Sunday, August 16, 2009

Time off of work is great

So my work is pretty cool.  I get 2 weeks of paternity leave when my wife has a child.  I also saved up 12 vacation days and have used it all at once.  I've been home for 3 weeks now, with another week and a half to go.

All I can say is that is a great decision I've made.  I've had all the time to bond with my boy.  It's been amazing.  I have sadly started to drift off into thoughts of work.  I love spending time with him, but work is a large part of my life.  I feel bad that I think of work while I'm with him.  He and my wife are my life, or really probably like 99% of my life.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Life changes can be crazy

That instant is the instant every father will remember the rest of their lives, when you first see your child pass from status of "fetus" to status of "live human." It's an amazing moment that is so big and drastic, it will probably take me years to realize just how deep that crater of impact runs.

Moments like those are such a rarity in life, you would think we would appreciate them more.  I had my total focus on the moment.  I was completely in it and enjoying every second of it.  Yet, some of it seems to be fading from memory.  I don't know if I truly appreciated and soaked in every second of it.  I'm logically and rationally sure I did, but emotionally I feel like it's slipping.

What would make it easier would be if I could put things into words.  Language has many strengths, but it can be very limiting still.  That moment of seeing his head starting to pop out was so mind blowing.  It's like being hit with a sledge hammer over the head, but it does hurt, it just breaks down your old self and reveals a greater purpose for yourself.  You feel true meaning in your life, and now really understand what responsibility really is.  And the joy, you really feel blissful joy.  I've had plenty of really happy times in my life, my wedding my graduation etc., but nothing even approaches just the flood of joy you feel when you meet your child for the first time.  I'm not a big religious person, but that moment you know God.  

And the bond you feel with your wife...  wow.  It's all the same you feel toward your child.  Plus you throw in a touch of concern and sympathy due to the pain of giving birth.  It's an amazing thing that she did and she did it great.  Our boy is perfect, largely because of all her efforts.  I could never love her more or be more proud of her.

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

He arrived

I'm posting this at the time of his birth, but clearly writing it well after.  

I have to say, nothing is more profoundly life altering than watching your child being born.  I know I'm not the first or last to espouse this claim, but words just cannot describe just how miraculous it is.  The most powerful joyous emotions I have ever felt all rushed in the moment I saw that little head poking through.  The tufts of hair brought tears to my eyes.  The earnest cry for air tugged at my heart.  Stroking his face for the first time as he rested on his mother's chest nearly buckled my knees as I was so tremendously happy to meet my son for the first time.  

For anyone considering having children, do it now.  Don't wait.  You'll never be ready and never have enough money and it will never be the right time.  It will blow your mind though just how great it is.

Now 8 days over

So we're in the hospital now. The dear wife is having trouble and it's hard to see her go through it.  Labor is something I totally lucked out in not having to do in my life.   So we got here around 3am and checked in.  This after trying to get things going a few of the natural ways like walking, spicy foods etc.  The walking worked the best and got us on a good rhythm of contractions.  Then after we'd rest, things would go back to sporatic and inconsistant.

So even though contractions were ranging from 3 mins to 20 mins apart, we came in to see what we could do.  The contractions are getting harder and more consistant, but still not catching a regular schedule just yet.  Since we're now 8 days over due, we won't be getting sent home, but who knows when this child will be arriving.  I'm excited to meet him!

Friday, July 24, 2009

3 Days Over Due

If this kid was a library book, I'd owe $0.75 on him.  He's now 3 days overdue, which is average for a first child.  I've been a cool cucumber up until now, but I'm starting to be a ball of nerves anxious to get this going.  Keep your fingers crossed. 

Thursday, July 16, 2009

T-Minus 5 days

So the house is almost completely re-arranged now to accommodate our soon to be coming new resident. It's pretty exciting, I can't wait for it to happen

Friday, June 12, 2009

So I’ve been busy and stuff

It’s been a long while since I’ve updated, so here’s a quick catch up as to what is going on.

  • We are now at 34 weeks. It’s coming up fast. So far she’s been pretty textbook, which is great, but we’re preparing like she won’t be.
  • We’ve been taking Bradley classes. They’ve been very informative. I’m not sure how natural we will be going, but it is good to get both sides of the coin.
  • We are now pretty much completely out of space. This with the glider still coming. We need to either throw some things out or get some storage space somewhere. Or move, but that isn’t really an option right now.
  • We had a very successful couples baby shower.  It was a ton of fun and our friends and family are all very generous people.
  • I have my video camera ordered.  That’s my father’s day gift :)
  • No major symptoms right now other than lots of aches and pains. 

