Archive for the ‘Fatherhood’ category

Becoming a Dad – Third Trimester Here We Come!

August 31, 2009

There are only 92 days left until our boy’s due date and we are racing fast and furiously to get ready.

Mom-to-be and I arrive for the last three months of pregnancy battle-tested and intact after having gone through some interesting experiences the past six months including: a) moving to our place after having roommates b) her car being totaled due to flooding c) mom-to-be being in a car accident… d) …which totaled dad-to-be’s car e) unexpected medical bills f) etc. etc.

I think all those challenges were put in front of us to help us get ready for what’s coming. I really think that all those hardships helped us toughen up from being kids ourselves to grow into our roles as parents-to-be.

In the last six months we’ve made progress to to get ready for our boy’s arrival.

bellyheartTo begin with, we’ve began the nesting phase! The rocking chair and changing table are all set up  and ready to go. The crib is not far behind after I got it in the door this past weekend. Now we just have to worry about registering at Target and Babies-R-Us for the whole baby shower thing and it should take care of itself for awhile.

Lately it has been all about cars for us also. We managed to survive with only one vehicle for the majority of this pregnancy and survived the last month without one at all after the wreck! Now, after shopping and negotiating with car dealers (Not fun), we finally got two in the garage as of this past weekend. And they are a mid-sized sedan and an SUV just like we wanted in the first place! Special Thanks from Meg and I to my mom & dad for loaning us one of theirs in the interim. We would have never managed otherwise so bless our luck for having such awesome parents.

Most importantly for us as an impending family, we’ve finally got budgets have been put together and (most) unnecessary spending has been curbed. For example, I used to order food twice every day not thinking it was a big deal. Now I realize that’s about $400 a month for nothing but calories and a growing belly. So now, this daddy eats breakfast at home and packs a lunch for work or he doesn’t eat at all. Same with mom-to-be on being smart with food costs. We figured out that once we got used to it, our lifestyle didn’t really change very much minus wasted money and bad-for-you calories. It’s going that way for a lot of things. Tracking where the money is going… Such a novel concept that I could never understand as a bachelor.

All in all, I think we’re going to be as prepared as can be. Of course I think we can do more to get ready every single day, but that’s just me being neurotic and paranoid. I feel my baby kick at night and just want us to make the best world for him. Megan says I fall asleep with my hard on her belly and start snoring, only to pause and giggle like a kid myself every time the baby kicks hard.  I just love him so much already and I know his momma does too so we’re trying to do the best we can.

Some Questions I Have for you parents out there…

  1. sepia-handsBanking the Umbilical Cord – This costs lots of money. I’ve read the pros and cons. Now I want to hear from some actual parents… Is this worth the cost?
  2. Daycare Search – I need some advice in terms of how to search for the best daycare possible, like – What should we be watching out for? What questions do we need to ask? And what should we avoid?
  3. Birthing Classes – I don’t think we’ll do this. They cost so much money and I heard the epidural is the only thing Megan will need. Does anyone has any reasons to go to these classes besides the ‘experience’ factor?
  4. Packing the Hospital Bag – When should we make sure we have a bag packed for the hospital? And what should go in it?
  5. Everything Else – What should I be worried about in the third trimester? Any words of wisdom or warnings welcome.

For the rest of the ‘Becoming a Dad’ Series – click here.

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Becoming a Dad – His and Hers Days

August 15, 2009

Currently at: 24 Weeks and 4 Days.

Megan and I are lounging at home tonight after a “His & Hers Movie Day” in Sugar Land. Vince Vaughn’s “The Goods” fulfilled the masculine requirement so I was happy with that. Immediately after, we ducked into “Julie & Julia” a movie Megan heard good reviews about and wanted to see. No problem here but imagine my fear when I looked up the plot synopsis on my phone only to discover that it was *gasp* a Meryl Streep movie that read like this:

Julie Powell is 30-years-old, living in a rundown apartment in Queens and working at a soul-sucking secretarial job that’s going nowhere. She needs something to break the monotony of her life, and she invents a deranged assignment. She will take her mother’s dog-eared copy of Julia Child’s 1961 classic Mastering the Art of French Cooking, and she will cook all 524 recipes. In the span of one year.

julie-julia-2Okay, so at this point, I pretty much think I’m screwed. The theater was crowded and we ended up sitting next to a few lovely sextagenarian ladies. I asked one of them,  “Is this one of those girly movies?” As if I didn’t already have that idea in my mind right? I just wanted to amuse myself. Convincingly, they all said yes but also that I might actually enjoy it so I looked at the movie with an open mind.

