Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Do not feed the baby. . .

It seems like every week we approach another big milestone or transition. Lately there's a big transition looming over us. . . moving from baby food to table food.

For several months we've been feeding our little bottomless pit 4 times a day. Every feeding is about 4 hours from the last starting with breakfast at 7am. Every feeding consists of a jar of baby food and a bottle of formula. We're chicken and still waiting for next weeks greenlight from the pediatrician to start him on milk instead of formula, but we are working on altering his feedings so we eliminate a bottle and start feeding him a full meal of table food.

And that is where the problem starts. What full meal of table food should we feed him? We've been feeding him bits of our food for months now. We feed him anything we think he can chew or will dissolve in his mouth. He'll eat anything. He loves mushrooms, green beans, black olives, bread, potatoes (anything from mashed to french fries), cheese puffs (I'm a bad influence), and lots of other things but still to this point it's just been bits of food more for novelty than sustenance.

So far the only full meal I've discovered is ham and cheese. I put slices of ham and cheese on a slice of whole grain white bread and toasted it in the toaster oven to melt the cheese (as glue for the bread and ham). Cut it into bite sized pieces and he ate it like it was the best food ever. . . however, the boy can't live on ham and cheese every day.

What full meals do you feed a new toddler who only has 3 full teeth?

Monday, October 27, 2008

Coward. . .

A old friend of mine is going through a tough time. She has a 6-month-old. We had intended to get together for lunch. She called and canceled because her son had to have eye surgery for a condition that weakens the ocular muscle, but that's not the tough time part. The week after the surgery I checked in to see how he was doing and reschedule lunch. She seemed cold and blew me off. . . then a week later she emailed to apologize. . .

She said she was out of sorts because she found out her husband had been cheating on her since their son was a month old.

He said he wanted to try and work things out but he was in love with the mistress and if he were honest with himself he'd really want to be with the mistress. But he owed it to my friend and their son to try and make things work. . . then last week he walked out on them and is now living in a hotel.

This is not the first story that I've heard. Five years ago, my own sister had her husband walk out on her with a 2-year-old and a 1-month-old. Another person I know recently had her husband leave and then come back and they have a 1-year-old.

I know that pregnancy and the first year of having baby can be tough on a marriage, but come on. . . first, how do you have time to have an affair with a baby at home!? Yeah, suddenly becoming a father is overwhelming and all but what the hell!? I get it. The wife, who focused all her love on you, now has chosen to move her focus to this new little person. I totally get that, but why haven't you gotten in the game and starting loving him too?

I'm not saying that keeping your marriage alive isn't really important. God knows the last year and a half of pregnancy and babyhood hasn't been a picnic for my marriage either, but be a man and suck it up. The sex-crazed wife from married with children doesn't exist. Sure we all saw Al Bundy refuse the advances of his hot wife and thought "what an idiot, I'd totally hit that." You know what? She doesn't exist. If you're like most everyone else, you're going to be the one begging her.

Before we got pregnant and several times after my wife and I had a couple conversations. I told her "I don't care if we get to the point of not liking each other. I don't care if we start dating other people. I don't care if we don't want to stay married. We will remain married and fake it until our little dude is 18." That baby is a bigger commitment than those vows you took. Add to that a mortgage that you both own on and you're bound together for life. Even if you leave you're now saddled with an ex-wife, how shitty is that. You don't like how the marriage is fix it. You're stuck with her either way, might as well make it good.

Be an adult and do what's right. Sure, you're not getting as much sex as you did before, yes, it's hard to get away and have dinner much less a romantic weekend road trip, no, your life won't be the stuff of movies. . . look at that little face and tell me it's not worth every second of it.


Sunday, October 26, 2008

Birthday party. . .

It's official. He's 1.

So weird to think that it's been a year already. Seems like only yesterday my wife was nudging me saying "oh my God I think my water just broke." Those few days in the hospital and some of the time over the next couple months are so vivid like they just happened. The months flew by so fast. I can only image what the next several years will do.

Yesterday's party was good. A little crazy with the kids and getting the food ready in time, but still good. He got so many more toys than he knows what to do with and lots of clothes too. He didn't want to open the presents at all. He had a good time walking around the house with everybody there.

We gave him his own cake. And then to make things easier on ourselves we made him a nice cake-eating onsie. So without further adieu. . .

