Monday, December 31, 2007

Bath time. . .

Our little guy loves being in the bath. He gets so excited when we pour water on his head. My wife always sings "splish splash, Parker's takin' a bath."

Bath time. . .

Skippy Jr. loves taking a bath. He gets really excited when the water runs down his head and drips down his face.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Sick or tired. . .

We're worried our little guy is getting his first cold. He's a little stuffy, and really lethargic (he slept a lot today and he's been hard to keep awake once he is up) . . . he didn't even enjoy his bath tonight, normally he loves bath time. It could be that the week long holiday extravaganza just caught up with him. It could be from my sick aunt who insisted she shouldn't hold him and then when we weren't looking held him (she asked my cousin who has a 7-month-old if she could hold him and after she told her "no" she decided not to even ask us). It could just be a little bug that someone tracked in the house.

Hopefully it's just being tired from all the places we've gone and being passed around so much. I'm dreading his first cold. I know he'll get one sooner or later—my wife is around 21 first-graders everyday she's bound to bring something home—I just want to put it off as long as possible. Seeing him miserable, not knowing what is going on (but knowing it isn't pleasant), and not being able to help him is going to tear me up.

Hopefully he's just tired.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Christmas recap. . .

Our baby's first Christmas. A recap on events. . .
  • Christmas Eve: Mass with my wife's dad's side of the family, followed by dinner. We got to church handed the baby over to my wife's Aunt Robin and went to sit down. He was awake and quiet, and then he fell asleep. It was surreal watching him from 2 pews back. Looking and realizing "that's our baby." It was odd. Then afterwards we passed the baby around at her Aunt's house.

  • Christmas Morning: Brunch at my parent's house. Kids running all over, paper strewn about, a general state of chaos. . . it was great.

  • Christmas Day:My wife's Mom's side of the family. Much calmer, dogs instead of kids running wild, it was nice.
By the end of the day our little elf was crabby and tired. Thing is, he shouldn't have been tired because he slept through the whole thing. He slept through both sets of present unwrapping. Little man's first Christmas and he missed most of it because he was sleeping.

All in all it was a great Christmas. I'm happy to have some of it over (like the tree being gone form the living room so we have room for more stuff), but it was good. Next year is going to be even better. . . and I'm guessing it'll just get better with each year older for awhile. and the presents. . . he may not be excited about his new toys, but we are. His new crib mobile is very cool. His uncle Joe did good.

As I said before we got our 6-hour sleeping on Christmas morning, and it's been pretty consistent since then. The day after Christmas we got our first smiles. It was a great Christmas.

Quick rant. . .

Christmas. That time of year where family and friends gather together and complain about other people's ideas of generosity. Of course it's also the time when people force their ideas of generosity on you. . . sometimes it's a hit other times not so much. I'll focus on one thing in particular because I hope there are lots of parents reading. When it's time to get your child's teacher a Christmas—or holiday—present don't pick up that candle with the apples and books on it, instead contact the other mothers and get a classroom gift card for the teacher. Your child's teacher has enough useless crap with apples and books and tacky Christmas figurines. Instead treat your teacher to an evening out to a movie and dinner with gift cards.

Speaking as the husband of a teacher, they'll thank you for it.

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas. . .

Just wanted to take a moment to say Merry Christmas from all of us to all of you. Hope everyone gets what they want this Christmas. We did.

Christmas Morning Update: Guess who slept from 10:30 until 4:30, giving mommy and daddy the best Christmas present ever. No idea if he'll do it again tonight, but one night was nice.

Friday, December 21, 2007

Stay-at-home dad week: Day five. . .

Today we stayed home again. No errands, meetings or relatives. He slept a good amount of time, nothing exciting really. The worst of today was when he woke up 20 minutes before my darling wife's alarm went off.

My God we need some good sleep this weekend.

So my stay-at-home dad week is over. For the most part saying "stay-at-home" is both true and misleading. I only stayed at home 2 of the 5 days. The days I spent at home I got more done and was less stressed than the days I went out. I think with more sleep I'd be able to get even more done.

I think I could do it. I'd need a job that I could do from home where I wasn't in the middle of turmoil and they didn't need me for silly stuff as often as they do. If I were just a designer, no marketing crap, no office administration, no scheduling and project management (except my own). . . I could do it.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Stay-at-home dad week: Day four, Update. . .

After my last post I picked up my son and rocked with him for 15 minutes or so while her got sleepier and sleepier. . . and I got just as sleepy. I put him down and after one replugging (our only issue to get him to sleep is his inability to keep his pacifier in his mouth) I decided to lay down myself for a little 20 minute nap. . . after which I'd finished the load of baby laundry and make dinner after that.

An hour and a half later my wife was standing over me waking me up. I was in a pretty delirious state. She had called on her way home from work and wondered why I hadn't answered. . . she figured I was changing him or feeding him or something. Imagine her surprise coming home to find me passed out in bed.

I guess staying home is wearing me out more than I thought it would. Thankfully he was also sleeping (at least I think) the whole time I was out.

Having to wash baby stuff in special detergent. And if fabric softener removes the flame retardant quality of kids clothes than make a different type of fabric softener or flame retardant treatment, cause staticky baby laundry sucks.

Stay-at-home dad week: Day four. . .

Today was probably the roughest day of the week for our little business man. I had to go to my office for a benefits meeting and was greeted with oohs and aahs. We walked into the meeting and immediately our director of finance, who was in charge of the meeting and therefore didn't have to fill out all the forms, relieved me of my son. And there he stayed for a good 45 minutes. She rocked him to sleep and he was asleep with her for about 30 minutes. Then our accounting manager, who was the other person that was neither giving the presentation nor filling out forms, took over. He slept on her for another 15 minutes and then he pooped. . . she offered and I let her change him. Then he was hungry so she fed him.

