Friday, September 28, 2012

Work To Do...

As I’ve been focusing on the pregnancy for most of these postings, I know this is only the beginning of a long journey.  I was reminded of this yesterday when my wife--a second grade school teacher--came home from school.  In my eyes, a second grade class room is filled with innocent, naive, eager to learn, bright young faces. And yesterday I was reminded just how off base I am.
It seems that one child in the classroom was less than thrilled of what was asked of him and voiced his displeasure by calling her, his teacher, a “Punk Ass.”  As she told me the story, she seemed unaffected by the behavior, as if it would take much more than this to shock her.  Sure, the kid was punished, but as I was picking my jaw up off of the floor, I suddenly realized I was the na├»ve one.
I also realized the importance of our job as parents.  As I can’t control what other children will do or say, I can only hope to instill some sort of value system in our son.  I’m not asking for much, I know better to think that our kid will live in some Leave It To Beaver, aww shucks type bubble where all is good in the world.  But Punk Ass? I think we can set the bar a little higher than that.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

Baby Class

I am happy to announce that I have registered my wife and I for a Baby Care class at our local hospital.  Although my wife has plenty of practice when it comes to caring for babies, I am a little intimidated by the thought of caring for such a helpless being. 

My only experiences with babies comes from visiting friends and family after they have brought a little one into the world.  There, I’m always forced to hold the baby where I’ve always been extremely afraid of dropping the fragile bundle of joy and if I did, there’s really no coming back from that.  Hey man, remember when I dropped your newborn baby?  Not a great topic of conversation at the next cookout.
Anyway, I can now rest assured knowing that everything and anything that I will need to know will be covered during this one time, 2.5 hour class.   That’s right, for $30 we will attend a class that will provide me with the all the skills I need to care for my son.  After this class, nothing will come up that I won’t be prepared to handle.  According to the summary, Baby Care Class is an A-Z class on diapering, bathing, safety topics, sign of illness, etc.  Etc means everything until the teenage years, right?
There are numerous other classes that I'm sure would benefit me as a first time parent, but some stuff I will just have to learn on my own. Besides, I refuse to take Infant Message, gotta draw the line somewhere...

Monday, September 24, 2012

Shopping...

Over the weekend my wife and I visited family in Williamsburg, Va.  Williamsburg is a beautiful town rich in colonial history and the roots of our country’s beginnings.  It also has a ton of outlet stores.  On the drive up my wife mentioned something about picking up a few things at the maternity store.  Great idea I thought, knowing that I would be sitting on the couch with my uncle watching college football.
The plan fell into place, with my wife shopping with my Aunt and cousin, while my uncle, my cousin’s husband, and I held down the fort.  We flipped from game to game, while I observed my cousin's husband put his two small daughters down for a nap like a seasoned pro.
Later that afternoon as the women arrived with bags in hand, my wife seemed quite pleased with her purchases.  She started small, warming me up with little outfits for the baby, complete with various animals on the butt of the outfit, ducks, raccoons and countless other harmless creatures.  My Aunt had bought little booties and bibs for the baby and I couldn’t help but to smile at these cute little get ups.  My joy was short lived.
She bent down, digging into an industrial strength bag that was stretched to the limit with what looked like enough material to clothe a small village. 
“I bought a few things so I would have something to wear.”  She said, as if she had been getting by wearing a toga.
One after another, she pulled out long, loose fitting shirts that she will eventually grow into. Other sexy items included jeans with large stretchy waistlines and pants with elastic.  It became quickly obvious that buttons were the enemy and comfort at a premium.  I put on a smile, happy that she was happy, but started noticing the price tags dangling from the atrocities she held up.  $39.99 here, $ 29.99 there, and it didn’t stop.  There were purple ones, striped ones, teal, white, more tops!  How much did she spend?  I took a sip of the suddenly medicinal beverage my older and much wiser Uncle had provided.
“How…ahem…How much did this little trip cost?”  I mustered, my voice struggling to find its pitch.
“Oh, I put it on the credit card.  You owe me some money.”   She said smiling.  The new line of thinking is that since I did this to her I am responsible for the fashionable maternity clothes as well.
Back at home, I was treated to a fashion show of every shirt and pair of pants that will become the staples of her wardrobe.  As she strode down the hall I had to admit that she did look quite good, and although I would never have thought it, I'm really starting to like her tummy.  Although I do have a 3:30 appointment at the plasma center in an effort to pay for the new clothes it requires..

