A bubbling sense of independence; and baby chicks!

Oh, hey. Hello.

It’s been awhile. Finding time to sit and write seems next to impossible these days. Life is constantly pushing forward, it’s like that moment right after you trip where you do the awkward running forward thing trying to keep your feet under your body so you don’t actually fall and eat it into the concrete; just trying to keep my feet under me.

Amelia continues to grow and learn new stuff every second too.

The good news is that while the whining remains, the fits subsided pretty quick. Teaching my child manners remains a constant battle; not that she is rude, she just seems to forget key phrases like “Can I please have…” over “I want…”

Overall, simple kid things.

However.

Her independence level is growing rapidly. Teeth brushing, drink getting (at least water from the fridge [which absolutely MUST have ice in it, every time]), dressing herself in the mornings… it all comes with a simple phrase and the same basic interaction:


*standing there watching her struggle a little*
Are you sure you don’t want just a little bit of help?

“No thanks, I can do it.”

Alright.


She is pretty great.

As a fun side note, I’m having to really start watching what I say, as the following random interaction happened a couple weeks ago:


“(out of nowhere one evening) Dad?”

Yes, Ameel’s?(a nickname for her I picked up from a friend of mine)

“Did you know we can’t say f**k?”

(as I pick my jaw up off the floor and pop my eyeballs back into my skull) WHAT?!

“F**k. We can’t say it. It’s a bad word.”

Uh. Stop saying that word. No, you can’t say it.

“I know. It’s a bad word, so we can’t say it.”

Ok. Well, don’t say it again, ok?

“Ok.”


 

Well. Hey man, after five years in the Navy and growing up around parents who weren’t exactly filtered in their choice of words…. it’s a bad habit, ok?! Anyways. I chuckled, as always, at the interaction.

Our biggest new development was a decision to jump on the backyard chicken train. We are the proud new owners of five adorable little baby chicks. I love them. And… they love me.

(It’s the audio that matters in the video, as the video itself is kinda dark, but you get the idea)

We’ve got (left to right/ top to bottom) Zoey, Gingie, Frightful, Princess FeatherBottom and Edna.

  

 

My current favorite is Princess FeatherBottom, who loves to perch, or as I like to call it: “Ready herself for the hunt…”

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The hashtags on Instagram look something like this: #trainingmyfalcon to #hunt . . . It’ll take some time.

Amelia loves them though.

Like. A lot.

We got a bag of dehydrated meal worms, or as the chicks know it: crack. They love it. We bought it about a week ago, and they already know to run up to the edge of the kiddie pool (their current indoor living situation) and wait for a handful. I have been making sure they only get it by hand, so they see us as a positive.

She feeds them a handful or five in the evenings, says good night to them before bed and “bye” in the mornings when she leaves for daycare.

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Not too long after we got them, Amelia feeding a little baby some food…

It’s totes adorbs to the max.

Anywho, chickens are pretty awesome and you’ll get to enjoy the process of me building a coop soon enough I’m sure. I’ve changed my mind how I want to do it at least 5 times already. Luckily I have another three months before they need a real outdoor living structure.

Slowly but surely, I hope to get back into the act of posting more regularly; finding time to write has been cumbersome, I need to make a more honest effort at it though. Welp, until next time:

Stay close, more coming soon///

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What Do I Say? Not What I Do!

“Amelia, stop touching that…”

“Amelia, quit playing with that and clean up…”

“Amelia, quit picking your nose…”

“Amelia, you can’t just point out that someone is fat/old/weird looking…”

Here’s the deal. Either I’m a giant three-year-old (ENTIRELY possible) or there is one real key to parenting…

Hypocrisy.

In the last few months, I find myself telling my child to stop doing pretty much everything I remember doing as a child.

Ok, so…. pretty much everything I do still as a grown adult with the inside voice that says “I’m an adult, you can’t tell me what to do…”

Anyways.

Walking through the store, she touches EVERY single thing. It’s curiosity. She’s tactile. I totally get it…. But, I find myself telling her not to touch, mainly because I don’t wanna end up footing the bill for curiosity.

