& working through

Because of her work-at-home job, Karli has seen a whole lot of Squatch. With the exception of the two days she went down to Oklahoma, she’s been around Squatch pretty much all day, every day of his life. Till this week, that is.

Karli started a new job this past Monday, which means the streak is over. She has to get up before the sun and head down into Kansas City every day while Squatch stays here with his grandma. Two days a week, I’m at home alone with him (till my summer break starts in two weeks, then it’s every day), and for the first time, she’s missing out on stuff like this:

Buds. Always.

Buds. Always.

I feel bad for her because first days at a new job typically suck. You don’t know what you’re doing, you don’t really know any of the people, you feel a little lost and a little dumb. Throw in being away from your sweet baby angel child* for pretty much the first time ever, and it’s easy to understand why Karli came home wondering if she made the right decision.

*Squatch’s words, not mine.

To help her get through the workdays, I send her pictures like this. It's working.

To help her get through the workdays, I send her pictures like this. It’s working.

Karli and I are both pretty much in the same place when it comes to this stuff—at least as far as I can tell. I think both of us would be hunky-dory either if our role was to stay at home with Squatch or if we went off to work. Neither of us is militant about being stay-at-home or dying to throw ourselves into our work. We’re both pretty cool either way*. And for us, in our house, it works. Maybe your house is different, and hey—you do you.

*Actually, I’m positive that—if given the choice—we’d both stay home and hang out with the kid. In a perfect world, right?

I really have to wonder, though—how different are we going to feel when he starts walking? Or talking? Or exerting his will, mostly in the form of insisting on the opposite of everything we want him to do? Are we going to be all-too-happy to shuttle him off to the daycare and jump into the world of adult conversation?

Right now he’s just a little ball of cute, and he’s growing up fast. In the weeks before Karli started at her new job, he started pulling himself up and walking around while holding onto stuff, started crawling*, got his first tooth to pop through his gums, and began exploring every bit of the house he could get to. All this after months of potato-ness.

*I know, it’s backwards to start standing up and walking around before crawling. We don’t do normal in the Sasquatch household.

It’s like he knew she was getting ready to go to work every day and needed to get all the big steps he could out of the way before that point. He was helping. It might have had the opposite effect, making her feel like she was going to miss out even more—but he was trying, right?

Anyway, internet folks: you want to help me let her know she was making the right call and that our kid isn’t going to have abandonment issues? He’s going to be fine, and she’s going to be fine, right?


This is what Daddy looks like in the mornings.

This is what Daddy looks like in the mornings.

On an unrelated—but no less important—note: we got a package in the mail this week. Well, specifically, Squatch got a package in the mail this week. A package of awesome.

Kortney and Doodle from Stay at Home Trauma sent Squatch his very own Sasquatch that they made themselves*! For no other reason than they’re just awesome! And he needed a cool little guy like Doodle’s Slyfox, too.

*I’m assuming it was more Kortney than Doodle, but I could be wrong. You know what happens when you assume things.

It arrived on our doorstep Thursday afternoon, and Squatch has had himself a grand old time with it. Turk tried to attack it, too, so we’re going to have to keep an eye on it so—well, so it doesn’t end up without an eye.

Before she made the doll and shipped it off here, I neglected to tell Kortney about our stuffed animal policy. In an effort to try making sure we remember who they’re from, any time Squatch gets a stuffed animal, it gets named after the person who gave it to him. So, Kortney the Sasquatch, welcome to the family!

Also, as any parent and cat owner can attest, just as amazing as the present is the box it came in. This was no exception:

This box is incredible!

This box is incredible!

Thanks, Kortney and Doodle! You have officially been crowned the Nicest People on the Internet. A well deserved crown, at that.

& he’s all wet

If you know me—and probably for the first time ever, most of you don’t, actually—I make no secret about being afraid of water*. I can’t swim, or even float, and I’m terrified of being around large quantities of water. Panic. Inducing.

