Running On Empty

I. Am. Exhausted.

That pretty much sums up life for my wife and me. Having two kids under two is truly more difficult than either of of us could imagine. It is even more difficult now that I am back to work.

For Sam, that means that she not only has both kids during the day while I am sleeping, but also all night while I am at work. Last night, she was up all night with them. Both were up crying and she got no sleep. When I got home, I went right to bed. I set an alarm, knowing she’d be tired, so I could get up and let her sleep. After about 3 hours sleep, I came out in the living room and told Sam to go grab a nap.

Sam had put Ella down for a nap, so my hope was to feed AJ and try to snooze if he fell asleep. He never did. I think she slept a little, but as most moms do, every time AJ started crying, it woke her up. She eventually came out to the living room and I went back to try to grab another hour’s sleep. Par for the course, I crawled back into bed, put my CPAP mask on and was not really able to fall back asleep. So I’m working tonight on 3 hours sleep and I know my hour drive home is going to be difficult.

Sam is at her wit’s end, I am sure. It is hard enough with one little one needing your attention, let alone two. Ella continues to adjust, but still wants mommy (and daddy’s) attention. She doesn’t understand that you can’t throw a book at mom while she is feeding the baby. As with most kids/toddlers, they really have no concept of patience either.

I am looking forward to being home with them this weekend so I can give her a hand. Two people working together makes things a little easier, but there are still challenges. This past week I posted on Facebook about the new Olympic Event we participated in – Synchronized Diaper Changing! I was changing an Ella poop diaper on the living room floor and Sam went to change AJ’s diaper. She didn’t realize that AJ had pooped, too. So here we are on opposite ends of the living room and there is only one container of baby wipes in the room. Give us a few more of those and we’ll get a gold medal!!

It won’t be long until Sam goes back to work, and I will have my share of days where it is “all me.” It is going to be a challenge, and I pray that I’ll have the strength and stamina to do it as well as my wife is!

Been a Crazy 12 Days!

October is almost over already and the time is just flying! Since the birth of our son, we have been on the go nonstop and are longing for sleep. Trying to find time to write an update between diaper changes has certainly been a challenge!

Ella is getting used to having a baby in the house. She doesn’t like when he cries, and usually joins in with him. There are things she was able to do before that she really can’t right now. For example, if mommy is laying on the couch feeding her brother, she can’t just run up and jump on her. She also is getting used to the fact that the baby is taking a lot of attention.

We’re doing the best that we can to each get one on one time with her when we can. It’s harder for Sam, because she is breastfeeding. I try to take the baby and let him sleep on me so she gets mommy/daughter time. On a recent nice day, I made it a point to take Ella to the park and we had a daddy/daughter day. It was nice to be able to share that time with her. It is important that she knows that she is still very important and that she is still our baby too.

The hospital where the baby was born is still not doing newborn pictures, so we scheduled a day to have some done at JC Penney. Our hope was to get some pictures of the baby and a few with his sister. Sam and I went to Carter’s and found the cutest outfit! I love this little bowtie!

We wondered if we were going to even get to have the pictures done. The day before we were scheduled for pictures, there was an incident at the mall involving a shooting! I don’t know the details, but the entire area was on lockdown the night before. I was glad that we got in, got the pictures, and got out!

We were able to get a few with both of the kids, including this amazing picture

The gal who took the pictures had Sam and I sit in and she snagged a couple family pictures. This one came out so cute.

When AJ is a bit older and more alert, I’m hoping to get a photoshoot with Ella, AJ, and their big brothers.

It seems like we have spent a lot of time at the doctor’s office, too! The day after AJ was born, we had a well visit for Ella and had the doc look at AJ as well. A day or two later, we were getting Ella ready for bed and as she was following me to her room, she missed the top step to the kitchen and fell. She was having trouble walking. She was crying like she was really hurt, so I wound up taking her to urgent care.

