P is for Pregnancy!

image It is neither my intention, or desire, to turn this blog into a 9-month “and today in our pregnancy we did so and so” novella; but, it IS inevitable that when you’re living and breathing it on a daily basis, that things occur to you that you just have to share with the wider world. So today I thought I’d be very topical and bring you the word “PREGNANCY” in all its glory:

P is for Privacy. Privacy is something I’m about to lose when the new baby comes. See, our guest room, when not acting as a “Guest” room, acts as my own personal man-sanctuary. Here, safely ensconced behind two locked doors, I can do my bid-ness in peace…and pull a Costanza with a library book.

Ris for Recreation. I’m going to have to find a new form of recreation as the boys get older. Currently, my only form of non-gym related recreation is golf. Golf, even at a cheap place around here, costs you $50 by the time you’re done. Multiply that times three (four if the next baby is a boy) and that’s just untenable. Hiking is sounding like a good (read: cheap) alternative.

E is for Energy. I think it’s very unfair for mother nature to so completely sap a woman’s energy for months prior to having a kid, only to suddenly give it all back to her in the form of “nesting” just before it’s born. I mean, it’s setting a completely unreal precedent! As if, once the baby’s here, you’ll be able to live on estrogen and adrenaline well enough to keep from falling over at every opportunity. Much more believable, would be to keep the mother (and father) awake for the last two months of the pregnancy, and to make them both allergic to showers, fine dining and television.

G – is for Gee. As CareerMom turned to me the other evening, after letting out a heartburn induced burp, “FOR REAL, no more. FOR REAL!” I turned to her and said, “Gee, I’m pretty sure I was pretty F’ing serious last time I said ‘No More’ too!”

N – is for Never. As in “never friggin’ again”

A is for Answers. Maybe by the time the third one asks me why God made his or her best friend’s skin brown, I’ll have an answer that sounds both intelligent and believable at the same time.

N – is for Nosey. Kids are the nosiest people. Daddy, what do you have in your mouth? Daddy, what are you doing? Daddy, what are you and mommy talking about? Daddy, why are you hiding from me?”

C Is for consistency. Which is the complete opposite of what you get when you’re pregnant. Last night it was in the low forties outside. We had the heater on and CareerMom had me turn the fan on in our bedroom because of her constantly changing body temp and hot flashes. Are you hungry? Are you nauseaus? Are you tired? Are you coming onto me? Are you crying? It never stops!

Y is for Youth. Because even in this crazy, crazy world of babies, and not enough time or money, when you’re out at a restaurant, like last night, and your littlest one stands up in a chair with a mouth full of brown, wet OREO that looks like a snuff of Skoal in his lip, and he yells out at the top of his lungs “BYE BYE” while waving to the crowd…you have to just smile. I just hope I remember the good stuff and forget the frustrations.

Baby Spit

It’s fairly rare, but every now and again my youngest son (of 10 months) takes a late afternoon nap at daycare. This means that he’s actually in a relatively good mood when he gets home rather than being a whiney, drooling sleepy head that we have to try to keep awake for another two hours. On those days that he naps past 4 p.m., he comes home laughing and crawling around and is the cute baby we all hope we get from the good Lord.

Last night was one of those nights and after I bathed him, I took him to his room where he promptly grabbed his toothbrush and started sucking on it. After it was good and wet he took it out of his mouth to study it like a cat might study a mouse right before it rips its head off and brings it to lay at your feet.

So he’s sitting there holding the toothbrush in one hand and he grabs the bristles with the other and flips it towards me like you’d do food on a spoon during a foodfight. Baby spit went flying all over my face and I let out an involuntary, “Oooh!”

For some reason, known only to babies, this cracked him up something tremendous and for the next five minutes he flung spit at me while I pretended to be disgusted (it wasn’t much of an acting stretch) and when that wore thin, I’d cry “oooh!” and then give him tummy noogies, much to his delight.

He has a memory like an elephant, so I foresee more of this in the coming evenings. I’m just going to add this to my list of “Things I can’t imagine myself ever doing….ever.” Now if I can just get my oldest son to give up his Spider Man costume, I’ll be golden.

My Super Powers Only Work When Warming Up Baby Bottles

Baby Feeding Trophy There should be a trophy award for parents who are able to get up in the middle of the night and calm a crying baby without waking up the entire house, or even the entire neighborhood for that matter. And parents who pull this off in an apartment complex should get a cash reward on top of their trophy (“Do you need cash NOW?” I hate those commercials!).

Overall, I’d give myself fair marks for being able to pull this off. I’m probably about 80% effective when it comes to being able to put the baby back down, but last night, I deserve an Emmy nomination for my performance…

Our youngest woke up around 12:40 a.m. I heard him before he really got wound up, so I headed downstairs for the obligatory bottle. We normally leave a small fluorescent light on under one of the cabinets to light our way, but I suppose after two children, it has burned out and I’ve been too lazy to replace the bulb. I’m a man, so naturally I can find the refrigerator in the dark if need-be, so I opened it and grabbed a bottle, then turned to the right, walked one-point-five steps to where my memory says is where my microwave resides, opened it and stuck the bottle in.

