Archives for posts with tag: sahd

Oh boy, here we go again…

The wife decided to kill two birds with one stone and schedule both our children’s doctor visits for the same day.  A 2-year checkup for the Worm.  (I can’t believe he’s made it 2 years.  I pat myself on the back.)  A 2-month checkup for the Smush.

Steph and I bring both kids to the doctor’s office.  As I sit in the waiting room, I look over at one child and think to myself “Wow, This girl has got a jovial attitude, plus a great appetite to boot.  She’s growing.  She looks healthy.  The doctor is going to love her.”

I look over at my other child who is dripping snot all over the floor and trying to cough up his left lung for us to see.  I think to myself “Oh my god.  He’s sick and miserable.  I can see all of his ribs.  The doctor’s going to think we’ve stopped feeding him.  We (I use the term ‘we’ loosely.  I really mean Steph) are going to jail for neglect.”

It’s obvious where all of our efforts have been focused.  (Can you guess who our new favorite child is?)

Smushie checks out great.  According to the NIH, here’s where we are with her development:

  • Physical and motor-skill markers:
    • Closing of soft spot at the back of the head (posterior fontanelle)   (SO SHE’S GOING TO BE HARD HEADED, HUH?)
    • Several newborn reflexes, such as the stepping reflex and grasp reflex disappear  (WOULD HAVE BEEN COOL TO MAKE A HUMAN MARIONETTE OUT OF HER.  TOO LATE NOW.)
    • When on stomach, able to lift head almost 45 degrees  (IF I WAIT LONG ENOUGH, SHE’LL EVEN SHOOT MILK FROM HER MOUTH)
    • Less flexing of the arms and legs while lying on the stomach  (BUT SHE’S STARTED DOING A BIT MORE FLEXING IN FRONT OF A MIRROR)

    Sensory and cognitive markers:

    • Beginning to look at close objects  (EVEN GOES CROSS-EYED FOR THE REALLY CLOSE STUFF)
    • Different cries means different things  (SHE CRIES FOR RED WINE AND CHOCOLATE TOO)
    • Head turns from side to side with sound at the level of the ear  (DOG CLICKER TRAINING WORKS ON KIDS TOO!)
    • Smiles  (ALL THE TIME!  BEAUTIFUL!)
    • Responds to familiar voices  (RESPONDS TO CURIOUS GEORGE’S VOICE THE MOST.  THANKS WORM.)

The Smush is on track and passes her tests with flying colors.  Worm, on the other hand, brings about a host of questions from the doctor.  Since most of communication is unspoken, I will translate the literal dialogue into the real interpretation conveyed.

Doc:  “He hasn’t gained any weight in the past 6 months.”   (“You are feeding him, right?”  Let me just make note of the signs of neglect in my records.)

Me:  “He just doesn’t have an appetite for food.  He can go days without eating.”  (“He asks to eat M&M’s and ice pops every day.  I say no.  So he starves himself to spite us.”)

Doc:  “Our charts also show that Gavin has shrunk 2 inches since we saw him a week ago.”  (“What the hell are you doing to your son?  He’s reversed growth!  Another sign of neglect to add to my records.  People like you shouldn’t be having kids.)

Me:  “I think the assistant may have written it down wrong.  He’s not 3 feet tall.  He’s only 34 inches.”   (“Your nurses are roughly estimating an important developmental data point in my son’s life.  Don’t you understand? Every quarter inch counts at this age!”)

Doc:  “Since Gavin is quickly falling off the chart due to his lack of physical growth, do you want to consider our nutrition counseling?”  (“You obviously can’t feed your son properly.  We’d like to get child services involved and send your son to an orphanage where the state will do a better job of raising him.”)

Me:  “We’re going to try some new foods with him and see if it helps.”  (“I think we’re going to hide out in Mexico until this all blows over.  Maybe we’ll live off the grid and pay for things in cash to keep child services from pinpointing our whereabouts.”)

We may have to take the easy way out and disappear from the authorities until Worm fattens up.  On the bright side, at least I’ll get to use the fake mustaches we have leftover from Halloween…

We're Going to Live In The Woods?  That Sounds Like Fun!

