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Showing posts from August, 2011

Admit it, guys.

Let me preface this entry by stating that I'm a pretty active dad. We just had a conversation last night about how exhausting Cole is now compared to when he was a newborn. And I'm not an armchair father. I get in there with the action. I'm not sure I could live with myself if I just sat on the couch and watched him on the floor. I'm all about throwing the ball, making the toy cow walk on his head, letting him climb all over me, etc.. We eat together on the floor. I crawl after him down the hallway.

That said...I may have slept soundly through my turn to get up last night. Or, rather, I may have heard him squawk once, figured since he sleeps through the night that he would roll over and go back to bed, and I then rolled over and fell back asleep.

Well, I was informed this morning that Kelly was up to feed him a bottle. Oops.

But I did take her turn with the dog walking duties this morning since she was late for work. Fair and square? I dunno. It's a little biased a…

How do you wake your kids up?

Most of the time, Cole has two versions of waking up. A) He's hungry. Very distinct cry/whine. Must have milk immediately. No patience for cutting up fruit or waiting for toast to pop. B) Longer, less intense complaint. More like a wolf howl crossed with zombie-movie grunts. He's bored, awake, and wants out of his crib. This is the one you want. All smiles, he rolls around and then stands for you to pick him up. Sometimes he gets silly and hides under his blanket playfully.

But between the teething and the growing and the sleeping through the night 9 out of 10 times now, a new problem has developed. We have somewhere to go, we have something to do, he needs to be awake to keep his nap schedule or bedtime smooth.

A couple times, we've gone with the sneak-in-the-room tactic of quietly coming up to the crib and calling his name. But usually what happens then is you have to add a pat on the back/leg/butt to it. Which evolves into a shake if he is hard asleep.

Our new favorite …

Where is his hat?!

I have to first apologize on this one--I didn't experience it firsthand. It was told to me by my spouse when I got home this evening. She seemed to be having the same "how dare she!" reaction that usually goes through my head though so I'll share.

One of my biggest pet peeves as a parent that will annoy me faster than poopy diapers, a kid who plays in the dog dish, or pees on the bathroom floor before you get a diaper on him, is people who make comments.

I've said it before, I don't mind the we're-all-in-it-together, ain't-this-crazy ones. It's the "where is his hat" that kills me everytime. Every. Who are you?! Why are you wondering where my child's hat is? Oh, I'm sorry, would you like to raise him?

We have a new woman in the building. Lovely. Met her. She likes my kid and likes my dog. She's in. Her mother, apparently, was a bit more uppity today.

We have such a large dog? And Cole was in bare feet? You just let them play …

Welcome new readers!

Thanks for stopping by. Comments are welcome. I'm actually kind of impressed at the traffic after 2 weeks. Over 300 pageviews and 10 this morning before I even got up. 
Thought I'd give a little quick bio for those who didn't link over because they know me...
We have a 1 year old and another on the way at Thanksgiving. We have a share of a local farm using community supported agriculture. I run marathons. My partner does triathlons. We have a rescued/retired racing greyhound who can run 36mph. We live in a vintage brick courtyard building (anybody need a 2 bedroom?) in Chicago just blocks from the famous L. My son likes dinosaurs, watermelon, and taking baths. My partner likes to knit. I like to drink single-origin coffees from around the world. 
Happy reading.

A more stay-at-home Stay-At-Home-Dad

Last night, we had a dinner for the leadership team of my department at work. A couple of my coworkers mocked me for checking my work e-mail from home. Well, yes, I am that geeky. And it's also one of the only ways I have to stay connected to the office the rest of the week. By the time I go into work on Friday, I feel like I have a lot of catching up to do considering part of my duties is keeping others in the know about a huge organization.

Right now, I work Friday, Saturday, and Sunday. Kelly both works from home and watches Cole on Fridays then the rest of the weekend she's with him for her off days and my workdays. It basically leads to one of us handing our son off to the other and no time together as a family other than evenings. (Though it has brought a nice rotation of turns waking up in the middle of the night or being the one to take the dog for her morning/bedtime walks.)

