Known Johnson

September 18, 2005

Slash and burn

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 12:54 pm

Being on a budget, due not only to being, for a few months, a one-income household but also due to new and seemingly random costs associated with a baby, I’ve taken it upon myself to seriously re-evaluate my obsession: my CD collection.

I am not a “collector” in the typical sense. I don’t search only for hard-to-find titles or pressings, though the hard-to-find stuff is nice to run into. I’m more interested in simply finding new music. And if I find something new I like, I generally tend to move through an artist’s catalog fairly quickly – strike while the iron is hot, as they say. After a while, I generally find that only a few entries in most artists’ catalogs are really essential, a few more are close to essential, and the rest essentially go ignored – but for whatever reason, I’m loathe to part with those titles I don’t listen to. It’s not that I dislike all of that music – I simply don’t find a need to listen to those albums. With a couple thousand CDs to listen to, I have plenty of other great albums that I’d rather listen to than the so-so releases by most bands. There are, of course, exceptions – there are Rush albums that I may listen to once every few years (the self-titled first album, anyone?) but I’d have to be scraping for sandwich money to get rid of it. Unfortunately, due to my “collector” nature, there’s just a lot of CDs in this collection that aren’t absolutely necessary, and since there are plenty of new albums coming out in the next few months, and because I am trying to be a good father and simply can’t live with the guilt of buying CDs over, say, baby clothes and toys, it’s time to part with a good number of these.

I have a new tactic for this Great Purge, however, one that I’m having to swallow my pride and grudgingly go with: in order to stave off fits of re-buying things simply to hear them one time, I’m ripping everything I trade in, unless I deem it pure drivel, to my brand new 250gb hard drive. “For posterity,” possibly. “To save my sanity” and “to save my budget” is more fitting. But if I can’t remember the last time I listened to, say, Metallica’s self-titled black album, it’s got to go. And I can’t – all I remember was succumbing to a great desire to hear it, buying it used on for a small amount of money, and a great struggle ensuing because the seller had the gall to sell me a friggin’ CDR copy, complete with photocopied cover art. I eventually got my money back and the guilty party found it in himself to send me the real deal. Then I listened to it, and then I put it away. I haven’t listened to it more than a couple times since then – if that. When was this? July 21, 1999, according to my feedback left for the seller on 1999 – SIX years ago. It’s probably safe to say that it’s time for that to go. But I’m keeping mp3s of it, not because it’s essential, but because I might say to myself, at any time, “Damn, I need to hear ‘Of Wolf and Man.'” Because those are the urges that drive me to re-buy.

My criteria for this is simple: if I lost everything on this hard drive, what would I desperately need to have copies of to suit my needs? Whatever I come up with is what definitely, unquestionably stays. The rest are up for debate, with my initial feelings leaning toward purging them. I’ll carefully consider the problems associated with getting rid of some of this stuff – is it rare? If so, it probably stays. I also have to carefully think about whether something has simply fallen out of favor with me right now – because that does happen quite often. And what goes back goes back in order to fund new finds – because I can’t see my interest in hearing new music diminishing just because I’m getting older.

This is a big shift for me – for years I stood behind my stance that mp3s were the end of music as we know it. And I’m right – the future is digital, regardless of how some people feel about it. We likely won’t be buying CDs within 10 years time – we’ll be downloading, or streaming, or something along those lines. That makes me sad, I have to admit. But it simply makes sense. The Ipod really changed my views on things – having 35gb of music available to me pretty much at any time really made me see how unwieldy CDs. I’m going to miss liner notes, however, and intriguing packaging. Unfortunately, as time has progressed, I see fewer and fewer examples of that anymore anyway. But, for me, this decision is purely economical and efficient – I have neither the money to buy everything I want to check out nor the space to store it all. I’ll still buy – but those things may wind up back in the store, used, if I find they don’t absolutely thrill me.

I can hear some of you right now, wondering why I simply don’t resort to P2P networks to find these things. It’s simply because I have to know that at least I have done something to put some money in the pockets of the artists. Regardless of the fact that I’m turning around and selling those copies (at about a third of what I paid, generally) I still actually put my money into the artist. I guess you could say that’s little consolation for the artist when someone buys my copy used, but at least they received some money at some point from me. My purchases may be via trade credit, but at least I’m doing something.


Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:45 am

There’ve been some great releases the past couple weeks that I’ve been ignoring the Lull (for a good reason!) Here are a one of the most notable ones (more to come later):

Paul McCartney: Chaos and Creation in the Backyard – If you’re like me, you have found most of the post-Beatles albums by the ex-members to be pretty spotty in general, with a few gems sprinkled throughout. I still maintain that George’s All Things Must Pass (his first post-Beatless solo album) is without a doubt the best of the lot, followed pretty closely by his last solo album, Brainwashed, but Paul’s got a huge solo discography that is liberally peppered with great songs – just not great albums. Paul’s been working on that, lately, however, and I think he finally took care of it with this, his latest. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is not only the best album he’s done in decades, it’s also his most Beatles-like, and that’s a good thing.

The album is filled with catchy, thoughtful songs that don’t attempt to keep McCartney in tune with the times, as was the mistake that 2001’s Driving Rain made all too often. Instead, producer Nigel Godrich (the man behind the Radiohead “sound” that everyone wanted to steal in the late 90s) simply put Paul in the studio and said, “Here’s a guitar, a piano, some drums and a bass. Do what you want.” And, aside from a few contributions from outside musicians (Jason Falkner, ex- of Jellyfish and the Grays, two great, sadly overlooked groups in the 90s, and now a solo musician) McCartney handles it all. The result is an album of great songs that don’t feel like they’re self-consciously trying to keep up with the latest trends. What comes through is what you’d expect – McCartney’s great gift for putting together thoughtful lyrics and beautiful melodies. Highlights for me are the “Blackbird”-esque “Jenny Wren” (a follow-up of sorts?) which is followed on the album by the dark “At the Mercy,” which almost sounds as if McCartney had been listening to Mike Keneally‘s album, Wooden Smoke for inspiration.

The album, in general, however, does not sport the usual McCartney pop-happiness. This is a somber, introspective album, the sound of a man looking back at his life, maybe not with regrets, but certainly with some tinges of darkness around the hopeful messages in the lyrics. As often as Driving Rain attempted to ascert that his new wife, Heather Mills, saved him from sadness, it seems clear to me with this album that he’s not gotten over losing his long-time wife Linda to cancer in the late 90s. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard is the melancholy sound of a man knowing he’s lost the best thing he’d ever found in his life . . . and knowing he has far too much to live for beyond that loss.

September 15, 2005

Nipple confusion

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 10:21 pm

Amanda had her first bottle-feeding tonight, in preparation for a night away from mommy and daddy – Saturday, an ASU football game with Alissa’s dad and brother, who have season tickets. The big concern with breast-feeding is that babies may not take to switching between the natural nipple and the decidedly unnatural one on the bottle, but Amanda seems to have handled it just fine. So far. The night is young, and there are several feedings to go before dawn. We’ll see.

I wish I could say some kind of pattern or habit has formed with regards to feeding and sleeping, but alas it’s just too early for such regimented behavior. We have great nights, where Amanda sleeps almost the entire night save for a single feeding, and we have “bad” nights, where she insists on doing absolutely nothing – not eating, not sleeping, and certainly not being quiet. For hours. Unfortunately, on these nights, I have to find some way to sleep – daddy needs to be able to drive both to and from work, nearly one hour each way, entirely awake. I hate to say it, but sleep has beckoned me numerous times this week while deep in moving traffic. This is not a good thing.

The best thing about this first week back at work has been my shifted work schedule. I’ve forced myself to wake up slightly earlier than usual and get myself going much quicker than usual so I can get to work as close to 7 am as possible. I generally have wandered between 7:15 and 7:30, depending on traffic, but that’s okay. I work through lunch, and then I’m generally out about 3:30 or so. This allows me to come home and actually feel like I’ve got some sort of home life. That’s a rather novel concept, it seems. I’ll do what I can to enjoy it while it lasts . . .

September 11, 2005

Unexpected growing experience: Diaper blowout!

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 6:58 pm

I got it from both ends just a bit ago: I picked up Amanda from her bassinette and with a splat, she shot forth a high-velocity milk-laden burp from her mouth, showering her (including her own hair!,) my shirt, my arm, and Alissa’s foot a couple feet away. I then sat down with her, laid her on my lap, and with a muffled but quite loud bang, a gritty mustard-yellow wad of crap went flying out of her diaper in one little area where the diaper happened to have a sizable breach due to an amazing set of coincidences I hope never happen again. And let me tell you, this weird yellow stuff is more like vomit than crap, and it sure does cling to clothing.

The good news: I didn’t freak out, which is what I figured would happen the first time one of these fabled diaper-blowout incidents occured. It was really more of a resigned “damn, that’s a mess” than a freak out. Sorry to disappoint you all.

