Archives for category: The Dad Life

I’m not exactly sure how this happened, or, frankly, when it happened. Last thing I remember, Grayson was just a little fellow who could barely muster a few words. Sure, he was kicking a ball around, thinking he was going to be the next (only?) savior of US Soccer. But, today? Well, today he’s kicking the soccer ball with gusto. Celebrating by yelling GOOOOAAAL and throwing his hands up, or lifting up his shit to reveal his belly (a soccer goal celebration as good as any). Today, he’s starting to say complete sentences (“I kick,” counts people.) He knows all the sounds animals make, and letters and numbers, and just random shit like that.

Can he tell us after he’s pooped? Yes. I’m not sure what good that does me after the fact, because the smell more than let’s me know what has happened, but it’s important people say.

His development is rapid, and it’s pretty mind-blowing that he (and kids this age in general) can soak up so many things. At some point, we need to stop cursing in front of him, because I’m pretty sure he already says shit.

He definitely gets frustrated, though, not being able to vocalize the things that he wants. Yes, he knows sign language, but that doesn’t really help with things like, “Dad, this sandwich sucks. Can I get some chicken?” Really, the sign language is good for getting girls to think he’s blowing kisses at them (when he’s actually saying “thank you”).

I do generally like to talk about things that he likes, so I can give friends and readers a heads up on what they need to be buying their kids. The problem here is that for the most part, as long as he has a soccer ball around, he’s perfectly fine. It’s the damnedest thing, but 70% of the time, he’s perfectly content with having a ball. The other 20%, he wants a book. And, the other 10% it’s a complete crapshoot.

His reading list consists of, all of the Brown Bear, Brown Bear series, Goodnight Moon still, the Dr Seuss hits (Cat in the Hat, Green Eggs and Ham, Fox in Sox, One Fish Two Fish Red Fish Blue Fish, Mr. Brown Can Moo), Where the Wild Things Are, and a couple of really random books. If I hear “Elmo can use the potty!!” one more time…

While I’ve allowed him to sneak Arsenal matches, and football, baseball, basketball games since he was old enough to lift his head, we’ve just started to introduce actual TV. Perhaps this is because of laziness, or perhaps our hippie San Francisco ways are almost completely drained, I’m not sure. But, he’s started watching this show Chuggington on Disney Whatever It’s Called Now.

And, really, that’s about it right now. The kid is just awesome. We cannot get enough of him, and I think he feels the same way.

It was October when I last posted here. I’d like to say my New Year’s Resolution was to write more, but I’ve long sense given up on New Year’s Resolutions. Actually, Lent has been a surprisingly more effective holiday (holiday?) to make grand life changes. That’s funny because I’m a fake Catholic, and only give into it because Diabla forces me.

This is the long away around saying that the other night Diabla says to me, “You haven’t written about my baby in a long time.” “Oh, yeah, I know… When do I have the time, you know?” To which she replied, “Make the time.” So, just like giving up smoking, giving up sodas and giving up making horrible financial decisions that will ultimately affect my future, I am back. We all have Dibs to thank!

3ish months in real life goes by without much thought. Chances are you or I haven’t changed much in 3ish months, maybe we gained a pound or two, but not too much is different. In baby time 3ish months goes by and you’re dealing with a completely different human. 3ish months goes by, and you’ve got a kid who is now running, throwing and kicking balls, developing language, playing with iPad apps and knowing exactly how to push your buttons.

I still think I’m were blessed with the golden child, and that sentiment is what leads me to tonight’s story.

A couple of week’s ago, Grayson and I experienced our latest edition of Grayson and Daddy’s Super Duper Awesome Friggin’ Weekend. Dibs was in Vegas being on her best behavior (right?!), and the boys were left at home to fend for themselves. Both Gray and I love these male bonding weekends. We walk around in white tees, socks and undies, sneak ice cream, spend most of our time at the park (we wear clothes there) and watch a ton of sports. We also eat out a lot, because, well, restaurants can cook better than me. Don’t worry, we’re super picky about where he eats out, and what he eats when we’re out. It’s not like we give him McDonald’s (Strange I just got completely sidetracked and tried to go to the McDonald’s website, and it didn’t work. If you saw my tweet, just know I’m not sitting at home going to McDonald’s site totally randomly… only sort of randomly.) We’ll get him grilled chicken and corn, carrots or something of that variety. Of course, anyone who has met Gray knows he’s a TexMex junky (what 17 month old isn’t?), so we’ll also get him bean and cheese burritos.

