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Wednesday, January 30, 2008

"A Very Merry Un-Birthday to you, to you"



Monday, the 28th, was Bella's one and a half birthday...we didn't do anything special, other than sending out an email to let everyone know. It may not be special to most, but to us, a landmark nonetheless.

C'mon, think about it...after a few years of prep, and 9 months of pregnancy, and now, 1.5 years of actual life, it has been a pretty full few years, and every day is something new, a new world!

Today, Wednesday, I took Bella to the Doctor for a "wellness exam." Every three months, she is due, since day two of her birth. That was surreal in itself, taking her to the Doctor only 36 hours after she was born. She was so tiny...and today, we saw a baby, just born, (Bella kept staring and smiling at the little one), and obviously the same age as Bella when we first took her. Bella was born 400 miles away, and we drove her home, literally 24 hours after birth. It was eery...driving all that way, with a newborn in a car seat in the back...there I was, in the back, touching her, feeling her little fingers, holding her chin up when it drooped...and almost complete silence in the car. Papa was driving, and you could feel it...we were both in dream like states....hell, 36 hours before, I was cooking a huge dinner, knowing we were still one week out from her delivery...next thing we know, the next morning, we are in the delivery room, (400 miles away), ..waiting for her to pop out...and now, in the car, we were parents...getting her safely home...in bed...and starting this entirely foreign world....where we were responsible, not only for our lives, but for this new little human being...

and then...the smell...she POOPED! We pulled over at a rest stop area...and fumbled around the car for the changing necessities....was like a comedy of errors...we could not help but laugh...new dads, and we couldn't find the diapers...:-) We were so eager to get her out of the hospital and home, that we threw everything in the car, and didn't even consider the consequences...alone, at night, driving with a newborn...down a long, lonely stretch of highway......Was like an old episode of Laurel and Hardy :-) Little Bella slept through the entire changing and we figured out that we needed the diaper bag, the creams, the blankets, the changing pads...all of it...
NEAR ONE OF US AT ALL TIMES ;-)
Anyway, back to the wellness exam; Bella is always a trouper at the doctors...until they bring out the needles....she is apt to have fun, walk around, blow kisses to everyone...until the needle comes out...she knows them well...and does not like them one bit. Today was the last vaccine before she turns 2...a small injection and done...usually Bella screams bloody murder when she gets a shot...and the last appointment, she got 4!!!! this time though, she cried, but only for about a minute...dressed her and she was back to smiling and blowing kisses...GEEZ I love this kid!
And now, she naps...and here I am...thinking of all the things I can say about her....but I won't...I need a nap too! You learn to take naps in this world of ours, ya know, the one with little tykes...you will NEED them, trust me!

I am certain the couple, with the newborn today, are thinking the exact same thing, at this exact same moment ;-) They will cherish these moments, long from now, looking back, as I do...everyday!

I wish them the very best!
Sunday, January 27, 2008

*batteries not included

SHEESH! How the hell are you supposed to enjoy playing with your kids and their new toys when it takes FOREVER to get the damn thing unwrapped. Unwrapped, un-wound, un-taped...un-everything'd. The manufacturer makes sure more than half the battle is getting the toy out of the box, out of the wrappers, out of the Chinese finger torture ties...AAARRGH! Cant even beguin to tell you how many times I have had my fingers poked, scratched and down right harassed by these "safety measures!" MADDENING at best! My opinion: The person who invented shrink wrapping and twisty ties for toys should be made to spend a week, alone in a room, with nothing but FOOD, wrapped in all these devices...see how long they last! Can we say STARVE???

Once unwrapped, (and I did the dumbest thing, attempted to assemble while Bella was there...getting into every piece, carting them away, etc...) My Bad!...anyway, once unwrapped, I realized...NO BATTERIES! AAARGH! again my bad, for not reading that they were not included....so, there she is, ready to play...and gets bored after a few moments...why? NO BATTERIES!

