MarshmArlo

Arlo is three months old now. His fresh newborn scent is slowly giving way to a faint Dorito aroma if we don’t keep his fat rolls clean. My new favorite roll is the one on his neck- the back of his neck that is, he has a roll on the back of his neck. On top of that fluffernutter neck sits his enormous ever-expanding head- but the hair on top  has not increased with his growth so it seems to be thinning a bit. His posture is terrible and can only be described as “hunched.” He pretty much looks like a miniature version of famed muralist Diego Rivera…

Diego Rivera Standing in Front of Painting

But his smile is so damn cute! It just makes me want to pinch his cheeks and sweep under his neck roll for crumbs and spoiled milk! That’s right, Arlo smiles now- like for real- and coos like a baby. Sure, most of his time is still spent looking pretentious and judgmental, but at least now we know he possesses properly developed muscles that can smile.

Oh- and for all you out there who couldn’t wait for me to eat my words with a shovel- he cries now too. Yes He Cries! He’s a real baby- with fully developed crying lungs- I mean he doesn’t cry a ton, but he doesn’t hesitate to let us know if something is wrong. And man can he be a real fussy bus when he’s tired.

Other than that, he’s just a baby. I’m not sure if there have been any real milestones to speak of. Well, he did pee on his own face. Yeah, my brother was real eager to change his diaper and lifted his butt up maybe a little too high- I mean, it was a real disgusting shit storm down there and we got distracted looking at all of it. Then Kylie walked in and yelled at us because he was peeing on his face. That is the true story of Arlo’s first golden shower.

My brother also gave Arlo a new nickname. Do you remember the movie Ghostbusters? Do you remember the giant Stay Puft Marshmallow Man? He terrorized New York? Arlo has taken on his features with his puffy body shape and rolls. Ladies and gentleman, introducing for the first time… MarshmArlo…

staypuftmarshmarlo copy

Sorry buddy, your papa’s a dick.

In other news, Kylie had to go back to work- which means this dickhole papa is in charge of this MarshmArlo, all by myself, three days a week. My dream of being Mr. Mom has finally happened. I have been waiting for this to happen for years and years and now it’s here.

I remember having  fantasies of having so much time for myself as a stay at home dad, because how much time can a kid who can’t even roll over take up? Turns out they take up almost every second of your time! Even when he is napping I keep my fingers crossed that he will continue sleeping so I can clean up the trail of destruction that I left behind while he was awake- washing dirty bottles, picking up burp cloths everywhere, making new bottles, finding dirty diapers I left out, washing my own dishes, picking up my own clothes, DON’T WAKE UP YET- washing diapers, washing his clothes, refilling his ass wipes, making sure the dog did not find the dirty diaper I missed- basically I try to make the house look like I know what I’m doing so when Mama comes home she can see she doesn’t have to worry.

As hard as our first week home with just each other has been, it’s also been fun too. We’ve gone out on adventures together like walks in the woods and to the park. One day he came to work with me, then we went to the art museum, then we went to get a kombucha, then we went to Rock n’ Rudy’s, then we went to the grocery store. And sometimes we slip in somewhere for an afternoon beer- only because the smell of brewing beer calms Arlo down- I do it for him.

Now that he’s beginning to be a little more baby-y with his smiles and coos I expect to have more things to write about so there may not be so much lag time between posts. This three month old may look like Diego Rivera, and he may be puffy like a marshmallow man, but that’s how I like him, because he’s my new best friend…

Arlocito

Coo

It’s 2:07 am and Arlo and I just finished watching Straight Outta Compton. We made a drinking game out of it. Anytime the movie made us want to punch a white guy or a cop, we drank- Arlo finished his bottle and passed out in less than an hour so I put him down- light weight.

SOC

Anyway, I still have a little Fernet Branca in my glass so I figured I’d drop a line since I have to work the next few days and by the time I decide to write again Arlo will be flipping me the bird on his way out to college or something.

I gotta come clean though, Arlo wasn’t wearing that onesie tonight (Straight Outta NICU). That pic was taken over a month ago. I don’t even think he fits in that onesie anymore. BUT– It is now 2:27 am, we did watch Straight Outta Compton tonight, and Arlo did get milk drunk and pass out, and I am sipping on some Fernet Branca.

Now that I have set the scene… Sorry it’s been a while! We’ve been having a wonderful time though. I can’t say it’s been story worthy though… Lots of milk drinking and a whole lot of pooping. That means a lot of sitting around feeding, and a lot of changing out dirty diapers. That’s my whole story. Good one, huh?

