Sunday, November 30, 2008

Getting Rid of the Devil

We went to Church today for the first time since Kaylani was born. We thought it would be good to cleanse our mind, and good for Kaylani to experience what Church was, since we plan on doing it every week. What we didn't know was that it would cleanse more than our mind.

We were about 5 minutes late to Church, so Mass had already started and the Church was packed. It was also raining, so I dropped Mommy, Yin Yin, Yea Yea, and Kaylani off at the door and went to park the car. When I got in, I saw them all getting into an aisle, and of course, we didn't have the end. I excused myself in and took a seat. We were through the Gospel in no time and Kaylani was calm as could be. She just sat in her car seat and stared at the people, the beautiful stained glass windows, and just enjoyed the music and the readings.

Then IT happened. She started to cry, and if you've been reading along with the Daddy Diaries, you know what IT usually is. Mommy picked her up and immediately noticed that she was wet. Wet like Chinese Restaurant wet. And since Daddy was the closest to the aisle, he was handed the diaper bag and a wet Kaylani and sent walking.

So, Kaylani and Daddy excused our way out and headed for the closest bathroom. For those of you who are good with measurements, it was a 4'x2' bathroom that had a toilet on one end, and a sink on the other. Standard size toilet, and standard size sink means that there was roughly 2' in the middle. For those not good with measurements, picture one of those mall photo booths, but a tiny bit roomier. Of course there was no changing table, but luckily the toilet seat had a cover, and it looked clean, so I went to work.

Out comes the changing mat with its two pockets (one for diapers, one for wipes). I unzipped both pockets and took out the necessary tools, except the wipes came out in a group of 5, and there was nowhere to put them so I had to separate them out and lay them neatly on the backpack. Oh, and Kaylani was pinned against me with my left arm this whole time. After I had everything laid out, Kaylani was laid on the changing mat covered toilet seat (which, was slightly curved as most are by the way), so I had to hold her steady all the time.

The next step was the clothes. Off come the pants, which used to be brown, but now were brown with yellow splotches. Then, there was onesie number one, which had a cute cow that looked like she had her own little accident. Of course, since this was a pull over your head onesie, it had to be rolled up as to contain the poop. Onesie number 2, which was a plain white short sleeve onesie, was no longer plain white. It basically served as diaper #2 and took the brunt of the blowout. Same thing happened, and it had to be rolled up and over her head. Then I got to work on cleaning her.

Now, all this rolling and pulling did 2 things. First, it rubbed off on the changing mat, so now that had poop on it. Second, it left me with a poop covered Kaylani, and a poop covered changing mat, and nowhere else to turn. If I put a clean diaper on her while she was on the changing mat, poop would be on the outside of the diaper then. So, I picked her up (bare naked and poop covered) and went to wipe down the mat, except I ran out of wipes. By this point, Kaylani had enough, so she was crying and squirming in my arms. The wipes, securely in a zipper pocket hanging off the mat, wanted nothing to do with me, so I gave up. I folded the mat back in half, and put her down on an even smaller changing surface now (still on top of a toiliet in case you forgot).

Then I dressed her as quick as possible, which was not quick since it consisted of a long sleeve onesie and then a button up body suit, which for organization sake, was already buttoned and had to be UNbuttoned to be put on. Finally, Kaylani was clean, dressed, and ready to go. Now all we had to do was clean up our work area. Diaper mat in the bag, plastic bag (of course at the bottom of the diaper bag) taken out, poopy clothes put away, poopy diaper disposed of and covered by a mountain of paper towels, and then we're ready to go.

I headed back into the Church after what seemed like a long time. I think it was actually about 10 minutes, which I thought was pretty good. Oh, and as I held her in my hands for the rest of Mass, she also spit up on me. And did I have a burp cloth handy? Yep! But was it over my shoulder? Anyways, that was our Church experience. If I had known that Church was going to cleanse Kaylani like that, I probably would have gone better prepared. But, as Mommy pointed out to me, next time, I could probably just use the bigger bathroom down the hall that has a counter and is about 6'x6'. Sigh...

Anyways, check out a few pictures from the last 2 days. There aren't many, but they're still adorable pictures of Daddy's little girl. Enjoy!

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Stand Up, Sit Down, Cry, Cry, Cry!

We had a full day today. Okay, a full half day since it didn't start until 2, but Mommy, Daddy, Yin Yin, Yea Yea, and Kaylani all went shopping today. We headed over to the Jackson Outlets to see if we can take advantage of cheap deals on even cheaper clothes. The past few journeys out with Kaylani had gone off as well as they could, but this trip had a slightly different twist.

First of all, the Outlets are outdoor so we had to walk outside to get from store to store. Normally, not bad, but when it's 40 degrees out, it poses its own little challenge. We bundled her up nice and tight every time we stepped outside, and only had to stop once to feed her in the 5 hours we were there. From a baby-outing standpoint, it went great. She slept the entire time, cried when she was hungry, and went back to sleep. No diaper blowouts, no tantrums, just sleep.

So, in anticipation of what I'm sure will be a 1 on the scale of 1 to sleep tonight for Mommy and Daddy, I present to you, Jon's 10 Step Sleep routine (a spin on the Johnson's 3 Step Sleep Routine found here).

Step 1: "Bubbles Away to Dreamland" - Taken straight from the Johnson's routine. Every other night, we give Kaylani a nice tub bath (tonight was only the 2nd time, so before her umbilical cord came off, it was sponge bath time). She gets nice and clean, a quick towel cuddle, then dried off.

Step 2: "Massage Your Way to Sweet Slumbers" - Also straight from the Johnson's routine (although we use Aveeno Baby cream instead of the Johnson's Bedtime lotion - sorry Jbaby team)! After she's all lotiony, she gets pulled into a onesie (seriously...pulled), and her nightgown.

Step 3: "Quietly Off to Sleep" - Last step in the Johnson's routine, and we adhere to it. Mommy will read her a few books (headlined by Buenas Noches Luna), Daddy will soothe Kaylani with the sweet sounds of a keyboard typing away (currently happening), and Mommy will hum song like tones at Kaylani while she nurses.

Step 4: "Sway Like the Wind Blows" - The last step in the Johnson's routine sounds nice, but it doesn't work, so we added on. After gliding in the glider until she's almost asleep, the trick is to get to your feet and still keep that same movement for Kaylani. This usually causes her to stir, but not wake up...yet.

Step 5: "Swaddle Like a Duck" - Not so much like a duck, but here's when Kaylani goes in her crib and gets swaddled up real tight. The key is to keep a hand (preferably Mommy's) on her chest so she thinks she's still bundled next to her. It's like asking for someone to put a finger down when you're tying a bow, except instead of a finger, it's a hand, and instead of a bow, it's a baby.

