn books are written towards the female audience. Our neighborhood Borders had at least 20 newborn books, all various shades of pink, definitely written for the soon-to-be mom. Sitting next to these books were two what could generously be referred to as pamphlets obviously written for fathers. These books were around twenty pages in length and mostly filled with colorful illustrations about how not to break your baby. Yikes. I'll stop here and let you draw your own conclusions and social commentary and whatnot before this post turns into a serious, ranting diatribe about fathers' involvement in child raising. Suffice it--for now-- to say that I'm still looking for serious newborn, or parenting books written from a male perspective, or at the very least, a gender neutral point of view. Recommendations? Has Edward written one yet?

Meanwhile, we are in Florida visiting my brother and having a great time. We have decided that Florida in late June is still much much more preferable to monsoon season in Delhi. We are actually enjoying the hot climate.


Friday, June 17, 2011

Fifteen Weeks

We are back from four days in Ohio visiting Doug's family. His entire family converged at his parents house. It was nice to have everyone in the same place since we are split between Colorado, Florida, and India. His family treated us with the highest respect; we felt very welcome in their home. I even got called uncle Chad... that makes me feel really good.

I have been relaxin' by the pool all day. Douglas is at a conference down in Lexington, and I am hanging out with my family. I have done nothing but over eat since we got to America. If we don't get out of the midwest soon I am not going to fit into any of my clothes. While Doug is gone I take full advantage of crap television. I can't believe some of the shows that are on now. I have been watching "Hoarding Buried Alive" with my jaw dropped all evening. Some of the commercials I have seen advertising what is on next is even more shocking.

We are fifteen weeks pregnant today. The fishbowl babies have changed again. We received a report from Delhi yesterday that Seema came in for a routine checkup and everything is going great. Her nausea has subsided, and she is overall comfortable and happy with the pregnancy. Her weight gain is normal, and the doctor said everything looks and sounds great. The next checkup is in two weeks. The next ultrasound is in four weeks.

The babies are about the size of softballs, and are 4-4.5 inches long. The bones are starting to harden, they can make fists and suck their thumbs. They may also start to hiccup... silently since they have no air in the trachea. They should be making themselves known to Seema by their increased mobility.


Friday, June 10, 2011

The Dream

We are just a little past 14 weeks pregnant. Up until this point, I've dreamed about our children in cloudy dreams with vague faces and muted scenes. Last night that all changed as I had the most vivid dream and one of our children was laying right next to me. It was so real. Then, the other was handed to me in my arms. I lived in this dream world for couldn't have been more than a minute, but in that minute I touched and held our children. And then I woke up. I was so taken by this experience that a million thoughts burst into my head and I couldn't return to sleep.

Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Week One In America

We have taken the States by storm, and have left blogging in the dust. Most of my major accomplishments involve eating oversized meals from my favorite restaurants. I quickly realized that my line dancing skills have deteriorated while living in India. I couldn't keep up with the floor on Friday, but I am confident my ability was not effected by any pre-dancing libation.

Here are a few of my observations from the first week:

- it is very calm, quite and peaceful here
- the ninety degrees everyone is talking about is not all that hot
- our queen sized bed is awesome
- portion control at restaurants is out of control
- I love reality TV and HGTV is the best channel ever
- I am not as good at driving as I used to be

We don't have any baby updates; however I have made it my duty to go to every baby store in the region. I have to say I am a little disappointed at the lack of gender neutral items. The search is still on for gay parents and twins literature. Any recommendations are appreciated.


Wednesday, June 1, 2011


Chad and I haven't been in the US since November of last year. In the intervening six months we have blocked out what jet lag feels like. Today, we are being not-so-gently reminded that the human body just isn't built to travel through 10 and 1/2 time zones all at once. And while this hasn't been a terrible, horrible, no good, very bad day--at least not quite--it hasn't been roses and gum drops either. I slept fine on the plane, but Chad only slept for two hours out of the thirteen. I think, however, that we both feel equally grumpy and intolerable of others. So, obviously, instead of staying home and nursing our jet lag in semi-solitude, we're going to go visit family and share our positive attitudes and outlooks on life with them. I'll let you know how it goes.

Meanwhile, back in Delhi, our babies are doing swimmingly well. We had an exceptionally wonderful visit with the ultrasound doctor on monday. It was the first time we had attended an ultrasound, and our surromama looked great. She had a tiny little baby bump. I imagine that by the time we get back to Delhi seven weeks from now, she'll have more that just a little bump. All through the procedure she looked at the screen and smiled.

The ultrasound doctor, Dr. K, comes highly recommended in Delhi. We were actually going to request that Dr. Indira schedule an appointment with him because several of our colleagues at school have found his care thorough and highly professional. Then out of the blue last week, Dr. Indira emailed and said that this scan would be with him. Cool! Come to find out, Dr. Indira and Dr. K have worked together for a long time, and she even did part of her studies with him.

We showed up for the scan right on time (which is amazing, given the day we had). But, Dr. K's office was running about 45 minutes behind. I have to say that this is the first time we've had to wait for medical services for more than 10 minutes, so Chad and I were a little thrown off by that. But, Dr. Indira had told us that we'd probably have to wait. About 2:45, we met the good doctor, and then we met our babies. What an incredible experience. I think we interrupted their fun, as it appeared that they were having a little dance party for two in utero. The were wiggling and dancing and hopping, and it was beautiful. Dr. K narrated the entire ultrasound. Every move he made and measurement he took he described in crystal clear detail so we knew exactly what was going on. "Everything is just beautiful," he kept repeating in between his medical narration. I couldn't agree more!

After the scan we talked to Dr. Indira for about five minutes about our surromama, and a few other details. Then, we waited around for about 10 more minutes and the clinic made us a CD of the scan with two videos and about 16 pictures.

In other (less important) news, Chad and I had the busiest Monday ever. We started early with a run to the airport to drop off a friend's son, and then we dove in to packing the last 5 boxes of things we had been using right up to the last minute in our apartment. The painting in the new apartment was supposed to be completed the day before, but was still being touched up that morning (grr!), so we were about 2 hours delayed in starting to shift boxes. Finally at 11, about 10 workers from school started to empty our old apartment and fill our new apartment. Chad and our house keeper directed the loading process, and I directed the unloading process. Then, we left the workers alone with the housekeeper to keep working while we went to the ultrasound, then we came back and supervised the arrival of the last few boxes at the new place. Then, we hastily began unpacking the boxes that were absolutely essential for our housekeeper to stay there with our dog over the summer, and then at 6:50 PM we stopped the whole operation, ran back to the old apartment to jump in the shower and grab our suitcases, and by 8:00 we were headed to the airport. On the way to the airport in Delhi, Chad informed me that we are never to shift apartments on a day we are also leaving Delhi for the summer and having a baby appointment ever again. No problem!

And finally, I am pleased to report that I got a new computer! The only reason I consider this newsworthy is that my old computer had become so defunct that the backspace key wasn't functioning any more. Since approximately the middle of February I've been writing without the ability to immediately erase errors. Every time I made a typing mistake I had to shit+arrow back and highlight the mistake and then replace it. Now I'm writing sentences and erasing them just because I can. Feels good.

(Top picture of both twins: torso of one and head of the other; second picture of twin A; third picture of twin B)