Friday, September 26, 2008


Yeah, so I haven't blogged in awhile. This is partially because things have fallen into a "pregnant routine" - not much has changed. For the most part we dodge Amy's sickness, and once in awhile she still does the technicolor yawn. This is also partially because I had a truly hideous week at school - two twelve hour days in a row (football game, Open House) and then was supposed to have a meeting with a bigwig about curriculum (who neither showed nor called, win!) and various stressors related.

Did have a bit of a jolt the other day, though. As a teacher your kids like, being reflexively and accidentally called "Dad" is not that unusual. The kids think of you in a guiding/caring/protecting role, and if they're thinking about an assignment and need you, the first thing that comes into a mind is not "teacher" when they think about those roles, especially if they like you and they're used to having you around. Normally, when this happens, I snicker at the kid, inform the child that were they mine, they would receive daily beatings for their behavior (which is of course my code for "you're a good kid" as always, and they know it) and ask what they want.

So this happened Wednesday. Sweet, overenergized, overintelligent punkoid kid, her lil' mind eagerly chewing away on the mental challenges I'd set before the class, makes the slip. I'm sitting a desk away talking with another student and I get "Dad, can you help me with this?" Not all that unusual. What was unusual was my reaction.

I answered.

Never before in my life has the appellation "Dad" had any effect on me, and I've not identified with it even in the slightest. I consider the line between teaching and parenting pretty clear. Apparently though, unbeknownst to me, the ol' brain has been gradually climbing into "Dad shoes" without me realizing it. It wasn't a conscious thing - it was simply "you have been addressed" and I answered.

Immediately after I answered and as kids were snickering at the girl, I realized what had happened and the jolt was so strong I'm surprised I didn't blow any electronics out. Dear lord having mercy Mary Mother Joseph and his camel, I JUST RESPONDED TO THE TITLE OF FATHER.

I think there are still scorchmarks in the bottoms of my shoes.

Note to self and future dads: while not as publicized or as well-known, you too will have occasional massive emotional shocks on this nine month march.

"Dad." Holy gawd. I'm going to have to get used to that before it's my turn. I dunno. I'm not sure what title seems appropriate for me. I was thinking more, "El Patron." Sounds more intimidating.


Tuesday, September 16, 2008

The Quest For the Golden Placenta?

So I'm not exactly a social animal by nature. (Those of you who know me well are probably struck down with awe at the sheer understatement of that remark.) Never have been. I likes my small circle of friends, and that's just that.

Lately, though, I've been going against my traditional trend. Kinda weird. People stop to ask me about Amy's pregnancy, and instead of grumbling a very mundane reply like I do when people ask me how she's doing in general, I'm actually ....well....almost animated... in my replies about how she's doing, now. They make further commentary, and I even respond to it. A modern day male debutante am I. What's up with that?

I guess, despite my usually "Meh, whatever, life's not as big as the drama lets you think it is" I'm getting a tad caught up in this whole thing. It's a bit of an adventure, trying to come up with ways to feed an Amy with 1000 aversions, be there for her when she gets sick (Chunk O' Meter is at 3 now, by the way) and still keep my own affairs in order. Bit of an adventure? Hell. BIG adventure. Adventures need a good name, though, and I'm stuck for one. Quest for the Golden Fetus just seems odd - and kiddo ain't that big yet.

Dad tip o' the day: enjoy the ride. Like most adventures, it's a lot more fun in the telling than the living, but it may be one of the last times in your life you genuinely feel social - and people genuinely want to be social with YOU, not the wife.

Hmm...another adventure name thought...."Raiders of the Lost"....wait. Let's not go there. The implications would get me in trouble for a week.

Breakfast time.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

Chunks, Waffles, and other bits

So Amy's cookie-tossing count is now at one. (Aren't you thrilled I led with that, babe? Hey, at least it's over faster now, right?) I feel horrid because I wasn't even home with her when it happened - epic fail in the supportive husband column - but I'm sure at least one or two other opportunities to make up for it will come along. Hopefully not, but there you go.

