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Archive for the ‘Parenthood’ Category

It’s been a couple of weeks, but I finally found time to blog. Well, only for the next few minutes since already had her 2 hour nap… lying on top of me. I am sure everyone has gone through that. You want them to sleep so you stay still, but you have things you need to get done and you calculate the probability of getting up and baby doesn’t wake up. The odds were not in my favor so for two hours I lay watching TV with my 18 pound bundle of snoring stayed on my chest sleeping and for most of that time I was thankful that I didn’t have to go to the bathroom – until I HAD to.

Anyway, for this weeks’ Writer’s Workshop I chose to write about what I like the most about my baby’s room.


Now I love just about everything about my daughter’s room. If you ask my wife she is going to say she loves the wall decorations best!

I agree that they came out amazing, but I am a guy and we like different things. I like the changing table and crib the best.

OK, I MAINLY like these the best because I put them together myself and I think they are really good looking as well as the fact that I picked out the crib! We were at BuyBuyBaby I think and we were looking at all the cribs. We were astonished at how expensive these things were and we didn’t even like them that much. The one crib we did like we did not purchase.

The crib was nice and well-made but now, 9 months later, I am glad we didn’t buy it because it would not have worked for us. It was a crib with an attached changing table next to it. I thought it was great and it was less expensive than the other ones we were looking at which we didn’t even like that much. Now that it’s 9 months later, I know that it would have been WAY too small and we would have needed to buy a changing table anyway. But while walking through the store we happened across their clearance section. They had TONS of things and they were so much less expensive than the other ones we didn’t even like. We couldn’t even find any real problems with any of the pieces.

We found 2 cribs we really liked and they were both the same price, which was over $150 less than anything we had seen. My wife liked one and I liked this one better. After talking to the sales person, we found that the one Erica wanted was discontinued so finding parts for it, such as the side rails to make it a full bed, or the side to make it a toddler bed, would not be easy to find.

The one I liked was current, so buying the parts would not be a problem at all when the time came.

After we talked about it for a while, she ultimately agreed with me and this is the crib we picked and it’s been AWESOME.

It’s made by a company called Mother Hubbard’s Cupboard, which is a furniture company based in Canada. When we bought the crib, it did not have a box or instructions on how to assemble it after they disassembled it and gave it to us. I put together 80% of it, but then I was a little stuck for the rest so I emailed the company. To my surprise they called me back a few hours later and even emailed me a copy of the instructions in .pdf form.

This crib has been with our little MJ since she was 3 months old and now she is getting so big so fast that we had to lower the mattress level.

I think it’s my favorite piece because it looks amazing but also because it was the first thing I essentially built for my little girl.

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This week I decided to write about a time I was tricked.

At first I thought, “This is going to be difficult!” but then, after only a few minutes I had my post in my head and just needed to put it on wordpress! I think it’s pretty bad that it only took me a few minutes for this to pop into my head. Apparently I was a very gullible kid… but it always backfires in the end!

It was a LOOOONG time ago… in a town not so far away.

I think I was about 11 or 12. I used to love to ride my bicycle EVERYWHERE! I rode distances at 12 years old that some people can’t even do in the 20’s or 30’s! But Long Island was different back then.

Anyway, I had just arrived home from a very long ride. My Aunt Cathy was over and her and my mom was in the kitchen having coffee or whatever relatives do. I walked in, said hello and then went directly upstairs to take a nap. My annoying brother was in the living room watching TV.

I remember lying down and hearing my mother and Aunt talking and then my mother called in to the living room for my brother…

IDIOT BROTHER: What ma!

Mother: I need you to go to the store for me.

IDIOT BROTHER: I just got back from going to the store for you!

Mom: Yeah, but I forgot some things. Can’t you go for me please?

IDIOT BROTHER: No. You should not have forgotten anything. It’s faster if you drive anyway.

Mom: You’re an idiot. At least your brother is nice and I can count on him to go for me. Jim!

Me: What?

Mom: I know you will go to the store for me unlike your brother!

Me: OK. What do you need?

I still remember the smirk on my Aunts face as I had not yet realized I had been duped into going to the store for my mother. I didn’t realize it until I was halfway there that she was just buttering me up so I would go for her.

When I got to the store, I remember what she wanted was on sale so I used the extra money to play Pac-Man for over an hour. When I arrived home my mom was upset that it took me so long.

My answer? “You asked me to go but you never said you needed me to come back right away!”

Ha ha. Sometimes the things we remember without thinking about it.

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There are certain things about having a child that we know, as parents, we will have to endure and deal with. We will do our best when that happens but we still have to endure it. Things like our kid falling off a swing or their bicycle. Bringing them to the hospital and help them through the experience, sometimes somewhat traumatic, of having to become the receiver of shots, stitches or even a cast.

