Change in the air …

Tips for smoothing the baby transition…

Bringing home the baby is a milestone in your life. Things are all thrown out of whack very very quickly. What you who have learned to call “life”, should just be thrown out the window because it will all change.

Change is hard. Its good, but its hard. It helps you grow and makes you better. “Builds character” as my dad would say. (He moved my family 6 times … which I am now grateful for. So its true, change builds character)

I have compiled four helpful insights to make the baby transition as “character building” as possible.

1. Help in any way you can.

Yes, that includes diapers. Pull a Jim and learn how to diaper and volunteer to do it. I can give you 100 excuses to not change a diaper and if you use them I can give you a cot to sleep on for the night, because you can bet you won’t be sleeping on the bed with your wife.

2. Hold your baby as often as possible.

Your wife has been with the baby all day and probably hasn’t gotten much done. Give her a break and hold the baby. I know that it has been proven somewhere that men can’t multi-task, but learn to. Its “character building” right? Learn how to do what you do with a baby in your hands.

3. Take turns at night.

I am guilty of being a heavy sleeper at times. My wife can get up 3 or 4 times in the night and I will never know about it. Talk to your wife and volunteer for a turn or two in the night to take care of the baby. Now, if it’s hungry, sorry fellas, pass the baby to the wife. You can’t help much there. That would fall into the “NOT character building” category.

4. Still do what you love, just with a baby.

My wife and I enjoy walks and now we just walk with Macey. (Who actually likes being outside!) Whether its having a movie marathon, going out to eat or even just grocery shopping together, learn to do it with the new baby. You are a family now.

I would like to thank my wife for being patient with me as I learn and try to do these things and I would like to thank Macey for teaching me already. Fathers, lets build some character.

Hospital Tips…we all need them.

10 Tips to Make your Hospital Visit Enjoyable

The other week I spent a few nights with my wife in the hospital. I learned some things that will help make your visit with your wife a good one.

First and foremost … just be prepared.

If you aren’t prepared then your experience can be summed up in one word: frantic. Lets break that word down. “Fran” as in the hurricane that ripped through the South in the 90’s; which is what your visit will feel like when everything happens at once.  “Tic” as in that is what you may have after your visit if you aren’t prepared.

Follow these tips and you should be fine! (Oh, disclaimer: A pregnancy is different that other visits so these tips are specifically for that!)

1. Bring your wife.

Sounds dumb I know, but what I mean by that is pay attention to her. Help her, cater to her, be sure that she is comfortable. When momma ain’t happy…ain’t nobody happy.

2. Bring something to read.

Your wife may be sleeping a lot while she is there…well at least Lisa was.  I guess it just depends on how you get there. My wife was induced so there was some “waiting” time. If you go to the hospital because your wife is in labor, it’s going to hectic for a little bit. A good magazine always helps though no matter what.

3. Bring some games to play.

As stated before my wife was in labor for a while, Macey wasn’t coming right off the bat. So we brought some games that take a while to play. (Don’t bring things like Monopoly, Settlers of Catan, or Risk. Board games aren’t a good idea when your wife is hooked up to an iv …. Just saying.) We had Uno and Phase Ten. I got my butt kicked most of the time.

4. Have a camera.

No brainer right? Here is a more specific tip then; bring a working camera. Have replacement batteries, a charger, an extra memory card if needed, just the backup basics. If you are like me you will take a hundred pictures in a day…all of the same beautiful baby.

5. Learn to sleep anywhere.

Odds are you won’t have a California King-Size mattress waiting for you in the closet of the hospital room somewhere. If you do, send me your address so I can move there. My first night was spent on a recliner and my second and third on a pull-out-bed-chair-wanna-be thing. It was cool to pull out, not cool to sleep on. Learn to sleep wherever. And get some sleep. You will need it. Macey has been home for a week and a half…and sleeping is a little on the low side.

 6. Bring some snacks.

Unless you just crave hospital food, you may want to bring some things to snack on. Be cautious though. Remember, your wife can’t eat so don’t bring something that was on her craving list … (If I would’ve brought watermelon to snack on, I would’ve been put in the hospital) … and try not to bring anything that smells or will make her nauseous. Keep it simple and tasty.

7. Try to help.

Don’t get me wrong, I am not saying put on some scrubs and tell your wife to push. But if she needs something, a cup of ice, more pain meds, or just a good hand holding session, do it. Be there for her.

8. Bring the car seat.

I am pretty sure they won’t let you leave the hospital with out it. Pretty sure. You know, just saying.

9. Thank the doctors.

They are a big help. You know, they just delivered your baby. Thank them for helping and being patient. Yeah, it’s their job, but don’t we all like to be recognized? Help them out and thank them for doing what they do daily.

10. Have a good attitude.

This is going to be a new and different experience for you and your wife. It may require you to flexible and understanding. Be it. Be willing and this visit will be a smooth one.

 


Best Father’s Day Gift…ever…

Best Father's Day Gift

One week ago today was D-Day. The “D” in “D-Day” is “delivery” by the way or “daddy”; take your pick. Thats right everyone. One week ago today, on June 14th at 7:14 pm, Macey Claire Bagley was born. It was a long day (easy for me to say, but it was even longer for my wife), but she finally came!