Surprisingly, I really liked the movie! Julia Child and Julie Powell are interesting. Cooks and Writers. Two types of people I readily admire. And the basis for the movie, Child’s book Mastering the Art of French Cooking, I think I’ve seen it before at my mom’s before but never bothered to open it up. Who knew there was such a cute back story? I sure didn’t.

So yeah, thanks Megan for taking me to the movies. I guess the unexpected can be enjoyable if you look at things with an open mind.

Other than chick flicks, here’s a quick update on where we are at with life and pregnancy.

We’ve been car shopping for both of us recently. I actually found and bought mine last week. It’s not an SUV like I thought I was going to get but it is extremely reliable and safe. It’s sporty too but it fits a car seat so it’s fine. As for Megan’s next car, I think she’s getting close to a deal. That’s good news because being at a dealership practically every night for the past week has been a daunting experience. But hey, might as well tackle all this stuff now right?

Our little boy is due in just a little over three months! I can’t believe… it’s coming so much faster than I thought it would. Time moves so fast after the fourth month of pregnancy! We’ll be looking at daycare options already next week. Those things don’t have finance offices like the car dealerships do they? Baby’s kicking so much now I think he wants us to hurry up and pick a name, daycare, everything!

Well enough of my rant for now. I smell fresh-baked chocolate chip cookies in the kitchen so I’ll take that as a sign. Back to some more quality time for mom-to-be and I.

P.S. – I stole Megan’s finger earlier and had her size rings. Maybe that information will come in handy at some point. 😉

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Becoming a Dad – Putting Away Groceries

August 6, 2009

baby-in-grocery-cartFunny story from earlier tonight – So I’m at the grocery store (Kroger) right after the gym… You know, doing normal stuff like picking up organic milk and ladies speed stick. Typical night until I’m back at the car putting the groceries in the trunk.

As I’m putting bags away, the owner of the next car, who obviously just got done shopping,  gets back to his spot as well. Mid-thirties Nigerian man. Friendly-looking enough fellow. But he wasn’t the one that caught my eye. He had what looked to be his  year-old son sitting opposite the hand of his shopping cart. This kid was the most adorable little boy.

Well the kid was just having a ball. He was flapping around, laughing, just having a good old time. Sure enough I look over at him. I know the boy probably wasn’t laughing at my mundane task of stacking five grocery bags on my arm. I mean, what’s so funny about a guy struggling to put groceries in his car right? But I see the kiddo and start making faces at him, with my cross-eyed goofy look and everything to try and make him giggle again. As I’m doing that, his dad catches me making faces at the kid and sure enough, I’m about as embarrassed as a sheepish schoolboy caught red-handed looking at a pretty girl’s butt for the first-time!

What more could I say to the guy? Proudly I beamed, “Having one of my own soon man! I stare at babies all the time now!” Probably not the coolest thing to say but hell it was true. So the guy laughs and replies back in his accent about how its normal and how he did the same exact thing before his kid, also his first, was born.

So we stood and talked while we were both putting our groceries away. Nothing big, just chatting about the weather, that sort of thing. I helped the guy a few minutes later by pushing his cart back to the return while he put his boy in the car seat. Short interaction but as I drove away, I couldn’t help put think of anything else other than how happy I am to be a dad soon. Feels sooooo great. 🙂

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Becoming a Dad – Bedtime Habits

August 5, 2009

Currently at 23 weeks. 17 weeks to go.

Before you read on, listen. I feel like I owe you a warning. This post is going to be intimate. Not in the way that you might imagine (shame on you), but rather in a very personal sense in terms of habits as a couple. So if you’re not in the mood for that sort of thing right now, that’s okay. There are plenty of other pregnancy & childhood blogs worth reading.

candles

If you’re still reading this, good. I’d like to tell you a quick bedtime story about mom-to-be and I. Just a small example of one of our habits as a couple. And if you’re in a relationship of your own, I know you’ll understand. After all, every couple has their quirks. This is one of ours.

My other half has developed a little bedtime routine for us. You might be wondering what I mean so I’ll give you the quick preface on our habits before I get to what I’m talking about.

1. I usually go to bed much later than her.
2. We both take our showers, brush our teeth, you know… all the normal stuff a little after dinner.
3. We both watch a little television or read before bed.

That’s where our similarities end. We’re completely different in terms of sleep schedules. To put it accurately, I like to stay up 2-3 hours later than she does. Always have.

