The intellectual equivalent of a ham sandwich.

Posts tagged ‘humor’

Thoughts From a 4am Rocking Chair Session

  • A child’s cry is magical – what else sends someone into a panic and flurry of activity so well? I can picture some sales person or ad executive having a child and thinking, “how can I recreate this for my upcoming ford f150 campaign? If only people could hear the ad, freak out and run to their nearest dealership in an emotional panic!”
  • I like to pretend I’m an overworked waiter at a restaurant and the chef has gone nuts and only makes one dish – milk. Then I have to talk up the milk, it’s organic, it’s fresh, the milk supplier is treated well, etc. My son may grow up crazy, but he’ll be creative and crazy?
  • The sight of tiny snaps will cause my tremors of fear even when I’m old
  • Maybe some kids don’t want to listen to music from their parents generation because their parents sang terrible versions of it, off key, lacking rhythm, and with words changed to sing about poop and pleading with their child to not cry. Then, years later, mom or dad says, ‘hey I loved this song when I was your age’ and the child instinctively clenches and begins to scream.
  • Is my son’s urine in a league for evil?
    • It does escape whenever it has the chance. Diaper gone … MOVE MOVE MOVE.
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Attn: Ellen (10/18/17)

Front

Ellen322a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen322b

 

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen’s Intern Who is Forced to Read Crazy Fan Mail,

You’ve probably been wondering – why did the weird postcards stop? Well, I’ve been busy being a new dad! Now you’re likely thinking, can I meet your child? Huh. Really. You’re thinking that? Seems a little … presumptuous, don’t you think?

Hmm.

This got awkward.

Well, umm, say hi to your friends?

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com

Why am I doing this?

Doctor Trump

If you were hoping to read about my baby, nah … it’s just me bashing Trump. I wrote this right after Charlottesville and DJ’s response. See if you can catch my oh so subtle opinion on the matter.

I’m sitting on the butcher paper, nervously rubbing my knee while checking my phone every 40 seconds or so. The doctor should be in any minute now to tell me the results of all the tests that have just been run.

The door opens and he glides in, holding himself to his full height and bearing a look on his face that says ‘I know something you don’t knoooooow.’

I search the doctor’s eyes and he looks down at me, beginning a series of remarks about what a great doctor he is, and how so many other doctors aren’t great, and also about how a lot of doctors think they’re good at tennis but really they’re not that good at tennis. ‘Believe me,’ he says, ‘I belong to a tennis club. These guys. They’re no tennis.’

‘Doc, please!’ I exclaim against my desire to be patient and cordial, ‘what do I have? Is it bad?’

He smirks, then raises his eyebrows, then lifts his chin so he undoubtedly sees more of his nose than he sees my face, and he says, ‘Look, I’m not going to lie, it’s bad. You’ve got on the one side, maybe cancer, and on the other side, maybe a bad headache. They’re just words. Whatever it is, they’re bad.’

My jaw drops. ‘Doc … I … There’s a HUGE difference between cancer and a big headache … Which … What do I have?’

‘Your words, ok. Your words.’ The doctor looks around the room like he’s debating remodeling the place, and perhaps me, he smacks his lips and continues, ‘It’s bad, ok? I’m not here to say which is worse, either way it’s bad. You’ve got one bad thing on one side, another bad thing on the other side.’

My brain nearly shuts off I’m so overwhelmed by rage and confusion, ‘…CANCER. HEADACHE.’

The doc purses his lips, smiles a little, ‘both bad,’ he says as he turns around and walks out the room.

