…is “Optimizing” Our Must-Dos

…Like buying diapers.

Last night I was able to attend a networking event.  I met a dad who, the minute he found out I was a dad, immediately said, “You use Amazon Prime, don’t you?”

Amazon Family Discount
Disclaimer: We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites. (As evidenced so clearly above)

I laughed and said, “of course!  Who has time to make diaper runs after a ten-hour work day?”

As funny as it was having that conversation last night, more amusing was the timing of coming home today to my sister telling me “We’re going to be out of formula tomorrow.”

Then my wife came home and announced “we’re all out of eggs, tuna, and dried parsley.”

Because dried parsley is super high on dad’s priority list at the moment.

All of these needs, combined with our need to cook dinner, do a two-hour bedtime routine, and possibly see each other and catch up about work (my wife went back this week, she’s amazing).

All I could think to myself was

Darth Vader Dad
…way am I running to the store in LA traffic after working all day!”

Thankfully, living in a major metropolitan city means I can jump on Amazon Prime and get free Next Day Delivery on our Gerber Good Start Gentle without breaking a sweat (or honking my car horn).

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Stop blogging & get us clean diapers!

And yes, this blog may seem crafted to highlight those advantages for me, having made all of 61 cents from sharing this news.  I hope you dads out there see this as an actual integral part of our lives – how to optimize our time & our money best for our families.

Tonight, in an effort to save and optimize our time even more, I spent five minutes exploring Amazon‘s Subscription features.  Subscribing to bunny litter & food, diapers, formula, and a ream of paper every month saved me an additional 20% on those purchases.

los angeles dad drivers
Yeah, this makes Amazon Prime totally worth $100 a year

Remember, this is on top of the gas, parking (it is Los Angeles after all), and most importantly time spent dashing after these things when we notice we are running low.

So take advantage of my 30-Day Amazon Prime Free Trial if you need, or just sign right up for yourself.  Whether I get your click or not, you’ll be grateful for how it makes you look to your wife and kids:

Best Item on Amazon

…is Putting the Kids Down For Bed

5 1/2 months old: Is it normal to feel like you spent “all night” just putting them down for bed, one getting startled just when the other is finally asleep, starting all over again, trying every binky, song, rocker, stuffed animal, multiple burps, finally letting the one who wants to be a Roly-Poly do so on your bed with five different pillows until he gets snuggled just right – 3/4 on his tummy with his legs splayed different directions (supervised the whole time of course), only to sneak out of the room & realize it was really only an hour and half and you suddenly feel victorious?

Cover Photo of a much more peaceful nap time this weekend for good measure.

Who has a similar story of a night they’ll never forget?

…is Admitting You Need Each Other

You may have noticed I haven’t posted in awhile.  Or it never crossed your mind, since bloggers slip in and out of the blogosphere constantly, losing steam, getting derailed, or simply running out of things to say.

Well that’s not me.

I’ve got a backlog of products I want to share from our past month, baby and parent tools which have helped ease (somewhat) the transition from 4th Trimester into full infanthood.

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Studies Show Babies (& Dads) Need 12 Hours of Sleep a Day

Right around the time of this transition, our live-in help (my wonderful sister) decided to take a three-week vacation.  While vacation timing is never great, this probably worked best considering my wife returns to work soon and the chance at a vacation then will entirely evaporate.

So for three weeks starting the last week of May, we were entirely on our own at home with two twins we were suddenly going to attempt to sleep train.

A few days into this period, fellow dad-blogger Doyin Richards reached out and asked me if I wanted to take part in a shoot for Today: Parents.  Like any responsible, caring father, my immediate reaction was SIGN ME UP!

Our shoot was timed so the video could release the week of Father’s Day, and our shoot went incredibly well with some other amazing dads.

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Recognize the leaders of our L.A. Dad’s Group?

The premise of the video is a great one, and one that many other dads have had negative experiences around.  Simply put, don’t call a Dad “the babysitter” for taking care of his own kids!

And my line made sense – I was the only dad of twins on set, so naturally I would say “Thanks, but I can handle them all by myself” while both boys are on the ground needing a diaper change.

I’m a dad.  I got this.  Rise to the challenge!

Heck, I actually have done that with them both before, in an alley behind a restaurant so my wife could enjoy her food when we had a “Double-Double” so to speak.

And while it works wonderfully in context of the video, as an individual I still feel a responsibility to my wife to clarify.