*And needles. And heights. And snakes. And small spaces. And clowns. And Julia Roberts’s mouth. And spiders. And about a million other damn things. But we’ll just focus on water for now.

Both Karli and I would rather that Squatch isn’t crippled by my fears. We’d much rather he came up with his own. As a preventative measure against my own hydrophobia (ooh, big word!) getting passed down, we’ve enrolled him in swim lessons, appropriately titled “Water Babies*.”

*I often find myself inserting this into the Muppet Babies theme song and singing it frequently. And now you do, too. You’re welcome.

Squatch in the pool

He’s totally not panicking. Not yet, anyway.

This means that, every Saturday morning, we take Squatch down to one of the local high schools and get him into his swimsuit. Since he’s still not potty-trained (we didn’t spring for the deluxe model—just settled for the standard baby), this involves the use of a swim diaper, as well.

Now, if you’ve never used one of these, I feel I should give you a heads-up. The main purpose of the swim diaper is to keep poop from ending up in the pool. That’s really all they do. If you took the baby in with a regular diaper, it would absorb a bunch of the water and be really uncomfortable on the baby. Swim diapers don’t do that.

In fact, they don’t absorb much of anything. Including pee. Which we found out the hard way when I was trying to be proactive and dress him for swim class before leaving the house one Saturday and he proceeded to hose down Karli’s lap. PROTIP: Don’t put the swim diaper on till you’re actually ready to put the kid in the pool. Trust me.

After he’s dressed, we take him out and toss him in the pool.

TOTALLY KIDDING! This isn’t the 1950s and I’m not your jobless uncle who still lives in his childhood room at your grandparents’ house. There’s actually some organization to this class.

When he gets in (with Karli, of course—because crippling panic plus baby equals TV movie of the week) the parents and the babies start off with a rousing game of Hokey Pokey that it seems is meant to acclimate the babies to the water and encourage them to splash around a bit. It also appears that its secondary purpose is to allow the screamers to tune up and harmonize.

Because, yes, there are screamers. These are the children I identify with.

After Hokey Pokey time, the parents hold the babies on their stomachs and let them float around a bit. Parents will blow bubbles in the kids’ faces (because who doesn’t like that?) and let them kick around some. Then they float some on their backs and hang around on noodles before the kids do some jumping into the pool. All-in-all, it’s a pretty fun time. Despite him being surrounded by thousands of gallons of liquid death, that is. But I digress.

He's ready for his GQ cover shoot. Just tell him where to stand.

He’s ready for his GQ cover shoot. Just tell him where to stand.

Outside of the fact that he’s conquering my fears, there are some other benefits of his swim lessons, too. For instance, Squatch has picked himself up a girlfriend. Usually, there is one lady—Morgan—who leads the Water Babies class, but since there are so many people signed up this month, there is a second one in the pool with them—Sarah. This past week, Squatch has taken quite a liking to Sarah, throwing some smiles and flirty eyes her way. This has made Morgan, as the French say, totes jealous. Nine months old and already leaving a trail of broken hearts in his wake. What a guy.

He’s also made a little friend. That is to say, Karli has made friends with one of the other moms whose kid is a couple months younger than Squatch. It’s nice to socialize, even if he has to conquer perilous circumstances to do it.

All this being said, Squatch’s favorite part of the whole thing is getting out and sitting around in his towel. It’s completely unsurprising since that’s his favorite part of bath time, as well. Once we get him out and wrap him up, he’s just a smiling, cooing, giggling ball of cute that turns everyone within 10 meters to a quivering mass of simpering goo. And this paragraph exists solely as an excuse to include the picture.

It would appear that our plan to keep Squatch from being terrified of the water like his dear old dad is working marvelously. Too bad the same can’t be said for other things. He still screams anytime the needles get broken out at the doctor’s office. The apple didn’t fall too far on that one.

& a mediocre host

We made him put on his best get-up for the guests.

We made him put on his best get-up for the guests.