This particular weekend, Gray and I are having lunch at Chuy’s, a TexMex joint, in Uptown. Tons of families around us, and loads of kids. When we go to restaurants together, especially without Dibs, I have a checklist of things to bring. Here it is:

  • Brown Bear, Brown Bear What Do You See
  • The Hungry Little Caterpillar
  • Clementine Cuties
  • Grapes
  • Peek A Boo iPhone App (for emergencies)
  • And, any small toy

We always have the best time, and he’s always real chill. These things are a precaution, and besides the perishable items, are rarely used. We’re sitting at Chuy’s, and we’re surrounded by the absolute worst kids in the history of kids. In front of us there’s a little girl absolutely screaming and throwing her food. To our left there’s this terrible child refusing to sit in his high chair as his mom attempted to give him pureed grossness. Don’t get me wrong, I respect the hell of that woman for taking the time to make pureed grossness (or having their nanny do it), but you’re going to take a kid around all that deliciousness and serve up some green goop? Uh, ok. To our right, there’s a table full of girls that Grayson spends most of lunch flirting with. And, lastly, walking passed us was a parade of just horrible children.

Meanwhile, there’s Grayson, judging, flirting and eating the shit out his delicious burrito, while we laugh at that caterpillar for not having the sense to eat a burrito on Saturday instead of all that nonsense he ate instead. Really, hungry caterpillar? Salami and a lollipop?

Everyone has those days, you know? Those days when their kids are real assholes. I’m just lucky those days are few and far between for us.

Maybe it’s his awesomeness, maybe it’s us being prepared just in case. Either way, something is working, and I’m sure I’ll regret posting this next time we’re at a restaurant and he’s acting like an asshole.

I’d like to start this off with a semi-related story. Dibs is starting the bath for Grayson, and I walk in to tell her to remind me to write a story about how much baby proofing sucks. I walk back into the kitchen to continue to sort out how to pry open the drawers. I suddenly get called back into the bathroom. Grayson is being held out by Dibs, naked, away from her body, and quickly hands him to me. As I grab him, plop. Poop on the bathroom floor. Shit got real.

Folks, it happens, so go ahead and start mentally preparing for it.

Baby proofing is the most annoying part of becoming a parent. And I say this with absolute confidence, as moments ago I was picking up human poo off the bathroom floor.

There are a few high level problems with baby proofing, which clearly I’m planning on listing below:

1. There is no such thing as eye-pleasing baby proofing… things. They’re all a shade of gray, or taupe, which is a decision someone thought was a good one. As much as I now regret our decision to not decorate our apartment with rubber, gray colored furniture, we live with our choices. Instead, we’re blessed with these rubber, round corners on the edges on all of our furniture. Sexy. (Granted, we’re buying these items from Target, but still…)

2. There’s a reason it’s been said over and over again, and I can now confirm it, the locks are friggin’ tough to unlock. The first set of locks we got, forget it, neither Dibs or I could pry it open. Now we have these zip-tie locks that I still can’t open.

I have an internal debate to get rid of the baby proofing things all together. He survived without it till his 1st birthday, he’ll be fine. I brought this up over the weekend, citing our youth as an example of surviving non-baby proofed living (I can’t confirm or deny that fact), and was quickly shot down.

Looks like we’re stuck with the unsightly protection for our child. Awesome.

Though, I’m still under the minority opinion that taking a few unprotected corners builds a strong, aware baby.

Gray’s 1st birthday was last weekend. We were in San Francisco to celebrate. Well, fine, we were in San Francisco for the Ben and Mira’s wedding, which so happened to coincide with Grayson’s birthday. But, it was good to be back in The City for his birthday, considering a year ago we were there… you know… having him. We’ve discussed making that an annual tradition, so we’ll see. Grayson, if you’re reading this at 18, and are currently wondering we didn’t make this an annual tradition… um… ask your mother.

I started this blog so that one day I could have it printed to eventually give to him. Just to let him know that Dibs and I are truly awesome, and that, like most parents, are sort of winging it as we go.

