Saturday, August 30, 2008

And the silver spoon. . .

Today, my wife asked what it was that was making me so cranky lately. Why I have the baby blues. She asked me and just as I started to answer her the little guy started fussing a lot in the back seat of the car so she forgot about our conversation and went back to entertain him (we were in a drive-thru).

So I'll spill more of it here. I'm upset because I can't leave my job.

I love my job. I have no intention of actually leaving my job, but now with a kid in tow I'm less able to get fed up one day, yell "fuck you all" and walk out. . . not that I would have before, but the option is gone. It makes me feel a bit trapped.

Then there's my freelance projects. I am picking up freelance clients left and right, but freelance clients mean working at home after my regular job, which means less time with my wife and kid. 3 years ago I would have killed for more clients and projects, today I take them one job at a time, and I even passed a few on to another designer friend of mine.

There's a couple opportunities coming up that will be great for me career wise. I need to move forward on them, but they are going to take a lot of my free time. You can't explain to a 10-month-old that daddy is working and would love to let you play on the computer with him, but he can't right now. To him it's I won't play with him, plain and simple. A couple weeks ago I tried to do some work while he was awake, he crawled into the office and tried to climb up to my lap. . . he cried when I wouldn't pick him up so he could play. It hurt, but it's what I needed to do.

He doesn't understand, and though one day he will, that feeling of daddy won't play with me will still loom.

OK cue "Cat's in the Cradle."

NOTE: See the last post for your fun, baby pictured post

Safety first. . .

We've decided to do some more child-proofing starting with padding the coffee table where our little daredevil does most of his stunts. So we bought some safety padding to line the corners and edges.

In fact tonight before we could get the padding out and adhered to the table he climbed up and fell on his cheek which looks like it may cause a bruise. Normally his falls don't leave any lasting marks. His forehead will be red for the evening and once he wakes up in the morning it's all OK.

As we got the pads out we discovered the secret of making any house baby-proof. Buy a box of child proof edging, open the box, and hand the pads to the baby. . . that's it. The baby will be so happy to play with the pads that he'll not want to climb on anything dangerous.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Or not. . .

So yesterday I posted some heavier stuff about how I was feeling about life now and the person I've become. Then I thought "no, people don't want that, they want funny stories and pictures of a baby." Then I thought "wait a second, I started this blog to give the perspective of being a dad. Not as a place for stories about a baby." So I'm following up yesterday's post with some more thoughts on the subject. . .

It's the transition from husband to father that is tripping me up. I see that now.
A former coworker of mine who was married over 40 years said it best. Loving your child unconditionally is easy. . . you have no choice, it is ingrained into your relationship by it's very nature. You will always love your child. Loving your spouse unconditionally is hard. . . you chose to love them, you weren't born into it. If you don't work at it you will lose them.

Too many people become parents, they forget about being married and it isn't until a few years later then realize they aren't in love anymore.

Those of you looking for some big revelation now are going to be disappointed. No I'm not saying I'm leaving my wife, or cheating on her (this would be a shitty place to reveal that). I'm saying I am seeing the beginnings of that happen not just to my wife and I, but to other people I know.

Parents concentrate so much on their kids that they neglect the relationship with each other. Then they divorce (only 63% of children grow-up with married parents). What hurts a kid more, focusing a little less affection on them so you can concentrate on you spouse or having them survive with mommy and daddy in separate places?

And for those of you who didn't come here for more whining here's a picture from our first trip to the playground.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Eh forget it. . .

Enough of that. No one comes here to hear me whine about my feelings. They come here for pictures of a baby in a firehat.

Reflection. . .

I'm a smart ass. I've always been a smart ass. I, and a good friend of mine, formed and live by the rule, "funny always outweighs mean." The problem is lately I've skipped some of the funny and have just become mean. I'm cranky, I've been making mean comments to people, I've dropped the smart and am just being an ass.

I'm not sure what it is. The combination of not sleeping completely soundly for ten months, changes at work, lack of sex, the impossibility of reasoning with a crying baby, turning 32 (I'm now well into my 30's), the feeling of not accomplishing more already, the looming tower of projects at home, the pressure of being responsible for raising a kid into a upstanding citizen, and everything else. Maybe I'm just becoming a cranky old man. . . turning into my father.

I hate it. Absolutely hate it. I haven't been unhappy with the person I am for a long time, but I'm unhappy with my current personality, persona, self. . . or maybe just frame of mind. And lately I've been thinking everyone around me is starting to hate me too. I'm too young for this to be a mid-life crisis, perhaps it's a quarter-life crisis.

I don't know what I need. I've been thinking of taking up some type of meditation. Something to relax me so I won't be snapping at the drop of a hat anymore. Something to center myself and get back to my fun-loving, happy self. I need something.