From then on it was nothing but passing the baby around to everyone who wanted a piece of him. He got a little fussy a few times, but never really cried and was mostly alert the whole time.

Of course I'm paying for it right now as he's overtired. I'll be trying to get him to sleep is anyone needs me.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Stay-at-home dad week: Day three. . .

Subtitled "To Grandmother's house we go!"

Today we spent a good portion of the day at my mom's house. My mom and I have a semi-annual tradition of making Christmas fruit cakes. My grandmother used to make them every year and despite the bad rap the fruit cake has gotten, these are yummy. So this year her grandson came along.

Since his birth, my mom has only seen her grandson a few times (even though she's less than 15 minutes away). I need to change this. It's like she's the Yoda of baby care. She calmly holds him in more positions than I could imagine, she fed him twice without him spitting up a single drop (though he did get the hiccups both times), and she is a master swaddler. Every movement, every pat, every word spoken is so gentle and kind and easy for her. I don't know if she was that good with me, but if she was I was one lucky baby. I know she was a great mom from when I can remember, but to see her with a baby was amazing.

AND today he woke up at the correct time and that meant those two bottles with grandma were the only 2 bottles he had to eat. So that meant less that mom had to pump.

Tomorrow will be a real test. We're going to my office for a few hours. I know there will be lots of people willing to hold him for me. I just don't know if he'll let them hold him.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

Stay-at-home dad week: Day two. . .

Today we went shopping. Christmas present, office supply, and diaper shopping to be exact. We went to 4 different stores. . . he didn't like that. . . I didn't either. After that we went to see his friend Luke (whose mother is my friend Melissa). They still don't know each other exists (that's them in the above picture looking at something. . . who can tell what with babies?). They got some good team crying going though, it was fun.

Tomorrow, we're going to see Grandma. She'll probably just sit and hold him for a couple hours. She likes holding her grandbabies.

Johnson's Bedtime. We have dubbed this stuff "sleepy soap" and "sleepy lotion." The one things we've learned is to bathe him in it AFTER his final feeding. We did it before and he fell asleep long before he got enough to eat.

Not a product. What I hate is I'm constantly covered with cloth diapers. We have at least 3 in every room it seems, but when the kid spits-up (today he launched it about 3 feet) there is never a diaper around. Is that part of Murphy's Law?

Monday, December 17, 2007

Stay-at-home dad week: Day one: Update. . .

• Baby napping? Check.
• Laundry? Check.
• Dishes? Check.
• New Blog design? . . . obviously Check!

The little guy has been sleeping for over 2 hours now. At this rate I may only need to feed him once more before the lady with the fresh milk returns. And now for a new feature. . . love it/hate it.

Mylicon Gas Drops. I love these for a couple reasons. First they have completely no medical benefit (according to our baby's doctor) and people still swear by them. Second, no medical benefit doesn't stop them from doing something. They taste good to the baby and that quiets him down and makes him forget about the painful gas.

I want to preface this by saying I love the person who gave this to us. The Wee Blocker. Even if it did work, you'd need 8 or so to get through a couple days. They don't absorb liquid very quickly, so the pee hits it and runs down. Cloth diapers work much, much better.

Stay-at-home dad week: Day one: Hour one. . .

Mommy has to go back to work this week, and I have enough vacation time to stay home with the little man (I've been going into work a few days a week for the past month or so). So this week I get to be a stay-at-home dad.

7:30 My wife finishes getting ready and comes in to tell me she's leaving. The little guys been sleeping since about 6:00 and last at at 5:00 so I should still be good for another half hour. My wife kisses me goodbye and goes into the nursery one last time to say goodbye to her daily companion for the past 7 weeks.

7:35 Mommy closes the door to the garage and opens the garage door, beginning her journey back into the outside world.

7:36 My son cries.

7:40 After waiting the customary 5 minutes to try to let my son go back to sleep on his own, I go into the nursery to check on the sobbing 8-week-old. He's broken free of his swaddling. I instantly suspect my wife messed with him before she left—the equivalent of slipping a convict a cake with a file in it.

7:45 I mistakenly heat up a bottle of recently expressed breast milk. Which after testing it would burn my mouth let alone his. I cool it down with a breast milk cube. First crisis averted.

Since then it's been OK. One poopy diaper, 20 minutes in the swing (in which he tried to reach for the mobile for the first time), and about a gallon of spit-up later (the spit-up problem is much more daunting alone, that's for damn sure). Things are going OK so far. I'll be posting again soon.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Pictures. . .

I have finally gotten around to creating a new page to house the baby's many pictures.

Click here for pictures.

Of course these are only some of the hundreds (477 to be exact) that we've taken of him.

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Celebrity appearances. . .

We're in the presence of a celebrity. Today we took the little man to my office to show him off. The oohs and aahs were almost too much to take. I should explain that at my office there are 8 men out of about 45 employees, so all the women just fell in love with him. We walked into a meeting that had about 15 women that I work very closely with and there was a loud, collective "awww."

And he was good. He was wide awake and looking around the whole time, and didn't cry or fuss at all. Several peopleheld him and he signed autographs. It was good.

Tonight he has another public appearance with some former coworkers of mine (most of whom are grandmothers). Hopefully he'll be just as calm and awake, they'll just love him.

The above picture is completely unrelated, just cute.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Baby's first rock concert. . .

See those guys up there? Those are three of the band members from Sister Hazel, a rock band from Gainsville, FL. They are best known for their hit song "All For You." That's Andrew holding our son, he asked if he could. . .