Now here’s the nightly ritual I was talking about. Ever since just about month four, mom-to-be insists on me going to bed with her. Not to sleep necessarily but for me to ‘put her to bed.’ What this entails for me is crawling into bed after she’s done reading and soothing her to sleep. I run my fingers lightly down her back… the back of her neck… You know, that half massage, half petting thing. Sometimes I even entertain myself my drawing imaginary pictures or writing stories in invisible letters on her skin. I even made the mistake of telling her the other night that I write stuff like “I love you” on her back when I’m bored. Geez, now she’s trying to figure out what I’m writing every night. LOL. This is what I was talking about earlier when I said this post was going to be intimate. But it’s all quite sensual really, I guess. I know it seems silly but it really soothes mom-to-be. Thus, I don’t mind the sacrifice of my precious me-time so much.

The scary thing is that she’s gotten quite used to this routine. Whether by choice or not, my fear is that this routine isn’t going to go away. What the heck am I gonna do? And when the heck am I going to find the time to play my precious video games again? Sneaking out of bed after she falls asleep is getting to be such a chore. I guess I’ll have to gradually tone down the spoiling her bit and hope she gets weened off this habit of drifting off to sleep from touch. Or maybe I can develop more ninja ways of sneaking off for the next 60 years. I’m gonna figure this thing out somehow. Sigh.

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Becoming a Dad – Accidents and Emergencies

July 29, 2009

honda-accordianThe #1 leading cause of complication for pregnancy is trauma.

As you can see by the picture of my car on the right, this fact never became more scary than the early morning hours of this past Tuesday, when mom-to-be was involved in a traffic accident. Before you read further, I’ll spare you the suspense. Mom and baby are fine.

Now here’s the short version of the story.

When Megan went to drop me off at the park-and-ride, I had no reason to believe that morning would be unlike any other. After all, ever since her car got flooded, this had been our routine. She’d drop me off to take the bus downtown for work while she took my car to her own job for the day. No complications. But this time, it was different, drastically different.

I got the phone call right before the bus was about to pull away. Megan was on the phone crying hysterically. Through her sobs, she managed to tell me to get off the bus. Something about an accident but the details were unsaid or unclear. I can’t remember that part. All I can remember is pushing other commuters out of the way and running. Like my life depended on it, and it did. Megan had managed to pull into the next parking lot, or as I found out later, the impact from the collision had spun the car into the lot as the airbag deployed, probably saving our baby’s life.

I ran immediately past my deformed car to my Megan, thinking and saying nothing but, “Are you alright? Are you hurt? Are you okay?” The rest of the accident scene is inconsequential. I called 9-1-1. Spoke to police. Hurried off shady tow truck drivers. I just wanted to get her to the hospital as quickly as possible. But how?

My brother is such an awesome guy. Always there when I need him. That goes for my entire family. Always there when you need them. Kris came and got us, since we obviously didn’t have a car. He took us all the way to the medical center. From there, it was five hours of waiting, tests, sonograms. The whole nine yards. I have to admit I was just as worried then as I was running off the bus the whole entire time. Pins and needles. It’s like your life flashes before your eyes. What would I ever do without her? What would I do if anything happened to our baby? This is my entire life we’re talking about here. Nothing else matters.

Those thoughts were so real what Dr. Ramos prepared us as doctors do after we told him about the accident. “Trauma is the #1 cause of complication in pregnancy.” My heart dropped. “You’ll need to take the following tests.” I know Megan’s did too. It’s really hard to be strong in crisis. And the wait was excruciating. I sent tweets about how everything was going to be okay for as much self-assurance as anything else. Finally, after my sister came, the three of us got to see the ultrasound and saw the baby moving around. The doctors said everything should be fine. Thank heavens for that reassurance. This whole experience was the scariest thing I’ve ever been through. And I’ve been though some scary stuff in my brief little existence.

floodedcarWe’ve got through quite a bit  together, Megan and I. One car totaled from a flood and another one that will probably be totaled tomorrow. This last one was just another occurrence in a series of life’s tests that make our relationship and will stronger. Yes, all this most definitely sucks. Every last bit of it. I don’t think we deserve any of it but no use thinking like a victim. Whatever, you know? C’est la vies. Just another proverbial ass to kick. And you know what? The one thing I’ve realized – I could be penniless and broke living in a steamy hot jungle somewhere. As long as I have Megan and our son, I can get through anything. So my advice to all of you readers – hug your husbands, wives, fathers, mothers, and kids tonight. Appreciate every moment you have with them. Love them. After all, in the end, they’re the ones that matter. Everything else is just life getting in your way.

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