Archive for the 'fatherhood' Category

One and a Half Years! Happy Birthday Lucy!

Wednesday, December 9th, 2009

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Today is Lucy’s 18-month birthday. She’s now been with us for a whole year and a half – that’s twice as long on the outside as on the inside!

She has all kinds of tricks, including shaking her finger at me while saying “Dada” (only semi-disapprovingly). She still loves cats (meow-meows), and now she lights up when there are owls (wa-wools!) about. She hugs and kisses other kiddos her size. She makes faces and plays make believe.

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It’s hard to pick a favorite part of my day, but a top choice would definitely be the greeting I get when I come home at the end of the workday. Even as I’m unlocking the door, I hear “Dada? Dada! Dada!” and the sound of little feet. Lucy is so fully of energy and happiness, and it makes my day every time.

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There’s so much more, but for now we’ll leave it with this: Happy Birthday Lucy! We love you!

A Day with Daddy

Sunday, September 13th, 2009

Momma went to work today, so it’s a Goose and Daddy day.  So far, we’ve done some yard work (Lucy helped by sitting on my back – first in the ergo and then in the backpack – and counter-balancing the rake as I held it in front of me).

Lunch was a breadstick, some fish, some stir-fried veggies, grapes, milk, and two bites of Daddy’s pizza.  This afternoon involved refusal to wear clothes (and refusal to nap) along with a lot of good standing up (with no help).

A somewhat distressing corollary to the above refusals is that she’s getting more confident in the use of “no!”  When I approached her with a diaper cover to keep her diaper from coming off while she played, she looked at it and said “no,” shaking her head. I’m proud of her ability to express herself clearly, but I’m not looking forward to the tests of will that this development precedes.

After quiet time (so far no sleeping), the plan is to go to the Children’s Museum until it’s time to pick up Momma.  Goose/Daddy Day seems to be a success so far!

All Kinds of (yummy) Things

Friday, September 11th, 2009

Happy 15-Month Birthday, Lucy (only 2 days late)!

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[note: this picture was not taken on Lucy's birthday, but the activity had a celebratory vibe]

Lucy is growing and learning and absorbing the world around her like a little sponge.  On her birthday, she had her 15-month check-up (including shots :-( ), and while her height is in the 50 percentile and her weight is in the 75th percentile, her head circumference is off the chart! All the things she’s taking in have to go somewhere…

Tonight, I was getting ready to take Lucy up for her bath. Laura was chopping veggies for our dinner (halibut on a sweet corn zabaglione), and she offered Lucy half a cherry tomato. Lucy took it and started to bring it to her mouth, but at the last minute, she stuffed it in my mouth. I don’t know if she knows that I don’t like tomatoes, but there was a certain impishness to the act. I thought I would get her back by feeding her a sliver of raw onion, but again, the joke was on me: she seemed to like it and ate several more slices before we adjourned to the tub (where she lifted her foot out of the water to feel the running water on her toes).

New experiences abound for the Goose. Above is a short video of the two bucks (one of which had at least a 10-point rack) that we watched for several minutes from our backyard.

The picture below is proof that Laura and I left Lucy overnight for the first time (we’re in the 2-seater convertible we rented during our 27-hours in San Francisco). Lucy’s Grandmom and Granddad came to stay with her while we were gone, and she barely seems to have missed us (thank you soooo much, Barb & Rick).

Us in our convertible

Finally, Lucy’s ability to communicate back to the world is growing by leaps and bounds. She has mastered the appropriate use of “Hi” and “Bye” including waves and kisses (blown and otherwise). In the video below, she demonstrates (and says “Night night” for the first time that we know of).

Many (many) more photos and videos are up on Flickr.

9 Months!

Monday, March 9th, 2009

Happy Birthday Lucy Goose! As your Bampa likes to observe, you’ve now been out as long as you were in (give or take). And what a 9 months it has been. Just compare this cellphone picture from November…

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…with this cellphone picture from March:

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Your hair’s longer. Your face is looking much more child-like (as opposed to baby-like). And though you can’t see it in the pictures, you can be a very chatty kiddo (I especially like “Gog gog gog” – your latest and greatest).

I know that sometimes it’s hard when Momma is nearby and you have to hang out with me instead, but I still think you’re the most amazing little girl. You are so good when we read stories before bed, helping me turn the pages and listening so closely. And when you’re ready to sleep and you nestle your head into my shoulder, I want to hold you all night long… but I have to put you down so you can sleep through the night without distraction.

