Monday, May 17, 2010

Tales from the Trips: An interview and book giveaway!

Update: Congrats, James, you are the winner of this book!

As a mother of two boys, I sometimes wonder how much harder things would be if I had more than two children. I imagine the age of two being especially difficult - imagine chasing after three two year olds who are running in different directions? Seems impossible, right?

A fellow blogger, John Cave Osborne, recently wrote a book called Tales From The Trips - How Three Babies Turned Our World Upside Down. The book is about his adventure as a father of triplets - two adorable boys and one girl. The book chronicles his life from when he and his wife found out they were expecting triplets to the day they learned to walk.

For a glimpse into the crazy life of a parent of triplets, you have to watch this video - it's so cute - you will not stop smiling. Even Ashton Kutcher and Alyssa Milano tweeted about it!

John send me a copy of his book to read, and I have enjoyed it very much - and not only that - he offered one for me to give away to one of my lucky readers!

I did a little a little q's and a's with the author, too:

As a father of triplets - what do you find the most challenged part of you day? Is it bathtime? Bedtime? Or the right-before-dinner part of your day?

Bedtime. Hands down. It’s not unusual for us to go upstairs ten times on any one given night. With three, the odds are overwhelming that at least one of them will give us trouble. They tend to rotate, as far as who the squeaky wheel will be, that is. Currently, our little girl goes down right away, while the boys, who share the same room, give us fits for the next couple of hours. Our little girl is kind enough to wait until four in the morning before starting in with her shenanigans.

How does your wife cope with the triplets - what are her words of wisdom?

Caroline doesn’t necessarily think she copes with them all that well. And I don’t necessarily think I cope with them all that well, either. (Not that you asked me.J) It’s difficult. Especially now that they’re toddlers. Simply put, there’s never a spare moment, especially on weekends when we don’t have any help. It’s funny, a lot of people ask us for words of wisdom, as if we’re, well, wise. But we don’t feel wise. We just feel tired.

Still, Caroline does have three (appropriately enough) tips she’d offer to anyone who suddenly finds themselves in our shoes.

1. Get as much help as you can.
2. Exercise regularly.
3. Pray for patience.

In your book, you were given pretty detailed instructions on how to prepare your oldest daughter's breakfast when your wife was in the hospital - does she still have to give you such instuctions about things like this, or have things gotten easier for you here? ;)

Ha. I love that part. You gotta remember, I was a bachelor well into my thirties. Before marrying Caroline, my roommate had been a brown dog, and we lived in a house which featured a refrigerator that never once contained milk. At the time of receiving Caroline’s detailed instructions, I was only ten months removed from that era, and far from the most domestic guy in the world. So, I needed every bit of direction I could get.

Does she still have to give me such detailed instructions? No. I’m good to go now. Consider it a baptism by fire, but I’m good to go.

What inspired you to right this book?

I’ve always loved to write. Before I started the granite countertop company with my business partner, I wrote quite regularly. I had a “humor column” I did monthly for a nearby local paper, and at one point was under contract with a Manhattan-based publisher for a children’s book I had written. I received an advance and worked on it with an incredible illustrator and editor. I was very excited for it to hit the shelves. Shortly before it was to go to press, however, the publisher went under. I was crestfallen.

So I buried myself in the countertop business and didn’t give writing a second thought. Until the little guys were born, that is. I was blown away by the reaction we got whenever we went out in public. We couldn’t even make it to the grocery store and back without fielding dozens of questions from complete strangers. It seemed that a story was happening to us—one that was of great interest to others. Given how much I like to write, I decided to document it.

I’d love for this book to open other doors for me. I’ve already had a couple of things fall in my lap, and I’m hoping that trend continues. But even if it doesn’t, the worse-case scenario is that this book will serve as the coming-of-age gift of a lifetime for my four children—a gift which details an exciting era in the history of our family.

And that’s what really inspired me to write it—to give that gift to them. Anything else that happens would be gravy.

You were recently chosen to interview the one and only Dooce - how was that experience?

It was interesting. Going into it, I didn’t know that much about her. I’ve only read Heather a couple of times, and honestly? I don’t really understand what all the hoopla’s about. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not some bitter Heather hater. I think it’s awesome that she’s had the success she’s had with her blog. But I liken her to Kate Gosselin. It’s undeniable that she’s struck a chord with pop culture, but she doesn’t appeal to me. Still, I jumped at the opportunity to do the interview as I figured it’d be a nice chance to gain a little exposure.

I was given the choice to conduct it by phone or email. I chose email because it’d be so much easier. When her “personal assistant” emailed me back with her responses, I was pleasantly surprised by what I read. Rightly or wrongly, I’ve always considered Heather to be a crass and pessimistic person—maybe even a bit mean-spirited. But she came off sweet and a lot more sensitive than I would have imagined, particularly with regard to people’s opinion of her.

For your chance to win a copy of Tales From The Trips, just leave me a comment telling me how you think you'd be able to handle triplets!

For an extra entry, follow my review blog!

I will pick a winner randomly on Friday, May 21st. This contest is open to U.S. and Canadian residents.


  1. I have enough craziness in my life with 2 kids...could not imagine triplets!! I guess if I was "blessed" with that I'd move into a new house complete with an in law suite and coerce (uhm, I mean ask sweetly) my in laws to move in with me so hey could help

  2. Great interview with one of the nicest dad's out there. I love John's blog and would love a copy of his book as well.

  3. Um... I would move my parents to Canada? Into my house? Scary thought! Great giveaway.

  4. i couldn't handle triplets, period. months ago, i traveled to help a friend with her newborn twins and i ended up in tears multiple times a day, and that was with two of us. we weren't even out numbered.

    ps- i want john's book. that's all.