Dadvice: New Dads. Relax.

Try to relax before bedtime. You’ll never get to sleep if you’re stressed, lying waiting for the baby to wake up. Don’t worry, if it wakes up, you’ll hear it. Have a warm shower and a warm drink (microwaving whisky doesn’t count).

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Dadvice: New Dads. Get a Routine.

Try to get into a routine as quickly as possible. Human beings are creatures of habit and if we do something regularly our bodies soon get used to it and the lack of sleep will become more bearable.

Beloved. 

Dear Sweet Pea, 

I can’t believe it’s our first Valentine’s Day as an old married couple. I wanted to write you a love letter. I know it’s corny, but I thought I’d try anyway.

I love you. Since you came into my life , I’ve looked forward to each and every day.  The early mornings with you and the kids kicking me out of the bed, all the times we sit around for hours just enjoying each other’s company, talking about the most random things. I like the person I am when I’m with you. You bring out a part of me that I never knew existed. 

I think about the time before you were a part of my life. I remember being aimlessly drifting from one place to another. Along came you and from that day forth everything changed. You have given me so much that I can never pay you back. I know that I can only spend my lifetime loving you and the kids and making you guys feel safe and secure. I know that you are that once in a lifetime gift that is bestowed upon lucky ones. I’m just trying to figure out how I got so lucky. 

 So yes, I love you. For all these examples I’ve mentioned and so much more.You mean the world to me. I love you for being yourself, and I love you because of the person you made me. Happy Valentine’s Day. 

From your husband with love,

LW

Dadvice: New Dad. Share the Feeding.

Mom might be breastfeeding, but she can express milk and store it in the fridge so there are no excuses for you not taking your turn with the occasional 4am feed. Yes, that’s right, 4am! Or if Mom’s doing the 4am feed you can do the midnight feed to let her go to bed early and get some rest.

Letters to Elliot: February 6, 2016

Hey Princess, 

I hope you’re having a great day. I often think about what kind of woman you’ll be when you read these. Thousands of possible stories fill my head during daily day dreams. One thing I do know is the person reading these is amazing and she has a dad that is crazy about her. 

Today has been a weird day for me. Now it’s not manly and you probably think your dad is the toughest guy in the world (we both know you don’t think that), but today I found myself with tears rolling down my face. This week an old friend of mine found out that one of her twins is blind. His diagnosis was similar to yours, so mom and I could relate on so many levels. Hopefully soon we’ll all get together and you’ll do your thing. You are a ray of sunshine. Hopefully when they see you and how you are, they will get a little glimpse of what’s in store. You’re a lot of fun and at the same time annoyingly independent. That’s not necessarily a bad thing. Getting a little bit of both of your parents stubbornness has done you some good.

 I’m not saying that it won’t be a roller coaster of emotions at first, but watching you grow up has been one of the single best parts of my life. I will continue to be amazed as you continue to grow and progress. I know you’ll be an inspiration to this family and many more without you even knowing it. I know you think I’m lame, but I think you’re amazing. 

Love, Dad.

Dadvice: New Dads. Survive Without Sleep.

Babies have no sense of time. In fact, for being awake and asleep at all the wrong times they give hamsters a run for their money. The first couple of months of having a baby in the house are stressful enough, and it doesn’t help if neither of you has slept properly in days. No one can survive on no sleep, not even Batman, but there are things you can do so that each of you gets as much kick as you can.

Letters to Elliot: Janurary 27, 2016

Hey there Elliot Marie, 

I can’t believe it’s been so long since I’ve written you! I definitely intend to change that this year. So many things have happened since I lost wrote. We had a great Halloween where you and your brother dressed up as little red riding hood and the little bad wolf. We had an awesome thanksgiving where we luckily got to see most of our family. Christmas was the best! Well besides the fact that we had to be up early and you wake up the same way your mother does… not happy. New Years was a lot of fun. We had a bunch of your cousins over and we counted down as the ball dropped. Life has been an adventure for sure. 

You have grown into quite the comedian. Granted you try to do and say all the things I do and say. Which isn’t necessarily a good thing, but we’re both working on it. You’re talking so much now though which is amazing. Even if you’ve traveled into the realm of the terrible twos. Which you have. No matter how rough my day is, as soon as I hit the door and hear you gabbing on and calling out for me, all my troubles melt away. 

Nothing makes me happier than to watch you with your brother. When he was first born you weren’t too fond of him. Maybe you just didn’t know what think about him. Now you are all about it. He probably thinks you like him too much. Mom and I love to watch you squeeze him with that big gorgeous smile of yours while he screams bloody murder. It’s the little moments with you three that make my life so sweet. 

I know you’re probably a busy lady, so I won’t take up anymore of your time. Remember to always stay positive. Remember that I love you. I know you think I’m lame, but I’m your dad and I’m allowed to be.

Love, Dad.

Letters to Fitz: September 8, 2015

Hey Son, 

I have a list of life lessons I want to fire off at you. Something you can reference from time to time. Things I’ve learned from your grandpa, great grandpa, and great uncles. Even if they didn’t say these things exactly, they’re things I’ve observed and learned from them. (and a few notes of my own) My examples of how to be a better man from the influences in my life. Hopefully it won’t take you as long as it did your dear ol dad to get it together. 

1. Never hit anyone unless they are an immediate threat.

2. Every hat should serve a purpose.

3. Never take her to the movies on the first date.

4. Learn to wet shave.

5. Nothing looks better than a well-tailored suit.

6. Shave with the grain on the first go-around.

7. Always look a person in the eye when you talk to them.

8. Buy a plunger before you need a plunger.

9. Exercise makes you happy. Run, lift, and play sports.

10. Brush your teeth before you put on your tie.

11. A small amount of your paycheck should go directly to your savings account every month.

12. Call your parents every week.

13. Never wear a clip-on tie.

14. Give a firm handshake.

15. Compliment a love interest on their clothing choice.

16. Never leave a drink unfinished.

17. If you aren’t confident, fake it. It will come.

18. You can tell the size of a man by the size of things that bother him.

19. Be conscious of your body language.

20. The only reason to ever point a gun at someone is if you intend to shoot them.

21. Always stand to shake someone’s hand.

22. Never lend anything you can’t afford to lose.

23. Ask more than you answer. Everybody likes to talk about themselves.

24. Keep a change of clothes at the office.

25. Buy high quality tools, so you only have to buy them once.

26. Manliness is not only being able to take care of yourself, but others as well.

27. Go with the decision that will make for a good story.

28. When you walk, look straight ahead, not at your feet.

29. Nice guys don’t finish last. Boring guys do.

30. Find your passion and figure out how to get paid for it.

31. Don’t let the little head do the thinking for the big head.

32. No matter their job or status in life, everyone deserves your respect.

33. The most important thing you can learn is personal responsibility. Bad things happen, it’s your job to overcome them.

34. The first one to get angry loses.

35. Do what needs to be done without complaining. It won’t help speed things up.

36. Never stop learning.

37. Always go out into public dressed like you’re about to meet the love of your life.

38. Don’t change yourself just to make someone happy, unless that someone is you.

39. If you’re the smartest person in the room, you’re in the wrong room.

40. Luck favors the prepared.

41. Everyone finds confidence attractive.

42. Do whatever you want to do in the life, but be the best at it.

43. No one is on their deathbed wishing they spent more time at work. Enjoy your life.