Today we took our little rocker to see his first rock concert. The band is playing a show tonight at a local venue and we're spending our first night away from the baby. So they decided to play an acoustic show at Borders. We thought he could handle an acoustic show so we took him. And afterwards we got to meet the band (again for us). They all loved him and Drew asked if he could hold him. I said "sure as long as we can get a picture for baby's first rock concert."

Sure he slept through most of it, but after one song we saw a definite smile. He was fussy between songs, but quiet when they played. We all had a good time.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007


My wife is breast feeding our son. However, we weren't always sure she would be able to do it. So before she gave birth we went to all the different formula makers and signed up for their mailing lists. . . and in roll the coupons, and better yet coupon checks.

Coupon checks are actual checks. Checks that are only good if you use them for formula, but checks none the less. This means you can use more than one as opposed to a coupon where you can only use one per order. The company can track that you used the check as opposed to a coupon where they don't know if you used it. So if you use it, presumably, they'll send you more.

Why did I just describe all that? Because these elements make for the perfect ebay item. Perfect for the seller because they can sell the checks for almost face value. Perfect for the buyer who just needs to buy them in bulk and use several in one purchase, they're making money. . . slowly admittedly, but making money. AND once the new consumer uses the checks the company sends more.

So far we've sold $31 worth of checks for $28!

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Six hours!

Last night we hit a milestone. . . at least I hope. The little monkey went 6 hours between feedings. He ate at 2:20 and was wide awake so I stayed up and read a book with him for an hour and a half. . . he was starting to finally get sleepy so I laid him down to sleep. He slept through 'till 8:30! I woke him up for him to eat before I left for work. Mommy needed him to wake up so she could go to their first play date this morning.

I've never been someone to call people by their name. I couldn't tell you the last time I used my wife's name. Now suddenly I'm calling her mommy when talking about her to my son, and she calls me daddy, as in "you better keeping eating or I'm gonna sic daddy on you." And she does the same for herself. I got an email with a picture of her holding the baby with the caption that read "help mommy's crazy!"

On a side note, I was mentioned on Jumping Monkeys again. Toward the end Megan reads an email I sent about the MOCHIP program.

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Staying alive. . .

See that? That thing my son is apparently dancing in? No, that's not a dress. . . and it's not a nightgown either. It's a sleep sac and it's very butch. Stop laughing, really it's all boy. Look it has a baseball pattern and everything.

Shut up! It's really easy to put on him and it makes changing him easy too. And if it makes my very macho, very masculine son look like a mormon woman then so be it. The sac is possibly the single most useful piece of baby gear we've used so far.

Don't cross him and his dress, he will mess you up.

Tuesday, November 27, 2007

Did I say last night?. . .

I hope the above picture was worth the wait. We decided we really should take our Elf in Training to see Santa before his first Christmas. . . even if he slept through it.

Monday, November 26, 2007

It's been one month. . .

People always say "they grow up so fast." Today marks one month since our little guy emerged from his mother to become part of our family. He's gained over 2 lbs already and is getting bigger everyday. At this rate, by Christmas he'll be 2-months-old and almost double his birth weight.

We'll be taking and posting first-month pictures tonight.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Our son doesn't love us. . .

It's true. It's sad, but it's true.

You expect your baby to love you, but bonding is definitely a one-way street. A newborn can't love you, in fact a newborn doesn't know you exist. . . hell, he barely knows he exists. He's not capable of love. I can be the best daddy in the world. My wife can be the best mommy in the world. We can love him and shower him with affection. We can meet his every need perfectly, and still he doesn't love us. It's just a fact of life.

The good news is he doesn't hate us either. No matter how much he cries, he doesn't hate us.

It's like his little baby smiles. They're nice and all, but right now they aren't real. He's not capable of smiling on purpose yet. His brain isn't capable of it. Maybe it's gas, maybe just twitching, but it's not a happy smile.

Someday soon he'll start to realize that we exist, and he'll see we meet his needs and he'll start to trust us. . . not love us yet, but he'll trust us and prefer us to other people. Then his smiles will become real and we'll be the ones giving them to him. Right now most of his actions are just his brain telling him what to do. No emotions, no desires, nothing but auto-pilot.

For now we'll just have to have enough love for the both of us.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Freeze frame. . .

Babies can be hard to photograph. They wiggle. Which is a shame, because people want baby photos. . . lots of baby photos.

I am not a photographer. I take decent photos, I have a good eye for composition, and I am better than decent with image retouching and color adjusting (I have to be for my day job). To that end, I'm working on taking better than average baby photos of my new son. And I have some tips. . .
  1. Have a photo shoot. Is your baby happiest after feeding? Maybe after a bath? When you take your baby to a portrait studio you're setting aside time to take pictures. . . why not do the same at home? That cute moment will be gone by the time you find your camera. Instead make time for taking pictures.

  2. There's a reason the saying is "LIGHTS, camera, action." Even though digital cameras can register low light, most of them are designed to work like a regular point-and-shoot camera. They all have multiple flash option, but let's face it flash photography can really suck and babies hate flashes. How do you fix it? When you set-up your photo shoot, go though the house and grab every light you can find. Bright light will dilated your baby's pupils making eye color more distinct, plus if you photograph naked (your baby not you) the light will keep baby warm. Try to get the room bright enough that you don't need a flash. . . this will also eliminate red-eyes.

  3. Location, location, location. A photographer friend of mine once gave me some good advice on getting good photographs of babies. Once you pick a corner of your home to take the pictures, find a solid color sheet. . . white or black would be best, but any color color will work. Drape the sheet so it becomes the background and foreground, put a boppy pillow under the sheet. OR photograph with a friend and drape the sheet over yourself or your friend. Then you can hold the baby in your lap without your lap being in the picture. You can also drape the sheet over a chair. The point is to completely fill the picture frame with a background that isn't cluttered.

