Parenting WIN

This is probably only worth reading if you have a child but I wanted to share a parenting victory I had tonight with Aliana while Lilly was working late.

"Daddy's Little Angel"

“Daddy’s Little Angel”

When we got home from daycare (school) I broke down a rotisserie chicken I picked up with Aliana and made a pot of rice (yes, I can make a seasoned pot of rice on the stove). While I was tearing it apart I asked Ali if she wanted some chicken to which she replied,

“No dad, no chicken. I want bar (Earth’s Best). I want cone (sugar cone). I want a orange. I want fishies (Goldfish crackers).”

I told her no, it was time for dinner, and chicken and rice is for dinner. She wasn’t thrilled, she’s never thrilled with dinner time. I don’t think it’s the food, I think it’s just the word, dinner.

Then she got louder (because that’s effective right?), “No Dad! No dinner! I want special snack in the living room!”

I ignored her request, then repeated myself. Once her plate was ready I put her in her highchair and after a lot of screaming and squirming, I won (this is not the victory, just a battle). During this process and many others she has recently learned to flat out YELL at me. Her NO’s get progressively louder, “no, No, NO! NOOOOO!!!” Then she yells a deep “AHHHHHHHGG!!!” and does this until she gets thrown, I’m sorry, I mean placed in space. After a few times of yelling a verbal warning from me, she took space as expected. I slid her chair to a corner in the kitchen and told her to let me know when she was done. After about a minute went by I asked her if she was done.

“No,” she replied.

“Okay, you let me know,” I said.

After about another minute I walked over and, face-to-face, asked if she was done and wanted to come back to the table with Daddy. I told her that I really wanted her to join me for dinner. She still muttered a “no, no dinner,” but then I told her if she took one bite that she could get out of her highchair. She agreed with a smile and took her bite of chicken. I asked her if it was good, she said yes. Go figure, chicken being good. I asked her if she wanted more, she said yes, and so she joined me at the table and happily ate her chicken and rice with Daddy. We had a great talk and enjoyed each others company.

The notable thing here is even though I was 100% annoyed/frustrated by her resistance to dinner, chicken, rice and even the fresh Poland Spring water I put in her sippy cup, I didn’t let her know how I was feeling as I have previous times. I didn’t once get loud or even a little loud. I spoke calmly, quietly, and followed through on everything I said. This really set the tone for the rest of the evening. She has been happy and playful since dinner and was super excited when mommy came home. That, I call a VICTORY.

Near Death Experience

How badly can you piss off your wife before she kills you? You could do what my dad did. After spending a very eventful day in San Francisco full of fun, laughing, and pictures, my dad unintentionally erased it all, ALL of it. On the ferry ride back to our hotel late that night he found the format function on the digital camera, couldn’t determine if he was on “yes” or “no” and clicked. He ended up clicking “yes,” thus reformatting the memory card and deleted every single photo off the camera. Needless to say that was the most awkward hour I’ve ever spent with my family. I thought my mom was going to combust.

Today, I made a similar decision. I suppose it was bound to happen. I’ve been spending a lot of time cleaning up my electronic clutter. Deleting useless files, programs and documents that are just clutter all over my desktop and scattered through my computer folders. In performing that task that I stumbled across two databases on my web host account. I deleted one I knew was garbage and deleted a second I thought was associated with the first. Well what is it that happens when we assumes? That’s right, we “make an ass out of you and me.” In this case however, I made a double ass out of myself. I deleted the database for this blog, deleting EVERYTHING including Lilly’s entire birth story. When I realized what I did I nearly threw up in my cubicle and immediately messaged Lilly.

After sweating it out and gagging at my desk for 20 minutes for her to finally get the message thinking she’d strangle me through my computer monitor before she responding, she remained calm. She had mercy on her poor husband and let me live! Long enough to write this anyway. She also told me to call our web host company. By the grace of God himself, my hosting company has a free service where they backup your account every single day and recovered my deleted database, and thus this blog. Who knew? Thank you BlueHost! You know not only saved my life today, but let me feel a sense of relief and joy I haven’t felt since my daughter took her first breath. Whew!

10 Months Old!

Aliana is now 10 months old! I still cannot believe I’m a father to one of God’s children. I’m not sure if it’s encouraging or downright jaw-dropping to think God has given me sole responsibility, along with my wife of course, to care for her; to tell me plain as day He has enough faith in me to turn Aliana into a kind, loving, follower of Christ who will be a great contributing member of the world. It’s been a challenge though for me to share God’s confidence in myself, as I’ve quickly learned I’m an overprotective paranoid father who fears everything from dirt to her own baby poo is going to hurt her. It’s difficult to take a breath sometimes, but Aliana never fails to show me regularly she is a big kid who can handle new experiences. I bet she looks at me thinkging, “take a chill pill dad and watch me figure things out on her own. Support me, don’t stand there in a panic.” Needless to say I’m a work-in-progress.

