Archives for category: Parenthood

What an insane past week and a half (give or take a day or two). If there’s one thing I’ve learned over the course of a week and a half it’s that if Grayson is doing to do something, he’s going to do it the extreme.

I’ve always believed this, to an extent. I mean, instead of rolling over, he rolls across the room. Instead of taking naps, he sleeps for roughly 9 hours a night. And instead of getting a cold, he decides he’s going in with pneumonia for the first time he’s sick. Ok, maybe not so drastic. I mean, he had slight pneumonia, like that’s better.

The Thursday before the Super Bowl, we knew the little guy was getting sick. But, we were hoping it would pass. Alright, I’ll be honest with you guys. Since we’ve moved back to Texas, we’ve yet to find Gray a pediatrician. I know. Terrible parents. I KNOW! But, what had happened was, there was an issue with Dibs health care, and it didn’t transfer right, this that and that and the other. So, we were trying to hold off till Monday on going to a doctor. Poor little guy wouldn’t sleep in his bed, and the only way he’d sleep was if he were on one of us. This meant that I was on the couch holding him trying to sleep, and then Dibs would rotate. That’s teamwork.

Then comes Super Bowl Sunday at about a half hour before kickoff. Let me interject briefly. I’ve been pissed on, pooped on and spit up on. Well, friends, I’ve officially been vomited on. As I’m trying to calm him down, he just let’s it go all over me. We immediately go to the ER (no, we didn’t overreact. It was a smart move. No… I haven’t seen the bill yet. Why?).

The ER on Super Bowl Sunday is funny. If you want to see some anxious dads, that’s the place to do it. Not because of their kids or anything, but because they’re missing the game. Especially when they’re playing Nanny McPhee on the TV. This is where being a resourceful dad comes in handy, guys. The night before, I anticipated all of this, so I DVRed all of Super Bowl Sunday. This is key, men: Always think two steps ahead.

The doctor checks Gray out, confirms that he had a cold, gives us some meds and sends us on our way. We return home around the 4th quarter. Both him and I fall asleep after the game with him on me. The bad news is that I was flying out to LA for work the next morning. Reason #238 Dibs is the greatest mom ever.

Granted, at this time we thought he was in an upswing. Dibs finds a pediatrician, takes Gray to her and the news wasn’t what we hoped. Instead of an upswing, Gray had the dreaded pneumonia. Again, a slight case of pneumonia, but still. I was well prepared to fly home, but Dibs assured me that there was no need. (Reason #239 she’s the greatest mom ever.) I returned back to Dallas on Friday, back to the Pediatrician. Grayson is wheezing a bit, so we need to start him on breathing treatments. If you don’t know what that means, think about a oxygen mask being put to your face (in the shape of a purple dinosaur), except instead of oxygen, we’re giving him a steroid and another medicine combined.

You know what babies hate? Breathing treatments. The nurse says to us, “It’s OK if they cry. They inhale more that way.” Oh, well, that’s good. I guess. We do the treatments every 4 hours through the weekend, pump him full of antibiotics and try to get him as much sleep and milk as possible.

It was a long, intense battle. By Sunday night he seemed to be bouncing back again (what did we know). By Monday night he was obviously feeling better. Lastly, by Tuesday night, he was much better. By that I mean, he made up for all the lost time of being sick. He laughed all night, rolled under the couch and wouldn’t come out (that’s new) and was overly happy all night.

Good to have him back… now if I could only figure how to make sure he never gets sick again.

The first time Grayson rolled across the room, I missed it.

I’ll set up the scene:
Dibs and I are eating dinner, while Gray is in his activity gym playing. We look at him. Comment on how effin’ cute he is, then continue eating. Seconds later, Grayson was roughly 5 feet (the most inaccurate estimate ever) from his activity gym.
“What the hell, honey?!” I asked Dibs. “How’d get there?”
“He is mobile,” she replied.

Boy is he ever. He now rolls all over the place. It’s like he’s constantly rolling down a hill. If he sees a toy, like his Sophie, he rolls across the living room to get her.

It’s incredible to watch, especially considering he’s 5 1/2 months.

Just one of those things that reminds you that you’re actually not doing too bad a job raising your kid.

Now I just need to make sure there are no nails sticking out of the ground. Does that mean I get to roll around our apartment seeing if I get poked??

Happy New Year, everyone. What? New Years was like a month ago?

Oh… I guess it was. Well, sorry, we’ve been moving, getting settled and getting set up at our new jobs.

Well, all of that has been accomplished and we’re back.

Gray handled the move fairly well. According to Dibs, he was fussy on the plane before take off. Everyone basically stared her down with murder in their eyes, but once the flight took off he was ok. If you know Gray, you know he has lungs for days. He’s a loud kid. Pretty sure I’d want to do the same if he was crying on my flight.

Now he has his own room! It’s amazing. He sleeps in there like a champ, too. Well, not counting the past couple of days. A 5:30 wake up time is unacceptable, young man. This morning he decided that 3:45am would be a good time to wake up. And, he had no intention of going back into the crib. It was sleep on my chest, or not sleep at all. Therefore, I got to lay on the couch with him draped across my chest. My neck still hurts, and it’s 5pm.

