Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Sleeping Woes, Plus THE SWING.

Last night we decided to try to let Lois sleep without being wrapped in her baby burrito because she's turning 3 months old in 3 days and that's about when you need to start establishing good sleep habits, including not sleeping all wrapped. We also tried to lay her on her back instead of in her bouncy chair for the night.
Baby burrito, ready for sleep....or eating.

We bit off more than we could chew.

It was like the first week of life with her all over again. No sleep. No dreams. Just crying. So, of course, we failed. We just can't go back to that; we don't have the fortitude (mental or physical). She ended up back in her chair for most of the night but unwrapped.

But the sleep-time ritual has started. We need to get her sleeping on her back in her crib, without the wrap.

I'm prepared for more than a couple sleepless nights; mommy and I have to work out a sleeping schedule so that one of us is awake to handle the baby outrage from us changing her sleep habits. Tonight we'll probably take her out of the burrito wrap but leave her in the chair. Once she's used to that we'll start putting her on her back. Yay, sleeplessness!

And speaking of sleepy, let me tell you, Lois is definitely tired today from keeping us up all night. So at the moment I have her in her swing.

Have I told you about the amazingly magical swing? I love it, Lois loves it, and truly it's a god-send. During the day she will take a three hour nap using the swing. Doesn't sound like much? Consider that before she would sleep 10, maybe 15 minutes.

Three. Full. Hours.

And it looks ADORABLE!
I haven't had 3 full hours in the daytime to work around the house (or play games, or whatever) while Laura works since Lois was born. I think, at most, she might have napped for an hour once. Now this has happened two days in a row. That swing is truly a mystical device and I love it. Lois and mommy do too!

Now, if only there were a way that she could just sleep in a swing for the rest of her life. Unfortunately they don't make things that hold you off the ground and swing in the breeze...

Unless you count a hammock.

I have to go tell Laura the fantastic idea I just had that our daughter never has to sleep in a regular, non-moving, standard bed again. GENIUS!

While I do that, here's her enjoying the swing:

video

Friday, October 26, 2012

Wide Afake

You may remember a while back when I complained that my baby fakes sleeping so that she can then wake up and laugh at us for thinking mommy and daddy might get some time together. She still does this, of course, but we've gotten into the swing of things at night and she's actually sleeping well through the night. Books tell me she should also be getting naps during the day which, of course, happens with the regularity of a narwhal showing up in your office, which is to say it doesn't.

Oh, she naps. 5 minutes here, 10 minutes there. The other day I think I might have accidentally slipped rum into her bottle because she napped for an entire 20 minutes before waking up and stopping me from cleaning around the house because she needs attention now Daddy!.

This picture is completely unrelated to this post.
Well maybe because she doesn't nap during the day, or maybe because she's still Little Miss Stubborn, she's decided that being tired is the worst thing ever and if she's tired? She needs us to know that she is absolutely, positively, not in any way tired and never could be. In fact, Daddy, she never needs to sleep again because she is SO awa...zzzz...ke!!! AWAKE!

It's adorable to see, until the crying starts.

Her eyes get big and round, showing those baby blues off to the world. She waves her hands around like she's dancing to a bad early 2000's hip-hop song by Cameo and kicking
Lois knows the answer*! Also, she is NOT TIRED.
her feet around like she's learning Kung-Fu.

We call this state being "wide afake." She needs us to know that she isn't tired and that she doesn't have to be laid down in bed soon, please. No, really. Not tired. NOT TIRED. NO! DO NOT WANT!

It's adorable and we make fun of her constantly for it. If she grows up feeling that we're making fun of her behind her back it's not because we ARE making fun of her but because she's vaguely remembering all the times we DID as a baby and flat-out laughed at her antics.

Yet another way I'm screwing up my little girl but hey, if you can't laugh what's left?

*If I couldn't laugh at my little girl? Insanity is all that would be left because I'd be holding it all in and that's a LOT of laughing to hold in.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

Only For Daddy

The other day Lois looked at me with big bright eyes and clearly said "Hi!"