So, I’m sure I have missed some things, but everything is progressing well.  It’s kind of weird, but as it gets closer, I tend to get both more serene and more stressed out.  Sort of a calm panic as it were.  Anyway, I am going to try to pick back up on the blogging part of our show and see if I can keep it going.  I might even take the laptop in and blog during labor, but we’ll see if I’m allowed to do that.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

How can something so small take up so much space?

So even though our boy is still a while from being, he now takes up about as much space as I do. It's amazing how much stuff is useful (note, not required as pretty all we really need is food and shelter) that we have bought. It takes a village's worth of stuff to raise a kid nowadays apparently.

So we now have all the stuff we really need while leaving some things for the baby shower. We have a crib, changing table, stroller, car seat, a whole mess of clothes, and probably a million other things that I'm forgetting. So now we've been clearing out boxes and breaking them down and throwing out volumes of styrofoam. It's nuts, and we're not even close to being done as there are plenty of things we will need to get once the kid arrives.

So does anyone else find it ironic that supposedly green companies pack their stuff in styrofoam and multiple boxes? Seems kind of wasteful to me.

Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Warning: This post may cause injury or even death

So last night we assembled the changing table. The assembly part wasn't bad, but out of the 6 or 7 major parts, there were 4 huge stickers warning of my baby's death on them. Clearly changing a diaper can be quite the adventure. Should I not have gotten the changing table with the buzz-saw and surgical lasers?

Anyway, something that should have taken 30-45 minutes ended up being two and a half hours, most of which was removing stickers and using goo gone to remove the sticky part. Thankfully the crib does not have that kind of sticker coverage, or else that would take forever too. That is on the slate for tonight.

So now that furniture is starting to get assembled, it's still being setup in our bedroom. The nursery still has not been completely cleared out of our office stuff. We're just about out of space and our little boy hasn't even set foot in this world yet.

Sunday, March 15, 2009

My brain is gonna change

I just read this little snippet about a father's brain transformation when he becomes a father. It's interesting that this happens for the guy despite not physically going through a change.

See, it's now known that both parents go through physical brain re-wirings when becoming a parent, which fascinates me. The specific changes in the man's brain is really interesting. It's more of a temporary change as the child grows. It really just reaffirms the primary goal as a parent: Make your kids strong enough to not need you anymore.

Thinking about that kind of makes me sad. I want my kids to need me forever, but I also want them to be able to stand on their own. I guess what I really want is for my kids to choose to need me, that way I get my cake and eat it too.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

He's kickin' already

So the wife has been feeling movement and kicking and prodding and whatnot. We've been doing a hit and miss trying for me to feel him. I'd be sitting at the computer working and she'd call me over. I would run over and feel nothing. I'd be downstairs and she'd call, so I'd run upstairs and feel nothing. It was like he had a shy leg.

So finally yesterday I was sitting with my hand there and watching TV with the wife when I felt a slight rumble on my palm. Nope, not him, the wife is hungry. So after a while longer, I feel a definite poke ... poke. That was definitely him, and she confirmed it.

So he's clearly small and weak right now, but I figured soon he'll be bruising my wife with his kicks and punches. It's all very exciting, and just when it seems like it's the most real thing ever, it gets more real.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

Movies I will make my son watch, and enjoy

So, with the Watchmen movie coming out soon, the inner nerd in me is coming up with lists of movies my son will be forced to watch with his daddy. These are my own personal favorites, and I'll also include an age I deem appropriate, at least at this point. That is subject to change depending on the kid himself as well as sometimes they're more or less impressionable than usual.

Some of these are just great movies.  Some just mean a lot to me for one reason or another.  Anyway, here's my list of movies, in no particular order:

Star Wars - The original trilogy - ASAP - If you don't know anything about Star Wars, you're my wife!  But seriously, great classic science fiction that is pretty much the basis for most people's love of sci-fi.

Fight Club - Not until young adulthood - This is my all time favorite movie.  It doesn't really teach much, but has some lessons on manhood and the like, although those messages aren't always good.

The Fisher King - Probably in the 10-12 year old range - A great and amazing story about how your actions can impact others, and giving back to those less fortunate.  Hilarious and touching all at once.

