Communication is Key (and hilarious)

People always say that communication is the key to success in any relationship. Other than figuring out who is going to wash the dishes, which is often a stumbling block in our marriage, that is probably correct. Having kids has also taught me that communication can be incredibly fun and hilarious.

At first, the kids were just little blobs. They could barely open their eyes. They could only cry, eat (sometimes a challenge), poop, pee, and look around ever so slightly. Occasionally, I could tell they would look at me for a brief moment. It was priceless. As they got older, those looks grew longer. Eventually those looks turned into stares.

Communication is Key (and Hilarious)

Then the kids started to squeak, or in our daughter’s case, shriek, and then they started to smile. Not because of gas, but because they were happy. “Sentences” of sounds, screams, and shrieks came next. We have had many conversations with the kids full of incoherent and high-pitched noises. Then, came the laughs, which are my favorite. Each step has been so priceless, so fun, and so hilarious.

Just like me, Austin is a little camera shy and he usually stops laughing and talking whenever the camera is around. Well, we used some ninja camera skills this week and caught him in these two fun videos. Enjoy!

Austin Laughing

Austin and Madison Talking About Their July 4th Plans

Fantastic Four

The kids are about to celebrate their four-month birthdays. And by “celebrate,” I mean that they’ll lay on a blanket and we’ll take pictures of them wearing cheesy costumes and I’ll use a terrible pun.

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I’m not sure where all the time has gone. On one hand, it feels like we were just waiting anxiously in the hospital delivery room a few heartbeats ago. On the other, I can’t remember life without kids and so it seems like they have been hanging around forever.

So here are some random thoughts about fatherhood and babies after four months of priceless moments, a thousand dirty diapers, and a lot of sleepless nights:

-Baby smiles and laughs are the greatest thing I’ve ever watched. “Jurassic Park” is a close second.

-My wardrobe is ridiculous and I’m meticulous with organizing my clothes and making sure that everything is neat and ironed before I leave the house. Well, I used to be like that. On Monday, I picked my clothes off the floor and rocked red pants to work that had spit-up on them, because, well, babies.

-The kids have regressed with their sleep during the past few weeks. It’s humorous in a sad and “wow, is it really 3:30am?!?!” kind of way when you long for five hours of sleep.

-I love watching soccer players celebrate goals at the World Cup. I do similar airplane moves and fist pumps when I successfully lay a baby down in a crib without waking him or her up.

-There are a lot of movies out that I’d like to go see. I’ll catch them on Netflix in six months.

-It’s amazing how babies can shift the important question of “what do I want to do with my life” to “what should I do with my life so I can help support these kids” so quickly. .

-I look at baby photos and videos on my phone multiple times a day when I’m at work. I should print a bunch out and put them around my office, but that task hasn’t passed “work,” “sleep,” or “exercise occasionally” on the to-do list yet.

-Trying to figure out day care is the toughest decision we’ve ever had to make during our relationship. First, deciding whether we’ll both go back to work is a really tough choice. We both want to work and interact with human beings who can form sentences, but we also want to stay at home and hang out with the kids all day. Second, deciding who will watch your kids, your perfect, beautiful, and adorable kids, all day when you’re at work is a sad, challenging, and scary decision to make.

-The protective papa bear in me has already come out a few times. I called to report an 18-wheeler that recklessly cut us off a few weeks ago. I also confronted a guy, politely, in the Metro parking lot after he blew by a stopped school bus with kids walking around so he could make a green light. I was worried he would go crazy and try to fight me or something, but I guess my teal pants scared him off.

-Travelling with kids. OMG. Someone invent a teleport ASAP.

-We had to listen to Katy Perry’s “Roar” 10 straight times when driving to the lake house last weekend. Although I appreciate that it always calms down Madison, instantly, I’ve listened to that song way too many times.

-The inventor of baby swings is our savior (other than Jesus and Tony Bennett, UVA’s basketball coach, not the singer). Thank you.

-Kids grow up too fast. I miss the “old” days when they were “small” and I wish I could relive those moments over and over again. Not because those days were better, but those first minutes, moments, and days were so intense, so scary, and so beautiful.

-I miss my autonomy. I miss sitting on the couch and staying there as long as I wanted. I miss eating dinner when the food is hot instead of an hour after it is cooked due to baby shenanigans. However, I will gladly give up all of those things for these kids.

-Hearing a baby stirring or crying on the monitor often creates an interesting test for a relationship. Neither of you wants to get off the couch or bed, but someone has to do it. Thus, you wait 5-10 seconds, sometimes pretending to be asleep, hoping the other leads the charge…

-Having these kids has given me such a different perspective with my faith. I am constantly mesmerized by His love for humanity and His endless grace.

-Most importantly, moms are heroes. So are people who want to babysit.

How to be a Man

Although I’m infinitely excited to be a dad, I’m also terrified.  I’ve never been a parent before (I think), I feel awkward around babies, and I’m a pretty immature dude.  Thus, it’s a little intimidating to think that I’ll be responsible for two little humans (and a Chihuahua) in just a few months.

Thankfully, I spend two hours a day on a bicycle, which I use to think and pray about this sort of stuff (while repeatedly listening to Miley Cyrus and Florida Georgia Line).  I often think about what sort of advice I’ll give my kids.  I’m pretty sure it will be the same regardless of whether we’re having two girls, two boys, or a mix of the two.  However, because I don’t know much about being a woman, I’ve been thinking a lot about the advice I’ll give to my potential son(s) about being a man.

How to Be a Man

Of course, this list is nonnegotiable:

(1) You will love sports.
(2) You will love rock and roll.
(3) You will lift weights.
(4) You will not listen to any sissy boy band music.
(5) You will vote Republican.
(6) You will always…

Wait, nevermind.

None of that nonsense is true.

Here’s the real list:

(1)  Be yourself.

(2)  Respect everyone else.

The.  End