I laughed because obviously this was impossible and was just air escaping in a random matter, regardless of how much it really sounded like the word "hi." She's not even yet 3 months old; she can't talk.

Except then she did it again later directly in response to me saying "Hi little girl!"

So I showed mommy.

Except that I didn't. See, she wouldn't say it for mommy. When mommy wandered away, less than impressed at this genius of a baby, Lois looked up at me, smiled and said "hi" under her breath.

Not. Even. Joking.

She hasn't really done it since, which shows me that it's clearly a fluke but...

Yesterday I taught our little girl to blow a raspberry by walking her through verbally step-by-step. She followed my directions exactly and ended up blowing a perfect raspberry. I rushed to show mommy this.

Nothing.

Same thing with pursing her lips and going "bptbptbptbpt." Show mommy? Nothing.

I feel kinda like the guy who finds the WB frog that will only dance for him.

Either that or insane. Maybe both.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Road Trip! Washington, D.C.

We took our first big road trip this weekend to visit our friends Heather, Greg, and their newly adopted little girl in Washington, DC! It was a fantastic time and on Sunday we went to the Smithsonian DC Zoo! It was a nice weekend, punctuated with some really cool sightseeing.

Here's our story, in pictures:

It was a beautiful day for a drive.

Lois didn't care for the scenery 2 hours into the 5 hour drive. Feeding time!

Beautiful sunny weather meant zebras were roaming/playing

And cheetahs were lazily sunning themselves, relaxing.

Lois was less than impressed. Lazy cheetahs.

We got up close and personal with an elephant who wanted a snack.

Lois said "Back off, buddy" and wanted nothing to do with it.

The Giant Panda came out at the end of the day to say goodbye!


Just then, Lois was finally interested in something!

More food! Yay!


































We went there knowing we were going for us and not for Lois so while I pick on her a little bit we do understand that she's just WAY too young to get anything out of a trip to the zoo.

That'll have to wait until she turns 5 months old. Then she'll know what's what.

Friday, October 19, 2012

I'm A Good Dad!

Have you guys been spying on me?
This picture isn't of me but it could have been. If it had been a picture of  me and Lois the baby would have been cuter and I probably wouldn't have had pants on.

I'd have had underwear on but if I'm alone in my house? No pants. It's a rule.*

Now here's the thing: People look at this photo and its caption and laugh but really, when the baby is that age? I see absolutely nothing wrong with this kind of "watching the baby."

The baby is contently curled up on daddy's chest where daddy can make sure the baby is okay while daddy entertains himself with a game. Nothing wrong with that!

Now, if the dad continues to play after the baby wakes up, crying and hungry? Yeah, that's a problem. When your baby needs your attention, their needs come first over your wants and you need to pay attention to them.

So here's a picture of me trying to find a way to feed her while keeping my hands free so that I can take pictures/play video games/etc.

Taking a picture of being a bad dad is hard work with no hands free.






*And now you know more about my pants status than you've ever cared to know.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Baby Craze

I have a great friend, (pictured here) who loves our little Lois and calls her the "Cutest baby in the world*." She's really quite amazing and has been a huge help over the past couple of months whenever we've needed a babysitter for a couple of hours. When I had my appendix out she was right there offering up her and her boyfriend (who is also amazing) to watch Lois so that Laura could be at the hospital with me without worry. She's a great friend.

But she's a little baby crazy. Oh, don't get me wrong, I love when she coos at Lois and smiles at her and fusses over her; it all makes me feel happy. It's just that one day I'm completely expecting Lois to cry at 2 AM and as mom sits up to get the baby we'll both hear the voice of our friend float in the night air "It's okay Laura, go back to sleep, I've got this one."

No, I can tell that's not Lois. Please tell me where you hid my baby.
Baby craze is a well-documented phenomenon! I can totally see this happening and our baby being stolen away in the night out of pure love and adoration.***

Everyone is going crazy over our little girl though, not just our friends. The other day we were walking down the street and I happened to notice a scene happen where two large men stood across the sidewalk and a third man had to meekly squeeze by; they didn't make a move to get out of the third man's way at all and glared at him. The moment they saw us coming along the way with Lois in the stroller? They moved aside and both men's faces lit up with huge smiles.

