Posted tagged ‘Fatherhood’

Becoming a Dad – Retrospective

May 20, 2010

For those of you that didn’t know, I chronicled my journey (some may call it a miraculous transformation), from out-of-control, live-by-the-seat-of-my-pants bachelor to becoming a first-time father not too long ago.

By sheer happenstance, I re-read portions of this diary today for the very first time since Nicky was born five months ago. It seems like ages in some ways and others, seems like yesterday! Looking back, I marvel at how I felt and evolved throughout this journey. Relating past expectations to current feelings, I know how I lucky I am to have my son. To use a cliché that probably only other parents truly understand, it was all worth it in the end!

Below, I am re-listing every single journal entry I wrote for Becoming a Dad for my friends who are currently awaiting their first and for any guy who endeavors to become a father themselves someday. Who knows, maybe some mommies out there might enjoy reading these journals as well.

  1.  A Surprise Beginning
  2.  Ninja Dagger Hormones
  3. The First Ultrasound
  4.  Sympathy Emotions
  5.  Running to make It
  6.  Coming Home
  7.  Painful Lesson Learned
  8.  Fireworks & a Birthplace
  9. Find Out the Sex of our Baby
  10. A Chance Meeting
  11. Grandfather’s Revenge
  12.  Nice Little Sundays
  13.  Showing and Growing
  14.  Accidents and Emergencies
  15. Bedtime Habits 
  16. Putting Away Groceries
  17. His and Her Days
  18. Third Trimester Here we Come
  19. Labor Day Getaway
  20. How to Deal with Pregnancy Hormones
  21. Baby Registry Advice
  22. 50 First Days
  23. Baby Shower Pictures
  24. Gratitude
  25. Racing to the Finish Line
  26. Nicholas is Born!
Nicky at 5-months.

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Becoming a Dad – Racing to the Finish Line!

November 9, 2009

Due Date – December 1st: 3 weeks and 1 day to go.

Don’t let the due date fool you, the day after Thanksgiving is my prediction. I fully expect our baby boy to arrive sooner rather than later!

Mom-to-be and I had our 36-week OB appointment last Friday and saw our son for the first-time since August. Prior to the visit, I had friends tell me that we’d be able to tell what he would look like on this visit. I’d been trying to picture this baby in my head without a clear visual so naturally, I was very, very anxious to see him.

2009-11-06_15.37.33This visit was a mixture of amazement and disappointment. The part I was down on was the lack of a 3-D ultrasound. As you can see by the picture of baby, we didn’t get the full picture of what our son looks like quite yet. I don’t know if he has mommy’s nose or dad’s facial structure, etc. Though I have a sneaking suspicion he’ll have his mother’s lips. And on top of all that, he was frowning!

All in all, mom-to-be are both just really anxious. It’s still funny how the first six months or so of this pregnancy went by so deliberately. …and how this last trimester has seemed to skate by us… yet at the same time, we’re stuck in what feels like an awkward limbo. Not quite resigned to being pregnant anymore, yet not quite parents just yet.

We just want our baby to arrive now!

….But not now, now – if that makes sense. I want my Thanksgiving turkey first.

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Becoming a Dad: Gratitude

October 25, 2009

Fatherhood is vastly approaching. An estimated 36 days by the official count and about 25 days by prediction.

2009-10-24 18.36.06The past eight months I’ve been blogging about everything that has to do with the ups and downs of becoming a first-time dad, and everything sideways too. From pregnancy hormones and car accidents to hospital visits and baby showers, I feel like I’ve written about almost everything. Now we can all relax. The big day is upon us and soon enough, you all will no longer have to hear all my non-stop ramblings. lol.

As I think beyond the changes I’ve made and how I’ve grown throughout this journey, I’ve come to deeply appreciate the support and love of the friends and family, All of you who have chosen to share in the experience of my becoming a father.

In my last entry, I remarked about feeling overwhelmed at the show of love & generosity our friends put on at our baby shower. In hindsight, I guess I’ve been feeling this way all along… completely amazed at gestures of selflessness thrown our way. Friends, family, teammates, co-workers… You’ve all been there for us and we deeply,deeply appreciate it. I’d name names but there’s just too many of you and admittedly, I don’t want to leave anyone about. But you know who you are.

There’s just no greater feeling in the world than knowing you are loved and cared out. We’ve gotten a lot of gifts but that’s the one we appreciate the most.

Thank you cards and all that are coming but Megan and I plan on repaying your gratitude in the best way we can – through being the best parents we can be this little boy. Guys… seriously… I want you all to know exactly how much Meg and I love this kid but I wouldn’t be able to find the words to do it justice.

One thing’s for sure though – After spending this past weekend washing clothes, putting furniture together,  and generally nesting – I can truly say I am ready and excited for my boy to get here! (and not a moment too soon!

Thanks for reading. Love you guys.

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Becoming a Dad – 50 First Days

October 12, 2009

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Today marks the 50 day countdown to our anticipated due date! You know what that means? It means this baby could be coming in just a few weeks, depending on when he decides to make his way into the world. Based on how stubborn and impatient his parents are, mom-to-be and I are both thinking that time could be sooner rather than later. So yeah…. every day from now on is going to be filled with anticipation.

Wow. Two months shy of having our baby baby with us. What a sobering thought. So much still left to get done.

Laying in bed last night, Megan and I had a quiet chance to reflect on the past 7-8 months of this experience.

We’ve been so blessed within this pregnancy to not have experienced many of the common complications of many pregnancy. Stuff like gestational diabetes, kidney stones, and hemorrhoids… Or even nosebleeds, infections, H1N1, or illness of any kind. What a blessing it continues to be to not have to deal with any of that stuff. For that we feel so fortunate. It makes every other sacrifice and committment we’ve had to make seem so trivial.

 It’s nice to reflect on the good stuff every once in awhile. Now we can face the these last fifty days with strength knowing that the wind is on our backs for the rest of the journey!

One last thing – Megan and I went to a 4-hour ‘Life with Baby’ course this past weekend that gave us a lot of material. Gone is the fear of the unknown. Now I know what I’m scared of. lol. Cue dirty diaper powerpoint in my mind.LOL. In all seriousness, this class covered everything from infant characteristics & diapering to safety, breast feeding, and how to deal with crying. Very helpful indeed. I’ll be covering all those in my next blog so don’t miss it.

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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 – 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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