Adventures in Parenting

Things change rather quickly when you become a dad… things that you would never expect to become normal, but do they ever…  Here are just a few things that have happened lately around casa de Pyles.

  • On our way home from church this past Sunday, there was a boy who whipped around a corner and cut in front of us on his bike… there was plenty of room, mind you, but he didn’t look at all before barreling into the road.  This is all too common around us and makes you hesitate at all times when driving up and down our street.  Well, he continued ahead of us and I kept some distance between us because you never know how someone will react (thanks Dad for the defensive driving tutorials from age 2.5-28 and counting…).  Well, finally this young boy takes a look behind him and sees that there’s a car, so he swerves to the right to avoid us… little did he know that someone had taken their trash out early and had some boxes and an old desk out at the curb… yeah,  you can see where this is going.  He bites it… HARD… flips over the handlebars and falls into the curb.  I slam the car in park and run out to him (entering HERO mode)… check on our “stunt man”.  Turns out he was ok… some scrapes on his hands which we washed off with some bottled water.  I he kept holding his hands in front of his waist and I asked him over and over “What’s wrong? What did you hurt?”… he looked around and whispered  “I hurt… I hurt my penis”.  Well, I’m no urologist so I didn’t inspect, but seemingly there was no major damage.  I was pretty frightened for him and could see that he was shaken up so we made sure that he was able to walk his bike home and that he didn’t have a concussion or anything seriously wrong (in fact, I think he was more scared than anything).  Best part of the story, though, a man comes running over while I’m helping the boy up and checking on him and says “DID YOU HIT HIM?!?!”  I calmly explained that I didn’t, that he had hit the desk and flipped over.  Reassured, the man entered dad mode of his own and proceeded to chastize the boy for riding on the street and flying around not looking where he was going.  Turns out, he knew the kid’s dad and felt it was his duty to set him straight.  Of course, once we got home after the incident, I had to lecture Cullen and Lane on bike safety and the importance of looking both ways, helmet-wearing, etc.  Moral of the story:  being a dad makes you think of all the stupid things you did when you were a kid and that your sons will surely repeat many of the same stunts that you and other kids their age did and continue to do.
  • Note to all parents out there, be wary of selling your childrens’ things on Craigslist… especially anything that might elicit some strange responses.  Lauren realized lately that we had too many prefold cloth diapers and hadn’t used about 30 of them ever… no problem, we’ll just unload them on Craigslist.  Seems like an easy task, but nothing is ever as easy as it should be.  After several “interested” parties never showed up or replied, we began to think that the diapers might not sell.  One afternoon while we were still in Hilton Head, a lady emailed and asked if they were still for sale.  Seemed legit and we scheduled for her to come pick them up after I got home from work on Tuesday (definitely didn’t feel comfortable with Lauren being the only one home when a stranger from CL came to our house to purchase something… I know our boys are pretty strong and Tucker is ferocious and all, but I felt much better being there and knowing where the shotgun was located).  So, this lady shows up on time, is quite pleasant… albeit a little quirky, but beggars can’t be choosers.  Lauren was bathing the boys so it was up to me to process the transaction.  I showed her the diapers and she put the cash down and then proceeded to talk about cloth diapering and the fact that we had twins and that her daughter was the same age as our boys… you know, the usual small talk stuff… she was holding her daughter who appeared to have just woken up from the car ride… all in all, it was a fairly painless ordeal.  We said our goodbyes and I headed upstairs to help Lauren wrap up bath time.  A few minutes later, I look out our upstairs front window and see that her car is still in the driveway – BIG RED FLAG for me.  Now I’m thinking conspiracy theories… did she really come alone or is there some man lurking around our house casing it?  did she grab anything on the way out (not that we have anything of any real value to thieves)?  did she have access to anything she shouldn’t have? My head was going a mile a minute… then I see her climbing into the passenger seat of her car… again, what exactly is going on here?  Then, IT happens… she proceeds to lift up her shirt and begin breastfeeding in our driveway!!!!!  W.T. Harris???  What in the world is this lady thinking.  At this precise moment, Lauren comes out of the bathroom and says “What is she doing in our driveway?…OH, OOOH MY GOSH!!”  We both turn away and about die laughing… Luckily, a couple minutes later we notice that the car is gone, but I have officially been scarred by you Craigslist… never again will I be so naive and more than likely, never again will I have someone meet us at our house for the transaction… just too much potential for eye trauma.
  • Lastly, and this will be quite a letdown from the previous two stories just to warn you… I recently learned that my work clothes need to be put on as close to the time that I leave the house in the morning and taken off as close to the time that I arrive home in the evening as possible.  I’ve found quite an interesting assortment of baby food and byproducts on my clothing lately.  When your boys are such hearty eaters like ours and when they love to crawl all over you and attack you with their love, you’ll never know what kind of drool, cereal, bananas, applesauce, etc. you’ll have on your “clean” dress clothes.  This is why it’s important not to have nice things when you have young children… everything they wear (and just the same, everything YOU wear) are play clothes and fair game to be used as footholds, hand grips, toys, you name it.  Don’t get me wrong, it’s unbelievably fun and I wouldn’t change any of it for the world… who cares if I have some banana on my pants or a drool spot on my shirt, I know that my family loves me and when you’re heading to work, that’s all that matters.