September 9, 2005

Recommended: Newegg

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 12:00 pm

I just have to take a moment and, yo, give props to the homies at Newegg. Every order I’ve ever placed with them has arrived with lightning speed. It’s truly amazing. Not only that, but their prices blow away any local stores you may have as an option.

This week I ordered up nearly everything needed to assemble a brand new, super-fast computer for my dad. I placed this order using their standard Fedex 3-day shipping Monday night – a holiday. By Tuesday afternoon I had tracking numbers for two of the three shipments of components, the third coming a short while later. The first two shipments arrived Wednesday – one full day after having shipped out. The other will be arriving today (it comes from New Jersey, but still . . . ) Of course, I somehow managed to completely forget to buy a heatsink for the AMD Sempron processor I ordered, so it’s off to Fry’s Electronics today to pick one up.

For myself, I ordered a fan-cooled external hard-drive enclosure that connects via USB port last night, as I purchased a dirt-cheap 250gb hard drive from CompUSA last weekend on a special sale – $80! Why do I need this? Because the hard drive that currently houses some 17,894 songs ripped from 1584 albums of my CD collection is rapidly filling up – and I have a LOT more CDs to go. It’s kind of frightening to commit this much time and all those songs to something that can so easily die, but I’ve only had one really bad experience with a hard drive, and that was the death of one last summer that had seen a lot of use over many years with very infrequent defragmenting (a big no-no, admittedly.) Even though I’ve built a handful of computers, I somehow had never learned that you can only have two hard drives in a standard computer. I have three – the drive Windows is housed on along with various files, a second with my mp3s, and now this new drive. I want to keep all of them, even though Itunes cannot make use of a music library spread over multiple harddrives. (Why, I can’t imagine – couldn’t they just have designed it to work this way?!) Unfortunately, for whatever reason, whoever it is that’s responsible for saying what computers can and can’t do decided that no one would ever want to have more than two hard drives. So I’m forced to go external, but it’s kind of cool – I’ll be able to remove that drive and take it to anyone who might want to grab something off of it, rather than relying upon convoluted means by which to get songs off my Ipod and onto their computers.

So if you ever need computer parts and can wait three days, buy from Newegg. And no, I’m not being compensated for this endorsement.

September 8, 2005

Sleep for the weary

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 9:05 pm


But not for me. The bloody nose I noted here turned into a full-on sinus infection while we were at the hospital, and for whatever reason my body couldn’t expel it. Now, nearly two weeks later, after having gone to the doctor this afternoon, I have bronchitis from it, for which he prescribed an antibiotic called Levaquin. I popped my one-a-day at dinner tonight. It’s now 2 am, and I haven’t slept a wink. I thought maybe I was just suffering from an overactive mind tonight, but when Amanda woke up for feeding a bit ago, I realized how strange this is – I’ve been exhausted all week, why not tonight?

For the past few hours, I’ve laid in bed unable to shut my brain off. Thoughts just go round and round in my head, almost obsessively. I got so wound up in thinking about taking the garbage out that when Amanda woke up, that was the first thing I did after changing her. Then I sat down here and looked up “Levaquin sleepless” and here’s what I found, among other things. Sleepless, restless, anxious . . . yep, that’s me tonight. Wonderful! So I’m not sure what’s better – horrible coughing fits that leave me doubled over in pain, or never sleeping again. “Poison was the cure,” for sure.

Birth day

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 7:32 pm

(So I’m a week and a half late with my report of Amanda’s birth.)

The hours leading up to the time we were to leave for the hospital for Alissa’s induction were probably the most uncomfortable hours I’ve ever spent. I didn’t know what to do – I walked around, cleaned things, put things away, cleaned some more . . . I really had no idea how to fill the time so I wouldn’t spend it simply thinking and figuring out the worst things that could possibly happen. I did anyway – there were still some spare moments in between cleaning this and organizing that.

As 10pm approached, the time the hospital said to call and see if they had a room open for us, I took a shower, figuring there was no telling when my next one would be – maybe tomorrow, maybe the next day. Alissa yelled to me over the shower that we were on, and then the nerves really began. Twenty minutes later, after calling both of our parents to let them know, we nervously struggled out the door with suitcase, pillows, and a bundle of cameras in tow. It felt strange knowing this was the last time we’d each be one of two people in this house. We each said goodbye to the cats as if we were going on a long vacation.