I looked everywhere for C batteries. Even taking every toy in existence in this house, unscrewing the battery compartments (another safety measure that sucks) and looking in flashlights, appliances, mp3 players..All of it...to no avail...so, she plays for a few moments then throws her little arms in the air in frustration, and walks away....I hope when I get batteries later today, she decides she likes it...!

SHEESH, I wish my batteries could be replaced...I am pooped...and all scratched up!
Friday, January 25, 2008

Toy Day


Ya know, we truly do have a special one...she confirms every day, one way or another, that she is truly one who attracts attention.
Bella & I went shopping today....yeah yeah, she definitely knows what shopping is already. All I hafta say is..."wanna go bye bye"...or..."Lets go shopping." She immediately perks up...(not that she isn't all the time) smiles, raises her arms in a "pick me up and lets go manner"...and we are off. Getting her into the car seat is usually a chore, requiring all the strength and patience I can muster. I have a two door Jeep, and sometimes, I hafta herd her into her seat via the hatchback....sometimes, when out shopping, I get the strangest looks taking her out of the rear of the vehicle...I think some people figure I must have strapped her into the cargo department in back...ha! GEEZ, some people eh?

Anyway, shopping. She gets all giggly when we walk through the doors. It is almost as if she knows I am gonna take her directly to the toy department. I figure, get her a toy to play with while we shop...and when done, get her to pay attention to something else, temporarily (usually not difficult) take the toy and put it back on the shelf, and VOILA! No new toy! Well...this doesn't always work, and yes , she has LOADS of toys...she plays with them for a few minutes, then usually off to something else...like the doors, the drawers, the computer desk...or whatever she isn't supposed to play with....sometimes I feel like I should be wearing roller blades to keep up with her ;-) When we are certain she is "done" with the toy, we have an employee who is less fortunate and has a 10 month old...we give her all of Bella's gently used clothes and toys...they love Bella's taste in stuff ;-)

So, today, we ended up with a vacuum toy. It makes sounds like a real vacuum, as well as some silly voices...but, I figure at least this toy will encourage her to help me clean the house when she is older (GRIN)! She loves this thing...pushes it all over and really enjoys it...so, success! At least this one will last longer than a few moments...
People always come up to her, and exclaim how beautiful she is, or how social she seems to be...always smiling, always playing with people in the check out lines (usually "peek a boo")...so young and yet, so popular already...boy are we in for it eh? :-)

Hafta admit, I love it too...inevitably, someone will come up...never fails...regardless of where we are; grocery shopping, clothes shopping, getting gas, etc...I love getting her out of the house...of course, gets ME out of the house too....but damn, that car seat issue gets me almost every time...I need a new car!




Thursday, January 24, 2008

Mac N Cheese

A short vid of Bella having one of her fav's for lunch! And, no comments please on Daddy's "Baby Ramblings!" :-)

Enjoy
video

68 Hours...and counting

That was the amount of time, the ultimate sacrifice, since I left the little one behind... I had to venture once again, to the cabin up north...this time, for wood floors to be installed. Thankfully, Papa is going tonight, for the carpet and appliances tomorrow, and Saturday. Woo Hoo! I get to spend quality time again, with our little one!

It truly is difficult for me to get away like that...not sure I actually like it. Don't sleep well, woke up yesterday at 3am AAARGH! The good from that? I was able to drive home early and be there when the little one woke up.

SO WORTH IT! I get home, pull off the shoes and jacket, sneaks upstairs and singing her favorite morning song ("good morning, good morning, it's good to be alive, good morning, good morning to you" - she loves that song - but only in the morning!) She quickly realizes Daddy is home and HUGS the hell outta me. GAWD I LOVE THAT. All smiles and hugs...GEEZ I missed her...and she missed me...LOVE IT!