A Perfect World - Around 10-12 years old - I don't know why, but this movie reminds me of my dad.  I think it makes me cry just about every time.

The Lord of the Rings Trilogy - 5 years old and above - Just about everyone should know what this is about, and the reason I would put it here.

Dumb and Dumber - 6 or 7 years old - Only one of the funniest movies everywhere.  Let's you let loose and just have fun.  And man are fart jokes never old.

The Princess Bride - 5+ years old - Fantastic story of true love.  I'm the man in black and my wife is Buttercup.

Back to the Future - 5+ years old - Great story of time travel and how confidence can change your lot in life.

Raiders of the Lost Ark - 5+ years old - Only the best adventure movie ever.  Enjoyable at any age.

Forrest Gump - 8+ years old - You can do anything with a bit of effort and gumption.  Just don't let it go to your head.

Monday, March 2, 2009

It's a boy!

Today we had our 20 week ultrasound (1 day before 20 weeks technically) and first and most importantly everything is looking healthy and normal.  10 fingers, 10 toes, all in the correct proportions.  4 chambered heart, 2 kidneys, 1 stomach, 1 bladder all look good.  The skeletal structure all looked pretty good and solid as well.  

And then we got the news that we are 99% sure we're having a boy!  Now that is exciting.  Not necessarily because it's a boy, but because we know.  The baby has now moved from "it" to "he" which is a pretty big deal with how you see things.

My wife started crying so sweetly when she found out, and it's because she could see her future flashing before her eyes.  Before everything was blurry, but now it's become clear.  I couldn't have said it better myself.  

Now we're moving to the freak out stage, or at least my wife is.  See, she's from a family of girls, so she has lived with two men in her life, me and her father.  So she has yet to live with a little boy.  She doesn't know the rules to football.  She doesn't sword fight all that well.  She has probably never cleaned as much mud off of clothes as she will with our son.  She is starting to see things in a completely new way that is scary for her.  But she does have a resident expert on hand to assist with raising this child as I don't know if I've ever left that little boy stage.

For me, this does put a little more pressure on me to teach my son some of the things every boy should know.  Thankfully I'm somewhat into cars, sports, computers, video games, and pretty much everything else a boy should know.  But he will also need to be well rounded, which I pride myself in being, but I need to figure out a good balance to at least educate him in all these things.  I'm sure I'll do just fine, especially with the wife keeping me in check.  

To close it up, we are very happy.  We can't wait for our little boy to enter the world and be a part of the family.  And telling the family is so much fun as well!

Friday, February 27, 2009

Talking to your child

So the wife and I were discussing a few things about the baby and she said something that made me pause.  She said basically that I'm going to have to talk to our child about everything, boy or girl.  

Now that may not seem so bad, but once they start growing up it becomes awkward, especially if we're having a girl.  I mean, I can talk to our boy about anything, and probably will should we have one.  But with a girl, there are certain subjects that I would naturally defer to her mother.  I think we all know what I mean, but basically anything having to do with equipment I don't have.

Now one thing my wife pointed out to me is that it estranged her a bit from her father.  So, that is definatly one things I don't want.  I want to be close to my kids, and after some thought I want them to be comfortable enough with me to talk to me about anything.  So the conclusion I came to is my wife is right.  I will need to talk to my kids about anything.  

Thankfully, I won't need to bring up every subject, I can wait for them to come to me on the really awkward ones.  Sadly, the mildly awkward ones I will need to come to them if they do not come to me.  

Monday, February 23, 2009

Can it ever be clean enough?

So, with all the moving of furniture we're doing, we're currently cleaning out everything we can. We're talking deep cleaning the carpets and all. It has been tons of work, especially moving everything around to get the floor space to clean.

Now, with this being our first child, it's pretty easy to get carried away. We're definitely disproportionally optimistic compared to realistic. We want the best for everything and we haven't really figured out that line of diminishing returns. I'm sure we'll get there, but right now we haven't figured out just how clean clean enough is.

I am personally of the notion that was are overly clean and causing ourselves harm. This is especially true if you do it at a young age. I got this philosophy from George Carlin, but you can read about the science of it here.

Friday, February 20, 2009

So, with the nausea starting to subside, we're now dealing with a beast of another nature - heartburn. And it's not just mild heartburn every now and then. This is a pretty intense and fairly common heartburn.

So we're looking for good remedies for heartburn that are safe for pregnancy. We've heard papaya enzymes work and will try those, but what other things help?