Step 6: "Quiet Please" - Here's where the "shushing" comes in. The next few minutes are spent with rhythmic "shhhhhh" noises that I believe are to simulate sounds within the womb. Don't quote me on that, but I do know it works.

Step 7: "Run Away!" - If she's asleep, or calm, here's where we make our exit. We head to the bedroom, and then turn on the monitor to see if all's calm on the bedroom front.

Step 8: "So, do you come here often?" - When step 7 lasts less then 10 minutes, it's time to pick Kaylani back up and repeat Step 4. On a good night, Step 4 can be done standing with a side to side sway (which is much easier than a back and forth sway while standing...unless you're drunk).

Step 9: "Sit Down and Shut Up" - When standing Step 8 doesn't work, it's time to get back into the glider. If we're lucky, we don't need to unswaddle her, because that would take us all the way back to Step 4 instead of just going through the motions. Either way, if this doesn't work, then it's Step 8, Step 9, Step 8, Step 6, Step 7, Step 8, Step 9, Step get the point.

Step 10: "Baby is a Four Letter Word" - Hopefully it doesn't come to this, but if all else fails, you call for reinforcements, which is Mommy's boob. Sorry to be so graphic, but hey, it works. I try not to resort to this for at least an hour so she can get some rest.

Alright, well sorry for the long post but that held me over pretty well. It's time for me to follow Step 4 for real. Hopefully I'll only have to do it once tonight...

Friday, November 28, 2008

The Tam Cousins

We had a Tam family reunion in NY today to celebrate Thanksgiving together, but also to welcome Baby Zoe into the family! This also marked Kaylani's first long distance car ride, and she behaved for the entire 1.5 hour drive!

I've got some great pictures of Zoe and Kaylani together, and can't wait to get back home to upload them. I also can't wait to get back home because I'm dead tired right now (and still at Jeph and Shan's). Going shopping on Black Friday is tiring under any circumstance, but going with a baby just makes it downright exhausting! Granted, we only wernt to Babies R Us, but still, it was exhausting.

Anyways, check out pictures from our trip to NY now! And of course, check back tomorrow for some more great stories from The Daddy Diaries.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

A Day of Firsts!

Today was our first holiday with Kaylani, and it started off with another "first", and this time, it was for all of us! My brother Jeph and my sister-in-law Shannon gave birth to their second child, and their first girl! That means I now have a niece on my side, and more importanly, Kaylani has a beautiful new baby cousin. Her name is Zoe Cecilia, and we all can't wait to meet her tomorrow! Keep an eye out for pictures, or check out Connor and Zoe's own picture site (to be updated REAL soon). The funny coincidence is that Zoe and Kaylani were the EXACT same size and weight at birth (7lb 10oz, 20.5")!

Anyways, I'll let you know a little bit more about her tomorrow after I've had the chance to meet the newest Tam, but in the meantime, we had our own little first ourselves. Mommy and Daddy gave Kaylani her first tub bath! Since her umbilical cord fell off about 2 days ago, we thought we would give her a nice cleaning before her first Thanksgiving dinner. We were pleasantly surprised that Kaylani didn't mind the water at all. Actually, we think she kinda liked it, all the way until we picked her up to dry her off. And I don't blame her since it's cold once you get out of the water!

Kaylani's other first was sleeping through her first Thanksgiving. Well, she slept through the first hour of dinner, and when she woke up, she didn't want to sit at the head of the table where she had a reserved seat. I'm sure things will be a LOT different at next year's Thanksgiving. It's hard to believe that this one is already in the books!

One thing that I learned this year is that I'm not quite the eater that I used to be. I don't know if it's fatherhood that has changed me, or just the fact that I didn't have Jeph or Tim here to help me out, but that 17lb turkey kicked my ass. Another lesson I learned was that if you want to eat a ton until you're really full, really tired, and just want to lay down, you should think through that very carefully when you have a baby. My time to lay down did not coincide with Kaylani's time to lay down. Lesson learned. Won't happen again!

But now, Kaylani is minutes away from being swaddled up and putting her first Thanksgiving behind her. And Mommy and Daddy are anxiously waiting to get their first 2 hour sleep shift out of the way, so good night and Happy Thanksgiving!

And for all of you who aren't quite sleepy yet, have just awaken from a nap, or just come here to see pictures, here you go! New pictures from the last 3 days (warning: some photos contain full frontal nudity), and a section dedicated just to Kaylani's 1st Thanksgiving. Enjoy!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving never meant so much

On Thanksgiving Eve, historically I would be preparing myself to eat a whole lot of food within the next 24 hours (usually 2-3 different times during the day back when Tim and I used to Thanksgiving-hop). But tonight, as I look at my 8lb daughter next to my 17lb turkey, everything has changed. For the first time, it really hit me that Thanksgiving is a time to be thankful for things that have happened in the past year, in my life, and for the people that I have around me. And this year, there's no way I'll be able to give enough thanks. My life reached its highest point with the birth of my beautiful daughter, and for that, I am thankful.

There have been times when I thought my life could be no better. Last Thanksgiving, I was thankful that Brendalys and I got married. This Thanksgiving, I was planning on being thankful for the great house we bought, for being a Godfather for the first time, for seeing one of my best friends get married, for the promotion I received, for a great work environment, for the new people that I've met, and for everything else that has happened. But now, I'm thankful for so much more.

I'm thankful that my beautiful wife continues to love and support me, that my gorgeous daughter is happy and healthy, that I have such a loving family and wonderful friends, and this year, I'm thankful that I have been given the chance to be a dad. I only hope that I am able to look after Kaylani the way that God is looking out for me.

Thank all of you for your love and support towards me and my family, and I wish all the happiness and joy to you as well this Thanksgiving and in the future. Happy Thanksgiving!

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Dinner and a Poop

People with newborns don't get out to the movies very often. Actually, people with babies in general don't get out to the movies very often. So because of that, dinner and a movie becomes a thing of the past. Going out for dinner, however, is not something that new families avoid. So we decided tonight that we were going out for dinner as a family. Yin Yin and Yea Yea (Chinese for Grandma and Grandpa) are in town, so out we go!

Right after Mommy gave Kaylani her last sponge bath EVER (her umbilical cord fell off today!) and nursed her for not even close to the last time ever, we headed to a local restaurant (you may call it a Chinese restaurant). She fell asleep during the short car ride over, so we thought to ourselves that this may be a whole lot easier then we imagined. Full baby + sleeping baby = happy parents. I'm good at math, but only math that involves numbers apparently because full baby + sleeping baby does not equal happy parents. Here's how my little math problem plays out:

We sit down. We look over at Kaylani and she's sleeping. We order. We look over at Kaylani and she's awake! It's like a horror movie scene where one second you look over and the person's not moving, and the next, eyes wide open staring back at you. Well, it's like that, but not scary at all. So she's awake, but not crying, and barely moving. No problem!

