Bub

At 7:30 this morning I was woken up by a gibbering six month old ready to get his day started. I had went to bed five hours prior, so I did what any other self loving parent would do- I ignored him. Luckily, he talked himself back to sleep and we started the day together at 8:45- which is more my style.

Last week we realized the little Bub had been playing us. We came to the realization that he was almost always falling asleep on one of us before being put down. Sure it’s endearing, but we were afraid we were creating a little sleep monster, destined to be held by one of us for the sake of falling asleep until adolescence- so we decided to nip the little Bub in his little bud.

Along with a more defined bedtime/naptime routine we decided to trade out his cradling bassinet for a flat mattress. Those are two pretty big changes in his life to try at once- he would still be sleeping next to our bed however, and we would all endure what was about to happen.

Well, nothing much really happened, sorry to say. We let him cry alone in his bed, and after about fifteen minutes, he was asleep… for thirteen hours. The next night for twelve. And again the following night for twelve. Night four he woke up once to change his wet diaper and have a bite, and the nights after that have become a blur of waking up sometimes once, sometimes not at all. Lately he just talks or peeps randomly throughout the night, and then falls back to sleep. We’ve been pretty lucky so far.

I attribute the good sleep to his new flat mattress- he likes to kick around and move like he’s having his own horizontal dance party. All night I hear the swish-swooshing of his legs flailing about. It’s quite distracting really. I know, poor me, my baby’s sleep distracts me. I came in from work one night and opened the door to his legs straight up in the air and him bringing them down forcefully against the mattress over and over again. In the shadows of the nightlight he reminded me of the creepy girl from The Exorcist. I don’t know if one should count that as sleep, but since he’s not crying, I will most certainly count it as sleep.

Abs
This is how I found Arlo one night- but with his legs- he can’t quite get his body up yet, but when he can this is what I expect to find.

Speaking of leg lifts, the fact that Arlo can lift his legs up to a 90º angle is quite a feat. They are meaty! Let’s just say Arlo is a very healthy baby with thighs so big they have their own thighs. He also has upper and lower cheeks on each side of his face. His real chin sits between his lower cheeks, but is a mere dimple compared to his second chin that hides the entirety of his neck. It’s not just my observations mind you, Kylie confided in my that she was afraid his fingers were going to spontaneously explode they seemed so swollen.IMG_2235

But hey, we love him, even with that hair. His skullet has fallen away. For about a week he was completely bald with the exception of about 19 wispy long hairs that danced on top of his head like they were advertising used cars on an old dirt lot. Now those 19 dancers wave about surrounded by an ultra thin carpet of downy hair. His most prominent hair feature are his eyebrows. They are dark, usually angry looking, and much of the time seem to be not two, but one single brow traversing across his face like a drunk caterpillar.

Oh, I know what you’re thinking, Say something cute about him- he’s your son. Well I’m just afraid of becoming that parent that gushes over his child when everyone else thinks he is a hideous monster. I’ve expressed that sentiment before. I mean, who goes around telling a parent the truth, that their child looks like a brown naked mole rat? So I prefer to be safe, and point out what seems to be apparent. Honestly though, I’m sure there are some cute things about him… I know one for sure- his favorite toy is a whisk. That’s cute!

Arlo is a half a year old today. Happy half birthday Bub! Maybe your Papa will go out and buy you a brand new whisk! The little Bub is growing up so fast I’m going to be forty before I know it.

Aw shit! I turned forty years old last month! Seriously, I did. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t bother me. I know it shouldn’t, but forty… my god. Everyday I think about how much of Arlo’s life I might not be around for- I mean I’m having an honest to god midlife crisis right now. I dwell on this thought and get sad.

Clint
I’m not crying, it’s just raining on my face.

I was talking to a guy at the bar last night, he seemed to be about sixty years old- He was telling me how his son is thirty-three, and also his best friend. He was saying how fun kids are when they are as young as Arlo, but now he and his son will go have a beer together and catch up. I told him that sounds great, but when Arlo is thirty-three I’ll be seventy-three, that might not work out so well for me. He looked at me, smiled, and said, “Dude, I’m seventy-three.”