On another note, the wife thinks she felt movement yesterday. She still makes fun of me because the day before she felt movement and I got all excited and tried to see if I could feel it. But then she clarified that it wasn't baby movement she was feeling.

So I really can't wait until the baby is moving. That is going to be nuts. That is when things will hit me again on how real this endeavor is, and that's both scary and exiting all at once. In fact I even dream about feeling the baby move now. I'm normally not a bid dreamer, but I've had tons of dreams about being both an awesome father and a big time failure. I think that covers the spectrum of my desires and my fears.

We're at 18 weeks or so now, only a couple of weeks until we go in for the big ultra sound and hopefully find out the gender. Then our real preparations can begin. Not this plain old cleaning that we're doing, which isn't exciting or fun, and just work.

Monday, February 16, 2009

Lack of fatherhood blogs

In doing my searches for like minded fathers and fathers to be, I found plenty of blogs, but not many of them are kept up. That is a bit disheartening. I'm pretty confidant I will keep this up, but I'm sure the others were also writing with the purpose of continued writing.

We shall see now, won't we? I also have not yet told my wife. I hope she approves, as this is for her and the child. Doing things for her always causes me a certain amount of anxiety as I like to make her happy. But I digress, as this isn't about her so much.

Well, it is a little about her as I discuss her pregnancy and whatnot. She is starting to show a bit and it's becoming uncomfortable for her. We ordered a maternity pillow for her. Hopefully that helps. If it doesn't, I'm sure you'll hear about it from me.

Friday, February 13, 2009

Since I haven't updated this for a bit

I know I claimed it would be running item, so maybe it's more of a jogging item, but here are a few more things that have changed since this whole endeavor has started:

4. I see movies and TV is a whole other light. I'm super sympathetic to parents and their plights. I saw Taken before getting pregnant and enjoyed it, and I watched it again recently and it kind of freaked me out thinking that in 18 or 19 years I might be dealing with similar issues. And I won't even be a badass to stop it.

5. My employment status is much more stressful now. I'm in no real danger of losing my job, but man does it feel more stressful in case I lose my job. I mean, I would live and so would my life, but uh, my baby don't make any money.

6. Our eating habits have changed. It's not that our diet has changed much, but where we go out to eat has changed. We're scoping out the more baby friendly joints and planning for the future.

7. I think about my father a whole lot more. My father died 11 years ago (when I was 19) and I've always thought about him plenty, but now I think about him more. I could really use his advice and guidance and picking his brain to find out what he went through becoming a father.

Thursday, February 12, 2009

Losing My Office

So we live in a two bedroom townhouse. It's fine for two people. Like everyone we could use more space, but we aren't in a crucial space crunch. But with the baby on the way, it's now looking like my office will be occupied by a baby and baby themed equipment.

So now is the time we need to clear out that room and paint if need be. It's currently a pretty awesome "Incredible Hulk" green. Technically it's an "Appletini" green, but that sounds too girlie for me. But my wife has come up with some schemes to use the green and paint flowers on it so it looks like a field. We'll see how creative we really feel when / if we do paint.

Then it's finding a place for the 2 desks, 1 TV, and 1 bed in there. The bed might actually stay for a bit as someone may need to wake up a lot and breast feed. Either way, whatever stays and goes we will still probably move everything out to do some cleaning and painting.

So where does all that go? If we had a basement, that would be and easy answer. But since we don't, it's likely the family room will have a larger computer presence in it. That leads me to needing to figure out the cabling situation and probably moving some stuff to storage. Who knew that something so small would take up so much space?

Purchasing a crib

Every time my wife says she wants to talk about Cribs, I can't help but think of the stupid MTV show Cribs. With that said, crib shopping can be just as overwhelming as everything else involved with having a baby.

First, you want something safe. There are apparently a million ways a crib can kill a child, and every crib advertises new ways that it prevents new ways of dying. It's pretty crazy. The best thing to do is head on down to a big store that has a large inventory, as well as a varied inventory. You need to see the high end as well as the low end to see what you're paying for.

Low end cribs are typically not solid wood and a little shaky. Those are the floor models. I hear from people that when you assemble them yourself, they aren't nearly that bad. Probably a sales technique for the expensive stuff. The low end ones all seem ok, but probably won't last if you want to put a second kid in it.

On the high end we see multithousand dollar cribs of solid wood and grand design. Throw in the words "certified organic" and you can throw another 25% on top of it. You're long past the point of diminishing returns when looking at these types of cribs. It's just crazy how intricate some of these designs are. Clearly more for the parent than the child.

