Friday, May 25, 2007

This week in pokerpeaker, my column and the mandatory "aww how cute" shot

Highlights of the week:
* Listening to Allie load her shorts a third time while being burped after consuming the adult caloric equivalent of four Burger King Whoppers, three Chicken McWhoppers and a truckload of fries.
* Having AA cracked with all the money in prelop by 10,7 when he caught his second 7 on the river. I am SO tired of getting in with the best of it and getting punished for it this month. At least my QQ is a healthy pair.
* Working the 3 a.m. feedings and realizing I only have 90 to go (ideally).
* Staring with longing at "Borat" as it arrived by Netflix yesterday and realizing I have no idea when I'll get to it.
* Running well and actually feeling great four days before the Bolder/Boulder, a 10K with 40,000 and probably my biggest race of the year.
* Knowing that grandma, my mother, is on her way for a month of extra hands. Who-hoo!
* Buying the new Megadeth and Ozzy albums and approving of them.
* Knowing also that it doesn't matter what I write here, people are only here to see the cute-as-buttons photo.
It's cool. They ARE pretty damn cute.

Here's the photos of the week:

Jayden. He came home from a playdate today and said, "Babies, babies, babies." He brought his footstool over to the bassinate and peered into it. There have been a couple more meltdowns than normal, but he also seems to be enjoying his big brother status.

The girls cuddling. Andie always has to snuggle next to her sister. Allie is the one with her eyes open. They seemed to really look around yesterday. It was as if they could really see for the first time:

As you might expect, I wrote a column for the Greeley Tribune a few hours after the girls were home. I've posted these in the past, so here it goes:

By Dan England
Tribune staff writer

People ask me what it takes to climb a mountain. It's a question with many answers, and most of them aren't in your control.

It takes a clear day free of thunderstorms. It takes a little sleep (but not a lot). It usually takes partners willing to suffer alongside you.

Most of all, though, for me, it took four words.

I Will Not Fail.

I Will Not Fail, repeated sometimes as often as my heart pounding through my fleece shirt, got me through many of the miseries mountains throw at you when you're attempting to reach their tops.

I Will Not Fail got me through wind that knocked me down like a playground bully, altitude sickness so bad that I puked on many trips even before I started and a deep layer of exhaustion that coated me like caramel on an apple.

It even got me through my worst day, when I got caught in a rock avalanche in Rocky Mountain National Park and spent 16 hours walking back to the car with Dad after the boulders pounded me into a bloody mess.

Now I face a new challenge.

I wonder what I can do to find the strength to bring twin girls into a safe, happy and healthy home.

Allie and Andie England were born Thursday, and I'm a proud, exhausted and happy father.

I'm also a little terrified.

Parenthood, to do it right, is a tough task, filled with endless squalls and bottles and diapers, all of it on much less sleep than you want or even need.

It is, in many ways I've found, like mountain climbing, in the sense that you've got a completely intimidating and daunting task in front of you, and you don't have much sleep in you to help you do it.

Those who have been there before, as we have with Jayden, who will turn 2 at the end of June, know what's ahead. In this case, with twins awaiting our care, along with a demanding toddler, ignorance may indeed have been bliss.

But every year I train for the mountains, and I've found that the running and lifting and preparing the gear gets me ready mentally as well as physically. It prepares you for the tough task ahead. It prepares you to push out the pain and let in the joy.

Kate went into labor twice, once at 32 weeks, before finally having what I now call my two little wonders of the world. And I believe that those incidents, along with painting the nursery pink, getting armfuls of pink clothes and staining our new wooden fence (not pink, thank God) may have helped prepare me.

I'm terrified. But I'm also at peace. Kind of.

The next time I see them, which will be in just a few hours, the next morning after the first day of their lives, I'll stare down at the two little 6-pound bundles (dressed in pink, probably) and gather myself for their first serious talk from Daddy.

I'll be honest with them, first and foremost. I'll tell them that Daddy wasn't sure about you two at first. Daddy, to be honest, still isn't completely sure. Daddy, in fact, may be more scared than you.

Then I'll tell them that they, along with Jayden, will be the toughest climb I've ever faced.

Finally, though, I'll kiss their heads and whisper something in their ear.

"Hello, little ones," I'll say. "I'm glad you're healthy. I'm glad you're here. I love you."

And I Will Not Fail.


Kris said...

You're a great daddy! Jayden, Andie, and Allie are in good hands... I've realized that babies have to be cute- otherwise, why on earth would we subject ourselves to years without sleep, mountains of dirty diapers, and spit up stained clothes??? =)

Irongirl01 said...

Congrats Peak, Jayden and Mrs Peaker. Welcome home Allie and Andie!!

Have a great run in the Bolder Boulder. You've put in the miles now go for it... My flatout 10k PR is 45:06 Tufts 10k for women but I hit 43:30 while running my half marathon PR at the Vermont Maple Leaf.

Stacie said...

Kris is right - if these little critters weren't cute they'd be in a lot of trouble.

Also, your oh-so-adorable twins have more hair than mine do.

Also, Jayden is too cute himself.