Friday, September 21, 2012

What a day!

Yesterday my wife and I went for our scheduled check up to find out what exactly is in my wife's stomach. We had been looking forward to finding out, but I hadn't given much thought to the overall picture.  As the lights dimmed and we began, I became overwhelmed with worry.

My wife sensed my nervousness, squeezing my hand and asking if I was okay, I nodded furiously, not taking my eyes off of the screen. The fuzzy image appeared and I stared at the monitor while the tech marked and measured, holding my breath until hearing the words I needed to hear... That looks good.  I saw an arm, another arm, then two legs, and some toes.  How does the spine look? How's the heart? And then the moment of truth,  There's no doubt that it's a boy.

We watched as he bounced around, laughing as it appeared he had come down with the hiccups.  He put on a great show, kicking his feet and holding up his little fist for us to see. I would have been just fine with a girl, as all I hope for is health at this stage, but a boy is something extra special for me as I've always had a special bond with my dad. I will try my best to duplicate that with my son.

Until yesterday, I'd never felt the love that a parent has for their child, and words cannot fully explain what I experienced.  Father knows little indeed, as I wasn't prepared for the foreign feeling that came over me in that room. After the ultrasound, I buzzed around the health center as I had worked myself up into a mess, pacing and unable to sit still, elated that everything was normal.   Afterwards, it was time to celebrate, we went out and bought a couple of outfits for him and I didn't even complain about the shopping.  But my day of first wasn't over, later that night as we lay in bed, I just happened to put my hand on my wife's stomach and I felt him kick.  As faint as it was, I felt his little thrust on the palm of my hand. I jerked my head up to look at my wife.  Did you feel that? she asked.  Yep, I'm feeling a lot of things...

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

The Rumble...

Last night, I had front row seats to a fascinating battle.  My wife was in the midst of a loser-leave-town match with her body pillow.  Twisting and turning she wrestled with the beast, kicking and punching it into submission. 
As she tossed her opponent from one end to the other, mumbling obscenities not fit to print, I watched in awe as she gained control with a headlock, the no holds barred rumble was growing intensely brutal.  The dogs looked on from a distance, with their heads cocked and ears up, too afraid to come near the savage eye gouging taking place in the bed. 
Just as I was about to intervene, the body pillow cried uncle and was flung across the room in defeat.  I took a deep breath, hoping the senseless violence and pillow shredding had ceased.  The deflated pillow, crushed and lifeless in the corner of the room, had lost this one as my wife was dominant in her quest for comfort.  I peeked in her direction, all was peaceful as she had fallen back to sleep.  I lay beside her wide awake, as sleep would not come easy for me after what I had witnessed...

Tuesday, September 18, 2012

What if it's a boy?

In a few days, my wife and I will find out whether she's having a boy or a girl.  Honestly, I’m a little scared as I know all to well the trouble boys can get into.  During the summer months while growing up, my two cousins and I could get quite imaginative when it came to entertaining ourselves.