I can’t really say anything super interesting has happened- well, what you would find super interesting, but I guess here are some things…

  • Today we switched Arlo to cloth diapers (he’s finally physically big enough for them) I know, we thought about having a party for him to celebrate the achievement but we’re just not those kind of people

Wow, I feel like there were a lot more things to talk about but now I don’t know, every time I start writing something down I realize how boring it probably is for you to read….

  • One night Kylie walked into the living room and yelled at Arlo and I for being too loud. We woke her up while she was trying to sleep. I blame his loud toots but Kylie says I was yelling “Wwwwweeeeeeeeeee!” too loud. (Boys will be boys- am I right?)

I guess that’s it for my list of mildly interesting things that have been happening…

Remember when I said he doesn’t cry? Well fuck me, he does now. But not a lot though, he cries just enough for me to have to admit that he does. And he’s not an asshole about it- yet- but he likes us to know when he wants us to know something. Soooo… chalk that one up for progressive communication skills?

Speaking of communication skills- he still doesn’t have a definitive smile- or “coo” like babies do- what’s up with that? We get some crying but no smiling? Sure, his face contorts to all sorts of shapes and some resemble a smile, but he doesn’t do it on purpose- he doesn’t light up when I walk into a room (like his mom does). What is definite and very purposeful is his resting bitch face- this kid (unfortunately) takes after his Papa and just gazes intently with furled eyebrows and a facial expression that says, “What the fuck is wrong with you?” Sorry kid.

What else? Hmmm… He’s going to be two months old tomorrow… so that’s cool. We were going to have a party for him, but again, we are just not those kind of people.

Oh! Oh! I know! Pick me!! Arlo’s cousin was born! A week ago. I won’t go into the details (because I wasn’t there (and it’s not my story)) but his cousin Parker is here now. Mama, Papa, and baby Parker are doing just fine and are settling in at home. Arlo and Parker have hung out a few times in the last week but I was always working so I never got to see the ruckus- but I did get to see them hang out tonight. I’d show you a picture but I forgot to get permission. But maybe I can describe what it looks like…

Ehh, never mind, I was going to paint you a beautiful picture with my words but I’m too tired. Just imagine one baby with an oversized trucker double chin and the other with oversized clown hands laying next to each other with no interest in each other whatsoever. Sure, there is a lot of cooing and smiling but all of that is coming from the mothers and fathers standing above who have been waiting for this moment since last October. (…Sigh…)

UPDATE! I got permission! Here ya go…

Blob

Aaaahh… The dishwasher is running, the baby is sleeping, and Kylie went out for a short run. The hum of the dishwasher is soothing confirmation that I am being productive while sitting here drinking a cup of matcha.

Arlo’s due date came and went (2 days ago). He is living his life to the fullest- still doing nothing at all. He is a blob right now- no longer wormy. Wormy was when he had skinny frail extremities and I thought if I dropped a wet cottonball on his arm it would break. Now he’s got about three chins and overstuffed sausage arms with fingers at the ends he can barely bend. His most fitting nickname right now is Jabba the Arlo. He just lays there with his arms and legs writhing every which way while he commands me what to do. While he does this he smiles and his plumpy eyelids turn into little slits complete with Jabba the Hutt eye twinkles.

The blob is a good baby. I don’t have much to compare him to, however, and he is my baby which makes me a tiny bit biased. But just to remind you, I did previously say I would be able to be an unbiased dad after he was born- I mean, I am calling him a blob and comparing him to Jabba the Hutt- I think I’m doing okay on the biased front. I say he’s a good baby because he’s been so easy so far… Can I say this? I’m going to whisper it… He doesn’t cry… He doesn’t! Kylie and I were just talking about this yesterday, we don’t think he has cried for longer than thirty seconds… ever. I hope to never eat these words but the kid is easy going…

  • Full diaper? What full diaper, he says.
  • Hungry? Just a squeak and a squawk.
  • Uncomfortable? A furled red face that looks like he’s screaming, but no noise.
  • Tired? A few eye rubs and grunts.
  • Bathtime? An unimpressed look.
  • Not ready for sleep? Some flailing arms and legs.
  • His Nuk Nuk falls out of his mouth? One loud scream (this is his most vocal cue)
  • Happy? Baby goat sounds.

I’m not trying to brag, trust me, I just want you to understand that I’m really not being biased. I would be the first to tell you if the kid was an asshole, but he’s just not. This whole time I’ve been writing this he’s just been laying in his farm sleeping- look…

Arlo on the farm.

But he is a blob. He has three chins, limited neck mobility, and he farts a lot- like a lot. Like I don’t think even Jabba the Hutt farts as much as this kid. Is that normal? And loud too. If I hadn’t already checked I would have assumed his anus was the size of Jabba the Hutt’s. He makes other mouth noises that a blob might make if it were folding itself over and over again. You know those twenty-five cent machine cup of goo noise makers that you stick your fingers in for a funny sound- that’s him in a nutshell. He’s just a growing bag full of funny air waiting to be released through his bum or his mouth.