Sorry for the quick piece of non-kid related self-examination. I suppose it's dad related. I think the shock of being a dad has taken a little time to catch up with me. For a bit I've been wrapped up in enjoying him that I haven't felt like a grown-up yet and now it's starting to hit me. Who knows?

But I don't like it.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

New baby alert. . .

A good friend and former coworker of mine had a baby last week. Maxwell Joseph was 4lbs 14oz, was 18.5 inches long, and was born on August 21st. New babies are always exciting, but I'm just using it as an excuse to post this comic I found last week.

Monday, August 25, 2008

Ooh ah-ah. . .

Before you ask, it's from target. Get them while they last!

Saturday, August 23, 2008

It sucks.. .

I've vacuumed a few times while Mr. Clean wasn't napping. Normally his mother is feeding him a bottle on the couch so I take the time to vacuum. He watches me intently and seems to like the sound the vacuum makes. Today I decided to see what would happen if I vacuumed while he wasn't safely away.

I thought he'd be scared. Like a dog or cat I guess.

He wasn't. After an initial jump when I turned it on. He watched as I vacuumed around him. Then he thought is was chasing him so he crawled away a few times (which allowed me to vacuum the spot when he was sitting. Then he followed me down the hall. Played with the cord and chased me and the floor sucker (I'm tired of typing vacuum) all over the house. Then I chased him back the other way through the house.

Everything is a toy to this boy.

Friday, August 22, 2008

And the award goes to. . .

Thank you Amy. I had no idea I was in anybody's top 7. When I started this thing I thought it would just be for myself, I didn't think anyone would read one post much less follow me.

So, the rules:
1. The winner can put the logo on his/her blog.
2. Link the person you received your award from.
3. Nominate 7 other blogs.
4. Put links of those blogs on yours.
5. Leave a message on the blogs of the people you’ve nominated

I don't have 7 blogs I read regularly. But I do have 4ish.

1. Of course Ranting Radish who nominated me. We trade tips back and forth. I think we're raising the same baby. She seemed to follow my wife while she was pregnant. I've always thought if we didn't live 1,000 miles apart we'd have had a play date by now.

2. I follow another Amy. Her son Peyton is also the same age as our little man. It's good to have another baby to compare to. Amy has also recently decided to become more serious about photography. Being a graphic designer I love good photography. She's got a good eye and started a photography blog too. For awhile our posts were so similar I suggested we do a collaborative blog giving the mom vs. dad side to things we were encountering. I'm still up for that.

The Amy's are fun. My wife and I both read their blogs and since all 3 of our kids are right about the same age we actually sometimes talk about them like we really know them. I'll say to my wife "Amy was saying that she traded in her BPA bottles for an IV feeding device" and she'll say "which Amy?" Both Amy's started commenting here when my wife and I went through our Down's Syndrome scare. They've been so kind and supportive and fun ever since.

3. Sarah. Sarah and I met in Jr. High School. We were good friends throughout high school (when she started dating Eric). Then we graduated and you know how it goes. You never call you never write (by you I mean me). I always mean to. . . but now I can keep up with what's going on with her, Eric, and their 4 girls. I wish more of my high school friends had blogs. I suppose that's what Facebook is for.

4. Cara mama is the one blogger I read who has a secret identity. I had planned on doing that in the beginning. We seem to share the same sense of humor. It's humor that doesn't always jump out in a blog, but I normally know how she's thinking something is funny.

Honorable Mentions:

Motherhood Uncensored. Some days I love it, some days I hate it. Most days I can't believe she has to beg her husband for help. . . and sex. The woman has a libido most men would kill for their wives to have.

Mamma Joe. . . Joe has a daughter who is a bit older than our little monkey. Joe is in the beginning stages of a messy divorce and recently turned her blog private so her husband can't post threatening messages there (he posted one). We disagree about walmart, but over all we get along.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Eureka. . .

Diapers stink. Diapers go into diaper pails. Ergo Diaper pails stink. It's a fact. Look it up.

In the beginning we had a diaper champ and it was good. Then a few months later the smell seeped into the plastic and now the diaper pail itself smells.

How do you stop them from making your house smell like a nursing home? How do you tame that horrible, horrible smell? I've tried everything. The order-absorbing air freshener at the bottom of the pail made it smell like flowers and diapers. The baking soda didn't do much except make it look like I was a magician when the white cloud came out as I changed the bag. The scented trash bags didn't do anything but cost me more money.

Then I got an idea. I was watching this new Food Network show, the Food Detectives. They did an episode that included a segment on smelly fridges. In it they mentioned getting an activated charcoal filter to soak up odors. I've always known activated charcoal could purify water (one cup has something like one whole acre of surface area), but had no idea it would do work on stink.

The problem is finding an activated charcoal air freshener like the one they had on the show. So I did the next best thing. . . I went to the pet store and got a plain box of activated charcoal. I then cut off the bottom part of another box to line the diaper champ (you could easily use a paper plate of bowl) and poured the charcoal in the liner.

