Sunday, October 26, 2008

By George, I Think He's Got It!

Our second-to-last class began on a dramatic note, some good news that fellow classmates Haig and Larissa had their twins--two boys!

For the rest of the evening, Nadia presided a crash course in the hands-on stuff: changing nappies, bathing, basic holding/cradling (as an avid action figure enthusiast, I guess you could make the obvious jibe that I've had a lot of practice playing with plastic dolls--but these didn't have capes or light sabers).

And here's Lidia, who beat my time, but I'm gonna blame my left-handedness as my a matter of fact, that's probably not a bad crutch to lean for the next...oh, four years or so?

We discussed brain development and Nadia dismissed the notion that you could "spoil" a baby with too much attention, tips for preventing injury and nasty subjects like SIDS, ideal sleep positions (we've since retired the "sleep positioner" from the baby registry), and were told to memorize the mantra "when in doubt, check it out!" (which reminds us--we've still gotta find a pediatrician!).

Next week, our final session, with real live parental units coming in (with Jack Hanna?) to field our questions and prep us for the Great Unknown...

Monday, October 20, 2008

Make Room! Make Room!

Quick: what's harder than moving? How about moving within your own house?

Somehow, I've got to redistribute the entire contents of my office to...well...somewhere else. The computer goes to a tiny desk wedged into the corner of the basement (yet to be purchased, and I'm not convinced the internet router signal will hold up, but that's a problem for another day). The comic book art can stay on the walls--this'll soon be the boys' room, after all!

The two shelves are easy enough to clear--mostly old books and collectibles that can go into storage, but there's 20+ years of my freelance film/illustration career boxed and stacked in the closet. Those files will go into storage, too, but I sure hope I don't get a sudden last minute request for my old art--ala my 12-year old storyboards for this summer's Del Toro exhibition--or I'll be scooting out to Mississauga to haul it all back. I wish I could afford a personal assistant to scan and catalogue all this stuff for me, but I'd probably have to pay him/her more than I was actually paid to create most of this stuff in the first place!

I've decided the comics will stay--six back-breaking boxes will be stacked in my clothes closet in the bedroom. Those original, bagged issues of Frank Miller's 'The Dark Knight Returns" might be the most valuable things we own!

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Saying goodbye to sleep

Nadia was back to lead class again Thursday, and after covering the wonderful process called labour and all its ancillary delights, now we're facing the real challenge: what the heck's going to happen when we get the l'il things home. And basically, this is it: they will sleep, we will not.

Men and women were divided in class, told to lay out a 12-hour schedule from 6am to 6pm of what we thought a typical day within the first week home would be. And yes, the little princes will have their every whim catered to because, well, they just can't do it themselves yet. They'll be fed every three hours -- 8 times in a 24-hour period -- and burped/changed/bathed accordingly. Somewhere in between is time for laundry, our own nutritional requirements, and cat naps (I'll have to rely on Maggie and Minnie to teach me a thing or two about those). We all seem to agree that signing up for Grocery Gateway is a good idea at least for the first month or so, so we can have decent food and not keep ordering in pizza and Chinese. Since our little ones are gracing us with their presence during the dead of winter, having food brought to the house is just fine with me.

Here's hoping the co-sleeper we plan to purchase (which will find its home attached to the side of our bed) will help make things easier in those dark early days, and I can figure out the best way to just lift one or the other out and breastfeed in bed... well, that would be the ideal. But as all parents know, ideals are rarely achieved. Nadia did give us one glimmer of hope: apparently at about one month, they may give us one five-hour stretch of uninterrupted rest. It just may not be at night.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008


A gorgeous Thanksgiving weekend--temps near 30 degrees C, a vista of autumnal hues, warm sunshine--so what better way to celebrate the extende summer than to hit a mall!? Actually, we had a good excuse: my parents came down to visit (an annual Thanksgiving tradition) and my grandmother, fully recovered from her scary bit of business this past summer, felt well enough to make the trip. It was everyone's last chance to see us before the boyos arrive, so we were suitably pampered and fussed over.

Lidia and I ventured with my mom and grandmother to the nearby Zellers, and were treated to a load of must-have items (and a few vain indulgences) that are sure to make our lives, and pocketbooks, just a little bit easier when the guys bound upon the stage in December/January.
In a happy coincidence, we met a young couple with twins shopping in the same section of Zellers. They were in good spirits and fine physical form, considering their adorable youngsters were only a few months old. This short, chance meeting made it all seem just a wee bit more doable--considering I live in constant, daily fear that I'm not up to the task and will somehow screw it all up--with TWICE the collateral damage.

Back at Wendy's house, the bags and boxes just kept on coming (somehow, it eclipsed the original event of the day--my nephew Thomas' 14 birthday!). The boys are gonna be well-fed, well-dressed, and well-played-out...I got tired just photographing the spectacle...and realized we've got to get moving on making some room for not only two new lives, but the truckload of stuff that'll accompany them.

