Tuesday, March 4, 2014

Abandoned at Grandma's House

Today marks the 14 month birthday of the twins, and we're planning a HUGE celebration tomorrow!

The first thing we're going to do after their morning nap is drop them off at Grandma and Grandpa's house for their 1st overnight visit.

Mom and Dad? We're escaping! This will be the first time that my wife and I have spent a night alone together without the boys since they were born.  I have to say together for a reason.  Last summer Shannon went back to Colorado for a high school reunion, and she's gone out of town for work a couple of times. Plus, I went to Minneapolis to see family last September.  In the old days (read:pre-babies) we used to travel together quite a bit.  Shannon would fly to one of her sites for work a couple of times per month (San Diego was my favorite) and because of her status with Southwest and her companion pass, I would tag along for the price of tax.

Now Tuesday nights alone at the grocery store is a vacation...lol

Lake Las Vegas (a resort community just outside of Las Vegas) is having their 1st "Beer Walk" of the year.  They do both beer and wine tastings all summer long, and a good portion of the proceeds go to charity. (I guess they call them walks because you walk from one beer or wine stand, to the next.  Maybe they should call them "staggers".) We've done both the beer and wine walks before and learned after the 1st one we attended that it's advisable to get a room out there.  It's a nice little village area right on the lake with a few hotels, several restaurants and some shops. It's actually where I proposed. (Gondola on the lake...but that's another blog post for sure.)

I know that it's supposed to be the mom that spends the entire time wondering if her little ones are O.K., and I know that they are in good hand with their Grandparents, but there's a little piece of me that's going to be wondering what they are up to the entire time we are gone.

Are they eating all of their lunch? Is Gavin trying to escape the safety of the area rug in their living-room (my in-laws floors are all ceramic tile). Is Carter having a whine-fest while Mom and Dad are enjoying a glass of wine ourselves? (see what I did there?...lol). How about bedtime...are they sleeping O.K. in a strange place or has Grandma and Grandpa  even put them to bed when they are supposed to?

It's been a long 14 months. 424 days, minus the time they spent in the NICU, that have been spent with Mom and /or Dad. They have enjoyed time at Shannon's parents house for a few hours at a time so Dad can get some running around done, or when Mom and Dad need a lunch break together on a Saturday, but never overnight. 24 whole hours with mischievous and moody 1 year-olds is enough to drive anyone whose out of practice crazy.  Maybe they will refuse to watch them anymore after this, or worse yet, call and tell us to come pick them up?  

All and all, I know deep in my heart that they will be fine.....I guess my biggest question is...will Dad?

Monday, March 3, 2014

Shave and a Haircut...$18.00?

The boys hit another important milestone the other day.It was time for their 1st haircut!

Now, views on how this is to be done vary between the sexes.

I think that a barber is the way to go.  Going to the barber is a rite of passage and something that boys get passed down from one generation to another. You know you are a young man when you get to go to the barber with your father. Climb up in the big swivel barber chair and look at the wall of mirrors while the man in the white apron has his way with your locks.

I'm only guessing here, as I didn't actually have this happen when I was growing up. The closest barber shop to us was probably 35 minutes away and, well...it cost money. My Mother on the other hand was close, she was fairly good with a scissors and clippers, and the cut was free so most of our haircuts growing up were done at home.  I still do mine at home with the clippers now, but i have considerably less hair to deal with than I did growing up.  Then again, I have less hair than both of my boys do as well...lol.

I don't know where my wife, given the chance, would have taken them but we decided together on a place close by that specializes in cutting kids hair.  I read the reviews on-line, and after sorting thru the amenities (they have car shaped seats, they play kiddie movies on individual TV screens, they have a play area) agreed that they would be granted the authority to give them their 1st trim.

The place was fine, and both boys did outstanding.  Carter has a little cowlick issue in front AND in back, and they showed us how to style / spike it so that these would be fairly hidden. Gavin's cut still needs a little touching up, but given the fact that kids move around and that neither boy cried or was cut, I'll give them a pass on a few missing snips here or there.

