Tag Archives: Random Thoughts

Using Your Noggin

Noggin.  My kids love it!  And I openly admit they learn gads of great things from their favorite shows.  But as for myself, I can only deal with it in small doses without looking around for a flat surface to bang my head on.

Luckily, I’ve learned to cope.  My favorite Noggin activity is to make up dirty lyrics to the songs, and singing them in my head, quietly chuckling to myself.  I feel so lucky I can be a responsible parent yet get in touch with my junior-high self.


In A Word

Has it really been three months since I posted an update?  Wow!  Life has a way, doesn’t it?

The twins have been walking and running for some time now, resulting in more doors, gates and compartmentalization than a navy vessel.  Consequently, this has also resulted in numerous stubbed toes, banged knees and near-castrations for the paternal units of the household as we continue learning to navigate the new lay of the land. 

We’ve always known we were going to have to change the way we talked around the house.  In fact, it’s a discussion we’ve had on a fairly regular basis.  As a Navy veteran, I’ll attest that “curses like a sailor” isn’t all hype, and with the stresses of day-to-day life and the growing pains of parenthood, I’ll be the first to admit kicking the habit hasn’t been an easy task. 

Our fantastic duo has quickly been refining their coos, raspberries and nonsensical blabbering into some sort of verbal finesse.  Ava especially enjoys mimicking Daddy and Papa, picking words out of our conversations and blurting them back at us with distinct clarity to our slack-jawed amazement. 

As their vocabulary continues to grow, we’ve become more creative in our use of colorful language, resorting to spelling forbidden words, using the big ones by first letter, and simply deepening our already well-established sense of sarcasm. 

The bright side is I’m sure this S-H-I-T won’t F-up our kids, or send them running to a G-D shrink.  This MF-ing B-S is hard!  Sorry.  What I mean is, I’m certain none of this will have lasting impacts on our children nor will it ever come up in a therapy session one day.  This has been a difficult concept for us to put into practice.

My main concern now, other than sounding like complete idiots when we talk is, what the H-E-L-L are we going to do when they learn to spell?

Jesse Helms Death, July 4th – New Hope for Life, Liberty and the Pursuit of Happiness

At 1:15 a.m. on July 4, 2008 in Raliegh, North Carolina, at the age of 86 years old, Jesse Alexander Helms, one of the most long-standing, influential Senators in modern American history died of natural causes. 

Unfortunately, he will be remembered.  A father, husband, politician and passionate bigot, Jesse Helms was an infamous leader and promoter of sexist, racist and anti-gay legislation and social agendas that would be credited in the denial of health care for millions as well as the attempted repression of civil rights movements for decades.

May you rest in peace, Jesse.  While we as a country, a society, cities, neighborhoods and individual people work diligently together to untangle your legacy of hate, may we also rest a bit more peacefully.

One Phone Call

It was a day like any other day.  I climbed out of bed, sleepily sipped my coffee while I watched the morning news.  I hopped in the shower and headed to work.  I greeted co-workers, checked my email, shared jokes with my team and went to meetings.  I went home.  It was a day like any other day.  I hadn’t the slightest inkling, in one moment, life as I knew it would change forever.

I looked at CallerID to see if I could should take it or ignore it.  It was our adoption agency.  My heart flip-flopped in my chest.  Be calm.  We’ve been through this before.


“Hi, Bryan!  I have a case to chat with you about.  Are you sitting down?”

“I can be.  Should I be?”

“Well, this one’s a bit different.  It’s twins.  It’s a boy and a girl.”

Silence.  We’d always dreamed of two children.  And in our perfect little make-believe world, we would have a boy and a girl.  And in our grand, pipe-dream kingdom they would be twins, and they would grow up together, always having each other by their side.  But this just doesn’t happen.  The adoption agency even told us this when we said we would be open to accepting twins.  In the entire history of the agency’s existence, they had only ever placed three sets of twins.  But we all have fantasies, right?  Not to mention, we’d just finished our home study two months ago.

“Bryan?  Are you still there?”

