My brother, Adam, had said something about coming for a visit when we were all in Rougemont for the Fourth of July. That weekend came to pass this past weekend.Friday


They got here Friday evening shortly before Tristen and I put Fawkes and Phoenix down, so they got to see them for a bit, which was nice. We had just experimented with feeding them rice cereal for the first time. Well, we’d added it as a supplement to bottles a few times, but it was the first time we fed it to them directly. It was a hit. They both kept trying to grab the spoons like they were bottles, so we had to keep blocking their arms with one arm while trying to get the spoon into their mouths with the other.

Anyway, we put the boys down and Adam and Rachel, his girlfriend, brought their stuff in. Adam and I decided to make a run downtown for some I Love NY pizza, which I think is both his and my favorite pizza in Wilmington. I remember not long after I first moved here, he and I took a walk around downtown once, got some I Love NY, then walked down to the riverfront to eat it.

We had a nice chat while out on our run, as our ladies also seemed to have. Tristen told me after we got back that she really liked Rachel. We had both met her in Rougemont, but hadn’t gotten to spend any real time getting to know her.

When we got back O Brother, Where Art Thou? somehow came up. Tristen likes to point out that I’ve never seen it, which always prompts me to point out the time we were going to watch something and I chose that movie, but she didn’t feel like watching it at the time. At any rate, we decided to watch it, and I was very much enjoying it, but the HDMI cable connecting the PlayStation (which is also our Blu-ray player) is a bit finicky, so the picture and the sound would sporadically drop. It wasn’t so bad when it happened now and then, but it started doing it more so I finally got annoyed enough to put a stop to it.

Fawkes and Phoenix slept pretty well that night. There were two times we had to go in for them prior to their feeding, which was at about 1:30, then I went in one time about 15 minutes after the feeding because they were squirming around a bunch. They slept until a little after 6 after that, which is earlier than they normally wake up, but I’ll take it, given how well they slept.


I made pancakes and sausage for breakfast. Adam wanted to spend as much time at the beach as possible, but by the time it was time to go the boys were due for a nap, so Tristen and I faced a conundrum. We could go and hope they’d sleep on the way or in a tent we could take out to the beach, and we would have to hope it wouldn’t rain. It’s been raining pretty much every day for the past few weeks, and there were scattered thunderstorms predicted for today. With as much of a production as it is to take two babies to the beach, getting all that stuff packed up and carried back in pouring rain just didn’t seem like a fun prospect.

So Tristen and I erred on the side of caution and didn’t go. Of course, it ended up being a beautiful day for the most part. We did try to go for a walk at one point in the afternoon, but of course that’s when it finally did rain. We had the boys all strapped into their carriers and were literally under the carport getting ready to go for our walk when it started raining. I walked (with Phoenix, I think) down to the bottom of the driveway during a lull. We went back inside and I did a few squats and Tristen did some lunges just to feel like we did something.

I was flipping around the TV at one point and saw Dirty Rotten Scoundrels, which I have a vague memory of my dad taking us kids to see once long ago. I think. He’s not a Steve Martin fan and it seems an odd choice to take young children to see, but I am pretty sure I saw it in the theater. At any rate, it had been a very long time since I’ve seen the movie and I was thinking about it recently, so I decided to watch the full thing, which I enjoyed.

I went with Tristen to make the rounds for dropping the boys off. Fawkes went to Torrie’s and Phoenix went to Laura’s. That’ll probably happen until Laura is comfortable watching both boys at once, which probably won’t happen until they’re able to get around a little better and are consistently sleeping at night.

We stopped by Costco to get one or two things and ended up getting a few more and spending right at $100. That’s Costco for ya.

Adam and Rachel were pulling up as we were unloading the car. They took showers then napped, while I napped then showered then we all went downtown. We wanted to grab a bite to eat and left it up to Adam so he could choose any of his old stomping grounds, and he chose Hell’s Kitchen.

It turned out that Sam and Berk were out with some friends too, so we wanted to meet up with them at least for a little bit. We thought they were at Tavern Law, which was right around the corner from Hell’s, but they were actually at Growler’s, which we didn’t know until we got to Tavern Law. So we stopped by Growler’s for a drink and to see them. Adam was meeting his friend Julia at Blue Post, so they only stuck around for a minute.

Everyone else ended up tagging along to Blue Post too. Julia was at a birthday party at Husk, so she wasn’t there for a bit, but she and a friend did show up. 

Adam challenged me to a game of air hockey, which he won 7-6. He and I both think highly of ourselves when it comes to air hockey, but Rachel ended up beating him.

Tristen tends to win at skee ball and nobody would play her at first, so I stepped up. I actually won because I was in some groove hitting the 40-point hole. She wanted a rematch and won that one though. I think Julia took her up on the next game and I’m not 100% sure at this point, but I think Julie beat her.

Sam and Berk’s friends were a brother and sister of one of their good friends. The guy, Dustin, has a baby coming soon and was talking about doing a maternity shoot for his girlfriend, which it looks like I might be doing now.

We hung out there at Blue Post for a while and I think headed home around midnight. Adam and Rachel went straight to bed, but Tristen made some popcorn and we watched a bit of standup on Netflix before getting tired and heading off to bed ourselves.


