Archives for category: Baby Bonding

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.

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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!

We made the move from breast milk to formula. Well, not 100%, but formula is now in the mix. This, of course, didn’t come without a few tears from Dibs. But, I have to commend her. Her goal was six months of breastfeeding, and she surpassed it.

Breastfeeding was a struggle early on for her, and she worked tirelessly to do it right and not give up. This meant lactation consultants, and a range of frustrations. Once it clicked for those two, it really clicked. She earned her Silver Boobs (hilarious designation for 6 months of breast feeding), and she should be proud of her accomplishment. I think it definitely helped Gray, and help them bond even more.

Ultimately, with her new job she couldn’t keep up with the insane pumping schedule, and breast milk preparations are tough. Plus, we’ve been adding cereal and some foods into the mix in order to fill up our growing boy, so it’s not too bad that we’re weening him off breast milk.

Unless you have to change his diapers. Sweet mother of all things holy, people. His diapers now smell like something crawled into his butt and died. While eating at a restaurant with my parents Sunday, Gray relieved himself at the table. Dibs had yet to arrive, so I took him into the bathroom for a changing.

Quick tangent: It’s 2011. Dad’s change diapers now. Can we get an effin’ changing table in every bathroom at this point? I mean, really, I shouldn’t have to be stuck on a trendy sink counter trying to change my kid, at a not so trendy restaurant.

When I opened his diaper, I thought perhaps he had the cheese enchiladas, rice and beans instead of milk. As I’m changing him, another dude walks into bathroom, says, “Holy crap, I’ll wait till he’s out of here,” and leaves. Yep… this is my son.

In other Gray news, we’ve been working with him to get him to sit. He’s a good sitter when he’s paying attention, but Grayson seems to rather do things like eat his feet. And, when he’s sitting for a long time he gets super excited, laughs uncontrollably and falls down. It’s hilarious, yet not productive. He’s almost on the verge of crawling, as well. This is exciting only because it means Dibs is crawling around the apartment trying to show him how. Always funny.

Lastly, we’ve moved from the 2 diapers to the 3 diapers. Trust me. There’s no way the 2 can hold in the madness…

I originally started writing this post on Tuesday. It was going to be about how after a point, you seem run out of things to do with a baby. Because, really, there’s only so much you can do.

I had the title all cued up, “So, What Do We Do Now?” And it was going to be this post about all the things we do to keep Gray engaged in life, and how we’re starting to run out of ideas. Really, how many times can we sing Old McDonald, or read Fox in Socks before he’s over it? (Side note 1: Fox in Socks is so much fun to read. It has become our favorite.)

All that changed yesterday, when Grayson went to his pediatrician’s appointment yesterday. See, that morning I got a text from Dibs that Gray had successfully rolled over from his back to his front. Not once, but twice. He’s 3.5 months old. At the pediatrician’s office he went back to front, then rolled back over front to back. This isn’t normal, folks.

Dibs was telling the pediatrician that he seems to get frustrated. Our pediatrician explained to her that Grayson was likely getting bored, and not stimulated enough. Basically, our son is out pacing us.

We’re really good about not letting him watch TV. I read to him every night. We constantly sing to him, and help him practice sitting. Tummy time is a daily activity. Plus everything else, like when we’re eating, “This is a piece of chicken. Chicken is awesome.” But the kid is already bored of us!

Do we need to do quantum physics with him? (Side note 2: Quantum physics always reminds me of the best part of Men in Black. The part where Will Smith is training, and the only person he shoots is the little girl in the middle of the ghetto with quantum physics books. Laugh every time. “Hesitated, sir.”) How do you keep something that can’t talk, or even sit up entertained? Sorry that we’re boring you, son.

The first thing I said when Dibs told me about the pediatrician’s visit was, “Well, did you ask how to keep him stimulated?” “Oh, uh, no,” she replied. Great.

So, that’s my new mission. Finding ways to keep Gray stimulated, so that hopefully he’s smarter than us by the time he’s 5.

Feel free to leave your tips in the comments below.

Me: “Honey, lots of new moms want to throw their baby out the window.”
Her: “No, honey. I don’t want to throw him out the window. I want to throw him against the wall. This way he has a better survival rate.”

Actual conversations by brand new parents! Please, don’t report us to CPS. If you are CPS, I was clearly kidding (umm…). And, if you start thinking we’re really terrible people, then you probably don’t have a child yet, or are past the 3 year mark and you’ve forgotten all of this fun stuff. In fact, you’re probably reading this because you’re ready for kid #2. Meaning, you’ve definitely forgotten all of this, or are in denial about what happened the first time around.

Being a parent is like being bipolar. This morning, while feeding, Gray’s pee leaked through his diaper and all over Diabla. “GET IN HERE AND GET HIM OFF OF ME!” I did, quickly. I changed him, and Dibs immediately went to prepare a bath for him and her. While preparing a bath, Gray started smiling like he’s never smiled before. I felt like he was almost on the verge of giggling. (PS. I know babies don’t giggle till around 4 months, but apparently they don’t roll over till month 2, and Grayson was doing that at week 3.) I quickly rushed him over she could see it, and she gushed, “I just love him soooo much. He’s so cute.” I didn’t feel the need to remind her that she still had pee on her. Hell, it was so adorable I almost took the day off from work hoping he’d smile at me all day.

Man, I’m on a tangent that was nowhere near where I wanted to go. I think I’m going to leave it anyways.

So, where was I wanting to go? Oh! Dibs throwing our kid against the wall. Let’s be honest, kids cry. It’s kind of what they do. But, there are some ways to help calm him down. I thought I’d share some of my techniques to getting Gray quiet with you guys. That’s what I do, right?

