Family of 5: The First Days

May 31, 2012 23 comments

My biggest apprehension as we were expecting our third child was how D2 would react to her new brother or sister. You see, when D2 was born, I had one of my worst moments as a dad. Rereading that post today still brings the sawdust into my eyes as all the emotions flood back. And unlike D1, who loved daddy and mommy pretty equally, D2 clung to her mommy. In fact, my mom tells me that D2 is just like I was as a toddler: clinging to her everywhere she went, even to the bathroom. So we did all we could to prepare D2, but definitely had my fears.

Thankfully, those fears were never realized as D1 and D2 LOVE their baby brother.

D1 w/ her baby brother

Note the pigs MK would be proud of.

D2 sniffs and/or kisses her baby brother

And yes, those are a box of Chilean Asian Pears in the background. I don’t know why I find them amusing.

Maybe it’s the fact that D2 copies EVERYTHING D1 does, and D1 loved her brother from the minute she saw him. Or maybe D2 just naturally loves him. Either way, we haven’t had to deal with any jealousy or baby hitting issues. Yet. Now if only we could get D1 and D2 to stop fighting…

On Tuesday, we had our son circumcised. Since he was born in a birth center, he wasn’t circumcised there, so we had to get it done somewhere else. We debated between a hospital/surgeon (covered by insurance) or a mohel (may not covered by insurance). A mohel would’ve been anywhere from $450 to $600. However, I recently spent $370 on a lens. I’d say his penis being in the hands of someone who literally handles a handful of penises per day was worth a few hundred more than a lens. You’re welcome son.

The mohel we used was very professional and the process was quick – the actual removing of foreskin took maybe 2 minutes. But when he put the clamp in and made a cut and some blood ran down my son’s shaft, I nearly fainted. As funny as it might be to see someone get hit in the nuts, every man cringes – when you see blood emerging from the male organ, most men faint. It’s the bond we have with our packages.

When he showed me the finished product, it looked like he cut off the tip. I nearly fainted again. He said it looked good; I’d disagree. Bloody junk is not a good junk.

But seriously, having a boy has made my blog very junk-centric. When we had D1 and D2, there’s really no reason to discuss their lady parts. I’m eagerly looking forward to the amusing spam comments coming from all parts of Europe.

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Categories: Family Tags: , ,

It’s a Boy!

May 30, 2012 25 comments

My wife and I welcomed our son into the world this past weekend! Mom and baby are doing well, but naturally, no one ever asks how I’m doing. So I’ll go ahead and tell you anyway.

Contractions became regular around 10:50pm – about 10 minutes apart and 20 seconds in duration. I think for D1, I timed contractions to the tenth of a second; for ?3, I got close enough. My next note is at 12am – “starting to get more intense.” About 12:15, her contractions were now a minute in length and about 12:45, we left for the birth center. We got there an hour or so later and she was 6cm, 90%, and -1 station. Around 2:10am, she was 6.5cm. Having only progressed 0.5cm in 30 minutes, I figured we were in for a long night, so I guzzled a 16oz coffee refusing to be as sleepy as I was during D2’s birth.

30 minutes later, my wife had a crucial contraction. The midwives and nurses were attending to other mothers in the birth center and I had a more than a mild freakout thinking that the baby would be born right then and there. Thankfully, only her water broke and the midwives entered the room. 4 minutes later, ?3 was crowning, and 2 minutes and 2 pushes after that, my son was born.

My wife told the midwives she didn’t want them to announce the sex of the child and she wanted to look for herself. Amusingly, she took her glasses off during the pushing and my wife, God bless her, is pretty blind without her glasses. So when ?3 initially emerged, she was inching closer and closer to his/her crotch to figure out what the sex was, exclaiming, “I…can’t see….what is it???”….”I think….it’s a boy? Is it a boy?!?!”

He weighed 7lbs14oz and was 21″ in length. He found the boob pretty quickly and had a good old time nursing. We took a nap and my mother-in-law arrived around 5:30am with food. While the midwives were making sure my wife was ok and I was packing the car, my son pooped all over my mother-in-law. Yup. A pile of meconium on her dress.

Numerous people have asked me, “So are you happy it’s a boy?” Yes, but no more happier than if it had been a girl. When I said I just wanted the baby to be healthy, I really meant it. My parents on the other hand? They were definitely happy we had a son.

Frankly, changing his diapers is a bit of a pain. Parents of sons often told me how changing a boy’s diaper is easier – that may be the case later, but right now? Not so much. You see, I too am a penis-carrying male, and as such, I’m super gentle when I wipe my son down since I know what it feels like when your testicles experience even the slightest bit of force. And I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t shocked at how big his sac was. It kind of reminded me of that dog in the Van Wilder movie.

I’m definitely tired but I’m far more in love. And also, a little addicted to how he smells.

