Friday, June 26, 2009
The first 7 weeks of our little girl's (to further be referred to as LG) life have been very stressful for both her and us. She's got baby reflux and we've got no experience so there hasn't been a lot of smil ing yet one either side. Fortunately, things seem to be quieting down around the house and we've finally had some time just to enjoy our new little family...So now we're playing the waiting game.
It's a fun game and I'm sure if you're a new parent or a veteran you're playing too. You know, it the game where you wait for those milestones that babies are supposed to hit in that very specific time window. Smiling is our current goal. Everyone is telling us there baby smiled at them at around 5 weeks...Here we are at week 7 and she only smiles in her sleep. So of course we stare and wait, afraid that if we turn our heads for a split second we'll miss it.
It's a lot of pressure on her and on us, so over the past few days I've decided to just step back a little. I'm tossing out the milestone chart and I'm going to let her smile when she wants to. And while I'm not paying such close attention, I will say she seems to be getting closer. She's opening her mouth more (like she's test driving it) so I think it's only a matter of time at this point. I mean, not that I'm obsessing, but it could literally happen at any minute...Did I mention I'm just going to let her do her own thing?
I haven't blinked in 4 days...but whose counting. She'll be 8 weeks next Thursday, will she make it in time? Who cares...I'm not worried, wait, there's the phone...Maybe it's my wife, maybe she smiled this morning. Gotta go, I'll keep you posted...Or not, I'm not really stressing about it.
Thursday, June 25, 2009
I've decided to add two photos this week that really capture summer for me. The first is this shot of a sunset over the Gulf of Mexico in Florida. My wife and I live in New Jersey, but we love Florida and sights like this are the reason. Hopefully, our little girl will grow to love it as much as we do!
Nothing says summer like the beach, and on a trip last year just after a storm my wife and I found a bunch of starfish that were washing up on the sand. I had to grab this fun little shot before I helped them back into the water.
If you want to play along with the Thousand Words Thursday or the You Capture challenges check these links below!
Tuesday, June 23, 2009
Use your Tuesday blog space to tell us a story about you. It probably won't be completely void of your children, but instead of them being the soul focus take some time for you...Here I'll start us off with a story I was recently reminded of:
"The Day I Fell Out of the Boat"
Since we brought our daughter home, I find myself thinking about all the wacky things I got myself into growing up, and one of my misadventures came fluttering back to the surface and made me laugh.
I am an avid angler, and winter really puts a damper on my fishing. So every year when the lakes thaw I throw the boat in the back of the truck and head to the closest lake to see what's swimming around. In the winter of my 17th year, I didn't have a truck. I had my mom's car and a precarious system of knots that kept the boat firmly (or not-so-firmly attached).
The trip to the newly thawed lake was uneventful. Once I was unloaded and tooting around the lake with my electric trolling motor and more fishing rods than one person needs for a few hours on the water I was finally at peace. That is until I felt the 'call of nature.' Now I've been fishing with people who will readily answer 'nature's call' over the side of the boat, but I'm a little more modest. So I head for the closest shoreline.
I get the boat as close as possible to land, but this shoreline was far from suitable for exiting a boat in February. At this point I had no choice, I was running out of time and had to get out of the boat. So I did what any safe boater would. I threw my anchor up on shore, climbed to the front of the boat and grabbed a small tree that would aide in my exit. Unfortunately, the tree was too small and when I attempted to pull my self away from the boat, the tree bent. From here everything slowed down.
I felt the tree giving in to my weight and my balance fading...It continued to fade until I was in the water. The water was only about eight inches deep, but it was enough to soak me through. It was cold, very, very cold. At this point (thankfully), 'nature' stopped calling. I shot out of the water and over the side of the boat. I gunned my tiny motor back to the ramp at little more than a snails pace. Losing feeling in my hands and feeling my clothes starting to freeze I dragged the boat ashore and did my best to lash it to the car. Tying knots with no feeling in your hands is difficult but tying a good knot with no feeling in your hands and the weight of the lake in your frozen clothes is just about impossible.
When I finally got in the car I did what any pre-hypothermic angler would do I stripped to my underwear and drove home. Amazingly, the boat stayed on the car and I didn't get pulled over...Oh, and I guess it was good that I survived, too.
I hope I can teach my daughter to avoid the mistakes I've made. Sure she'll make her own, but if I teach her one thing it'll be to make sure she's uses the bathroom before she leaves the house because you never know what can happen when you close the door behind to leave.
Do you have a story? Add your link here:
Friday, June 19, 2009
OK, since I half celebrated Father's Day last week I should only get another half this week. This will be my first Father's day and I approach it with a mix of mostly shock and awe.
Shock- because while I am thirty this year, I still have the maturity level of an 18 year old. I still laugh at the same stupid things I did when I was a kid, I still like the same music, the same movies...The only thing different is that now I am a happily married father of one beautiful baby girl.