  4. Take tons of pictures. we all know you can shoot a lot and delete the pictures you don't want after. So go crazy. If your camera can, set it to shoot multiple pictures with one push of the button. Babies move, your camera can deal with that.

  5. Edit. I use iphoto to adjust colors and enhance my photos (unless I need to do more then I use PhotoShop). There are a lot of free photo editing programs available on the internet and every camera comes with some type of editing software. Use one. Play around, try out the settings. Don't be afraid to experiment. Remember to save a copy of the original first and you can always go back.

And that's just the beginning, I'll be working on adding props and other backgrounds soon. Portrait studios are great for milestones, but for the in between times take it upon yourself to take your own great photos.

Saturday, November 17, 2007

Freakin' sweet!

This hat was custom made by Jeanie and Little Lids. I wanted a hat that wasn't so girly. I thought the hot rod flame hat would be cool, and she delivered. AND she did it fast, less than a week. I was so excited to see it I took his picture before he woke up. This hat kicks so much ass.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

You get used to the smell. . .

You hear a lot about bonding with babies. Most of the time bonding discussions involve breast feeding. Moms and babies bond while sitting for hours connected in a way a father can't. Dads often have to wait until the kid is much older to really find a way for the two to bond.

I have found my way to bond with my son. . . it involves shit.

I made a deal with my wife—she feeds the kid (breast milk, either straight or expressed) and I'll do the majority of the changing. She didn't change a single diaper until after the kid was a week old, and if I'm home I do all the changing. When he was first born my son hated having diaper changed. He'd scream until it was over and kick and wave his arms—which did nothing but frustrate me and cover him in pee, poo, or both.

Not anymore. Now changing time is a nice quiet time for baby and daddy to hang out. He's calm, no more screaming, flailing limbs are kept to a minimum. . . it's our time. He still kicks and screams for mom, but not for me. It may sound gross, but I love it. I have gotten over the bodily fluid part of the process and moved on to the fact that we're close and we are spending time together alone.

Sure he'll pee on me sometimes, and sometimes he poops mid change. I just say, in my possibly delusional frame of mind, that it's his way of showing he loves me.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Do Babies Dream of Diapered Sheep?

"Get as much sleep as you can now..."

I can't tell you how many people said those words to us over the past few months. "You'll see," they said. And yes, we were aware that it'd be a while before we got a good night's sleep again. Had I known the last full night's sleep I got was going to be my last full night's sleep I'd have enjoyed it more.

For now we wake up, feed him, burp him, change him, and put back in bed with his pacifier. . . all seems well, he's sucking well, his eyes are closed, and then we climb in bed and hear a "thunk" as his pacifier pops out of his mouth. Most of the time the "thunk" is followed by grunting (normally trying to break free of his swaddling, which he can't do while sucking, no walking and chewing gum for this kid). I swear he knows the sound of my climbing back into bed and it's his cuee to spit the thing out. So after a half hour of playing that game, he goes back to sleep. I look at the clock and reset the alarm for 4 hours after his last feeding started (we've been told not to let him go past 4 hours per feeding for now). . . I have less than 3 hours to sleep before he wakes up again ready to start the process over again. Of course that's if he were to make it 4 hours, which doesn't normally happen.

So how does one survive on chunks of 2 hours of sleeping? My lovely wife does OK because she normally can sleep straight through the feeding that I do on my own, she's a sound sleeper. She also gets to a tired point where she will fall asleep no matter what is going on, she's out. Unfortunately I am a light sleeper who can't sleep unless it's dark and mostly soundless. Even when she's taking over for a full feeding I'm awake anyway.

And what about our baby boy? His body is designed for these short moments of sleep between feedings. The only problem I've noticed are what I call "dream crying." You know how sometimes when you're dreaming you'll call things out. . . talking in your sleep. Only when you do it, it doesn't always sound like you because it's your body doing it involuntarily. I swear the little guy is doing that. Sometimes when he's falling asleep he'll start to cry, but his cry doesn't sound real, it's not his cry. I think what's happening is he's dreaming of something that makes him cry and he's basically talking in his sleep.

Either that or he's possessed.

I'm sticking with talking in his sleep.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Dear Nursing Nazis,

The point of breast feeding is right there in the name. . . feeding. Thought bonding and what not are great perks, the goal of the whole exercise is to feed the child.

If one can't do this from the breast one needs to find another way (supplementing with whatever you need to so the baby will grow). You see, without food a baby can't live. Sure they can bond with mommy while they starve, but ultimately they need to eat.

So frustrated moms note, you're not a bad mom if you can't breast feed your baby, but you might be if you don't feed them at all.

So to sum up, breast feeding fanatics. . . stop.

P.S. Sorry I didn't update before, but our Jaundice problem is gone. Our little Oompa Loompa is back to an acceptable color, and is eating well on pumped breast milk (we're working on getting him back on the breast, but for now he's eating and gaining weight).

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

So cute. . .

Sorry the picture is grainy, I took it with the isight on the laptop. I just had to try and capture this sweet moment. Last night our baby slept really well. I'm attributing it to my kick-ass swaddle job last night (so kick-ass I may video tape it and post it on YouTube like this woman).

Until last night, I though he didn't like being swaddled. He'd break out every time. Now I realize he may not enjoy it for trying to stay awake, but if you get him in a tight swaddle he'll fight a little and then doze off on his own.

So this picture came because when she got up for her turn at feeding, my wife swaddled him the old way and he broke out and was fussing this morning. So since he spent the whole night in his bassinet I thought he should come hang out with us while we wake up watching TV. . . OK while I wake up watching TV. Mommy and Baby want to keep sleeping.

I'm OK with that. They're great to watch. My little sweeties.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

We're not making honey. . .

