Months 22 and 23 Check-In: The Holiday Edition

IMAG0168-1
Well buddy, your Dad did it again…..I slacked off so long that another 3 months have gone by and I am once again playing catch-up on your adventures.  You know, it’s funny, your Dad has these crazy dreams of being a writer someday (for a living that is), yet I can barely stay motivated to keep on a blog that maybe 10 people read at any given moment.  Well, at least I’m consistent in that I guess.  Well, not to get too hard on myself, I’ll get it right one of these days.
This has been probably the worst time for me to slack off on writing since you’ve had so many adventures this holiday season, and have grown on so many levels.  So we’re going to do this check-in a little different and go month-to-month first, and then we’ll cover some overarching achievements….
October:
Well as I mentioned in the beginning, the holidays have come and gone, and boy what an awesome time you had.
October started on high note as your Dad ran in his first 5K.  I was so happy that you and Mom came out to cheer me on.
P1020643 P1020634It really help Daddy to know you and Mom were waiting for me at the finish line.

Before
Before

AFTER!!!
AFTER!!!

We also completed our first home project.  We completely redid our backyard.  What was once a nasty no-so-kid-friendly area with stone and gross vines, is now a grass-covered play area just waiting for the weather to improve for you to play in.  I can’t wait for our first session of kicking the ball around the yard buddy.
P1020673We took you to your first pumpkin patch.  It’s only fitting since we keep telling you you’re our little Charlie Brown; however, there was no spotting of the Great Pumpkin.  Maybe next time.  You had really good time.
P1020695 P1020690You certainly loved playing on the slides at the pumpkin patch.  We couldn’t get you off them, lol.
P1020704You finished off your second swim course; this time with the older kids in the Toddler and Me class.  You had great time.
P1020727Weeeeeellll….maybe Mommy and Daddy had more of the “fun”
IMG_0216Another Halloween, another cute costume.  Mommy and Daddy are always telling people you’re our Little Monster, and now we proved it.  You had such a blast at the party we all went to.
IMAG0152But we might have kept you out a bit too late.  You got all Cinderella on us.  Who knew you would turn into a pumpkin at 8pm?!?
November:
November really slowed down for us as Mommy traveled for work a little bit, and Daddy started a new job.  With all that, and Thanksgiving around the corner, we kept it pretty low-key.  But we still had some good times.
IMAG0157 IMG_0241Like when we went to the nature center near our house.  You had a blast picking up sticks and looking at all the different animals at the nature center.
IMG_0246Then we all went out for a nice dinner.  You sure do love posing for picture bud.
IMG_0245But you got to keep your head on a swivel buddy, or else you might get PhotoMommed (your Mom TM’ed that term btw).
IMG_0259Mommy went on a long business trip and was missing us, so she asked Daddy to send her a pic of us together.  I like this one…
IMG_0260 IMG_0261But you had a better idea, called bouncing a ball off my head.  You win.
IMG_0268You started exploring the idea of feeding yourself with a spoon.
IMG_0269The result was craziness, lol
IMG_0271So you went back to what works for ya.
IMG_0284 IMG_0295You had some play-dates with some friends….girl friends that is.  2 in less than a week I might add, AND you put your game on display.  Well done my man, well done, lol.
IMAG0188 IMAG0187Mommy spent a good portion of her vacation painting your room.  That counts as home project #2.  It looks so nice now; like a big boy’s room even.
IMAG0197 IMAG0198We had a lot of cleaning to do because we were hosting Thanksgiving for friends at our house this year, and look at that….you pitched in.  Get use to it kiddo; chores are in your future.
IMAG0203Mommy and Daddy were super excited to run the Turkey Trot 5k this year.  This was Mommy’s first ever 5k.
IMG_0308 IMAG0202Excitement for you; not so much.
IMG_0309 IMG_0314But all was forgiven once we got home and you were able to watch the Macy’s Parade on TV, and you even helped Mom get things ready for Thanksgiving dinner.
IMAG0219 IMAG0216And of course, what month would be complete without some pics of you being silly while playing outside.
December:
What a fun month December was.  Not only did we have a trip up to see Grammie and Grampy in Massachusetts to look forward to, but also our own Christmas traditions at home.
IMG_0350 IMG_0346Like spending a snow day having fun with Mom and Dad.
IMAG0244Like you helping Mom and Dad pick out the tree.
IMAG0262 IMAG0263And then helping with the decoration of the tree.
IMAG0274Turned out pretty nice.  Good job buddy!
IMAG0248You even helped Mom decorate the outside of the house too!
IMAG0276 IMAG0277We had an early Christmas (or Crusemas, another one of your Mother’s creations, lol) before heading out on the road for MA.
IMAG0280You got all kinds of cool gifts, but none more favorite than your new ball.
IMAG0288 IMAG0289You and Mommy thought it would be cute to get Daddy a Doc McStuffins phone for Christmas, lol.  You even were showing me how it works.
IMG_0380The next morning it was time to hit the road, and boy were you excited.
IMAG0290 IMAG0294On our trip up North we stopped off at your favorite place to play, the Philly Children’s Museum.  You had a blast.
IMG_0400We finally arrived in MA and you and Mommy got right to decorating Grammie and Gampy’s tree too.  We all had such a great time.
IMAG0322 IMAG0323You got in some practice of unwrapping gifts by taking all of Grammie’s wrapping paper off their roles.  You’re lucky she loves you very much my friend, or else you would have been in big trouble.
IMG_0405 IMG_0424We got to get all dressed up and go to church for Grampy’s Christmas Eve service.
IMG_0420Your awesome Aunt J was there too.  She thinks you’re the cutest thing ever…..because you are.
IMG_0441The fun didn’t stop with Christmas.  Grampy followed through with his promise to take you to Wendy’s for a frosty.  You were in ice cream heaven my friend.
IMAG0340 IMAG0332 IMAG0336You also hung out at Grampy’s church.  You love playing in his office, and even tried out his microphone.  And from the looks of things, you might have the “preaching gene” just like Grampy, lol.
IMAG0344You sure did love hanging out with Grammie in the kitchen watching all the comings and goings; all the way up to our last day.
IMAG0347On the way home Mommy had an awesome surprise for you and found another kids museum in Connecticut.  It had some really cool exhibits, like your favorite; the water and balls exhibit .
Daddy decided to do this entry a little different buddy.  There were so many moments to remember during the holidays.  But, I must also point out how much you have grown in the last 3 months, not just physically, but emotionally and mentally.  Your vocabulary has exploded as of late.  You still struggle most times to get across what you want, but you’re finding new ways to express that without getting overly frustrated and defeated.  Your problem solving skills have grown by leaps and bounds.  It has been really fun (and sometimes frustrating) to watch.
This holiday season was definitely one to remember.

