Dad Adventures

I’m Back Folks

I really am upset with myself right now as I let so much time go by without sharing memories on this site. Granted, I experienced the memories with my family.

I do wish that I would have shared the memories on here. Yet, I get it. Life is crazy at times.

The counselor in me is telling me to relax, take deep profound respirations and let it go. To accept that I made a mistake and now can transition right back into the blog. Into sharing the journey of fatherhood!

Now, where to begin.

Better yet, how do I catch you up on the two-year gap.

Let’s see. Highlights with bullet points:

·         Nola, “my baby girl” a.k.a., “daddy’s girl” is a big girl now. Last week we had to let her start a summer camp. I say, “had” because I really did not want to. She is only three!!! I know that I’m not the only dad struggling to let his little girl go. It’s really an interesting mixture of emotions. I cried as she walked into the classroom her first day of school. I was scared, worried and fearful that something would happen to her. She on the other hand, is the spinning image of her mother. Fearless!

·         My son, Alexander, is just over a year. He is literally the most handsome trouble maker alive. He does this act, where he first looks at me or my wife before doing something that he is NOT supposed to do. Then he DOES it. Then he waits until we call his attention and he runs away laughing. He is in every way the spinning image of me.

·         My wife and I had our first serious talk about adding a third. I’ll discuss why it took “me” so long to feel confident and comfortable with the conversation. Let’s just say I had an emotional breakdown!

·         We went to Disney as a family for the first time. The whole gang! Personally, I found an excuse to take the kids to Disney…

·         My wife and I have finally with the grace of GOD and the secret sauce found a way to work together in the counseling practice. It’s an interesting thing working with your spouse. Moments of excitement. Occasions of frustration. I’ll fill you in later…

Pictures also work great 😊

 

Thank you for your patience. Thank you for walking with me. Learning, growing, and overcoming life’s challenges 😊

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6 Months and Counting

How do I sum up the past 6 months of my daughter’s life… Someone did say a picture is worth a thousand words so here are three:
6 months later her and her hair only grew a millimeter. Mommy insist on using hair bows

At Target looking GLAMOROUS



6 months later she still owns the bed!
 

 

Nola has been in more way than I could have imagined the spinning image of my wife and I. She makes the most bizarre facial expressions just as her father and boy… can she be as directive as her mother. She never fails to amaze me. Even in the simplest ways she is my source of laughter, gratitude, and love. In her 6 months of life she continues to fight with her mother and father in her dislike for crawling… Who knows why? It could be that she is too “lady-like” for the ground and prefers to walk… Or maybe she does not feel like it right now! I mean when it comes to walking people, she is by far a shy one. From the moment her giant bugs bunny eyes open she is yearning for the edge of the counter or a toy that can give her just the right amount of pressure to stand – and once she is up her smile is brighter than ever.

You know one of the things I love most about being a father… It’s the split second when you get home from work and your wife and child are waiting for you. As you arrive you receive your gentle yet passionate kiss from your wife and somewhere around the house you can already hear the laughter of your child. Myself, I enjoy sneaking up on Nola and surprising her she always welcomes me with such a face that literally screams “DADDY!!!” muahhhhh   

Random people often stop us in stores or restaurants commenting on our daughters’ beauty and how we should take advantage of her now. I’m still not sure what they mean by saying “take advantage of her now…”

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Rain Rain Go Away!

This Sunday was gloomy and in more ways than one unattractive. However, from a different perspective in the Santos house we were having a blast! The morning started off with Nola wanting to play with every single toy and what was I to do… tell her no? No way.
Living the Dream

 
 

 

On a different note: Nola and I have begun our first of many runs. The goal is for us to start running in competitive races together. Stroller pushing Dad for the first few years’ then transition the little princess to straight foot work. I’m excited and I know that she’s excited. The first run together she fell asleep so basically to parents out there that = great freaking job!
First Run – at the lake
 
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Happy Father’s Day




My daughter made me this with a little help from Mommie
Happy father’s day to me and to all the fathers out their giving it everything you got to make sure that your family prospers.  
Today is a day of reflection and accomplishment for all that I have been blessed with and for all that I continue to aspire and do for my daughter and family. I reflect on my daughter’s birth and the chill that crawled up my spine as I watched her enter our world. Today I reflect on the overwhelming blessing the lord has given me as a father and a vessel for my daughter. I reflect on the beautiful memories and experience my family and I have been blessed with through the eyes of my daughter. Today I continue to feel the overpowering need to provide for my daughter in surrounding her with love, experiences, laughter, fun… Most importantly I thanked my wife for blessing me with such a spirited and beautiful daughter.

 

On this very father’s day I also reflect on all the fathers who continue to give me advice on the do’s and don’ts. The funny thing is that as a father… I’m going to lend you my ear and not always follow the same path you took. In my own opinion one of the joys of being a father is that you get to try your best in your own way with the support of your wife or life partner to be the role model to your child. Life continues to bless us with unique opportunities in some our child falls and gets a boo boo In others our child trips or scraps his or her arm. Yes, we could have listened to that person’s advice on tying shoes this way not that way. Yet… if we had listened then in the years to come we would have been shy of an experience. An experience that could have filled the family dinner table with laughter, love and fund memories to treasured. So on this father’s day, I’ve learned to always lend my ear to those willing to help here or there such as our parents, friends, or noisy neighbors yet continue to follow your unique parenting style that you and your wife have molded.
There is no wrong or right way when you love your child

Playing with the new rod and reel with Nola!