Happy birthday buddy. . . even though you can't read this yet.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Of blankets and table food. . .

As our little family approaches one year were about to undergo a few transitions. Many foods fall off the not safe to eat list; many safety practices are fading away (did you know playing with a knife is still not safe?).
  • We served our little man eggs for the first time this week. He seemed to think they were OK, not great, just OK. We mainly aren't sure about feeding them to him again because we'd feed them to him for breakfast and we've learned twice this week that self feeding in the morning is a slow process that is bound to make us late.
  • Milk has been a no-no for this year and now it's supposed to become a staple of his diet. Thankfully that means the stinky formula is going away. He's already had cheese, yogurt, and ice cream so I'm guessing milk isn't going to be a problem.
  • Still no peanut butter or honey.
  • Once little Houdini broke free of his swaddling, the crib is supposed to be a no blanket zone. No blankets, no plush things, no bumpers, no fun! We've already been breaking that rule with Pete. And we used the bumpers until he was standing and climbing. Now I guess we're supposed to introduce a blanket into the sleeping routine.
So many rules, and now they don't apply.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Happy Anniversary. . .

Three days from now we'll be working on putting our house back together after the birthday boy's cousins (terrorist organization that they are) destroy our house. I'm hoping this won't involve any industrial solvents or spackle, but you never know.

Oh and I'll have been a dad for one whole year.

Forget the fact that the little man living in our house is turning one, I'm celebrating my one-year anniversary of being a dad. He hasn't been changing someone else's diapers for a year, all he's had to do is sleep, eat, poop and play. Sure, he's learned to sit, crawl, use his hands for anything, stand, walk, point, play peek-a-boo, chew, clap, sleep through the night, laugh, smile, climb, say dog (or sometimes it means duck), turn the TV on and off, play with about 20 different toys, drink from a cup, and probably another dozen or so things that someone my age takes completely for granted.

I learned to love a little boy.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Once you go mac. . .

I'm a mac user. I love my mac. A friend of mine recently asked if they should replace the old PC with a mac. I went on and on telling them a lot of good things about the mac and why it was a good idea to go with the mac. They said they asked someone who loves by PCs about it too and all they could do was tell them what was wrong with the mac. . . somehow they never mentioned what was so good about the PC.

No one seems to know why people keep going with PCs since they don't always work out so well. It's hard to get them to create anything good, but I suppose if you only want your computer to do the basics, and you're OK with everything crashing once in a while, it's fine.

I guess it's because it's what they're used to having.

I hope they decide to go with the mac.

**NOTE** This post idea was stolen from a man who called in to PRI's Whad'Ya Know? A radio show I listen to via podcast every week. I will try to make this be the most political I get in the next few weeks. . . I can't promise anything.

Friday, October 10, 2008

Old story. . .

Before this blog ever began I had another blog. I had been thinking about blogging for a couple years and finally had a story to share that was worth sharing. This is not the exact post, this is what I remember from the story which makes me madder today than it did then for two reasons. . . 1) I have a kid now and 2) a year or so after this happened Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby were found 3 blocks from where this happened. . .

My wife and I were shopping for parts of a Halloween costume at a local consignment shop. We were going as parts of the Scooby-Doo gang with some friends of ours. We were looking for a purple skirt so my wife could be Daphne. And so far we were having no luck.

We left the shop at the same time as a group of people and made our way to our car. The other people went to their cars as well, but in the group was a toddler. My wife pointed to him as we were about to pull away and asked "who does that baby belong to?" The toddler was, at this point, walking alone in the parking lot right in front of the store.

I pulled up to where he was standing in the parking lot roadway. I stopped the car and got out. I said "hey buddy." He smiled. I looked around. Not only did I not see someone looking for their kid I didn't see anyone, not a single face in a car or a building, no one was around.

I offered the little guy my hand. He wouldn't take it. I thought for a moment about picking him up but quickly realized that could look really bad. So I tried to heard him back up onto the sidewalk so I could figure out what to do next. He was mostly easily herded until he got to the step on the sidewalk and then he fell on his hands and began to cry. I didn't know what to do. I'm now suddenly standing in front of a store with a crying baby that I don't know, and still (now almost 5 minutes later) there is no sign of any parent.

