Sunday, October 26, 2008

Could It Be the Surplus Estrogen in the House?

My wife went to Chicago for the weekend, so Hailey and I have been spending some quality time together. It's been pretty easy watching her, actually. She is such a happy baby, and she loves playing games with her daddy.

I've noticed recently that becoming a father has made me much more emotional. Not that I was made of granite before, mind you, but now the world has taken on new meaning to me. I find myself tearing up to certain songs and movies that never bothered me before.

For example, George Strait has a song called "I Saw God Today" about the birth of his baby girl.

The last verse says:

I got my face pressed up against the nursery glass
She's sleeping like a rock
My name on her wrist wearing tiny pink socks
She's got my nose, she's got her mama's eyes
My brand new baby girl
She's a miracle
I saw God today

By the time George gets to "miracle" I have a lump in my throat. Every. Single. Time.

Or take for example the song "Still Fighting It" by Ben Folds, a song to his son about how much it hurts to grow up. A bit more depressing, but still beautiful. One verse says:

We're still fighting it, we're still fighting it
You'll try and try and one day you'll fly
Away from me.

The idea of Hailey "flying away" from me is a tough pill to swallow. Oh, sure, I've got about 17 more years to enjoy her being in the house, but still...someday.

Is this normal? Do most new parents go through this? Or is it just from the lack of sleep, or in my case, the surplus of estrogen in the house?

Anyway, I am off to watch some football to reclaim my manhood. Maybe I will change my oil or shoot something afterward.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Nine Months and Counting

It's been a hectic summer and I haven't updated this blog in a while (Duh.) However, I actually had not one, not two, but THREE fans point out that they are eagerly awaiting an update. I'd like to think these people miss reading my witty posts on a semi-regular basis, but I know they probably just want more pictures of the baby. FINE! Have it your way.

Hailey will be nine months old this week. She is starting to get teeth, but that hasn't been too bad so far. She remains a generally happy baby. She laughs a lot and loves to play with Mommy and Daddy.

Even though Halloween is still six weeks away, we already picked out a Halloween costume for her. She will be going as a flower. And by "going," I mean she will be carried around to the neighbor's house so they see how cute she looks and fawn all over her. Not only is she too little for candy, she can't even walk yet (although her crawling is getting quite good. If you lay a Cheerio on the far side of the room, she is faster than a zit on prom night.)

Here, for your amusement, are some of the costumes we decided not to get. Enjoy.

Saturday, May 31, 2008

Daddy Phones It In...

It's been a long, long time since I posted an update, and several* fans have asked me to post updated pictures of Hailey. Here's one.

In all seriousness, it is really hard to keep this blog updated when you have a baby. You never realize how much free time you used to have until you have an infant. The feeding, bathing, changing and other parental duties take a lot out of you.

That said, Hailey turned five months old this week, and things have gotten much easier for us. She is sleeping through the night most nights and eating very well. Her personality is really starting to show, and let me tell you, she is a ham just like her daddy. Here's a picture of Hailey pretending to be drunk. And here's one of her pretending to be a little old man. And here is her Santa Claus impression. You can click around those albums to see a few more recent pictures of the world's cutest baby.

Anyway, I wanted to write something incredibly profound or at least mildly funny for this post, but the truth is that we just got back from a wedding (Congratulations Mark!) and I am exhausted. I will post something more entertaining when I am rested, probably in the next few days. In the meantime, you can watch this funny Chinese video on how to poop or this midget fight on Jerry Springer. You're welcome!


Saturday, March 1, 2008

Hailey's First Shots

Sorry that I haven’t written a new post in a while, but if you haven’t been keeping up, I have a baby now. If you think blogging is so easy you should go start your own.

Hailey is almost ten weeks old, and things have gotten a little easier. We have established a good sleep routine, which has made the nights more tolerable. Traci is getting up a couple of times at night to feed, but most experts say that the baby will start sleeping through the night somewhere around the third or fourth month.

Hailey only takes brief naps during the day; we have pretty much given up on those 90-minute daytime naps that other parents enjoy. We thought that was the norm, but several books we consulted said that some babies just don’t take long naps. I guess God chose to give us a good-looking baby instead of a good sleeper.

Hailey also went in last week for her first round of shots. I don’t remember at the moment what ailments the shots were supposed to prevent (Measles? Rubella? Scurvy?), but I trust that the doctor wasn’t giving her some kind of neurotoxin or performance enhancing drug.

Hailey got an oral dose of some yellow liquid, which she immediately spit up, followed by three injections in her legs. I had prepared myself for the crying, which was inevitable. What I wasn’t prepared for, however, was the nurse’s total indifference to my screaming child. Whereas the doctor had a great bedside manner with babies (baby talk, tickling, etc.), Nurse Ratched seemed to mock Hailey. She uttered phrases like “Does it hurt?” with all the compassion of a woman forced to work at a pediatrician’s office after getting laid off from the sausage factory.

Freshly-stuck Hailey did well, though, crying for a few minutes before falling asleep in her car seat. Before we left the pediatrician’s office, they gave us the ominous warning that she could be “fussy” later, and told us to give her liquid Tylenol every four hours. We ran some errands and Hailey slept soundly, but by the time we got home we had passed the four-hour mark, a mistake we will NEVER make again.