We sit some more. We talk some more. And then it happened.


So Mommy picks her up. She sways a little bit, and all is quiet again. Things seem like they'll be alright, but that's when she It turned out to be a little moisture on Kaylani's back. "Maybe it's sweat" Mommy says. Makes sense to me. After all, she has been in a wool car seat sack for 20 minutes and cried for a little bit. But wait, newborns can't sweat. No problem...right? She did just take a bath so maybe we just didn't dry her well enough.

Well a wet baby could turn into a sick baby, so being the prepared parents we are, we whip out her change of clothes, and head for the bathroom. Hmmm, no changing table in the bathroom. Alright, well we whip out her change of clothes, break out the changing mat, and get to work right there in the booth (by the way, in this story, "we" actually means "Mommy").

First layer, pop pop pop go the buttons. Out come the feet. Freedom! And then...and then, it all went yellowish brown. This time, there was no soft serve ice cream machine stuck in the "on" position. We're way past that. This time, we've got the aftermath of a blow out on her hand (literally). And wouldn't you know it, here comes the food! First course, on the table. Kaylani's last course, everywhere.

Now luckily Kaylani's poops don't really smell yet, and luckily, there were only a few other tables in the restaurant and none could see exactly what we were dealing with (although it didn't take much imagination to figure it out). Mommy did her best with about 10 wipes, and Daddy took the unedible course to an outside garbage can. Few minutes later, Kaylani was glazed over and content with herself and Mommy and Daddy felt good about conquering their first public challenge. Perfect time to start dinner!

So there goes another day of firsts. And who needs dinner and a movie when you can get dinner and a poop anyways? Not me!

Monday, November 24, 2008

The Kitty Cat

Babies supposedly give you signs and little clues as to what they want. It's our job as parents to pick up on these clues and translate them. And when that doesn't work, you go through the checklist of things they could be trying to tell you. Is she hungry? Is she wet? Is she poopy? Is something pinching her? Is she gassy? Or does she just want to cry? Well she's got a tell, and it's something Mommy calls "the kitty cat."

Now she doesn't always do "the kitty cat", but it's happened enough that we can officially call it a tell. Some of you can probably already guess what it tells us, but for those who can't, here's a little description.

Picture a cat, lying on her back. Now picture a string dangling in front of her face. What's the cat gonna do? She's gonna swipe at the string, usually with one hand, then the next, again and again. For those of you cat owners/lovers, picture that same scene, but when your cat is actually sleeping, so everything kind of just happens in slow motion. Well that's what Kaylani looks like, except she also turns her head to the side a little bit and opens her mouth too.

So, mouth open, alternate arms swiping at the air, is what we call "the kitty cat," and she does it when she's hungry. 10 times out of 10 if we see her doing that, it's time to nurse. 10 times out of 10, if she doesn't nurse immediately, she's going to cry.

We figured that one out a few days ago. For those of you keeping score at home, that's 1 point for Mommy and Daddy! Now all we have to do is figure out the rest of what she's trying to tell us, and we'll be just fine. And we'll get there, I know we will. All we need is a little more time, and that's not a problem, because we're just at the beginning of a lifetime.

And as is customary here at The Daddy Diaries, new pictures from the last 2 days are now available for your viewing pleasure. Enjoy! And don't forget to come visit for a live viewing. We're always happy for the chance to show off our baby girl!

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The Long Arm of the Car

Today we took a trip to the airport to drop off Abuela, and in doing so, experienced 2 significant moments in Kaylani's life. The first is that as of 3:45pm, Mommy and Daddy were alone with Kaylani for the very first time since she was born. We're actually alone for the first time in almost a month since my mom was here 10 days before Kaylani was born. Since then, we've had one of our mothers, or various guests, stay with us (and take excellent care of us). It's been a long time coming, but we're officially on our own with our baby girl. Yikes! So far so good though.

The second is that when Mommy went inside with Abuela to help her check-in for her flight, Daddy drove around for the first time with his baby girl all by himself. The monkey mirror attached to the back seat helped me see her while I was driving (of course while keeping my eyes solidly glued to the cars in front of me), but it's not exactly the best way to see what she's doing. And wouldn't you know it, as soon as the car stopped and Mommy got out, Kaylani started crying.

It's like she knew. It's like she has a sixth sense (okay, it's probably a combination of her normal five senses), but she knew that Daddy was in the front, and couldn't do a damn thing except drive around hoping that the motion would calm her down. It didn't. I then did the next thing that I knew. I tried to reach back to her and calm her down. I've seen it done so many times by so many parents that it just seemed like the right thing to do. What I didn't know is that it's IMPOSSIBLE!

Let me set things up for you a bit. I drive a Toyota Highlander. Kaylani sits in a Graco SafeSeat that rests on a car seat base. The seat is anchored in on the rear passenger side. Got the picture in your head? Okay, now we can proceed.

So at the first red light I came to, I had my own little fire drill (you may call it a Chinese fire drill) and ran to the back seat to get her pacifier out and give it to her. Success! It was quiet...all the way until I got back into the driver seat. Inevitably, out comes the bobo (which is Spanish for pacifier by the way), and back come the cries. This is when the "reach around" comes in (funny how expressions change once you have kids).

I, with my eyes focused on the road ahead and my left hand steadily on the steering wheel, reach back to the rear passenger side, push down her car seat shade, and begin my blind search for the bobo. No luck. In fact, I couldn't even feel her head. It's like I was reaching in the back seat but she was actually in the trunk. She was SO far away! I gave up and started to wonder if I had abnormally short arms, a long car, or a ridiculously tiny baby who hides her bobo from her Dad while he's driving.

Now I know parents who can do this. I know parents who drive SUV's and can do this. I know parents who have shorter arms then me, and bigger cars then me, and can do this. What's wrong with me? Did I miss the training class at the hospital? Actually, come to find out that this type of behavior is actually frowned upon by the hospital. Well what the hospital doesn't tell you that while you shouldn't do it, it's really the only way you can stop the crying!

Anyways, I did what anyone would have done in this situation if they were given the option. I didn't pull over and get the bobo. I didn't turn around and look for it. Instead, I reached for my cell phone, called Mommy, and said (very calmly), "Mommy, we're gonna have a meltdown...and then Kaylani will start crying."

