Saturday, August 8, 2009

My Father's Echo

There is a song that I used to enjoy listening to. It is called "The Living Years" and is sung by Mike & the Mechanics. For those not familiar with the song, it is about living in the shadow of your father and never truly seeing eye to eye or allowing yourself to just give in and tell the old man that you love him, because men just don't do those sorts of things.

I don't listen to it anymore because it makes me cry for reasons that are too complicated to understand, even for me. The truth is that we all feel like our fathers are these larger than life figures. I think that the wish of most men is to make our fathers proud (or at the very least believe that we have lived up to and possibly exceeded his expectations of us).

The song doesn't hold for me because I know I made my father proud because he told me on more than one occasion. I also know that I never held back in letting him know how much I loved and respected him. We just passed the anniversary of his death. He has been gone now for over three years and I am still not able to completely deal with that reality. But I do know that it is not because I have regrets that we never were able to see eye to eye.

I guess my real problem is that I still am not ready to believe that he is no longer a part of my living world. He never got to hold his new twin baby grandsons and they will never get to know what it was like to see his goofy faces and laugh at their Paw Paw.

The part of that Mike & the Mechanics song that always gets me goes like this (sing along if you know the melody):

I wasn't there that morning
When my father passed away
I didn't get to tell him
All the things I had to say

I think I caught his spirit
Later that same year
I'm sure I heard his echo
In my baby's new born tears
I just wish I could have told him in the living years

The first part is not true for me. I was there the morning my Father passed away. I was lying beside his bed in one of those uncomfortable hospital recliners. We had fallen asleep, my Mom and I on either side of him. When we woke up, we found that, true to his nature, Daddy got up before the sun had risen and he went to his new heavenly home (more than likely to see if there were any creeks near the Pearly Gates that had some perch biting).

The second part though, the part about the father's echo in my baby's tears, that part hits me like a freight train to the chest every time. Recently, Mother sent me a picture of my Dad when he was a baby. Here is it is:

In that picture, my dad is the little one being held by my uncles. Does that baby look like anyone else that I have recently posted pictures of on here? I'll give you some help. I cut out just my Dad and placed it next to a picture of Tony in his swing:

I mean, they would never pass for identical twins, but I certainly think you could say there is an echo of my Father in Tony.

I love my Dad and I miss him terribly. I know that he is watching and I hope that he is proud of the man and father that I have become. More than that I hope that he is proud of the little echos of him that are my children.

Home Movies are Fun

Thursday, June 4, 2009

It's Time to Make the Donuts

I was talking to my best friend the other day about my schedule recently and he made the observation (which, as usual was both clever and on target) that I had in many ways become the Duncan Donuts guy. Do you remember that old commercial? If not, here it is:

Anyway, the point is that I am doing the same thing every day. Here is a bit of how the schedule breaks out. Don't worry, there are pictures coming up.

4:00 AM: One or more of the babies wakes up and demands to be fed. This is our new alarm clock. It most often has me awaking to laughter because I find the babies' cries funny sometimes. As I often tell Marcy: "It is such an impotent rage, isn't it?"

4:10 AM: After we blindly stumble through a house that has become a veritable minefield of discarded spit rags, chew toys and forgotten binkies, we arrive in the nursery and have to change the morning diaper. What bothers me is how devious their little smiles are as it happens:

4:30 AM: The morning bottle is eaten and, if we are lucky, nothing that has been placed into their volatile little Mount St. Helen's stomachs has been returned during the burping process. Once this is over, I finally get my reward. Xander now loves to sit in my lap and talk to me first thing in the morning. It is often the highlight of my day:

4:45 AM: The babies go back to bed but it is time to go to work, so no more sleep for me.

6:30 AM: On the weekends, we often try and get a bit more sleep until they wake up again or the older kids wake up, then it is time to clean up and get ready for the next bottle.

8:00 AM: After the regular morning bottle, the twins like to veg for a bit in their swings. They don't often wake up lively and want to play. They are slow risers. Here is Tony, stretching as we wakes up. He loves to smile and giggle at passersby:

10:30 AM: After swing time comes tummy time, where we are learning to push up on our hands and wiggle our feet. This wiggling is a subtly effective form of movement. They often creep in circles, covering most of their play mat in the process. Here is Xander, doing the mat dance that is sweeping the Allen area: The Creep.

12:00 PM
: Time for another bottle and then it is nap time. Now by nap time, we mean that they have to lay in their cribs. Sleep is negotiable.

2:00 PM: Nap time is officially over when we can no longer stand the screaming. Time for diaper changes and perhaps a little practice sitting up while Mommy holds our hands, like this fine example from "Thing 2", Tony:

Or perhaps they spend some time sitting in their "Bumbo" seats, these really neat plastic seats that they have now to teach the babies to sit up on their own. Here is Xander with his canary yellow version with an assist from big brother, David:

3:30 PM: Another recent afternoon distraction has been bouncer seats. They are now old enough to at least hang lifelessly from them like chubby, fleshy marionettes. Here is an example of the fun. First up is Tony:

Xander is still a little small for the big torture device, so he gets the lower to the ground scooter style. we have to put a pillow under his feet to reach the ground but he loves bouncing around in that thing:

6:30 PM: David and Beth have been so great about helping out in the afternoons and evening when the boys start really getting fussy. Little brothers just love their big brothers....until they get older at least.

