Fatherly Observations (AKA “Things I Forgot About Having a Newborn”)

Sam and I sat down to start filling in the baby book we received for Ella.  It’s a very nice book and has little pouches to keep her first lock of hair, baby hospital bracelet and other things.  It has places to place her ultrasound pictures, foot and hand prints, and so many other things.  In the weeks and months ahead, we will track various milestones in it.  There is a LOT of writing involved.

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Some of the things the book asks are actually a bit hard to remember, even though the thing only happened within the last 9 months!  Some of it is hard to put into words.  Some of the stuff I have written about in blogs, and may just print them out and put them in the book!  The whole reason for a baby book is so that sometime in the future, she can look through it and read about all the stuff that happened when she was a baby, right?

So we need to write this stuff down while it is fresh in our minds – before we forget them.  Believe me, there will be things you will forget!  Ella will be three weeks old on Monday.  In the time we have had her, she has brought many smiles, and also caused me to remember all kinds of things I had long forgotten about.  Here are just a few:

Baby Sneezes

This was actually the title I considered for this blog.  The first time I heard Ella sneeze, I grabbed my “Blog Ideas” journal and wrote it down.  A sneeze isn’t such a odd thing, I mean, we all do it.  A baby sneeze, however, is so tiny, soft, and gentle.  I had forgotten just how cute these little sneezes are. Gesundheit!

Get a Grip!

How do you even begin to put into words how awesome it is to have your baby grab onto your finger?  I can’t.  I know as she grows, her little hand will grasp onto mine as we walk through the store, but there is something so cool about her little hand grabbing onto your finger and squeezing it.  Those hands are powerful!  I was holding her with just a tank top on this week and her little hand grabbed a handful of my chest hair and I winced with pain – wow, that hurt!

Sharp as a razor

Baby fingernails could easily be a weapon!  They are SO sharp!  They always seem to be grabbing at their faces and as parents, we try to stop that so they don’t scratch themselves!  This is obviously a concern because many of the onsies have arms that actually fold over the hand to keep them from scratching themselves. I was holding her this week and those nails drew blood on my shoulder as she scratched me.

Ch Ch Ch Changes …. of clothes

I used to make fun of a friend of mine who used to always seem to change outfits two or three times a day.  Well, for a baby, this is so true!  They sometimes go through four or five outfits a day because of various reasons.  There always seems to be a load of clothes ready to go into the laundry!

Speaking of laundry, I had forgotten just how much I love the smell of baby laundry soap.  Whether it is All Baby or Dreft, I just LOVE the smell of it!  The first week I was back to work, I actually washed my sweatshirt in her laundry soap so I could smell it at work and think about her.

Baby Faces

One of the most amazing things about watching a baby, whether awake or asleep, is watching the many faces they make.  Sam sent me a slew of four or five pictures, all taken within a two minute period as she was waking up – they are awesome.  You see everything from happy to sad to disgust to wonder – and all the emotions in between!  Our OB/GYN had a big print of his daughter making faces in his office.  I think I may just stand over her one day with my camera to catch a variety of them and then put them into a big collage.

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You’ll Need More Time

A lesson I had forgotten:  You are now on HER time, not yours!  You have to factor in diaper changes, feedings, and so many other things before you do anything or go anywhere!  We had a 10:30am doctor appointment on Friday.  The doc is about an hour away.  I think we were up at …. 2:30am to get ready for it!  Seriously!   We had to give the baby a bath, get ourselves showered and dressed, and by the the time we did feedings and diaper changes we barely made it out the door in time!  There is SO MUCH more preparation to get out the door now!

Whoa!  That’s Heavy!

Truth in arithmetic:  8 pound baby + 10 pound car seat = 500 pounds!  I cannot figure out for the life of me how this all works out!  Maybe it is just the way you have to hold the thing?  You gotta be friggin’ Superman to carry that thing for any length of time.  I am not ashamed to admit I am winded carrying her to the car in this thing!  It’s like the baby has rocks in her pockets to weigh it down or something!  At the end of the day, I am popping ibuprofen and applying heat and ice to my arm and shoulder!

