This afternoon your mom and I were sitting in the swing on our deck trying to catch a breeze. You liked the motion of the swing as it moved. We would swing. You would kick. Then we would swing some more. Then you did more even kicking and moving around. I tickled your toes. You liked that even better. You were making lots of motion. The pattern on the dress that she had on moved like waves on the ocean. Maybe with those feet of yours you will become an olympic swimmer. What a great way to spend some time together on a dog day afternoon!
The Roundtable previously mentioned was once again in the paper. They said that there were still spots available for the seminar/discussion. In the article they described the topics. We already knew about the dangers of co-sleeping and about the shaken baby syndrome. The Period of Purple Crying was still somewhat mysterious and vague. Now I cant decide if it is refering to the infant or the parent who is doing the crying until they turn purple. If it is your mother and I turning purple from nonstop crying, develop a strategy for helping us get through it. You can even try my trick-distracting us.
You needed "stuff" and our friends sure came through With an abundance of love in a shower to honor you. For any possible occasion your every need was met, It was an event not likely soon to forget. Toys for playing, Books for reading, my old "Oxfords" too; A Sleeping Wedge, a Diaper Bag, Dreft and Diapers for you know who.
Your new clothes to wear were all hung on a line. I got my own special apron just for diaper-duty time. All the details were perfectly in place: Diaper cake for decoration, meatballs to stuff our face.
Handmade stuff, Store-bought stuff, Practical stuff and Cute stuff. Bathtime, Chow time, Dress-up time and Just For Fun-time; Changing time, Dress-down time, and yes, even Toenail Clipping time!
Friends both old and new, from near and far Church family, even my mom-all arrived by car. A wonderful celebration held just for you. Many gifts to open-Shemiah helped with that part too. Not simply presents and mere ballyhoo, But more importantly-Prayers and Blessings spoken over YOU!
I've been working in the yard again. Trying to get it looking nice. Flower beds, mulch, stepping stones...that's the fun stuff. Mowing and weedeating is the real nuts and bolts of it. Like anything else you just have to put your mind to it. Visualize the end result. That is what I'm gonna tell your mom in the hospital during labor...visualize the end result. When your big enough to help we can do these kind of things together. Until then just relax and let me take care of it.
You like the same kind of stuff we do! At least it makes you active. Case in point-salsa. Your mom and I like salsa and chips. When she eats it she says it makes you jump around. Your palate is forming now. There are tiny taste buds on your tongue. Your mom is eating lots of different type things for you to taste. Before you can say you don't like something you should try it. That is going to be my mantra for you. We don't want you to be a picky eater. No bland stuff for you either. And veggies-I love them all. Most of them anyway. I taught your mom to love sweet potatoes.
Saw something I never heard of today in the paper pertaining to newborn care and coping with a newborn. There is going to be a roundtable discussion on infant care in our fair city. It includes the importance of not co-sleeping with the child, the shaken baby syndrome, and the "period of purple crying." Your mother and I have never heard of this last one. We determined that it must be a bout of nonstop crying in which you would turn purple from holding your breath. I have a strategy for if this happens. I will distract you by making a loud noise. Maybe I will hit pots and pans together or ring a bell or something. I could even sing, whatever it takes. If I can get your attention then you will be distracted and forget about whatever it was that you were crying about. Purple is our favorite color but don't want a purple child. People might ask questions.
It was strange. This was the first free monday night we have had that I can remember with the exception of Memorial Day. No Lamaze or dog training, nothing planned. Just dinner, a movie, and your mom finishing up some thank-you cards. It was nice not to have to be rushing off. Just staying at home is fine with us. Counted a few kicks, and then took a nap on the couch. Up again before midnight and then finished off the night in our cozy bed. I was so comfy that I snored. That is the opposite of Jet-setting!
Today was Father's Day. Thanks for the card and shirt and for the nice dinner last night. At Church I was part of the slide show honoring fathers. There was a picture from our wedding(from my "skinny" days) and a picture of me with the dogs in the backyard from last summer. It was cool to be a part of that. Looked like I wasn't the only one who had changed over the years. Some of the dads looked a lot different than they do now. Then they announced the shower for us this weekend, and how I ought to be a candidate for "father of the year" next year. We'll see about that, I just want to be a good father to you and not everyone's good example. I would hate to have to make a speech or something. "I'd like to thank ..."
Summer seemed to really be here in full swing today. It was so very hot. Got me thinking about the wintertime and about snow. Your mother would really appreciate a nice cool winter's day right about now. A snowfall is a really beautiful thing. Each snowflake is unique and one of a kind. You will be unique and one of a kind also. Just like a snowflake.
