…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.

Photo Jun 04, 12 13 25 PM
“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:

Photo Jun 06, 10 38 24 AM
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 Dealing with the Cuts

Last week I posted about the precision required weekly to cut baby’s fingernails.

With much braggadocio I might add.

Suffice it to say, I learned this week not to count on my skills alone.

Logan is going as Scarface for Halloween

Be sure to check your babies’ nails frequently to make sure they are dull as well as trimmed. 

“Wait, I wanna play Scar Game too!”

I don’t know that either scar will last.  Still, nothing makes a parent’s heart leap like the thought that they made a negative lasting impact on their child.

The lesson I learned was to remain vigilant.  Don’t let one thing accomplished today mean that tomorrow you assume it’s still handled.

Also, shout-out to FridaBabye for the most wieldy & agile clippers for baby on the market!

What was your children’s first scar & how did they heal? 

…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!

IMG_5333
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.

IMG_5264
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?).

IMG_5996
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.

Photo May 20, 7 04 50 PM
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

…is Being a Surgeon General

We’ve previously discussed the remarkable naturals weapons human children grow quickly in their infancy.

Photo Feb 01, 10 37 05 PM
Logan: Aptly Named

Thankfully, with time, patience, and the steady hand of a head of surgery, there is a solution to this problem.

The question is, what parent has a readily available supply of time, patience, and steadiness?

IMG_7008
Not this guy, that’s for sure, he’s too busy showcasing 17 different brands at once #GoCubsGo

However, between the two of us (and the overwhelming amount of work my wife does for the boys), the task of “surgery” has fallen to me.

this-is-doctor-stephen-strange-one-of-the-best-neurosurgeons-in-the-world
My new Sunday Morning routine

Fathers: nothing you have done or encountered can properly prepare you for the task of cutting your infant children’s fingernails.

Photo May 21, 8 51 31 AM
Don’t let that innocent face fool you into complacency

For starters, there is a unique property to infant fingernail clippers – they are SHARP! Unlike the dull clunkers made for adults, each blade of infant clippers is fine enough to turn fingernails into the phyllo dough used to make baklava.

Contrast that with the infant’s fingernails – fine, paper-like white lines that blend in perfectly with their skin, despite being able to slice you like an envelope edge.

Add in the three cups of coffee required to even be cognizant at 8:15 AM after a night of bottle-fussiness, and you’ll WISH you’d spent 8 years in school preparing for this moment.

Now imagine having twins.

I can’t complain too much right now, because thankfully THIS morning Archer was content to lay in his boppy while I worked slowly and steadily around Logan’s fingernails.

Not too much later, Logan dozed off to sleep just in time for me to get to work on Archer.

Photo May 21, 10 15 22 AM
“The patient is prepped for surgery, Dr. Lovegren.”

Perhaps I am too cautious; there is nothing that ruins my day more than a hangnail.  Maybe babies don’t yet have the sensitivity in their fingertips for that to be a concern (who wants to fact-check and let me know?).

IMG_7591
She’s Earned a Slight Respite!

Still, until they are old enough to wield the Scissors of Doom themselves, this routine will be done with patience, meticulousness, and lots of internal stress for dad.

At least it is one less thing for my wife to have to do.

#DadWin

Do you have a task you always perform around the house or for the kids?  Let us know with a comment here or a reply on Twitter!

…is Letting Boys be Themselves

Today at work, I received the following text:

 

Now you can imagine the number that text did on my heart strings!  My baby boys, cognizant, noticing each other, acting like joyful old friends reunited at only 16 weeks old.

img_7664-1
Or “Peanut Butter & Peanut Butter”

As one of four boys, I can only hope my sons have the close bond I will always share with my brothers.

 

As twins, society (& us parents) can also carry an expectation that they WILL be close, best friends, identical.

The main thing I struggle with even as a new parent is finding the balance between wanting the best for my children, & wanting what my children want for themselves.

Will my boys be baseball fans?  If I try to make them baseball fans, will that turn them off?  What if they are… Cardinals fans?!?

And every class we took before our kids were born reiterated the point: treat each twin on their own terms, never assume they are close or even like each other!

So when I see a situation I have zero control over, such as their first reactions to noticing each other, the joy when it goes “my way” is immeasureable.

Now I just need to know how to handle it when they finally react the way I DON’T want in a situation.

“Alright, one cute vid & we can have them all fooled for life!”

