Sunday, December 31, 2006

Starting a new year ...

Well tomorrow is officially 2007. And the day after that – I return to work. I've got to tell you, I could get used to this whole staying home and getting paid for it thing. Hell, I could get used to just the staying home part. Maybe I should look into freelance work and become Mr. Mom?

Hey – Michael Keaton did it. (And he was able to handle Martin Mull and that sentient vacuum cleaner just fine.)

It's been a great month – and to think everyone at work said I'd be ready to come back after one week. I'm very thankful that I've had this time to sit at home and change dirty diapers under conditions of sleep depravation. I know not all dads have the opportunity to do it.

It's been a great couple of weeks – and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

So here's to the new year and all of the new challenges and surprises (and dirty diapers) it will bring. I'm ready for it.

I think.

And if I'm not, I'm sure Rae is.

Friday, December 29, 2006

For the first time ...

... since Kaylee came home, the counter is totally dirty dish free.
Next year I'm buying myself a dishwasher for Christmas.

Must-haves for new dads

There's a lot to learn when you become a new dad. Which end of the diaper goes in front? How do you make her stop screaming? Where does all that poop come from? Why is she sleeping NOW? How do I do that without getting (insert bodily fluid of choice here) all over me? Why is she still hungry? Why? Why? Why!?!

I don't have the answers, but these are just a few of the many, many items I have found that make my life sooo much easier.

The bouncy seat – It is truely a gift from the gods. Strap baby in – set to vibrate and let her scream herself into submission. On a good day it takes all of 30 seconds. The only problem is once she's sleeping here, it's really tough to transfer her to the bed without waking her up. Best to just leave her be.

The bink – No, I don't have any idea where the name comes from. What I do know is that this is the greatest plug ever invented. When it is combined with the bouncy seat, it is truely an awesome force. Please take care not to use it for evil.

The Diaper Genie – It's like those old Roach Motel commercials, Poop checks in and never checks out. All the diapers get wrapped up into this giant diaper sausage for easy disposal. My only beef – make it bigger. The way this kid goes, I have to empty it all the time.

The Tivo – Why? Because the baby is going to scream in the middle of your favorite show. So now you can pause it, rewind it, fast forward through the commercials, whatever. AND – you can record all your shows so you have something to watch when you're stuck on the couch at 3 AM with a baby who won't sleep.

The Guitar Hero – Remember all those video games you used to play? The hours you spent trying to get 100% completion on Grand Theft Auto? Those days are over. (Well, for the most part.) But – don't throw out your PS2 yet. I give you the greatest game of at least the past ... well, it's good. You can play it for hours, or more likely, minutes at a time. If you've got time to listen to a song – you can play a round. And I defy you to get "Strutter" by KISS out of your head ...

And last, but not least – The breast-feeding wife – You must have one of these. It makes those every-three-hour-feedings so much easier. Just make sure you take care of her – they can burn out if you let them fly solo too much.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Got to thinking about mix tapes the other day (or MP3 playlists if you insist on being so 21st century) and started laying out the soundtrack for Kaylee's life.

Many of these songs were chosen just for the title - because if you actually listen to the lyrics they are just plain wrong. But there are a few that work on all levels. So without further aideu, and in no particular order:
  • Up All Night - Slaughter (For what should be obvious reasons)
  • Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses (None of that wussy Sheryl Crowe cover for my kid - baby likes metal)
  • Gracie - Ben Folds (Just change the word "Gracie" to "Kaylee" and it's the perfect song)
  • Lullabye - The Dixie Chicks (This one's for Rae)
  • I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Bob Dylan (Cause I love Dylan - and it fits - kinda)
  • Baby, Baby Don't Cry - Smokey Robinson (Cause I found it on iTunes and it's not horrible)
  • Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) - Billy Joel (Cause every soundtrack needs a little Joel, and "Allentown" just didn't fit)
  • Candy Girl - New Edition (Because if you know the tune it is TOTALLY locked in your brain right now)
  • My Girl - The Temptations (Kinda cliche - but it fits)
  • Bottle to the Baby - Charlie Feathers (100% for the title)
  • Daughter - Pearl Jam (Also just for the title)
  • About a Girl - Nirvana (Also also just for the title - and because Kurt Cobain can do no wrong)
  • You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Just the title - but it's a great one)
  • Big Bottom - Spinal Tap (Mostly a reference to Kaylee's ability to fill her pants - but also a great song)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Thank you Baby Jesus

You didn't bring me my air rifle, but I did get some sleep. After opening Christmas presents late on Christmas Eve, Kaylee gave us our best present of the year. She spent most of the night sleeping in her bed, instead of screaming on the couch – and even gave us four straight hours of sleep. It's a Christmas miracle! (We're not expecting a repeat performance tonight.)