Our neighborhood park was the perfect place to do the things all boys love. From bottle rockets and smoke bombs, to BB guns and sling shots, the park was where we gashed and bruised ourselves while somehow keeping our limbs intact as we experimented with combustible materials. We used Aqua Net as a flame thrower, and kept a fresh supply of Mentos and soda handy. What can I say? It was the eighties, a much different time.
I’ve had stitches in my head or face at least 8 different times, I’ve been hospitalized due to a gash in my knee, wounded myself with a pellet gun, had a fish skinner removed from my foot, cut my thumb open after throwing a broken beer bottle, and had countless concussions trying to ride a bike with no hands.  And all of this before I was 13 years old.
After that I graduated to more serious injuries, flipping two cars, knocking out my front teeth, and crashing into a telephone pole resulting in 40 or so stitches in my head....So maybe a girl is something I should hope for...
Here are just a few examples of what scares me about having a boy:
  • After days of raining (and rampant flooding), we headed down to the local park to swim in the creek.  The water was almost ground level as we jumped in and hung on to tree limbs for dear life until my dad came down to save us (he was just a little bit upset).
  • I shot my cousin in the head and then myself in the hand with a pellet gun in what would be remembered as the Homicide/Suicide incident.  My cousin still has the pellet lodged behind his ear to this day.  (I didn't know it was loaded.)
  • After watching Beastie Boys videos, the three of us headed out to find some VW emblems of our own to wear, this ended with police and parents being called to the scene.
  • We were kicked out of countless church events including summer camps, sleep overs, pizza nights, and bible school.   
  • One of our favorite stunts at camp involved tossing a brick into the outhouse and quickly shutting the door….Splat. Not a pleasant experience for the next visitor.
  • My younger cousin received a bow and arrow for Christmas one year, this resulted in an arrow being stuck in the neighbor’s roof for almost 6 months.
  • After watching a Chuck Norris movie, we decided to make Molotov Cocktails. 
  • We never stole bikes, but on occasion did toss them in the creek.  (I’m still not sure why this amused us)
  • Eggs, toilet paper, potted plants, water balloons, balls, and countless other objects were thrown at houses and cars at one time or another.
Overall, we were good kids, really we were.... and if you asked my dad I'm sure he would tell you that raising my sister was no cakewalk. But I can't imagine my sister--wearing her Madonna leggings and black rubber bracelets--carrying that brick to the outhouse.  

Sunday, September 16, 2012

The Texter...

Iphone 5
The Ipone Texter
Today it occurred to me that many of my blog posts are at my pregnant wife's expense. Each week I've been throwing her under the bus for a few cheap laughs or a humorous anecdote. While she's been such a good sport, (and an excellent source of material I would add), that it never crossed my mind that what I consider light-hearted humor, could be interpreted as mean spirited or lacking respect.  So from here on out, I will no longer make fun of my wife's hilarious but unintentional behavior at home.

Okay, well maybe just one last time.  At lunch with family today she referred to my cousin's phone as a texter.  The texter, my wife is only 32, this sounds like something your grandmother woud say. I can just see the Iphone 5 commercials announcing this great feature.  Hurry and get the Iphone 5 texter now!  The Iphone emailer coming soon! Some of this stuff is just too good to pass up.

On the way home I brought up the texter thing and she mentioned to me that she had decided to start her own blog.  She's going to detail my odd and often neurotic behavior for the world--or the 5 people that read my blog--to see. This would be quite the accomplishment, as she is about as tech savvy as our cat, who accidentally changes font sizes walking on the keyboard.  So in the next few weeks, if you come across some sort of mymoronhusbandisanidiot blog, enjoy it, and be sure to alert your friends on your texters! 

Saturday, September 15, 2012

For the baby...




I am by no means an artist, but here I present a short comic of my week...





Thursday, September 13, 2012

Halfway There...

Today begins week 20 as we’ve reached the halfway mark of the pregnancy. With 19 weeks down and 19 weeks to go, if I made a list of the pros and cons, which I haven't but if I did, I would still say the pros are edging out the cons at this juncture. Obviously the biggest pro is the fact that she is carrying our child.

But there is some rather erratic behavior going on here.  Moments that leave me scratching my head as I contemplate her well being.  Here are a few:

Before dinner last night, my wife was in the sunroom pulling up her dress and feeling her belly. I'm not sure if she thought that no one could see her through the glass windows or if she has just reached that level of caring.

I told her I thought it was going to be a girl, she thinks it’s an alien.

