Monday, September 28, 2009

Baby to Toddler: Walking

My baby girl has gone from baby to toddler. As promised from my previous post, here is a video of my daughter walking, which she has been doing for only 4 days now. The video itself is over 2 1/2 minutes long, so the part you'll probably want to see (of her walking) is the first 10 to 15 seconds. Enjoy!

The Walking Toddler!

Our baby girl started walking last Friday! I guess we can't call her a baby anymore, though. Now that she is a walking one-year old, she has graduated to toddler! Of course, she's still my baby girl and I might still have to call her such, at least for a little while longer.

As we were playing in her playroom, she was standing holding two of her toys, then out of the blue, took about 5 steps towards me. I was shocked! I was so excited. No less than 5 minutes later, she then proceeded to stand and walk across the room!

Unfortunately, Brit had just left for work, so she didn't get to see our toddler's first steps. Not only that, but she wouldn't be back home until Sunday! She was headed on a weekend girl's trip with her friend Kristin. They headed to Sea World on Saturday, then visited with Kristin's family the next day. After a day with a 4-week old baby, baby fever seems to have crept back into her.

So, mommy didn't get to see our newly crowned toddler walk until Sunday. But it was well worth the wait. She was ecstatic!

Wondering why I have no pictures of our little one walking? Well, my thief of a wife stole the camera for her trip! Hah, that was okay though, because I managed to capture a few videos of her walking, which may have been even better!

The only problem with shooting video of our baby girl is that she LOVES it. So much, that any time she knows it is on, she speeds towards it, which consists of supersonic crawling speed. Hence, any time the camera 'beeps' on, she makes a beeline towards the camera.

I'll try and download the videos and post them up here once I manage to get out of bed...

Which leads me to...Not Me Monday! Head over to MckMama's blog for more Not Me's!
  • I am not writing this post in bed as my little girl watches Martha Speaks on PBS.
  • My wife did not literally just tell me that she is putting one of her shirts in the 'whites' laundry basket, but doesn't want it in the dryer the next time I do laundry. Hang up dry only she says.
  • I did not witness my daughter's first 'boo-boo' that resulted in a teeny, tiny smidge of blood. She cut the corner of her eye on a shampoo bottle, of all things, while in the shower with me. She was totally okay, but I still felt like worst dad of the year. Strange thing was that I was even holding her by the waist as she was standing to be washed, and she still fell forward. I caught her, but her head still bumped against her shampoo bottle, just in the perfect spot, I guess, to make a little cut. Boo to daddy. That said, she absolutely LOVES taking showers with either Brit or myself.
  • Our dog did not throw up what seemed like a small lake of water last night as he over drank. And he did not just throw up again in the bathroom no less than 5 minutes ago. No, he isn't sick, but he just drinks too fast.
  • Finally, I did not have a wonderful weekend with just my daughter as we let mommy have a weekend to herself! We had a great time!

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Favorite Dessert Recipe

At Kelly's Korner this week, it is about favorite dessert recipes. Now me, I'm not much of a dessert maker. That's my wife's area of expertise. I enjoy cooking the meals. However, as a Food Network junkie, there was one recipe in particular that I love. Ina Garten of Barefoot Contessa has an amazing Apple and Pear Crisp recipe, and it is perfect for this time of year! With this cooking in the oven, the whole house smells delicious! Check it out:


  • 2 pounds ripe Bosc pears (4 pears)
  • 2 pounds firm Macoun apples (6 apples)
  • 1 teaspoon grated orange zest
  • 1 teaspoon grated lemon zest
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed orange juice
  • 2 tablespoons freshly squeezed lemon juice
  • 1/2 cup granulated sugar
  • 1/4 cup all-purpose flour
  • 1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
  • 1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg

For the topping:

  • 1 1/2 cups all-purpose flour
  • 3/4 cup granulated sugar
  • 3/4 cup light brown sugar, lightly packed
  • 1/2 teaspoon kosher salt
  • 1 cup old-fashioned oatmeal
  • 1/2 pound (2 sticks) cold unsalted butter, diced


Preheat the oven to 350 degrees F.

