Saturday, December 12, 2009


As I was driving to work this morning, the air was unusually warm considering the weather of late. We're talking mid-40's here, but compared to what we have been having here in the South, it might as well have been 80 degrees. I was sleepy, driving along that lonely stretch of road, drinking my morning Dr. Pepper to juice up on some caffeine, and began to think of the previous day's activities with Baby Girl.

Nothing out of the ordinary...she played with her toys, marveled at the Christmas Tree, pointed her finger just far enough to touch the ornaments, then quickly looked back at me to see if she was going to get a "no-no". She tossed her eggs off her plate during breakfast, and devoured her lunch, snack, and dinner. Nap times happened in the morning and early afternoon, both lasting nearly 2 hours. It was a good day.

When I drive to work in the mornings, I know I am leaving part of my heart at home, right with my Baby Girl. It tugs at me to come back. I want to come back. BUt I must work, we must make money, and in all honesty, it's a good break and change of pace from my daily schedule. I love my daughter, but I know these days at work are beneficial for both me and her.

When I got to work, I had my backpack slung over my shoulder with Dr. Pepper still in hand. Just an fyi, I am NOT a coffee drinker. Hot drinks aren't my thing. Bring on the soft drinks if I need a caffeine boost. Scrubs in hand, I rode up the elevator to the NICU and got to work.

About an hour in, my wife called me to say good morning, and told me that Baby Girl had come into our bedroom when she woke up saying "Dah-dee, Dah-dee". Aww, my precious baby girl was looking for her Daddy. Even though I wan't there, that moment warmed my heart. It simply made my day!

Who knew being a stay at home dad (semi-stay at home), would let me experience all these wonderful things, no matter how big or small they may seem. I am so lucky to be in the position I am, and I don't take it for granted at all.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Home for 6 Days!

That's right, I have had a mini 6-day vacation. I took some time off work and am on my 5th of 6 days off. It's been wonderful! On Saturday, we all went to one of our mega malls and enjoyed the holiday rush.

It's a great time for shopping, buying presents, and enjoying the commercial side of Christmas. Yes, it is actually enjoyably for me to see what all the shops and stores do! I love Christmas.

But the mall was packed...and I mean, almost difficult for us to walk. Baby girl got REALLY antsy about halfway through, and was pretty much done with her stroller. Her need to walk around and explore just about wore us out.

We seriously contemplated buying one of those backpacks that have a kiddy 'leash' on them so she would be able to walk around, yet we could still have her close by. I know some parents hate them, but to me, it seems like a great compromise between both kids and parents. We'll see if we actually get one.

Yesterday we spent at home, but Brit and I managed to get out to see The Blind Side with Sandra Bullock. GREAT movie! If you haven't seen it, it's based on a true story and is definitely worth seeing. A feel good movie for the holidays.

For these next two days I will be doing my usual, staying home with baby girl and doing my normal house stuff. Have some heavy web site work to do tomorrow on another one of my sites. Going to suck up most of my free time. But I love doing it!

Today is also Not Me! Monday. Over at MckMama's blog, you can join a blog carnival of sorts that lets you see other Not Me! posts just like this one.

I am not postponing a haircut, which is already 3 months overdue. Strange how time constraints limit things you could easily do before :)

I did not feed my baby girl a toaster strudel this morning loaded with frosting. She loved it, beut we definitely strive for much healthier breakfasts!

And finally, I am not currently battling one tiny ringworm episode on my arm! I have absolutely no clue how I got it, but it's there nonetheless. I have been very careful with it, and am using a topical med, but it's annoying that it's there. Never had it before. It's not an actual worm for those that don't's a fungus that likes warm, moist places. Like I said, no idea how it got on my arm (not pet related, I assure you). Anyways, it's clearing up...just strange is all.

Sunday, December 6, 2009

Baby Girl Winter Bedtime

We have officially switched to all winter pajamas for our baby girl. It has been absolutely frigid here this past week. We had snow, multiple frosts (which killed all the remaining flowers that were still blooming), and lots of cold nights requiring some fires in the fireplace!

Here are some pics right after our bath. Rosy cheeks and long hair! We're getting close to pony tail length! Well, sorta. Not quite there yet, but it definitely is getting longer, and is all curly at the back!

Now, if we can only get those teeth to start growing in...

We also have had a fascination with our shoes for quite some time. The Velcro is simply magical...or one would think! We even know the word "Shhews"!

Thursday, December 3, 2009

Christmas Time! Christmas Trees!

