Friday, February 28, 2014

Quell the Vomit Monster

As we gear up for the arrival of Pillow, there are a few items that never left our possession. The Baby accumulated an obscene amount of unwanted junk from family and friends (we appreciate the thoughtful gestures!) - but it ends up being overwhelming. Compound that with the fact that the Wifey is a crazy pack-rat (she vehemently denies it), our house is essentially a shoo-in for the next episode of Hoarders. A person can stuff only so many clothes and toys into a ForceFlex garbage bag before the trash bag says "F this shit" and rips itself open. Probably the exact same feeling the buttons on my shirt feel after a trip to the local buffet.

But there are baby things you end up using on a daily basis. Some things I will ask myself why the hell I threw it in the trash in the first place. Here is my life of the four best baby things you'll continue to use.

1. Baby wipes.

Basically they are wet naps except you don't have to rip it open with your teeth like a condom package. The whole reason you're a parent in the first place is because you had trouble opening the condom. Baby wipes are decently priced for the amount you get in a package; the packaging is resealable so you'll always have that cool, moist tissue. They are great if you need to cool down, somehow smash ice cream all over your face, or you need a quick "shower" and the can of FeBreze is nowhere to be found. I usually have a package somewhere in the car - you never know when someone is going to spill. I prefer a baby wipe over the hand sanitizers just because A) it's super creepy when someone pulls it out and squeezes it into their palm and then rubs it like they are about to go into surgery and B) they dry out my hands. Plus you don't rub sanitizer all over your face just because you couldn't resist the all you can eat Riblets at Applebee's.

2. Baby blanket

You know you have a closet full of them. Just stacks on stacks of blankets of quilts. Some with mysterious stains others still covered in your mother in law's perfume. But either way, you still have them and you will still use them. They are big enough to shut the Wifey up when she complains the car's heater isn't getting hot fast enough. But they are small enough it doesn't feel like you're dragging around the comforter of your bed. They are handy when you need a quick makeshift blanket or if you need a privacy screen so your daughter can pee on the side of the road because she couldn't hold it long enough and there was no way in hell you were going to use Wal-Mart's bathroom.

3. Snacks

This is a tough one because a lot of the snacks that the Baby eats are snacks that I eat. Fruit snacks and goldfish seem to be the most common ones. But snacks are really beneficial when you are toting around a gallon Zip-loc bag of stale, flavorless Cheerios. There will be times when the Wifey (or yourself) happen to drink two too many bottles of crappy house wine when you're out and the drive thru line to Whataburger happens to be 7 cars long - you're going to need something bland to quell the Vomit Monster.

4. Diaper bag

I know, it's a bitch to carry around in the first place. And it's even worse for guys because all the new diaper bags look like big ass purses. It's bad enough you have to hold your wife's purse but now you have to hold your wife's purse AND your daughter's bigger ass purse. But that thing is useful. A diaper bag is the Swiss Army Knife of random ass shit. There are so many times that I need somewhere to put my keys, wallet, and phone because I wear athletic shorts in public because I DON'T GIVE AN F. I need some baby wipes because my face is dirty and I'm too classy to spit wash my own face? It's in the diaper bag. My kid wanted to jump in the water fountain at the mall and now she's naked in the backseat? Cover her up with that blanket that you somehow managed to shove in the diaper bag. And the greatest thing about diaper bags are the random goodies you will find at the bottom. I've found goldfish crackers to M&Ms and even that Redbox DVD of Madagascar 3 that your wife swore she returned.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Is it a boy? Is it a girl?

I officially celebrated my 30th birthday by using a gift card to Chilis with my family. Service was mediocre and so was the food but I spent it with my family. The Baby is just getting more wild in public and it's a chore to take her anywhere but I will attribute that to her being stuck in the house after daycare as I had to work.

The Baby reminds me of our dog Shrek. As soon as he is anywhere not at home, he freaks out and goes into super hyper mode. It was like the Baby chugged one of those yard long Pixi Stix. Insane.

The Diva 

A couple of weeks ago the Wifey and I went to the doctor to get our first sonogram of an actual baby in her stomach. When we to the sonogram with the Baby a few years ago, we let them know we didn't want to know the sex. He tried his best to avoid the crotcch but the Wifey and I both caught a glimpse of a "hotdog bun" which is the universal indicator of a vagina. If it was a boy, it would have been a turtle. So although we officially didn't know the Baby was a girl, we knew deep down.