There have been some interesting surprises, like being pooped on multiple times, a few trying times, like dealing with a non stopped, crying baby, and a whole lot of highlights, like Gray’s first Giants game. We’ve seen the Giants win the World Series and the Mavericks win the NBA Finals (to this day, I still point to Grayson as the reason), we’ve moved from San Francisco to Texas, we’ve changed jobs and we’ve had a lot of fun adventures as a family all in his first year.

But, I’ve basically talked about all of this when I guest posted on Mommybeta (A Look Back at My First Father’s Day). (By the way, you guys should read Mommybeta if you’re a new, or old parent. Natali and friends do a great job of coming up with offers for parents, keeping parents up-to-date on trends and product reviews/recalls, and writing quality posts.)

As Grayson rounds the corner of his first year, he’s talking nonstop. Sure, it’s mainly his trademark, “bacca bacca bacca.” But, every now and again he tosses in a few gems (swear he said “thank you” the other day when I called him handsome). He regularly says “book,” which is friggin’ insane to me. How he can say book regularly, but still won’t repeat “mama” is beyond me. Of course, that’s not to say that he doesn’t say mama, he just doesn’t say it when Dibs wants him to. Granted, it’s pretty hilarious that he’s already rebelling.

He’s also now, finally, going through some separation anxiety. I don’t want to admit that she’s admitted it, but there’s a bit of Dibs who is kind of happy he cries for her when she leaves him at the daycare in the morning. I’m sure he’d feel the same way if I dropped him off at daycare, too, right? Right?

He’s on the verge of walking, but it seems like he’s been on the verge of walking for a while. He’ll push his stroller around, and will stand behind his little car and push it around. He walks holding our fingers with ease, but he’s lacking in full walking confidence. Poor kid falls down more than anyone I’ve ever seen. Honestly, we can’t help but to laugh every time.

He also loves to play with anything other than his toys. Seriously, if you’re thinking of getting Gray something, just get him a box. He’ll play with it for days, and eventually eat it. Or, maybe you should get him a TV remote control to throw around, or if you’re feeling generous, an iPhone to throw.

We’ve added a lot more regular food to his diet. Clearly he has Mexican in his blood, as he really only likes burritos and tamales. I’m not joking, he’ll eat a whole burrito.

Every day since his arrival has brought something new. His daycare daily reports are usually filled with things like, “Grayson fell today,” or “Grayson bumped his head trying to crawl over something,” or “Grayson rolled off his mat while sleeping today.” The kid is pretty clumsy, but he’s also not scared to do anything.

I. however, remain terrified.

 

Today is a big day. Gray is 11 months old, and his parents have been married for 4 years. We’re celebrating with the most romantic trip to Harry Potter in IMAX 3D you’ve ever seen.

I’d say Gray’s 10th month of life was one of the more difficult ones he’s had. He’s learning things so fast, and seems to get frustrated quickly when he struggles. Thought I might try and break things down into 3 sections: The Good, The Bad and The Dirty.

The Good: Grayson survived his first weekend away from his mommy. As a dad, I can also say that I (barely) survived my first weekend away from his mommy. We had a blast! Mostly wrestling on the floor, rolling around and laughing. We visited family, and played constantly.
Also, Gray seems to be doing really, really well in daycare. They tell us he’s sort of the leader of the kids. Of course he is. My only beef is that it seems like he always comes home with poop all over his clothes (they’re in a bag, not still on him), which means I somehow get to clean that up. “Your stomach can handle the smell, honey.” “No… no it can’t.”
Gray also talks constantly. “Bacca bacca, dada, bacca.” All the time. No idea where he got that from.

The Bad: I touched on the bad, which is Gray exploding out of his diapers again. We’re also have issues with feedings. He seems to hate eating these days, which for him is weird. We’re introducing new foods, and he’s introducing new ways to not eat them. I’ll put a carrot in his mouth, and he’ll take a carrot out of his mouth. I’ll give him a bite of apples, and he’ll motorboat the apples.
Funny story: I got a haircut the other day after feeding Gray. The whole time I was feeding him (oatmeal), he’d motorboat and the oatmeal would go all over me. So, I’m getting a haircut and the dude says to me, “I hate to tell you this, but you have a lot of flakes in your hair.” “What?!!? I have never noticed, and that’s something I’d notice…. oh my God… Those aren’t flakes, they’re dried oatmeal my kid spit all over me.” Parenting!
The kid needs to eat, and it’s starting to become a major source of frustration for both him and us.
Lastly, he’s just having trouble with things that should be simple. Not sure if that’s what I mean, but diaper changes have become increasingly difficult. He’d rather be anywhere in the world other than on the changing table. We distract him with songs and toys, and have become fast change artists, but it’s still bothersome.