It's Christmas time! Sorry, after a long hiatus, I am back! For those that don't know, I run a couple web sites in addition to this blog. One is a NICU dedicated site, which you can find the link to in my tabs up at the top of this blog, and the other is a gaming site for a game I play. Both have sucked up gobs of my time, thus causing me to neglect Daddy vs Wild. I now have some more free time, so here hopefully you will see much more activity from me here.

At Kelly's Korner this week, it is time to show off your Christmas trees! We have two, one being our formal tree, and the other being our 'Kids' tree. The kids tree has all the ornaments that Brit and I had when we were a baby. Our daughter will start adding her own ornaments as she gets older, including ones we buy for her and ones she makes at school.

I tried to get pics of the Christmas trees during the day, and when lit at night as well. Hopefully they turned out okay. Brit and I decorated the formal tree, which, of course, I was under strict guidance the whole duration. She is quite the tree decorator. She also helped do several trees at her work. Xmas Tree Pro.

The Kids tree she did herself, and I think she even did a post on her blog.

So, without further delay, check out our Christmas trees!

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Thanksgiving Family Traditions

Thanksgiving is one of my favorite times of year. Before our baby girl was born, it was my absolute favorite, even more so than Christmas. The food, the family, I don't know...I love it! Now that our baby girl is 1, Christmas is going to surge to the top as my favorite holiday for quite some time, I'm sure.

At Kelly's Korner this week, everyone is supposed to share their Thanksgiving traditions or holiday recipes. I'm going to share our family's tradition.

Just about every Thanksgiving, we head to Eureka Springs, Arkansas to a cabin resort called Red Bud Valley. Nestled away in the Ozarks, it is the perfect escape this time of year. Not only that, but it's close to the Old Town Historic District of Eureka Springs, full of shopping and restaurants. It's a great place to take a family.

Normally we head up there for a several days, spending Thanksgiving at the cabin and enjoying the Ozarks, then heading into town on Friday for shopping, food, and shows.

If you haven't been to Eureka Springs, it's definitely something you should consider!

Here are some photos from our Thanksgiving trips there...

And now for the Thanksgiving LAST girl's first Thanksgiving in Eureka Springs!

Who Needs Tweets?

Yeah, I'm not a huge tweeter, butthe concept is here is a tweet post!

0346 - Baby up and awake in her crib crying. Got up to go get her. Hungry. Got milk. Fourth time she has woken up tonight. Wonder why...

0630 - Wake up time now. Baby girl is completely happy. She is going "ruff ruff ruff ruff" like a dog. My mom taught her that. So cute!

0649 - Wife is taking a bath before work and baby girl is reaching over the edge to play with the bubbles. Now she is wiping bubbles all over the wall. Time for Sesame Street.

0655 - Sesame Street on. Super Grover and Elmo to the rescue. Horatio the elephant just might be the most annoying Sesame Street puppet I've ever seen. Love all the rest...but Horatio is just testing my nerves!

0723 - About to go get baby girl breakfast. Sesame Street at ice skating school. Brit in the bathroom doing her hair. I can see her arms moving back and forth straightening her hair, but that's about it. Man I look gross. Need a shower.

0828 - Grapes and bananas for breakfast. Found dog poop and pee on the floor. My fault. Didn't latch the crate properly last night. Very frustrating. Baby girl is drinking her milk now watching Clifford the Big Red Dog. Won't be long before she is ready for her first nap. Then it's off to work on the blogs for me!

1024 - Baby girl woke up from her morning nap. I can hear her in her room through the monitor. She keeps saying uh-oh and a bunch of other baby ramblings. Precious baby words. Think I'll let her talk a bit more before I go get her. She seems to be entertaining herself.

Baby girl after her nap.

1036 - Baby girl and I are in my bedroom and she is chasing me around as I try to take her picture. No such thing as posing just yet...

1123 - Eating lunch girl is having a hot dog with apple cinnamon cheerios and grapes. Still deciding what I am going to have. I have some rotel queso in the fridge I might make something with...

1245 - Baby girl getting tired. Watching Happy Feet. She is dancing and singing along with Gloria.

1300 - Nap time.

1428 - Still sleeping. Bugles and spaghetti O's sitting in front of me for lunch. High quality meal, huh? Need some more water...drank mine too fast. I think when baby girl wakes up we will go outside and have a backyard adventure.

1452 - Daughter awake. Talking lots. Sweet rambling, high pitched, baby girl voice! Now she's saying Dah-ddy. I am being summoned!

1619 - My mom came over for a bit to visit. Baby girl loves her Mims! Now she is down for a 3rd nap! I didn't think she'd need one, but she was practically falling all over herself. Maybe it's that rough night last night...we'll see how that affects tonight's sleep.

1649 - Baby awake again. 30 minute nap. Time to cook dinner.

