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Table for 9 please

A Fathers perspective of a huge family, finally…..

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family

Culinary bliss

One of my guilty pleasures is to be in the kitchen cooking.  Nothing could be more satisfying than to create a meal for your family and watch their bliss filled faces as they savor every bite.  In ancient times the man gathered and the woman prepared the meals.  This theme can also be seen in photographs or caricatures of the 50’s, but is it true today?  Lets take a look at the landscape of today culinary artists, most of which are men surprisingly.  Bobby Flay, Thomas Keller, Michael Chiarello, Jean Georges, the list goes on and on, yet when we look at today’s society, has it really changed from times past.  Are there not more stay at home moms then dads?  Are not men supposed to love sports, hate the arts, and forge for monetary success, and not be stuck in the kitchen or at home with the kids?  One of my pet peeves for someone to ask me is if I babysat my kids this weekend.  The answer that I give, much to the surprise of the inquisitor is, no, I stayed home like a father and parented the house, after all it was 50/50 when those kids were created, right? There is no reason a father could not be just as nurturing and loving as a mother, in fact it should be an equal split.  We, as a society, are still very antiquated in our thought processes and are stuck, in most cases, in the 1950’s with the woman in the kitchen slaving and the man in the arm-chair reading the paper waiting for the dinner bell.  Sorry for the digression, but come on husbands and dads, let’s be the role models we know can be for our children and shape who they will become, times are changing all around, do not get trapped on the subway….participate!

Since we have returned home with Liev and August, our close community of friends have showered us with dinners nightly. I am genuinely amazed at the outpouring of support and love from the people we spend daily life around.  Needless to say, we have been very well fed and have had no need to even contemplate what to fix for dinner, until last night!  Thank you to all of you that have helped and continue to help us through the first few weeks of adjustment.  We love you all dearly and appreciate what you have done more than words can express.  I must admit though, I was very excited to plan a weekend menu and go to the grocery store, one of my favorite field trips.  There is much forethought that goes into what we will be eating and I don’t take shortcuts on food prep.  It all must be fresh, organic, and prepared to perfection!  Friday night the planning began…….

I start most days with a brown sugar latte that I make at the house.  Three shots of espresso (Nespresso), whole milk (why not), and some brown sugar, not a better way to begin.  Breakfast is not really my thing, although I love a good, flaky pastry…..And lunch, well it is a hodgepodge of things to fill the void till dinner.  Then the prep begins for the evening feast.  Always have a good glass of wine while preparing food, it clears the mind, sharpens your culinary senses and is excellent for heart health.  All the scents that are wafting in the air make that Pinot, which is the only true foodie wine, taste even better.  Friday night the menu consisted of:  Chardonnay braised chicken with a Crème fraîche mushroom sauce (classic French cooking always has sauces), sautéed haricot vert with shallots, rosemary and olive oil roasted potatoes and good crusty bread (with French salted butter).  It was fantastic, the chicken was falling off the bone (I do not cook with boneless chicken!) and all meals should have good bread and even better butter.  If you do nothing else in life, spend the money for good French salted butter, you will not have regrets.   Ahhhhh….to be back in the kitchen…..good therapy.IMG_2295

Sunday was an entirely different region of food, but somewhat of the same routine.  It was a twist on classic Osso Buco made with brisket instead of lamb shank, I have never been a huge lamb fan and thought it might be a great substitute.  The one thing I need to accomplish is to train one of the boys to be my Sous Chef.  The prep for a meal in this family can be quite extensive and very labor intensive.  So off we go with chopping the veggies, seasoning the grass-fed meat, and preparing the dutch oven for the searing and sautéing.   For those that do not know, Osso Buco consists of a braising process that intensifies the flavors and renders the meat extremely tender and flavorful.  Mine was made with Amarone wine and cooked for about 4 hours till the brisket was falling apart.  The meat was then laced on a bed of egg noodles with the cooking sauces and topped with fresh grated parmigiano reggiano, served with a salad and, of course, some good crusty bread for the sauce.  The dish was amazing and the whole house smelled fantastic.

