New Father Brogging, #004

The last time I wrote about my plight of being a new dad, mythical wife and I were staying overnight at the NICU as the last milestone necessary in order for our kid to come home.  That being said, baby is now home where she belongs, and thus begins (really) the rest of our lives, and the start of our lives as a family unit.

Honestly, it hasn’t been as tragically difficult as people love to expound that new parenthood really is.  Sure, we’re operating on the NICU’s general schedule of feeding every three hours, so that our premature child can gain weight as efficiently as possible, but I imagine this is something that my body will get used to as time progresses, not to mention the fact that as baby grows and develops, she won’t need to be on this kind of timeline forever either.

So mythical wife and I get up at 2:30 and 5:30 in the morning each night to feed our baby, and slog our way through the motions in the AM hours.  I get up at around 7:45 to make sure that I’m logged into work on time, but then I go ahead and take care of the feedings at 8:30 and 11:30, while I frantically do my best to do work-related things in between.  Yes, I am still working from home, and it is truly an unprecedented brave new world we’re all operating in these days, and I often have anxious thoughts about the future of my own career, as I wonder if the longer all of this goes on, the more expendable my team’s work will become perceived.

Work aside, being a dad is pretty great.  I don’t mind the dirty diapers and the demanding schedule, because I have a beautiful daughter that I enjoy just sitting and watching sometimes, wondering how her features are going to grow in, and despite the fact that she had more of my features at birth, I can see glimpses of lighter brown hair, and there’s no mistaking the large eyes she sprouts whenever they open up, that definitely come from mommy and not from me.

I love changing her outfits and seeing her in the large varieties of adorable baby clothing that we’ve purchased in advance as well as inherited from the generations of cousins ahead of me.  I’ve been peed on and I’ve witnessed various catastrophes of soiled diapers, but they’re no big deal at all.  I refuse to be a stereotypical dad that can’t handle changing diapers or think I’m too macho or manly to do things that people tend to associate as being “mom work.”

In fact, it kind of makes me a little sad whenever people have given me praise over my indifference and enthusiasm for doing things like changing diapers or bathing my kid.  It speaks volumes of the amount of men out there that don’t do the littlest things that instill love and affection for their children, and if there’s one thing that I want to accomplish as a dad, it’s that my kid grows up knowing that I love her more than anything, from the big things to the little ones.

Eventually, we’ll hopefully get to a comfortable rhythm as it comes to living with a child in tow now.  As much as I want to use this additional time at home to catch up on cleaning and making the house as great as possible for our kid, or I want to be a lazy slug and watch television and movies in between feedings, I just don’t feel like I ever have the time.  Three hours sounds like a lot of time, but given how much of it I spend cleaning bottles or pump parts or straightening things out for the next feeding/changing session, then I feel like I don’t have enough contiguous time to do anything productive or enjoyable, so I usually dick around on my phone or watch YouTube videos instead.

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2020 Olympics postponed: what about the age cheaters??

Among the numerous unprecedented occurrences that have happened on account of the global pandemic of coronavirus, if ever there was one thing that could be listed among the biggest of them, I think the postponement of the entire 2020 Olympics could definitely be a contender.  Regardless of how little or how much people think coronavirus really is a thing or not, the fact that a global event like the Olympics being shut down should speak volumes to just how serious it actually is. 

It’s absolutely the right call, considering nobody has any earthly idea just how long this is going to last, and the last thing anyone needs is to get hundreds of athletes from all across the globe, along with the thousands of fans who come from all over to watch, gathered in one location in tight quarters, and then for everyone to go back to their respective corners of the world and possibly unknowingly spread more coronavirus to places that might not have even been exposed to it in the first place.

It’s just amazing to think that something has occurred that actually had the magnitude to impact something as major as the Olympics.  Sure, the indefinite postponements of all sport leagues in America are one thing but the entire Olympics is pretty massive.

Anyway, upon hearing that the Olympics were postponed, the very first thing that popped into my head was what was going to happen to countries that routinely lie about the ages of their athletes; specifically China, who has notoriously attempted to pass off 12-year olds as 16-18 year old athletes, despite the fact that even factoring the naivety of non-Asians when it comes to Asians all looking the same to them, even they can tell when someone looks 12 versus when someone looks like they’re 16.

Regardless, China, among other countries that like to try and cheat athlete ages, are probably all pissed about the postponement of the Olympics.  If the world does get its shit together and is able to have an Olympics in 2021, that’s still one whole year for the preteen athletes of the world who were ready to say that they were 16, to hit puberty and suddenly age out of their illegitimate primes.  And considering Olympic hopefuls have four years typically to train for it, imagine the scramble of cheating countries trying to scrap together some new 12-year olds to take their places?

Either way, let’s take a second to send our thoughts and prayers to these particular countries that won’t be able to cheat as effectively as they had originally hoped to do.  All those poor preteens hoping to masquerade as actual teens, for the sake of the potential glory of their countries.