The first man commented, looking at our little girl "That, right there, is an adorable baby. Adorable!"

The second man grinned "That's a Gerber baby right there! Gerber!"

We thanked them of course, proud parents every step of the way. When we had gone by they went back to dominating the sidewalk with glares at all who passed by.

We really do have the cutest baby in the world.

*She's right, of course, though I try not to brag.**
**Who am I kidding? I brag ALL THE TIME!
***I promised not to make her look bad when I asked to use her photo so please allow me to state now that I do not actually believe she will steal our baby. I just believe that she WANTS to steal our baby.****
****Love you, A! 

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Blech: The Plague

I've come down with a cold. It's not nasty or really that horrible though I do feel like roasted death that's been left out to sit for too long. My head hurts and my nose is runnier than The Gingerbread Man but I'll be fine. Laura was wonderful and grabbed me some DayQuil for while I'm watching the little girl and some NyQuil for when I want to go to sleep tonight. Yay!

But watching the little girl is what has me worried.

She's being fantastic today, I have to admit. No fussing, just relaxing and letting me know when she's hungry or needs a change. She does want to be held though.

You know what I don't want?

A sick baby.

You know what holding this little girl is probably going to lead to?

A sick baby.

But if I don't hold her, she cries. But if she gets sick she'll cry lots, AND I'll have to use that snot-sucky thing. Ew.

The only solution I see is to let her cry. It's for her own good!

What?


Monday, October 15, 2012

Butthead Baby

I'm going to catch a lot of flak for the title of this post but I'm okay for that; I'm prepared for it even. Bring it on, if you like but first read this post and then tell me you disagree with me if you can.

My baby is wonderful, ahead of the curve for brilliance, and cute. I do not deny, refute, or wish to change any of those three things. My baby, on the other hand, is a baby, and babies are all buttheads. For example, my cute little girl will be sound asleep enjoying the quiet solitude of her Calming Vibrations shaky chair when a small little sound will escape, often becoming a longer, grosser, more wet sounding sound that means it's time to change the baby.

No big deal, really. I've quickly become an experienced diaper changer (and dads, you will too, if you know what's best for you) to the point where the thought of it doesn't even squick me out anymore; I just change the diaper and clean her up.

And then she poops in it again within 5 minutes. Wetter, longer, dirtier.

Butthead.

Or how about when I'm holding her during the day, lulling her to sleep with rocking, lullabies, rocking lullabies and whatever else works. I get her to sleep in my arms and wait five to ten minutes before I put her down to rest so that I can do things like clean the kitchen or * other things that need doing around the house. By the time I stand up her eyes are open and she's wide awake, looking around to find where her comfy pillow went and letting me know that if the comfy pillow doesn't return? Tears. Tears, wailing, and badness that will make Daddy feel like a horrible Daddy.

Oh, and did I mention she's learning how to manipulate Mommy and Daddy? Oh, yes. I noticed the other day that sometimes she cries just to be looked at.

No, seriously.

She's happy because there's a camera pointed at her.
I'll be playing a game with Lois and everything will be hunky-dory. She'll laugh, coo, and have a great time. Laura will ask my opinion on something and so I'll look away for just a few moments. Within those few moments Lois has decided that she needs my attention and she starts to wail like a banshee; signalling that not only is someone going to die, SHE is dying. Of loneliness.

The moment I look back, our eyes meet and she's smiling again, cooing quietly as though nothing was ever wrong with the world. She just wants attention and if I don't give it then once again I am a horrible father and how could I ever think differently?

So not only is my daughter a butthead, she is a diva butthead.

*She took this opportunity to wake up and start crying, going from "full and content" to "starving baby" in the space of 13 seconds. I actually wrote most of the beginning of this with her in my arms but had placed her in her chair just as I started this particular paragraph. I'm typing this footnote roughly 20 minutes later.

