Posted tagged ‘Becoming a Dad’

Becoming a Dad ‚Äď Nice Little Sundays

July 19, 2009

Mom-to-be and I had ourselves a nice little weekend… We went to the Onion Creek farmer’s market, the antique store at Heights Station , even stopped a lotus garden. And we even managed to make it to Wholefoods and World Market… I knew we had to. I just didn’t know if we’d have enough time….

For those of you who with prego brain, that was totally a hit-or-miss joke from the movie ‘Old School’ but I promise you it was all true. We did all that this weekend plus more. Exciting huh?

Trust me, it’s very ironic just how much I’m starting to enjoy these little outings on my new-look weekends. Just 7 months ago, the last thing I thought was that I’d be the next out of our group to be expecting a kid, much less enjoying the weekend trips to Home Depot and such. Back then, it would have been a magnificent feat to find me awake before noon or know what I was doing that night, much less actually going out in the sunlight doing something productive on a regular basis. I kind of just flew by the seat of my pants doing what boys do like the rest of our crazy westchase chapter of ninjas. Then mom-to-be came into my life and everything changed.

Back to the present day, I just noticed about a week ago that my entire routine has changed. I keep a personal diary so I compared date-to-date from this year to the year before. What I’ve come to find is that I’m damn near unrecognizable from previous self in many ways.

Being involved in drunken nights and war stories have been converted to the weekly brunch meetings just to hear about them from the other guys. Nightly trips to Wendy’s for dinner has been substituted for protein shakes and ‘portion control.’ And waking up at noon is a distant memory. I cook breakfast on most weekends now and I’m working out more often.

I’m happy to report that I no longer miss the bad food, crazy nights out, and not getting up until noon. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not all the way there yet when it comes to being the stay-at-home-dad but what I’ve come to realize is that I’m appreciating home life more and more nowadays. It’s just amazing to me that this transformation is happening so naturally that I didn’t even notice it until I no longer minded the change. Now I’m beginning to understand why my parents had all those routines, cleaning, going places, etc. on weekends when I was a kid. Scary thought, this whole growing up business.

Below are some pictures I took of mom-to-be from this past weekend

In other news…. thanks to everyone who participated in the casino night charity for the VCSA and the Hoang Nguyen Foundation this past Saturday. Our very own ninja Eddie Corrin took home the grand prize, which was a rather large plasma television. And from the looks of things, it looks like the charity took home a good amount of change from a very fun event sponsoring an invaluable after-school program for tutors. Also, thanks to Cathy P. for having Megan and I over for the housewarming on Saturday afternoon. Dude, Cathy, your new house is amazing! And I never realized all this time that you were an art teacher. The work we saw at your place was amazing and Megan and I would be honored to buy a piece off your hands to put over our two fireplaces. ūüôā

One last thing, this journal is currently #11 on Top Baby Blogs. Please click on the link and help vote us up. It’s be pretty cool for me to be the only man writing to ever crack the Top-10 of the baby blog ranking. Yes, I’m a dork, I know. LOL.

Becoming a Dad – A Chance Meeting

July 10, 2009

bus

So I stepped on the park-and-ride bus this morning and sat down in my usual seat, just¬†two row back front the door against the window. Every morning when I get on,¬†I usually notice random strangers idly chatting. I can always hear it but usually ignore them. After all, these are not my conversations and I want to sleep anyway. But this morning was very different because just when I’m about to doze off I hear a man remark to the bus driver, “Yeah man, we find out on Tuesday.”

Naturally my ears perked up immediately and spontaneously, my voice bursting ¬†out¬†of nowhere to ask¬†the man,¬†“Are you and¬†your wife were¬†having a baby?”

From there happened the most fulfilling bus ride of my life.

He and I¬†must have talked about everything relating to impending fatherhood. He told me about his experience the first-time around… About the struggle of trying like hell to have one baby¬†with a wife that¬†wasn’t able,¬†only to discover the miracle of finding out he’s having not one but two. About¬†having twin babies born three-months premature and driving to the hospital (same as ours) to see them every day, despite living 45-minutes away and working ten hour days…¬† About how, looking back at it all seven years later, he still looks at his boys sometimes and thinks, in his own words, “I still can’t believe I’m¬†a father.” And finally about how he’s fortunate enough now to be able to do it all over again.

It really motivates me to hear stories from other parents.

I learn a lot from them and experiences like today’s. Like how scooping the bubbles out of the milk and how that will help avoid colic. And how taking walks in public places with mother-to-be will make them seem much less tedious than walking in the neighborhood. And how not to splurge on a crib because the baby will sleep more¬†in the bassinet anyway. And finally that¬†the baby should¬†learn his schedule right away, so he knows day is day and night is time for sleep so we can actually get some rest.

Goodness, we must have talked the whole thirty minutes into downtown like dorks without even noticing it.

Thanks man.

Becoming a Dad – Fireworks & a Birthplace

July 5, 2009

Fourth of July – Texas Style

So this was my first Fourth of July without the traditional beer and BBQ. It was also certainly my last Independence Day prior to becoming a dad. Both startling thoughts.

Megan and I decided to celebrate in an entirely different way this year, traveling to the birthplace of Texas to celebrate the birthplace of our nation. Now when we embarked on this journey, I had no idea what to expect. After all, I thought that Texas came from a little old place we like to call Mexico. But what I discovered an hour and a half away from home  in Washington on the Brazos State Park was something I appreciated way more than watching silly fireworks.

