Who’s coming with me?

The first official Cooper family bbq/pool party was last night. We decided that needs to be an annual event because it was a solid crowd and really fun. Everyone got along which is hard to imagine with my personal and professional worlds crashing into each other. Even the randoms Lindsay invited from the mall and her boy D-Rock (The party bus guy from Chicago) showed up with even more randoms. And we all just laughed and laughed all night. We ate like locusts, went swimming, played beach volleyball then sat in my gazebo and enjoyed not getting bitten up by mosquitos. At 9 I told everyone time to go I need to get my babies down for the night. No one wanted to go it was one of the those nights.

I really needed this weekend. I have been submerged in a depression for about 2 or 3 weeks now. 2 people told me I was depressed and I couldn’t see it, I denied it, and actually got pissed at both of them for putting a mirror up to my face. Lindsay was one of the ones that pointed it out immediately. When she realized 3 weeks ago that’s what was wrong with me she mustered all of her loving support and said Well call me back when you aren’t such a miserable little bitch I can’t believe you are depressed right now get the f-word over it so we can go have fun Lol She really knows how to yank the knife a few times, doesn’t she.  I feel a lot better. I am realizing when I am depressed that’s when I need to externalize and not internalize. Frankly with everything I have gone through the past few months I’m surprised I hadn’t hit that wall sooner. That’s what my other friend said to me this morning. She also woke me up a little bit by texting me at 5:50am because she’s on steroids and had insomnia. She sent me a photo of her coffee mugs. ???? Yeah I don’t really know either but I called her to hopefully let her say what she wanted to say to me so I could go back to bed. That didn’t work so we ended up talking for an hour and finally I said I need to go get in the shower and get ready for Church. She said that’s fine I’m ready to go to bed now, thanks! Yeah, thanks Lol 5:50am, darling!

I was shocked when I walked downstairs and almost everyone was awake, dressed for Church and munching on cereal and toast. I said am I dreaming this or did Heck Freeze over? Lindsay said I got everyone up and ready so we can all go to your ridiculous Church service as a family. I hugged her. Probably cried a little then said I am so happy everyone is coming with me today! I can’t believe it. She said you have no idea how much these people bitch when you wake them up at 7am and I owe her. Honestly most of my friends are Catholic so they know on Sundays get up so we can go. This was such a surprise. I loved it.

We got to Church. I usually sit up front or close to up front. Today we sat near the back because we had a crowd. Lindsay only let out one loud snort when Father said Let God take all of your troubles to paradise. I smacked her leg and Ben shot her a look. He is not Catholic he is Lutheran so this was an experience for him. He said he didn’t realize we knelt down that much. I said I call it Leg day Lol

After Church I went and got Father and introduced my family to him. He smiled and said he was happy they joined me and we were a good-looking group. Lindsay walked off and went to sit in the truck. Everyone else was not rude they made small talk and I asked Father to pray for my niece and nephew (Drew’s kids, we are not real brothers but we consider each other a brother) to have a fun and safe summer. He quickly prayed over them and told them to keep reading books and don’t eat too much ice cream. They both laughed. They are both amazing kids. Love both of them very much. Then a few people I know wanted to meet everyone so I introduced everyone.

 
We just stopped at a bagel place and everyone got their own bagels, cream cheeses, and drinks. I got an apple and a banana and a bottle of water. I told them we are going to eat on the road today so this was only a snack. I kind of have it all planned out. Now we are back at the house packing up. I am getting ready to make a run to the store to buy up a bunch of snacks and Cheetos for the plane ride. It’s going to be a long day of flying and I love it. I have missed flying around so much. These past few months has really been a passion for me. It’s my own version of Heaven. I feel completely awesome when I’m up there. And my new plane is really, really cool. I love it. It has taken a few trips to get used to but I’m finally learning everything about her. I haven’t named her yet I’m still waiting for inspiration to hit me.

We decided to drop off Drew’s family first because they have the dog. Then go to Oklahoma City to drop off Becky. She has had such a great trip. She said she missed her son who was at his grandmother’s for the weekend but she needed a fun weekend like this. Next we are going to head over to Las Vegas to drop off Peyton, Ben, and Lindz. Then I will come all the way back by myself. Unless Josh does decide to go with us because remember I do still have 1 seat available Lol He said he has been wanting to go with me sometime and this would be a fun day he thinks. When we get closer to Ohare I will call and see if he wants to meet up there. He has already texted me once to ask what time did I think I would be taking off today. I am trying for 11:30 to at least get us all on the plane but we all know that won’t happen unless Lindsay wrangles them again. I’m still in shock they were all up and ready to go Lol I just can’t believe it. I really did hope at least Drew’s family would go to Church with me. He knows how important that is to me. Even though he says they don’t go every Sunday like he knows they should. He said sometimes he just wants to lay in bed and read the paper instead.

