Monday, March 24, 2008

Everything I have learned in 4 months

I am going to be the valedictorian of the November 2007 birth class. Changing problem,
preaparing a bottle.............piece of cake,
giving a bath.................with my eyes closed,
setting up a car record time.

Though, there are some things about being a new dad that require practice and a lot of work. Im talking full time job here.

First off let me say that yes, IM A DAD!!!!!! I have not updated this blog or online pics of my gorgeous little Ava in months. 4 to be exact. Keep reading and you will see why.

Ava was born on November 25, 2007 which is now the happiest day of my life. I was there helping Traci and the doctors. I could write a full book on the experience in the delivery room but we will leave that for another time. Some of those images will haunt.....I mean I will treasure those images for life.

From day one, you have to learn to live without any sort of quality sleep. Sure you get to sleep, an hour here, maybe 3 there, but you are up feeding, rocking, changing diapers, cleaning, maybe a little work thrown in there, but for the most part you are a walking zombie. Now, that Ava is coming up on her 4 month birthday, I have gotten in a groove but there was a ton of learning along the way.

A lot of what I have learned in the last 4 months:

1. Sleep when you can. Sure, your body adjusts to only sleeping 4 or 5 hours a night but it was not meant to. Our generation looked rather young up into their 30s but that is only because we waited to have kids till then. Lack of sleep and proper nurishment will age you quickly. Please hold on a second while I pull out another grey hair.

2. Bathtime is bonding time. My generation, I think the fathers are much more active than previous genarations. We work all day and come home and are given our child to be with all night. Im not kidding, the mothers are waiting at the door with outstretched arms to hand us the kids so they can go eat bon bons and watch tivo of oprah. The image that I always saw on TV was the man coming home after a hard days work to a drink prepared, dinner on the table, and a kiss on the cheek. Damn liars. Not that I mind. Because, this time of night is about bathing the kids, reading bedtime stories, playing, and bonding.

3. Tivo is your friend. Before Tivo, there is no way you would be able to watch what few shows you follow. You are on baby schedule and she wont wait till commercial to spit up all over your shirt.

4. An SUV is a must. When you go anywhere outside the house, you have to pack enough baby gear to make sure she could survive a trip to Mt. Everest and still play in her bouncy seat.

5. Get used to saying words you thought you would never utter - bouncy seats, poopie, binky (still refuse to say that one), baby bjorn, bumbo, boppie, and on and on and on. These are real words that refer to real products, Im serious.

6. Having a cool stroller gives you street cred with the other new parents. My little Ava only rolls in the new Peg Perego Skate. You better recognize.

7. Always stay armed with a burp cloth, pacifer, and a silly face. Crying can happen at any moment.

8. Spit up is a way of life. I dont own one piece of clothing without reminances of Ava's lunch or dinner.

9. If you have a family member around, hand off the baby for feeding or changing. I dont know if it is a secret or not but they love that stuff. Especially the grandparents. What becomes a chore for you is the highlight of their day. Now if I can just figure out how to make the whole paying for a car at 16 as big of a joy for them.

10. Your baby's smile can melt away any problem or bad day.

At four months, I think I have passed with flying colors but I know I have a lot more adventure ahead of me. I cant wait!!

Thursday, September 20, 2007


Watch out as hands, feet, and smiles move across the screen in 3D! Today, we got a sneak peak of what our little girl is going to look like when she is born. Of course without the goop and afterbirth. How did we do this you may ask? We gave in to another racket built on babies and children. Seriously, if you are having a baby, and someone advertises something associated with having a child that looks somewhat useful or cool, get ready to pony up some cash.

