Friday, November 30, 2007

Day 71 - 10 Weeks Old

Here is a picture of Andrew and Emma at ten weeks old:


Here are some other things around our house that are ten weeks old:


A lemon.

Flat soda.

"We Are Marshall" dvd from Netflix.


A square of toilet paper that neither of us are willing to pick up first.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Day 70 - Picture Commentary

With today's batch of pictures, I thought I'd add a little commentary with each photo.

When Anne came to visit, she bought the kids these baby hapi coats. Hapi coats are Japanese overcoats or robes with fairly large sleeves. They are not to be mistaken with "happy coats" which grown men use to flash unsuspecting people.


Here we are with the kids on Thanksgiving day. It is pretty difficult to get both kids to be up at the same time to take a picture. Usually one is asleep or fussy. But thankfully we had some leftover amphetamines and gave it to the kids. Aren't they cute when they're high?


I got my haircut this past weekend and it was not exactly what I asked for. She cut it in away that makes me look like a Japanese Ed Grimley ("That Pat Sajak looks like a decent hakujin, I must saaaay!"). But after thinking about it, I realized that my hair looked a bit like Andrew's little faux-mohawk. Don't we look menacing?


My sister thought it would be funny if we took a picture of her and Andrew both swaddled in a blanket. And I thought it would be funny if we left Anne swaddled for hours on end. That's why my sister's crying like a wuss frightened of a monster book.


Our fussy little girl, Emma, is caught smiling for a moment in this picture. Doesn't she remind you of Emma Thompson in the HBO movie "Wit"?


We've received so much clothing from baby showers and gifts that Lisa tries to put them in as many outfits as possible. Here they are with their "Perfect Pair" shirts which is much cuter than the "Perfect Pare" shirts with actor Michael Pare's double feature of "Streets of Fire" and "Eddie and the Cruisers."

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

Day 69 - Dancing With The Mom

For some reason, people love seeing obscure celebrities dancing for a trophy. I don't get it. Do we really need to see the remaining cast members of "Maude" duking it out with a samba? Me thinks not.

You may ask what does a reality show has to do with this baby blog? Well just wait until I finish my story.

Last night was the finale of "Dancing With the Stars", and my mom and Lisa are big fans of the show. I usually use the time when they are watching Bernie Kopell doing the cha-cha to update this blog. The entire season my mom was a big fan of Helio, a race car driver. I truly wonder what his fellow opponents think when they see him in a leotard doing jazz hands. I'd imagine it would be the same reaction if the Third Reich saw Hitler celebrating at a bar mitzvah.

When the Mormon community and the state of Utah was unable to give Marie Osmond the win, Helio the Driver triumphed over Mel the Old Spice. My mom was so excited to see Helio score the victory, she jumped up from the chair and began to dance. But not only did she dance by herself (and here comes the baby part), she grabbed Andrew from Lisa's arm and began dancing with him. Poor Andrew looked so confused...and flamboyant.

So in celebration of Helio winning, I put together this little clip of my mom's celebratory dance. Enjoy!


video

Day 69 - Poll Results & New Poll!

I imagine there are a lot more females reading this blog than males because the winner of our movie poll was "Enchanted." The runner-up was "I Am Legend" with 33% of the vote. And surprisingly, "Forrest Hump" received 11% ("I may not be a smart man, Jenny, but I know what butt love iiissss.").

This week's poll has to do with the previous entry: Battle of the Aunts. The question I ask this week is who would win in a caged fight: Auntie Anne or Auntie Susan?



Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Day 68 - Battle of the Aunts

Over the Thanksgiving holiday, my sister, Anne, visited and saw the kiddies for the first time. I'd have to say my sister and I are pretty close. We enjoy doing a lot of the same things: playing jokes on our mom, annoying our mom, ridiculing our mom on the internet. But because we are six years apart, we weren't always that close.

I remember growing up being very excited to have a sister. I even drew this gigantic mural (at least for a six year old) with a bunch of cartoon characters on a piece of butcher paper. On the bottom of the paper I wrote with my Crayolas "I Love Anne." Pretty cute, huh? But once Little Annoying Annie came home and ruined my life as the only child, I revisited the mural and did a little editing. With a firm stroke, I crossed out the word "love" and replaced it with "hate." "I Hate Anne." And funny enough, I still write that in bathroom stalls across LA.