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Food should be an amazing experience that thrills all the senses.  It can be sweet, yet bitter, with salt and spice which all leads to an explosion of sensuous flavors.  Culinary skill is truly an art form that can unleash ones full creative potential.  The challenge in life is to find something that makes us feel fulfilled and accomplished.  For me its my new-found love of writing, my beautiful family and the time we spend together, and creating culinary journeys as the Executive Chef for our Table for 9.  Who know what could be next…….stayed tuned.IMG_2317

Sleep Deprivation

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Best buddies

We have all had the feeling while in the hospital, sleeping on a make shift couch/bed, interrupted every hour though out the night for BP reading and various other check ups, I am ready to go home.  All of these nuisances are obviously necessary for the health of mother and child, or in our case children, but man they can be terribly interruptive to sleep.  Then you are so excited to go home and get back to normal life with dates and dinner parties and movie nights and ice cream runs, and all those things that make life satisfying.  Wait…..we just had twins and any sort of “normalcy” is pretty much gone for the next…oh….4 years or so!  Then, after you are home, you look back at how good it was in that cold postpartum room, when the nursery would offer to take the babies for the night to allow you to “get some sleep.”  Now we are home and the real parenting begins!IMG_2219

How is it the babies can be so sleepy and content in the hospital and when they get home, surprise, surprise, surprise, “Dad, we have lungs and I am really not that tired anymore.”  Most of the time that has been the case, but these boys have been dreamy so far (I will regret saying that!).  Now they still have their moments, during diaper changes, when they get “hangry,” or when one of their older brothers pokes them in the eye, you know, the normal stuff.  These boys should be bullet proof by the time they are old enough to walk.  I guess having 5 older brothers will do that!

They don't look naughty at all...
They don’t look naughty at all…

After 4 years of no babies, you tend to forget what it is like to not get continuous sleep.  It is sort of like taking a succession of tiny naps all night, which does nothing for you mental exhaustion.  Then the kids start playing tricks with your mind!  Here is the game, you decide to start changing their diapers before feeding, they start filling them up mid feeding.  Then when they are done you brighten their day by changing their diaper, again, which is always a calming event.  They are then wide awake at 3 am, which is spectacular!  Of course if you wait and start not change the diapers before the eat, they do nothing in them and you have woken them up for no reason, its a viscous game.  There is some joy with them being awake at 3 am when you have 5 other kids, you finally get some quiet one on one time.  They are so sweet and just look at you and coo and there are no other distractions or noise, it is utopia.  I think it is an amazing time to bond with the babies.  Even when you are tired seeing those big eyes and hearing the soft sounds, its quite fantastic!IMG_2240

I have shared with you previously how absolutely perfect my wife/supermom/best friend is and has been through all of this, well she continues to amaze.  I haven’t seen her this happy in quite sometime.  I can tell her heart is exploding with love and our family has definitely strengthened through this adventure.  My unbreakable bond with my best friend has grown in ways I didn’t feel were possible.  Even in the midst of sleep deprivation, which normally means short fuses, we continue to lead and transform this family with smiles and love.  I have never met a person quite like her, someone that completes and enhances everything about who I am.  She is my everything, and together I know that no peak is unreachable and every summit will be conquered.

Lets be honest, getting no sleep really stinks, but to have, not one, but two healthy babies, does it really get better?  I know most of you think we are absolutely crazy, 7 kids, and with the imbalance of work load to sleep, I tend to agree, but this thing called life is getting really good.  What if you got to always received two of everything, 2 Ferraris, or 2 houses in the French West Indies, or 2 signed original Babe Ruth bats, would that not be spectacular?  That is exactly what having multiples is like.  Remember that view from 10k feet, I have to tell you its looking pretty breathtaking right now.  Cherish the moments you have and don’t wish for the ones you never got, and remember only you make your own destiny.  Being a Dad is the greatest treasure given to man, seize it and make the most of these moments, even if you are sleep deprived, there are surprises in the most inopportune times and places.

5 am snuggle time.....
5 am snuggle time…..

What’s in a name? A whole lot, at least for me!

Naming the new member of a family is a really tough decision.  It is amazing how effortlessly we make huge purchases, decide where to live, make career paths, or pick out an engagement ring.  All those things can be altered and new decisions decided, but a name is forever.  It is a monumental responsibility that requires much deliberation and research.  I like things to have substance and history and heart felt personal meaning.  I like stories, history, names with the proper forethought, not whimsical decisions of such enormity made on the fly.  These are huge obligations that I take with the utmost seriousness.

