#FathersDay Blog 2015: The Luckiest Man in the World

I desperately wanted to be a dad.

Luckily, my wife desperately wanted to be a mom.

And thanks to the love and support of our families (and science), we both got our wishes.

*****

Growing up, my dad worked multiple jobs. He taught during the day, night school, some weekends, and then spent most of the summer as a day camp counselor (and then director).

Work ethic was something I saw early. Dad did his best to provide for our family, and I don’t remember ever truly wanting for anything.

When it came to college, he just said “Pick a place.” And when I picked the expensive private liberal arts college, he didn’t blink.

And through the years, if I’ve needed anything, Dad was there.

That kind of support is what I plan to provide for my girls.

*****
The old joke is that “when you marry someone, you marry their family too.” For me, that’s been a great thing.
 

I got another dad with an admirable work ethic, one who also does whatever it takes to support his family.
 

He busts his butt at work every day, and whenever I stop by I see that he truly has the respect of all his employees — something I strive for in my own career.

And through all the ups and downs and adversity he’s faced, he’s always there for his kids.


 

*****

And of course, there’s my journey to becoming a father. We had tremendous support from both of our families, especially when we needed help from Modern Science.

I was the one who took the phone call when they told us Shannon was pregnant. Probably the greatest call of my life. Of course, until I got to call Shannon and tell her.

I remember standing in the hallway of my office. Sun streaming through the windows, a mid-day shot of adrenaline and happiness to the heart.


 

*****

It was a rough pregnancy, but Shannon was the ultimate trooper. Gave up caffeine and chocolate, focused completely on giving our girls a great start.

Still, there were multiple hospital visits. An laparoscopic gallbladder surgery at 20 weeks. And then they came early.

*****
The C-section was lightning fast. Ali at 11:34. Norah about 10 seconds later. In all the commotion, I tried to get as many photos as possible. I was only able to get one set of footprints on my scrub top.

 

And then the scariest three weeks of our lives.
Here’s how it went down:

 

 

 

 

But it’s all good now, and that’s what matters.

 

*****

I’ve narrowed it down to Six Commandments of Dadding:

6. Provide. Get out there and EARN, son. “Baby needs a new pair of shoes” is a real thing.

 

5. Support. Don’t OVER-do it. (Trophies for all!) But be there when they fall. Encourage when they need help. Compliment when they least expect it.

 

4. Be there. As much as possible. Put down the phone. (Something we all struggle with.) Engage with them, because every moment is precious.

3. Smile. I truly believe the positivity that Shannon and I pour into them is why our girls are awesome, smart, nice, helpful and happy. And smiles are free.

 

2. Be patient. (Something else I’m working on.) They’re kids, for Pete’s sake. Even if it’s at the end of a long day, that’s not their fault. Count to ten, take some deep breaths, and listen.

1. Show the love. Lots of hugs. Cuddles on the couch. When they want to be carried or ask for a piggyback ride, give it. They won’t ask forever. (And they’ll get too big or “grownup” to carry.) Besides, it’s a good mini-workout.

*****
Being a dad is the greatest job I’ve ever had or will have. It’s a responsibility that I wanted, was blessed with, and I cherish every day.

 

Happy Father’s Day to all the dads out there. Enjoy your day — and every single moment!

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Twins Update: 11/27/11, 12:40 a.m.

Can’t sleep, haven’t updated girls’ progress for far too long.

NORAH loves to run. Especially down the hall and into my arms for a big lift to the sky.

ALI says “thank you” and “no thank you” so sweetly and softly it could melt brick.

NORAH pooped in the potty two weeks ago, but hasn’t done it in the potty since.

ALI is Queen of the Nap.

NORAH sometimes says she “doesn’t feel well “and wants to “go to the doctor.”

ALI had a giant purple/black toe which she barely complained about, although she had a wicked limp for several days.

NORAH currently enjoys dressing in Ali’s “Pink Batgirl” Halloween costume. Technically, though, it was Norah’s selection that we gave Ali at the last minute when we discovered her Ladybug costume was incomplete, and all they had left was “Batarina” — which was purple, Norah’s favorite color. (Kids are complicated sometimes.)

ALI likes to bring empty plates to the kitchen sink.

NORAH gets a kick out of sitting on top of my shoulders.