I was out beating myself through an exercise routine - few miles on the bike. Also cut way back on my food intake, as well. It's very important to me that I be in proper shape when The Unknown One (I'm trying out nicknames here, bear with me) joins the world. There's the obvious "I want to live a long time and enjoy parenting/grandparenting" and being there for my wife, but honestly, there's a simpler motivation, too - I don't want my kid being the one other kids can crack on for having a fat dad. My own personal vanity and motivation was never quite enough to get me off my proverbial hind end, but I'm not taking my kid down with me, as it were. Sixty pounds in eight months shouldn't be too bad - and I figure if I get rabid enough about it, it ought to keep the ol' wife healthy as well.

So there you go, expectant-dad-types, sage advice: when the wife gets pregger, it's a great time to start exercising yourself: communal activity, keeps their weight gain reasonable, and you'll be glad you were healthier when you're running around with two hours of sleep anyhow, right?

Other subjects.

My mother. Hell, I don't know, at some point maybe I'll even tell her about this blog and let her read it, or maybe not. It's tough to know what to think about her. On one hand, I've got a laundry list of reasons to be very, very angry with her - there isn't a headshrink or childcare specialist under the sun that wouldn't shriek in utter horror and proclaim "Abuse" at any of a hundred stories I could tell. On the other, I know she did what she believed to be in her/my best interest, most of the time. Whether that's an excuse, I dunno. On one hand, I've got a lot of trouble dealing with my temper and a busted nose I can thank her for. On the other, I've got a determination and an ability to deal with rude/hostile actions calmly (hey, when you deal with it for eighteen years, who the hell cares what Johnny in class has got to say?) that is probably within the top 10% of the population.

Those are the thoughts that swirl around in my head all the time. Now I've got new ones to add to the mix - the woman really does know a lot about kids, loves babies, and can be pretty supportive. I've also got the memories of THIS kid's childhood to counter that with, and the "do I want my child exposed to that." Part of me goes, "There's no way she'd do something bad to her grandchild." But of course, we all have the demon that says, "Wanna bet? Wanna bet....your kid's welfare on it?"

Not so much.

(And you wonder where I get my own nervousness about parenting from, right? Heh.)

Been getting back in touch with a lot of the old high school friends lately. That's pretty keen. Even back in touch with the Snooze and Kacy, two of my best chums in the whole world, back in the day. That's also pretty keen. They all have kids - I seem to be behind the power curve here - but I guess I'll be catching up soon.

Eh. That's more than enough for 6:30 in the morning. Does anyone actually enjoy reading this voyeuristic, self-aggrandizing, what-goes-through-my-head-hits-the-page stuff? It helps me think at times, I guess.

Buncha weirdos.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Heartbeats, Heave-Ho's, and Ho-Hum's.

So like most big events in life - well, most ANYTHING in life, really - there's a lot of waiting with this pregnancy thing.

(Yes, I know, "Thank You Captain Obvious.")

But still. It's not like there's a new change every day.

Went to the first "serious" Doc Appt two days ago. While I'm still instinctively NOT okay with some dude rummaging around in my wife's personal regions, I guess I'd better get over it. Doc seems okay, as docs go. S'pose he'd better be okay since he's the one playing catcher at the end-of-season baseball game, as it were. Did the sonogram (and OH MY GOD THAT SONOGRAM TOOL IS NOT THE FLAT PADDLE THEY SHOW IN THE MOVIES. Seriously. My manhood felt overshadowed.) and the sonogram showed a grain o' rice with a heartbeat. Women say this is when things feel more real to you. Meh. Not so much for me. I mean, I accept and believe there's something going on in there, but a wee lil' fuzzy thing on a TV screen with reception that would annoy Great Grandma isn't quite enough to give me THE BIG SHOCK. Amy's still Amy. (Bigger boobs, though. HAR!) I'm still me. Life goes on. Visit was otherwise uneventful, except for me forcing myself to watch when they took her blood for tests. Figure if Amy wants me to be in the delivery room, I'd better get over my quease about needles, blood, and goo in general, eh?

Speaking of the quease... She's got the pregnancy quease going now, but hasn't done the old heave-ho yet. Since I tend to be a sympathy yarfer, that's probably a good thing, as I haven't done the technicolor yawn in several years, or so I choose to recall. We're kind of hoping it won't happen, but what're the odds of that, eh? I'll make sure you voyeuristic lot get all the gory details when she does, fear not. (Assuming anyone still reads this.)

