Our first Christmas

We took the boys to their first ever Christmas mass at midnight on Christmas Eve. Surprisingly enough they slept through most of it. When we stood up to leave that’s when they decided to wake up and cry. Thank goodness it was over at that point. I had so many people want to take a peek at them under their blankets but I said after the service please. I can’t wake them up. Lindsay loved holding Heston and showing him off. He is my dominant one. He’s not afraid of anything. Alex will go to a stranger then scream and cry until he gets handed back Lol Two different beings that look exactly the same. Having identical twins is completely different from I had expected. But it’s twice the fun also. So let’s go to our Christmas update!

The twins had a very nice and relaxing first Christmas. Auntie Lindsay and I got up early enough to set out the presents that Santa left in the closet so my dog wouldn’t get them Lol Santa is so thoughtful. I took Sam jr for a long walk while Lindsay finished getting things ready and then she went back to bed. I think I was more excited for the boys than I am. I went down to my Church food bank and volunteered to feed the homeless. The breakfast smelled great and I was able to help serve over 200 people. I gave extra to all the kids and got scolded twice. Oh well. God wanted them to have extra. I finished washing the dishes from my service station and then helped take out the trash. Then it was time to go home. I stopped and picked up some breakfast for Lindsay and I. She just wanted donuts. Of course I got the wrong kind. Apparently an assortment is not good enough. Had to be chocolate icing with whip cream filling. My bad. By the time I got back the boys were still in their cribs but awake. Lindsay had already changed them and got them into outfits. But they were both full from eating their breakfast and wanted to lay back down. I got home and showered. Then it was time to show them what Santa brought them.

I put Alex down and he immediately started crawling for the tree. I told her to watch him then I went and got Heston. He did the same thing. We sat down with them and I started handing out gifts. They were more excited to rip stuff up and touch the boxes then they were for the actual present Lol So funny. We got things opened and cut the plastic tie things off. Whoever invented the idea of plastic tying things inside of a baby toy box, thanks a lot. That took forever. And as impatient as my boys can get it was a crying fit until I freed the toy. We got clothes, toys, baby shoes, baby coats, baby everything. We also got a lot of stuffed animals. And Alex let out a new word. BobooobbooOOOOhhhhh Lol It was so funny. I don’t know what boboooh is but we all cracked up. We have already had our first Da da. Heston finally let that one out and I started crying. I said that’s right. I’m your da da! Alex is holding his in I guess. I know someday soon he will say it but for now it’s fine. And Heston has either forgotten he said it or is holding it until Alex says it next. Either way the Da da was here and now it’s gone. At least it’s on Video. That much was worth it.

We played for a few hours and both of my boys literally passed out on the wrapping paper. That allowed me time to clean up and start putting things in piles. Thank you to everyone that sent us gifts, well wishes, and cards. You will all be receiving thank you cards next week. My boys love everything you gave them. And for all the people who sent loud, beeping, horn-making toys I plan to donate the box full of them to a Women’s shelter Lol My boys do not need to drive me nuts hitting the same button 50 times per hour. They would too. So those toys are going bye bye.

Lindsay and I also got some amazing presents from Santa. We both must have been very nice this year. She did talk a little about missing her “mum” and how hard it will be every year without her. She did go spend time with her former stepdad and stepbrother’s families. They had invited her over for a meal and to ask for money. The yearly handout as she calls it. She said she had fun and came home a few hours later than she said. I’m glad she got to see everyone. I enjoyed the peaceful quiet time alone with my babies. They will never have a first Christmas again. They will never get much alone time with me over the next year.  My travel schedule is going to get worse since I am ending my career with SJC. But retirement from those businesses will lead me into full-time parenting. And will also give me plenty of time to adopt more kids. My life purpose is my boys right now. I want to be there for everything. When they are both in school that is the time I can launch my next business adventure. Right now I need to figure it all out. I have plenty of time and I’m not in any rush. I want to enjoy my 2017 and watch my boys go from babies to toddlers, God help us all.

I’m excited for how Christmas went. It was perfect. Everything was quiet just like I wanted. We are going back to the city tonight and preparing for the arrival of the nannies tonight. I can’t wait to see everyone and see how their holidays were.

I pray you all had a wonderful Christmas and you feel joy and happiness all week! God bless and have a great week!

Happy Holidays x2

 Auntie Lindz is in town and she brought and shipped presents for everyone. I picked her up last night then said goodbye to the last nanny standing. It’s just me with the boys for a few days. I’ve gotten very good at figuring out how to do things by myself and have enjoyed having some guy time with my twins. Lindsay has family here so she’s going to split time between the two towns.

