June 10, 2011

Final Countdown Second Time Around

Almost exactly six years ago, I was about to become a father for the first time. With twins. I was scared of the unknown and how being a parent would affect my life. Would I be a good father? Was I ready to do this? How do you know how to take care of a baby – or in our case, two babies?! I can’t speak for my wife but I think we both felt a little of that and by keeping busy preparing for two little ones’ arrival, may have helped us keep the fear to a manageable level.

As I type this, my beautiful wife is in the beginning stages of labor. I’m sure she’s going to do great because she generally does great at anything that matters. I’m also struck by how calm I feel. It’s like being recalled to the Majors vs. being promoted for the first time. I’ve been there before. I know what to expect. And one baby? Please. Piece of cake.

I can already tell how the second child (in our case, third child) turns out so differently, many times, from the first. As parents we do things differently. First, we have older kids that need attention too. Second, we know that certain death does not lurk around every dropped binky or every dust bunny. We relax a little bit and, many times, the child ends up a bit more relaxed as well.

It will be interesting to see how this little one turns out. Will she be the same well-mannered child that Swee’Pea and TheMonk have been so far? Or will she be hell on wheels? Will she be more sweet and more spicy? Will she forever alter our lives in ways that we hadn’t imagined? Will that be a good thing? A bad thing?

Damn. Now I’m scared again.

Stay tuned…

May 22, 2011

You don’t know me

Hi Little One,

You’ll be here in less than three weeks.

Three weeks?! It’s going to fly by, I know. And before you come, I wanted to let you know that I’m really looking forward to you being a part of our family. And before you join us, before you meet me, I wanted to let you know a little bit about me.

I take this fatherhood thing pretty seriously. I feel like it’s my job to make sure you grow up to be a confident, caring, respectful person. I will encourage, love, listen and speak with you. But I will also say no when you really want me to say yes. I feel like it’s my job to raise adults, not children.

Having said that, we’re gonna have fun, Little One. I like to sing out loud (much to everyone’s chagrin), dance like nobody’s watching, color on a rainy Sunday, tickle and blow raspberries and have pillow fights. I’ll sometimes let you eat whipped cream right from the can, throw in chocolate chips into your pancakes or cap a hot Summer’s day at the local frozen yogurt shop. I like to braid hair, snuggle while watching cartoons, read bedtime stories and kiss you gently on your cheek after you’ve fallen asleep.

Now, I’m not perfect. I get grumpy when I’m tired or hungry. I don’t like being late and I’d rather go to the dentist than balance my checkbook.

But no one will love you more than I, Little One. I promise you that.

See you in a few weeks.


December 4, 2010


“You have Boy/Girl twins? Wow! So, you’re totally done having kids!”

I cannot tell you how many times I’ve heard this in the past five and a half years. It’s like we’ve completed the set and now there’s really no reason to have another child. And I think for the first couple of years the wife and I kind of agreed that we were done. I mean, the first year alone almost killed us. The lack of sleep, combined with our general cluelessness was enough to put the thought of ever doing this again way out of our minds.

But then things got easier. We survived breastfeeding (and when I say “we” I mean, “my wife”), double diaper changes, late night feedings, projectile vomiting and mobile toddlers relatively unscathed. Our kids, much to my surprise, turned out pretty well-behaved. They listen most of the time. They put away their things when asked and they mix a mean martini. And even though I still can’t use the bathroom without being interrupted, we began to get a little cocky. This parenting thing? We got this.

So at some point (I don’t remember exactly when but I can tell you that I was 100% sober) I turned to my wife and said, “Let’s do it. Let’s have another.” And she replied, “But what if we have two?” Oh yeah, that. And that had us stumped for a while. As far as I’m concerned my wife is more fertile than Napa Valley. Who knows how many eggs she’s pumping out of there at any given time? Visions of Jon and Kate danced through my head and I envisioned myself begging Oprah to buy us a bigger house or a small bus.

