Posted tagged ‘babies’

Becoming a Dad – 30-Weeks Passed & Baby Registry Advice

September 23, 2009

Hello Readers,

I wanted to update you guys on our progress. We passed the 30-week mark yesterday and are now nine-weeks and six-days away from the arrival of our baby boy. Mom-to-be had her doctor’s visit yesterday and let’s just say our little masterpiece is growing a LOT in there.

According to Babycenter‘s estimate he should be over three pounds now and it feels like it. He’s kicking regularly and I’m starting to guess what bodyparts I’m feeling when he’s not deep down in her pelvis. I know hee’s going to be a strong little boy. I was listening on his mom’s stomach the other night and the kid was kicking me square in the jaw. Good job baby. You sir, are ahead of schedule! 🙂

amazonbabyAnyways, I wanted to write a quick note on the baby registry we recently put together.

For many couples, creating a baby registry seems to be one of the bigger stress points of preparing for the arrival of a new baby and rightfully so. As first-timers, we had no idea what to expect. From researching products online to what you see in the store, it can be a little daunting.

Fear not, I thought. Everyone told us we wouldn’t need so much. Just the essentials they said. We chose Babies-R-Us on the recommendation that they had a robust selection of everything we needed. We picked a Saturday afternoon with the mindset that we’d get it done quickly. No big deal right?

So can you guess what happened? We went into the store and without even noticing it, we spent over TWO HOURS on this thing. For those of you who have never done a baby registry before, let me tell you what it’s like….

They have this little section under a baby registry sign. Target, Babies-R-Us, even places like Burlington Coat Factory… all the stores have them. There’s a desk there, usually in front of some expensive cribs, where couples can sit and get ‘counseling’ on everything new parents might need. After filling out a form and getting recommendations, the store rep gives you a scanner, which looks like a weapon out of Star Wars and then….

…You run amok.

After all the advice, words of wisdom, and self-inflicted discipline we had influencing our mindset, mom-to-be and I just went insane in there. See, it’s hard to control yourself when you’ve got this little scanner in your hand and you’re just going up and down the aisles literally looking at every single item deciding on what you ‘think’ you’ll need. And since the purpose of the registry is scanning items meant to be gifted to you, when you’re undecided about something… you’ll err on the side of scanning it anyway. Personally, I don’t think we did so bad on our initial baby registry but we did spend two hours in there.

If I had to do it over again or had to advise others on the task of putting together a baby registry, I’d give them the following advice.

Dad-to-be’s Tips on Creating a Baby Registry

  • Start early on (probably around the five-month marker) – the earlier you think about putting your list together, the more time you have to modify, edit, and really think about what you need.
  • Do some research prior to making your registry – Especially for the big-ticket items like cribs and strollers, look around online and see which ones are easiest to put together/take apart, what is rated as most safe, etc. before walking in.
  • Find a store that allows you to create and edit your baby registry online – In this day and age, it’s a huge timesaver to be able to create and review this stuff on the go.
  • Leave clothing off the list or don’t focus on it – We did this because we figure that everyone that doesn’t buy gifts off the registry will end up buying clothing. It’s just too easy for people to do. Plus the fact that parents can neglect the fact that babies grow up quickly. I know they throw up, make messes, etc. but you don’t want to stockpile your closet, much less your registry, with clothes you may not need.
  • Determine your motif for your nursery – We haven’t made our nursery yet but we know we want to focus on animals and the natural world. That helped a bunch when deciding between different things. Some stuff just went good together.
  • Don’t forget the essentials– some things you can’t go without: infant carrier/car seat, portable crib, diapers (lots of them), infant tub, baby monitor, bassinet, crib, changing table, stroller.
  • Use a check list – This does help you remember what you need. And most stores provide them for all the categories like bedding, furniture, bath, diaper needs, feeding, etc.
  • And my number one tip– Don’t be afraid to ask for suggestions. Especially from new parents who share the same values as you. Ask them what to put on your baby registry and have them take a look at it after you put it together.

Fortunately for us, mom-to-be did that with our registry and our dear friend Liz, a fellow mom AND mom-to-be in December, our baby registry is now fully optimized after she gave it a thorough review.

Thanks Liz. We couldn’t have done this without you.

Note: If you like to review our finished list and/or help us welcome our little boy into the world, you can find our baby registry here.


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Becoming a Dad – Labor Day Getaway

September 7, 2009

I’m not good at surprises.

Hence, it was a challenge for me to keep plans for Labor Day Weekend secret from Mom-to-Be. Nothing too fancy but I decided to take her to San Antonio for the weekend. One of the main reasons was to enjoy the River Walk, visit the Alamo, etc. but the main thing I wanted to do was just take her away for the weekend.

Just the two of us. Enjoying each other’s company.

And you know what? Despite the fact that we stopped a bunch of times along the way… Despite the fact that all the walking was highly uncomfortable for the both of us… And despite the fact that a sweet old lady rear-ended my brand-new car while I followed Megan and her Aunt to lunch… It was all worth it.

