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Celebrating Father's Day: Greenwoods' lifestyle changes completely when Maxwell is born

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Dickinson,North Dakota 58602
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Celebrating Father's Day: Greenwoods' lifestyle changes completely when Maxwell is born
Dickinson North Dakota 1815 1st Street West 58602

Jay and Shanna Greenwood, Dickinson, are greeted each morning with the smiles and giggles of their son, Maxwell, who was born on Fathers Day last year.


Their lives have changed dramatically with the arrival of their son.

I dont remember what I was doing before. It had to be a little boring, said Jay.

The Greenwoods are celebrating Fathers Day today and Maxwells first birthday Monday.

Shannas mom and step-father, Cheryl and Gary Winget, of Minneapolis arrived Friday for the celebrations. Her father is Wesley McCallum, Chaska, Minn., Jays parents, Deb and Dann Greenwood, live in Dickinson.

The couple met while attending the University of North Dakota. They moved to Portland, Ore., where Jay attended law school. Married and wanting to have a baby, the couple returned to Dickinson to be near family.

Jay worked as a law clerk for 1½ years prior to becoming one of two public defenders in Dickinson. Employed by the State of North Dakota, their office opened in March.

Shanna has a psychology degree and works as an administrative assistant for the Dickinson State University Athletic Department.

To prepare for Maxwells birth, the couple attended Lamaze classes and Jay read a book titled Expectant Father.

Jay hasnt read any books on being a good father. Instead, he relies on his own father as a role model.

I couldnt ask for a better dad, he said.

He tells the story of how Dann drove eight hours to a track meet in Vermillion, S.D. where Jay was competing in the triple jump. He watched the 25-second jump, spoke briefly to Jay and returned to Dickinson.

Jay has two younger sisters, Lindsey and Paige. He remembers playing with them as a boy, but never having to care for them.

Im not keen on other peoples babies, he said. Im more comfortable with kids now.

A typical day starts around 7 a.m. when Maxwell is awake and dressed. Jay shares his cereal with him and they play until its time to go to day care.

I pick him up at 3 and Jay is home at 5, said Shanna. Jay and Max do swimming lessons at 5:30. Jays the only dad in class.

An evening may include a walk around the block or games on the floor.

I usually make dinner since Im home at 3. I eat dinner and Jay feeds Max and then he gets a cold dinner, said Shanna.

Maxwell is in bed by 8 p.m. Shanna used to breast feed, and Jay would sit up with them. Now, they take turns if he wakes up.

They havent had too many surprises about child rearing.

Hes been a good kid, said Jay.

Shanna was surprised at how much parents love their children.

You really get it, she said.

The couple experiences rewards of parenting every day.

Jay and I really love seeing all those firsts, being there and seeing him smile and imitating an animal sound that you made. Its just amazing. Its so rewarding to see that, said Shanna.

The challenges have come with time management.

Our priorities have changed, said Shanna. Its not important if the grass isnt cut or the house isnt cleaned.

Ive never paid a babysitter yet, said Jay. My parents are great.

He added, I used to golf a lot. I havent golfed since Max was born.

We hang out with friends who have kids, added Shanna.

The couple loves living in their house located near Dickinsons St. John Lutheran Church. And they are grateful to have four bedrooms. You see, they are expecting a second baby during November.

Linda Sailer
(701) 456-1209