Pear

I’ve really got nothing to say. I just have a tinge of excitement that’s a little more than usual today. I can’t really explain it. We are fifteen weeks pregnant today. Scout is the size of a pear. Maybe that’s it- a pear. I feel that a pear is pretty substantial- something you can hold in your hand and feel the weight of and throw like a baseball. Sure, Scout was the size of a fig and kiwi once, but I don’t like figs or kiwis. And a peach just doesn’t have the integrity that a pear does. A pear has a little shape and character.

Supposedly, our little pear can make a fist now. It can yawn and blink and rub it’s eyes. It’s also forming hair follicles. Let’s hope Scout is taking after Kylie in that department. Speaking of Kylie, she is feeling great and has her energy back. She said a significant bump appeared overnight. I haven’t had the chance to see it yet because of our schedules. Tomorrow morning I get to check that bugger out.

Also, we heard Scout’s heartbeat a few days ago. It sounded like an underwater monster. Really, if I was swimming and I heard that same sound I’d probably freak the f out. But considering the circumstances of hearing it in the OBGYN’s office turned it into a sweet sound. It was a very reassuring sound to hear.

Don’t worry, I’m not going to turn into that parent that thinks their baby is the cutest thing in the world- I have control over that right? As of now I think newborns are one of the grossest things in the world. A banana slug has more grace than a human newborn. My mom gave me some pictures of me fresh out of the womb (don’t worry, I’m not going to post one at the bottom) and I’m a little surprised that my parents decided to take me home. My head was mashed into the shape of, well, a pear actually. I guess my newborn head just had a little shape and character. It returned to a more normal shape after a day or two I guess, but man, it had to freak my parents out a little, right, thinking their first kid was going to have a head shaped like Sloth from The Goonies.

That’s all I have today. Just some ramblings. I also just wanted to say thank you for reading. I know most of you are family. Some of you are friends. And a few people I’ve never met before. But thank you all. I hope this blog is at least a little entertaining. At the very least, it keeps me out of trouble. Please pass it along to whomever you wish.

Thank You!

 

 

Babywearing

This week Scout is the size of a peach. A soft fuzzy peach- and it’s definitely official- my upcoming fatherhood- proved today by the fact that I got lost in the world wide web- but not to the usual cocktail culture I am used to losing myself to- but lost to the world of baby carriers. I’m talking wraps, ring slings, pouches, packs and all sorts of things. There’s a world of international close cradle out there that I knew not existed.

My research of pouches and slings started a couple weeks ago when one of the general baby books laying on our table suggested I read another more specified book if I had a further interest in slings and things- which I did since the general baby book revealed some benefits associated with babywearing. I know, babywearing? Such a stupid name. It makes me wonder if there will be a moment in the future when I’m going to be like, “Ah, I don’t have a bowtie to match this baby- guess I won’t wear the baby tonight.”

In all seriousness however, there seems to be many benefits to wearing your baby (I’m just going to use this term as ridiculous as it sounds). Also, as idealistic as this all sounds, I am not promoting or advocating for babywearing, as I have never personally done it, and I have only known about it as a thing for a couple of weeks. I will say though, if it’s cool enough for a couple of The Beatles to have done it with their babies, then it’s cool enough for me…

babywearing-beatles

The book I ended up getting is called Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition. I know, I’m a nerd. But it sounded like it could provide me with some insight- and it’s written by an M.D., not just some woman stuck in the seventies with a drug induced idea- even if that’s what the cover looks like…

The act of wearing your baby has been around forever, blah, blah, and blah. Every culture has used a piece of fabric or backpack type thing to carry babies for years and years. Even here in America, Native Americans carried their babies in papooses for thousands of years- in fact, Sacagawea is carrying her baby on her back on her featured dollar coin. The tradition of babywearing came out of necessity most likely- with your newborn on your body it leaves both your hands free, allowing you to work. Not only is it beneficial to you, studies have also shown it is one of the best things you can do for your baby…