Overall, though, not much changes. No belly bump yet. No complications or strangenesses. Lil' dude or chica's still in there. We're still out here. Our spraying cat appears to have subsided, but whichever cat it is definitely wasn't impressed by the tin-foil-on-the-couch trick. Foil everywhere. Heh.

Mental note for next log - talk about mom. 

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Lazy Sundays and Optimism

So today has been a pretty mellow day. 

Watched one of my favorite fighters get absolutely whomped on last night at UFC - not so keen - but aside from a backache from lifting dogs and pianos yesterday, it's been a nice, quiet, mellow day.

Lifting dogs? Yep. See, there's this thing in Plano called "KERPLUNK." Doesn't stand for anything but "Oh My God That's a Lot Of Dogs Running Around a Swimming Area." I guess OMGTLDRASA doesn't roll off the tonuge as easy, though. We took Lily to see what she'd think and how she'd do. I was a little curious as to how exactly the City of Plano was going to control that many dogs running around a swimming pool, but turns out the solution is pretty easy:

They don't. Utter doggy pandemonium.

To my surprise, though, that many dogs and owners in the same area - and there were easily sixty, seventy dogs there - were getting along pretty well. Yes, there were occasional scuffles, but for the most part, dogs were getting along just fine. Small dogs, big dogs, tiny dogs, HUGE dogs. All kinds of dogs. There's something amusing about seeing a puntable-sized football dog touching noses with a big shaggy German Shepherd.

Lily was amazed. Never seen so many dogs before. Turns out our dog that loves the lake won't get into a pool with a bazillion other dogs around unless you bodily drag her in. We managed to coax her into the pool once with a lot of urging, but the rest of the time, we had to haul her in ourselves. A lot of my nerves about her behavior, though, proved to be absolutely unfounded. She ran around, she sniffed, avoided water like the plague, chased tennis balls, goofed off, and generally had a great time. Was an amazingly well-behaved very young dog, as she always seems to be....even though I'm always worried she won't be.

Being the overanalytical type that I am, though, I started considering whether or not this lesson applied to other sections of my life. Like, say, fatherhood and my fears about how badly I'll do thereabouts. I've always worried that due to the highly unusual nature of my own parental upbringing that I'd be ten kinds of weird at it myself. That I'd do something hideous and scar the child forever without intending to, or deeply anger Amy, or something else soul-scarring. I dunno. Maybe a little more optimism goes a long way.

Maybe I'll "man up" and not freak out or pass out on delivery day. I always did well under stress before now, I guess.

Maybe I'll be the kind of dad I want to be, supportive, understanding, firm, fair, fun - I mean, I don't go postal on my students, right? That's how they describe me.

Maybe Amy will go big with the Arbonne thing; she's got the skills. Maybe I'll get my book finished this year and get some extra change from that. Maybe the administration thing will work out before my kid's old enough to remember Mom and Dad and the Latchkey Life. Any of those things would work, really. All we need is one.

Despite my fears that I'd somehow become a cheating bastard or a wifebeater, I've apparently done a pretty stellar job at being a husband so far. Maybe I'll continue to not screw that up. God knows why, but Amy STILL seems smitten. (I know, wtf is she thinking, right?)

Maybe I can learn a little something about life from a semi-shy, semi-friendly, twice-abandoned Shepherd/Lab mix who likes to sound like a walrus, and happens to think Amy and I are the best things in the whole darn world.

At least, that's a decent enough message for me to ponder on a perfectly calm, perfectly quiet, perfectly relaxing Sunday afternoon.

Maybe life won't suck after all. Maybe it's worth giving the world a chance to work itself out once in awhile.

Maybe. :)

Friday, September 5, 2008


Hmm. So I'm awake now the next morning and mildly displeased at the "woe is me" tone of the last blog post. Never having written a blog before, I'm not sure if I've just committed a faux pas in posting when clearly very tired and downtrodden or not. Definitely not in that mood now (it's amazing what eight hours of sleep and four hours of Eh. I'll let it stand, I guess. It's nothing untrue, but it definitely had a somewhat untypically-Jesse "glum" to it that I try and avoid.