Happy 9-month Birthday, my Goose!

For those of you following along at home, there’s a whole slew of new pics and videos up:

Oh yeah… she’s mobile! (sort of)

Routines

Wednesday, January 28th, 2009

While Laura makes the transition from playing with kids at the science center to playing with Lucy at home, I’m trying to figure out how to be present in Lucy’s life as a dad while still going to work 5 days a week. It’s a different type of adjustment from Laura’s. I love my job, and there are times when I would stay very late in the absence of any reason to leave. But Lucy’s routines (and my place in them) give me an excellent incentive to catch my bus at the end of the day.

I get about an hour and a half with Lucy every night, and I’ve found that, at a high level, our time is basically the same with little variations from day to day. I’ve come to enjoy the repetition and permutations, slowing down to appreciate the little changes that represent Lucy’s leaps and bounds. Here’s a little look at our typical evening…

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When I come home the Goose is often waiting for me (sometimes she even watches from the window as I walk up the steps). After spending the day with her mom, Lucy seems to find me novel enough to be entertaining at a time in the day when she’s prone to fussing, and Laura seems happy to have a few moments to herself. Lucy and I play, often with the guitar. Just the other day, she shook a rattle in time with my song (for a couple of shakes, anyway).

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Sometimes, I’ll lay on my back and hold Lucy up, playing in the air and bouncing on my chest and belly (a good upper body workout). Sometimes, she’s happier sitting and playing with her toys while I noodle on the guitar and make up silly songs (some are better than others). Eventually, when playing with Daddy begins to lose its novelty, I feed Lucy dinner. It’s great to see what new additions have become a part of the diet. Chicken is the latest and seems to be enjoyable for Lucy when mixed with zucchini.

After dinner, we get ready for bath. For some reason, Lucy generally gets much happier when she’s stripped down to her diaper, giggling and smiling. I rarely resist the urge to blow raspberries on her tummy. Usually, we visit Momma for a quick kiss before bath, which is full of its own routines: shampoo, scrub, rinse, conditioner (to help with the crib tangles), vitamins, rinse, and float, all interspersed with splashing and playing.

As we’re drying off, we visit Momma again for a quick kiss – we have to share the good mood! Diaper (with butt paste), lotion, pajamas, sleep sack, and a combing all follow in quick succession until Lucy is ready for bed. We all climb into bed, and I read a book while Lucy nurses. When we’re done, I carry Lucy to her room. If she’s calm, she often rests her head on my shoulder and hugs me with her arms, though that isn’t too frequent an occurrence. We lay her down, wind the mobile, and say goodnight.

Lucy and I have other routines. We get to spend time together on the weekends and in the mornings, and of course, the time we get to spend together as a family is amazing. But our little evening routine is perhaps the most regular, and it’s this regularity that makes my evenings with Lucy so great. The structure provides a backdrop against which her personality emerges before my eyes.

What a difference 4 nights make!

Monday, October 6th, 2008

Before I left for LA, Laura handed me a stack of envelopes and made me promise to follow the instructions on each one. I opened one per day, as directed, and found to my delight that each envelope contained a picture and a note “from Lucy.” It was wonderful to have that connection with her while I was away, and it made me miss her that much more. To combat the distance, we also tried a video chat one morning. The signal was pretty degraded, but it was still neat to see Lucy move (from the other side of the country, no less). Despite all that, I was very happy to come home.

I’ve been home for a week and a half now, but when I got home from my trip to LA, the difference was remarkable. Lucy felt heavier, more solid (based on her general growth rates, she probably gained about 5 or 6 ounces while I was away). She’d gotten quieter and did less random squealing or screaming (though she’ll still “talk” to me with little vocalizations). She slept better and longer. She’s growing and changing at a mind-blowing pace and stepping away for a few days made that even clearer and more evident.

Lucy continues to amaze me. She’s an incredible girl.

PS. Laura is also amazing. To be greeted by the smell of warm apple pie when I arrived home from my trip was so nice. Thanks love!

I’ll miss you, Goose!