But how do we get past when our babies don’t even have the opportunity to be born? It’s hard on every level.

If you are a good parent, you want the best for your child so you stop doing things once you learn you are pregnant. You stop eating cold cuts, certain cheeses, coffee (and for most people no coffee is a sacrilege!) We did it all perfectly correct… or I should say my amazing wife did. She stopped drinking coffee, she hasn’t had anything from her favorite place Quiznos since we found out, and she took prenatal vitamins immediately. Everything was being done as they say it should be done.

I didn’t go to the first sonogram of our 2nd child because I had to work and we didn’t expect any complications. Neither did our doctor. Our daughter was conceived and born without incident. There weren’t any issues which came about in all of the testing.

This time, there was a problem. When I found out I felt I had failed as a husband to my wife because, well, I wasn’t there with her when she found out.

I should have been, regardless of having a perfect happy and healthy baby girl the first time, who currently only has 2 lower teeth and blows raspberries everywhere until EVERYTHING is covered in her spittle. I can assure you, that won’t happen again.

She was 8 weeks along at the time and the doctor was concerned about a finding that we may be looking at a child with Down’s syndrome. There isn’t a history of it on either side of our family, so it came as a shock. We went in for consultation with our doctor and we decided on an amniocentesis. It was less dangerous to possible issues that the alternative. At this point we were around 11 weeks or so along.

The earliest they told us it could be done is 15 weeks and so we scheduled it for February 20th, president’s day. That made us around 15 ½ weeks along and they were hoping it could be done. If not, we would just reschedule.

We went in and our hearts just broke.

During the initial sonogram to set things up and see what was going on we received the horrible news. I will never forget those 2 horrible words or how they were said.

No. heartbeat.

It was said matter of factly. Sort of like, sorry but we are out of that kind of bread. It was worse each time she said it and she must have said it like 7 or 8 times. Being a nursing student, I was looking at the sonogram and looking for the nachal transparency and nose bones, which are both initial signs of possible Downs’. I wasn’t looking for the heart.

I knew my wife would be upset and very distraught about it, as any parent would be. But out of the 2 of us I knew it would affect her more. She has more public composure than I do, but it did affect her harder.

Obviously we didn’t have to do the amnio which we went in for. I thought I was nervous about doing this and then having to wait for the results to see if we were going to have a child with special needs, this news hit me like a punch to the gut.

Our doctor was empathetic and told us to call with any questions after he explained everything. I was still very concerned about my wife

You see, she is AMAZING! She does everything for others first. When it was thought there was a possibility of our baby having downs’, she thought it was her fault because we were having 2 children less than 1 ½ years apart. No matter how much I and the doctor told her it would not have any bearing on it. She said she understood but I know her and I know she still felt it was her fault because we had 2 children very close together.

With this news, she thought it was her fault because we just recently moved and she felt she did too much. She didn’t do too much. The heaviest thing she lifted was maybe 4 lbs which was a toaster oven. I did all the heavy lifting. And, even though the doctor and I did everything to convince her that it would not affect this, I am sure she still thinks that’s why… but it isn’t.

I explained to her that sometimes, when there are too many issues or an issue that is just too severe that nature just takes over and does what it thinks is appropriate. Some people think its god, but since we are not religious and – since my mother’s death – I am MUCH more atheist then some others, I go with nature.

We left and she totally broke down in the car. I consoled her but it is impossible, under these circumstances, to console her completely. I did my best as her husband and hope I did enough for that moment for her. To let her know I understood as best I could and that I was there with her and for her and that we would deal with this together.

I immediately went to work and told them I wouldn’t be working that day as I needed to be there for her. I work across the street for our doctor’s office so it was within 10 minutes of finding out. The reaction the director had when I told her was absolutely disgusting as both a nurse and even more so as a human being. She just flipped over to her schedule, marked me off, acted like I was causing her a major inconvenience and then said “I guess you are going to do what you have to.” With a sigh.

I thought it was just me overly sensitive in the moment… but my friend from work came with me to assist and said he wanted to punch her for that reaction and how can she show absolutely no empathy or sympathy and she supposed to be a nurse.

We went and picked up our daughter from the sitters. She started crying at a point, which she never does. I am sure she knew mom and dad were upset. Babies pick up on that kind of thing.

We went home and I consoled Erica each time she broke down.

I waited until she was asleep and I was alone and broke down hard. I mean I did break down a little at the doctor’s office and again at work when all my co workers were asking what was wrong, but it was small. I was upset and I let some tears flow but I didn’t break down until nearly midnight after everyone was asleep and I was in a different room. It felt horrible but also needed.

How do we move on from here? Like I stated earlier, we are not religious people, but if we are wrong and there is a heaven… are we going to meet our son or daughter as they would have been had they not died?