The Dirty: Eating leaves everyone and everything covered in food. It’s hilarious, but it’s still messy.
And, finally, now that he carries his toys everywhere with him, I’m constantly dodging toys, balls and books. I’m going to break my neck, I swear.

So, that’s about it. Our little 11 month old is growing up so damn quickly. The changes in his face, body and voice are incredible. Dibs noted last night that his laugh has changed, and he sounds more mature. I hate it. Stay a baby forever!

I was asked to write something about my first Father’s Day by Natali Morris for Mommy beta. I did, and you should read it because it’s awesome.

I’ll send you over there to read it. Enjoy it by clicking the link – My First Father’s Day – A Look Back at My First Year at Being a Dad

Happy Father’s Day!

My wife and I compete over a lot of dumb things. It’s actually comical… most of the time. The other night we had a competition about who could be quieter getting into bed. Seriously, why is it so damned creaky anyways? Clearly, I lost.

Earlier this week, we argued about who was more nervous about Gray starting daycare. She won. She always wins.

But, we were/are both really nervous about Gray starting daycare. It’s a friggin’ terrifying experience for a parent. You hear all of the horror stories, and how the kid will always be sick and how, thanks to daycare, he won’t need you anymore. Are we creating an independent, self-sustaining son? Is that a bad thing?

Dibs did a lot daycare research, and despite her not liking one of the teachers, we finally picked one. So far, so good, I think. I mean, he hasn’t come home with any bite marks, or a tattoo. I guess it has only been a week.

It’s pretty obvious he’s my son, because on day 1, he tried to hug a girl and pulled her hair. She cried, he most likely laughed. That’s my boy!

I’ll keep you guys updated on how it goes.

(Note: I wrote this a couple of days ago, and didn’t post it. Now, he’s sick. Panic button hit.)

Hard to believe I haven’t written since early May, but time gets away from you. Gray has had so many changes I can hardly keep up. He’s 2 weeks away from being 10 months old, which in baby age is really old.

But, the highlight was taking Gray to his very first baseball game in San Francisco. Sadly, and predictably, the Giants lost to the Marlins 1 – 0. Still, it was so amazing watching him take in the game. His was pretty transfixed (for the first 3 innings), then he was over it. I think we finally started taking him around the ballpark around the 7th inning.

Dibs and I have had this conversation over and over again, about whether or not a ballpark is a place for a baby. I say yes, she says no. I think we’re both right. We had so much fun with him at the game, but had he needed a super diaper change, or been fussy, it would have been a nightmare. So, if you’re thinking of taking your kid to a ballgame, NBA Finals game, or really any sporting event, just remember that it has the potential to be godawful… or awesome. Just. Like. Parenting.

Let’s see, what are some other cool things that have happened. Grayson know says “mama,” much to Dibs’ delight. Of course, he really doesn’t say either to us at this point, but we’re not discounting that. He’s also starting to stand up, which is so cool to watch. You could tell Grayson was never thrilled that he couldn’t walk or stand up. It’s exciting to see him getting closer.

The cool thing about living in Dallas, is that we can now go swimming. Two weekends ago Gray got his first pool time, and friggin’ loved it. The kid loves bathtime, so it was to be expected. Still seeing him in the pool with his shark swim trunks is hilarious. I guess there are some advantages to being in Dallas.

We’re now searching for day cares, and damn, day cares are expensive. How do people afford this? We’ve been trying to research and find the best one, and of course, the best one is the most expensive one. Suddenly, Daddy Day Care, yeah the Eddie Murphy movie, makes complete sense.

You can never be 100% sure when it happens. It’s almost like he didn’t mean to say it, but he sort of did mean to say it. Did Grayson say Dada over the weekend?