I think my dog will miss Drew’s dog. They have been running around together all weekend. He has only stomped her a dozen times because she’s so little but then she just bites his ear and he sits down looking at her like you Bish Lol The girls are going to head back to Chicago when we leave with the boys and the dog. They said depending on if they are almost ready to be put down they may wait a little longer so they can sleep the whole ride home.

I think everyone really did have a good time. So much for impromptu vacations. I am so happy they were here. This is a great start to our summer!

I have 2 big trips coming up than 2 bigger trips coming up to finish out my year. No more overnight or weekend trips until those trips. I will continue to do my day work trips but that’s going to be it. I’m really trying to stay in town with my boys as much as I can. Lindsay has really picked up the slack on that. Her and Kevin have been sharing my work trip schedule. She said it’s fun for about 3 days until you realize you have 10 more cities to hit in 7 days and you can’t get a full night’s sleep because your time zone changes are killing you. People that travel for work I really don’t know how ya’ll do it. It’s not easy.

I will be taking Drew and his family with 4 of my Aunts and Uncles to Greece for an 8 day guided tour. I decided we are going last year and bought the travel package. It was an amazing deal then I had to figure out who to take. 10 people, Greece, 8 days. I may regret that but I think I am so excited to see all the historical sites anything that happens I will roll with it. My boys will not be going on that trip. It’s too much for them. And then after that I am going to Rio for the Olympics! I am going for a 5 day trip to see Lindsay’s cousin compete in the equestrian things for her country. We planned and booked that trip last year way before she got married so she may not be going with me. I will work that out later on.

After those 2 trips a quick break from traveling then I have Paris in November and Dubai in December. I have to do my yearly check ins with those offices and see what we need. Dubai is rolling the money back to the U.S. It’s so great. Paris has always been fickle. I don’t make that much money there but I wanted an International presence and honestly just an excuse to visit there yearly. I am in love with Paris and have been for years. I lived in Paris for a year of my life and loved every day there. My boys will also not be going on those trips. I’m just hoping the judge grants the adoption some time this year. I really pray it happens this year but I was told not to get my hopes up. I will keep praying.

I hope everyone has an amazing Sunday! I know I am. God loves you and I love ya’ll too!

I’m adopting a new perspective

As my twins are about to hit the famous 4 month mark I have realized they are teaching me how to be a parent. No book ever prepared me for the past 4 months with them. No advice from friends, no movie or tv show. Nothing. Twins are a completely different breed and if you are a parent of multiples you know exactly what I mean. You single baby families crack me up. I have used the I have twins card at least 3 times and I will be yanking it out some more because I am realizing just how different it really is to have twins. It’s special, and fun. And hard and exhausting and twice of everything. You parents with one baby, seriously, you have no idea. I mean great job raising that 1 baby of yours at a time Lol That must be sooooooooo hard on you! I haven’t slept since FEBRUARY! At least not a full night. Even when I’ve been out-of-town I get anxious and wake up. I don’t know what I need in order get myself a full night’s sleep. Well actually I do know what I need but that’s not blog material. There actually are some things I don’t write about.

I feel bad for my boys. I have more women friends than I do male friends. I am realizing that. I think it’s because I get along with women so much better than I do with guys. Guys are perplexed by me because I don’t laugh at offensive, women-hating jokes or high-five when someone does something utterly disgusting just to see what would happen. I don’t find anything like that funny or manly. I also don’t behave like a caveman with women and I do my best to not talk that much. Because I really don’t want to talk that much. I am always polite, I do use my manners and I go out of my way to be helpful. Yes I am completely engrossed in self-praise right now. I have earned it today. Today has been enlightening.

I have learned today about having sons that has provoked all kinds of new emotions and anxieties I never knew existed. I was in a deep discussion with one of my neighbors. He is a well-known psychologist as well as a former University professor. A well-respected man. He has been wanting to get a hold of me for a long time he said Lol Oh boy, we all know what that means. I cracked a lame joke and said let me hand you a blank check right now to fix me. He said that was self-deprecating and I must have an intense emotional attachment to my own version of myself. Insert fetal position, tears over my shitty childhood and the need to hug my teddy bear here. I was actually sitting on my couch at the time and had a sudden urge to sprawl out and kick up my feet but I held it in.