All of our names have some sort of family connection.  The first boy, in my family, has the fathers first name as their middle name.  In comes Brenden Jeffrey, who is now 16, man I am getting old.  Then comes Colin Samuel, which is his Grandfathers middle name.  He is now 15 years old, I know they are close together, 15 months and 2 days apart.  Next is Beau Gregory after my father, and he is 8.  Beau means handsome in French, and this boy does not disappoint his name!  Bennett Gray is now 7, 15 months and 2 days apart from Beau.   His name has a great and touching story for me, my Grandmother named him only days before she passed.  Her and I held a special bond and I think of her every time I call his name, which is quite often!  Quinn William, which means 5th, is next and he is named after his Grandfather.  There was great care and thought that went into each name and we were very purposeful to not be too common, but not to out there as well.

We came into D day with one name solidly in the plan for baby A.  August Michael was going to be his name and for some reason we knew it would fit.  He has not disappointed in the three short days he has been with this family.  One of the trips we made during this pregnancy was to Napa.  We had the privilege of dining at the astounding Thomas Keller restaurant French Laundry.  Being the foodie I am, it was an unbelievable culinary experience.  Our waiter there was named August, and we immediately loved it.  Michael is my brothers middle name and he is one of my most favorite people on the planet.  We have become incredibly close and I wish he were closer.  Baby Bs name we spent 2 days discussing and contemplating.  The last of the Broermann children had to receive a powerful and compassionate name.  Liev Robert Broermann, this name has a ton of hidden meanings and some very apparent signifigances.  If you follow this blog you know we are intimately involved with the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation and its mission for infant congenital heart defects.  Liev is an alternate spelling for Lev, which we thought would be mispronounced too often.  Lev in Hebrew means heart, how appropriate can a name be in honor of our amazing Oakes.  Another way to spell Lev is Leo, this is a name that has been used for years in my family.  It is my Grandfathers name and my dads middle name, two men that I hold in the highest regard and love dearly.  Robert is a long story with multiple layers.  Robert is my fathers brother and a man I look up to and respect a little more then words can describe.  A little over two months ago he lost his son, Nicholas Scott.  It was a tragic story and his family has been struggling to deal with the loss.  He left this world way too soon and I wanted to honor his memory by naming our last son after his dad.  Robert is also the first name of our dear friend and doctor that made all this happen.  As all things were playing out during Lievs birth, he was the one that rescued him from the womb. He is an amazing person with an amazing family and we are honored to have his namesake in our sons title.  The last, but most definitely not the least, connection to the name Robert comes from my dear Father in Law, affectionately known as Grandpa Dale.  He is a gentle, soft spoken, kind hearted Texan that we all love and are privileged to call Dad.  Robert was Dale’s Grandfathers first name, his fathers middle name, and Dales first name!  Quite a lineage for Liev, and a long line of great men for him to live up to.

So now we have all these boys with names:  Brenden, Colin, Beau, Gray, Quinn, August, and Liev.  What a mouthful and we are giddy to have this family complete.  We are home now and look forward to finding some sort of normalcy, although that seems like quite the farce of a statement.

They’re here…..life just got way sweeter!

The best words I can come up with to describe the last day and a half is, wow.  Ironically, that is the one response that probably perturbed me the most when people find out how many kids we have together.  I guess in this day and age it is quite an appropriate response.  This has truly been a whirlwind of emotions, from anxiety, to excitement, to fear, to nervous, to pure joy, to amazing content with what our life now looks like.  Where to possibly begin, well how about the beginning…….