I’ll explain…

On Saturday morning, before we leave for the horses races… wait… a side note: Grayson had two milestones over the weekend (the first would be if we agree that he said what I thought he said, which he may not have said). The second was he went to his first sporting event, the horse races. If you’re reading this, and we’re not friends, then you probably don’t know how funny and unsurprising that is. If you’re reading this, and we are friends, then you’re probably thinking, “Of course they took a baby to the horse races.” And, you’re right, we did hit a clutch Trifecta that paid for a nice dinner.

Back to the story… already in progress…

…before we leave for the horse races, Dibs has just left to get her hair trimmed. Gray is in his standup plaything-a-ma-jig in the bathroom. I’m getting dressed, and it’s clear he’s had enough of this toy. “Grayson, say Dada and I’ll get you out.” (Great parenting, huh?) He laughs… “Grayson… Say Dada and I’ll get you out.” And in the softest tone, I hear what sounds like, “Dada.” If you’ve been keeping up, not much Gray does is in a soft tone. Clearly I freak out, because that’s what parents do when they hear their kid say their name. I gleefully (only adjective I can find here) pick him up, encourage him for a painfully long time to say it again. No dice. I put him on the bed so I can put on my shirt, while continuing to encourage him to say “Dada.” Very subtly, Grayson again says, “Dada.” YEEEEEEESSSSSS!

At this point I’m feeling two emotions, one is a massive excitement that Gray has just said Dada, and the other is being terrified he didn’t say Mama first. See, Dibs has been trying to Gray to say Mama since before he was born. Rarely (when she’s around) do I encourage him to even say Dada, so maybe, just maybe I am dreaming this and hearing what I want to hear.

Dibs comes home, and I reluctantly tell her that I think he’s said Dada. Much to my surprise, she’s not stricken with tears and overcome with a jealous fit of rage, but she’s rather excited by it. She gets him to say it twice more, and I’m still so pumped about it.

Gray turns 8 months in less than a week. 8 months! How is this remotely possible?

Last night I was feeding him apples, and I just couldn’t get over how quickly he’s growing up. He looks old. I mean, old for an 8 month old. His facial features are developing, his facial expressions are amazingly similar to mine and he hates peas.

I really need to post the peas video on Youtube. I promise I will and will repost here.

Let’s talk about his milestones, shall we?

At his point Gray is sitting with no problem. He’s not sitting on his own (meaning he’s not going from back to butt), but he’ll definitely sit there for long periods at a time with no help. He’s also able to get up on all fours now, and is seconds away from crawling. He’s really good at scooting himself backwards. It’s hilarious to watch. He looks like a honey badger. He’s also good at taking toys with him as he rolls around the apartment.

Gray has this insane focus, perhaps this normal, but he’s the first baby I’ve ever been around for 8 months straight. We play basketball. He’ll lay on his back, and I’ll hold this little basketball above him. He’ll grab it, get excited, I’ll take it away and say something like, “Daddy stole the ball!” and he’ll go into fits of laughter, then try and get the ball back. We do this for long periods of time, and each time he’s just as excited to get the ball back. It’s amazing (I think there’s a photo a few posts back of him with his basketball).

We recently stopped giving Grayson the pacifier all together. We braced ourselves for the worst. And, nothing. I don’t even think he remembers he ever had it. I had heard horror stories about taking the pacifier away from the baby. Well, we don’t have those stories, which is awesome, but probably not helpful for you.

Dibs and I have now entered into the great race of whose name he’s going to say first. Will it be Mama, or Dada? He’s gotten a Da out, and he’s gotten a Ma out, but no definitive Mama or Dada yet. We’re so close at this point, but I’m not sure how to put him over the edge! I’m shocked Dibs and I don’t have some sort of a bet going on about whose name is first. (We all remember our Birthday and Weight Pool. Congrats for winning that, Eman.)

Grayson’s absolute favorite thing in world is reading. He gets read to after his bath, and before his last feeding of the night. He absolutely lights up when it’s book time. We read him lots of Dr. Seuss (Fox in Socks is his fave), Shel Silverstein, Where the Wild Things Are, and books like the Very Hungry Caterpillar. But, nothing gets him as excited as when we get Goodnight Moon. Man, he lights up with the biggest smile when we get out Goodnight Moon. We always save it for last.

So, that’s it. 8 months. I just can’t believe it’s flying by this quickly.

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