Amazingly, after all of the times we’ve been at the hospital filling out various forms twice a week for a month, and after Alissa had already sent in a bunch of forms she filled out at home, we still spent a good 20 minutes filling out more forms. It was hard enough just being nervous – I can’t imagine how difficult this would have been had Alissa actually been in labor.

Eventually we made our way upstairs to labor & delivery where a nurse lead us into a small room with a gurney and a chair and all the other assorted hospital-related paraphernalia. Alissa was hooked up to the fetal heartrate monitor, doppler unit, and a blood-oxygen measuring device that attached to her finger, and, after some explanation of what was to go on, the nurse applied the first of three applications of prostaglandin gel. And then we sat – the gel needed an hour to work on its own, after which we’d have to get up and walk around the hospital. And let me tell you – hospitals look really large on the outside, but once inside, with all the off-limits areas and rooms, you’re left with only a few corridors to walk through. When you’re told to walk for as close to an hour as possible, you traverse those corridors pretty quickly. We would do this three times. Luckily, by the third application at 4:30 am, things were moving along pretty well and Alissa was just too tired to walk too far. That was then we were moved into our labor/delivery/recovery (LDR) room. There would be no more walking, thankfully.

This was a much more spacious room, about double the size of the previous room. One wall, against which Alissa’s gurney was located, was painted a pale blue, and had a few small oak cabinets attached around it hiding various medical equipment inside. The other end of the room was much more hospital-like – sharps containers, baby warmer, non-descript trays, etc. We were going to be spending a lot of time in this room and I became very familiar with it. The chair I occupied wasn’t quite comfortable as a chair, but I quickly discovered that the lower part of it slid forward. I figured it was just a footrest, but the nurse showed me that the chair actually unfolded further into a bed – something I would desperately want to use, but nerves were unlikely to let me truly enjoy.

You become strangely used to sounds that were so exhilerating earlier in the pregnancy. After hours spent on the fetal heartrate monitor, filling the room with the fuzzy thub-dub of the baby’s heart, the sound simply became background noise. When I made myself aware of it, it was still amazing, but it didn’t enthrall immediately after a while – there were only brief moments of “That’s my baby!” Perhaps the knowledge that any time now we’d see that baby overshadowed the simplicity of the sound of a heartbeat.

Somewhere around 7am, the nurse came in and said that Alissa’s doctor had decided it was time to kick things into a higher gear and had ordered Pitocin in an IV drip for her. Pitocin is a man-made version of the body’s oxytocin, which causes the uterus to contract and, obviously, bring on labor. I had worried about this – having read a lot about induction in the days running up to that day, I knew that some women didn’t react well to it, or that it sometimes brought on a fast, heavy, extremely painful labor. But Alissa was okay with it, and it seemed the right thing to do at the time – who am I to second guess the doctor?

They started her off slowly, ramping up the amount of Pitocin in her drip over a couple of hours. After a short while it became pretty clear that labor was underway – Alissa began breathing, almost automatically, as the instructors in our labor classes had advised. In through the nose, hold it, slowly out through the mouth. And this is how it went for several hour s – very calm, quiet, almost unreal actually, as if this wasn’t really happening.

Somewhere around 11 am, Alissa’s doctor arrived and, after an uncomfortable moment checking her dilation which caused Alissa to yelp a little in pain for the first time that day, she decided it was time to break her water. The nurse produced a long, thin package inside of which was a narrow stick, at the end of which I knew was a tiny hook. This was snaked up into her uterus and pulled back, breaking the amniotic sac – and sending Alissa to the heights of pain instantaneously. I have never heard Alissa cry like I heard her cry over the next twenty minutes or so, and I don’t ever want to hear that again. I can only imagine the pain she was in, but it sounded excruciating. When the nurse asked if she wanted any pain medication, something she’d wanted to avoid, she could only nod as she sobbed. When the nurse mentioned getting an epidural, Alissa quickly seized on that – “Epidural, yes, YES! NOW!” Alissa had wanted to avoid an epidural if at all possible, but as she said several times, “I never imagined it would hurt this bad!”

Epidurals are kind of frightening sounding – a needle, a BIG needle, punctures the woman’s back at a certain point, deep down near the spinal cord, and a catheter is place right next to the cord. Drugs are pumped into the cavity between the cord and the vertebrae which causes everything from that point down to become numb. Done right, the pain of childbirth goes away within a shortwhile without making mom-to-be drowsy or drugged feeling in the least bit. Done wrong . . . well, it’s bad. Luckily, Alissa’s anesthetist, a Christian-Slater look-a-like, showed off his expertise, and had Alissa numbed from the waist down quickly. And by quickly I mean relatively quickly – he repeatedly reminded Alissa that it would take three full contractions before the effects would be noticeable, then one more where the pain was lessened, before the pain would be gone altogether. But when those four contractions were over, Alissa simple rolled over to her side, closed her eyes, and slowly fell asleep. And the epidural was all Alissa needed – she never felt any pain after the epidural took effect, allowing her to be clear-headed through it all.