We spent the day making candy and looking through photos from this year. I can’t believe how much Heston and Alex have grown. Their first year has gone so fast!

We will be taking the boys to Midnight Mass tomorrow night and then I will get up at 5am and go serve food at our annual Church breakfast for the homeless. I’m working until 8. Just in time to grab breakfast and bring it home for Lindsay and I. Then Christmas morning it’s my boys very first Christmas! I’m very excited this year. They each got plenty of gifts but I did not allow myself or anyone to go crazy.

I want to wish all of my readers a very Happy Holiday season and a very Merry Christmas. Most of all Happy Birthday Jesus! I love you all!

 

 

Design and Conquer?

We are working on a new theme for my blog. The other one has a bunch of technical issues and I want my blog theme to work 100%. I’m also able to change out the entire color scheme by picking what colors I want to use. That is not something I could do with the other themes. I like the look of this one. Over the next few days we (Lindsay) will be fixing it a little at a time until I am happy. She has threatened to blow this entire blog up if I tell her I don’t like this theme once she’s done with it Lol It wouldn’t take but a few clicks and it would be all gone.

I’m trying to make it festive also. That’s why the snow turned red so you will able to see it better. That’s why the header is Christmas related and I plan to add other Christmas images there. I’m really hopeful this will be the final design and I will quit messing with it. I have learned now that if it says UPDATE THEME don’t touch it Lol Let Lindsay look at what changes are made so she can see if they will affect the other plugins we use. I have about 15 plugins that help make the blog look and work the way it does. Each time you update the plugins you are at risk of messing up your theme. When it throws a database error (Whatever that is) it can crash the site. I’ve sat through a few crashes blowing up her phone to ask for help. Then I have to sit through endless amounts of lecturing of not to touch anything. I’m the writer, just write. I know I know.

Please be patient as we work things out. If you see errors it’s because she’s working and fixing on it live. She’s online and doing stuff. Please don’t send in comment about what is broken we have an error log that shows it. She fixes each one by one and it’s a fix it and look strategy. All things over my head anyway so I appreciate all of the hard work she puts in to it. It’s not my fault she is technical and can do this stuff. It’s also not my fault I have big dreams for my blog and want all the new fancy bells and whistles. I’ve agreed to scale it back to this. And I am very happy with it.

Wish us luck!

Rowboat Book Club Book #48

I like this book a lot. The Untethered Soul by Michael A Singer. I hope you guys enjoy it. And thank you so much for helping us end year 3 of this Book Club! We finally hit 1000 members.

Whether this is your first exploration of inner space, or you’ve devoted your life to the inward journey, this book will transform your relationship with yourself and the world around you. You’ll discover what you can do to put an end to the habitual thoughts and emotions that limit your consciousness. By tapping into traditions of meditation and mindfulness, author and spiritual teacher Michael A. Singer shows how the development of consciousness can enable us all to dwell in the present moment and let go of painful thoughts and memories that keep us from achieving happiness and self-realization.

Copublished with the Institute of Noetic Sciences (IONS) TheUntethered Soul begins by walking you through your relationship with your thoughts and emotions, helping you uncover the source and fluctuations of your inner energy. It then delves into what you can do to free yourself from the habitual thoughts, emotions, and energy patterns that limit your consciousness. Finally, with perfect clarity, this book opens the door to a life lived in the freedom of your innermost being.

The Untethered Soul has already touched the lives of countless readers, and is now available in a special hardcover gift edition with ribbon bookmark—the perfect gift for yourself, a loved one, or anyone who wants a keepsake edition of this remarkable book.

What a game!

How about them Cubs! In 2016 after 108 years of not winning the World Series baseball game my hometown Chicago Cubs finally won the big one. And I watched every out. I did get to attend some of the playoff games and really enjoyed it. I won’t do it again because it’s so much better to sit at home and watch the game on tv. I wanted to be apart of this season and really feel like being there made me a stronger fan. I can always tell my boys I was THERE when they played certain games. I kept my tickets and we are going to make a shadow box with some of my souvenirs. I want to always remember how hard it was to win each series. What a moment to watch with millions of people when Kris Bryant got the ball and with an unforgettable smile ended the drought by throwing the ball to first base for the final out. I will NEVER forget that. It was a huge party for the next several days and I will never forget the parade downtown. Honoring the men that brought us so much joy and watching the pivotal plays over and over on Sportscenter made it all seem unreal.