When the kids were first born, my sister made these personalized t-shirts that said the following:



You don't see any insecurity issues with my sister, do you? While I was on my four hour round trip trek to LAX to pick up my sister, I told Lisa to dress the kids up in those self-promoting shirts Anne made. But with a small change:


And for those of you whom have forgotten Lisa's gigantic Redwood forest family tree, Susan is Lisa's sister who sent us a trove of teddy bears and produce costumes for the kids.

On the drive back from LAX, I called home to give Lisa the signal to dress the kids up in the "I Love Auntie Susan" shirts. An hour and forty-five minutes later, we made our way home. Anne walked to the kids and had a big grin on her face.

"OH! LOOK! They're wearing the t-shirts!" Anne exclaimed with joy.

Then she pulled down their blankets to reveal the name "Susan". Suddenly, joy turned into disappointment and rage. Look at how angry Anne looks in this picture:


After Anne threw the kids to the ground and berated them for insulting her, we had to explain to Anne that Andrew and Emma are way too young to come up with this practical joke. So I lied and told her it was Mom's idea. So after Anne threw Mom to the ground and berated her, we took the labels off the t-shirts and calmness ruled the rest of the day...


...until I wrote on our bathroom wall "I hate Anne."

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Day 66 - Gobble Gobble!

Just like all of the failed television shows I have worked on, Thanksgiving has come and gone just like that. For the first time in many years, we stayed in Los Angeles for the holiday. My parents were obviously here and my sister, Auntie Anne (the pretzel maven), flew in from New York.

It is an Ichikawa tradition to have Thanksgiving dinner served late with an extra dry turkey. But this year we swore it would be different because our tiredness and laziness brought on by the twins (and Grandma Ichikawa) pointed us towards the Marie Callender holiday feast box. For a low bargain price of $89.99, you receive the following: turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes, yams, mixed vegetables, gravy, cranberry, corn bread, your choice of an apple or pumpkin pie, and a small Native American tribe.

As my sister and I walked home with the feast box, we decided to play a joke on my mom. When we made our way to the front door, we took out half the food out and left it at the front door. As the feast box was handed over to my mom, she opened the box and whispered to my dad, "I tink dey did naht give us everyting...they did naht!" So Mom starts bellowing about how we didn't check the box, and we need to go back to "Mahwee Carrandah" to get the rest of the food. At this point, I was holding Emma in my arms in her little onesies. I tell my sister that we better go back to the restaurant and get the rest of the food. And then I tell my mom that I'll just take Emma, too. My mom starts freaking out.

"Noh noh noh! You cahn't tayk Emmah out dere rike dat! Too cold. Dohn't go! Leave Emmah here wis me! You crayzee? Come bahk here wight nah!"

I start my way out the door and down the hall. Mom comes out waving her arms trying to make me come back.

"Khan bahk! Khan bahk here wight nah!"

Then she sees the food at her feet and gives out her exasperated gasp.

"AAAHHHhhh...you play jokey again. AAAHHHhhh."

Once my mom calmed down over our joke, we all went over the preheating instructions for the food which seemed simple enough. The only problem we ran into was that our oven broke. Yes. That's right. Our oven broke on Thanksgiving Day. It's like having your chimney cave in on Christmas; having no matches on the 4th of July; having no Caucasian disguise on Pearl Harbor day. So we ended up heating our food in the microwave, toaster oven, and the stove top.

We all sat down ready to eat not knowing what to expect. All of us were pleasantly surprised that the food didn't...well...suck. And for once the turkey was not dry; it was cold.

For a limited time only, get a free Japanese baby with every pie order.


Another baby.


Happy Thanksgiving!

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Day 61 - Two Months Old

If it feels like an extra long day, it must be the day before Thanksgiving. After going into work for a half day, I drove to LAX to pick up my sister at the airport. A 25 mile drive from Burbank to LAX at 1:30p became a two hour trek of yelling, exasperation, and muttered profanities. Then a 19 mile drive from LAX to Sherman Oaks became a one hour and forty five minute trek of yelling, exasperation, and muttered profanities at my sister for not taking a shuttle.

Anyway, just wanted to put up a few pictures of the two month mark for the kids. Happy Thanksgiving!





