Monday, January 26, 2015

Danger of Comparisons

Someone recently asked me since close friends of ours had a baby only a weeks before us, "Have y'all started the milestone competition yet?" My response, "No. The only milestone I am competing for is I hope my kid doesn't go the jail before his kid does."

I see little value in comparing Gunner to anyone else. In my mind, he will either be the best in the world at something or he will not be, and shame on me as a father if I don't make him feel like being the best world is an attainable feat. We will be proud of our accomplishments without ever resting on our laurels....that's what retirement is for and it sounds grand.

But think about how dangerous it is to compare things. Bruno Mars and Taylor Swift are not on the same level, despite what my wife and my Pandora station believe. Bruno rocks it like MJ did and you all know it. Frozen is not on the same level as Alladin or the Lion King. I like Frozen, but no one is naming their cat Olof (sorry Dad) when they can name him Mufasa (well done Marc). And the list goes on. Bruce Willis tops live action stars from Die Hard 1 and 3 alone. Lebron and Kobe will never come close to Jordan. "General Studies" and "English" shouldn't be college majors; it's like majoring in "Showing Up for Class" or "Breathing". If you disagree with anything stated above, you see my point on why it does little good to compare. Just enjoy things for what they are if they are worth enjoying.    

Then there is Gunner, our little ginger red devil. He is now walking holding on to stuff which I find somewhat miraculous due to the size of his body. I figure gravity for him must be a son of b**** to deal with. And of course, eating is rapidly becoming his forte....vegetable spinach fettuccine alfredo (scarfed), pizza (scarfed), turkey and cheese (scarfed), grits and fruit (scarfed), cinnamon rolls, yogurt, biscuits, you name it. It's now like a game for us. We are just giving him some of whatever we are eating or putting random items in front of him and like the fatty he is, he is plowing through. He will be the kid that eats his GI Joe and gets mad when he can't find it to play with it.

Some City Park fun in the sun with Senor Jose the Photographer...

Oh it's fun for him but Dad has to have his back MRI'd and XRay'd weekly now...

Chubby, naked, texting, and driving....very illegal combinations...

Smooth operator...

Sunday, January 18, 2015

How Our DVR Describes Us as Parents

So I don't mean to brag but at an early age, I took a major step towards figuring out the meaning of life: The world is what it is and people will do what they got to do. Simple I know but that's life. Things happen, you do stuff....figure out how to make those work out well for you. That advice was free. You're welcome.

I consider this simplistic view of the world similar to my personality. While my reputation and many people may suggest otherwise, I really am indifferent to 99% of what happens. I like to poke fun, tease, and don't mind voicing my opinion on things, but I very rarely care one way or the other and will happily root for the outcomes to work out well.

So when I fell in love with my wife, it was simple. She was beautiful and she was funny. And that is all I really wanted; someone I would never grow tired looking at or talking to because both would always make me happy.

Now enter our DVR. My Shows: Soccer games, Modern Family. My Wife's Shows: ALL FIVE Real Housewives, ALL THREE Teen Moms, 16 and Pregnant, Chrisley Knows Best, Downtown Abbey, Little People Big World, the Little Couple, BOTH Khardashians, So You Think You Can Dance, ALL Project Runways, Guliana and Bill, The Mindy Project.

Study the lists above and think what this means for us as parents.

I am promoting activity, exercise, and humor. My wife is promoting is aggravating self discussion and poor communication skills. She also promotes her passion and profession with Project Runway, good humor with the Mindy Project, and I do like Chrisley Knows Best and the Dance show also. But the rest is crap.

So what will Gunner learn? From me, positioning and seeing the field is everything in soccer, and how to laugh and joke about our differences. From my wife, don't mess with Nene or trust Tamara, don't be poor and redneck and have a baby because that combination is brutal, Pre-WWII England is dull, Kourtney is never happy, and then there is laughter, creative fashion design, and impressive dance. Who will have a more positive influence?  We shall see. All I have to say is at least she is beautiful and funny because her taste in TV is pretty awful...except for The Mindy Project. That show is quite good.

Gunner update: 2 weeks after pulling himself to his knees,he is now pulling himself all the way up to standing. Not a pro yet but getting there. Now enjoy some GQ photos.






Tuesday, January 13, 2015

Adventuretime

Gunner is now 10 months old. And since the last post, he is now pushing his boundaries, which mean he is pushing our boundaries. The wife and I decided like many parents that we need a baby safe room we can just shove the kid in and he can play with minimal opportunities to break things or break himself. While I suggested transitioning an extra bedroom, my wife convinced me it should be a room "we want to hang out in also". That room is now our living room....retractable gates at the doorways, outlet plug covers that Vin Diesel can't get out, and a floor rug the size of a minivan...and bam! we let him loose. So far, major success. No more crawling into mom's sewing studio of pins, tacks, scissors, and hot irons everywhere. It should get interesting when he starts walking and running and sees just how much force those mesh retractable gates can withstand. And with Gunner, his size makes him a force.

