Monday, September 27, 2010

Air Travel Assvice

By are the finer points of some of the travel issues we encountered. Keep in mind our itinerary spanned four countries and ALL were different. I recommend checking with each place and/or airline you will travel with. This goes for hotels too.

1. Passports: Allow 2-3 weeks if you expedite them, otherwise allow 4-6 weeks. BOTH parents must appear in person with the infants when you apply. I highly suggest going to the post office, where they will take the photo and the application at the same time.

2. Airline info: Confusing at best. For domestic travel, infants under 2 in the the lap are free and are typically not ticketed. For international travel, there is a charge (usually 10% of the prevailing fare for your seat) and they are usually ticketed, sometimes with a paper ticket. Be sure you know which and how much before you book and keep your eyes out for the paper tickets in the mail. If you are using miles for your seats, the infant fares will still apply. Some airlines will let you use miles for the infant fare portion, some will not.

3. Seating: This is complicated. On MOST aircraft, if you have twins (or multiple infants) you and your spouse can not sit together in the same row, including across the aisle because of the number of oxygen masks available. Unfortunately, no one tells you this until you board and then you have to switch with someone, who is ultimatley inconvenienced. Some airlines will not let you occupy an aisle seat. And exit rows are out of the question. Plan ahead for this. If you are on a long-haul flight, you and your spouse will each need to carry a set of everything (diapers, bottles, etc) since you will not be next to each other. This can make for a miserable trip, so weigh your options carefully and identify which aircraft you will be travelling on ahead of time, keeping in mind that can change. If you are on a commuter-type plane, (for example flown by my favorite airline here on the West coast, Horizon Air) there are no oxygen masks on board because the aircraft don't fly above certain altitudes, so you and your spouse can sit together.

4. If cost and/or miles allow, fly First class or at least business class. Save up to do so if you have to. Here's why....
a) Often there are more oxygen masks available, depending on the configuration of the aircraft in first class and you can sit together.
b) trust me when I say you need the extra room to feed and wiggle around
c) bypassing the long ticketing/check in/security lines at airports when you're exhausted and have hungry/tired/wet infants with you is priceless. I mean priceless....
d) you have access to the airline's club lounge.....also priceless. This gives you a comfy place to set your stuff, feed and change the babies, grab a snack and beverage, and usually get additional assistance. On a long-haul flight, this can be the difference between you maintaining sanity and enjoying parts of your trip, or having a complete meltdown and suffer from exhaustion.
e) if you're going to buy business class tickets, shop around to see who has the best deal and the best ammenities for the airline/locations you'll be travelling. Business class seats are way more competitive than coach and there IS a difference in price, comfort, and conveniences.

In our case, we took an extra leg (plane change) to fly First class on British Air on the long haul portion of our flight. From the West coast, that's nearly a 10 hour flight to Europe. We used miles and paid the infant fares, however given the convenience we experienced, I would have paid out of pocket for Business class tickets and it would have been worth every penny had we not had the miles.

5. Practice buckling and un-buckling your seat belt at home while holding your baby. This is harder than it sounds. Some flight attendants will help, others will not. On domestic flights, most airlines require you to hold the infant unbuckled (while you are buckled). On international airlines, it varies. Ours gave us an extension with a loop to attach to our belt then buckle the infant in. There is a strappy harness device for infants that I rather like that is not approved by the FAA for use in the U.S. but is approved elsewhere. Baby carriers (such as the Bjorn) can be worn on board but the baby cannont be in them for take off or landing.

6. On long-haul flights, call the airline ahead of time and inquire about bassinets or "infant cots". Most have them. They attach to a shelf in the bulkhead walls. This means you MUST get a seat in the bulkhead rows. The down side is you have no storage under the seat in front of you. Again, plan ahead and see my details below about storage issues.

7. Double check your connections. Anything less than an hour is not acceptable when you're traveling with infants and in our case, travelling through Heathrow presented a challenge to make a 4 hour connection on the way home, after missing a flight with a 65 minute connection on the way over.

8. Take your own car seats and stroller and check them. "Gate check" is phenomonon in the U.S. only. You can wheel your stroller and/or car seats down to the gate and check them on the jet way and retrieve them there in the U.S. Not so elsewhere. Put luggage tags on them and pack them accordingly, then check them all the way through. Carry your babies in a Bjorn, or similar device. You can rent car seats with most rental cars but you need to request them ahead of time. Price varies from $40-75 per day, per car seat. Like I said, take your own.