They didn’t want to do an X-ray because of radiation. In the waiting room, she had calmed down and was ok until we went back in the room. She hates the doctor’s, so she was upset. She walked a bit to be while the doc was in there and she told us to keep an eye on her. She told us that if she was limping on it or if it bothered her the next day, to call her PCP or an ortho doc. It was 10pm and well past her bedtime, so she came home and slept.

The following day, there was a little limping, but when she got up from the floor and started crying, I figured I’d call the doc. They got us in that afternoon. She took a good look at it and said she didn’t think it was broken. She said she probably bruised her calf and sent us with an order for an X-ray should be need it. She’s doing well and walking around fine.

Andrew gets more and more alert each day. He is having trouble sleeping due to GERD. We went back to the doc to ask her about it. He seems to gag and choke when he is on his back, which is how they tell you the baby should sleep. She wanted to make sure the baby was getting enough food, so Sam went to the lactation specialist at the hospital. After watching the feed, we found out that the baby is tongue tied and that thing that holds your tongue to the bottom of your mouth needs to be clipped so he can move his tongue around. His top lip is also connected very low on the gum, which makes it hard for him to latch during feeding. So we’re heading to a pediatric oral surgeon for a consult on Monday.

Never a dull moment here!

In the days ahead, we will continue to grab sleep when we can. I have one more week off work to spend with my family, and I hope to enjoy every moment of that time.

Daddy’s Little Girl

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The past 16 weeks have been very exciting for Sam and me.  It has been especially nice to have this blog as a place that I can write things down and look back on later.  My last blog told of the ultrasound, finding out the baby’s gender, and how we shared the news.  I am writing today’s blog because something was missing from my last one – I’ll explain in just a minute.

First, let me say that we are overwhelmed with the outpouring of love and congratulations we have received from our friends and family.  It was fun to tease that a gender reveal was coming and watch friends post their guesses on Facebook.  I was reminded how blessed I am to have such wonderful friends as they sent private messages, texts, and called with congratulations.  Thank you all!

So what was missing from the last blog?  It was a lengthy blog, so what could I have possibly left out?  Sam pointed out that I had certainly written about a lot of things that happened over the weekend, however, I really never said much about how I felt.  I shared about watching the ultrasound, how I told my dad and the boys, but how do I feel about it?  What am I feeling?  I don’t know that I can put it all into words, but I will try.

Elation.  Joy.  Excitement.  Delight.  Jubilation. 

I mean, how can I NOT feel these things!?  I was told that there was only a 4% chance of me being able to have a baby, and then, the amazing news that we are having a baby – well, that makes you pretty damn happy!  I’ve been given the opportunity to be a dad again – and this time, I’m having a little girl!

Over the years, I have been an uncle to many nieces, and have loved every minute of it.  I have danced around in a princess crown for them, gone to Peppa Pig World, read girly bedtime stories, and made puppet monkeys talk.  Having a daughter takes things to a whole new level!

First girl

I had always hoped that when I had children that I would have one of each.  I wanted a boy to play sports with and a girl to walk down the aisle.  I was blessed with two amazing sons, who I loved playing catch with.  I love those boys with all that I am.  I was NEVER unhappy that I had boys.  They each have very distinct personalities.  They are both very smart.  As I look at all they have accomplished, I beam with great pride.  I am honored to have been chosen to be their dad!!

12 years later, after many changes in my life, I am once again about to become a father.  This time, I will be “daddy” to a little girl.  What a great responsibility this is!  I will not lie about this – as happy as I am, I am also scared as hell!!!

Scary things

Boys could get away with 2 or 3 pairs of pants.  All you really needed were a bunch of shirts and you could be set.  Girls are different!  They need pants, shirts, leggings, shoes, and many, many dresses!

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I hope Sam knows that she will probably be picking out most of the clothes!  I have a feeling what I think is “cute” really isn’t!

Have you seen the Xfinity commercial where the girl is dressing up her dad??