And then there’s the age thing. We’re not getting any younger. In fact, I am now older than my own mother was the day I graduated from High School. I’m old! My wife is younger than I and looks damn good if I do say so myself but even she’s entered an age where pregnancies are higher risk. Did we want to go through with that and all that could entail?

But then I’d look at Swee’Pea and TheMonk as they get on the bus each morning for school and wonder where the time went. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was smelling freshly bathed baby heads and blowing raspberries on baby bellies? Sigh. I missed that. And I know my wife did too. So we looked fate in the eye and said, “Let’s do it. Let’s have another baby.”

And before we knew it, we were blessed with this.

Baby Pic

Baby Pic

Thank God, there’s only one.

Also? It’s a girl. If she’s anywhere as spicy as Swee’Pea is, Lord help us.

June 8, 2005

Sizing it all up

Nothing jolts me into reminding me I’m about to be a father than seeing the baby and children clothing sections in retail stores. I stare at the little clothes in awe and I’m amazed that these little clothes will fit my child. In fact, I have noticed that I am awful at judging sizes of baby clothes. When I see these little shirts and shorts and skirts I almost always think, “Hey that’s an outfit we can bring the babies home from the hospital in.” However, when I go look at the size it almost always says 3-6 months or even 6-9 months! I guess that’s something that will come with experience.

On a similar note, the other day I took a shortcut through the pre-teen clothing section at Target on my way to pick up some baby items. On my way, I happened to glance at the display on my left only to realize I was walking through the training bra and pre-teen bra section. My life fast-forwarded 12 to 13 years from now and the fact that Swee’Pea will be shopping for these. I said a small prayer thanking God that my wife will be taking care of this one.

June 7, 2005

The Law of Physics

After a marathon Target shopping spree for last minute baby items, Andrea declares she’s hungry and suggests the local burger restaurant as a place to eat. I agree and we head over to the restaurant. We are seated in a manner of minutes and the host leads Andrea and I past a bunch of tables and booths on our way to seat us. The theme of the restaurant is Hawaiian and surf boards and palm fronds adorn the walls. Televisions throughout the restaurant are showing Xtreme sports like kite surfing and mountain bike riding. The restaurant is crowded and Andrea is drawing her usual stares at the size of her belly as we pass through. The host shows us to a booth where I slide in quickly on my side. I turn to watch Andrea as she sits on the bench and turns to slide into her side of the booth. But there’s a problem. Andrea’s belly bumps into the table as she makes a quarter turn to face me. All three of us, me, Andrea and the host realize at the same time that the booth won’t do – Andrea’s belly is too big. Andrea starts to laugh and I join in. I glance around to the booths around us and, it seems, that no one missed the pregnant lady trying to squeeze into a booth. People are laughing (with us, Honey, not at us) as Andrea stands. A woman across from us exclaims, “I hope that baby is due soon!” The host quickly stammers, “I was going to sit you at the table back there, but there wasn’t a chair! I’ll go get one right now.” He scurries off to find a chair. In a matter of seconds we are seated at a table.

After the host leaves, Andrea and I look at each other and laugh.

June 5, 2005

The Belly Chronicles

Andrea has mentioned to me in the past that whenever she goes out people always make comments about her pregnancy. Today, I had a chance to see what she means. We went to see a one man play called The Male Intellect: An Oxymoron and at least three people, in my presence, made comments about Andrea’s belly. All comments were along the lines of “Wow, it must be any day ’til you’re due!”

Since Andrea is having twins, she has been getting these remarks for the past two to three months. But she won’t be getting those questions much longer!

June 1, 2005

Play Date

We had a doctor’s appointment with our OB today. From our last ultrasound we learned that while Swee’Pea is head down (good girl!), TheMonk has decided to lounge horizontally across Andrea’s womb (Son, we’re going to have to have a talk when you get out). So, it looks like we’re headed for a C-Section. We scheduled the date today (Andrea wants it to be a surprise so you’ll just have to stay tuned) and now I know exactly when my life will change forever.

