Privacy. We all want it, especially for our families, for those things or people close to us that we really don’t want to share “with the rest of the world.” At the same time, we also are biologically and psychologically programmed to connect with other people. It is this connection which helps to give life its meaning and our lives validation.

In this techno-digital-smart age, we all balance those two goals as we walk across the tightrope of life. But, where do we draw the line? What do we share and who do we share it with? Especially since our worlds have gotten smaller with 24/7 media access to, literally, the rest of the world.

What about our kids? Those annoying, rule-challenging, energy-laden bundles of joy who manipulate our lives and consume our love, in a good way, of course.

As a parent, I face that dilemma almost daily. I want to document and record my boy’s growth and development for me, for them and for our families and friends, some of whom are not very close in proximity.   Then there’s Mama Bear who is sometimes more protective than I am.


Welcome to Tinybeans

Tinybeans is a wonderful parenting network that is invite only and private, allowing parents to share the amazing moments of their children’s life with family members no matter where they live.

Tinybeans is the safer way to share with just family and close friends whilst keeping on top your kids’ developmental milestones. Tinybeans was founded in 2012 in Sydney, Australia by Stephen O’Young, Sarah-Jane Kurtini and Eddie Geller. As parents themselves, they realized there was no easy or secure way to share their children’s lives with the people who matter.

Now over a million people trust Tinybeans with their precious memories.


My Story

Almost nine years ago, two miracles came into our lives, only one minute apart, what I affectionately call the Gang of Two, Archibald and Mortimer (not their real names). You see if you were seeing this on Tinybeans, I would say, and you would know, their real names. But, in a public domain, otherwise known as the Internet, Mama Bear and I choose to keep their names and locations a secret. But, I digress.

Taking pictures was easy. I had bought a camcorder just to record those special moments we wanted to remember, share and, eventually, blackmail the boys into obedience and submission with.

Of course, it was easier said than done because sometimes the moments are so spontaneous, having the camera close by was not always convenient.

Nevertheless, I persevered. I took approximately 3000 pics and 572 videos in the first year alone. Keep in mind, that I don’t have that quantity of photos for myself, for my entire life and that’s TIMES 10!

Social media was still in its infancy. Which is just as well because Daddy lacked the time and energy to post on it anyway.   I tried to maintain a blog, but that lasted about a month due to my resource constraints, time and energy.

No one realizes how much work twins really are. It’s not just double the work, it’s an exponential amount more than having one kid. Fortunately, Mama Bear and I shared the workload 50/50 as much as possible based on our availability and our personal resources. The irony is that the time flies by even though the moments seem to drag on.

As the little buggers got older and more independent, time and energy somehow found their way back into our lives. The pics and video quantities remained consistent though. But, now, I was freed up to begin sharing some pics on, primarily, Facebook.

Facebook is great, no doubt about it. It is what it is. But, it is also not totally secure. I could have set up a private group on FB, but that would consume what meager resources I did have available and, realistically, not everybody has the wherewithal to use FB. No computer, no time, no tech capability.

We live just north of NYC, not close to any friends or relatives or where we grew up. Sharing our boy’s growth and development was something our friends and relatives, who were far away, wanted to be aware of and be a part of as much as possible. Twins run in my family and everybody was curious and interested, in a loving way, of course.


Overshare with the people who care!

I was referred to Tinybeans by a friend of mine and I thought I would check it out. Tinybeans helps parents share their amazing pics, videos and stories of their kids in a safe and private place OFF social network sites.

Let’s face it. There is a plethora of social network sites for everything. You can use FB for personal stuff, Instagram for pics, LinkedIn for professional displays and Twitter which is like a conversation on the 21st century ham radio.There is a social site for everything these days. You use Facebook for personal, Linkedin for professional, Instagram for your pictures, Twitter is a conversation over the 21st century ham radio… but what about for our family? Well, that is where Tinybeans comes in!

Tinybeans is the perfect solution for everything I was looking for. It is private, secure and by invite only.

To date, over 70 million (yes, that’s MILLION) moments have been shared, and viewed privately, by people all around the globe.

Did I say it’s FREE?