Other than that here are some of his other milestones, which we’ll be diving into more in the upcoming days.

Gray officially eats cereal. Or some weird rice mush. He LOVES it. He sits in his little chair, and his mouth opens wide as I make airplane noises. Then he tries to eat it, which is as successful as eating with no teeth can be.

He also rolls over and over and over. Last night, as we were eating dinner, he was in his activity gym. Next thing we know, he’s rolling across the floor to get to Pooh Bear. Um, did not expect that.

His poops are teenager poops now. Yep, I went there. I guess adding the cereal has changed the consistency. It’s real life happening in his diaper. Terrifying real life.

Lastly, he’s started teething. This, Dibs believes, is directly related to him waking up early. I’m sooo not a fan of this.

Oh, and he’s still the cutest kid in the world.

Good catching up. Talk soon.

I do apologize for the lack of postings… If you don’t know, we are currently in the process of relocating from San Francisco, back to Dallas.

While we’re all extremely sad to be leaving the city we love and the place where we became a family, we’re extremely excited about the next chapter in our lives.

I promise I’ll be back with more tales of parenthood once we’re settled after the new year.

Gray is becoming a whole new man! He’s moved a notch up on his car seat, he got sick for the first time, he’s in his new stroller (bye bye bassinet) and he no longer gets swaddled when he goes to bed (yet still sleeps for 8-10 hours a night!). It’s incredible to watch his develop.

With that said… Thanks for the memories, San Francisco. You’ll always be the place where I started my family, and the greatest city in the world.

FACT: Every day morons raise children.

Every time Dibs or I were struggling with Gray, I either told her this reminder, or said it to myself. It’s an important thing to know.

Yes, morons successfully raise children every day.

You better believe poor people raise children every day.

And, even wolves have raised a kid or two.

I’ve found that reminding myself that I’m not the first person to experience the hard times, the frustrating times and the oh-my-god-he’s-still-crying times has helped me.

Welcome to parenthood Jeff and Jessica. Wait, that sounds like you guys are married. You’re not. You’ve never met, but you’ve both just become parents. So congrats!! Just remember, morons raise kids every day.

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.

I was walking with Gray in the new and improved Baby Bjorn on Black Friday, as Dibs was taking a much needed nap, and an old Scottish woman approached me on Union St. “Oh, he’s a precious baby,” she said. “Oh, thank you very much.” “What’s his name?” she asked. “His name is Grayson.” She then said, “What a nice name. Fathers in my day didn’t do this, you know?” “You know, they didn’t do it in my day either,” I replied.

I keep running into this topic. The whole idea of Dad’s being all sensitive these days. I read a post by Natali Del Conte-Morris about The Era of the Sensitive Dad, and my mom talks about my involvement with Gray a lot. That’s really when I decided that perhaps I should tackle the subject.

Suffice it to say, my father wasn’t the best at being a father. This is something I’ve known from being older. Small things, like never changing a diaper, showing any real interest or really being affectionate were par for the course. Of course, my (Step) Dad was the exact opposite of that. He was/is hugely involved in my life and (as soon as we move home) Grayson’s life. Obviously, when modeling myself after who I wanted to be as a father, it was a no-brainer.

It just seemed natural to want to spend time with Grayson, and make sure Dibs was taken care of to the best of my abilities. And, with all honesty, to see the pride he has from filling a diaper, makes me just as proud. So, yay, whoo-hoo, I’m an amazing dad.

But, what about the other side of the coin? What is scaring me now is what my friend, Christian, brought to my attention.

In summary, are we turning our kids into pansy’s by being so involved and nurturing? When you look at athletes and successful men, they generally have one thing in common: being driven to succeed at a Hitler level, or just being completely abandoned by their fathers. We looked at examples of this, and it really started to take shape. Tiger Woods, Michael Jordan, LeBron, every rapper, and every dude on Wall Street. The list goes on and on.

Perhaps the environment we’re creating for our sons is too easy, too nurturing, too sensitive.

Then, just like clockwork, my friend, Alison, posts a story about how trying to create the perfect environment for your child will make living with kid unbearable.

Can we, for a moment, flash back to the benign neglect of the 1970s and ’80s? I can remember my parents having parties, wild children running around until dark, catching fireflies. If these children helped themselves to three slices of cake, or ingested the second-hand smoke from cigarettes, or carried cocktails to adults who were ever so slightly slurring their words, they were not noticed; they were loved, just not monitored. And, as I remember it, those warm summer nights of not being focused on were liberating. In the long sticky hours of boredom, in the lonely, unsupervised, unstructured time, something blooms; it was in those margins that we became ourselves.

They’re right! I loved not being a micromanaged child. It gave me the freedom to make my own choices, for better or worse, and become a person. It’s a good article, you should read it.

A frequent discussion between Dibs and I is how we are going to handle the discipline of Gray when the time comes. Her concern is that she’ll be forced to be the tough one, because, well, you don’t earn the name Diabla without being a tough one.  Now I realize that this is a terrible idea!

