Friday, September 28, 2012

Picture Post! With Advice About The Camera

Ready to pop! (Don't ever use those words.)

Let me take a moment and talk with you about the importance of having a camera with you during the periods directly before and directly after the birth.

Not during. Nobody wants to see that. What? You think you're going to have friends over and pull out the slideshow like "Hey guys, look at what I did!"

Dr. Jenelle and our fresh baby.

Mom, alert and ready for trouble, with Lois.

Her: "Don't post that photo online." Me: "Of course not!"
No. Just no. Be there for the mom-to-be as she's pushing or they're cutting her open (and remember, don't look; seriously) but keep that camera down during the birth itself.

(Note: There may be a brief opportunity to get a picture of the VERY newborn baby; you should do this so that someday you can gross out your little boy or girl, showing them covered in slime, looking like some kind of swamp-monster-thing. Other than that, though, no camera!)
That's the most uncomfortable pull-out couch in the world. I loved it.

 Now, a camera before the birth and after the birth are completely fair game and it's your job to get as many pictures as possible to commemorate the occasion! Even if they aren't exactly glamour shots! Especially if they aren't exactly glamour shots!

See, when she starts reminiscing you need a way to say "See what you went through, honey?" to remind her of what it was actually like before she gets it through her head that she wants to go through it again. You need a subtle reminder of the hours of hell in labor, the pain, the feeling she had of wanting to shove that camera up your bum if you don't get it out of her face....

Just sayin'.

But know that none of the photos you take will be amazingly wonderful pictures. You're in a hospital and no matter how nice the hospital may be it's still a hospital and she'll probably still be wearing that beautiful hospital gown.

So when you post those photos on the internet in a blog of your own there's one thing you need to do afterward:


Thursday, September 27, 2012

Parenting or Porn?

Sometimes things you say as a parent could be taken out of context and put into a very different situation, so let's play a game: Do these phrases come from parenting (either dad OR mom in this case), or porn? Answers are in the bracket to the right; highlight them with your mouse to find out!

  • "Put my finger in your mouth and suck it." (Parenting: she likes to suck on pinkies to calm down.)
  • "Just take it!" (Parenting: When trying to give her a pacifier.)
  • "You dirty little girl!" (Parenting: Diaper changing, of course.)
  • "Who's your daddy?" (Parenting: Playing around with a high-pitched voice this is a common phrase.)
  • "Get my nipple out of your mouth!" (Parenting: When she latches on to daddy's nipple because daddy isn't paying enough attention.)
  • "Suck harder!" (Parenting: When mom is trying to feed the baby-girl and she's not sucking hard enough.)
  • "That's right, get that nipple in your mouth." (Parenting: Mom encouraging a good feeding.)
  • "You lay there and I'll take care of the rest." (Parenting: Changing the baby's diaper.)
  • "Stop wiggling so much!" (Parenting: Various uses, usually when changing diapers.)
  • "Let's get you good and wet." (Parenting: Bath time because someone pooped so much it got to the back of their neck. I wish I were joking.)
  • "Hey there, little lady. I'm the delivery man and I have your sausage pizza for you." (Porn: Because I had to have one in here that was really bad  porn.)
So, how did you do? Do you have a dirty mind, or have you raised children and recognized most of the phrases that were from parenting?

Any phrases you've said as a parent that are a little strange, taken out of context?

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Sometimes Mommy Fails

Laura (aka "Mom") is an amazing mother full of patience, love, and tenderness for her little girl and for me. The best decision I've ever made in my life is being with her; I'm glad I moved out here.

I say that sweet stuff so that I can now tell you that I'm not the only one in this relationship that's going to mess up our child. Laura will steer me clear of the biggest hurdles, I'm sure, and save Lois at least a few thousand dollars in psychiatry visits just by being herself but that doesn't mean she's perfect.