I’ll be real honest with you. I HATE boogers. They are a collection of dead skin and dust and all the gross things in the world that enter into your nose. I pick that crap right out of there.

Yet I tell my kid, “Stop picking your nose.”

I struggle constantly with making sure my kid picks up after herself… some days, you don’t even want to see the atrocity that can be my room.

I know, I know, at this point someone in my family is muttering to themselves about being the example and setting the standards, blah, blah, blah…

I relate it to the way we taught photography, there are certain things we taught at the schoolhouse that, in the real world, you would never actually do… but… To get the that point of realizing those things are stupid and useless, you have to, as we would tell students, crawl, walk, run. Gotta learn the rules to know when it is ok to break them.

Although, sticking your fingers in your mouth is never ok. I don’t care how old you are. It’s just gross.

But I’ve settled on that one simple fact as an effective tool when in doubt.

Hypocritical answers.

“Dad, can I have a lollipop?”

(It’s 8 in the morning… what would I do if I wanted a lollipop right now? Answer in the opposite…)

“No, you can’t eat candy at 8 in the morning, we need to have breakfast first.”

Cracks open a breakfast beer…

 

Nailed it.

 

 

Stay close… more coming soon///

 

Taking Technology For All It’s Worth

Two and a half months now. It’s hard to keep up a blog when there is so much going on! Plus, I didn’t want to post up 15 posts about getting poo’ed on. Toilet humor only goes so far.

I have however had a recent realization. Technology. It has made having a kid a million times easier… On my family. We take it for granted so much. It’s just a necessary part of our lives nowadays. As I write this I am sitting in bed on a Sunday morning. I just finished uploading photos of my daughter to Facebook and emailing photos to my dad who still doesn’t understand why the internet has a book of faces.

Technology.

Back in even just the 90’s, if you wanted to show family members photos of your trip to the zoo, it meant loading film into the camera, shooting, dropping the film off at a developer, paying for prints, loading up an envelope and mailing them off only to have them get there a good two weeks after the event.

Now I can stand there and video call my family and they can practically walk through the zoo with us while still being 2,000+ miles away. I can take a photo on my phone, edit it and upload it to Any number of social media sites simultaneously all in a matter of 30 seconds for the whole world to see. Instantly.

I say again… Technology.

It amazes me. I was the last generation to know what it meant to write a letter over a text. To have to load a roll of film and not know what the photo you just took looked like until probably 2-4 days after you took it. To consider only having a voice on the other end of a phone something special. No video chatting, picture texting, fancy-dancy iEverything devices.

It is 2013. While the Jetsons might be disappointed in our progress, I’m amazed by the things we can do.

My daughter is going to grow up in a world that has evolved so quickly over just the last 15 years… It’s sort of a scary thought. Where will we be when she is old enough to want an iPhone 23gsXL? Where will the normal age for getting a cell phone be within society? As it stands now, it seems like every 8-year-old has a cell phone. Maybe I should get her one now. She doesn’t need to know how to talk… Who uses a cell phone to call people? Pssh.

Anywho. Just wanted to throw up some thoughts I had on this Sunday morning and top it off with a few photos. As for all of us, we are doing well. Amelia is getting big quick; hard to believe it’s been almost three months since she was born. Well, time for another cup of coffee and a shower. Stay close, more coming sometime soon…

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Keeping it Fresh . . . The Diaper, That is. . . . .

Every diaper is like trying to outrun the apocalypse.

You know it’s going to happen, no matter how long you wait to change it, hoping they squeezed it all out… they are never fully done.

   Grab the wipe, move like Flash Gordon trying to get their butt clean, and then you have to do the one-handed change out while holding their feet up like a cow wrangler, which is baby code for time to poop.

Unfortunately for Marie, she just wasn’t fast enough, and she paid the price. Poop. Everywhere.

I thought it was hilarious, she wasn’t as entertained.

   You learn quickly that farts can be the scariest thing you’ll encounter in your entire life. When you are holding a baby by the legs trying to slide a diaper under their butt and they fart, you will have the worst one-second panic attack ever.

“OH NO!!! . . . . ok, whew….”