Having a baby keeps you busy. Now when I say that I don't mean constant "on" kind of busy I just mean busy. You get up after a long night of waking up every few hours and the next thing you know it 5 p.m. and you wonder what happened to the day. You think back and it's been a string on feed the baby, change the baby, feed yourself, feed the baby again. . . you try and throw in a shower if you can, maybe clean something a little, maybe a nap, often times visitors or people calling to ask how it's going. All welcome things. All just time consuming.

We haven't done anything all day, but somehow we're tired and we've been busy.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

We got our baby back, baby back, baby back. . .

A nurse came by today and took a blood sample from our little guy. It went to the lab, the nurse called the doctor and checked with her on what to do. His bilirubin is down from 15.7 to 10.2. The doctor said to take him out of the bed for today and tonight and tomorrow he'll be tested again to see if he's keeping the level down without the light. For today we can hold our baby again. We haven't put him down for more than a few minutes since he got out. The nurse also weighed him and thinks he gained 3oz. . . while I doubt that, I think he is gaining weight on the new feeding system.

Friday, November 2, 2007

So this is being a parent. . .

I look at my son in the Bilibed as tears fill my eyes. The eerie blue light seems to swallow him up, my lip starts to tremble uncontrollably—I now know where he gets that. He looks around, unaffected by his situation. He's so little, so new—only a week old and already so strong. He doesn't know anythings wrong. He's just looking at the pretty light.

And I worried about not being able to love a boy. I've been peed on 3 times today. He doesn't have the ability to love yet. . . I know that. Cognitive thought like that doesn't come in for months. He wouldn't know if I got hurt, can't feel empathy for me, wouldn't care if I were sick. Love is a one way street with a baby this small. . . but I love him anyway. One week and I'm hooked.

Jaundice isn't life threatening, it's normally completely harmless, but still to see him laying on that machine. . . a week from now it won't hurt, a week from now he'll be back in his old bed, a week from now he won't be sick. . . but he is now. And life threatening or not he's not right and I can't do anything about it.

His mom will be back in the room soon, time to stop. Back to laughing and playing, we'll both be tough for her.

We have Jaundice. . .

For anyone who doesn't know Jaundice is a yellowish discoloration of the skin (and sometimes eyes). It's an increased levels of bilirubin. It probably harmless, lots of babies get it, but it could cause brain damage or hearing loss.

For us it means we have to sit by and watch our little man glow blue in a Bilibed (see above). A nurse will be coming to the house tomorrow to test his bilirubin. We also need to monitor his fluid intake more. So we're now only pumping and feeding him from a bottle.

So yeah it's not life threatening, but it's still a little scary to see my little guy on a piece of medical equipment. It looks like a computer scanner and when you put the blanket on top it's like a little tent. Once inside you can put his hands through little sleeves. . . he didn't like that so he pulled his hands in and pulled on his umbilical cord. So then his little hand is covered in blood and his cord is a bit looser than it was before.

Poor little guy.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Daddy's log: Day 3

Baby's in bed, Mom's doing a Sitz Bath for her stitches, time for reflection.

3-days-old, and he just keeps getting better. In fact I think this may be his best day so far. Today he wasn't traumatized by being born, he didn't have part of his boy parts removed, he didn't get a single shot, and he started eating like a king. He did pee on himself a couple times, but today it didn't go in his eye (that wee blocker I mocked so heavily is looking better by the day).

People say being a baby is great, all you do is eat, sleep and poop. . . All I can say is when you don't really know how to do any of those, eating, sleeping, and pooping must be tough.

One thing experienced parents can laugh at me for—aside from the peeing in the eye—I'm annoyed that he poops and I change him and he poops again 30 seconds later. We went through about 15 diapers in the first 24 hours. And for some reason the geniuses who make changing pad covers make them in 5 colors all of which are pastel so they will show pee and poop stains like crazy. First diaper change at home, he peed all over the thing. Second changing after we washed it? He got poop on it (see my previous statement to see how).

After a little while we gave him his first sponge bath tonight. . . he screamed. He doesn't like being naked. So above you saw a picture of his first bath. This is my first step towards keeping this blog going in parenthood and trying not to make too much future embarrassment for him. So from now on, names will be used, pictures will be shown and I'll see where it takes me. . .

EDIT: I'm now deciding to remove names, but keep pictures.

P.S. Moms-to-be, if you do a sitz bath at home for your stitches, use your baby's new bath thermometer to make sure the water is OK for you too, no reason he should get all the use out of it.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Miricle. . .

At 11:33 am yesterday (October 26, 2007) we welcome our little man into the the world.

At 3:30 this morning my wife's water broke, we got to the the hospital (St. Joseph's) an hour later, they started giving her pitocin at 7:00, the contractions started getting bad about 10:00, the epidural went in at 10:45, and the baby emerged at 11:33. (Yes I know the time on the above image is wrong).

We slept, poorly, but we slept last night. Any pregnant person reading this. . . let the nurses tkae him. If you're nursing they'll bring him in when he needs to eat. You may be uncomfortable on that fold-out chair guys, but you get to sleep soon enough. Ask a nurse if they have a fold out cot instead. I got one this morning to use tonight.

We don't have an internet connection in the hospital like I thought we would so I'm sorry this took so long to post, I'm only home to shower now. Mom and baby are doing good. Hopefully I'll be back in time for his birthday. . . I promised I'd be back in time for the next feeding at 11. So gotta go. I'll post more soon, but here he is. . .

Friday, October 26, 2007

3-2-1 Baby. . .

We have lift off. My wife's water broke about 15 minutes ago. We're on our way to the hospital right now.

Wish us luck. I'll keep you posted.

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Like a broken record. . .