The most recent "you are having a baby, you must do this" adventure we went onto is the 3D ultrasound. It is a like having a regular ultrasound except that the pictures and video are in Amazing, in your face, 3D. At first I had my hesitation on doing this. I saw the pictures from the advertisements and they creeped me out. The pictures are in a gold-brownish color and you see the full depth and features of the baby in the mother's stomach. It looked way to sci-fi or like something out of a monster movie. But, as you can guess, the conversation went something like this:

Traci - "I want to get the 3D ultrasound"

Jeff - "No, I dont think so, it is a waste of money and it creeps me out"

Traci - "Really, I think it is cool and I want to see what our baby looks like"

Jeff - "No, it really creeps me out"

Traci - "Well, Im doing it and your mom wants to see it also"

Jeff (after losing the 2 seconds of concentration on what Traci is saying because he is watching football) - "ok, sure............damn, the Bucs just got scored on"

Traci (5 minutes later) - "I booked it, I got a great deal, and we are getting a video

Jeff (eyes not moving from the Tv screen) - "uh huh, ok"

Traci - "Put it in your calendar"

Jeff - "uh huh, ok."

And that is how its done. Can you imagine when my little girl asks for stuff like new clothes or a new car. Im toast.

So, we went today and I have to say Im glad we did it. It was amazing to see our little baby 's features and see her move. I saw her yawn, tug on her ear, lick her arm like a cat, put her hands in front of her face, smile, move her arms and legs and see her tiny little fingers and toes. I am so psyched now to meet her. Traci drank a Coke before the ultrasound so she was moving all around. The technician even told us that it was the best one she had done all day and that our little girl was very cute. She is not even born yet and I am already gloating.

Take a look at the pic below. You will see little Miss B-Dub in 3D!

Hand covering one eye

Resting on her Arm

Wednesday, August 8, 2007

Bounce Around The Room

We felt her move! We felt her move!

After weeks of my better half complaining because we havent felt the baby move and fueling her fears by reading the other way too proud moms boast how they feel their little ones kick on the evil, evil, evil, message boards. Those moms make it sound like they have Pele in their bellies. Now, we are going to show them, Little Miss B Dub is fluttering and popping.

It happens every night, as soon as we lay down to watch quality summer television programming like 'Scott Bao is 45 and Single' or 'Real World Australia', she starts popping around in the belly. I have felt her three times so far. At first it felt like Traci had a muscle flex in her stomach and then it feels like a little bump or bubble pop.

Pretty soon, Traci will be able to post to the other 'moms to be' on the message boards how our little girl puts Pele to shame by kicking 50 yard field goals and making NFL money! You heard it here first.

Saturday, July 28, 2007

The New Family Truckster

Its Boxy but Safe.

The thought that goes through everyone's head when hear the word "Volvo". That works for me when it comes to the transportation of my wife and child. Thats right, I bought a Volvo. But not just any Volvo, The XC90, the Volvo SUV. The mandatory purchase as soon as everyone finds out they are having a kid............time to pick up our generation's version of the station wagon.

Its funny how things come full circle in life. I remember being a kid and my parents having a red volvo sedan. You couldnt mistake the red safety box as it rolled up to a light. Stylin and Profilin it was not. Some things have changed though, Volvo's have become stylish, elegant cars, that are still one of the safest on the road. Im not going to bore you with all the details of our weeks of car shopping that culminated in a frenetic weekend of straight 72 hours of test driving, haggling, internet research and shopping, and stocking cars with what we think we are going to haul around from each of our daughter's playdates. Seriously, we really did spend about 2 hours in our parents driveway stuffing car seats, strollers, and various baby items in a Volvo S80 sedan we were considering. Instead, Im going to give you the first "New Dad" product review.

2008 Volvo XC90

Looks: In a world full of crossover SUVs that look like glorified minivans or futuristic space bubbles, the XC90 still looks like real SUV. It also has elegant lines and strikes you like an elegant vehicle. I give the looks an 'A'

Ride: You sit very high so you get a commanding view of the road and it drives very smooth. It has very little lean when you take curves and while Im not going to be racing an Porches, it has enough pickup for Traci to beat out the other mom for the primo parking spot at Publix. Ha Ha, another win for Team Wilensky. Plus, you get the bonus of changing lanes when you want because other cars will slow down due to the size of the XC90. Unless we are trying to edge out an Hummer or a big ass Ford F 150. I give the Ride a 'B'. Almost a 'B+'