Of course, with the good, comes that bad...(not really bad, but cant think of another word to describe)...Bella has another molar coming in...so, after the smiles, the whine sets in...but hell, after a year and a half, you don't get used to it, you just deal....so, I spent the day, and days since, playing with her, letting her run around, feeding her, again, eating like a little pony! And, of course, making her as comfy as possible, with an aching tooth and all...usually they pain only lasts a day or two, so today, hopefully is the day she calms...

Odd eh?, who can remember a tooth coming in and the pain...I remember my teeth falling out...and the Tooth Fairy! Ahhh, the tooth fairy! LOVED HER TOO! Always left me some money...who doesn't love a banker with wings? HA! Until...THAT day arrived...you know the one...where I woke up, and Mom had her hand (DON'T LET THE KIDS READ FURTHER!) under my pillow...I KNEW what was happening, but instead of bursting my mom's bubble, I very coyly asked if she was "checking to see what the Tooth Fairy had brought me"?...of course, she was relieved, (even at 5 I could tell) and answered "yes dear, I was just checking...and look, here is a quarter!" Funny thing though, I always got dollar bills after that...Damn, in retrospect, I guess I should have "coyly gone along" with everything my mom said...hell, I could have been rich by now :-)

So, the little one is napping now...and I am eager to make her lunch soon...she loves to eat... Bella is talking so much more now: "Wassat"? "Hello" "Uh Oh" "Oopsie" "I Love You" "OK" and a few more we aren't quite sure of yet...but will certainly blog it as it happens... She has a little dolly in a buggy she pushes around the house, everywhere, all day long if we would let her...It is so cool to have this tiny little human around...watching her grow, in mind, personality and of course body. And to think, we brought her into the world out of love...and she shows us everyday, that we made the absolute best choices....she is our living doll!

Love ya Everyone!
Sunday, January 20, 2008

Cabin Fever

It has been a few days since posting to the blog as I was out of town, up at our cabin up north. We are renovating inside and out, and I was there to meet the tile people. Replacing horrid laminate flooring with ceramic tiles...looks great! This is important to the blog. You may not think so, but hey, it's my blog, not yours :-) To Note: This was the longest period of time I have been separated from Bella. (I know, I know, I sound pathetic, but c'mon, she is one helluva little girl...and, by your comments to the blog, you all agree ;-)

It was proposed, (by whom, shall remain nameless) that I needed this as a break...to relax a bit and not have to concern myself with taking care of everybody. After all, I was still a little flu buggy. We found the most amazing new babysitter. (Ya know, we don't leave the little one with just "anyone.") She is a retired teacher, (32 years with the little buggers)...lives in our community, (two blocks away)...rides her bike to our home...LOVES kids, and frankly, Bella took to her right away! She is the kindest, sweetest, most compassionate person we have trusted with our little one *..and are very comfortable leaving Bella with her. *(besides Cousin Niecey, who is the ultimate Bella Buddy).

Anyway, my partner had to work, therefore, the most feasible candidate for the job to head up north, was me. We arranged the sitter, and I left late afternoon. When I arrived at the cabin, which is about a 1.5 hour drive, it was FRIKKIN COLD! hey, for me, 20 degrees is COOOOOOLD! I got out of the car and BAMM, the wind was hitting hard... So imagine, it is 20 degrees outside, and the wind makes it feel like 4. Never understood that wind chill factor thing...all I know was, it was DAMN COLD! I practically ran into the front door, fumbling with the key...get inside and WOW, it is a whopping 45 degrees...INSIDE!

Blah Blah Blah...(making a long story short)...took until 11am the next day, to get the cabin warmed to 52...I felt better by the morning, but not great...the workers arrived, done by 3pm...tile looks amazing, and I was still fighting this damn cold. Figured it was better to be away from Bella while I dealt with this bug...even in in sub-arctic temperatures...

Being the longest time away from the little one...it was tough...I thought about her constantly...wondering if she was OK, having fun, eating, missing me? Wondering is she was gonna climb the steps and fall down...walk into the arm of the chair again...? Missing me? Every time I laid my head down to sleep, I closed my eyes and thought of Bella...was she sleeping? running around? being a good girl? Missing me?