Peel, core, and cut the pears and apples into large chunks. Place the fruit in a large bowl and add the zests, juices, sugar, flour, cinnamon, and nutmeg. Pour into a 9 by 12 by 2-inch oval baking dish.

For the topping:

Combine the flour, sugars, salt, oatmeal, and butter in the bowl of an electric mixer fitted with the paddle attachment. Mix on low speed for 1 minute, until the mixture is in large crumbles. Sprinkle evenly over the fruit, covering the fruit completely.

Place the baking dish on a sheet pan and bake for 50 minutes to 1 hour, until the top is brown and the fruit is bubbly. Serve warm.

Monday, September 21, 2009

Preterm Infants

If you follow my blog you might know I work in an NICU. Recently, we got triplets and twins back to back, at a very early age. All 5 are doing very well, but it reminds me how fragile life is. As I see these tiny infants, some of who could fit in my two hands cupped together, I think of all the miracle babies out there and how each one has touched so many lives in so many special ways.

I really feel for these parents and count my blessings that I had a full-term, healthy baby. I cannot imagine what it would be like to love your baby so much, then have to leave your baby in a hospital, unable to bring him or her home to love and to hold. While NICUs help save babies and do amazing and extraordinary things, nonetheless it is still hard on parents.

When I am at home rocking my baby to sleep, I try not to take for granted the sweet ability I am able to have. Working in the NICU has truly given me a greater understanding of what some parents go through.

So, I encourage everyone out there to never take a day for granted and live and love to life's fullest possiblilities.

On a separate note, or maybe not, today is Not Me! Monday at MckMama's blog. It seems Stellan, who is no stranger to the ICU setting, is crawling! Congrats little man!

Yesterday, I came home from work exhausted. I definitely did not come home in a semi-grouchy mood. Definitely not me. And I know I did not come home and promptly wander over to the TV so I could watch the rest of the Cowboy game. I'm sure it wasn't me who ate dinner in front of the TV while my wife ate at the table. Such a man, right? I know, I'm a bum. :)

So, I didn't make up for my earlier mistake by watching the rest of the game in bed upstairs with my wife while she scrapbooked. Since our baby girl's room is right next to ours, and she was fast asleep, it wasn't me who was mouthing soundless cheers and jeers with arms flailing at the TV. Oh no, not me.

Ever had to watch a sports game and be as quiet as possible? I think it defies nature! Anyways, Cowboys lost, and I probably lost my fantasy football match as well. Rough football day for me.

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Top Jobs for the Stay at Home Dad

As a stay at home dad, you realize that you have a full-time job in regards to child care and house maintenance. Working from home, however, is a route some stay at home dads must take in addition to their family and house duties. I, for one, am always keeping an eye out for job opportunities that allow me to earn additional income while at home.

Although childcare is a primary focus, with housework close behind, being a stay at home parent may not seem like there is room for anything else. In part, this is true, especially if there are infants and toddlers in the home. They require constant supervision, making additional work fairly impossible.

The trick is to find what work from home opportunities work for you, in the free time you have allotted. For myself, my free time lies around nap time and at night. That allows for certain work from home opportunities, while eliminating others.

For instance, during the day, I blog, and create websites. I get about 3 to 4 hours a day during nap times to work around the house, and then work on making money from the blogs and websites I make. This blog in particular is a family site meant for updating family and friends on our life, but also functions as an outlet for my views on fatherhood and being a husband. It is just something easy and fun to do in the short amounts of free time I have available.

There are other options to consider, though, including several full-time work at home jobs. The following is a list of 8 jobs that are perfect for the stay at home dad:

1. Web Designer

Designing and creating websites is a great way to make additional income from home, provided you know how to write the code. Usually provided a time table, this job can easily be done at any point where free time presents itself.