Awe- because everyone morning that I wake up (or get woken up by her little cries) I am awe-struck. I asked my wife just yesterday (and almost every other day) can you believe she's ours? It's mind blowing that I am a father. She's a bit too young to do a whole lot just yet, but I have got some big plans!
Back on the subject of how beautiful she is: I know everyone thinks that they have the cutest kid. That is sweet and really shows how much you care about your children, but you're wrong. Yep, I'm sorry, this Father's day I get to spend time with the MOST beautiful baby girl. I know, you're hurting a little, because deep down you know I'm right. It's OK, when you're around your friends you can still claim you have the cutest baby just so long as you and I know that mine is cuter.
My one simple request for this and every Father's day, NO TIES...If she's half as smart as she is cute she'll know better. Anyway, I look forward to my first Father's Day and I hope all of you look forward to spending Father's Day with your families!
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Here's my column: Kitchen Adventures
Stop back weekly for all of my kitchen adventures!
I think this picture says more than a thousand words. While there may not be any direct shot of emotion for the 'You Capture' carnival this picture always calms me down...Thus the emotion for this shot is relaxation....
For more pictures and great blogs check out:
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Funny thing happened to me this past Sunday. Call it exhaustion, call it being over eager, but I could have sworn it was Father's day. It didn't help matters that my wife perpetuated this grave misunderstanding, but I really thought I was celebrating my first Father's day. Depending on your level of optimism this can be seen as a plus. I get two Father's days. My wife took me and our 1-month old little girl out to breakfast which was very nice. Hopefully, if I play my cards right I can get another breakfast this Sunday, you know, the actual Father's Day.
Thinking about this made me realize that since our daughter was born (in early May) I hardly know what day it is. I know I have to go to work 5 of the 7 days of the week, but which 5 I can't remember. Take this post for example, I think it's Wednesday...but I could be wrong. All of my days sort of blend together separated by minor excursions and brief blocks of sleep.
Oddly enough, as embarrassing as it is to say that we celebrated dad's day early and that all my days are blending together I -in no way- regret anything. My little girl has taken over our house, but each day I go home and I love her a little more. Spending time with her and my wife means more to me now than making sure I'm not late for work or we celebrate some silly holiday.
It's funny how quickly your priorities shift. One day we're sitting on the couch watching some random show on the Food Network, and the next we're changing diapers, reading kids books, singing lullabies, and taking thousands of pictures. It's all very exhausting, but all very worth it. It's much harder than I expected, I think, I can't really remember what I was expecting.
There's no point to complain about the lack of sleep or the hard work. This little girl needs us to be on our game so regardless of how we feel, we just have to 'do'. It's an amazing experience and hopefully I don't take it for granted because I know it won't last long.
Just don't ask me if I want another one yet, the jury is still out on that one!
Friday, June 12, 2009
It's funny how many people want to give you advice before the baby is born, but then after the baby is born you're on your own. All those people that lined up to congratulate you disappear in those first few weeks to "let you get settled." That is the most ridiculous thing I have ever heard. After 5 weeks, I've come to realize that we'll never truly be 'settled' again.
So, for all of those people still waiting to get settled here are 10 random things you should know in those first few weeks.
5. I've said it before and I'll say it again. Poop sprays. Everyone will have you worried about your little baby boy peeing all over the place, but don't underestimate the power of poo (boy or girl). Never, and I mean never remove a diaper without having a replacement within arms reach.
4. You do not need the following items immediately: Swings of any sort, umbrella strollers, high chairs, gates, a electrical socket protectors. Sure it may help to have these things done, but until your baby is holding his/her head up or crawling on their own none of these things matter. I've spent more time pulling out the socket protectors to plug things in than I spent putting them all over the house. Don't let anyone pressure you into rushing to get things done before the baby comes.
3. Cloth diapers are a good idea in theory, but if your little bundle is having issues or is (like ours) what you doctor calls a high maintenance baby or HMB, take each battle as it comes. Maybe down the line you can convert to cloth, but right from the start in the heat of battle it's not the way to go. We're ready to try ours whenever she's ready.
2. Playtime. In the early weeks, playtime is for the parents. We want our babies to be uber-special and ahead f every curve, but in the end they are just happy to be fed cleaned and well rested. Yeah, we lay them on their mats and take cute pictures (or if you are me hundreds of cute pictures), but just keep them comfortable. That's all they really need.
1. Sleep is more important for you in the first few weeks than it is the baby. Trust me, the baby will sleep, but it is hard for parents to just lay down whenever the baby is napping. When the baby sleeps you'll want to straighten up the house, cook a real meal, catch up on your favorite DVR'd television shows, but don't. Don't be a hero....SLEEP. Everyone in the house will be happier if you're well rested.
These are my latest tips on parenting...It may not be much, but these were hard lessons for us in the first 5 weeks.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
I've found an interesting little Thursday activity that fits very well with my photo of the week plan. It's called 'A Thousand Words Thursday' and it's an activity put together by Jen at Cheaper than Therapy. I also found another blogger doing something similar over at I Should be Folding Laundry.
