Daddy Duty

Sleep, Eat, Diaper Change. Repeat.

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

2012-08-02 03.49.01

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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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Hot Potato

JJ’s 6 days short of 9 months and boy has this been a month of growth and skill development. He loves his new skills and is curious to discover everything. Unfortunately, he knows it too as he beams and smiles each time he does something knew (lifting himself up to stand with assistance).

As I’ve documented here, we always knew he’d go down this path like we all do and we even knew it would mean more work. One of the things I failed to anticipate was how hard it is to change the diaper of a wiggly worm. As soon as we put him down to be changed, he flips himself over. Flip him back over and hold him down and he uses all 20 pounds of his might to try to flip around again. It’s a never ending battle because he then thinks it’s a game and just smiles the whole time.

That’s one of the few downsides. The other downside is the increased tears.  We’re like faucets at the moment because with each skill he learns, we fast forward 18 years and see our little boy leaving us. Driving, Dating, Marriage. It’s all coming up. I know, I know, focus on the now and not dwell on the sad/happy future. However, we can’t help it. I’ve said it publically and I’ll say it again, there may never be a girl worthy of taking our JJ away considering all of the love, care, and attention we have put into him. I certainly hope that little baby X, wherever she may be, is loved and cared by her parents just as much as we love and care for JJ.

So, what’s he up to nowadays?

  • He can pick himself up with the aid of anything (a cabinet, your foot, the bed frame, etc)
  • He still likes to jump and hop, but he’s too tall for the tallest adjustment.  That doesn’t stop him though as he now just bends his knee to a full 90 degrees to facilitate jumping by shortening himself.
  • He loves to run in his wheel walker thing. He’ll chase us around the living room and kitchen in his little car thing. His turns could use a little work, but he’s getting there.
  • His attention span for light up and musical toys is pretty short. It’s about a minute or less a toy before he moves on.
  • We have a storage ottoman that has a cover that comes off. One day, while crawling, he put himself on the cover and slid around the floor. He realized that he was able to move faster than crawling with this method and loves it.  
  • He’s eating all manner of fruits thanks to Mom’s steaming and Magic Bullet.
  • He has more patience for books now. He’s ripped a couple of pages here and there, but is getting more excited about the flipping motion and looking at the words and pictures.
  • “Achoo” “Du, Du, Du",” Big smiles, and other random noises make him smile at the moment.
  • He doesn’t appear to be ticklish on his feet at the moment, but his upper thighs are particularly ticklish.
  • He isn’t scared of strangers yet and loves attention.  He doesn’t mind if you’re doing something else so long as he can see you and you respond if he calls you.  If you hide and don’t respond, he doesn’t like it.
  • He doesn’t kick during bath time anymore.  Bath time is just another opportunity to stand up…naked.
  • He may still be teething. His (comparatively") wonderful sleep schedule has been changed by some random crying fits in the middle of  the night.  We suspect more teeth, but sure hope it’s not something else.
  • Thankfully, he hasn’t really gotten sick.  The one time we had a high temperature was during the first round of shots, but we were slow in administering acetaminophen. We’ve learned since then.

OK, that’s it for now! More pix:





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Smiling, Exploring, and Getting a Lil Sneaky

My smiley 8.5 month old is still as cute as ever. This kid smiles and laughs a lot! My wife and him are my greatest joys when I get home from work. I’d like to think he smiles because (1) he’s happy and well taken care of and (2) he’s surrounded by people genuinely happy to see him that smile to him.

In saying that, there are no shortage of people(some of my (very distant) family included) who then go and stare at him like a science experiment without smiling at him. They then matter of factly report that he’s not smiling. Look idiot, he’s the greatest mood monitor on the planet. If you look grumpy, he’s not going to smile at you. Furthermore, he’s not a circus side show to smile for your amusement. To settle this smiley debate, here’s some proof:

2012-08-17 16.15.212012-08-15 17.05.582012-08-13 17.59.16COPY, safe to delete after Jenn sees it (54)COPY, safe to delete after Jenn sees it (53)COPY, safe to delete after Jenn sees it (1)COPY, safe to delete after Jenn sees it (38)2012-08-03 19.36.472012-08-03 19.36.392012-08-03 19.36.342012-08-03 19.29.22

So, he smiles!  Seeing those 4 teeth and a chuckle just lights up my world! About a week ago, Claire and I had a great shock and surprise. JJ lifted himself up in his crib and was standing while hanging on to the top bar.  We had just put him down for bed and went to turn off the night light and turned around and saw a little head peeking at us. He was so excited!