So before I get into the chubbiness of our child, I must also say that this past weekend was daddy son adventuretime. Yes, mom went away for the weekend to a baby shower, Friday night to Monday afternoon, and I even had a doctor's appointment mixed in. And like I told the doctor on Monday, "we both survived." Friday was the predictable cliche. He was pissy and wanted to wail cry instead of go to bed. Of course he would. But after the long drawn out bedtime routine that lasted 4 hours, we had a good time. The grandparents came over a couple times, we had some quality bro time with Maddox, and not another freak out or cry fest. So when Monday came, oh yeah we survived. I got to feel what it would be like as a single dad and oh my it sucks. I have spent the last couple days researching legal forms of indentured servitude and mandatory house arrests to ensure my wife can't ever leave us again.

Our Monday morning doctor's appointment confirmed what we already know. We have a huge and chubby child. 10 months, 30.5 inches long (93rd percentile) and 24.5 lbs (87th percentile). He already eats all types of fruits so we use a simple trick to get him to eat vegetables by just taking a half spoon of the veggie then a half spoon of the fruit to cover veggie up and he gobbles it all up. So far (knock on wood) he is eating everything we throw his way in terms of fruits and veggies. We are pleased. Our muscles are not. The fatigue of parenting is not just from lack of sleep but also from lifting and transporting chubby kids.

Bro time with Maddox...

"Working out, I don't know if you heard me but I did over a 1000. You like what you see? Don't act like you're not impressed. Welcome to the gun show."

Pulling up to his knees only (not the whole way up), but standing and holding on like a champ...

A little wiser: last month photo from doctor visit weigh in had Gunner perplexed at the number given. This month, he just slides the weight back down to normal...."no worries, we're good here. you didn't see nothing..."





Monday, January 5, 2015

9 Months

December, the magical holiday time of Christmas and New Years. Gunner's 9th month was a milestone month on steroids. Like I say all the time, the goal of parenting is to help your kid to do what he is supposed to on his own and intentionally. In his first 8 months, most of Gunner's milestone were simple physiological developments...he can digest this, he can pooh that, he can fall asleep....real traffic stoppers.

But in month 9, the kid unleashed his ambition. He went from not wanting to move to crawling to even trying to pull himself up on stuff and practice walking. He went from staring at people as they left to waving goodbye. He all of the sudden loves to praise and congratulate himself with clapping and high fives all day long every time he does anything. It is super cute. He sits up in his crib when he is bored and lays down when he is tired. He says Ma, Da, Ba clearly as his attempts to speak even though he will just pick one and say it over and over and over as if we understand what he is trying to convey.

So even with all the achievements, it was the holidays and plenty of time with family. We did our first tree, first stockings, first Christmas dinner at our house, and first presents. Gunner enjoyed the festivities.


Our first tree...straight out of Etsy with my creative wife making all the decorations...

First opened gift like 10 days before Christmas...a BMW like his mama...
 Christmas morning...


New Years Day with Maw Maw....black eyed peas, cabbage, and king cake...he liked the king cake

Sports in December...Man United (who he owns stock in) rolling, and the Saints tanking....

He is now loving being excited....it is hilarious....








 

8 Months

November. Our foray into the world of meat. I have been a vegetarian for the last 5 years. But at the insistence of my wife, I promised her I would eat meat again when the kid started to eat meat. Well that was at the 8 month mark. I'll let you judge if you think he is a fan...
First bite of meat was a homemade meatball. He had some but not alot. And our efforts since have been met with similar reactions. Eggs and beans are his best protein at the moment but we are still trying. My wife and her sister cooked our Thanksgiving turkey (and Christmas turkey) for the first time ever and it was amazing. Gunner's reaction...

Despite his reaction, it was delicious. I had some and while I am back to being a vegetarian, my
wife's turkey cooking skills are truly top shelf.

Also, we had our first injury around Halloween. The story as my wife described it to me was Gunner was visiting a pumpkin patch and while taking photos in a chair in a hay field (in the city our hay fields have cement under them),  and he got a little top heavy and bam! He cried for two minutes, my wife cried for 2 hours. Needless to say, his got his first knock...and we may or may not be visiting pumpkin patches in the foreseeable future. The damage...

 Also, for pretty much his entire 8th month, Gunner had the flu and a double ear infection. We noticed a slight fever, running nose, some ear grabbing, and a little extra neediness and clinginess, but on the whole, we didn't think it was anything too major. His appetite was good, he slept decent, and he wasn't miserable. After a month, my wife finally decided to see why it was lingering and not going away and we got the official diagnosis. Gunner was a trooper.

First time sick sucks...
 "No way that's right! Weigh me again!" Only baby to gain 2 lbs. after having the flu for a month.