It's a great idea and I can't wait to play along.
I took this picture on a solo fishing outing...People float by these flowers everyday with nary a glance. We take things like this for granted. It's amazing how easy it is for adults to overlook the obvious when we have kids at home (newborns in my case) that have yet to see the beauty of the outdoors.
I can't wait to take my little girl for walks in the woods or canoe trips down the river to expose her to some of the simple things everyone else fails to see.
Monday, June 8, 2009
1. When someone else is watching her.
Thanks to a thoughtful mother-in-law my wife and I were able to escape to the movies for my birthday. We were gone 3 hours and baby girl slept for 3 hours. When we returned from the movies to feed her, mother-in-law said "Hey, she's doing well why don't you go get a bite to eat?" So out to dinner we went. We were gone 2 hours and baby girl slept for 2 hours...
2. When there is absolutely no time for us to sleep.
When she is awake we have no time to do normal house duties. She occupies all of our attention. So when she sleeps there are times that we have to make sure the house isn't caving in, the bills are paid, and the grass is cut. We can only do this when she is sleeping and during the day, as cutting the grass at 2am is probably against some town ordinance.
3. When we have visitors.
People come over and we look run down and exhausted then they look at our beautiful baby girl and see a calm and content sleeping baby. They look back at us and wonder why we're so tired. It's funny, no one believes us when we say she's a handful because whenever we have people over she's out like a light.
Two milestones this week: Dad turned 30 and baby girl 1 month old.
Friday, June 5, 2009
No, this is post is not going to be about the merits of a viral zombie horde as a opposed to the more traditional undead legions. It is instead going to glance over the first 28 days of my daughters life, what I learned, or more likely, what I think I learned.
Day 1: I told myself I wouldn't look. I remember the video in high school it was like horror porn. As excited as I was to meet my unborn child, I didn't think I could bring myself to watch 'all' of the action. I maintained eye contact with my wife as soon as the pushing started, but when the nurse said "There's the head daddy!" I just had to look and from that point I couldn't take my eyes off of her. It was amazing. As a friend of mine said about childbirth "it really makes you understand the word AWEsome."
Day 5: We finally got her home after some extra time under the anti-Jaundice lights. What a horrible experience to see your newborn on monitors wearing goofy goggles and crying. The nurses were great whenever we were there to visit and feed her, so at least there was that, but it was great to finally get her home. What did I learn that first day? POOP can spray. I lifted her legs to clean her up while changing a diaper and KABOOM! Poop on my shirt at a good 18 inches away. I didn't know whether to be disgusted or proud...Turns out thankful was the right emotion, that poop could have gone anywhere.
Day 10: Good God...Who knew that a baby could cry so much? You did, didn't you? Why didn't you tell me? It seemed upon our first few trips to the doctor's office our little one was what you'd call a "High Maintenance Baby," but on the fifth trip they decided that maybe our little HMB actually had some acid reflux issues. After a late night trip to the world's shadiest 24hr pharmacy we started dosing the meds. It didn't work immediately, but by the end of the second day, she was much more calm. Whew! problem solved.
Day 20: Ok, she may not be having reflux issues after all (although I still think she is). She is much more consolable when she gets fussy and now she only really gets fussy when she's tired or hungry, like babies are supposed to. I think we cured her. Sleep is the latest battle we've been fighting. I received a great tip from a buddy at work. RUN THE VACUUM. It was a last resort thing, but we eventually broke down and turned the vacuum on. Wouldn't you know it, that girl passed right out. I love running the Vacuum!
Day 28: I'll be 30 in a couple of days, and she'll be 1 month old. I hate running the vacuum, but she needs it to sleep. Fortunately, we've hit a compromise. I've created a CD of our running vacuum and play it on a continuous loop through our CD player. Keeps her unconscious in between meals and keeps us mostly asleep. My greatest idea ever! She's changed so much in 4 weeks, she looks and acts like a completely different baby. I almost forget what it was like to be in the hospital with her.
The only thing I can say now is that it's been a month and Daddy's Tired...
Thursday, June 4, 2009
The first few weeks have been a whirlwind, but we're finally getting into a groove. Any parent can survive so long as they address the three basic facets of their baby: Eating, Sleeping, and Pooping...If all of these needs are addressed things go smoothly.
Of course there are the intangibles like gas, over-tiredness, acid reflux, and a constant running vacuum that make raising a newborn a much more difficult challenge than either of us expected. So, that's why the blog. I want to help new moms and dads navigate the uncharted waters of raising a child.
The good news? Well, I don't know what I'm doing either so you can be sure there will be some funny stories of my own misadventures on this blog. But, be sure, I'll write about anything that works and everything that doesn't. It's all in an effort to vent and help you help yourself.
Wish me luck on this new adventure...and of course, visit often!