Since the end of the game I have bought World Series hats and t-shirts. I have went to the Cubs pop up store and their official sports fan stores looking at all the great products. My Christmas tree has Chicago cubs ornaments on it memorializing this year. I know I haven’t been a lifelong fan but it was something special to me. I watched the games on my couch and slowly won Sarah over as a fan. She didn’t care, didn’t know, and didn’t want to watch the games until she kept telling me to quiet down. She would stand there and ask questions and the next thing I know she would be sitting down next to me. We added 3 new cubs fans from my house this year and I couldn’t be happier. I know she wants to go to a few games next season and I will be happy to take her.

Thank you to all the players, workers, owners, and fans that made this year really special for me to watch and enjoy. I will never ever forget those games. No wonder baseball is such a huge part of family life in Chicago. You can’t ever take it away from them. The Cubs earned it.

Congratulations to all of the players for a great 2016 baseball season. And way to go CUBS!

1st Birthday Party planning started

My twins first birthday is coming up. With everything I have going on I decided to start planning their party months in advance. We decided to go with a football theme. We are going to have a custom football shaped cake made with vegan ingredients. I want the cake to taste extra delicious so we are still searching for the right bakery to help out with this. I have been looking online for football decorations and did go to a few party stores to see what they had to offer for football birthday stuff. I have bought a few things and tucked them safely in a spare closet. We decided to have their party at the lake house. I have invited my entire family and expect most of them to show up. They also know that a weekend with me will also include shopping, all the good they could eat, and a fun family time. I am working with the same party planner I had before. She and I did not get along at all Lol But at the end of the day she did a great job and I asked her to help again. She said she needed to think about it. She contacted me the next day, doubled her price and said that’s what it would take to work with me. I said ok and told her this time she would work directly with Sarah. I think having Sarah in the middle will be better.

We are NOT going to have one of those over the top kids parties you see on tv. It’s going to be cake and ice cream the boys will get to open presents with my help and then we are all going to just hang out. I’m not going to have a bouncy house, a petting zoo or anything ridiculous for 1 year olds. They can’t really enjoy much because they are still too young but I wanted to make it more about the family being there than anything else.

Now when they are 4 and they really start to realize how fun their birthdays can be I will probably lose my mind and go big time for them. I want it to be special and casual. Not fancy. She asked if I wanted an ice sculpture with the number 1 carved and I said no and that’s the exact opposite direction I want to go. I said I wanted her to help more with the decorations to make it look awesome. And to help me come up with party ideas to make it fun. I told her I wanted a photographer and one of those silly photo booth things set up on one of my walls. I am pretty sure I can get my boys to be held and have pictures taken with people at random times. If we do one after the other that won’t work. But if we do smaller groups we can get them in all the photos.

I think that’s the most we will do. I can’t wait to see my boys smash their little football cakes and chow down Lol I watched some 1st birthday videos on Youtube and they are so hilarious. Sarah and I were laughing so hard at some of their expressions once they get to taste it. We had a long discussion on whether to make have a vegan cake but I told her I didn’t want to deny them a sugary cake I just wanted to make sure they can eat it and not get all hyped up and crazy. They both tried turkey at Thanksgiving. That was a debate also but I decided to let them try it. Heston spit it out. That’s my boy Lol Alex woofed his down and smacked his high chair for more. I gave him 5 bites of turkey and then he spit out the last piece. Heston does not like meat yet. I know that will change but for now I decide what to feed them. You can’t even tell my boys are vegan. They are both so big and healthy. Their pediatrician is impressed with their growth chart and is happy to see Alex thriving. I really thought I had screwed up when he wasn’t gaining weight. He was so thin for a few weeks and I was scared. Knowing it was just a digestive issue for them made it a quick fix. We have never had an issue since. We have dealt with some throwing up and few runny noses but nothing at all serious.

We have teeth coming in, they are crawling everywhere and we are working hard to help them learn to walk. If you hold them up they will kick and get going a little forward. Mostly sideways Lol I told Sarah last night I’m going to end up with the kids that walk sideways not forward and back. She just laughed.

By the time my sons are 1 years old the decision to adopt again will already be made. We will already have begun our search for their little sister. I will be adopting again in the next few years. I don’t know who she will be, what she will look like or where she will come from. All I know is God will lead me to her and I will bring her home. The urge to have a daughter has been really strong ever since the 3rd month of having the boys home. I thought having a little sister would be the best for our family. Most likely I will adopt a few more times. I want a big family. I can afford to provide for them and I will devote my life to my children. I want my life’s work to be about raising my kids and doing all I can to parent them always. I have so many hopes and dreams for my children. I know adding to my family will only bring us more love and compassion for each other.