ALI knows how to push my buttons, and stares at me with mischief in her eyes and a wicked grin. (I’m a dead man.)

NORAH likes when Mommy fixes her hair and just tried a bit of makeup. ALI hates getting her hair fixed. BOTH love bathtime and splashing.

NORAH could watch the “Yo Gabba Gabba Live from L.A.” special and “Peppa Pig” reruns all day.

ALI rarely makes TV requests, although she does still enjoy “Bubble Guppies.”

BOTH girls enjoy sightings of the neighborhood bunny rabbit who frequents our backyard. I foresee some sort of bunny pet in our future.

 

 

Don’t Kill The Buggie!

Li'l Bee

Parenting is not for wusses.

The other day, I’m walking down the hall with Norah. A pleasant little stroll from the stairs to the kitchen.

And she starts to pull away from me, going towards something on the wall.

Instinct kicks in. It’s a bug. Spider? Poisonous? Is there a yellow recluse spider? What if it bites her? She was “the sickest kid in the NICU” two years ago!

I pull Norah back and yell for Shannon (she’s already in the kitchen) to grab a paper towel. She comes running with the towel, and I squoosh the bug. Several times. Just to make sure.

And Norah is crying.

I saved your life! What are you crying about?

Oh wait. You don’t know that some buggies bite and hurt. You watch “Miss Spider’s Sunny Patch Kids” where bees and butterflies and spiders all get along and have cute adventures.

It’s OK, baby. Daddy’s sorry. But he didn’t know if that was a bad buggie or a buggie that we’d normally just shoo away.

Mean Daddy killed a buggie. Oy.

I repeat: Parenting is not for wusses.

Twins Update: Starting Week 32

It’s interesting to me how most of our pre-pregnancy life was counted in years.

Now, everything is weeks and months.

Sweetie just started Week 32 of her pregnancy, also known as her eighth month. We’re hoping to get to week 37 or 38, and the docs feel she might be able to get that far. (Which is pretty amazing for twins.)

And once they get here, it’ll be the same.

–“Oh, how darling! How old are they?”

–“Eight weeks tomorrow.”

OR:

–“Oh, they’re gorgeous! How old?”

–“Four-and-a-half months.”

(If you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty confident they’ll have the best of both of their parents’ features.)

Anyway, I couldn’t be more excited and terrified at the same time. I kid myself sometimes, thinking “OK, you can handle this. You’ll be up every two hours every night for a while, you’ll somehow drag your carcass to work after wiping off any excess baby substances, and be a kind, happy, supportive dad.”

And then I realize they’ll just scream in my face with tiny pink faces for hours on end, run fevers of 100.1 that send us into a panic, and basically not listen to any of our requests until, um, well, they’re 24 or so.

So yeah, I’m all over the place. I realize that it’s really never going to be about me again, and I’m cool with that.

This is a life-changing time for us, and although I’m quite satisfied with my life up to this point, I’m excited about the future.

Been gone a while, but with a great excuse…

Aside from being lazy, I’ve been busy…since my beautiful wife is PREGNANT!

Oddly enough, that’s not the whole story.

It’s TWINS!! (Note the double exclamation points. I imagine a great deal of my life will now be spent in “twos.”)

My lady is 16.5 weeks into her pregnancy, and unfortunately it’s been rough. She has almost constant discomfort, and the promised relief of the second trimester has not appeared as of this date.

But so far, everybody is healthy and growing and all that good stuff.

And holy wow, I’m going to be a dad. Daddy. Papa. Abba (Hebrew).

I’m pretty much excited, elated, thrilled, scared, freaked, and in a constant state of worry.

(“Welcome to Fatherhood, sucka!”)

Slightly funny note: I’m not the only Dallas-area senior copywriter/ACD-type in his mid-30s with twins (his are born already) and a blog. Click on “The Adhole” on the right-hand column to visit his “regular” blog, or here to see his Dad in Training one.

[Editor’s Note: We have differing opinions on major issues, but these similarities were interesting to me.]

Anyway, as those of you who know me would have guessed, I’m doing my best to wait on my wife hand and foot. I can’t imagine having one teeny person growing inside me, much less two.

Naturally, I’ll update my loyal readers here as news happens. (Next major ultrasound is December 29 – and we’ll be finding out the official genders at that time.)