Wednesday 10 am

Super mom heads to the doctor to see what is happening with this dilation thing.  Of course she is dilated to 6cm and he decides today is the day!  Well, the appointment was supposed to be at 1pm and is moved to 10am, and I have patients scheduled all morning, not ideal.  The morning is, well to preface it is a full moon and those are……um…..crazy days.  The prediction is something called a “blood” moon, which is a lunar eclipse, I think.  We mark these days on the calendar at the office, for obvious reasons, the kids are normally a little whacky on those days.  Sure enough, it was one of those nutty mornings and we fell a little behind.  Her doctor was heading into a cesarean and he wanted to break her water at noon.  Luckily we are attached to the hospital and there is a breezeway between the buildings that drops me off at Labor and Delivery.  So I got my best Carl Lewis or Usain Bolt impersonation going, age adjusted, and sprinted to L & D just in time.  It was slow going from there, with little contractions happening, even after water breakage.  So when you have twins they are born in an OR type setting, NICU attends, and lots of helpers.  Amazingly baby B flipped and moved head down as well, so both were in a great position for a regular vaginal delivery.  Now dilated to 9cm and the excitement began, we headed down the hall.

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 Now in the OR, the staff was getting all set up, the doc comes in and, a process that I have been through a few times before, begins!  This was already a weird day…..working all morning, running over the breezeway, OR delivery, twins, the list goes on and on.  It was about to get a little more interesting.  Lots of pushing, more then the last few kids, which again was a little strange for us.  My super woman is an amazing laborer and usually this goes really fast and easy.  I promptly received a proper education from our phenomenal OB, also a close friend, that because the uterus is wrapped around both babies, the contraction has limited force and is not as focused as with just a singlet.  This makes the “push” less effective and it requires a lot more effort, even though these babies were much smaller then our last couple.  Nonetheless, at 16:19 we had baby A delivered and walling away!  Now the tricky part, grab baby B and get him out as well.  This became quite the challenge because as his world became less crowded, he decided to go transverse.  This complicated the efforts to grab an appendage and bring down the birth canal.  Then he started to labor and his heart rate plummeted from the 150s to the 70s.  After, what seemed like 20 min of trying to grab him, a lot of phone calls were quickly made and all those staff that were just “in the room” went into action.  My friend had to do what he did not want to do, perform an emergent cesarean delivery.  Controlled chaos in sued, the room was a buzz, and for the first time, that I can remember, I saw a touch of panic and uncertainty in this woman that is always in control.  As expected, baby B was born without complication at 16:32, only 13 minutes after his brother.  I would have sworn there was 45 minutes in-between those two entering the world.  This was all very disconcerting and after making sure both the boys were doing well, I rushed back in to check on my amazing wife, she was not doing great.  Surgically, no problems, but mentally it appeared to be very difficult, and she was not sure what was going on during this change in plans.  After Oakes’ ordeal, we are all a little more aware of birth defects and complications, how can your thoughts not go there with what just happened?  But by the sweet grace of God, along with amazing doctors, nurses and auxiliary staff, the boys, mom, and everything turned out amazing!

Now here we are the night before discharge and we are elated.  Not only is everyone doing fantastic, but these two boys are pure nirvana.  There is nothing like watching your new born sons sleep while you are holding them.  Their little eyes flutter with dreams and the rhythmic movement of their mouths as they sleep.  Perfect little faces with unclouded innocence that only an infant can possess.  I am a proud father and even having done this 7 times,  I still has the same feeling of euphoria when I look upon these boys.  Your own flesh in blood that you created, does it really get more heavenly then this?  It feels like all the stresses leading up to this day have washed back out to sea, and the future is once again an amazing ray of light.  This is the final time I will have this feeling, the final chapters in this family.   We have now completed the seating for our Table for 9.

Now the fun of fatherhood really begins…….but I will stay in paradise for one more night!  Bonne nuit….carpe diem

Role Models…..

I know this will be hard to believe, but this has already been a crazy week.  We have had early mornings, evening meetings, construction decisions, birthdays, and the timer getting ready to go off for these babies.  She is getting oh so close to D Day and trust me when I say, she is REALLY ready.  I think, because I have never experienced it, that having 14 lbs. of baby growing inside of you would get increasingly uncomfortable.  Everyday activities have become impossible and, her being such a strong personality, that is really a tough pill for her to swallow.  As expected, she is still doing it with grace and dignity, not complaining, too much, and I bow down to her spirit daily.  I must say the female body during pregnancy amazes me.  To see your best friend transformed and to watch arm and legs dart around under her skin, wow not too much can compare.  It is truly a miracle!