We wandered around for a good while after we got to the park. Outside of walking the trails, taking pictures besides the barn where they signed the TX Declaration of Independence, and spending time with our good friends, the Talavera’s, who also made the trek, the greatest joy I gleamed from this experience was learning that this was one of Megan’s favorite places in her own childhood. Seeing the joy in her manner as she taught me about the history of the place (what happened there), what animals made the tracks by the lake (probably dogs), and the names of common TX wildflowers (red – Indian Paintbrush, blue – Bluebonnet, yellow – One-Eyed Susans) – that was what made this trip to Washington, TX worthwhile for me.

Just so you know, I’m pretty much an inside-cat and not an outdoor one. But going to this place was even worth the allergic reaction on the way home (horrible), the splinters and blisters on both feet, (painful) and the mildly-sprained ankle from the fields we parked in. (annoying) If for nothing else than the fact that I was able to get to know the mother of my child just a little bit better. I wouldn’t have traded it for all the beer and BBQ in the world.

Below are some pictures from our trip to Washington on the Brazos State Park.

Becoming a Dad – Painful Lesson Learned

July 1, 2009
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I was told by a great many people that my last post on Becoming a Dad was very sweet. That was the overall reaction. ¬†But to be fair, I’d like to give a full summation of both extremes in terms of reactions before I share another anecdote with you guys.

Most of the women, especially the more experienced ones (I won’t say “older” for fear of revenge), remarked that it was good for me that I was “finally getting it” when they talked about my desire to be home with mother-to-be.¬†In fact, many close friends told me they were very proud of the fact¬†that I’ve not only embraced this pregnancy with open-arms but also seem to be growing into the role of eventual father.

Meanwhile, on the other end of the spectrum, calls came flooding in from the DNC Ninja support team (mainly Steve aka “Lightweight”) to rescue me from estrogen before my man-card was lost into the torrential abyss for all of eternity.

For those of you that don’t know, the DNC, on whose website this series is housed, was founded on two basic tenets: 1)¬†personal accountability and 2) balance between professional goals and enjoyment of life aka partying.¬†So my friends like Steve know a thing or two about being trying to maintain equilibrium in life. Well¬†last Saturday, I was reminded of how far I still have to go in terms of mastering that balance.

The DNC crew was celebrating for two ninjas this past weekend in Rice Village. For our Houston crew, Jino, our little prodigical son, had his going-away prior to leaving for grad school at Johns Hopkins. Meanwhile, our ninjas in Baytown were also in the village bar-area to celebrate Julian’s birthday.

So there you have it,¬† a convergence of about twenty people, a roving band of ninjas, if you will, on a “boys night out” and hell bent on getting obliterated.¬†Keep in mind we had none of the wives or girlfriends around to police us except for poor Katie, who tried her hardest. So what the heck happened? Well I won’t get into the details… (this¬† is a family-friendly site after all) but let me tell you, whatever you are thinking,¬†the evening ended up 100x crazier than most of you responsible adults would expect. I didn’t¬†fare the worst out of all the ninjas but I definitely¬†made a total a$$ out of myself by the time it was all said and done. We were all hurting the next day. I still am. And its the Wednesday after.

My point to this story that I learned the¬†hard way – Mother-to-be wasn’t the type of partner to make me stay home. Again, she encouraged me to go out with the boys. This time, I absolutely did. Balls-to-the-wall, you might say! I didn’t expect¬†the price I ultimately had to pay and¬†I paid it dearly the next day and beyond. Mentally, physically, emotionally, the whole nine yards. And while Megan wasn’t the type to make me stay home, she also impressed upon me that she is the type to let me hang myself without any sympathy from her. Basically, as I whimpered around the house limping in pain and wrecked mentally, all I got was snickering and I-told-you-so’s. I’m never drinking again. (for the 10,000th time but I had to throw that in there.)

I guess this might be a little glimpse into the future of raising a child with rebellious genese like his/her parents. I mean, I acted like a child myself and paid for it dearly. So I learned my own lesson. And the lesson was even more effective than any “nagging” from mother-to-be could possibly have done. I wonder, is that how it truly is? Do you have to let them fall so they learn to pick themselves up or not fall the same way again?

Just a thought…

Mike

PS –¬† We find out the sex of the baby next Tuesday. I am so #&$*% nervous.

Becoming a Dad – Sympathy Emotions

June 8, 2009
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It’s the fourth installment of my Becoming a Dad series and we’re now entering our 15th week en route to the baby’s due date. As far as the pregnancy goes, I’m happy to report that everything is going smoothly and mother-to-be’s belly bump is becoming a little more prominent. She still has some issue with ‘feeling fat’ and that sort of thing¬†but I think she’s the most adorable pregnant woman in the world. That exact thought came to my mind as I saw her for the first time yesterday since she spent the weekend visiting her family. I thought she looked¬†SO beautiful appearing in her long colorful skirt and shirt that showed off her little bump. Just sometimes¬†I wish she could see herself through my eyes….
Anyways, as far as where I am in¬†this whole¬†impending fatherhood thing, well what I’m going through must be the exact opposite of what the woman is supposed to be feeling right around this time. For the mother-to-be, its supposed to be a time where the nauseating pregnancy symptoms go away a little and she can enjoy her pregnancy a little more. For me, its like my own pregnancy symptoms just showed up like an uninvited house guest without warning! Like… why have I been worrying and cleaning all weekend? And why am I more emotional than usual? I mean it’s all good but if my nipples start getting sensitive or my butt gets any bigger and I’m fighting somebody!
PS – The discussion continues but we’ve narrowed down some baby names already. Also, we’ve been talking about potential godparents and that decision is going¬†to be¬†a challenge indeed. Besides that, everyone still thinks¬†the baby¬†going to be a girl except for the loyal Filipino Titos. (Go Team Philippines!) ¬†We find out the sex in July…