Tuesday, November 20, 2007

Day 60 - Say Cheese & Vinegar

First of all, here are a few pictures from the past week:


"While you're humiliating me, why don't you just take my top off and make me wear a bra?"


"Where'd my puppet go?"


"We can read between the lines...you're calling us pigs! How dare you! Take it back!"


"...umm...okay...maybe we're kinda piggy..."


"What the hell? I thought you were taking the picture AFTER '3' not ON '3'!"

Also, the Ichikawa family tends to play quite a few practical jokes on each other; I'm sure it will continue on with Andrew and Emma. My first memory of playing a practical joke was when I was probably five years old. I was home with my mom playing with play-doh. Mom told me we should make the play-doh look like taffy and then wrap it up in wax paper and give it to my dad when he came home from work. When my dad came home, he of course ate it. I thought it was hilarious despite the fact my mom got a beating.

So tonight during dinner, my mom got up to carry Andrew because he was a little fussy. As she walked to the bedroom, I ran to the kitchen cupboard, grabbed the bottle of white vinegar, and poured it into my mom's water glass. My dad and Lisa all acted as if nothing happened as I set up the camera to video this all unfolding. As you watch the video, I find my dad's reaction to be just as funny as my mom whining about her water. My dad just kinda chuckles and then continues to eat his dinner as if he has seen this all before...which he has. And yes...I'm immature. So sue me (but you can't because my fingers are crossed).


video

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Day 58 - Diaper Another Day


We're by no means experts at changing diapers, and from what our friends tell us it will get way more odorific when the kids start to eat solid foods. But I thought since my blog tends to be poop-centric, why not devote a small portion of bandwidth to the discussion of diapers.

On their own, diapers aren't anything to be afraid of. Out of the box, they smell really fresh and have cute little cartoon characters smiling and waving at you. But don't be fooled by that smiling Elmo fool because once wet and soiled, diapers will slowly invade your life and everything you learned about not touching poop and pee is turned inside out.

My entire life I have been taught to stay away from poop and pee. If poop was your friend, there would be no need for toilet paper. All you'd need is ten fingers and a bar of soap. You're reminded to wash your hands after using the bathroom by your parents, your teachers, and restaurant restrooms signs in Spanish. But when you become a parent, you learn pretty fast that urine and excrement become second nature to your skin like soap and gravy (Yes, I enjoy drinking gravy with my hands. Don't judge me.).

First of all, you have the choice of cloth and disposable diapers. Cloth diapers are suppose to be fairly comfortable and come in a variety of sizes and cuts. But I told my mom I don't care if she does wear cloth diapers because there's no way we're going to wash 16-20 diapers a day. You could also use a diaper service, but that can get pretty expensive. Also cloth diapers are better for the environment, but I don't see Mother Earth changing diapers with her twins, so screw that. So we chose disposable diapers over cloth for three reasons: 1. Convenience 2. Cost 3. We support the use of landfills.

We've used three brands of diapers so far: Pampers, Huggies, and Luvs. I must say that we did not love Luvs. Despite the awfully cute Blue Clues paw prints kindly leading us to the foul butt present left by our children, the diapers didn't wrap easily around the kids because the edges didn't fit the contours of the booty and the thighs. We were both pretty happy with Pampers and Huggies, but I think we'd give the edge to Pampers. It might be because we've used them the most, but they just seem to fit better than any other brand we've used so far. And a word of caution, never use thongs.

When changing a diaper, our biggest tip is to not rush and change them right away. Give yourself a good couple of minutes or else you may find yourself playing Slip N Slide on your floor with a slick of poop. We have also triple layered our changing table: a fitted cover over the changing table mattress, a large cover pad, and a small cover pad. Maybe we're over doing it a bit, but each time we've had a surprise visit from Auntie Anus we added another layer to our changing table.

When wiping, we just used small gauze pads dipped in warm water to clean the kids the first few weeks they were home. I know some other parents who used soft paper towels dipped in warm water. I also heard of some alcoholics who used french toast dipped in warm bourbon, but I digress. Currently, we use baby wipes bought from Costco. As for a baby wipe warmer, we have one but have never used it because there wasn't a convenient power outlet and I was too lazy to get an extension cord. I can't say whether or not a warmer would make a difference, but our kids don't seem to be awaken any more or less...because THEY'RE CRYING ALREADY.

