How did you get in to blogging?
It was pretty much out of necessity. We lost our first daughter late in the pregnancy so with the twins we were already considered high risk, even before finding out there were two of them. With a large and spread out family I found we were being barraged with update requests from concerned loved ones so I started a web site where everyone could go and get their answers. I then began taking a picture of my wife every day and was turning this into a video so there was a lot of traffic coming in to the site for that. After a period where I didn’t update for a few weeks (I think we were on vacation or something) I started, again, getting calls from concerned people so I made sure I blogged as often as possible after that and it just kind of snowballed from there.
How did you react to the news of twins?
I started cheering and pumping my fists in to the air. The doctor was very confused. I’d actually had a crazy dream about 3 months before we conceived the girls and I was 100% convinced we were having triplets. I made a side bet with my wife that we were having more than one baby, so initially I was just kind of just excited to be right (it doesn’t happen that often). We were driving up to a friend’s house (about 5 hours away) right after that appointment and that drive was a surreal experience. We went from elation to hysterics and back to elation again as we tried to absorb what this meant. Then we’d sit in silence for a long while until we both erupted in laughter. Having lost our daughter about 6 months prior I think it was one of those amazing yet bitter sweet things. We would not have our wonderful girls without having had that loss. That notion weighed heavy on us the first few weeks of the pregnancy.
I am amazed at how you work, take care of some seriously adorable twins, blog AND are in school, how do you do it?
I try not to think about it. I put my head down and I get it done. I have this fear that if I pop my head up and dwell on it I’m going to talk myself out of a lot of the things I do. Work is work; bills have to be paid and there’s not really much of a choice there. My girls are my life; there’s nothing more important to me than them so when I get home they have my full attention. After they go down my family is still my priority and their future is what matters most. It’s much easier to open a case book and study when you consider the weight that’s attached to your success. I also have an amazing support system in my wife. Parenting is teamwork and she is behind me in everything I do just as I am for her. Add to that I’ve mastered multitasking. I have two monitors at work and I usually have 4 things I’m working on at any given time; I just sneak the blogging in during this period.
What is some of the best advice you could offer a new dad of multiples?
Breath. Record. Absorb. It all flies by so fast, the moment the nurse hands them to you, you blink and they’re sitting up, you blink again and they’re walking; it’s easy to forget that breathing is crucial to your survival in the midst of that. It’s also easy to forget the whole experience entirely. Record everything. I have a flip video camera, a digital camera and a cell phone on me almost all the time. I have so much of my daughters’ lives captured on media it’ll blow your mind (and it drives my facebook friends crazy too). At night, when I need a break, I just pull up a video of their first day, or their first steps or some silly thing that happened and it powers me through. Blogging is a form of recording. Much of my first blog entries after they were born were simply stories of how the night before went. I would write as more of cathartic experience, but as I wrote it out I realized it was both amazing and hilarious; it helped take away the exhaustion and frustration that tend to creep in. Go back and read. It helps you realize what an amazing job your actually doing (which is easy to forget) because look at how far they’ve come in a few months. Absorb them. Absorb all of it. It’s easy for dads to step back and become spectators – I challenge you to get right in to it. Wife needs a break? Offer to be solo parent for a night (if she can do it, there’s no reason you can’t). Get down on the floor with your children, bond with them. They’ve had 9 months or so of bonding time with mom, you have to work hard to try and get up to that level. When they were blobby I would lie down on the floor in between them and just experience that moment with them. They would grab my hair, my face, my ears and just laugh hysterically about it. Getting physically close with them gets you emotionally close with them. There will be plenty of time later in life that they want nothing to do with you; enjoy the brief moment that they want you around.
What are some of your favorite activities to do as a family?
Every couple of weeks the girls come to my work and take me out to lunch. Sometimes we go to a restaurant, sometimes we go to a park with sandwiches. It’s not a big extravagant thing, but it makes my day so much better. Going to work is the hardest part of my life because I would do anything just to be at home with them. Having them break up the monotony really is a joy. Aside from that I enjoy anything that engages them. I love watching them pound on the glass at the aquarium, amazed at all the colorful fish. We go to a playground and they go crazy. Feeding ducks at the park is epic for them. There is also a place near us called Pretend City that is a giant warehouse converted in to a miniature world for kids. Running around after them as they bounce from building to building, car to car, activity to activity is magic. I could go on in this section forever. Everything we do is enjoyable from the mundane to the exotic; just being with them. … that’s my favorite activity.
If you had an extra hour in each day how would you spend it?
With them. Whatever that equates to. Bath time, lunch time, play time; I’m not picky. If I didn’t have to work for a living I’d still get up at 5 o’clock to knock out life’s requirements so that when they’re up I can enjoy them. Like I mentioned earlier, I’m a heck of a multitasker, so give me an extra hour and it’s gravy. Now, tell my wife you’ve given me an extra hour and I’m sure she could find plenty for me to do.
What question(s) do you have for the other community members?
Do you always feel like the rest of the world is trying to compete with you? I can’t tell you how many parents with children a year or so apart in age try to convince me that it’s just like having twins. No. It’s not. When we have another child I’m not going to tell a parent of triplets that it’s the same thing.
Do people constantly assume you are done having kids? I’m always getting that – “it must be so nice to get them out of the way at the same time and be done.” I hate that. It’s like I’m being given a procreation cap. It’s not like I’ve got 18, I’ve got 2.
And a practical one: how do you stop the biting? My girls are eating each other alive. They’re sneaky too, because they know they’ll get in trouble; they start with a kiss (how do you scold a kiss) and then BITE! I’m kind of concerned there was a dormant cannibal gene one of us passed along.
Be sure to leave your answers to Kyle’s questions in the comment section and then stop over by Kopp Twins to leave some bloggy love!