Monday, March 26, 2007

Episode 100: The Flashback Episode

Welcome to my one-hundredth post. Of course, there are about ten draft posts sitting in my drafts folder, which all pretty much suck and will probably never reach the light of day. In any event, we've come a long way in our travels through daddyhood. I feel as if we've done this together, so I appreciate your participation. For those new to the blog, or for those who want to take a trip down memory lane, I am going to take a cue from TV shows, and give you a "flashback post."

Once there was a thirty-year old lawyer living in the New York metro area (New Jersey). He was expecting his first child, and was amazed at the type of advice he received from friends and strangers. So, inspired by two of his friends with blogs (one political and one poker-related), he decided to document his journey through fatherhood.

Blogging started at the tale-end of his wife (Newmommy)'s pregnancy. During this time, he had to make a lot of difficult decisions, but also had a lot of good times and funny experiences.

On, September 8, 2006, Bud was born. Newdaddy quickly learned that parenting wasn't so easy and that there were many new skills he'd have to learn. But soon, his life began to somewhat get back to normal even though he did realize his life had changed quite a bit in such a short period of time.

Watching Bud develop was always fun for the Newparents, and for the Grandparents Committee & Newaunt. Parenting became something of a joy in a world with so many things we can all do without. Every month brought new challenges and accomplishments and more and more doses of "reality." As time marched on, Newdaddy realized that some challenges were to be dealt with now, but many challenges in parenthood were ahead. But, even with that, every few weeks would bring another another reason to celebrate.

What lies ahead for Newdaddy? What will the next hundred posts bring? Will I get bored with this blog and just give the thing up, or will this continue until Bud's old enough to ask for me not to publicize the intimate details of her development? Stay tuned!

Sunday, March 25, 2007

Bud's Naming

The first ceremony in a Jewish girl's life is her baby involves her being called to the Torah, having a few prayers said, and the Rabbi bestowing a name on her (which was chosen by her parents, usually in honor of late ancestors). No knives or other sharp objects are involved...boys are not so lucky in this respect.

So, yesterday was Bud's baby naming where she received the name of her maternal great-grandmothers and her maternal great-grandfather: Chana Mayera bat Yakov. (I do realize that this is one of those details that may destroy the anonymity of this blog...but I'm willing to take that chance!)

I was amazed at how well Bud did. First, during the service prior to her naming, she seemed to be moving to the beat of the songs. Then, when they called us up, she fell asleep on my shoulder...until the time at which the name was given, at which point she woke up and looked at the Rabbi; seemingly interested in what he was saying. Then, when the ceremony was over, back to sleep. (I am leaving out the part where apparently Newmommy was faced with changing a rather challenging diaper.)

This was also the first time Bud was at a social function with a large group of her family and "friends." Although she slept through most of it, I think she had a good time.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Word to your Mother (and Father)...

"Daddy." - Maggie Simpson's First Word

Bud said what I think is her first word today..."Hi." I suspected that this would be her first word, as her babbling has come close recently; however, this could be babble also, so I am not declaring this "official" unless she says it a few more times this week. If she does, I can assume it's not babble, and my little girl is talking.

What constitutes a first word? Is it the first noise that sounds like a word, or need there be intent? [Sounds like a law school question.] With a word like "book", "daddy" or "car" (my first word) a baby can point to demonstrate intent. "Hi" is more tricky. She has been waving a lot lately, but I don't think she was waving when I heard her say "Hi." All I know is that it kinda creeped me out...I was in the other room, heard Newmommy talking, and heard another separate voice, clear as day, say "Hi."

While this is not official, I really do think this was her first word. It just sounded so clear. Stay tuned for updates!

"The sooner kids talk, the sooner they talk back...I hope you never say a word." - Homer, to Maggie, right before she said her first word.

Monday, March 19, 2007

P-A-R-T-Why? Because I gotta.

I know, minus ten points for quoting The Mask. Hey, at least I didn't quote The Cable Guy.