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18 Month Check-In

IMAG0632What’s New:
Wow buddy, I can’t believe you’re 18 months old!  I mean, how has it been a year and a half already since you were born?!?  Time is sure ticking away fast.  I know Dad is being a little over-dramatic, but I can’t help it as I watch you grow before my very eyes.  Ok ok, onto what we came here for…..
Well, this month was a marked improvement over last moth.  While you’re still having some “attitude issues,” you were in a far better mood overall.  We embarked on our first family road trip, and while your Mom and I were really nervous about how you would be in a car for 8+ hours a day, you completely surprised both of us by being a complete stud.  Heck, you did better than Mom and Dad; well, at least better than Dad who lost his cool a few times with idiot drivers.
Learning, Leaning, Learning:
We spent a good deal of time at several children’s museums on our road trip.  Your Mom and I are quickly learning these places are great for pit stops along the way, and it gives you something to do to burn up some of that energy.  Plus, you really seem to enjoy learning and playing.
P1020515Here you are outside the children’s museum in Philly.  We all had such a great time.  Definitely the best museum so far.
P1020507You couldn’t wait to get downstairs and start reorganizing the kitchen……
IMAG0699…..just like you do at home
You’ve learned a few new words this month.  While “NO!!” is still your favorite thing to say, you’ve started saying words like, “bubble,” “door” and “ball.”  You also do the “moooo” sound whenever Mommy asks you what a cow says; and it’s over the moon adorable.  I think your most precious skill this month, is the refined kiss you give us now.  No more open mouth, sloppy kisses against our face.  Now, they are pursed lips kisses, and they’re cute.
Moments To Remember:
This, buddy, will probably be the bulk of this blog. because there was so many awesome memories from this past month.  As usual, you spent some good ole QT with your #1 fan, Aunty J!
IMG_1244 IMAG0553You two sure do have a blast together……
IMAG0565…..that is until Aunty J punched you in the face! Just kidding, Mom and Dad just got lucky with this pic, lol
IMAG0634You had such a blast playing in the water on our vacation.  Mom and Dad are so happy you have become such a water baby. Certainly has made swim class a whole lot easier.
IMAG0637 IMG_1347 You got to meet your cousin Cutie-Patootie.  Boy is she ever a cutie pie.
IMG_1364 P1020592You earned your sea-legs on our trip too.
P1020622 Probably the best part of the trip was that you got to spend some awesome quality time with Grammie and Grampy.  They loved hanging out with you so much.
On The Menu:
Chicken noodle soup was still the big winner this month. Although, you did change it up a bit when you preferred eating hot dogs while they were in your soup.  Mom and I just called it Hot Dog Noddle Soup.  Hey, whatever gets you to eat I guess.
IMAG0695You did however enjoy a brief stint with beef ravioli.  Boy was that a mess.
We also discovered a new treat you just happen to be nuts about……
Likes:
…..and that treat is
P1020564ICE CREAM!!!  We were convinced you would only eat a little bit…
P1020575But boy were we wrong!!  You ate most of Daddy’s, and then went after Mommy’s too.  You’re silly kiddo.
IMAG0627Your love for dismantling everything and spreading it all over the place has not diminished at all.
IMG_1380 IMG_1381You really love poking around in other people’s garbage….no seriously, you always head straight for the trash can at other people’s houses.  What’s that all about??
IMAG0687 IMAG0688As I said earlier, you really love the water now.  So much so that Daddy can’t even water the plants without you getting all soaked.  Something tells me you’re going to be a “run through the sprinklers” kind of kid too.
IMG_1367But most of all, your Mother and I were pleased to see that you have developed an enjoyment for spending some quiet time, reading a book…..in the nude.
Dislikes:
Nothing new this month.  You still hate being told “NO!” by us, even though you say it repeatedly to us.
Adventures:
Well buddy, we had a great time on our trip.  You were such a good boy.  Mom and Dad really needed this vacation, and you certainly made it enjoyable.
P1020522 P1020534You were certainly spreading the love around…
P1020539 P1020541And look how well rested Mom and Dad look.
It was a pretty awesome month with you kiddo.  I still can’t believe you are only 6 months away from being 2 years old.  If 18 months went by this fast, I feel like 6 more months are going to go by in a blink of an eye.  But at least, while the time is flying by, it has always been packed full of some kind of fun or adventure.  You certainly do keep us on our toes kiddo….
IMAG0694….especially with looks like this, lol.  Your Mom and I know you will always keep us busy.  I love you kiddo.
– Dad

