Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

Take it easy son

I’ll start off with a promise that the videos are coming.  I’ve uploaded literally hundreds. The issue is that I haven’t had a chance to censor/edit them. Knowing the JJ is bound for greatness, I can’t let the power of the internet tarnish his reputation this early on. Furthermore,I need to ensure he’s clean, manicured, and smiling in every shot and that my clutter, underwear, and what not are not in view. Capiche? I was kidding about all of that except the underwear.

The recurring theme at the moment is that JJ has gotten simultaneously easier and harder to take care. On one hand, he constantly wants attention and a play buddy. He climbs on us, gets in things he shouldn’t, and tirelessly explores everything, On the other hand, he pretty much has a schedule that he sticks to and we know what to do pretty much by the clock. Obviously, it’s a mixed blessing.  I’ve said it before, but I miss my boy that used to just sit on my lap and chill with me. I obviously know he’s growing up and I enjoy being part of the process, but he just won’t sit still anymore and I miss that bonding time.

FOR THE NEW OR EXPECTING PARENTS OUT THERE, everything gets better. Claire and I aren’t as tired anymore. We’re not zombies and we smile a lot now. Comparing our 9th month as parents with our first month as parents, you wouldn’t recognize us. There’s no doubt that parenthood takes a toll on you, but to a degree you get used to it, grow into your role, and things just get better. I remember when JJ was a newborn and I was talking to my younger cousin whose daughter was 9 months old at the time. She was talking about how her daughter was sleeping 12 hours a day and to hang in there and that we’d get there eventually. At the time, we were doing feedings almost every 2-3 hours and were definitely zombie-like.

I didn’t see how things would ever improve. I swore we were destined for sleepless nights for the rest of our lives and that we would just be miserable. We were just trying to survive and do our best as parents while trying to ingest as much information as we could while sorting the good advice from the bad. She pleaded with me and told me to just hang in there and it’ll all get better. The whole time I was thinking that she’s just telling me that to make me feel better and yet,here I am many months later and I can declare confidently that she was telling the truth. Things get better!

In reflecting upon this, they obviously should. As parents, we’re more confident, have a routine, have less fears, and just know what needs to be done and when. In being a parent, you just get better at it by being one. Practice makes perfect, no? Regarding JJ, he’s better able to self soothe, his stomach’s bigger (less feedings), and he’s growing and needs time to rest his little brain and body which gives us much needed breaks.

So, don’t give up. It’s tough at times, but it truly is worth it. Day by day, I mentally picture Claire and me wearing Super Parent outfits underneath our clothes as we educate, interact with, play with, entertain, and just love JJ daily. We all mean the world to each other and I’m glad we didn’t give up early on. The best moments are yet to come! 

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21 lbs., 28 in, and a Whole lot of Personality

JJ just had his 9.5 month check up and all is well. He’s hitting his milestones, growing, and is one of the most playful flirts the Doc has ever seen. This was a sad visit as we’ll be switching from her to another Pediatrician as she doesn’t accept our new insurance. It’s sad as we really enjoyed her, but have told her we’ll drop by periodically and send her pix!


