1st Trip to the Park with Daddy in Austin

Greetings and gracias from the “Lil’leans” for your thoughts and prayers. The best pic from boys day out on Sunday that we wanted to share. Nothing special behind this picture but there was a learning experience. I learned how hard it is doing things alone with two toddlers. Then I thought about all the mothers out there, married or not, doing this single handedly day in and day out.
The boys and I needed to do a couple of things before going to the park. We stopped at bed bath and beyond for a picnic blanket. Once I parked I started getting Liam out of the car first to find a faint aroma coming from his pamper. So first things first cleaned him up and in the stroller he goes. While I was in “pamper mode” I swapped Logan with a fresh booty-dooty. I then strap myself up with the ergo-baby 360 and strap Logan in and off we go.
Logan likes to push Liam in the stroller. So here we have a grown manchild with a baby wearing a shark-jaws hat strapped to his chest pushing Liam in the stroller with a huge yellow shovel in his hands and laughing and giggling the whole way into BBB. Walking around, an increasing feeling arises as if someone is watching me. I pay it no mind while I’m having a conversation with LiLo about the blanket we should buy.               Meanwhile Liam’s pulling things off the shelf every chance he gets and I’m getting stuck in the crowded isle with a stroller I can’t seem to maneuver safely away from reach of things on the other side while trying to pick up the stuff he pulled off this side because Logan’s on my chest. (Try and understand that sentence while I try to understand that whole scenario). Finally I grab a blanket and head for the register then out the door.

Putting the kids in the car was easier then taking them out. Do a once over on the buckles to make sure they are strapped and we ride to the park only a half mile away just to take the boys out again. Getting the boys in and out of the car gets easier the more you do it I find out later. So now it’s business because father hate turning around for things they forget. I load up like Arnold in that movie commando before he goes to rescue his daughter, Liam goes in and Logan strapped on and we roll down to the park seeking out a nice place under the shade to post up.

As the Lil’lean’s circle the park looking for the perfect place by the fountain, under some shade, I get that feeling I had in bed bath and beyond. You know the feeling when your stuck at a light, in the middle of a nose pick. You look over to the left and lock eyes with the passenger of another car who, then, awkwardly faces forward with their eyes still on you. So you, then, look surprised with your finger still pointing up like “how’d that get there”. Then you wave bye with the same finger as their left arrow turns green. Maybe that’s just me.
Anyway, when one person in a crowd looks the rest of the crowd looks as I’m walking with a now squeaking stroller wheel through grassy terrain while Liam’s laughing and kicking his feet because his head is bouncing around like a Ken Griffey Jr bobble-head doll on your dashboard driving down a dirt road at 50 MPH and baby strapped on my chest crying because he wants to push Liam but I won’t let him. As we make a full circle I stop at a Mexican ice cream truck and ask for some “picado Sandia por favor” and the Mexican guy says, with no accent what so ever, watermelon? I reply “jes” because now I’m committed!

We then found a nice place down wind from the fountain under a huge tree with plenty of shade. I lock Liam’s wheels and set Logan standing on the grass holding onto Liam’s stroller while I figure out how to unzip the picnic blanket and set it up.
Before I can even start, both boys start. Liam is crying because he thought I was leaving him and Logan because I left him standing in grass. Now I’m in panic mode ripping the blanket open trying to lay it flat on the floor but the wind keeps blowing it over and away.

So I get a bright idea! I’ll take Logan and sit him on the blanket to hold it down. He will stop crying because he’s not standing in the grass and I could finish setting it up and get Liam. As I go unbuckle Liam, Logan’s crying gets muffled. Freaked out, I turn around whipping Liam around with me thinking Logan is rolling down the hill. But it was just the wind blowing the blanket engulfing Logan and now he’s lost in it. I ask God, what’s with the wind bro? Hearing frustration in my voice, my God gives me grace and the wind instantly stops..for a min. Just enough time to set it up proper and calm both boys down with some cool sweet watermelon cubes.
As I wipe watermelon juice off the boys smiling faces Logan lifts his sticky little hand and feeds me a smashed up, probably regurgitated chunk of watermelon that I happily eat. With that I take a sec to absorb the moments that lead up to this point and ask the Lord what is this day about?
I should’ve kept that to myself because He showed me it’s about loving and serving your wife and family for the glory of My kingdom.
Sunday I walked in Naomi’s shoes when she says it’s tough taking the kids out without me. In public I struggled and juggled two crying kids with uncomfortable feelings of people watching and waiting for me to fail. I get it now when she says it’s hard going grocery shopping and running errands without me. I’ve been unsympathetic to my wife and I want to publicly express my love and gratitude to her now.
Naomi, thank you for putting up with my unsympathetic behind, crying kids at the wrong times of day and me waking you up at 1 and 3 a.m. every night to check on Logan’s crying. I will put you, your feelings and your needs over my own and the people are your witness. I love you so much and I thank the Lord for blessing me with you and our children.
After I wake from my day dream and check the time I can’t believe it’s already 5pm. Time flys when your pondering life lessons. So I snap a few selfies and prepare the boys with a motivational pep-talk that was really for myself. Strap Liam in the stroller, myself in the ergo baby and then Logan to the ergo. Roll the blanket in a ball and shove it under the stroller. Rolling to the car, squeaky wheeling, bobble heading, Liam laughing and logan dangling the whole way. Boys cooperate going into the car seats, I throw everything in the back, start the car and hit the road. Before I even get out of the parking lot Logan is passed out and Liam’s hungry but wasn’t upset yet. Pick up Naomi and the first thing she asks is… “How’d it go with the boys?” I naturally respond with “it was blessed”. “We enjoyed watermelon, played in the grass and watched a fountain spraying water”. She smiles and said “thanks for driving with her to Austin” and I respond with “I love you” as we drive home with the sun setting behind us. A few miles down the road an old familiar fragrance fills the cab of the car. Yup, booty dooty!
Why do I do what I do? I do it for you, you and you. This pic with Na, Li and Lo lifts me up when I’m feeling low. It’s 2 am and time to go

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