…is Hitting the Gym Again

Since the twins were born, I’ve had one selfish complaint: why does my wife instantly get to drop twenty pounds of her pregnancy weight while my pregnancy weight remains?

The stupidity of this complaint is wrapped up in the cause itself.  My wife never demanded I eat like crap during her pregnancy. 

In fact, for the most part she ate relatively healthy while I let stress & work fatigue influence my decisions.

All that changed this week when I finally resolved to get my body back.

Clever cropping can only do so much for those thighs of mine

I may not be taking the all-or-nothing approach of our pre-wedding diet.  That said, I find every time I go to the gym for even half an hour, I make better choices over the next 12 hours.

Smaller portions come more naturally.

I think to stand up to burp a child instead of sitting.

Popping out an extra ten push-ups or squats before jumping in the shower for work Is no sweat.

While 180 was awesome, I’d settle for 205 with energy

I was using my career & time as an excuse.  “Once they allow me a personal chef, trainer, & SoulCycle membership, then I’ll get back to my aspirational body.”

Unfortunately, as dads we have a responsibility to be healthy.  My forties are closer than I realize, & if I’m saving for two colleges I want to be sure to see my kids graduate! 

So until the day when discipline comes easy, it’s up to me to find the will myself.

Thankfully my wife fully supports my choice.

Then again, why wouldn’t she?

Team Lovegren-Wierzbicki 4 Life!

Special Thanks also to Krave Jerky for supporting our family health goals!  

They hooked it up with a bag of products at the recent Great Big Family Play Day & it has been making post-workout simple snacking easy.

Click the pic for 10% OFF your 1st Krave Jerky order

What simple tips have you used to keep your #dadbod at bay?  Comment below for a chance to win a Krave Jerky bag/bar/stick combo from us!

…is Heeding the Call of Duty

…& I don’t mean on XBox360.

Dads: do your partners ever come to you with a need, & at the same time apologize for making that request?

We live in an age where we are encouraged to do things out of love, passion, excitement.  “Pursue your dreams.”  “You can be whatever you want.”  “Don’t tell me what I’m supposed to do.”

While I approve of all of those as reasons FOR doing something, they also shouldn’t be excuses for NOT doing what is your duty.

Dads can pout too, can’t we?

I can’t stay home from work just because I “love my son(s) so much.”  Similarly, I can’t ignore my wife OR EXACT EMOTIONAL REVENGE ON HER for waking me up at 4:30 in the morning.

Because we are a team.

Because she stayed home last evening while I went to a work function.

Because she provides 75% of their daily food out of her own body.

What our babies would look like if I had been in charge of their growth for 9 months

And here’s the kicker:  when your partner hits you with a request at your most inconvenient time, SMILE while you do it.

She’s coming to you because she is exhausted.

He needs help because he’s at the end of his rope.

She waited until the last possible moment to interrupt your sleep, & did it feeling guilty for doing so.

Don’t just do the action, perform the task in a way that makes them proud of the team they chose.  Make”Duty” your call sign, even if that call comes at 4:30 AM.

Zero Dark 4:30 – Operation Giggles in full effect

…is Reviewing WaterPura Baby Wipes

Rating: 🍼🍼🍼🍼🍼

For my first review, I wanted to start with an easy one.  WaterPura Baby Wipes have quite literally stolen my heart as a parent of multiple kids who can’t yet wipe themselves.

Note: WaterPura wipes are currently only available in select stores and on their website.

Order WaterPura Baby Wipes.

We were first introduced to Emily of WaterPura at an LA Baby Show in November.  Her company had just recently launched in New York and this was her first branding trip out west.  We were impressed; they seemed to feel like a wipe should feel & do what a wipe should do.

I had no idea that was anything special.

Who Knew There Could Be “Special” Baby Wipes?

Thankfully a fellow mom (Pamela Morrone – Creating Clarity) mentioned after the show, “those wipes were AMAZING,” so I put them on my radar.

I tried to order them from Amazon when we finally ran out of our hospital sample packs of Pampers/Huggies/WaterWipes/some off-brand “organic” company that was like wiping with a 10¢ grocery bag.

Since they weren’t appearing on Amazon search, I emailed Emily (#dadtip – ALWAYS get your favorite vendors’ contact info at Baby Shows!) & she mentioned she was in LA for the #SoCalBabyShow in a few weeks.  I ordered WaterWipes in the meantime & marked my calendar.

