Sunday, October 17, 2010

Eli's a little less boring

Hey internet!

What with studying for the bar, taking the bar, passing the bar, finding a job, working, and trying to be a good dad and father, I haven't had the energy or time to blog. Also, I haven't felt like there's much to write about because, let's be honest, babies younger than three months are kind of boring. They're nice, and all, but they don't do much besides sleep, eat, and make noise.

That's starting to change! Eli has found his hands, kind of. We can put toys in front of his face and he'll try to wrap his chubby little fingers around them and bring them to his mouth. The problem is his dexterity. He just kind of wraps his wrists around the toys and hugs them to his body. It's pretty funny to watch, actually. His arms are are really more like clubs with wrists than an arm with dexterous hands.

Clubs that are ALWAYS clammy. That poor kid got my circulation problems; his hands are always cold. Add a constant, thick sheen of saliva to those chilly stumps and you've got a pair of hands that kind of feel like dead fish.

Sorry, Eli. It's true. But I love you anyway, bud, clammy hands and all.

Friday, July 2, 2010

A quick list

1. Studying for the bar is lame.

2. Studying for the bar with a newborn is lamer.

3. Andrea's being really nice and letting me get plenty of sleep.

4. Eli has to eat every two or three hours . . . day AND night. Sure, I knew that babies were demanding. But one's foresight is limited "in the moment," right? On top of the actual feeding, it takes another 30 minutes to check his diaper, burp him, swaddle him, and get him back to sleep. I was burping and rocking him a few mornings ago at some awful hour. It was dark and he was really quiet, not stirring at all. I was hoping he was asleep. I turned on a night-light to get a better look at his face and noticed that his eyes were wide open. He turned his head slightly and gave me a look that said, "Hey dad. What are we doing?" I wanted to kiss his face and yell at him at the same time.

Sunday, June 27, 2010

Eli's Mom

In case you hadn't heard, my son was born two days ago. Eli "the handsome guy" Alba was a healthy 8 pounds 6 ounces. I am so incredibly humbled to have this little person in my life. We've talked a lot about how awesome he is, and deservedly so; he's great! But right now I want to focus on somebody else. Andrea, Eli's mom, is also awesome.

Before I was married I knew I wanted to have kids. Naturally, that's something I thought about when Andrea and I were seriously dating. I knew she would be a good mother, but I never thought she would transition into this role with the grace and deftness that she's demonstrated. What a privilege it's been to watch her! She's a natural!

For one, She's loves this new person with such an intense ferocity that it's almost scary. Seriously, don't get in between her and her little Eli. She would do anything for him.

Andrea is also incredibly selfless. She literally sacrificed her body to give him life. It's no surprise that birthing a child is incredibly painful. But that pain will continue for weeks as her body heals from the trauma. She has already lost sleep making sure he's adequately fed and will continue to lose sleep while he chubs up. She's given her body, time, and energy to her son.

She's also STRONG! It's a joke in my family that Andrea is a "fragile flower." We laugh about her long skinny arms and wonder how she's able to lift a gallon of milk. Well the joke's on us! You should have seen her pushing. She was a champ during the marathon labor and delivery and I am very impressed with her physical stamina. If she can birth an 8-pound child, she can do anything.

I have no doubt that Andrea will continue to be a strong, selfless and loving mother. I'm so excited to watch the relationship between Eli and Andrea develop over the years. They're going to be quite the duo, in part because of Andrea's awesome qualities. Congratulations, Andrea. You're a great mother!

Friday, June 4, 2010

Put that Kid to Work

I frequently tell Merlin that he needs to start working when he gets here. If he can't be a baby model to support his mom and dad, then at least he could do some housework.

Friday, May 28, 2010

His Inheritance

I often think about what traits this kid will inherit from his parents. Here's what I hope he gets from Andrea:

Her silliness. Seriously, this girl is silly. She's a little shy when you first get to know her but just wait till she's with her family. Then she busts out her robot voice (I least I think that's what she's trying to sound like). She answers questions in a high-pitched, loud, monotone nasal voice, and says things like "affirmative." She also does these weird dance moves to her self-sung sexy song (it's a song that she composed herself that she sings with "duh duh duh duh duh DUH DUH DUH DUH" noises). Her silliness makes me laugh. I hope our little Merlin gets that.

Her work-ethic. This girl knows how to work! She gets extremely high marks in her employment, doesn't cut any corners, and deserves a big raise in any job she has. If our son gets just a fraction of her desire to work he'll do very well in life.

Her frugality. I hesitate to put this. Sometimes I really like it when Andrea's strict with money, but sometimes it drives me nuts! On the whole, our little guy will be blessed to inherit this trait from Andrea. She keeps a meticulous budget and knows exactly what's coming in and out of our bank account. It's certainly served us well during this time of employment uncertainty.

Her smarts. Andrea's very smart, and it shows in how well she performed in school. She should have been the one in law school; I'm sure she'd do much better than I did!

From me? I hope he gets:

My hair. I like my hair. It's thick. Nice color. I'll be honest here, he'd be lucky to get hair like mine. Ha!

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

Science & Pregnancy Blog and Consciousness

For those interested, I thought I'd pass along this gem of a blog:

Bumpology - The Science Behind Pregnancy

The author is a pregnant scientist herself, and provides some cool information.

The latest article, the baby's level of consciousness, is especially interesting. I've often wondered whether, or to what degree, our little Merlin is conscious. Is he self-aware? Does he have memories? Does he reflect on those memories?

Consciousness, I think, is largely informed by sensory experience. But what sensory experience does he have up to this point? He's apparently been able to taste differences in the salinity of the amniotic fluid. He's no doubt been able to sense differences between light and dark (we've shined lots of flashlights on Andrea's belly to see if he would react). He can hear muffled sounds. And he's probably felt me push back on his little limbs that he puts close to the surface.

But these episodes barely scratch the surface of what WE experience in our daily life. How can he build an identity, a sense of awareness, from these incredibly watered-down sensory experiences? Does he even recognize the gradients in salinity, light, pressure, or sound?

She confirms in the article what I've always imagined his existence is like to this point: "[T]he fetus remains for the most part sedated by low oxygen levels and anesthetic chemicals that are produced by the placenta . . ." I think our little baby is mostly in a sleepy, anesthetized state, not unlike the foggy state that I remember waking up from when my wisdom teeth were removed, or when I woke up from that nasty concussion in high school after I was hit in the head with a shot-put (I'll tell that story later).

I'm excited for this guy to "wake up" and experience the joys of this outside world in a more conscious state. I think he'll like it.

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Honeymoon Stage?

I have a feeling about this son of mine. And I hate to admit it. But in the interest of preparation, and reality, here it goes: there might be times where this kid gets on my nerves. I can't possibly imagine how his cute little whimpers could be annoying, or how his constant need of attention would interfere with my heretofore selfish lifestyle. But if I'm honest with myself, I must concede that the honeymoon stage with little Merlin may not last forever.

You know what I'm talking about, right? There's that beginning of every relationship where the whole world is alive with happiness and everything is glorious to behold. You want to spend as much time as possible with that other person, and he or she can do no wrong! "My son! Oh, look at you!!! You just pooped all over yourself. For the third time today! What a good boy! Oh, and what's this? Poop in your hair? How adorable! So proud of you son, for pooping like a champ! Can't wait to snuggle after your bath!"

Sadly, this utopia may come to an end. "My son! What the hell did you do in your crib?! Why is there crap smeared all over your back and in your sheets?! And, WHAT THE . . . how did you manage to get poop in your hair?! Who poops in his hair, Merlin?!?! Now I get to wash your sheets and clothes for the third time today! But don't worry about me. It's not like I'm not busy studying for the bar or anything! Oh my gosh, please go to your mom as soon as I'm done cleaning you up."

You get my drift? Of course I'll always love and cherish my son. I'll do anything for him. It's just that I might bug him at times, and he might bug me. But until that day comes, I'm going to cherish the blissful state of our budding relationship. I cannot WAIT to spend every waking minute with that child. Just five weeks to go.