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…



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


   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:

Bump Photos, Baby Movements and Moments to Remember . . .

Baby bump photos.

Let me explain to you how much nagging it takes to get a photographer to take his own baby bump photos. My mother, who does have a very valid point, has been pestering for me to take baby bump photos since the moment she found out that we were, in fact, having a baby.

“Is she showing yet? Get the baby bump photos. Oh I am so excited, have you done the photos yet? You NEED to do the photos, Matthew, time is going to fly by and you are going to miss it and you’ll never be able to get it back… It’s going to be too late really soon…”

Every. Single. Phone call.

She had a very valid point indeed though. My little girl isn’t even born and I am already almost missing moments. How is this happening? Two days ago we found out we were pregnant, now she’s 23 weeks along…

So, I took time out to get my baby bump photos.

   As a one-man photo band, I have learned that when prepping to do stationery formal portraits, I am my own best lighting model. Thanks, timer function.

   It’s also important to have a qualified lighting technician to help. In this case, Fletch, one of our two labradoodles, would have to suffice…

So, after getting the light set up (yes, for you photo nerds out there… ONE light. Keep it simple… It looks just fine!) and figuring out how the reflector would need to be placed to fill the camera right side of her face in (ah, alright photo nerds, one light AND a reflector. . . you got me…) and waking Marie up from her evening before bed nap, we took us some baby bump photos. Good thing we did it when we did, in the last few days she has blown up! Her belly is getting bigger literally every day. It’s amazing to watch happen.

   In the final dog photo, we thought it only fair to Dexter to let him be in the photo. He has pretty much become Marie’s dog. Side note, labradoodles… really great dogs.

    Aside from posting my glamour shots and photos of my lovely ladies, however, I wanted to talk within my blog which is supposed to be all about documenting stuff and whatnot, about these moments.

   Moments are what make up our lives. They are the only things that can and do create a memory. You don’t have memories about every meal, trip to the grocery store or casual outing to the local Wal-mart.You have memories about events and happenings throughout your life. Good or bad, a moment is what writes your path through life. Already, before my daughter is even born into this world, we are experiencing these moments. Watching Marie’s belly grow and knowing that my little girl is in there getting bigger by the day gets me all choky and teary. It’s also made me download every song I could find relating to fathers and daughters. It’s my drive to work playlist now…

These photos are the first set of photos saying “Here is my daughter; better get ready world, ‘cause it’s about to be on.”

For the first time since this pregnancy began I got the chance last night while laying next to Marie to really feel her movement. Before now, there has been the occasional ‘I think that was a kick’ or ‘Yeah, I kinda felt something I think…’ Marie was already passed out asleep, and as I laid down and assumed the hand on the belly and ‘goodnight talk’ I give to my little girl, I felt her kick. Then again, and again and again again again. I laid there in the dark feeling her do somersaults and perfecting her cartwheels already. Elbow dropping mommy’s spine. . . . nice, kiddo.

That little section of time, however, will live in my mind for the rest of my life. I laid there talking to my little girl, feeling her practicing for the 2028 gymnastic uneven bar Olympics’ team, getting to really FEEL my daughter’s life for the first time.

It’s the start of a rapid path that has no brakes. The further you get, I would imagine the steeper the path seems and the faster it flies by. But for now I’ll do what I can to enjoy every kick and movement, every random pregnancy craving that takes me to Wal-Mart at ten at night, and every moment that will help to create the memories that will soon be my daughter’s first years of life. Much, much more coming. . . stay close.


The Gender Video. And Some Words On My Views . . .

Time for you to know, my fair readers. Boy??? Or Girl????? Only clicking play will tell. I suppose you could skip the video and just read further down, but what fun is that. It’s only a minute and a half. Hit play, you’ll be glad you did. DON’T let your eyes wander or you’ll miss the fun . . . .



So, yup. A girl! A Boy. A Girl? A Boy!! Did you watch the video?? If you did, you’ll know this whole line is just a ploy to keep wandering eyes confused. . . go hit play and watch the video . . . .

A girl! Really this time, now that you have watched the video, you know that Amelia is the name and it’s actually, factually a girl! Now we just have to decide who among our friends and family we want  thinking is our favorite relative, because that’s all we are getting for middle name recommendations.

“You know, my middle name comes from my Grandmother’s side on her father’s side and was passed down for 6 generations…”

Yeah, but YOUR middle name would make my daughter sound KIIINDA hooker’ish. No offense.

   A little girl.

