Simple Advice

I’d like to share some really good, simple advice I got a little bit ago.  My friend John passed some advice on that his dad had told another one of our friends when they found out they were going to be a dad.

“Congratulations.  You’re now the 3rd most important person in your life.”

That really boils it down doesn’t it?  You can read thousands of pages of baby books but never get something so refined.  I remind myself of this whenever I don’t put my seat belt on right away, when I think about skipping a work out, or when I really don’t feel like reading more baby stuff.  I also think about it when my wife reaches into her big bag of crazy and pulls something mind numbingly frustrating out.  It’s not about you and what you want.  It’s about helping your wife and baby be happy and healthy, and doing the same so you will be there for them.

The Big Ultrasound

Ever play pong?  Yeah, the original home video game that consists of a ball being bounced between two paddles.  That was my wife on the subject of whether or not to find out the sex of our baby during the ultrasound at 20 weeks.  First it was yes, then no, then I would find out and not tell her, then I would find out and decorate the babies room and pad lock it (?) so she couldn’t find out, then no, then yes.  Back and forth, back and forth for weeks.  The entire time I knew she would have to know, so I just smiled and nodded until she finally landed on “Yes”.

I have said from the minute I found out about the pregnancy that our baby was going to be a girl.  See, up until pretty recently I was a raging asshole to women in my life.  I made huge mistakes, acted very inappropriately and did not care too much about the ramifications of my actions.  In the process I hurt the feelings of women from my past who cared a lot about me and did a lot of emotional damage.  I knew there is no way that Karma wouldn’t let all of that just go by without some sort of cosmic balancing.  And truth be told I owe a debt that can never be repaid.  So I see it as only fitting that I have a daughter for my first.  Chances are I will have all girls!

On the other hand my wife said it was a boy.  She “just had a feeling” and some dreams that convinced her.  I know, very scientific methods used by both of us.  Not to sound cliche, but despite whatever we thought we just hoped for a healthy baby.  I’d be happy with either sex and so would she.  My wife and I sat in a darkened room, watching a tv screen while the ultrasound tech took all of the measurements for our little one.  We got to see the baby’s feet, hands, face (which looks like a skeleton) spine etc.  Finally, the tech said “So, do you want to know the sex now”  Yes!! The suspense was killing us both (and she knew this so I think she was messing with us a bit).

She rotated the ultrasound wand and an undiscernable grey blob appeared on the screen.  “See those three white dots?  Those are herlabia forming”.  OH SHIT I AM GOING TO HAVE A DAUGHTER! And ewww, I don’t want to hear about her labia.  My daughter doesn’t have women parts and isn’t going to date until she’s 30. 

My wife erupted in tears!  She had secretly been routing for a girl  and only claimed it was going to be a boy just so she would “win” either way.  I love my wife; she cracks me up!

So without further ado:  Here is my daughter!

Funny Baby T-shirts

It seems like the minute I found out I was going to be a dad, there has been a never ending shopping list of things we need to buy;  crib, stroller, car seat, bottles, jumpers, clothes, breast pumps, toys etc.  Needless to say I have spent a lot of time in stores looking at baby stuff.  If you’re a new dad I am sure you feel my pain on this one.

The worst things are the cheesy shirts and bibs that are supposed to be funny but are just flat out lame.  I call them “Ahhhh” shirts.  They are made to make an aunt or grandma go “Ahhhh, isn’t that cute” and that’s it.  But I find no humor in the “Too Cute to Eat My Veggies” bib or the dated “Got Milk” or standard “Grandma Loves Me”.  Yeah, they are cute on a baby, and they make you go “Ahhh” but I need a little more.