1754 - Chicken, green beans, and more grapes for baby girl for dinner tonight. Then we took a shower (Yes, a shower! She loves them!). After we were all dried off and walking to the bedroom to get our pajamas on, somebody promptly took a pee on the floor. GOing to clean up the mess right now...

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Baby Girl Halloween Pics!

It's overdue and a little late, but here are our baby girl's Halloween pics! She went as a butterfly. Brit got the costume at Gymboree I believe. There was a set of antennae to go with it, but I think they had difficulty keeping them on her head.

Savannah had two different times to trick or treat. Lucky girl! On Friday night, we went to Brit's mom's work and they had their whole office converted into an area all the kids of the employees could trick or treat at. Was lots of fun!

And on Saturday night we got out about 730pm or so, which was right at her normal bed time. But you wouldn't have girl was allover the place alking straight down the sidewalk from house to house.

I was lucky enough to get home from work in time for the trick or treating, so I was able to walk around with Brit and Savi. Our first true Halloween and I'll never forget it!

Thursday, October 29, 2009

Halloween Costumes!

How much do you love Halloween? For us, this year, it's all about our baby girl. We have a beautiful 13 month old that will be dressing up as a butterfly! I can't wait to see her walking around in her costume trick or treating!

At Kelly's Korner this week, everyone is showing off their Halloween costumes, past or present.

Brit and I also have costumes, and mine is a surgeon. Yes, it is easy for me to get scrubs and any supplies I would need since I work in an ICU at a hospital. So my costume will be very complete! However, I must admit that it's not the perfect costume.

I would really like to do something next year where Brit and I have 'couples' costumes. Maybe you guys can help me convince her! Her are the options I would LOVE to do!

Here is the first:


I think we'd be perfect Pirates! I think she'd be open to this one. At least I'm not picking a wench ;)


Gladiator and 300 are just racing through my mind with these! Can you tell a guy is picking out these costumes yet? Love this pair!

Star Wars

Now, this is the one that might take some convincing...Brit absolutely HATES Star Wars. HATES it! And on top of that, there are a couple fairly risque Leia costumes...but I guess that's just the Star Wars nerd in me coming through. Still, if I could manage to get her to agree to one of these costumes, it would be a great Halloween!

Has anyone ever done any of these combos before? If so, leave me a comment and let me know how it worked out!

Also, don't forget to comment so I can come see your Halloween costumes as well! I love getting more ideas!

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Not Me! Monday

Baby girl is teething some more, and it has woken her up the last 3 nights. Poor thing, I feel bad for her. We gave her some Tylenol, Orajel, and then let her have some milk. Hopefully it won't last too much longer.

I was off from work Saturday, which was just enough time for me to mow and scalp my backyard, as well as trim the bushes and fix some other things up I had been waiting to do. It seems like it has rained for three weeks straight here, and Saturday was a nice break, as the sun was out and shining. 10 bags of grass I cut. 10! And guess what? Now it is thunder storming again. Glad I got it done.

For those of you that have been to my blog before, you might notice I have links to a Neonatal Intensive Care Unit website. I created this site to help parents of babies in the NICU who are overwhelmed by the sudden circumstances they find themselves in. It is aimed at providing them intro general NICU information so they can have some place to start.

Now for Not Me! Monday...

On Thursday, I did NOT grill tilapia for a very delicious dinner with my wife. Rice Pilaf, steamed veggies, and a glass of chardonnay to go with.

Baby girl did NOT wake up with teething pains, thus ending our romantic dinner. She also did NOT proceed to stay up for another hour and a half!

I did NOT finally, finally finish the final touches on my NICU site design...check it out at!

I am NOT a guy who likes practical jokes. :) So, when I went to scare a nurse at work on Sunday by sneaking up behind her, I was NOT equally as surprised when she shrieked in startlement. I did NOT jump back about 3 feet.

I did NOT feel bad for a nurse today who was so busy that she had to fight back tears as she took a much needed lunch break at 230pm. Hate when girls cry. Total soft spot for me. I went to check on her, she was okay :)

Hope everyone has a great Monday! Don't forget to comment so I can head over to your blog and read your Not Me's as well!

Thursday, October 22, 2009

Fall Decorations

Brit always does a great job decorating our house with the seasons. All of our Fall and Halloween decor is out and it won't be long before Christmas makes its way out of the closet as well!