Friday, October 12, 2012

A Couple Small Things

This awesomeness showed up in several of my father-related feeds today. Some man created a baby pram that can zoom along at speeds in excess of 49 mph*. Unfortunately I don't even have to ask Mom if it's okay for me to build one of these death machines because my brain is smart and has already labeled this as a "death machine."

Though I would like to point out that the carriage is made of metal. Way to go, super dad! That's thinking ahead.

Chester is king.
In other news, our male cat Chester, mentioned in my last post, is happy that Mom finally has a lap again. He was getting quite upset when Mom was pregnant that he couldn't jump up and cuddle and that when he did he often got kicked by Mom's stomach.

Now he just gets kicked by the squirmy thing that Mom is often holding. He's less than thrilled but he'll take what he can get for now. 

Sometimes I swear I see him staring at the baby, plotting how he once again will become the ruler of this roost.

For now he waits. Biding his time. Plotting, taking what scraps of lap he can get, wherever he can get them, waiting for Mom to put the squalling thing down and let him resume his proper place as King.

"Hey kid, you look delicious."



*It can go 50 mph, which is totally "in excess" of 49.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

Sometimes Mommy Fails Too: Electric Boogaloo

Now yes, I'll admit that I will probably be the reason our little girl needs therapy when she gets older. Between finding non-standard ways to stop her crying, wanting to wake her up early because "it's only fair," thinking I'd killed her and generally blogging about her (labeling her a cockblocker, for example, may come back to haunt me some day) will probably lead to some huge psychosis as she grows older and her therapist will look back, point squarely at me and say "Yup, he sure screwed you up real good. Bad daddy."

But I'm not alone. Oh, no. Not at all.

If our child has an identity crisis as she grows older I will shake my head at the therapist and point straight at where the problem comes from.

Mom.

Now it's bad enough that one of our two cats is called "Pretty Cat" and that Lois is often cuddled and cooed at as "pretty girl." That gets switched around often enough that I just laugh. Mom is holding the baby, cuddling up to her, and gently, lovingly says "Oh, you're so adorable Pretty Cat..." and then looks around in hopes that Pretty Cat is actually nearby so she can pretend she was talking to the cat to abate my laughter. Yes, that would be bad enough.

But we have another cat.

And the other day Mom was holding Lois, cooing over her, softly lulling her to sleep; rocking her gently, and uttering nonsense words intended to just quietly tip her into the land of the sleeping. She looked down at her little girl and with love in her eyes gently spoke:

"Chester."

"Yeah, Mom? What's up?"

Monday, October 8, 2012

Sometimes...

Today my little girl went to the doctors for her 2-month check-up and shots.

I wasn't in the room when she received her shots; I drove back home to pick up some diapers because we had forgotten to fill her diaper bag and she needed a change.

From the look on Mom's face though when I got back it was rough.

For her sake, today, I'm going to find nothing funny about the situation* but I'm glad my little girl is inoculated.

*If I were trying, I would say something along the lines of how glad I am that I wasn't there because it means daddy's not the bad guy, but I'm not trying today. For her sake.

Saturday, October 6, 2012

Alone With Baby

Last night Lois and I spent the night with mom gone. I won't say I was terrified because I wasn't*.I knew I could handle it**. I was as cool as a cucumber***. Nothing could rattle my cage****.

Well, it's 5:48 AM as I start to write this and I'm awake. Lois is still sleeping soundly after going to sleep around 10 last night, which is a great night of sleep for her. I plan on feeding her around 6 and then we're driving a couple of hours to go to a wedding. Mom left for the wedding last night to be with her great friend who is getting married and it was just easiest for me to be here with Lois.

If something had gone wrong? All her fault. Look at that diabolical smile.
 I had some friends over shortly after Mom left last night so that if something went wrong I could point fingers in their general direction. Thankfully nothing went wrong and now they're completely blame free.

So I'm sitting here now on the verge of 6 AM when I had planned on starting to feed Lois so that I could be out the door by 7 AM. I'm dressed, showered, and ready to go.

But she's asleep.

Two warring instincts inside of me are at play right now:
Go on, honey. Tell everyone what you think of my parenting skills.


