In happier news, Josh and I celebrated our 17th anniversary on Monday, and DJ and MJ turned 9 months old Tuesday.
Compared to the insanity of AJ and JJ’s infancy, caring for DJ and MJ has been an easier experience. I think we can take a little credit for being more seasoned as parents of twins. We are also very fortunate that our awesome nanny that took care of AJ and JJ until they were 3 came back to help out with the new twins as soon as they got home from India. But I think the main reason things are going more smoothly has to do with the fact that this set of twins did not come 2 months premature. They have not had any feeding or apnea issues to be concerned about, and have been sleeping through the night since the end of September.
DJ is developing into a spunky little girl. She is crawling all over the house and is pulling to stand already. She likes to clap her hands and blow raspberries, which is cute until she does it while she is eating and ends up spitting all over whomever is feeding her.
MJ is possibly less mobile because he is a hungry boy and outweighs his sister by a few pounds. He is able to sit up and roll over both ways, so his preferred form of locomotion is rolling himself around the house like a log. But he is definitely more vocal! His babbling started out with “Bah bah bah” giving us hope that he might be trying to call out for us. But then it transitioned to “Blah blah blah…” so now we think he is just mocking us.
Despite the bustle of activity at home, AJ and JJ have been managing to do well in 1st grade, attend tae kwon do classes 3 times a week and go to Hebrew school on Sunday mornings. As twins themselves, I think they are accustomed to the fact that neither of them have ever had my undivided attention for long. They are adapting well to even more distracted parents and I am proud of them.
Costumes for Purim party at Hebrew school
Play area at the local mall
A few days ago news first broke that Fred Phelps, founder of Westboro Baptist Church, was on his deathbed. As usual, all sorts of internet commentary was offered. However, I was very disturbed by the number of LGBT people that suggested celebration and picketing of his funeral similar to the way his church members have picketed funerals of soldiers and other events to spread their homophobia. I find this type of schadenfreude similarly repulsive to his church’s activities. It is never classy to celebrate death, even if you resented the departed terribly. I have always wished upon the haters long life, in the hope that with age will come the wisdom of how wrong they were and maybe even an attempt to make amends. I can only hope that the report of Fred Phelps having been ex-communicated from his own church last summer is a sign that he may have had a last minute change of heart.
After Fred Phelps’ death last night, I am hoping that the LGBT community will exercise restraint and not display some of the same hateful grave-dancing that made the Westboro Baptist Church so infamous.
Rest in Peace
After working for most of the holiday season including Christmas, I was able to cobble together a few days off from work. We decided to take the opportunity to drive to Orlando for a quick family vacation.
We stayed at the Nickelodeon Suites Resort, which was amusing for AJ and JJ as they are currently fans of SpongeBob Squarepants. They enjoyed the 3D Movie Theater and the SpongeBob decorations. There were multiple photo opportunities to meet the characters at the resort, but the boys have reached the stage where they realize it is somebody in a costume and are rather disenchanted and uncooperative with such photos.
DJ and MJ are happy to meet SpongeBob and Patrick even if their brothers aren’t.
On Monday we attempted to go to the Magic Kingdom but were sadly turned away at the gates because they were filled to capacity! We were diverted to Epcot with a voucher for free parking and 50% off lunch so we made sure we made good use of our consolation prizes. As we had predicted, the park was very busy and getting around as a bulky party of 6 was not conducive to getting much accomplished. But we simply enjoyed the time together as a family and considered it a success that we even made it there.
Family of 6 at Epcot
Josh had to get back to work by Tuesday, so he drove home with the babies. I stayed in Orlando with AJ and JJ for two more days to allow them more time to enjoy the parks now that they are tall enough for most of the rides.
12/31/13. JJ and AJ’s new favorite ride. They insisted on going twice!
New Year’s Eve at Animal Kingdom
New Year’s Day at Universal Studios
Now we are all back at home safe and sound. It was a nice vacation to mark the end of an amazing year for our family, and the beginning of a new one. In closing, we wish everyone a Happy New Year and we present our holiday card for 2013!
Happy New Year!
Obviously, we are quite busy these days. There hasn’t been a lot of spare time to compose longer blog posts documenting our adventures. Thus it seems like the perfect time to explore the world of micro-blogging! To this end, I have established Twitter, Instagram, and Vine accounts so I can tap out a few words or capture a moment whenever opportunity strikes. I have embedded our twitter feed on the home page of our blog so visitors can see the latest.
I am new to Twitter but find it very amusing thus far. Unlike Facebook, Twitter gives you the opportunity to communicate directly with so many people you don’t even know. Celebrities are interesting but I also find it very powerful connecting to gay parents across the country and around the world. We may not know each other in real life, but we certainly share a common bond in our special situation.
Last week we celebrated two rarely coinciding holidays, Hanukah and Thanksgiving. The holidays go together well, because both are about expressing gratitude for blessings in life. This year, we obviously have much to be thankful for as our family grows. My sister Annie and brother-in-law Rahul came from New Orleans and Josh’s parents joined us as well for a big family feast.
I am quite proud of the turkey and traditional potato latkes that I made for the meal. Josh shot down my idea of brining the turkey but it roasted nicely anyway with garlic, herbs and seasoning rubbed all over on Wednesday night. Together with my matzoh ball soup, mastering the potato latke means that I am one recipe away from the Jewish cooking trifecta. I will hopefully get the brisket right by Passover next year…
Lighting the candles on the first night Wednesday
The spread 5 minutes before everyone sat down and demolished it
20 pound bird this year
The secret ingredient borrowed from Rachael Ray’s recipe is grated carrot