Monday, November 24, 2003

November 24, 2003: Oh Lilah

(Part one of a two part series on Collin and Lilah)

As most readers know, our daughter, despite having very small fingers, has many adults wrapped tightly around them. Here is her biography.

Lilah Paige Claycomb has a story behind her name. Were she one of two girls, her name would have been Lilah Grace or Paige Emily. She got the best of both of those names: Lilah is from a song that her parents love:

"Oh Lilah, to sleep like a baby--
To open the window and feel the fair wind
Oh Lilah to sleep like a baby again."

We heard that song together at a Don Henley concert (It is not one of his hits, but it was one of Ann's favorite songs). After the concert I said, "We could name a baby 'Lilah.'" It stuck.

Paige, while it is not musical, does honor the first source of our daughter's parents' love and respect for one another. We once considered the name Schuyler Paige ("Schuyler" being Dutch for "Scholar")--thus tagging our child with our professions as scholars of the page. We thought that might be going too far, but wishing our daughter to be a reader was something we felt comfortable with. "Paige" therefore honors our love of knowledge, of books, of reading, and the mutual love for those things that brought Ann and I together.

We were going to call her "Paige:" publicized it and everything, months before the birth. Suddenly though, we had a baby girl who looked more like a Lilah than a Paige. Who knew?

Here's what we know about Lilah: She has her mother's skin tone, which means even though she has lots of pink, she looks best in purple, and also dark green. She is chagrined abouth the dearth of dark green baby clothes. She looks rather poor in red.

Her eyes are blue for now. She has an "angel kiss" over her right eyelid, but this should be fading soon. In some photos, whe looks remarkably like baby pictures of her Mom-Mom Claycomb. Perhaps a side-by-side comparison soon will illustrate.

She is bigger than her brother and has stronger lungs, which makes her seem angry when sometimes she is just exercising. She has a strong sucking reflex, which means that sometimes, the only thing that calms her down is her Daddy's pinky finger.

She has a remarkable habit of generating powerful grunts for no apparent reason. Over the baby monitor, it is difficult to distinguish them from adult grunts. I sometimes expect to go back to the bedroom to find the furniture rearranged. She is sometimes known as our little rhino for this feature. She is also our our angel, angel baby, stinky angel baby, or angel biscuit, depending on the mood and diaper status.

Her eyesight is developing remarkably, and she tracks faces well--especially those wearing glasses, which makes all of her grandparents happy. She also likes to stare in wonder at bright shiny objects like the origami mobile crafted for her by Gramps.

When she sleeps, she makes my chest feel too full; her loveliness is overwhelming. When she cries, her voice is loud, strong and clear. May it always be so. We are so glad to have her with us.

Friday, November 14, 2003

November 14, 2003: Week 2

Collin and Lilah (yes, Lilah seems to be sticking, although "Paige" still pops up occasionally) turned 2 weeks old yesterday, and with it has come even more remarkable health. They have both exceeded their birth weight which is the two week target, and both are looking more adorable all the time. And as one who adores them, I should know.

Their last week has been a busy one, particularly Saturday.

The day started off with Collin and Lilah saying a "See you soon" to Collin's Godfather, Brian. Brian embarked on a return trip to Seattle, the city he will now (again) call home. We will miss him, but the kids both say they are looking forward to checking out what the West Coast is all about.

We also had another out-of-town visitor all week: Ann's friend Katy from Wellesley.

Katy has already been through the first weeks of parenthood with her two little ones Jack, 6, and Sam, 3. Jack sent along a note to our little ones, as well. I shall quote it in its entirety:

"Welcom Page and Collin I hope you have a grate time groing up. From Jack."

On the back is a picture of celebratory fireworks. Did I mention that Jack just started Kindergarten? Boy genius, surely.

That evening, we had a Wellesley reunion of another sort since Grandma Mirene (Wellesley '55) came over for a photo with class of '93 and class of 2025 grads.