Bud went to her first party and she passed out about twenty minutes into it. Lightweight. Oh, well...I guess she's not the first person to pass out at a party, but I sure hope that's not a sign of things to come.

"Her friend" (and, I put that in quotes, because it's a funny concept....sort of like when my friends "meet" Bud for the first's strange to think of a six-month old "meeting" anyone...) had his first birthday party, and his parents put together a nice had a good mix of child/adult activities. The kids had a Laurie Berkner-esque singer and, although there was no keg, the adults had a nice spread of Italian food and wine. Overall, good party....and I've been to some disasters. (Imagine being trapped in a bad restaurant, with no real "adult" and adults were treated to only pizza and chicken fingers...wait, that actually sounds pretty good...well, the singer at that one was annoying.)

First birthday parties are really tough to plan. You need to simultaneously entertain adults and one-year olds. Aside from fart jokes, I am out of ideas....

Saturday, March 17, 2007

The Playdate Disclaimer

It seems that every time Newmommy, Bud and I get together with another family with a child, we are always warned that their child has recently had an "ear infection" or a "runny nose" or something else that doesn't reach the level of "we need to cancel on you", but instead puts us with the decision of whether or not to go. That decision typically ends with Newmommy and I rationalizing that kids are probably exposed to this sort of thing on a daily basis; so why should we avoid this specific instance?

Don't get me wrong...we give this warning out often too. To make all of our lives easier, I have prepared the following disclaimer. From now on, before you get together with someone, simply e-mail them'll save everyone time and avoid the awkward conversations!


Socializing with children is not free from risks. While we do not have reason to believe our child has any serious communicable diseases, we are not undertaking to disclose to you every cough, sneeze, runny nose, pain, "touching of the ears", "rubbing of the eyes", unusually colored, scented or shaped bowel movements, or other irregularity experienced by our child either today or in the immediate past. Therefore, you should carefully evaluate with your spouse and relevant medical professionals the advisability and suitability of socializing with us today. Our invitation to socialize is not a representation by us of the complete health of our child, nor is it a representation that your child's health will not be impacted by such socializing.

Tuesday, March 13, 2007

Dumps on a Plane

Just in case you were wondering when the worst possible time on a flight would be for your baby to drop a deuce....'s when you're on the ground, right when the captain puts on the seatbelt sign before takeoff. It's the longest wait until you can get to the bathroom.

I speak from experience.

Monday, March 12, 2007

Get With the Times, Man

As technology develops, there comes a point where everyone should know how to perform certain basic functions. For example, people above the age of three should not have to be explained how to use a phone, how to use a television, how to use the microwave, etc.

I think we've reached that point with respect to digital photography. These cameras are not hard to use. Look in the little screen, and hit the big button on the top...there's no trick to this, at least not with my camera.

So why is it that whenever I ask a stranger to take a picture of my family, it's always f-ed up? Either it's not properly centered, or someone wasn't looking up, or (my personal favorite) the picture didn't take. How hard is it to push the big button when the screen shows what would be a good picture? Why don't people realize that when there is no flash, and no frozen picture on the screen...the picture didn't take. Why?

This is not a once-in-a-while occurrence, it happens all the time. Can we all just agree that everyone should learn how to take basic digital pictures...especially if you are in a vacation spot where you may be asked to do so?

Also, while we're on the subject, people shouldn't have to give driving directions anymore. Between GPS systems and map/direction websites, nobody should ask how to get from A to B. Can we agree on that too?

P.S. Ah, may still be cold out, but I've got a beer in my hand, and the Red Sox are losing to the Yankees. Stupid off-season.

Sunday, March 11, 2007

Bud, Have You Ever Been in a Turkish Prison?

Dear Passengers of last Sunday's Continental Flight from Newark with non-stop service to San Juan, Puerto Rico,

Queridos pasajeros del vuelo Continental del domingo pasado de Newark con servicio directo a San Juan, Puerto Rico,

I saw the looks.

Baby on a plane...crap. She's going to cry the entire time. Well, you were wrong.

