Don’t Get Cocky

Remember that post yesterday, in which I bragged about all the sleep I’m getting with my newborn. Well, I violated Rule #2. I got cocky.

Yeah, we were up a bit last night. In fact, not only did the newborn wake up, but the 2 1/2 year old did too. It was rough. I probably managed three or four hours sleep for the night. Ugh.

Anyhow, they had a cool contest yesterday over at Book Roast in which you could pitch your book and editors would pick their favorites. Well, I entered, only I tried to get a little clever with mine. I would say I failed. Oh well, I still had fun writing it. The “theme” was supposed to be luck and entries were supposed to be limited to 75 words. Here’s mine:

Luck you say? Niko Calender had some luck. Wouldn’t have been picked for his school’s honors project without it. Got to time travel, he did.

Not all of it was good, mind you. Had to travel through with his nemesis Cody.

Got a bit of a mess in pre-historic times. Time machine ran out of gas. Teacher got arrested because of a sneeze. That’s the thing about luck. Sometimes you gotta make your own.

Newborn Care – You Need a Finishing Move

I’ve learned some stuff with Child Number Two, that I didn’t know with Child Number One. For example, I learned about the importance of a “Finishing Move”.

Some of you know what I mean, and some of you are looking at me like I have a booger on my face. I assure you I do not. In Pro Wrestling, all the greats had a signature “Finishing Move”, the thing they did to put the opponent to rest. The Undertaker had the Tombstone. The Rock had the People’s Elbow. Shawn Michaels had the Sweet Chin Music.

Now, I not saying I give my newborn son a pile-driver or kick him in the chin. However, I do have a special way of holding him that seems to put him into a deeper sleep and allows me to place him in the crib without him waking up. Those of you who are parents know this is the key to getting sleep in the newborn months.

The Finishing Move isn’t very complex. I simply hold him facing me, with his little head on my chest. As long as he’s eaten, this will put him asleep right away. Discovering this has been a life saver.

I wish I could say this will work for everyone, but it won’t. Each baby is different. In fact, there will probably come a time when my Finishing Move will stop working and I’ll have to retire it. Until then, I’ll be enjoying my sleep.

Spoke Too Soon – We Have Baby!

Well, not ten minutes after I posted yesterday, my wife called me, I rushed home, and we were off to the hospital. Four hours later and we we had a baby boy!

Everybody is healthy. We’re just resting now in the hospital. The baby is 7 pounds, 3 ounces. He’s 20 and 2/3 inches long. I’ll post pictures when I get the chance.

It’s funny how these things work out, isn’t it? 🙂

A Funny Little Guy

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As I was putting my daughter into her car seat the other day, she turned to me and said, “Daddy’s a funny little guy” and then laughed. Then she said “Daddy’s a cute little guy”. I’m not sure how accurate either quote really is, but it made me smile.

For about the past week, my daughter has been waking up crying at 2:30 AM. We try to let her “cry it out”, but that really doesn’t work anymore. Plus it’s SOOOO difficult to ignore cries of “Daddy holdie”, “Mommy holdie”, “Daddy open door”, “Mommy open door”. The worst was two nights ago when I finally went in and she was attempting to put one foot over the rail of the crib. Yikes!

Last night was no different except I was told not to bring her back into our room (because she has a tendency to pull my wife’s hair when she is trying to sleep). So, I sat with my daughter in a chair in her room for an hour (until about 3:30 AM). Every time she would fall asleep I would attempt to put her in the crib and she would wake up crying (I thought we were past this!). Finally, I had her rest her head on a pillow I had on the floor (in case she jumped out of the crib) and she fell into a deep sleep and I was able to go back to bed. Anyhow, it’s amazing what we will do for those we love, huh?

The potty training is going OK. My wife made a chart with the days of the week listed and every time my daughter uses the potty, she gets to put a sticker on the chart. She loves this. My dad asked if the stickers were color coded yellow and brown, but that’s just gross 🙂

As far as writing goes, even though I was still angry, I submitted a Chapter 3 for that writer generated story with my local newspaper. I’ll post my entry here soon. Also, I will be finishing that vampire story of mine this week as well. I will try my hardest to not let it be a letdown (that’s my biggest fear).