Mommy finished getting Abuela settled and then came out to meet us. She put the bobo in place and we had an uneventful car ride home. That was car ride alone #1 for Daddy. Car ride alone #2 is gonna go better, even if it means I have to get one of those mechanical extend-o arms from the toy store. I'm serious! Wait for it...

Saturday, November 22, 2008

My Daddy Rocks!

"My Daddy Rocks" is true in so many ways I don't even know where to begin. And before all of you wiseasses say its only true because it says so on her shirt (thanks Neha!), I'd like to tell you a few more reasons why.

I mean, look at that picture! I'm sure my daughter wouldn't let her dad join her band if he didn't actually rock. Now it took a lot of convincing to get her to let me rock out next to her. It's actually taken me 2 weeks of auditions to convince her that I would actually fit in her band (Wii Rock Band that is). And here, at The Daddy Diaries, you get to hear what an audition sounds like.

Each night, Kaylani's room sounds like its inhabited by Wayne Brady because I often say "I'm Wayne Brady Bitch!" to get her to sleep. Just kidding, I was more referring to the Wayne Brady from his new show "Don't Forget The Lyrics" combined with Wayne Brady from "Whose Line Is It Anyways" (the Drew Carey version). I say this because daddy knows the first line from a whole bunch of nursery songs, but nothing more. It's more like "Don't Know The Lyrics" when I sing. It usually starts out something like this:

Goooodnight, sweet-heart
It's time to go to bed.

And then it turns into something like this:

Gooood-night, sweet-heart.
I'll always hold your head.

So that song is done (I'm not even convinced that the first part is a real song). Next one goes:

Hush little baby don't you cry,
Daddy's gonna buy you a pumpkin pie.
If that pumpkin pie don't work,
Daddy's gonna take you to go see Cirque.

By now, she's crying because Daddy has butchered two songs, so that's when I REALLY start to improv:

Kayyyyy-laaa-niiiiii. Miiii, aaaaa-mor. Whyyyy are youuuu cry-inggggg?
Pleaseeee don't cry. Daaaa-dy will continue to try.
Mamorcita, Kayyy-laaa-niiii. I loveeee your cuuuuu-te little hiiiii-niii.
You are the sweeee-test thing
Pleaseeeee don't ever, haveeee a fling.
Kay-la-ni, you are so cute.
Eveeee-n though, you likeeee to toot.

And it goes on and on. I've actually surprised myself by how often the lines I sing make sense, and also how she really does stop crying (unless she's really desperate to nurse which means unless my songs produce milk, it's not going to work).

Well tonight's live show is about to begin, so it's time for me to brush up on my lyrics before bathtime. One of these days I'm going to find Kaylani with a lighter, and I'm going to be so proud that she wants her daddy to sing an encore, and ignore the possibility that she might be trying to burn the place down to shut me up.

And in case she does get her hands on a lighter, I've uploaded new pictures from the last 2 days which is when Titi Glenda and Primita Alisha came to visit with Madrina Maria! Pssst, Padrino Tim, time to make the trek (Padrino means Godfather)

Friday, November 21, 2008

I love it when my baby...has gas?

When you're pregnant, every day someone asks "when are you due?" or "still no baby?" if you're late like mommy was (or like Aunt Shannon currently is). Now regardless of the fact that it gets annoying (especially when you're late), it is an extremely relevant question to be asked each day. After baby finally decides its time to come out, the question changes to "how are you sleeping?" because frankly, that's the most relevant question right now, and I'm pretty sure it's not going to stop being relevant for at least 3 years.

Our pediatrician (among others) asked us "how are we sleeping" today, and we gave a little chuckle before we answered. I feel like our answer to that simple question changes more than the weather in New England. One day its "we slept great!" and the next its "shut up leave me alone, I mean, we didn't sleep so well". Well last night, it was the latter, and it's getting harder and harder to get Kaylani to sleep on our schedule.

Previously, I could sway side to side for about 10 minutes, "shush" repeatedly, and eventually, she would just fall asleep, whether she wanted to or not. But now, it's like she knows. She knows I want her to sleep, or more accurately, she knows that I want to sleep. And she also knows that I can't help looking at her when I stare at her, and that I melt every time she smiles at me. But recently that's all changed. I still stare at her, I still sway and shush, and she still smiles at me, but I just found out that she's not actually smiling because she's happy and likes to see her daddy's face. She's "smiling" because she has gas.

It doesn't change the fact that she still looks really cute when she "smiles", but it does make me a little sad knowing that she's not "smiling" because of me. It does however reinforce the fact that she's a true Tam since Tam's do love gas. So if gas makes her smile, I'm going to cherish each and every single time she has it. And even if I've used gas to make people smile in the past, I'll find another way to make her smile. Something a bit more comfortable for everyone.

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Does this baby make me look fat?

Seriously, does my baby make me look fat? I'm not saying my baby looks fat, and I personally don't think that I look fat, but apparently I'm the only one who doesn't think I look fat. I've had several people tell me (including mommy) that I look fat. They tell me it via email, via IM, and right to my fat face. Actually, mommy told me I look "wider", but I'm pretty sure it means the same thing in Puerto Rican English.

To my credit, I've actually LOST 4lbs since Kaylani was born. Now at my weight, I'm not sure anyone would notice that I even lost 4lbs, but I didn't think that holding a 8lb baby would make me look fat. What is it? Is it my belly? Sure it's out there a little bit (mommy says it looks like I'm 20 weeks pregnant), but it's not like kids are mistaking me for Santa. Is it my head? I know I have a big head, but it's not like I have trouble putting my shirt on in the morning. Whatever I look like now, I haven't gained any weight in the last 2 weeks, so the only thing I can think of is that my baby must make me look fat.

Maybe I'm blowing things out of proportion, but I don't think so. I think I have an actual thing to complain about (unlike all those Motrin moms). I don't wear my baby as a fashion accessory, unless you count fat as an accessory. Next time someone tells me I'm fat, I'm going to puff up my cheeks, stick out my belly, hold my baby close to my body and say "you're damn right I am. You try carrying around an extra 8lbs and see what people say about you...jackass."

And as my first act of protest, I've posted Kaylani's new pictures. None of them have me in them because I'm tired of looking fat in pictures, but I'll never get tired of looking at my little girl. I think looking fat next to my baby makes me look like an official dad. And when it comes down to it, being an official dad is really what matter how fat it makes me look.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Baby It's Cold Inside!

I've always heard that parents will go above and beyond for their kids without a single hesitation. As soon as that beautiful child is born, taking care of them and protecting them comes naturally. Well last night, I protected my own daughter for the very first time.