  • He’s eating all kinds of blended foods now (sweet potatoes, broccoli, cauliflower, carrots, pears, mango, banana, etc. He loves bananas and doesn’t seem to be such a big fan of the sweet potato yet. Broccoli and the other greens are in the middle. For infants, it usually takes 11 tastes for them to truly decide they don’t like something.
  • Bath time is now Splash Time. As soon as I put him in his tub, he lifts his hands high in the air and pounds the water over and over until we are both soaked and water is everywhere. I then refill the tub to finish the task at hand and he reaches to touch the water coming out of the faucet. This kid… This is probably the 4th evolution we’ve had in bathing. He used to just sit and enjoy his bath. He then started liking to kick whenever he was in water. This was followed by the get up and explore outside of the tub phase to where he now just likes to make a big mess.
  • Still mostly size 3 diapers. He’s too big for the 2’s and the 4’s are fine, but I still have boxes of 3’s to work through soo JJ needs to stay size 3 a bit longer. LOL!
  • Clothes are mostly 9-12 months now so he’s pretty much the same size as what they model the sizes after it appears.
  • The absolute happiest JJ is all day is in the morning. Claire and I love to sit outside of his door and listen to him babble and beat on his crib waiting for someone to pick him up.Sadly, there’s no way to sneak in and spy on him because his windows are blacked out. This means that as soon as you open his door, the light that comes through signals that someone is coming to him and he stops talking and just smiles waiting to be picked up. HE’S SO CUTE!!!!
  • Keyboards, Remotes. Plastic bags, wires/cords, and  lights grab his eyes nowadays.
  • He has a new smile that he flashes when he’s accomplished something.When he climbs atop something for a better view or figures out how to get into something we’ve sealed, he just beams at his own ingeniousness. It’s funny as I’m equally proud and disappointed that my (1) my plan didn’t work and (2) he was smart enough to get around the plan.
  • JJ hates his car seat. As soon as we buckle him it, he becomes a contortionist and wiggles and squirms to find a way out. Car rides aren’t too fun at the moment.We used to be able to distract him with a toy or something, but he doesn’t fall for it anymore. His goal is to get out of the seat and he won’t stop until he’s out.

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Dang Chompers

Just wanted to give a quick update.That whole throwing up tantrum issue has gone away.  It only lasted around a week. I suspect a lot had to do with the extra teeth. We’re back into our groove of washing him, feeding him, slightly rocking him and putting him down. Done!  We can survive parenting again.  That week was miserable!!! Hope we never see that again.

Look forward to some videos coming up. On a weird personal quirk, I’m sticking it to my ISP at the moment with all of the uploads. My ISP happens to be the company I work for and funny enough, now that I’m in the business, outside of running a torrent server out of my house, the actual bandwidth costs are negligible even when I think I’m sticking it to them.

I also have the Sprint unlimited data plan and have been known to download and upload sometimes senseless stuff just because I can. It’s the buffet mentality of eating all you can because it’s included. I don’t do that anymore since the gym time hurts more than the enjoyment that buffet quality food brings me. The point of all of that babble is that more videos are coming and I’m using a lot of bandwidth in the process, yeah!

P.S. This is another technology note: with the IPhone 5 coming out, I truly hopes it’s revolutionary.  I I‘m looking for something to knock my socks off to be an Apple fanboy. Now that I’m carrying an IPhone and a Galaxy S2, I say the S2 wins hands down.I know there are a lot of IPhone fans that will think I’m crazy, but I’ve used a lot of phones and seriously love the S2.

Quick notes about the differences:

IPHONE PROS: Stable app store, decent battery life, stable os, huge app selection, easy to use, faster pictures

IPHONE CONS: it just comes down to usability. I can do things faster with my S2 do to the way the menus are. Copying, pasting, switching from messages to call etc are all easier on my S2. As Apple minimized the buttons to only 1, it just takes longer to navigate menus and change settings. The S2 is the king of this. When I’m saying S2, I’m really speaking to Android, not the hardware.

S2 PROS: Huge screen, more options, more customizable. I will admit it may take a bit longer to learn some of the nuances of Android, but once you learn them, you can do things so much faster with Android.

S2 CONS: Battery life.  With 4 g turned on and it’s jumbo screen, it’s a battery hog.  I have to carry an extended battery pack to keep it going all day if only carry one phone.

Biggest actions that make me mad at my iPhone:

1. Being in message mode and wanting to call one of those people.

2. Being in the middle of a program and having no menu button to change settings.

3. The IPhone Dropbox app times out when auto-uploading pictures

4. It just takes longer to call your favorite people. With Android, I have individual icons of my family and can call/text with one touch.