Well… except for the car part. That continues to sting. I hadn’t even put my new plates on the car yet. *sniffle* But thank God it’s minor. I think I can fix the damage.

The best part of the trip wasn’t the Alamo, nor the Riverwalk, or any of the other tourist-like activities…. What I enjoyed most was the process. Like driving down I-10 with a keen eye for cool small towns, interesting markets, and of course Buc-ee’s for beef jerky. That was the most fun of the whole trip. Doing all the simple things, just Megan and I.

I guess this trip was like a microcosm for how I’m experiencing this whole pregnancy.

We have a baby coming in about 12 weeks now. While I continue to plan and look ahead, I’m also enjoying every moment while it lasts. Just me and Megan. Handling every challenge that comes our way. Enjoying every minute we have together before the infamous “and then there were three.”

It’s funny… She thinks I neglect her sometimes…. I have NO CLUE why. because little does she know that she and our son are already the most important parts of my life. The journey that we’re on… Even though we’ll always say the best part is yet to come… She has no clue that I secretly cherish every single moment already.

Except the hormones.

Please click the banner to vote for this blog! – Mike & Megan (and baby boy)

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Those of you who know Megan can ask her about how she kidnapped me after we got back to Houston. I won’t throw her under the bus this time. ♥

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 – A Surprise Beginning

May 4, 2009

Pretext

I originally thought about not writing about my journey to fatherhood on the basis that its definitely a unique personal experience for every man that goes through it. This definitely holds true but something beautiful happened today that made me change my entire outlook on sharing it with everyone. We went to the doctor for the first time and got to see the baby healthy and moving around! Pretty much the happiest moment of my life so far!

filipinobaby

Part One: Discovery & Realization

It has been about two months since I found out for the first time that I’m going to be a dad. At first I was surprised, nervous, scared, confused, happy… Pretty much all the feelings you would expect a first-timer to feel when confronted with this reality. After all, I’ve never been a parent before and didn’t know where to begin en route to the due date, much less how to change a stinky diaper when my baby finally arrives. Two months later and some anxiety is still there, as is a little (a lot of) impatience, but not nearly as much as in the very beginning. Now everything I do and worry about is less  of “how are we going to do this” and more of wanting to create the best possible life for my child and figuring out the best way to do it.

There are a lot of challenges to deal with in the journey to fatherhood. I looked all over the web to find resources for preparation and learned plenty about what to do including: what prenatal vitamins mom should take, what to do for nausea, and what to do and  not to do during pregnancy.  I found plenty of info on all that but what I didn’t find were too many resources for the expecting father. Believe it or not, there are plenty of challenges one faces on that side of the journey as well. From finding the best place to live to figuring out budgets, knowing you’ll be a dad soon comes with many responsibilities, some unexpected and challenging.

Dealing with mommy’s hormones can be tricky as well. She’s a sweetheart most of the time but oh beware those hormones, they loom like an ominous raincloud. Just this weekend mom-to-be and I were arguing about something that I never in my wildest dreams thought I would ever argue with anyone about, electro-magnetic waves. I’ll spare you the technical details but basically, I never considered that something could be dangerous to our child and it very well could be.  Maybe .000001 of a chance but that’s still enough reason for us to want to be careful.

My point is that as a father-to-be, different things begin to matter and issues that were previously irrelevant begin to take shape. For us, I think we’re on track. We’re moving to our nice new townhouse in two weeks and we’ve got one heck of a relaxing vacation this weekend with a great group of our closest friends. (go DNC ninjas and slippers!) It’s fitting that it’s on Mother’s Day Weekend also.

Moving forward, we’ll continue to prepare the nest. I’ve also got to work on stuff like eating healthier, shopping smarter, and saving for future events like my kid’s college. (medical school?) I also need to learn how not to worry all the time about every little thing that comes along. In any case, impending fatherhood certainly is a great catalyst to get things going on a better track.

So where are we at now? Well for starters, today was our first doctor’s visit and I was very nervous about it. I hardly even talked on the way to the medical center, focusing instead on the point in my mind where I knew everything would be okay.  It went that way until we finally got to the ultrasound two hours later. When we finally got to see our child moving strong and looking healthy in mommy’s belly, I couldn’t tell you of any other moment in my life where I’m never felt so happy and relieved. I think we can have some fun with this whole experience and I’m looking forward to sharing the journey.

That’s it for now. More on becoming a dad as it happens. 🙂

Currently: 10 Weeks (our entire calendar on justmommies.com)

First ultrasound at 10 weeks with Dr. Ramos. Our little one has a strong heartbeat and is already drilling hip escapes by moving around in there. Grow strong little one! Mom & Dad love you!

First ultrasound at 10 weeks with Dr. Ramos. Our little one has a strong heartbeat, moves around, and is already drilling hip escapes! Grow strong little one! Mom & Dad love you!