With the new baby on the way and my temporary supervisor position about to be over on Labor Da…

Shout out

I first became a regular follower of Dad Labs via their video podcasts on iTunes, but have come to love their weekly parenting-in-the-news blog entries, community message boards, and more. You can also friend them on Facebook and Twitter. 
It's not just for the SAHD's either. They cover all angles. Usually light-hearted and fun, but they tackle the challenges of being a father and bring in experts and outside resources. Technology, nutrition, baby gear, potty training, summertime safety, from birth to older kids, they just do all around good work. 
You can find them at Dad Labs: Taking back paternity as well as the previously mentioned social media.

Backyard life and death

They always say farm kids have a nice awareness of death. Perhaps more of an appreciation for what it takes to put food on the table. The circle of life and all that.

Twice this summer, the drama of nature has taken place precariously close to humans in our side yard. This time, I'm hoping happier results, too.

The first was a caterpillar who hitched a ride on one of the flaps of the cardboard box they put our farmshare veggies in to bring home. He was a cute little green guy probably destined to turn into a pestilential moth rather than a beautiful butterfly. He was covered in white fuzz and seemed to be ready for a long nap inside. Wiggling just a bit when disturbed from what he thought was a safe, dark spot. We're supposed to keep the box from week to week anyway...bring it back to the delivery and reuse it. So we stuck a post-it note on it and put it under the back stairs hoping for a quiet journey for him.

The next thing we saw of that box, however, it was sitting in the …

What a family looks like

[Double post today, sorry.]
Ever since our neighbor had another female move in with her a few weeks ago we've been quietly among ourselves wondering what their relationship status was. None of our business, sure. But when one of them babysat she had a new ring on and then we have come to find out they are now civil unioned and have plans to get married. Not that they need to tell us and share their personal lives. They don't. Just good for them. The world needs more good news. 
Today on the L on the way to our museum visit, it got me thinking about the way you really can't assume anything about anybody these days. 
People frequently refer to Kelly as my wife or call me her husband. We don't correct them unless it seems like it may matter down the road in some way. And even between us we've developed a mocking term of affection by referring to each other as DLP. Domestic Life Partner. We have no clue what to call it. More than girlfriend-boyfriend. Partner has other co…

Field Museum family day

Next week is my birthday. But we kinda celebrated it today. First thing this morning we hopped on the L and headed downtown for a trip to the Field Museum. Mostly so Cole could see the dinosaurs, but it was just a chance for us all to go somewhere and spend some time together.

He loved the train ride almost the best of the whole day. The entire ride he was right by the window smiling and clapping. We got off at the Roosevelt Rd. stop and decided to walk instead of ride the bus since it was such a beautiful day. Not too hot, not too cold, sunny.

The first place we headed was the upper level to see Evolving Planet (which the dino hall is a part of). It's a newish exhibit tracing the entire history of the earth from 4 billion years ago and single celled life all the way to modern humans. Cole randomly said the word "insect" along the way. You can't say milk or dog, but you can say insect? Crazy kid.

Saw the man-eating lions, an exhibit of ants, some gems, and Cole's…

Food for thought...

Tried to do a quick link to this from my phone today and couldn't quite make it work. It touches on a lot of nice Stay At Home Dad themes and summarizes nicely the way that society has made room for women in the workplace but we haven't quite gotten comfortable with dads at home yet. Working hard to change that though!

Some of these results beg questions about the majority of men not being interested in taking care of the kids, the simple fact of having to swim upstream if you do, and perhaps parenting being something to "tide guys over" until they can get on with their more career oriented lives.

Personally, I find being at home with Cole to be quite satisfying in a way that a job never could. It's a little like the difference between watching your favorite sports team and actually playing. I love my Cubbies, but these days I'd rather pay $100 to finish 1,622 in my own race than watch millionaires while drinking $7 beer. But call me crazy.

