& he keeps on rollin

Earlier this week I made a pact with the Expletive Mommy to share videos of our kids’ rolling over, since Little A and Squatch are just a few days apart.

Seems she had some issues with her video and substituted some drawings instead. Yeah, same thing. Anywho, here’s Squatch rolling over like Justin Verlander*.

*Ooh, damn! Baseball burn!

I don’t remember an old lady showing up at our place, but you can apparently hear her at the very end there. Also, the dog wanted to make sure she was present for this historic occasion and stuck her schnozz right up in the camera there. Hope you like big dummy dog noses.

Not present in the video: the part where we make fun of how anti-climactic that was and his inability to roll back onto his front. He’s really a one-way roller at this point. He’s working on the return trip as we speak.

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& a lesson in manhood: redemption road

Lessons in Manhood

Lesson 9: Obligations and Forgiveness

Squatch, you might have noticed that Daddy likes baseball. Just a little. You like it at this point in your life, too, but in reality you crack up at any moving shape. You’re pretty easy to entertain. Don’t ever change.

We’re Giants fans in this house, and we’re even winning Mommy over, but you knew that. Otherwise that Brian Wilson doll would just be kinda creepy. Last night was Game 1 of the World Series. You’re almost 4 months old, and you already get to experience your first Giants World Series*. Too bad you won’t remember it.

*Don’t get used to this. It doesn’t happen every year. Just every other year, apparently.

Let me tell you about the pitcher who started for the Giants last night. His name is Barry Zito, but I like to call him the Albatross*. This is because he signed the biggest contract in baseball (at the time) before the 2007 season and immediately began to make every Giants fan regret it. It’s not stretching to say he stunk. He’s been the highest paid player on the team every year since, and most of those years, he’s been pretty much the worst player. Last time the Giants were in the Series, they didn’t even put him on the roster.

*This is just Daddy getting all lit nerdy on you.

This year, he’s done better. Not “You Were Worth Every Bit of the $99 Million They Paid You” better, but he provided a solid outing for the Giants whenever he took the ball. They even won 12 straight games when he started heading into the playoffs. He was still Barry Zito, but he was looking a little more like the guy the Giants decided to give that ridiculous payday to.

Still, we Giants fans didn’t really trust him (or like him much) heading into the playoffs. You see, Squatch, when you don’t follow through on your obligations, on what people expect from you, you tend to lose people’s trust. They stop liking you. And in the case of Barry Zito, when the Giants decided to pay him $16 million a year, fans expected him to be worth at least most of that. Only he wasn’t living up to those expectations, and the fans generally wrote him off as a loss.

Till last week. For some reason, in Game 5 of the NLCS, with the Giants down three games to one, they decided to start Barry Zito—he guy who has tortured Giants fans for six long seasons with sub-par performances and general suckiness. They sent him out to take the mound, and Giants fans around the world could be heard muttering, “Well, it was a good season anyway.”

But he came through. Barry. Zito. BARRY ZITO. He shut down one of the best offenses in the National League. He pitched like he was the Giants’ ace, like he’s been doing this all along. He stood on the mound, he threw the ball, and he somehow managed to handle every expectation that Giants fans had when he signed that contract in 2007.

He was a hero.

Now, Squatch, you’re probably wondering about that. Can one game—one good game—cause an entire fan base to suddenly say, “All is forgiven”?

Yep.

You bet your ass. It was a performance that shifted the momentum of the series, ignited one of the greatest comebacks in Giants history, and got them to the first World Series of your (as-of-yet) brief lifetime. He earned that $99 million.

Then he went out last night and did it again in Game 1 of the Series. He again shut down one of the best offenses in all of baseball. He outpitched the reigning (and likely repeating) Cy Young winner. He had fans chanting his name. He got a standing ovation as he exited the game. And the big difference was that people thought he could do it this time. We trusted him. We believed in him.

Forgiveness is a big part of being a Man, Squatch. Forgiving someone for six years of disappointment after he shows up when he’s needed most—that’s expected. That’s earned.

The lesson here is that you need to live up to your obligations. You do what you said you’d do, what others expect you to do. And if you don’t—if the world seems to turn on you when you fail to meet those expectations—you have to earn that trust back. Sometimes that takes time. Sometimes it never happens. And sometimes it just takes one great day.

& the 25-cent tour

It’s official—nearly three months after moving into our new place and nearly four months after ripping Squatch from my wife’s belly, we’ve finally completed work on the Squatch Den. Here it is, in all its glory, captured on Karli’s nifty new iPhone with that neat-o panorama feature.

This is officially the nicest room in our house.

Not bad, I think. You’ll notice the print we made and the crib skirt we slaved over have managed to survive thus far. His borrowed pink Bumbo* is down on the floor by his crib. The shelves I made with my dad got some new paint that actually matched the room and have been hung up. The rocking chair that the in-laws hauled down to Oklahoma has made the return trip and found a nice home. We actually now live about 20 minutes from where we bought this. But thanks for driving 12 straight hours to deliver it anyway, Karli’s parents! Oh well—it’ll be a nice story for Squatch.

*Rockin it old school, no seat belt.