The two differences between wiping a baby boy and a girl is the vagina and the penis and balls. Oh wait...that would make it three differences...or is it four? Anyhoo, a girl tends to have a lot more folds and crevices to clean. Also, I never knew you had to wipe from front to back on a girl; you don't want to do it the other way cause you could get butt stuff dirtying up the vah-jay-jay. With the boy, you just want to make sure when you take the diaper off you have a small wash cloth or another diaper nearby just in case he decides to water gun you down.

Disposing of the dirty diapers gives you several choices. I believe the two main diaper trash cans are the Diaper Genie and the Diaper Champ. The Diaper Genie uses a special trash bag cartridge that eventually makes your diaper waste look like a chain of sausages. The Diaper Champ uses any type of garbage bag to toss your diapers away. We have the Diaper Champ because we didn't want to pay the premium of buying special trash bag cartridges. I do hear that the Diaper Genie does a better job at keeping the smell away, but the only time the Diaper Champ smells is when you open it up to tie up the trash bag. What we've done is tossed a couple of Bounce fabric softener at the bottom of the Diaper Champ to soften the nasal blow.

All in all, diapers aren't a pleasant part of parenthood, but you get used to it. I suppose this simple annoyance helps prepare you for future issues like drug use and STDs.

Oh...how I miss diapers already.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Day 57 - Poll Results and New Poll

Last week's poll regarding how many diapers we went through in one week was a tie between 112 and 134 soiled, wet diapers. The correct answer is...dung roll please (phbbbbbbbbbbbt): 134!

On average, we have been going through 8-10 diapers per kid per day. In related news, we have been going through 1-2 poop-projectile stained shirts per parent per week.

For this week's poll we would like you to help us decide what holiday movie to see this season. Before the kids came, Lisa and I would literally see one movie a week. Since the kids arrived, we're lucky if we can get through Fritz Coleman's weather forecast without interruption.

So here are five choices! Choose wisely...



































































CHARLIE WILSON'S WAR

Friday, November 16, 2007

Day 56 - That Looks Familiar

It has become a regular routine to cater our fussy little George Costanza by carrying and swaying her from room to room. When she begins to calm down and gives us the look of "serenity now", we make our way to the crib ready to drop and release.

Today as I was standing next to the crib, our little Costanza stared at the ceiling right beyond my shoulder. She was very calm and began to make little fish lips by puckering. It was quite cute -- even by Jason Alexander standards.

Curious to see what she was staring at, I turned my head and saw our ceiling light which looks like this:


Sadly, I too began to pucker my lips reminiscing the days before the twins.

I have a couple of posts and pictures almost ready to post this weekend, but let me leave you with a Grandma Ichikawa story.

My mom has very sensitive skin and is allergic to a lot of different types of detergents and lotions. When she comes to stay with us, she needs to use specific brands of soaps and cleaning liquids around the place. And bizarrely enough, her excessive use of bleaches and clorox over the years has caused her fingerprints to disappear.

Grandma Ichikawa reminded Lisa of her condition by telling her, "My eczema is very bad on my hands. So bad that I no have fingerprints on my fingers. So you know what that means? I could kill you and nobody would ever find out." And she punctuates this last sentence with a lame karate chop in the air.

All I will add to the defense of my mom is that Lisa's mom packs heat and sleeps with a machete she calls Mr. Sexy.

Tuesday, November 13, 2007

Day 53 - Photo Mania

Here are some pictures from the past week:

"Ready to hit the town. Dress, check. Purse, check. What else am I missing? Oh yes..."


"Come to mama, sweet nectar of life."


"Shuuudup! i dient drink tooo much. look at meee...mini madonna (hic!)."


"Interesting. The title suggests the wine press oppression of the Dust Bowl begets wrath, but also the deliverance of the working class through their cooperation. Oh, and I also pooped my pants."


"You smile and talk to me as if I can understand you, silly woman."


"This is definitely a male giraffe."


"How about a little Andrew lovin'?"


SLAP!


"My cheeks are not to be used as airbags."

Monday, November 12, 2007

Day 52 - Family Business

The past weekend was a revolving door of family. Last Friday (which marked Week 7 for the kids), Susan (Lisa's sister) and Jamie (Susan's daughter) flew down from Santa Clara to visit us and Mama Ichinaga. On Saturday, Susan's son, Kevin, drove from Ridgecrest with his fiancee, Shelvey, to visit us and Susan and Jamie and Mama Ichinaga. And on Sunday, Susan, Jamie, and Mama Ichinaga flew back to Santa Clara while Mama & Papa Ichikawa flew down to stay with us for the next few weeks. And what does this mean for you? A handful of family stories!!!