   She’s not dating until she’s 28ish. And I need to buy a fancy gun to show off to all her little boyfriends. Hopefully we’ll live on land by the time she is dating age, so whenever her new boyfriends come over, I can take them out back, give them a meaningful speech and show them how I can pick off a squirrel running away from me at 100 yards.

See that son, that there is how you… uh, I mean the squirrel, would run if that squirrel broke my daughter’s heart. . . . The bigger the target, the easier the shot. I’d say you’re about a hundred times bigger than that squirrel…..I learned that shootin’ technique while I was bein’ a CIA NAVY SEAL for the FBI; fashioning weaponry out of stones and turtle shells in Cambodia near Buffalo. . . .  Have her home by nine. . .

“Your dad’s kinda crazy..”

Job Done. 

   Seriously though, I have come to the following decision regarding why I was given a girl. I have been looking forward to having a kid since I was like 15. A tiny little sidekick. I have already been preparing and anxiously awaiting to love it more than I can even understand. Only a little girl can handle and deal with being so loved though. Little boys writhe away and refuse it because they get too cool and just don’t like being liked… but a little girl will just twist you around her finger that much more and lap it up. And I am already ok with that. I am going to be the biggest pushover parent ever.

   Not, however, in the sense that my little girl will get anything she wants. Or that she can get stuff by throwing fits. Let’s not get confused here. I won’t hesitate to drop an elbow here and there.

   But, like I’ve said before, little girls were made to be spoiled. So, that’s just what I’ll do. 

   Well, that’s all for now. Short post with a big announcement! We’ve been pretty swamped with Marie’s orders and trying to figure out what’s happening, when we are moving, where are we even moving to and just general life getting in the way of daily perfection.  Refresh your browser often…. More coming soon (including our few baby bump photos)!



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!


My Life: Baby-Goggled.


 I’m amazed at how differently I have been looking at life. Every little thing in the back of my head is about my kid now. However, probably not in the way most parents think… or maybe it is?

-Stuck in traffic this morning, I started thinking about how terrible it would be to get stuck in traffic with grouchy kids in the car. How do I entertain them while also dealing the plight of rush-hour traffic? I don’t think I could handle listening to Miley Cyrus or that Bieber kid sing about boyfriends while also having to suppress road rage.

-While walking through Wal-Mart, I start noticing all the things that my kid would probably grab off the shelf. There are a lot of cleaners sitting low; and the electronics section is suddenly a game of “How quickly could I go broke if my kid smashed all THAT on the ground . . .” 

-Everything I eat makes me hope that my kid doesn’t have food allergies. They always want whatever you are eating and I’d hate to have to tell my kid no on the premise of health issues. “Daddy doesn’t share!!” No, dad doesn’t want you to swell up like the blueberry girl in Willy Wonka.

   On a more serious note, another thing I have been really concerned with is the “today’s generation” way of growing up. There are a lot of things I really don’t think I’d be able to let me kid do. Things that I just don’t think are healthy.

   Examples: sitting inside all day playing on a video game, watching a hefty chunk of today’s television; the shows are complete garbage, never being kicked out of the house to go play in the backyard.

   Activities where the brain doesn’t really have to work at all. There is not a shred of creativity or imagination happening when a kid’s eyeballs are glued to a 3Ds.

   Imagination is a rarely found thing it would seem nowadays. Where you used to turn a pine cone, a magnifying glass and an ant pile into a dragon and a castle; now you just play a game and stare at a screen with dragons and castles. While countless ants’ lives have indeed been spared from the wrath of the magnifying glass; kids just don’t do the same things they used to do to probe their imagination. They are called legos. Make a castle or a moon rover or something. . . .

   I know other parents will be quick to judge, “No cable? Can’t have fast food? ONLY get to play video games an hour and a half per day during the week?! What kind of a poverty-stricken family must you come from?!”

   What must surely follow from these decisions is either being picked on at school for not having those things at home, or my kid coming home and complaining about all the ‘cool things’ their friends have, watch and get to do.

“Dad, I wanna be a Jersey Girl, like the ones on Jenny’s TV!”

Well, we weren’t going to abandon you in the streets, but, maybe we should reconsider such things…  

   Or worse, giving my child an honest answer as to why they aren’t allowed to watch or do some of the things their friends do.  . . Then having to explain to the other kid’s parents why my kid is ‘insulting’ their kid at school later.

