Sunday, September 28, 2008

Family activities

One of the things I'm not good at but will need to learn to be is coming up with things to do. I've always had to find things for me to do, and then things for me to do with friends, and then to do with a girlfriend, and then with my wife. I'm not good at any of those really, and soon I'll have to do that for my child.

The thing about that that I hopefully will find easier, is that I went through plenty of those things as a child myself. I think the big things will be easy come up with. We all did things in our childhoods that helped build character, and things we know we missed out on that we want our children to do.

The small things will be difficult to come up with. Yesterday we went apple picking, which is what inspired me to do this post. That was a fun activity, and there were tons of kids there. I can see us taking our kids picking apples, or pumpkins, or whatever. But coming up with those on a daily or even weekly basis can be brutal.

Thankfully, I won't have to start thinking of things for quite a while, which brings a scary fact to light for myself... I don't actually know when that will be. Do I start finding these activities at 6 months? 3 months? 9 years? I have no idea. I have a general idea, and I'm sure I'll know it when it gets here. But I'd like to know now so I can prepare and come up with a potential time line.

Friday, September 26, 2008

How my kids will be smarter than your kids

After reading this article, I'm fairly confidant my kids will be smarter and more prepared than your average kid. You see, I'm a techno geek and even if my kids are not, they'll be in an environment where they are comfortable with technology. Tools like the Nintendo DS are extremely powerful and will be in my children's hands.

There are other learning games around like Brain Age and whatnot that don't help with specific skills, but help overall cognitive thinking. That, to me, is much more crucial than knowing your multiplication tables or how to spell specific words.

Even though my generation is still much more open to technology than any previous generation, I still don't see lots of my peers allowing their kids to play the right kind of games to push the development of their minds, even when the kids don't know that's that is happening. So I will expect my kids to be 50% above the average, and anything else is a big let down :)

Drought before the storm

So, the theory goes that before you conceive, you need somewhat of a male build up. That's great in theory and all, but when you're of child rearing age that becomes a bit difficult. So our drought has begun.

The reasons behind it is that you get not only more, but higher quality sperm all stored up. See, I'm making sacrifices for my kids already and they aren't even conceived! And when they're older and reading this, I'm sure they'll love reading that about their parents.

So other really annoying things I'm doing in prep for the big night include but are not limited to:
  • Colder showers: I'm a scolding hot shower kind of guy, but heat kills those bad boys so I'm taking cooler showers than is comfortable with me.
  • Exercising: Sure I've written about that, but a fit person is betting at bringing life into this world.
  • Chugging Mountain Dew about a half hour before the act: Oddly enough they think a quick burst of caffeine makes the boys a bit faster for a little bit of time. Of course long term use causes them to die...
  • Relaxing: See, my wife thinks I'm being lazy but I'm really trying to stay relax, stress is a sperm killer
  • Keeping the laptop off my "lap": Heat kills, as I've said before, so the laptop, which gets especially hot when gaming, has been either on a tabletop or on my knees. Not too comfortable, and difficult to read in the morning without my contacts, but I'll do anything for those kids.

Tuesday, September 23, 2008


So, I'm not a big believer in religion. I think there is a god or higher power out there, but how should I raise a child? I was raised in a pretty god centric environment, and my wife was not. This sort of puts us at odds on this decision, but not how you'd think.

She feels something was missing in her childhood without any sort of spiritual guidance. She does not want our children to grow up the same way. She wants them to feel purpose that she did not feel, and to understand a belief structure.

Me, on the other hand, was raised in a religious household, being forced to go to church every Sunday and even doing youth activities that I did not want to do. I saw people not practicing what they preached and it made me sick. I saw a man made philosophy that was largely broken and often not fully followed. I saw plenty of people showing up to be seen, and having priorities all mixed up.

Now, this is not to say that I agree with the religion, but at least I understood it. I don't think most churchies know what they believe. They pick and choose what to follow and what not to follow. And then they only do that in the presence of other churchies. It drives me crazy, but yet I don't see it as all bad.

Is my wife right in that we need to raise our kids with some sort of religion? Should we teach them about various belief structures and let them decide on their own? I think the right call is somewhere in the middle, but finding that happy medium will not be easy.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

My child's sports heritage

So, I'm a big Bears fan, originally being from the Chicago area. And with them losing once again today, it really makes me wonder if my kids will want to be like their daddy and follow my teams, or if they'll want to be different and pick teams that aren't mine.

So I figure it can be broken down into a few possibilities.

  1. They want to be like their father and will follow the Bears and Bulls with affection. Sports will become a bonding experience between us and we will rejoice and suffer at the same time.
  2. They will be like their father in that they are a rebel and pick teams like the Packers and Pistons, and cheer when my teams fail. We will not experience joy or sadness at the same time.
  3. They will be influenced by their friends before I can sink my claws into them and enjoy whatever team is popular at the time. I'm sort of indifferent as far as this tactic goes.
  4. They won't care for sports, taking after their mother. I guess I could live with this too, as long as they don't wear green and gold on Sundays.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Really scary stuff

My wife is a big Oprah fan, like many women, and the other day was this story on child predators. That stuff scares me to death as a future father, and current uncle.