We also celebrated my fathers birthday this week, although we couldn’t be there in person, we were all there in spirit.  That event sparked deep thoughts about who and what shapes us as fathers.  There is no map, book, computer program, app, iPad, or anything that I can physically hold that tells us how to do this fathering thing, except our own fathers and grandfathers.  Who better to emulate then your own father.  I know not all fathers we would want to be like, but for me, my father is exactly what I try daily to become.  Just a little about this man, he served his country courageously in Vietnam, came back and went to college while raising 2 kids and working full time.  Hmmmm, this all sounds familiar….  He attended every practice we had, coached most of the teams we played on and sacrificed life and limb on occasions, all for his kids.  Literally he had his face shattered by a foul ball while playing catcher (without the face mask, lesson learned) at my baseball practice.  The man is and always will be relatively selfless.  He has and always will, love my brother and I without judgement.  Now where did he learn this innate ability to father his kids?  Are we born with these abilities to nurture or taught through our environment?  These things have been argued about and discussed for decades.  The answer for most, I believe, comes from within.

My father watched his dad raise 6 kids on his own, while selling washers and dryers at Sears for 30 years.  As could be expected from that generation, you worked hard and honest, didn’t complain, and at the end of the day you have dinner with the family and thanked the Man above for all you had in life.  That sounds pretty good, but is that what todays society practices, I think not even close.  My Grandfather will always be one of my role models for his selfless acts to support and raise his family.  In all those years my father, being the oldest, witnessed a lot, and certainly learned a lot of lessons.  Those lessons shape who we are and how our life plays out.

I knew when I became a father I wanted to be just like my dad, he is my hero and role model for how I conduct my life.  He cooked, cleaned, worked hard, and was always “present”, which I believe in this day and age is the most critical part of parenting.  How do we positively influence our children if we are absentee fathers?  How do we provide an environment of nurture and love if the job takes precedence?  It is impossible to become a role model if you are not there to model what your role is in the family.  If I could offer any bit of advice to any new or old father, be around for you kids.  It impossible for your kids to idolize you if you are not there for them in times of need, which is all the time!  It has been studied and discussed for years, kids with a strong father figure are better adjusted and more successful at this game called life.

As our clock ticks by and the time grows nearer for me to become a father again, I am excited and nervous.  I know you are thinking, how can you be nervous, this is baby 6 and 7?  Each time is different, each munchkin is different, and we, as parents, become more experienced as the family grows.  This experience transforms the way we parent the later kiddos.  I always want to be the best father I can and I know this time not only be different (first time with twins), but will be my last chance to be my kids superhero.  That is both sad and exciting, but most of all, it is the best feeling in the world.

It’s a good thing I eat stress for breakfast!

Would you believe me if I said having 5 boys, a busy pediatric dental practice, and a wife pregnant with twins, was not stressful? Neither would I, in fact this year has been one of my most stressful years to date.  Last week was the culmination of, what I like to call, the first wave of the “perfect storm.”

I believe in that movie from 2000, it was the storm of the century, the perfect mix of three different storm systems coming together at once.  The result was this massive storm that demolished the Andrea Gail and all of its crew, swallowing them in the black abyss of the north Atlantic ocean.

So unlike the movie, we don’t plan on losing any crew(staff), or enduring any harsh conditions(the storm), or not surviving this patch of stress to fight another day.  I think sometimes in life it is necessary to make a sacrifice, face some significant challenges, lose some sleep, and get away from what is comfortable in order to set yourself up for success.  Just to clarify, success is not measured by the size of ones house, or the type of cars driven, or the zeros behind your bank account, it is internal happiness and mental satisfaction with what YOUR situation may be.  I believe a sanitation worker can be just as “successful” as a neurosurgeon, it just depends on what drives you to happiness.  We all have big dreams, but those are only realized by hard work, sacrifice, and the one thing no one likes to be exposed to, RISK.

Yes, it is risky to merge this other practice into the wonderful thing that we have going.  I remember the evening we went to dinner with this “other” doctor and his wife, knowing he was contemplating retirement, and anticipating him approaching us to buy his practice.  The days leading up to this “date” I was giddy with excitement and flattery.  This is a man we both admired and respected, he taught us pediatric dentistry in school and is someone really well looked at in the community for his skill.  To say the least this was going to be a humbling discussion at dinner to have your mentor ask you to buy the practice he built up.  As dinner progressed through courses there was not one mention of the impending retirement.  We finished the main course and were approached about dessert, which we all wanted.  Then I looked up and his wife gave him this look of, “get on with it already”.  He then proceeded to ask us the thing we anticipated would happen this night and I vividly remembered my butterflies.  Here was my mentor telling us he thought we would take the same care of his patients that he has over the decades of practice.  Wow, what a feeling, but then, fast forward to today, and the reality has set in, this is going to be busy and the purchase happened this past Wednesday, what timing!