I know I’m notoriously absent on our family blog and I promise I’ll try to do better about posting… Lauren has done such a great job with this and I know that I need to help pull my weight around here as well.



the big haircut

I’ve been given a hard time about needing to give the boys a haircut for a while now… most notably from their uncle (followed closely by their father).  I really didn’t want to cut it until after their first birthday (no, I can’t really give a logical explanation for why – I just felt like haircuts are for big boys, and I want to hold on to their baby-ness as long as I can!), but I had to face the facts.  Their hair was always in their eyes.  After every meal I’d have to clean it out of their hair from them wiping it out of their eyes.  They needed a trim.  So I caved.  And their uncle is still in shock.

Before Jeff & I got married, my Grandma taught me how to cut his hair (she cut my Grandpa’s hair for all 52 years of their marriage!) – and I’ve been cutting it ever since.  It saves us money & Jeff figures if I don’t like the cut, I can only blame myself!  Anyway, therefore I’ve always planned to cut the little guys’ hair myself as well, although cutting baby hair made me NERVOUS.  How do you style it? How do you cut only hair and not the baby, cause remember – these boys do not sit still!

Anyway, in a flash of bravery combined with annoyance at cleaning oatmeal out of their hair AGAIN, I told Jeff I’d cut it–right that minute, or I’d lose my courage.  So-on their 11 month birthday, Cullen & Lane got their first haircuts.  All in all, it went pretty well.  We gave them teething biscuits to chew on & daddy to entertain them nonstop.  I think Lane’s looks pretty good, although he didn’t need very much hair trimmed–mostly just some long pieces in the front.  Cullen’s ended up shorter than I wanted it, but I had to cut it SUPER fast because he kept trying to turn his head to see what I was doing!  The important thing is, it’ll probably look just right by the all-important first birthday pictures.  And he seems to enjoy being able to see again.

11 months old.

Another monthly update already? Today they’re 11 months old… guess I can’t be in denial much longer that the big 1st birthday is on its way.  This year is going by too fast!  This has been a really fun month with C & L.  They are doing so many things and although they’re moving nonstop all day, they’re so much fun you don’t care how worn out you are by the end of the day!

At 11 months old, you both:

  • Eat almost anything, and LOTS of it.  You still take 2 naps at 10 & 2:30 and go to bed at 7:30, waking up anytime between 6:30-8. (C-man has given us some early wakeup calls this month, but this week you’ve been back to 7:15 which we’re thankful for!)
  • Pull up, stand, & cruise around on EVERYTHING and your walkers are your favorite toy – you want to be on the move! You’re both also pretty daring and will let go of what you’re holding onto & dive at us at any time.
  • Hate getting your diapers changed or clothes put on because you have to be still for more than 2 seconds!
  • Love to crawl up the stairs & have just figured out that cabinets are fun to open & get into!
  • Are starting to fight over toys if you both want the same one – and Laner is becoming more dominant, which does not make C too happy!
  • Will come sit in my lap to hear a book & now you turn the pages and know all the flaps to flip, fuzzy things to rub, etc. as I read it.
  • LOVE the Winnie the Pooh train/walker – it is by far your favorite toy right now.