So I finally achieved a lifelong dream I never knew I had until the second I got the email from WordPress—I’ve been Freshly Pressed. Welcome to all of you who’ve come over because of it, and I hope you’ll stick around and see what the internet was made for read some of my other stuff. It’s pretty good, if I do say so myself. And for those few who’ve already recognized my greatness struggled through this crap since the beginning been reading this blog for a while, please be on your best behavior so you don’t scare away the guests. Don’t worry, I still love you just the same.

As a quick little follow up to the Freshly Pressed post, I should probably mention that the dog barfed up a whole bunch of that cake the other morning. I’ll save you the graphic visual, but let me paint a little word picture for you—think melting strawberry ice cream. With mystery chunks.

I figured a little orientation might be in order for those of you who care to take it. You might be wondering what a Squatch is and who the hell I am, so it couldn’t hurt to check those out. You might also want to “Like” me on the Facebook and “Follow” me on the Twitter because occasionally my nonsense spills over to those venues. And, if you really love irony, I’m on the Pinterest.

Once you’re all caught up, you’re welcome to peruse the archives over there on the right. It’s easy enough to find stuff. If you’re like me, however, and you don’t enjoy wading through mounds of turds to find the diamond, here’s some help finding the good’uns:

The very beginning of it all [12/23/11] and telling our parents [12/23/11]
Early grandparent antics [12/28/11]
Thinking about names [1/15/12] and Discussing Squatch’s real name [10/15/12]
I guess at Squatch’s gender [2/13/12] and I’m proven completely wrong [6/29/12]
Sleeping is an uncomfortable [3/17/12] dangerous business [3/20/12]
Getting impatient (an attempt at webcomics) [6/21/12]
Squatch’s birth story, as told by Squatch: Part 1/Part 2/Part 3/Part 4 [8/31/12-9/3/12]
First thoughts on actual parenthood [7/3/12]
I talk about picture books  [4/19/12], and again [3/26/13]
Shopping recommendations for baby showers [12/5/12]
I’ve griped about Pinterest (and other stuff) before [12/10/12]
Babies are boring [10/16/12]
Squatch’s first Christmas [12/30/12] and half-birthday [1/8/13]
Squatch tries rolling [10/26/12] and standing up [4/4/13] and getting sick [2/5/2013]
I turn 30 (presents still being accepted) [11/29/12]

If you like a lot of self-deprication and pictures of an adorable baby, you might like it around here. And if you like it around here, you might like checking out some of the other dad bloggers out there, which you can find in the Facebook Dad Bloggers page*. I don’t have a regular schedule of posting, but I try to post as often as my kid and job allow me to. If you stick around, I promise to try to work on almost getting better about it, maybe.

*If you’re a dad blogger yourself, you should join our FB group, if you haven’t already.

Thanks for coming by. Hope you enjoyed your stay, and take a goodie bag on the way out.

What? No goodie bags? Oops.

& you ruin everything, pinterest

You know Pinterest, right? Of course you do—everyone knows Pinterest. It’s that awesome little social media pinboard website that lets people share all kinds of amazing gems hidden on the internet.

WRONG.

PINTEREST IS OUT TO DESTROY YOU AND EAT YOUR SOUL.

Once upon a time, when your wife volunteered to make a birthday cake to celebrate her mother’s and sister’s birthdays, she could just throw a can of frosting on top of one of Mrs. Crocker’s finest box mixes and call it good. In, out, done. Boom.

Then along comes Pinterest to make everyone look bad. Now just to keep up with the internet’s Joneses, she’s gotta buy two cake mixes and some food coloring so that there are multiple layers in incrementally deeper hues of pink. Then she has to separate out the cake mixes, dyeing each batch perfectly and baking them so they come out right before setting them out on the dining room table to cool so she can assemble the cake the following day.