At all the big award shows the winners make a speech. It usually starts with "I'd like to thank..." Well we didn't win any awards or anything, but your mom did some thanking this evening. She did a bunch of thank-you cards to all the wonderful people who gave us such nice gifts for you at the showers. Writing thank-you notes is just plain good manners. Thank You notes should be done in a timely manner too, before they snowball into something like a chore or task instead of being something meaningful and joyful. Both of us go out of our way to thank people when they do something nice for us. We are going to teach you to be well mannered and polite. Maybe someday one of the three us will be on an awards show and have to make the infamous speech. I wonder if the winners on those shows ever send out thank you cards. Somehow I think their assistants get that responsibility.
Today when we left your mom's work shower I felt like one of the Children of Israel leaving with the Treasures of Egypt! She has worked there for a long time and has terrific friends in many different departmants. It took us an hour to open all your gifts! We got several nice things off your registry and lots of other stuff we will use. We also got a bunch of giftcards to get things we might need later on too. I loved showing off pictures of your room. Everyone loved it. I got a bunch of requests for doing the same thing for their kids rooms. "Just yours." That's what I told them. Then when we got home of course we had to look at everything and play with it in that awesome room of yours.
We had your check-up today. Dr. said everything was A-OK. You mom said you haven't been in the ribcage as much lately. The doc felt her belly and said that you were already properly turned with your head down. Just like you are supposed to be. I can imagine you hanging out in there. Just standing on your head. Waiting.
I've been thinking about some of my favorite nursery rhymes and children's books to read to you. Hey-diddle-diddle, the cat and the fiddle; the cow jumped over the moon. The little dog laughed to see such a sport and the dish ran away with the spoon. It must have taken someone with an unbelievable imagination to come up with something like that. I hope we get some mother goose nursery rhymes and some little golden books. I liked Dr. Seuss too when I was a kid. Green eggs and ham was my favorite.
It was our last class and I suppose we graduated. The instructor had a cake for us anyway. We toured labor and delivery, the nursery, and the rooms. Found out that they can deliver 9 babies at once if need be. We practiced breathing and counter-pressure. We also scheduled an infant CPR class. We found out where to come when it is "time" depending on the urgency of the situation. I could always burst through the doors of the ER with your mom flung over my shoulders and scream out "She's having a baby!" But if the situation is less dramatic we can just park in the parking deck, cross the street, and go directly to the third floor and be buzzed in by the nurse. It's your call.
I felt like a pirate today bringing home all the bootie from your first shower. This is going to be a busy week. We have your final Lamaze class, another shower, your doctor appointment, and about a million other things. Your mom said you have been very active lately. A good pirate knows how to keep moving.
Your first shower was today and you managed to take in some very cool stuff. Mom and your 2 grandmas had a good time too. They ate some good food, played some games, and opened some presents. Noone wore a lampshade at this party. Maybe next time.
I'm the coach...well, at least that is what the t-shirt says. Got a feeling you will be the one calling the shots in the delivery room though. Thanks for the awesome new t-shirt proclaiming my new title. I will wear it proudly, yet humbly. Gonna wash it and wear it for our final lamaze class, a shower or 2, and then in the delivery room.
So much to do today. I painted a sea scene on one of your walls. A pre-shower gift came in the mail all the way from Minnesota for you. We made preparations for a trip to Kentuck for your first shower. Everything was right on track until the power went out for 3 hours. No worries though, we managed to get everything done. All the important stuff anyway.
Only 10 more weeks to go before you will be making your debut. Every journey has detours and bunny trails on the way from point A to point B. Sometimes the most direct route is not the right path to take. The Journey of You was a long and winding road. It took 18 years of marriage until just the perfect time. I have a sneaky suspicion that as a family we will venture down many more bunny trails. The road less traveled has better scenery and all who wander are not lost.
The instructor was talking about not feeling guilt over storing cord blood and medical stuff at class. We were talking about emerging medical technology, and she said something I hadn't even thought of. She said that You, baby, will be an old person at the turn of the next century. 91 years old, to be exact. I remember when I was 33 years old the coming year 2000 was being hyped up with the threat of Y2K computer crashes and global chaos. Hospitals, airports, national security, the banking system, and pretty much anything else was at risk of failure. In the end, nothing memorable happened as a result of this. People worried over nothing. Many people made life-changing plans though. Lots of people did what they do every day: get married, have children, gather the courage to pursue their dreams. What I'm trying to say is that you don't have to wait for milestones such as the turning of a new century to do something meaningful or make plans for a rainy day. Every day is important. Good things happen and so do bad. Your great-grandmother lived in 3 centuries. She was born in the late 1890's, lived through all of the 1900's, and died early in the 2000's. She really knew how to live!
