Uhhh…

My son may have eaten poop today. It was his own poop, so that’s not as bad as eating someone else’s poop, but I think he ate poop. How do you look at your son the same after (allegedly) eating poop?

So here’s what happened. Rory went down for a nap around 2:30. He’s been hit-and-miss when it comes to second naps for over a month now, so when he started bouncing around his crib instead of sleeping, we weren’t surprised. However, when Lisa went into his room about 30 minutes later, she knew why he hadn’t fallen asleep.

When a kid poops, the smell smacks you right when you walk into the room. I’ve become a bloodhound when it comes to smelling out poops—the faintest whiff is all I need to know my kid poo-poo’ed in their pants. Lisa’s nose isn’t quite as good as mine, but I’ve spend most of my life surrounded by poop, so I have more training. Lotta poop. Lots.

Back to Rory. Lisa goes to get him up while I watch Lucy downstairs. Suddenly, I hear her say, “ROB!” I run upstairs and smell the poo-poo but then also see two small, tiny poop pebbles on his mattress. He started bouncing up and down, stepping on them. I mean, I also feel great after a good poop, so I get it. But gross.

Rory either takes a big, solid poop ball or he does poops like this—lots and lots of tiny pebbles. Poop rocks as we call them. However, it had never been this pebbly before. They were tiny and they were everywhere. I quickly grabbed him and took him to the changing table in our bedroom.

We use reusable diapers so I can’t just chuck them but instead need to grab them and put them into a container to be rinsed off. I grab the container, get the new diaper out (can’t do that too late or he might pee all over you…learned that the hard way), and then pulled off the old diaper.

Poop rocks are falling everywhere onto the changing pad. There was nothing I could it…taking off the diaper was opening the dam holding back the poop rock river. I’m trying to be as fast as I can, turn to get the container, look back, see something in Rory’s hands and then, before I can even react, it’s in his mouth.

I screamed. Loudly. “AHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHH!” Rory was starring at me, quiet for a second, then started loudly crying. I’m not sure if it’s because I scared him or because he just ate poop. Either one is worthy of crying.

Lisa was getting the bath ready in the next room and asked what happened.

“I think he ate poop!” I yelled.

“What?” she asked.

“Poop! He ate poop!!” I yelled back.

Rory was still crying as I stripped him down but cheered up when he saw his bath toys. I put him in and all was forgotten. For him.

Me? I know what happened. Now I need to see if Rory has developed a taste for it. Is he a poop kid now? Will he reach into his diaper for special snacks? We had a dog who ate poop (only when frozen in winter…poopsicles) and that wasn’t pretty. I hope Rory won’t become a poop baby, but to say I’m not worried would be a lie.

Could I have done something different here? Maybe. Have I learned anything? No. Poop-mergencies are a frantic time and it’s all about reactions. I reacted by trying to get a new diaper on my child and get the poop away. He reacted by eating it. It says a lot about both of us. Until next time…

Rory, possible poop eater.

Review: The Best Disney Movie

Look, we aren’t bad parents. I promise. But we did name our TV Rory’s babysitter and Rory does get plenty of TV time. He loves Daniel Tiger more than he loves either of us. And, to be frank, we are so damn bored that we watch plenty of movies when he’s playing. To all those parents who limit screen time:

We, however, have gone through the Disney+ library multiple times with Rory, which has led me to the best Disney movie: Moana. That’s right, not The Lion King or Beauty and the Beast but the far more recent Dwayne Johnson vehicle.

I’ll start with the music. It’s perfect. Lin-Manuel Miranda will always have my heart while a nice appearance from Flight of the Concords member Jemaine Clement just adds to the greatness. Admittedly the best songs are front loaded (“Where You Are”, “How Far I’ll Go”, “You’re Welcome”, and “Shiny”) but the plot of the movie covers the lack of killer songs of the last 45 minutes or so.

The story is excellent and a nice change of pace from a princess searching for a husband gag that saddles so many other older Disney flicks. The Rock is his charming self, like always, and Auli’l Cravalho is wonderful as Moana. The chicken Hei Hei is a fun comedic sidekick while Christopher Jackson (President Washington in Hamilton) nails the tone for Moana’s father.