I am sorry that I haven’t written in so long…first rule of being a new father…you have your hands full. If not full of your beautiful daughter, then they are dull of her dirty diapers, her diaper bag, dirty clothes, new clothes, new diapers and other fun things. Also, a lack of sleep may be another thing that was kept me away from writing. I won’t sugar coat it…it has been rough…but a good rough.

A good rough. I know, that sounds weird. Here is an example. Fathers, remember back in high school when we were on a sports team and we had to do two, and some times even three-a-day practices? They were hard. But in the end, after the buzzer sounded, the whistle blew and the game was over, all that roughness paid off. Having Macey home is a three-a-day (actually its more like an all-day) practice. But she is here. She is healthy. She the prettiest thing, next to her mom, that I have ever seen. She is 8 pounds and 10 ounces of pure joy. She is the light of our home. Its a good rough.

Curb the Cravings!

Friends, fathers, fellas we all know the one thing that a pregnancy is famous for: cravings. Whether they are the weird ones like peanut butter dipped pickles, or the normal ones like out-of-season fruit, all women have them. (My wife had a craving for watermelon from day one till now…we seriously went through 6 watermelons in a month1)

Pregnancy cravings can cause us to eat out more than usual. Trust me, my wife had a Taco Bell craving like no other.  We ate there a lot. In fact, we ate there so much I am convinced Macey will come out media latina. She will probably know more Spanish than me because of Taco Bell. I advise that you fulfill your wife’s cravings to the best of your abilities, but I know that they can be costly at times.

So how do you curb the budget breaking cravings? Eating out after all can take its toll. Here I have six simple, easy-to-make dinner recipes to help curb the cravings.

Oh, and fellas, we don’t get too many opportunities to kill two birds with one stone when it comes to our marriage so take this one: you are satisfying a craving and cooking for your wife (yes, I strongly suggest YOU cook these guys).

If your wife has a cheeseburger craving:

  • Bacon Cheeseburger Pasta (stop drooling and read the recipe!)

8 oz. uncooked tube/spiral pasta

1 lb. ground beef

6 bacon strips, diced

1 can (10 ¾ oz.) condensed tomato soup

1 c. shredded cheddar cheese

1. Cook pasta according to package directions.

2. Meanwhile, in skillet, cook beef over medium heat until no longer pink; drain and set aside.

3. In same skillet, cook bacon until crisp; remove with a slotted spoon on to paper towels. Discard drippings. Drain pasta; add to skillet. Add soup, beef, and bacon; heat through.

4. Sprinkle with cheese; cover and cook until cheese is melted.

 

If your wife has a Mexican food craving:

  • Café Rio Pork Burritos and Rice

PORK:

6 lbs. pork loin

16 oz. jar salsa

1 can Coke

2 c. brown sugar

Put all in crock pot all day long.  Shred.

 RICE:

1 lb. rice

Fresh cilantro

Juice of 2 limes

4 cloves garlic

 Put all in rice cooker or on stove and follow cooking directions for rice.

Include in burritos…sweet pork, cilantro rice, tortillas, black beans, salsa, cheese, sour cream, romaine lettuce, and green tomatillo sauce.

And incase you want some sauce with it…

  • Ranch Tomatillo Dressing

1 buttermilk ranch dressing packet (made as per recipe)

2 tomatillos

½ bunch of cilantro

1 clove garlic

Juice of 1 lime

1 jalapeño (for a spicier dressing, keep seeds in)

Blend all in food processor.

If your wife has a sweet-tooth craving:

  • Mrs. Fields Cookies

 Cream Together:

2 C. Brown Sugar

2 C. Sugar

1 lb. Butter

4 Eggs

1 T. Vanilla

 Add:

1/2 t. salt

2 t. baking powder

2 t. soda

4 C. Flour

5 C. Oats

2 (8 oz.) Hershey Bars, cut up

3 C. Nuts

2 C. raisins (optional)

Drop by spoon full on cookie sheet. Bake at 375 degrees for 8-10 minutes. 

On my wife’s list of cravings was Jamba Juice—here is a great smoothie recipe.

  • Calcium Smoothies

1 container of yogurt

¼ c. fruit juice (orange juice, apple juice, etc.)

1 c. frozen fruit of choice (strawberries, bananas, blueberries, raspberries, etc.)

 Combine all ingredients in a blender. If juice needs to be thickened, blend in ice.

Last but not least here is an easy to make Mozzarella sticks recipe:

  • Mozzerella Sticks

2 ¼ C. Original Bisquick

2/3 C. Milk

1 pkg. (8 ounces) plain string cheese

1 T. butter/margarine, melted

¼ t. Garlic Powder

1 can (8 ounces) pizza sauce, heated

 Heat oven to 450 degrees. Stir Bisquick and milk until soft dough forms; beat 30 seconds with spoon. Place dough on surface sprinkled with Bisquick; gently roll in Bisquick to coat, shape into a ball; knead 10 times.