Interior: The inside is HUGE! We opted against the third row of seats so we can fit a Honda Accord in our trunk. We will have no problems taking around Little Miss B Dub's gear (strollers, Pack N Play, Diaper Bags, 20 suitcases, Golf Clubs, Traci's entire shoe collection, spare crib, etc.). I think you get the point on the size of the cargo area. The Leather seats are extremely comfortable and there is plenty of legroom for the seats. My only complaint would be the stereo. The sound is average. There is a huge 'cool' factor with the navigation system. It pops up out of the top of the dashboard and there is a remote control or steering wheel controls. It also has an aux input to plug in an ipod or satellite radio. I give the interior a 'B+'

Fuel Economy: There is a price to size, utility, safety, and luxury................the environment. Not so good. It gets 15mpg in the city and 21mpg on the highway. Its not horrible but its close. I will have to ride a bike to work for two days a week to make up for the gas drinking problem the XC90 has. Fuel Economy gets a 'D'

Safety: Its a Volvo. Nuff said. The only thing that would worry me would be a Tank or an Intercontinental Ballistic Missle. Otherwise, I feel this is one of the safest autos that could transport the most valued people in my life, my wife and daughter. I give safety an 'A++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++'

Overall, I really like this SUV. I would reccomend it to anyone making the "Im having a child and I must get the obligatory SUV" purchase. Especially now, Volvo is offering ridiculous deals. Time to go get in the SUV and head to the grocery store for milk, the other car is just not big enough for the carton of milk. Make fun all you want, because my family may be in the boxy mobile but they will be safe.

Summer Break

I have taken a little summer hiatus from blogging but Im coming back fast and furious. We are 22 weeks now. Over half way there. Keep your eyes on this page at least every other day for more fun antics about becoming a dad.

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Excited beyond words

Im having a girl. Im having a girl. Im having a girl.

Oh My G-D! Im having a GIRL!

First off, let me say that this whole experience is amazing! Just Amazing. Im going to be the father of a beautiful baby girl. She is going to be smart, charming, breathtaking, independent, sweet, cute, never leaving the house, under lock and key, kept far away from the evils of the world, chauffeured everywhere, and under armed guard. Im serious. Im not playing. This is my little girl we are talking about. If I even catch a 3 year old taking a quick glance at my wifes belly...............'lights out' kid. Im not above that. Maybe you have not noticed, but over the last week, the stock prices of Smith and Wesson and Remington have skyrocketed! Im buying every gun I see. David Karesh and those whack jobs at waco are going to look like they had a small collection compared to the armory Im building up. Yeah, ask my little girl on a date someday and see the amount of firepower crazy old dad is carrying around the house.

'Crazy old dad'. I cant believe I just referred to myself as that...........................The transformation to adult continues.

The transformation took a huge step last Friday. We have been filled with so much excitement and nerves the last week or so knowing we were going to find out if our little b-dub was going to be a boy or girl. Traci and I dont understand how people can wait. We had to know, there are so many things to decide and plan for. We were so impatient, Traci even had the date of the ultrasound moved up by 4 days.

So, the tech starts the ultrasound up and we see the black and white video we love so much. We can see little Miss b-dub and wow she has gotten bigger. The tech is looking at all the different sides of the baby and besides making sure all parts all there and working, all I can think of is that we are going to find out if it is a boy or girl. It was as if she was holding out on us. Dont get me wrong, I am psyched that we got an extra amount of ultrasound time but we couldnt wait any longer. So, I brought it up - " Are you able to determine the sex of the baby?" The tech replies " Ohhh, that is what you are here for today?" I mean cmon. What does it look like we are doing? My wife has her belly hanging out so you can rub a magic wand and show us pictures and Im sitting on a stool in corner hanging on every image on the screen because we are trying to order a pizza. What do you mean that the perinatal center is not the best place to reach dominos. Well hell then, we are leaving.