Santa was good to all of us this year. Jewelry, books and clothes – and not all of it was for Kaylee! After a long night of presents and sleep we headed over to Johnny and Mel's house for Christmas lunner. Rae and I stuffed ourselves on turkey and pie – while Kaylee pigged out on her food of choice. (16 minutes of eating – that's about 10 minutes longer than she normally goes. AND she kept it all down.)

We're looking forward to doing it again next year when Kaylee can open her own presents. (And not really care much about anything except the boxes and paper.)

This is a Christmas Eve family self-portrait in front of the tree. I wasn't going to include it – but Rae points out that this is Kaylee's first smile recorded on camera. (For the record – I think she was filling her pants at the time.)

Kaylee's Christmas outfit – notice the cute little lace slippers my Aunt Ruth made for her. We wanted to make sure she got to wear them at least once.

Here's a picture of my girls in their Christmas crowns. The hats are from our Christmas Krackers – a little party favor with toys and such inside. Everyone opened one right before dinner and had to wear the hat all through the meal.

It's a tradition – or Johnny was just messing with all of us. Either way – I was smart enough not to have my picture taken wearing a silly paper hat.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Christmas carol ...

Silent night,
Oh, yeah right,
Babe won't sleep,
She just wants to fight,

She won't eat from either bottle or breast,
Mom and dad just want to rest,

Sleep now monkey please sleep,
Sleep now monkey please sleep.

(To be sung all night taking only a fifteen minute break every hour
or so. Dear Baby Jesus – all I want for Christmas is a nap.)

(And an official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Snap shots

One of Kaylee's favorite spots ... chewing on Dad's shoulder.
Her hair's a little crazier than normal – she just had a bath.

Yes, it's a little blurry due to the lack of flash – but it's not often you get this much of "the family" (sans Dad – someone has to use the camera) in one shot.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Booty twapped*

That's what I said! Booty twapped!

And you thought getting peed on was the only hazard you had to endure when changing a diaper? Oh no.

Lately Miss Kaylee has been saving up the farts for when the diaper is off. (I'm pretty sure it really has something to do with bending her in half to clean up.) But when the butt is a mess – and the butt lets loose?

You had better duck.

Or at least that's what Rae tells me. She caught the brunt of it this morning. I myself haven't had the pleasure.

In other news: Rae is officially wearing pre-pregnancy jeans today. She's really, really, really happy about this. I don't see why it's a big deal – I've been wearing my jeans from 10 months ago all this time.

* If you don't get the reference, you either weren't a child, did not have a child, or did not still act like a child in 1985.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Forgive me ...

For I have sinned. I didn't mean to do it – it just kind of happened. I feel nothing but shame for my misdeeds and humbly request forgiveness. It was an honest mistake, but a digression none the less.

I watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy with my daughter before watching the original Star Wars trilogy with her. It was a selfish act – I figured I'd rewatch the three really long movies while I had some time off. I didn't think about the ramifications of my actions.

I fear that I may have done irreversible harm in doing so. Instead of raising her on Jedi and battlestation plans and blasters and bounty hunters and akward sibling love, her outlook on life will be tainted by Rangers and one-rings and swords and Nazgul and halflings who may or may not play for both teams.

I don't know if the effects are reversible, but I'll do my part. Starting today Kaylee and I will be on steady diet of Star Wars. But just episodes IV - VI (I may have already scarred her for life, we don't need to add Jar Jar Binks into this).

In other news: I turned 31 today. Another year older, another year wi ... older. And today I realized just how great it is to be a new father.

It means I get double the presents now.

Monday, December 18, 2006

She's official

Kaylee's got both her official birth certificate and social security card.

I guess that means we get to keep her.

And that I don't have to worry about local pseudo-military factions declaring her an "illegal entrant."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Kaylee can't sleep ...

... so I can't either. So I thought I'd share this pic from her first real bath this evening. (She can do that now that she has a real belly button. Look Ma – no more crusty stuff!) It went well, and she seemed to even enjoy it – until Rae started washing her hair.

I'd type more, but I'm doing all this one handed – and I think Kaylee just filled her pants with the reason she can't sleep.

[EDIT: I just noticed how nasty my bathtub looks in that photo. Sure it's old and needs to be resurfaced – but it doesn't look THAT bad in person. I swear, it's just a camera thing. Really. Quit judging me.]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday wrap up

Item the first – Baby Doctor
Rae had her appointment with the Baby Doctor this week (not the Doctor of Babies – I know it's easy to get them confused). Her official post-birth weight is only something like seven pounds more than she started at – so I think she's pretty damn happy about that.

Doc also says her incision is healing well. I'd show you pictures, but Rae would have to take her pants off to do that – and she says I'm not allowed to post those pictures on the internet.

