SIDS….
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SIDS….

 

I have read and am concerned with SIDS, especially since I have just had a newborn.  Any recommendations of preventative measures against this issue, called SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome)???

Colby’s First X-Mas
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Colby’s First X-Mas!

Colby has another milestone coming up! It will be his very first Christmas, and I can not be more excited!  I want to buy him everything and get him all he could ever need and want, and he is only going to be about 4 months old!  Ha!  Now, I do realize that he is so very young, and he will not remember this event, only in pictures and such.  But, I do believe in my heart, that I am starting a foundation or the idea of Christmas in my eyes, and how I would like it to be.  I believe that I am instilling or starting the culture, values, and traditions of years to come. 

It begins by putting up the decorations around Thanksgiving time, which include decorating the front yard with several decorations, lights, and putting up the tree.  Then it’s on to watching the Christmas events on television, such as the Macy’s Thanksgiving Day parade, reading Christmas Stories, tuning into Christmas shows and watching Christmas movies that continue throughout the month of December.  These include, but are not limited to:  Santa Claus is coming to town, Rudolph the Red Nose Reindeer, Frosty the Snowman, How the Grinch Stole Christmas, Charlie Brown’s Christmas, and several more! 

Next is the annual Christmas Party with my wife’s family usually about a week or so before Christmas day.  After that, it’s the start of Christmas break, where both my wife and I have two weeks off for the winter holidays each year.  At some point during this month, I’d also like to start the tradition of driving around the town, looking at Christmas decorations and lights with Colby.  (This will most likely begin next Christmas, as he is still in an infant car seat and not able to really see the lights.) 

Next is the annual Christmas Eve party at my parents’ home with my entire family.  (And of course, there is usually this little movie on called “A Christmas Story”, perhaps you’ve heard of it? And it plays for 24 hours straight from Christmas Eve, through Christmas day, and I find myself compelled to watch it at some point during this time.)  And finally, comes Christmas day!  Yay!  In the past, I would open gifts at my house, with just my wife and I, which seemed to pass quickly, and then it was off to both of our parents’ homes where we would spend some of our day.  This has been the ritual or routine for the past several years. 

But, as I have been thinking about it, and remembering how fun it was for me to just open gifts as a child from Santa and be able to stay at my home and play with them all day, I realize that this is something that I am also going to want for Colby.  I believe that probably starting next year, we will have to figure out a way to corporate all of these things into our day, but not race out of my home so fast, as I’m going to want Colby to be able to stay and enjoy Christmas at my home for the mornings.  I believe that we are going to have to start by spending our day here, for more time than I would in the past, and either have the parents (Colby’s grandparents) come our way if possible, or go and visit them later in the day.  This is something that I treasured as a child as my parents were able to give this to me, these wonderful Christmas mornings and days of playing with my toys from Santa.  And I want very much to be able to give this time to my son Colby as well. colby 834a

And of course, starting the tradition of having fun with Colby taking silly pictures! haha…

Colby: Officially 3 Months!
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Colby:  Officially 3 Months!

Colby has now reached a milestone…  three months of life! Yes, today marks his official three month birthday!  Today, being December 2nd, and him being born on September 2nd, 2009.  What a wonderful feeling.  We, his mother and I, have survived the first three months of his life, and I can proudly suggest that we have done a great job thus far.  He is a healthy, full of life, baby boy! 

He is looking older more and more each and every day.  From the moment he was born, to the day that we brought him home, and now—3 months later. He has developed and even changed, from his growth to his physically appearance.  He was lucky, as he has still not lost his hair.  I have heard that babies can sometimes loose their hair after birth.  This kid of mine seems to have gained more, and probably will soon pass me in the hair length department.  His eyes are really starting to come along, taking a genuine gorgeous blue color, well, gorgeous in my opinion that is.  In the beginning, his eyes were light and blue-ish, but they really are taking on the blue color now.    

With every milestone, I am learning that it excites me to no end.  Like when he started to learn to smile.  Now, he regularly smiles, and when he does, it is the best part of my day!  I love when he smiles at me.  He is now starting to learn to laugh, or giggle.  He has grown so much from the beginning, and I am quickly learning how fast time is flying.  While these three months have been challenging, they also are becoming the best three months of my life, thanks to his life!  Thank you Colby, for lighting up my days!

