Packing a Bag for the Hospital

My wife and I have a calendar dry erase board in our kitchen, and when she redid it recently the baby's due date was on there!  I had another "Oh crap this is real moment".

Even though the baby is pegged to arrive on March 3rd, she could make an early arrival as soon as February 1st and still be full term.  With that frightening notion at hand, my wife and I put the finishing touches on the nursery and started to pack a bag for the hospital.

My wife is extremely organized and very resourceful so she of course had a spread sheet set up with suggestions on what to bring that she had downloaded from somewhere.  We went down the list filling a suitcase and making notes of things we needed.  I guess I didn't even think about it, but there was a special section just for me!  It suggested I bring:

  • a change of clothes
  • toiletries
  • a magazine or book to read

I also high jacked some of the things from the list for me to be in charge of:

  • Being the audio/visual dork in our relationship I put myself in charge of the video and digital cameras.
  • change for the vending machine / money for food

This seems like a very short list, but I assume that I will be busy calming my wife, massaging her back, getting her ice chips etc and won't have time to read or worry about anything else.  So I am turning to my loyal readers (all 5 of you) for any suggestions on what to bring to the hospital with me.

What did you have that was a life saver?  What did you forget that would have been great to have?

Thanks in advance,

Raising Daughters @ Discovering Dad

In these last 6 weeks I am just soaking up as much advice, tips and knowledge that I can from anywhere I can find it. I came across a great post at Discovering Dad on Raising Daughters. If you have or are expecting a little girl, these are some great tips.

Check it out!

If you have any advice or tips please feel free to post them here too. I need all the help I can get!

Baby’s Fists of Fury

Ever since I first found out I was going to be a dad I get these moments where it all hits home. It's the strangest thing; I know that my wife is pregnant, I know there is a baby in there.  I have seen ultrasound pictures and I have even felt my little girl move.  But in the process of just getting through the days and weeks you don't always think about it.

Don't get me wrong, I think about my wife and my baby everyday.  I think about how to be a good dad, husband and person so my daughter will be as happy as she can be.  I read every book I can that gives advice on how to be a good dad, read blogs constantly and research everything I don't get.  I have been eating better and working out more so I can try and lose the 20 extra pounds I have been carrying around for the last couple of years (Thank you chili cheese fries and bud light) all to be healthier for my wife and kid.

Like anything else you adapt and it becomes just "how it is".  My wife of course is painfully aware of the changes in her, but besides the side effects and problems she has I notice the stomach getting bigger and that's about it.  In a lot of ways it's not as real to me as is it to her.  Until last night. . .

My wife and I are sitting on the couch last night and she says really quietly "Hey come look at this."  She has her laptop open so I think she is just going to show me some stupid Fwd email or one of the birthing videos online.  I put my book down and leaned over by her and she points at a spot on her stomach.

Am I looking for spot on her shirt?  Then all of a sudden the shirt moved!  Holy crap!  I can see the direct effects of my baby's movements.  My little girl was going all Cain from Kung Fu on the inside of my wife's uterus! 

I had another "Oh, this is really real" moment.  Every day that we get closer to D-Day, March 3rd, it gets a little more tangible.  Maybe it's a form of denial (not just a river in Egypt anymore).   Or maybe I don't see myself as a dad; it seems like not too long ago I was pouring Jack Daniels into a beer bong on top of a house boat.  So every now and then I have to be reminded every now and then that this is real and imminent. 

Has anyone else gone through this?  How did you deal with it?

“What a Difference a Daddy Makes”- Review

What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter's Life What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter's Life
List Price: $14.99
Sale Price: $5.43
Used From: $2.99

Overview:  Ever since I found out we were having a little girl, I have been plagued with the notion that I don't really know a lot about the female gender.  At the wise old age of 28 I am just now catching on to fun things like "I don't want you to fix my problem, I just want you to listen to me complain" and "the closer you sit to me on the couch the more you like me".  In all honesty I am blind man trying to feel my way through the world of the feminine. 

I'm not sure how to be a good dad to a kid, let alone a girl.  So how in the hell do I raise a little girl so she doesn't end up on the stripper pole?  Enter Dr. Kevin Leman. . .

Dr. Leman is a well known psychologist and author of more than 20 books on family issues inlcluding "What a Difference a Daddy Makes: The Indelible Imprint a Dad Leaves on His Daughter's Life"  This book is a guide on how to be a good dad by raising a daughter in a balanced environment so she avoids the trials and tribulations of nasty relationships in her own life.

One of the main points of "What a Difference a Daddy Makes" is that children look for love and acceptance from both parents; but the opposite sex relationship (dad-daughter, mom-son) is the one that will affect them the most in their lives.  A daughter's image of how a man should treat her is based on how Dad treated Mom.  If you're never around, negligent, uncaring, abusive, drink too much etc, your daughter will subconsciously look for that when she grows up.  Dr. Leman's rule of thumb is: Treat your wife the way you would want your future son-in-law to treat your daughter.  So if you're wondering how to be a good dad, start by being a good husband!

"What a Difference a Daddy Makes" also goes into depth about how much involvement a dad should have in their daughter's life.  Dr. Leman describes Daddy Attention Deficit Disorder, or dad's under-parenting, which can lead to lower self esteem and may drive your daughter to do self-destructive things to get your attention.  By not being involved in your daughter's life (not knowing her friends, likes, dislikes, or listening to her talk about her day) or being too involved in yours (working too much, devoting too much time to hobbies) can lead to this.

On the other hand, "What a Difference a Daddy Makes" also talks about over-parenting.  By being too involved in your daughter's life you can make it so she is always dependent on you.  By not allowing her the freedom to make her own decisions and sometimes fail you are hindering her greatly.  This sometimes means letting her get hurt; and while we have no problem "toughening up" a little boy, most of us are unable to let our little girls do the same.

So like all things in life, moderation is key.  Dr. Leman lays out how to show your daughters boundries but also discover the world for themselves.  By arming your little girl with these tools you better equip her to handle the world she will one day have to interact with.

"What a Difference a Daddy Makes"  also covers topics like how to talk to your daughter about developing into a woman and sex.  Yes, it made me uncomfortable to read (and honestly type right now) but it is a fact of life that must be dealt with.  While I have many years until I have to do deal with this (I think 25 years is ok) there are some great tips I will remember.  For example; the best way to discuss this topic with your daughter is in a car so both of you can look out of the windshield and not have to make eye contact.  Write that one down!

What I liked: "What a Difference a Daddy Makes"  is filled with common sense solutions that will help you raise a balanced daughter and have a better relationship with your wife as well.  It's a good read for Moms too, as it explains a lot about her relationship with a son, husband and daughter.

What I didn't like: One issue I have with the book is that Dr. Leman is very religious and his faith is intertwined with his teachings.  I don't fault him for this since the book is about his family and obviously faith is a big part of that.  It's just that I am not religious so I felt like some things didn't apply to me. 

I also found that he could be very hard core in some of his views.  For example; he would tell his children every time they drove past an accident that drugs and alcohol were involved.  Thus, they grew up believing that IF you drink or try drugs you will die in an accident.  That is too extreme for me.

My Opinion: I personally think "What a Difference a Daddy Makes"  is a great book.  If you are at all confused about how to be a good dad to a little girl I highly recommend it, especially if you are religious.

Check out this post

I came upon this site this morning and the post really hit home. 

It's called "The 7 Habits of Highly Succesful Fathers" and is definitely worth a read for any new dads out there.