Awakening

Life has changed a lot over the past few weeks:

We got a new coffee machine at work. It looks like something from Star Trek, but it’s downright amazing. “Despicable Me 2” was dissed at the 2014 Oscars and didn’t win “Best Picture.” Finally, my incredible wife gave birth to twins on March 5th.

Parenthood

As evidenced by the dearth of blog posts and the dark circles under my eyes, it’s been a challenging three weeks. I’ve had a lot of fun topics that I wanted to write about, but I usually just fall asleep instead. Alas, I’m slowly crawling out of the shadows and starting to resume a normal life. A normal life that is so much richer now that I have two new partners in crime (and a house full of baby junk).  After three weeks of parenting experience, here are my initial thoughts:

1.  Mothers. You all deserve a round of applause. My goodness.

2.  To the man or woman who invented the pacifier, you are my hero. I’m not even kidding. Thank you. Now, can you figure out how to help a newborn keep one in his or her mouth?

3. I have often had doubts about the existence of God during various times of my life. I’m a critical thinker who appreciates facts more than feelings. However, I have no doubts when I realize that this…

Austin and Madison - The Start

…became this…

A Fantastic Beginning

4.  People often ask me how the babies are doing. I always respond by saying that they are still alive. They think I’m trying to be funny. I’m not. That is a big deal because we’re stumbling our way though this whole parenting thing.

5.  For a horrifying sixty seconds, we thought we were going to lose Madison. On her first day of life. She started to choke and began turning blue. We had been parents for about five hours and had no idea what to do. There were no nurses around. It was the worst moment of my life. Alas, she pulled through and she’s alive today, which, again, is a big deal. Oh, and now I’m insanely paranoid about any little mouth noise the babies make.

6.  These kids are in the 90th percentile for height and 30th percentile for weight. I wish I was that lucky.

7.  Austin and Madison each had a distinct and beautiful personality the moment they were born. Madison came out at 1:41pm. She wasn’t really crying, but her big, beautiful eyes were looking around with a bold sense of wonder. Since that moment, she’s never stopped soaking in all her new surroundings. You can tell she’s constantly thinking and learning. Meanwhile, Austin, just like me, spends his days eating, sleeping, and crying.

8.  This was the happiest moment of my life.

IMG_6480

 Not pictured: Austin screaming.

9. We have so many amazing outfits for these kids to wear. I had big plans for them to be dressed to the nines like ballers each day, even though they are just hanging out at home for a few weeks. In reality, the clothes selection process usually happens in the wake of a diaper explosion and the owner of said diaper is likely crying. A lot. His or her brother or sister is probably crying too. Thus, they wear whatever is on the top of the stack of clean clothes.

10. I’m struggling to find a healthy work/life balance. Hopefully paternity leave in a few weeks will help. I’m also finding it really challenging to find time to exercise, but really easy to eat way too much junk food.

11. Our poor dog is confused.

Napoleon Confused

12. I did not know what true fear felt like until a fussy baby has just calmed down at 3:00am and I laid him or her down to sleep and I crawled into bed. A minute later, as I lay staring towards a dark ceiling, I hear stirring and whimpering from the pack-and-play across the room. Will the baby fall back asleep or will the noise continue to build until a violent explosion of cries emerges?  The seconds feel like hours. Those moments have helped strengthen my prayer life.

13. Those first few diapers were horrifying.  So smelly, so sticky, so black.

14. I’ll be honest, when I found out we were having twins, my first response was to laugh. Then I nearly passed out. Then I wanted to cry because I thought my life was over. Now, despite the late nights and 150+ diapers a week, I realize that it was the greatest gift(s) I’ve ever been given (except for the purple Jordans Amanda got me for Christmas).

15. Seriously, let’s give the mothers a round of applause.

Meeting Mommy x2

Bye.

A Fantastic Beginning

I’m a dad now.

A Fantastic Beginning

The last five days have been some of the most tiring, stressful, paranoid, and intense moments of my life.

They have also been the best.

I know everyone thinks I’m this really tough guy, but I’ve got a sensitive side too.  I’m so in love with these kids and so humbled by the opportunity to be their dad, I’ve cried at least a dozen times over the past few days.  This world has so many adventures to offer, but there is nothing better than holding these kids in my arms.

I haven’t slept much over the past week, but I used some of my late-night free time to make a short video that captures some special moments from Day One.  Enjoy!

The Miracle

I’ve learned a lot of important things during our pregnancy.

First, I’ve discovered that it is really hard for me to eat healthy when my wife has constant cravings for chocolate and Mexican food.

photo

Second, I’ve learned that pregnant women love pillows. I think we had nine pillows in our bed at one point. Thankfully, that number is now down to three. However, one is an enormous anaconda-esque pillow called a Snoogle that takes over the entire bed. I’ve heard rumors that it will be hanging around even after Austin and Madison make their debuts. I’ve spent most nights during the past 8+ years hanging over the edge of the bed, while Amanda takes up the other 90%.  This Snoogle doesn’t help.  Pray for me.