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He crab walked side to side to see the different views. This was literally one of our happiest moments as it’s a testament to the fact that he’s really growing up fast and that our time together is short.To get sappy on you, it kills Claire and me to think about him growing up. We all know it’s the parents’ pain, but you put everything in to your child(ren) only to have them “leave” and repeat the process. Cue: Circle of Life music.

The memories, faces, laughs, and experiences right now are so precious. Everything is new and fun to him and I just love accompanying him as he explores. I can already see his attention span is getting shorter as he wants to explore more.  When he used to play with a given toy for 10 minutes, it’s now down to 2 as he’s “mastered” it and is ready for something else. If we don’t give him something, he’s content to go find his own activities. DANGER DANGER! This reminds me of when I was little. I used to wonder how my mom always seemed to know what I was up to. If I spilled something or was scheming up plan A or B, she always knew it.  I’d constantly wonder how she could read my mind.

As it turns out, broadcasting passes or plays in sports, you can see what JJ’s thinking. When I get down on the ground, I see the world through his eyes and see what looks interesting. Tearing plants leave, light sockets, and shaggy carpet all look pretty interesting. He’s getting smarter though. He’s learned to be more sly. In the past, if he wanted to try something, say a book, in his mouth, his mouth would be wide open while he tried to figure out how to lift the said book to his mouth. We’d then have ample time to tell him NO and save the book from being gnawed on.

Now, he’ll pick up the book as if he’s going to “read” it and ever so slowly move it closer and closer to his mouth. As soon as he feels you aren’t paying attention, he’ll put it right into his mouth and go to town.

That sensing can be attributed to his new observation skills. He’ watches us do everything and will try to mimic  the motion or action. From typing to eating, to hand washing etc, he’s watching and constantly mimicking.

Hold on, so the word is mimic with no k, but, when you add –ing, it adds a K?  Who knew? Thank you spell check.

OK, back to JJ. Sleeping is going pretty well right now. In case I hadn’t mentioned it, we moved JJ out of our room about a week or so ago. We had tried eons ago with minimal success and he’s doing much better now that he’s older. For the non-parents out there, you’ll here all sorts of different times are right. Some parents are able to separate from the baby right after birth and others are probably still in the same room until 18, but at 8 months it’s finally working for us. Admittedly, it’s later than I would have liked, but that’s one of the main rules of parenting, what you like and plan usually are not how things end up Smile! I can’t help but wonder if part of the reason he’s so happy is because he’s near us so much.

P.S.Since he’s moving faster now, it’s getting harder to take steady cell phone pictures. I might have to carry the big DSLR around to capture his moments in action.

P.P.S. Having grown up in the internet age, I never understood people who would say, “Once I get home, no computers, I get enough at work.” I used to think, how do they live and computers aren’t such a bad thing. Something has changed. I’ve become the no computer outside of work hours guy. Part of it is that I’d rather play with JJ than read a blog or blog.  The other part is that my new job involves some extreme excel, map manipulation, database massaging, and a seemingly never ending stream of Outlook meetings and conference calls. Again, not an excurse as to why the posts are so infrequent here, but I’ve evolved and am no longer as data hungry. When I’m home, I veg out and spend time with my family. Here’s a peak at some geo-marketing I’m working on

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He’s not being tickled. He’s just reacting to the doo dooo dooo sound!
Look at his little hand scratching the wall!!!
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4 Teeth Meetings