A note on strollers: tandem is best all the way around. If you have a twin side-by-side, it will not fit into most hotel elevators in Europe or down the sidewalks. Moving through airports, security, the jetways, etc. would be a hassle too. Even in our case, the tandem one did not fit through the door of our hotel room without juggling it in at an angle. The doors are just too narrow. Also, buy the travel bag for your stroller and use it. Practice taking the stroller apart and packing/unpacking it in the bag at home a few times first. We have the Baby.Jogger City Select tandem twin which accomodates our Chi.cco car seats. The stroller comes completely apart and fits nicely in the travel bag that zips and has straps. On the way home, we were able to fill this bag with additional stuff and still stow the stroller in it.

9. Most foreign security checkpoints allow you to carry the baby through the scanner in the Bjorn. It varies in the U.S. Strollers are usually treated as wheelchairs if the they are the huge kind most of us twin parents have. Breastmilk and formula need to go through the xray in a tub, just like your liquids, however they don't need to be in a plastic bag. The quantity guildelines are a "reasonable" amount, per the TSA. In the U.S. and Canada you are not required to taste them. In the U.K. you are. They will randomly choose a bottle and ask you or you spouse to taste it.

10. Altitude changes: I suggest having a bottle ready for both take off and landing. Pacifiers work too, but the bottle is better. There may be some discomfort with the ascent and descent. In our case it was usually descent. We fed the babies or sat them up on our lap and tapped their backs to make them burp. These methods and/or the pacifier seemed to work. Remember if you are seated in that bulkhead row, you need to be wearing something with pockets to put the bottle and a bib in. And don't forget the pacifier straps!!!

11. Back-up plans: Our twins did remarkable on all of the flights. I saw people roll their eyes and groan when they saw us get on board, especially in first class. However, we made naysayers out of all of them. Our boys slept beautifully and had only an occassional peep. The trick is to keep them fed, changed, and let them sleep. That said, we did come prepared with a back up plan. I won't generally advocate the off-label use of meds, but because I'm married to an "expert" in the area, I felt comfortable bringing along the bena.dryl. If you choose to use this, obviously talk with your pediatrician first. And do a test before you travel. In our case, we tested each boy with a dose a week before our trip to be sure they wouldn't get wired from it - a possible, but uncommon side effect. In the end, we didn't need it, but it was a nice insurance policy. Since it only comes in 4 oz sizes, you will need to transfer enough doses to a smaller bottle to get it through security in your plastic bag. Bottom line - if your babies have colic, difficulty sleeping, or are not easily consoled using routine methods, seriously reconsider air travel at this point.

12. Double check that your hotel allows children and what, if any, the charges are. If you want a crib, ask about the price and reserve ahead. We traveled with our own travel bed and didn't need hotel cribs. (See my list of must-have gear below.) However, one hotel we ALMOST booked, did not allow children under 10. This was no where on their website or reservation system and I only found out after I emailed with this specific question.

13. Rent the largest car you can afford. Period. I have been known to reserve multiple cars at different agencies to be sure we get one that will work. (Remember you don't pay until you pick the car up and there's no charge if you don't.) However, I consistantly have the best luck with A.vis and abroad.

14. All about breast-feeding and pumping: In one word - hydration. I can't stress this enough. Travel (especially air travel), stress, and climate changes are dehydrating. Expect your production to drop by as much as 50% and plan accordingly. Forget about pumping in your coach plane seat. You might get lucky and be allowed to tie up a bathroom for a half hour but who will hold the other baby unless you have an on-board bassinet? I was fortunate enough to be able to pump in our first class seats because they were private and we had bassinets. (Remember you will need a battery pack with batteries that are replaceable NOT rechargeable.) Pumping proved to be the most difficult part of our trip. If you are breast feeding, it should be easier but ours were on fortifiers since birth and had not done much breast feeding. Carry additional power sources for your pump, including the car charger (which saved us!) and a quality 3-prong power converter with a power regulator/modulator. The uneven electrical current blew my pump power plug on the first day in Italy (and the bottle warmer), despite using a converter. I was left with batteries and the car charger. Ultimately, my resourceful husband tracked down a 240/9 volt output plug that would fit my pump and plug into the walls in Italy, but I was seriously pumping in the car and blowing through the batteries for the first 2 days.