I will not say that it is now completely odor free, but the difference is substantial. I'm hoping after a little time and a few cycles of changing the charcoal we'll be close to odorless in the diaper department.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Yoddle-le-he-hoo. . .

We had a day like Ranting Radish. Friday, our little wunderkin learned to stand up in his crib. Saturday he decided this was the only thing he could do in the crib. So from 11 a.m. until 6p.m. he refused to take a nap. Finally we decided to take him to the park (because we couldn't take it anymore) and he fell asleep in the car.

Long enough nap to hold him over until 8 p.m.

Sunday looked like it would end up the same way, so I did a bad thing. I sat in a chair and held him until he drifted off and then put him down. I don't want him to get attached to being held to sleep.

By Sunday night, our little mountaineer had figured out how to sit back down after climbing up. By this morning he was able to stand in his crib knock over his monitor, throw out his stuffed panda and sit back down with his legs dangling out between the slats.

Last week he could crawl and if we helped maybe stand up on us. Now he can climb and stand next to anything in the house. Madness.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Overnight. . .

So since his first crawling Cruise McClintock has quickly become very mobile, which makes him very happy. He's also into stuff he shouldn't be. So we take him away and tell him "no" which makes him very unhappy.

It's amazing how it seems that in just a couple days he's changed completely. His late evening nap is gone, he's moving everywhere, he's standing on his own a lot, he's so much happier, he's eating more real food. . . he's a whole new baby. And not even a baby. He seems so grown up. It's a little sad.

Back to the mobile front. Almost every night we chase each other up and down the hall. I hide in a room and jump out yelling "boo" and he laughs as he crawls down the hall to find me. Then when he does I claim "daddy's gonna get you!" Which makes him squeal and take off the other direction—looking back occasionally to make sure I'm still chasing him. Then I catch him, hang him upside-down and blow on his belly. . . he laughs.

He laughs at everything. He is a little ham. He'll sit and start making random grunts and then he'll laugh at himself. He'll even laugh when someone smiles at him. A far cry from our once very serious baby.

This is a great time.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

Water wings. . .

After 3 classes our little minnow finally enjoyed swimming this morning. He had him splash a lot all week in the tub, to the point of water flying all over the bathroom. Now he seems to really like the water.


Friday, August 8, 2008

Breakthrough. . .

After months of teething, our little T-rex has pushed through his first tooth.

It is sharp.

That is all.

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

No "P" in it. . .

Puffy McDuffy likes water. . . most of the time. He enjoys his bath, he touches the water from the garden hose when I water the veggies, and he uh. . . he likes to drink water?

Anyway, after our doctor told us about the dangers of swimming and asthma for infants under 6 months of age, we decided to wait a little before embarking on swimming lessons. I lived in a pool growing up and really want him to learn to swim, so early swim class was a must. So we took our tadpole to the local YMCA for the infant swimming class.

Let me take a minute to state I do not subscribe to the idea of babies swimming. In fact I find videos of people training their babies can swim a little creepy, and dangerous (creating a false sense of security). I'm not naive enough to think that he's actually going to learn anything more than enjoying being in the water.

And he does enjoy being in the water. We went to the pool, got in the water and splashed around for 10 minutes or so before everyone showed up to class (I know you have a baby, but I have one too and I was on time). Then class started. Class is lead by a woman who calls herself grandma, she should be a great teacher. . . I mean she was there when prehistoric man first flailed his arms to stay afloat after being chased into the water by a wooly mammoth. She should be a great teacher. Instead she's pushy and doesn't remember anything and I probably expect too much from her since she's 183 and it's amazing she can still get in and out of the pool.

So there we are enjoying playing in the pool, happy as can be. . . then class started. We began with a rousing round of The Wheels on the Bus (how that relates to swimming is a mystery still). It's not easy to hold a baby above water while dong the motions for The Wheels on the Bus. Then we move to swimming in a circle, and it was all over from there. Yes, my son is the crier. . .

For three straight weeks.

We're going to keep trying for the next two weeks, but I'm not holding my breath. . . I'm just trying to teach him how to.

Sunday, August 3, 2008

Sitting up. . .

So like others I walked in after our sleepy bear woke up from his nap to find him sitting up in his bed. He then exhibited this talent a couple more times he'd crawl then sit-up. He prefers pulling up to standing (see previous video post).

He's also teething hard. We saw the first little dot of a tooth at our 9-month doctor's appointment. His first tooth is pushing through. Oh and he's now 19.5 lbs and 28.5" tall. He's currently in the other room crying. He watches through the bars of his crib waiting for us to come get him, or he climbs up the sides of the crib.

Poor little monkey.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

Crawling and Climbing. . .

I have wanted to post something about our little crab crawling. He's doing great. In two weeks he's gone from barely lunging forward a few inches to crawling all over. How do you tell people how well a baby's crawling? So I thought I'd show a little bit.