& sleeping cutie

So fair warning here: chances are I’m going to piss you off a bit here, particularly if you’re the parent of a toddler who’s a little less than cooperative. At times, this might sound like I’m complaining about something practically every parent would give almost any amount of money for. Know that I’m not, but really just making an observation. It’s still okay if you hate me for this. I’ll understand.

haters-gonna-hate_1231

The thing is, Squatch likes sleep. He gets that from his mom. Not that I don’t like sleep—I’m a pretty big fan—it’s just that Karli and Squatch can work the hell out of a nap. We’ve lucked out that we haven’t had sleeping problems very often or very long with this one. Yes, you can start to hate me now. If it makes you feel any better, he does get up pretty early

Keepin it classy in KC.

Keepin it classy in KC.

This past Sunday, Squatch and I took in a Royals day game with my mom as a belated Mother’s Day celebration. It meant he had to miss his nap, and really only got about 10 minutes of sleep on the way from the game to the barbecue place*. By the time we got home, he was beat. He was a really good sport about it, but he crashed early and slept in (till SEVEN A.M.!) the next morning.

*Gates Bar B. Q., if you were wondering. It doesn’t really get much better than baseball and Kansas City barbecue on a beautiful day. And while we’re on it, I’ll just go ahead and put it out there—KC barbecue is the best barbecue. I’m not even going to argue it, so don’t even try.

Monday, he finally did take a nap—FOR FOUR HOURS! Yeah, I know. That’s what I’m going to talk about, and why you’re going to hate me. Because while there is sheer awesomeness to be had in a four-hour nap, especially due to its rarity, there’s one thing I observed about this phenomenon: It’s really hard to get stuff done when your kid naps for four hours.

“But that’s just stupid. I can get a lot done in that four hours.”

First off, good to see you again, Imaginary Internet Reader. Haven’t heard from you in a while. And secondly, you’re right—sort of. The thing about kids, especially young ones, is that schedules and routine really matter. These guys can’t tell time, so routine keeps them from constantly flipping their shit. And if your kid routinely takes two hour naps, you learn to get things done during those two hours.

When your kid hunkers down for a four-hour nap, you don’t actually know it’s going to be a four-hour nap. You get your plan set for the two-hour slot you usually have to fill and you do all the things before your kid wakes up.

Only then he doesn’t get up. So what do you do? You don’t want to start on something you need to dedicate a ton of time to because he’s already passed his normal waking point, and he can pop right out of bed at any time now, demanding your attention. Instead, you decide to undertake tasks that you can easily abandon at a moment’s notice and require little commitment. You’re paralyzed on your couch because you just know the minute you settle into that big project, that’s when he’s going to get up.

And that’s how you spend half your afternoon watching YouTube videos instead of doing something actually useful.

“So why don’t you just wake your kid up after two hours so he keeps his schedule?”

Screw that, IIR. It’s four hours of me time. I’m not giving that up, not for all the YouTubes in the world.

(A quick coda: Yesterday’s was a three-hour nap, only the internet was out at my place for most of it, so I went with a book instead. Books: The internet before the internet was the internet.)

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& 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.

& uncommon lullabies

Squatch has reached that point where he can sleep through the night. He doesn’t always, but he has, and he can whenever he wants. He just doesn’t always want to.

The Expletive Baby has already told you how to get a baby to sleep through the night, so I won’t rehash all that. I will, however, add my secrets that help with Squatch.

The first is swaddling him tight. He calms down almost immediately whenever we do it and it makes falling asleep that much easier.

Next is shaking* to get him relaxed. He seems to be happier if he’s moving while he falls asleep. If we can shake him while rocking in the rocking chair, he’s out in no time.

*Not like “Shaken Baby” shaking—don’t call child services. More like a car ride. “Bouncing,” if you will. Only it’s not really bouncing. Shaking is really the only way to describe it, but not like you’re trying to mix paint. That’s just irresponsible.

The last part is most important, though. The best thing we can do to get him into a relaxed state is playing music. Squatch is already a musical man. We listened to music all the time while he was cooking in Karli’s belly, so I think he started to develop his personal taste. Karli will tell you that it’s Coldplay and Adele.

Pass.

Here’s Squatch’s real favorite music.