Sunday, September 21st, 2008

This afternoon, I’m flying out for a business trip. It’s the first extended time that I’ve been away from Lucy – 4 nights to be exact (I did do an overnight trip in July, but that only lasted a little more than 24 hours). I didn’t quite anticipate how much I would miss her… and I’m only at the airport!

However, she did give me a wonderful going away present. Laura volunteered to drive to the airport so that I could hang out in the backseat with Lucy. As we were pulling away from the house, Lucy looked right at me and let out a hearty chuckle. Her smile was so cute that it took me a moment to realize that this was her first laugh! She quickly returned to cooing and squealing and generally being adorable, but she had shown me a glimpse of what I will no doubt be missing this week, as she learns to deploy her cuteness to even more devastating effect with chuckles, giggles, and belly laughs.

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On the way to the airport, she decided to show off her other new (and slightly more developed) skill: putting herself to sleep. She fussed a bit, but in relatively short order, she had fallen asleep with no (useful) intervention from me at all. She’s been doing this more frequently (especially during her first nap of the day), but I’ll let Laura describe that process.

Lucy is such a good goose, and I will miss her and her mother so much.

Bigger!

Sunday, September 7th, 2008

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Laura gave the update a few days ago, so it falls to me to post the pictures. It’s hard to believe, but as Lucy grows, she seems to become more and more photogenic.

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We now have three different cameras floating around (not counting the one built into the computer), so there is generally one at hand when she does something cute… which is often. Even the cellphone camera gets pressed into service from time to time.

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Of course, what this usually means is that we take bursts of pictures when Lucy is being really cute or doing something adorable. The picture below of Dad/Bampa and Lucy is one such picture, and it really is worth seeing the whole set – many funny juxtapositions.

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Of course, there are fewer cameras when we travel, but we still manage to take a silly number of pictures (or maybe that’s “a number of silly pictures”).

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Luckily, we took some “normal” pictures too, and Bethany was ready with her camera as well (start here).

Mostly, we take pictures when Lucy is in a good mood, but we occasionally catch her in one of her screaming fits. She is less generically fussy now, but she can really express some “pissed-off-ness” when she wants to (Justus dealt with it pretty well, though).

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She’s still a goose, though, and we love her.

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As usual, many (many!) more pictures can be found in the Lucy Chase collection on Flickr.

Happy Father’s Day!

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

Well, there was no question that I would be a dad by this Father’s Day, but nonetheless, it feels very special to be such a fresh dad for my first Father’s Day celebration. Laura very nicely let me sleep in a little bit today, and Lucy was kind enough to cooperate with a breakfast outing to Tazza D’Oro – all in all, a lovely morning.

Not that I like to brag, but my first two Father’s Day gifts (besides Lucy herself or perhaps including Lucy) are quite excellent:

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From Bethany and Joe, this lovely ceramic tabla drum.

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From Laura and Lucy, these incredible clockwork cuff-links.

Both gifts straddle that line between traditional and lovably eccentric – perfect for me, the non-conformist dad. I guess now I’ll have to buy a shirt that requires cuff-links.

In other news, I’ve tried out the Moby wrap (thanks, Felicity!) which allows me to carry Lucy while leaving two hands free (which apparently means I can carry both pets, too).

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At the end of the day (and it IS the end of the day, even now, at 1030pm), I’m happy and proud to have brought this beautiful thing into the world, and I feel more responsible with each passing minute for her happiness and well-being.

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As always, more pics continue to find their way to Flickr.

Happy Father’s Day to all the other fathers out there, and particularly to my father, who set the standard for me.

Milestone: Projectile Pooping

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

We laughed when a friend (a newly minted dad, at the time) couldn’t stop talking about his baby’s poop. Well, he can laugh at me now. I seem to be unable to prevent myself from telling people about Lucy’s stools. Up until now, I think I’ve kept this blog fairly poop-free, but the other night, something happened that must be recorded.

Though I think of myself as the family poop-handler (cat poop, dog poop, diapers, etc), I can’t claim that I doo (intentional typo?) more than Laura. And, in fact, it was Laura who witnessed this milestone. Lucy, while naked from the waist down in the midst of a diaper change, shot poop (liquid infant poop, to be exact) across the room, spraying the wall and door of our little nursery. Laura did the bulk of the initial clean-up and then handed it off to me to finish up.

As I scrubbed the wall and door and floor (and did the resulting laundry), I couldn’t help feeling a bit of fatherly pride.