After a week of panic we survived to see another doctor's appointment. For the first time we were actually ready with a list of questions (we even wrote them down). We almost forgot to ask any of them as the doctor checked out my wife's cervix and emerged saying "I'd say, you'll have this baby in 7-10 days."

So we get a stay of execution. The doctor still insists that she still has 3 days left from her last prediction. Of course all I can think is 10 days means Halloween.

The doctor did touch the little guy's head, and when she was out she grabbed him again through my wife's belly to see which way he was facing. . . yeah, he didn't like that. She put the doppler heart monitor on him and his little heart was racing (170 bpm). After about 5 minutes it slowed a little, but according to his mother he was moving around all night.

So he's squirmy and can hold a grudge for a surprisingly long time (for a baby). . . we're in trouble.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Ticking time bomb. . .

We spent all day yesterday sitting around think every little hiccup, every pain, every urge to pee was the baby on his way out. We've packed the bag, get everything ready that we can, and got everything ready at our places of business. . . all in an effort to jinx ourselves. If we're completely ready he won't come.

Silly huh?

Anyway the countdown is on. . . even more so than before. It's getting crazy to believe that we'll be past the pregnancy stage and onto the parenting stage soon. Not sure if I'll keep this blog up after that. I've heard arguments about not sharing too much about your children online (most recently on an episode of Jumping Monkeys). Once our little guy hits high school he may not look too kindly on having embarrassing baby pictures and stories on the internet. His future girlfriends may enjoy how cute he was in the picture of his first bath when we sit her down to show her his baby pictures, but she shouldn't be able to set it as her screen saver. . . will people even have screen savers then?

Monday, October 15, 2007


See that fetus with a countdown to the right?. . . it lies!

Today we went to see the doctor and got some shocking news. Mom's 1 cm dilated and 50% effaced. She then announced that she predicts that, at most, we have 2 weeks left.

Are you shitting me!?

As you can tell by the post below we were already a little freaked out by a month left, now we have half that time. All the leave plans all out the window, because the impatient little man in my wife's belly wants to come out and see what all the fuss is about. . .

Good news is he's pointing down. He also has a full head of hair. . . either that or he has a really hard, hairy butt.

Sunday, October 14, 2007

Wait, What?. . .

Wait, the baby's due when? A month? Just a month? Like a 31 day month? OK at least it's not a February.

A month!?!

You'd think the carseat in my car, the crib, and clothes, the diapers (never had any of those in the house before), the toys and other assorted baby paraphernalia would have pushed me over the edge of readiness, but nope. . . still not even close to ready. I suppose you never can be ready, no amount of preparation or planning can get you truly ready for a baby.

"We don't know what to do you do with a baby!" my wife said this morning. She's right.

I'll start with the birth plans. So we had it easy with the doctor. "When should we go to the hospital?" "If your water breaks or if your contractions are 3 minutes apart and 45 second long." "OK great. Just so you know we're at your mercy in the hospital, neither of us wants to witness the actual birth, no mirrors, and the dad's not watching." It was easy.

Now we're planning maternity/paternity leaves, and finishing up projects at work. No problem, we can handle our jobs well and making plans for when we're gone hasn't proven to be too stressful.

Then the problem. . . One week after the baby is due we have a major holiday normally involving family dinners and gatherings. So we have to figure out how to make family functions flexible. Then we'll have to show off our week-old, amateur parenting skills in from front of the people who raised us. . . no stress there. Plus one side of our family is not very helpful when it comes to planing family gatherings.

I don't normally get stressed, but I'm getting a little now.

Monday, October 8, 2007

Old story. . .

One morning my wife woke up and told me about her late night encounter. She was woken in the middle of the night (while laying mostly on her back) by a slow repetitive thumping on her left side. She told me she was laying there thinking the baby was chanting "1--2--3 Heave!" to try and get her to roll over. She rolled over on her left side and the thumping stopped. . .

He quite the little puppet master.

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Baby stuff

The baby's room looks like a Babies-R-Us exploded in it. Bedding and toys and bottles and diapers all over the place. We sorted a lot and did the some assembly required thing (for some reason the convenient , easy-to-use pack and play took longer to put together than ll the other thing put together). I can't believe the amount of stuff you need now for a baby, and we didn't even get some of the silly stuff (e.g. the Wee Blocker).

It's wonder we survived as kids.

Monday, October 1, 2007

1's and 2's for the 1's and 2's. . .

One of my concerns with becoming a parent has been about music. I think my wife and I have good taste in music, and I have a hearty appreciation of music that I don't even like much (zydeco, blue grass, indian, japanese pop, etc.). I grew up watching a lot Looney Tunes and anyone who grew up doing that can sing or whistle many classical pieces without second thought. . . I was lucky that I joined band—and later orchestra—where I learned what these pieces were. I also learned a lot of jazz standards this way.

So one of my "things" has been finding music for the kid to listen to.

I've come across a few good sources. . .
  • Rock-a-bye Baby: Music box versions of popular bands including Metallica, Tool, The Cure, U2, Bob Marley, Green Day, Nirvana, No Doubt, and many more.
  • Spare the Rock, Spoil the Child: A weekly, 2-hour radio show out of Northampton, Mass. that rebroadcasts as a podcast. Hosted by a lawyer and his daughter Ella. Things like They Might Be Giants, the Hip Waiters, Opus Ditty, Gorillaz; some recorded specifically for kids, some just music that is kid appropriate.
  • Sounds in My Head: specifically for kids (and some not at all), but a good free music podcast to get some ideas of kid friendly music.
  • Ritmo Latino: Spanish language music from Germany and originally broadcast in Guam. . . don't ask. With an increased focus on teaching Spanish to children at a young age, this podcast has some great sounding music. Can teach different culture sounds and get them used to the sounds of the Spanish language.

So not all children's music, but good music for children or parents, and all but the first are free.