But we didnt leave, she rubbed that magnificent magic ultrasound wound and showed us that it was an amazing little baby girl. Or maybe it was what she didnt show us that made us know it was an amazing little baby girl. I couldnt believe it. No, really, I couldnt believe it. I asked at least 5 times if she was sure. I have heard stories that people have been told a baby is a girl only to be born a boy. Psyche, now go by new bedding and new toys and come up with a name fast. The tech said that she will let the dr. look as well and she wouldnt tell him what it was so we would be positively sure.

The doctor came in and verified that we were having a girl. Of course that didnt stop me from asking him 5 times as well. Though, we received some excellent reassurance from him that it was a girl. He said that if he was wrong, he would buy our baby a whole new wardrobe and re-paint the nursery himself. That was good enough for me, the doctor was willing to put his money where his mouth is.

So, we are having a baby girl and we are ecstatic. Just everyone please help me take up a donation fund for the amount of clothing that Traci is already buying Little Miss B Dub. I know, I know, she cant resist, 'little girl clothes are just so cute'. That is a story for another posting- "Motherhood Addictions".

I was so excited when we found out. We called our immediate family and shared the good news and I just wanted to stand up at the Starbucks we were at and scream to everyone there:

Im having a girl. Im having a girl. Im having a girl.

Oh My G-D, Im having a girl!

Friday, June 29, 2007

Its A......................

The two loves of my life!

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

What will it be???????

Very soon we find out the sex. Traci and I cant wait. We have gone back and forth on whether it is going to be a boy or girl. Blue socks or Pink socks. Football or Cheerleading. The 'be safe, have fun, and go get them' discussion or the 'you will never be allowed out of the house till you are 40' conversation. Either way, I just hope it is a healthy baby!

Leave a comment below this post and vote what you think it will be. Check back soon when everyone will find out if it is a boy or girl!

Editorial Note: Since we are 17 weeks now, things are starting to pick up. So, I will be updating the blog about 2 times per week. Stay tuned.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Dance Machine

"Dance Machine, watch me get down, watch me get down"....................................

We went to our next doctors appointment today for a Nuchal Translucency Test. Essentially they check to make sure your baby is not at risk for downs syndrome or other chromosomal disorders. They do this by taking blood and doing a sonogram. The sonogram is done so they can measure the amount of fluid in the baby's neck. Luckily, everything looked good on the sonogram and the blood tests came back showing a very miniscule chance of anything being wrong. We thought they would give us a yes or no answer, but they can only give you a ratio and our ratio was like one in over two hundred thousand. The fun part about this doctor appointment is that we get to see little B-Dub on the sonogram for an extended period of time and they videotape it for us.

Yeah, videotape. I didnt even know they made those anymore. I thought they have been retired to the technology heap along with 8-Tracks, Beta Cassettes, Video Discs, and horrible pauly shore movies (except for Encino Man, a quality cinematic masterpiece.............."San Dimas High Rules!"). Well, they have the ability to video tape your baby as part of the sonogram machine. Traci and I were not missing out on the first movie of little b-dub. The morning before the appointment, I went on a hunt to find the last remaining video cassette available. I first tried Wolf Camera. They had a 6 pack available. I bet they sell a ton of those. The only person that still buys that many video tapes must be Joe Bob to tape reruns of Hee Haw on his black and white TV with rabbit ears. Who the hell needs that many video tapes? So, on to the next store. I walk into CVS and ask the kid behind the desk if they sell single video tapes. He looked at me like I had two heads or if I just asked him to recite the Gettysburg address. I tried to explain that they go in VCRs and you can record shows. His response was, "Dude, we dont sell Tivos at CVS. Try Best Buy down the street." After rolling my eyes, I walked to the camera section and found a lone single video tape.........Jackpot!

The tech that conducted the sonogram was laughing at how I was stuggling to open the plastic shrink wrap. I cant stand that stuff, it is impossible to open! I guess Im not the only one who buys a tape right before the appointment because she said that it usually takes most of the 'Dads to be' about 5 minutes to get it open. After throwing the tape across the room a few times, dropping a few 'f bombs', and profusely sweating, I finally unwrapped the technological fossil. She put it in the machine and it was movie time.