Ferris is California Dreaming

I simply cannot wait for Ferris to get old enough so I can explain to him how lucky he is in his roots.  The boy has no idea right now, but he has the best of both worlds in his blood…thanks to his awesome parents (shameless parent-plug, lol).
 
The Wife is from, and grew up in the New England area (Boston).  I have had the opportunity to visit the area many times, and to tell you the truth, I love the area.  New England is so beautiful, and it is all around a stark contrast to where I grew up (we’ll get there in a min).

New England has all 4 seasons every year; some longer than others.  It is so nice in the Spring (all 3 weeks of it, lol), but the Fall is probably my favorite.  The foliage is nice, and the weather is just starting to get a bit cooler than usual, or as the Wife calls it, “Puffy Vest weather.”  The woman loves her puffy vests, I swear.
 
Of course the summers are overly warm, but it is far more tolerable than the ungodly heat and humidity we suffer through every year in D.C.  So for all this niceness there is still a steep price to pay; and in New England that price is known as Winter.  The winters seriously suck a-hole in New England.  Hell, it is so damn cold if you go outside during the winter in New England your a-hole will pucker up so fast to try and not lose any of the remaining body heat you have, that you may not see it for a few months.  Again, in stark contrast to where I am from.
 

butt-clenching cold…that’s what it is

So where is Ferris’ Dad from you might be thinking?  Heaven; that’s where…also known as San Diego, CA.  The reason I said the seasons of New England are in stark contrast to where I am from is because we only have one season in San Diego, and that’s the season of Awesome.  I bet you didn’t know Awesome was an actual season, but it is.  Go visit San Diego and you’ll see what I’m talking about.  It’s like a secret season, much like our beloved In-N-Out Burger on the West Coast has a secret menu.
 
That’s it people! That’s all you need in a menu. You don’t have to complicate awesomeness…..just let it happen. Greatest burgers IN THE WORLD!!

I’m dead-serious people; the weather in San Diego is nothing short of perfect.  You may pine for the changes in season, but all I have to say about that is celebrating Christmas in shorts and flip-flops is pretty cool.  And don’t even try and drop that “Dreaming of a White Christmas” stuff, because to that I must remind of the origins of that song…it was written by Irving Berlin while he was kicking in L.A. on a beautiful, sunny, December day.  That’s why the song says “dreaming” and not “experiencing,” lol.
 
All day, every day

Anyway, I am digressing like crazy over here.  The reason why I’m babbling on about this is because the Wife and I recently took Ferris on his first trip.  For some reason we had the insane  notion that at barely 5 months Ferris was more than ready for his first plane ride, and what better destination to test this theory than a trip to San Diego, CA.  That’s right, we decided to take a 5 month old who can barely muster up enough happiness to not fuss for about 2 hours a day, on a non-stop 6 hour flight across country.  What could go wrong, right?
 