Our conversation coupled with his surprising (youthfulness) made me feel a little better about being an older father. I’ve joked with Kylie before that I wanted to make my own best friend- and hopefully I have- and maybe I’ll be around to hang out with Arlo a longer than I thought- if I don’t do something stupid. Since turning forty and dealing with these thoughts, I’ve also had a sort of “enforced epiphany” if you will. I’ve come to the realization that whatever choice I make for myself, it’s not just for myself- Arlo is ultimately affected too. Meaning, if I cross the street without looking both ways, it doesn’t matter if he is at home with Kylie that moment, because if I get hit by a bus, he will bear the effects for the rest of his life.

Or how about a lighter example- Let’s say I decide to eat two bags of chips everyday- I’m not talking little fun-size Frito-Lay bags- I’m talking full flavor kettle cooked Cape Cod Dark Russet potato chips-capecod Two bags everyday (that would be a dream)- I’m not even sharing them with Arlo- But he would be affected by the consequences of my actions- His friends would make fun of him for having a fat greasy father (who would probably be living alone in a van down by the river because his wife kicked him out for being disgusting)- which adds another consequence to Arlo’s life because of my action- he would grow up in a single parent home.

Really, a single parent home, all because I like to eat chips. Poor Arlo.

Update!!

(as of right now- I haven’t posted this yet, but it seems appropriate use of red lettering and exclamation marks)

In honor of Arlo’s Half Year Birthday we just fed him his first solid(ish) food! Kylie has been talking about wanting to feed Arlo some avocado for months. Well, it just happened ten minutes ago… and he showed that avocado who was boss!

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IMG_2241
Funny, Your Papa has the same guilty look when he eats a bag of chips- Happy Birthday Bub!

 

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!

Waiting

It’s the end of April. We still have the whole month of May to wait for Scout to arrive.

That’s how this post was supposed to start out. I was going to write about how we are ready and all there is to do is wait and let him get a little bigger.

He had other plans though, like

Birth

THAT’S RIGHT! SCOUT ENTERED THIS WORLD ON APRIL 27TH, AT 9:03 AM!!!

THAT’S RIGHT! SCOUT ENTERED THIS WORLD ON APRIL 27TH, AT 9:03 AM!!!

THAT’S RIGHT! SCOUT ENTERED THIS WORLD ON APRIL 27TH, AT 9:03 AM!!!

I honestly still can’t believe it. He’s here! Six weeks early! And he’s doing great! And so is Kylie! Oh my god, what a night…

Oh yeah- first- His real name- I just wrote it on his birth certificate…

Arlo Ray France Simmons 

(but you can still call him Scout)

Sorry guy, that’s going to be a pain in the ass to learn to write.

For arriving so early he was born with a solid weight- 5lbs, 4oz, 19 inches long. The dude isn’t really that small, I mean he’s got some fat on him and just looks like a regular little ol’ baby. And he’s the sweetest little thing- although I said I wouldn’t turn into that kind of parent on this blog- but he is.

So what happened, huh? I am still processing quite honestly. On Thursday night, I was at work, bartending. It was eight at night and my co-worker saw my phone flashing furiously (I put it on that setting in case Kylie had an emergency during this pregnancy). I assumed it was a stupid sales call, but it wasn’t, it was Kylie, and her water had broke. We had learned in birthing classes that this is kind of a rare thing to happen- that it usually only happens in the movies- apparently we are living in a movie because she was sitting outside in the spring sunshine eating dinner minding her own business when suddenly there was a “pop” down there, followed by a real gusher.

After calling me, she called the maternity ward- they told her to come in, but not to hurry, go ahead and pack a bag and come on in. Mind you, we hadn’t packed a bag or wrote a birth plan or anything- cause we were going to have all of May to do that. Kylie decided not pack a bag- as she had fluid constantly leaking from her. While she walked around the house looking for something to absorb the flow, Mazzy followed after her on clean-up duty. What a good dog.

