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Archive for July, 2011

Our baby will be 1 month old on Wednesday. Now this is our first baby and we know that we have NO IDEA what we are doing!

We read books, looked online, subscribed to magazines, I even have some of my Nursing friends on speed dial… just in case. We know we are good parents… but we are far from perfect parents. I do not think the perfect parent exists, but we do our best. If one thing doesn’t work to make our little girl happy, we talk about it and try something else. Eventually we arrive at a good conclusion but sometimes it takes a little while.

There is one thing that never ceases to amaze me and that is overabundance of advice we receive…

Mostly unsolicited!

Now, the people giving us this advice are good parents (for the most part) and their intentions are in the right place (depending on the interpretation), but at the this time we have only asked 2 people for advice, My sister and my Mother-in-law. We have received advice, which sounds more like all these people are going to write their own bringing-up-baby books, from MANY people.

I had a long phone call with a family member mainly about how we NEED to bring up our daughter and what to look for, etc. Unbeknownst to them, my wife and I had already talked about it and are in agreement that we have no desire to try and mold our child similar to their child. I mean there are bits and pieces we have noticed about all these friends and family members children we like and we hope our daughter learns, but for the most part … it’s a crap shoot.

We appreciate all the advice people give us, most times we listen politely and nod our heads and smile.

We have received over 5 different opinions on what bottles and diapers to use.

We have been school in the science of baby formula and breast feeding and which formulas to use and not use because they did/did not work on their baby. (We had an unfortunate issue with breast feeding so we are not doing that and that also posed a big issue with people)

But this is our baby.

We have our own ideas of what we want to do.

What works on one child may not work on another.

We have been scolded about burping techniques and the bottles we use.

All we want is a happy, healthy (and sometimes quiet) baby girl. And that is what we have, although the quiet part is not always happening.

Believe us when we say, when we need advice we will ask for it. We welcome advice, we just prefer it to be more advice and a lot less judgment or negative criticism.

Does this happen with everyone when they have a new baby? Are we to expect this when we decide to have a 2nd child?

If it does, we will accept all advice graciously (as we have been) and with open arms… just please don’t be offended if we discard your way and do it our own way!

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This week’s Writer’s Workshop topics were really good. I could have easily written about almost all of them, but I chose this one. With the new baby and getting used to the schedule and lack of sleep, I chose to do an easier topic to write about… but I may write about one of the other topics later in the week!

Anyway, I first heard this joke back in High School. With how old this joke is I am ALWAYS surprised that no one has ever heard it before when I tell it and they also ALWAYS choose the wrong answer.

It is more of a kids joke, but I like funny, clean kids jokes over adult, vulgar ones… most of the time anyway. I mean, do we REALLY need to always have a joke about a big-breasted Barbie woman doing dumb things?… Well, those jokes are always funny as well J

Ok, so without further ado… here is my joke:

What can run faster… A cheetah… or the Lion King?

You give up yet?

You say cheetah? WRONG!!

This Lion King… because he can MUFASA!!! J

I know you giggled!

Have you ever heard this joke before? Tell me your favorite kid-friendly joke.

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This past weekend was the first time since our baby was born 2 ½ weeks ago that we took her out. I mean we took her to the doctor’s office but never, really out. Once my wife did take her when she went for a walk up and down our street a few times, but she was back in 10 minutes. This time was a REAL outing.

When I talk outing, I mean OUTING! With strollers and diaper bags and car seats and all that fun stuff that we NEVER had to bring with us before.

I thought Erica would be REALLY nervous about it, but she actually seemed really excited about it! I was so proud of her. It was actually her idea.

We loaded the baby in the car seat after Erica had stocked the diaper bag with everything needed for ANY baby emergency. We had diapers and formula and Erica even sunscreened the baby! Everything was set.

I put her in her car seat on the base in my truck and we left, looking forward to the adventure we were about to embark on… for the first time (But CERTAINLY not the last!).

And our adventure started out great… for 8 blocks. Then we had to turn around and get the stroller which was in Erica’s car and we were in my truck. But after THAT, we were TOTALLY on the way!

I felt Erica may have been a little nervous with us driving with the baby, and honestly, I was a little as well, so I took back roads all the way to Caumsett State Park. This place is really nice and we had been there once before. Well, I had been there before but I was like 14 or 15 and I was with Mark and everyone during one of our bicycle rides.