I opened the door to the consignment shop and yelled, "is anyone missing a kid?" Only the 16-year-old girl working behind the counter heard me. "What?" she asked. "This kid was walking around the parking lot alone, and now he fell and is crying." She followed me outside to the kid. As soon as she approached he reached up to her (I supposed a 16-year-old girl in a school uniform would be more inviting to me than a 30ish year old man with a week old beard too). She picked him up.

Now I should point out that next door to the adult consignment shop is a kids consignment shop.

"You take him inside and ask around about his mom, I'll go next door and see if he wandered off from there." I walk next door and again yell, "is anyone missing a kid?" This time it got a reaction. Paniced faces quickly did a head count and people said no. I quickly explained to the girl working there "I found a toddler wandering alone in the parking lot, he's next door if anyone is missing a kid."

I stared to go back to the first shop and as I looked in the window I saw the little guy holding an adult woman's hand walking towards the back of the store. My wife tells me she's pretty sure that was mom and we drive off.

Afterwards a couple things went through my mind. . .

First and foremost I should have called the police. That woman might not have been mom and even if she was mom needed a wake-up call. Mom didn't notice the kid was missing for almost 10 minutes and then she only noticed because someone in the store asked her if her kid was missing. If something like this happens again I will call the police.

Second, 10 minutes. Again, 10 minutes because someone told mom the kid was missing. If I had picked the kid up, put him in my car, and got on the highway that was less than a minutes drive we could have been another state before the police had even arrived at the store. The state line was 15-20 minutes away. That's also the same distance to our house. We could have had him home by the time he was noticed missing.

There are a lot of morals to this story. Watch your kid, watch for other people's kids, always call the police in a situation like this, and hope that people who are horrible enough to kidnap a random kid are also stupid enough to take that kid out in public.

missing children. . .

A friend of mine forwarded me an email with the subject "Amber Alert: Please pass this on." I opened it and read the story of a 13-year-old girl named Ashley Flores. it even had a picture of Ashley. Oh there is one thing, according to snopes Ashley isn't real. Well I'm sure someone in the world is named Ashley Flores, but she hasn't been abducted. . . nor have Evan Trembley, Penny Brown and the numerous other kids who use the same exact copy of this email with a different name and picture.

What kind of sick fucker fakes a missing child as a chain email letter?!

The story gets worse. This same friend sent another email about a missing 6-year-old girl from North Dakota named Reachelle Marie Smith. . . but cute little Reachelle (that's her in the above picture) really is missing. She's been missing since May 2006 and the one person they suspected was found dead of an apparent suicide. There are very few leads to go on now. 2 years have gone by, the trail is cold, chances of her ever returning to her Aunt (her legal guardian) are slim. . . so are chances of her still being alive.

This gets to me a bit because of the local turned national story last year about Shawn Hornbeck and Ben Ownby. Shawn and Ben were found in a St. Louis community about 15 minutes from our house. They were found 2 blocks from the story I'll post tomorrow.

Moral of the story—as much as is sucks to do so—before you forward one of these, copy the name from the email and search for it on snopes.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

By George I think he's got it. . .

Remember before how I asked if walking would just be a one day he can't the next day he can? If not read the previous post, I'll wait. . . .

Yeah, that's exactly how it was. Yesterday he'd take an occasional step. Just one. Today he is walking. Not far, only a few feet (6-8 at a time), but he's walking.

Monday, October 6, 2008

If you're happy and you know it. . .

Our little laugh track is developing well. He crawls around like a pro, he has been waving hello and goodbye with moderate consistency, he has been standing unassisted since before he could crawl, his personality has been flourishing for months. . . but he hasn't started clapping. It's a silly party trick ("Clap like a monkey!").

And then last night halfway through his bath he started clapping as if to say "daddy, that was the best hair rinsing in the history of the world." So he clapped, which made us clap and laugh. So then he'd clap and laugh, which made us clap and laugh, which made him clap and laugh, which made us say, "OK, that's enough clapping," which made him laugh and clap more.

What is it in kids that just clicks and makes the suddenly start doing something new? This wasn't just banging his hands together in an awkward way. This was full-on open-palmed clapping, with the actual clapping sound. Like he'd been doing it for months.

Is this what walking is going to be like? One day nothing, the next day running laps around the house?

Thursday, October 2, 2008