I admitedly have a twisted sense of humor.  I find the distrubing and messed up hysterical.  So when my friend turned me on to T-Shirt Hell.com a couple years back I was in heaven.  This site is full of sick, inappropriate and just plain wrong t-shirts.  If you’re looking for a laugh or perhaps a punch in the face, this is the place to buy your shirts.  If political correctness is a 7 Series BMW, T-shirt Hell is a pair of roller skates with metal wheels from the 60’s.  One of the awesome things about this site is they have a section just for baby and kid sized shirts: Baby T-Shirt Hell.com

No, these aren’t the type of shirt you would put the kid in to go to church or over to the in-laws for Sunday dinner (unless your in-laws are way cooler than mine). But if you’re looking to get a laugh from your buddies, or make a bad impression on someone you need to pick one of these up.  Look, you are supposed to stop telling nasty jokes and using bad words around your kid, so why not enjoy the couple of years where the kid can’t catch on to what they are wearing and amuse your friends and piss off strangers?

My personal favorites are:

Kickin’ Ass & Taking Naps

Daddy Drinks Because I Cry

And the one my wife hates the most. . .

All Mommy Wanted was a Back Rub

My wife vehemently claims that she will not allow our kid to wear any shirt of this sort. . . but mommy can’t be everywhere can she?  So if you’re like me and feel the need to revolt against the mass produced bland and boring clothes they want our wives to buy our kids, check out Baby T-Shirt Hell.com and participate in it’s attempt to extend a middle finer to the world.

Awesome Side Effect

Although I deviate from the norm sometimes, for the most part I am an average American guy.  Like a lot of my fellow Americans I often adhere to the mantra that is “The bigger the better”.  Give me a big ass gas guzzling truck that uses more fuel in a day than 20 tree huggers can save taking mass transit.  I’ll take the 20 oz. porterhouse that could feed an entire African village. No room for my oversized fully loaded baked potato?  Put it on it’s own plate.  I want to go to a 100 theatre multi-mega plex , get lost on the way back from buying a giant tub of popcorn doused in artificial butter going to the latest blockbuster that cost more money to make than Holland’s GDP.  It’s just something ingrained in the American male psyche.  I can’t help it.  Of course nothing exemplifies this more than our obsession with the most wonderful of god’s creations; women’s breasts.

You can blame it on evolution, society, or personal preference but it’s a fact of life.  Large breasts are wonderful, and if you look at a line up of my wife and past girlfriends a pattern emerges.  My wife often complains about the size of “the ladies”; they cause her back pain, she needs a back rub, blah blah blah.  She has even gone as far as to say she is getting a reduction after we are done having kids.  But like Jonah Hill says in Super Bad “That is like slapping God across the face for giving you a beautiful gift”.  Yeah we won’t be having that. 

So you can imagine my pure elation when I started to notice that the already wonderfully large boobs started to grow even more.  Yes gentlemen, if you didn’t already know, your lady’s boobs will grow to wonderfully awesome sizes, never thought possible before (without surgery).  I was beyond excited!   

But at the peak of my jubilation, proof that God truly hates me and all men robbed me of my greatest prize.  Yes, your partner’s boobs are huge, yes they look awesome, but NO YOU CAN’T TOUCH THEM.  They are so sensitive that they can not even be touched; let alone bounced, jiggled etc.  Oh the sweet irony!  It’s like running back a kickoff only to find out there was holding and it’s called back.

First Doctor Appointment

As soon as she could my wife called for an appointment to see her doctor.  Many home tests had confirmed she was going to be a mom but we wanted to make sure everything was kosher and we were on the right track.  I thought her head was going to explode when they told her they couldn’t see her until her 8th week; about 2 weeks from when we found out!  She didn’t like it, but she passed the time by taking more home pregnancy tests (?she already knew she was pregnant?) and reading all about our new baby.

I have decided that I am going to go to every doc appointment I can, so I cleared my schedule and went with her to our first one.  We went in and met the nurse, got some of the basic tests and stats out of the way and waited for the doc.  In actuality, the doc is really a midwife who my wife has been seeing for all her womanly needs since she has had womanly needs. She was nice, answered all of our questions, and gave us plenty of info and a parenting “starter pack”.  All of this was great, but we were there for one thing: the ultrasound.  Normally they don’t do the ultrasound unless you request it, and yes it did cost us $45!  Are you kidding me?  $45 to see a picture of my developing baby?  I’m in!