She called me back and told me the plan, she was going to pick me up on the way to the hospital. I went outside to wait and realized I could see the hospital from my vantage, so I decided to walk the four blocks instead of awkwardly waiting outside my place of work. Along the way I recorded a video for Scout, telling him what was happening and how I hoped he would wait a few more weeks, and how I had hoped and hoped that his mom had just peed her pants.

We arrived at the hospital and after the initial examination we learned her water had indeed broke. Being six weeks early, they wanted to delay birth at least 48 hours, and even longer than that if possible. The biggest reason to delay was for Scout to receive a couple doses of steroids so his lungs would be stronger by birth. One nurse told us she had seen mothers delay for up to two weeks or more, all while staying at the hospital. Quite honestly, the possible chance of a two week hospital stay scared the shit out of us.

Around 11pm, Kylie was administered Magnesium Sulfate to delay contractions and delivery. We were under the impression that this was going to delay everything, and most likely we would have at least a minimum of 24-48 hours until we would be seeing the little guy. From 11pm to about 7am the contractions continued at about five to six minutes apart, gradually getting stronger and stronger. Kylie got no sleep, as the pain was that bad every five to six minutes. At this time, we were still under the impression that there would be no delivery anytime soon.

At 7am, shift change happened with the nurses. Our new nurse saw how much pain Kylie was in and decided to check her cervix. This had been delayed up to this point as not to introduce infection since the water had broke. The nurse found that the cervix was basically non existent, and that the baby would be on his way out soon. Kylie had labored all night without knowing it, and without even a Tylenol.

With news the baby was coming, the room became abuzz. Trays and carts began being pushed in by nurses and techs, lights were turned on, and the doctor was called. The rest, I wish I could say was a bit of a blur, but it wasn’t for me. I remember every moment like it was my favorite TV show- I was very present. I will spare you the details, however, as even though the miracle of life is supposedly a beautiful thing, it’s pretty fucking disgusting just the same, and we’ll just leave it at that.

I will say Kylie is stronger than I ever could have imagined. Halfway through pushing (which lasted a total of forty-five minutes) one of the nurses casually mentioned that she completely forgot that Kylie had not even had any pain medication, and was amazed by her calm and collectiveness. Throughout the whole process Kylie made barely  any more noise than a chorus of singing mice. My sniffling was louder than she was.

At 9:03, Arlo came into this world kicking, breathing, and crying. He was wiped off a little and put on Kylie’s chest for some skin to skin contact. I was offered to cut the umbilical cord but I figured if I wanted to remain conscious then I shouldn’t cut the cord- cause I don’t do well with human mishmash. Funny though, at one point while I was staring at Kylie and Arlo, I looked over to my side and came face to face with the big healthy placenta, sitting in a clear dish, staring at me. It didn’t bother me though. I actually inspected it a little closer and understood why some people eat it. I mean, it looked like a big steak that would flip easily on a grill. It would have been a great dessert for Mazzy after all the amniotic fluid she slurped up the night before.

Now, all is well. Arlo is thirty-one hours old. He is hanging out in the neonatal intensive care unit (NICU). He can breath on his own but fatigues quickly, so he’s getting a little help from continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) machine for a while until his lungs develop a little more. I held him on my chest skin to skin this morning as he got his first bit of colostrum fed to his stomach. Nurses say he might be there one to two weeks. We are encouraged to hang out with him as much as possible, hold him, and change his diapers.

Over and over while Kylie was pregnant we were told to expect the unexpected during childbirth, because that’s what having a baby will be. I thought I had a grasp on that concept but to be quite honest, this whole experience was still quite unexpected to me. I had all these romantic notions of sleeping with Arlo in our hospital room the first night and being woken up by his cries. I was going to hold him in front of our giant hospital window and  point out Missoula to him. Obviously, this didn’t happen. Instead, we go and visit him in his room (don’t cry for me, it’s like 27 steps away). Sure, seeing him with tubes connected to him is a little disheartening, but we can also see how strong he is and we know he is on his way. We are grateful for every single cry he makes, as it means his lungs are growing that much stronger.

