Monday, July 25, 2011

How Uncomfortable Can It Be To Be A Baby?

So, I wake up this morning at a quarter to six to take my dogs for a walk... my dogs are awesome and like to bark at me this early in the morning running the risk of waking up Zoey as well at this ungodly hour... quarter to six is actually decent for them, usually it's five. I stumble through suburbia still half a sleep walking with about one third of my vision cursing my dogs the whole time only to get back inside walk back upstairs to my bed to see Zoey sprawled across my side of the bed horizontally... Hence why I'm writing this blog at six in the morning.

So, I sit on the edge of the bed and ponder if I should just give in, not try to grab twenty minutes more of sleep and just get up when I realized that Zoey must be the worst sleeper ever.

I watched her twist and turn about twenty times while I sat on the edge of the bed for about a minute.


I watched her go from horizontally spread out in a star to vertical into a ball and it took her about a thousands moves to get there.

Who the hell sleeps like that? Did we all sleep like that as babies?

I'm sure as hell glad it stopped if we did. Could you imagine?

If my wife slept like that, I don't think Zoey would exist. It's stupid, how uncomfortable can a baby be? The strangest part is she is always moving up until she is banging her head on the head board and then she stops and gets comfy. REALLY? That's the point that you get comfortable after smashing your head in to wood?

Babies are weird or maybe it's just Zoey.

Just so you know Zoey, you don't have to sleep in my bed if it's so uncomfortable that you need twist and turn and kick and punch me through the night. You have a great baby sized crib that has a pretty great mattress, you should really give it a whirl, you might like it.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Updates from the World of Zo.

So, what has been happening...

The cage is no longer the safe haven it used to be. I remember putting her in side her lovely six sided oasis and making dinner, cleaning up the house or really just whatever needed to be done sans Zoey. Well, that is all in the past.

Zoey has decided that with just enough force and leverage, that her cage makes a perfect walking aid. So, now, I walk into the kitchen to pour myself a coffee and then turn around and Zoey is half was across the room pushing the entire cage. It's not like this is some small area either, this thing is probably about five feet by five feet being dragged across the hardwood. We originally sliced up some foam squares thinking it would create some friction preventing her from moving it... it doesn't.

I have resorted to eating my breakfast leaned up against the cage while watching SportsCentre.

In other news, I have been promoted in parent status. I have successfully put Zoey either to bed in her crib or put her back to sleep at night. Yes, at night, I still haven't managed to get her to sleep in her crib during the day. But, I was the last thing Zoey wanted to see once the night rolled around, however, now, I can put her down relatively quickly. This has inflated my fatherhood ego and I'm rather proud of myself.

There isn't too much else that's been happening except that Zoey is now starting to learn. I sat with her in her cage getting her to throw her balls from over the top of the cage at our dogs, because these are things I like to teach children.

Zoey would grab a ball and climb the wall of her cage and then I would hold her arm and fling it tossing the ball out of the cage. I did this with each ball she had for a total of three times.

Now for the cool part.

So, I get out of her cage and grab the balls and throw them back into the cage and then tell her to get the ball.

I watch the wheels turn in her head as I repeat myself about three of four times and then it happens. She crawls to the opposite side of her cage, gets the ball and climbs up the wall until she is standing.

I'm pretty excited at this point and I'm asking her to throw it over to me. She tries a few times, stretching up but then dropping the ball inside the cage. But, after a few attempts.. She does it. Throwing it towards me.

Now this is like man landing on the moon or anything, but, for me it was awesome to see her learn. To actually process what I was asking and then to do it.

Only three more weeks of this and my goal of having her walking seems like it may not happen. Guess we'll have to wait and see, but, I really don't want the caregiver to be the one to see her first steps.

Saturday, July 9, 2011

Personal Hygiene

I don't know if I'm alone here, but, taking care of Zoey has made it incredibly hard to keep up with keeping myself clean.

I used to be, and still am, quite anal about cleanliness. However, now that I've been taking care of Zoey I find it next to impossible to keep it up.


My dogs have taken to waking me up at 5 AM ever since I've started taking care of Zoey. I don't know why.

Jealousy maybe, or maybe it's just some hope to get some Zoey free time.