One side, well call it the "Good Daddy" side, wants to allow the little girl to get all the rest she can because hey; she needs to get used to sleeping through the night and the little angel's sleep shouldn't be disturbed.

The other side wants to start playing the video of her crying on high volume to wake her up because it's only fair.

Well, 6 AM. Time to decide if I'm a good daddy, a bad daddy, or somewhere in between...



*Lie.
**Lie.
***I am a liar.
****...more than being left alone with the baby.

Friday, October 5, 2012

LMS - "Little Miss Stubborn"

 Back in the days before baby, when baby was just a small little something we saw on a screen, she was known as "Little Miss Stubborn." See, if we needed her to move for the stress test she would stay still. Whatever we needed her to do, she did the opposite.

Well, that trend continues to this day.

She's old enough now that she gets what is called "tummy time." This is when mom and dad torture the baby by putting her on a soft blanket on the floor on her tummy. This is supposed to encourage her to move around a bit,
work her arm, leg, and chest muscles, and eventually lead to crawling.

Instead it leads to one of two things:

1. Crying. Lots of crying. Angry crying that she's been flipped on her tummy and can't move around to see the world. Sad crying that daddy has left her like this for a whole 30 seconds. Crying.

2. Sleeping. Sleeping soundly without a care in the world, unlistening to dad's pleas to move and exercise. Just sleeping.
After a while of crying and then sleeping (I don't actually let her stay on her tummy while she's sleeping for safety's sake) daddy will decide it's time to save her and let her up.

This, inevitably, is when she decides to wake quietly, smile, and start moving.

She's a little jerk who is excellent at manipulating her father's feelings.

Thursday, October 4, 2012

In Which I Am Probably Scarring Her For Life

Somehow (I'm really not sure how) I came across a new technique to calm my child while she is upset or crying. It's similar to The Quiet Maker only in that I was able to get video of it working. Otherwise they're nothing alike.

Watch this video and see if you can figure out exactly what I'm doing. Each time I do it she quiets one step further until she goes from actively crying (so, warning, crying baby in this video) to happy and smiling. No joke!




Each time you see her head jerk slightly backward and her eyes open widely what's happening is that I'm blowing air directly into her face. She reacts in a surprised fashion and then resumes the crying, albeit a little weaker each time until finally she completely forgets that she ever was crying at all!

I am sure that this is somehow going to come up in a therapy session some day. She'll have a fear of stiff breezes or some-such but for now? For now I have another tool in my arsenal of being the Best Dad Evar!

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

Causality

See, it's because I create items on my to do lists like this:
Item reads: "How to Cook a Baby" Video

That mom feels the need to add little notes to the to do lists she creates for me:

(Crossed off) Laundry (Don't wash the baby this way)

 Don't worry; the little girl knows she's safe with daddy and thinks that he's hilarious:

Delicious looking though, no? Nom!

Monday, October 1, 2012

No, You Can't Hold My Baby

I've been told that I'm selfish and I think the ladies who have told me this may be right.

The moment Lois cries or has some kind of issue while in somebody else's arms I swoop in and politely "offer" to take my baby back in order to help soothe her and get her to relax. She could be across the room and the moment the fuss happens I'm over there, having covered the intervening distance in less time than it takes to blink an eye.

More than that, if I walk into a group of people who want to coo over the baby I will show them the baby while holding her. Apparently the expectation is that I'll just give her up and allow her to be passed from person to person. But she's my baby! You can't have her! Unless you ask really nicely and prove that you've washed your hands recently. Then I might let you hold her. Maybe.

The only real problem as I can see it, honestly?

I do the same thing to her mom. This has earned me more than a few hard glares.

-----

Our little girl is smiling and cooing a lot now. She's becoming a little person with a full range of emotions beyond "I'm hungry," "I need changing," "I'm tired," and "I'm totally not letting you have sex." Now she seems to be expressing happiness and curiosity! It's an amazing transition.

So now it's "I'm hungry," "I need changing," "I'm tired," and "Hahahah! Wasn't it funny when I was crying a second ago so that you couldn't have sex? Now I'm happy."