It was amazing. You can see everything. The little one has fingers, toes, lips, everything. And, little b dub has my rythym. The baby was dancing all over Traci's belly. He or She showed us the moonwalk, some breakdancing , and disco moves that put John Travolta to shame. It is crazy and amazing to see. Of course, we couldnt wait to show our family our baby's first home movie and dance off. As soon as I can figure out how to put it up on You Tube, I will let everyone know so they can see it. The tech also informed us that the size of the baby puts the due date up to November 27th. We might get lucky and little b-dub might be born on my birthday. I cant wait and then we can both start training for 'Dancing with the Stars'.

Thursday, May 10, 2007

How about Eugene?

Names, Names, Names. We have only been pregnant for 10 weeks and there is so much pressure to come up with a name for our kumquat. Seriously, it is now the size of a kumquat. I dont even know what a kumquat is, but thats my boy or girl! There is a website out there called It is the literaly the online bible for pregnant women. One of the fun items they have on the website is a weekly email with the progress of your baby. Yes, this is also a website with one of those message boards that makes my pregnant wife even more paranoid than necessary. In this weeks email, our child is "barely the size of a kumquat" or about an inch or so long. Whatever this kumquat is, it is very small. Have you noticed I just like saying or typing kumquat.

Well, back to the original intent of this post. Coming up with a name for our child. For some of you who know my wife this will come as no surprise, but she likes to have things organized and planned way ahead of time. Im the opposite. The severe polar opposite! I was the guy in college that would start on the semester's 500 page paper the night before it was due. Not 7pm, but at 2am (after college's main activities) and type away till 4pm the next day when it was due and make it to class as it was letting out to turn my masterpiece in. My friends would make fun and laugh, but who was laughing when I still received the 'A' and was able to experience college for what it was really worth. Note to self - I have to change these ways when I become a Dad. I dont think I can get away with pulling an all nighter when our little kumquat needs a diaper change. Can you imagine a full day worth of baby's special fragrance permeating throughout the house - mmmmmmm refreshing.

So, I get a daily lecture on how we are never going to have a name and we need to get moving on it. She has even bought a book describing different names. Well, we have to worry about such things as how does the first name flow with the last or what the Monogram will be. Im serious. This book tells us that people with fun upbeat Monograms live 5.2 years longer than people with bad or average monograms. Who funds studies such as these? There are starving children in Africa and some moron with too much cash wanted to see if his initials were going effect his lifespan.

So, it would be a bit of an understatement to say that naming your child is a lot of responsibility. You are essentially branding your child for the rest of their life. The name you give them could cause serious bodily harm when they go to school or could leave them destined for the mailroom in corporate America, all because we thought "Eugene" was kicking it old school and we were going to bring it back from 1910. I can see it now, Me - "how was school today Eugene?" Eugene's answer - "It sucked, the kids gave me a wedgie and stole my lunch money. The teacher even continues to laugh when she calls on me in class, even though we are already half through the school year." My response - "Oh dont worry, you will laugh at this when you get older. You may be a nerd now but the nerds get all the broads and all the money later in life." Yeah, I bet that will help when he cries himself to sleep every night for the next 30 years of his life. No thanks.

So, we are coming up with lists, crossing names off, testing them with proposed middle names, thinking of every scenario and nickname possibility, making sure it is not like every other kid of their generation, doesnt match any serial killers, will work in corporate America as well as in Hollywood or Sports (yeah, like all of you didnt secretly wish your kid could make it big), and is something that they are happy with. It has to be a name that the child wont mind hearing repeatedly and in a raised voice because if they get any of my mischevious ways, they will hear their name screamed on a daily basis by their mom (oh yeah, by me too).

As we get closer, dont bother asking us what the name of our little kumquat (see, i snuck it in again. so much fun to say). We are not going to tell and we are keeping it a secret till the baby is born. It is going to be under lock and key, in Al Gore's 'lockbox', totally classified, on the 'DL', totally secret................. but I can guarantee you it wont be Eugene.