Take the other day, for example: I somberly admitted that I sometimes flick cold water on our little girl "because the books say she should experience new sensations" and that her reactions (big eyes, startled noises and an "angry at daddy" face) make me giggle every time. I expected indignation but received laughter.

Apparently? Laura will do the same thing to keep Lois awake while she breastfeeds, and laughs just as much as I do at the startled and offended look on our little girl's face afterward.

We are going to be fantastic parents!

Water also makes her blurry; that's my story and I'm sticking to it.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Pro Tip

If you need a night away from the baby so that you can get a full night's sleep let me suggest that you do not want to bring this up directly with mom; she will laugh at you. Hard. Especially if she's breastfeeding which means that your "waking up" in the night is a pitiful five to ten minutes while you lovingly try to be there for her and then fall back asleep not even close to the end of the feeding on the first boob.

No, I have a much better solution for you! The only problem is that it only works once. Some of you may have used this at other times in your life for other reasons so unfortunately you're out of luck:

Get your appendix removed!

I'm telling you, it's fantastic! I don't suggest the pain, really, so if you can avoid that go ahead and steer clear, but really getting your appendix removed is a guaranteed night at the hospital, in a semi-comfortable (assuming you have a nice hospital) bed with people doting on you. Sleep, relax, and enjoy a cry-free environment.

Well, cry-free if you avoided the pain like I suggested. If you didn't or can't avoid the pain then might I suggest you make liberal use of the morphine provided by the hospital?
I am a sexy beast. Also: I don't actually suggest this route. They poke and prod me every 2-3 hours!

Monday, September 24, 2012

Dear Little Girl: No.

I'll just be over here, being adorable.
Dear Lois, my sweet little girl;

Please understand that I will do whatever I can to make your life better and more fulfilled. I will take whatever steps I need to take to ensure that you are happy, healthy, and well-adjusted. Whatever I can do. Whatever I am actually capable of doing.

That being said, please understand that there are a few things that daddy just can't do:

  • Most importantly: Those will never produce milk. Please stop trying to get to them.
  • I can't let you hurt yourself. Please try to understand this and don't cry when daddy pulls your little claws away from your fragile beautiful eyes.
    • And please stop burying your nose in daddy's chest when he's holding you in the papoose. Daddy likes it when you can breathe.
  • I can't not change your diaper. I know it's a horrible thing, someone taking away your dirty diaper, cleaning you up with a clean wipe, and putting on a new diaper, but if you could just try to understand that I want what's best for you and maybe not cry? I would appreciate that.
    • I'll admit that you're actually pretty good about this compared to most kids I've met so I can't complain too much. You're a good baby.
Right now that's about it, little girl. If you could just keep being awesome then I would appreciate it. Sure, you still don't sleep all night, you're not the brightest bulb in the box, and your timing has permanently earned you the title "Professional Cockblocker" in daddy's mind but you are amazing and daddy loves you. You may not be a bright bulb yet but you glow. You don't sleep all night but your quiet wakeful periods, smiles, and coos are a gift. You may be a cockblocker but...

No...that part I haven't quite forgiven you for, yet.

But I still love you.

With love and hope for the future,

I'm the one on the left.

Saturday, September 22, 2012

World's Best Father Documented In Photos

For your edification but mostly your amusement I present to you the world's best father(fails), presented in 30 pictures.

He really is the world's best dad; he has the mug after all and mugs don't lie!

Friday, September 21, 2012

Possibly Helpful Links

Now, I joke and I laugh and I say ridiculous things about my little angel that you might never believe have been said (you'd be wrong) but I really do want to help new fathers in my own special way. So here are a few links that you might actually find useful along the way:

*Don't worry; she'll prove me wrong soon enough and I'll eat these words.

Thursday, September 20, 2012

Picture Thursday!

Our baby's first Zen experience.

Followed closely by her first time being possessed.
Sometimes I have pictures that I just can't write a story around and need somewhere to stick them because they're cute, memorable, odd, or just strange (like when Lois rolls her eyes back into her head in her sleep; take a look at the second photo).