The thing we have focused on most of all in our practice is customer service, and providing an unparalleled experience, both for the kiddo and the parent.  Our daily goal for each person that graces our doors is to make them feel like they were the only family there.  So logically, we added staff from the other office and now we have to train all of them to buy into our vision and goals of customer service.  Teaching them to not tell people where the bathroom is, but walk them there, ask the parents if they would like coffee or a magazine, little things that make this different from any other office.  It is a little stressful to get people to look through your eyes and envision what your practice should feel like.

Then there is the construction of remodeling this practice to feel like us.  Our practice is 45 years old, obviously we bought from previous owner, and was in need of a facelift.  For those of you that have remodeled or built a house, you know how painstakingly slow and frustrating it can be.  There are delays, inspections, delays, material problems, delays, and worst of all, things you just didn’t think about and they always happen mid project, did I mention delays?  It is a complete mess right now and a little, umm, stressful.  It will be amazing once it is done, if we survive the process.  I didn’t even mention that my super woman is on bed rest and I have to make all the decisions, which as most dads can attest will not alway be the “right” decisions!  They will not all be bad decision or the wrong decision, but it all leads to more stress.

Then the biggest thing in our lives we have going, the twinkies!  She is now 36 weeks!  This some magic number for twins to, hopefully, stay out of the NICU.  She can go into labor now and we can be pretty sure these boys will be going home with mom and dad and meeting their 5 brothers.  Wait, did I just say 5 brothers(gulp).  Thats right, there are 5 other boys with practices and homework and baths, and breakfasts, and dinners, and cub scouts, and……the list goes on and the stress mounts.  I feel like that UPS commercial, I need logistics!  By most accounts I am a laid back, calm, take things as they come, kind of guy, but even I am a little overwhelmed.  Now things will work out and be fine, but the journey will be interesting.  The one reason I love this family is we are a team.  Nothing will defeat us and we will persevere.

Although stress is tough, and takes a lot out of your spirit sometimes, just eat it for breakfast and take a look around you.  We all have it pretty darn good and things could always be worse.  I have lived a few lives and each one is much different from the next.  The best thing about that is I keep improving from one to the next and this will be no different.  There was a great quote I saw from a man who endured insurmountable stress, Gandhi, and he said “Live as if you were to die tomorrow, Learn as if you were to live forever.”  #carpediem

 

 

MOHF, a Mighty cause for our Might Oakesie

You might be asking yourself, what is MOHF?  MOHF stands for the Mighty Oakes Heart Foundation, which was set up for our amazing nephew that left this earth way to soon.  In his short time in our world he taught us to be Mighty and fight the great fight to the bitter end.  This little miracle fought mightily and he lives on through many others that have benefited from MOHF.  Super women seem to be abundant in my wifes family and none  more super than Oakes mother.  She took this tragedy and turned it into a legacy that will transcend the months we got to spend with him.  I will never be able to verbalize what this cause does and would never try.  Please visit www.mightyoakes.org and learn about their amazing story and what they do for the community.  The short of it is they raise money to support families of babies with congenital heart defects.  These monies go to help pay mortgages, car payments, hotel costs, etc.  These hurdles can destroy a family, but you have to be there for your kids and every thing else comes second.  That is very brief and does not do justice to their cause.

Every year, around this time, they have a fundraising 5k.  The beauty of this event is you don’t have to be in St. Louis to participate!  We decided, due to the pregnancy, that our whole family would not be able to make the trek.  Our office held our own event in our city!  We have two MOHF recipient families in our practice and their stories are not short of amazing as well.  Not a day goes by that we don’t have a handful of healthy kids that come through our practice living with a congenital heart defect.  It has, or will, touch each of your lives and we can all make a difference by reaching out to organizations like MOHF.  Its not always about the monetary gift, its making things happen for others that makes the difference.