On a bit of a side note, I want to extend a thank you to all the nurses here at St. Patrick Hospital in Missoula, MT. I know none of you will ever see this, but you all have made this experience such a positive and loving one when otherwise it could have been rather frightening. We are super grateful for you for your expertise and passionate care every hour of the day. Thank you so much.

Arlo! Welcome! It’s gonna be a fun one!

arlo print

 

 

Twenty-five

We are twenty-five weeks pregnant today! I probably didn’t have to punctuate that with an exclamation mark but I’m pretty excited about it- and surprised. Where is the time going? It doesn’t feel like very long ago that Kylie and I were waiting for her to have a little baby bump- and now she’s bumpin’ like a smooth R. Kelly song. Ew. No. Not R. Kelly. I can’t believe I even mentioned that guy in this blog. If you wanna learn more about R. Kelly, here is an exposé written last year on his grossness at Spin Magazine.

How about bumpin’ more like MC Hammer style- Pumps and a Bump, Pumps and a Bump, We like the girls with the– never mind- let’s just keep it as Kylie’s bump. Hammer, don’t touch this.

Kick it MC!

Sorry for the digression, let’s get back to the real topic of twenty-five weeks. The pregnancy app says Scout is the size of a papaya now- last week he was the size of an eggplant. Without ever seeing the two things side by side I’d have to say I thought an eggplant was a little bigger- maybe the app considers density in the size evaluation. But really, I probably shouldn’t invest so much thought into this comparison. I mean who knows who writes these apps, for all we know it could be some 400 lb. guy sitting on his bed at home who got bored of hacking into the DNC and decided that writing a pregnancy app would be more lucrative.

No offense to 400 lb. guys- I didn’t make him up- somebody else colluded on that idea- but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s move on to Kylie’s birthday. She had a birthday on Wednesday- and it was a wonderful day. In the morning she opened a pile (enormous pile) of presents that friends and family had sent. A slew of things ranging from a hilarious pregnancy activity book to strapless stomach bras (?) to a pregnancy pillow the size and shape of two elephant’s trunks and a pregnancy back brace and and some earrings and just a whole bunch of fun cool stuff- thank you everybody.

Her family bought her an Osprey I don’t even know what you call them baby carrier backpack thing. This thing is legit with an aluminum frame and a drool pad. It also has a sunshade and a perfectly shaped bottom zippered storage area for a six pack of beer. Up until now I’ve been a little afraid that I wouldn’t really get excited about baby stuff but this thing flipped that worry upside down. I studied all the directions and and messed with all the special features. I got lost in it blowing all the bells and dinging all the whistles- it was like hanging out with a new motorcycle- well, almost. Oh yeah, Kylie liked it too.

Pumps and a Bump, Pumps and a Bump, We like the girls with the Pumps and a Bump.

That song is stuck way up in my head now. I should not have researched it so heavily. Click here if you want to get the full effect of this blogpost…

In all seriousness though, Kylie and Scout are doing well. Actually, great. He’s been kicking like an octopus and giving me high fives all the time (not true, but that’s what I like to believe- and I’m not even a high-fiver). It’s crazy that there’s just over three months left. It’s odd though- the closer it gets, the more real it gets- and the more I realize I have no idea what I’m in for. It was all fun and games romanticizing about it when Scout didn’t have a face or gender or a room, but now that it’s all coming together and getting closer to actually happening it’s getting harder and harder for me to actually get a clear picture it. Marty McFly
It’s like when when Marty McFly looks at his hand while he’s playing the guitar at his parent’s dance in Back to the Future- I am Marty Mcfly and Scout is my hand. I know it’s there- it has been for a long time- but now it’s getting harder and harder to see.  Whoa. I think I just got way deeper than I meant to.

Never mind. You know what’s wrong with me right now? I’ve got that damn song stuck in my head!

Pumps and a Bump, Pumps and a Bump, We like the girls with the Pumps and a Bump