When she awoke form her nap, Hailey commenced screaming, her legs red and tender from the morning’s shots. The more she cried, the more she shook her legs. The more she shook her legs, the more it hurt. The more it hurt, the more she cried, and so on. We gave her the Tylenol and applied a cool washrag to her legs, but that didn’t seem to help. Her screams would die down into loud crying, then softer crying, followed by a brief moment of just heavy breathing, Followed by more screaming. This was not my definition of “fussy.” Traci and I had to soothe her in 15-minute shifts, since neither of us could stand to be in the room for long. All in all, she cried for about 90 minutes before finally calming down.

I suspect all new parents experience that “Holy sh*t, what have we gotten ourselves into?” moment at some point. I have already experienced it a few times myself. Believe it or not, I didn’t experience it when Hailey was screaming over her sore legs. No, I experienced that holy sh*t moment later when I realized that her crying would be much worse and last much longer when she comes down with an illness, as all children do at some point. Lord help us.

This is turning into a more negative post than I had anticipated, so let me leave you with this: it’s all very much worth it. Despite the crying, despite the late-night feedings, despite the dirty diapers, the loss of free time and expendable income, it’s all completely, unquestionably worth it. When I am talking to Hailey and she looks up and gives me a big, goofy smile, everything is right with the world. How could you not love a face like this?

Monday, February 11, 2008

Short Update

I've been busy and haven't posted for awhile. Sorry about that. I was able to come up with a new banner for the blog, though. Let me know what you think!

Hailey will turn seven weeks old this week, but Traci and I have aged considerably. We are finally starting to get her in good schedule: feeding, followed by an hour or so of activity, then a nap. There was a lot of screaming and fussing to get to this point, and Hailey wasn't cooperating, either. (Ba-dum-bum!)

I am back at work now and can't wait to come home and see Hailey every day. We can sometimes make her smile by tickling her cheek or talking in a high-pitched voice. I can honestly tell you that you have never experienced true joy until you have made an infant smile. Traci and I are eating it up.

Traci is still breastfeeding, and Hailey has visibly grown since we brought her home. She already has a round belly like daddy. I've also noticed that even at six weeks of age, she does not have much hair at all. She also has cankle. At first I was really worried that I would have a fat daughter, but I was later told that this is normal and most babies grow out of it. What a relief.

Speaking of overweight babies, what do you all think of this onesie? Should I get it?

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Safe Baby Handling Tips

I was reading some other baby blogs last night when I came to the realization that none of them are as spectacularly awesome as this one. Even so, I did find some hilarious pictures from a book called Safe Baby Handling Tips by David and Kelly Sopp. The book is available at Amazon, so be sure to buy a copy so they don't sue me for posting some of their pictures here.

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

The Importance of Choosing a Good Name

Choosing a baby name can be a long and laborious process. Some people want something pretty. Some want something with religious significance. Some parents want something noble, and others want to use a family name. However, nobody wants a name that reminds them of someone they hate. Since I pretty much hate everyone, picking Hailey's name was especially difficult.

Traci and I went back and forth for months trying to find the perfect name for our daughter. We would play name games, going through the entire alphabet and listing as many names for each letter as we could. It was fun to offer up names like Beulah, Traci, Jr., Shananay and Asswipe (pronounced Oz-wee-pay.) As usual, Traci didn't appreciate my levity.

Then we started pouring through baby books to get some fresh ideas. Incidentally, baby books can be a rip off. They often have titles like 100,000 Baby Names, but when you open them you see that they are counting dozens of variations for each name. For example, William has 18 variations listed (William, Bill, Billy, Billie, Guglielmo, Guillame, Guillermo, Liam, Wilek, Wilhelm, Will, Willem, Willi, Willy, Willie, Willis, Wilmar and Wilmer.) No matter what the cover says, you are probably paying for only a few thousand names.

However, the baby name books are quite handy for looking up name meanings. I had no idea that so many perfectly normal names have such goofy meanings behind them. Here's a quick sample:

Ashley - from the ash tree meadow
Tabitha - gazelle
Parker - guardian of the park
Barbara - stranger (So when you tell your kids not to talk to strangers, you are really telling them not to talk to Barbaras.)
Tara - rocky pinnacle
Nigel - black (Nigel makes me think of a stuffy English butler, which is pretty much the opposite of black.)
Leslie -from the gray fortress
Jeff - goat anus (HA! Just kidding. Jeff really means horse anus.)

My own name means "black river," which conjures up images of a sewage treatment plant. Of course, none of these are as bad as the New Zealand couple who named their child "Superman." Why not just name your child "Human Punching Bag," since that's what he will be on the playground when he gets older?

Superman: "Hey guys, can I play Hot Wheels with you?
Kid with Normal Name: "Sure. You can use this red one. What's your name, kid?"
Superman: "Superman."
Kid with Normal Name: "Ohhhh, really??? What, you think you're better than me? POW!"

Except that he won't actually say "pow," it would just the sound of his fist hitting Superman in the nose. More sounds would follow, but they would mainly consist of Superman's sobbing as the other fourth graders gang up on him.

Of course, you can't blame the couple for giving their kid such an unconventional name. The New Zealand government shot down their first choice, "4Real." Ladies and gentlemen, this is why you shouldn't smoke pot when picking a name.

Anyhoo, back to our daughter's name...we agreed that Hailey was a pretty name, and it means "heroine." That's a female hero, not the drug, which is spelled "heroin." In keeping with a household tradition, I also gave her the nickname of Princess Fussypants. The dog is Baby Stinkbutt and the wife is...well, she is just Traci, or sometimes Dear. She has some nicknames for me, as well, but none of them are clean enough to publish here.