I mean, he’s pretty perfect so far.

 

Worm

I was walking around downtown today and I saw a little toddler break free from his parents and book it. He made it about six yards before he toddled flat on his face. It was at that moment I realized why I haven’t written anything lately- it’s because Arlo isn’t quite that entertaining to write about yet because basically he’s just a glorified worm.

The fleeing toddler toddled. He was fun to watch. Arlo? He just lays there. Sure, he grunts- he squeals- sometimes you think the squeal will turn into a cry- but it never does- he also makes a new creepy alien chirpy sound- and he still makes funny fart noises out of his butt and mouth. So, yeah, if you are looking for audio entertainment, he’s your man.

I mean I guess he’s visually relatable though. He has two arms, two legs, twenty fingers and toes like all of us (and they are all super tiny and adorable mind you). Sometimes he smiles a big gummy smile after a big toot. But he doesn’t do much else. In fact, yesterday I laid him down in the garden next to a big earthworm and started watching both of them. For a moment I forgot about Arlo and I just watched that earthworm lead his fascinating life.

  • I just looked up a fun fact about earthworms so your time at this website wasn’t wasted… Did you know the largest earthworm ever found was 22 feet long, “from it’s nose to the tip of it’s tail!” To that I replied in my head, earthworms don’t have noses you stupid internet!

But yeah, if you were wondering what’s going on in this neck of the woods right now, that’s it. He eats, sleeps, poops, toots, sleeps, eats, poops, toots, sleeps- put those actions in your iPod and press shuffle/repeat all and you’ll figure out why I haven’t written too much lately.

Arlo did have his one month birthday yesterday. Hooray! But developmentally he’s negative two weeks old because he’s not even supposed to be born yet. But good for him! He’s a real go getter! A week ago he weighed 6 lbs. That’s pretty awesome in my book. He’s supposed to go back for a weigh in tomorrow so we’ll see how well he’s pushing those lbs. I assume he’s gaining weight because last night (in the middle of the night) I went to pick him up and he seemed HUGE! Moments later though I realized I also had my pants on backwards, so go figure.

We’ve had him home for two weeks now and and I’m not going to lie, it’s still a little weird. An unexplainable weirdness though- weird like I know he’s mine, but I keep waiting for his parents to stop by to pick him up and take him home. Weird like sometimes he still startles me when I walk into a room not expecting to see a baby. Weird like sometimes we’ll be in the same room and I just plain forget he is there. Weird like I feel like I’m just acting like a dad, in the same way I feel like I’m just acting like an adult.

Weird like he should still be in Kylie’s belly, but if he was, it would even be weirder.

 

 

***update***

10 Oz. The fatty gained 10 Oz in a week!

Roommate

Guess what? Arlo is out of the NICU. We are out of the hospital. We are home! And all of a sudden Kylie and I have a new roommate.

He broke his way out of the halfway house on Mother’s Day. It was the best gift he could give his mama- he made my gift of a plant look like a dead tree branch. His last hurdle was passing a “carseat test”. It’s recommended for all newborns that have been born before thirty-seven weeks gestation. The “test” involved him having to hang out strapped in his carseat for ninety minutes without his stats dropping below certain levels for too long. Kylie went for a walk during it as she was stressed beyond belief (he had failed the day before). I decided to stay in the room with him and read.

I didn’t read a lick though. I stared at his monitor and watched three different waves and four different numbers go up and down and dip and rise. Ninety minutes. Ninety minutes of stress. Ninety minutes of me coming up with impromptu superstitions… Oh! his stats just went up- I have to keep my left leg crossed over my right- Oh shit! Oxygen level dropped- take another sip of Le Croix- OOooo! Back up now- Okay, a sip of Le Croix every time oxygen saturation dips to 87- Everythings working, don’t move… Big DROP- Fuck! Sing- sing- sing to him- Let’s swim to the moon… Okay, back up, super stable, don’t move a muscle. I did this for ninety minutes. I’ve never come so close to literally pissing my pants. But his stats didn’t dip for too long, and he passed.

Immediately we packed our stuff and headed home. We pulled into our driveway and realized we had to unpack two weeks worth of hospital accumulation. We brought him in first and we looked at each other, “So…. what do we do? I mean, where do we put him?” We had had over two weeks of unofficial baby training in the hospital- but at the hospital there were specific and defined places to put him- like a bassinet- and besides, in the hospital his mobility was limited to the length of his wires and tubes. But we were home now, and this kid was wireless. If I wanted, I could have set him on top of the refrigerator and there wouldn’t have been a nurse around to bat an eye. But I knew if I did something like that for a cheap chuckle, Kylie probably would have taken a bat to my eye.