2. Medical Transcriptionist

Becoming a medical transcriptionist actually requires a certification, and many companies hiring work from home job seekers want experience. None the less, medical transcriptionists can make from $15 to as much as $30 an hour depending on experience and skill.

3. Medical Billing

Working in medical billing falls under the same lines as medical transcription, but is not quite as lucrative in terms of salary. Hourly rates can drift up to $20 an hour.

4. Daddy Day Care

One great option for a stay at home dad is to take on an additional one or two kids to watch. While many families are still uncomfortable with the idea of a daddy-run, in-home day care, there are still many families that are very open to the idea. Daily rates can be as much as $40 to $50 a day per child.

5. Call Center Representative

Having a home phone line is a must for this job. Many companies are outsourcing their call center help to at-home workers. As a stay at home dad, this job provides shifts at all times, so flexibility can be easy to find.

6. Data Entry Clerk

Entering information into a computer or database from home is increasingly finding its way into common stay at home jobs. Must have proficient computer skills.

7. Virtual Assistant

A virtual assistant in essence is an administrative assistant, filling all of the duties from home by computer or phone. Becoming more commonplace, business men and women in need of an assistant, but find themselves out of the office often, are resorting to hiring at home workers in lieu of hiring someone for the office.

8. Customer Service Representative

More and more companies are hiring their customer service reps to work at home. Again, having a home phone line is a must, and usually these jobs have set shifts, allowing for flexible hours. Choose night or day, either usually are available.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

My First Blue Jeans!

Well ,actually, she has many pairs, but this is the first pair to fit. We were playing in the closet today and I saw these hanging up waiting for fall, so I decided to try to see if they fit our baby girl! They do! With a little room to grow as well!


Monday, September 14, 2009

Birthday Photos

Savi Girl's birthday party was perfect! Brit did a great job on planning the whole event out. We had a candy buffet and I grilled some hot dogs. Mostly close famil and friends came, but they sure did bring lots of great presents! Savi loved them all! Thanks guys for such great, thoughtful presents!

When it was time for the epic cake eating, our baby girl managed to eat most of the icing before realizing she had the ability to dig deep into the cake for more yummy goodness. It was great, her face was plastered with cake, so much that she even had a rosy tinge on her cheeks from the icing after we had her all cleaned up.

Since it was in such a short time frame, it's really all a blur to me. I know Savi had a great time, and we did too! Now, the big thing for me is coming this week. We will go to the pediatrician's office for her one year check-up. We also will find out if we are given the okay to turn the car seat around from rear-facing to forward-facing.

We have new car seats in, and these bigger car seats are secure when rear-facing, but they will be much, much more secure forward facing when I can attach all the extra latches and belts. Crossing my fingers our tiny girl weighs enough to let me do this, since a baby has to be one year old AND at least 20 or so pounds before they can be placed in a forward-facing car seat.

Okay, finally, here are some pics from the birthday party!

Not Me! Monday at MckMama's blog today! I definitely did not just hastily take apart and put back together our weight bench set in the last 20 minutes to sell it to someone off craigslist. I definitely was not embarrassed he came to pick it up while I was 10 minutes out of bed and my boxers. And I definitely was not in my boxers outside helping him load everything into his truck. Oh no, not me!

Friday, September 11, 2009

Baby Girl's First Birthday!

Savi is now one year old! I know it is cliche to say it, but I cannot believe how quickly time flies! It just seems like yesterday that I was holding this 6 pound baby in my arms. I can tell you one thing,'s been the best year of my life!

The day before Savi was born, I remember feeling very calm. Working in a Neonatal ICU for over 6 years left me feeling pretty comfortable with what was to come. We checked into the hospital, and Brit was given cervidil. That got things moving pretty quickly.

In the middle of the night, Brit woke up crying, in pain, obviously from the contractions. As we watched the monitor, they were coming pretty close together, maybe a minute or so, lasting for as long as 45 seconds. I don't think she remembers how much pain she was in. I had no sleep that night as I was holding her and helping her through the contractions.