15. If you are a twin mommy and you carry a regular diaper bag, I salute you. If you decide to travel with your twins, ditch the diaper bag (and your purse) and use a backpack. I found 2 that I liked and I packed them each with a duplicate set of almost everything - one for me and one for Mr. W. I could write a whole chapter on packing. I had it down to a science before twins, and I think we did really well with twins. Both backpacks are designed as diaper bags. One is from DaD.Gear, the other is from Baby.Sherpa and holds a laptop next to the changing pad pocket. (LOVE THIS!). Swap your handbag for a small keychain type wallet, then hook it to the inside of your diaper backpack on one of the clips. I guarantee you, if you set all of your stuff down somewhere, you will not walk off without the diaper backpack. But you will leave your purse behind. Don't bring one.

16. Travel with a routine. Get it down before you go. Verbalize it to each other consistantly.
Ours went like this:

1) Dress in pocketed, loose fitting attire, and slip-on type shoes.
2) Be sure both back packs are stocked. Carry a snack or 2 for yourself and your clipped in wallet and cell phone. I use the front pocket or pouch of both backpacks as the "parent part." This way, you will always know where your own stuff is.
3) Put the Bjorn carrier on first, this should not have to come off between the car and the airplane.
4) Put the backpack on next. This will need to come on and off through security. Make your quart bag of liquids easily retrievable. Be ready to remove the breast milk and laptop still.
5) Put the baby in the Bjorn last.
6) Pull a single (small size) wheeled carry on if necessary. We did on the way over, but checked them on the way back. We carried 48 hours worth of everything in the wheeled carry-ons and 24 hours worth of everything in each backpack.
7) Go through your verbal checklist with your spouse every time you change locations (seats, planes, restaurants, cars, hotels, etc.) Our verbal list was: Passports, boys' plane tickets, cell phones, wallets, husband's insulin, and diaper backpacks/luggage count. We didn't move until one of us had pointed to or touched the item we called out. Sound crazy? It's not. Trust me.

17. Cell phones: In our house, it used to be that traveling was an adventure and that the comforts of home could be done without for a trip. With twins, I'm not of that opinion anymore, mostly from a safety and security standpoint. We both have global crack.berries that were easy to enable for use abroad, including text and emails. It was $70 per month (pro-rated only for the time were gone), plus 99 cents per minute to talk, 5o cents to send text, and 5 cents to receive text, and unlimited data (internet and email). Worth every penny. Budget for this on your trip, even if it's only one of your phones. If you don't have a global phone, your carrier should be able to either swap your SIM card before you go or "rent" you a global phone for your trip. Take care of this at least 2 weeks before you leave and verify it is working before you go. We only needed to make 2 short calls while gone, and used the text sparingly, but the email and internet access were priceless.

Now for the gear list - these are the items we found we "must have" and travelled with them. Some sound frivolous. All I can say is you be the judge on an international journey at 3 am with twins. You can google them on your own.

A) Pea Pod pop up travel bed by KidCO, folds to a 9x14 with pouch.
B) Sleep Sheep
C) Dad.Gear backpack diaper bag
D) Baby.Sherpa Alpha backpack
E) Samson.ite passport zip wallet
F) Infant tylenol and motrin (liquid items) ask your doctor about doses ahead of time
G)digital thermometer
H)Badger Balm (infant safe mosquito repellent stick)
I) Orajel teething swabs
J) extra quart plastic bags
K) swaddle wraps by Summer.Infant
L) disposable bibs
M) soap leaves, shout stain remover packets, and compact bottle brush
N) a kitchen towel or 2
O) pod bouncer chair - we took this apart and it shipped nicely with the stroller in the stroller. I thought it was a luxury - turned out to be a lifesaver.

Hope this helps.........and you must all buy my book after it's written!

Saturday, September 25, 2010


That was the word I was missing......

But alas, we have returned from our Italian adventure. And what an adventure it was. I have an incredible amount of advice to give if you find yourself travelling with infants, emphasis on the plural! So much so, that I must start penning a book soon! Overall, things went well and the boys did absolutely amazing. I forget, after being entrenched in IF for so long, that twins are still an anomaly in the rest of the world....that everything takes twice as long because everyone wants to stop and talk to you, and oooh and ahhhh, and ask questions.