I said I think I love having my sons because I can identify with them. They don’t look like me at all because they are not biologically mine but I do have this sense that they understand we are all the same. The guy with the beard that pokes his head in the crib 5 times a night and makes funny faces when we first wake up, yeah, that’s him. That’s our dad. I think they get that by now. Jesus, I hope they do. I just had a mini panic attack over that one. Every time I look at my boys I wonder what I was like at 4 months old. Was I doing the things they were doing? Was my mom struggling to sleep like I am? A multitude of introspective questions come to mind for me. The truth is I did want a boy. I prayed to God please make this child a boy. Well God started laughing and said GUESS WHAT MY CHILD, I SHALL BLESS YOU ONCE AND THEN ONCE MORE, GOOD LUCK WITH THAT! And here we are. Twins boys, nearly 4 months. Me = struggling.

I will have a daughter some day. I know I will because I have already “ordered her” with an adoption agency. We have started the paperwork process to get me checked out and qualified. It’s going to take 18 months up to 3 years to get a daughter for me. If I agree to take a slightly older child the time frame is less. I kind of want to space this out a little bit. I figured in 2 years I will be ready to start sitting down and looking at my options on this so that at age 3 or 4 with my boys I can say Okay, let’s bring her in now. I really feel 3 to 4 years age difference is good for me. I don’t know, I change my mind often so we will noodle that one for a while. I’m starting to feel like my daughter is more of a luxury item I pick from a catalogue rather than a blessing from God and I’m creeping myself out a little so just know I really do want a daughter, I will adopt her in the near future, and she will be a wanted, loved, and needed addition to the Cooper household.

I do understand saying the normal Oh I don’t really care what my baby is I just want him or her to be healthy, that wasn’t me. I wanted a boy. I prayed for a boy and I just knew my first-born child would be a boy. I knew it.

Then the news came it’s a boy! Yay! And there’s more news! Yayywhatt?? What news??? It’s twins Ya..WTF??? Hahaha you are so funny hahaha twins, yeah right hahahaaaaaaaaaahhhhhhhhh TWINSSSS?????? TWINS? Are you sure? Are you just playing with me? Twins? This is real? You aren’t joking? She’s having twins? I’m going to be adopting twins? But I just wanted one! How did this happen! Okay well technically I know how this happened but..twins. Okay. Okay I need to lie down. Okay I need to breathe. I’m not breathing. Why am I not breathing! Is it hot in here. I need some water. GET ME SOME WATER! Help me! TWINS! Wait what? Okay.

That was basically my internal reaction inside of my head for that moment. I wanted a boy. I have 2 boys. I already told the adoption agency I want a girl, ONE GIRL. Not 2, 3, 4, 5, whatever. I’m ordering 1 girl baby or child please. Make a note on your clip board over there, just the 1. Thanks. I strongly believe that the absence of having a girl around would imbalance my family. I think you need one of each. And if you don’t get one of each that’s okay but you spend your life doing the what if to whatever gender you don’t have. As a Catholic I do know many, many families that continue to try if they do not have a boy. Some went 8 deep before they gave up Lol Poor bastards, I hit a boy on the first pull of the parenting slot machine Lol Go figure.