I won’t walk you through the how (it gets a little graphic), but eventually, we got to see a picture of our baby.  Of course I had no idea what I was looking at so the doc had to show me what was going on.  So without further ado; here’s the first pic of our kid:

More importantly, it looks like the baby is healthy and growing according to schedule.  We also dodged the twin bullet (they run in my wife’s family); so only one baby!

Til next time,

To Tell or Not to Tell

If you read my post on telling our parents about the pregnancy, you know how stoked my wife and I were.  The day we found out is the day we told our families.  But a lot of people wait to tell anyone, especially those outside the family.  Unfortunately, a lot of things can happen to a pregnancy in the first trimester.  Studies show that 10-25% of all pregnancies end in miscarriage.

My wife and I are new to this.  We didn’t honestly think about anything bad happening, and were so happy we told the families right away.  After talking to them though, we dicided we would wait until after the doctor’s appointment to tell the rest of the family, and after the first trimester to tell most everyone else.  Sometimes we stuck to that and sometimes we didn’t.  When news this big hits your life, you want to share it with everyone close to you.

So if you’re still in your first trimester think long and hard about who you tell and when you tell them.

Cravings, Sickness and Exhaustion

No the title is not a reference to me after a night of dancing with my old friends Jack Daniels and Bud Light, but instead refers to my poor wife during the first trimester.

Cravings: It started with Dairy Queen soft serve ice cream.  No other kinds would do.  I went to DQ more times in a 4 week period than I have in my entire life.  Then it was Chipotle Mexican Grill for a bit.  Now it’s just different things all the time.  She can’t eat something unless “it sounds good” to her.  Eating anything else than what she is craving does not work.  One time she called me as I was leaving work and wanted me to bring home food from place #1, then changed her mind to place #2, then back to #1, no, now place #3, no “I feel gross, I don’t want food from anywhere” and then finally she settled on place #4.   I asked her, “are you sure?  Because I can’t return it once I buy it”.  Which leads to the next subject. . .

Sickness:  I’ll bring the object of her cravinghome only to have her eat half and then say “Uhhh, I feel sick, I can’t eat anymore.”  Apparently morning sicknessis an incorrect terms, as it can be anytime of the day. It also strikes in a variety of forms.  Not everyone vomits; my wife gets nausea, dizzy and just feels over all crappy.  It does seem to be worse in the morning, but can hit at any time.  Beware!

Exhaustion:  On top of all of this wonderfulness, my wife is exhausted all the time.  She comes home at 5, takes a nap and still wants to go to bed at 9!  This is a classic first trimester side affect of pregnancy.  We have been told it goes away during the second trimester only to return the third.  I will keep you updated on that one.  But for the time being she is beat all the time.

This trifecta leads to a miserable wife, which usually makes for a miserable husband.  I just do my best to accommodate her and make sure she has what she needs when she needs it.  There’s not much more that you can do; just weather this storm of nastiness as best you can and help her do the same.

Name Stealers and Ruiners

So if you read the last post, we had decided on names we liked, but you’re not going to find out.  Why?  Is it because I’m spiteful and evil and don’t like you?  No, not at all, I’m sure you’re a good egg.

After someone finds out a baby is on it’s way they ask if you know or are going to know the sex, and what names you have picked out.  Usually, we just lie to people and tell them you haven’t picked yet, or if they are closer we tell them we’re not sharing the names.  Why? Because a whole bunch of stuff can go wrong.

If you choose to be honest someone close to you might really like your name, and if you run in circles with a lot of pregnant gals they just might snake the name right out from underneath you!  Crazy I know, but it can happen.  Our friends (who are not pregnant or married, but been dating for years) were talking about names they like, and sure enough his older brother and sister-in-law stole their name.  The girl who is our friend was PISSED!

It may also just happen by bad luck.  We really liked the name Ella for a girl. A couple we know had a baby a few months ago and had already secretly chosen that name.  My wife really liked Eva and the next baby born to one of our friends was named that.  My wife had never mentioned she liked those names so there is no malice there, just bad luck.  But had we mentioned we liked those names, it might be weird for the couples who had already chosen them, and no one needs stress in their friendships over something like that.