Tomorrow: how D1 & D2 reacted to their brother and how a mohel nearly made me faint

Categories: Family Tags: ,

An Update on My Family

May 24, 2012 14 comments

Good morning Readers (or those who forgot to unsubscribe). It’s been a while – so much so that I had to sit and think for a few minutes what my wordpress password was this morning.

So let’s get down to it.

What’s going on Pop?

A lot. It’s been more than 2 months since my last blog post.

– First, Baby #3 or ?3 as Poppy coined him or her is almost a week overdue. Listen kiddo, your mom’s a patient person and all but this isn’t cute. Just kidding. Sort of. Our bags have been packed and the infant car seat has been installed for more than 2 weeks. We can’t wait! I’m sure I’ll regret saying that in a day (or is it a week?) or so when I’m sleep-deprived and wondering what we were thinking when we let our kids outnumber us, but nothing a little newborn baby smell can’t solve. Seriously. Sniffing a newborn is intoxicating.

– I sprained my ankle more than a month ago playing basketball with church members. When I came home limping, my wife’s jaw dropped and she said, “You have got to be joking.” Yup. My very pregnant wife had to take care of both the kids. This effectively ended my weekend warrior career. In my defense, I sprained it when I got bumped and landed on someone’s foot. You’re right – that’s a terrible defense.

So my very pregnant wife had to drive us to the ER to get me x-rayed. We must’ve been quite the sight: a preggo pushing a guy around in a wheelchair.

While at the ER, my wife felt something itchy in her hair. ACK!!!! DOG TICK!!! We had more than a mild freakout at this point. Thankfully, it didn’t bite her.

– After we got home from the ER around midnight, I started having serious stomach pains. You see, about 7 years ago, I had symptoms of pancreatitis for 3 months. After being misdiagnosed numerous times, they finally found it was due to a duodenal duplication cyst and they removed it. I also had my gall bladder removed as a precaution. So my very pregnant wife had to drive me back to the ER. This time, she pushed me around in a wheelchair while I was carrying my crutches.

Basically, the Dr. and nurse blew me off at this point. I can’t say for sure why, but I’m guessing they thought I just came back for pain meds. Maybe that’s cynical but they seemed more annoyed by me than wanting to find out what was wrong, especially with my past history. Anywho, they discharged me after giving me pain meds and not doing anything beyond a blood test and putting me in outpatient care.

The next day, I wasn’t able to keep anything down – not even water. So I made an appointment to see the doctor a soon as possible. Thankfully, she was much more understanding and concerned.

– So for the past month, I’ve been going through a series of test. They couldn’t figure out what caused it from the tests they ran so my doctor decided to order a capsule test. My insurance deemed it cosmetic and not medically necessary so they rejected it after they initially approved it. So I have no idea what caused my pancreatitis symptoms to return. Thankfully, after about a week or so of eating nothing but jello and broth, I was able to hold down some solid food.

– That medical scare put the fear of God in me. Turning 30 (more like feeling lethargic and fat, not necessarily the fact I turned 30), spraining my ankle, and pancreatitis reminded me that I’m not guaranteed to be here to grow old with my wife and raise our kids. And since my wife will be homeschooling starting in the Fall (read: we’ll be a one-income family), I decided to finally get serious about my health.

But weren’t you serious about your health this year?

I said I was. But I was terrible at it. In fact, from the beginning of the year until I got sick, I was slowly getting depressed. I tried to eat healthier and exercise, but it seemed fruitless. Here I was, supposed to be getting excited about ?3 but instead, I’m sitting in a wheelchair in an ER waiting room, crutches in hand, with my pregnant wife sleeping in an uncomfortable seat, feeling sorry for myself.

So I decided to make a change. For real this time. Better late than never.

My wife and I finished watching Fat, Sick and Nealy Dead, which we started back in February but never finished. I had a Vitamix at home, so rather than buy a new juicer, I decided to do a 15-day juice fast using the Vitamix.

Not going to lie. It was tough at first. I think my daily caloric intake was less than 1,000 calories, which was nothing when compared with my typical caloric intake, which was closer to 3,000. But after 3 days or so, I felt great!

I lost 12lbs over the 15 days and in the 3 weeks following, I’ve lost 5 more pounds, mostly through diet (lot less meat and eating out, smaller portions) and exercise. Other than this point – ironically, a sprained ankle derailed my fitness goals at that time – I’m probably in the best shape of my life. Which leads me to my next update:

– I’ve been enjoying taking my kids to Pump It Up. I prefer Pump It Up over other bounce places because the adults can play too. I may or may not get winded trying to keep up with D1 but I love being active with my kids. A few months ago, I would’ve rather preferred taking a nap over taking my kids out to do something active.

While I’ve neglected this blog for far too long, I’m back to where I began: I want to be the best dad I can be. Go, Pop, go!