Holy Crap!

Literally!  As a parent of a newborn, you are up to your ears in poop!  They poop – A LOT!  It is not odd for me to change a diaper, and immediately hear her poop again!  I gotta be honest, sometimes I am jealous!  Here I am taking fiber just to stay regular and she can poop at will!  The last time I pooped like her, I was preparing for my colonoscopy!

The Need For Speed

Speaking of poop and diaper changes in general, you gotta be The Flash when you change a baby! I mean it!  I forgot that the new diaper has to be under them as soon as the old one is taken away.  You gotta time it just right or you will regret it!  I was changing her on our bed the other day and Sam was talking to me while I was mid-diaper change.  I was distracted.  I wasn’t fast enough.  She asked me a simple “yes” or “no” question, but it was enough to slow me down.  So as I began to answer it, Ella peed all over my side of the bed.  You gotta be fast!

Side note:  One good thing about changing a girl is that if she does pee, its dripping down and not being shot at you like boys.

It’s a Blowout!

Honestly, I didn’t forget about diaper blowouts – but I have tried!  These are traumatic!  We’ve had a few already!  These result in an immediate bath – or an entire box of baby wipes (depending on where you are)!  The anticipation of a blowout is why every diaper bag in America includes 15 outfit changes!  They are so terrifying that there is even a product available on Amazon called the “Blowout Blocker!”

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Parents everywhere are wishing they had come up with that billion dollar idea!!

Baby Sounds (That Aren’t Crying)

Baby’s make noise.  Crying is their favorite sound to make, because it is their primary form of communication at this early stage of their lives. She is not cooing quite yet, but I am looking forward to that.  For now, I get to enjoy three other sounds –

  • Burping.  She is not an easy burper.  Sometimes I am patting her back or but for 20 minutes before she burps!  When she does, it is either tiny or epic! There is no rhyme or reason for how loud it is.
  • Farting.  Farting comes easy.  Sometimes her “toots” are a bit more than a toot (see above paragraphs on poop!).
  • Hiccups.  Baby hiccups are so cute.  Sometimes I feel bad for her, though, cause she seems to have them for quite awhile.

Soothing Sounds

I don’t claim to have the best singing voice. No one is going to sign me to a big record deal.  I do, however, like singing to my baby girl.  I sang to both boys when they were babies, and now I sing to her, too.  Sometimes she likes it, sometimes she doesn’t.  I think it may be her mood.  I really hope it isn’t my song selection – I don’t know too many by heart!

We were both amazed the other day when the hair dryer turned on.  She had been fussing and crying and when it turned on – instant silence.  It was weird.  Last night, we ran the vacuum cleaner and it had the same effect!  I don’t recall whether the vacuum bothered my sons, but something tells me that the floors will be spotless if she gets cranky! I may keep the hair dryer next to my side of the bed for nights she is upset.

Snuggles

Ella spends a lot of time with mommy, and rightfully so!  She is breastfeeding, so she gets to be in mommy’s arms a lot more than mine.  When I do get the chance to hold her, I love when she is alert and looking at me.  I get lost in her eyes, I kiss her cheeks, I play peek a boo, and just enjoy every second!

I also love when she falls asleep on me.  There is something so special about just holding her.  This week she fell asleep on my chest and didn’t move for over an hour. I stared at this little miracle and thanked the Lord for blessing me with her.  Time stood still as I spent most of that time staring at her.  Of course, I had to sneak a picture to remind me of this very special moment.

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Smiles, Everyone!  Smiles!

