Archive for September, 2009
Tuesday, September 29th, 2009
One of the ladies from Karen’s moms group has twin boys who turned 1 this past week. Karen dragged me to the party because that’s what we do now I guess. Anybody who knows me is well aware that I don’t do well around big groups of people I don’t know. Frankly, it stresses me out. I don’t remember faces or names or even whether or not I’ve met somebody before. I’m generally pretty poor at all things social. It takes me a few times before I start to recognize people and then a few more times to get their names. Longer if there’s weeks or months in-between.
When we arrived, I was pretty jazzed that they had a keg for the adults. It’s sort of a crutch for me in these social situations. While I’m holding a drink, I’m “doing” something and therefore don’t feel so exposed as the weird guy in the corner freaking out by himself. Though, I did discover that holding a baby makes things much easier. It makes for much easier conversation because we all know it’s all about the baby. People actually approach you to comment on how, obviously, adorable your baby is. But alas, you can only hold a 17ish pound baby for so long.
Of course, the first thing that came to mind when I found out about the keg was that I just HAD to get a picture of Courtney doing a keg stand. I mean, how many opportunities am I going to have to see that. Wait. Don’t answer that. I’ll continue to live in my blissful ignorance for at least a few more years. Anyway, so there were are having our first white trash moment of the day. At least it was in the other room away from the bulk of the people so we only made a lasting impression on a few folks.
I was also quite happy to see they had a whole room sectioned off for the babies to play. So I made my way over there with the baby to have something to “do” so I’m not that guy still. The play area has a large throw carpet, much like the one at the daycare we toured way back in the day when we still contemplated such a thing. The rule at the daycare is no shoes on the carpet, so I figured there was something similar to that here, but nobody else seemed to be adhering to it so maybe not. At any rate, I was wearing flip-flops, so I quickly arrived at the problem of trying to decide if wearing my nasty flip-flops was better than my bare (rather clean IMHO) feet. Which is more socially acceptable? I dunno. I went with bare and put my flip-flops in the corner.
Courtney getting ready to rough up another one.
First keg stand. It's all cute now, but at some point it's going to come back to haunt me.
At some point we moved back into the food room where the keg was. I presume it started with a refill and it quickly turning into food stuffing. One of the cool couples I met was in there eating and I was enjoying our conversation. They have a 7-month-old girl who was getting tired. The dad was trying to keep her entertained by swinging her back and forth. She clearly loved it and we chatted about how Courtney loves that, too. Us dads were pretty proud of our little “adrenaline junkies.”
It wasn’t long before I felt I had to demonstrate that Courtney does indeed like to be swung around. (Though it was long enough for the room dynamics to shift some) So I started swinging her back and forth and she was having a grand time. Then all of a sudden some guy (who I never did meet) goes “Okay, that’s making me nervous. I have to leave the room.” At first I thought he was just messing with me, but no, he was dead serious. He left the room. So much for winning friends and influencing people. It’s probably worth noting that I’m extremely careful when it comes to swinging Courtney and in no way is she in any sort of danger. But his reaction made me really think about it to make sure I was still confident about my position on it (which I am, BTW).
A few minutes later I heard a mother ask her kid (6 or 7?) where her shoes were. She did it in a way that was like “you know it’s rude to go around people’s houses without shoes.” Right at that moment I realized that I was standing there barefoot. I had been walking around barefoot for at least the past hour as if I lived there. Like I said, my social skills are somewhat lacking.
But in spite of my lacking social skills, we managed to meet some great people and actually have a fair bit of fun. I just hope I didn’t ruin any future moms group activities for Karen, assuming she gets more invites.
Now on to other matters… Today when I got home from work I could tell that Courtney is so much more confident in her standing. All evening she kept standing up wherever she was. She used to not stand unless there was something at arms-length to hold onto. Now it doesn’t matter where she is. At one point she was distracted by something across the room and she almost took a step toward it. So once again I sit here after saying it months ago, that she’s going to walk any minute! Karen’s Dad gets here on Thursday. It’d be a nice surprise for him (and us) to be here for that big first step.
Standing unaided and nothing close to hang onto.
Sunday, September 27th, 2009
I’ve always been a night person. I have always had an incredibly hard time waking up in the morning. I don’t know why, it just is. Five years in the military couldn’t change me. I spent those five years terrified I wasn’t going to get up in time for work. Now ten months into having a baby, I wake up before my alarm more often than not.
Now, I’m not saying that I’ve been “cured” of my night person affliction. I guess having the baby and more responsibility has just helped get me up easier. Mind you, I’m still barely functional in the morning. I still don’t feel ready to tackle the world before about noon, and still have my clearest moments late at night.