At Kelly's Korner this week, bloggers everywhere will be showing off their household fall decorations, so here is a little sample of what Brit has done for us!

fall decor

Our front door, complete with wreath and all. I think I need to sweep some...

fall decor

fall decor

Hanging from one of our doors.

fall decor

Dining room table centerpiece. We actually got this from my mom. Looks great, the photo actually doesn't do it justice!

fall decor

Kitchen table centerpiece. Of course, we have the butterfly present, the notorious fall icon ;) With Brit, everything is butterflies!

fall decor

Scarecrow by the fireplace. Looking way too peaceful to be made of straw and sitting by a frequently used flame thrower.

fall decor

One of our wall decorations. Have the different plates for different seasons and holidays!

What fall decorations do you have out?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Spaghetti Whoahs!

spaghetti baby

Baby girl got her first taste of real spaghetti last week. I kept trying to get this post up sooner, but something else always seemed to put itself in my way! Now, she has had baby food spaghetti before, and loved it...but to me, that is a totally different taste! Yeah, I tried it. Too sweet for me. Maybe that's why babies like it...

spaghetti baby

So, I just cooked some angel hair pasta and cooked some Ragu spaghetti sauce, and voila! easy spaghetti. Now, normally, if I was making this for myself, I would have jazzed it up quite a bit more...hint, crushed red pepper. But since it was for baby girl, the simple version was the best!

spaghetti baby

She absolutely loved it! She ate every bit of that spaghetti, and whatever she didn't eat, she was wearing.

spaghetti baby

Brit and I aren't up for huge messes usually, but this was totally worth it. Yes, there was spaghetti all over her, but surprisingly, none was on her clothes, and no messes anywhere else. Good little girl! I guess it was just that yummy that we dare not put it anywhere but our mouths!

spaghetti baby

Must. Get. All. Spaghetti. In. Mouth.

Sunday, October 18, 2009

Babies and Not Me! Monday

Babies, babies, and more babies! My NICU has seen so many babies the last couple months. The sad thing is, we have seen so many premature babies...and multiples at that. Multiples? Yes! Twins and triplets to be precise. Normally, twins and trips are absolutely adorable and I love having them in our unit, but not when they are so premature. It's such a hard little life for them.

Due to certain HIPPA rules, I can't really go into too much detail, but I can say that recently we have had to say goodbye to more than a few of our tiny babies. Some go for surgery, and others find their way to Heaven...but regardless, it's very hard no matter which path they take.

My heart yearns for the parents. I've not had to go through having a baby in the NICU, but I am immersed in it every day I am at work. While you have to stay focused and professional to deliver the best care for a baby, you cannot help but become just a little emotionally invested in the tiny child and their family. My prayers go out to all those parents and families finding themselves surrounded by these circumstances.

Although it has been bleak of late, ultimately our NICU sees a very high ratio of growing, successful premature and sick infants that graduate from our unit and go on to lead healthy, normal lives. It is an amazingly rewarding experience, and I pray that each baby that comes into our unit reaches that full potential.

Whew, that said, on to Not Me! Monday!

If you are not familiar with Not Me! Monday, head over to MckMama's blog to join in on the fun! I have been participating in Not Me! for quite some time now, so I know once you head over, you'll be returning to visit MckMama and her family time and time again!

Earlier tonight, I most definitely did NOT blow my nose in my sock I had taken off because I couldn't find a kleenex. I know, I know...gross. Believe me, my wife informed me as much, and was not shy about expressing her disgust!

Our cat, who is 1.5 years old, did NOT pee in our daughter's crib and on her blanket. Big problem, we're looking at permanent solutions to remedy this. Largest thing I feel is he needs another cat to play with. I'm sure I'll hit this topic again in the future.

This morning, I did NOT turn on the radio on my drive to work and catch myself singing to "Natural Woman", which was playing on the oldies station. As soon as I did NOT catch myself mouthing the words, I quickly turned my CD player on to Jason Mraz and Jack Johnson to man-up for a bit.

And just now, I definitely did NOT drool a bit as I yawned from sleepiness and typing this post at 1221am. See, I know I won't type it in the morning since baby girl will keep me busy. Have to post when I can!

All kinds of attractive qualities for me, huh?

Saturday, October 17, 2009

Feeding Baby at Night - Dad Can Help Too

How often do I hear that dads do not feed their baby at night? Far too many! Mostly, I hear that the mothers are the ones to get up and feed their infant in the middle of the night.

Babies, from 0 to 6 months, may require feedings in the middle of the night, especially the first three months of life. I really cannot tell you how often I am told by moms that their husbands do not get up to help with these feedings. For shame, dads!

Dads, why are you sleeping?

When I ask why they sleep through the night while mom is up feeding the baby, most mothers give two reasons. The first I hate, because it is such an ancient thought. The thought is that it is a mother's duty to feed the baby. If a baby wakes up in the middle of the night because it is hungry, some men feel it is a woman's duty and job to get up and feed the baby. Wake up dads, the times have changed!