Potty Time

First of all, the writing group went well last night. I got some great feedback on my Chapter 1, and it was mostly positive. They all seemed to enjoy the story, but also offered some helpful advice. All the criticisms were given in a constructive manner, so it really didn’t hurt at all to hear them. Maybe I’m just maturing as a writer in this regard. Hmm. Anyhow, I’m looking forward to making the necessary changes and get on with Chapter 2.

One thing I need to do before my next meeting is to do some reading about giving a critique. I’m not that good at that part yet. Here are a few links I’ve found on the topic: writing world, crayne.com. If you have any more, let me know.

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In addition to my writing, my daughter is a huge part of my life as you all know. She is now 21 months old. Yesterday my wife went out a bought her a little training potty, similar to the one above. We took it out of the box, put it in the kitchen, talked about how cool it was, and then my wife asked my daughter, “Do you have to pee?” My daugher’s answer was a resounding “Yes!”, and wouldn’t you know she actually used the potty a little. We’re quite proud.

Anyhow, I know it will be a long process, and in a way I fear change (my little girl is growing up already!), but this is a good thing.  Imagine the money I’ll save on diapers. Still, this is one step closer to her not needing dear old Dadda anymore.  Sniff..

A Day At the Museum

The day after Thanksgiving my wife, her dad, and I took my daughter to The Children’s Museum of Pittsburgh.  We had a lot of fun walking around and looking at all of the exhibits.  My daughter had a particular fun time playing with the train set they had.  Judging by the amount of kids lined up around it, I think everyone had fun with the trains.

The highlight of the trip, though was the WaterPlay floor.  Yep, an entire floor devoted to water.   When you first get there, they have little yellow rain slickers for the kids to wear and galoshes for their feet. My daughter’s slicker covered her entire body.  She was so cute shuffling her feet as she walked wearing that little rain coat.  They warned beforehand to have a change of clothes for the kids, but we decided to take our chances.  Below is a picture of the floor from the museum’s web site.

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The first thing we did is play in that pool of water floating the boats and making a whirlpool with the hand cranks.  She loved that.  This is when we noticed a little girl that was about my daughter’s age (1 1/2)  or a little younger being a little overzealous in the water, reaching just a bit too far down.  Her mom was watching, but I was closer.  Next thing you know, the little girl reached too far and was headed headfirst into the water.  I grabbed her just before she went in.  My good deed for the day I guess.

When we took our daughter’s rain slicker off her clothes were soaked.  We had no change of clothes so we improvised.  My wife took all of our daughter’s clothes off except for her diaper and we fashioned a “toga” out of one of her blankets.  We even had her say “toga, toga” like in the movie animal house.  It was pretty funny. While she was wearing her “toga” her grandfather and I dried her clothes using the wall of hand driers. Seriously, there was a wall of about thirty hand driers there for this purpose.

Anyhow, it was a fun trip and one of the highlights of my Thanksgiving.  See, I can write about something other than NaNoWriMo after all!

Was that a Bird or Gunshots?

I hope you all had a nice weekend. Mine was good, but busy. We had another birthday party to attend and this one was a 3 1/2 hour drive so that was our Saturday. It was fun and I got to see a lot of my family, but it was also hot outside, something for which we weren’t prepared.

Sunday, our daughter woke us at 5:00 AM, which she has been doing lately. So, Sunday afternoon we all took a nap when our daughter did. It seemed like it was going to be a lazy afternoon in the house until I got the idea to go for a walk in the woods near one of the parks near our house.

All three of us had a wonderful time on our walk. The leaves are just beginning to change colors, so you will see trees with
just a touch of red leaves on the top. So beautiful. On our walk I saw a Blue Jay, which was pretty cool.

(Picture via wikipedia)

I think that’s the first one I spied this year. We have a couple cardinals in our neighborhood, but no Blue Jays.My daughter picked a couple wild daisies and held them in her little hand our entire walk and was still holding them when we got home. It was funny because at one point we told her we were going home and she just turned around and ran in the other direction laughing. I guess she doesn’t need us anymore, sniff.

The only thing that marred the peacefulness of our walk was the frequent shotgun shots we heard in the distance (still loud, though). Someone was obviously practicing for hunting season. Not a big deal, but it did kill the quiet calm a little.