Click the pic to learn about Emily & Archie’s Story

Let’s be honest: I was raised on Johnson & Johnson shampoos, trans fat-infused snacks, & using the strongest bug spray possible.  I could care less about which chemicals or fibers or fruit extracts are used in an over-the-counter product.  The “chemical-free / citrus-only” pitch is great, I guess, if you’re into that sort of thing.

One thing matters to me when I have TWO screaming babies with blowouts who I have to change on-the-go on a concrete stoop behind a restaurant that doesn’t have changing tables in the men’s room – performance. 

(Pics or it didn’t happen, I know.  My hands were kinda full though at the time)

So what is “performance” in a baby wipe?

For starters, a flap that stays open easily during changing

It’s almost like Emily is a real mom who has used other market products before (including the much lauded WaterWipes).  She seemed to know things intuitively like, “the flap should be wide enough for TWO fingers to grab the next wipe” & “why doesn’t the flap just stay open?”  

There is also the unique (& likely cost-effective) idea that instead of being SOPPING wet, wipes should be moist enough to do their job without creating a new mess of their own.  #problemsolved WaterPura!

Try accidentally squeezing a WaterWipe too hard while changing.  You will suddenly have a fruity wet spot in the middle of your changing pad (or coffee table, in our case).

WaterPura wipes are about 1/3rd larger than the average baby wipe we’ve used.  This advantage is two-fold.  There is more use per-wipe; also each wipe naturally follows the next out of the container.  Every batch of WaterWipes we’ve used has had the final ten wipes or so meld into a single glob that requires a magician’s dexterity to untangle mid-changing.

Also Pictured: Keekaroo Peanut Changing Pad & a Turtle that shoots stars out of its shell

Finally, for dad, WaterPura wipes are tough!  Trying to pull one apart is akin to opening a bag of Kettle Chips, you know, the large one that requires an Incredible Hulk level of grunting to get opened. 
My Favorite Comment on this Official Kettle Chips Brand Video? Simply “fix your f***ing bags”
In conclusion, as a reviewer I should note sponsorships, freebies, etc.  Well, I would, except these wipes were so amazing, they were the only item at the SoCal Baby Show that I purchased from a vendor without even trying to get free ones for a review!  We are true believers and users of WaterPura baby wipes. 

That feeling when you spent your own hard-earned allowance on something special

We just placed our re-up order.  I strongly recommend you order in bulk as well, twins or no!

Leave a comment and tell us what you thought of WaterPura or if there are other brands that deserve a second look. 

…is New Uses for Old Items

Happy Easter Sunday!

Our boys’ lovely GiGi (Godmother) invited us to a very special brunch today at a country club in the hills. The boys have been great in public (so far), & we were excited for the chance to have a spruced-up holiday.

The reservation was for 1 PM; my wife told me at 9:35 AM, “we are going to be sooo late.”

Spoiler Alert: We Do Make It, Eventually

It was her that pointed out to me that we were down to our last two burp rags.  I did mental math & figured, we can totally get TWO loads of laundry done before then.  Easy-peasy.

1st load in, timer set, walk the dog, swing by the dog park, ding*!

“For efficiency’s sake, let’s take Rexford upstairs & grab the next load before flipping the first one.”  Sensible thought, right?

WRONG!

How my wife does it when I’m away at work, I will never know.

At 11 I finally had a second to think about the laundry I had yet to flip.  We needed to leave at 12:30 to make it on time… still a possibility even with the 2nd load to wash!

I run downstairs with the 2nd load & my quarters, put the 1st one confidently in the dryer.  We got this.  Timer set.

42 minutes later, the timer goes off.  My wife & I each still haven’t showered, Baby A is covered in spit up, last night’s load of clean undershirts is still in our one Clean Laundry Basket.

And that’s when I begrudgingly invented the Laundro-crib.

#beingagrownman

Between our showers, diaper changes, Easter outfits (incl ties), car seat adjustments (every dang time at this age!), packing the newly-cleaned burp rags into our diaper bag, & finally leaving the one clean laundry basket on top of our still-in-use dryer in the community laundry room, we managed to get out the door by 12:38.

Is this parenthood?  Looking at each other in the car & breathing a sigh of relief together – “we’re only 8 minutes late, they’ll understand”?

He Is Risen Indeed!

The Laundro-Crib made it all possible by solving the one problem we didn’t have time to deal with.

I still haven’t figured out where the time goes.  Thankfully my wife is patient and supported my decision in the moment.

…& I have a commitment to fold every item tonight.