If nothing else it gives me hope that maybe the little monkey will grow up to have some decent taste in music. Short of that it's music that doesn't come out of a purple dinosaur or from those four freaks from down-under.

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

They can build me stronger. . .

Anyone reading this who is a dad go now to dad labs. Anyone reading this who isn't a father send a father you know to dad labs..

Monday, September 24, 2007

A boy?. . .

When I learned that the baby in my wife's belly was a boy, I was too busy worrying that he had Down's Syndrome to express my thoughts about him being a boy.

It's true, I really wanted a little girl. I had 3 sister's, I dote on my nieces like crazy, I never even liked other little boys when I was a little boy. Little girls, to me, are sweet and nice and cuddly. Boys are sweaty and rough and. . . well not cuddly. I wanted a girl bad (look at some of my old posts). So we're having a boy. . .

I'd like to say I thought I'd be ok or upset about learning I was going to have a son, but neither is true. . . I never thought I'd have a boy at all. Not even for a moment. SO, again we're having a boy. . .

The only experience I've had with boys is my nephew Kevin. . . some slightly pleasant, but mostly with my boy experiences, I still really want a girl. I don't do boy things. Boys need men to help shape them, I knew girls growing up, I don't know boys. So yeah, we're having a boy. . .

And already I love him more than words could describe.

Even if he is a boy.

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Serious day. . .

Ok I've gotten into it with a few people now on this issue and you know how I hate to talk about serious things here but this is just making me angry.

Autism. . .

Jenny McCarthy went on Oprah this week to push her new book and scare people into believing that immunizing your baby causes autism. Jenny McCarthy is hot. . . loved her on MTV (and you know how I feel about breasts. Jenny McCarthy is funny. Jenny McCarthy may even be a good writer (I haven't read her books). What Jenny McCarthy is not is a doctor (though she did take a semester of nursing school before she became a playmate). Forgive me if I don't want to get my medical advice from a former centerfold.

The argument is always "well, what else could have caused it?" Parents want someone to blame. They won't blame themselves or God (and nor should they) and a two-year-old hasn't had much happen to them in their short time on earth so what could be the connection. . . it isn't contracted from someone else, they weren't exposed to radiation, it can't be breast milk vs. formula (or something else they ate). They need someone to blame, so they blame the one thing they couldn't control going into their child. . . vaccines.

Let's talk about another rising kid "disease," ADD. Attention Deficit Disorder. I'm assuming anyone reading this is over 25. . . do you remember anyone growing up with ADD? Do you remember any hyper-active kids in your grade school (if not, chances are, you were that kid)? ADD and ADHD didn't seem to exist until recently. Now everybody has it and doctors dole out medication like candy. Is it because it's more prevalent, or is it because we can test for it.

What about autism? Is it more common today or do people simply know what it is now?

Autism is hard to define. It's actually several similar disorders all lumped into a category. 90% of autistic diagnoses are genetic. The CDC, the AMA, the AAP. . . every one of them discounts the link between the two. Someone at work said "that's the government and western medicine. Your can't trust them, you should take more fish oil." So either the AMA (et. al.) is right ,and there really isn't a link between autism and immunization, or the government and medical community is lying to us. Maybe putting something in the vaccines to make the general populace less functional and easier to control.

Anyway, that's my two cents on the subject. I doubt I'm going to sway anyone one way or the other. Everyone who has an opinion on this subject already is not moving their opinion either way. For me it comes down to this. Would I rather have a kid stricken with autism, or would I rather have a kid die from polio, mumps, measles, chicken pox, or whooping cough, all of which can be fatal? I'd rather take my chances with the immunizations.

No popcorn for me thanks. . .

Birthing videos are no fun. We watched 2 of them in class this week. Both were from the 1970's, both featured bad hair—including a woman with a mullet, and somehow both videos were of women with thick Boston accents. The first woman decided she wanted to help pull the baby out so, after the head popped out, she sat up, reached down and pulled. The second had a husband whose idea of helping his wife relax was to sing "She'll Be Comin' 'Round the Mountain" (I'm guessing such actions will get me killed).

So as I said, they're still showing videos from the 70's. Imagine. . . you're in your 30's and having a baby, you go to childbirth class and it's video week, the instructor puts in the video, presses play, and next thing you know you see your mom in a hospital gown bent over with a contraction and your dad standing behind her. . . or worse yet someone who isn't your dad standing behind her!

Our class started with 3 couples during week one. Week two introduced a 16-year-old and her aunt. Week three we got a couple that was there for a make-up class. . . that's right, a make-up class. You can only then imagine how fussy the mom-to-be was when her husband wasn't completely posing in the labor poses like the drawings on the poster. "You're hand is too high, the guy on the poster has his hand lower down, how can this be relaxing if we don't match the couple on the poster. My mother was right, I should have married Greg." And so on.

We laugh a lot in class. . . we're the bad couple.

Sunday, September 16, 2007

When furniture attacks. . .

Why would a piece of furniture make it all seems so real? Yesterday we bought a crib and a changing table/dresser. After 2 trips across town we got them both home—though the crib is still unassembled in my car. The dresser is in the baby's room (no, we still don't like the n-word). We got it in place and both got the same feeling. . . "oh my we're going to have a baby." No kicking or baby clothes or ultrasound or birthing class gave us this same feeling of, "holy crap there will be a baby here soon!"

Not sure how the piece of furniture—which looks just like any old dresser—could suddenly make us realize the gravity of the situation. I wonder what would happen if we bought a new couch?

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

30 minutes or it's free. . .

We had a doctor's appointment on Monday. As we sat waiting in the exam room there was a knock on the door and the doctor poked her head in and said "I have to go deliver this baby, I'll be right back." Right back!? . . . yes, she was right back. Less than 30 minutes later. granted her office is about a 5 minute walk to the delivery room, but still. She's like Dominoes.