P.S. Bring on the sleep deprivation!

Categories: Family Tags: , , ,

When Patience is Not a Virtue

March 5, 2012 6 comments

I’m generally not a very patient person but in some cases, I can be foolishly patient. For example, getting gas. Maybe it’s the fact that I used to pay for gas with whatever I had in my ashtray when I was a poor teenager and then college student, but I can’t bring myself to fill up on gas until I absolutely need to. Contrast this with my mom who gets uncomfortable when her gas tank gets below the halfway mark. In fact, I’ve often viewed the gas light as a challenge. Generally, the gas light coming on means you have about 20 miles until your tank is empty. ORLY?!?! In the past, I’ve proudly proclaimed that I once drove 40 miles after the check engine light came on, to which my friend(s) say, “you’re an idiot.” What I fail to mention is that one time my wife ran out of gas because of my “patience.”

One of the potential venues my fiancee and I looked into for our wedding was the Glenview Mansion in Rockville, MD. My fiancee was driving my old Corolla at the time, and when we were leaving, she said she should probably get gas. “Did the check engine light come on,” I asked her. “No,” she replied, “But it’s awfully low…” “Don’t worry,” I assured her, “I know that car and I can get gas for it later.” This statement turned out to be very, very true. So we made plans to meet back at her house and then head somewhere for dinner.

It was rush hour on Viers Mill Rd, and for those that are familiar with the Rockville area, rush hour gets pretty intense on Rockville Pike, Viers Mill Rd, and Norbeck Rd, etc…my fiancee was following me but we eventually got separated. As I was driving along, I get a phone call. “I’M OUT OF GAS!!!”

I generally try not to curse; this was not one of those situations. Well, I didn’t curse out loud because that wouldn’t have helped anything. But my brain was stringing profane words together together like some super hit combos in a fighting game.

Me: “WHERE ARE YOU?!”
Her (clearly upset): “At the intersection of Viers Mill and Norbeck Rd…”
Me: “I’LL BE RIGHT THERE!!!”

I get to the nearest gas station. There’s only one gas tank in the shop and there’s no price tag on it. “HOW MUCH IS THIS,” I ask. “$10,” the clerk replied. I’m sure seeing me in a state of panic added several dollars to the cost. I paid the cost and filled it up and rushed back to my fiancee.

There’s nowhere to park in that area and it would’ve taken forever to make my way around to get my car behind hers. As I pull up, I utter more profanities as I see the traffic jam being caused by her broken down car. I end up parking illegally at someone’s home and having to run across this big field, which is no longer there (they built up several homes). I think the field was maybe 100 ft long; it felt like a mile. Several irritated drivers looked over and saw me running with a gas can and shouted pleasantries at me. Many made note of my race and the fact that I like to do things to other men’s butts or mentioned the things they’d love to do to my butt, particularly inserting objects into it. How pleasant.

I finally get to the car and more pleasantries are being uttered by passersby. Turns out my fiancee ran out of gas a little further up the road but I nice gentleman pushed the car to this spot, which eased the backup slightly. The worst part of this whole thing? The gas can I just paid $10 for is broken. I’m getting more gas onto the side of the car and onto Viers Mill Rd than I am into the gas tank. My guess is that $10 gas can transferred 10% of the gas I bought into the car.

So as I walk back across the field to my car, I’m praying probably harder than I’ve ever prayed before that my fiancee would be able to make it home. (she did).

Fast forward to roughly 2 weeks ago. My wife and my mom mention that we are running low on diapers. “I’ll order them from Amazon soon,” I maintained. Ever since Amazon Mom started, whenever I’ve ordered diapers, they’ve arrived at our house no more than 3 days from the day I ordered them – sometimes, the next day. They remind me again that we’re low on diapers last week and I went ahead and ordered them. The next day, the diapers still haven’t shipped and now I’m starting to get nervous. Then my mom calls me and says, “Hey, I thought there were some extra diapers downstairs but we actually don’t have any left.”

I generally try not to curse; this was not one of those situations.

Mercifully, the diapers shipped via UPS later that afternoon, but they wouldn’t arrive until Monday. Thankfully, we had some emergency diapers we keep stored in our cars – we wised up after forgetting our diaper bag on several crucial occasions. “Maybe we should just go buy a pack of diapers,” my wife asked me. Again, I’m foolishly patient with some things, especially when buying a pack of diapers in the stores is crazy expensive.

The diapers are out for delivery this morning. So my mom is at home, left with one diaper. UPS is delivering a package, which I hope gets there before D2 delivers her daily brown package. Gives new meaning to the slogan, “What can brown do for you?”