COLBY 747COLBY 752

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Thankful for the little things
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It’s a rainy, overcast day. The time is five o’clock; rush hour; cold and unusually dark. It looks and feels like nine o’clock. Small drops still mist onto the windshield, forcing the need to squint through wipers at the red glow of the holiday congestion. Those not coming home from work, drive to a destination for tomorrow—Thanksgiving. The weather is colder than it has been, closing in on the forties; the average being twenty degrees warmer. But it’s always cold come Thanksgiving; from shorts and t-shirts, to pants and jackets; overnight.

The ride home reminds me that, although I have a new family to spend the holiday with, my divorce arrangements leave me without my son . . . every Thanksgiving.

Home at last, the walk up the sidewalk and to the stairs of my condo are marred by overzealous lights decorating the neighbor’s house across the street: dancing icicles along the roof, a wall of bulbs across the garage, glaring lines beside the landscaping, and a twenty foot tree from more conspicuous strands. All but the icicles pulse to the Christmas music blaring from his yard. This spectacle—on display for the past week—continues for another month and screams each night until just after eleven o’clock.

It’s all just another reminder that this time for family is fleeting. A mere blink in the moments we have together; or, in the case of my son, apart. I try to stretch out the time with family and the time to be thankful. I fight off decorating for the next holiday until the current one has passed. But even I’ve succumbed this year.

The jostling of my key in the door causes it to open from my fiancé, eager to greet me. As we hug I see the tree I bought and that we decorated with my son. My compromise to create tradition for a time I normally don’t have him—our family tradition to decorate the day after Thanksgiving.

But this year looks to hold more promise. I jumped the gun with our tree, because improved communication between his mother and I has allowed us to hold true to that tradition. We have him the day after Thanks giving. And as luck would have it, my parents have a tree void of ornaments. It may seem silly or trivial, but I have much to be thankful for. Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

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A glimpse into the other half
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An interesting thing occurred today. I had a bit of an epiphany—a glimpse into how the other half may live. And by other half, I mean my previous wife. I can’t take full credit for it. I was lead there by my future wife. That’s right; I’m engaged now, and planning to marry early next year. I tend to stay guarded about these aspects of my personal life, so this may come as a surprise for some. I’m about to head off on a tangent though, so I’ll have to write about my engagement another time… for now, back to my epiphany.

Being divorced with a child means shared custody. Two households, two different parents, being raised two different ways. Those who may have read previous posts might realize that communication is the key in a circumstance such as this. But it doesn’t always mean there is a united front. Let’s be real, there are two households for a reason.

Of course, there is history, and in many cases harbored animosity (I’m sure I’m alone here *wink*). So that distance allows for misinterpretation. I know I love to speculate how things may be with his mother and her household, especially when I can allow for it to explain the new behavior in my 2 ½ year old. I’d mention this new behavior to his mother and hear her describe how she tries to counteract it, dismayed as it mirrors my own actions. She can’t be doing it right, I tell myself, Certainly she’s done something that caused or warrants this new behavior.

And that’s when my future wife brought something to my attention—the epiphany. I was drained, having just dropped off my son. The last several hours of our time together had been very trying. As we drove home, I pointed out to her how he was acting once he knew we were taking him to his other home. And she simply said, “I’m sure his mom has difficulty disciplining him when he comes home from our house.”

Then it hit me… He is difficult for me during the transitions. But as they get closer, I always receive calls from his mom where he’s been acting up. It was like the curtains were momentarily pulled back so I could actually see into this other household. She does experience the same thing we do. As I marinated in this thought, another one hit me just as hard. These different new behaviors he exhibits as he gets older are just that, new things he’s learning and tries; new to me and new to his mom.

Perhaps this seems simple and obvious, but for many parents in separate households, it becomes easy to blame the other parent for your child’s behavior. It’s important to remember your child is a person too. Look at how to guide your child appropriately and seek the help of the other parent. Remember, they’re seeing this too, and while you may think it came from their house, they may be thinking it came from yours.

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