Cullen Wayne, you:

  • Have become a con artist to get people to walk you around holding their hands – anything you can do to trick them into it, you’ll do, and you throw a FIT if/when they try to stop!
  • Have figured out how much fun it is to unroll toilet paper – we have to keep you out of bathrooms!
  • Love to push balls around the room & chase after them.
  • Are starting to slim down while your “little brother” chunks up – I think he may weigh more than you soon!
  • Are definitely a mama’s boy.

Lane Davis, you:

  • Completely ditched your army crawl and are speedy on all fours – which means you’ve gotten quite mischievous!
  • Are still our little monkey – you’ll find a way to climb up on or into ANYTHING. You are a big ball of muscle & we’re amazed at what you can lift yourself up onto without even needing your legs at all.
  • Are becoming a chunky monkey.  You’ve got a great belly right now!  We love that our little man finally has some chunky baby thighs too. 🙂
  • Think ANY animal noise is absolutely hilarious.
  • We don’t really know when you wake up because you love to stand up in your crib & play on the railings for a while, especially if your brother’s also awake to hang out with.  We’ll hear you two making noises & laughing at each other in the monitor – so cute.

We love you both more than you’ll ever know!

sweet moments

The other night I had the boys on my own while Jeff was playing basketball with some buddies.  We try very hard to let each other go out and have girl/guy time, but doing the bedtime routine solo has always been a little crazy.  Heck, it can get a little chaotic at times even with two people!  However, it is becoming easier the older they get – no more double-fisting bottles for simultaneous feedings with two tired, cranky babies, as they can hold their own sippy cups/bottles; they can crawl/cruise around their room while you change/dress the other one; and on this night–it was actually, finally… ENJOYABLE.

We played inside for an hour, doing laps around the house with their walkers, then they lay on the floor and fed themselves most of their bedtime milk (while I took pictures on my phone and texted them to Jeff with quite-possibly-overeager messages like “glory hallelujah!  the day we’ve waited for has come!”).  Once we were upstairs in their room, C finished his sippy off & played.  I got to rock L as he finished his bottle and snuggled into my shoulder for some one-on-one cuddle time (a rare opportunity around here).  And then, the real miracle happened.  My two active little boys BOTH sat still in my lap for a full 15 minutes and let me rock them together.  I read them books, sang quiet praise songs, prayed for them, and just talked to them about how much I loved them.  It was bordering on blissful.  I don’t often get moments like that, and you can bet I soaked it in.  For a moment, the challenges of raising multiples and the things I think I miss out on (like being able to rock my baby to sleep every night or just sit & stare in awe of my child without worrying about what the other is getting into) melted away as I enjoyed doing the things I used to dream about–with not one baby, but two.  I felt honored & thankful that the Lord chose to make me their mom.  I had two sweet, snuggly babes in my lap – one in each arm – who love me and want nothing more than to sit there and enjoy their mama’s hugs and kisses.  I was again reminded not only of how blessed I am, but how fortunate they are.  They have two parents who love them deeply, and a built-in best friend to hold their hand as they share Mommy’s lap.  What could be better than that?

These moments can be few and far between, but I don’t want to forget them anytime soon.  They’re what make everything worth it – more than worth it.  And they’ll be gone way too soon.

video time

Some videos for your entertainment and my memories 🙂

#1 – The boys on their walkers – this is all they want to do these days!  Can’t believe they’ll be walking before too long…

#2 – The aforementioned “monkey noises” video.  Lane had already been laughing for a while before we finally turned the camera on.  After this, we made my dad do the noises & motions to make the boys smile every time we took a picture… which was pretty funny when we took family photos by the boardwalk & people were stopping to stare & laugh at him!

#3 – Ashley & Cullen having a crumpled paper war on beach vacation.  I missed this one, but I always love hearing that laugh!

I’m raising two vultures.

The boys have always been big eaters, but even more so lately.  This is what my sons ate for lunch today.  AFTER they’d had some bottles.

  • green pepper
  • squash
  • onion
  • chicken
  • black beans
  • blueberries
  • blackberries
  • cranberries
  • cheese
  • whole wheat bread

and LOTS of each.  It was becoming comical…I couldn’t manage to prepare & throw more food on their trays faster than they could shovel it in their mouths.  Next meal, maybe I should save myself some time & just throw the whole fridge at them.

We’re in trouble!!!

Our dad is #1

Happy Father’s Day… we’re grateful to have 2 fantastic fathers ourselves and celebrated them this week at Hilton Head when we were together.  We love you!