This first year has flown by. Celebrating my boys will be a big family event and I can’t wait to see what we come up with. A football theme is a great start. And we all know they will most likely end up with 10 or so Batman themed birthday parties in the near future Lol

Party planning is not my favorite thing but watching my boys enjoy their family and cake will mean everything to me. I am so happy to be their dad. It’s been the greatest part of my life for sure. I’m happy to continue to share stories from their lives with all of you.

Is it February yet!

It’s Almost (Christ)mas time

Happy Holidays! 2016 is going to be the best Christmas celebration of my life. I have Heston and Alex to thank for that. I’m so excited to spend Christmas eve with my boys and Auntie Lindsay. Then at midnight we are all going to Christmas mass. It’s a family tradition that is important. I wish I would be back in Lincoln for Christmas this year but I selfishly want to be alone with them. To make sure they are getting all of my attention and I am doing all I can to spend the day with just them. If I take them out-of-town I will have to share the time with everyone else and I don’t want to. Not the 1st Christmas. It’s also hard to travel with them. That’s why I haven’t done it that much.

I am going to take the boys back to Lincoln, Nebraska to spend a few days with the family this week. I need them to enjoy the time they have and also let the nannies take a break. All 3 of my nannies will be with the boys for the 3 days I will be away. I have to hit the west coast of all of our companies so I can wish everyone a Merry Christmas and to also personally tell them all 2017 is my last year. I think it will be a shock to some of them. A few may try to immediately ask about who will take over. The plan for that has already been in place and I look forward to seeing all of my employees so I can thank them for their hard work. They will get off at noon on the 23rd and not come back to work until the 27th. Then they will get a half day off on the 30th and come back to work January 4th, 2017. I try to give everyone multiple days off to travel and spend time with their families. It’s so important to me and I want to honor my committment by offering the same to them.

We have been watching Christmas movies all morning and I’m already getting excited. My boys sort of know who Santa is. Every time we get out the Santa dolls or we tell them about Santa Heston says OOohhhh Lol He loves Santa as much as I do. Alex just cries. He is predictable. I want my boys to understand Christmas is all about the birth of Jesus. We have already been reading them stories about Jesus’s life and will take them to Mass so they will get to hear the songs we sing to praise His life. God’s sacrifice for all of us needs to be honored every year if not everyday. I want my boys to know from the beginning that it’s not all about presents and food. It’s so much more. And we will spend a great amount of time at Church events every year.

Both of my homes have been beautifully decorated for Christmas and we have made sure to incorporate a lot of religious ornaments and things for the boys to see. This year and the next they may not understand the huge significance but in time they will. I also brought out my family ornaments from my childhood. My brother and I made awful homemade Christmas decor in school or at Church and my mom always proudly displayed them on the tree every single year. I’ve kept that going and will one day explain to my boys each ornament. It’s always a reminder to see my brother’s face on his 4th grade ornament. I think of him everyday and wish he were with me. It’s been too many years since he passed away and I continue to pray for his soul. He was a broken young man without the love and support he wanted. We all tried and we all failed him. In the end he was buried alone without any type or marker being present. And it saddens me I can do nothing about that.

I also think of my grandmother at Christmas. She loved this holiday. I miss hearing her voice yell at me from the kitchen and tell me to get in there. I miss her hugs and her snapping at me to stand up straight. She would have loved my boys more than anything. She would have loved everything about them. I miss having her here but I know she is up in Heaven telling God to stand up straight Lol

I wanted to spend a little time talking about all of you. Over the past few years I have enjoyed reading the comments. I have gotten a lot of support from total strangers. The strangers have stayed around and become good friends. I wish all of you the best Christmas has to offer. Please donate money, time, prayers, or anything you can to others this year. There is always a need. You have a responsibility to provide something for someone else during this season. It’s what makes you whole. Doing for someone less fortunate than yourself is the best way to live you life. I will volunteer on Christmas day as I always do and help feed the homeless. I’m going to spend 4 hours helping with a breakfast my Church hosts each year. I can’t wait to see the faces of the people who will enjoy a good hot meal and the warmth of love and charity. I pray for each person I serve and I ask God to make their lives easier. I love them all as I love all of you. You have all continued to watch my family grow. You have offered great advice on how to deal with the new things my babies are doing. And you also voice your opinions and thoughts about my writings. I love hearing what you think. Please never stop reaching out to me. I may never respond but if Lindsay allows a good positive comment through I do read all of those.

You are always welcome here as long as you are respectful. I appreciate each of you and I pray your Christmas for the 2016 holiday season is all you wish for. Happy Holidays to all other religions and belief systems. I’m aware not everyone here is a Christian. I offer my prayers to you and your families as well. I love you all. Merry Christmas everyone!