Posts tagged ‘memories’

Long Overdue Update

Well, another year has gone by, and I’ve yet to post in 2015. Working two jobs and having two kids does crimp availability for other things. Sorry, internet!

Oh, right! Yes…you read that right…TWO kids.

Back on May 20, we welcomed Baylor to our family! Everything went great and everyone is healthy!

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Baylor arrived back in May. Talk about delayed news!

And Mr. Mason turned five in October. Where does the time go?

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Mason is five now. He’s all about color!

I’m hoping to try to incorporate a somewhat regular schedule of posts moving forward. I miss writing about my boy(s)!

If any of my followers are still active readers here on WordPress, please let me know you are alive and still active!

Video

Mason’s Sledding Adventure

For the first time since Mason was an infant, we had a Thanksgiving snowfall sufficient for some sledding! Mason has always been one for movement and speed. His Grampa (my Dad) took him up and down the hill a bunch of times…guess who got tired first? Haha!

This video was shot and edited entirely on an iPhone 6 with iMovie, using time-lapse photography, slo-mo video, and the ever-cliché Ken Burns effect. It’s short, but sweet. 🙂

7 Ways Dads Can Bond With Young Kids

You’d think with the number of books that sit on shelves at every bookstore (and iBooks in the iTunes store) detailing ways to be a great father, we’d all have this parenting thing down pat. Yet, every day, new dads continually scratch their heads so often, bald spots develop (that’s my defense, what’s yours?). When Mason was in utero, I had no idea what I was going to do, and I sure as heck didn’t have an idea when he was born, either, despite Armin Brott’s “The Expectant Father.” Some things in life were meant to be learned on the fly. I knew this when I saw Mason had no instruction manual attached to his heinie.

As a new parent, bonding is the most important thing you can do with your child. We all know this. But as fathers, we may be somewhat in the clouds trying to figure out just what it is we do to bond. We can’t breastfeed (thank goodness). We can’t birth the child (another thank goodness). This motherly concept on instant bonding is, well…motherly! Seeing Mason for the first time did bring instant love, but it also brought this.

Have no fear, new daddies. There are several ways you can bond with your new bundles of joy, and it’s all via everyday activities. These activities aren’t just for newborns, either! Mason is 16 months old, and all seven of the activities I’m about to mention still apply. Make time every day for some of these, and you’ll soon find your children to be as enamored with you as you are with them.

1. Talk To Your Kids

This is by far the easiest thing you can do to bond with your kids. It doesn’t matter if they are asleep or awake, whether they can talk or not. Tell them what you’re doing. Tell them what they’re doing. Tell them what you think of the local sports team (keep it clean)! The sound of Mommy’s and Daddy’s voice is soothing for wee ones. Eventually, talking will become habit. You’ll know you’re doing a good job if this happens.

2. Snuggle Your Buggle

Physical bonding calms both child and parent. In the first days and weeks after birth, skin-to-skin contact helps relieve everything from sleeplessness to colic to discomfort…all because of your warm skin and heartbeat! Plus, it makes for super naps! Without physical affection, you’re missing out of half of the love you can show your child. Take note, dads of little boys: it’s not just for the girls. gender makes no difference this early on. Snuggle like the dryer sheet bear!

3. Fill Their Tummies

Just because Mommy is breastfeeding doesn’t mean you’re off the hook. Most breastfeeding moms pump and store milk for future consumption, and your hands hold the bottle just fine. Feeding and burping an infant helps you know how much food is enough, and whether or not your child is gassy. With infants, even the tiniest amount of gas is extremely discomforting to them. Don’t make them suffer.

For older infants/toddlers, spoon feeding builds trust and helps kids learn where their mouths are so they can feed themselves. At some point, children will lead by your example. That’s right, Daddy…eat the peas.

4. Freshen Your Baby Up

Before I got used to the stench of Mason's poop, every diaper change used two diapers.

Diaper changing is by far the most annoying task a parent can be charged with. Nonetheless, there’s no negotiation on doing it. Admittedly, I get into funks when I seem to avoid it. It’s something I need to work on. Poop happens.
Diaper changing is a very volatile time for little ones, so it’s a great bonding activity. Trust is earned, and there’s a sense of satisfaction and gratitude from babies when a fresh diaper is fastened. Toddlers, on the other hand…not so much, at least from my experience!

5. Enjoy Tubby Time

Early on, baths are quick and tedious. Newborns and early infants don’t do much in the tub/sink. As they grow, however, they learn to splash, spill and play with toys! This is a great time to be imaginative and have an ocean adventure! Get some squirt toys for added fun! Of course, make sure all the nooks and crannies are cleaned in the process. Your little one will thank you as they learn good hygiene!