Karli bought that reindeer in the picture the other day to put in Squatch’s room. She thought it was a moose. Since this is my blog and she can’t say otherwise, it’s a reindeer. Neither answer goes to answer the question why she bought it for Squatch.

While we’re getting into the business of looking at things around the Squatch den, there are a few things I want to focus in on, mostly because I think they’re cool. That means you probably do, too, right?

Speaking of things we bought for Squatch with no apparent logic behind them—a little after Squatch was born, I ordered him this Brian Wilson doll. A couple days after I got it in the mail, Brian Wilson showed up to the ESPYs with a sasquatch himself. Symmetry. Thus began my indoctrination of Squatch as a Giants fan, and Brian Wilson will be my inroad into that fandom. The two are already linked together. Now I just have to wait till he’s old enough to sleep with the Brian Wilson doll in his crib. And convince Karli that’s not creepy.

We had to make a little adjustment to the crib between when Karli took the picture and me writing this post. Last night, I went into Squatch’s room since we heard him fussing on the baby monitor. I found him on his side, still in his swaddle, his legs sticking between two of the slats up to the thigh. It was simultaneously hilarious and terrifying. This morning we broke out the crib bumper, which is that white mesh dealy in the picture there. We also changed the sheets because he had a Big Gulp’s worth of pee in his diaper when we got up and another little puddle on his bed. That part he gets from his mother.

We added some artwork above his changing table, too. Both of them came from Invisible Creature, who does some pretty awesome work. They also include a bunch of other stuff like postcards and stickers and extra posters when you order things from them. We’ve gotten several other things for around our house from there, too. We bought the one on the left—it’s called “Snowballer”—sometime last fall, and Karli got me the one on the right—called “Leroy C. – Stomp”—for Christmas last year. Somehow, Squatch ended up with it instead. Still trying to figure out how that one shook down, but that mystery will likely have to remain unsolved. If you want a closer look at them (because they’re flipping fantastic), here you go:

Finally, we got this artwork off the Land of Nod site last year, too. This one is for obvious reasons. The natural-colored frame didn’t go with the rest of the room, so Karli had me go all Rolling Stones on it and paint it black. This was more difficult than it sounds because I’m terrible at stuff like that, but I think I managed to do a decent job without getting paint all over where it shouldn’t be.

That puts us right back by the door. If you’ll kindly see yourself out, Squatch needs to take a nap. Don’t let the doorknob hit you in the butt on the way out.

& the lull

I’ve been doing this blog thing a little while*. It started when my wife was pregnant, and I intended to carry it through after Squatch was born and turn it from a pregnancy blog into a parenting blog. Seems only natural, right?

*For once, this isn’t my attempt to under- or over-state things to humorous effect. I really haven’t been doing this that long.

Strangely enough, this is simultaneously the reason I’m here in the Bloggy-verse and the reason I’m not. Also, how bout them Giants?

One thing that escaped me as I prepared to carry out this plan was something that seems to afflict many a pregnancy-to-parenting blog. It’s a condition that apparently grows in the womb alongside the fetus and comes screaming out into the world alongside it. It’s a condition that my blog certainly wasn’t immune to.

It’s the dreaded LULL.

*CAUTION: Bullshit postulating ahead!*

It seems to me there are a couple main causes of THE LULL. The first is rather obvious. Babies come with a lot of responsibility—feeding and diapers and crying and cleaning and feeding and diapers and laundry and feeding and diapers and diapers and more feeding and diapers. The amount of time leftover for other things gets relegated to sleep pretty quickly. Then eating. Then adult interaction. Blogging falls way down that list.

Priorities shift for parents, so it’s pretty easy to see how THE LULL can sneak up on a brand new daddy blogger. There’s a slightly less obvious contributor to THE LULL, though, one you may not agree with, but it’s my blog anyway, so you’ll just have to put up with my stupid theories. Or leave me a comment. Whatever.

See, babies in their first few months are pretty boring. Don’t get me wrong—I think my baby is awesome. And the other babies of the other parenting bloggers are (slightly less) awesome. Coolest things ever. But boring. They don’t do much besides the aforementioned eating, pooping, and sleeping. They don’t move around on their own so they don’t get into anything interesting. They don’t talk so they don’t say anything funny. They don’t do much of anything. For example, the video I shot this morning almost exclusively for the purpose of writing about this:

See? That’s about where he’s at. He can grab at his rattly bird. He can roll over onto his side. His mom and I are thrilled and amazed at everything he does. We can watch him do this all day*. But for you, the common blog reader, that was 47 seconds you’ll never get back**. I can’t blame you for not wanting to see videos of my (exceptionally cute) kid pawing at a rattle.

*Let’s be honest—we can watch this for about 15 minutes. Then we’re either asleep next to him or taking stupid pictures and videos to post on Facebook.
**If you even made it that far.

Hence, THE LULL. New parents don’t have much unique to say about their kid that other parents haven’t already seen. These little balls of poop and spit-up have yet to establish a real personality, and unless you’re going through something rare (like a genetic condition or raising the kid on your own or something like that), or you’re just naturally hilarious and interesting (like Emily at The Waiting), or you’ve got other kids already (like Dork Dad), then chances are you’ll fall victim to THE LULL.