We feel guilty. We feel like we took this pregnancy for granted and didn’t really think too much about it until there were problems. I remember with MJ, when she was still cooking I used to put my hand on Erica’s belly all the time and talk to her and make jokes and stuff. I remember saying things like “Hurry up and cook already! We want to meet you!” I feel REALLY bad because this pregnancy I think I only did that once maybe twice.

All I really want to say is this:

Our little Baby, we never were able to meet you… but we really WERE looking forward to it. We were looking forward to being there and watching you grow and helping you in every way we could. Even had you been born with Downs’ we still want you to know, we would have loved you more and more every day. You still would have been our perfect second child. I am sorry I seemed so non-chalant about our pregnancy with you… but I was SO excited when Erica (your mom) told me you were coming! I wanted you to meet your sister and for all the outings and family gatherings you would have seen. You are going to be missed and we are sorry we didn’t seem to celebrate your coming as much as we should have… but all that was coming. We love you and we will miss you every day!

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I found this on a friends Facebook status and liked it so much that I decided to use it as a post. I have no idea how many times it has been posted and I know it has been on many other Blogs as posts, but I find it to be true and in some cases I remember these things! Enjoy!

 

Checking out at the supermarket recently, the young cashier suggested I should bring my own bags because plastic bags weren’t good for the environment. I apologized and explained, “We didn’t have this green thing back in my earlier days“.

The clerk responded, “That’s our problem today. Your generation did not care enough to save our environment for future generations“.

She was right about one thing–our generation didn’t have the green thing in “Our” day. So what did we have back then? After some reflection and soul-searching on “Our” day, here’s what I remembered we did have….

Back then, we returned milk bottles, pop bottles and beer bottles to the store. The store sent them back to the plant to be washed and sterilized and refilled, so it could use the same bottles repeatedly. So they really were recycled. But we didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

We walked up stairs, because we didn’t have an escalator in every store and office building. We walked to the grocery store and didn’t climb into a 300-horsepower machine every time we had to go two blocks. But she was right. We didn’t have the green thing in our day.

Back then, we washed the baby’s nappies because we didn’t have the throw-away kind. We dried clothes on a line, not in an energy gobbling machine burning up 240 volts — wind and solar power really did dry our clothes back in our early days. Kids got hand-me-down clothes from their brothers or sisters, not always brand-new clothing. But that young lady is right. We didn’t have the green thing back in our day.

Back then, we had one TV, or radio, in the house — not a TV in every room. And the TV had a small screen the size of a handkerchief (remember them?), not a screen the size of Wales. In the kitchen, we blended & stirred by hand because we didn’t have electric machines to do everything for us. When we packaged a fragile item to send in the mail, we used wadded up old newspapers to cushion it, not Styrofoam or plastic bubble wrap.

Back then, we didn’t fire up an engine and burn petrol just to cut the lawn. We used a push mower that ran on human power. We exercised by working so we didn’t need to go to a health club to run on treadmills that operate on electricity. But she’s right. We didn’t have the green thing back then.

We drank from a water fountain when we were thirsty instead of using a cup or a plastic bottle every time we had a drink of water. We refilled writing pens with ink instead of buying a new pen, and we replaced the razor blades in a razor instead of throwing away the whole razor just because the blade got dull. But we didn’t have the green thing back then.

Back then, people took the bus, and kids rode their bikes to school or walked instead of turning their mums into a 24-hour taxi service. We had one electrical outlet in a room, not an entire bank of sockets to power a dozen appliances. And we didn’t need a computerized gadget to receive a signal beamed from satellites 2,000 miles out in space in order to find the nearest pizza joint.

But isn’t it sad the current generation laments how wasteful we old folks were just because we didn’t have the green thing back then?

Please post this on your Facebook profile so another selfish old person who needs a lesson in conservation from a smarty-pants young person can add to this

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I have friends who became parents at a young age as well as friends who are older than I am and still do not have kids. You can see the difference between the two… but only if you are a parent. If you are not a parent, you probably won’t see it.

My wife and I married when I was 1 day into being 39 years old. For me I felt I was older to get married as my best friend was 22 when he was married. I moved off Long Island when I was 29 and the people I dated were usually close to my age. I stayed off Long Island until I was 35 and the last 2 years, from 33-35, the women I dated usually had kids. I thought because I was dating someone who had kids and I was around them 2 maybe 3 times a week, that I could consider myself a father-type figure and I knew a few things about kids and being a “parent”

I was SOOO wrong!

I had no idea what I was doing and looking back now, I know I was just a kid myself in the parenting aspect.

I always felt to truly be a parent you really needed to start from their birth and go through ALL of it. This is not always true… but it was true for me.