So, with that said, I can either shower once they've been out and fed at around 5:30 AM. Of which I have probably gotten about 4-5 hours of sleep due to Zoey coming to our bed at around midnight and proceeding to kick me in the face while sleeping or, if I'm lucky, just the occasional slap. Or I can go back to sleep and wait to be awoken by Zoey and casting aside my shower until my wife returns home and only after Zoey's had her bath... I play a good second fiddle.

Then, there is brushing my teeth.

I am a stickler for brushing my teeth. I really take pride in in my teeth. Teeth are the first thing I notice on a person.

When I meet someone for the first time, I won't recall half of what was talked about, but, I will be able to tell you all about their teeth.

I should've been a dentist.

Originally taking care of Zoey, I just could fit it in. I like to brush my teeth after I've eaten breakfast and had my coffee. By the time I've done that, my wife was gone to work and I was alone with the demon forcing me to fester in my own filth.

Now, I've kinda figured it out. ( I know, this guy can figure out how to play video games with a sleeping baby on him, but can't figure out how to brush his teeth.) Really, it just came down to the fact that I'm terrified to leave Zoey alone.

I imagine that I selfishly go upstairs to brush my teeth, only to hear a crash come from her cage. I rush down the stairs, toothbrush still in my hand and see my daughter impaled on her Ring Toss baby toy.


After a while of feeling disgusting, I knew I had to figure something out. So, I just brought upstairs, barricaded the stairs, barricaded her in her room with the use of a laundry hamper and her toy box and began brushing.

Now that she is more mobile, it only takes her about 20 seconds to break through this barricade and head straight for the washroom.

So, for the next 2-3 minutes, while brushing my teeth, I play goalie with her trying to crawl on to the bathroom floor. Zoey has a tendency to lick floors or at least put her mouth on them, so the thought of her doing that on the bathroom floor makes me want to vomit. So, I simply shuffle back and forth while brushing my teeth.

Thank god, I've figured this technique out. I think I would have gone mad had I not.

She pays the price though. She's the one who has to nap on her B.O. ridden father twice a day.

Has anyone else been hygiene depraved by their baby?

Wednesday, July 6, 2011

I'm still here

For anyone following this, I'm sorry. I haven't posted because I don't feel there is much story to my life in the last 2 weeks.

Really, not much has happened. I have yet to put Zoey to sleep in her crib, I have however mastered playing my Playstation while she sleeps on me. Fathers, master this technique and staying at home with the baby is no longer that bad.

Since getting the baby cage, Zoey has really been a lot easier to take care of. She enjoys being in there and I enjoy putting her in there. It's not as bad as it sounds though, and more often then not, I cram myself in there with her and let her shove her toys in my mouth.

For some reason, Zoey has decided that I should eat all her toys. Whatever she picks up, she shoves in my mouth. I blame her giraffe toy that I previously mentioned. It was her first toy that she really played with and all it entailed was putting balls in the giraffe's mouth and music played... I think she is hoping I sing her a song once she jams her toy down my esophagus.

I've been at this stay at home dad thing for about a month and a half and I've finally found my groove, so, with the lack of drama, I've found it hard to blog and make it entertaining.

It's becoming very monotonous to tell you the truth.

Wake up at 5 am - take the dogs out. Get back in and try to go to sleep. If I'm lucky, Zoey has slept through the night, if not, when I come back, Zoey has stretched out across my side of the bed. In which case I lay down on about 5 inches of bed and try to sleep.

Then Zoey gets up around 6. We play... well, she plays while I try and watch Sports Centre from her cage or if she's up for it, from the couch.

8 o clock, I put her down for a nap. Which, yes, still consists of her using me as her mattress.

Around 10 she wakes up and I feed her, then we take the dogs out. Handling 2 pugs and a stroller isn't as bad as I would like it to be, if it was, it'd have already been an article all to itself.

Then we play some more.

Noon, she goes for a nap. This is usually where I get some play time for myself in. So glad I learnt how to play video games while she sleeps, now, if only I could learn to storyboard.

At around 2 she wakes up and eats.

Then we take the dogs out.

Around 3 ish, we play again. At this point in the day, my enthusiasm is a lot lower. I will sometimes just wheel her out in her high chair to our balcony and see if she's cool with it so I can actually just enjoy the weather.

Then I start to make supper once that is done. This is the hard part. Zoey usually fusses quite a bit around this time and makes it hard for me to make anything. As soon as I leave her cage, she starts to cry. I have resorted to prepping the meal while standing in her pen. Luckily it's close to the counter.

And that's about it.

