…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

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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 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 Being a Surgeon General

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

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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.

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“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?).

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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.

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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 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 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.