At Lamaze we were talking about handling/coping with the newborn baby during the middle of the night for feedings, and how we would know if the baby needed to be fed during those times. One of the women said that with her firstborn, "I remember the crying..." It made me think of the times I sometimes wake up hungry in the middle of the night and have to get a snack or something to drink. I have not been doing that lately though, but if you wake up hungry in the middle of the night I might just have to have a snack with you. I like peanut butter for my midnight snack but it leaves you with terrible breathe in the morning. Your mom never snacks in the middle of the night. She has willpower.
Over the river and thru the woods we went to see your Grandma and Grandpa today. We also saw your Great-Grandma and your Uncle, Aunt, and 2 Cousins. It was a birthday get-together for your Grandpa. We ate some homeade ice cream and pound cake. You stole the show again, as usual.
We took you to your first concert tonight. The Salisbury Symphony had their annual outdoor Pops concert downtown at the Salisbury Post loading dock. The theme of the concert was Fantasy and Finance. The Symphony sounded awesome. The weather was perfect for an outdoor summer concert. We couldn't believe the number of people tailgating and families just enjoying themselves listening to the music. They even gave us this cool fan which also served as a program. I hope you enjoy music. We hope to expose you to music early. You seemed to like what what you heard because you kicked!
Started working on a new scene for your room. This one is an underwater one. I drew a whale, a crab, and a starfish. I just need to draw a few fish and then paint it all and you will have something new to look at in your room. I am most happy with it. Maybe I will even draw an oyster with a pearl inside.
Got an invitation to the first shower in your honor today. It was from your Grandma in Kentucky. She is throwing you a party next saturday. We are looking forward to going to see her and celebrating with your mom's family. This is a "ladies only" old fashioned shower so I won't be going. I described some games that they would play. Like walking with a clothespin between your knees to imitate the mommy-to-be. Someone will probably give us a training potty with unwrapped tootsie rolls inside. She laughed. I don't think she quite believed me. Women really do things like this at baby showers that are "ladies only."
According to the developmental update you can now suck your thumb. It also says that you have the ability to cry. These are both essentials to any newborn for coping with life outside the womb. We would prefer laughing over crying but realize that crying will be your chief method of communication. Cry when your hungry, cry when you need to be changed, cry when you just want to see us or be with us. Not to sure about the thumbsucking. I've heard it leads to crooked teeth. The cost of braces might make us cry.
We probably won't let you eat dessert for supper. Not at least until you have grown nutritionally and dentally (is this a word?). That is not going to stop your mom and me from occasionally having ice cream for supper just like we did tonight. We aren't heartless, so we won't taunt you if we do. We will just wait until you are sleeping. Or do it clandestinely and just tell you we are dieting or fasting or something. If we tell you we aren't hungry, or had a big lunch it just might mean that we are secretly going to have ICE CREAM for supper. Don't strained carrots sound just yummy right about now?
All of the expectant fathers were talking about the same thing last night in our lamaze class: How much weight they had gained. The mommies to be all looked great. We thought that they might have really blossomed since it had been two weeks since we seen them last, but it was the guys who had really plumped out. Since they were the ones who mentioned it, the dads were a rather husky looking group. Glad to know I'm wasn't the only one in the room who had added a pound or two over the course of the past six or seven months. Nice to know that I'm not alone in having to navigate the closet for the best fitting pair of pants, and circumventing tee-shirts on a hanging rack that aren't too tight based on my last meal or the very necessary in-between-meal snack. I used to think that it took women longer to decide what to wear. At least the women in this group get to use those special pants with the belly-hugging material to help support added body mass from pregnancy. All us poor guys have are belts which accentuates our pot-bellys hanging over it. We may have been a little husky, but I am proud to say that none of us in our group were at the point of needing suspenders. Yet. Another thing that the guys were all bonding over is how glad they were that the in-laws were in other cities and states. Most of the women even agreed to that one too. I'm going to miss these couples once we finish the class and deliver the babies. Maybe we can schedule a reunion or playday or group birthday party for them or something. Funny how common experiences can unite a group of strangers. Since we had these common threads going, I felt like I probably wasn't the only guy in the room who had been commissioned to paint a pregnant woman's toenails. I wasn't going there, however; some things are sacred. Even in a natural childbirthing class.
We had been on the run all day. Church, Petco, Sticky Fingers, Concord Mills, Lowe's, Food Lion for a gift card for a Shower at Church, back to Food Lion for our groceries. We were so hot and tired from everything. Even in the third trimester pregnancy she could still walk faster than most shoppers at the mall. Her social skills were superb in talking with people about the baby, and she was such a trooper at the shower. We even talked about a baby shower for you from people at Church, but she definitely had a touch of Pregnancy Brain when she told me at the grocery store "I'll remember you." What she meant to say was "I'll remind you." It was sooo funny. I told the cashier that we were expecting a baby together and she tells me she would remember me. I told her I hoped that she wouldn't forget me! Then I told the cashier not to put all of our eggs in one basket.