  • The baby feels safe and secure with skin to skin contact- it is close to your heartbeat and can feel your breathing, your movements, and your body temperature- just like when they were in utero- it’s a familiar place for them and they stay calm and happy- which means they cry less! Up to forty three percent less some studies show.
  • Since they are not crying so much they are developing at a faster rate and learning more- just from hanging around you. When they are awake they are seeing everything you do. They watch your facial gestures when you communicate with friends and are more a part of what’s happening rather than being held in a carrier at waist level with nothing to look at but crotches and crotches.
  • They sleep better- I didn’t really get the facts down for this claim but you can imagine, right?
  • Digestion is better- the constant motion helps stimulate good digestion and babies spit up less.
  • Speaking of spitting up, babies who are worn by their mother more often nurse better and gain more weight than babies that are not.
  • The constant movement and stimulation is supposed to help babies develop better too. They develop a better balance and musculature because they are always shifting and responding to the movements of the carrier’s body. They are also at much lower risk for developing plagiocephaly (that’s when they get a flat head because they are constantly laying down with the back of their soft head against a surface).

Basically, what I learned, is that a sling baby = a happy baby. And I do understand that this is all theoretical for me right now, as I have no experience and reading things in a book is way different than real life experience. A year from now I will be able to tell you with experience- we might find out that the whole idea ended up being farfetched and stupid. Or we might find out that I loved every aspect of it until Scout fell right out and bonked his/her head because I forgot to tie it or something. But until then, I am excited to give this whole thing a try.

The most daunting thing about doing this, however, is picking a carrier to try out. There are so many different types and brands… There are wraps, ring slings, pouch slings, back packs, soft packs, meh dais, buckle carriers, Graco, Freedom Slings, Chicco (BabyGo), Hold Me Baby Slings, Nojo The Original Baby Sling, Boba Wrap, Baby Bjorn, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Seven Slings, Baby K’tan, Moby Wrap, Infantino, Lenny Lamb, iAngel, Ergobaby, LILLEbaby, Tula, Beachfront Baby Wrap, Maya, Oscha Slings, Sakura Bloom, Kali Sling, Beco, New Native, Caboo, Amawrap, Mamaway, and Vlokup.

I didn’t actually look all those up, I just found a list… but Whew! That’s a lot. Or, I also found that I can just use a bed sheet or piece of fabric and make my own. Where does one even start? That was a rhetorical question, but let me answer it for you… babywearinginternational.org. It’s a good spot to get started with some general information and it helps you navigate the underworlds of babywearing.

I know I have an overzealous outlook on this but I can just see myself not missing a beat at work. I see a full bar with a line of drinks I have to make. The music is loud and the lights are dim. Drink orders coming from every which direction. I’m shaking a drink with one hand, stirring another drink with the other hand. Through all this, I look down at Scout, who is sleeping peacefully in his/her sling that perfectly matches my bowtie.

Until then, it’s just going to have to be practice, practice, practice…

mazzy-babywearing

UPDATE!!
After my mom read this post she sent me a picture of her wearing my sister. I guess it runs in the family…

Sensitivity

We are fourteen weeks pregnant tomorrow. It’s really happening. Scout is the size of a kiwi, hopefully not as furry. The second trimester began last week so I decided to open up one of the books we have about pregnancy and brush up on what to expect in the next few months. It’s supposed to be a much “easier” trimester than the first- meaning nausea and fatigue should subside and Scout will start looking more like a little bump in the belly.

I was flipping around in the book and I ended up in the section for expectant fathers. It’s basically a section written for “dads to be” who are idiots and morons and lack common sense or compassion. I’ve looked at a few similar sections in different books and they all seem to assume that the typical male is a gleaming example of incompetence when it comes to relationships and pregnancy. I can’t say I disagree with that.

One paragraph really stuck out to me though. It was in the Mayo Clinic Guide to a Healthy Pregnancy book. There is a small section that let’s the father know what he can do after the delivery of the baby…

Once your partner is allowed to eat and drink normally, bring her something from her favorite bakery or shop. It’ll make her feel special.

Are you fucking serious? It’ll make her feel special. Are there men out there who would not think of doing something nice for the woman that just gave birth to their child? Do they really need a prompt? The fact that the Mayo Clinic had to write an explanation of why one would bring her something from her favorite bakery or shop is what astounds me. My anger is not even towards the Mayo Clinic for writing this, but at the fact that there are so many men out there who need this written out for them!