 

September Haiku

September 1 (Friday)
Wife’s discharge delayed
She spiked a fever, which means
The party goes on

September 2 (Saturday)
Heading home today!
But leaving without our guy
Leads to some shed tears

September 3 (Sunday)
Wife’s folks leave today
Time to find our new normal
(Trying not to drown)

September 4 (Monday)
Labor Day today
My bad joke loving self hoped
He was born today

September 5 (Tuesday)
Drive wife to NICU
Go to work, drive wife back home,
Go to NICU, sleep

September 6 (Wednesday)
4 pm coffee?
Don’t mind if I do! Wait … Wait …
IT’S 9 AM?!?! … Uggggghhhhh

September 7 (Thursday)
Wife’s breathing is off
Call doc: ‘you need the ER’
Long stay but all’s well

September 8 (Friday)
Sleeping at NICU
Machine noises, baby sounds
And chatty nurses

September 9 (Saturday)
Some sleep here each night
How. How? How how how? … Hu … How?
My brain is broken

September 10 (Sunday)
Making some pals here
Who knew: NICU parents lounge
Where the cool kids are

September 11 (Monday)
Wife’s driving again!
This gives me more time each day
Which means more cuddles

September 12 (Tuesday)
NICU sleep plan changed
Leave to head home feeling bad
Exhaustion or guilt?

September 13 (Wednesday)
Mom and sis flew in!
So you guys want dinner, or …
First stop, duh, meet him

September 14 (Thursday)
Boss and boss’s boss
Both being real supportive
Tears, stay in your ducts!

September 15 (Friday)
Stayed up late tonight
Chatting with my mom and sis
A breath of fresh air

September 16 (Saturday)
Awful night for me
Feeding him alarms sound
His heart rate dropped LOW

September 17 (Sunday)
Doc says we *can* leave
But I can’t leave this afraid
I’m scared to feed him

September 18 (Monday)
Huge sigh of relief!
Night with the kiddo went well!!
We’re taking him home!!!

September 19 (Tuesday)
First doctor’s visit!
(Not counting three weeks of rounds)
(And some specialists)

September 20 (Wednesday)
Paternity leave
During the day – all is great
At night – hellish fear

September 21 (Thursday)
Went to new friends house!
Some fellow NICU parents
Commiserate and laugh

September 22 (Friday)
Jekyll and Hyde deal
By day – a little angel
By night – a hell spawn

September 23 (Saturday)
Before: kid pics dull,
Why send so many pictures?
Now: I understand

September 24 (Sunday)
Football, nap, repeat?
Football, baby, nap, repeat.
Big routine changes

September 25 (Monday)
The house is all love
Cooing over the baby
And chats ’bout his poop

September 26 (Tuesday)
Sleep deprivation,
And being away from work:
Time has no meaning

September 27 (Wednesday)
Doctor’s appointment
Losing weight in the worst way
Via his foreskin

September 28 (Thursday)
Holy crap – fall’s here!
Went out for a walk and saw
Leaves have changed colors

September 29 (Friday)
Strolling through Target
Should I buy LEGOs for him?
Him! Not me! … I swear?

September 30 (Saturday)
When your teams aren’t good
Cherish 2 and 0 days
Go Army and Stangs!

August Haiku

August 1 (Tuesday)
(To the cotton song)
The touch … The feeeeel … Of naptime
Daydream of my souuul

August 2 (Wednesday)
Baby class tonight
Make friends? Embarrass my wife?
Go for gold with both??

August 3 (Thursday)
I’m glued to this app?
Dude, no way! I’m gonna save …
Then I’ll state my case …

August 4 (Friday)
Junk food for dinner?
No, come on, be realistic
Junk food AND ice cream

August 5 (Saturday)
Wife is out of town …
Time to go a bit nuts and
Clean up the basement!!!

August 6 (Sunday)
Grey skies and sprinkles
I need coffee, a window
And I’m good to go

August 7 (Monday)
New dentist today
Sadly, he’s not named Crentist
But I think he’ll do

August 8 (Tuesday)
I’ll say this to you –
My opponent’s a good man,
And a great snuggler

August 9 (Wednesday)
Last year: no snakes seen
This year: three spotted so far
Guys … I think I’m doomed

August 10 (Thursday)
Serious question:
Santa. This very moment.
He eating Ramen?

August 11 (Friday)
Tested code I wrote
Friday afternoon. Test fails.
Monday self: good luck.