Finally, Rory enjoys it. The fact that we can watch something besides Daniel Tiger is a huge bonus for us. Like, huger than huge. However, he hasn’t yet fallen in love with Moana so much that it’s all he wants to watch, which I think might contribute to me liking it so much. If I had to watch it every day for a month would I feel the same way? Time will tell.

But for now, Moana is number one. Followed by The Lion King, Beauty and the Beast, Aladdin, and The Jungle Book. That’s the list. If yours is different, I’m sorry. But it’s wrong. And as for the end of this blog post?

Two

Two kids is harder than one. I mean, it sounds obvious, but it’s also incredibly not obvious until you have a second kid. It’s hard!

Maybe we didn’t make a great choice having our kids so close together (less than 15 months apart) but, you know, we are fertile people. What can we do? Rory needs plenty of attention himself, but Lucy obviously needs constant attention partly because she’s a baby but partly because my anxiety of her being suffocated by a cat doesn’t allow me to leave her alone for very long.

The entire scenario feels like a juggling act. When Lisa and I are coordinating who will watch who while I’m still working or she wants to shower, it made me think of this clip from the British version of The Office. Not only is this accurate but it’s also hilarious so please enjoy.

Lucy has actually been pretty great so far. She gets up twice a night, one for each of us, while Rory is still sleeping well and usually sleeping in until 8. He occasionally wakes up in the middle of the night crying because of a babymare, but otherwise, we can’t complain about them. Lucy sleeps, eats, poops, repeats. Rory sleeps, eats, plays, poops, repeats.

But with just Rory, when he took a nap, I could take a nap or get some work done or walk the dog. Now, the two children seem to have coordinated their naps so one is always awake. I’m sure it’s on purpose, and I’m on high alert about other coordinated attacks from these tiny terrorists.

Lisa and I find ourselves in a constant state of fatigue, even after a “good” night’s rest. Spending most of our days inside the house probably isn’t helping either, but with COVID we don’t go out much and with a 3 week old baby, we go out even less.

We are hoping that the weather starts to turn a bit warmer (Colorado Springs is a lot nicer than Wisconsin!) so we can get outside more. We are also hoping the COVID vaccines start lowering numbers across the area so perhaps we could go into Target again as a family. But, until then, I’ll keep scrolling through Netflix while holding a baby, wondering if that fart was just a fart…or a little something more.

Lucy!

We had a baby last week! We were not supposed to have a baby last week, but we did! She’s here, she’s healthy, and she’s great. But, it wasn’t quite as easy as it sounded.

Lisa woke up on the 23rd with some pains in her stomach, which we both assumed were labor pains. Then, she started feeling nauseous and began throwing up. A lot. Like, a lot a lot. I had to get our soup pan for her and now I’m not sure if I can make soup in there again.

We called the triage unit because her OB office wasn’t open, explained what was happening, and they, like last time, told us to wait and not come in. They are the worst. We called the OB office when they opened and they recommended bringing her in, which we were going to do anyway because by now Lisa is hollowing in (justified) pain.

We get to the hospital and a nurse, who maybe wasn’t the nicest, didn’t quite think Lisa was in as much pain as she was actually in and took her sweet time taking care of her. Lisa is begging for fentanyl, which maybe makes her look like a drug addict, but is also what she desperately needed. Eventually her OB, Dr. Boydston, showed up and noticed the pain she was having was in a weird place above her stomach. They figured she either had a gall bladder or appendix issue. Yikes.

However, they couldn’t see until the baby was out, so inducing her was the next course of action. It was baby time! Much to Lisa’s relief, she got her pain relievers and then, the greatest invention of all time, an epidural. Apparently some women have babies without one of these. They are either incredibly unlucky, incredibly stupid, or a bit of both because man, I want an epidural after seeing how much it helped Lisa.

They started the pitocin and she was on her way. After a few hours, her OB came in and said she’d be leaving for the night but her replacement, Dr. Brubacker, was coming in. This was so fun because Brubacker was on call when Rory was born, too, so it was a happy coincidence.

Brubacker checked Lisa, chatted for about 20 minutes, then asked if Lisa felt any pressure, which she did. She checked again and holy crap there was a baby right there! They called everyone in to push and Lisa pushed four times…FOUR…and our Lulu popped right out. She was already so perfect.