It’s okay. Happens to the best of us. And me.

& rememberating

It’s still October 15 where I live, so this is still valid. I didn’t know till this evening it was National Pregnancy, Infant, and Child Loss Day. Didn’t even know that was a thing. And why not give you two posts in a day when I’ve been gone for so long?

Here’s the thing about Karli and me: We were married for nine years before Squatch came along. That’s quite a while, especially compared to some people we know. Karli watched her friends from high school and college—friends who got married after we did—have kids and enter the world of poop, crying, and insomnia way before we did. She wanted it, too.

The other thing about being married that long and still not having any rugrats is that people notice. They start asking, “So when are you having your own little one?” Family starts dropping hints about grandkids, nieces, nephews, cousins, what-have-you. Pressure builds. They don’t realize that if you’ve been married that long, and if you’ve talked about having kids, and if you don’t have any yet, there’s usually a reason.

What these well-meaning people might not know is that you’ve tried. We tried several times. It didn’t work. Till one day it did.

We were excited about the prospect of being parents. We’d been trying, after all. Who wouldn’t be? And the hardest part about those early days of pregnancy is containing that excitement so you don’t spill the beans before it’s time. Well, that and the puking—but that only applied to one of us, and not the one writing the blog.

There’s a reason many people don’t let others know until twelve weeks. Chances of a miscarriage go way down after that point. The first time, Karli made it seven. The couple weeks after, where Karli suffered the physical pain of passing the embryo and the emotional pain of losing a baby, were probably the worst weeks of our marriage. When you’ve been looking forward to it for so many years and trying to make it happen, you get attached pretty quickly. We got attached. It’s a pain you don’t even realize till you get there.

Luckily, we were able to succeed later. I consider it a success, anyway. But today, apparently, is a day to remember the ones who were lost. So we remember, and we feel for those who weren’t able to make it to the magical parenthood land of poopy diapers and sleepless nights. We’re lucky in that way.

This was a long time coming.

& making a name

Felix is everywhere these days.

When we first decided on a boy name for Squatch and bestowed it upon him, there really only seemed to be two Felixes:

  1. Felix the Cat
  2. Felix from The Odd Couple

Of course, there were others, but you never seemed to hear the name very often. It was one of those names that everyone knew to be a name, but you never met anyone named Felix.

Then he was born and everything changed. It started with the Olympics. Allyson Felix became a household name. Everyone was talking about her every time you turned on a station with a peacock. Squatch was only a few weeks old, and it was pretty cool to hear his name attached to someone getting such positive attention for what she was doing. Granted, it was her last name*, but it was still pretty cool. There was another track dude we saw running at the Olympics with the first name of Felix, but he wasn’t ‘Murican, so screw him.

*I kind of wished I could’ve snagged one of those track bibs with “Felix” written on it for him. Oh well.

Then in August, Felix Hernandez went and pitched a perfect game and “Felix” was all over the news again. I don’t know if we noticed it more because of our kid or because it took the attention away from Matt Cain’s perfect game, but once again, it was cool seeing Squatch’s name pop up in the news.* There seemed to be a trend happening, but I wasn’t quite sure.

*In order to cram this in, other recent athletes named Felix: Felix Potvin, Felix Pie, Felix Jones—all of which gathered brief headlines before mostly disappearing from the sports page.

I became sure when I saw the trailer for a movie:


In case you missed it at the beginning there, the game the main character comes from is called Fix-It Felix, Jr., which is also the name of the Jack McBrayer-voiced character. First off, how awesome does this movie look? I’m totally going to see this when it comes out. Second, there’s the name again! And this time it’s not just some athlete. It’s a video game hero. How is Squatch ever going to live up to that? We might as well have just named him Luigi and gotten it over with. Granted it’s not a real video game*, but still—what’s next, some dude soaring through the stratosphere like a superhero?

*Although they did create a version of Fix-It Felix game for iPhone. Karli downloaded it. She’s a nerd like that, too.

FOR THE LOVE—! Everywhere you look these days, there’s someone named Felix doing something awesome. Which on the one hand is very cool. Felixes represent. But on the other hand, did we just inadvertently, through some crappy timing, set the bar too high for Squatch? Or even worse—do we now look like we’re just following some kinda trend? Apparently, Felix was one of the top ten names in Quebec in 2006, which means Squatch shares his name with a bunch of six-year-olds in Montreal. Karli found an article recently that talked about how one trend is a rise in boy names with an X in them—the first one listed being Felix*. Are we just following the crowd?

*Full disclosure: The article was on the Disney baby blog, so this could be a subtle plug for the aforementioned movie.

One way to look at it: I think we’re just noticing it more because now we actually know a Felix, so every time we see one now, it stands out more. It’s like seeing the arrow in the FedEx logo for the first time, and then you can’t unsee it. There’s no trend happening in reality, just in our own minds.

Another way to look at it: We’re not trend followers, were trend setters, baby! He may be one of the youngest, but he’s the original. Ahead of the curve, sucker.

20121015-111457.jpg

The original. O-effing-G, Baby.