But for whatever reason, waking up on the weekend is much harder than work days. I guess decades of sleeping weekends away have left a permanent mark on my being. I’m extra zombieish on a Saturday morning.
Yesterday I got up with the baby and took her downstairs to get started on her new found freedom from the teat. Allegedly, it’s easier to wean the last meal if the husband does it (a little suspicious it being the morning one). I didn’t have much success in getting her to drink any formula, so that theory doesn’t seem to be working yet.
Aside from being awake, there’s another downside to my mornings. Now, this is something that Karen is extremely jealous of. I’m one of the most regular people in world. It’s not necessarily a time thing, but a reaction to time thing. It doesn’t matter what time I wake up; shortly after, I’ve gotta go. Sometimes I can fight nature and hold off for quite a while. Yesterday was not one of those times. The power was too much for me to overcome.
Courtney is over there eating her bananas and honeydew. I’m cutting up more honeydew and the first wave of the NOW ATTACK hits. Conveniently (or not), Courtney is over there pushing out a big one – teary eyes and all. It’s not unlike having to pee very badly during a downpour. I felt really bad to rouse Karen from bed to come down and watch the baby while she ate, but I had to go, NOW.
Karen took it all pretty well, but she did point out that when it happens to her she pulls the chair over to the bathroom door. Normally I’d think that’s a pretty good idea, but the only bathroom on the same level as the kitchen has a “nut dragger” toilet. You know, the tiny little round bowl toilets that were clearly designed by a woman.
I like to have room to breath while things happen. I’m still surprised that they even make those tiny things this day and age. I mean, I thought Americans were all about excess and big things. Guys shouldn’t have to tuck things during such times. I’m just saying.
I know, TMI.
Monday, September 21st, 2009
It’s been raining on and off for about a week or so, but it really picked up last night. It rained HARD all night long. Thunder. Lightning. The works.
The pond outside my office today was crazy flooded. It’s normally just a calm little cesspool, but today it was alive! The big square thingy in the water is the storm drain. I’ve seen water pouring down it during heavy rains, but never even close to filling in.
Pond at work at a normal level.
Pond at work today after over a foot of rain and counting.
Our pool almost overflowed and our deck drains were all clogged up. It’s a good thing Karen was at home to get things flowing again. And apparently our roof has a small leak. Small enough that we probably never would have known about it under normal circumstances.
Looking forward to better weather soon.
Saturday, September 19th, 2009
Yesterday I was able to get a before and after iPhone shot of the baby…
A quick minute with Dad before departing for work.
Just arriving home from work. The iPhone (which she loves!) threw her off a bit - normally she's much more excited about my arrival. I promise .
Yesterday evening we had some friends over for dinner. It was the first time we’ve seen them in quite a while with the baby being sick the past few weeks. Apparently, Friday is not a good night to have people over for dinner. Just about everybody was falling asleep by 10:30.
Back in the day, a few months before the baby arrived, we’d make it until at least 12:30 or 1:00, playing Rock Band and everything. It made me feel better that everybody else was tired, too. Maybe it’s not directly related to having a 10 month old!
It’s a good thing we packed it in early last night. Courtney was up at 7:30, which is a generous wake time, but still too early for a Saturday as far as I’m concerned. We all got up and had a pretty mellow morning hanging out playing on the floor. But eventually Courtney got tired…
I'll figure this book thing out sooner or later.
I think we'll have to make that much later. Maybe I'll just put my head down for a moment.
Once we put her down for a nap Karen locked me in the garage until it was less unruly. After three and a half hours of hanging shelves and moving things around, I’m not really sure I made all that much progress. We really need a dumpster delivered so we can get rid of some crap. At least I can make it to the driver side of my car now without opening the garage door first.
Then we spent a little time reaching new heights.
Look how high I can reach now!
On to the main excitement of the day. Since we didn’t have any other offers, Karen came up with the great idea to visit our favorite Colombian restaurant. We love this place just off the Marrietta Square called Kiosco. It’s a tiny little restaurant that has maybe eight tables in the whole place. They have some authentic Colombian dishes and the people who own and operate it are super nice.
We would go more often, but it’s a solid 20 minute drive on the highway without traffic. And since we live in Atlanta, there’s almost always traffic on the highway. It hadn’t really occurred to me that we haven’t been there since before Courtney was born. So at least 10 months!
