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///

The Best Feeling Ever? Being a Dad.

This is going to be a hard post to write. How do you explain the experience of becoming a dad? Amazing. Intense. Emotional. Awesome. All of the above for 500 please, Alex.

So, if you are keeping track of every post, you know Amelia Renee Williams is finally here. If you aren’t keeping track of every post…. Amelia Renee Williams is finally here. Now you know. And she is amazingly perfect. Healthy, cute and coming in at 9.3 pounds when born and 22″ long, she is a “my sized” baby. Keep in mind, I’m 6’5”… big is normal. Poor Marie had to deliver her though….

   Marie went into labor about 11:30 at night on Wednesday. At 3:07 PM on Thursday, November 8th of 2012, Amelia finally decided to make her grand appearance into the world. I would like to proudly say that I ended up getting a pretty front row seat to everything, the midwives at the hospital had me kinda holding a leg and being RIGHT there, so I watched her…. pop out, for a gently put description. I handled it like a champ, it really wasn’t as gross or dramatic (ok, well, it was dramatic, it’s BIRTH, but grossly dramatic is what I mean) as everyone makes it out to be. They wrangled her out, the cord got caught around her neck (just like her daddy when I was born) flipped her around like baby wrangling pros, and set her on Marie. I lost. My. Mind, people.

(sorry about the shirt, this is what happens when she goes into labor at 11
at night, pajama top and jeans over pajama bottom… it’s a cartoon reference
of the movie Braveheart, for everyone’s understanding…)

   I have never experienced such emotion in my entire life. There was an overwhelming flood of love and excitement. I did everything I could to keep it together and remain “manly” but within a few seconds I was crying. They asked me if I wanted to cut the cord and even though I know it’s not going to squirt blood everywhere and flail around like a fire hose, I decided against cutting through veins and organy stuff. My response to the midwife was “I’ve done pretty good with everything else, but that’s not really my thing.” or something very close. She chuckled, but I was dead serious. That’s the only thing that totally weirded me out through it all… cut the cord….. eeesh.

   As they picked Amelia up to take her over to the table to clean her up and check her out, one of the midwives told me I could go over to her if I wanted. Of course I did, but I was still holding Marie’s leg. So after sorting out what to do with a leg post-birth and no stirrup… I headed over to her.

It’s interesting that mother nature, or God, or science or whatever, creates such an emotional response in a man. The woman has to go through labor and all that, so you would expect some sort of a chemical trigger or emotion that would cause them to bond on sight. But I wouldn’t have thought that kind of a process happens in a man. Going into it all I knew when I saw her for the first time that I would be excited and filled with love, but I had no idea what I was in for. It was the most intense experience of my life. I stood there staring down at a life that I had created. I am responsible for. This tiny little person (for lack of a better word) belongs to me. The nurse guy wrapped her up and handed her off to me. And I was a step away from bawling. Completely overcome with excitement, love, joy, contentment, amazement…. I suddenly understood exactly what a father’s love for his daughter meant. Unexplainable, overpowering and insanely intense emotion. Holding her for the first time, I was overcome with a sense of peace and happiness. I was absolutely instantly in love with her.

   We are now five days in. I have changed all but three of her diapers, I figure I shouldn’t short Marie of all the fun. I did, however, hog her the first day home though. Marie’s mother Kathy is staying with us visiting from Hawaii, she’s all but drop kicking me to free up her granddaughter for a few minutes to be able to hold her.

   Holding my little girl is already when the universe becomes still for me. Every time I look down at her in my arms, my soul is quiet, happy and content. She may be in the middle of a crying fit and it’s 2:30 in the morning, but I’m happy just holding her and getting to go through being a dad. Being her dad. It’s an unexplainable feeling and the more I try to find words, the cheesier it seems to get. But the seemingly intense cheesiness is as close as I can get. Like everyone who has kids had told me about the feeling I’d get the first time I saw her and every time I look at her, you just have to experience it.

   Well, I suppose it’s time to go get some sleep while I have the chance. We’ll be up in a couple of hours trying to get a five-day-old infant through yet another life shattering dirty diaper crisis. Honestly though, lucky for us, she is pretty mild-mannered. She only gets bent out of shape long enough for us to figure out what’s wrong and fix it, then she’s back to being happy.

   Time for bed. Can’t believe she’s finally here. It’s awesome and I am already trying to savor every second of it. More coming soon, stay close…

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Sweet Emotions, Like an Onion in My Pocket . . .

So.

   Gonna be a DAD. It keeps hitting me at random times. And when it hits me I am forced to swallow the pit I get in my throat and try not to get all teary. I’m a man. The only time I cry is when I’m dicing jalapenos and onions with karate chops for a delicious dip. (That’s not even true, I have an AMAZING chopper/cutter/dicer thingie-ma-doo that I LOVE. Seriously guys, this thing rocks, but anyways, back to the point)

   I have never had an experience where just the thought of it gets my eyes all watery. I am so overwhelmed with love and excitement for this kid already. But it can come at the, not best, of times.