August 12 (Saturday)
Nazi flags displayed
Not just sans shame, but with pride
What U.S. is this?

August 13 (Sunday)
Busy week ahead
This calls for … Naptivity!
(Actively napping)

August 14 (Monday)
Just chips for dinner?
No, be real, I’m an adult
Also having dip

August 15 (Tuesday)
Skipping a concert
Embracing lazy! Bonus:
Sold tix, got back cash!

August 16 (Wednesday)
Cleaning the house up
Do I find it dirty? No.
Wife vetoes my vote.

August 17 (Thursday)
My wife’s water broke
Fine, good, great … But a bit soon.
She’s 32 weeks

August 18 (Friday)
Ambulance transfer?
OB ICU? Check. Check.
SIMMER DOWN, BABY!

August 19 (Saturday)
Two steroid shots down
(They speed up baby’s lung growth)
Hoping and waiting

August 20 (Sunday)
Moving rooms today!
Want to hit thirty-four weeks
Each day cooking helps

August 21 (Monday)
My wife and bed rest
How will she survive two weeks
Of doing nothing?

August 22 (Tuesday)
Wife’s mom takes day shift
I work, then take the night shift
Wife yells ‘HOLD!’ at womb

August 23 (Wednesday)
Assumed dull bed rest
Instead every day is unique
Not in a good way

August 24 (Thursday)
Wife woke up and puked
Intense dizziness from drugs
The party don’t stop!!

August 25 (Friday)
Baby’s heartbeats off
Wife moves rooms for constant watch
…Child, stop it! … Please?

August 26 (Saturday)
Wife feels better now!!!
… But contractions have started
… And she’s in labor …

August 27 (Sunday)
Whoa – I’m a father!
Ahh! Put my wife’s guys back please!
(C-sections are nuts)

August 28 (Monday)
Holding my son is …
Love bolstering? Full of joy?
No. Terrifying.

August 29 (Tuesday)
Lots of tiny tools:
The small blood pressure leg band
Is my favorite

August 30 (Wednesday)
Back to work today
Saving paternity leave
For when he comes home

August 31 (Thursday)
Wife’s still healing up
Bed rest, the drugs, surgery
They took a big toll

The Kiddo – Part I – Watership Down

First of all, I’ve never read Watership Down, and I ought to.

Second of all, it’s been a while, blogosphere! Hi, friend! I had wanted to sit down and write a few times since all of the craziness of the last month kicked off, but I was pretty busy AND it felt wrong to be reflective about an ongoing though. Maybe it was superstition, I don’t know, but I didn’t want to pause to think when there were still so many things going on that could be scary. This is still the case, but the frenetic pace has slowed – as I write this, my kiddo is in front of me in his bassinet on the coffee table and my wife is upstairs catching a much-needed nap.

***

Thursday

‘Brad, Brad, Brad, Brad.’

My wife was downstairs saying my name with a note of alarm. Her brother and his wife were driving up to visit us, and I assumed it was some mild nuisance of a this-house-better-be-impeccable variety.

I was packing in our bedroom, preparing for our drive to Santa Fe the next day. We were going to catch the opera (it’s outdoors there, and my grandparents used to love doing that) and enjoy the foods, art, and tourist shops of downtown Santa Fe for a weekend.

I came to the top of the staircase and looked down, my wife said, ‘I think my water just broke.’

She was on the phone calling her doctor, I rushed back to our room to grab a hoody (we had done an ER trip a month before and it was cold in that hospital), shoes, wallet, keys, and a hoody for her.

Thankfully, we live 10 minutes from the hospital, and yet, I couldn’t help but think proudly as I calmly rushed us to the ER, I bet I would be good if I was a cop in a car chase.