Of all the things that I've dreamt about protecting my daughter from (drugs, alcohol, crime, boys, Red Sox fans, Jay), I never thought that my first act of protection would be from the elements. I mean, it's not like we live in areas of natural disaster. After all, we live in New Jersey! That doesn't mean anything to our house apparently, or more specifically, our heating system.

I got home around 7pm last night, and the house was a little cold, but was far warmer than being outside. It wasn't until around 10:30 that I thought mommy might not be the only one who felt cold (which is usually the case). Turns out, our heater was broken. Kaylani didn't seem to notice since she was in her pajamas and swaddled in her crib already, but something was gnawing at me. I tried to get some sleep and convince myself that the heater issue could wait until the morning. I mean, it was still 68 degrees in the house.

As bad as this sounds, if it was just mommy and me at home, I would have piled on another blanket, and been snoring within minutes. But my life has changed. I'm a dad and there's a life that depends on me. So after tinkering with the heater for 40 minutes (gas off, power off, power on, gas on, etc), I acted without a second thought. I pulled on a sweatshirt, my shoes, and I took off for a 24 hour CVS about 15 minutes away.

I came home 45 minutes later with 3 portable heaters, 1 for each of our rooms. Mommy was in Kaylani's room holding her to keep her warm (temp had dropped to 60 by 1am), and we decided to have a sleepover right there. Futon was unfolded, space heater cranked up, and the 3 of us stayed in our own warm little cave all night. Kaylani cried for a bit, and she stirred and moved, but I was at peace with myself. My little girl would not go cold. Not on my watch.

Now it's possible that I overreacted. I don't think she would have turned into a popsicle, but the remote chance that she could was enough for me to switch into protective mode. Luckily we had a great PSE&G guy come over in the afternoon and fix our heater (after 3 separate trips to the store to get the right part), and the house is now back up to a comfortable 72 degrees. That's 22 degrees warmer then it was when we woke up this morning, but its not even comparable to the warmth that Kaylani provides me all the time.

This little girl is my life. She is the warmth in my life, so it's only fair that I am the warmth in hers. And nothing is going to stop me from being just that.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Paternal instinct or crazy?

Last night, Kaylani slept in her room. She slept in her crib. Most importantly, she slept alone. Its been 10 days, and she slept alone, in her room, in her crib. And I'm not talking about for a few minutes either. She stayed there for 3 hours, woke up to eat, slept for 2 hours, and then did that again. It was AWESOME! I know some kids who are way older than her that have never done that before!

Now you would think that all of that means I got a great night sleep. And its true, I did get some good sleep, but it wasn't a great night. After about an hour, I kept "hearing" her cry. Thinking that our monitor wasn't working, I kept getting up and moving closer to her room everytime I "heard" her. The first 6 times I checked, she wasn't crying, but that 7th time, I was right! So is it paternal instinct, or I am just a little bit crazy?

Now the argument towards crazy is an easy one to make (it always has been when it comes to me), but don't you think there is such a thing as paternal instinct? I do. I don't believe that her actually crying on the 7th time was simply because it had been 2 hours and it was time for her to wake up. I don't believe that I made so much noise creeping towards and opening her door that she woke up. I truly believe that I've developed paternal instincts.

I can't wait to see what other senses I'll develop! I hope its something cool like invisibility. I have heard some dads talk about how their kids don't even know they're there. They also say their kids don't even hear them when they talk, so maybe that's another developed sense. Either way, must be cool to have these "new" senses...right?

Speaking of cool, new pictures are posted. No paternal instincts required to view.

Monday, November 17, 2008

First Day Away

So I went back to work today. So sad. So far away from my family. Okay, I only work 8 minutes away from home, but from an emotional standpoint, so far away. I think Kaylani knew I was going to go to work today. She even stayed awake all night just so I would spend some additional time with her. What she actually learned was that she gets to spend more time with mommy than daddy when she stays awake, but she still got to daddy a little bit so I guess she wins.

My first day back wasn't as bad as I thought it would be. Being away from Kaylani and mommy were were as bad as I thought, but the actual day itself wasn't. I was tired (rightfully so since I've slept 5 hours in the last 2 nights), but that was to be expected. Dunkin Donuts gave my brain enough to get me through my day of meetings. Sure I crashed around 3pm, but a can of Mountain Dew (damn coffee machine was broken and the other one is just way too far away) lasted me the rest of the day. So I survived. I adjusted. Just like I knew I would.

The saddest part of the day is actually the after work hours. I got home a little after 6, ate dinner, and just finished bathing Kaylani and getting her ready for bed. 20 minutes from now, she'll be asleep for 4-5 hours (please?) and then we'll get up and do it all over again. Is this how it's going to be? 2-3 hours of quality time with Kaylani after work, and 1-2 of them she's either sleeping or eating? That's really only 1 hour of quality time with her, and I had to wake her up to have it (not a good idea by the way). So 1 hour of crying time? Does crying = quality? If that's it, then I'll take it. I'll take any time I can get with her.

If I could figure out a way to keep my salary and stay at home with my family, I'd do it in a heartbeat. Maybe I should play the lottery more. A couple of million dollars would solve a few problems, but until then, I'm going to enjoy the prize that I already have. I don't even need a dollar or a dream, because I already have my dream.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Life Changer

There's a Johnson & Johnson's campaign for called "Having A Baby Changes Everything" or HABCE for short. I, for one, believed the campaign was true before Kaylani was born. All the parents I've talked to also agree with it. Life is just different when you have a child. When you have something so fragile in its early days that it depends on you for everything. Well, I've had my baby for 8 days now, and while having a baby changed some things, it hasn't changed EVERYthing. Let's take a look at a few things that have and have not changed.

Not Changed - The amount of sleep I get each night. Prior to Kaylani, I used to get around 5-6 hours of sleep each night. Since she was born, I still get 5-6 hours a night.

Changed - The time I go to sleep. I used to go to bed between 11 and midnight, and definitely be asleep by 1am at the latest. Lately I've been headed to bed around 9pm, which allows me to wake up 4-5 times a night with her, and still get 5-6 hours of sleep before 7am.

Not Changed - Watching football! Today was my first Football Sunday at home, and so far, I've already watched 2 hours of pre-game, the entire Giants game (Go Big Blue!), and the first half of the Chargers/Steelers game. That's 7 hours of football already! Last Sunday night, less than 48 hours after she was born, I was even able to keep up with the Giants-Eagles game via my Blackberry from the hospital.

Changed - The way I watch football. So I watched the entire game, but by all accounts, I was more subdued than normal. My cheers during each Brandon Jacobs touchdown or Aaron Ross interception were limited to whispered words of encouragement (shhh...yes...shhh) and polite clapping similar to a golf clap. As an aside, trying to get Kaylani to do a touchdown sign after each score was unsuccessful.