I forgot just how much I love to see a baby smile!  According to many sources, a baby’s first smile should take place when they are about 2 months old.  According to parents.com, anything before that time is considered a “reflex smile”.  Reflex smile or not, I just love to see it on her face.  Recently, Ella was in my arms dozing off and she began to crack a smile, so I grabbed my phone to snap a picture.  My friend, Dawn, used to always say “Smile!  It’s contagious!”  She is right, because when Ella smiles – I smile!

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Which Dwarf Am I?  Sleepy!

Lack of sleep is one thing that I did NOT forget about!  The only reason I am getting more sleep than my poor wife is that she is breastfeeding.  She is up every two hours with her feeding her. I am glad for the days when I am home from work, so she can actually get a little break between feedings.

Quick Change

The saddest thing I had forgotten about having a newborn baby is just how fast they change.  She has only been here for three weeks and she has changed SO much since she was born!  Just this morning Sam asked me if I noticed how long her eyelashes had gotten.  I mean, it’s insane!  The facial features, the hands & feet, eye color, and so many other changes are happening.  I guess that’s why I am glad I am taking so many pictures!

The days will turn into weeks.  The weeks will turn into months.  The months will turn into years.  With each second that passes, my little girl will grow up.  I will love her more and more as time moves forward.  I hope she will never doubt for a second that she is Daddy’s Little Princess.

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26 thoughts on “Fatherly Observations (AKA “Things I Forgot About Having a Newborn”)

  1. Awe, this makes my heart smile! If indeed a heart could smile. It brings back all those precious memories with my babies. Enjoy every second as you know how fast it goes. Strength for you and Sam as you go through the first few months of interrupted sleep. 💟

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  2. What was so frustrating is when they cry you don’t know what they need unless they are hungry.
    I remember at times I would sit Bailey on the dryer…not in! lol… and hold him up on it…it would relax him. It’s a full time job as you very well know.

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      1. It does Keith. I would sit him on top with me holding him of course…sometimes in his car seat and hold it there. He would get quiet and be happy. If he was happy…we were.

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      2. My dad and I were talking about this when he was at the house this weekend. He reminded me of the ones you used to have to crank! My oldest had one of those. I used to remember he’d be sleeping in it and eventually stop and you’d have to hurry over to it and recrank it!! LOL! The one we have was given to us by my sister in law. You plug it in and it has various speeds – it can go for days!

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      3. I remember the one that you cranked with my nephew. We had an automatic one with Bailey… I forgot about the crank ones. You could break your leg getting there because they would be content… until the thing stopped.

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    1. Great question. I wanted to write a blog about it and never did. It is a trumpet that my mom had made special for me while I was in high school. It means a lot to me. My ex hated that I wore it, so it sat in my jewelry box for years. When I remarried, my wife saw it and asked why I didn’t wear it and I told her. She said that if it meant a lot to me, I should wear it – so I did. Maybe I still will blog about it. 🙂 Thanks for reading and for asking!

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      1. I assume you played one in high school? Marching band? Stage band? Jazz band?

        I started out with a flute in 6th grade. When I got old enough to march, I was Flag Team.

        Why on Earth would your ex hate a trumpet pendant? What? She hated trumpets?

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      2. I did! I played it most of my school years. I tried trombone once and also played tuba for one halftime show in high school before going back to trumpet.

        I played in Concert Band, Marching Band and Jazz Band. Each band was a load of fun. I had a couple solos in all three bands. I still have some of the music and songs I played on my iPod. I miss playing more than anything. Wish I had the time to play.

        I started playing in 5th grade. I know how hard you worked as a flag. Wow! Those gals worked hard with those things. Majorettes did, too!

        I really don’t know what her deal was. It meant a lot to me because it was handcrafted. The chain was given to me by my grandma, so it was special to me. My ex is my ex for a reason. I still don’t know why she does the things she does or why she likes or dislikes things. She has issues – I’ll leave it at that.

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      3. I wish I had stayed with the flute but, my mother interfered. She was reluctant to support the flag stuff, too. In her case, a school provided flag was cheaper than a purchased flute that, past HS, would have been difficult to justify continuing. There was no money for college so, marching there would never happen. But, yeah…flag work was very physical. Fun times.