I dropped off the Mrs. at the entrance and zoomed to a parking spot. Someone came down quickly, within minutes, and we began walking to an elevator to go to the birthing center area. The night prior we had taken a tour of the hospital as part of our childbirth class. The Mrs. had ironically asked a question, ‘does anyone ever not make it through the whole class? Because they deliver early?’ I had spent the tour thinking about the fact that they deliver fresh cookies every day at 4 pm to the birthing center. How can I get my wife to time her labor so that I can leave the room right after he’s born to have a few cookies?

A nurse quickly came to see us, a test was performed and yep, her water had broken. The midwife came in and she had the nurse do a second test, a different one, to verify, and yep, water still broken.

She was just shy of 32 weeks pregnant.

***

We were at that hospital from about 8 pm til around midnight. It was terrifying, emotional, and that odd mix of fast and painfully slow. They gave my wife a steroid shot, one of two that she would hopefully receive. The purpose of the shot is to speed up the development of the baby’s lungs. Preterm babies can have respiratory issues, and especially those born in Colorado with the higher elevation. Later, one doc informed us, a 36-weeker born in Houston (sea level) could go home right away, whereas a 36-weeker in Colorado is more likely going to need a visit to the NICU. Ideally, a woman can stay pregnant long enough to get one steroid shot, a second steroid shot 24 hours later, and then hold off on labor for 48 hours to let the steroids take full effect.

They also put an IV in my wife and began a heavy dose of magnesium, which dampens the body’s ability to have contractions and helps the baby’s brain. A two-fer, if you will. This stuff hit hard and fast, my wife described it as taking a shot of bourbon while sitting in a dry sauna. She had that warmth go down her throat (even though it was an IV) and felt hot. Her eyes immediately got a bit distant and you could tell she was under the impact of a powerful drug.

After all of the initial hullabaloo and checking, the pace slowed a bit as we waited for an ambulance to transfer the Mrs. The hospital where we had envisioned having our son could only support babies 34 weeks and up, and we were not looking like we would hit that mark.

***

When the ambulance arrived I swung by home to pack clothes, say hi to my brother-in-law and his wife, pet the dog, and scoot.

At the new hospital my wife arrived around the same time I did (shhh, nobody sped …).

While on her ambulance ride to this hospital, my wife was having contractions once every four or five minutes. If you don’t know, that’s worrisome. We wanted, really, really wanted, for her to stay pregnant.

Thankfully, after she arrived, the contractions slowed and eventually stopped. We buckled in for a long night’s non-rest at the hospital, with a nurse coming to check her vitals and usually help her to the bathroom every two hours. She had the magnesium, antibiotics (the ‘water’ is one of three barriers to infection for a baby, with that gone the antibiotics came in), and an IV of fluids all being pumped in. In addition, her belly had bands on it to monitor her heart rate, the baby’s heart rate, and any contractions. Every two hours they took her temperature, her blood pressure, and asked her to rate her pain. (What on earth is that rate your pain thing?)

A doc came to visit us, I think, and the NICU charge nurse, it was a happening place.

Ideally, she would stay pregnant until 34 weeks, when the risk of infection outweighs the gains of continuing to let the little guy develop, and then they would induce. In the meantime, during those two weeks, she would be on bed rest at the hospital, and if she showed signs of infection, they would induce or carry out an emergency c-section.

Stress, you old so and so, I didn’t know you were in town to see me?! You fu – nevermind, my mom reads this.

The goal: relax! Just relax! But if anything seems wrong, dear God hold tight.

On the plus side, the staff in the ‘birthing center ICU’ as we came to call it, and the whole hospital, were amazing. The amount of negative experiences or exchanges, given how stressful the whole ordeal was, is impressive. One of these sweet people went out and got a labor bed for me, which I slept on that night (and many nights to come).

***

Meanwhile, miles and miles away, my wife’s mom was in action. She had been in a play when the Mrs. called her during our ride to the ER, but when she found out what was happening she began to look into tickets.

This was all right before the big eclipse (doesn’t that feel like forever ago?) and Denver appeared to be a popular destination because they were not having luck finding tickets. But then, aha!, there’s one!

