…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 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!

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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.

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– 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

…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.

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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 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 One Step at a Time

Yesterday I had a client cancel a meeting.  I used this “opportunity” to stop by the local LA-mega-complex that included a fine off-the-rack retailer, a grocery store, & of course Target for the necessaries.

Because fatherhood means being prepared!

I was immensely proud of myself, because when I arrived home I could present my wife with a treasure trove of things we had needed.

Of course, the second I came in the door Rexford needed to go out, one baby was crying while she fed the other one as quickly as possible (a feat only mothers can do which amazes me – how do you make them eat faster?!), & I was carrying two grocery bags, a Nordstrom Rack bag, Target essentials & my messenger bag with laptop in hand.

FYI – if you take your laptop with you to work every day, do NOT get a 15″ screen!

My magic moment gone, I immediately rushed to the tasks at hand.  Proud to say I rose to my wife’s level & we got those kids fed, changed, laid down, right back up again & fed, & finally to sleep by 9 PM for her to start resting.

It feels good to be king.

Until you look over at 11:45 PM the NEXT night & realize you forgot to put away the two most important things from your trip:

I still haven’t put folded the Laundro-Crib either…

…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.