To be fair, the trip wasn’t actually born out of a masochistic idea to cause ourselves utter grief, but actually because my bro was getting married, and I was in the wedding party.  So, I “had” to be there, and the Wife wanted to come along too, and since we heard that people kind of frown upon leaving your kid locked in a kennel for a week, we decided to bring the almost 18 lbs ball of fury with us.  So just to clarify on kennels; dogs yes, kids no…trust me, we checked.
 
The Boy has no idea how close this almost became a reality….damn child-endangerment laws
I believe it is fair to say the days leading up to the trip the Wife and I started getting less and less sleep as our attitudes changed from, “This is going to be fun, taking Ferris to San Diego.  We can show him all around where we first met, and where his Dad grew up.  And, we can introduce him to all his Aunts and Uncles in CA,” to something more along the lines of, “WHAT THE HELL WERE WE THINKING!?!?!?  He’s going to be a monster on the plane.  People are going to try and throw us off the plane because he won’t stop crying.  How are we going to adjust his sleep schedule???”
 
I’m guessing at this point you probably think I am being completely irrational in my way of thinking.  Probably something like, “Goodness this guy complains a lot.  How difficult could this kid actually be?”  To that I say come on over sometime, the Wife and I could use a break to step out, but then I’m afraid the experience may permanently cause you to forsake the idea of having children, lol.
 
I know I make it sound like dealing with Ferris is nothing short of soul shattering pain, but please know 90% of this is said in jest….but he can be a very difficult baby at times, especially when he goes through one of his fussy-phases (which he is in right now).  The Wife and I drove ourselves crazy reading all kinds of horror stories about babies whose sleep is all thrown off by cross-country travel, and seeing how he is already a spotty sleeper, it scared us to death.  But, then the boy goes and does something that just catches you off guard and surprises you.
 
I am already a nervous flyer…hell, let’s be honest, I’m nervous in general.  I’m the guy who gets super antsy in crowds of any kind.  To quote one of my favorite movies, Clerks, “You hate crowds!  I know, but I love gatherings; isn’t it ironic.” So basically the airport is one of my most loved and loathed locations of all time.  The obsessive people-watcher in me is in heaven whenever I am there, but the nervous/agitated person is going crazy, and the latter is usually the one that wins.  So to have the boy and the threat of a baby-meltdown with us was putting me on major tilt.  And that in turn put the Wife on edge because she could see the ticking time bomb that is her husband.
 
You know this kid did at the airport?  Nothing, that’s what; he just chilled.  It was completely unlike him.  I think we completely underestimated his fascination with “new things” that we were in awe as he did not fuss once during the whole process.  He usually does not tolerate being strapped to either one of our chests for very long, but this kid just hung out for like 2 hours while we did everything from checking in at the ticket counter, to going through security and eventually waiting at the gate.  Security was another example of bizarre-world; everyone there was so helpful.  Security is usually one of my most feared areas in the airport as they are usually super-rude – but not this time.
 
And it didn’t stop there either.  Ferris was super well-behaved on the entire flight out to San Diego; he even slept for a good chunk, which we were convinced was not going to happen.  The kid was having such a good time being “well-behaved” that he just kept the whole thing going all the way up to arriving at the house we were staying at in San Diego.  Even after we landed in SD, it was a miracle he remained calm through getting our bags, getting the rental car, and then driving to our lodgings.  But the cherry on top of this entire trip was that Ferris’ sleep schedule never got messed up once.  The boy adjusted coming and going beautifully.
 
Honestly, I believe somewhere in his newly developing mind there is a far better understanding for what’s “actually” going on than we give him credit for.  I’m willing to bet he took one look at us in our nervous state of panic and said to himself, “This might be the thing that makes my parents jump off a cliff.  So, since I’m pretty fond of them, I’m going to play it cool and give these poor saps a break for once.  But, when we get back from this trip…it’s on like Donkey Kong.”
 
I guess I should talk about our time in San Diego, even if just for a little bit.  The trip was a lot of fun, and well-needed for me and the Wife.  It felt so good to visit home and see my friends.  It also felt pretty cool to introduce our son to our friends and family who are still out there.  Ferris was obviously the star attraction.  When I wasn’t tied down with wedding activities the Wife and I tried to take Ferris to some of our favorite spots in San Diego; none more important (at least to the Wife, that is) than the beach.  Ironically, the Wife isn’t even from San Diego (as I am) and she LOVES the beach.  I’m kind of indifferent to it…crowds and all.  Anyway, Ferris looked awesome in his beach gear.  The next trip out there will be even better as Ferris will be quite a bit older and we won’t be so beholden to being somewhere where he can nap so frequently.
 