I caught her staring at me with less than a loving expression on her face, I asked her what was wrong and she told me that she was just staring at my big head and long arms and legs.

She out peed the dogs on our last walk, squatting anywhere she pleased on the trails while I would nervously glance in all directions on look out duty.

She has no interest in me unless it is my hands on her feet, which land promptly on my lap sometimes before I sit down.

Sleeping is a series of naps for me between getting kicked in the back, waking up to bathroom breaks, and listening to a summary of dreams that at times leave me unable close my eyes or turn my back to her after hearing.   

She's hot when it's cold, cold when it's hot.

She forgets what she was saying mid sentence, leaving me hanging on as...

She is gassy/ hungry/bossy/tired, sometimes simultaneously.

If she had her way she would wear pajamas upon walking through the door Friday evening until Monday morning.

All in all I would say she is doing a fantastic job with being pregnant, it’s easy for me to say that we’re halfway there when I’m not the one carrying some big headed, long limbed, alien baby who loves animal crackers and has a terrible gas problem.  My love for her grows daily...



Monday, September 10, 2012

OH JEEZ!

Author's Self Portrait
My language isn’t all that bad, but lately I’ve been working to clean it up before we welcome a little one into our household.  I know that the baby won’t understand all of the obscenities hurled around as I watch the game, but it's just something I would like to do.

Now what could be wrong with curbing some bad language?  Well, let me explain how it came back to haunt me a bit on Sunday as I headed out to the basketball court.  This is where guys are among guys and there is all sorts of bravado and one upmanship going on.  Now I'm usually one of the oldest if not the oldest guy out there so I know I'm not going to be the hippest, but...

Shooting around before we began playing we were discussing the football games of the day and at some point, before I could think better of it, I let fly with an Oh Jeez.  Or maybe it was an Oh Boy, I don't remember exactly which one but you could almost hear a record skip somewhere as everyone stopped and looked at me as if I had just sat down with a gas can and immolated myself. 

So now, on top of being the old guy and not to mention the only white guy out there, I had just said Oh Jeez. Oh Jeez, seriously?  I'm not sure I have ever said Oh Jeez in my life, it just sort of came out of nowhere.  This was not going to help me get picked.  After we laughed it off, and by we I mean that I joined everyone else in laughing at me, we began playing and all was forgotten, except by me.  During the game I made sure to drop some four letter words that would make my stepmother proud.  

So what's next for me, Holy Cow?  How about a Gee Willikers?  Maybe I need to go wash my mouth out with dirt.  As I rapidly approach middle age and prepare to become a family man, who knows what will come out of this clean G-rated mouth of mine next, Sheesh!

Sunday, September 9, 2012

Fashion Dense

You can't teach this...
I can only hope that I will pass on my spectacular fashion sense to my child. I have always been known for having a keen eye for prevailing trends when it comes to dress, and I would like to pass this on as my father did for me.

Shopping at the Goodwill, I find the latest gently worn khakis that make great cut off shorts, as well as T-shirts announcing all sorts of odd events ranging from family reunions to fund raisers for schools I have never heard of.  I've even been stopped and asked about events on the back of my shirts, shrugging as I walk away, unaware of just what that crazy person was talking about.

Sure, my wife makes me buy clothes in actual stores from time to time, but at home while cutting the lawn or walking the dogs, it is all me.  This is when I’m free to dress myself with reckless abandon, black or blue socks with shorts, along with that paint splattered T-shirt my wife keeps trying to toss out behind my back.  Weekends mean yard work, and it becomes a one-man fashion show as I head out in my thrift store best to tackle the chores of the day, you’re welcome neighbors.

If we have a girl, I’m sure my wife’s influence will guide her along safely.  A boy?  Well he will have big shoes to fill, as I come from a long line of dapper men who know all about proper yard work attire.

Friday, September 7, 2012

Aww Snap!