Quite a bit has changed for me since we had out little boopah. It’s these changes which make me feel like a parent as before, I didn’t feel like one. I felt that I was in a relationship where I was expected to be a “father” figure but without any of the real responsibilities. It was more reading when the single mother I was dating wanted me to be a father figure and all other times I needed to keep quiet.

There are a few ways that are different:

As a non-parent, the kid(s) referred to me by my name which made the distinction very well known.

As a parent, I refer to myself as Dad or Daddy, since she is not old enough to talk yet. I always thought it was weird how people men would refer to themselves that way when talking to their kids. But once you become a parent… you get it. (I sometimes even refer to myself as daddy even when I am not around my daughter and then correct myself.)

As a non-parent, if I was having an off day I could very easily go home and not deal with the girlfriend and her son/daughter.

As a parent, there aren’t any days off. You are there 24/7. If you are off from work one weekend and decide to sleep in? Great! As long as “sleep in” means 6am because that’s when boopah wakes up and decides she wants you to come play. Or if your wife feeds the baby in bed, usually around 5-6ish, and the baby decides she wants to see what happens if she squishes a sleeping Daddy’s nose. Usually you wake up and GREAT, she has someone to play with because that’s when you are tagged in so she can sleep. And you want to be annoyed but babies are built in with their own trouble radar, so the second you start becoming upset… they smile that awesome, toothless smile and you just… melt!

As a non-parent, there are things you think you will do differently when you have kids. This is usually not what is going to happen.

As a parent, you learn to savor in the small victories. For me, being able to use the bathroom at my pace is a HUGE victory as boopah usually decides that when I need to use the bathroom is not convenient for her. Or that she needs to finish the rest of her bottle RIGHT NOW! Being able to take a shower and not leave the door open and one ear listening for my baby is a HUGE luxury to us!

 

There are so many ways being a parent differs from being in a father-type role. I was thinking about this lately because Erica and I were discussing things we would and would not do regarding our boopah as she grew up which we had to from our parents. This made me think of some of the things I said or did when I was dating people with kids and I wish I had done things better. There were things I know I definitely handled perfectly with the right amount of discipline as well as not overdoing the lecture or what not. But then there were things that should not have bothered me, but did and I wish I handled it better.

In all this, however, it made me the person I am today and I think I did ok. I think I am an ok father and husband and that I accept that I am learning this all as we go. But having the best wife and mother for our baby makes it so much easier for both of us… as long as she LETS me help.

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It’s been a while since I posted anything. I always WANT to post, but life seems to get in the way, or the baby decides I need less computer time and more baby time and then it’s time to head to work. So this week I decided I am ABSOLUTELY posting, and here it is.

For this week’s writer’s workshop I chose You know you’re a mother when except since I am not a mother I am inserting father and going with it!

For me, it’s the little things which make me know I am a father.

… I want to rush home and check on my daughter after a long, stressful day at work and just seeing her sleeping soundly and safe makes the whole day better.

… waking up and looking forward to morning baby smiles. Ok it may take a little coaxing on my part for her to smile but most days she sees me walk in when my wife is about to run out to work and she looks up at me and just smiles!

… being nervous when she is sick. Even though I work in an ER and know babies catch colds and it passes, just hearing that congestion in her nose and there is nothing I can do to really help it go away makes me know what it is like to be a dad.

… I find it hilarious that she is covered in oatmeal because she is learning how to eat solid foods.

… I can’t wait for the day she can hold the darn bottle for herself so I can give it to her and go about my own things to do!

… Not looking forward to the day she can actually crawl because that means I will have to REALLY baby-proof the house.

There are so many things that happen which makes me know I am a dad. It’s scary but it’s also awesome and gratifying at the same time.

What is the top thing that makes you know you’re the Dad… or Mom!

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It’s been a while since I wrote last… and I missed it. I missed expressing what’s on my mind, so I am back.

Life has been busy but this weekends Writing prompts were a bit of a challenge. I chose my favorite ornament, but I don’t have just one so here are my favorite ones:

This was the ornament I gave my wife the Christmas after our wedding. It means a lot to me because I waited to find the right person to marry and I found the perfect one!

This was our ornament from last year. It was only a few weeks after we found out she was pregnant and we were having our first baby. It definitely means a lot because now she is 5 ½ months old and makes every day so amazing!

This was an ornament I bought my wife before we were married. She was not big on Christmas and I, of course, and VERY big on Christmas so I setup a Christmas tree in her apartment and gave her this ornament for Christmas. It was from a local Irish store and she loved it! She has been very pro-christmas as well as pro-Irish since this and more so since we have been married. I am sure with our little one, her love for Christmas will only grow and that is awesome!!

What is YOUR favorite ornament!

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