NJIB - April 2019


APR 2019 The Twins Turn 1! Michael and Michele Celebrate Their First Trip Around the Sun LifestyleLedger

W hen my wife, Lisa, and I went from being the parents of one child to two, the amount of work it took to raise those two kids didn’t double. Instead, it was exponential. Now that it’s been nearly a year since we’ve welcomed twins to our family, I can honestly say the amount of work it takes to raise these four rambunctious, beautiful kids is absolutely crazy. On April 23, 2018, Lisa and I welcomed Michael and Michele Russo to our growing family. Adding twins to our family of four was quite the shock for us, as we had struggled with infertility between our two eldest children, Lia Grace and Jack. Couple that with the fact that Michele and Michael are the first twins we know of in our families, and you can imagine how out of the blue this was for us. Since last spring, we’ve seen our daughter, Lia Grace, take on quite the little mommy role of the house. She’s always been helpful, but with the twins and Jack, she takes her role very seriously. And after a few lessons in how to be gentle with the twins, Jack is now very loveable and caring to his younger siblings. Our hearts melt when we hear him whisper, “I love you, Michael and Michele.” As for the twins themselves, both are progressing well. For a short period of time, they had to wear a cranial band on their head, but they have both since graduated from those and are thriving. At the time of writing this, we’re getting the precursors to them standing and moving around more, and we can only imagine how our lives will change when two toddlers begin roaming around our home. Of course, there’s also the friendly competition between my wife and me about whether “Mama” or “Dada” will be our children’s first words, and we’ve been hearing rumblings of both from the twins. Though I jokingly tell all my kids their first word was “Daddy.” But it’s completely worth it.

As a business owner, I usually spend most of my time at the office during the

day, but with NJIB’s transition to a new office and subsequent higher emphasis on overall health, I’ve been able to spend more time working from home. This

means I get to spend more time with the people who mean the most to me, and I’ve also been able to observe how unreal my wife is when it comes to our children. She is the definition of supermom. I’ve enjoyed watching this transformation in my family. As my siblings, cousins, and in-laws also welcome more babies into the family, I’m cherishing the moments I get to see my kids interact with their cousins. I grew up with cousins who were like siblings, so to see that happening with my own kids has been pretty amazing. As readers will remember from March’s cover, the Russo family likes to keep birthdays simple, and first birthdays are no different. When Lia Grace turned 1, we had a big bash with family and friends. But my wife and I noticed that we barely had any time to enjoy the day as a family of three. That’s when we decided to make each birthday a simple affair. This year, there will be a traditional first birthday cake smashing, but it will also be a day just for our family to celebrate our crazy, wonderful year. After all, the five of them are what keep me going.

Happy first birthday, Michael and Michele!

–Dr. Michael Russo

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