Item the second – Baby's day out
We had to run some errands today and just for S&G we decided to take my car. Now it only has two doors and isn't as easy to get Kaylee in and out of – but I really think she likes rolling around town in a Mustang convertible better than Mom's four door sedan.

And no we didn't put the top down – Rae wouldn't let me. Maybe next time.

Item the third – My third nipple
I don't know if I've mentioned it here or not – but most of you know that Rae is breast feeding. And while that means I get to spend more of my night sleeping, it also means that she gets to have all the fun of feeding Kaylee. Well no more.

As of tonight we're giving Kaylee a bottle a day. Partially to get her used to them for when Rae has to return to work. And partially to give Rae a bit of a break. Apparently breast feeding can be much like wearing a sandpaper bra.

Me? I'm just happy to be on the other end of the digestive tract for the first time.

And damn can that girl eat. (I'm pretty sure she gets that from me.) Even if she does end up wearing about half of it. (Which she gets from her mother.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On Darwin

Why can't infants scream all day and sleep all night?
Seems to me, evolution should have taken care of this by now.

That must be why babies are so damn cute. It's an evolutionary adaptaion. We put up with all of this because of doe eyes, chubby cheeks and monkey toes.

Otherwise the human race would have died out from sleepless nights a long time ago.

But then ... how does one explain the ugly babies?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two-week checkup

Kaylee had her second appointment with the DOB (Doctor of Babies) this afternoon. She was so excited to be there – she filled two diapers during the 20 minutes we were there. (Though she did manage to not pee on the scale this time.)

She's still doing well – DOB says we haven't broken her yet. And she's managed to add half an inch to her length and brought her weight up to 9 pounds 2 ounces. Guess that's not skim milk she's getting.

The highlight of the trip was Kaylee's blood test. She got a little stick in the heel. It didn't seem to bother her too much at first – but then after the shock wore off she screamed her little head off. I guess nothing ruins your day faster than being suspended in the air, half naked, while you're poked in the sole of your foot until you bleed.

But wait, there's more! I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce Kaylee's belly button. Her cord fell off this afternoon – so things are still a little gross – and we're excited about it for a couple of different reasons.
  • It makes changing her diaper go soooo much faster. No more folding down the front of her diaper while she kicks and squirms.
  • She will one day (when she is much, much older) look normal wearing a bikini.
  • The dogs will finally stop eyeing what looked like a rawhide treat poking out of her pants.
  • She will have proof of her humanity when the evil clones seize control of the Earth. (See the clones won't be of natural birth and therefore wouldn't have had umbilical cords. Hence no belly buttons.)
Hey when it happens – you'll be thankful for your belly button too.

If you have one that is. (They already walk among us.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

10 little-known Monkey facts

1) She squeaks and waves her arms around when she sleeps.
2) When she poops – her face turns the same shade of red as Grandpa Charlie's when he's mad.
3) So far, she looks best in yellow.
4) Apparently her legs don't work unless I'm trying to change her clothes and/or diaper.
5) Short of using baby mousse, that hair isn't laying down. Ever.
6) She can sleep through anything – except the night.
7) The only thing that can keep her awake while in a moving car is direct sunlight.
8) She is most alert between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM. (Yay!)
9) If her activities were translated into dwarf names, she would be: Sleepy, Poopy, Sucky, Grumpy, Squirmy and Vacant Stare. In that order.
10) In addition to a full head of hair, she has a hairy back and forehead – but almost no eyebrows.

Animal farm

Yeah, we had a zoo to begin with. Two dogs and two cats. Everyone seems to have figured out where they fit and no one seems to feel left out. (At least no one has retaliated by peeing on my bed anyway.)

The cats pretty much keep their distance. On a couple of occasions I've had one of the cats curl up next to Kaylee when I'm holding her. But it's always short-lived. They run off as soon as she starts kicking.

This is a pretty common sight in our house. Wherever Kaylee goes, Porthos (or Porkos or Pork Chop or The Dude – whatever you want to call him by) follows. When she cries, he's the first one to her room. When you change her diaper, he's laying at your feet. When she's sleeping in her bouncy chair, he's never far off – and comes by periodically to push his nose in her face and check up on her.

Funny thing is – he was the one we were most concerned about because he's so hyper and jumpy. But he's been nothing but great. I think the two of them are going to be inseperable once she gets mobile.

Eddie is just interested in giving her a tounge bath. I haven't caught that one on camera yet.

And she doesn't seem to mind it so much.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pain is back

Threw out my back today. To the point where I can't really bend, twist, move or breathe. So I'm spending most of this weekend riding the couch.

No one thing did it – it's a combination of lots of bending over, picking up Kaylee, carrying the car seat, falling asleep in akward postions, etc.