We’re Going to Live In The Woods? That Sounds Like Fun!

He’s 2 months old and I thought there was a skin malfunction.  (I asked the stork to bring us a little brown version of myself and Worm showed up on the doorstep.)  So, I took him outside to see if the sun could help me out.

5 hours later.  Nothing.

Yes, Worm Looks Like His Mom...

Yes, Worm Looks Like His Mom…

Just kidding.  He was only left out in the sun for 4 hours.

June 2011

This is the face he made when I told Worm that he could catch a “case of the Mondays”.

Relax, Worm.  Mondays Only Lasts 24 Hours.

Relax, Worm. Mondays Only Lasts 24 Hours.

June 2011

I'll Take The Top Spot From Worm And Be Daddy's Favorite!  I Just Need To Sleep On It Some More...

Sleep Little One…There’s Plenty of Room In My Heart For You Too!

Smush, you’re here!  There’s no question, you’re mine!  (9)

Such hairy little ears and a beet red behind!  (11)

Like daddy, you’re dark!  Great for the sun!

We can play on the beach until the day’s done.

Worm and his mom can’t stay long past dawn.

They’ll turn into lobsters and have to be gone!

Together we’ll frolic, with arms locked,

Our sharp elbows jabbing, and bony knees knocked.

My gangly limbs were meant for my lad,

I’ve cursed you with finger toes, please don’t be mad!

You’re a gift to us.  We are so blessed.

Study hard in school and don’t go out half-dressed.

Worm’s in the top spot, remember that.

But listen to daddy and you’ll be there STAT!

Like clean up your room and stay on track

Give me hugs and kisses and never talk back

Or miss curfew or fall into the wrong crowd at school or

Date until you’re 35…and even then, I have to look him over to make sure he’s good enough for you.

As soon as Smushie was born, Worm was jettisoned from the family sweet spot.  No longer the baby, he was metaphorically transplanted from his warm, cozy nest to the storage shed out back.  In addition, Worm can’t hog all of our parental love for himself anymore.  We’re now supporting a needy infant who requires a lot of our TLC (Honey Boo Boo, Toddlers & Tiaras, and Say ‘Yes’ to the Dress) to grow.  Therefore, we made the executive decision to proportion the lion’s share of our love to little Smush with the occasional scrap tossed in Worm’s general direction.  It will be enough to minimally sustain him and nowhere near the amount he received prior to his sister’s arrival.  (I’m not worried, though.  Worm will grow to be emotionally scarred, but win out in the long run.  Like an abused puppy, he will be irresistible to womankind and become a lifelong project for them to invest time and effort into.)

The big day was here.  I thought the proper ‘Dad’ thing to do would be to give Worm at least a couple hours notice of Smush’s impending arrival later that evening.  It seemed the perfect opportunity for me to practice this first of many ‘father-to-son’ talks by warming up the Worm to the idea of a sister.  I explained it to him in simple phrases like “more ice pops and cheese balls for dinner”, “nap times may disappear altogether”, and “all of your waking hours could be spent in front of the TV”.  He took it quite well.  (Ok, I could have been more direct with him, but why upset the poor guy?  He hadn’t a clue as to what was about to fall in his lap and I didn’t want to be the bad guy to tell him.)

Not knowing what else to do, I thought it easiest best to let Worm mull over our conversation in his mind while I went back to the hospital to grab the wife and baby.  The plan was for us to check out of the hospital, come home, walk Smush nonchalantly through the front door, gauge the crowd reaction, and then act surprised like we didn’t know how she got in the Subaru do our best to stay calm.

What will Worm do?  Will he be excited?  Will he gouge out Smush’s eyes?  Will he fling poop in her face?  Or will he break out in the Macarena dance?  What about the dogs?  What are they going to think?