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Made Me Laugh

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Killing Robots

So, I think I had mentioned that I put my Dyson in a closet and replaced it with a Neato robot vac at hen JJ was born, but I didn’t go into why I did that. After reading review after review, I took the plunge and bought one. Note, this is not the Roomba.  Those are stupid and just bump into things to find where to vacuum.  This one’s much smarter in that it uses a laser to scan the room first and then systematically cleans the floors. Retailing at $399, they’re not cheap and of course I got a deal, but we got it  so the floors would always be clean minimizing the chance of JJ eating dust, crumbs and the like. 

So far, it’s been very good and seems to have been a good purchase. The Dyson is still good for spot cleans, deep cleans, and edges, but the Neato does a great job on a daily basis. That said, JJ doesn’t like it. I think he thinks it’s noisy and it doesn’t play with him. It just goes to work and returns home to charge. So, when he’s in his walker, he chases it around the house bumping it the whole time. When it comes to a stop, he’ll then kick it and bump it repeatedly. It’s especially funny when it’s in its base. When you move it even an inch off of the base, it wiggles side to side as it puts itself back. 

I think JJ may like this part. He bumps it off the base, watches it wiggle and go back to the base and then he bumps it again.  Assume this thing lasts awhile, it’s a great babysitter.  In case he breaks my $400 vacuum, he may just have to start playing with the dustballs and crumbs. Just kidding! 

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2 handed counting

So, we hit another milestone today…we need 2 hands to count JJ’s # of teeth. His 6th one just broke through his gums today. That brings the count to the middle 4 on top and the middle 2 on bottom.

9 months appears to be a huge period of change, growth and transition. He just recently became incredibly fast at crawling and walking in his walker. It’s a real joy to watch and then try to guess at what has caught his attention at that moment. He also has learned the sound of keys in the front door and knows to look towards the door to see who’s coming. It’s soooo cute.

Bathing him in the old whale tub has gotten nearly impossible.  He either wants to crawl out or he wants to push water into the big tub, hang off the sides, and splash the water around. I sort of miss when he’d just sit there still.

On a not so great note, with the teething, his sleeping has really gotten messed up. Claire and I try to make it a habit not to hold him too much at night and too simply put him down. With the teething, we’ve held him more and he’s gotten accustomed to it. As we’re trying to wean him off of it, he’s protesting by 1. crying and then 2. throwing up when he sees that we’re not responding to his crying.

When he throws up, we clean him up quickly and try to leave him alone again. He’s proven he can throw up multiple times almost on cue. I had a talk with him tonight after his first throw up and he hasn’t done it again so I hope that straightens it out. If not, we’ve got a Pediatrician’s appointment next week and will need some more tips.

What else? He was never really a drooler, but saliva is now everywhere. My silly mom taught him how to blow raspberries and he just loves it.  He blows and blows and blows leaving a trail of saliva everywhere.  The worst is when he has food in his mouth and thinks it’s a fine time to start blowing. Bad idea. Cleanup Crew on Aisle 1 please.

OK, that’s it for now, time for bed!



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And Then There Were 5

So, our night terror suspicion was correct.  JJ got his 5th tooth this past Wednesday, 8/29/12. If you’re looking at him, it’s to the left of his 1st 2 on the top.

JJ has been waking up increasingly earlier and earlier and woke Claire and me up around 7 today during this most precious labor day weekend. Claire is a Saint and sent me back to bed, but I spent the majority of the day entertaining and feeding JJ and boy am I tired.

This brings up 2 points. The first is that JJ is in Energizer Bunny mode.  Outside of nap and sleep time, he’s go, go, go. The kid’s non-stop. I think we’ll finally fully baby-proof the house this weekend if I can find some energy to do it. We sang, read, played, hopped, etc and the only one who got tired was me. He just kept looking at me like what are we going to do next? Any new toys? How about a snack? Can I play with the remote? Can I taste the remote? 