 

   It’s been great though. Aside from leaking diapers and the occasional science defying poop-up-the-back trick that newborns seem to be pretty good at, it’s been an amazing experience. And we are only three weeks in. Three weeks down, 60+ years to go.

   I have found it to be quite interesting how quickly a baby can develop habits and dislikes. For example, Amelia doesn’t care for her swing, loves the papasan, hates her crib and will sleep like, well, a baby when you put her on your chest. The oddest thing by far THUS far though, is that she LOVES walking up and down the stairs.

   It doesn’t seem to matter how upset she is, what’s causing it or for how long she has been crying. As soon as I walk her up the stairs she’ll quiet right down. It’s a simple fix, though again with the panic attacks, of course she loves to be walked up and down the most dangerous part of our house. Every step is like I’m making sure there aren’t hot coals under my feet.  

   I have been loving every bit of it though. I’ve come to realize that I am getting spoiled though as she has, from the first night she was alive, been sleeping 3 or more hours at a time. Experienced parents hear this and they get a look of shear hatred in their eyes for half a second masked by fake words of excitement. I always feel bad when I have to answer it.

 “So, are you getting a lot of sleep?”

Which really means:

“So how’s being kept up every night and never getting to sleep for more than like 20 minutes at a time, have you gone insane yet? HAHAHAHA WELCOME TO PARENTING!!!!!!”

Then you answer with:

“Actually, she sleeps for like 3 hours at a time.”

They respond with:

“Oh that’s good.”

Their eyes say:

“I hate you. I haven’t slept in 3 years. I hope a jet engine test shop is built next to your house tomorrow.”

 

   Amelia is doing great though, she went in for her two-week appointment not long ago, came in at just over ten pounds and in the 92% of size for her weight and 73% for her length. Healthy and seemingly pretty happy.

   She doesn’t fuss too much either. She only gets noisy when she actually has a problem, i.e. needs a clean diaper, is hungry, she’s too hot or cold or needs help with getting a fart out. That’s pretty much the extent of her worries at three weeks old. What a life, eh?

   Drives Marie nuts because I can pick her up and quiet her down within a couple minutes, and now with this stair thing figured out, I am Mr. Problem Solver. I like it though, she loves her dad. And there is nothing wrong with dad being able to solve all of her problems. Won’t last forever; but the longer Amelia doesn’t know that the better for me. ;)

   Well, that’s about all for now, we are going to be doing some actual portraits here in the next couple of days, so stay tuned for those to be put up. Stay close, plenty more to come!

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The Beginning of My Mobile Blogging…

So, a week to go until the ol’ bun is ready to come out of the oven.

Funny story. I am blogging from my phone. Right. Now. Oh technology! WordPress, my blogging medium, FINALLY redesigned their iPhone app, it used to stink reallllll bad. However, now I can actually blog, with photos, and effectively create posts on the go. Bet that’ll be real helpful come time to be a super dad.

So, with any luck the posts will be a) much more often and b) probably way shorter now. Thumb typing makes for naturally shorter paragraphs.

Anywho, just thought I’d proudly show off how on the cusp of technology I am…. Blogging straight from my iPhone… Look out Thomas Einstein…. I’m on the edge of science. Well, it’s Halloween weekend round here, so back to the pumpkins and costumes! Photo included is Marie’s daughter, Alyssa, gettin her Halloween costume put on….

Stay close to the blog, baby’s comin’ soon!!!

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Alive and Kicking . . . From The Inside (Plus a friend’s baby video I made)

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   A long time absence. Jeesh. So, first things, first… Marie is MONGO Preggo… And ready to be done being pregnant. And with only two weeks to go, she’ll get her wish soon enough.

Sorry to keep everyone hanging, we have been pretty nuts the last few months. We moved from Virginia Beach to just south of Baltimore, Md. I’ve taken a job teaching either journalism or photojournalism; I’m still in training and they haven’t quite decided where they want to put me.

As for our wee little baby… just about 2.5 weeks to go until she is born. Poor Marie has been getting kicked and punched and has taken on a whole new sense of sympathy for punching bags. Amelia doesn’t stop moving. Ever. For me it’s like watching one of those weird massage pillows with the rotating pieces inside. You see it constantly rising and falling and moving around. That’s Marie’s stomach. It’s like the final moments of the Alien movie just before the creature leaps out of the chest. It’s way cool to watch.