 Roll dough ¼ inch thick. Cut into eight 6 x 2 inch rectangles. Roll each rectangle around 1 piece of cheese. Pinch edge into roll to seal; seal ends. Roll on surface to completely enclose cheese sticks. Place seam sides down on ungreased cookie sheet.

 Bake 8 to 10 minutes or until golden brown. Mix butter and garlic powder; brush over warm cheese sticks before removing from cookie sheet. Serve warm with pizza sauce for dipping.

Happy cooking fathers!

 

25 Things NOT to do when your wife is pregnant…

Here is a video I thought showed my point today very well: (sorry its a long one and the part that explains my point doesn’t begin till 5:38…I hope everyone likes the Cosby Show)

 

You have got to love Elvin…

25 Things You Should Never Say nor Do…While your wife is pregnant.

In the last nine months I have learned many things. I have learned mostly about the do’s and don’ts of pregnancy. Here I impart my wisdom…if you would like to add anything, just comment and let me know. They should make an instruction manual for us men…eh….we probably wouldn’t use it anyways.

Here they are; the top 25 things you should never say nor do when your wife is pregnant. (Disclaimer: Not all these things were said or done by me! Thank goodness!)

1. NEVER tell your wife that she just doesn’t understand…she does…and then some.

2. NEVER make your wife pick something up off the ground when she is full-term.

3. NEVER tell your wife that she has been acting really moody lately…you haven’t seen anything yet.

4. NEVER tell your wife that “this whole thing is hard for the both of us”…big mistake.

5. NEVER ask your wife “So what are you making for dinner tonight?”…you may be eating alone.

6. NEVER say, when you wife is contracting, “How are you feeling?”

7. NEVER try to kiss your wife when she says no. In pregnancy “no” really means “no”.

8. When you wife asks if she looks fat…men, say no. She is pregnant, not fat.

9. NEVER tell your wife you think she should do an all-natural birth…you won’t be pushing.

10. When you wife starts randomly crying, just hold her, NEVER try to fix the problem, there probably isn’t one to fix anyways.

11. NEVER say “Do you really want to eat there again?” when your wife shoots out the top thing on her craving list…for the fourth day in a row.

12. NEVER say, “Oh man, I am so full I could pop!”…she really could.

13. NEVER try to throw in your own cravings…just go with hers. You crave what she does.

14 NEVER tell your wife you are just feeling so sick today that you can’t do anything. If its her first trimester, odds are she threw up 3 times that night and you didn’t know.

15. If your wife comes into the bedroom and says, “I just threw up” never ask “Bad?”…think that one through.

16. Don’t be offended if your wife doesn’t want to snuggle…chances are she is currently dying of a hot flash.

17. NEVER buy your wife Reebok Shape-ups as an after pregnancy gift.

18. NEVER, think that your wife enjoys you tapping on her stomach to make your child kick back. Odds are she feels like Rocky while training…just getting punched and punched and punched.

19. DON’T ever assume that you want the baby here more than your wife does…the only thing you have had to carry the last nine months are the groceries.

20. NEVER tell your wife you have gained more weight than she has ( in sympathy weight)…bad idea.

21. DON’T be offended if she all of a sudden can beat your best friend in a burping contest.

22. NEVER leave your wife high and dry while sitting in a low car, couch or bed.

23. NEVER assume that the house will be clean, the laundry will be done and a meal will be on the table for the next nine months…roll up your sleeves.

24. NEVER buy your wife foods that make her nauseous…you could end up eating them in the car, and showering before you are allowed to see her again.

25. NEVER assume that you are right…whether it be in an argument, conversation, or elsewhere.

Just FYI guys I ran this by my wife and she agrees. Good luck in all!

Getting a kick out of kicks…

When my wife was 7 months along we began to feel Macey kick. It was really faint at first, you had to really concentrate and push down on Lisa’s stomach to feel her kick. It was then that Macey and I’s game of “little kicks” began. I would tap on Lisa’s stomach and Macey would tap back. Before you think that she and I hit it off automatically, she only did it once. She was pretty much sick of entertaining me after that.

Recently though, as of last night to be exact, Macey has been more willing to play. She is 37 weeks along and can be felt kicking without any concentration or pressure. You can actually see her if you look close enough. It is an incredible feeling knowing she is in there. Anyways, last night I tapped on Lisa’s stomach hoping to rekindle the lost game. She kicked back. I debated whether I should keep going. Shame on you fool me once, shame on me fool me twice. Being the fool I am I tapped again. She kicked again. What ensued in the next five minutes annoyed my wife (obviously no one likes getting their belly hit), but made my year.

I would tap on different parts of Lisa’s stomach and Macey would hit exactly where I was tapping. I decided I would really stump her (How competitive am I? Here I was trying to stump a baby in the womb.) I began to tap on different spots with my fingers. She hesitated a moment, and then began randomly punching all over the place.

Lisa finally made me stop after that, but I learned so much about my daughter by doing that. Try to bond with the baby even before they come out. It makes everything more exciting.