Not Changed - Being on time. Granted we've only left the house 2 times since Kaylani was born (once for the peds visit, the other to get Abuela), but we've left and arrived right on time.

Changed - The way I drive. Anyone who has been in the car with me (especially those who have been in a car with me more than 3 years ago) knows that I like to drive a little bit fast, and a little bit aggressively. Now? I spend most of my time in the middle to slow lanes, and drive only a fraction above the speed limit.

Not Changed - Having a picture on my cell phone or computer background. I've always had a picture of my family in the 2 places where I look most of the day.

Changed - The amount of times I change that picture on my cell phone or computer background. I have so many pictures to choose from, and Kaylani is changing daily, that I don't know what to do! A picture that I took at the birth has been replaced at least 4 times since then just because she's so darn cute (Kaylani AND mommy).

Not Changed - The love for my wife. I've always loved Brendalys with all my heart, and in the past 8 days, I've loved her even more. She was the one who gave me my beautiful baby girl and there's no way I could try to match that with any sort of gift to her (although I sure did try).

Changed - How proud I am of my wife. Watching Brendalys go through the pregnancy, the birth, and these first 9 days have taken my feelings for her to the next level. She was amazing throughout everything and has been the greatest mom to Kaylani and still the greatest wife to me. There's nothing more I could ask for, but I'm sure she'll continue to amaze me as we go along.

So tomorrow I start work again. It hasn't changed yet, but I already know that a big change will be the overwhelming desire to want to be at home with my family during the day. But since my work ethic and work product will not change, another change will be the way I spend time at home. I learned in Daddy Boot Camp that it's not the amount of time you spend at home, it's how you spend it.

Right now, I'm going to spend some time staring at my beautiful daughter. That's something that will never change. Feel free to stare the album that is (unless you come visit, then you can stare in person).

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Wake Up Baby!

There are two types of parents when it comes to baby sleep habits - those who will do anything to get baby to sleep on their own, and those that will do anything to get baby to sleep period. Before Kaylani was born, I thought I was in the getting baby to sleep on their own camp, and if you've been reading alone, you've seen that we've tried to get her down by herself.

Well last night, we did it. We swaddled her up tighter then a frank in a blanket, swayed her to sleep with a technique that I've perfected, and put her in her pack and play in our room at 9:30. We made our nightly "contingency plans" to see who woke up first, who did what when, and how to do it, said a little prayer, kissed good night, and went to sleep. At 11, I woke first to nothing. The only thing I could hear was the quiet hum of our humidifier. Mommy woke next around 12:15, also to nothing. She even woke me up to tell me that there was no sound. 1am rolls around and still nothing. At 1:30, mommy gave in and went over to the pack and play to make sure Kaylani was still breathing (luckily the answer was yes).

Around 2, Kaylani finally stirred enough for us to pick her up and cuddle with her for a bit before she nursed. She went back down a little after 2, and stayed there until 4:30. Didn't wake again until 8 when I took her downstairs with me and held her on me as I watched Sportscenter. I laid her next to me on the couch and the nerve of her...she stayed asleep!

Today, Abuela came to stay with us, so we took a trip to the Philadelphia airport (about 45 min away). And what did Kaylani do to us in the car? NOTHING! She stayed asleep pretty much the whole time! We came home, fed her, and swaddled her back up, just to let her rest for a bit before Abuela could play with her. Well Abuela didn't get that chance for 3 hours since Kaylani wouldn't wake up! We even tried loud TV, blowing gently on her, moving her just a bit to get her to stir. Nothing.

So it's now 7:30pm, and in the last 24 hours, she's slept for 20 of them, and only 1 of them have been in my arms. I'm now starting a third group of sleep habit parents - those who want their baby to stay awake so they can play with them. Okay, so maybe this third group exists already, but I'm going to move it into the sleep habit groups. I want to be able to cuddle with my baby whenever I want, and I sure can't do that if they go off and do things like sleep on their own!

I wasn't expecting my daughter to ignore me for at least 8 years, and that was when I was going to be cheesy and not funny to her. I think I'm going to have to do something about this. I'm not sure what yet, but I WILL get my daddy-daughter time back. You just wait and see.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Top 10 Memories of the Week!

To celebrate Kaylani turning 1 week old, here is The Daddy Diaries first ever Top 10 Memories from the Week:

10. Hearing her first sneeze
9. Waking up every morning and seeing her
8. The time she slept for 4 straight hours at night
7. Being able to laugh during and after the poop incident
6. Anytime she smiles
5. Watching her try and latch on to my face when she's hungry
4. Letting her curl into a ball while sleeping on me
3. Listening to Mommy "moooo" like a cow when she's going to breastfeed
2. The first time she grabbed my finger and held on
1. Seeing her for the first time ever and realizing that I'm now officially a dad forever

Thanks for sharing this wonderful time with us! I've added Day 6 and 7 pictures to the album, as well as a new section for visitor pictures. Come and visit and get your picture added to the album!

And lastly, since our friends Rob and Jen just visited us with their baby Sophie (born 10/23/08), I thought I would mention the need for Kaylani to have more friends around her age. Soooo, get cracking people (specifically Jes/Brian and Tim/Mere. Tommy/Gretchen, I'll start dropping hints in 6 months).

Right now, I'm off to bake some cookies (aren't I just the best little house-husband?) before we try and get swaddle Kaylani off to sleep tonight (this better work Jules!)

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Baby, you're full of...poop!

We are making a TON of progress over here at the Tam household. Tonight, we see if we can keep that momentum up. Before I dive into today's crap, here's last night's recap:

Kaylani had a nice sponge bath at 8pm, followed by some quiet time (nursing), and then she went quietly off to bed. If you recognize the routine, then you've tried (or read about) the Johnson's 3-step sleep routine! Well, if you replace bed with car seat, then that's exactly what we did last night. After a tip from our pediatrician to let Kaylani sleep in a car seat to help keep her close and warm, she made it 4 straight hours before waking up! Slept 9pm to 1am, nursed until 2am, slept til 4, nursed until 4:30, then slept until 6...all in the carseat! At 6, mommy took her into the glider and stayed there until 8, which is when I got up and watched Saved By The Bell and Sportscenter with her before we kicked off the day. I thought we could help the sleeping in a carseat process by making "vroom vroom" car noises, but that turned out to be wrong. Oh well, I guess we'll just stick with the carseat by itself for now.