Navigating airlines and airports can be tricky, especially when the airlines make promises they can't keep. That will be an entire chapter in the new book.

And for my next trick, we will take the boys on a cruise in December. Another chapter.......

Congrats to Sprog, who delivered while I was gone. And, to EB who delivered a few weeks ago while I was MIA. So happy you will both now experience this wonderment of motherhood.

Saturday, September 11, 2010

Gutsy or Stupid?

I'll let you know after we get back.

We are off to Italy tomorrow, with the now 4 month old noodles in tow.

Packing has been an experience. I think I need to write a book.

I am nervous. Excited. Overwhelmed. And thrilled. All at the same time.

Ciao, for now.

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Fast Forward 10 Weeks

Yes, it's true. Noodles are 10 weeks old now. I can hardly believe it myself. To say I have been too busy to blog is an understatement. And although sleep deprivation has sucked (but getting better) I will take it and the joy of noodles any day over being pregnant.

I am overjoyed at having a life again. At getting up and down the stairs. At visiting parts of the house I hadn't seen in months. At driving myself around again in my own car. And, at marvelling at the wonder of these two little miracles who have entrusted me and Mr. W with their care.

The NICU experience (NICU nurses are amazing), coupled with the post c-section drugs overwhelmed me. I briefly wondered what I had done. And what had my body done to torture these two creatures into an early birth. I felt guilty. I was admittedly detached the first few days (it was clearly the pain killers and other things they loaded me with in the hospital.)

But I am smitten now. Noodles are 10 pounds and 8 pounds of crazy infatuation. Baby A spent 19 days in the NICU and Baby B spent 15 days. Their new names at home are peanut and butternut. They are happy with sweet dispositions. They eat well and sleep well. Despite Mr. W's dark Mediterranean features, they inherited my fair northern European traits. They have scarce blonde hair and blue eyes. They are sure to be heart breakers one day.

We have taken them on 3 overnight trips already, including a week long one to San Francisco. They did amazing. I am happy to get them acclimated to travel early and even happier to get US acclimated to travelling with them. We are lucky. These little guys have been gems. I am grateful every single day.

So here is my not so short list of the finer points of our new real world and any advice I could throw at anyone who is still reading:

* They are on a calorie fortifier still. Which means I pump milk as many times a day as I can possibly stand and then add little packets of fortifier before they are fed. This is a special fortifier whose cost resembles a serious latte habit - to the tune of $30 per day.

* I have 6 or more sets of breast pump parts. I line them up every day all assembled with bottles attached, then just use them up throughout the day. It means I only need to do a load of wash once a day and always have a set ready in the middle of the night. I use a hospital pump at home and keep a Med.ela backpack pump always packed for travel (and usually in the car) so I'm never scrambling to find it.

* We have different colored lids on the bottles to keep both boys separate since they are on different calorie mixes.

* I will likely burn up our munchkin bottle warmer one of these days. It is also a great nipple and pacifier sterilizer.

* For the first time ever, noodles wear the same size diaper. I figure this will last about another week. But for now, it means my diaper caddy doesn't have the little cardboard divider in it I made to keep A and B's sizes separate and easily located when I'm half asleep.

* Mr. W is a champ. He takes half of the feedings including the middle of the night. We try to let one of us sleep through one night feeding, but sometimes we both get up together and talk while we each feed a noodle (or a nut). We keep a dry erase board in noodles' room to track the time and quantity each took. It helps us out if we're alternating feeding duty and don't know who ate what when. It also helps us report to the nutritionist we consult with weekly.

* Noodles' diaper bag is a big backpack designed for diapering purposes. It's always packed with fresh supplies and a duplicate set of necessary things we have in their nursery. One day I will video record packing it and put it on youtube. It's really an art form!

* Despite AAP warnings, noodles share a crib. It's the cutest thing.

* Our favorite nursery items are the sleep sheep, classical music we play on CD at night, and the pod bouncer chairs from Combi. The chairs vibrate, play pre-programmed songs, and have an ipod hook up. I wish they had one my size. The boys love them and they are great to coax them back to sleep when needed. We are also big fans of the swaddle me wraps (a.k.a. kiddopotamus). For travel, we use a Pea Pod. It's a very cool travel bed with a self inflating mattress and tent like pod. It folds down into a 9x14 inch pouch. Put it on your list if you go anywhere!