        There are videos on YouTube of my school competing in the early 80s. We won a lot of awards. I used to enjoy watching the Drum & Bugle Corps on PBS. One of my classmates/bandmates (a drummer) is the Band Director of The Sound and the Fury at Tarleton State University in Texas.

        Yikes. I’m sorry. I know what it is like to be involved with a partner that has unresolved issues. 🙄🤨😠

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      4. It’s a shame that the cost of an instrument and costs in general prohibit many from playing in band. When I was in school, it didn’t cost anything to be in band or marching band. When my oldest (now a senior) went to high school, it was $700-$1200 to be in Marching band!!! Supposedly, the money went toward uniforms, trips, and festivals. I find that hard to believe. We had a group of parents who helped us with fundraising and all of that.

        Drum and bugle corps are cool to watch! When I go to high school games – I go to watch the band! LOL Would love to see those videos!

        About a year ago, probably before you started following my blog I wrote a blog about band. I’ll see if I can find the link for you. Think it was called “I’m with the band” or something. LOL

        I wanted to be a music teacher. I found out you had to go to college for it, and ended up getting a full time radio job, so I never went. I regret it.

        I address the craziness of my ex in many blogs…

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      5. In the case of my flute, my mother rented it for three months from a local music shop. When the three months were up. she said “If I buy this, you’d better be playing it the rest of your life!” That scared my 10-year-old self and I was already looking at saxophones and drums. I knew with her attitude, I would never advance or have any flexibility. The only thing she was interested in was piano and tennis (for me) as those were things she was interested in (living vicariously?). I had one piano lesson and couldn’t produce any interest. She paid for tennis lessons but, I never had anyone to practice with. I also got tap and ballet lessons (her thing). I eventually told her I wanted to stop that. I was interested in swimming and gymnastics. Not her thing, therefore, not gonna happen. She even tried to get me to go out for cheerleading. I sucked at it. She was born poor and, always wanted to be married to a doctor and live in the Country Club area of our hometown. That didn’t happen, either.

        Neither one of my parents saw me march, neither saw me in the HS pageant and my father never saw me graduate. My mother stayed about ten minutes to make sure I actually graduated and then left.

        Those are crazy prices!

        I guess radio didn’t require a communications degree?

        These videos are terrible…
        November 1981 (I was actually marching for the high school across town in my sophomore year)

        November 1982 (I was marching…junior year)

        November 1983 (senior year…I had stopped marching by then & was working)

        Our band director was a David Rockefeller…a distant cousin.

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      6. Man! Those take me back! I LOVED marching band festival. I can remember all the songs we played for each show and bits and pieces of each show. I remember my first year we played “Sing Sing Sing” and at the end we formed a G-Clef on the field. It was so cool.

        Thanks for sharing. Some neat arrangements.

        It made me sad to read that your folks missed so much. I can only imagine how that made you feel. That’s one thing I have never done. Sure, I wanted my son to play in band, and he did for a year or two, but he decided to quit. I never hounded him. I figure, HE knows what he wants to do, I am not going to force anything on him or his brother. I will do the same with my daughter.

        I lucked out with radio. Got into it by accident (again, probably a blog about it early on). No experience, but I wound up getting my first job in a top 10 market (at the time) Detroit.

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      7. I could still sit & watch marching bands/drum & bugle. They just don’t show up on PBS much anymore. They are great energy.

        I’m glad you enjoyed. The clips were an example of 80s recording technology. OY.

        My parents have been a source of torment. They were never overtly abusive. They were just typical “Me Generation” Boomers. I was cared for, physically, very well. Mentally & emotionally, I was ignored. They had no business being parents and my grandmothers knew that. I bonded with my maternal grandmother. The story of my arrival is odd and the background story on my patents is odd. Behavioral issues in families can have generational consequences. As of today, I haven’t spoken to my mother in nearly 30 years and haven’t spoken to my father in three years. I’m the grownup, now and I’m not putting up with their crap. The flip side of this is, I was born an incredibly independent child. I’ve always walked my own path, for better or worse. Besides, I had great grandmothers. 😁❤

        Did you ever have some WKRP moments?