You also get the person who will pipe up and say, “Oh, I can’t stand that name” or “I knew a (insert name here) in high school.  She was a giant whore and such a bitch”.  Great, now when I think of that name that’s the image I get in my mind.

So due to name stealers and name ruiners, our name selections are staying under wraps.

Picking Baby Names

Agreeing on baby names was rough to say the least. 

First, we started looking at names right away (which I think is the first impulse for many couples) so we had to duke it out on two sets of names since we won’t know the sex until week 20.  Second, there were family traditions that needed to be considered.  The first born male in my family always takes his dad’s name as his middle name.  So that limits the names you can name a boy (since my name is Adam, the kid would be Something Adam, so for example all A names don’t sound too good.)  Third, and most importantly, people have a lot of baggage when it comes to names.  Take the names of all of the ex-boyfriends, ex-girlfriends, assholes, whores, sluts, idiots, burnouts etc that you and your partner have ever known and toss them out.  You don’t want a kid that reminds you of a weekend in Vegas and some bad choices you made 7 years ago do you?

To avoid a lot of pointless back and forth: 

My wife and I bumped heads for weeks on baby names until we did this during a long car ride to the lake for a vacation with her family.  We sat back and selected names we liked, then talked about the mutual choices, and as a bonus got input from her family.

So what baby names did we choose?  Sorry, can’t tell you right now.  Check out the next post as to why!

Telling the New Grandparents

The initial shock has worn off; a second positive pregnancy test has proved it. . . .So what now?  I love my wife for many reasons; but one of the biggest is how she balances me out.  While my mind is going a million miles a minute thinking about all of the new things I am going to be exposed to, how we are going to deal with them, and how many years the stress of all of this is going to cut off my life my wonderful wife is thinking “What would be the cutest way to tell the parents?”

After a couple stops at local stores and some arts and crafts work done in the parking lot, we are ready to spread the news.

We get to the house a little earlier than normal, and her mom, grandma and one sister are all hanging around.  She brings the bag in and sets it down on the counter, “We got you and Dad some thing, where is he, I want you to open it together”.  We are informed he is sleeping, and will probably not wake up until dinner. . . .2 hours from now.  OH my God!  I can’t take the stress of 2 hours of keeping this secret inside. .. It’s too much.  Without a word, I look at my wife and can tell she is feeling the same thing.  She takes her sister upstairs; when they come back down I get the look that tells me she knows. The decision has been made by the sisters that it is ok to let Mom find out first.

“Well just go ahead and open this by yourself then. . .”  Her Mom and Grandma are standing side by side as she opens the bag.  She takes out a silver frame that has engraved bottles, rattles, and other baby paraphernalia, there is Stork sticker on the glass that my wife has written “Coming in March 2009″.  Its fun to see life changing information sink in.  Her Mom starts yelling, “AHHH”, and as it sinks in with Grandma she starts “AHHHH”ing too.  Pretty soon they are taking turns;

“AHHHH” (mom)

“AHHHHH”(grandma)

“AHHHH”(mom)

“AHHHH”(grandma) 

It was hysterical!!!!!  After congratulations and hugs all around, the decision is made to wake Dad up, some news is important enough to interrupt naps. . . and I think this qualifies.  Her dad is roused from his sleep and comes downstairs, sleep still engulfing his brain.  The gift has been repackaged and he opens it.

We wait. . . . . .and wait. . . . (mind you this is less than a minute but it feels like an eternity!) Finally, his eyes widen and he says “Wow. . . . congratulations.” (A few days later he made sure to clarify that he was very excited about the news of his first grandchild, and that his muted reaction was only a result of being woken up.)

Since my parent live on the West Coast we were going to send them their frames, but after all the excitement, I couldn’t wait so I called them and told them the great news!  Not as fun, but you do what you have to do when you are 1600 miles apart.