Screen Shot 2014-01-27 at 12.56.13 AM

Okay, back to the important stuff. More than anything else, seeing two little babies develop over the past few months has taught me how incredibly beautiful and majestic life truly is.

I found out that we were having a baby on July 19, 2013.  I instantly fell in love. Amanda was 6-7 weeks along and the baby was the size of a poppy seed. I said so many prayers and shed so many tears of joy for that little thing. I desperately prayed for his or her health, development, and future. More importantly, I prayed that he or she would never go to law school. I dreamt about t-ball games, watching a little toddler chase around our divalicious dog, playing with Legos, teaching my kid about Star Wars, and going to Nationals games together.

Then, a week or two later, we thought the baby was gone. I woke up one Saturday morning to find Amanda in tears. We were stressed, terrified, and worried. I know a lot of people out there have been in similar situations. I’ve never felt so helpless.

So Amanda went to go see the doctor and we held our breath.

She called me at work that day. She told me I needed to sit down.  I expected the worst.  I braced for bad news. A million negative thoughts flashed through my mind in a single moment.

She told me we were having twins.

I nearly fell on the floor.  Then I laughed.

Halloween Shirt

Since that time, we’ve had 5-6 ultrasound appointments and have felt so many priceless kicks coming from inside Amanda’s womb. It is amazing to see their little hearts beating on the ultrasound machine. I am in awe when I see the complicated intricacies of their bodies and all their little organs hard at work. I’m amazed that those same little body parts will be cranking for the next 90+ years. I am stunned that all of it started with two little poppy seeds that developed and grew on their own. The masterpiece of life was imprinted on each of them from the very beginning. It is remarkable, and humbling, that we get to see it all unfold. Although I suck at math and science, witnessing these repeated miracles makes me wish I was a doctor or scientist so I could comprehend them even more. Alas, WebMD is a decent substitute and doesn’t cost me $100,000 and seven years of medical school.

In short, I hope to teach these kids so many important things. However, they helped teach me the most important lesson of all:

You can never eat too much Chipotle.

The Unexpected

One of my favorite songs is U2’s “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.”  Other than Soulja Boy’s “Crank That,” I can’t think of a song with such meaningful lyrics.  I also like that classic U2 song because it applies to some of the interesting and amazing people who read this blog.

About 50 people a day find this blog through Google searches.  If you are one of those people, welcome.  I swear I’m not this weird in real life.  I hope.

The Unexpected

(nevermind)

Not only is WordPress kind enough to provide a lot of neat statistical information, it also lists the actual search terms people use to find this blog.  A lot of them are pretty normal:

-iceiceandrew
-iceice blog
-iceiceandrew blog

Some are a bit more unique, but make sense in light of my previous posts:

thankful for my job
is chipotle the best burrito
-chubbies shorts
-tom brady gq
-make life less boring
mermaid rap
faith isn’t easy
classic white boy rap songs
dude too old for justin timberlake
glee costumes
rules for flag football

But, whoa, some of them are crazy:

-[[ insert lots of porn searches here ]]
-is play that funky music white boy a love song (obviously)
-losing a best friend due to the thug life
-sometimes my husband sucks (my wife says the same thing)
-how boring is it when two people wear the same shoes (That is the worst!)
-awful dude selfies
has stone cold steve austin ever felt lonely (probably)
-was jackie robinson a thug (no)
-grease: where are they now
-what are some good lady gaga gifts (I want to be your friend.)
-sweaty shirt
-woman crush wednesday is my mom (Hello, Oedipus.)
-should i sing endless love to her when she walks down the aisle (Please invite me to your wedding.)

…and the scariest one my favorite…

“random old man told me god sent him to tell me i don’t need a miracle tonight but i’ll need one tomorrow at 4”

I’m not exactly sure what to say in response to that last one, but here are three random thoughts I do have:

(1)  Everyone is crazy.  Don’t waste time hiding your weirdness.  Own it.

(2)  We often spend so much time and energy searching for something to fulfill us, something we think we need, or something to make us happy.  You usually find those things when you’re not looking.

(3)  You never know what kind of impact you’ll have on the lives of other people.  The “small” actions of others have repeatedly served as incredible catalysts for change in my life.  My now-BFF Lamar did an epic “Men in Black” song and dance routine at Tallwood High School’s freshman orientation in 1997 that got me interested in student government.  I was SCA President a few years later.  Another friend, Joy, shared a link on Facebook in 2009 that introduced me to Capital City Church.  We helped plant a new church site last month.  Amanda made her first sweet potato casserole for Thanksgiving in 2007.  I ate the whole dish, felt like I was going to die when I walked upstairs, and finally decided it was time to get in shape.  I lost 70 pounds.

Hopefully this blog has helped someone, whether it was a friend who saw a link I posted on Facebook or a dude looking for porn who found a post about community service instead.

Your words and actions will impact others in great and profound ways.  Even if you don’t know it.  They might be friends, they might be family, or they might be strangers who also like Lady Gaga.  However, if some dude tells you that you’ll need a miracle at 4pm tomorrow, just run away.