However, today is really special because it’s Jeff’s first official Father’s Day – and as I think back on his past 10+months as a dad, I am so happy & grateful for all the memories that flood my mind.  I never doubted for a second that he would be a natural, an incredible dad – I just knew he’d be amazing…and he has been.  He is such a great daddy to these two little guys and I know he’s already setting an example for them of how to be a godly family man. Thanks honey, for being the best partner in parenting I could ask for!  I can’t tell you enough how thankful, honored, & proud I am that you are the father of my sons.

From Cullen & Lane – a few reasons why we love our daddy:

  • He is hilarious and always makes us laugh with his funny faces, dance moves, & tickling the back of our necks with his nose.
  • He prays with and for us every night before we go to bed.
  • He wrestles with us on the floor & gets so excited when we do new things.
  • He tells us how much he loves us constantly and gives us lots of hugs & kisses.
  • He’s teaching us about the important things in life–country music, good food, and ESPN.

We love you!

first beach trip!

We took the boys on their first beach vacation this past week!  My family spends a week at Hilton Head Island every year and we were excited to take the boys with us for the first time!  They loved it – the sand, the ocean, the pool, and TONS of attention – they ate it up.  Jeff’s parents and Aunt Dee joined us for a few days as well.  We had a great time and our sons are definitely some beach lovers… I wouldn’t expect anything less from sons of mine.

Some memories from the week:

  • Lane made the same happy squeal the entire time he was in the ocean each day.  Apparently the beach is his happy place.
  • Cullen would be going full speed playing in the ocean & then instantly cry for his mama & fall asleep on my shoulder when we were out jumping waves.  He did it every single day – I can’t say I didn’t love the snuggle time.
  • They both LOVED to be tossed back & forth in the pool – the higher the better.
  • They ate SO. MUCH. FOOD. Good thing they eat literally anything – even crab legs!
  • The first night Cullen slept terribly (maybe because he had to sleep in the bathroom!)… after that they both slept well, except for waking up early every morning – but Gramma took them on hour long stroller walks early every morning so Jeff & I could go back to bed or spend some time together – it was wonderful!  Thanks mom!
  • Lane laughed harder than I’ve ever seen him at my dad’s monkey noises (video to come).
  • Lane switched to completely crawling on all fours, no more army crawl!  Probably because they spent half their vacation in just diapers… the floor isn’t too kind to bare bellies!
  • Cullen took one taste of sand & quit eating it… Lane, however, continued to try to eat it all week.
  • I left one night early to go to a friend’s wedding, but while I was gone, I’m told the boys enjoyed going out to eat with the Pyles’ (Lane refused to eat plain old grouper after a bite of the finer things such as filet and crab! apparently he has a discriminating palate) and had a good old time crumpling up magazines & having papers thrown at them that night with the Zaepfels.

We took about a zillion pictures (I know, shocker) – far too many to upload to the blog… so we made a slideshow in an attempt to limit them to some favorites:

We had a great week!  Already excited for next year! (and THANK YOU to our families for being so much help with the boys – you made it so much easier for us to enjoy ourselves!)

water babies

These pictures are from a few weeks ago, but I forgot to post them since they were on our old back-up camera… still worth recording. 🙂  The boys got their first pool experience at Sam’s birthday party, & loved it!  We took them to the pool in our neighborhood the next day, and once they got over the cold water, they didn’t want to leave.  We’ve taken them several times since then & they are big fans of the pool.  Looks like we have some water babies – should be a fun summer!

news of note

In the past week or so, the following has happened:

  • both boys cut 2 top teeth each (these must have hurt more than the bottom ones; both were a little miserable. C-man was definitely not a fan; we had some middle of the night wake-up calls, and let me tell you, I do NOT miss those!).
  • the first bloody lip went to… Cullen (who was surprisingly T-U-F-F about it).  For the record, Laner had the honor of the first shiner/black eye a while back.
  • they learned to climb the staircase – Lane just does a few then gets distracted, C has beasted it all the way to the top several times already.
  • they can walk behind a walker by themselves
  • they had their first taste of pizza – Paventis’ of course – and LOVED IT. (Spinach artichoke w/ tomatoes & mushrooms)

Just another week in the life of the Pyles boys – never a dull moment around here.