Sunday, January 4, 2015

7 Months

October started sad. We had to say goodbye to Derek Jeter, our Captain, as he retired from the Yankees as the greatest shortstop to ever play the game. Re2pect.

After that we did the most daring thing we could think of..................................Halloween in Los Angeles. That's right, a trip with the baby. And not just any trip, a cross country flight. One week split between Santa Monica and Encino. So in speaking with others with babies as well, flying didn't seem like too much to fear. All in all, it wasn't that bad. Things I have learned.

1) Try to schedule flights so take offs and landings have a bottle the kid will take  (formula or water or anything he won't refuse) involved for the sake of his ears.
2) You can't bring everything and when you do, it's really annoying because you can't find anything, don't use alot of it, and hate lugging it around everywhere.
3) Buy what you can when you get there for when you are there, unless you're in the rain forest or a secluded island. In LA, they got it.
4) If something distracts your kid for extended periods, have it with you and armed and ready at all times. Gunner is entranced with the cartoon Diego, the cousin of Dora the Explorer who saves animals and does wild adventure sports to do it. Entranced may even be an understatement. He is glued to that showed. We use Diego for the car because he hates being in the car and car seat. He very much has a "no one puts baby in the corner" mentality. But on the plane, it was Diego to the rescue on the ipad.
5) The pilot is a huge a-hole when he gets on speaker while your kid is sleeping and wakes him up to tell us it is hot and humid in New Orleans. Thanks for the breaking news there Wolf Blitzer!
At the Santa Monica Pier.....
 On Venice Beach...

 Halloween....Viking time....


6 Months

6 months for Gunner was the poor world of experimentation on our child's stomach. We decided early on that breast milk was a 6 month gig and then on formula to the 1 year mark. We also decided introducing real foods at 6 months (by real we mean pureed fruits and veggies). So as you can see, Gunner was going from a one thing diet to a wide variety. We did our best to make it manageable but not always successful.

The formula experiment...Rule 1 with formula: find one the kid likes and stick with it. Oh we failed here. The first formula we tried, he liked. We did ready to eat and for spit-up. He liked it. But for some reason, there was a need for us to do more. Why? I don't know. We are idiots. We did lactose free...fail, soy....fail, powder....fail, and we ended up back where we started. The poor child of course loved to vomit ENTIRE bottles during this month to teach us a lesson. Eventually, upon extensive research from my wife, we are set now on a formula that is made in Germany, bought in England, shipped from Wales, and all because "Europeans don't allow all this crap in baby formula that America does". I do feel a little ashamed when I watch Saving Private Ryan now but we got to do what we got to do. Tom Hanks forgive me!

The real food experiment: Fun. No Gerber or Whole Foods squeeze packs. Oh no my friend. Buy the fruit and vegetable, steam it like it was for dinner, blend it up puree, and store it. Organic....check, 100% natural...check, taste like nature intended....check. All fruits are a success. Surprise, he likes the sweet and sugary taste. He loves bananas at breakfast, and apples and pears the most. All berries and melons are enjoyed but not as highly as the aforementioned fruits. Veggies, not the same. Often we found ourselves mixing fruit in with the veggies to sneak them into that belly. He likes carrots and that is about it. Everything else needs help. Just that simple. With the real food, his pooh got real too. It is now nice and brown, a different smell, but still manageable  so no worries there.

Hanging with cousin Drew....
 Being silly with Raymi...
 Just being silly...

  

5 Months

So my last post was August 7th stating how the kid was finally doing a modified sleep through the night from 7pm to 7am with a tiny wake up or two in the middle of the night. That still happens today but the wake up is at 6am (when he takes his massive poop from the dinner bottle) with a fall back to sleep til 730 (if the poop will let him). Victory parents! Sleep and crib training through the night can't start early enough, we should have started it since birth....seriously.

Also, a major highlight of month 5 was my wife stopped breast pumping. We had the last month stocked up and at 6 months, we are switching to formula and those fun stories are for the next post. But when the mom stops breast feeding, her quality of life goes way up as now dad can help with the feedings. When she stops pumping also, it's almost life back to normal as now she doesn't need to do anything with the feedings where she used to have to do 100% of them. Victory for my wife.

Now I hate the saying "Happy wife, happy life." But when you switch your infant child from breast milk to formula, there is a drastic change in your wife's mood, demeanor, tone, and overall ambiance. While I don't believe in the "happy wife, happy life" mantra, I do believe in the "when my wife is not tired, cranky, and pissed off, I tend to be better off" mantra....

 Maxing and relaxing....
 Kung Fu Ginger...

I AM BACK FOR MORE

So after a 5 month hiatus, my wife has eagerly requested (code for: angrily forced) me to get back on the weekly blog posts about our son Gunner and the fun or "fun" we are having as new parents. So I will do a brief post for each month of Gunner's growth and development missed, 5 months (August 10th) through 9 months (some December loving).

Enjoy. Here is a teaser photo of the little guy...with a game day Guinness...all business...