What’s with kids liking remotes and cell phones anyway?  I haven’t met a kid yet who doesn’t like to grab TV remotes and cell phones. Working for the TV company, I picked up some demo remotes for him to play with. He used to go to town with them, but now he only wants mine if I’m using it. LOL! 

The other revelation is how good his focus and memory are now. If I didn’t want him to play with the remote for instance, I’d distract him with a noise or something and hide the remote. This doesn’t work anymore. He’ll still follow the distraction, but then he still remembers he wanted to play with the remote and go search for it.  With his increased mobility, he’ll now climb on me, around me, above me, etc to find what it was he was after. Smart little guy.

The 2nd point is for all of the full time moms and dads out there, I salute you. I would like to think that I could, but I honestly have my doubts. Again, I’ve said it a thousand times, JJ and I are lucky to have Claire in our lives. We would seriously be in some major trouble without her. She just knows what to do and seeing her and JJ “talk” and interact just melts me. I’m not throwing myself under the bus, but I want to recognize the difference between our respective interactions.

I can see him look for her specifically at eating and play times. Sure, he smiles when I get home from work and when I tickle him, but it’s just not the same as the glow he gives mommy. Putting that in perspective, he spends upwards of 9-12 hours a day more with her while I’m at work during the week. With all of that extra time, it’s only natural to be drawn to her, especially since Claire is so great with him. At the end of the day, we are all lucky for our current arrangement. 

I don’t want to leave my mom out either because she usually comes over weekday mornings to play with JJ, so Claire can go to her Barre Method classes.  I know my mom enjoys the time with JJ and Claire and I enjoy the help and love. As if Claire wasn’t already in better shape than me, Barre is firming, tucking, sculpting, and stretching her out and has been a nice break time for Claire. I on the other hand need to hit the gym.

I’ve been bad about it lately. Pre-JJ, I was a solid 4 days/week Gym visitor right after work. After JJ, it’s honestly gotten very sporadic if at all. When we first had him, pure exhaustion kept me from going. As his sleeping improved, exhaustion from work has kept me from going. The issue for me now is when to go. Although I would like to go after work, doing so would mean I would miss JJ before he goes to bed not to mention that I’m usually exhausted. That leaves the early morning before work. Again, I’m usually groggy-eyed and I already get to work early so working out even earlier seems ludicrous. If not in the morning or evening, I think a lunch time trip to the gym is my only choice.

My boss happens to run during lunch 3 days a week. He also has a shower in his office. I don’t. That means that assuming I left at say 11 AM, I’d arrive at the gym at 11:20, work out until 12:05, shower and wash up until 12:15, and be back at the office by 12:35 and still haven’t eaten anything yet.  Taking the long lunch isn’t technically a problem in my job. The issue is actually ensuring meetings and conference calls aren’t scheduled during this “precious” time. That is easier said than done unfortunately as headquarters and other regional offices are in different time zones, so it’s not their “lunch.”

Nonetheless, I just need to make it happen as I know stress will kill me if I don’t find time. In a roundabout way, this whole work out rant was still about JJ as I need to take care of myself so I’m here for JJ.      

Who can believe it’s already September? JJ is about to turn 9 months old in 2 days. I’ll have to think about the picture and how we’ll celebrate.

P.S. I just got inducted into my city’s Chamber of Commerce Leadership Program. I applied, interviewed, and got a commitment from my company on my behalf and was selected. I’m kind of stoked for being recognized by the company so early on.

P.P.S. There’s a 50/50 (who really knows?) chance that I will be a Broadband technician in a month. This is definitely something I never worried about in small business. However, my company’s contract with its union workers expires at the end of the month. If for whatever reason a new deal isn’t made and the union workers go on strike, all managers are being reassigned to fill their spots. Yikes!  Furthermore, I’d have to pack up the family and move to another city to complete my role until a contract is finalized. The only part I look forward to is driving the big truck and getting a Facebook photo. Other than that, I’ll try to get a seat at the table to ensure the workers get what they want so that I don’t get their job. Smile

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