* I can't say enough about the City Select stroller we got from baby.jogger. I know EB just got one too. It holds 2 chicc.o carseats in tandem and drives like a mercedes. It's also designed to accomodate a single baby.

*The coolest baby monitor ever is from summer infant. It has a color video screen and sound, with a visual sound meter in case you want to turn the sound down. It accomodates 2 cameras, one for each crib (when we use the second one) and has infrared, so you can see them in the dark. Since noodles sleep in their own room, it's great to peek at them without getting up or disturbing them.

* Finally, I caved and hired a nanny three days a week. She has been a huge help. Although I stay home most of the time, she gives me an extra pair of hands, freedom to pump when I need to, and the ability for me to try to put our lives back together after being on bed rest. She does their laundry, washes the bottles, and keeps their room cleaned and organized. The fact that I can get out of the house to run an errand or two is a bonus.

Sunday, May 9, 2010

Happy Birthday Noodles

My little personal goal when I was discharged from the hospital in early April was to make it to May before having to deliver noodles. And so, at my April 30th doctor's visit, Dr. J said it was time and May 1st would be the day.

Baby A was born at 8:10 am, weighing 2 lbs 11 oz and Baby B was born at 8:12am, weighing 3 lbs 11 oz. They were 34 weeks and 4 days gestation. Essentially, at my April 30th appointment it was apparent both babies were no longer growing and would do better outside. It was determined they both had IUGR (intrauterine growth restriction) and Baby A was also SGA (small for gestational age).

All of this aside, because they were past 34 weeks, they are behaving like 34 weekers and need minimal support in the NICU. They just need to put on some weight and regulate their body temperatures on their own.

This past week has flown by. I was kept in the hospital two extra days for some minor complications following the c-section but am finally home and getting better. Time management has become the biggest challenge. Since we live almost an hour from the hospital, daily travel back and forth has become a precious time waster. Staying on a pumping schedule, a meds and doctor visits schedule for me, the boys' feeding schedule, maintaining a realistic visitor schedule, and trying to get a meal and some sleep while driving back and forth daily is insane, at best. Forget about naps, grocery shopping, answering the phone, or anything else seemingly unimportant.

Still, the boys are growing every day and are doing really, really well. Baby B's canopy on the isolette was lifted yesterday and doctors expect he may go home as early as the end of this week!

Tuesday, April 27, 2010

To Bank or Not to Bank

Happy note: 34 weeks tomorrow...and holding!

Long before noodles were in the picture and the propaganda started rolling in, Mr. W and I had discussed cord blood banking. It was mostly scientific and medically related conversation and had no relevance to any real-life situation for us at the time.

But as noodles continued to grow, the topic became more timely. We discussed it with one of our perinatologists, who felt it was still experimental and that private companies preyed on the fears of new parents. He felt the private banks were too expensive, and that public banks were a better choice, however there isn't one in our state. So in our usual fashion, we made a pro and con list that looked something like this:


1) The technology is evolving daily. We don't know what cord blood and stem cells may be capable of doing in even the near future.
2) There is a 50/50 chance noodles' cord blood would be a match for me. And a slightly smaller chance there is a match for Mr. W or another family member.
3) Mr. W's pancreas was attacked by a virus or other autoimmune disorder when he was 20. There is otherwise no genetic history of diabetes anywhere in his family. These stem cells may be an option for him down the road, or for noodles if the same thing happens.
4) Mr. W's first cousin needed a bone marrow transplant last month. There were no matches in the family.
5) Because noodles are identical, the cord blood can be stored together, thus the potential to get twice as much for only one fee.
6) There is a courtesy professional discount available to Mr. W since he is in the medical field and there is a discount to lock in and pre-pay the storage fees.
7) The long-term cost, including processing, collection, and factoring in a pre-paid 25 year storage agreement works out to only a few dollars per month.
8) It's a relatively inexpensive 'possible' life insurance policy for two kids, with the possibility of benefit for one of us.
9) We can lose more money in one day in our 401k than the cost of this program.
10) There is no charge if the collection is insufficient for processing.