They took Lisa to get a CT scan and found she did in fact have acute appendicitis! What a trooper! However, the new treatment for appendicitis seems to be antibiotics instead of removal, so as of today (Dec. 29, Lisa’s birthday!), she’s feeling good and we are hopeful the antibiotics will do the trick.

I’ll talk more about having a second kid later, but there is the our birth story. Four pushes…FOUR! I can’t get over it.

I’m Back!

Yes, I have returned. Please quietly rejoice to yourselves.

OK that was enough. No, no put your pants back on. It’s not that kind of party.

I have been away for too long but I was finishing my masters and thus any time I had to write, I felt like I should be writing my project paper. So, instead of writing, I just started rewatching the Marvel movies in chronological order (rather than release date) and restarted Daredevil on Netflix. It wasn’t writing, so I didn’t feel as guilty. Life is about lying to yourself and believing it. I’m pretty good at it.

COVID-19 still sucks. That hasn’t changed. We’ve pretty much gone on full lockdown until Lucy arrives, so our Christmas will be quiet with just Lisa, Rory, the pets, and myself. However, I am still making a full ham and cheesy potatoes and baked beans because I love it and nobody can take away what you love. Well, I mean, I guess they could, but they can’t take away my freeham, I mean my freedom.

Lucy is less than a month away from arriving, unless she is significantly late, which will be devastating to my wife (and me) because that baby needs to get out of her body right now. Lucy’s overstayed her welcome and needs to start earning her keep, aka tax breaks for mommy and daddy. My post-Lucy posts will likely be, uhhh, different, but that can wait.

There have been some positive developments, though, as we finished Queen’s Gambit, which was tremendous, and I’ve listed to evermore from T-Swift once so far. I’ll have a full review after my 5th or 6th listen through. Don’t worry. I won’t deprive you of T-Swift. I don’t know if it can live up to folklore, which topped my Spotify list in 2020, because it’s awesome.

So, fear no, dear reader(s), I’ll be writing more regularly now. The world is dark and full of terrors, but the vaccine is coming, Christmas is around the corner, and T-Swift exists. Hold onto the light for it will get brighter.

Da-Da

Rory has been a blabbermouth for a few months now, constantly making what we call dolphin noises. “Ah-ah-ah” over and over again. From bed, we can say “ah” to him in the mornings when he’s awake but still in his crib and he responds with an “ah” back to use. It’s adorable. That is the language he has right now and it’s pretty cute. He can even mimic some of our noises, including some “ooooohs” and “aaaahhhs” and loud farts like his dad. He’s got that one down pat.

But we’ve been wanting him to say words for a couple months. And by we, I mean mostly Lisa. She constantly says “ma-ma” to him, hoping he will repeat it back. She gets right in his face and says “ma-ma” slowly and loudly like my Uncle Jeoff used to do with the Japanese exchange students, hoping that would help them understand a foreign language. You can say “mmmm” to Rory and he can repeat that sound back but can’t put together the “a” afterwards to make a word. It’s crushing her.

So imagine our surprise when a few days ago Rory uttered a “da-da” to us. It’s not a clear “da-da” but more like shouting two syllables at us, “da!” and “da!” However, I feel like this counts, so Rory’s official first word is “da-da”.

Now that he can say it and sees how excited we get when he says it, he just yells “da-da” all the time. It’s pretty nice (for me), but we are more excited for when he really starts to talk and can actually communicate with us. Maybe he can tell us why he prefers to throw his food on the ground instead of eat it or why he feels a need to dump all his toys outside of his play area instead of play with them. Oh, because he enjoys seeing “da-da” have to throw them all back in two or three times a day? Got it.

We expect his sister’s speech to come sooner after she’s born because I’ve been assured by friends that having older siblings scream words into a younger siblings face is an effective way to learn words. For right now, though, I’ll just bask in the “da-da” glory.

Daylight Sucks Time

I’ve heard for years from other parents about how Daylight Savings Time sucks. It’s not that I didn’t believe them, I just had no point of reference to truly understand how it affects children. It’s like when someone says how much running a marathon (or any distance really) sucks. I mean, I am sure it is. But I’ll never, ever, ever know. Ever.

Rory, prior to a week ago, went to bed between 7-8 and usually slept until 7:30ish, sometimes later. It was, in a word, glorious. Even when he wakes up, he just played in his crib for a while and let us slowly wake up as we need it. We could even talk to him (say “ah”) and he’s respond. It was adorable.

Then last Saturday came. I tried to keep him up later—he didn’t go to bed until after 8. I figured the later bed time would fix it. Right? I mean, time backs up an hour, so I’ll put him to bed a little bit later and boom, fixed. I’m a parent genius.

Nope. I heard the first cry by 6:15 a.m. I was up by 6:30 and I was sleepy. Now, I am sure some kids get up at like 5:30 on Daylight Savings Time but guess what? I don’t care. This is my story. You wanna complain about how tired you? Start your own blog.

Every day this week it’s been before 7 a.m. Today (Sunday), he finally slept in until after 7 (barely), though I was up until late watching TV so it didn’t really matter anyway, but why do we have Daylight Savings Time? So I can see more sunlight in the morning? I don’t want morning sunlight. Let me slowly see the sun creep up but then look at the clock and be like, “Oh look it’s already 8 o’clock, I can have a cookie since it’s after 8!” (That’s the cookie rule…after 8).

Anyway, I’m hoping Rory gets back to his later wakeup times but I also know that he’s slowly phasing himself out of his morning nap, which makes me sad. Are we allowed to sedate children? Is that something parents can do? No? OK. I guess. I guess more family afternoon nap time for me to catch up on my precious sleep.

Poop

Yesterday, my son could not poop. He’s never been a consistent pooper—usually every 3-4 days—but it’s never been a huge issue before. He will have what we call a poop ball (a small, round, hard-ish poop) then usually a blowout within 24 hours. However, yesterday was a different story.

He was on about day five of no poop. He is a formula baby so all you breast feeders out there who are shocked should know that formula babies poop way less. WAY less. But anyway, earlier in the day, he just started crying out of nowhere. He was just standing up in our child containment unit and started crying really hard. He’s not a big cryer so we were a little concerned. Then, at around 5 that night, it happened again.

Lisa had just gone on shift in the basement and Rory and I were playing in the containment unit. He then sort of squatted down, pushed, and screamed. Instant real tears. As a parent, I learned quickly the difference between a whine and a cry because a cry comes with real tears and a whine can be curtailed by goofy noises or hiding behind a chair.

I picked him up and held him and he held onto me, put his head on my shoulder, and pushed. And pushed. And pushed. Each time, nothing came out. His face was beet red, he was hot, and he was very, very upset.

Whenever something happens to my child, I call my sister, who is a nurse practitioner and has three kids, one of which I know has poop struggles. She suggested getting Pedia Lax, a baby suppository. It’s fires a little glycerin up his butt and greases the skids for a poop to come out. Yup, we had to fire glycerin up my kid’s butt. Nobody mentioned that at the ol’ baby class.

While I was at the store, he forced out a couple of hard poop balls with my wife but we never got the blowout we wanted. I did feed him some prunes (trusted by grandpas everywhere) to try to get things moving. However, this morning he still hadn’t had the big one, which meant we (aka my wife) had to take action. We strapped him down, inserted the tube, and suppositoried our child. Then, we waited.

But like me after a three egg over-easy scrambler, we did not have to wait long. We saw him push a little, cry a little, then heard it. Like a sopping wet T-shirt hitting the concrete. We heard his poop and then his giggles of joy. Our national nightmare was over. Rory had deuced.

In fact, he had really deuced. I’m not quite sure how much because I conveniently had a meeting to go to and missed out on the clean up (darn it!) but, according to Lisa, it was extensive. And with cloth diapering, it’s even better, folks!

We are learning quickly that Rory has my outside (my mini me) and some of Lisa’s insides (she didn’t love pooping as a child). It’ll be easier when he’s older and I can just feed him a chili cheese burrito to get things moving but until then, #thankgodforglycerin.

Rory pooping.