6. Be A Bookworm

I’ve posted on this previously. While early attempts at reading can be frustrating, it’s pretty much cemented that reading to kids early on makes a huge impact on learning for a lifetime. Thanks to unrealistic advertisements, we all have this mental picture of perfect snuggles with a book and a bottle. In most cases, not gonna happen. Still, read to your kids, every chance you get. If they pay attention, great! If not, keep reading. Their learning depends on it, and they’ll always remember story time with Daddy.

7. Stay And Play

When infants become mobile, chasing them and keeping them safe can get very stressful. Suddenly, there’s no time to sit and relax, or even to be productive and get things done. Little ones can become engaged with something that allows you to let your guard down and do something else…but it’s not always best (but boy is it hard to resist)! Sit on the floor and build a Mega Blok tower, or play with dolls. Bounce a ball around, or put on a puppet show (they won’t care about your acting skills). Sing songs and give them a visit from the “Tickle Monster!” When you become a part of your child’s imagination, there’s some serious bonding going on. Housework can wait.

There’s so many more opportunities for bonding out there. Start with these seven, but look for more. Your children will never get younger, and the older they get, the more you’ll treasure these early years…maybe even the diaper changes! I’ll get back to you on that.

A Look Back: 2011

From tiny guy...

...to reaching high!

It goes without saying that Mason grew this year. It’s almost hard to remember when he wasn’t walking or crawling. Were it not for pictures and video as memories, it would be like Mason walked out of the hospital room immediately after birth!

In addition to Mason growing, I grew as a father. It’s not like first-time parents have anything to go by! As much as I’ve looked for Mason’s instruction manual, I’ve realized that Holly and I have to write it as we go. Some instructions are easy.

Change when soiled. Keep clean. Seep safe at all times.

Others, we learn in the moment.

Keep onesies from becoming tangled. Stay away from nether regions to avoid urine.

And then there are the ones that haven’t been found yet.

How to keep boy happy at all times. How to get boy to eat all food properly. How to ensure entrance to Ivy League School.

Nothing is going to make my job as a father any easier, but at least I’ve got Holly and family to help me be the best dang dad I can be. For everything that everyone has done for me this year, be it giving advice, reading a blog, or connecting with a fellow parent, I say thank you! Also, thanks to Holly for being the mother she is…outstanding! The biggest thank you of all, of course, to the little guy. Love you Mason!

Dads, have a sippy cup toast with your kids on Sunday. Toast to all that 2011 brought, and all that 2012 will bring. Toast to all the bedtime stories and baths, as well as the scraped knees and bumped heads. Even though they are what we hate to experience, they make us the parents we are and keep us on our toes. We can’t be great parents with out these little humans to test us!

Again, thanks for a great 2011, and here’s to an ever better 2012!

Life as a father truly is “Daddily Ever After.”

1st Year Roundup

Wow…somehow it’s been a month plus since my last post. Apologies to anyone who looks forward to these blog posts…

During my unanticipated hiatus, Mason celebrated his first birthday. The days leading up to 10/21 were full of recollection and reminiscing on the past 365 days, my first as a father. I learned that you can’t learn to be a good dad by observing other dads…they aren’t you, and their kids aren’t yours. I’ve seen good times and bad this year…as much as this blog of mine portrays itself as a non-stop humor show, there’s so much more. I try to make it all humorous because without humor (even in bad times), we’d all be insane.

Mason has grown so quickly, I’ve barely noticed! We’re it not for photos taken throughout this year, I’d have no way to compare. Even differences between photos taken two or three weeks apart blow me away. The little boy that started as 8+ pounds of bald newborn is now over 22 pounds, crawling, standing (first steps any day now, I think) and somewhat less bald.

Day 1: Screaming Monster

About one year later: Smiling Monster

I’ve seen the miracle of birth, and the tragedy of a filthy diaper. The peace of a baby sleeping, and the agony of one screaming in pain. The joy of interaction, and the curse of commincation barriers. If you don’t see both sides of parenting, you aren’t a parent. It’s not all TLC and ABC family. There’s plenty of HBO, Lifetime and even a little ESPN in there! 🙂

It’s absolutely impossible to pick my favorite moment of Mason’s first year. I think most would suggest that my run-in with a onesie as a tube top would be up there, confirming my relative stupidity as a male trying to dress an infant. The time Mason pooped DURING a diaper change at Thanksgiving might stay with me for a while too. All the laughs and cries, the bumps bruises, the crawing and driving…me crazy…it’s all bundled in my brain under “first year.” Hopefully, I’ve documented enough of it via blogging, photos and videos to remember it when I’m having my diaper changed in 70 years.

It’s a cop out, but it’s all been a favorite to me. I guess I can say most of all, I enjoy writing about my experiences and sharing them with the world, either it be as a caveat or as a “look how stupid I am” moment…it’s all good, nothing to hide in parenting!

Well, as you can see, I’m terible at summarizing large amounts of time…so back to regular blogging I will go…hopefully.

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