“Listen, I didn’t actually SAY your daughter is a hussie and your son is a gangsterific thugster. What I SAID was you let your daughter watch shows like Tiara Toddlers and Jersey Wives, and that she wears clothes that were run through a shredder and show more skin than a Maxim shoot. As for any comments about your son, maybe you don’t know this, but he wears his pants around his shins and I’ve heard less foul language from an Eminem album. I think my daughter understands that such a lifestyle leads inevitably to “hussyism” and “thuggery” and therefore drew her own conclusions. . . kids today, eh?”

   Yup. I can confidently say I am pretty sure this conversation will actually happen at least once within the next 10 years. At least.

Sometimes, however, there are the times when, at least to me, it’s just what would seem to be common sense for ‘not letting your kids do…’

“Well, you don’t have kids, so don’t judge. You can’t understand until you actually have kids…”

He’s six years old and punching things off the shelf and stomping on them. I am pretty sure he needs his little butt whipped, or a time-out or something!

“Oh, it’s that simple is it? Just resort to spanking him? Oh, I wish I would have known, thanks Dr. Phil with the years of experience in caring for children. You should write a book or something . . .”

All I’m saying is maybe you shouldn’t let him punch things off the shelf and run around the store destroying stuff. He’s STILL doing it. Are you going to pay for all the stuff he’s broken?

“They shouldn’t put expensive things down low where kids can grab it. Someday you’ll understand when you have kids…”

   Anyways, as we get closer to there actually being a wee-baby around, I have found myself evaluating “what I would do” whenever we are out in public. It’s not that I’m judging people; I’m just always wondering if I would let my kid do certain things. We’ll find out soon enough…

So that’s the latest I suppose. Nothing too new to report. We are anxiously counting down the days until the ultrasound and all I do is think about things like this all day. It’s kinda nerve-wracking. Well, keep an eye out, more coming soon . . .


The Cheetus Fetus and a Quick Recap


Well, it’s been three weeks since a real post here on Doing It Daddy Style. I guess a combination of vacation, general life busyness and a severe traffic jam of ideas in my brain have all kept me from making real progress here… Which is kinda also what this post is; that idea traffic jam spilled onto the screen. We’ll call it a quick catch-up.


The progress of our wee-fetus? Currently at 20 weeks. . .  We have come up with some great names based on my iPhone’s app telling us all the technical happenings in the week-by-week development.


Last week we found out that there is this “…cheese-like substance starting to cover [our] baby…called Vernix.”


Armed with this knowledge, a conversation ensued that ended with the new nickname “The Cheetus. The cheesy Fetus Mom-to-be’s know and love.” To be read in the (no pun intended) cheesiest sales announcer voice you can muster.


It has also been brought to my attention by Marie that Noah is apparently out of the running for a boy name. We made it five months under the premise of this being the name. And now it’s out. Cue my mother’s ‘I told you so’ on the never-ending name game. I thought we were doing well with such name desiciveness so early.


The biggest issue that surrounds this picking of the boy name is that it has to flow verbally with the middle name Dale. It’s become a pass down along my father’s side of the family… So, I am casually doomed to using it. Not that I mind in anyway, it’s just kind of a crunchy name to pair with something else when said.


And now that our wee-cheetus can hear, I have been giving it updates on the world every once in a while. Mostly I inform s/he of the things that it won’t be doing, such as talking back, not eating vegtables, throwing tantrums. . . . My kid is going to be a perfect angel. I tell it all about the latest events around the house, like the dogs licking their butts and such. My kid is in the know in the most local of news.


Another week and a half and we’ll know the gender. More than excited to know either way. We should have found out by now, but thanks to the Navy medical system and an “employee” that sits at the scheduling desk with the phone off the hook….. it took two and a half weeks JUST to get an appointment scheduled.

On the plus side, when they do look to see what’s happening in the Cheetus Nether regions, there will be much less question one way or the other.


Here in the U.S. we had Father’s day this past Sunday. It was awkward getting texts and phone calls with people telling ME happy Father’s Day.


“Oh yeah, that’s right . . . “ was my average response. It’s not that I forgot my kid, it’s that I forgot this day finally applies to me.


The father of a Cheetus. Wonder if I could get a bumper sticker or a shirt with that on it. Instead of “Proud Dad-to-be…” I could advertise my “Proud Parent of a Wee-Cheetus” status. Like an honor roll, but cheesier.


Well, having not really said anything useful thus far, I suppose it’s time to wrap this post up. Back to the name drawing board (BOO! sound effects from the crowd in my brain… ) and counting down the days until the 26th when we get our ultrasound. Gender defined shopping, here we come. Keep close, more coming. . . .