There’s a book that everyone talks about. Something about New Babies on the Block, or something. Some guy talks about the 5 S’s. I have heard these s’s, and I use some of them. I wished I remembered them, or bothered to read the book. With that said…

The Boob – I mean, this is a no-brainer, right? Nothing gets babies to chill quite like the boob.

Sweet, Sweet Swaddle – I have found that once I’ve swaddled Gray, he will chill out. It’s weird, because he hates it as I’m swaddling him, but he can’t really sleep without. He’ll wake himself up with Gangsta Pose without being swaddled. Sometimes he gets a little worse before he gets better with the swaddle, so keep that in mind. (Little known fact outside of my house… I’m the swaddle king. There is no swaddle queen. I don’t know why I love this fact so much.)

Over the Shoulder Hold – I don’t know what it is, but when I throw Gray over my shoulder he just chills. And I mean, over the shoulder, too. His belly is on my shoulder bone (To show how little I know about bones, I’m now wondering if there is a shoulder bone… Google it.). I toss him over and pat his back, and he’s fine. Well, until I take him off my shoulder. Everyone is always shocked when they see me do this.

Bouncing – He’ll also chill out when I stand up, put him on my chest and start bouncing. This will also usually put him to sleep. And, if I talk/rap (yeah, rap) while doing it all the better. I guess the vibrations calm him down. By the way, don’t shake him. That will obviously get him to be quiet… forever. You will go to jail. You will not pass go. You will not collect $200.

Baby Bjorn – This is just a super version of bouncing. So, I can bounce him while checking fantasy football scores in one hand and eating a burrito in the other. I had no idea how amazing being able to use both my hands would be till I discovered the magic of the Bjorn. Sweden is the gift that keeps giving.

Baby Massage – I’ve mentioned this before. Usually massaging Grayson involves a lot of farts from him, and a lot of laughing from me. Yep, I’m a dad.

Bath Time – He LOVES bath time. It’s hilarious. Once he hits the water, he’s in pleasure country.

Going for a Walk – If things are really bad, I’ll put Grayson in his stroller and take him for a walk. This is so phenomenal that 60% of the time it works every time. The change of scenery, combined with the sidewalk bumps calms him down.

Change their Diaper – Oh, snap, he’s crying cause he’s got poop in his diaper.

The Pacifier – Or as it’s known in my house, the silencer. This combined with anything above, besides the boob of course, increases your chances of a calm baby by some percentage that I’m sure has been reported somewhere. Let’s just say 83%. I think I mentioned before that Dibs was against the silencer. But, once she learned that as long as you don’t rely on it after month 3, they won’t still be using it when they’re 8 years old. And, that, my friends is a good thing.

Just, try to avoid throwing your baby at the wall, ok?

Every dad I’ve talked to is always telling me how they like to bond with their kid without having boobs.

Have you ever seen a group of people more desperate to have boobs? It kills me every time I’ve heard a dad mention it. “Sure she can feed him and all, but you can, too. They have bottles, you know.” Or, “I like to rock him to sleep, since I can’t feed him to sleep like someone can.” The jealousy is astounding. The only other group of people who understand this type of jealously are tween girls. All their friends have boobs, when will theirs show up??? It’s the same thing really.

This is reason number 183 why parenting is so weird.

So, let’s discuss some ways that dads can bond with their kid, without having the boobs from Meet the Fockers. Though, I guess, you could try that… weirdo. I’ve covered some of these in the 10 Commandments, but they should be repeated.

Bring the baby to the wife at night: The kid is upset, and the first thing he sees is you. Ok, so it’s not the most ideal situation, but it’s something. I like to see if I can calm him down before I hand him over to Diabla. That way I give myself credit for what has happened, as I drift back asleep. It’s the small victories.

Burp and Change him: This sort of goes along with the first point. In between boobs, I take Grayson and burp and change him. Of course, this usually results in getting spit up on, pissed on and shit on. Do with that what you will.

Feed him: Yeah, I know I just made fun of it, but it does work. I will say, I’m amazed how quickly my kid can tear through a bottle. 20 minutes on each boob, equates to 2 minutes on the bottle. He really treats the bottle like a shot. This really makes me scared for his future liver. 2 ounces means nothing to this kid.

Tummy Time: Oh man, tummy time is hilarious. I hate that we can’t think of a better name for it. Fish out of water time? Grayson is a master of fish out of water time. Just put the kid on his belly and see if you can make him flip over. If anything, it’s funny to watch for 10 minutes.

Skin to Skin: Here’s another name I can’t stand. Skin to Skin. Have you seen Requiem for a Dream? There’s a scene in there that the words Skin to Skin always reminds me of. You either know it or you don’t. Anyways, I do like when Gray sleeps on my chest. Apparently, he loves it too.

Massage: I guess babies love to be massaged. Every time I do it Gray farts like a high school kid after eating McDonalds, and I laugh like the high school kids more immature friend.

Baby Bjorn: Holy crap, this works 90% of the time. Put the kid in and walk around. Boom, he’s asleep in your arms aren’t going to sleep.

Watch the Cowboys together: Maybe this is just what Gray and I do? Ok, so we don’t let him actually watch tv, but I let him hear it (along with a few obscenities… he’ll learn them sooner or later, right?).

Whatever you do try and give the wife a break. Grayson and I go on stroller walks, or I’ll hold him while she showers. It sucks, you know, because you’re at work all day. So, take advantage of all the time you can. Otherwise, you’re a terrible dad, and you won’t be thanked when he wins the Heisman.

I’m sure y’all have plenty more ideas, so feel free to comment below. By that I mean on the blog, your Facebook comments do no good to anyone, but me.