Yeah, I know, I held up the line on the jetway trying to get the stroller into the carrying bag to be gate-checked. Yeah, I know I didn't need that bag either (thank you oh experienced travellers with kids). But, seriously, the plane's not leaving without you. It wasn't even a full flight, you were going to get your bag in the overhead.

Three hours and forty-six minutes...she didn't cry. She giggled a bit, and slept a bit. She did take a what? You probably didn't realize it!

So, Mr. Bluetooth-in-first-class who probably loves the sound of his own're important business call was not interrupted. Nor was your Spring Break effected Miss Pink-Sweats-to-look-causal (and your identically dressed companions).

I know how you feel...before I had a kid, I would have been concerned seeing a baby getting on a plane. It's sort of like waiting for the subway...if I'm not on the train, move in...there's plenty of space on the train. If I'm already in it....why are you pushing? There's a train directly behind us.



[Ed. Note: Completely unrelated- the sick kid on Airplane gets the IV knocked out of her arm during the song "There is Only One River." We never see her again...are we to presume she died?

And, while we're on the subject of Airplane!, Religious Zealot #1 ("Hello, we'd like you to have this flower from the religious consciousness church, would you care to make a donation?") was played by Gregory Itzin, also known as President Charles Logan on "24".]

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Newdaddy's Puerto Rican Vacation

Sorry for my recent hiatus, but, as you may have guessed from my last post, we took our first family vacation this past week. Our destination was Puerto Rico and, although many people warned me that such a trip (flights, sort-of leaving the country, etc.) would be ambitious with a six-month old, it actually turned out to be pretty easy. I think this was due to the fact that six-month olds are very portable. Also, Bud was a champion on both flights...she was calm and happy (or asleep) the entire time. Our hotel was also extremely baby friendly.

Over the next week or so, I will regale you all with my vacation stories and witty observations. Let's get the ball rolling...

I could swear that Bud knew she was on vacation. Her mood was certainly different. Normally, she is a happy baby, and she smiles very often, but this past week, she was constantly smiling, laughing and making her high-pitched talk/squeal. True, this can be a function of her may be time for her to begin communicating in this fashion. However, the marked change makes me think that would be too much of a coincidence.

Perhaps (and I would really hope this to be true) it was my presence. I see Bud a few hours each work day (if the timing works out), and only get to spend serious time with her on the weekends. I literally spent every waking minute with her this past week (well, her waking minutes...not mine.) Maybe extra time with daddy made her happy.

Maybe it wasn't necessarily daddy, but simply the constant attention. When Newmommy watches her during the day, she needs to leave her "alone" if she needs to do something. On vacation, Bud was never of us was always entertaining her.

It's interesting that a six-month old is psyched for vacation. I wonder if she gets the end-of-vacation blues like most of us. "Damn, vacation's over...I dread having to take my bottle on Monday and take a nap."

Saturday, March 03, 2007

Sorry Folks! Newdaddy is closed for one week to clean and repair America's "Favorite Family Fun-blog"

Sorry.....yuck, yuck, yuck!

P.S. In the meantime, enjoy this story about a pregnant woman who didn't know she was pregnant.

Thursday, March 01, 2007

The Terrorists Have Already Won

We are planning our first family vacation: me, Newmommy and Bud. The last time I was on a plane was June and, apparently, there have been a lot of changes to the security screening process. To brush up on the current state of airport security, I visited the Transportation Security Administration's "Travelling With Children" website.

Let's go through some highlights.

"NEVER leave babies in an infant carrier while it goes through the X-ray machine."

TWICE in bold, blue letters. Are there really parents who would do this? There would have to be for such prominent, repeated warnings! Oh, so only luggage goes through that thing!

"Let your children know that a Security Officer may ask to see Mom or Dad's shoes, but that they will get these back..."

Well, that's a relief. I can just see Bud crying all the way to Puerto Rico because they wouldn't give Daddy his shoes back!

"Our Security Officers will not test or taste formula or breast milk."