Los Angeles Rams’ logo – football or news station?

If there was anything that would help get me writing about things other than being a new dad and how I’m often operating on a sleep deficit and spending the expected amount of time changing diapers, it’s a good old fashioned dunking on a rebranded logo.  And the Los Angeles Rams Formerly of St. Louis did just that, futilely trying to get people to pay attention to them and not think of them as another dead franchise that inexplicably cannot survive in a sports-crazed market like LA.

Honestly, in spite of the harsh tone and the likely critical things I’m going to say about it, the overall logo isn’t that turrible.  It says “LA” and then there’s a horn of a ram in it, the point is made, and the objective is completed: LA Rams.

The problem is, I can’t not see a glorified news station logo when I look at it.  The very first thought that came to mind when I saw it was that it looked like it had to be an NBC affiliate’s news logo for Los Angeles.  Like it was born to be a news station logo, not the primary identity of a futbol americano franchise in the NFL, one of the most influential and wealthy sporting entities on the planet.

I mean seriously, the image above is a quick shop job I did to illustrate my point.  If this whole post wasn’t talking about the logo, would anyone stop and think twice about the logo tucked in the bottom corner of any news broadcast?  It fits so seamlessly and could easily be used in any broadcast throughout all of Los Angeles.

Sometimes it’s hard to believe that LA just can’t get a break when it comes to professional football.  They’re such a massive market, yet the NFL just inexplicably can’t seem to get their shit together out there.  Even the Knicks were once good in New York, but LA just can’t seem to get people to take the NFL seriously there.  I mean look at the memes that the LA Chragers became when they unveiled their low-effort logo that lasted all of like two days before it was ridiculed to literal death.

I can’t say I bothered to see if the Rams’ new logo was nearly as ridiculed as the Chragers’ one was, but to this snooty graphic designer, all I’ll ever see is a fictitious news station’s logo, waiting to be permanently positioned in the bottom corner of a television screen during a broadcast.

New Father Brogging, #003

Mythical wife and I are currently staying overnight at the NICU right now.  No, nothing is wrong with mythical baby, this is just a mandatory pre-requisite that parents of NICU babies are required to do at this hospital before babies are allowed to go home.  So ultimately, this is very much a good thing, and one of the last bullet points we have to check off before our baby is actually going to be coming home.

When my daughter was first admitted into the NICU, one of the more frustrating things was that we couldn’t get anything remotely close to a concrete timeline of how long to expect her to be here; after all, every single baby is different, and I can’t blame anyone for not wanting to give false hopes or expectations to anxious parents, but it didn’t change the fact that we had no real ideas of how long she was going to be in the NICU, instead of at home, giving mythical wife and I a semblance of actually beginning to feel like real parents.

At one point, we were told 10-14 days for a baby as premature as ours was, and then another doctor came along and said that she might possibly be here as long as she was early, which for us was a little over five weeks.  During one of the daily visits, one nurse predicted “maybe one to three more weeks,” leaving me feeling drained and dejected.

But it doesn’t matter anymore, because after 16 days, our baby is on the cusp of heading home, with our household becoming complete, and my family all existing under the same roof.  At this point, it’s almost feeling like a dream is coming true, because the sense of time during these last few weeks was definitely distorted, and especially with the way the world has become so warped and weird due to the whole coronavirus thing going on, literally changing the way America is running currently.

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Maximum Baltimore

If there ever were something that would get me to take a break from brogging about the wonders of my newborn daughter, this story about the mayor of Baltimore pleading with residents to stop shooting each other, so that the beds in the local hospitals could be used for aiding those with coronavirus is a good topic to distract me.

The headline alone, is maximum Baltimore.

It’s basically the equivalent of asking a dog to not sniff butts, or a bear to not shit in the woods.  All the pleading in the world isn’t going to make a lick of difference, but it sure is funny to see someone try.  The residents of Baltimore can’t stop shooting other people as much as fish need to be in water to survive.  It’s just the laws of nature, that cannot be defied, no matter how much pleading or imploring is done in front of television cameras.

In all seriousness though, Baltimore really is kind of a sad place to me.  Basically as long as I’ve been alive, Baltimore has been a crime-ridden cesspool of a city that inexplicably gets way more credit than I can fathom why.  If anyone were to describe a place that’s riddled with endless tension and guns being fired off on a regular basis, I wouldn’t be surprised to hear Baltimore, or the North-South Korean DMZ, except the DMZ has inadvertently turned into somewhat of a sanctuary for endangered species animals. 

In Baltimore, humans are the endangered species, based on how much any person’s mortality rate drops just setting foot into city limits.  Add coronavirus into the mix, and the daily survivability in Baltimore probably plummets to half of what it is throughout the rest of the world that only has to worry about coronavirus and not everyone in the city packing heat like Grand Theft Auto on hard-mode.