So what I'd like to do is start picture Thursday to share these fun times with everyone! My comments will be minor, probably just the little captions under each photo.
Lois and Grandpa meet! All together now: Awww....

Chester and Lois meet and don't particularly care.
Please enjoy my precious little girl.
Taking a picture of me feeding the little girl is difficult alone!

Here she is, tired from keeping us awake all night.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Quiet-Maker

When our little girl came into our home she cried. A lot. It's simple: Take a child from a warm little room of their own that's filled with fluid, all-you-can-eat snacks, in what basically amounts to a sensory deprivation tank and then throw them into a big wide open world of...everything.

She cried. It's normal. We wanted it to stop.

We have a wonderful nighttime tool that makes soothing noises and lights up the bedroom with starlight, but the Twilight Turtle, as amazing as it was at night, could do nothing for us during the daily wailing.

While I moved about my daily activities though, I noticed a pattern. A trick, if you will. Even, if you'll allow me a flight of fancy here, a bit of magic.


Granted, it doesn't always work perfectly (as you can see toward the end of this video) but after our first week of parenthood we had used roughly enough water to fill at least one of the Great Lakes.

Have you ever come across any good child-quieting techniques? I'm told rum is frowned upon.

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

Things Not To Say and Advice I've Received

Things that probably shouldn't be said about the baby:
  • "Hey hon, which setting do I use on the washer and dryer to clean her?"
  • "I know you're working but can you hold the baby while I beat this video game?"
  • "Does she have a 'mute' button?"
  • "That's totally going on the blog."
    • It's not.
  • The pacifier is to be referred to as a "pacifier," a "passy," or a "binky." "Cork" is right out.
Sometimes people will see your child and want to give you advice on how to care for them because whatever worked for them will obviously work for everyone! Other times you will see someone sitting in a restaurant with two extremely well behaved children and you ask for advice because since it worked for them it will obviously work for you! Hell, there's a whole industry devoted to giving baby-raising advice*! Either way, here are a few pearls of wisdom I have received along the way**:
  • "Having children is like running a restaurant where you don't get to cook or eat the main course."
  • "Excessive hiccuping is a positive indication that your baby has hiccups."
    • Thank you, doctor.
  • "If your baby is gassy flip her upside-down a couple of times and it'll come out, no problem!"
  • No boiling the baby.
    • This bit of advice is what inspired this blog, actually. Go, read the hilariousness!
  • "If the baby seems warm it's not a good idea to put them in the refrigerator."
*If I'm being fair, the first book in this list (Baby 411) is actually a fantastically helpful little book and the Guide To Pirate Parenting is a must have for our sea-faring, patch-wearing, peg-legged friends!
**Again, being fair:Please note that some of these legitimately do work (turning upside-down for burping for example) but that doesn't make the advice any funnier, especially the first time you hear it.

Monday, September 17, 2012


I've read in books that sometimes you have to let your child try to do things by themselves because you can't always do everything for them. Maybe I'm going a little too far with her being 6 weeks of age but today I decided to let her try to get her binky when it fell out of her mouth.

This happened four or five times during the day before I realized that my little girl is a superstar and that I had to show the world how smart and amazing she is.

If the pacifier falls out of her mouth no farther than her shoulder, in just the right position so that tip is rubbing against her cheek (showing her right where it is), and she can turn her head enough to reach it, she can suck her binky right back into her own mouth.

Yay! My little girl is a genius! Whoo!*

*I'm only sarcastic in hindsight on this one. At the time that she did it? I was ready to sign her up for MENSA. Because I'm a dad, that's why.

Friday, September 14, 2012


I sing to my little girl quite often in order to soothe and relax her as she fights sleep. The songs can be anything at all since, at this point, it's just the sound of my voice crooning to her that lulls her to sleep but I still tend to sing one or two very specific songs.

