…Is Discovering the Secret to Baby-Sleep

…& I’m slightly scared to share it.

Ever have one of those nights where it seems the more tired your baby gets, the more it screams, wriggles, and fights sleep?

Do you regularly feel like you’ve reached the end of your rope and Cry It Out might suddenly be a viable solution?

Reddit Parenting Fail
I made the Mistake of Asking REDDIT for Parenting Advice Once…

Are you (like us) a parent of TWINS & constantly running at the slightest sound, to at least make sure only ONE wakes up, and whisked the child out of the crib/room/house so as to keep the other twin sound asleep?

I may have discovered the secret to those moments that require a special soothing beyond the power of song or formula.

dfd

Of course, as a parent, I also know the millisecond my secret hits the internet, it will suddenly cease to work on my own children, no matter how many parents I help in the process.

 

Do I lift the box off of the Schrodinger’s Cat of baby sleep?

Alright, no more secrets.

Over the past two weeks, when we hit those moments where natural sleep seems as far off as the next full solar eclipse, I’ve used a unique strategy: I give my child a foot massage.

This has had the most unnervingly positive effect, almost at once disarming the screams, binky-throwing, and rolling around.

Pulp Fiction Jules Vincent Foot Massage
Don’t Be Tellin’ Me About Foot Massages

I had the thought to try it after meeting a baby masseuse at a recent Baby Show.  She suggested full body massages after feeding, before feeding, when baby wakes up, when baby sneezes… essentially I needed to dedicate ten hours of my day PER BABY to massage.

I even asked her about it.  “How the hell do you stick to this regimen if you have twins?!”  I was shocked she didn’t have an answer beyond, “oh, well, my clients all have only one baby.”

That said, a few weeks back, I had a big presentation to give at work on Monday, and Sunday night at 11:15 PM Logan would NOT fall asleep, despite all our soothing efforts, babbling brook sound effects, & our Magic Sleepsuit (which I do attest works wonders, just not a fool-proof solution).

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That’s a Blog for Another Day

On a whim, my mind floated back to that Baby Show & the masseuse, and my hands reached out for my son’s foot.

Within 45 seconds his eyes were closed and his breathing was as soft and regular as his poops have been since we started solid foods.

This trick has continued to work, though I have reserved it only for the worst of times in order to preserve it’s mystical power.

 

Do you have any tricks or tips for sleep time when your baby is especially resistant?

Are you a parent of multiples who has good advice on putting TWO to bed at once?

Leave a helpful comment below.

How Do I Give A Foot Massage?

…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.

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*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 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?

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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.

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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 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.

…is Taking Out the Trash

At least four times a day.

I need fellow parents to chime in on this one, particularly Angelenos – is it normal to have to visit the dumpster four times a day once you have children?!?

Ever since Archer & Logan came home, I feel like I can’t walk Rexford without there being a stack of trash waiting by the door.

Maybe it’s the convenience(necessity) of delivery & pre-prepared meals in the concrete utopia of LA?  Or perhaps the fact that instead of weekly trips to Target (like most parents?) we order daily items from Amazon?

Because God-forbid the activity saucer isn’t here tomorrow!

It doesn’t help that we have to clean the bunnies‘ litter boxes and cages every week. 

& diapers.  Always diapers.

I really shouldn’t complain; I can’t imagine working a full job, having the twin-feeding cycle, & having to create our own meals twenty-one times a week instead of simply visiting munchery.com.

Rosemary Salmon Quinoa Bowl, while you bottle-feed!

At the same time, I sometimes do miss life outside LA, where you can own a home, with a garage, & only have to put your trash out once a week on Tuesday nights…

Tuesday night, that reminds me!  I have to set out the boxes for Farm Fresh To You‘s overnight produce delivery tonight.

PS – at least this.

…is No Shirt at All

& I’m just not man enough for that.

In my twenties, I had this awkward notion that A-shirts (the colloquial “wife beater”) were the best option for men.  Perhaps it was my sometimes-chiseled body, perhaps it was a misguided notion of manliness, either way you couldn’t convince me otherwise.

A few years back I transitioned into the professional world.  My suit-&-tie life also meant a wardrobe shift to V-Neck undershirts.  After all, what’s the point of wearing Hugo Boss if your deodorant discolors the pits after two wears? 

Better Look for Dad – Hugo Boss or Mead Johnson?

Enter Twins.

For those of you who don’t have children yet, here is a picture of what a baby’s hand looks like, with a CLOSE-UP view: 

*image enlarged to show texture

I have no point of reference for how parents of one child manage their time.  For us, with twin babies who EACH need to be fed every three hours (-changed, fed, burped, changed again-), certain things (like nail-trimming) just fall by the wayside.

Which leads to the title of this blog post.  I need to buy some new shirts ASAP, crew-neck.

Because try as I might, I can’t burp my boys without yelping at least three times a minute.  

As was Ivan’s V-Neck

If they don’t grow up to be professional mountain climbers, they will have some serious explaining to do.

*note – dad complains & yelps; mom breastfeeds both of them 17 times a day.

You the Real MVP

…is Being on Time

I’ve never been the best about being punctual.

As an artist & storyteller, I still have projects from the past decade that are incomplete.  My desk features about 270 business cards still waiting to be entered into my CRM.  I have yet to file my extension on my taxes & I have three fix-it tickets sitting in my car glove box from January (#beingagrownman).

I am blessed to be the rare Angeleno, er, Beverly Hill…ite?… who lives within five minutes of their work.  4 minutes 37 seconds, to be exact.  So when I am five minutes late to work it literally means I left at the time I was supposed to be there.

And I thought being a dad was going to make this punctuality issue somehow better?

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Logan (L) & Archer (R) – [I think]
Our boys spent 11 days in the NICU after arriving early at 34 1/2 weeks.  As rough of a time as that was, feeling separated from them, having to make time to see them, parking and walking half a mile it seemed from the Cedars parking lot to the tower with the NICU, it came with a hidden blessing: scheduling.  Our children came home on a strict 2:00/5:00/ 8:00/11:00 feeding schedule.  They were trained to sleep thru constant beeps, and after two months we are now finding that once a night they tend to sleep thru one of their feeds as well.

If only we could accurately predict which one that would be, we’d be in fantastic shape.

Yet this morning, this morning of all mornings, when I woke up at 7:40 AM and my first meeting wasn’t until 9:30, this morning when I walked the dog, took out the trash, peeled my own hard-boiled egg (#beingagrownman), this morning, once again, I was late.  Because, in just the past three days it seems, our sons started SMILING.

And I can’t get enough of it.

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“Don’t Drive Angry”

There I was, 9:20 AM, suit on, tie tied (Double Windsor! #beingagrownman), laptop and iPad and notepad in hand.  I took one last look at Archer lying in his boppy and saw his eyes were wide open.  I stopped in my tracks & said, in the closest thing I have to a sing-song voice, “Arrr-chhie!”

And my 9 week old son looked up at my face and smiled.

I instantly repeated the mantra, to an even wider grin.  My next 7 minutes were like the best version of Groundhog’s Day ever.

I pulled into the work parking garage at 9:32 AM.  My blessings compounded; my 9:30 meeting emailed me saying “stuck in traffic, five minutes late.”

Excuses are unacceptable, and being punctual is being a grown man.  This one time, being a father trumps all.  I will never forget those minutes I was late, making my son smile.