Erica had been there before as well and Erica and I had only been there once during the time we were dating. We took our bikes and road around because there is this really long and nice paved pathway all around the grounds.

We walked about 2 or 3 miles total. We took a walk past this big tree where everyone carves their names and whatnot. I went and took some pictures of the tree while Erica fed the baby up on the trail.

We wound up at the main mansion and took more pictures. I remember when Erica and I had been there last she would not let me take a picture of her because she hated pictures. Well, during the course of our dating, I have convinced her that pictures are awesome and now she loves taking pictures. I mean pictures are all we have left to show where we went, and that we were here at some point.

Although it was a VERY hot day, Megan was very comfortable. She slept for almost all of it, but I am pretty sure she loves rides in the car and in the stroller. It was definitely good for us to get out. More for Erica than for myself as I have been going to work for the last week. People can become a little testy when they are cooped up too long. Erica has been AMAZING in spite of not really going out since giving birth, but I am sure she was very happy to be out in fresh air and reclaiming some semblance of our life.

We know our lives are dramatically changed forever… and we are happy and excited about it. We are still learning how we are going to cope and adjust to these changes… but we are looking forward to these changes. We are looking forward to our daughter growing up (but hoping it doesn’t happen too fast). We are also looking forward to all the positive changes that are coming to us after all these negative ones which have happened over the last year!

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This week for the writer’s workshop I chose the top 10 TV shows. These are the shows that I grew up watching. Most were educational in some fashion but some were just only there for entertainment purposes. Although I feel it is important to learn, I also think it is important to relax and just entertain. Here is the list of TV shows I grew up with:

  1. You can’t do that on Television

    I grew up with this show and it was my favorite for a VERY long time. I still remember, over 20 10 years later that saying “I Don’t Know” meant you were going to be slimed and saying “Water” meant a bucket of water was going to be dumped on your head! I remember the introduction to the opposites and locker jokes. Although I want my daughter to watch educational shows, when she is old enough to understand it all, I also think some brainless, comedic down time (besides the kind of brainless humor I will provide) is also needed.

  2. The facts of Life

    This was a good show at the time. It touched on topics needed to be addressed like when Blair fell out of love with her boyfriend of a very long period of time and Mrs. Garrett explained how that can happen and its ok if that happens. My wife sill misses this show as well.

  3. Buck Roger’s in the 25th Century

    This was a good show. It was not as good as Star Trek: Next Generation that actually explored space, possibilities as well as many of the star trek concepts which are based on possibilities and even being worked on today, such as a light speed engine for us to explore beyond our galaxy.

  4. Zoom

    This was my after school show. I don’t remember a lot of it but I do remember that its main theme was making friends and friendships. I even remember a little of the theme song! ” Come on and zoom down to my zoom… come on and zooma zooma zooma zoom… everyone is doing it everyone is making it fly high!” Ok maybe the theme song is more about giving in to peer pressure and maybe drugs? Maybe we will cross this one off the list!

  5. Electric Company

    This was a good educational show. I remember at one point they wanted to try and bring this show back, but what was good for the 70’s is not good for the 21st century. Keeping things up to date and with current needs of kids who are getting smarter and learning more at a faster rate is needed.

  6. The Incredible Hulk

    I used to watch this show on Wednesday nights, I believe. I think bringing it back with a little more educational theme would be good. I mean Bruce is wondering the US trying to find a cure why not go a little further into the chemistry of what he is trying to do or maybe a little more geography about the places he is traveling to. Granted, as the hulk, he rips his pants to pieces and yet his pants and clothes are fine when he changes back and he ALWAYS found his wallet by the end of the show… go figure.

  7. Mr. Wizards World

    This was a GREAT learning show. I used to try some of the experiments with the show, when my parents let me. My mother was a great person, but not very supportive of things like this. I know I plan on letting our daughter try anything like this that she wants to. If she is anything like me, she learns more from doing and from a mistake than from only watching or reading.

  8. Three’s Company

    This is just great slapstick comedy and my wife LOVES this show. Our DVR is usually full of reruns of the show she tapes because she loves it so much.

  9. Mr. Roger’s Neighborhood

    This was a good educational program. Although, I never knew that Mr. Rogers was a minister but it was obvious that religion was not a part of the show so I think that is good. Informing kids of cultures and information is great, this way they can form their own opinion of things.