   I am a wedding photographer. Well, I am an anything people photographer, but I was shooting a wedding this weekend and it hit me again, while shooting the parent/children dances. The mother/daughter, mother/son and in particular, the father/daughter. I watched as both of them in every dance are overcome with emotion and love for the other.  It didn’t help that they had songs like “Butterfly Kisses” playing and all I could think about was holding my kid for the first time. My eyes were getting all watery, my chin was wobbling like an elephant on a tight rope. It was a sudden madhouse of emotion in my head. The people watching hopefully didn’t notice  ME…. “I think the photographer is a little unstable. He started crying during the dances . . . . . a little odd, that one. . . .”

   It made me realize that while I would love my child regardless of its gender, ( well, regardless of anything but for the sake of my next statement we’ll go with the simple statement of regardless of gender)  I am incapable of wrapping my head around how much I would love and in a sense fear for having a little girl, and I think it’s one of the reasons I want a boy.

   With a boy, you want them to get out there and experience the world. Fall off the bike, eat the dirt, ask the girl out, “learn to accept rejection, boy, that’s called the harsh reality of life and unless you want to be a pansy your whole life, you better learn to deal with it.”

   Toughen them up for the world. It’s rough out there and you have to get ready for it.

   But, with a little girl, it seems to be such an opposite concept. I’ll want to run next to the bike to keep her safe, put a blanket over the dirt for all her dolls and keeping her clothes clean and dating isn’t an option until she’s 20 and even then they aren’t leaving the house until I’ve gotten the background check on that boy back from the FBI. (It’s ok, they can leave now, I’ll just wear a dark outfit and sit in the back of the theater with a flashlight ready for that hand to creep up in a stretching position. “HANDS OFF, BUD. . . .”)

   I think one of the reasons, maybe subconsciously, that us guys want a little boy is that, at least the way I see it, the fear of that extra emotional need to shield a little girl from the harshness and hurt that is, or can be, life.  That’s a terrifying responsibility that you HAVE to fail at if you want your kid to grow up and function in the world. The only way to call it a success is how you allow it to happen; if you manage to make it to certain ages before certain realities occur.

   Either way, boy or girl though, I can’t help but get a little choked up every time I think about it. I am going to be a Dad. I have looked forward to having kids since I was like 14. It’s an exciting thought. Yeah, there’s the first year where it’s just changing diapers and being up for, well, what I hear is pretty much the entire year. But then you get a little buddy to do stuff with. Someone who thinks you are one of the two coolest people in the whole world.

   See, even now, getting all emotional over it.

   Dammit. I need to carry an onion and cream cheese in my pocket at all times.

Co-worker: “What’s wrong with you?”

Me: “Oh, nothing, these onions get me every time”

Co-worker: “You keep onions in your pocket?”

Me: “Never know when you’ll need to make a good party dip…”

Co-worker (walking away): “So weird. . . . I hope he doesn’t take ME hostage when he loses his mind…”

   Jokes aside. I am still discovering my excitement. I think I am excited, and then I realize, I hadn’t even realized, and that keeps happening over and over.

   But when things around me happen that involve my thinking about it being a girl, I get extra choked up. I have come to the realization that I do want a little girl, even more than I want a boy, BUT . . . I don’t know that I am ready for that extra feeling of responsibility. Boys are hardy. They are more like a test run for parenting a little girl because as a man I can relate more to him, he’ll be his own person I’m sure; but a boy is more like me, and a boy can handle a scratched knee and learn to outwit the kids when they make fun of him at school. A little girl, I’m going to be on the doorstep of those kids’ houses demanding apologies because no one is going to treat my little girl like that.

   Every kid gets put on a pedestal by their parents, boy or girl. But, the boys are more apt to fall off, take the pedestal apart and figure it out. A girl will sit there and proudly be.

   I’m not ready to have a daddy’s girl. Because I am too emotional I think. I’m never going to be able to say no to my little girl, and she’s going to get spoiled rotten and I’ll happily let her wrap me around her finger.  

   They say (you know, they, the all-knowing people we learn from on the internet) that when looking for a boyfriend or girlfriend, life-long kinda parter, we subconsciously look for someone like our opposite gender parent. I will want to spoil my little girl because that’s what her future husband should be compared to when she thinks of how she was treated as a kid and wants to be treated her whole life.

 

   If, by now in the post, you are still here, thanks for listening. This is a rambling post for sure, more meant to be a documenting the process and capturing my feelings in the now, kinda thing. It’s part of this blog’s purpose.

   So, as I continue to realize the concept that I guess is “A Father’s love . . . “ I’m sure I’ll have a few more posts just letting the world, mainly my family and friends, as well as those looking for a new Dad-to-be’s views and opinions, into my brain. I’ll make a “ramblings” category so you’ll know what you’re getting into before you even start the blog ;) Stay tuned!

 

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