7:30 PM: Dinner is now solid as we are learning to enjoy things like peaches and green beans. Once this over, it is bed time.

8:30 PM
: The night is time to do fun stuff with the older kids or just hanging out and trying to decompress. The older two have had a lot going on lately. David, for example, recently starred in his school's production of The Wizard of Oz. He played the Cowardly Lion and he was excellent and funny and really stole the show.

10:00 PM: We collapse in bed and try to get a little sleep before the whole thing starts all over again.

4:00 AM: The screaming alarm goes off again....time to make the donuts!

Author's Note: I am having the most fun of my life. I never knew how much we needed these twin boys until God threw them into our lap.

Another Author's Note: Thanks so much to Maw Maw for all of the pictures above. Our digital camera was and so these are the best and most recent pictures we have and may be the last for a little while until we can procure a new camera.

One Last Author's Note: Thanks for dropping by, and sorry we all have been out of touch. It's been a busy six months :-)

Friday, April 3, 2009

Twin Updates

I plan o updating this post later today with some form of witty banter, but for those that are reading it now, here are some pictures I took recently of the boys:

With their brother and sister:

Anthony just a swingin':
Alexander looking around:

Saturday, February 7, 2009

Hello World

My video editor dropped a "d" off of the title on the video, but I am willing to try it anyway. For those wanting to see the babies, here they are:

Tuesday, January 20, 2009

Tony Randall and Jack Klugman Eat your Heart Out

What happens when two men with nothing in common are forced to live together?

I hate to get all Neil Simon on your behind, but that is all I can think of when I see my two boys. The big news is that Alexander has grown out of his Boy in the Plastic Bubble phase and is ready to cohabit with his brother. Thusly:

The babies are still in the NICU. They are still on feeding tubes, but we are able to do more with them now. By that, I mean, they are allowing us to change dirty diapers. You see, it is apparently a privilege to get a diaper full of butt-pudding. They are so proud of this, they often load up the babies with suppository laxatives when they know I am planning on paying a visit.

Marcy has also been able to hold them at the same time, which just seems like an accident waiting to happen. I'll just show you the picture and let you decide on how you'll explain it to the nice pit bull at Child Protective Services.

We have also been able to give them a bath. This is a very nice thing. It is called a swaddle bath because you actually drop them, blanket and all into the warm water so that they are never "loose" and feeling insecure.

We still don't know when they are coming home, but until they do we are helping to ensure that they remain clean and dry and *shudder* poop free.

Friday, January 16, 2009

If This Vans a Rockin'....

Our history with cars is not the greatest. We bought a powder blue 1992 Lincoln Town Car the day after the September 11th 2001 attacks in New York. (The event with the twin towers had nothing to do with buying a new car other than the fact that our only other car died as I was making my way home that day.)

We have driven that car virtually into the pavement over the past seven some-odd years. Lately, it has shown signs that it was ready, like an aging Stallion, to be led into a field and put out of its misery and perhaps ground into a food source for other farm animals.

I have not gone to a car dealership and tried to secure financing for a new minivan (which is what we need to transport our expanded family) for several reasons:
  1. I knew that minivans were much more expensive than we could afford.
  2. I felt that with a the flagging economy, financing would be harder to secure.
  3. I had a sneaking suspicion that when I told the car sales guy that I had no down payment and could only afford a certain low amount per month, he or she would laugh so hard, they might hurt themselves and I could did not want a busted gut injury on my conscience.
Monday, as I attempted to drive to the train station, I noticed that the Town Car was riding a little low. A light came on the dashboard that read Air Susp. I think that every warning light that could go on in that car has gone off at least once in front of my nervous eyes, but this one was new. Before I knew what was happening, I hit a small bump in the road and it felt like the back end of the car was going to bounce off of the road. At the same moment, the trunk locking mechanism broke off and the trunk lid slammed into the back windshield. (This was not entirely shocking as I had the trunk lock broken over a year ago and had it reattached with string and duct tape. This kind of ingenuity has been a part of my family for years. I still hear stories of my forefathers who came west in wagons held together largely with butcher's twine, electrician's tape and dreams.)

I decided on Monday that it was time to seek out options. I had heard of leasing before and according to the radio spots, it could cost half the monthly payments of buying. So, I popped over the website for D&M Auto Leasing and got hooked up with a man named Jay. I emailed a list of my laughably unrealistic requirements and my even more laughable trade-in. After a couple of emails and a couple of phone conversations, Jay found me a minivan to purchase. Even more incredible, he found me financing to fit my needs. Today, he drove over our new van right to our door, we signed all of the paperwork he needed and he drove off in the Town Car, presumable to find a big enough gun to shoot it with.

Here it is, the new van:

It is a 2008 Chevrolet Uplander. It can seat 7. It has a built in DVD player that the kids can watch from the back seat. It even has these nifty wireless headphones that they use to hear the sound without it bothering us in the front seats. Here are the kids doing just that:

I was even able to coax Marcy out into camera range to try it on for size:

Even the cat wants to go for a ride:

Okay, maybe not.

Praise the Lord for helping us find a vehicle that fit our needs. As always, He has provided just as we needed it.

It was the easiest car buying experience of my life.