Tinybeans is free to download their apps (which by the way are available in either IOS or Android) and to use their website.

Here is the link for the IOS app: IOS link

Here is the link for the Droid app: Droid link

And, here is the link for the Amazon app: Amazon link

They do have a premium version with additional features, and there is a cost attached to creating your beautiful photo books, but they do not charge you, or your “Nurture Network”, to upload moments or access your photos.

And you own your photos!

The option does exist for sharing on Facebook, if you so choose. However, your pics will be available to the public there, but they will remain private on Tinybeans.

Your followers will each receive their own log in details so they can see your Tinybeans Journal. Tinybeans will also send them one daily update on the days you add moments to your journal and they can decide how often they receive emails from them and change their settings accordingly.

Here are what some users are saying:

“The most loving space on the Internet”

– New York Magazine

“It is the easiest way to journal and now I never miss a thing. I feel like supermom!”

– Katie, USA

“Tinybeans is the highlight of our parents’ day. They all love receiving updates on their granddaughter.”

– Paul, New Zealand


Those are all awesome features which would have come in handy when the boys were smaller. Nevertheless, I do have an opportunity to create and share videos of them, which they are very eager to do, and share them with family and friends who are far away without the risk of social media attention. This is completely acceptable to Mama Bear.

Tinybeans is the perfect balance of security for us and the little buggers and privacy for our family and friends.

And it would be the perfect place to share my pic of them in the bathtub when they were three. Just enough exposure to keep the leashes of obedience and submission intact!

It’s a win-win!


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Same Old Song and Dance, Part 2

My sons – Archie and Morty – and me. I’m the one in the middle.

It’s the same scene that gets played out over and over and over and over again. It’s happening right now. Archibald (not his real name) is usually the instigator. Mortimer (not his real name, either) is the perfect co-dependent and follows and mimics Archie every chance he gets. Sometimes, Daddy has enough.

I’m human, probably all too human. Yesterday, the scene was played out again. The only difference was that it was homework time. Wait, let me start over this way.

I made a mistake. All in all, it was not a major mistake, at least to me. Morty did not have any homework. Archie did. So, I sat down with him to do it. If you remember (and if not, that’s ok, too), Archie has a learning disability in reading, so we always try to give him some extra help with his homework. We, SMM (Sergeant Major Mommy) and I, also have him read to us and we read to both of them at bedtime.

I am sitting at the dining room table ready, willing and able to help Archie. But, besides having a disability, Archie also has been diagnosed with ADD. I have been diagnosed with TCR, Traumatic Child Raising, but that’s another story. Anyway, Archie is stalling. First, he has to go to the bathroom and do a #2. Granted, that’s a legit excuse. You gotta go, you gotta go.

When he finishes, about 15 minutes later, he comes to the table (oh yes, he washed his hands et al. in case you were wondering), and he sits down. But, the chair isn’t right and the table isn’t right and Daddy can you do this and Daddy can you do that and, and, and… That goes on for another 10 minutes and Daddy has been complacently agreeing and adjusting etc., but Daddy realizes that Archie is stalling.

It was a very simple exercise to do. I don’t know why he was prevaricating. But, he was. And I did. Yell at him, that is. Now, I have seen parents yell at their kids. This wasn’t that bad. I was not the Marine Corp Drill Sergeant getting in his face and saying things like, “You’re Momma is not here to help you, boy!” But, I was louder than a normal tone of voice. Maybe too loud, which brings me to Part 2 of the saga.

I was loud enough that Grandma came downstairs to see what was happening. Yes, she lives upstairs. Yes. Yes. Yes. I’m sure you all know what that means. Now, I don’t want to say she’s old, but she knew Jesus. If you don’t believe me, you can ask her.

And she said. And I said. And she said. And I said. Well, what we said doesn’t really matter, but I did not say anything mean or inappropriate to her. She realized she wasn’t going to get anywhere with me so she retreated to her upstairs Gma-cave.

Well, little Archie was expectedly overwhelmed, but he did get to work on his homework and completed quickly, as I knew he would and could.

Morty came strolling by at this moment and I asked him what he was doing and where he was going since he was supposed to be reading. He replied that he was going to the bathroom to do #1. I said Ok.