My go-to song is "Goodnight, Demon Slayer" by Voltaire:

I'm still learning the last few verses but the first three or four (plus the chorus) I've memorized and sing to her almost daily. And yes, I will be singing it to her when she can understand the words a bit better. No, that doesn't make me a horrible person.

The song I want to sing to her while she still can't understand words is this one, "Lullaby" by Tim Minchin:

This one I want to sing for her just when she's very, very young for the benefit of the people around me. And yes, this does make me a horrible person.

I'm absolutely okay with that.

Do you have any suggestions for other wonderful lullabies? I'd love to hear them!

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Adrenaline At Max

I was making beer batter for some beer-battered onion rings we'll be enjoying later tonight and stopped to check on my little girl. I had put her in her little vibrating chair in the other room in order to help her relax a bit after feeding, hoping she might go to sleep so I could get some work done around the house. She had stopped making fussy noises a few minutes previously so I figured I'd come look at the cute sleeping baby.

So, I came out of the kitchen to a quiet baby staring out the window.

That doesn't quite capture the moment. Let me try again:

I came out of the kitchen to a quiet unmoving baby with half-lidded, unblinking eyes staring glazedly out the window into the light. A baby doing a perfect impression of "play dead."

She's done this before of course; all babies are great at scaring their parents and I've come up with a fool-proof test to prove to myself that she's absolutely fine without really disturbing her very much. I rushed up to her and put my pinkie finger into her open left hand expecting to be quickly reassured when her grip reflex kicked in.

It didn't. Her tiny hand lay limply around my finger.

Panic hit and it hit hard. With one hand I took her by the shoulder and I yelled her name. Immediately she started flailing and crying because daddy had scared her.

I've never been more happy to hear her cry.

Now, oblivious to the heart attack she gave her dear old dad, she's sound asleep again in her chair and I don't want to let her out of my sight. I have things to do around the house but they can wait while I stare at her to watch and make sure she's okay.

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Accessorizing With The Baby

You and your baby are going to be inseparable beings for a while. Even if you're not actively holding the baby she/he will be nearby. As such, you may have some important fashion questions.

I'm here to help.

Q: When I'm holding my baby should I hold them on my good side to accentuate how cute we both are, or on my bad side so that nobody notices the bad side and sees only the baby?

A: It's a scientific fact that when you're holding your baby nobody will see your bad side no matter which side they're on. Blemishes? Acne? A large scar running from your forehead to your chin? Doesn't matter! Baby!

Q: What kind of papoose/baby wrap should I wear?

A: The most important thing is to wear a baby wrap that compliments both your skin tone and your baby's. Now, your baby will be dying of embarrassment because she or he will instinctively know that you look ridiculous wearing them around like that so most likely you'll want to compliment a skin tone that's a few shades redder than what you normally see. I suggest something neutral, like a gray to match your ashen skin tone from being up late nights getting absolutely no sleep because of a crying baby. It should also compliment your eyes, which will have gone dull by this point, again due to lack of sleep.

Q: What color clothing goes best with parenthood?

A: I refer you to my previous answer with the neutral colors due to encroaching soullessness.

Q: Is there an easy way to get spit-up out of my outfit?

A: No. Spit-up will never come out of anything it gets into. You should plan on wearing clothing that either makes you look like a hobo from all the stains, is white to hide the stains, or buying new clothing every week or so. Also, if you choose to either hide it or go with the hobo look proudly, expect to smell faintly of curdled cheese at all times.

On the other hand, one positive you can expect from all of this: Don't expect people to actually look much at you; you no longer matter because baby. You can rest easy knowing that your world-weary bags hanging heavily under your eyes, stained clothing, and bad smell won't matter to anybody; they'll be too busy cooing over the beautiful child who will be peacefully sleeping when they come to see you and they'll ask questions like "How do you get her to be so well behaved?"

They won't understand the hysterical laughter that comes burbling out of your lips at that question but you will. You will.