Here's the lin…

Great Expectations

A frequent conversation between Kelly and myself goes something like this...as an avid news reader/watcher, we're sitting in front of the television after Cole's gone to bed and a horrible story comes on. Really any story these days. It sometimes feels like the world is going down in flames. Famine in Somalia. World economic crisis. Here in Chicago,  a pregnant 16 year old killed but rushed to the hospital to save her baby who hangs on for life.

And Kelly turns to me, sighs, and asks rhetorically, "how could we bring a child into this world?"

My response gets caught up in existential philosophy, optimism for humanity, my theological issues with the doctrine of original sin, and usually boils down to "what if Cole and his sister cure cancer?"

They probably won't. I know that. But the reason we continue to have kids (us and all of us) is that the other choice...not having kids...dooms the entire species. And don't give me the tired (and false) argumen…

Running man

I've been promised a Cole-less long run later this week since the Twin Cities Marathon is about 47 days away. If I plan properly--jogging stroller set up, water bottle filled, running clothes on--it isn't too bad getting away for an hour of training. But Cole really only will sit still for about 4 miles before he's had enough and wants to stretch his legs.

For the 8, 10, 15 mile runs I really need, it may require getting up early, running near dusk, or other negotiations. This is my 4th marathon and the amount of time required is definitely more of a factor than it used to be.

Any other running parents have a strategy for keeping the kids happy in the jogging stroller? Or finding time to go out for a run?

When your kid parents *you*.

I had already planned on my next blog entry being about how easy Cole has been to parent over the past year. But this weekend some comments in real life added to the theme.

We've long discussed privately how annoying we find certain types of well-meaning advice. (The ladies of a certain age who ask me where my son's hat is.) And we actually enjoy when friends commiserate about the little things that make you feel like a true parent. It usually comes from a spirit of togetherness. The ones that get to me, however, are the "wait til ____ happens" backwards-looking advice that aims to tell us that it only gets worse. "Oh, you think cranky is bad now, just wait til they get older." Like we must be having a hard time but be prepared for even worse.

The last year has been quite easy, thanks. Or, even better, why did you have kids if you find everything that came with it so appalling?

Cole is so easy, in fact, that we tease his little sister will be a demon on whe…

Playground bullies

[I probably won't be in the habit of posting more than once a day, but this begs for an entry.]
Took Cole (1) to the playground this afternoon and we quickly found a feature on the equipment we hadn't seen before...frankly, he probably was too young then and is climbing a lot more now. Up some stairs at the top of the sliding board, one of the side walls is made of chime bars you can shake to make noise. 
At first, we were alone. Then an older boy--I'm guessing around 3 or 4--came running up saying, "you've got to share" and shoved Cole out of the way. Cole's used to that somewhat. He has a friend who is quite an aggressive baby and likes to hit and be fairly physical. And Cole's usual reaction to that is a quizzical expression on his face like, "what's up with this kid?" He doesn't hit back but takes it without crying. 
True to form, Cole stopped playing with the chimes today but just sat there wondering what was going on. The bigger k…

Hospital decisions

After my son was born, my DLP (Domestic/Life Partner, wife, whatever you please) changed doctors and, in the world of insurance networks and affiliations, that meant changing hospitals as well.

With the old doctor, we had our choice between Adventist Hinsdale and West Suburban Medical Center. Before Cole was born we dutifully toured both. In the end, a major deciding factor became the perinatal levels of care with AH being Level III and WSMC being Level II. West Suburban was closer, but the facility was slightly worn around the edges. But Hinsdale would be having highway construction the entire summer leading to a long backroads ride of 30-45 min. The staff at the doctor's office quietly hinted that the choice was ours but we should pick Hinsdale.

The experience--and though we are concerned about medical skill obviously, let's be honest that having a baby is about an experience--at Hinsdale was wonderful the entire time. From the anesthesiologist to the nursing staff (other th…