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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