About 6 am they wanted Brit to take a shower, which was very hard on her, as she couldn't stand or sit, because the contractions were becoming too intense. At 7 am they decided it was time for the epidural. Looking back on it now, she probably could have been given that an hour or two earlier. We had thought the contractions she was feeling were the moderate ones, with more intense, painful ones to come. Turns out, she was having the bad ones. Guess there's always something to learn.

So, with the epidural in, and Brit FINALLY able to get some sleep, I crashed on the couch. About an hour later I woke up to the nurse checking how far along Brit was, and she was complete and ruptured. She showed me the blood on her finger, and my immediate comment (half asleep) was, "Is there any meconium?" That's the NICU talking there.

Not 20 minutes later, the OB was in our room telling me Brit was going to deliver. I was shocked! I looked 'down there', and saw Savi's head already poking out! Brit hadn't even started pushing! The epidural was doing a fine job, that's for sure.

When we got ready to push, Brit gave one hard push, and half of Savi's head came out. One more push and she pretty much flew out. The OB actually had to move her hands back as Savi came shooting out. Good job, baby!

Savi was a perfect, happy, screaming baby, and I was so proud. Tears came to my eyes as it finally hit me, I AM A DAD!

There's just no describing how much joy a child brings to your life. Savi has become everything that Brit and I are about. I am so glad I am a daddy, and I cannot wait for the many more years to come!

Here's a few pics of baby girl along the way to her first full year! (Birthday party post to come tomorrow)

Just checked in!

Brit and Savi

3 weeks old

7 weeks old

5 months

6 months

9 months

11 months

1 year old!

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Favorite Recipes!

At Kelly's Korner this week, it's all about your go-to recipes! I have two main ones, and here they are! One is courtesy of Paula Deen, absolute goddess of southern cooking, and the other is my own creation, combining some of my favorite elements!

I absolutely LOVE this recipe. I saw this on Paula Deen's show, and it's amazing. Not very healthy, mind you, but amazing! Kids will love this for sure.

I also have a customized twist to it...
Try adding:
  • Crushed red pepper to taste (in mac n' cheese), usually about 1 tsp for me
  • 1/2 cup diced jalapenos added mac n' cheese
Image and recipe can be found at Food Network.

Paula Deen's Fried Mac n' Cheese

  • 1 recipe "The Lady's Cheesy Mac" prepared, chilled in the refrigerator overnight, and cut into 15 squares, recipe follows
  • 1 pound bacon
  • Flour
  • 2 eggs, beaten
  • Plain bread crumbs
  • Peanut oil, for frying

Heat peanut oil to 350 degrees F.

Wrap each square of cheesy mac with 1 strip of bacon, and fasten with toothpick. Dredge each square in flour then egg and then bread crumbs to coat. Fry for about 3 minutes until golden brown.

The Lady's Cheesy Mac:
  • 4 cups cooked elbow macaroni, drained
  • 2 cups grated Cheddar
  • 3 eggs, beaten
  • 1/2 cup sour cream
  • 4 tablespoons butter, cut into pieces
  • 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 cup milk
Preheat oven to 350 degrees F.

Once you have the macaroni cooked and drained, place in a large bowl and while still hot and add the cheddar. In a separate bowl, combine the remaining ingredients and add to the macaroni mixture. Pour macaroni mixture into a casserole dish and bake for 30 to 45 minutes. Top with additional cheese if desired.


Now for my own recipe, which I absolutely love to make. This is easy and simple. Sadly, I don't have a picture up of this, but next time I make it I will be sure to post it!