I take back a little of what I said last time about the L&D classes. This second class was much, much better than the first. We went through signs of labor and how the labor itself should go. . . kind of a read through. The teacher actually had some helpful information and I felt she was answering our questions well.

I found a cool podcast, "The Ford Galaxy of Stories." It features "famous names from the worlds of [British] film, TV and comedy tell(ing) memorable children’s stories and bring(ing) them to life in their own unique way. Parents can download new stories each week to keep the family entertained at home or in the car" My wife and I watch our fair share of BBC America so we recognized quite a few of the narrators. It's really good, and I swear Ford is not paying me to say that.

Oh and you can subscribe to it through itunes for easy distribution.

Thursday, September 6, 2007

You can't spell class with it. . .

We started our labor and delivery classes this week (Tuesday).

Waste of time.

I think we would have been better served with a book on the subject and a yoga class. Didn't learn anything new, had to lay on the hard floor whilst some retired nurse tried to hypnotize us, and at some point we're going to be lectured on breast feeding. . . it's not that I'm against breast-feeding or anything (I love anything involving breasts), I just know some people who were unable to do so, and likely my wife won't be able to do it for longer than a month (it's hard to pump when your office is a 1st grade classroom). She's not very helpful. We've all read the books, we know what we're doing, tell us stuff we don't know yet.

"So guys the answer to the pain is deep breathing. I ask you Is there anything we can tell them that they won't believe?!" That's from a show called Coupling. Anyone pregnant should rent, TiVO or just watch on BBC America the 4th season of Coupling. You should really watch all the seasons (or series). It's a great show, but season 4 is all about the main couple going through pregnancy. Some good insights.

On a side note, I got to meet my friend Janice this week. She doesn't seem to think she looks pregnant, but I do. I knew her as soon as I saw her at the restaurant last night. The 3 of us went out for ice cream, after the business dinner, and talked baby stuff. . . it was fun.

Monday, September 3, 2007

We have paint. . .

I finished most of the painting of the baby's room today. Blue on blue stripes. We have a little more to do. . . like furnish it. I'll post pictures once we get to that part.

Other than that, not much is happening. We spent Saturday night with a woman I grew up with who it due November 1st, and Sunday we spent the evening with a couple we hang out with and their one-year-old girl. It is kinda cool to think about having kids around soon when we go out to dinner.

Friday, August 24, 2007

Only you can prevent it. . .

So my friend Janice that I mentioned before had a fun day yesterday. I'll let it speak for itself.

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

And I'm OK. . .

I've said before, I'm not what you'd consider a man's man. I cried while reading part of the last Harry Potter book, I've written poems that were neither for English class nor involving anyone from Nantucket, and I don't know–nor care to know–about the in-field fly rule. I can do some good work around the house, I can hang drywall, sweat pipes, and I own multiple power tools. I'm fairly computer savvy (which has become less geeky and more manly in the past few years). I enjoy watching stuff blow-up. . . and on several occasions I have blown stuff up. I love women. . . you may never find a straighter man (not to say that you can't be gay and manly, but I have a healthy constant stream on testosterone coursing through my veins). I have chopped wood. I can get fairly banged or cut up and not freak out too much at the sight of my own blood. I can hold my liquor, though I am an affectionate not a violent drunk.

What I'm trying to say is, I may not be the manliest person in the world (and as I said before I definitely should not be trying to raise a boy), but I have gotten to a point where I can say I often feel pretty damned manly.

I ask you. . . can I pull off carrying a diaper bag, and still feel like a man?

Bumbo strikes again. . .

So I sent the link to the Ready Set Bumbo video (above) to Megan Morrone at Jumping Monkeys and it made it on the show. Nothing big, but it makes me feel good.

The little monstor in my wife's belly is growing restless this week. He's so active in there right now, even my touching her belly doesn't stop him. Normally when I touch the belly the little spaz stops moving, but not right now. Everything we ready said week 27 and I think 32 are the most active.

Now I need help. I'm trying to convince my wife to let me do the room like While You Were Out. Lock her out of the room for 2-3 weeks and do everything without her. Then surprise her with the final product. So post a comment telling her to let me do that. She gets to build the baby I want to build the room.

Thursday, August 16, 2007

It's a Small World. . .

Recently I took on some more responsibility at work (we had some reorganization [lay-offs] meaning I get more to do). Part of this new responsibility means new contacts with an outside vendor. Enter Janice, Janice is the account manager for a vendor that I have now become the default contact for. We started talking and emailing and have been doing so for about a month now.

So I was surprised when after a month I found out Janice is having a baby boy 2 days after my wife.

I found this out because she was asking us to pick a date for her and her boss to come visit our office (we're in Missouri they're in Florida), and she needed to travel before October. Imagine if I hadn't found out about her pregnancy until she showed up here in September. That would have been really odd.

On a side note, the baby above is another of mine. I'm actually using the babies for a promotion piece at work, the sign the baby is chewing on contains the offer for the piece.

Sunday, August 12, 2007

Goin' boom boom. . .

The one thing we have gotten for the baby is the bedding. We found the bedding we liked but it was only available online or from Burlington so we got it ourselves. That's the quilt above. I redrew it in Illustrator this afternoon.

Also for anyone who is pregnant I found this song. It was on a local public radio station's Ska program on friday nights. The host had his grandson some on and played the ska songs he likes. . . he's 5. So it was some cool music for kids. This song hit us the most, it's called "Baby in 'a Belly" by the 'Vengers. I went online to google it and couldn't find anything. The band's site was gone. . . I finally tracked down the lead singer for his new project playground theatre."

Anyway, enjoy.