Unlike when I was a kid, today it is so easy to snap pictures and share them with family.  While my parents had to get film, flashes, take a picture and hope for the best, hike seven miles in a snow storm to get the film developed and then bring duplicates to the next family gathering, today it’s as simple as whipping out your phone, clicking a button and then sharing on facebook.  In five seconds you’re done.
Because it’s so easy, I’ve watched parents as they document any and everything their little ones do.  The baby blinked his eyes!  Click.  First burp! Click.  His right foot moved!  Click.  And so on. 
As they get older it continues to the point where there is a backup server in Arizona solely dedicated to house the storage of the digital photos of the child’s first three years. There are pictures of pictures, pictures of others taking pictures, pictures of pictures of others taki---you get the point, there are a lot of pictures.
But now it has happened to me.  I’m going to be a dad and I will be that guy.  I have no doubts that I will go picture crazy because that’s what parents do.  I'll be that guy at work, phone in hand showing off pictures to anyone who will listen.  I will plaster the walls with pictures of the baby, baby coffee mugs, t-shirts and air fresheners, okay, I won't go that far, no air fresheners....but I just might snap a few pics at our next ultrasound.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

Remote Setting


Watching television with my wife, I often have to compromise due to our different tastes. While I tend to enjoy slapstick comedies such as The Office, she’s more of a police drama, Cold Case type girl. Lately however, she doesn’t make it through a car commercial without falling asleep.

Now with the football season underway, I've had to resort to a covert channel change technique--very carefully--one false move and she’s awake, her eyes will adjust and I'll find myself watching House Hunters as the game heads into overtime on ESPN. 
The first step is the ever important remote control placement.  If I have to rummage through between the cushions or lean up to the coffee table I run the risk of stirring a sleeping pregnant wife, which could lead to a foot massage, not good when a game's on. 

Also taken into consideration is her breathing pattern.  If I can’t see her eyes, I have to guess by her breathing whether or not she’s sleeping.  Long deep rhythmic breaths mean it’s time for the hand waive.  The hand waive is just as it sounds, when I think she’s asleep, I will waive my free hand over her face, no response?  It’s game time.
Lastly and perhaps most important, is the volume.   Many times, after all is clear, I'll flip to the game and....THE CROWD GOES WILD, WHAT A SENSATIONAL PLAY!!!  I’ve forgotten to turn the volume down and she's now awake and wondering what happened to the syndicated episode of Law & Order involving an East German
crime ring.

Now sometimes there are elements out of my control.  I can do everything mentioned, and just as I settle in to watch the game, the dogs will start barking, the phone rings, and I'm back to square one.

But don't feel bad for me, there could be far worse situations to be in than a little remote control strategy. Besides, once the baby is here I may not be as concerned with what's on television anyway.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Jerked Around...

My life continues its transformation as over the weekend I lost my one and only room in the house.  Unofficially labeled the office, the spare room offered a glimpse into the interior design skills of the consummate man-child. 

Classic Sports illustrated covers adorned the rustic wood paneled walls as tacky met vintage in a mash up of thrift store finds, curb alert pick-ups, and my grandfather’s hand me downs.   All found a home in the one room that welcomed all items without regard to age or wear.

It was a room for items old and odd.  There’s the disconnected rotary phone, a torn Saturday Evening Post cover from the 1930’s, a miniature drum set, a painting of Shea Stadium, and my wife’s nemesis; the 1970’s style desk she has lamented since the day I pulled into the yard with it in the back of my truck (along with the shattered back window due to me not securing it).  It was truly a room that could only be appreciated by a guy.

But as we prepare for the next chapter in adulthood, changes are necessary, if not inevitable.  Our guest room is becoming the baby’s room, which means my office is becoming the guest room, which means my things are banished to the basement. 

Not to go down wiithout a fight (or just whining), I moaned and complained with each trip down the stairs, and at one point I may or may not have said something about not wanting to grow up.  Kicking and screaming, I carried sports memorabilia, concert posters, and that trusty rotary phone down to my its new location, and as I hung my football pennants on the wall and adjusted my posters, I realized that growing up means making sacrifices.