This time we made sure to reiterate that, despite the angst expressed by family and friends, we ARE STILL NOT going to find out the sex of Pillow. I even went the extra step of focusing on my game of Flappy Birds when he was in the area. And this time the Wifey and I feel a lot more confident that we don't know if we are having a boy or a girl.

But the sonogram we received seems to be a clear indicator that we're having a boy. There is no doubting it. Take a look for yourself.

LOOK AT THAT. My boy is already a man. He's a mushroom headed monster. That thing is about half his body size. Impressive. But also makes me want to take a paternity test. He definitely didn't get that gift from me.

For those who are unfamiliar with sonograms - that's actually Pillow's leg...or maybe a third leg, amirite?

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Taking the Time to Listen

The Baby is going to be four years old next month. Just this past week she upgraded from her long baby hair and got a more mature haircut, complete with sideswept bangs. In fact, as soon as she got her haircut, she's been sleeping in her own bed. As a family we are already spending less and less time together. And especially with technology, we all seem to be consumed on what's on the screen rather than the person in front of us.

I hardly ever really take the time to listen to what the Baby is talking about. It's usually just random, non-nonsensical blabber. I do a better job of understanding her than the Wifey but I will attribute that to my years of listening to my dad's broken English.

But today I sat down and just listened to her. Listened to her words, listened to her hand movements, and her body language. For a little kid, she has a lot to communicate. I asked her why she doesn't watch Dora the Explorer anymore. I asked her why she prefers Doc McStuffins or some show about a handyman. Her response was straight forward and made perfect sense.

"I don't like to watch it anymore because it has bad guys in it. They are mean."

Simple but very clear thought process.

She then explained the purpose of lotion.

"Your skin gets dry and you put lotion on it."

I am so caught up in thinking that she hasn't grown up that I fail to appreciate how intelligent she has become. I can explain things and she will pretty much understand what's going on. Except for when we went to Target to get a Valentine's stuff for her day care friends. Apparently the Baby wanted some just for her self. Such a spoiled brat.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Surviving the Baby Store

The trip to the Big Box Mega Baby Store is a visit I would normally dread. Screaming babies, pregnant women with constant bitchy resting face, and the long check out lines. It's like Wal-Mart except the people not wearing pants are in the infant carriers. The trip to the store is never off to a good start if I have to mean mug the asshole that parks in the expectant mothers' spot. I worked hard to impregnate the Wifey to get that prime spot.

Total Wine = Step 1 in the baby making process

The Wifey knows it's not my most favorite store and she definitely knows not to get pregnant during the football season or she would be making these visits alone. But she's considerate; she doesn't demand my opinion - she knows it's the same answer of "whichever you like the best." She makes sure she gets everything she needs because wasting away in the checkout line only for her to forget something on the other side of the store is a huge tease.

But luckily I've learned make the most of the visit and entertain myself. So here are the 5 Rules to Maintain Your Sanity in the Big Box Mega Baby Store:

1) Be charged.

Make sure your phone is charged. Sorry, let me be more specific: make sure your smart/internet-capable phone is charged. You can't survive a visit if you're limited to Snake 2. I would estimate 80% battery should be sufficient but it really depends on the visit. If you're registering for baby stuff, you should be fine. You'd be surprised how fast time flies when you're scanning random shit. But if you're returning everything that you registered for because you thought there is no way on Earth someone would buy the diaper disposal system that seals diapers shut 360 degrees in order to lock in odors - you thought wrong. Someone will buy it and you will be waiting in line to return it. In that scenario you will need a fully charged phone and maybe an extended battery.

2) Limit your attention span.

A fully charged phone will do you no good if you do not have internet or stuff to do on the phone. There is a really good chance that in the vastness of one these mega stores, there will be an internet dead spot from as soon as you walk in all the way to dumpsters in the alley behind the store. Don't try and force your phone to find that one bar of service, you will end up draining your battery further. But if you are one of the lucky few who can get service, keep your internet surfing short and sweet. You want to be able to read a quick story or maybe some tweets but don't try and watch a movie. Definitely don't even try to sneak your Kindle in and try and read a book. You will need something you can quickly stop so you can answer questions like, "how will this look in the yet to be designed nursery?" The answer: it's going to look great because you've shoved that Pinterest picture in my face a 1000 times. The reality: it's going to look like crap because, well  because it's Pinterest. You can try watching Vine videos but acoustics are awful in these big buildings and you'll have your phone to your ear as if your phone is telling you a secret. Stick to material that is geared for short attention spans just to make your partner you think you don't mind shopping.

