Meet the Dads of DadLabs
Name: Clay Nichols
Name of spouse: Kim "I Swear I Thought I Married a Teacher" Garey
Years married: 13
Number of kids: 3
Year he was a first-time dad: 1998
Digital photos of kids on computer: 5,328
Number of times catching kids' vomit in hands: 3
Spiritual forefather (he says, she says): H.I. McDunnough (Raising Arizona), "but my wife would probably say Fred Flintstone."
"Yeah, I can be someone's dad" moment: "Watching Robert Reed on The Brady Bunch. He always seemed like he had the best gig in the world. And then again in Seton Hospital's Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, when the nurse placed my son, born eight weeks prematurely, on my bare chest for a round of 'kangaroo care.' I wrapped the bathrobe about his 4-pound self and knew."
Name: Owen Egerton
Name of spouse: Jodi
Years married: "Longer than I've owned my favorite jeans."
Number of kids: 2
Year he was a first-time dad: 2005
Number of made-up songs using the word "poop": 675
Hours playing "Cinderella Kidnaps Frankenstein": 2,104
Spiritual forefather (he says, she says): Mork (Mork & Mindy), Tobias Fünke (Arrested Development)
"Yeah, I can be someone's dad" moment: "I'm still waiting for that moment. Jodi and I are stumbling through parenting – laughing, sweating, and trying. Often falling flat on our faces but also discovering how wild and wonderful it is to be a mom and dad to these funny little kiddos."
Name: Brad Powell
Name of spouse: Liz
Years married: 9
Number of kids: 2, plus 1 on the way
Year he was a first-time dad: 2003
Carpool miles logged: 18,354
Diapers changed: Still counting
"Yeah, I can be someone's dad" moment: "About 15 seconds into my son's life, they wrapped him in a blanket, handed him to me, and I knew instantly that I could be a dad to this little guy, which was surprising because prior to that moment, I had no idea how I was going to react when he arrived ... so it was nice that some 'dad' instinct clicked the first time I held the little dude."
Name: Troy Lanier
Name of spouse: Miriam
Years married: 18
Number of kids: 2
Year he was a first-time dad: 2002
Traded from: The DINKs
Spiritual forefather (he says, she says): Clark Griswold (National Lampoon's Vacation), Charles Ingalls (Little House on the Prairie)
"Yeah I can be someone's dad" moment: "Right after my son was born, my own parents drove 18 hours straight to make it to Austin and meet their new grandchild. It was late at night, and upon arrival they were pretty tired. But of course they wanted to hold the baby. While they held him, I saw my dad in his new role as granddad. As logic, emotion, and sleep deprivation all played their unique tricks on me, I realized and felt: I am now 'Dad,' and it is my chosen responsibility to raise this child, hopefully as well as this new set of grandparents raised their son."