Aliana on the other hand, is perfect. She’s surpassing any expectations I thought I had about who my daughter would be as a 10-month old. She has a high tolerance to pain, can control all sorts of foods in her mouth, and repeat actions like, “If I bang this it will make noise.” It’s been eye-opening to see the wheels-turning, really watching her learn something she didn’t know just moments before. It’s something new each week with her, I hope it never ends. Until I’m old and senile I hope she’ll continue to call me telling me what new thing she learned that week. Heck, even after I’m senile, she may even have more fun telling me then!

First Family Christmas

I know we have seriously lacked in keeping up with our family blog, but it’s safe to say we have made it to our first Christmas as a family. Aliana turned 7 months last Thursday and is learning more and more each day. Lilly and I are still working our Mon-Fri day jobs and Aliana still attends the same daycare.

Parenting has been an incredible experience thus far. Our precious Aliana is an amazing little girl who always finds new ways to make us smile. She’s a thriving social butterfly who smiles at nearly everyone she meets and is not only a joy to us, but to those around her. She turns heads when we we’re out and about, loves exploring her surroundings and snuggling with mommy and daddy on Saturday mornings. She loves walking and isn’t interested in crawling. She’s learning how to better her motor skills and tries so hard to put EVERYTHING she gets her hands on into her mouth.

I will make a blog post of just Ali pictures soon to catch you all up on the past few months.

As with all families we too have been experiencing the common family struggles with regards to minor injuries, illnesses, finances, neighbors, etc. They’re usually short-lived, are quickly forgotten and easily left in the past.

There are more details and in depth stories to follow, but right now it’s time to get back to eating and Christmas movies.

I Still Can’t Believe We’re Parents

It’s been nearly 4 months since our little Aliana has entered our world and parenthood continues to be everything I never thought it would be (don’t worry, I don’t mean that negatively). It’s incredible how unbeknownst to Ali, she is so deeply reliant on us to care for her, raise her, and turn her into a self-reliant, independent member of society. I tell myself everyday I hope I can do right by her as she grows and develops. I hope I can provide her all the opportunities and tools necessary to allow her to succeed at whatever she does.

As I think about how the responsibilities associated with parenthood, I realize they are far greater than I ever thought they would be, and I’ve been thinking about it since I was 3. Even during Lilly’s pregnancy I still had no real idea what I was getting myself into. I always knew I would do what was necessary and required of me, but it’s been an eye opener. I am beginning to truly understand the daily challenges my parents faced while raising me, and I can’t imagine what it was like for them raising twins (my brothers) along with a 5 year old (me). Lord knows how they put me through 9 years of hockey. I have a newfound respect for them both and continue to seek guidance and parental advice from them.

Those Eyes

As I look into Ali’s eyes, I wish I could remove every challenge and stressful situation she is going to encounter throughout her life. Even now I wish I could prevent every pout and cry she makes when she’s in pain dealing with acid reflux, when she frustrated because mommy and daddy don’t understand her, or when she’s bored and stir-crazy. Knowing full well life has it’s own agenda, I am very aware I cannot remove the trials and tribulations she will face, but I hope she knows daddy would if he could.

Ali’s First MAJOR STORM… annnd she had no idea!

Hurricane Irene came up the Eastern Coastline this weekend and ruined the lives of many in the process. For us in the northeast Irene had significantly weakened by the time her heavy rains and strong winds made their way into the Capital District. The rain and wind were rough but they weren’t the real issue, it was the major flooding following the storm. Damage caused by floodwaters in the region have been flatout unreal, never before seen by New Yorkers who have lived here since birth. I am so thankful we were spared the devastation experienced by others not more than a few miles from us. We pray for those severely affected and hope they can see the light in a dark time.

On a more encouraging note, Ali didn’t seem to be bothered one bit by the crazy media coverage during the storm, the storm itself, or the power outage. All she cared about was the book Daddy was reading her while she contently sat in her new pink Bumbo chair.

Story Time!

It’s amazing how a 3 month old can get so excited over things so simple. I’m envious of her pure facination with the world around her. The first 5 minutes of reading her a book is the most wonderful experience because she is so focused on the pictures and speaks out all kinds of baby gibberish. Laughing, cooling, basically enthralled by Daddy’s voice and the variety of colors on the pages. It’s a real privilege to see the direct affect I have on my child and how she relies solely on the care and love of Lilly and I. We are 100% responsible for her and I hope she can feel the love we give her and the safety we provide her.