I struggled to get my mind in check.  I scrambled to scrawl legible bullet points as our adoption counselor fired off details about these two tiny babies.  They were premature and still in the hospital, but doing great!  They were due to be released from the hospital at any time.  They were referred by another agency who, after reviewing the available profiles, were specifically interested in interviewing us.  Were we interested in pursuing a placement?

I fought to find my voice.  I managed to find the word “Yes” and hung up the phone.  I sat in stunned silence until Neal came home from work.

We’d had two other phone calls that hadn’t gone anywhere.  The first call had come in just two days after our home study was completed.  It was so unexpected, it took us off guard and we weren’t prepared for the emotional toll that the disappointment brought when it didn’t work out.  While not devastating, it put us on a rollercoaster of emotions for several days, and taught us to be more prepared next time.

We tried to be very guarded about this phone call and what it could mean.  At that moment, it was simply information and nothing more.  We were interested.  Period.  Nothing had happened.  But we both felt there was something very different about this phone call.  Was it just our imagination?  Did we simply want it to work out?  Minutes seemed like hours and we knew this was going to be a difficult time until it was resolved.

The following days blurred into a whirlwind of interviews, medical specialist and legal consults and various other phone calls.  At one point we had a lucid moment where we simply looked at each other and said, “OH, MY GOD!  This is really happening.  We’re going to be Daddies!” and went right back to work on what needed to be done next. 

Then, “Oh shit!  We’re having twins!  Do you understand the magnitude of this?  There are two of them!  Boy!  Girl!  TWO!  We’re having twins!  Get dressed!  We need to go shopping!  We don’t even have a bottle in this house!   We have crazy, crazy damage to do at the mall.”

Surreal as it could be.  And nothing, nothing, nothing would ever be the same again. 

Daddy and Ava take a nap 

Daddy and Preston - Yes I do cherish naps where I can get them.  And cuddles are the best!

That was a year ago today.  Fast forward to the present.  The house is a wreck.  I won’t let the closest of friends in the front door without wearing a blindfold.  There are dishes in the sink.  There are piles of laundry in the basement.  We need to hire a housekeeper.  I can’t remember the last time I dusted.  If I manage to get in the shower before Neal gets home from work, I’m going to call it a fantastic accomplishment.  Dinner will be delivered tonight because I just don’t have the time or energy to deal with it today.  And if we’re not the luckiest people on the face of the earth, I don’t know who is.  Life is grand.

The Incredible Shrinking House

We need a new house.  A bigger house.  A house so big it would take the National Guard a day to find me inside. 

When it was just Neal and I, this place was enormous.  We had extra bedrooms.  We each had offices.  There was ample room to host large dinner parties, entertain out of town guests, and we had the ability spread out, relax and be comfortable.

Enter two of the tiniest human beings you’ve ever seen in your life.  Oh wait.  I guess babies are kind of like that.  Well yes, of course they’re going to need their own room, and a place for clothes and toys and such.  But look how tiny they are!  How much room could they possibly need at this age?  Seriously.

But throughout the past year, we began packing some things away.  Then we decided we’d get by with one office and another computer “area”.  And then we decided we don’t eat in the dining room very often, so we put the dining room furniture in storage and the dining room became a playroom for the kids.  Now, both the attic and the basement are packed full of things we “no longer have room for”.  And the place is still a virtual obstacle course.

The Incredible Shrinking House

So I’ve come to the logical and alarming conclusion that our house is shrinking.  I have a growing suspicion the frame is built entirely of compressed cashmere fibers, and each time I put laundry in the dryer, the house gets a little smaller.  I’m certain this has been happening since it was built.  It was surely a magnificent mansion at one point in its existence.  However, because we’re doing approximately 37 times more laundry than we previously did (because, as you know, baby clothes have very fertile reproductive systems activated by dark basement floors), and therefore, the shrinking process has sped up at a terrifying rate.  My fear is that if we don’t move soon, we may unwittingly get trapped inside when the doors get too small to fit through and we’ll eventually starve to death.

I’m sure none of this could be attributed to the fact we could open our own chain of toy stores, or that there are closets of clothes, some that will never be worn before the kids outgrow them, and because of the foresight of some of our thoughtful relatives who have purchased gifts for the twins that they can “grow into” when they’re four or five years old.

Sigh.  We need a new house.  A bigger house.