Tonight when I get home, I’m making Gray go out to find a stick. That’s right, a stick to give him lashings with!

Or… maybe I’ll just continue to be an awesome dad, and hope for the best?

I didn’t want to write an entire post that talks about how awesome my wife.

Seriously. I didn’t.

But last night, Grayson and I caught the tail end of her training session. She was in pushup position, in wet grass, at 6:45pm, and had to get up when her trainer called and sprint 40 yards. Repeat from laying flat on her back. Repeat. Repeat. She goes to the trainer 3 days a week. And the trainer don’t joke, y’all. How many moms do you know that have joined a trainer 2 months after giving birth, not named Heidi Klum?

Grayson is 3 months old now. For the past month, Dibs has been working out with the trainer. This is in the evenings after she’s been working full time all day. Since she does work from home most of the time, she usually takes care of Gray (working her job that pays as much as she can) during the day, goes to the trainer and then has to work till about 9pm to make up time while I get my time with Gray. Keep in mind, she’s up at least twice a night either feeding or pumping.

I mean… damn.

Speaking of, breastfeeding is hard. I saw first hand just how difficult it is. Dibs was determined. Want me to be graphic? Ok! She endured nipples that were sensitive to wind hitting her through a sweater. Yeah. That’s serious. (She won’t appreciate me saying that, but damn, right?) Even though that, she never gave up. She met with a lactation consultant until she got it right, and her persistence paid off. She’s now a champion breast feeder. That’s a big deal.

Plus, she makes sure her husband is happy, if you know what I mean… know what I mean… too far? Ok.

And, it’s not just the things I mentioned above. She’s leading the charge on finding us an apartment in Dallas for our move. We’re sharing cooking duties (Hey! I’m doing my best! I can make steak and tacos, dang it!). She’s handling the Wondersitter planning and scheduling. Plus, she manages to get a few rounds of AngryBirds in. Oh, and, you know, she’s raising our kid.

Hell half the time she can’t even stand up, she’s so tired.

Yet… she carries on.

Pretty friggin’ amazing.

So, new dads, my advice to you is to tell your SuperWife how incredible you think she is all the time. Because, damn, they really do turn it out.

I’ve been traveling and working like crazy, so I thought I’d just give a quick update.

Laughing – First of all, Grayson laughed for the first time, and holy crap it was amazing. He’s doing it with some regularity now. It’s this sort of uncontrollable laugh that absolutely slays me. I’m now really excited for parents to hear their child’s laugh for the first time. I almost skipped work that day just so I could keep doing whatever I was doing to cause this. While it’s not abnormal for a baby to laugh this early, most don’t laugh for the first time till about 4 months. Needless to say, it’s incredible moment. (If you’re on Dibs’ Facebook page, I highly recommend watching the video she posted.

Baby Bjorn Update – As I mentioned before, we made the wrong selection when purchasing our Baby Bjorn. Today our new one showed up. It. Is. Amazing. I once again urge you guys to make the right decision here. We didn’t go with the ERGObaby Baby Carrier as I mentioned in my last post. Instead we settled on the Babybjorn Baby Carrier Active. Much better back support here. Trust me.

Wondersitter – We’re in a pretty different situation than most people. For those who haven’t heard, we’re moving back to Dallas at the end of December. That being said, it doesn’t really set us up well for daycare/nannycare. No sense in applying for daycare and going through that whole process, when we only need it for two months. Same goes for finding a nanny. It’s a long process, and no one is going to commit for 2 months, either.

Dibs found Wondersitter and after some research (and friend testimonials) we decided to try them out. Basically, Wondersitter provides families with a network of screened babysitters. We have not had a bad experience yet. All the girls have been great, and Grayson has loved all of them (of course he has).

And lastly…

Dibs and Gray are traveling to Dallas next week. I’m going to try my hardest to get her to write about her experience with traveling with him. Will she actually do it? That’s probably a no. But, maybe I will write it for her. I can’t wait to hear about it. And I also wished I was going with them.

Hindsight is a bitch, ain’t it? Of course you can always make the right decision after you make the wrong one. This is a curse in my life, it starts with Grayson, and it continues through Fantasy Football. You know the problem, you have 3 solid running backs, and you inevitably bench the guy who scores the most, week after week.

The same can be said for making decisions about products before your baby is born. How should you know which diaper to buy, which pacifier they’ll like or, in this post’s case, which baby carrier to buy?

You’ll inevitably chose the wrong one, because, as much as you try, you’re not fully informed to make the right decision.

When picking our Baby Bjorn, we made a giant mistake. We went cheap. Honestly, we couldn’t see the difference on the box. We were flying through Babies R Us, doing our registry and not really thinking about things too much. This is how you get in trouble. So, we thought, “These all look remarkably similar. I guess we should just get the cheapest one.”

Fast forward to today, Gray is 10 weeks 13.3 lbs, and our backs almost rip in two when we carry him. Thanks, Baby Bjorn Original.

If you can afford it, my friends say to try out the ERGObaby Baby Carrier.

Just do your back a favor, and think this through more than we did.