So the middle tier is where we pretty much reside. We aren't poor, but we definately aren't rich by any means. So with the middle tier, you can still get solid wood and sturdy design. You get non toxic and safe and complying to all the safety standards and whatnot. You can even get what I consider to be overly elaborate design. We've decided to go with the Netto CUB Sleeper. We ordered it yesterday and now I'm overly excited to get it.

This leads me to my next post... Losing my office

Thursday, January 29, 2009

About to tell work

So now that the family knows, it's time to tell work. This will be fun to finally be able to spill the beans on my secret, especially because there are a few other people at work that are pregnant and due around the same time. Also, this will finally shut up all the people that have been nagging me to have kids of my own :)

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

So we told my family

One of the joys of being pregnant is actually getting to tell people about it. At least as long as it's a positive thing, which it definitely is for us. So today we finally broke the news to my family.

We started with my mother, who is quite baby crazy. She has nine grand kids already, so this will be her tenth. She was very excited and even said she is going to get started on a baby quilt, which my wife and I both love. We then went through the litany of brothers and sisters that I have and told them and they were all very thrilled.

The way we told them was very obvious, but still fun. We were both on speaker phone and asked them to guess why we were calling. Pretty much everyone got it right, except my oldest sister wasn't thinking that, but her kids were.

It's pretty fun to be able to share this joy with everyone now. Keeping that bottled up is perhaps the hardest secret I've had to keep.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

Babies Я Us

Lordy lordy has it been a while. Things are still going strong, and the morning sickness is still strong. We're at 12 weeks, so we're about to enter the second trimester, so hopefully those will subside shortly.

So, a big contributor to first child anxiety, Babies Я Us. Now I have been a pretty calm cucumber so far. I know I'll be a good father and my wife will be a great mother. We as a team can handle this. Going into Babies Я Us and doing a registry yesterday, it kind of planted some doubts in my head.

First, my wife is really on top of things. She definitely has things covered. I, on the other hand, haven't a clue like I thought I did. So we walk in and it's a pretty good sized store. They call it a super store for a reason. So right at the entrance is the registry uh, registration desk. So there's a good sized crowd there, but we only wait a few minutes and get to sit down.

After we sit down, we start with the paper work. There's a waiting list 5 deep, and now 6 deep for the scanner guns they use to register. As we are filling out paper work, they have a "code Adam". That's Babies Я Us talk for a lost child. The poor little girl was on the verge of tears and that brought my wife to the same verge. After a couple of minutes they girl's father shows up and gives ID and picks up his daughter.

So, after we finally complete the process we walk around for a bit looking at things we will need to check out. My wife is so on top of things, she pretty much knows like 80% of what to register for and figures we will complete that online. Phew, that will save us some time. I'm then informed we will be here for a while, and it's only the first trip of three or four.

So after about 30 minutes our name is called and we get a gun. We head right over to the car seats as that's something we feel we need to see in person. Let me say, there are a trillion options. Thankfully my dear wife has narrowed them down already based on safety reviews and whatnot, so we really only need to look at three. So we check those out, playing with them and trying to figure them out and we move on to cribs.

Now cribs are something I've never thought to be worthy of spending much on, but after looking at all these, the low end ones seems pretty unsafe and unstable to me. I don't think we'll be blowing our savings on one, but the solid wood ones seem like the way to go. So after looking at cribs for a bit, and a few other things, the wife is feeling hungry and nauseous, so we give the gun back and go grab some food at TGI Friday's.

Now, with constant morning sickness, the wife has some unusual demands. At least unusual for a man that will never have to be pregnant. So we order a small amount of food, but the highlight is the wife saying to the waitress, "Could you please not mention food to me?" Now, as she explained it's because thinking about food you don't want makes you more nauseous. The waitress was cool and nice about all that.

So we complete the refueling and head back. We do more investigation of cribs, look at the car seats with some help from the employees, look at play pens (by that I mean, pack 'n' plays), look at bassinets, look at the diaper disposal units, and my wife proceeds to educate me on all kinds of other things I had no clue about. Like what's a Bumbo? It's one of the many mysteries to me until I see it in action. I can't even recall half the things I learned that I had no idea about. It feels like I'm in over my head.

So, that was my day. My head is spinning still. I need to recenter myself so I'm not so freaked out.