It’s funny though, we had bought or been given a handful of baby holder things- but suddenly I was too afraid to put him in one because I didn’t know if they were safe for a premie. I mean, it seemed a carseat barely was! So we decided we would look at all the safety precautions for premies for each specific apparatus that we had for him before we set him in anything. So at that moment, with a car to unpack and a life to get started, we put a blanket on the floor, and Arlo on the blanket, and that’s where he hung out his first hour at home.

Since then, we have been figuring it out, and we have figured out one thing for sure… He runs the show- he’s a pretty loud and selfish roommate whom I would probably call an asshole if he wasn’t so damn cute.  He doesn’t care to wait for his hospital feed schedule anymore- he wants it when he wants it and knows he’s gonna get it. I feel like all I do is wash his dishes and wipe his ass. I even cook his meals! If warming a bottle of breastmilk can be considered cooking (I guess Kylie actually makes his meals). And to top it all off, his favorite time to poop is anytime I’m holding him. But he does seem to be quite the happy little camper though- so far he almost never cries (I will regret writing that line I’m sure)- although he did cry out at me last night when I decided to relieve my bladder before relieving his hunger pangs- my bad buddy.

We’ve had only one major surprise with him since bringing him home- he’s a terribly loud sleeper! Different sounds all night! Seriously. Here is a visual list of what I imagine is actually in his little sleep rocker at night…

 

Sometimes I hear a cute little Mogwai…

 

mogwai

 

And sometimes an insatiable Gremlin…

 

gremlin cue

 

There’s always a baby hippo snort or two…

 

hippo

 

But those change to Ferris Bueller’s deafening dummy snores…

 

sleep dummy

 

And then to just some heavy grampa breathing…

 

grandpa

 

But there are always many toots sprinkled in- actually, Kylie calls them toots because she thinks it’s cuter that way, but this little guy gets the Fat Bastard award because he really is on that level with his “toots”…

 

Fat Bastard

 

And when he’s not tooting up a storm, I hear his hands moving around and imagine this guy laying there…

 

moor der

 

But whatever sounds I hear coming from where he sleeps, and every time I check on him, he always looks like this…

 

dreamer

Welcome home Arlo Ray

36/2

Thirty-six weeks is how long in gestation little Arl

Let me start over. I was just interrupted mid-sentence by a phone call from the nurse in the NICU. She said that Arlo was hungry early and ready for his bottle feed- and also that he had just pulled his nasogastric tube all the way out. That’s twenty-one centimeters of tube he decided didn’t belong inside of him.

So instead of finishing the first sentence of this post, I slammed my laptop closed, put on my SuperDad cape, and hurried the twenty-seven steps over to the NICU (because nobody else gives him the bottle like his papa gives him the bottle).

So… that’s where I’m at… Arlo, however, is being a little more realistic about the situation. Had he not come early, he would have been at thirty-six weeks in gestation today. Instead, Arlo is two weeks old today. Happy two weeks little buddy!

We are still in the halfway house, and will be for at least a few more days. Arlo is getting closer and closer to breaking out though. He’s went from multiple lines and tubes, to just one monitor wire. Sure, he pulled the last tube out himself today but the kid knows what he’s ready for. Up until yesterday he had been sleeping in a full on NICU bed- the kind that has a warmer, bells, gauges, whistles, Mr. Coffee, scale, leveler, etc. Now he hangs out in a big boy bassinet that has nothing but a mattress and walls to keep him from rolling out.

What we are waiting for is for him to gain a little more weight and eat consistently and independently- well, independent of the tube he pulled out. He weighs 5 lbs, 5oz. That’s more than he weighed at birth, which is a big deal. He is breastfeeding and bottle-feeding like a champ- it’s just every once in a while he’s a little too tired to fill his belly with the entire prescribed 40-50 mL, hence the NG tube.

But it’s go-time now Arlo! You gotta prove to those nurses you don’t need that tube! You gotta eat! You own that nipple! Whether it’s your mama’s or the bottle’s- it’s your nipple son! Let’s have my good friend Rocky give you the real pep talk…

“Let me tell you something you already know Arlo. The world ain’t all sunshine and rainbows. It’s a very mean and nasty place and I don’t care how tough you are, it will beat you to your knees and keep you there permanently if you let it. You, me, or nobody is gonna hit as hard as life. But it ain’t about how hard ya suck that nipple. It’s about how hard you can suck it and keep transferring milk. It’s about endurance! How much you can suck and keep moving forward. That’s how feeding is done!”

-Rocky Balboa (kinda)

 

Balboa Rocky

No pressure though buddy, you’re gonna be ready when you’re ready, and that’s just fine.  Love you.