To my credit, I did two things after the intensity of the moment passed. First, I apologized. I realize that does not undo the previous actions, but I hoped it would let Archie know that I knew what I did was not a good thing and that I was sorry for it. I have instructed the little buggers about the motive behind the apology and that they should accept an apology, or offer an apology, as long as they feel it was sincere. I tell them you should always give a person the benefit of the doubt.

Second, I always try to separate the behavior from the person. So, I told Archie how much I loved him and how smart I think he is (and even though he has a disability, the teachers and SMM and I agree on his intelligence and creativity) and how I knew he would have no trouble doing the exercise. But, it was his behavior and not him as a person that was incorrect and unacceptable.

That is one thing I never got from my dad. God Bless his soul, may he RIP. He did the best he could. He would yell at me, but he…. Ok, once he apologized when he realized he was in the wrong. But, mostly, he didn’t and I grew up with low self-esteem and self-image my whole life.

I had a talk with the little buggers at dinner which was after homework and reading were done. I asked them if they thought I was a good daddy. Morty said yes, unless I’m yelling. I said, Fair enough. So, I offered them a deal – I would yell less if they listened to SMM and I and did their homework. They said they would and I said I would and we shook hands.

But, wait, there’s a Part 3. I knew that when SMM came home, I would have to get to her first before Gma and tell my side of the story.

So, the cheetah boys (they’re twins btw) and I are sitting on the couch watching their performances that morning in their School Recorder concert. I had transferred the video to my PC and we were looking at it when SMM came home. She mentioned that she wanted to get Gma to have her watch the performance with us when I told her what had transpired and that Gma is probably not too happy with me right now.

Of course SMM gave me a lecture on my poor performance which is what I expected. It was her mother after all.

Later, the boys had received some candy from some whatever at school. I don’t remember where. But, they had candy. Archie offered me some of his and I almost cried. He really is a sweet kid when he’s not overacting.

The next morning, SMM told me that Gma had said something really annoying to her last night too. So, she understood where I was coming from and how and why I react to Gma’s OCD. That is why I came to love and obey my wife.

Now, if I can just get a hold of Jesus to talk to Gma for us.

Fathers of Multiples

I have been writing a lot for the new FathersofMultiples.com website.  Here is a list of the articles I’ve written…

The latest one is about Minecraft:http://www.fathersofmultiples.com/the-parents-guide-to-minecraft/

When my brother left us: http://www.fathersofmultiples.com/ps-dealing-grief/

A reflection of the first eight years: http://www.fathersofmultiples.com/year-one-year-eight-breakdown-eyes/

Twinship and Individuality: http://www.fathersofmultiples.com/embracing-individuality/

Originally, posted here: http://www.fathersofmultiples.com/the-resiliency-of-youth/


Adieu, Goodbye, Farewell

It is with great sadness that I have to say that my brother, Robert, has left us. We have no definitive arrangements at this time.

I have been thinking of Robert in my life. When his wife passed away, just six short months ago, I was fortunate to see him again. We hugged and wept and said “I love you’s”.

We’ve only seen each other a few times in the past few years as our lives had taken different directions. Robert had a hard life and was experiencing pain and discomfort in recent months and years. He is in a better place now.

I found a couple of pictures of him. One was when he was in second grade. The other is with Mommy and me, which I believe was at Cumberland Falls when we took a rare vacation.

I will remember him as a small man with a big heart and smile.

I would like to ask anybody who reads this to do me a favor. Could you go hug somebody right now? I mean right now. Go hug somebody, your spouse, your kids, your neighbors and friends. Let them know how you feel about them. Tell them I Love You. In the face of someone’s passing, it becomes abundantly clear to me that we and I don’t do it enough. And, you’ll just have to trust me on this one, we don’t want to say, I should have done or said it more.

Another Birthday Party

So it was my great privilege and responsibility (as dictated by Sergeant Major Mommy) to take Mortimer to his friend’s birthday party. Seeing 20 screaming kids in a small party room gave me pause and I will happily share my thoughts with anyone contemplating becoming parents:)

As for me, I should have brought my ear plugs. They were louder than a Who concert!