Tuesday, September 11, 2012

Oh, The Conversations We Have

Mom was working in the office yesterday when I wandered in, baby in hand and proceeded to tell her the following:

"You know, with you working all day and me sleeping all night it's like she only sees us in cycles. We both make her happy when we're around and can do amazing things (when compared to the abilities of an infant who is not yet even six weeks old). We're like her superheroes!"

I thought about it for a moment.

"Yeah! I am Daytime Dad and you are Midnight Mom" I struck a heroic pose. "Together, we fight cries."

Monday, September 10, 2012

The Ones I Love


Moving to Virginia to be with Laura and Lois was the best decision I've made in my life.

Sure, my sleep schedule is a little erratic at times due to a little girl waking me up, and maybe I don't get as much done during the day as I'd like to get done because someone is a fake fake faker baby but I can deal with a little sleep deprivation and can give up a few things here and there if it means I get to help raise such a wonderful little girl with an amazing woman.

Sure, sometimes this little girl makes crumple-face and cries for an hour straight for no discernible reason but the 5 minutes of quiet contemplation half an hour afterward where she appears to smile at me (but is actually poopin') and I get to sing her lullabies or whatever little ditty comes into my head makes it all absolutely worthwhile.

This is my daughter, and I am her dad. I never thought that was a title I'd have in my life but I've never been happier to be called something other than my name.

Life has led me somewhere good.

****(Please excuse the truthful sappiness: This post to be held in abeyance for a day that I somehow mess up and make Laura angry with me so that I can point/link to it and have her go "Awww." and completely forget whatever I did that made her upset in the first place. Thank you.)****

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

The Other Side

I promised in my last update that I would have a picture soon of my little girl that wasn't her sleeping peacefully or lovingly staring into the camera. I knew it wouldn't be difficult to get a picture like this one since she spends her awake time doing one of the three following things:
  • Eating
  • Pooping
  • Crying
If she's awake and seems happy, but doesn't have a boob in her mouth, you can be sure that she's pooping.

So here is the promised picture that most parents don't want you to see because they want you to think that their perfect child is well-behaved at birth and never cries, never disturbs their sleep, never keeps them awake until 2, then waking them at 4 and 6 AM, and then falls asleep around noon for 4 hours. Here it is:

If pictures had sound this one would sound like an ambulance.
My perfect little girl.
 It's okay though! She quieted down shortly after this picture was taken.

I changed her just a few minutes later.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Fake Fake Faker Baby

All together now: Awww!
This is how we want you to picture our baby when we post pictures of her online: Sleeping, peaceful, serene. We want you to believe that it's all easy, that she's sleeping well through at least most of the night and that we're getting hours and hours of sleep. I mean, just look at her there, all quiet and reposed.

We want you to believe this because we don't want you to know the truth. The awful truth:

Our baby is a liar. A faker. A scam artist.

We will hold her, rock her, feed her, bop her around in a little dance all in an effort to get her to fall asleep so that the two of us might be able to savor a few minutes of time together. Our darling little girl will close her eyes and be lulled into what we are sure must be dreamland. We even wait an extra five to ten minutes sometimes to make sure it's real. Finally we're sure of it: She's asleep in our arms.

We put her down in a crib or her playpen.

Within moments her "Nobody Is Holding Me" Detection Device (patent pending) goes off full steam and she is flailing at the air, her little face screwed up in rage, turning a bright red while screaming at the top of her adorable lungs. (Picture to come later.)

We pick her up, assure her the world is okay, and try to get her to sleep, still wishing that maybe mom and I could even just cuddle for a few minutes. She takes a deep breath and her eyes close. She looks like maybe this time she's really sleeping.

Rinse. Wash. Repeat.

Now please pardon me; I can hear her waking back up in the other room from where I placed her 3 minutes ago and I'd like to let mom sleep for a bit longer since she was up all night with a cluster-feeding child.