Ferris will be taking another trip come September when we head to the Wife’s home of Boston.  This is one lucky boy, having parents from 2 really awesome cities.  We can’t wait to show him around Boston too.
 
Ferris was such a champ the entire trip, which was a load off for his Mother and Father.   Looks like it’s never too early to feel the effects the laid back life-style of good ole San Diego.  The boy was born in Virginia, but he’s clearly a California boy.
No matter where I go, this where my roots will always be

Trying My Patience

Wow, has been a while since I was able to actually sit down and write something.  It hasn’t been for lack of motivation either; which is usually my lame excuse for slacking.  But this lapse was actually because Ferris has become all-consuming, but more on that in a minute.  First, the fun stuff.
Ferris hit 5 months just a couple a weeks ago; on Father’s Day no less.  It was a pretty awesome weekend.  This was my first “official” Father’s Day.  I say official because last Father’s Day Ferris was about a month in the cooking process within the womb, and even though the Wife and others wished me a Happy Father’s Day, it just didn’t feel like I thought it should.  But this year’s did.
It was really cool to hold my son on Father’s Day and just kind of “be in the moment.”  I don’t always take the time to appreciate being a Dad simply because of getting bogged down by the day-to-day stuff, but it was pretty nice to be able to do that, even for one day.  We even took time to do some super-cheesy stuff ; the Wife bought Ferris and I matching shirt (for me) and a onesie (for Ferris).  They are super cheesy, but also super cute.
So, a quick catch-up before we get into how our son is working my last ever-loving nerve.  Ferris is clearly Frankie Laine fan, because he’s Rollin’ Rollin’ Rollin’….RAWHIDE!!!  Oops, sorry, got carried away there.


But seriously, this kid hated tummy-time for the longest time.  He’s still no fan, but the Wife and I noticed he wasn’t as fussy (a blessing in itself) during tummy-time sessions lately, and Ferris was pushing himself up pretty high.  During month 4 he started kind of rocking back and forth on his tummy, and swinging his leg a bit, but nothing “really” looked like it was going to happen any time soon.  Then about a week after hanging with another couple from our birth class, whose daughter is a week and a day older than Ferris, but probably a month more advanced (girls mature faster than boys anyway), the Wife and I were joking around saying, “Hey, look what your friend can already do.”  Ferris just looked at us with that disapproving look he always gives us.  It was clear Ferris was tired of being compared to his friend, so one day while he was in the middle of a thrilling tummy-time session he channeled his inner Stewart from Mad TV, squawked loudly as to say “LOOK WHAT I CAN DO,” and BANG, he rolled over.

He didn’t just roll over; he rolled over like he had been doing it for months now.  As the Wife and I cheered him on and fawned all over him, he maintained the disapproving look we have come to know all too well, yet this time there was a little something extra in the look, like he was saying, “I do what I want; when I want.  Stop comparing me to other babies, punks.”
Ferris is growing and evolving every day; it’s pretty awesome to watch.  But, there have been some new “tricks” if you will that are not so cool that Ferris has developed.
As I have mentioned in earlier blogs, Ferris was a horrible sleeper from Day 1.  In the first month to 6 weeks you could expect to be up every 2 hours or so to feed through the day and night, but Ferris would barely ever sleep through the day, which in turn made him super-fussy, and when he would wake up at night, it was a bear to put him back to sleep.  This made life pretty difficult for the Wife while she was home on maternity leave.  It was no picnic for me either.
Then, out of nowhere at about 3 and half months, Ferris just started sleeping straight through the night.  He was still very spotty with his naps, but again, it was like he had been sleeping this way the whole time.  The Wife and I were in 7th Heaven man.  It was great!  Things didn’t seem so stressful, Ferris seemed happier (for the most part), the Wife and I were getting awesome sleep and we were able to get things done around the house.  Hell, we were even able to start having some “couple time” like we used to pre-Ferris.  But then….everything, changed…..
Just before Ferris hit 5 months he started occasionally waking around 4:30am, but would go back down until his normal wake up time of 6am.  This was more annoying to the Wife than me, as I leave for work around 4am, but the Wife doesn’t have to wake up until 5:30am.  It wasn’t every day, but just enough to annoy the Wife.
Then, much like when he started sleeping through the night, out of nowhere Ferris regressed all the way back to when he was just weeks old.  This past week and a half, Ferris has been waking up anywhere from 5-7 times a night…and to add a cherry on top of that awesome sundae, he fusses and cries the entire time.  Where before the boy would pretty much go right back to sleep if he woke up in the middle of the night, now Ferris is wide awake, and not happy about it.  Join the club, bro!
 