 

 

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Parents and Breaks

 

Only parents can clearly understand the fine line between “breaks” and “parent breaks”. Within the fine line there is even a deeper “break” to those parents who have to broaden their scope and multitask with work and school on top of their already hectic and overwhelming parenting duties.

Here is an idea of what my wife and I do for our breaks —– some might call “boring activities”

·         Sit outside of Starbucks for a few hours. (This one is my personal favorite considering I love coffee and I love people watching)

·         Watch episodes of our favorite show (… it feels like paradise). Oh nothing comes close to the relief of having no worries for even a few hours.

·         Grab a quick beer (literally one 12 ounce beer) at a local bar and reminisce on our past and the future to come. Funny story: just the other week my wife and are a sitting at a local bar near our undergraduate university (UNC-Greensboro). While sitting there eavesdropping on the conversation of a group of Undergraduates talking about (what time they’ll go home after class, one mentioned needing to call his parents for a new cell phone since his broke, another commented on the difficulties of juggling college life with a part-time job) I wanted to walk over and give them a little clip of the “real world”. But I didn’t, I continued drinking my delicious blue moon and allocated them time to continue to enjoy their busy life of “little to no obligations”. I’m sure all parents say they “miss the college days”. It’s not just the college days but the entire college system of not having anything to do but go to class and talk smack. Although I continued on to graduate school it was not the same L

—All of our “breaks” come to a sudden halt when our phones flash my parents name on it (AKA come get your child she is hungry!). And just like that our “break” is over and we are back to conquering parent duties.
 
Nothing comes close to being with your child
 

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Faces of Personalities

 
Our special yet so delicate and beautiful daughter is roughly a week shy of her four month birthday! Who would have thought that I (Juan Santos) would be so excited to celebrate (monthly) birthdays… Yet I am!!! BEYOND WORDS. There literally is no lecture, slide show, presentation, or person who can tell you what it feels to be a “parent”. The feeling is in my own opinion “unique” “individualistic” and in some ways patterned to fit you and yours child unique connection. My daughter in very way is the spinning image of her father and mother. Just today I took her to stay with her grandparents for a few hours while mommy and daddy got a much needed break.
 
 

When we arrived my parents commented that daughter was “fussy at times” or “needing them to do exactly what she wanted in order for her to stay calm”. Interesting I thought to myself. She is literally her father and mother In very way. I tend to get upset or “fussy” at times especially if others do not do as I tell them. My perfect wife can also become “fussy” when people do not do things in the exact way she wants. I was a very mischievous child full of energy, curiosity, and hidden ninja moves that would push any parent towards pulling their hair out. So in more ways than one my daughter is the spinning image of her parents.

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Where has the TIME gone?



Hint the Long Legs = She got it from her MAMA
A lot has changed since my “brief” break from blogging. To recap in fast forward motion my daughter has jumped from two…three… and 14 days away from being four months old. Where does the time go? I swear to you, she is all length and literally no width. She can fit by width into her newborn clothes but length wise she is wearing 3month to 6month. Trust me she did not get her height from my side of the family (no offense takenJ



 
>>>>Our daughter Nola has started talking “baby talk” I can stand but love it. I’m not exactly sure what it is about seeing your child try and communicate with you but it is literally a mixture of joy, funny, love, and overwhelming sense that they are perfect. I love standing her up and asking her about what she did all day just to hear her say “ahhhh… arhhh.. uuhhhh”. PERFECT – SOUNDS AWESOME!

>>>>Our family celebrated our first mother’s day (which was an awesome experience) I went all out and gave her a week of “mother’s day celebration”. I’m pretty proud of myself for the brilliantly idea I borrowed from message in a bottle.  If you are father or husband than you know more than anyone else how hard “mothers” work. I honestly do NOT understand how mothers can manage and still look HOT at the end of the dayJ.

Daddy’s little Graduate
>>>> I graduated with my Masters which was an overwhelming experience of joy, gratitude, and aspiration for all the great things coming in life. Achieving obstacles and triumphs in life used to be centered more around (my personal achievements) as a father my entire mind frame has transitioned into pushing myself to achieve as much as possible in order to become a role model and an inspirational figure for my family. I hope that as my daughter and future children age they will look at life as merely a field to play on where they too can achieve success. I continue to thank my supportive wife for her role in my life as the main force behind our success, fortunes, and blessings in life.

Two reasons I Graduated!
 
>>>>Even after the “brief” break my daughter continues to resemble me and so many ways: she is always laughing and joking around with me, she has the exact charismatic personality as her daddy, she loves structure and will definitely tell you with a “scream” or “shout” if you are late for her bed time, and last but not least she is a human form alarm clock “ready to go at 6am sharp”. Each morning I turn and there she is nudging me on the back with a huge smile on her face “its 6am Daddy wake up time to play”.

What will life bring next? I’ve got a few things I’m working on… maybe doctorate school if my daughter lets me (she is pretty selfish with me and wanting me around all day) – thank God for my superhero wonder women all mighty all powerful wife who continues to hold down the home fort.
Stay Tuned Until Next Time