Did I mention I wondered if she was missing me?

Upon my return, it was obvious she had missed me, :-), running up and hugging my legs...back to running around the house. The sitter had written down milestones from Bella while I was gone...(Yeah, milestones, even a 1.5 year old can do amazing things in two days)! She was saying several new words and ate like a horse.

So, I really never had anything to worry about...but those of you who know me, know that is not gonna change...I will be heading back up the cabin for yet, another couple of days...wish me luck...I worry, I think, therefore I am...
Tuesday, January 15, 2008

Short Bella Vid

Trying out this new Flip Video...Rosie O'Donnell suggested it on her blog, she swears by it. So, here is my very first try...a bit jumbled, but, as I get the hang of it, Bella and I will make cool vids here real soon.

Here she is playing and snacking in her play area...affectionately called the "Pig Pen" around here :-)

Hope you enjoy!
video
Monday, January 14, 2008

Monday Musing

IT'S LUNCH TIME :-)

Bella is having her sandwich juice and snacks, watching Disney's "Cinderella"...OK OK, yeah yeah, she is a privileged one...but why not? We deserve to spoil her...but not too much LOL! We are just so in love with this kid...(insert gushy-ness here). It certainly has been a year and a half of ups and down, thrills and chills...but hell, I guess everyone who has a kid for the first time will say the same! They say the second is easier...that you can more easily perceive what the child needs, wants and is feeling. I don't buy that for one moment! How can it be any easier, that first 6 months, to lose sleep, walk around like a zombie because of deprivation LOL! Uh Uh. I know better...:-) But I will say this, no downs can ever surpass the ups...watching the kid grow and develop personality traits. Teaching, learning and knowing you are the person responsible for the attitudes and beliefs the little one will absorb. Now, I am not saying she would be a product of our belief systems; we are more prone to allowing her to make her own decisions, but, hell, a little nudge here and there never hurts! LOL.

DDDDDDAS All Folks...(for now)
Sunday, January 13, 2008

Sunday Drivel

Ok, so, I finally submitted a bit about how we began the process of having our little one. If you so choose, please find the column to the right, and read on..."How It All Happened"...ENJOY!
Saturday, January 12, 2008

I'm Awake!

OK, OK, so, I have been up for two hours now. Having the flu kinda screws with your sleep schedule. And, having a kid REALLY screws with your sleep schedule HA! Fortunately, Papa took care of the little one's nighttime needs, as I needed to get some sleep...try and get over this bug!

12:16PM, still feeling a bit sluggish. Bella has been napping now for about 2 hours, she still gets those naps in. Lucky Us! On weekends, we usually take her out to lunch somewhere new each time. Not sure today will be that day, although, Papa, may decide to take her out alone. I hate missing our family time...but, it is rare that I do. May just decide to suck it up and go...I am hungry ;-)

Not gonna write much today...unless the little one amazes us, yet again! She tends to do that, and we love it. I have bought a new Flip Video, which should arrive in a few days...this way, I can post vids of our family and especially Bella. Might be kinda cool to see her in action. Also,. trying to figure out a way to post additional pages, so we can have a few permanent pages, ya know, the ones that show who we are, etc...

Stay Tuned for more!

Cya Soon!
Friday, January 11, 2008

Friday Smiles

Well, made it to Friday, still feeling the flu bug blues, but surviving. The little one is up, playing and having her breakfast, cheerios and milk. One thing I hadn't mentioned, which was a good thing to come out of the whole medical drama, she gave up her bottle & Binky, all in one shot. Just doesn't want either anymore...we are so fortunate for that. Or so our friends tell us! LOL!!