Now I'm generally a trusting person, giving people the opportunity to prove me wrong. I don't know if I can take that perspective with my kids. I'm pretty sure I'll have to do some recon at the homes, and possibly some spying on my neighbors internet activity to ease my fears.

It just blows me away that people are out there like that. I can imagine myself doing some pretty horrible stuff, stuff I never would actually do but I can still see some outrageous circumstances to bring them about. This, this I cannot understand at all. I get that there are plenty of sexual freaks out there, into things I'll never understand, but I can respect that fact. One man's garbage is another man's fetish. But really, how? How can that possibly be something that someone is into?

Anyway, it's one of my greater fears for my children. I expect my wife and I to do more than what we really should be doing to investigate our kids' friends' parents, but without being able to read minds we'll never really know. that lack of control or information is really scary to me, mostly because the consequences for not knowing are so severe.

Anyway, I plan on doing some research into that law that Oprah is discussing to see what it actually does. Hopefully it's as good as she advertises, or at least a positive step in the right direction without stepping on our rights as citizens. It's a fine line, one that isn't very often walked, but one I highly respect. If I find anything substantive, I'll make sure to post it.

Friday, September 19, 2008

Doubts creeping in

So my wife just comes up to me and asks how I'd feel if we didn't try this month to get pregnant. I told her I don't see why we wouldn't, and would be pretty frustrated.

This caused her to bring up her actual argument, she's doubting whether we should just try for a boy, and not just try. She would be really frustrated and wants to just try. I still like holding some sort of power and control over the situation and would like to try for a boy.

See, she's starting to worry we won't get pregnant this month. It's about a 25% try for it in general, so we had to address her expectations. I don't know if she is very good at playing numbers games and odds, but the odds are we won't get pregnant this first try. Odds are decent it will happen in 2 tries, but really nothing is a guarantee.

See, this is the kind of thing that drives me crazy. It's a waiting game, where persistence pays off. My dad wasn't even supposed to have kids his sperm count was so low, but he fathered 5 (all with my mother, btw, he was no NBA star). It will happen, as long as we keep doing the things that physiologically need to be done.


Ok, I'm not a big dreamer in general. Either I don't remember them, or I don't have them, it's hard to tell. Last night, however, I had a dream that we had a son sleeping between my wife and I. He was so small and fragile, I wasn't able to sleep (yeah, can't sleep in my dream) and so I just picked him up and held him all night. It wasn't an eventful dream, but it did pull up feelings of love and anticipation I knew were there, but weren't really prevalent.

It's weird the way we've been preparing for parenthood that it's become very real, and we haven't even concieved yet. I feel like my child is alive and well and someone I'm actively taking care of. Anticipation can be great and all, but I'm pretty sure it's going to try my patience. But I know I'll get nervous once the moment finally arrives.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

What has changed since deciding to have a child

New running item; What has changed since having a child

1. I exercise more, not for vanity or even my own self interest, but in order to stay around longer for the child.

2. I've already started re-arranging the priorities for my purchases, and I want things more for my child than I do myself. What an odd feeling.

3. I always have an easy motivator when I'm in a rough spot.

More to come on this as I'm sure I'll continually think of new things that have changed in my life because of children. Some good, some not so good. We'll see.

To summarize

So to sum up where I'm at currently, we're set to start trying for real in about 10 days or so. We've plotted and planned this out quite a bit, my wife more so than me, and we're pretty much ready.

So we've got names planned, loosely at least. Things are still open for change on that front. We've determined that we are trying for a boy. My reasons are I like the fact that we can and it's easier to get a boy. It's my mini version of intelligent design, but it's actually based on fact and science!

We're planning on the hardware we will be buying to support this child. We have not completely agreed on all of those as of yet, but plenty of those are financial based. It's amazing to me just how expensive some of the simple designs are, and really how excruciatingly expensive some of the top of the line stuff is. I'm an elitist, and I want the best, but how can I justify spending $1400 on a stroller? It's a big pill to swallow, and already indicitve of the sacrifices I will be making for my child. At this point, I'm okay with it, but it's still not an easy thing to do.

We haven't decided on a birthing method either. I think we both prefer a natural, possibly water method. I'm just not so sure the wife can handle it. And on top of that, I don't know if I can handle seeing her struggle to handle it. I love my wife so much, seeing her in pain isn't easy. It will be hard enough seeing her nauseated for a couple of months.

I guess to sum it up, we're planning and I'm nervous and a bit scared. But we're still going forward with it, at least with the practicing the conception part.

And there was light!

Ok, so I've briefly discussed this with my wife, but I'm starting without her. She likes having editorial control over these things, but I think she'll like it all when she sees it.

So, a rundown of what my blog will be. My wife and I are about to start trying to have a baby and I want to document that process, and then possibly continue it on to what it's like being a father. This is for me, for my wife, and for my future kid(s). If anyone else reads and enjoys, well, that is just gravy.