By the time the weekend was over we'd filled the Mazda with onesies, diapers, blankets, socks, booties, and some always-welcome cash. I even took the wheel (I hate driving) back to the city, on the highway, at night. I didn't screw it up--I got us both home safe and sound. Maybe I can do this thing after all...

Saturday, October 11, 2008

Mmmmm.... druuuuuugs....

Just an addendum to Robert's little account of our last class, I must say I feel much better about labour and giving birth knowing that the pharmaceutical industry is firmly on my side.

First stage pain? How about some Demerol? No thanks, the last time I was given that I puked like a co-ed on a bender. Morphine? Now that's more like it!

Pain getting worse? Here dear, have some nitrous oxide. Actually, no -- the lovely Win told us that the wonderful stuff you get at the dentist's, otherwise known as laughing gas, isn't really used in the course of labour anymore. Too bad -- I was thinking that it might be fun to run off my favourite Dennis Hopper lines from "Blue Velvet," since I'll probably be swearing up a storm anyway.

Then there's the ultimate: the epidural. A little tube into your spinal area (not the cord per se, but the epidural space nearby) that will completely numb from the waist down. Yes, I'll be bedridden. No, I won't feel the contractions and I'll have to be told when to push. Yes, I'll have to have a catheter inserted so my bladder can be kept emptied. But... no pain! And at the most intense time! I'm positively giddy with anticipation. Remember people, I gotta do all that stuff twice in a row, if indeed we are going to deliver the old-fashioned way, so yes. Please give me drugs. I won't object. Do it as soon as you think it's necessary. Thanks!

Thursday, October 9, 2008

This Class Brought To You By The Letter "C" in "C-Section", since multiples are 50% more likely to require said procedure, although no one at this point can say for sure (apparently, our youngsters are in prime positions for a natural birth, so who knows?). Nadia was still off with back problems, so tonight's session was presided over by the delightful Win (as in "Winifred"), a registered nurse nearing retirement after a career of helping deliver over 3000 babies (amazingly, she still seems to get genuinely excited over our excitement as first-time parents, with nary a trace of "been there/done that"). She also covered breathing exercises, and the variety of drug options available to Mom (Dad will have to make due with sneaking shots of scotch from within the janitors' closet). All in all, another informative and illuminating session, and one of the many reasons I'm glad the worst thing I'll have to do is cut the cord (although depending on the circumstance, I may not be allowed to do that either!)...

Wednesday, October 8, 2008

Babies' Second Concert: Lindsey Buckingham

27 weeks along, and already, our boys are showing refined and eclectic musical tastes. Tonight, we attended what will probably be our last concert in a good long time: Lindsey Buckingham, live at the Danforth Music Hall.

Buckingham isn't exactly a household name, but just about everyone knows at least a handful of his songs. Who hasn't hummed along to the catchy rockabilly riff of "Holiday Road" throughout "National Lampoon's Vacation"? But he's best known as the on-again/off-again frontman for the superstar rock band Fleetwood Mac, whose 1977 classic "Rumours" was once the best-selling album of all time. The guy singing "Go Your Own Way", one of their rare hits not performed by Stevie Nicks? That's him.

Lidia says the boyos were kicking it up big time from the second song, the catchy "Love Runs Deeper", and again during the lengthy "World Turning". Could this merry evening have inspired guitarists and drummers in our future? Glad these townhouses have concrete walls...

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Class 3: Relax--They're Just Props!

Tonight's prenatal class--Week 3--was a bit of a schedule change, with Nadia away due to a back injury. So instead of exploring "C Sections", we talked "breastfeeding" with our guest instructor, Margaret. Well, more than "talk" actually, as you'll see from the photo. Lidia got to practice prep for her"maternal duty" with two fake plastic infinks (while I hummed Radiohead out of frame--is that too obscure a reference?).

Too bad, though, that I didn't bring along my totally awesome Shazam and Superman action figures so I could practice my "paternal duty", as in "hey, Dad, who would win in a fight...?"

Wednesday, October 1, 2008

Week 26: No Photos Please...

Week 26 ultrasound and followup consultation with Dr. Thomas today at the Bloomberg clinic--not a lot to report, I'm happy to say, because everything's going fabulously. The babies once again played camera-shy, given their respective positions, it was hard to get a straight-on look at either one. But we could see them in fleeting glimpses, fidgeting merrily.

The otherwise fine afternoon took a depressing turn when Lidia got the annoying run-around when Dr. Thomas suggested she should have her diabetes test immediately, only to report to the lab, be made to wait, and then told that it was too late and she'd have to reschedule.

It's one thing to have to take a number, quite another to be treated like one...