The Beatles

Little dude digs the classics. Whenever he gets fussy, I pull up The Beatles on my phone and let them sing him back into silence. For people worried about song content with their kids, The Beatles work out pretty well because they come from the days when people didn’t put the offensive stuff in their albums, but a lot of their stuff is loud enough that Squatch gets into it. Loud and fast is the key. No sweet little lullabies for this dude. This one’s among his favorites.

Elvis Presley

No doubt about it, this kid has an affinity for the classics. Elvis was in constant rotation during the fetus stage, so he was probably doing a whole lotta hip-shakin in there. It was like a scene out of Full House, it was so damn cute. I know they say that the best way to develop your baby’s brain is to play Classical music, but we didn’t quite go that route. I think he’ll be okay, though. If he doesn’t get into college, we’ll blame the King. Squatch recommends this one.

Tom Waits

Sometimes, you just want to chill. Squatch knows this. And what better way to chill than with a guy whose voice sounds like it’s been rubbed down with 80-grit sandpaper and soaked in bourbon for a few weeks? This is about as close as Squatch and I get to a lullaby when it’s Daddy’s turn to put him to bed. Here’s a live version of Squatch’s favorite, from VH1’s storytellers and preceded by some typical Tom Waits banter that makes you want to spend your Saturday afternoons just hanging out with him on the porch.

Black Joe Lewis & the Honeybears

At bedtime last night, we listened to this whole album. It’s been one of my favorites for the last couple years since it came out, and now it’s one of Squatch’s favorites, too. Don’t be surprised. Squatch can get funky. This also shows a little love for the Austin-ites who frequent this blog. Okay, when I say frequent, I mean come by and read when I actually put down the poopy diapers and comp papers long enough to post something. Frequent is definitely the wrong word when it comes to this little corner of the internet. That aside, here’s Squatch’s pick from the album.

The Kinks—You Really Got Me (Live)

He doesn’t really get into the whole album because sometimes the crowd noises startle him. But this song, this is what I refer to as the “Magic Go-to-Sleep Song” because I can start it up when he’s in his screaming-for-the-sake-of-screaming fits and he’s almost instantly calm and starting to nod off by the guitar solo. It’s absolutely uncanny. But it has to be the live version from One for the Road. Dude’s a sucker for the raging guitars and high energy—what can I say? Here it is so Squatch can share his joy with the world.

So how about your kids? Do you have a “Magic Go-to-Sleep Song”? One that’s not lame?

Update: Safari froze while I was composing this, and I lost the paragraph about Waits, then I posted it without realizing. This was a regretful oversight and has been remedied. My apologies, Mr. Waits.

& the freak-down: wiped

The Freak-Down

15 Days

Man, I’m wiped.

Before I get going:
*DISCLAIMER*—I’m fully aware that Karli’s the pregnant one, and as such mocks my silly “tiredness.” But this isn’t her blog; it’s mine, so keep it down, all right?

People have told me how long and boring and excruciating these last few weeks before the baby gets here can be. I was prepared for that and have already made fun of myself for it. Nobody mentioned how damn exhausting they are, too. Well, people have talked about how tiring it is for the mom-to-be, which is no surprise. But nobody mentions how the expectant dad is tired, too. Till now that is.

For starters, I haven’t slept well recently. It takes forever to get to sleep with a thousand things racing through my head. Once I get there, I’m startled awake with every rustling from Karli’s side of the bed. Hell, if she makes a noise, I’m practically jumping up to grab the hospital bag. It makes for pretty long and fitful nights.

Once I’m up, I’m up. And working. At the risk of tooting my own horn, I’m doing a whole lot of work around the house to make sure we’re ready for when Squatch pops out. I fetch water, make meals, fix the car*, put baby things together, do laundry, wash dishes, clean the house, and pretty much anything else around here that requires movement of the non-pregnant variety.** Not that I’m complaining. It’s kind of my job. But it’s tiring.

*Sort of.
**Enter fanfare.

Let this be a lesson for you dads-to-be. Get ready to be anxious and impatient and tired during the last few weeks before your kid is born. If you’re doing it right, that is. Unless I’m totally doing this wrong, in which case I’m going to have to have a little talk with Karli.

Now it’s time for me to head out with Karli for our evening walk because, y’know, I need to wear myself out. It’s only for another couple weeks. Then Squatch will be here and—

Aw, crap.

& more dangers of sleeping

The other day, I didn’t quite capture everything I wanted to in my post on sleeping, so I figured I’d touch on a few more things—not necessarily Squatch-related—that make sleeping in my own bed something of an adventure. In fact, I’m practically the Indiana Jones of sleeping around these parts.