Must chase down information on administration. Must figure out way to get paid more.

...must go to work.

Thursday, September 4, 2008


I have a lot of "bleh" on my mind at the moment. (Sure hope this isn't the first time you've read my blog, or you'll think I suck. Heh.)

I have a cold. It comes and goes in its symptoms, except for the being dog-tired one. Sleep a solid eight and I'm exhausted by noon. This annoys me.

One of our cats is freaking out and repeatedly crapping and peeing on Amy's beloved old family couch. We're pretty sure we know which one it is, but having to isolate him to confirm it will be a significant hassle. We're not sure if it's because we had a foster cat here for a few days - but he's been gone for five now - or if it's a reaction to what are undoubtedly Amy's rapidly changing pheromones. Either way, it's presenting a pretty serious problem, since for obvious reasons Amy can't go near the defecation herself. It may end up in us being short one cat. This does not amuse anyone.

Money's a tad tight this month. This normally wouldn't phase me in the least, but since I'm trying to figure out how exactly I can work and she can stay home in oh, say, 9 months... this is concerning me for the first time. Trying to be supportive, though, I have to act largely impassive, though I guess she'll just read it here and there goes my attempt at being her rock. Epic fail! \o/

Days like this pass like all others. I know this, and I'm not going to dramaqueen it and bemoan it forever. It is a pretty "bleh" experience, all told.

Dropping pounds before the kid is born - I swear to all that is in any way revered my child will NOT have a fat father - is also very difficult to do with cold/fatigue. This causes me to be annoyed, which probably isn't helping cure things.

Train of thought bleh-blog ended.

Could be worse, right? I could have wasted your time writing about politics.


Tuesday, September 2, 2008

Pregnant Women Have Junk

I've come to a realization this evening, after a day of mulling over...okay, that's not true. I didn't spend much time thinking about it at all. Just kinda came to me.

A lot of stuff gets written about how men should learn what it's like to be a woman during pregnancy. At this early phase, though, I've come to a realization: women - at least at this point - have actually learned, at least in part, what it's like to be a dude. Seriously.

My evidence: have you ever SEEN one of these maternity bra things? Oh. My. Gawd.

Seriously. They're made of cotton. They're huge. Armored. Strapped. Supported. They have little pull-open flaps (in the case of the one I saw, it even has a snap - nifty) and I swear the sewing looks like nothing so much as a guy's briefs. Seeing Amy in one of these this morning, I thought I was looking at a pair of my briefs she'd ripped the bottom out of and stuck her head through. Friggin incredible.

So then it came to me. Women's breasts, okay, they get bigger early in the pregnancy. They become sensitive to touch, and if you accidentally whomp one, it hurts like the blazes....just like a dude's junk. So, for safety and support, they strap them into this massive, sewn-cotton monstrosity... just like many guys do with their junk. The SIZE of the female "junk" is directly proportional to both the notice and the effectiveness of the "junk" - just like the male stuff. Big junk? Everyone notices and gawks, even if you're wearing clothes. Small junk? Everyone clucks their tongues and sighs and lies to you about how it doesn't matter that much anyway.

Call me crazy - and I'm sure you will - but I am now of the belief that women get their one look at what it's like to be a dude early in their pregnancy. Granted, their junk is mounted higher than the dude unit, but I'm not convinced that makes it more or less safe. Any guy will tell you that small children, large pets, furniture and door knobs all pose a threat to the low-slung materials.

Other news: One of our cats has very recently started dumping on the couch. Uber not cool, to be sure, but the cause we don't know. We were fostering a cat, and this dumping (happened twice now) started the day after it left. Wondering if it's a territorial reaction and our cats haven't figured out the enemy has left the building. Also wondering if possibly El Gato Poopado has caught the whiff of pregnant wife, and is trying to mark territory where she sits most often. If so, that's extra annoying, because of the whole "cat feces/toxmosis" thingie, or whatever it's called.

So yeah. Don't expect daily updates, but tonight I had something to say.

Knocked up chicks totally have balls. You heard it here first.

