Posted tagged ‘dad’

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 – Grandfather’s Revenge

July 15, 2009

fredsavagepeterfalkThe Grandson: A book?
Grandpa: That’s right. When I was your age, television was called books. And this is a special book. It was the book my father used to read to me when I was sick, and I used to read it to your father. And today I’m gonna read it to you.
– from The Princess Bride

Isn’t it funny that sometimes when I reflect back on my own childhood, I think back on all the lessons I should have learned quicker? I was always the contentious one when it came to listening without being a contrarian, always rebelling like a stubborn fool. And my dad, he’s always been the type to give me just enough rope and freedom to learn (and hang myself in the process). Actually, he’d teach me the right things initially, then I’d invariably rebel for no discernible reason, and only after that did he really take the opportunity to drive the point home. I call it learning by experience, since I did learn through experience (and that’s invaluable) but most people call it learning the hard way.

disciplining-kidsIt is ironic that oftentimes it takes “getting old” to realize that all the “important” things were actually just that, important life lessons we should have learned the first time, aka “the easy way.” I mean, ultimately its true in many respects, the “like father, like son” quote that’s been repeated throughout the ages. Eventually you see the principles of life the same way as those that instilled them into you in the first place. That’s your job as a father right? To teach your kid right from wrong by passing on your own knowledge… I’m almost laughing my face off because now that I’m having my own son, I’m really hoping he’s not going to be as damn stubborn and hard-headed as I was. I definitely don’t wish that headache on anyone, much less myself. Sigh… it’s going to be ironic, the  day when I start repeating the same stuff my Dad told me over and over. Maybe I’m just being paranoid but something tells me that all my past rebelling will come full-circle and bite me in the ass soon enough…. Poetic justice indeed.

By the way, I think I know what I’m going to do with this whole Becoming a Dad series when it’s all said and done. At first, my initial idea was to gain enough of a readership to warrant some advertisers for expensive day-cares (more on that next month). But throughout time, this whole thing has really become a passion project for me. Now when our son is born, I’m going to take this series offline and turn it into a book to be put away. And when my boy is old enough  to the point of going through this experience himself, I’ll dust it off and pay the lesson forward to him as well.

🙂

Becoming a Dad – Painful Lesson Learned

July 1, 2009
HungoverMonkeyJAN09

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.