Our friend Greg came over, too, but his picture was blurry.

In the meantime we've been experimenting with clothing. Since Ann wears blue all the time, and I happen to look smashing in my pink oxford (humility is another of my strong suits), and since there's a lot of laundry to do, we've had them in matching colors, (like in the duck suits below), or both in blue. Collin happens to look fantastic swaddled up in a nice lavendar blanket we have, but looks pretty much like a seasick elf in pastel green.

We have further helped out cats, Molly and Ziggy get to know the new residents. While Ziggy has retained his attitude of haughty disdain, Molly has moved from sheer terror, to curiosity followed by sheer terror, to occasional acceptance of quiet babies. Cryin babies still make her dash around like mad, prompting a purchase of new lampshades to replace the one she broke yesterday.

There will be more pictures forthcoming of other visitors, including a "drop-by" from Mom-Mom and Pappy, but they haven't yet been downloaded from the camera.

And finally, a rumination on disposable body parts. Lilah's umbilical cord came off this weekend, and Collin's is just about to drop. Back when my cousin Carla and her husband Ben (for whose children Ann and I serve as guideparents) had a toddler and an infant, Carla remarked to me that the most important and difficult job of a parent is to prepare our children for the day when they won't need us. Our little'uns are only two weeks old, and here is that first reminder. Yes, they need us for food, clothes, warmth and lots of love, but two weeks ago, they needed us (Ann, more appropriately) for Oxygen. Now they can breathe all on their own, and they're reminding us already: "Mom and Dad, I'm not so little anymore. I can breathe by myself thank you very much."

No Collin and Lilah, you aren't so little anymore, but I'll be darned if I'll still want to help you breathe long after you've learned. And besides, who cleaned off those stumps with alcohol swabs. Doesn't that count for anything? A phone call would be so hard??? Sorry. I digress.

Posted by claycomb at November 14, 2003 8:05 PM


Ann you look terrific! These pictures are so wonderful. Ryan, I can tell you are not the least bit emotional......cough cough!
Please keep it all coming at least until Uncle
David and I can get there. tee hee.
This is the best/the twins are the greatest/and you two are not so shabby either!
Love to All!

Posted by: Aunt Betsy at December 3, 2003 9:52 AM

Wednesday, November 5, 2003

November 5, 2003: The First Seven Days

We here are more concerned about the babies than about the presidency, so instead of giving the "first Hundred days" update, we'll give you the first week update.

On names: While Collin is going to be called, well, Collin, we are still waffling on Lilah Paige's shorter nomenclature. See, while we both love the name Paige, and it represents the love of books that first brought Ann and I together, Lilah just seems to be fitting better. So yes, we ytold everyone that she'd be called "Paige,' but now we're not so sure. We're trying out both names and the little one will make her decision soon. For the purposes of this post, though, I shall call her Lilah.

On Pediatricians: We've found a practice in Greenbelt that we're quite happy with. When the kids met Dr. Glaser on Monday, he was a little, though not very, concerned that their weights had dropped 13 ounces each since birth. While a little weight loss is fine, more than a pound would be bad, and 13 ounces is getting close. He said we'd keep an eye on it. He also wanted to keep an eye on Lilah's bilirubin levels, since she's a little jaundiced. The return visit on Tuesday was Lilah and Daddy's first trip out just the two of them.

Today's visit yeilded much better results. Not only is Lilah's jaundice going away, each twin has gained seven ounces of their weight back since Monday. Dr. Berkowitz gave them a big thumbs up. They go back for their crucial two-week check-up next Thursday.

On schedules: Well, babies don't really do schedules, so our earlier effort to have them nursing simultaneously on a three-hour schedule has been thwarted by a growth spurt and by small tummies. Ann's sleep has been sporadic the last few days, and mine has only been a bit better (while she has to nurse them through the night, I have to actually get out of bed to change most every diaper or crib sheet or onesy that needs changing.)