Not happy about the fact that you have to take out a 2nd mortgage to afford it ($18.00 per child) but it could always be worse.....and I always have my clippers charged!

Cater sporting his spikes

Gavin and his new do


This was written a couple of months ago, and i am just posting it now... sorry.

Carter's newest word or expression is "Uh-Oh".  The funniest thing about it is that he knows exactly when to say it!

He'll be in his high-chair for example, and be playing with one of his plastic beads before dinner.  It slides off the tray and on to the floor? "Uh-Oh".

I love that he's getting more vocal, and it seems like his brother is following suit, but I ask you...how can you get mad at him when he drops or spills something, and then turns to you with the cutest little voice and says "uh-oh"?

It's going to take a little more than that to get Dad wrapped around your finger....but not much...lol.

Sleep When The Baby Sleeps -or- 3 tips to sanity with a newborn

Having children later in life not only gives you more time to research parenting tips, but it also brings 10 times more unsolicited advice. I think it’s because people know you have done things your own way for so long that you may not be willing to change, and with a newborn in your life, it is going to change whether you like it or not. Maybe the advice comes because although we have gotten good at taking a deep breath, diving in and faking it, the look of confusion gives us away. 

The biggest reason people gave me advice was because I asked for it.  My wife is a “science” kinda girl.  She works in the medical field, studied science in college, and other than 2 articles written before 1940 she’s read everything there is about giving birth and raising children. I on the other hand like the “pollster” approach. I would stop people with kids and say” Excuse me, can I ask you a question?  My wife and I are having twins in February and I was wondering …<insert: where, how, should we, etc>” I once stopped a couple with twins in Walmart to ask where they got their double stroller. They talked for 30 minutes straight recommending this or that, or suggesting I go here or there. I think maybe they hadn’t gotten out of the house that much and talked to grown-ups lately.  Happy I could help.

The worst piece of unsolicited advice people like to give is “sleep when they sleep.”
What? No, you do not have permission to slap them…but what I do want you to ask them is “should I take a shower when they do? Do laundry when they do? How about eating? When they eat too?”

Being able to sleep more than just a cat nap when they finally nod off is going to be next to impossible.  There are dishes to do, laundry to get done, not to mention eating, cleaning, and heaven forbid you actually want to take a shower or to brush your teeth. 

There’s grocery shopping for you and your spouse, there’s Babies R Us shopping for diapers, wipes, and formula if your spouse isn’t breast feeding. Forget about the trip to the barber, or dentist. Cancel your gym membership. You’re in it for the next six months. Oh…almost forgot.  Don’t forget to email everyone pictures daily, or they will call you non-stop asking why you have yet to send any, and don’t forget the thank-you cards.

1.       1.You’re never going to have the amount of time you did before.  I know it sounds stupid to even suggest it, but even your time to yourself is not your own.  It’s spent thinking of everything you have to do for the little monsters next.  When you get a chance to make a quick trip to the store, embrace it. Take a deep breath, put your favorite CD in the car stereo, and enjoy the trip like it’s your last. (It may be…lol).

2.      2.  Remember: There is no dirt patrol! What I mean is, don’t be afraid to do chores in small sections, and if you don’t get something done, don’t beat yourself up.  Not vacuuming isn’t going to change the world. Do small loads of laundry instead of making it a big to-do. Wash plates as you use them, or better yet, buy paper plates. 

3.       3.My wife and I worked the nights in shifts She would have the off shift from dinnertime until midnight.  She could take a shower, and hit the sack.Any time the babies woke up during this time it was “my shift”, and I would feed them, change them, put them to sleep, etc.  At midnight She would take the reins, and until six a.m. her shift, and she would wake up to feed them so I could sleep.  An extra hour or two really recharges the batteries, and once we started doing this, we started to see our sanity returning.

One of the hardest things to remember is that there is not exact way to raise a child.  They don’t come with instructions…(not that us guys would read them anyway). You and your partner will find what works for you, and it may or may not be the way someone else thinks you should do it. All that matters is that your little one is growing up healthy and happy, and that its parents are sane in the process!
Good Luck,