So to get into today's topic of poop, Kaylani hadn't gone #2 since leaving the hospital, which in the world of babies, is a doo doo no no. Thankfully, she passed a bit of "mud" around 4:30pm yesterday, so we avoided the unpleasant business of a suppository. We were told that if she didn't have some "brown gold" for 24 hours that we would have to get her checked again. After entertaining Kaylani's first non-family visitors (thanks for coming Danika and Amanda!), the clock started ticking down. We were down to the wire and we checked to see if there was any "gas" left in the tank. What we got, was a whole lot more than gas.

Picture a baby, on a changing table attachment of a pack and play, getting ready to be changed. Her pants are being pulled down, a sock falls off, but just one. There are 3 buttons holding her onesie in place, and they slowly get undone, one by one. The onesie is pulled up above her waist, both legs held in one hand and high up in the air, and the first side of the diaper is unlatched. But wait, the dad freezes just for a second. He thinks the diaper looks a little...dark. He is overcome with joy! His baby girl has avoided a trip to the pediatrician! But something is wrong. He tries to restrain himself from unlatching the other side of the diaper. He hears his brain telling him to slow down. Telling him to call for mommy who will come make everything better like she always does, but his mouth isn't moving fast enough. In fact, his mouth isn't moving at all. And, it's too late. The diaper is undone, it hits the changing pad, and that's when it all went...brown.

Finally, his mouth moves. Time speeds back up into realtime, and now he's calling out for backup. "Backup! BACKUP!" he yells. Mommy comes over in a flash, and she too experiences the same feeling that something has gone terribly right and terribly wrong at the same time. But she is much more in control, but not IN control. Together, they scramble. Wipes are flying around left and right, diapers being taken up and put down. Paper towels are being used as makeshift tarps, more wipes, more diapers. But it's no use. They're overmatched. They're knee deep in poop! It's coming out faster then they can handle it. It's like a chocolate soft serve ice cream machine with the handle stuck in the "on" position. Finally, the poop machine, I mean the baby's butt, turns off. More wipes. More diapers. They think it's over. But it's not. Baby's not done with us. Not yet. More wipes. More diapers. More wipes. Eventually they give up. At the next break, they throw a diaper back on baby and call it quits. They know when they've been defeated, but they'll live to fight another day.

And that's enough detail for today, or probably a lifetime for all you non-baby experienced readers. But for those of you who do have kids, or have experiences with kids, tell me if you think I'm off, or feel free to share your own experiences. As parents, we might be on to a new form of birth control via storytelling! For now, I'm going to rest up for the night and just be glad that we avoided a trip to the pediatrician. Can't wait to see what our next adventure together is, because no matter what it is, I'm going to cherish them all.

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

My name is...

A quick update on last night: We did it! Okay, that's not entirely true, but at least we came a lot closer. We had her tummy full and all ready to sleep on her own, and then Brendalys and I decided to do a fashion show to see which PJ set she would like the best. By the time we finished (she ended up in the same thing she started in by the way), the only way to get her to sleep again was in the arms and in the glider. I did the 12:30-4am shift, and mommy did the 4am-7am shift. All in all, I'd say we did it! We even had the energy to get our act together and out the door for our 8:45am pediatrician visit.

Speaking of that pediatrician visit (which for the record, we made it to exactly on time!), we encountered our first (post-birth) mis-pronunciation of Kaylani's name.

"Kuh-lani Tam!"

Seriously people? Kuh-lani? We changed the spelling to KaY-lani for a reason! It's the letter, like the jewelers, like the way it's spelt! KAY-lani! The official phonetic pronuciation as defined here at The Daddy Diaries (the official source of all things Kaylani Isabel Tam) is:

Kay (like "this blog is brought to you by the letter K") -
La (like in Pee Wee Herman - "LA LA LA") -
Ni (like "ow, my low knee", or "ow, my high knee")

Other ways we've heard (pre-birth) are:

Ki-lani (like Cobra Kai from the Karate Kid)
Colony (from someone who apparently has no idea how to pronounce letters)
Kay-Lane-e (must have been from someone from upstate NY - "I don't have an ACK-cent")

Now that we got that out of the way, here's a bit of history on how we came up with Kaylani as our daughter's name:

It was November 8, 2007 (yes, it's a freaky coincidence that it happens to be one year before her birthday) and Brendalys and I were in Kauai on our honeymoon (our wedding was on November 3, 2007). We were driving around the island and saw a sign that said Kailani. I remarked "hey, that's a cute word. We should name our daughter that." End of story!

Okay, not quite end of story, but we looked it up (means "the sky and the ocean", or "land and heaven" if you get it wrong like I did a few months back), and said, "hey, that's a cute meaning. We should name our daughter that." End of story again!

Not quite again, but we ran it by a few people, had a TON of people mispronounce it, and I think the final straw for me was when Brian goes, "like Cobra Kailani", which led to the official change to Kaylani. Plus, it makes it seem less Hawaiin.

Alright, well I'm off to stare at Kaylani since she's sleeping and uninterested in playing right now. I've uploaded new pictures from Days 4 and 5 to the Picasa web album so you can stare at her too. If you want to stare at her in person, we're now taking reservations for December visits. Book your time slot now and get one free "get out of a diaper change" card to be used during your stay*

(*offer valid thru November 15, 2008)

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

The Wrestling Match

These last couple of nights brings me back to my college years. Back when I would stay awake for days at time, doing nothing more than sit around and play computer games, or even worse, watch infomercials (didn't everybody want to buy a Ronco Dehydrator?). It's funny how my body used to recover just fine from those nights. Granted, back then, I could sleep through my 8am class (and the one at 9 and 10 also) and be ready to go all night again, but still, my body, or more specifically my brain, was able to function properly.

About 5 years ago, I used to joke that I should have a baby immediately since I was just fine getting 3 hours of sleep. In fact, my body never used to let me sleep more than 3 hours at a time. Now? I'm starting to realize my body wasn't telling me to stay awake, and it's getting that message across loud and clear.

When I think about last night, or first night at home, the first thing that pops into my head is a wrestling match. The obvious connection between trying to get a baby to sleep and a wrestling match would be the fight between me trying to put her down (you're small and you poop yourself!) and her staying awake, but it goes a couple of levels beyond that.

The first thing I tried was breastfeeding. After Brendalys told me to get the hell away from her breasts, we tried breastfeeding the baby. Worked like a charm...until we put her down (you're short too!). As soon as she hit the crib, it was squirm here, squirm there, squirm squirm squirm...which really makes her look like a worm since she's all swaddled up. 5 minutes later, she's back in my arms.

Next, we tried rocking her to sleep in the glider (I guess that would be gliding her to sleep). Worked like a charm...until we put her down again (you cry like a baby!). As soon as she hit the crib, squirm squirm squirm, and back in my arms again.