Can we now talk about the new trend of gender neutral toys? I for one will never buy my sons a toy gun to play with. They will not be allowed in my home. I do not own a gun. I sold them all years ago. Do I like guns? Yes. A little too much actually. I love the mechanics of them and I love how powerful I feel with a gun in my hand. I also know that if someone broke into my home in the middle of the night I would shoot first, ask questions later and that’s when I decided I do not want to shoot anyone. I had a complete change of everything when I returned home from the military. I was very proud to serve my country but not at all proud of my job duties. I was in fact ashamed. So the last thing I wanted to be around ever again was a gun. Sold them all and everything I had. I will never own another gun. I do like going to gun shows. I do like seeing a gun video where you get to see how the gun reacts when fired. All guns react differently. I probably would be a huge gun enthusiast if I hadn’t had such a negative military experience. These toy guns, I’m sorry but they look real. They look more real than they should. I get toy guns are fun, play with them bang-bang. I get it. And I know at some point my boys will be over at a friend’s house playing with toy guns. That’s for them to experience outside of my home. So these gender neutral toys, they just confuse me. What is it that I’m supposed to learn? I played with GI Joe dolls. I got a marker and painted black strips under both eyes like a football player and cut his hair into a mohawk because I thought that looked tough and cool. I was a moron. I also strapped him onto a papersack and flung him from various trees because he was parachuting into battle Lol Some of these toys just don’t make any sense to me. Have we really gotten to the point where toys need to be identified as nongendered? I know a lot of girls that love Legos. They can sit there just as long as boys do and build stuff. I also know boys that really enjoy playing house. You know those giant model homes with furniture and all kinds of accessories. It’s fun. So I do not buy my boys gender neutral toys. I do get them boy stuff and as soon as they are a little older and can pick out their own toys I will take them to the boys and girls sections and ask them what interests them to play with. Whatever the toy is that’s what we’ll buy. I think that’s the only way I can compensate for not having a mom in their life to teach them about girl stuff and how to play with girl toys. Thank goodness for my nannies because I’m already worried about screwing up my kids because they have no mom.

Enough of that. So I told my neighbor, the psychologist, I really think my boys will become mini versions of me. Because they will only have me to shadow and learn from. I hope to create two little souls that are better than me, more kind, more loving, and give them opportunities that I lacked growing up. I also believe I will be a much better parent than I had and maybe that will heal up some of my childhood wounds. I hope to remove any and all obstacles that I had growing up from their lives and I will see myself through them. I can get this right by doing it different from I know. You know better, you do better. Great motto for raising kids.

As a new first time parent I feel somewhat intuitive with my boys. I can tell when one is about to let off or when one is about to need a new diaper. I can tell when one is full and I can tell when that burp was not enough, there’s another one right behind it. I am so hands on with my boys I can now tell them apart by their cries. It did take me a while but I have it now. There is a slight pitch change and length of cry that differentiates the two. I did have a huge Uh Oh moment during bath time when I couldn’t remember who was who early on. I felt like shit too. I had to ask Sarah which one is this one. It was the first and last time I ever did that. She laughed and told me the trick she was using to tell them apart. They are identical. They look exactly the same the only difference was their cheeks. Heston was chubs, Alex wasn’t eating well so his cheeks weren’t as full. As soon as she told me that I began to notice and it got easier. Now that they are both eating great and the exact same size I still have to look at them really close to tell them apart. But I can do it. Could you imagine if my dumbbutt inadvertently switched them at some point early on and was calling them by the wrong names the rest of their lives Lol That would be heartbreaking. Neither of my boys have birthmarks or anything that would identify them which I thought was great but Sarah said on the Safer Kids website it’s a nightmare to register your kids who don’t have any type of mark. I said let’s get them a small tattoo each to make it easier and she just looked at me like I was crazy. No I would never get my baby tattooed, but that would in fact help us out here. Even just a small little black dot on one of them? No no, dumb idea!

I have never been a father that did not know what to do with my babies once they arrived. I have not just pitched in every single day, I have taken over completely and created a physical bond with them. I even used to feed them with my shirt off and hold the bottle close so they could feel my heartbeat and feel connected to me. My baby doctor at the hospital took me aside and gave me 4 or 5 really great pieces of advice since I was going home without the mom. I have never depended on my nannies fully when I am at home to take over and do it for me. I am not that guy. In fact we have had more arguments of them wanting to help me as I struggle to take care of both of my boys at the same time. Feeding them can be challenging. I’m one guy with 2 hands and 2 mouths to feed simultaneously. It’s not easy. We finally figured out how to do it and I have mastered it by now but it was not easy. I do the lion’s share of my child raising. I do the cleaning, the laundry the feedings, the holding, the playing. All of it. No one can ever say I was a lazy dad and I just called it in. My nannies are here to support me. To help me out. Not to raise my kids. I believe I’ve said that a few times on here. I hired them to help me out. They watch them when I am working or on trips. I make sure I have more than enough coverage especially when I am out-of-town and so far it’s worked out great. That’s why I have 3 nannies. To make sure Sarah does not get burned out at all and to make sure I have at least one on call nanny 24/7. That’s the agreement, it’s in the contracts they all signed and they get paid for being “on call” even if we don’t need them. It’s a small amount but it’s still in there.