Adam took Rachel to Port City Java Sunday for breakfast. Torrie brought Fawkes over and Tristen went to pick up Phoenix. I picked Milly up from Amanda’s at 11. Amanda was nice enough to let me get Milly early since Adam was in town.

After I picked her up we all loaded into Nikki (the Sorento) and went to the Flaming Amy’s in Carolina Beach to meet up with Laura, Torrie, Johnny, and Sebastian for lunch. The Romeros had gone to the Aquarium before lunch and we went after.

Laura was able to give us a little bit of a backstage tour. Tristen, Milly, and I had already seen it, but it was new for Adam and Rachel of course. And the boys. This was the first time they’d been to the Aquarium unless you count when they were still in the belly. I said to someone at one point they’ll be there so many times they won’t ever really remember when the first time was, just that it was something they’d always done.

We watched Laura in the big tank, talking and answering questions, although there was a lot of static in the line and it was a little hard to hear her very well.

We also got to visit the butterfly house, which was pretty cool. I think everyone had one land on them at one point or another.

Fawkes and Phoenix were getting pretty hungry at that point, so Tristen and I went back to the car to feed them while everyone else took a walk on the dinosaur trail. I had pulled the car around to the front of the Aquarium after feeding the boys and Tristen and I both made a trip to the bathroom they have out front. Milly, Adam, and Rachel were coming out just as I was getting back in the car, so the timing really couldn’t have been much better.

I helped move a large TV cabinet thing out of Torrie and Johnny’s living room after I got back. We were having spaghetti dinner later and I invited them over for it. Tristen napped with Phoenix in our room (I guess he’d been having trouble sleeping) while everyone else lazed about until dinner, which Torrie and Bash came over for.

After the boys were put to bed I was showing Adam how Plex worked and we decided to watch the newer Jumanji movie. We had started watching it back when Andra and her crew (sans Josh, who was working) were here, but I fell asleep soon after they got to the jungle. It was a pretty fun and entertaining movie. 

Between the ride back, hanging out at the house, and sharing a bunk bed, Milly and Rachel spent a lot of time together. I think Milly really liked her.


Since Adam and Rachel were here for a sliver of Monday, I figured I’d include today, too. 

First off, we were really pleased with how the boys slept last night. There was a bit of a mess between 11 and 11:30 when I kept going into their room because Phoenix kept fussing. I was ready to go ahead and feed them, but Tristen got him to settle down. They didn’t wake up again until about 4:30! We fed them four ounces (their usual is six) and they went back down until 7. Fawkes made a little noise and fidgeted a bunch right around 5:00, so I went in and took care of that when it kept going on for a bit, but overall they did great.

Milly had an orthodontist appointment this morning, which I forgot about until Tristen texted me something about it. I asked Torrie if I could drop the boys off at her place for a bit. She had to run out to Friends School, but she said she could take them with her. I figured that was better than trying to keep them occupied in a doctor’s office, so I took her up on it. I was very proud of myself for remembering to bring everything, but when I was almost at the orthodontist I remembered that I had forgotten to put the stroller in Torrie’s van. It worked out fine though. They ended up falling asleep in the van, so I went back over there at 11, their next feeding time, to help with that and bring them home.

I was going to take Milly to breakfast at Carolina Girls, but she didn’t want anything there. I was disappointed because I was looking forward to having a sit-down breakfast with her and just hanging out with her one-on-one for a little bit. I didn’t have the time to take her across town to someplace else, so we didn’t end up doing anything special for breakfast.

Oh, Adam and Rachel left as we were leaving to drop off the boys. Adam had to take a detour to Kinston for some work. I hated to rush out and not really give them much of a goodbye. I really enjoyed having them, though, and liked getting to know Rachel a bit better.

Milly’s friend Abigail came over after lunch and they played mostly in her room for the afternoon.

The boys were pretty well-behaved throughout the day.

Torrie invited us over for taco dinner. “Tacos tonight at Torrie’s,” I had texted Tristen. If only it had been for tomorrow night, I could have really gotten in some alliteration: Taco Tuesday tomorrow night at Torrie’s.

Isle of Dogs was on when we got over there, as it has been the last few times we went over there. Sebastian loves the movie and keeps asking for it. Milly said when we were leaving that she really likes it, too. I tried to pry her on that to see if she could pinpoint why she likes it so much, but hat didn’t get very far. I think it’s got a je ne sais quoi to it, where she recognizes there’s some intrinsic quality to it that she can’t quite put her finger on. I mean, Milly likes just about every movie she watches, but her comment struck me as something where she knows it’s of a different quality. 

We had the boys their formula at dinner and gave them some cereal before their shower. I let Milly try feeding Fawkes, which didn’t go as bad as it might have. It was definitely more difficult than she thought it would be though. 

After the boys were cleaned and Milly read Where the Wild Things Are, they were put to bed. Tristen cleaned bottles and went to bed. It was too late to start any movie I would have felt like watching, so I read a chapter and some change of Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince to her. She’s making decent progress on it.

I stopped when I could tell she was tired then I let her fall asleep curled up in my lap for a few minutes before carrying her to her room. I had to ask her four times if she wanted to sleep on the top bunk (her usual) or the bottom bunk (normally a couch, still folded out into a bed from Adam and Rachel’s stay). Once I explained to her what I was asking (that poor child is OUT when she falls asleep), she chose the bottom bunk, which was probably better for her sleep as I would have had to make her climb to the top on her own.