So we did what we were hoping to avoid this whole time...we put her in our bed. The thought here was if she slept right next to us, then she'd still feel our warmth and love, be all secure, and sleep like a charm. Worked like a charm! Seriously! She lasted a whole 20 minutes before she moved. And once the squirming started (here's where the wrestling comes in), I dove on her. Literally, I smothered her and looked like I was pinning her down for a 3 count, except it took a good 7 count. I felt like it was one of those times where the referee has been knocked out while I pinned her, and no one was around to count her out and end the match. Anyways, we went through this routine for about 40 minutes. She'd move, I'd jump on top of her. At one point, Brendalys opened her eyes and freaked out because she thought I fell asleep and was rolling over Kaylani. Ha, fall asleep. I wish...well, except the rolling over part.

Around 2:30am, I gave up. I decided the referee wasn't going to come to his senses and call the match over, so I took her back into her room and sat in the glider. We glided for 5 minutes before she passed out. Another 20 minutes and I was out too. I woke up around 5 am and went to "tag" Brendalys in. It was time for her to try her signature move...the breast feed. The rest of the morning is a bit foggy since as soon as Kaylani was safely in mommy's arms, I hit the mat and was out. Not just light sleep out, but out like Kimbo Slice after 14 seconds (zing!).

I came to around 8am. Turns out Brendalys' time in the ring went just about the same as mine. We'll see what tonight brings. It's already 9pm, which means the overnight shift is lurking. There are different pre-game rituals for everyone. For example, Kaylani is sleeping in my mom's arms right now, obviously resting up for a great fight tonight. Brendalys is taking a shower in the few moments she's been able to spare. And me? I'm letting my faithful readers in on my life, because no matter how bad it sounds, it's still the greatest story I've ever told.

I think I just heard the bell, or in this case, a cry. That can only mean one's go time!

Monday, November 10, 2008

Another 48 hours

So, I was going to write about what we did the night that Brendalys went into labor (mall walking and grocery shopping), and how we knew it was time (contractions 3 minutes apart for 35 minutes), the drive to the hospital (where I only ran 1 out of 3 red lights), and the actual birth itself (short, intense, and amazing), but after 8 hours of sleep in the last 72 hours, and the fact that I've stopped to stare at/hold/change Kaylani 5 times since I started writing this means that I'm going to have to learn to adjust.

We came home from the hospital this afternoon, and I wish there was a way I could express what I've been feeling over the past 3 days. Everything has been such a whirlwind, but a great whirlwind. Not to sound like lyrics from The Police (or a stalker) but every move she makes, every breath she takes, I watch her. I find myself hoping secretly that she won't stay asleep when I put her down, just so I can pick her up again. Everytime I hold her, and feel her next to me, I just keep thinking about how unbelievable it is that I made her and that she's mine. Our pediatrician told us that she wouldn't know she was being spoiled for a few more months. I sure hope that's true.

These past 3 days have been absolutely amazing. I know I keep saying that everything is amazing, but there's really no other way to describe it. I'm hoping that my body adjusts to the times of sleep deprivation (or what Kaylani calls the hours between 11pm-7am), but if I had to choose between getting normal hours of sleep, or having this beautiful girl in my life, I'd make the same choice over and over again. She's completely worth being awake for, no matter what time.

And to prove it to you, check out the updated pictures from Day 2 and Day 3. While you do that, it's time for me to see what my daughter has planned for Night 3, or what I'd rather think of as our first night at home together. Until tomorrow...

Oh, and by the way, congrats to Ruchi and Heather for correctly guessing Kaylani's birth date. As soon as everyone else pays me the $5 guess fees, I'll be sure to get your winnings right out to you.

Saturday, November 8, 2008

The first 12 hours...

It's been half a day since my beautiful daughter was born, and they've been the best 12 hours of my life. I plan on writing about my experience during the birth and immediately after, but for now, I've posted pictures to our Picasa Web Album (use the link to the right for "Pictures!").

Enjoy the pictures for now, and I'll keep you updated once I can tear myself away from Kaylani's side long enough to write about her in all her glory.

I'm a DAD!!!

It's now official: I no longer have to feel like a fraud for posting to a site I named "The Daddy Diaries." Kaylani Isabel Tam was born at 4:09 am this morning after 4 (only 4!!) short hours of labor. She is the most BEAUTIFUL thing I have ever seen, which definitely means she takes after her mother. Official stats: 21.75" and 7lbs 10oz. Oh, and a 13" head...which she definitely got from her father.

I had another post written up and ready to go (topic was why our baby won't come out), but I would gladly trade the effort of re-writing a post for the feeling I had when I saw my daughter for the very first time. My daughter. Wow.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Day 284

To different people, 9 months could be an eternity away, or it could be right around the corner. If you're the type of person who plans a lot (me), then 9 months sneaks up on you. Or if you're the type of person who lives day by day, then 9 months probably isn't even fathomable. But, when you're expecting a child, no matter what type of person you are, 9 months will come up on you and feel like it's right around the corner. Right up until that 9th month that is.

After 40 weeks, 280 short days, "9 months", all things say you should have a little newborn in your hand. Sometimes sooner, sometimes a bit later. But those last 14 days, or in our case, last 18 days (and counting) are LONG. Funny how the first 9 months flew by. I barely even remember what happened 9 months ago ,but I could tell you every single thing I've done in the last 18 days because they all go like this:

-Wake up 2-3 times in the middle of the night to check on Brendalys and make sure there's no signs of labor
-Grab a coffee from Dunkin Donuts
-Go to work and check my cell phone reception every 5 minutes
-Come home and eat dinner
-Twiddle thumbs and wait for baby to come
-Go to sleep
-Lather, rinse, repeat

Well we're on Day 284, and even though it's normal for first-time mom's to be late (even more normal when the mom is Puerto Rican), these days are getting longer. We've tried a few of the "home remedies" that induce labor but let me know if you have some "sure-fire" tactics that will help get this baby out...we'll try anything at this point! Otherwise we're just going to sit around and wait.

Some say I should take advantage of this time because life is about to change. I'd rather life just change now because I have a feeling that it's going to be awesome!

Thursday, November 6, 2008

The early days...REAL early

Here's my first post into this blog. It's so early, that I don't even have a baby yet. I'm technically not even a dad yet so this shouldn't even be posted under "The Daddy Diaries." Should I be? Yes. Am I? No. Baby has decided that her due date (which was November 3) means nothing to her. I think I'm in for a big shock once she comes out. I'm ALWAYS on time...and I think that's about to change. I guess baby wants to set expectations early...REAL early. You think you're always going to be on time? Think again...Dad. That sounds nice. "Dad." I'm in for a big shock...but it's going to be worth it!