Last night was a trying night, for me, the little one was up every two hours,. Like clockwork...but a little snuggle and hugs, wrapped in her favorite blanket, each time, and she went back to sleep right away. So wonderful to realize what a hug can do. She has a molar coming in, so, you can only imagine the pain she must feel. My Partner is out of town, taking care of new doors being installed in our cabin up north. So, again, alone and dealing LOL!

She loves her Baby Einstein DVDs. So much so, that she waits for you to turn it on, first thing. She has her own small, portable DVD player right near her play area. She loves to dance to the musical numbers and waves her hands back and forth, and her head side to side...and smile...always lots of smiles. Everyone tells us, even stranger, how happy she seems to be. And, they are right! We are one lucky family. She is truly a smart, happy, well adjusted baby.

As promised earlier, I will be posting a sort of step-by-step process. The one whereby we ventured into to having a family of our own. Being two men, it is certainly an adventure...hopefully one you will want to read. Our little one was loved, well before she was conceived...having planned, and taken almost two years to birth. Lots of love, and lots of money! LOL - will get into all that soon, I promise!

Would love to hear from anyone out there, involved in a similar situation. Even Mothers, Fathers & Parents, wanting to share. Although we may be different in our family scenarios, one thing we all share; we are Parents!

Cya Soon!
Thursday, January 10, 2008

A week of SCARY

Today is Thursday, and it has been one hell of a week. Last Friday, my partner left for a family funeral in PA, early AM. By 3pm, our little one had a high fever. To make a long story short, by 8PM, she was in an ambulance, on her way to the hospital, having a 105 fever, spiking and
seizures. Talk about scary, and being alone, one of the most frightening things I have ever experienced. I was beside myself as to what to do, who to turn to, etc. The 911 Dispatcher was incredible, calming me and directing me to cool her body. Explaining this was a common occurence in feverish toddlers..WTF??? See: Febrile Seizures: http://www.mayoclinic.com/health/febrile-seizure/DS00346

By the time the paramedics and firefighters arrived, she was coming around and aware of what was happening. She is a true trooper, and by the end of the night, was blowing kisses to the nurses and Dr's. If it had not been for the medical personnel, I would have had no clue as to what was happening and how to deal. Just one of the instances whereby, bringing up baby, can be "learn as you go." I have no idea how they handle it, and have LOADS of respect for single, working mothers...KUDOS!

So, there began the week of hell...always worried, always jumping at the slightest whimper or cry, always checking her temperature, calling the Dr. for advice, the neighbor for comfort. I was truly feeling alone in all this, as my partner was not there when it all happened. Our little one is better now, playing, smiling, talking and just being a delight again! Me? Well, after all the worry and stuff, I got sick with a flu bug myself. Now I am concerned again, with getting her sick! AAAARGGHH! Funny when u think about it...I worry too much I guess!

I will be posting again here very soon. I want to share more background as to our relationship and how, and when we decided to have a baby together. As we are two men, it is a wondrous, yet legally and medically filled process. Not to mention, the ideas, attitudes and advice we receive, daily, from strangers, friends, family and neighbors...hopefully, you will get a better idea of who we are and how we survive, LOL

Stay At Home Dad

Starting a blog, to share day to day experiences with stay at home dads.

This is certainly the hardest "job" I have ever had, yet, (at the risk of sounding cliche) the most rewarding.

I intend for this blog to be honest, direct and show the ups and down, to be brutally honest, and therapeutic, for me, and others needing a voice or simply to vent. Some people, involved in our lives, don't "get it" at times, and it can be frustrating, at best, to attempt a dialog or communication with the ones you love. We understand our family is not the typical one, and we are determined to lead as much of a "normal" life as we can, for the sake of our little one. We also realize that many people, including family members, have lots of curiosity, concerns and we welcome questions. Our little family is very open to sharing information on our lives. We look forward to it, actually, as we are damn proud of what we three have accomplished! :-) ! This blog will hopefully answer some of those questions and truly educate others...

There are limitless amounts of information and feelings we can share..so, come on people, lets have our voices heard!

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