If that was boring for you to read, imagine doing that every day. It takes it's toll. There are people out there that are probably reading that and thinking: I'd rather to that than work. Not me, I'd rather work. I can't stand not being productive. It is rewarding however when she learns something new.

Now, I know, they learn something new all the time, but, I want something tangible. I usually get rewarded about once a week.

As jaded as this may sound. It's not exactly horrible. It's more me. I work best with a routine and I read somewhere that babies are the same. So, that is why it's so rigid.

But, with this month and a half behind me. I really think that all fathers should do what I've done. It's made me not only closer with Zoey and her with me, but, it really shows you the other side.

It's been pretty great... boring, but, great.

It does make me wonder one thing though. Why do we do this? We spend the first few years slaving after our children, then they become teens and hate us. All I can hope for is that between like 3-10 is some kind of golden lining that I'm not aware of. Either that, or you try to guide them towards lucrative professions so that you can retire early and have them provide for you.

I don't know about you guys, but, I can't wait to be old enough for diapers....


Sunday, June 19, 2011

Zoey is mobile

This week Zoey became fully confident in movement. She used to roll over, squirm around a bit, crawl on occasion within about a 4 foot radius, but now, she's non stop moving.

She is attracted to turning the stereo on and off. Our stereo is strategically placed about 3 inches off the ground. She is also drawn to the CD/DVD shelf which also has shelves starting at about 3 inches off the ground, perfect baby height.

I've resorted to taking the cushion used for our patio set and placing them around the said areas to deter her.  She just knocks them down, pillows are not a good means of defense, I may have to opt to build a moat around any areas that I don't want her to go near.

Also, with this new found love of movement, it requires me to change some of my older habits. For example, putting Zoey in the corner of the couch for brief moments.

How did I learn that this technique no longer works, read on.

So, I'm about to go get some groceries, which I do about 5 times a week because I have no forethought when it comes to what to eat the next day and so on. I just finished feeding Zoey and wanted to run the Roomba while I was gone.  I put Zoey on the ground and our pugs instantly swarm her trying to eat every last crumb off her pants, face and hands. Thinking they may end up biting her by accident, I put her up on the couch.

Watching her the whole way, I walk behind the couch to get the Roomba. The second I bend down out of her sight, all I hear is a dense thud, then screaming.

Awesome, Zoey has crashed on to the ground... way to go, Hanson, you've given your daughter brain damage.

I rush over to her and start comforting her, feeling horrible. As I watched the small goose egg on her head form I felt like I was going to vomit. All I could think was in a few years from now when her teacher takes me aside and tells me that my daughter is a little remedial, it'll be all my fault.

After a few minutes she calmed down and reluctantly I headed out to the grocery store, thinking, if she passes out, at least you're on the road and you can just head to the hospital.

Fearing I've given her some kinda of head trauma and the death of my daughter will be on my shoulders, while driving, I continually shouted her name for a reaction out of her to make sure she is still alive.

At the grocery store, everything seemed fine. She was her normally happy self. I started to forget about the thud of the hardwood floor that echoed through my brain.

As we're leaving, I'm pushing the grocery cart through the parking lot, I'm watching her pretty closely just to monitor her, then, she starts closing her eyes. I know she's not tired, cuz she just went for a nap about 30 minutes ago, I panic.

I start repeating her name over and over again, her eyes still closed. With the increase in my blood pressure, I go right for her eyes and start prying them open while still saying her name.

She's smiles at me, her gap tooth goofy grin, but still won't open her eyes.

Is she fucking with me? A sign of intelligence or not, I am concerned for your life here.

Then, I notice she is kinda looking over me. I turn and look over my shoulder and notice that the sun is blasting her in the face and therefore she can't open her eyes.

I quickly put her in the car and hope that no one saw my breakdown and called child services on me for attempting to pry open the eyes of my baby while yelling her name repeatedly in her face.


On Saturday we picked up a baby octagonal prison. No longer does she have access to the stereo, shelves and dog water and she is ready to commence her UFC training. We went out and got some foam squares and cut them to fit the cage. Up next, some gloves and our first televised fight night. I'm thinking she can spar with the dogs to get ready.

Bring on the baby fights!

Just so you guys are all aware, next Thursday will be the first full day I have with Zoey. The wife has an event after work, so, time to sink or swim with getting her to sleep in her crib, which, I still have yet to successfully do.