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Yeah, I got this!  …for one, three-hour stretch, while they nap…

While I can handle them for a time by myself, both of them, including feeding time… OH MY GOD I NEED YOU AND CAN’T DO THIS ON MY OWN!

I think it is backwards that we praise dads for being around and present for their kids.  I know I was blessed to have a dad who raised me, not “babysat” me.  I’m proud to have been a part of this video and even reading the Facebook comments, many others agree or wish that they didn’t feel this way when a father in their life engages briefly.

Still, after three weeks without help, and even the two weeks since, I have no clue how I would survive if my wife weren’t the amazing Wonder Mom she has been to our lovely and ornery boys!

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Click the Picture to Watch the Video

Are you a dad who’s “got this”?  What is your best advice?  Leave a comment below or tweet us @beingagrownman

…is dealing with regrets

Dads, do you remember the first day you went the entire day without speaking to one of your kids?

I just got home from work, walked the dog, settled down, looked for my son, …and Archer had just fallen asleep.  

I guess that means I need to give Logan twice the attention tonight!

…is Taking Gums to the Thumbs

Who knew GUMS could inflict such pain???

(Most moms, I am sure)

Last night, Logan was NOT eating, and yet was crying whining fussing like nobody’s business.  With his new grabbiness, he reached out, took me by the thumb, and JAMMED my appendage into his mouth.

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“Hey, now that we are sleeping all night, let’s cause some new trouble!”

And wow that kid is a crocodile!

It took less than a minute before the combination of gum-strength and saliva had worn down the area around my nails into a horrendous dry-thumb/hangnail combo.

My first thought was “do babies even start teething at four months?”

Second thought: WOW how has my wife been tolerating this for the past 4 months?  #WonderWoman

wonderwoman2.0
My Wife also Managed to Win the Box Office this Weekend

As I endured the chaffing, I couldn’t help but think about my boys as well.  They’ve been sucking on their hands for the past week; are they in need of some cocoa butter?

Thankfully we did have two teethers already, from meeting the fine folks at Benir Baby at the last baby show we attended.  The problem is logistics.

Apparently you aren’t supposed to “freeze” teethers anymore (this is why you never take safety advice from my opinion blog fyi).

Even a great teether like Benir, well cooled in the fridge, tends to warm up within a few minutes of being the single focal point of baby’s energies.

Hence, my wife‘s text today:

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Yesterday Can’t Come Fast Enough! Get your Amazon Prime Free Trial*

The logic of “we have a teether for each baby” just doesn’t hold up, even when using water-filled cooling teethers.

Also, our particular choice of teether led us to find that for their current age the… Dragonfly?… isn’t functional because they can’t quite grasp that one as easily as the rounded Lady Bug.

vs.

(In a fight tho, my money is on Mothra)

Thankfully Benir makes a three-pack, and of the plump, round varieties.  With a FEW of these three-packs, plus the expedient joys of Amazon Prime in a major metropolitan area, we should be set.

By tomorrow.

What was something you needed “yesterday” at a certain point in your child’s development?  Help us be prepared, leave a comment or shoot us a tweet.

//rcm-na.amazon-adsystem.com/e/cm?o=1&p=12&l=ur1&category=primemain&banner=1MDTME9E9G651CJTDA82&f=ifr&lc=pf4&linkID=adb64c5466acadac197d9bcfa4f08265&t=prayn4food-20&tracking_id=prayn4food-20

*We are a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for us to earn fees by linking to Amazon.com and affiliated sites.

…is Tolerating Change

…in the Bedroom!

No, this blog post is not a fortune cookie.


Nor is it the tell-all my 17 readers have been hoping for about what happens behind closed doors.

Rather, it is the story of why I haven’t blogged for a week.

Last Friday we decided it was finally time to move the children out of the living room and into our bedroom.

Pros: we can both go to bed at the same time.

Cons: we both get woken up at the same time.  Every time.

Some nights have been better than others; Night Three went off without a hitch!

Then there was last night.

Don’t get cocky…

 

Every two hours was one of them (never both at once) enlisting us with a new set of demands, which required a range of interpretation on our part because all we heard was “WrRaRAAArAAA!!!”


The transition was multiplied by the fact that suddenly, “because they are rolling”, we are no longer allowed* to swaddle them. Wife’s rules.

*I don’t purport to be a safety expert, so please don’t take my opinions as evidence of what you should or should not do with your child.

Thankfully, we are allowed the Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit, arguably the greatest named child’s outfit ever.

 

Instant Sleep – It’s Magic!

Unfortunately, we only have ONE Baby Merlin’s Magic Sleepsuit.