Moms-to-be reading this: get the epidural. Alissa was frightened to death of this procedure but she now stands fully behind it. It allowed her to rest while managing to keep her fully aware and awake. Wouldn’t you rather actually enjoy your childbirth than spend it screaming and crying?

My parents arrived at the hospital shortly after this, and after checking with Alissa, I ran downstairs with them to the cafeteria to get some food. I felt more than a little guilty, as Alissa hadn’t been able to eat since checking in the night before, but I was keeping what the instructors had said in mind: I need to be strong enough to help Alissa through labor, and if I pass out from not eating for nearly 20 hours, I’m absolutely no good for anyone and just make a bigger mess, not to mention missing the birth of my baby. Dads-to-be reading this: eat something real when you get a chance – you’re going to need the energy. Moms-to-be reading this: let dad-to-be go eat.

I scarfed a so-so burger and fries down and got back upstairs in less than 15 minutes. When I arrived, I found the nurse at Alissa’s side, who said that we were just waiting for her doctor to arrive to begin pushing. Pushing? What? In fifteen minutes things had changed so rapidly that we were just a short while from seeing our baby?! I had envisioned hours and hours of this after her water was broken – not 90 minutes. In my mind, I had figured it would be late Monday night when our baby would be born – not the middle of the afternoon. Not that I was complaining . . . I was just taken aback. That was when I picked up my cellphone and called Alissa’s mom, urging her to head on down right now.

Shortly after that, Alissa’s nurse said it was time to start pushing, and I grabbed one of Alissa’s legs while a nursing student grabbed her other leg – she couldn’t feel them, so we’d need to help hold them open enough. It was only a short while later that her nurse told her to hold off on pushing, as the head was appearing and we needed to wait for the doctor – she said a few times that she simply could not deliver the baby.

It wasn’t too long before the doctor arrived, a peppy, smiling woman who burst into the room with a “Hello! Looks like we’re ready to have a baby!” The doctor warned that we had anywhere from 15 minutes to several hours ahead of us, and got her under way. To be honest, after this, it’s all a bit of a blur. Alissa pushed, big pushes, but it didn’t seem like all that many of them. She even agreed to one thing she’d said she didn’t want – a mirror to watch the progress, and I managed to do what I didn’t think I’d possibly be able to do: I looked down as the doctor said that the head was appearing. Alissa would push and there it was – at first a small quarter-sized circle of skin and wet hair, then it just grew larger and larger. Alissa pushed and, later, the doctor pulled, and eventually the head emerged in a surprisingly short amount of time. In a flash the baby was out, the baby was squawking and flailing – the baby was a girl!

“What’s her name?” the doctor asked as she thrust her, squirming, onto Alissa’s belly. Alissa looked to me, ensuring that we were both certain about the name, and I said, “go ahead,” and Alissa said, “Amanda Grace.” A moment later I was called back to reality by the doctor who offered some scissors to me, “Cut the cord, dad!” I was surprised how thick and strong it was, but with a little strength, it gave way. Amanda was on her own, and whisked away moments later to the baby warmer where nurses would examine her, clean her, weigh her, and get her wrapped up in something warm.

What’s amazing about all of this is that, once in the hospital, we were in our own enclosed world. While Alissa was in labor, hurricane Katrina ravaged the gulf-coast states, and we were blissfully unaware of the severity of the damage for a couple of days – really, until we got home two days later and could unwind. Even after we were moved to our own private room, the news just couldn’t seep through – we were so wrapped up in starting life with Amanda that nothing could seem negative. Feeding, eating, sleeping, and learning what we could about keeping baby satisfied – that was our world. It was as if we were on a very tiring vacation in the world’s most expensive but least luxuriant hotel room.

For months before the birth, I’d been advised by friends and coworkers who’ve already been through this that all the stress, worry, and scariness of it all melts away – when it’s your own baby for which you’re going through all this. They couldn’t have been more right.