3) Hulk Smash.

You have no bars of service. Don't fret. Most of the games available for your phone are designed for your one handed play so you can continue to push the shopping cart and still play. Candy Crush seems to be popular but I don't play it so I wouldn't know. If you are lucky and happen to have downloaded Flappy Birds before it was pulled, be careful. If your partner happens to ask you for your opinion right when you're going to beat your high score of 7, you're going to come off as an ass when you ignore life. But what do you do when you experience Flappy Bird rage? You can't throw your phone and you definitely can't start cussing - this is still a baby store. You punch stuff. I am being serious. Baby car seat displays are perfect punching. Most of the car seats have side impact things that are great for a right hook and it's always fun to see how well these car seats hold up. And it's always fun to think that your punches are flying at the same force and velocity of a two ton steel car slamming into your car because you know, we're men and we Hulk smash. I usually go down to the row of car seats and punch all the side impact head cushions. You definitely don't want to punch the main cavity of the seat where the kid actually sits. That's just hard plastic and it hurts and dumb. Punch the head cushions. It takes practice because if you miss, it's going to hurt.

4) Demo everything.

A good baby store will let you demo everything. So why not make it fun? I usually go to the baby swings and turn all them on at one time. And then I turn up the speed and music so the aisle is filled with crappy baby music. If you are up for the challenge, try getting all the baby swings to swing in unison. Some of the swings have different swing timing so you have to time it just right. I think I've gotten 4 swings in unison. I probably could have gotten more but I had to give my opinion on which breast pump looks better designed to suck the most milk. You can also go to all the baby toys and press the demo buttons just to be even more annoying. I like the toys that sing. I get all the toys to sing at the same time so it's like I am conducting my own choir. I'd probably could spend an entire day doing this if I had chance.

5) Take a break.

No internet? No more battery life? Hand hurts from punching stuff? Don't worry, the best thing about the baby store is the row of rocking chairs that were made for resting. It might be a little rude to sit in one of these chairs the whole time so I usually make this a last resort. I will also pick the cheapest chair. You don't need to be comfortable - you just need to get off your feet. But if the store isn't busy, by all means, treat yo self and sit in the mega chair. You won't regret it. And if your partner asks why you're sitting down, go with this sure-fire gem: "I am just imagining rocking our beautiful child to sleep so you can get your rest." Boom. Gold. But be careful, if the Wifey ever catches you passed out in the rocking chair with your newborn hanging on for dear life, she will never, ever let it go.

And if everyone is wondering, there is a diaper disposal system that seals your dirty diapers shut like those food vacs.

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Bronies and Twilight Sparkle

The family took an impromptu trip to the mall on Saturday because the pregnant Wifey was in the mood for some pasta. For some odd reason it didn't occur to us that there would be a ridiculously long wait to get a table for a table of three. Nearly a three hour wait was in store for us. Instead of waiting around we opted to walk the mall and let the Baby run out some energy.

We ended up going to Build A Bear because the Baby is a huge My Little Pony fan. It came as a shock to us when the Baby named every single character from the show. Her love was really cemented when we watched a documentary on Netflix called "Bronies" which is about the unlikely fans of My Little Pony.

The Baby ends up picking out Twilight Sparkle and we head back to the restaurant. Our original choice was Maggianos so the Wifey could satisfy her pasta craving but since the wait was still pretty long, we decided on Seasons 52. We heard it was pretty good but their big selling point is all their entrees are under 500 calories.

The Wifey and I chose our respective meals and Seasons 52 offered a small kids menu. It was your typical pizza, chicken fingers, and pasta menu. We decided to order the Baby some edamame. Apparently our server thought this was the most amazing thing ever that a little 4 year old would be excited for edamame. The Baby prefers to call them green beans - the only issue we have is the work it takes just to squeeze them out of the pods. When our food came out, the food runner even was amazed that we ordered the Baby edamame.

The Wifey and I do not have very good eating habits. But the Baby has been pretty good about eating healthy snacks and preferring water over sodas. She actually finds sodas to be very disgusting. That's fine by us. We've always allowed the Baby to have free will in choosing her snacks - she can open the fridge and pantry and grab whatever she wants. We've been lucky that her two favorite snacks are carrots and fruit; particularly apples.

Of course the Baby isn't perfect. If she comes across a bag of Oreos, there's a 100% chance she has gone through and licked off all the cream and put the cookies back. But for the most part her she rotates between string cheese, carrots, and apples.