JJ just turned 8 months on the 3rd and I’m equally amazed I have an 8 month old and that I’m a parent at all. I’ll admit there’s been a time or two where I’ve prepared to walk into a store/restaurant only to be reminded that I forgot to get JJ out of the car. Whoops! I have lived more of my life without him than with him, right? I promise it only happens when I’m either really hungry or there’s a huge sale going on. Smile

Let’s start with an update:

  • NEW SKILLS: Shaking and banging toys together, turning side-to-side, lifting himself up in the bathtub, standing as long as he’s holding onto something/somebody, going from sitting to crawling;
  • FAVORITE ACTIVITIES: The above; Sucking on his hands; Jumping; Eating his Donuts Rings and putting his arms through them; Singing with Mommy; Reading with Grandma;Flying with Daddy; Video chatting; Cell phones; Laughing; Trying to Eat and Taste EVERYTHING
  • DIAPER SIZE: still wearing 3’s, but we added in the swimming diaper a couple of months ago. For those without babies, a swimming diaper is supposed to keep everything in the diaper even in the pool and costs about 5X a regular diaper. Not that it’s been tested, but I do wonder how well they work in a real “situation.” I’m tempted to strap 4 regular diapers to him and would bet we’d have equal if not better “protection.”
  • CLOTHES SIZE: 6-12 months depending on brand. With the increased movement, he’s lost weight, but is getting taller.  There was a time when his thighs wouldn’t fit in his Bumbo chair, but they’ve slimmed down and fit in again!
  • WORDS: Ma ma, Da da, Sssssuh.  He goes between all of these. Sometimes he’ll switch words throughout the day and other days he’ll only say 1 and keep repeating it over and over.
  • DROOL: None
  • DANGERS: Falling and knocking things over. We’re in the process of baby-proofing the house as walking is right around the corner.
  • SLEEP: When he first started teething, it was getting rough (~month ago). We were continually waking up to rub gel on his gums as he was obviously in pain. Within the past week, we’ve re-established his sleeping schedule and he’s getting upwards of 12 hours with a feeding break in between along with a long and short nap. Plenty of time for his little brain to rest.
  • FOOD: Claire is still pumping and will probably continue until at least 1 year old. We’ve added in mushed up fruits, oatmeal cereal, rice cereal, and applesauce into his diet.

If you haven’t met JJ or haven’t seen him in a while, he’d like to see you. He loves seeing people and is still very comfortable around “strangers.” As an aside, 2012 is appearing to be a really neat year for reunions.  I’ve seen more than 2 handfuls of my high school friends from Texas, college friends, and other friends I’ve met over the years.  We’ve been in touch in some form or fashion (usually Facebook/Text), however, this year, they’re all visiting Vegas! It’s been great!

One of our close friends just gave birth to a 7 pounder and I couldn’t believe how small she was. My “oldtimer” mind is at a loss when trying to remember JJ that small. I see the difference in pictures, but seeing him everyday makes it hard to tell the difference in person. When we went to visit her, her 9 month old niece was there and JJ was just fascinated with her. They both had 4 teeth and it was so cute watching them interact together. Below is a picture of the friend who just gave birth. We saw her the day before she delivered! I’d love to post a pic of the 9 month old, but that photo isn’t on my computer yet.

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NERD RANT, Feel free to skip this section if you’re not interested in technology. So, I love a service called dropbox. I use it to sync my files across computers (home laptop/desktop/work computer/phone). The latest feature I’ve fallen in love with is where it automatically uploads every photo I take on my phone to my computer wirelessly over the air.  I don’t need a cable, I can’t forget, and it’s easy, automatic and free. I can then get on a computer and see all of my phone photos to either organize, edit, upload ,etc. The reason I bring it up is that on my Android phone, it’s as easy as I just described.  I take the photo, it uploads, I find it in a folder on my computer.  However, on my IPhone, the App just sucks.  It only uploads in batches and seems to take forever. Hence, when I’m trying to post a pic I took yesterday, it hasn’t uploaded yet so I can’t share it with you.  Sure, I could go find a cable and upload it, but I’m lazy.  Android totally wins on this one.

OK, back to JJ. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess he’s left handed.  I’m not sure yet, but I see him reach with his left a lot so that’s my first guess, but only time will tell. 