Only XX more days!

May 30, 2005

Here’s one way to pay for the babies

Why didn’t I think of this A woman has decided to sell advertising space on her baby. We’ve got two babies on the way and we could make some serious cash with double the advertising space available.

If you have a business out there, let’s talk.

May 15, 2005

Peace, Love, Believe, Hope, Dream

As Andrea and I wrapped up the finishing touches on the nursery, we found a wallpaper border that spoke volumes for what I envision for Swee’Pea and TheMonk. I am four weeks, at most, from being a father and all I think about is these two precious souls that I will be meeting soon. I am now, more than any other time in my life, acutely aware of who I am, and who I will have to be once these gifts are born. I am ready to be a father. I’m ready to foster joy, encourage dreams, give unconditional love, share hopes, know peace and teach an unadulterated belief in themselves.

I’m aware of the influence I will have on these children – good or bad. I know there will be hardships but I also know each moment will be special and not to be taken for granted. You see, impending fatherhood has given me a real sense of my own mortality. My father died when I was six years old. While I have vague memories of him I believe most of my memories are created through photographs that I have seen over the years. I do, however, remember how he smelled. To this day, whenever I smell something that conjures up the image of my father, I feel comforted.

At least I have a sense of who my father was. My younger brother was only a year old when he died and, I’m sure, has no real recollection of him. I can only imagine how hard it must be to have no memory of your father. I have always done the best I can to be there for my brother but I know that there is no substitute for the real thing.

And that has got me thinking about my own situation. I so badly want to be there for my children. I want to see their first smiles, their first steps, hear their first words, hear them say “Daddy” for the first time. I want to see them play sports, play music, or just… play. I look forward to seeing them grow up – a series of milestones that include baptisms, first communions, first days of kindergarten, graduations, marriages and grandchildren. I want them to know how much their father loves them and that I will always be there for them – in a way I, nor my brother, never had.

When I was younger I often wondered if I would know what it is to be a father. Not having a father role-model made me scared that perhaps I wouldn’t be up for the task. But now, I know better. The love I have for these two beautiful babies leads my thoughts and my actions. Love comes first and I know that love is enough to start.

The rest I’m just gonna have to figure out.

Image hosted by Photobucket.com

May 4, 2005

Baby News

We had a doctor’s appointment today. Andrea is doing great but her belly is now the size of someone who is 10 months pregnant. Andrea told the doctor about a sharp pain she feels on the left side of her belly when she applies pressure to a specific spot. The doctor surmised it’s painful due to ligaments attached to her uterus being stretched beyond what one would normally expect. Ouch.

The rest of the visit was a good one. The babies are still high up and the cervix is still closed. The doctor shared with us that he wants us to get to 38 1/2 weeks before we have the babies but would be thrilled if we got past 36 weeks. Right now we are at 32 1/2 weeks. That means we have six more weeks (at the most) until the babies are born. For so long I’ve been equating our weeks as months and somehow “2 months away” sounds a lot further than saying “8 weeks away.” Now that we’ve reached 4 to 6 weeks until parenthood, it makes it even more real and exciting.

The only down side right now is that Andrea has a virus and it’s making her miserable. We’re talking about her leaving work in two more weeks but I’d support her if she wanted to stop now. She’s a trooper though, so she just might stick it out. Of course, the longer she waits to take off before the babies are born, the longer she can stay with the babies before returning to work.

On that note, I found out today that the Y will let me use my sick and vacation time if I use the Paid Family Leave (which will pay me 60% of my salary) to make my paycheck “whole.” This means that I won’t have to use all of my sick time to stay home with the babies for the 7 to 8 weeks that I was hoping to. Isn’t it great we leave in a time where fathers can take time off to be with their babies I feel very fortunate.

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