Pistachio Crusted Chicken

  • 3 oz pistachios
  • 2 boneless, skinless chicken breast
  • 4 oz shredded colby jack or pepper jack cheese
  • 1 egg (egg wash)
  • flour (for dredging)
  • salt
  • pepper
  • 2 cloves garlic, chopped
  • extra virgin olive oil

Grind the pistachios in a food processor until coarse to fine. Want them similar to bread crumbs. Preheat stove to a little less than medium heat. In a non-stick pan, eyeball enough EVOO to cover the bottom. Add the chopped garlic to infuse with the oil. Season chicken with salt and pepper. Cut a tiny 1 to 2-inch pocket in the side of the chicken and stuff with cheese. Very lightly dredge chicken in flour, then dip into the egg wash, and finally coat with pistachio crumbs. Place chicken in pan and cook for 3.5 to 4 minutes on each side, or until cooked through. Voila! Pistachio crusted chicken.

*For added flavor, I like to stuff the chicken with diced, fresh jalapenos as well (if the wife will let me).

Daddy and Baby Girl


The joys of being a stay at home dad...I get moments like these! We have spent the better part of today playing, only taking a nap just now to give daddy a chance to blog! I was able to take some pretty good pictures, and a video as well.

I managed to get several of her more recent accomplishments all in one little session! Standing, pretend eating and drinking, and making messes! Well, the messes thing isn't new, she's just mastered it quite well!

The above photo was another photoshop edit to fix a blurry shot that I otherwise would have loved. Not too's cool to have fun pics like that every now and then!


Playing with our cups!


Standing! (Not walking yet, but we're close!)


Ever the ballerina, always on our toes.


Whugh! We found...a box.


DVDs destroyed...mission accomplished.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Baby Girl and Make Believe

Last night, I fed Savi dinner and gave her a bath. Brit was still at work, so it was looking like I was going to have to put the baby down for bed before she got home. I try to keep her up if I can, so Brit can see her, but ultimately if baby girl is falling all over herself from sleepiness, bedtime is inevitable.

So, after she fell asleep drinking her bottle of milk, I put her down, and no less than 5 minutes later she was up and crying, putting up a fierce resistance to sleep. See, I have actually honed my senses to determine what kind of cry is legit, and what kind of cry is for other reasons. This was a legit cry, so I went and got her out of bed, as she seemed to have caught her second wind. The child was just everywhere!

When Brit got home, she was met by a very happy, and very awake Savi. We decided to have a bit of family playtime, figuring baby girl would get pretty tired pretty fast. We were right. But before we put her down, she did something that both Brit and I thought was absolutely precious.

Taking two of her stacking cups, she crawled over to the coffee table and stood up, placing her cups on the surface to play with. It took us a minute to figure out what she was doing with the cups, but we finally realized she was pretending to drink from them, then was imitating chewing food. She did it over and over. It was sweet and hilarious at the same time.

This is the first time she has actually imitated an event like this on her own, without any prompting from Brit or myself. Of course, me being the proud daddy thought she was just being a creative baby genius! I'm not sure when babies start playing like that on their own, but it looks like our little one has started! Man, I love being a dad!

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

The Beatles: Rock Band Video Game

So, who out there is going to buy The Beatles: Rock Band? Normally, I wouldn't be posting about a video game, but the potential hype on this product has me curious. I've been watching the news tonight, and it seems there are game launch events with live Beatles music and everything.

Given the popularity of the previous Rock Band games, I'm sure this one will do just as well. The good things I have heard is that it gives a younger generation a deeper appreciation of the Beatles and all they accomplished, given the note charts displayed in the game. The complexity of the songs can be visually seen, allowing for a better relationship to the Beatles music. It is also being whispered that this may create a new wave of Beatlemania. To be determined,I guess.