1) The technology is still experimental.
2) The initial up front cost is still a chunk when you're trying to bring home 2 new babies on top of it.
3) There is a small issue of custody of the cells, should both of us die before noodles turn 25. It's similar to the embryo custody issue. We figure the cells would need to be addressed in the family trust.
4) There is another issue of custody after noodles turn 25. Since all of the cells would be stored together, which one of the noodles gets to decide when to dispose of them, or when to stop paying storage?
5) There is the possibility the cells could be lost or destroyed in courier transit, or a natural disaster could wipe out the storage lab facility.
6) It adds an extra layer of things for doctors to do in the OR while you're trying to have your kids delivered.
7) There are 30 or so private banks. Which one do you pick?

As you can see from our list, the pros outweighed the cons for us. I researched banks for awhile and narrowed it down to two. In the end, the one I picked (while more expensive) was the longest established one and was funding the most research and had been involved in the largest number of actual beneficial procedures with positive outcomes. Our kit arrived last week (not a minute too soon!) and is packed in noodles' bag o'stuff for the hospital. I am happy with our decision and hope we never need to use the cells ourselves, but they could still benefit someone else one day too.

Friday, April 16, 2010

Forced Parenting

Note: We are still in a holding pattern...32 weeks and 3 days happy.

This post has been gathering steam for some time, so I apologize for it's length.

In my recent boatloads of free time I've been planning two vacations Mr. W and I want to take with the noodles. Both of them were vacations we intended to take anyway, but are now reworking to accommodate the little guys.

The first is to San Francisco in July. Noodles will be just over 2 months old. This was a scheduled visit to the Italian consulate we pushed back because we need noodles' birth certificates to finalize our Italian citizenships. This will be a travel "dry run" of sorts. Easy trip, familiar surroundings for us, and an opportunity to test out a nanny we've identified. Of course, we'll also wander our way 6o miles to the north, to my favorite place. Mommy is going through withdrawal and needs her wine. Mr. W and I joke that we must break noodles in the right way, so they will grow up to be good little winemakers.

The second trip we have planned is to Italy in September. I've spent the last few months researching travel needs and trying to work out potential bugs. Noodles will be close to 5 months old and if the nanny works out in July, she will travel with us on this trip too.

I've talked with a lot of people who travelled with infants, including multiples. Many have said it is the easiest time of all to take them places. These same people have well-adjusted kids who seem easy-going and flexible as they get older. A triplet mom told me that often whatever disasters she imagined were far worse than anything that ever happened. I'm sure she's right.

Then there is the other camp. The parents who cast a horrific look at me when I mention our plans and tell me I'm completely frigging nuts. These people lecture me about how I have no clue what I'm in for. They shake their heads, roll their eyes, or make reference to 'my lifestyle' not being so accommodating anymore. Interestingly, these people often never left the house for the first 6 years of their kids' lives. Their kids don't adapt well to change, outside stimuli, and generally behave crappy. And here's the real truth - in the majority of these situations, these children were accidents-popped out like little farts in the wind. These parents didn't battle IF. They were never told they couldn't have children. They never had something ripped out from inside their bodies. They never had something die inside and then carry it around for months afterward. Mr. W and I labeled them "forced parents." Now, I am sympathetic to hardships others encounter, but my sympathy runs thin when people talk about how they went off the pill and couldn't believe they got pregnant. Like, the next day. Well, WTF did you think would happen?

And this brings me to my favorite forced parenting story. I've been picking a friend's brain who had 'accidental' twins. Interestingly, she's had virtually nothing positive to say about the experience. She dishes me most of the crappy side of things, and rarely shares so much as a single glimmer of enjoyment. I've chalked this up to her odd personality traits and the fact that she gets pregnant just by casting a glance her way.

So the other day I decided to try a different route. Her husband stopped by to bring me info on a product he was selling that I asked about. I expected his usual cheery self to inject some humor into raising twins when I asked. However, when I expressed our extreme excitement and travel plans, he grimaced. His face sunk and then he stared at me like a deer in the headlights. He quietly suggested I wasn't prepared for what I was about to experience, then mentioned every time he comes home from a business trip, he walks into a disaster. He let out a big sigh, then got up and left.

As a last ditch effort, Mr. W decided to call the friend's husband. You know, just for guy talk. Mr. W half jokingly asks what advice he can give for raising twins since ours are coming soon. The friend's husband says, "Dude, if I had to go through it all over again, I'd run the other way."

We were both speechless. Is it possible we are that naive?