I can only imagine this is how the Wife feels at work most days, because I know it’s how I feel after a night of dealing with Ferris

This has of course raised the stress level in our little home.  The Wife and I feel like we’re right back to where we started.  Ferris is not sleeping during the night, he’s fussy all the time, and naps…..forget about it.  All this is happening at a very inconvenient time as well.
The Wife and I are preparing to go on a little vacation to my home of San Diego, CA.  We are heading back to see friends and family; plus my bro is getting married and we are heading out for the wedding.  Of course we’re taking Ferris too so everyone can meet him.  But now with this new “no sleep” thing he’s doing, we’re slightly dreading the trip.  Not only is he not sleeping, but we’re going to mess with his internal clock as well.  Ugh…this has the potential to suck big time.
To make things even MORE challenging the Wife and I were in the midst of weaning Ferris off the swaddle.  Most people said we should just keeping swaddling him, and why mess with it.  The Wife and I figured he was sleeping so well, plus he barely fits in them anymore as it is.  Even when he was sleeping super well he would break out of them by the time we came in to get him in the morning.  We had got as far as swaddling him with one arm out all night….now he uses that damn arm, as not only a means to stay awake (swinging it wildly all over the place), but when I try and put him down he smacks and claws at my face, which let me tell you does not help our relationship any.
The Wife and I are trying to keep things in perspective.  Yes, we could be doing a better job, but this kid is so frustrating sometimes.  We know it’s not his fault…he’s a baby, and doesn’t get what’s going on.  I think the hardest part about all this sleep crap is that we got a taste of the good life, and now it’s gone.
Now I know how Ferris feels when we take the bottle out of his mouth and he screams as if we’ve just snatched away the only thing that makes him happy.  Maybe that’s what the Wife and I should do from now on when he wakes up in the middle of the night; just throw a fit.
Here’s to hoping he gets back to sleeping like a normal person….soon!!
Ain’t this the truth?!?

Unintentional Heart-Break


Before Ferris was born people (with kids) would always tell me how much I should cherish this first year because he was going to change so much everyday that one day I would look back and miss these days so much….and to that I say, “whatever!”
While I am enjoying watching my son grow and change all the time I still kind of wish he would have been born already able to walk and talk.  Now, I know the Wife, and her “lower area” (if you will), is happy that wasn’t a possibility, but I also know the Wife kind of shares my desire to see him grow up, just a bit, mainly because he has not been….the happiest baby if you will.
It’s not that I don’t enjoy or appreciate Ferris as a baby, because I do.  I still think back to the day he was born, or look at all the pictures we’ve taken over the past 4 months and get choked up and teary-eyed; It’s just that I think I’m going to be a better “Toddler Dad” than I am a “Baby Dad.”
I can’t wait to be able to play with Ferris.  I mean “really” play with him.  Like running around, wrestling, playing catch, or whatever physical activity he wants to do, because right now the boy wants nothing to do with anything physical, or anything period for that matter.  Nothing makes this kid happy, except eating, chewing on his burp cloth, and of course watching his mother and I get overly frustrated.
I’m not kidding about that last part.  Whenever the Wife or I get frustrated and it shows, Ferris is happy to take time out of his fussing or crying to smile and laugh.  And forget it if the Wife and I are “disagreeing” on something; the boy is in 7th Heaven.  He just sits there while the Wife and I express our “disagreement” and watches us like a ping-pong match with the biggest smile on his face.  On one hand I’m like, “Buddy, it’s awesome that you recognize and love our voices, but now is not the time to flash that shit-eating grin of yours,” and on the other hand I feel like if that gorgeous smile is not enough to cure whatever you’re “disagreeing” about, then that’s on you/us.
Ferris spent almost the entire first 3 months of his life crying; seriously.  If he wasn’t eating or sleeping he was crying/fussing; and no, before you assume, he was not colicky….he was just unhappy.  This was a fact that wore on me and the Wife.  While we are first time parents, I know we are doing a good job with him, so I know he’s not unhappy with us, but still it sucks to see him crying.  We coddle/cuddle that boy endlessly.  He gets everything he could ever want.  The problem is, a lot of the time we don’t know what he wants.
Just shortly after the 3 month mark, Ferris’ disposition seemed to improve dramatically.  He was so much less fussy; he seemed to be enjoying us and everything around him a lot more as a whole….but like all good things, they come to an end.  For some reason since he has hit 4 months his attitude has had a bit of regression.  Ferris turned 4 months about 2 weeks ago, and since then he has seemed so unhappy, again.
Its things like the constant fussiness that makes me kind of day-dream to the time when he is able to talk.  At least then when I say, “What dude?  What is making you so upset?” he’ll actually be able to articulate why he is so upset.  Now, he just cries.
To be completely honest, if it sounds like I’m being a bit bitter, it’s probably because I am.  As I mentioned earlier Ferris has hit the 4 month mark, and it unfortunately seems he is having a bit of a regression in his attitude.  Sorry, let me clarify; Ferris is having a regression in his attitude towards me.  You ever hear of the Midas touch?  Well I have the Crying touch.  As in every time I touch this kid he cries.  While that might not be entirely fact, as the Wife constantly tells me, it feels that way to me because I’m catching the brunt of his fussiness.