My new after work activity is to take JJ swimming. He’s always liked being in the water (bath time) and swimming has been a real joy for both of us to play, exercise, and have fun. With any luck, we have a future Swimming Gold Medalist in the house.

In the mean time, Claire and I just medaled in the shopping Olympics. As I mentioned 2 weeks ago, Claire and I have been waiting to go to the As They Grow Flash Consignment sale held this weekend. The short of it is we spent $350. We heard the high was $1,400.We went the 2nd of 5 days and then followed up on the 5th day as many of the items were further marked an additional half off.

Consigning is a great way to make some $ from your unwanted stuff without going the Craigslist/EBay route. However, I really think the key to the success of this event is the short time line creating urgency for buyers and sellers alike.  Literally 10’s of 1000’s of items change hands in a weekend with 3 pre-sale days.  As JJ gets older, I look forward to selling this stuff and letting a younger tike enjoy it at a heavily discounted price.

As we already have a lot of clothes and hardware (strollers/crib/bouncers/etc), our main focus was really the toys. He now has all manner of toys that blink, make noise, hop, jump and skip around to his amusement.  I’d say the retail value of what we bought is probably 2 to 4X what we paid so it was a great event even if we did spend more than we thought we would. Isn’t that how it always is?

Time for some pictures:

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The Napkin Game

Yes, I still remember the log in to update this blog. It’s been a while as you know and I promise JJ, Claire and me have been super busy. Before I get into it, just wanted to promote signing up for email updates so you don’t check this site unnecessarily when there isn’t an update…

“Click the bottom corner of your screen where it says “follow.” Type in your email address and you’ll automatically be updated when I post saving you the need to continue to visit this site with unrefreshed data.”

Let’s start with the JJ update.  JJ is in full teething mode AKA no more sleep for the parents. His bottom two are in and the top two are showing under the skin, but haven’t broken through yet. Unfortunately, this is coinciding with my 2nd month on the job and I’ll admit there’s been a time or two that I daydreamed about finding a cool, dark spot to take an afternoon siesta. Sadly, my office doesn’t have any of those.

Speaking of my office, it’s huge. I feel like I need an app to navigate the place as it’s embarrassing when I pass the same desks on the way somewhere only to have the desk owners count the times I’ve passed and call me out on being lost. Go new guy, way to make an impression! Furthermore, I blame the job for taking away my time to upload JJ pix and update this blog!

Even more frustrating is our dang phones. I have a super fancy phone with a lot of buttons and a big screen. I even have a Plantronics headset to allow me to roam the office, get lost, and have coworkers call me out on getting lost while on conference calls. Despite the bells and whistles, my only purpose for it is to make calls and not launch rockets. The issue is that after dialing a number, you have to hit “send” or it doesn’t do anything.  I can’t tell you how many times I’ll dial a number and sit there wondering why the line is dead. Doh! Forgot to hit send.  I must waste 15 minutes a day doing this. Furthermore,  I must admit that the happiest part of my day is when I turn off the phone and get to come home to my wife and JJ.

When I come home, JJ’s face just lights up the room. He’ll usually smile at me, let me hold him for a bit, then he wants to play and show me what new skill he’s learned (talking, backwards crawling, turning crawling, hitting, kicking, screeching, etc). We recently added swimming to our after work routine. By swimming I mean playing.  JJ just loves to splish and splash.  It’s like a big bath tub to him and he just splashes water all over himself. We’re planning on enrolling in formal swimming lessons, but we just haven’t gotten around to it yet.

In addition to swimming, JJ is doing a lot of talking now. Da, da ,da ,da, DAH, DA, da…  Noises left and right are coming out of this boy. Ma, Ba, Dah are the main sounds for now. Although he’s 7.5 months old, he’s still wearing 3-9 months clothing depending on the brand. He’s also a size 3 diaper. 