Of course, the following morning when you’re out with your baby son at his swimming class, your dog will decide the bowl of food she has downstairs is no good and will eat the darkest three layers from off the dining room table. When you get home, your wife will yell at the dog and then send you to the store for yet another box of cake mix and vegetable oil.

After re-baking the three dog-eaten layers, your wife will send you to the store again because she needs more powdered sugar for the buttercream frosting—because canned frosting won’t cut it with Pinterest. Then she’ll send you another time for vanilla extract because she thought you had more than you did, and you’ll be thankful you live across the street from the grocery store.

When she starts to assemble the cake, the super-thick buttercream will start to make the newly-cooked darker layers resemble the faces of those poor massacred teens from the scare-fest videos in driver’s education. Your wife will realize this is because these layers didn’t cook long enough and begin to swear at the cake and for Pete’s Sake WHO SWEARS AT CAKE IT’S SWEET AND SOFT AND DELICIOUS AND I LOVE YOU CAKE. She’ll get fed up trying to frost these layers and throw them in the trash. You’ll cry—partly because you just had to go out and buy that cake mix and partly because cake just went into the trash instead of your belly. This is a sacrifice to the Pinterest gods. They are a vengeful lot.

Your wife will achieve success with the remaining three layers, as they’ve been cooked correctly, and cover them in swirly doodads, also in incrementally darker hues of pink. This last part will be relatively painless, except for the hand cramps because you and your wife had to stir food coloring into the super-thick buttercream frosting and squeeze it out of a bag. You and your wife will feel better looking at a finished cake and she’ll still love her family. You’ll go to bed and softly cry into your pillow because two days were shot to hell on a birthday cake.

I hope you die in a fire, Pinterest. You and your raised expectations.

The cake of destiny.  You win this time, Pinterest. THIS TIME.

The cake of destiny.
You win this time, Pinterest. THIS TIME.

& get up, stand up

Adorable in stereo.

Adorable in stereo.

Did you know that babies learn things by themselves? Yeah, like without you teaching them a damn thing! I know, right?

See, I had this plan. Our kid is adorable. (That wasn’t part of the plan—it just happened.) We’d like him to stay an adorable little baby sasquatch instead of growing up into a big, smelly, hairy one. I don’t believe this is too much to ask. So my plan was to just not teach him things. If he doesn’t learn how to do all the big-people things, he’ll just stay a little people forever. Logic.

Well, turns out that plan can just go right into the crapper. Doesn’t matter what I do (or don’t do), that kid is just gonna figure it all out on his own. Dammit.

One of his newest tricks began last week. Squatch and I were hanging out, playing some stacking cups on the floor at home while Karli was at her exercise class. At one point he just scooted himself around, grabbed onto my pant leg and pulled himself right up. He sidled right on over to my head and started playing with my nose. Sorry that I didn’t get a picture of this—some things gotta be just for me.

You're gonna love what I'm working up for you.

You’re gonna love what I’m working up for you.

Of course, he proceeded to lay a pretty heavy stink bomb in his diaper that then required immediate attention. Don’t worry, Bloggy-verse—that one was just for me, too.

He’s been standing for a while, as long as he’s holding onto something. He started cruising around sideways on the furniture a little while back, too. He can even push around his little walker things for a little ways. The pulling up was a new thing, though. It caught me a little by surprise. I laid him down for bed and when Karli came home, I told her what he’d done. She poked her head in to check on him, and he was sitting up and trying to pull himself to standing again in his crib, which meant it was time to drop the mattress again. We put it on the lowest setting—Karli was a little sad about that—and now the top is right about at mouth-level. At least he won’t topple himself out, though. We weren’t ready for doing that, either.

Before I go, I’ll leave you with a little video I grabbed last night. He just wanted to stand up a bunch, and he pulled himself up like 17 times over the course of about an hour. This was the only video I got to turn out because he was using me to pull himself up again. At one point I set him farther away and he crawled over to me to pull himself up. I didn’t get good video of that because I might have been too busy keeping myself from crying. No, you’re the pussy. Shut up.