I love this family of ours and daily take that 10,000 foot view to see how lucky I am to have each of them in my life.  Oakes is just one more example of the reasons to live this life like tomorrow will never come.

And here we go….or so we thought.

This will be a fairly quick post, so here goes.  Headed to the hospital last night for what we thought was a baby or two.  We weren’t sure, however, if this would be the end, and beginning.  Either way in the coming days this journey is about to get a little more exciting.

Some one asked me last night if we were ready and my response was, “Are you ever?”  It all seems surreal when you pack that bag and head out the door.  I still remember each time, all 5 so far,  my life was transformed when this miracle of childbirth occurs.  I believe no matter what check list you have or how organized you think you are, there is no way to be ready for what is about to happen to your life.  Take out the tangibles: diapers, wipes, bottles, cribs, car seats, strollers, etc., those are all things you can have ready.  The things that are un-preparable are:  did we choose the right name, sleep deprivation, your life schedule destroyed, how do you prepare for that, and the answer is you don’t!  It is absolutely impossible, and that is why you are never really ready.  Now multiply all that by a factor of 2, for the twins, and you have the perfect moment in time of panic and apprehension.

As the day unfolded, the contractions increased, both in frequency and intensity.  So we headed in for what we thought was our moment, and we both knew, uh oh we aren’t ready for this.  Not because we are not pros, because we have a little experience, but because having twins will be something brand new to both of us, and its a bit scary.  Think about it, for those that only have “singlets”, two babies get up at night, which doubles the time it takes, two babies need to be rocked to sleep, two babies need diaper changes, man having only one at a time seems, on paper, way easier.  I hope, all who have taken the time to read my jabbering, can close their eyes and imagine that scenario played out in the sentence prior, it has to seem a little terrifying.  Well all that buildup and we went home empty handed.  Those contractions that began so promising, ended about an hour after being at Labor and Delivery.  Another first for this large family, a dry run to the hospital that ended in coming home empty handed.  We were not ready anyway, right!

They nice thing about our family is we are “ready” for anything that life throws at us.  Even the midst of eminent terror of a life changing event, we are upbeat and ready to tackle anything.  Love this family and can not wait to meet these boys, but I will have to wait another day, or so.

The view from 10,000 ft…..how amazing!

As I zip around the house trying to take on as much as I possibly can to keep the “bed rester” actually off her feet, something hit me, wow I am so lucky.  For a guy that can’t dance and really has no “game” to speak of, I sure did land one gigantic and priceless diamond.  Was it the way I serenaded her from across the room, or the slight glances that ended up being a lock of eyes, or my witty humor, or maybe she just felt sorry for me, whatever it was, I will take it!!

I believe taking a look at yourself and your life from “10,000 ft” is the only was to truly access the life you have made, after all, luck is created and not happened upon.  This should be an exercise undertaken at least twice a year, but I try and do it once a quarter.  This can be quite the supernatural out of body experience that is bound to bring into perspective the little, and large, things that happen around each of us.  The other interesting thing about it is you start to notice things you might have missed otherwise.  Things, that if left unnoticed, might have cause your significant others to feel under appreciated and taken for granted.  If you do nothing else today do this, take a quiet moment to look the people around you in the eye and hold them tight while you tell them all the little things you notice they do. It will be a moment not soon forgotten and not soon overlooked by those people.

Since my super woman has gone on modified “bed rest”, she has taken charge of my short comings and done little things to make our life run smoother.  All those thank you notes we have put on the back burner: done, emails I should have answered 2 weeks ago: done.  She has contacted the exterminator, electrician, painter (gulp), interior designer (double gulp), locksmith, window people, made dinner, the list doesn’t end there, but is too long.  All while on bed rest, or some semblance of bed resting.  What would we do without her, ummm, not exist, at least not very well.

These are some of her art work that she has recently done, amazing……and I had no idea!

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And these are just a few of the things she has grown, raised, nurtured, and are growing…..

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First day of Pre-K, 1st grade, and 2nd grade..
This could be from 1950...
This could be from 1950…
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Yes…there are two little boys in there!

What a view from 10,000 ft…..live everyday as if tomorrow will never come.  #carpediem

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