Friday, April 6, 2012

Travels with Twins: Austin

feeding the boys in Zilker Park - 3.30.12

Well last week we travelled to Austin TX with our boys. It was…an adventure. I thought I’d list a few things we did well and a few things we didn’t do so well for those who are or might decide to travel with a baby (or babies).

Things that went well
  •           Dressed the boys in what they’d wear the next day the night before
  •           Had everything ready to go for the early morning flight and at the last possible moment put the boys quietly in their car seats and drove to the airport while it was still dark outside.
  •           Had bottles for the plane take off and timed the take off with their normal breakfast time
  •           Packed cups in the diaper bag for hot water to heat the bottles up in (the ones they provide you on the plane are too small, so in a moment of genius I thought to bring the cups we normally put hot water in to heat up the bottles. Yup. S-M-R-T I am so smart)
  •           Upgraded to a small SUV at the last minute ( a Ford Escape) which afforded us much more space, which was nice
  •           Had my father in Austin in the room next to us so we could do a few things without the babies
  •           Had my father pack the portable crib, the stroller, diapers and wipes, so we didn’t have those things to try and fit in the luggage
  •           Brought toys and books and the pump bag and dish soap to clean parts and bottles
  •           By the end of the trip, we figured out how to fit in the things we wanted to do while the boys napped and how to have fun with them in parks and things when they were awake
Things that went not-so-well
  •            Didn’t bring moby wraps. At the last minute I decided they would just take up space and that we could just keep the boys in their car seats until they boarded the plane and then put them right back in them when we got off the plane. NOOOOO. BAD. As it turns out, you are usually required to check the car seats in with your luggage. Thus we had our carry-ons (the diaper bag, the camera bag, and the pump bag) PLUS two babies. And no free hands. So that made it extra challenging during our layover as well as in the Austin airport (which has no moving sidewalk things to you have to hoof it on your own). These babies might only be 12-13lbs but damn they get heavy after a while.
  •            I didn’t pack blankets. While Austin was 90 degrees and we didn’t really need them, Provo was very cold and the boys were cold to and fro.
  •           We didn’t plan very well for the boys. We had a lot to get done each day: check out the school, look for housing, etc. and every time we drove somewhere the boys would fall asleep. They slept way too much during the day. Then we would arrive some place and they would wake up as we moved them from the car seats to the stroller. They had so much energy to get out that they would just cry and cry. THEN we were stressed and embarrassed wherever we were going because our awesome and beautiful babies were going ballistic. By the last day or two, we started to figure out how to adequately plan for the boys needs and still go do things we wanted to do. It just took 3 days of NOT getting it right. So the beginning of the trip was a bit rough.
  •           We brought a stupid stroller. We have two strollers. One is a fabulous Bob stroller that my dad bought us off of ebay. It was a steal and it is just fantastic. We also have an umbrella stroller of sorts called a Jeep (yes, produced by the car company – weird – and no they shouldn’t be making strollers because they SUCK). We brought the Jeep because we thought it took up less space and would be easier to get in and out of the rental car.  It did take up less space, sorta. But it was a pain in the butt. It didn’t have adequate shade coverage. It had flimsy wheels so the boys were jostled all about. It wasn’t good for small babies and they kept slipping way down into bad positions.
  •            We probably should’ve rented a house. We shared a room with the boys. This was tough because while they are great sleepers, they were in a new place and every little noise we made after they went to sleep woke them back up. It also meant that our bedtime was basically the same as theirs. I had to pump with virtually no light at all and every little noise they made had me sitting up in bed.

So overall I’m not sure how to rate the trip. Doug was pretty disappointed in his perceptions of the program as well. That made the whole trip feel like a downer. He felt like the other kids in the program weren’t all that serious about screenwriting. The professors seemed like they were unsuccessful screenwriters who had fallen back on teaching and were uber- reverent of successful screenwriters (instead of counting themselves as one). In the end, he wrote a student who graduated last year and won the prestigious Nicholl Fellowship, which is a public fellowship that is the most sought-after in the industry and affords people a year of income to write and wins them an agent as well.  Anyway, he wrote this guy and the guy said that the program gave him two years to hone his craft. He didn’t have to have a job and fit writing in on the side. He had a full ride (like Doug) and was able to write and get feedback from readers. That, for him, was what he wanted. He had access to industry execs through the program and it wasn’t as cut-throat as LA, which is great when you are just starting out. The pressure of LA is something you need at some point but I don’t think we are quite there yet. 
So that’s that.
The food was great. The music was wonderful. It wasn’t as ugly as the rest of Texas. It wasn’t half as beautiful as where we currently live. BUT it will do. We’ll make it work. Its hard to fall in love with a place immediately. Especially when you’ve grown to love your current station.

On a totally unrelated note: check out these guys sitting up in a bumbo like a boss. WHAT UP!!!

Charleston - left, Whitman - right (Charlie didn't feel like looking at the camera. Whit was in deep thought)

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