We’ve been busy for sure though. Got a crib, changing table, more clothes, some diapers and some of the other baby things that we needed that I can’t seem to remember at the moment. Some of my new coworkers even decided to throw us a baby shower next Saturday. I was immediately put off by it. I’m a new guy, I don’t want to show up and be rude:

   Hey, I know I just got here, I honestly still don’t even have your name memorized, but I am having a baby shower so show up and bring my free stuff, yeah?

Not really my style. But they insisted. Truth be told, I’ve worked there three weeks now and I absolutely love it. Most everyone I work with is awesome and they all have a good sense of humor. Marie and I both are pretty excited to be able to have a baby shower though. Regardless of how many people show up, it’s cool to have people in a new area show an interest and concern for you.

Well, that’s all I have for the immediate moment. I wanted to check in with my vast 4 readers and let you all know we are still alive… I’m willing to bet I won’t have a post up before Amelia comes along, but you betchya I’ll have one not TOO long after. Doing it Daddy Style is still around. . . . just anxiously waiting for there to be a baby to blog about and not just a big ol’ stomach. . . . I am willing to bet there will be a photo or two to go with it. Stay tuned…..

Also, side note . . . . check out the Gender Announcement Video I made for some friends of mine. Way fun stuff:

T-Minus 30 Hours to Gender . . .

  

 

   Just about 30 hours to go until the gender determining ultrasound. I have been looking at more “gender-determining ultrasound photos” than I care to admit. I feel like a weird-o, but I just don’t trust Portsmouth Naval Hospital to get ANYTHING right. Also, you would think those parts are easier to tell apart, but at this stage, no, they are not. They had better be printing the little photos out for us; I’ll be comparing them to 75,452 internet ultrasound photos.

   Everyone keeps thinking that I’ll be disappointed if it’s a girl. I really won’t. Truth be told, if it’s a girl it means I get to do tiny toenails, braid hair, play dress-up, learn to sew princess dresses, and live a frillier fancier home life taking tea with a plethora of stuffed animals… I’m already looking forward to all those things if it turns out to be a girl.

   My only worry is that they will get it wrong. Every guy wants a boy, and if you have read any of my posts to date you know I’m not any different. I won’t be a shred less excited to find out that it’s a girl, but I know that if they say “girl, totally a girl” I am going to assume they are wrong. Not because I don’t want a girl, or because I really want it to be a boy; but because to date I haven’t heard anyone say anything positive about this hospital’s competency, nor could they even manage to get us scheduled correctly (it took three weeks of hassle just to get the appointment made), nor have any of our interactions thus far been positive. Therefore, I don’t expect anything good to come out of this visit, which sucks. We should be looking forward to this, not in any sense dreading it.

   I worry too that my immediate frustration of hearing it’s a girl and worrying that they are wrong will get in the way of my excitement for what it is. “It’s a girl” I’m willing to bet you are wrong. “Excuse me?” Damn, my inside voice got out again . . .

   I am excited to find out though. I’m sure on the brighter side of looking at it, since normally people find out at 18-20 weeks and we are almost at 22 weeks, we’ll get a more defined view and for sure answer.

   I am also looking forward to shooting our gender announcement video. I have drafted a pretty clever little screenplay in my head; I think it’s gonna be pretty great! I’ll of course post it up; we’ll shoot it this week (probably tomorrow evening) and have the announcement uploaded by Friday I am hoping. What a cool world we live in, technologically. Though I did just read about someone who did a movie trailer-like announcement. If only Don LaFontaine were still alive, I would TOTALLY email him asking for the voice over announcing my child’s gender. That would hand’s down be the best way to start your life I think; as narrated by Don LaFontaine.

   So, that’s what is on my mind today. Just got to get through today and noon tomorrow, then it’s off to Satan’s Lair, formally known as Portsmouth Naval. It’s like all the world’s most useless people put into one (not really) working hospital. Stay subscribed, announcement to come!

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