Funny though, reading that made me look at myself in the sensitivity mirror… I’m guilty too. I’ve learned a lot in the last few months about what is okay and not okay to say. I actually had to learn it- super simple stuff too, but important…

  1. The little bump that is starting to form in the belly is called a bump- not a pooch. Don’t call it a pooch. Write that down.
  2. Just because Kylie is eating for two doesn’t mean it’s okay to point it out if she is. We made tacos the other night and I mentioned how she never built a taco so high before. We don’t talk about big tacos in this family anymore.
  3. If Kylie gets emotional about something it’s not okay to point it out, or laugh because it’s cute, or outwardly blame the pregnancy for it. Just empathize with the emotion at hand.
  4. If Kylie says she feels and looks bloated, she is not looking for someone to agree with her.
  5. It’s not okay to have Kylie help me lift a heavy truck topper off my truck anymore.
  6. Don’t comment on how hangry she may be. Just… don’t. Not even with a sparkling smile.
  7. Whenever I say or do something insensitive, go to Kylie’s favorite bakery or shop and buy her something… It will make her feel special.

 

 

Age

I picked up the book To Kill a Mockingbird recently. I figured I should read it since we’ve been calling that little thing inside Kylie’s belly Scout. I can’t say I remembered anything about Scout before I started reading the book a couple days ago- I read it a long long time ago but recently I had heard a reference to her (in the last few months) and I liked the name, so I decided to call our little thing Scout just to call it something and it caught on.

But boy oh boy is that Scout ever the tommiest tomboy and sassiest little girl ever! She’s way to smart for her own britches. She just runs the lot and gets in fights and questions every little thing someone says to her- for the sake of understanding- or proving her own point. It’s kinda what I’m hoping our kid to be like- well, minus the fights.

I read chapter ten last night of To Kill a Mockingbird. It began like this…

“Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty. When Jem and I asked him why he was so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected upon his abilities and manliness. He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries, and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said, “My father—”

Funny, I have been thinking about my age a lot lately- and doing the math- when Scout is… I will be… and when Scout is… I will be… It’s quite daunting and frustrating to think of some ages and realize when my Scout is really getting started with adulthood, my time will be really winding down. My own father was thirty-one when I was born. I can’t say he was ever feeble or low energy when I was growing up- quite the opposite. There’s a photo of me at about eight years old taking a shot on goal. The photo caught the ball midair with my dad as goalie- fully extended, fully in air, about to stop the ball. I wonder if I will be performing any diving saves for Scout when he/she is nine years old… I say yes, but only because Kylie is a physical therapist and will patch me up afterwards.

When Scout is twenty, I’ll be sixty. When Scout is my age, I will be eighty. EIGHTY! I mean, assuming I make it that long. Maybe one good thing that comes out of this is that Scout will have mature parents- well, at least one- I can’t say I have reached a level of maturity that can be labeled “mature”, but Kylie is an adult at least. Maybe we can use the term “experienced” for me.

But maybe age won’t really even be a factor in all this for me. I look at people around town and a lot of the men my age look as though they are already fifty now. They look unhappy, worn out, overweight, and just plain older than they should. I’m a little bit ahead of the curve. Isn’t there a saying that you are only as old as your wife? If that’s true then I’m only… no, I’m not going to go there but let’s just say- nope- I won’t say anything.

I think age is just on my mind a little more today because I woke up and walked around like a decrepit this morning. I’ve had an achilles problem on one foot for a while now that causes me to limp in the morning until it stretches out. Yesterday I topped it off with an inflamed IT band on my other leg from over-running. So both legs wanted to crumble under me this morning. I didn’t crumble, mind you, I just hobbled into the kitchen and Kylie gave me a sympathetic hug and kiss, and offered to make me a cappuccino. As I watched her make the cappuccino I admired her youth, and then I felt young again- well, at least not so old.

 

P.S. Mom, if you know what photo I am talking about and have it around somewhere feel free to email it to me and I’ll include it in this post. Thank you!

 

P.S. UPDATE:  So, my mom found the photo I was referencing and it wasn’t quite as I remembered it, but this is the one I was thinking of- sorry dad- you still look good though… just not as good as me!

1986

 

 

Cliché

Scout!

What’s going on in there little thing? You are eleven weeks, three days today. Congratulations, you are the size of a fig. Your great grand-nana loved figs. She had a tree in her back yard in Chula Vista. I used to watch her pick them off the tree and eat them- I thought it was disgusting- I think I just don’t like seedy things. Anyhoo, she died over a year ago. I would have loved for you to meet her- mostly because I would have loved to watch her scare the shit out of you. She was an absolutely loving grandmother, but she also like to yell at us as kids. “IF YOU KIDS DON’T LISTEN TO ME I’M GOING TO BEAT YOUR BRAINS IN!!” On occasion she followed it up with, “IF YOU HAVE ANY!”  We, as children, would scream, scatter, and run away. The adults in the room would laugh out loud. As an adult, I got to watch her yell at my younger cousins- I would be lying if I said I didn’t enjoy it. Her husband, on the other hand, your great grandpa, was the polar opposite. He would sit quietly in his chair and just observe everything. Every once in a while he’d quip a joke out and everyone would laugh. He died about six years ago while your mama and I were living in a shitty apartment in Flagstaff.

You have one great grandparent left right now- Red. Red is your grandpa Jared’s dad who lives in New York. You’d like him- I had the pleasure of meeting him this year in June. He’s quite the character with stories galore. He reminded me a lot of your late great grandpa Harvey from West Virginia. In fact, both of them had messed up a couple of their own fingers by the time I came around. Your great grandpa Red mangled a couple of his with a chainsaw (they are still there though). Your great grandpa Harvey lost one at the knuckle while working at a sawmill. He used to draw a face on it and move it around to entertain us.

But let’s stop talking about your late Greats. Let’s talk about your balls! Or your vagina! That’s right, I went there. By now you are forming one or the other- and quite honestly, I don’t care which! As long as you are healthy- I know, how cliché of me. But it’s true. I will let you know right now, if you are a girl I’m going to try like hell to raise you like a tomboy- and if you are a boy I’m going to try like hell to raise you into the most sensitive and caring man I can. And if you end up being gay, I’ll be absolutely happy and supportive with that too.

If you can help it though, please don’t be racist, sexist, homophobic, or a bully, or a football player, or in a fraternity or sorority… This will be a longer and more defined list some day, but this is all I can come up with right now on the fly. Actually, if you follow this list of don’ts then you should have a good foundation for being a good person.

Okay, I am about finished with my cappuccino, so I will bid you adieu. I hope you are warm and well inside your mama’s belly. I might put a stethoscope to your world tonight even though the internet says that it is pointless this early in the pregnancy. I wish I could come in and hang out with you for a bit but you’d probably freak me the fuck out with your creepy underdevelopedness at this stage- so I am perfectly happy to wait till June. Hugs and kisses little one.

Case

I lost two small pocket knives in the span of a week. One was confiscated at the airport because they thought I would use it to make tiny stabs in people on the airplane. The other knife fell out of my pocket somewhere in between home and work. Neither had any sentimental value to me, they were just small tools I liked to carry around to assist me with little jobs that require a little knife. Mind you, I’m not the guy that likes to carry around a big knife to show off how much of a man I am- quite the opposite actually- those kinds of guys like to make fun of me and my little knife.

So I needed a new knife. Sure, a custom made one by a local craftsman would have been nice, but considering my track record with the last two I decided I should opt for a cheaper mass produced knife. So off to Cabela’s I went. Whenever I go to Cabela’s I always expect there to be a camouflaged man at the door to stop me and say, “Hey, you aren’t a hunter, maybe you should go to REI instead”. But, he wasn’t there, and I walked right in.

Cabela’s had a great selection of knives! (I swear they are not sponsoring me). They had everything from Rambo knives to machetes to small pocket sizes that fit my personality. As I was looking in the knife cases Gary approached me and told me about a real deal, three knives for $10. I let him lead me that way but I didn’t have great expectations on quality- they ended up being a random camouflaged set of three that had the Cabela’s logo on them. I imagined the blade getting dented as soon as I tried to cut a piece of tape. I thanked Gary and told him I would keep looking.

As I looked over the knives on the wall I realized I wasn’t buying a knife just for me, but a knife that one day I could give to Scout. I remember my dad gave me a knife when I was a kid, just a simple no frills folding pocket knife with a yellowish handle. It was small and had a timeless look to it, unlike all the fancy springy and edgy designed ones out there today. I think I carried it around for a year or two before I lost it. You didn’t think I still had it did you?

My eyes finally rested on a small orange and silver folding knife with a small oval logo on it that read Case. This was the one, I thought, this is the one I’m going to give Scout one day. It had the classic look that reminded me of the one my dad gave me. Gary told me it was forty dollars and when I told him I wanted it he shot me a look that said, I just showed you three knives for ten dollars but you’re gonna get this little one for forty dollars instead? I immediately shot him back a more pronounced look that said, Keep your thoughts to yourself Gary and just sell me the damn knife.

Admittedly, I wasn’t planning on spending forty dollars for a pocket knife. It was a bit more than I had planned- but for a family heirloom? That’s pretty cheap if you ask me. (I used this same justification when I bought my truck- I told Kylie, “Just imagine, one day our first born will drive this”- that was way before Scout was in the picture.) As Gary boxed up the family heirloom he told me I could save twenty dollars just by signing up for a Cabela’s credit card. I told him I didn’t need another credit card. Gary insisted that I did, and it would only take a couple of minutes. A couple of minutes? I’ve got that kind of time…

Twenty-five minutes later I was finally walking out the door with our new knife, some paperwork, a credit card, and a ball cap that read Cabela’s Club. During that twenty-five minutes of frustration, I had a lot of time to think. My mind wandered to the movie Pulp Fiction. Specifically the scene where Christopher Walken’s character is describing to the kid how he hid the watch up his ass for years, just so he could give it to him when he got home…

captainkoonsThe way your dad looked at it, this watch was your birthright. He’d be damned if any slopes gonna put their greasy yellow hands on his boy’s birthright, so he hid it, in the one place he knew he could hide something: his ass. Five long years, he wore this watch up his ass. Then when he died of dysentery, he gave me the watch. I hid this uncomfortable piece of metal up my ass for two years. Then, after seven years, I was sent home to my family. And now, little man, I give the watch to you. 

Suddenly this pocket knife didn’t feel too significant as an heirloom. The only story I had to tell Scout was about my twenty-five minute wait to save twenty dollars. I guess I can dramatize it and tell Scout, “But it was a long twenty-five minutes”. I can also tell Scout how pushy over-the-hill Gary was. Not too exciting though.

I suppose I could hide the knife up my ass just for a good ol’ family heirloom story, but I don’t know who I’d be hiding it from. It would probably be a good idea to do so though, because most likely I will lose the knife before Scout is even born- that’s what Kylie thinks- and she’s usually right about that type of stuff.

As a matter of fact, yesterday we were tearing apart some boxes in the garage. I was working on a particularly difficult one and Kylie asked me if I needed a knife. I looked up and in her outstretched hand rested my new orange pocket knife. “Where did you get that?” I asked. She smiled with a twinkle in her eye, “I found it on the floor”.

Holes

This little ditty didn’t fit in the last post very well, so it’s its own little thing. As I was getting ready to go to the Obstetrician yesterday I realized my underwear had holes in them. It seemed like a very dad thing. Normally (not that it happens all the time), I would just wear them through the day, then throw them out. But this time I felt very embarrassed- and I’m not sure why. I wasn’t even the one who was going to have to take my pants off but I felt like everyone would know. They would know with their ultrasound and it would display on the large screen in the waiting room for all to see. Things that go through my head.

I’m not talking about a little tear either, I’m talking holes! I don’t know where they came from, or how long they have been around. I mean sure, it probably happened in the last wash, right? Because I would have noticed them before. Or! Or Mazzy has been a little terror lately- I bet she chewed some holes in them and then put them back in my drawer- I wouldn’t put it past her- she’s been opening cabinets lately- we still don’t know how, but she has.

Anyway, Scout, if you are reading this, just know that I didn’t have any holes in my underwear at your first visit to the doctor- I wouldn’t embarrass you like that, or your mother for that matter.