Since it’s rained ALL week and the watery stuff (we do live in a city so not sure it’s all water) continues to fall, the restaurant was pretty empty. At one point we were the only people in the restaurant. So I found it a little odd that a lady showed up with her guitar and started singing Colombian music. At least, I assume it was Colombian. It could have just been Latino music since my Spanish is so incredibly poor. Either way, it turns out that it’s Courtney’s first exposure to live music. And she seemed to really enjoy the show. It didn’t hurt that she was singing right next to our table and, as such, basically singing straight to Courtney.
Courtney's first live entertainer - aside from Mom or Dad.
The restaurant owner and the singer both asked what Courtney’s name is. Knowing my audience, I included her middle name. “Courtney Cecilia” I said. I’m pretty sure they never heard Courtney and immediately began referring to her as “Ceci.” Courtney’s Great Grandmother, Cecilia, is from Colombia so I guess it’s a bigger name down that way.
Courtney ate an incredible amount of food! She may have even eaten more than I did, and I was stuffed. She really liked the beef empanada, as well as the chicken, the fried plantains, and various other vegetables from our plates. And that was all in addition to the carrots, peas, beans, cheese, cheerios, etc. that we brought with us. So it appears the Colombian lineage is strong.
Because we have the most adorable little girl in the whole world (she was her normal social self), everybody who was in the restaurant during our visit was engaged at one point or another. It was certainly the most family oriented dinner outing we’ve had with Courtney. Very casual and very friendly.
We had such a nice evening at Kiosco that we’ve vowed to try and make it much more frequently.
Thursday, September 17th, 2009
During the week it’s hit or miss how much I get to see Courtney. Two days ago I got home late and JUST made it to see her for about five minutes before lights out for bed (Karen did the bath and was just finishing up book time). The next morning she wasn’t up yet before I left for work .
This evening when I got home we were able to play on the floor for about 45 minutes. I miss a few days of good play time and it’s amazing how different she is. I know I’ve said it before, but it still just amazes me. Today she was putting smaller blocks and such into a box and carrying the box around. Just a few weeks ago the best thing going was picking up a single item and gnawing on it.
I picked her up and put her on her feet and she stood there rubbing her eyes, and for a good bit. I think the eye rubbing distracted her from the fact that she was standing there on her own. Once she finally realized it she squatted down to her butt. She’s just gotta be close to taking that first step!
Standing there shaking her toy.
Last bit of play time before bath.
From my limited perspective she seems to be almost completely back to her awesome, happy self. She really is so friggin cute!
I’m very happy tomorrow is Friday – it’s been a pretty long week at work! We’re having some people over for dinner and it’ll be the first time in a very long time. I feel like we haven’t seen any of our friends in forever. And since it’s at our house we can put Courtney down at her normal time and enjoy the company. Of course, it doesn’t look like it’s going to stop raining anytime soon. I just hope it doesn’t put a damper on things, so to speak.
Happy almost Friday.
Tuesday, September 15th, 2009
I’m really sad at how fast the days are becoming shorter and shorter. At least, from a daylight perspective. My work days certainly aren’t getting any shorter!
My little girl really started to become more interactive in the Spring when the days were trending longer and longer. So a few times a week after I get home from work we’ll take a walk out by the pool and sit down for a bit. She’s surprisingly still when we sit out there. I suppose it has something to do with all of the exciting things to look at out there. Squirrels and chipmunks running all over the place, birds flying around, and all of the trees blowing in the wind (and dumping crap in the pool!).
Earlier in the Summer, Karen’s parents got us a “sporty” chair to put by the pool. It doesn’t exactly go with the Pottery Barn decor, but it’s a comfortable chair and Courtney really LOVES it. She’ll crawl around on my lap from one side to the other pulling herself up on the arms and back. She’s fascinated by all of the screws and ski parts that comprise the chair. And the chair has a pleasant woody smell to it.
Hi Mama. We're just enjoying some quiet time by the pool.
Anyway, I’m quite sad that our time by the pool in the evenings is coming to an end for a rather long time from her perspective. Sure, she won’t remember to miss it, but I will. So yet another reason to dislike the end of Summer.
And just when she was getting all excited about The Big Green Egg!
I know it's football season and I'm ready for some grillin!
Monday, September 14th, 2009
I’ve been saying that ANY DAY now Courtney is going to walk… for quite a long time. She can stand on her own and pulls up on everything. In fact, she seems to be happiest when she’s standing while she plays. And she can really move around all over the place behind this little cart.
Look at me "walk" all over the place!
Yes, I'm really just mocking you, Dad.
But alas, no walking. Yet. I’m not one of those pressure dads. I’ll be happy whenever it is her first step arrives. I’d just like to be there when it happens, so I’m hoping she’ll do it on a weekend. I am a little disappointed in my prognosticating skills though.