One

I remember Lisa texting me a year ago that she thought it was happening. We were already a week overdue, and I had fed Lisa all the burritos I could to get Rory to come out. I think we were beginning to wonder if he’d ever come out, but my Apple watch gave me an alert to a text message, and I told my Science Fiction class that I had to go—I was about to become a father.

I raced home as fast as I (safely) could and found my wife moaning on the bed with our concerned dogs laying around her. She was in pain but I wasn’t sure what to do. I called my hospital, and Ms. Ratchet said we needed to wait longer because the contractions were too far apart. I said OK, called my NP sister who told me to go, and off we went.

The hospital is about a 12 minute drive but to Lisa, who was swearing at me with every bump, said it felt closer to 30. We arrived, got to the baby unit, and I told them, very panicky, that my wife was having a baby. The reception nurse thought I said I needed a refill instead of my wife was having a baby and casually took her time to admit us. They finally took us back, gave Lisa drugs that didn’t work, then finally gave her the epidural she needed to stop staring daggers into me.

From there, it happened so incredibly quickly I can’t tell if it was two hours or two minutes. All of the sudden the doctor was telling Lisa to push and then BOOM! we had a son. We didn’t cry—we were mostly in shock. But Rory was now in our lives. We had a baby!

Today, that little nugget turned one. I know every parent says they can’t believe it but I can’t! We had a special COVID birthday for him by taking him to the zoo. We thought he’d be excited about feeding the giraffes…he wasn’t. We also had to wake him up from two naps for the zoo and his party, so he was a little grumpy.

Today being his birthday, I made some time for reflection. Rory makes our lives significantly more challenging compared to when we were childless. We have to sacrifice so many of our own interests and desires for him. Our lives changed so drastically 12 months ago but man, I wouldn’t change a thing. When Rory sees me in the morning, his smile fills my heart with utter joy—joy I had never felt before him. His laughter and goofiness and giggles are what I live for.

Today was the first of many birthdays for Rory. Hopefully our next one will involve some cousins to play with, more cake smashing, and less face masks. But it was a great day because he is my son. Just a great, great day.

Mountain Goat

OK, we have a problem. My son started crawling, then started walking, then started walking a lot, then started to use pillows to get onto the furniture. Now he is constantly climbing onto the furniture without pillows. Like, constantly. My wife and I just sat around the ottoman for literally 20 minutes as he climbed on, was pulled off, climbed on, pulled off, on, off, on, off, rinse, repeat.

While we are incredibly happy to see his mobility progressing, his ability to get on the furniture is much more advanced than his ability to get off the furniture. In fact, his preferred method of getting off the furniture (besides just not getting off at all) is a straight head-first dive bomb. He hasn’t landed one yet—we’ve always been there to grab him first. But I am constantly in awe of his general disregard for personal safety. I’m hoping that gets better as he gets older, but…

He’s at the point now where if you stop him from getting onto the furniture, he becomes, in a word, indignant. Whiny. Sassy. Grumpy. Tries to trick you by turning around like he’s going back to his toys but then doubles back and tries to get back onto the furniture. When he’s on the furniture, he looks so damn proud, like he won a prize or just finished off his first frozen pizza by himself (which is a prize on its own).

Our current containment unit is not working for our little mountain goat, so we will need to make some adjustments. He has a fully-fenced in area with the couch and chair as barriers that keep him away from the stairs and animals. It’s worked great up until now because he’s been in an enclosed space that is safe and full of toys. But now, he’s testing the defenses. The raptor handlers faced similar issues in Jurassic Park when the raptors were testing the fences for weaknesses, though if Rory gets onto the furniture he doesn’t chew our arm off. He does bite my wife a lot but I don’t seem to be the right flavor.

We are in the process of adjusting our containment unit so maybe we can go to the kitchen for 15 seconds to get a delicious Suzy Q while he’s in the other room without fear of him ending up on top of a chair. As of right now, he would literally get onto the couch and dive bomb off in those 15 seconds.

Each new step in his development is fun to see but also creates new puzzles and problems for us as parents. We try to cherish these moments (honest) because we know we will miss him at this age, but we are also very excited about Rory and his soon-to-be born sister Lucy to be around 4 and 5 where I don’t have to worry about them falling off everything. Wait, I still have to worry about that? Well crap.