When you have a newborn, this is not a good thing. But hopefully I can take it easy for the next day or so and let my back heal a bit.

Luckily Rae is there to do the heavy lifting. (And the light lifting – cause that hurts too.)

Friday, December 08, 2006

My monkey

While not nearly as entertaining as the photo of the cat, Kaylee does look pretty fab in her monkey hat.

In other news, we're raising a vampire. We're just waiting for the fangs to come in to confirm it. But for the last few days she's been sleeping all day (in the loudest places possible) and up all night. (Yes, just like the Slaughter song.)

Starting at about 10 pm she wants to eat every hour or so. So Rae's not getting too much sleep. And I'm doing the dishes at 4 am just to join in on the experience.

But she looks good in the monkey hat.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bath time

Kaylee did pretty well with her first bath. She was a real trooper until we started washing her tummy. That's when she started screaming. About half way through I wrapped her up in her towel and cuddled her up to get her warm and calm her down.

And she peed on me.

Things seemed to go smoother for her after that.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pre-bedtime photoshoot

Kaylee works the camera using dad's lap as a backdrop.
I think she's actually filling her diaper in that last photo.

Clean bill of health

Got back from the pediatrician this morning – and all is well. Kaylee got two thumbs up – even after she peed all over the scale. She's scheduled for a follow-up appointment in a week.

She's weighing in at 8 pounds 10 ounces now. They expected her to lose some weight – so that's no big deal. She's been eating well, actually great, so we'll see how much she's put on in a week.

Monday, December 04, 2006

First night ...

Wasn't horrible. Rae fed Kaylee and put her down around 10 and we went to bed as well.

I got up twice during the night to help keep the kid awake while she ate (she gets two or three swallows in and then passes out unless you wake her up.) Rae got up one time without me – and passed out on the couch for a couple of hours.

Today we're trying to keep her awake during the day in hopes that she'll sleep more tonite. Wishful thinking I'm sure.

She doesn't smile yet (babies don't have control of those muscles for a while) but you can see a hint of what's to come. When you grab her attention her eyes light up. When she starts to smile on top of that, I realise it's going to be hard to tell her no.


Man – am I in trouble later.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

As promised ...

Kaylee almost wasn't allowed to leave the hospital this afternoon. The nurses were afraid she had a near-fatal case of "too damn cute."

If the smile looks forced it's because this was the fourth or fifth shot Rae took. And the only one without a blur. (She blames the camera.)

This was the last shot we took before loading Rae up into wheelchair and heading home. I don't think Rae is sorry to be leaving that room.

The first shot of the newest member of the family in our home. No - not the old Welsh guy. That's Johnny. Meanwhile – Rae does her best to try and calm down Porthos. I wonder how that went ...

Just a self-portrait I snapped while talking to my sister on the phone. (Hi Becky.) But I thought it gave you a great sense of scale. I call it "Little Monkey and Big Stupid."

Rae and Kaylee catch up all the bloggy goodness they missed while they were away. That's right – this is where the magic happens.

I know I talked about sense of scale before – but geez. Wow. Little.

Remember Rae trying to show Porthos who's boss? Yeah, that worked out. After keeping the animals out of Kaylee's room for months – they snuck in the first time Rae went to put her down. And territory was marked. And Rae was unhappy. And the dog was chased from the house with the firey rage of a new first-time mother.

And I'm glad I was at the store and only had to witness the aftermath.


More later, as it is difficult to blog with just one hand.

But I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Coming home

I'm slacking ... no new pics today.

But Rae's doctor says things are looking good. Unless something unexpected comes up - the girls should be discharged sometime tomorrow.

And then we'll both get to not sleep in our own bed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Birth Day +1

Things are going well. Rae is looking 500% better and is up and walking around with little to no assistance. Kaylee is an eating machine – and the byproduct of eating is not only pretty gross, but gets everywhere if you're not careful.

This will be one of the MOST dowloaded and printed photos I post here. Kaylee was waiting to get her first official portrait taken - but wouldn't cooperate. We'll try again tomorrow. Awesome home-made sweater by Aunt Murray.

Still life with name card, blanket and rubber sucky-thing.

The girls like flowers. And they've got lots of them. The single rose (and fabulous stuffed elephant - not pictured) are from the Vandalia crew, while the arrangement are from G'ma Rice and her girls.

1. The baby will cry if you pick her up.
2. The baby will cry if you put her down.
3. Kaylee's monkey feet are one size too big for newborn-sized socks.
4. If you are changing a particularly nasty diaper - and the baby is wearing brand-new white socks? The socks will soon be particularly nasty.
5. Cold air affects little girls the same way it affects little boys. Luckily, little girls aim down.