Seriously…this is like 90% of our interactions at the moment

I kind of think it’s a bit of karma.  Don’t misunderstand me, I didn’t do anything wrong, but we were on this road not too long ago, but it was the Wife who felt this way, and I’m not entirely sure I gave it the due attention it required.  You see, around the 2-3 month mark the Wife felt like Ferris was only happy when I was holding him, or that when we would be having fun (him and I) that his attitude would change when she walked in the room.  Of course I told her that wasn’t the case, and that Ferris loved seeing her too, but that never seemed to improve her outlook on the matter.  Now, I feel like we have switched roles.
Ferris loves to play and be held by his Mom.  The Wife is so good with him.  I see him laugh and smile when they are together, and now when I walk in the room it seems like his smile disappears and instead he looks at me with this look of indifference.  And trust me; I let the Wife know how I’m feeling on the subject, over and over again.  It sucks man.  Look, I know I am wearing the Wife out with my complaining, but I also know there is a small piece of her, even if it’s minuet, that is glad it’s not her right now catching the crap, because she caught her fair share of the daily fussiness-crap during the 3 months she was home on maternity leave.  It doesn’t really bother me that the Wife is getting the happy-Ferris right now; what bothers me is that other people are too over me; complete strangers even.
Ferris started daycare almost a month ago when the Wife returned to work.  His daycare is great.  The ladies there treat him so well, and he seems to be adjusting quite well to the whole process.  The problem is that when I come to pick him up every day, the first thing I see is that happy face quickly turns to one of indifference.  I swear, right before we leave the head lady in charge will do something silly or cute and Ferris will giggle his butt off, then I will say something like, “Ok buddy, are you ready to go home” with a big smile on my face, and he’ll just look at me like he doesn’t even know me.  I can almost hear his expression say, “Of course I’m ready you moron.  Why are you even talking to me?”  This is the one that hurts the most.  I find myself constantly wondering what she is doing right that I am not anymore.
I know that this is just a “thing” right now, and that his fussiness towards me is completely unintentional, but it still sucks.  While I always tried my hardest to reassure the Wife that he was not playing favorites, a little piece loved that I could make him smile and laugh, just like I know the Wife does right now.
I realize there will come a day where Ferris will think his Dad is a complete loser.  It happens to all of us.  We all thought we knew more than our parents when we hit the wise age of being a teenager and with that comes the idea that your parents are embarrassing. Everything you did with your parents, and thought was cool just a few years prior is now totally lame.  And some day Ferris will act the same way.  Of course, we may hit the lottery for a second time (the first time was the cutest kid in the WORLD lottery) and Ferris may join the less than 1% of kids who actually continue to think their parents are semi-cool and don’t mind spending a bit of time with them here and there, but I wouldn’t bet on it, lol.
I don’t know….maybe I was wrong with what I said in the beginning of this blog.  Maybe I am relishing this baby-time a little more than I thought.  Maybe I will miss these early days more than I thought.  I mean, even now as he is fussy and seems to treat me like I am the last person in the world he wants to be around, I love being able to pick him up and cuddle him, even with him screaming in my face.  Soon I won’t be able to do that.
As the Wife pointed out to me recently, he’s not going to be this little for very much longer, and once he starts growing, walking, talking, and getting older he’s going to need me less and less (disclaimer: that last part was my realization, the Wife only said the “not so little for very much longer” part, lol).  I just hope he never stops thinking his Dad is a pretty awesome guy…..hell, I’d even settle for “kind of cool.”
Yeah…..you can stay this way for a while buddy. You don’t have to grow up just yet

Late is the New On-Time


Earlier this year I had a grand idea of starting a Dad Blog.  This idea is nothing new to the blog universe, but it was for me.  You see, my Wife was pregnant with our son, Ferris; the first child for both of us.  Now, I must admit our son’s name is not actually Ferris, but for the purposes of this blog it will be, plus it gives me a chance to pay homage to one of my all time favorite comedies, Ferris Bueller’s Day Off, because honestly I think that is exactly how the Nug is going to be when he becomes a teenager, but more on that in later posts.
I mentioned I had this idea of the blog earlier this year to emphasize how long it has taken me to get around to starting it.  Ferris was born in mid-January, and we are now in late March, and I am just now typing my first words on this topic.  To be completely honest, I can be a bit lazy, but not this bad.  It has really has taken me 10 weeks to finally muster up the energy, motivation, and just sheer focus needed to start something that doesn’t completely revolve around the 12 pound monster that lives in our apartment now, and has utterly absorbed our lives.
Trust me, that is not in the least bit an over exaggeration.  The Wife puts it perfectly when she says to Ferris, “Where has the day gone?  Oh yeah, that’s right, you have sucked it away.”  Well, she’s also referring to something else, but you get my point.  I’ve come to realize that during the pregnancy I never gave the amount of time and attention this kid would require on a daily its full respect, but I believe no new parent ever really does.   One positive note out of all the time sucked away during the past 10 weeks is that it has also given me time to experience things; get really immersed in being a dad.  Plus, it’s given me a lot of material to write about.
So, here we are 10 weeks late, but here is my letter to our newborn son:

WELCOME TO THE WORLD BUDDY!!!  Your mother and I are so happy to finally meet you.  There are so many things we can’t wait to teach you. 

Your mom is a very smart lady, and your dad….well, he’s pretty swell.  To be completely honest upfront, you will most likely get 95% of your intellectual knowledge from your mom.  But that last 5%, well that’s where I come in.  The knowledge I bring, while small in comparison to your mom, is in my opinion some of the most valuable knowledge a boy needs to become a well-rounded man.

While I may not be as book-smart as your mom, your dad excels in some very, let’s say, very specialized areas.  Here’s a list:

#1 Sports – As your dad I am charged with teaching you any and everything about sports. I’m going to teach you how the Slider revolutionized the game of baseball; how to throw a tight spiral, and how to properly wrap-up and tackle; how to drain a 3-ball on that sucker playing loose and not respecting your perimeter game, or how to drive it to the hole and dunk on that same joker in the paint; you’re gonna learn the beauty of the triple deke and slapping a one-timer into a goalie’s 5-hole; I will even teach you how to lace in that nice corner kick on a lazy goalie in the net.

#2 Movies – Your dad is a movie fanatic.  You dad will introduce you to the best that cinema has to offer.  You will learn what it means to make someone an offer they can’t refuse.  You will also learn such other valuable things like how one ring can rule them all, as well as how you’re so money and you don’t even know it.  But most importantly, and I stress MOST, you will know of the way of the Force….and the Shwartz, lol.

With that comes the art of quoting movies.  Learning to quote movies at the right time and the right place is an art form my friend.  Trust me when I tell you this, there is ALWAYS a movie to quote in any situation, and don’t let anyone (your mother included) tell you different.

#3 Manners – Boy, if I can stress anything to you it’s this, your dad is a stickler for manners.  Nothing irks me more than a kid that acts unruly in public, and even worse the parents that just act like they don’t see it.  You will not be allowed to act up in public, throw fits in the store, scream “NO” when your mother or I request (that’s putting it nicely) you do something.  Just so we’re clear, if you ever hear us “ask” you to do something, know that there really is no choice; do it, or pay later. The same applies when we are at the dinner table; manners are non-negotiable.

 Now, your mother might try and chime in on this and say that your father’s table manners are less than stellar, but trust me, everything I do is well within the bounds of acceptable behavior…..when you’re older that is.

#4 The Art of Telling a Joke – Your dad does not “toot his own horn” very much, but one thing that I know for sure, I’m pretty damn funny.  Your pop can spin a good tale or two.  It’s all about timing my boy.  Whether it telling a simple joke, jones-ing on your friends, or telling a story, it’s all about timing kiddo.  Eventually, when you have mastered the art of timing, I will teach you the single greatest line you can use in any occasion…“That’s what she said!”  Ahh hell, who am I kidding?  I’m going to teach you that from Day 1, lol.

#5 The Bro Code – This is for you and me alone to speak of.  If nothing else, you will learn of the Bro Code. You will learn the hallowed code of all men that is passed down from father to son, from generation to generation.  This is not optional son.  I urge you, never break the code.  The consequences could indeed be dire.

Well buddy, that’s about it.  Oh wait one more thing.  In all seriousness, your mom and I will give you the greatest gift of all, and that is the knowledge that family, and the love of family is always first.  Will we always agree? No.  Will we always get along and like one another? Certainly not. But we will always love each other, and be there for each other in times of good and bad.  And kiddo, you have no idea how much family you have waiting for you to love you to pieces. 

So yeah, that’s the letter to my boy.  Is it as cool as the dad on the Google commercial that sends his daughter emails from the time she was born; no.  But you know what; this is me, and I’m cool with that.
Our Ferris is a pretty lucky kid.  He doesn’t appreciate it yet; hell, he doesn’t appreciate much right now.  All he knows is breastfeeding, poopy diapers, and crying like nobody’s business.  Like I tell him, he’s so damn lucky he pretty cute.
Until next time.