3 MONTHS!

Ali officially turned 3 months yesterday! Woohoo! It’s funny how each month of her life is a milestone I feel requires a celebration. We didn’t do much though, just not enough hours in the day. We laughed and played in the evening for a bit, gave Ali a warm bath, and fed her to sleep. After Ali fell asleep Lilly and I had some much needed mommy/daddy R&R, resulting in a pretty stress-free evening. It’s so nice Ali goes to sleep at night without arguing about it. I mean, she will try to fight sleep as it creeps up on her but she won’t look me in the face and say, “NO!” I’m trying to cherish these bedtime moments as much as possible before she learns she can cry and complain that she doesn’t want to sleep, or that she’s scared of the closet monster or that she’s going to be defiant simply because she can.

Knowing how much I love my family, it pains me to see the sad article I found on the news today about an infant Ali’s age. The article said the infant fell from the 2nd story of a hospital parking garage. There weren’t too many details except that officials expect the infant was 1-3 months old and that this was no accident. It’s terrible to think of an infant just like Ali being hurled over the edge so carelessly. I can’t even begin to describe the disgust I feel towards the heartless coward who did this. It’s unreal what everyday people are capable of. I could go on and on ranting about the idiots of the world but I know it won’t accomplish anything. I just felt this particular story was worth noting. I love Aliana so much, so unconditionally. It doesn’t matter who she is, what she does, or who she is going to become. Ali is my daughter I she will always be loved.

The Ups and Downs

I realized today just how much I love my daughter. She was in her swing smiling, cooing, laughing; I was doing dishes (my favorite part of being a grown-up…NOT), and then she made a face that said, “I feel safe daddy, I love you, and now I’m going to take a nap.” It was said all in her eyes. What a moment for a new father.

I also realized today how my beautiful daughter can really test my patience, and it wasn’t even her fault which made me feel like a “Big D.” As anyone who takes part in the real world knows, the high points don’t come without their lows. Ali was due for her daily-dose of Zantac this evening and I convinced Lilly to wait until the next feeding before giving it to her. Wrong move on my part. Soon thereafter Aliana spit up on me 5-7 times in a matter of 30 minutes. Some were messier than others but they were all hot, sour, curdled goo. I’ll tell ya, I know it’s not Ali’s fault but damn its annoying getting puked on that many times in such a short period. As a parent I’m learning your patience is constantly tested and you’re forced to keep yourself calm especially when you feel like screaming.

At the end of the day the UP’s greatly outway the DOWN’s. Her smiles have the ability to shutout the world around me, to make me forget about the blowout she just had, or the projectile vomit that just ruined my clothes. She’s so stinkin’ cute it’s impossible to stay frustrated for long. Keep up the good work Ali, you’re doing great!

I love my Aliana

Much Needed R&R

This has been the most relaxing evening I’ve seen in quite some time. Aliana has been in sleeping mode all day and appears to have continued this course into the night. She’s still eating, peeing and pooping when necessary but seems to be acting like a 2 1/2 month old should. It’s about time I’d say. She’s been so uncomfortable with what seemed to be a mixture of colic (gas) and acid reflux (heartburn) resulting in a miserable time for her and everyone around her (mostly mommy and daddy at 3:00AM. After two weeks of some baby-Zantac Ali is visibly doing muuuuch better! This has really been a treat for us as she is much more pleasant, is smiling like crazy, and is snoozing consistently. Zzzzzzzz…

Before we were able to get her on Zantac Ali would spend upwards of 8-12 hours a day wide awake which clearly isn’t the norm and probably isn’t even good for a newborn like Ali. It really is a terrible feeling to see your child clearly in pain with no real way to comfort her. Hopefully the worst is over in that dept.

Daddy's #1 Favorite Picture of the Month


Even better news tonight is Ali is currently sleeping in her crib! All by herself! I think this is the first time she has been in there for more than 20 minutes, and right now we’re going on an hour! ……Annnnd I spoke to soon. I hear her making her grunting poop-pushing noises. Guess that means its storytime. Night!

DayCare – Day 1 (even hard for daddy)

Last night I was fine. The three of us watched a movie, cleaned up, prepped everything for the following day, and hung out on the bed while I read a copy of The Lion King to Ali. She was content the entire time, laughing, giggling, cooing.

6:30AM - Ready To Face The World

When the lights went out I didn’t have any trouble going to sleep, but once I put Aliana in her carseat the following morning the reality of what I was about to do began to set in. As she smiled at me with her mommy’s eyes I felt terrible inside because Ali had no idea where she was going, and that daddy wasn’t going with her. With no real sense of time being 2 ½ months old, I wonder if she’ll know I’m going to go back for her, or if she’ll think she has been abandoned left to fend for herself.

After a picture message from our daycare provider of Ali passed out in her plush new purple swing, I don’t think Ali isn’t at all concerned. As sad as that makes me feel, I think it’s for the best. She is at a place where she will be loved and where she will learn to be socially independent. Lord knows I could have used some of that growing up.

In any event, today has not been an easy one. Never having been to daycare myself, ever, I’ve been struggling with the idea of Aliana not having one of her parents around during some of the greatest milestones of her new life. I’m hoping Ali saves them for when she’s home, but time will tell that story.