The Great Muffin Craving of 2012

March 1, 2012 12 comments

Like Michael Scott, I’m not superstitious but I’m a little stitious. When my wife and I were expecting D1, both our moms unleashed a slew of Korean pregnancy superstitions on us. Three of them they stated repeatedly

  1. If the pregnant mom doesn’t get the food she’s craving, the baby’s eyes will be crooked
  2. Post-birth, the mom has to have a diet subsisting of seaweed soup (miyeok guk 미역국)
  3. Post-birth, the mom has to be kept warm at all times to prevent achy joints and arthritis later in life

The last one, my wife and I saw firsthand when we visited my cousin who had given birth in the summer, shortly after we found out we were expecting. It was a sweltering, humid day in Maryland (which is pretty much every day in late-July to early-August around here) and the house was horribly uncomfortable – we figured the air conditioning was broken. After greeting us, my cousin went to her room to try and get some rest on her bed. Her mom sees her and JUMPS up in shock and runs over to her. Alarmed, we followed behind her. She grabs a damyo (a thick, fuzzy blanket Koreans use in the winter) (It’s probably not spelled that way commonly, but damyo is funnier in my mind) and throws it on my cousin. It also turns out that the A/C wasn’t broken; my aunt wouldn’t allow it to be turned on. My mom nodded approvingly.

Most pregnancy superstitions (how the woman is carrying the baby determines the sex, for example) seem silly. But the first Korean pregnancy superstition I listed above? I followed that without fail. Not because I loved my unborn child (which I did); but because I love food. So not only does it win me Good Husband points, I also get to eat food.

For example, this past weekend, my wife was craving Bon Chon chicken. It’s a 40 minute drive. I definitely earned some Good Husband points for that one. Plus, I LOVE Bon Chon. This is the rare win-win for a husband. And yes, I bought 2 large orders just in case she wouldn’t leave any leftovers she was really hungry*.

So yesterday, we were heading to our car after doing some shopping at Sam’s Club and my wife says, “I’m craving a chocolate muffin.” If you know my wife, you know that she’s a fairly healthy eater. In fact, you could argue that if it weren’t for me, she wouldn’t eat junk food at all. And you’d win that argument handily. She even had a plan: rather than buying 4 massive chocolate muffins they have available at Sam’s, she decided we’d go to Panera and get one. Panera-lover that I am, I had no problem with this.

Except, Panera had no chocolate muffins.

She suggested we try Dunkin Donuts.

Alas. They only had chocolate chip muffins (horrible first world problem, no?).

The rain began pouring down. If you know Maryland drivers, you know that driving ability is inversely proportional with precipitation.

I love my chocolate muffin kid; I will not be deterred.

We tried another store. No luck.

My wife said, “Let’s just go home…”

I love my chocolate muffin kid; I will not be deterred.

We drove to another county** to a Giant. The rain was still pouring and I couldn’t find a close parking spot – I hadn’t planned for rain so I was wearing my regular shoes.

I love my chocolate muffin kid; I will not be deterred.

I told my wife to wait in the car – she’s at the waddling phase (those were her words, not mine).

I ran in and headed toward the bakery. There was an older lady (all of my grocery store confrontations tend to be with older ladies for some reason) leisurely perusing the baked goods with a tong in her hand. GASP there was only one chocolate muffin left and the old lady was using the only pair of tongs. I may or may not have very gently nudged her aside and grabbed the muffin with my bare hand. Pretty sure she looked at me with one of those, “WHY I NEVER…”

I love my chocolate muffin kid; I will not be deterred.

Like a proud hunter returning home with a prized game, I returned to our vehicle triumphant.

So there you go, kiddo – this is how much daddy loves chocolate muffins you.

And yes, she did share some of the muffin with me. Even a piece of the top. Now that’s love.

What about you? What pregnancy superstitions did your parents tell you? Did you have any cravings during pregnancy?

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* Thankfully, my wife will usually share at least a bite of what I bring back for her. Usually.

** We live on the county border. Very convenient for when I want to make blog posts sound more dramatic.

My Toddler, the Hipster

February 22, 2012 26 comments

D2’s taken a liking to “taking photos.” My wife and I both dabble in photography, so D2 has been imitating us with the toy camera we bought for her. Last week, I decided to have a little hipster fun and let D2 take a mirror self portrait – I’m sure you’ve seen them before, or maybe you were taking mirror self portraits before they became so mainstream. Here’s the result.

Self-portraits with real cameras are so mainstream

I love her asymmetrical pigtails.

This post is part of #iPPP (iPhone Photo Phun), where we link up photos taken from our smart phones. Any smart phone.

iPhone Photo Phun

That Awkward Moment

February 21, 2012 2 comments

Good morning dear Reader. I’m over at Megan from Best of Fates today. The first time I found Megan’s blog, I thought it was BeStoffAtes or BestOffAtes, so I was excited for poor grammar and lots of food. Instead, what I found was even better: awkward moments and cheese. So join me over at her place as I share awkward parenting moments.

Linky