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      8. I am glad you had your grandmothers! I work in the medical field now and work with a lot of pediatric patients. We see a lot of obvious cases with parents who shouldn’t be parents.

        LOL – I guess you’d have to define “WKRP moments”. I certainly have plenty of radio stories. 🙂

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      9. Those two ladies were my rocks. Both lived thru the Depression. They were tough. Lost the paternal one in 2000 (73) and the maternal one in 2007 (91). I did have a really sweet, young stepmom for 11 years. Lost her in 2013 (61) to cancer.

        That is a sad, sad statement. I feel for them.

        Johnny Fever being tested for reactive abilities while drunk. Turkeys being dropped out of a helicopter. An accident prone farm reporter. Imaginary walls. A polyester leisure suit-wearing salesman. Anything ringing a bell?

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      10. We used to bring state police in to show what happens when you drank too much. I never had to do the drinking, but it was sobering to watch.

        No turkeys (but that is one of my favorite episodes!). Sales people are a …. different breed. There was lots of truth to the weirdness of them!! I have had records run out on my while in the bathroom. I have fallen asleep on the air. I have had records skip on air. Oh the stories ….

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      11. LOL! Falling asleep on the air… “Mommy. Why is the radio snoring?”

        Did another DJ drink or did the police bring in one of their own as an example?

        So, Herb wasn’t a far stretch, huh?

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      12. Yep. Missed these. I had just returned to blogging in June 2018 after a four year absence. Great radio stories. The box over your head, falling asleep, Paul’s burnt tongue, “Mitch”, the gun shot sound… Why did Honey shut down?

        Regarding the band post, you have an amazing memory. I don’t remember all the songs I marched to, anymore. And, I was wondering how old you were. I’m class of 1984.

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      13. Consolidation and automation what killed Honey and many radio stations. FCC allows each company to own a specific number of stations in each market. The company that owned Honey bought another rock station and they used our studios for that station. They retained the station briefly, but put some Spanish programming on it and ran it out of a remote studio. It was so sad. We had the best listeners and as a young radio guy – having the change to work there was such an honor! I was surrounded by such talent!

        It’s amazing the stuff I remember. In a way, I am stuck in the past. So many great memories. I started jotting these things down because dementia and Alzheimer’s disease is in my family history. I didn’t want my kids to not know them.

        I was class of 1988. Not too much younger than you. Hitting the half century mark this year….though I will continue to claim I am 39 – a lesson I learned from Jack Benny!

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      14. Consolidation is not a good thing. That just means concentration of power.

        Automation has its points if human work is too slow for the masses. But, it should be tempered. A human touch is, more often than not, needed.

        You definitely had a lot of fun. What an experience.

        There is not one speck of dementia or Alzheimers in my family line…anywhere. Alcoholism, yes. Bats*** crazy, yes. Some cancers, yes. Heart attacks. Strokes. But, every single ascendant of mine had all of their brains intact, for the most part. I did have one maternal great aunt that had Alzheimers but, she married into the family. My beloved maternal grandmother had a massive stroke that paralyzed her right side & destroyed her speech. But, she was still with it, wrote with her left hand, knew everyone and appeared very happy…as opposed to curled up in a ball and miserable. Sadly, I was in Texas when she passed, here in NC.

        I will be 54 Aug. 30. I graduated @ 17. My group had our 35th reunion back in October…two weeks after our mascot committed suicide. It was a somber gathering as none of us saw that one coming. Steve was always happy-go-lucky. Made him a natural mascot.

        And, as far as I am concerned, I’m still 17. 😆😎🤘

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