We arrived at home around 6pm and collectively pushed baby and car seat through the front door.  The fervor and excitement in the house shot through the ceiling…and took everyone’s brains with it.  With no gray matter to control their bodies, dogs were howling (i.e. Frodo), dogs were vomiting (i.e. Duncan), and kids were flailing (i.e. Worm). Frodo’s howling was loud enough to hear three doors down and Duncan’s distress shoveled his semi-digested dinner onto the carpet.  Worm frolicked around the living room, babbling hodge podge nonsensities at the top of his lungs.  Even hours later, the air was still thick with anxiety and nervous giddiness.  A little too much adrenalin was squeezed out that night, and the troops paid for it in sleep.

The next day came at a fraction of the previous night’s intensity.  With the jitters out, Worm and the dogs got to examine the newest member of the family under the warm rays of the early morning sun.  Within minutes, Worm stamped his sibling seal of approval right on the end of his little sister’s foot.

Worm Gives His Little Sister a Kiss!

Worm Kisses His Baby Sister!  How Sweet!

Gavin – 21; Dad – 11 (You get two points for this one, Worm.  Your heart is so incredibly full of sweetness.)

Tuesday morning began at 2:30am.  I was startled awake by heavy breathing and panting from my wife.  I pried open an eye to see if I was any part of the festivities.  Nope.  A few sleepy brain cells connected, then deduced it was not lust!  It was labor!  So I rolled over and buried my head under the pillow and nodded off again.

(10 minutes later)  Come on Steph, I’m trying to sleep here. Waitaminute!  I roll towards her.

“We’re having a baby today, aren’t we?”

“I think so.”  she replied.

I giggled like a teenage girl getting asked to prom.

The contractions weren’t getting any closer than 10 minutes apart, so I revisited my unproductive slumber.  Steph swayed in the rocking chair patiently waiting for more.  (Here, a knight in shining armor would have been simultaneously rubbing Steph’s back, neck, hips and feet during the pre-laboring.  But this wise serf thought that storing up energy for the hard work ahead was going to bear the best fruit for our labor…and make me look fresh for pictures afterward.)

The sun came up 4 hours later.  The dogs were scratching at the door to be let out.  Worm was lounging in his crib and singing about mama, dada, pop pop, nana, cee, and his future sissy.  (Oh, how I do miss a quiet house in the morning…)  Hospitals don’t like to feed laboring women more than salt water and needles, so we made time for bacon, eggs, and toast.  I scarfed down a breakfast sandwich and launched 5 spoonfuls of yogurt into my trap before it was really time to go.

1 minute contractions, 6 minutes apart.  (Our doctor said we should get to the hospital at 7 minutes apart, but what’s life without a little suspense?)

We show up at the same emergency room parking lot as we did 21 months and 13 days ago.  I circled for an hour and a half looking for the parking space I used for Worm’s birth because maybe it could bring us luck.  (Mom, I’m just kidding…I settled for a spot two cars away.  Close enough.)

“I need my ‘Last of the Mohicans’ soundtrack CD.  Can you get it from the CD case under the seat?” said the laborer.

We’re going to war?  I couldn’t find the CD or the words for “I hope this birth experience isn’t a battle like we had in our first one.”  I swallowed my fear and crossed my fingers for anything better than this time.  With gear in arms, I steadied myself for a positive birth and a healthy wife and baby afterwards.  Though track 5 could get anyone through the battle of birthing.

As we crossed the same street towards the same hospital, Steph had to stop at the same point in the road for a contraction.

“If people won’t stop for a laboring woman in the middle of the street, what would they stop for!” said Steph.

I couldn’t argue with that logic!  Or argue with a mother ready to have a baby!

(The similarities between our two birth experiences ended right there.)

We get into the hospital elevator and a random guy jumps in at the last second.

“Looks like someone’s having a baby.  It’s a good thing you brought a cooler full of beer!” as he looked down at my awesome older-than-me Oscar cooler with the green top that they don’t even make any more and still holds 10 beers with ice and possibly a sandwich if you can perch it just right on top to not squish it but you have to close the lid ever so gently.

“Man, that’s a much better use of the Oscar than my idea of keeping my stolen placentas cold.”  (I kid.  A little.  Ok, I stole one!  Well, I just borrowed it.)

We entered the hospital at 8:20am.

At 10:28am, Addison Zoe was born, aka Smush.  Steph cleared her last time by a full hour.  The next child will probably be born even faster, so I’ll have to prepare for a car or driveway birth.

