Category Archives: Parenting

Still in a Northern California Daze

This week has been rough so far. We went up north for two weddings on consecutive weekends. Coming home Sunday night after ten days with Maggie has been tiring. We’re still trying to catch up on rest. Here’s the quick photo rundown of our trip. Sorry for the poor quality. I almost always only use the iPhone to take photos, and there is no time to post process photos anymore.

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Since we have to stop every two hours for Maggie, we took the 101. There are more places to stop, including Firestone Walker.

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Stop #2 was also Firestone Walker but a different location. Maggie enjoyed learning about barrel aging beers.

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Maggie met her cousin Myla, who played around her rather than with her.

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Maggie also got to meet her cousin Joshua. Basically none of them really acknowledged each other.

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Maggie did get to play with a pool noodle lightsaber.

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My cousin Jessica got married in a beautiful ceremony and reception that I would call ” very similar to ours but nicer.”

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After spending time in the San Jose area, we headed down to Monterey and Carmel for a little bit, stopping by the aquarium.

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Jellyfish are so cool.

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Maggie was happy as a clam.

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The open ocean tank was huge with sea turtles, tuna, and hammerhead sharks.

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We cruised the 17-mile drive and got to see The Lone Cypress.

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Point Lobos State Preserve.

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China Beach.

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After Carmel we raced to SF just to head out again across the new Bay Bridge.

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We got to go to Pixar! Unfortunately there’s a pretty strict “no photo” policy on most of the campus, so pictures are limited to the lobby areas.

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Most displays were for Monsters University since it was their latest release.

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Luigi and Guido from Cars.

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Who could forget these guys? Oooooooooooh!

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Maggie got to play in her first playground.

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She also got to enjoy oysters.

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This guy got married. There was a lot of crying.

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Maggie drove us home after a long trip. Holy crap I look exhausted.

I need a vacation from this vacation.

Us vs. The Baby

The last few days have been pretty rough. Maggie went from sleeping eight hours through most of the night to waking up every two or three hours, crying very loudly. Unfortunately for us this happens to coincide with Michelle’s writing deadlines, so I’ve been playing Mr. Dad this weekend during the day. Even with all Maggie’s waking up, she stays awake through most of the day, which means we haven’t had time to catch up on our sleep.

We couldn’t figure out what made her suddenly wake up in the night when she was doing so well. She is a little bit young for teething, and she doesn’t exhibit all the signs. We fed her extra from a bottle to make sure she was well fed. Maybe it’s just one of those things?

Today, because we both worked from home, we decided to go pick her up from daycare together. Although Michelle has only seen her once when picking up Maggie, our pediatrician has her children at the same daycare. We joked, “Wouldn’t it be funny if we saw Dr. X here? We could be like, ‘Help us!'”

As we were leaving, who should walk through the door? Hallelujah! We told her about Maggie’s recent sleep schedule, and the conversation was pretty enlightening.

Dr. X: How’s it going?
Michelle:
 Good, except Maggie has been waking up every two or three hours recently.
Dr. X: She’s five months? It’s a social thing. She’s more aware now. She’s manipulating you because she knows she can.
Me: How long should we be waiting before we get her? We waited five, ten minutes but her crying seemed to keep ramping up.
Dr. X: You have to let her ramp up and calm herself down. Thirty minutes is an okay time to let her continue crying. I know it’ll be hard but-
Me: Oh, no. We can totally do that! We just thought we were being bad parents.

She was very matter-of-fact in telling us it’s related to social learning, but she made it sound like Maggie was some sort of diabolical genius, aware of her actions, and using us as puppets. Maybe she’s just getting us back for all the embarrassing photos we’re constantly taking of her.

The course of action is clear tonight. Ignore the baby! Hopefully she won’t hold a grudge in the morning. Your move, Maggie.

Proud Parenting Moment #1

Michelle: Oh my god! What’s that in her ear?
Me: Is that a blood clot?
*Starts to gently clean out with cotton swab*
Michelle: Is that a chocolate chip?
Me: Yeah, I think so.

We’ve both been eating chocolate chip cookies recently, so we’re not sure who to blame for this one. We’ll let you decide which one of us did it. The good news is the baby is fine, and none of our clothes are stained with chocolate.

Babies are ticking time bombs…

I feel like I didn’t talk to enough people or do enough research about what having a baby is like. When it was harder than I had anticipated, frustration set in and made it that much more difficult mentally. So I’m here to share with you the healthy respect you should have for the job of parenting.

Expectations:
Having a baby is like having an alarm clock that goes off every one to two hours. You will never know exactly when it will go off, so you’re constantly anxious about whether the alarm is about to sound. Turning off the alarm involves a 45-60 minute task that involves poop, so you definitely don’t want to sleep walk through the task. If you don’t complete the task properly, you are likely to see the alarm go off sooner than you expect. Once the alarm is off, the waiting begins again for the next round.

I wish I had known more about the routine before getting thrown into the thick of things. It’s so much more difficult being defeated into the reality rather than understanding beforehand. Every book or article is going to tell you parenting is hard and tiring, but they don’t really give you any details on what it’s really like. I encourage you to talk to friends and family that have had kids in the past few years to really get a feel for what you’re getting into before you’re elbow deep in poop, wishing you had a time machine to go back to spay or neuter your past self.

Spilled Milk. Didn’t Cry.

Here’s another lesson that will go into my book.

This morning I spilled a whole bottle of milk onto myself and the baby. I think the bottle wasn’t screwed on all the way. I didn’t even realize I had done it until I looked down after only half a minute and thought, “Holy crap! She shotgunned the whole thing!” I told Michelle and she let out an exasperated sigh as if to tell me, “Stop wasting my milk!”

The good: The baby didn’t cry while I made up another bottle. She just sucked the milk out of her clothes and my clothes until I had another bottle ready. What a little piggy.

The bad: I think the baby thinks I have milk now. She keeps looking at me out of the corner of her eye while Michelle is feeding her as if to say, “You’re next.”

Sleeping:
Although it seems ridiculously obvious, rest as much as possible. It’s hardest to sleep when the sun is up, because you’re so used to being up and about during the day. Having some time to unwind is nice, but it’s more important you’re on top of your game when the baby needs you. Use at least one of her sleep periods during the day to get some rest or you will be running on zombie mode and make dumb mistakes like me.