Pediatrician

We met the boys pediatrician, Norman Gollub, in preparation for the birth. He seems like a super nice guy and hopefully he’s also a good doctor. You really never know, I mean, it’s not like there is Yelp for doctors (um, okay, so there is). The neat thing about him, for those of you St. Louis family members, is that he is the great nephew of Sam Gollub who apparently was the big pediatrician in the Jewish community there for many years. Let me know in the comments if you heard of him or saw him.

As If

We went for an ultrasound last week and they measured the babies to get an approximate weight. The estimate is that each baby is now around three pounds, so really Rachel is now carrying around 6 pounds worth of baby and another pound for the second placenta. That means that she’s carrying 7 pounds, or the equivalent of a full term baby. Of course she’s only 3/4 of the way through at 30 weeks, and has another 10 weeks and the babies doubling in weight to go. As you can imagine it’s getting really hard for her to get around, so she’s decided to work from home starting at the end of this month.

The Legacy of Grandpa Hornor

Gma and Gpa Hornor at our wedding in 2006
Gma and Gpa Hornor at our wedding in 2006

This past Friday night, around 10pm Pacific time, our beloved Grandpa Carl Edwin ‘Bud’ Hornor passed peacefully away, and joined his precious wife of 64 years, Katye, who passed away two years ago, on the other side.

It’s hard for me to know where to start in talking about what Gpa meant to me, to us.  More than just being the beloved patriarch of a grand family, he was an amazing man.  He married his teenage sweetheart, fought in two wars, helped raise 6 kids…  He was a lover of literature and music, of culture and history, of sports, and of his family.  As he and Gma got a little older and retired, they traveled the world, bird-watched in the mountains around Santa Cruz, and celebrated as their family grew to include more and more grandchildren and great-grandchildren.

But beyond their list of accomplishments, more important than the things Gma and Gpa did, is the long and beautiful list of things they represented, believed in, and passed on to all of us.  When my brother Tim and I went backpacking for a few days with Gpa in the Sierra Nevadas, we learned from him how to appreciate nature & wildlife, roughing it, cold baths in mountain lakes, and Spam.  When we listened to old Smothers Brothers albums with Gma and Gpa in the amazing home they built together in Bonny Doon, we learned about humor, both subtle and not so…  When Gma cooked, and how she cooked!, we ate and ate, and learned how to commune around the dinner table, how to cook for mobs, and how to throw together feasts from whatever was left over in the fridge.  When Gpa made each of us “inspiration” tapes full of amazing music from the classical greats, we were reminded to continue practicing our instruments and pursuing passionate performances of our own.  When Gpa popped fried octopus down his gullet with ease (usually chased with his beloved buttermilk), we were taught to eat with abandon, to try anything once. As Gma and Gpa aged so gracefully, loving each other and their enormous family, we learned to appreciate every opportunity we had to get together with them, with everyone, to laugh, play, sleep all together in often very close quarters, to never play boys v. girls in Trivial Pursuit, to tease each other mercilessly (what was up with those crazy singing boxer shorts, Steve?) and always with love – to be friends with our family, above all.  Every new addition to the family was always family – from the start, no questions asked, unconditionally.

Gma and Gpa taught us to live well, to work hard, to be our best, to accept and love everyone around us, to embrace every opportunity, and everyone, with passion and peace.  They taught us not by telling us – but by exemplifying that behavior in every day life.  They lived it, and now, it’s our turn.

We miss the heck out of both of them.  But the baton has been passed.  In honor of Gma and Gpa, we must choose to live fully and passionately, and pass these values on to our children.  I wish our yet-to-be-born twins could have known their great-grandparents personally.  But I have confidence that, even without meeting them, our kids will know them by the way we now choose to live and love.  That legacy will go on for many generations.

The Fighting Begins

Rachel and I went in for a second ultrasound this past week to see how the Aliens were doing at 13 weeks. The contrast in these pictures isn’t as good as the first set, but if you look really closely, squint, and cock your head you can see that instead of blobs, they are now formed humanoids with arms and legs (click the photos to get bigger versions). The other interesting thing was how much they were moving—which made it a lot easier to see their forms and even faces.

Baby A was squirming and jabbing and being an all-around bully, while Baby B looked to be trying to get out of the way as much as possible and retreated all the way to the right. I’m not sure who started it, but from what was happening when we stepped in to break it up, Baby A is now grounded.

 

Baby A is Upside Down
Baby A is upside down
Baby B is right side up and as far away from Baby A as possible
Baby B is right side up and as far away from Baby A as possible
Here they are together, although you can only see Baby A's head
Here they are together, although you can only see Baby A's head on the left

Green Valley Lake

This past weekend we went with our friends Ed and Jamie and their daughter Celia to their mountain house in Green Valley Lake (map). Celia’s friend Nicholas joined us as did Rachel’s brother Tim from LA. For the most part, we ate too much and sat around a lot—so you could say it was a perfect weekend. For photos, click here.