STORY ONE
Since Susan always does so much for us (You hear that Auntie Anne? A bagful of pretzels ain't gonna cut it.), Lisa and I decided we would like to treat everyone out for breakfast. For you non-Asians out there, paying the restaurant bill is a very physical and mental act. I have had many a meals in which my aunts and uncles connived, tackled and in one instance maimed for the tab. With that in mind, after we ordered our breakfast it was Susan, Lisa, and myself in front of the cashier. Susan reached for her purse; I reached for my purse. Before the cashier could tell us the total, I pulled out my credit card. Susan pushed me aside and pulled out her credit card. I told Susan we wanted to pay, but she ignored me and took my Visa. I tried to get it back, but Susan's vice like grip surprised me. I then searched my purse for another credit card; I found a Mastercard behind my Forever 21 Frequent Buyer card. But Susan shoved me aside and told the cashier, "They're on a fixed income! They're on a fixed income!" Not too sure what to say after that, I regressed to my standard comeback: I no speaka Engrish.

STORY TWO
As I was driving Lisa's family to the airport, Jamie asked if we could swing by Coffee Bean for drinks. I said sure. Then a few seconds later, Mama Ichinaga quietly says, "Why do you want to get coffee beans for? Are you going to get them ground?"

STORY THREE
Yesterday, Lisa decided to experiment and see how the kids would react to only breast feeding and no formula. Unfortunately, yesterday was also the first day my mom returned. Seeing the kids were a bit fussy, she kept on pleading to Lisa in her passive-aggressive way to feed the kids some formula. She did not do this only once, but did it again and again and again...

3:40pm -- "You so fussy because mommy don't want to feed you!"
4:55pm -- "Look how sad you are. I would give you bottle but mommy says no."
5:35pm -- "Please don't cry because you are starving."
6:15pm -- "Emma seem so much lighter because you are not feeding her."
7:48pm -- "I can't say anything else or else mommy may bitchslap me again."

STORY FOUR
Sometimes there are times when I clearly realize I get my odd sense of humor from my mom. Emma has been going through this phase for the past week or so where she needs to be held or cradled in order to calm down or sleep. Today, Lisa witnessed my mom taking care of Emma saying things that...well...I would say.

Grandma Ichikawa would hold Emma and say, "Hi Emmmmah. Hi Emmmah. I'mgoingtodropyou! Juuuuust jokey!"

Or my mom would put Emma down in her crib to see whether or not she would fall asleep. Inevitably, Emma would start to cry. And thus began a fake out game between Grandma and Emma. My mom would say, "Okokok. Let me pick you up." She would proceed to grab Emma's arms, but would then drop them and say, "I no pick you up!" This would go on several times until my mom grew tired of this joke. She then went into her bedroom and did this same joke to my sleeping dad.

Tomorrow I'll post some pictures! I promise...

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Day 47 - Poll Results, New Poll, and Pictures!


"Moops!" "Serenity now!" "Hi, I'm Emma. I'm unemployed and live with my parents."

That's right. 62% of you selected George Costanza as the fictional person whom Emma most resembles. I don't know which one of you thought she looked like The Swedish Chef, but what's wrong with you?

This week's poll simply asks how many diapers did we go through last week? How many soiled diapers...how many wet, soiled diapers...how many leaky, wet, soiled diapers. Need I go on before I hang myself with a sausage-like tied strand of Diaper Genie waste?

Hopefully by this weekend I'll post the entry about breast feeding. I love talking about boobies (since I can't touch them anymore)! Also if any of you have any questions about twins or just being new parents, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me (sichikawa@gmail.com). What was just a little blog for our family has just reached over 3000 hits! If I can just get one more hit than the day before...Let's do it for Jerry's Kids! Hey-ho!!!

And now some pictures...

"If you take one more picture, I'll hit you so hard you'll wish you were in labor again."


"Princess! Not Princes!"


"Why won't these damn things open?"


"...not comfortable, Andrew..."


"NOT F*^@ING COMFORTABLE, ANDREW!"