So far, mother and baby are healthy!

We will tell the birth stories of Worm and Smush sometime in the near future.  And even though they look so much alike, their stories are very different.

Holy Duplicate!  It's a Worm Look-a-like!  Welcome Smush!

Holy Duplicate! It’s a Worm Look-a-like! Welcome Smush!

Dear Smush,

I know you’re still cooking in the proverbial oven.  Don’t rush to come out.  It’s been in the 40’s at night for us recently and that’s quite a bit colder than the 98.6° and occasional 102° Jacuzzi temps that you’re used to.  (I waited until summer time to be born and I’ll do it again when I have to…)

When you decide to take the wild ride down the ‘chute’, just remember that you can’t go back and do it twice…unless we hang your mom upside down.  The hospital will make you John Hancock some paperwork first, so if you want to relive the birth experience, bring a pen.  Here’s an FYI and I know it’s lame, but when you hit the slide, you can’t put your hands out in front of you to save your face from eating the floor.  You just gotta go head first and pray that the catcher doesn’t drop your pitch.  You’ll see what I mean when it’s time.

I’m probably going to be the first family member to greet you.  I’m your dad.  I know you’ll probably come out white like your brother did and look at me confusingly.  Later, I’ll show you that I signed the birth certificate.  But if you need more proof, we’ll make Maury Povich (I’ve got connections.) do another episode of “Is He the Father?” and get the DNA test done.  Also, I’m growing a little stubble on my chin (and working out my arms) for the hospital birth pictures.  I want to look my best, so try to arrive during the daytime.  That way, I won’t have huge bags under my eyes for the photos.

If I faint at your coming out party, look down on your way out so you don’t fall on top of me.  If I’m awake, I’ll either be standing frozen like a deer in headlights or be sobbing like I’ve just watched ‘The Notebook’.  I’ll also volunteer to cut the cord, if you don’t mind.  This time should be a no-brainer for me.  Unlike with Worm, there should be only one cord to think about putting the scissors to.  (I won’t need to repeat this scene:  “Nurse.  It’s this one, right?  Are you positively certain?”)

After I permanently separate you from your mother, you’ll get to go back and meet her!  She’ll be laying on the bed getting the damage repaired.  (Don’t ask.  But I’m sure when you’re older and have pissed her off, she’ll tell you about what she went through just to bring you here and how you should be more grateful…)  This is the person you really want to make friends with.  Why?  Because you’ll be getting a lot of love, warmth, and most importantly, food from this woman.  She’s grown a nice set of milk pumpkins for me you, so grab a blanket and an US Weekly because this will be the place to see and be seen for quite a while.

Worm is your brother.  He isn’t going to be in the room when you show up.  Steph and I don’t think it’s a good idea for him to be at eye level with all of the, um, action.  He’s all about his tools and his workbench right now and our main concern is that he may try to run his version of the APGAR with his plastic hammer and screwdriver.  Besides, if he was at the birth, the hospital would make him sign a bunch of paperwork too.

I hope you’re not allergic to animals because you’ve got two dogs at home, Frodo and Duncan.  They’re both lovable knuckleheads and you’ll get to play with them once you’re sturdy enough to withstand being bowled over during their feeding time.  They’re a couple of clumsy oafs but we love them anyway.  We think you’ll love them too.  For now though, you’ll have to keep your distance.  Dunkie’s farts are lethal!

So that’s us in a nutshell.  Welcome to the zoo your family!  We’re dysfunctional, but no worse than anyone else…I think.

Family Portrait - Good Enough to Hang Over the Mantle...

Family Portrait – Good Enough to Hang Over the Mantle…


Oh, one more thing.  We hope that you’ll like your name.  Your mother and I couldn’t make up minds about it until recently.  Then we just got lazy researching and so the most recent first and middle names we wrote down have turned to stone.  There are no ‘clicks’ or exclamation points in them like I really wanted.  But in Klingon, your name means ‘digested serpent arm’ and that’s cool enough for me.  In my heart though, you’ll always be known as Smush.

We love you already and can’t wait to meet you!




%d bloggers like this: