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Life

Journey to Jonah

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I now know what it means when people say “it’s been a whirlwind” because that’s how the past three weeks have been. My son’s arrival was both expected and not. We knew he was going to come but when the doctor says “let’s go” you don’t have time to let it all sink in. You have to react and, well, go.

And how did we get here?

Since Claudia was so close to her due date, she had had weekly visits with her doctor. Usually, she goes in, gets checked out, and gets sent home. The week prior though, the doctor tells her that she needs to stop working. The plan was for her to work up until she had Jonah so she wouldn’t use up too much of her maternity leave, but ok, whatever is best for the baby.

I get a call from Claudia towards the end of my work day and she says that the doctor wants to go ahead and induce. She wasn’t due until Saturday but ok, let’s go.

I get to the hospital a little while later and find out that doctor wants to check in on us again at 4:00 AM to see what we’re going to do. The couch I’m on turns into a semi-comfortable bed and we hunker down for the evening.

4:00 AM rolls around and I’m woken up by the doctor saying we need to get moving.

4:35 AM, I’m a dad.

 

Mr. Krab

Wait, what?

 

It was that fast.

The joy that overcame me was like something I’ve never felt before. People told me about it but experiencing it was overwhelming. I was also in a state of disbelief. He was finally here. Now what? How are we going to be as parents? We’re “prepared” in that we have things but are we really prepared? If the past three weeks have been any indication, more than I thought.

While we may not know exactly what to do in every situation, we’re prepared in the sense that we know we’ve got it. My approach to parenting is the same as my approach to pretty much anything in life. I may not know everything going in, but I know I’m going to do my best because that’s what you’re supposed to do.

Don’t get me wrong, it’s not easy. At all. I have an amazing wife who takes the brunt of the responsibility, but she would agree. I think the key is that it is so fulfilling to have the little one in my arms. Yeah, he may not want to go to sleep at 3:00 AM, and he may cry like there’s no tomorrow when we’re changing his diaper.

But it’s worth it.

The day has come

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Today’s post is a short one but the most important one so far.

My firstborn son, Jonah Zechariah made his debut on Wednesday, March 21 at 4:35am.

I don’t know what God has in store for us but I know I will do my best to be the best father I can be to him.

Welcome, son. We’ve been waiting for you.

Holding Pattern

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That’s pretty much where we are now, in a holding pattern, just waiting for our son to come. My wife is due in 8 days and we’re ready to roll.

Bags are packed.

Car seat base installed in both cars.

Stroller ready.

Room ready.

Diapers ready. Oh, the diapers. We probably have close to 1,000 diapers.

Doorbell camera to screen any visitors.

Outdoor security camera to catch any shenanigans going on outside. I already caught one person up to no good.

New f/1.8 35mm lens for my camera to document all of the memories.

Four terabyte hard drive to store all of the high-res photos as well as the high definition video.

He’s due the 24th. My money is on him coming a little bit earlier, on the first day of spring. Spring. Rejuvenation. Rebirth. Everything’s blooming.1

We’re ready, Jonah, and we can’t wait to meet you.

Investing in Others

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My son is only two weeks away. That is pretty unbelievable. Claudia and I are overwhelmed with excitement to meet him. She’s a little bit more excited because she’s so incredibly over being pregnant. She has constant back pain and is tired because he moves during the night and wakes her up.

The good thing is that once he’s born, she’ll finally get the rest she needs. Right? Because he’ll always be asleep? Why would the saying “Sleeps like a baby” exist if that wasn’t true?

Now that we’re so close, it’s easy to see the love we’ve received from others. We are incredibly blessed to have had more than a few baby showers, and the guys even did a diaper bash for me. Again, incredibly thankful.

We were leaving church this past Sunday and as I was putting more gifts that we’ve received in the car when Sue, a lady who lives in the neighborhood, came up to me. Sue has lived near the church for a number of years and has visited us a few times and has quite the story which I may write about at a later time. If you didn’t know who she was, you would think she was homeless, which she might be at times.

Sue comes up to me and asks if we’re the ones who had a baby shower the week before. I reply yes.

“Here. For the baby,” she says as she extends her hand with a crumpled up $5 bill.

I’m loading up my trunk with boxes of diapers and more gifts and Sue is here offering the little money that she has.

“Oh no. I can’t take that. We have more than enough. Thank you, though.”

“You sure? Ok,” she says as she leaves and goes about her business.

Dang it, Sue. Thanks for slapping me in the face with a bible. I know there are several times when I could have been a better Christian to someone in need. And I’m not referring only to people asking for money. I mean someone who might only need a word of encouragement or a show of support. Or maybe just stop to have a conversation and spend some time with them.

This is something that I want to teach my son. We need to invest in others in whichever way we can. But I know that I need to make sure to learn that first.

Clock is Ticking

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Follow up

I wasn’t sure if I wanted to post what I did last week since it’s somewhat political, but I’m glad I did. I got a lot of positive response and quite a bit of traffic to the site1 and most importantly, got DACA on people’s minds. Unfortunately, a proposed bipartisan bill didn’t pass the Senate earlier this week. The only thing that is keeping DACA alive is that the Supreme Court is meeting today to discuss if the self-imposed termination of the original executive order might have violated the Administrative Procedure Act. The clock is ticking.

Some Housekeeping

If you look back at my very first post, I’m a fiddler. Well, it started again this week. I was all set on a new look for my site.2 Worked on it for a little bit, was disappointed, and took it down. But I did end up adding a cool little progress bar at the top of the page so you can see how much of the post you’ve read. Go ahead and scroll. See? Pretty cool. You’re welcome, dear reader.

And Now for Something a Little Lighter

Last Saturday we had our first baby shower and I’m incredibly thankful for all those who helped. It truly meant a lot to the both of us. Thank you for your presence and your presents.3 Now we’re seeing all the little things that are going to help give him character, his clothes, toys, bottles, and diapers.

Oh, the diapers. I can’t wait.4

The baby shower was a nice reminder that he’s coming, practically, any day now. We actually just got news that his due date is moving up 4 days. The clock is ticking. I need to keep watch because I don’t know the day or the hour.5

The only thing I know is that I can’t wait for the world to meet Baby Jonah.

One Second Everyday

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First off, I want to thank everyone for the positive feedback you’ve been sending. I’m just a dude writing what’s on my mind and I’m glad that you’re enjoying it.1

For this post, I’m going to do something a little different. I took on the task of recording something every day to catalog the three months leading up to the birth of our son and then, for rest of the year. I recorded everything on my iPhone using the 1 Second Everyday app.

I’m pretty excited to see how this evolves after he’s born. So for now, here’s this past month.

Wave of Worry

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He’s the size of a bongo drum right now. Neat.

I had a little wave of worry come over me earlier this week.1 We’re about 32 weeks into this thing and of course, you think of all of the joy that comes from your first child, all of the accomplishments that you get to experience with your newly formed family. Learning how to walk, how to read or even hearing him speak Spanish, I can’t wait for all of this. But, well, there’s other stuff too.

I had a meeting at work with a vendor who turns out, just had a baby four months ago. Of course, I let her know we were expecting. She asked if it was our first and I said yes. Her eyes welled up.

She regained her composure and said oh it’s so much fun, you never knew you could love someone so much, the same things all parents say.

Then she talks about the unpleasantness. Like how you fight a lot with your spouse over basically nothing, mostly because of the lack of sleep. How your heart breaks when you leave them with someone else for the first time. How you’re always so incredibly tired.

I’m not going to lie, this took me back a little.

I’ve been so caught up in the joy of what comes with having a child I neglected to think about the other side. But is it really negative? In the grand scheme of things, no. They’re just inconveniences that are going to be overshadowed by the awesomeness of actually having a son.

From time to time my boss likes to talk to me about life. He had his kids later in life, he was actually older than I am when he had his first, and he has a different perspective than a lot of people I’ve spoken with. During one of our conversations, he said something that made an impression on me.

“Yeah, you can have a good career, a nice house, a nice car, a good life. But once you have your first kid, man, that changes things. Now you have a legacy.”

Once I remembered this, my wave of worry was washed away.

A Legacy. My legacy.

I’m Back, Baby

By | Learning, Life | One Comment

The switch flipped.

Last Friday night I had a dream where I saw my son.1 In terms of dreams, it was pretty uneventful, no flying Cheetos or being chased by fire-breathing marbles. We were visiting my parent’s house and my mom was holding him. That’s pretty much it, nothing more. But the feeling I had when I woke up was one of peace and happiness. One of the only other times I had the same feeling was when I knew I wanted to marry Claudia.

The feeling continued through the morning when we went to our first parenting class. We arrived early to the 9:30 AM class 2, anxious to learn about the birthing process. Other excited/anxious-looking couples arrived to the class, probably in the same headspace as us.

At about 9:40 the instructor hadn’t arrived yet, so one of the students went to see what the hold up was. It turned out the person giving the class no longer worked at the hospital. Great. The staff there was trying to find a solution for us. My cynicism kicked in and I told Claudia “How good can it be if it’s last minute?”

Luckily, I was wrong.

What ended up happening was a nurse gave the class and she was incredible. She told us the original instructor, while she knew her stuff, wasn’t a nurse or a doctor. Nurse Liz was able to talk from her everyday experience and answered any question the class would throw at her.

One guy kept asking about the need for using drugs. Realizing he was asking a lot of drug-related questions, he says, “We’re trying to have a natural childbirth.”

“Within reason,” interrupted the wife.

Good luck with that, bro.

We left the class with loads of information and I had a renewed sense of intrigue.

Nine weeks left.

Expand Your Mind

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I love to learn. As far back as I can remember, I’ve had an inquisitive mind.

A specific recollection of me being inquisitive happened when I was around 7 years old. I used to have 1 a battery powered CHiPs motorcycle with a little Larry Wilcox2 attached to it. It wasn’t small either. Officer Baker was easily 12” and the motorcycle itself was probably a foot and a half long. The battery powered the lights and sound as well as a small rotating set of wheels on the bottom so whenever you switched it on, the lights would flash and it would move around.

Over time, the wires that connected the battery to the little-motorized wheels on the bottom came loose until it finally just disconnected and I couldn’t fix it. No more lights and sound. Being the little thinker I thought I was; I figured, “It just needs power. Let’s give it some power.” I completely disconnected the red and white wires from the battery and stuck it in the electrical socket.

Poof.

Luckily, no damage to your truly but the same couldn’t be said about good ol’ Larry Wilcox. His bike was now scorched and slightly melted.

That inquisitive mind turned into a thirst for knowledge. Now, during my free time, of which there won’t be much soon, I try to teach myself something new. If it’s learning new riffs on the guitar, code websites, be a better photographer, edit audio and video, graphic design, new marketing techniques, the Bible, anything, I’m always trying to learn.

The internet has made learning so incredibly easy. If it existed back then as it does today, I could have easily seen that my idea wouldn’t have worked. One resource that I love is Lynda.com. I’ve taught myself so much on Lynda. Usually, it costs $20 a month for a subscription, but if you go through your local library, you can access it for free. Not go to the library and use it, I mean get a free account you can use anywhere. It’s incredible and I recommend it to anyone.

So what I find interesting about my desire to learn is that for the soon-to-be-born-baby, I’m not trying to learn everything I can about him. I mean, I know that he’s currently the weight of a baseball bat, but I don’t know a lot of everything else. It just strikes me as odd that I’m not using my inquisitive mind to research EVERYTHING.

We’ll soon be attending a birthing class and I’m hopeful that’s going to flip the switch for me.

One thing I know for sure is that I can’t wait to meet the little guy.