For you mothers gasping in horror at the thought that in my sleepy state I’ll over-warm the bottle and end up scalding my child’s mouth, not to fear; I’ve done this hundreds of times, and not burned a single child yet.

Now, our house is about 19 years old, 20 really if you count when they actually started building it. And while this isn’t old for a house, it’s old for the appliances, which are original. In appliance-years, 20 years is really like 40—not so much because they don’t work as well, but mostly because after 20 years, whatever fashion style your appliances matched 20 years ago has long since disappeared from the showrooms of today’s appliance vendors.

For whatever reason, my mind was sure that, despite any light whatsoever, I’d be able to instinctively hit “3, 0, Start” on the microwave keyboard, but I didn’t. In fact, I’m not sure what I hit, but whatever it was, it started the microwave counting down like some sort of radiation time-bomb. I kept waiting for it to say something like, “Just what do you think you are doing Chris?” (“A Space Odyssey” reference for those of you playing along at home).

After pressing a few keys trying to kill it, which only really served to enrage it further, garnering a cacophony of “beeps,” I ran over to the light switch and turned it on so I could see what the heck I was doing.

Subsequent attempts at stopping the countdown were useless and by this time I could hear the baby ramping up for a mega-scream, so I quickly keyed in the correct “3, 0, Start” sequence and LO! It worked.

Bottle warmed, I ran upstairs, grabbed the baby out of his crib and before he could wake up the whole house, I stuck a bottle in his mouth and started changing his diaper. All is well with my soul…

But then…”Beep”…”Beep”…”Beep”…”Beep”…”Beep”…”Beep”…

…it wasn’t stopping! The microwave had apparently finished its countdown and was not going to be happy until I acknowledged it.

I quickly buttoned up the baby (whoever thought 15 buttons on a onesy was a good idea should be shot!) and ran downstairs to shut the microwave off, only to find that none of my attempts at cancellation worked.


Knowing I had only moments before the baby dropped his bottle and started wailing for assistance, I dashed out into the garage and flagrantly started flipping circuit breakers in an attempt at shutting off all power to the microwave and thankfully, I hit it on the third try.

I then ran as fast and as quietly as humanly possible back upstairs just as the baby was finishing up most of his bottle. I picked him up, burped him, put him back down and let him finish his bottle and quietly go back to sleep.

Whew! Crisis averted.

Nightly duty done, now the only thing left to do is calm down enough to go back to sleep before the alarm goes off. Maybe if I had a nice, trophy to snuggle up to…

No Sleep for New Parents

No more nighttime feedings! Timing really is everything in life. I mean, think about all the things in your life that you’ve accomplished simply because it was the right time—you just happened to be there when so and so happened.

Consider how many hours of your life you’ll have saved (by the time you die) because you happened to catch that bothersome string of red lights downtown just right and instead of accelerating like a madman only to have to slam on brakes at each subsequent light, you instead cruised right through them as if you had Jedi powers (“there is no red light”).

My timing has been pretty great lately, but kinda not in a good way. I mean, I could harken all the way back to the day I answered the phone from an old boss and listened as he wooed me back to my current job, but rather, let’s stick to the present here (focus people!). After our first son was born, for months and months he woke up multiple times during the night and Career-mom was incapable of letting him cry himself back to sleep, opting instead to go in and give him a bottle. Which worked; but it just happened 2-3 times each night until he was almost one and a half.

Our youngest son is now seven months old and for whatever reason, Career-mom has decided that a little crying is OK after all (note to self: mentally pat back later for being right yet again).

The result: In the last week, the youngest has slept from 8:30 p.m. to approximately 4:00 a.m. nonstop three out of the last four nights. The fourth night he woke up twice. The only problem with this is, my daggum brain hasn’t given up on the idea that at any moment throughout the night, I’ll be awakened to the sound of a crying baby, so from about 1 a.m. on, I’m on full sleep-alert.

You know what sleep-alert is right? It’s when you’re mostly asleep, but the slightest noise wakes you up. Well, of these last four nights, I’ve been the one to hear the baby wake up around 4 a.m., mostly because at this magic hour, something in my head switches on and I come awake. And surprisingly, usually, within 5-10 minutes of my full waking up, the baby starts crying. Which also means that by the time I’m finished feeding and changing him, it’s near 4:30 a.m. and I’ve got to get up in another hour anyway…so why not just stay up?

So I do. Love that timing!

I don’t really mind the getting up as long as he goes back to sleep, and he does. But, while getting 6 hours of sleep per night is usually enough for me, there is something to be said for getting 7 ½ hours of sleep.

Now, if only Career-mom and I can sync up our “timing” for a little post-baby relationship-building…I’ll be a happy man!