I don’t think I am going to be the kind of dad to bond with my kids over a 3rd thing. Like sports or computers or anything like that. I want to sit down one on one with each or both and really connect. I don’t even watch tv. I don’t think I am going to allow much tv time. And the internet Hahahahahhahah Nooooooooo way. Not until they are 40! Just kidding. By the time they are in school there will probably be internet helmets that can process information at the speed of sound and print out your homework just by shifting your eyes to the print icon on the eye receptacle. Who knows what it will be like. I just know that internet at my house may get shut off as soon as my boys hit puberty Lol Can you imagine if we all had the internet at that age? It makes me want to Windex my laptop keyboard here just thinking about it, yuck. And I can’t even imagine what kids these days look up online. I just don’t even want to know. There is no more mystery on things. You Google it if you want to see something. Or your friends at age 8 wipes out a smartphone and says here that’s what a coo coo looks like Lol I will shield my boys as long as I can until one of them says how come we don’t have a smartphone. How come we don’t have the internet at home? How come Billy gets an Ipad 20 and I don’t have one! I want my boys to experience life, not Google it. I want to keep things a mystery until they reach the age they discover it on their own.

I’m also not the dad that will need to constantly prove my masculinity around my boys. We will play sports together but I’m not going to strut my superiority on dunking a basketball right in their faces, ever. I will always want it to be fun. If sports are not fun or my kids don’t enjoy it we won’t play. I will never force my kids to get in there, or suck it up, or walk it off. No. I think letting them develop their own athleticism as well as decide what sport or no sport is what they want to do, that’s okay. I actually prefer my boys go the opposite direction and fall in love with books like I did. I prefer if they are musical or scholarly. I prefer they use their personality and their brains rather than their bodies to have to prove themselves. That being said I will sign them up for sports. Just to see if they like it. If they don’t, done. We are already signed up for swimming lessons. That’s because I have a pool. All of my nannies are taking the swim lessons with us because I need them to really know how to save my babies from drowning just in case. I have a pool. I want my babies to be in the pool, I need us all to learn what to do. I am a great swimmer and I am certified in baby CPR, adult CPR and about 6 other things you can take at the Red Cross for $25/certification. I think we will be okay because I have noticed all of us watch the babies very, very closely. Even when we had that almost diaper rash issue back in March of ’16 Lol We all talked about it incessantly until it cleared up.

I do not want to turn my sons into my friends. I want my sons to be my children. I think a lot of parents do that. Particularly single parents or uumm Single Feeling parents 😉 do that with their kid or kids. I want to be there for them and let them know they can talk to me about anything. But I don’t want to guy it up all of the time so they feel like they have no father. That’s not my role in their life. I am to teach them by my example. They are looking at me every minute I am around them. My goodness what a huge responsibility this is. They are going to see me take care of them myself. Not depend on someone else to do it. They are going to model my behavior with strangers and show compassion to people who are struggling in life. The one thing I really do hope I pass on through teaching them is that being kind matters. It just does. You never forget someone who was nice to you for no reason. It imprints itself on you for the rest of the day.

Believe it not I don’t feel it’s my job to do man things with my boys. I believe if they have a curiosity towards anything I will teach them if they want. I don’t think me teaching them how to shave or me teaching them to pee their names in the snow is a guy thing. I think it’s a dad thing. Because women have to teach their daughter how to shave their legs and armpits. And they could technically teach them how to write their names in the snow if they ran around and well anyway. I don’t want to toughen up my kids. I don’t want them to shake something off. I want to know why they are upset and what happened. What can I do or what do you need. That’s what I am more interested in here.

Let me say this journey I am on, look the heck out world. I am learning so much about myself here. It’s great! I am not sitting around boo-hooing (Anymore) about what happened to me and how unfair it was. I’m doing my work. I have to. No one is going to do my work for me. I am really looking at my life, I am putting up boundaries with people and I am enjoying getting to know myself, all over again. I do have to live with myself and all of my words and decisions. I might want to start being a lot more responsible with my actions. That way I have something to be proud of when all of this crazy stuff finally goes away.

I know life is not predictable. Every day things change. And I love that. I love how busy I am. I love that feel of accomplishment. I just wish I would stop beating myself up. I know I am a good guy. I know I am nice. I know I am sweet. I just hope my boys know it someday too. I hope they know that if it came down to it I would absolutely lay down my life for either one of them and protect them at all costs because they are the loves of my life. Not some silly woman, not some Range Rover sport or my new airplane. Them. My boys. They are my entire heart and I chose to love them into my life.

Adoption is awesome!