Anyway, I laugh about the whole situation in Baltimore but ultimately it’s still sad that such is even news.  Coronavirus really is no joke, but it’s still not stopping Baltimore from remaining at peak Baltimore, and apparently spring breakers all over Florida don’t seem to care about getting sick, because they’ve prioritized their need to party like idiots over the general safety of themselves and their fellow persons.

The world really is kind of fucked, if these are the people that are allowed to remain in existence.

New Father Brogging, #002

Despite my sporadic writing habits leading up to the birth of my child, I ironically seem to be finding more time to sit down and write now that she’s come into the world.  Mostly on account of the fact that as she was five weeks early, she’s unfortunately not home yet, and is still at the NICU, where her frail little preemie body is playing catchup under the safe and watchful eyes of medical professionals.

Ultimately, mythical wife and I both know that she’s exactly where she needs to be in her current state, and we are eternally grateful to the kind and caring staff of the hospital that has been definitely providing excellent care for our daughter.  However, when the days are over, the reality is that she is still not home with us, and it’s an agonizing struggle at the end of each night when the time comes for us to part ways with our daughter, while she stays in the NICU while we leave her and head back to our house, empty of human children.

She was born 12 days ago, but it doesn’t really quite feel like we’re parents just yet, as when the time comes in which we go to bed, it’s like we’re a married couple with no children, since there’s no kid to put to sleep and marvel over the fact that it’s a life that we created together.

We spend around 6-8 hours a day in the NICU with our kid, but until the day she comes home, there really is something kind of missing from the whole experience of having a child.  We feel like parents when we get to change her diapers, feed her, and rock her to sleep, but the wholesome feelings always end when the realization hits that we need to go home to rest and take care of ourselves, so we have the energy and capacity to do it all over again the following day.

Our daughter’s showing progress on a daily basis, but the fact of the matter is that it’s still an indeterminate amount of time before she’s given the green light to come home.  Her last real hurdle is to continue to demonstrate the ability to eat more and out of a bottle, more consistently, and subsequently gain weight.  Every day where she drains an entire bottle is akin to a playoff win, but behind the scenes we don’t know if we’re in the lightning-quick MLB playoffs, or if we’re in the endless vortex known as the NBA’s playoffs.

Back home, I’ve actually accomplished a lot of the tasks around the house that mythical wife and I agreed needed to get done before the arrival of our kid, because once she got here, we know they probably won’t be gotten to.  I’ve painted entire sections of our house, I’ve stained the entire fence around the house.  I’ve swapped out old outlets and switches for new, tamper-proof versions of them for future kid safety.  I’ve unboxed strollers and learned how to install car seats into both mine and mythical wife’s cars.  Just about every piece of furniture for our baby’s nursery is assembled and the room just about finished.

I’d wager to guess that most parents who ever have to go through the experience of their children going into the NICU go through the same kind of anxieties and frustration that mythical wife and I are going through.  I know there are many out there who have it way worse than we do in terms of state of the baby upon arrival or how little or long they stay in the NICU, but when the day is over, we’re all in the same state of where we as parents go home, while our children remain behind, which is a shitty feeling no matter how you look at it.

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New Father Brogging, #001

At the time I’m writing this, my daughter is officially one week old.  It’s hard to believe that it’s been but just a week since she was born, because there are times where the last few days have felt like eternities, and then there are times where the hours have flown by, leaving me scratching my head to what just happened.

Several of those days were spent living at the hospital, as mythical wife was still recovering from surgery; and as crazy as it might sound, in spite of the uncomfortable bed, the cramped quarters, flimsy water cups, crappy television sound, and the general feeling of a lack of privacy, I kind of enjoyed it a lot.  There was an intimate feeling being there with my wife, just the two of us that’s hard to explain, but ultimately, it was the comfort in knowing that at just about any time, I had the capability to walk to the NICU to see my daughter, being nursed into readiness for the real world.

And I did just that; even the first night after birth, I personally delivered mythical wife’s colostrum to the NICU at all hours of the night, just so I could have an excuse to see my newborn daughter, even if there were all sorts of tubes, wires and hoses coming from her frail little being.  She was still the most beautiful thing I’d ever witnessed in my life, and it’s hard to not get teary-eyed just thinking about those quiet moments of just the two of us in a room with me watching over her.  I must have scrubbed my arms raw several times over, thanks to the required 2-minute scrubs in order to enter the NICU, but I’d rather deal with some dry skin than know some germs can get in and harm babies.

In fact, not a day goes by where I don’t get overwhelmed with an emotional feeling and get teary-eyed at some point, whether it’s thinking about one of the many unforgettable moments over the last week, or it’s looking at a picture of my baby and feeling what unconditional love genuinely feels like.  In other words, daddy is a great big crybaby, but I don’t really care what anyone thinks about it, because nothing is really going to change the fact that I’ll probably bawl my eyes out thousands of more times over the next few years.

What’s interesting about this period of time is that if not for the fact that my precious baby were in the picture, the general conversation around the rest of the world surrounding me would sound so much more different.

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