September 7, 2005

Dream police

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 2:18 am

The sleep fairy came and dropped some heavy sleep aid into each of our eyes, allowing all three of us to sleep from about 10 pm until now, 2:15 am. I thank the sleep fairy for that – if, for some unfortunate reason, Amanda can’t get back to sleep after feeding now, I’m still actually quite refreshed. I’d like to be more refreshed, but this will do if it need be.

Just before Amanda woke us up with her hunger, I dreamt of a child playing with a happy puppy. The dream was interrupted before I knew what was to come of it, but I’m pretty sure any dream involving anything so light and meaninglessly positive is bound to devolve into something frightening, so it’s probably best that things ended where they did.

September 6, 2005

Possible futures

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 6:23 pm

I have decided that if Amanda decides not to sleep again tonight that I will go on a rampage. Things I will do include:

  1. Yelling out the front door
  2. Breaking stuff
  3. Kicking puppies
    1. No, wait, I take that back, I can’t kick a puppy
      1. Kicking . . . crickets
  4. Peeing on stuff

You know all that advice that people give about raising babies? About how to get them to behave and all that? It’s crap. Okay, let me qualify that . . . yes, each suggestion works for someone but that someone is not necessarily going to be you. There must be a million suggestions that you’ll see huge swaths of people swearing by to keep their child at bay, but the flip side are the millions of other people for whom that didn’t work, who are just too tired from lack of sleep to make any comments. We have heard, over the past week, an uncountable number of suggestions, and I’m not saying that suggestions aren’t welcome, it’s just that people seem to be dead-set that their suggestion is the one. Just like people need different punishments to get through to them the gravity of their crimes, babies need different behavioral techniques. Take, for example, the suggestion of taking the baby for a drive to calm her nerves. It works! The only problem is that once we get home, we then have to take the barely sleeping baby from the car into the house, which offers two options: take her out of the seat and then inside, or take the seat out of the car and then inside where we remove her from the seat. Both have their downsides – either way, she might wake up as I snake the 5-point harness and buckles from around her limbs, or she might awaken merely by the jerk of the carseat as it’s unlatched from the base. These solutions may not even work on a night by night basis – she clearly was more affected by the drive one night than on another, where she was completely zonked out and wouldn’t have been awakened if we’d scooted the carseat through the garage with our feet. The other night, she was clearly not impressed by our ruse – she held off dozing off for quite a while and it wasn’t until I’d driven many miles before she closed her eyes for good. But she had us fooled – the second I picked her up to place her in her bassinette she was wide awake and squeaking her dissatisfaction.

And this is why I’m hesitant to invest in any of these sure-thing baby-behavior books, one of which the doctor we saw at the ER suggested last night. “Get her on a schedule! Feeding every two hours! Wake her up, feed her!” Okay, but that completely goes against what we were told at the hospital last week – that the baby has her own schedule and that we need to adjust to it (which makes sense to me – here’s a person who possesses no means by which to communicate except through crying. She’s not going to understand the logic of a schedule.) Here’s the thing none of these people ever want to address: okay, so let’s say we did get her up every two hours. How do we get her to eat? You can’t just force the baby’s mouth onto a nipple and will her to be hungry. I guess, if you’re weird enough, you could probably have daddy hold the baby’s mouth open and mom carefully aims a squirting nipple into the gaping maw, but I’m guessing that, in the real world, this just isn’t a very likely solution. The phone lines are open – how do you get an unhungry baby to eat?

The upside

Filed under: Uncategorized — Tom @ 11:56 am

I realize that, because I haven’t had much of a chance to post lately, the events of the last day look particularly negative, and that’s not how the past week has been in general. Stressful, to be sure, and confusing without a doubt, but I can firmly say that the best days of my life have been in the last 7 and a half days since Amanda came into our lives.

There’s no better feeling than picking up your squirmy baby, laying her on your chest, and having her fall sound asleep as you gently rub her back, where she stays unmoving for hours until she’s hungry again. And there’s nothing more entertaining than peering into your baby’s bassinette, as she’s drifting off to sleep or slowly waking up, to watch the multitude of facial expressions that will flash across her face, as if she’s trying on every expression she will ever need in her life.

And even though experts say babies don’t really “smile” in response to anything at this age, it’s impossible not to feel a little jump in your heart when one of those many expressions is a big beautiful smile that happens to coincide with something you’ve just said or done. Believe me – all of these “little” things make up for each frustrating night, and they make waking up the next day, completely drained and exhausted, entirely worthwhile just so you can see them again. And it may be a reflex, but when your newborn firmly and strongly grips the finger you placed in her palm, it feels like so much more.

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