Ultimately, if you by the game, you will be able to play 45 of their songs from 12 Beatles albums. Here is a list of the songs that can be played (more to be released via download):
  • I Saw Her Standing There
  • Boys
  • Do You Want To Know A Secret
  • Twist And Shout
  • I Wanna Be Your Man
  • I Want to Hold Your Hand
  • A Hard Day’s Night
  • Can’t Buy Me Love
  • I Feel Fine
  • Eight Days A Week
  • Ticket To Ride
  • Day Tripper
  • Drive My Car
  • I’m Looking Through You
  • If I Needed Someone
  • Paperback Writer
  • Taxman
  • Yellow Submarine
  • And Your Bird Can Sing
  • Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band
  • With a Little Help from My Friends
  • Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds
  • Getting Better
  • Good Morning Good Morning
  • I Am The Walrus
  • Hello Goodbye
  • Revolution
  • Back In The U.S.S.R.
  • Dear Prudence
  • While My Guitar Gently Weeps
  • Birthday
  • Helter Skelter
  • Hey Bulldog
  • Don’t Let Me Down
  • Come Together
  • Something
  • Octopus’s Garden
  • I Want You (She’s So Heavy)
  • Here Comes The Sun
  • Dig A Pony
  • I Me Mine
  • I’ve Got A Feeling
  • Get Back
  • Within You Without You / Tomorrow Never Knows
The only negative things I have heard about the game is whether or not the game progression is too fast. Apparently you can go through all the songs and 'beat' the game in a couple hours.

I'm not sure if I will be buying it, but the hype definitely has me intrigued.

Wordless Wednesday

Daddy vs Wild

Monday, September 7, 2009

Remembering September 11th

american flag
This coming Friday is September 11th, and I think it is extremely important for us to remember how important this day is to our country. For the first time in 50 years, there was a devastating attack on American soil on September 11, 2001. We lost 2,973 lives that day. It was a message sent by foreign terrosists with a specific message, aimed straight at our hearts. It was a message of hatred, and it is one we are still fighting today.

Families lost husbands, wives, sons, daughters, mothers, fathers, and so many more. It cannot be put into words how utterly devastating and tragic this day was. But from the ashes of this attack, we stood strong as the United States of America and sent the war to the Middle East. Some agree with the war, and others do not. Whichever side of the fence you sit on, there is still an enemy out there that hates us, hates the principles of democracy and freedom that you and I enjoy every day, and have committed their lives to wreaking havoc and destruction upon us.

I am so thankful for the men and women serving in our armed forces throughout the world, protecting our precious rights and freedoms. It is because of them that I am able to sit here today in the comfort of my own home, writing this blog post. Thank you for protecting us, and thank you for putting your life on the line to preserve the freedom of our country.

twin towers plane crash
For those that lost loved ones on September 11, my heart goes out to you, and I will say a prayer for you and yours. At the time of the attacks, I was only 20 years old. I remember I was sitting in my U.S. Government class, when an announcement came on the overhead speakers to turn on the TV and find a news channel. As we saw the smoke from the buildings, a momentary horror filled my thoughts, and I said prayers for all those in harm's way. Classes were promptly canceled, and I went home to watch the events unfold.

Now, I am a father and a husband, and I cannot even begin to imagine what it must have felt like to have a loved one tragically lost to such a monstrous act of terrorism. Many families did not even get a chance to say goodbye. No last kisses or hugs, no last embraces, and no last ' I Love You'. Though wounds can heal, you can never forget.

I now can catch a tiny glimpse of what fear these families must have felt that day. I hope I never have to be put in that situation myself. I love my wife and daughter with everything that I am, and the thought of losing them tears me apart. This is why it is so important to remember this day.

fire fighters raising american flag
To the firefighters of NYC that battled the destruction of the twin towers, and to the families of those firefighters we lost, thank you for all that you did. You are all heroes, and will forever be tenderly placed in our hearts as you selflessly put your life on the line to save as many as possible from the wreckage and ruin on that fateful day.

This Friday, say a prayer of thanks for the sacrifices of those we lost on September 11th. Pray for them and their families. Say a prayer of thanks for all those that contributed to the rescue and clean-up efforts of the attacks.

Remember what this day means. Put all political and religious agenda aside, and let us once again stand united and strong as Americans, as we remember this day.

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