#TwinProblems

Adapting to this change was difficult at first.  I had actually gotten used to our system: my wife going to bed early, my staying up late to feed, and then her relieving me around 1 AM.

I felt some guilt the first night as my wife bore the brunt of their furtive sleep, since she was on the side nearest the crib.

The best thing about our relationship is that we don’t hold on to moments like that as currency.  The next day, rather than use her sacrifice against me, my carried on as usual with what needed to be done.

We are Partners, Not Competitors

Which, in turn, made me step up my game even more in order to honor her duty.

Honoring her, we got thru the next day, the next night, every night since, & guess what?  We’ll get thru tonight too.

The funny thing about change is, we adapt or die.  I chose the former.

A week later, it hardly feels like change at all, just the new normal.

Now we just need to figure out what to do about the dog…

This couch is too big for just me!

What were some of the toughest adjustments you had to make to your routine as your kids developed?

…Is Reviewing Diaper Dude Male Diaper Bags!

This review is of the Diaper Dude Grey Courier Messenger III.  This bag was given to our blog by the company for the purposes of doing a review.

…& thank god it was!

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Last Thing on His Mind: “Are My Parents’ Hands Full?”

It was our first day leaving the hospital with the twins after 12 days in the NICU.  We pulled up to the house and began to unload, each of us picking up one of the car seats & myself grabbing our then-diaper bag by Happ.

 

That was when I knew we were in trouble.

We had purchased this particular diaper bag at my wife’s urging back in November.  She loved it for style and comfort, and still does to this day.

When I am “being the man” and carrying up the diaper bag as well as a baby, it just isn’t functional.  The short strap, perfect for my wife, slides right off my shoulder, down to my wrist where it swings and slaps the car seat while I walk.

We stayed in over the next few weeks.

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I also have a lightweight Messenger I for when we need less burp cloths

Fortunately I met The Diaper Dude at a Big City Mom’s Event in March, & I stopped to ask him about his unique brand for dads.

My Dad Days changed forever.

 

After we connected and he heard about my twins & diaper bag ordeal, The DD (we’re on a nickname basis now) graciously offered me a bag complimentary.

 

The next week when we took our first road trip, I saw the difference simply walking down to the car.

Maybe it’s a guy thing, maybe it’s a me thing – I cannot find ANYTHING in a woman’s bag!

I remember my mother’s diaper bags for my younger siblings always seeming crowded and stuffed.  My wife can blindly distinguish chapstick from lipstick in her purse; I can’t find either, even using my iPhone flashlight.

This bag, for some reason, is oriented to my head and, as simple as it is, everything has its own spot.

IMG_7008
– Baby, check!

The initial hook is of course the Checklist on the inside flap.

Beyond that, could it be that different from a traditional diaper bag?

Insulated pockets on the side hold formula at temp (we use one side for our quick access tube items – sunscreen, sanitizer, lip balm, butt paste).

Three external flaps are perfect for diapers & travel wipes.

Inside, there is a large stuffable compartment; there are also three sub-pockets that are great for keeping accessories readily accessible (phone charger anyone?).

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No Shame in Stuffing Your Bag with Baby Show Freebies! #GoGurt

It’s 2017, so of course there is also an additional flap for your iPad.  This helps the Diaper Dude Messenger convert to a convenient messenger bag for events even without baby!

If there is one gripe I have, it is that the zippers can come undone on their own sometimes.  It has happened to me with main compartment zipper AND the smaller zippers around the various flaps.

On the other hand, when I had my first Public Restroom Changing Table experience, being able to easily rip the bag open with my one free hand came in “handy.”

Since getting this bag, I’ve noticed other dads struggling with their traditional (or even fashionable) diaper bags.  Every single time, I male-model my Diaper Dude Messenger & they all echo my sentiments about what a simple notion it is to design a functional bag for dads.

Finally, it must be noted that Diaper Dude is under the True Dude Movement, and 5% of all sales go to support Futures Without Violence, a charitable organization focused on coaching boys into men.

Their Coaching Boys Into Men (CBIM) program provides high school athletic coaches with the resources they need to promote respectful behavior among their players and help prevent relationship abuse, harassment, and sexual assault.

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Hoping our Boys can Grow into Men who Respect Others

That sounds like #beingagrownman to me, and the perfect bonus for dads who need a functional bag anyway.

Get your Diaper Dude bags & more thru the True Dude website.

What dad-accessory did you never expect to need & now can’t imagine living without?  Leave a comment below or reply on Twitter