Thursday, June 9, 2011

A day without Zoey

Yesterday I got to spend some time without Zoey. After 2 weeks of being on pure baby time, it was almost surreal.

First, I had a meeting to start putting my new short film in motion.

It was great to be able to sit down and enjoy a coffee outside without having to continually look over my shoulder. Zoey has a tendency to be super content up until the point that I start to actually enjoy myself. Then, with the flip of a switch, she becomes restless and wants attention or craps her pants. Usually it's the crapping of the pants. I think the look of relaxation on my face somehow triggers it.

Anyhow, it was awesome to see that this, my potential last short film, may actually be coming into fruition and talking to an adult was nice to. I had to refrain from making faces at him during any lull in conversation out of some strange habit I've taken up when I have no more ways to entertain Zoey.

Then, I visited my work.

It was great to see my co-workers again and really just to be able to socialize with adults. Something I really take for granted, but, the way I felt by the time I got home was great. Nothing against Zoey, I love her, I think I just need to recruit some like minded stay at home dads to talk to through the week to help maintain my sanity.

If I can continue to get this one day, I think it'll really help me along for the 3 months. By the time I did pick up Zoey, I was happy to see her, and prior to picking her up, I even kinda missed her... well I did fully miss her, but, didn't miss the lack of freedom.

I'm learning that balance is the key to all this, like almost everything in life. Now, it's just a matter of figuring it all out.

Starting pre-production this weekend. I look forward to seeing how I juggle that responsibility over the next few weeks while taking care of the Zo. Hopefully we have some nice weather, she seems to relax easier out there, and I can maybe draw a storyboard or two a day...wish me luck.

Saturday, June 4, 2011

A Week in Review - The Week

So.... the week.

Monday opens up as you'd expect it to with a baby with the flu.


Interestingly enough, Zoey pukes, but the resumes going back to playing or whatever it is she's doing like nothing happened.

She's a little bit crankier than normal during the day, but, also more tired, which would be great except.... right.... I still can't get her to sleep in her bed.

I spend most of the day on the couch with a sleeping sweaty baby on me. For some that might be great, watching TV, not working... for me... it's horrible.

I lie on my back thinking staring at the stipple in my ceiling thinking about all the things I could be doing... polishing up a script, fleshing out a new idea, getting some prep done on my short film. But, NO, ceiling for you!

She wakes up, I peel her sweat laden body off me, leaving a baby shape on my T-shirt and take her over to the chair to feed her.

She's not really that hungry and then...


Out the back of her diaper soiling her high chair.

WHAT? Babies have germs?

This day continues to be this pretty much all day.

Tuesday was a bit better, no puking, but, diapers are still horrible. I missed the poos of old.

Then comes Tuesday night.

My wife and I awake to find ourselves horribly, horribly sick. Running back and forth from the bed to the washroom...

WOW! Thanks, this could've all been avoided, but, remember, babies' drool is made from unicorn urine and fairy sweat.

Zoey, still refusing to sleep in her crib, somehow peacefully sleep through this horrid marathon me and her mother are on up and down the hall, but will wake up then second her door creaks when she's put down in her crib??

Wednesday, which was supposed to be a day from me to get work done while Zoey visits with grandma, turns into Grandma taking Zoey so me and wifey can be sick all day and lie around more unproductive than ever and viciously sick to boot.


Thursday was me trying to cope with Zoey while still recovering from this plague brought on by the children of the corn... I hardly remember it... All I remember is the music of Zoey's toy giraffe playing over and over again.

I sat her in front of it and just lied on the floor trying to maintain consciousness while she hit the button over and over again. It is some kind of circus/fair like song that you hear playing while a carney berates you in front of your date making you feel already more awkward than you already are.... or is that just me?

That was Thursday... and Friday... I got nothing done and felt horrible as well... it was great. It was the longest week of my life. I have worked some boring jobs and what not, but, this was seriously the week that wouldn't end.

The only real difference between Friday and Thursday is that I watched "How to Die in Oregon." A great documentary, but, horribly hard to watch and pretty damn sad. So, not only am I sick, but, I'm seeing people much sicker than I am. You'd think I'd start magically feeling better and not so sorry for myself... instead I think I might be dying.

Having a baby is a tough, tough job.

This weekend we hope to get her sleeping back in her crib to maybe maintain our relationship just enough to not be on Zoey time all the time. I really hope we have some success.