This evening, while I was sitting on the floor with her after work, she placed a ring on the ring holder toy thingy. She did it a couple of times, but of course by the time I got my iPhone ready she had pretty much moved on. I was able to get one feeble attempt below. I guess you’ll just have to take my word for it! She’s definitely spending more time trying to figure things out. It’s moments like this that make it so darn cool!
Yeah, I can put a ring on a thingy. I may have missed on this particular attempt, but I've got skilz!
I have to say that whoever came up with the bowl that suctions itself to the table is pure genius! And, of course, my wife is pure genius for finding such an incredibly useful and cool thing. This is the first time I’ve seen her feed herself from anything other than her highchair tray. Good stuff.
I can even do some double fisted eating action!
It’s quite amazing at how quickly she continues to evolve. She really is a little miracle.
Saturday, September 12th, 2009
We made another trip to the pediatrician’s office today for another round of needles. But her blood work looks better and her fever is down. In the span of 24 hours, girl had a shot in her left thigh, a shot in her right thigh, her finger pricked, her toe pricked, a first attempt to draw blood from her left arm (which included repositioning several times once stuck), and a second attempt to draw blood. And a chest x-ray that wasn’t particularly enjoyable for her.
Aside from the rather distressful doctor visit, as you can see the day was fairly uneventful…
You can tell from the blur there's a reason you shouldn't stand on the wrong side of the push cart.
Pediatrician taking more blood. This time from the toe. Ouch!
After doctor visit, playing with her stacking cups.
More fun with stacking cups.
With the lack of attention since the baby showed up, Hunter spends much of his time lounging. At least when Courtney isn't eating!
Courtney pretty happy even after her crappy couple of weeks.
Friday, September 11th, 2009
Today while I was at work wrapping up a meeting my wife calls me. Normally I would have called her back, but there were a couple of side conversations going so I quietly answered it. Turns out that little girl had a fever of 103.6. Now, I don’t know a whole lot about the ins and outs of baby health, but I know enough to know that anything approaching 104 is not cool at all (pun intended).
Since it was lunchtime, and Karen sounded pretty distressed, I drove home to see if I could help stand around and look concerned. Karen had arranged an appointment with the pediatrician at 1:45, so I was pretty much just going home to see if there was anything I could help with until then.
Courtney felt like a hot potato as I held her while Karen took a shower and got ready for the doctor visit. I headed back to work when they departed for the doctor appointment.
A while later I got a text message from Karen telling me to pack up and meet her at Scottish Rite Children’s Hospital. It’s not really the sort of message you want to get, ever. It turns out that her white blood cell count was over 20,000 and the pediatrician wanted to get some tests run over at the hospital. Apparently, this is a different illness than what she started with 10 days ago.
I have to say that it’s a really horrible experience watching your little girl get blood drawn. To make matters worse, the nurse had a difficult time finding a vein. The first needle had no luck finding blood even though she repositioned it several times after it had already pierced the skin (OUCH!). She looked for a vein in the other arm and couldn’t find any so went back to the first arm. Luckily, the second needle provided what they needed.
The vampire is evil
After the hospital, Karen took Courtney back over to the pediatrician’s for a shot of antibiotics. We won’t know what the tests yielded until tomorrow during our followup visit at the pediatrician. So we’ll keep our fingers crossed for good news.
Our little girl is such an incredible angel, that even while she’s sick she sat very quietly for several hours waiting for the tests to begin. She really is the cutest baby ever!
Thursday, September 10th, 2009
It’s taken a while, but football is finally back! As you can see, my little girl has been practicing and is ready. Perhaps we’ll have to break the rule about no TV until two years old on occasion.
Did somebody say football? I'll get the beer!
Actually, I’m really not all that into football, but with football comes lots more social events. So I am looking forward to all of the BBQs and whatnot. It’ll be interesting to see how our invitations change from last year now that we have a 9 month old. Will we spend a lot of time with our old friends like last season, or will we have to hope for invitations from some of our new parent friends? Either way, I’m sure we’ll be firing up the Big Green Egg several times so maybe we’ll end up with a more interesting mix of people.
Fantasy football is really the driving force behind the little interest I do have. But my interest is unlike most people. I don’t really root for one team, but rather individual players. And sometimes those players will conflict during certain match-ups. Like when I have the running back and my fantasy opponent has the wide receiver on the same team. I want the team to score just like my opponent, but they better run it into the end zone! I’m pretty into it when it comes down to Monday night football and we’re only a few points apart and both have players playing. Unfortunately, I’m not sure how staying up late on Monday night is going to go this year. I already go to bed too late, especially since Courtney is trending toward an earlier wake time.