Monday, June 30, 2014

The Rise of Super Dad

I was raised by two wonderful, hands-on, loving parents. My mom stayed at home after my younger sister was born while my dad worked hard to support the family. My dad changed diapers, got up in the middle of the night, and held us at dinner so my mom could enjoy her meal. My dad went to swim meets, piano recitals, dance recitals, gymnastics meets and everything in between. This is what I was used to and this is what I expected from Adam (now Dad). 

What I didn't expect was the unique dynamic that comes with a new baby. The past year has been a process that has changed our lives and relationship more than I imagined. For me, becoming a mother happened instantly. The second I saw B lying on my chest, looking all squishy and gross, I knew what I needed to do. When I didn't know what to do, I moved forward acting like I did. This is just kind of how I do most things in life...personally and professionally. 
About an hour after B's arrival. 
I feel like for men things happen differently. The foreign object that was just removed from the body of their significant other is now screaming and flailing attempting to comprehend the sensory overload that has just taken place. Nurses are scurrying about tending to Mom and Baby while Dad is left trying to get a glimpse of the new life he helped create. What ensues in the following months is difficult to describe and, I would imagine, differs wildly from one father to the next. 

Perfecting the football hold. 
Look at that sweet face.
 Our journey into parenthood has had its ups and downs. But the one thing I never doubted was Dad's ability. Three months after B was born, I had to travel to L.A. for work. Dad handled B just fine, despite his own nerves. Most every morning, we pack up B and Dad gets him to daycare. Most every night, Dad washes and prepares B's bottles for the next day, after he washes our dishes from dinner; he then cleans the entire kitchen and picks up the toys strewn throughout the house. 

Closely supervising tummy time.
This weekend I attended my sister's bachelorette party. Dad and B had a boys weekend - dinner with Grandpa Friday night, Dad got to golf with friends on Saturday thanks to my brave girl friends who managed three babies, B and Dad washed up then headed to a dinner with friends on Saturday night, then brunch on Sunday before I got home. 

The Super Dads and their boys before golf.
By the time I got home, B and Dad were waiting and everyone was happy. Dad didn't seem frazzled, there were no weekend mishaps, and we enjoyed a nice evening and early bed time. 

I don't want to provide a false sense of is not always easy. We have had our ups and downs as parents, but we have grown, adapted and overcome. Dad is amazing; he has the desire and ability to make B a happy, well-adjusted child. More importantly, Dad has the desire and ability to make me the happiest Mom and wife. 

Let's be honest, Dad is MUCH funnier than Mom.
Cheers to all the Super Dads who change diapers in the car because there is no changing table, who eat cold food because the baby decided the high chair was no longer comfy, and who strap on the diaper bag and sport that burp cloth. But let's not forget the private times when you let us cry on your shoulder, bring us a glass of wine in the bath, and remove our hair from the fist of a handsy infant. 

Friday, June 27, 2014

Bikini vs. One Piece

Bathing suit season has never particularly bothered me. I was a lifeguard for several years and sitting nearly naked on an elevated lifeguard tower gets you accustomed to being in a bathing front of people...while sitting on an 8 foot pedestal.

Want to know what is NOT fun about bathing suit season this year? Trying to hold, feed, corral and apply sunscreen to a rowdy infant who thinks the sand is amazing, beer cans are toys, and anything on the beach is edible. 

I decided before our first beach trip back in April that a one piece suit was necessary. The thought of having to bend over, play with and hold Barrett seemed less than desirable while sporting a midriff-bearing bikini. Bikinis are made for leisurely beach trips were tanning and drinking are rampant and flipping from back to stomach is the only stress of the day. And you can focus on sucking in and keeping everything in place. 

This is not how I would describe a beach trip with a baby. The only time I considered my tan lines was when he was napping. 

The plus side to all this? I found the cutest one piece (that cost a small fortune), Mr. B is a beach bum in the making, and has Mom's skin tone which equals tan! He has no fear of the sand or water and carried on about his routine as if we were at home. 

Cute and functional one piece. 
Here are some of the essentials we packed for the beach:
  • Sunscreen - apply to naked baby, pre beach time for best initial coverage.
  • Baby swim t-shirt for additional sun coverage 
  • Shade in the form of umbrellas or tent (preferably the latter b/c of standing room)
  • Back up pacifier (sand really sticks to these)
  • Portable, battery operated fan
  • Pouched baby food (anything that is hands free for everyone b/c of the sand)
  • Cooler (for baby food, of course)
  • Low, plastic beach chairs (metal gets HOT)
  • Inflatable baby raft
  • Inflatable baby pool
  • Blanket or sheet for putting over the sand and under the shade
  • Wagon with good wheels that will roll on sand
  • Towels, and extra towels
  • Bath toys (after all they are made for the water)
  • Wipes (not just for diaper changing, but for getting sand off everything)
  • Napkins, paper towels, or something of the sort

Mom car loaded up, down, and sideways.

Our travel companion snoozing away.

Beer at Eddy Teach's first. Check in later.

Pool time with Dad!

"How does my hair look?" -B

Nap time in the pop up shark tent. 

Or nap time on mom. Bikini was a bad idea. 

Nap time under the umbrella. See cooler, wagon and stuff. 

Play time at the house, in the drawers with whatever is accessible.