Oh, and speaking of my daughter. She has been trying out string sentences together, even without prompting. She has been saying “Dadda’s car”,”Momma’s car”,”Dadda’s hair”, and “Momma’s hair” with some frequency lately.

Finally, I did no writing over the weekend. I simply had no time. However, I was notified of a Halloween Challenge on the Ficlets site I think I’ll try out. I’ve also begun to think about NaNoWriMo and some strategies for this year. I’m excited. It was announced in an email that Neil Gaiman is going to be one of the “Celebrity Pep Talkers” for this year’s NaNoWriMo.

Theme Decision and Stuff

Since I didn’t have an overwhelming opinion one way or the other, I’m going to keep my current theme for now. If I get any free time I will try to find an image to use in the new theme and make the switch at that time. We’ll see.

The winners of the contest over at The Clarity of Night are to be announced this morning. I don’t expect to win, but I guess you never know. There are so many good entries it must be really hard for Jason to pick a winner. Either way, I’m really proud of my entry.

I had a good weekend spending time with my daughter and wife. This weekend I learned that my daughter knows at least two letters:O and P. She definitely knows O, she pointed it out to us one night when we were trying to get her to sleep. However, the other day she pointed at the letter P and tried to say P. Sometimes she gets it, sometimes she doesn’t. Still, she is learning every day.

Update

Well, I didn’t win anything. Oh well. I had fun writing and reading all the entries. I think I’m going to try to take this story a little further, and I’ll keep you updated on how that goes. Maybe I can even get a novel out of it.

Sleep Update

Well, things were much better the night after the worst night of my life.  We went to an Arts Festival in town, leaving around 9:00 and on the way home my daughter fell asleep.  She was still sleeping when I left for work at 7:30 this morning.  That’s right, she slept through the night!.  Now I’m not sure if this was from “crying it out” the night before or if we just got lucky.  We’ll see tonight.  Either way, it was a nice little gift for us.  I don’t know what I would’ve done if we had a repeat of the night before.

Worst Night of My Life

I had the worst night of my life last night, no exaggeration. The time that could come close would have to be some night thatt in college where I drank too much, too fast and the world wouldn’t quit spinning and my insides kept trying to escape my body through my mouth. Last night was worse. Last night we tried the “cry it out method” to get our daughter to sleep.

For those not familiar, the “cry it out method” is when instead of going in and checking on a crying infant in the middle of the night, you let them cry themselves to sleep. Though our daughter(now 14 months old) has been sleeping much better than she used to,she has been “sleeping through the night” around four nights a week, our doctor felt it was time she learned to comfort herself.

My wife had decided this earlier in the day, so when night came I found myself hoping that my daughter would sleep through the night and we wouldn’t have to try this new method. Unfortunately, I was wrong as she is teething, so the pain probably woke her.

It all started around 12:28 last night when my daughter started to cry, and by cry I don’t mean little whimpers. I’m talking about full-on wailing. One minute of this crying would break your heart. It lasted two hours. I was awake for the whole thing, fighting the urge to pick her up and comfort her, picturing the boogie man standing above her crib making scary faces as we did nothing to stop him.

The hardest part for me was that my little girl, the one smiling back at me with her three-toothed grin as I sang “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star”, the one who just a few hours prior was kicking a balloon in the living room saying “kick”, the same little one who had visited me at my office earlier in the day and said “coffee” to laughter from all my co-workers, would have to endure even a moment of sadness. I guess Daddy can’t always make it better.

They say the first day is the hardest, that soon she will learn to comfort herself. I hope that’s true. I also realize she has been playing us, knowing we would always come in her room to check on her. Still, this was really difficult. They say it’s harder on us than it is on the baby. I agree.


Update

Well, things were much better the next night.  We went to an Arts Festival in town, leaving around 9:00 and on the way home my daughter fell asleep.  She was still sleeping when I left for work at 7:30 this morning.  That’s right, she slept through the night!.  Now I’m not sure if this was from “crying it out” the night before or if we just got lucky.  We’ll see tonight.  Either way, it was a nice little gift for us.  I don’t know what I would’ve done if we had a repeat of the night before.