For instance, in one of my wife’s favorite sleeping positions, she likes to support her head with her right hand. And, of course, she likes to snuggle in close. This results in what I like to call The Razor Elbow of Death:

It’s every bit as pleasant as it looks. Eventually, you just learn to live with the knot between your shoulder blades because waking her up is not an option.

Then, there’s Turk, the cat. Our bed is beneath a window, and we have a headboard that reaches up almost to the windowsill. As a result, Turk likes to get up in the window, but uses us as a takeoff/landing zone. So we end up with The Flying Cat of Doom. I’m pretty sure this is what he sees from up in the window:

Then there’s Gordie, the dog. Gordie is a dog. Which means that she is capable of biological warfare. This means she becomes The Bearer of the Poisoned Wind:

In order to defend myself, I need to come to bed prepared. Indiana Jones had his good looks, his sizable knowledge, his rapier wit, and his bull whip. I’ve got them all but the bull whip, and I haven’t checked with Karli, but I’m pretty sure the whip’s not on the table at this point in time. Maybe after we have a kid or two, but not now. So I’ve had to come up with my own defense system. I’m still honing its effectiveness, though:

Usually, the only thing it gets me is a trip to the couch, where I’m joined by both the dog and the cat. At least someone around here is getting some sleep. So long as Squatch isn’t doing tae-bo lessons all night.


Don’t Forget the Giveaway!

I’m not doing the sleep theme intentionally, but I might as well run with it while I got the chance. Yesterday, I mentioned the extra Sleep Sheep we got from a friend that I’m giving away on the blog. All you gotta do is go comment on that post and tell me you want it. I’ll draw a winner at random when we get back from Kansas on Sunday, March 25. All the details are there on that post, and there aren’t many of them.

Get yer Sleep Sheep while you can!

& a little space

I've fought for every inch I get in bed. All seven of them.

I’m going to invite you into my bedroom today.

No, not like that, sicko. I just thought I’d talk about what it’s like to try sharing a bed with a pregnant lady.

And a dog.

And a cat that takes up more room than you’d think.

And the thing that’s become the bane of my existence—that damn pregnancy pillow.

See, a few weeks ago, I thought I’d be nice and buy Karli a pillow. I found a Boppy one on Amazon and she loves it. I, on the other hand, have found my already skimpy bed real estate diminishing with its presence.

We already had a crowded house with the dog and the cat. And, as you can see from my award-winning* art, the cat, despite being the smallest one in the house, takes up the most bed space. Which means my wife takes her half out of the middle. The dog stretches out to claim whatever space she can. That leaves me, the biggest, baddest sasquatch in town, hanging off a cliff like Sylvester Stallone in that one movie. You know…Stop or My Mom Will Shoot.

*Second place hand turkey, Mrs. Jennings’s second grade class

That graphic isn’t quite to scale. It probably overestimates the amount of space I get on a nightly basis. And I get especially careful these days with Squatch in bed, too. Even though the baby’s protected by all that amniotic fluid and a few of my wife’s vital organs, I’m still worried I’m gonna roll over and squash it. Turk and Gordie don’t seem to have a problem with it, though. Any space I don’t occupy, they’re more than happy to squeeze right in for a cuddle.

I have to be careful not to move my legs too much, or else Gordie’s been known to creep even farther up the bed. I’ve woken up several times to find myself curled in a ball with the dog taking up the lower half of the bed. And the cat squeezed in next to my chest.

Now, a couple weeks ago while I was in Chicago, I missed Karli. And Squatch. And the pets. But I had a queen bed all to myself. I slept diagonally on it (on top of the covers, of course, because I have a thing about hotel sheets) and it was glorious. Beautiful, beautiful space.

Long story short, Squatch will not be sleeping in the bed with us. It’s fine now while the little womb raider comes with its own sleeping quarters, but once it’s no longer swimming around like a goldfish—off to the Squatch Den!

And while I’m on the subject of our sleeping arrangements, I’m going to point out a couple things not in the graphic. Karli likes her humidifier. It makes me stuffy, but it helps her breathe. So where is it? Two feet from my head on my nightstand. She also likes to have a fan running while she sleeps because she has to have the noise. I’m cool without it. But where is that? Down by my feet.

Somehow I lost this battle without even knowing I was in a fight. Or, as I’m learning this phenomenon is more commonly known: Manhood.