The second reason is the most common, and it is that there is a general feeling from moms that dads simply don't realize how tired they are, and how much of a toll taking care of a baby takes on their body. Moms who have been taking care of the baby all day can get physically and emotionally exhausted, and waking up in the middle of the night for a feeding only furthers that weariness.

Maybe we as men are born oblivious, but that is no excuse. There is a sense of awareness that we possess as well, we just need to focus that awareness on mom and baby.

Guys, I am telling you that as fathers...and as men, it is our duty to help in childcare as much as possible. In this day and age, it is no longer a woman's sole responsibility to care for the kids. Especially when it comes to babies.

We have to realize that the mother of our precious baby is more than likely physically and emotionally drained at times. They need to recharge, and they need their rest. So that means they need to sleep at night just as much as we do.

How to get up and feed your baby in the middle of the night!

Here is my suggestion, and it worked very well for my wife and I. For the feeding that occurs in the middle of the night, which I put at 12am to 4am, I would get up and feed the baby so my wife could have some solid, uninterrupted sleep. She would take the feedings immediately before and after.

I would get up and get my baby, and then head downstairs with her to warm up a bottle of milk. A hungry baby is usually a fussy baby, so by taking her with me, not only was I comforting her, but I was also leaving my wife with peace and quiet, so the fussy, hungry baby would not wake her up.

The bottle of milk I warmed up was milk my wife had pumped earlier, so it was ready for me to use. Moms, here is where you can help this having milk available, either breast milk or pre-made formula, it makes it that much easier for dad to get up and feed the baby. Dads, for added bonus, you can help prepare the bottles prior to the night's feedings.

When the bottle was warmed, I would take my daughter either to her rocker or back to our bed, and I would feed her. She usually would fall right to sleep after finishing her milk. Then I would slip back into bed, and sleep as much as I could to rest up for the next day.

Become a better father, husband...become a better man

I'll be honest, there were nights where I swear I was half asleep as I was preparing milk. One time I even stuck my hand in some boiling water and didn't even realize it for a few seconds, until the searing pain made me yell out a few choice words. But over time, as I got used to the schedule, it got easier and easier. There were times I could even anticipate her needing to eat, and would wake up right before she started getting her hunger fussiness.

Guys, there is no better feeling than when your wife comes home, and she tells you a story about how she had told her friends that you get up in the middle of the night to feed the baby so she can sleep, and they say how lucky she is. Anytime someone tells your wife how lucky she is for something you do, you know you are doing something right, and there is a sense of daddy and husband pride that makes it all worthwhile.

Dads, I am encouraging you to be that husband and father that goes the extra mile. Be aware of when mom is tired, and when she needs her rest. If you are dead beat and exhausted, I'd be willing to bet money she is just as exhausted, if not more so.

Can moms get up and feed the baby? Absolutely, hands down, yes. Mothers are superheroes in my book, because you cannot say enough to describe how much they do. When it seems they have run themselves as far as they can go, they find a way to keep on running. Moms, you all are awesome.

But dads, let's be more aware, and help out the precious woman in our life. Try helping feed the baby at night. Let your angel wife get some pure, solid sleep. Let her rest. By doing this, we become better fathers, better husbands, and better men.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

Toddler Tales - State Fair Photos

Last week we went to the state fair, but I am only now getting to post it up! Baby Girl had a great time, though I'm pretty sure she was frustrated that she was confined to her stroller for the most part.

Normally, Brit and I love watching several of the shows, but this year, since we had our baby girl along with us, we had to skip them.

We both got our corn dogs, and Brit had caramel apple slices. I got my usual cotton candy to eat on the way home.

Baby Girl's favorite part of the fair was when I took her to play in the water fountain that was next to the auto show. I held her and let her splash her feet in the water. She let me know her displeasure when we eventually had to leave the fun fountain behind.

At the auto displays, I made sure to checkout the Chevy Equinox, which is their 32 miles per gallon SUV. Starting at $22k, it's not a bad deal at all. I loved it! But not time to buy a new car yet, so I will have to wait.

Below are several of our photos. It was a great day out at the fair with our baby girl!

toddler baby girl

Baby girl rolling into the fair! She's excited!

toddler baby girl

Looking at the MOO cows

toddler baby girl

Baby girl getting brave

toddler baby girl

Family shot!

toddler baby girl

She wanted it, but daddy just let her pose with it. I tore off a couple pieces for her :)

toddler baby girl

Mommy and daughter!

toddler baby girl

The fun fountain. She loved it!

toddler baby girl

Pretty woman, pretty flowers.