Kevin Wendt is loving being a dad!
The firefighter, who happens to be one of Canada's best-known figures on the Bachelor franchise, welcomed a son with his partner, Astrid Loch, last year. Little August has been a huge joy for the couple, who are also set to get married this fall!
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Of course, Kevin first grabbed viewers' attention as the winner of the first season of The Bachelorette Canada. He later appeared on Bachelor in Paradise – on which he and Astrid met – and has since returned to the franchise as the bartender for the Canadian version of the latter show, a role he's set to reprise when the second season premieres this fall.
We caught up with Kevin just after Father's Day and spoke about his son August's adorable milestones, the biggest things he's learned as a father, how LG products help him and Astrid with their parenting and their upcoming nuptials.
HELLO! Canada: Can you tell us what the biggest thing is that you've learned so far as a dad, or what some of your biggest learnings so far are?
Kevin Wendt: I feel like it's a constant lesson every day. I feel like learning patience is something. Really, you never can say, "I learned a lesson," because it'll change the next day. As a single guy, you don't need much patience; as a married guy, you need a little bit, but as a dad, you need a lot. So I feel like just learning to be patient, learning to take it one day at a time and just kind of live in the moment a little bit is probably the thing I'm learning most, is that.
How about some of your favourite moments so far?
Oh, my gosh. So my favourite moments are funny because they always happen on the worst days. So it'll be a day where he just didn't sleep through the night, he's cranky all day and then all of a sudden he'll like giggle for the first time. I remember the day he giggled for the first time, like a full loud giggle, was a day he hadn't slept in like 12 hours. He was just a terror all day.
I feel like that's happened a few times. Like the first time he sat up on his own was another day that we were just having a miserable day with him, we were trying just to like... I realized being a dad at the start, your whole day revolves just trying to make him not cry. So you end up just sitting in front of him making goofy phases and hope he doesn't cry, but he always seems to make us the happiest on the days that started off the worst. So there's been lots of fun days that kind of, you sit around at the end of the day and say, "Oh, that was a good day after all."
So how's he doing? You said he sat up – what are some of his milestones so far?
Yeah, so he just turned seven months, and we try not to compare to other babies, but it's hard not to. So he was a little bit of a late bloomer with the sitting up. My friend's kid, who's five weeks older, was sitting up right away, but August started crawling so fast and now we had to baby-gate the whole house this morning, because he just follows me everywhere I go.
So I think the big milestones are just the typical ones, but I think the crawling is really cute and now I could put him in the carriers... so now that he's secure enough to sit up... I feel like he's going to be a little bit advanced with the walking part, because he's already pulling himself up to a standing position, and he's only seven months.
He shares his name with the children of several celebs, including Princess Eugenie's son and Mandy Moore's little guy. It's a very popular name lately among the stars, and August seems to have gone through a resurgence in terms of parents picking that name for their children. How did you make that decision?
So, to be fully honest, I didn't know about the people like Mandy Moore. There are a few that I didn't know about until after we'd already named him, but Astrid was born and raised in Germany and I'm German as well - my last name's Wendt, and I love Augustus. Augustus was my favorite strong male name or whatever.
I was convinced we were having a daughter, so I didn't put my effort in because I thought we're having a daughter, but I love Augustus. And she said, "No Augustus. That just reminds me of my childhood. I don't want that." Too traditional for her.
And then one day, we were just sitting around and I think somebody on the news had said August about three times in one sentence. I said, "What about just shortening it to August?" And then she kind of hung for a bit and I said, "But then when he's a kid, you're calling him Augie." And then she just was like, "Okay, that's the cutest boy name ever. I'll take it." So I was able to tie back her German roots, but also have kind of a newer spin to Augustus.
Tell us how LG has helped you with parenting.
So I feel like when it comes to the home life, now that we spend a lot more time at home, I feel like the important things to us is efficiency.
And things that will work the first time, and a few products that we love, our OLED TV, which Astrid and I take a lot of... what's the word I'm looking for? We take a lot of care in our nights after August goes to bed.
I feel like you cherish your evenings a lot more at eight o'clock when he's sleeping, and we love to have a glass of wine and watch a Netflix show or a movie. And until we got the OLED TV, I think we were doing TV all wrong, and we'll never go back to an LED again, because we got this gift from her stepdad, so my father-in-law, and he's like the TV guru of the family.
Kevin says his and Astrid's LG Electronics OLED TV has changed their lives. Photo: © LG Electronics Canada
So when we bought our townhouse, it was sitting at our front door on our moving day and he said, "Hey, here's your housewarming gift." And I said, "Okay, well, it's the same size as the TV we got now, so what's the big deal?" I was instantly hooked on the clear picture, and just how with the mouse remote and everything.
So I feel like that the night times with our TV is key, but also just a few products that really kind of blew us away. We have the CordZero, and now that we have two dogs and a baby that's eating in a high chair, I realize a broom just doesn't cut it. And those little handheld vacuums, there's so many competitors out there, but I love the LG. It has two different, you can swap out batteries, and it's just high suction power. I think we vacuum keep our kitchen and our main floor probably three times a day, especially now that August is crawling, you just want all this to be clean.
And then another cool thing that we love is they have the Knock, Knock [InstaView] technology on the door. I don't know if you've seen that or not, but on their fridges and their stoves. So how many times are you looking for the oven light, just trying to turn on the oven light, and you end up giving up and just opening it and letting all the heat out to check on your fish or whatever?
Kevin and Astrid are big fans of their LG Electronics fridge. Photo: © LG Electronics Canada
So between that, and same with the fridge, we like to knock, see what's inside. It's just cool technology. So yeah, I feel like all those little things overall help you just parent and let it be easier at home.
So what about being a firefighter? What's that taught you about things like family, parenting, like the fragility of life, basically?
Yeah, I feel like most firemen will tell you after being on the job a couple of years, you grow up pretty quick. You learn a lot, not just to do with family, but to do with tragedy, to do with a lot of different avenues you might not be prepared when you first get the job.
But I learn the most inside the fire hall, because it's such a great dynamic of men and women that I work with, where when I joined, I was 25 years old, and there's guys that are my age now with two kids, and I always looked forward to the milestone that they were experiencing. So I think all in all, the cool thing about being a fireman, I work with guys who are 20 and I work with guys who were 60. We all are in the same position in the fire hall, so kind of learn all the different things to look forward to, and parenting was a huge one on my list.
So what else have you got going on right now? You mentioned filming. Can you tell us anything about the new season?
Yeah, I mean, we have lots going on right now. I feel like our LG partnership just kicked off, so very excited about that. I feel like the show, we're just coming to an end of filming so now I can start focusing on what we got going on for the next 12 months.
The show, I'm not sure the premiere date yet, but this season is bananas. I'm behind the bar in awe every day of what is going on. Like the romantic side, but also the drama side. So I feel like there's a lot of good stuff. And as a Canadian Bachelor fan, I don't know if you are or not, but there's a lot to look forward to, where I think Canada will take pride in seeing this season. And then, yeah, just being a dad, we have our wedding in October. Our official wedding has been postponed since 2020.
Kevin: We're getting married the last week of October in Sarasota. It was pushed two separate times, mostly because our guest list is from Canada and Germany, so the travel restrictions obviously weren't allowing us to do it. But now we seem to be all good, and I realized very quickly that everybody is eager to travel, because we invited 130 and we have 125 people coming.