  10. Mork & Mindy

    How could you NOT like Mork and Mindy! It was the only show that made me laugh for 30 minutes both as a child AND as an adult. I still think Orson was a jerk for not letting Mork return home when he wanted to but he did have a mission.

Do you remember any of these?

 

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My wife and I had some ups and downs about our Birth announcements but this is what we finally agreed on!

 

Photo Card
View the entire collection of cards.

 

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This has been a crazy couple of weeks for me, what with my wife experiencing some minor complications from pregnancy, being induced and ultimately giving birth to our first child – I have been thinking of how LITTLE I know about children. Until now I have been the cool, fun uncle! I would go over my brothers house and all my nieces and nephews would stop playing the chaotic game of run-around-the-yard-screaming and run to me to give me hugs and kisses. My brother would also comment to me that I was the ONLY adult the kids did this for… other children included! It definitely make me feel happy, important and appreciated – even if it was from people less than 3 feet tall. Strike that. What I mean is ESPECIALLY because it was from people less than 3 feet tall!

I am the uncle who comes over and plays with them for hours doing whatever they wanted to do.

Want to shoot me with the super soaker so it looks like I peed my pants! No problem… water dries.

Want to put the salamanders you found in my hair when I wasn’t looking? Easy peast, go for it! I am going to wash my when I take a shower since it looks like I peed myself anyway!

Want to run all the way across the house and jump directly onto my fatty mcfatterson belly? Go for it. I won’t let you fall or get hurt.

I was able to give them ice cream at 9pm AND get away with it because I was the uncle. If my brother tried to get upset with me… Hey! I NEVER get to see the kids so I am allowed to spoil them.

There were some things I did learn from being the great uncle:

  1. NEVER play with a child under the age of 3 directly AFTER they were fed. Apparently formula has a tendency to come back up and spew from their mouth like a volcanic science experiment.
  2. Pots and pans and wooden spoons are good (for me anyway since I get to go home after! J ) but NEVER do pots and pans and Hammers!! Eventually they are going to use the hammer on something else hoping it sounds better. Poor dog!
  3. Never start a game that involves too much lifting and throwing… especially when they are at the AGAIN stage! This is great if you are trying to tone up but apparently no more does not exist in their vocabulary until around age 6.
  4. Teaching the kids how to change the channels on the remote is fun… unless you are watching the game over their house! It is inevitable that out of the 2 hours of any game you try to watch, you will only see about 20-30 minutes and the rest is going to be about some lame sponge who lives in a pineapple under the sea.
  5. Never lay on the floor to watch TV unless you remember you WILL become the pony and EVERY ONE will want a ride!

I do have to admit though, some of the things I complain about I loved doing with them and still do with them. I also plan on doing them with my own daughter when she is old enough and doing stuff like this makes it ALL worth it when I walk into the house and hear “UNCLE JIMMY!!” and get tackled with hugs and kisses.

Now that I have my own daughter I am exposed to all that behind-the-scenes nurturing I missed. Right now it is a little difficult because at only 9 days old she doesn’t seem to recognize things too much. I see her open her eyes and look at me or my wife but its just her starting to learn how to use her eyes and focus. And when I say something to make her smile, it never works… yet. I have seen her make many different faces, but I know they are all just random faces without any reaction for them. And the sounds! She makes so many funny sounds and I also know these are just sounds she is making as she starts to realize about her ears and that it is her making them. I know as my daughter starts to discover the world around her that she will become more aware and the closer she will be to becoming the little girl I can be the pony for… or the target for her water pistol… or the couch to climb on when she wants to watch cartoons. And I am looking forward to all of that… from the OTHER side of the camera.

Here is what I have learned so far:

  1. Although our gorgeous girl was only 7 lbs 2 oz at birth, I think it is approximately the same amount of spit up, poop and pee comes out of her every DAY!!!
  2. You can go through diapers faster than a box of Kleenex during allergy season. I bought a box of over 100 diapers thinking it would last about 3 months, not realizing that you change the baby MANY times throughout the day! She is only 9 days old and we are halfway through our first box and we have a 2nd box on standby!
  3. To prepare for feedings, your kitchen cabinets will look like a Costco for baby formula.
  4. No matter how much you prepare so that you have EVERYTHING for when the baby comes… you will NEVER have enough.
  5. You will not realize how much you can love such a small person who is only minutes old, even though you know she isn’t able to understand the world around her yet.

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