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I would TOTALLY let my daughter do this!  Now, if I have to do nails or makeup, I have this awful feeling that it will look something like this guy!  I have never had to paint nails before.  I don’t know how to put on eyeliner, blush, or any type of makeup.  I will definitely need a crash course!!!

Let’s not even talk about her hair!  I used to do my own hair, and now I am bald! How on earth am I going to be able to do her hair?  With the boys, I brushed it, combed it, or parted it.  This isn’t how it works with girls!!  Have you seen the gazillion ways to braid hair?!

There is this:

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And this:

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And this:

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And this:

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The braid is hard enough!!  I gotta make a heart, too?!? The pressure is unreal!!!!

Then there is play time.  Very different from boys.  I have never EVER hosted a tea party …

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Whew!  I’m glad there is a book!!!

Another scary thing is diaper changes.

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It’s a whole new ball game for me!  It’s been some time since I changed diapers, and I know it will all come back to me … this time, however, the parts are different!!

Then there is GLITTER!  Man, I really hate glitter!  It stays with you for years!  LOL

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Sports

Sam asked what sports I thought our daughter should do.  Me, being a guy, thought about what I had already done with the boys.  Hey, girls, do these things!!!

T-Ball – How cool are pink bats and gloves??!!

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Bowling – Some of the high school’s have girl bowling teams!  I gotta tell you, these gals bowled better than some of the guys I bowled with over the years!

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Golf – I knew a gal who golfed for the high school team.  She was pretty amazing!  How good was she?  I never golfed with her, because I knew she’d beat the hell out of me!  Golf, like bowling, had scholarships, too, so why not?!

Find-a-Site

Sam must have thought I was crazy!  She said that she was thinking about gymnastics – which after she said it, made total sense!  Of course, our girl could do gymnastics!  I can see her at the Olympics!  Our little gold medal winner!  Of course, I won’t let this guy teach her …. this doesn’t look right ….

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One of the things I can see her doing is dance.  My nieces do dance now.  Whether it is ballet or just dance in general, I can totally see our daughter doing it.

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Sam has already warned me that girls in dance class have to have many outfit changes.  Tutus, ballet slippers, tap shoes, bows, leotards, and more!  Yeah, I’ll be out in the audience doing all the moves with her (minus the leotards).

In all seriousness

I won’t lie, raising a child in the world today is very scary.  Hell, it was scary before my oldest was born (9/11 happened just 7 months before he was born)!  As a father, I know that my daughter will be looking to me for many things.  I hope that she sees me as her hero!

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I hope she will see me as her protector and as someone she can always trust.  I hope she will feel comfortable to share what ever is on her mind, and come to me for advice.  I cannot wait to share that special bond and special love that a daughter and dad have.

Things I am looking forward to

  • Her first cry
  • Her first photo shoot
  • Her first words
  • Her first tooth
  • Her first steps
  • Holding her in my arms
  • Singing her to sleep
  • Hugging her
  • Piggy back rides on my shoulders

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  • Reading bedtime stories
  • Holding hands
  • Buying her whatever she wants (Sam says she’s hiding the checkbook)

The list goes on and on.

So am I feeling?

I am overjoyed!  I am ecstatic!  I could not be happier that I am going to be a dad again!!

I am also scared.  I worry.  I am told this is natural.

I am nervous.  I don’t want to fail or disappoint.

I am anxious.  I look forward to all the firsts, all the accomplishments, and milestones.

Final Thought

Over the past 30 years, I have DJ’s thousands of weddings and hundreds of Daddy/Daughter dances!  At weddings, I have watched countless times as two special people shared their moment in the spotlight. At Daddy/Daughter dances, I have watched dads wonder just what their little girl is screaming about when Justin Beiber or Taylor Swift start playing.  I have then watched as they finally get a slow song to dance with their little girl.

As a father of boys, I never understood the bond or the feelings involved with those dances.  I know I have a few years yet, but time will fly and soon enough I will be able to relate to those dads I have watched over the years.  To say I am excited as I look forward to that first dance … is quite an understatement.

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