Mama Speaks #11

mama speaks facebook complicated

Maybe she’ll be an orchestra conductor, or maybe a dictator.

A kid learning to communicate is both amazing and annoying. In the beginning, there are no words,  it’s just a lot of pointing and moan-grunting. During this “dictator pointing phase,” Isabel pointed at everything and anything from the second she woke up. She’d point at the wall and say, “cat,” or point at the dust in the air and just grunt. And even though she’s learning words now, we still get our fair share of whines that are supposed to mean something (well, they do her her noggin).

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I’ve Learned a Few Things: Father Nation Podcast

father nation podcast seth burleigh

In the last 17 months, I’ve come to believe that the entire parenthood experience is one that, at its core, can be shared by most parents.

Sure, our kids might be different ages, and we might live in different places, but we’ve all been up in the middle of the night, taken care of a sick child, consoled our baby through the teething saga, and held our child as doctors poked and prodded.

All things considered, our own parenting journey far has been relatively smooth. Easy, no. But pretty smooth, yes. Of course there have been bumps along the way, and while parents (including myself) love to complain about the little things, in the grand scheme of it all, there is honestly little I have to complain about (right now at least). Isabel is healthy, happy, and loved. She sleeps like a rock, eats well (most of the time), and has a thirst for reading.

Today, I am on the Father Nation podcast, talking about the little I have learned in this short period of time. While I am a parent in the literal sense of the word, I don’t believe I have had to really parent yet. These early months are about meeting Isabel’s needs, trying to develop some decent habits, and learning how to support Mrs. FWL. We have not had to discipline, discuss etiquette, or deal with emotional topics (other than why she gets upset during bath one day and not the other), and I’d be lying if I said I was ready for any of those. But one thing I have learned, and now believe to be an almost universal truth in parenthood (and probably life), is that until you’re “in it”, the preparation is almost futile.

You can listen right here:


And head on over to Father Nation to hear some of the other fantastic dads Jesse Foster has had on his show.

Cuteness Overload: 2-Year-Old Sings National Anthem

2-year-old national anthem

Adults are guarded. We throw up walls to protest our egos, feelings, whatever. We avoid potentially embarrassing solutions or make lame excuses to not participate in activities we aren’t good.  We fall into the same routines and patterns because it makes us comfortable. We fear the unknown.

But kids don’t give a crap about anything. They don’t care how people look at them, talk about them, or react to their antics. They can do anything, and emerge unscathed (until a certain point, of course).  They fall and get right back up as if nothing happened. They are fearless.

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Before Kids and After Kids Through Pics

before after kids pics

A parent’s life can basically be divided into two eras – BK and AK (before kids and after kids). Everything changes once the bundle of joy enters our life – we spend our money differently, our Netflix home screen takes on a new look, text messages almost always circle back to the kids (or become hijacked by a child), but above all, our photo stream becomes all about the kids.

These are just a few examples of life BK and AK, as shown through pics.

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5 Ways Raising a Child is Like Traveling Abroad

kid hello different languages

Traveling to a foreign country is awesome. There are new experiences to experience (yea, I said it), exotic foods to try, historical landmarks to see, and cultural differences to appreciate. But traveling abroad is a lot like raising kids, specifically babies/toddlers, in that it can be a giant pain in the ass. The experience is always unforgettable, but I could definitely do without certain parts.

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When I First Held You

when i first held you book

Two things first:

1. If you’ve ever ventured over to the About page (if you haven’t, you should), you know that I started this site to appreciate the “moments of joy and frustration, confidence and uncertainty, and pride and disappointment”. And there have certainly been moments encompassing all those emotions during the last 17 months.

2. I don’t read books very often. I read a couple before Isabel was born, and read a bunch for school over the past three years, but I rarely read books for pleasure. I’m more of a magazines and internet kind of guy. I read the newspaper almost everyday on the train, and have two magazines that I subscribe to and won’t let Mrs. FWL get rid of – GQ and Fast Company. Yes, I know I can get most of the same articles online, but there is something about the glossy pages and tangibility of the actual magazine that I enjoy.

With both of those things said, about 10 months ago I defied #2 and actually found the time to read a book for pleasure amidst all the craziness (true story!) and it perfectly embodied #1.

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