There’s a consignment sale coming up that we’re pretty excited about. One of my good friends scored some great deals for her son there and I’m hoping to do the same.  Check it out here if you’re interested! I even have my company sponsoring it so I’ll get early admission! #PerkoftheJob

I wrote about the Golden Period not too long ago and in retrospect, I think that is as good as it may get for a while.  Teething is no joke.  We’re using a combo of the teething gel and Humphries, but neither lasts throughout the night for JJ.

Look at me go. I’ve said all of this and still haven’t addressed the title. So, the Napkin Game is basically peek-a-boo with a napkin used as a barrier instead of hands.  This is JJ and his grandpa’s (my father’s) favorite activity together. As you’ll know if you follow me on Facebook, a lot of my Family-Business meetings are held in fine dining restaurants on the strip. As such, we’ve unintentionally amassed quite a collection of restaurant napkins from nearly every restaurant we’ve frequented since JJ was born. It was a small joke at first, but it’s grown to a collection of I’d say 50 very different napkins.  It’s getting a little out of hand. I may just frame them as a keepsake or have them made into a quilt one day.  

That should do it for now, but I’ll follow up with a big picture upload next!





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The Best Job in the World

Originally written 7/3, but I forgot to hit POST…

My boy turns 7 months today and I can’t help but smile when I look at him. Watching him grow has replaced all other hobbies in my life.  I feel so fortunate to get a front row seat as he learns, loves, and laughs. This is better than courtside seats to the Lakers! I somewhat jokingly say “He’s lucky to be alive,” but to a degree, I mean it.

Despite our classes and reading, I remember very clearly not knowing what to do half the time early on. It’s amazing how far we’ve all come. I am still amazed by the love and care my wife showers our son with. I’m also amazed by all of the single parents out there who do this on their own. This is hard, hard work. I’m worn out daily and am only doing half of the job.

As this blog can attest, not all has been smooth sailing, but the human mind is very forgiving and parents tend to focus on and remember the good parts. In that vein, I’m not sure we’re going to be allowed into any restaurants for a while.  JJ has gotten loud. LOUD! He has a screech that will get everyone’s attention. At home, he tests us with it to see how we respond.  When we don’t respond, he stops and I mentally think Parents-1, JJ-0.

Then, in public, he’ll try us again, and we first try to reason with him with conversation.  If that doesn’t work, we’ll usually pick him up so as not to cause a scene. He then thinks, JJ-1, Parents-1 and so on and so on.

So as to maintain control, I think we may just keep him home for a bit. To be fair, he’s teething or on the verge of teething so he may just be voicing his discomfort. We’re keeping an eye on it and have cold rings and teething tablets and gel on hand and ready to go. On that note, Claire and I are complete jello when JJ’s in pain (shots, scratches, hitting something). We would literally do anything to transfer his pain to us instead of him. You know this theoretically pre-parenthood, but it’s not even an option once you are a parent.  It’s weird.


  • JJ has always loved to look at lights and fans (we call it Mr. Fan)
  • He’s crawling backwards.  We started stockpiling toys in front of him to see if he’d reach for them, but he continues to go backwards away from them.
  • He isn’t much of a roller. He rolled a couple of times and kind of seemed to get over it. He likes the utility of the action to flip, but doesn’t do it for fun.
  • He still loves his jumper.  He has gone from about 10 minutes months ago to jumping 25-30 minutes straight now.
  • Dr. doesn’t suggest the rolling walker thingies (round with wheels and a bumper around it) anymore due to falling/tripping hazards.
  • He is eating rice cereal and mashed fruits along with breastmilk.  Depending on how much he has eaten, he can eat upwards of 8-9 oz in a sitting.
  • He’s taking an interest in what we eat now.
  • His sleeping is pretty good and tolerable at the moment.  8 PM-10 PM, 10:30 PM – 6:00 AM, 10:00-11:00 AM, and then an afternoon nap around 2 PM-3:30 PM
  • He’s not afraid of strangers. He responds better if you are smiling and talking to him as opposed to looking at him and studying him like a science experiment.
  • I’ve been practicing saying Daddy with him and he insists on “da, “da,” “da…” over and over and over. It’s a work in progress, but he’s so cute as he works on having a conversation.


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