Monday, September 1, 2008

How the hell did I get HERE? (1 week later)

Yeah, so. Amy and I have been married for a year now, and okay, cool, the married thing has worked out really well so far. Amy's been wanting a kid for about a month and change now, and probably due to the biology that overcomes us all, I've started to get less and less leery about the idea. When she started "officially" trying to get things underway, she started taking her temperature and what not. (Which, by the way, is a really STRANGE thing to watch your wife do first thing in the morning.)

I guess that's where the term "in heat" comes from? Females of all races have a body temperature spike when they're ready for the ol' delivery? Neat stuff.

Yeah, so. I figure it takes most couples a buncha months, right? Figure I've got awhile yet before I need to start reading Dad books and what not. Turns out that apparently my equipment works just fine, because the first month she started doing the ol' temperature gauge, whadya know - we have a winnah!

In point of fact, I found out exactly one week ago today. Probably within an hour of this very time, in fact. I say that I found out, because I believed the test she took that night. She didn't find out until the next morning - she insisted the test from the night before was a false positive. (Truth be told, I was partially letting her convince me, for all the good that did.)

So the news became official at around 7:20 AM August 22, and, by the way, I'm a teacher - I had to somehow get it together enough in an hour and a half to face a classroom full of students that I had never even met before. Special bonus: this was the first day of the new school year.


I managed. Told Dakota first, in my usual semi-cryptic way. "Two pink lines," I told him. He didn't get it, just gave me a glassy-eyed stare. Told Cheryl next. "Well HELLO Mr.Potent!" was her response. Cheryl gets a big gold star for "most supportive and reassuring first response." Told a few other people throughout the day. I've since found out that you're actually not supposed to tell people right away, but meh - I've never done things the old fashioned way, and, well, I'm kinda keen on this whole dad thing, so I'm going to shout it from the rooftops and that's that. Random note: Girls tend to jump up and down a lot when you tell them this stuff. Guys tend to heave deep breaths and sigh. Interesting note if you consider it from a purely sexual standpoint, no? Heh, heh, heh.

So far it's a bit surreal. Life hasn't changed much, except that a lot of educating has been going on. Books about pregnancy. Books about pregnancy from the guy's point of view. Actually, that was a really crappy book that I put down after two chapters. It's still here on my desk, and it still annoys me just looking at it. The book basically says, "You are your wife's bitch for nine months. She can and will do ANYTHING and you have to shut up and take it. It's your fault she's in this mess, so suck it up and bend over!" Guy on the back cover is this little pencilneck twirp who looks like he got beat down repeatedly in highschool and college, and probably gets beat down by his wife regularly. She probably told him to write it, too. His kid's in the picture.

Kid looks like he's got a lot of beat downs ahead of him.

I don't buy it. I figure Amy's reasonable, and when she's not, I'm used to it and I'm reasonable, so we'll manage. I'm not going to be her bitch, and I don't think she would want me to be. I figure my life goes on, so does hers, we work together and we add one more life to the mix before too long.

So yeah. Gonna try to update this semi-often, maybe twice, thrice a week if I have anything to say. Dad-hood incoming in nine months.... in nine months, I'm repeatedly and often told that my life as I know it is over. We'll see.

Nine months to live, baby. Enjoy the ride.

Interesting thing about pregnancy I learned today:
Apparently women can have a "discharge" for several weeks after the kid is born, and it looks like something from a murder scene.

In the words of Rhonda: "Ew."

MT out.

And So It Begins

Okay, so I'm going to give this dad-blogging thing a shot. There are several reasons for this:

- It serves as an interesting voyeurist experience for those friends of mine who may yet travel down this dark, dark road. (Heh.)

- Who knows, maybe I might even make a book out of this at some point. Heh!

- Might be worth examining my own reflections as the process goes on.

- I'm curious about blogging.

The ground rules for this blog, which no one else is allowed to violate, but I can violate any time I damn well feel like it:

- Language may be variable. I don't usually swear. I might without warning.
- Names will be first-name only. You know me, you might get named. Don't like it, don't read it.
- I write these without a flying flipping damn about who reads it. It's my side of the story, not yours or anyone else's. It will probably be unfair and obviously be biased. Deal with it and move on.

Right. Having said all that, I'll post this one and then figure out what I'm going to say.