On visitors: We've seen many of you over the last few days, and your concern has been not only heartwarming, but also helpful, since Erin Sadlack's baked ziti got us through more than one meal, for example. There will be a lot of visitors to our place this weekend and next, but if you'd like to stop on by, especially if you have weekdays free, just give us a ring.

On cute babies: Ok. You've wading through the text for the pitures, so I will herewith indulge.

So: our first family portrait, taken in the OR:

On the way to the nursery:

Their first night with Mommy:

Lilah relaxing:

Three generations of Claycomb Men

and finally, a portrait taken by Ann:

More pictures on the way, but for now, someone needs a diaper change.

Posted by claycomb at November 6, 2003 12:02 PM

These are all so wonderful! Uncle David and I
are very happy and so very proud. Keep the notes and pictures coming! We love all of you!!!

Posted by: Aunt Betsy at November 10, 2003 12:08 PM

Thanks for the updates! But what's the deal with the odd photo of the twins and a beheaded Ann? Hope to see you soon :)

Posted by: natalie at November 12, 2003 12:03 PM

November 5, 2003: The Grandparents

Over the weekend, Collin and Lilah Paige got to meet their grandparents. Here are a few pictures of those first moments.

Grandma Mirene:

Mom-Mom and Pappy Claycomb:

and Gramps:

November 5, 2003: The Godparents

Collin Francis and Lilah Paige are very fortunate to have four fantastic godparents: his will be Paula Pagano and Brian Eskridge, and hers will be her Uncle Paul and her Aunt Kelly (since he gets the family name, she gets the family godparents).

Here is a picture of Lilah Paige with a rose from her Fairy Godmother, Aunt Kelly:

And here is one of Collin with a rose from his Fairy Godmother, Paula:

November 5, 2003: Birth Announcement

I am thrilled to announce that the famous Claycomb twins are here for an indefinite performance at Chez Claycomb, after a nine-month tour of the womb circuit.

Collin Francis Claycomb was born at 10:57am on 10/30, 2003. He was 18 3/4 inches, 5 pounds 12 ounces. He has his mommy's nose and very cute little chin, and apparently he wrinkles his forehead up, just like his Daddy did when he was first born, according to sources who wished only to be known as "Mom-Mom" and "Pappy."

Lilah Paige Claycomb followed a minute after at 10:58, but fearing she'd be stuck with the "little sister" moniker for the rest of her life, came out with a whopping 13 ounces on her brother, weighing in at 6 pounds 9 ounces, 19 1/2 inches. After careful consideration, she has decided that her name shall be, for the time being, "Paige." She will consider "Lilah" down the line, but she believes "Paige" better matches her adorable dark hair.

Ann is doing great, and coming home tomorrow. Nurses say her recovery is going remarkably well. She is pleased about the success of her "birth weight loss plan" (TM), although she does admit to some side effects, including the eighteen year, $100K cost of such a diet.

I am, of course, and emotional ball of nerves, but that's to be expected.

And without further adieu . . . the photos:


Fantastic!!!!!!!! Keep the pics coming. Can't wait to give them a hug.

Posted by: Betty Lou at November 6, 2003 9:32 AM

It's like looking in a window! Thanks for all of the online pictures. The babies are beautiful!!!

Lots of love,
Kim and Curtis

Posted by: Kim and Curtis at November 6, 2003 12:41 PM

Congratulations!! Glad they're healthy and doing well. Can't wait to meet them. Love and hugs.
Stu 'sTc' Goldman

Posted by: Stu Goldman at November 6, 2003 11:11 PM

cute pics. i was wondering if they are related to me somehow? please email me back if /'s or whatever.

Posted by: Jennifer Claycomb at April 9, 2004 5:56 PM

found your web site a had to take a peek.
congragts on your twins...and love the last name!

todd claycomb

Posted by: todd claycomb at November 18, 2004 2:16 PM