But wait … they booked a flight to Denver from … Dallas!? And they live in Houston. And the flight is leaving not too long from now so … ROAD TRIP!

Stress, huh? It plays tricks on the ability to process information.

***

Friday

Lauren’s bro and his wife swing by to chit chat. It’s lovely, it’s enjoyable, and it’s slightly education for the bro’s wife who is pregnant with twins. Twins are much more likely to arrive early, and at one point during our NICU stay there were four sets of twins.

After they take off it’s only a short while before her folks arrive. Reinforcements!

A little hello, a little how’s it goings, a few tears between the wife and her mama, and then we settle in for some good old fashioned hospital hang out time.

I headed home to shower, see the dog, pack new clothes, and I also took a shower and cried like a baby. I had been go-go-go, handling any little request from my wife, and oozing stress (did you know googling ‘long term health effects 33 week baby’ can result in sheer terror?). The crying was like a sudden thunderstorm, it surprised me, but it was a little refreshing. Don’t let anyone fool you, boys and girls, crying can be cathartic.

I changed, grabbed my bag, and headed back to the hospital. By this point it was mid-afternoon and we were approaching 24 hours since the first steroid shot. This was a big and happy milestone.

Every hour felt important and a smidge dire. One of the doctors or nurses told us that every 8 hours he is in the womb is one day less for our NICU stay.

Every 8 hours was divided into 2 hour chunks, because every 2 hours a nurse would come to check vitals. One might assume that every four hours was also a nice chunk, because in the afternoons I would go hunt for fresh baked cookies (they delivered them to the birthing center at this hospital, too!).

***

Sunday

Somehow, we made it to Sunday, when we were told my wife would be transferring to the antepartum/postpartum area, and not only that, we would be moving to a room with two windows! Look out world!

Sunday night, at around 9 pm (who am I kidding, I know exactly when, 9:21 pm), represented 48 hours since the second steroid shot. The kiddo had already benefited greatly from mom sitting tight and him keepin’ on.

Also in the postpartum area, we were down to three vitals checks a day, and no longer constant monitoring of her! Look out world! Instead, in this new setup, a nurse would come in during the morning, early afternoon, and evening to check on her vitals and the kiddo’s heart rate. Thirty minutes of monitoring and then they’d be off … unless, of course, the kiddo’s heart rate drops below the tolerable threshold in which case they’d need to stick around.

Oh, and did you know, when your water breaks, and the little guy moves in the womb, he can sometimes grab the umbilical cord which will cause his heart rate to drop and a nurse to say, ‘well … we were about to take you off [the monitor], but then we saw this little dip …’

Oh yes, our child is a champion of timing.

Also, fun fact, amniotic fluid (the ‘water’) is regenerated by a pregnant woman, and part of the recipe for amniotic fluid is baby urine!

The nurses also came by every X hours for a new dose of medicine. Solid sleep was not a part of the hospital stay.

***

That Work Week

Lauren’s step-dad left Monday, but her mom said I’m here til he’s here (he meaning the baby). From day one of the hospital til the next chapter, The Kiddo – Part II – TBD, we were in the hospital 10 days.

I went to work during the course of that week with the hope and expectation that my wife and her mom would be bored, restless, and watching Project Runway in the hospital. Instead, it turned out to be much more lively. Some highlights of that week are as follows:

  • With her water broken, my wife would sometimes experience pretty intense pain when the baby would move around (no water = no shield for his movements crashing around in there)
  • Bed rest can cause vertigo, or possibly the intense dizziness that yielded my wife throwing up was caused from side-effects of medicine … know what’s scary? When your wife wakes up and pukes and can’t get to the bathroom that’s less than 10 feet away without wheelchair assistance
  • Baby heart rate drops leading to extra ultrasounds and a short but scary trip back to the birthing center ICU
  • A raising white blood cell count, which potentially indicated a brewing infection … This was watched closely, and every time someone would pop by to draw blood I would excuse myself (I’m not so good with needles, thankfully, my pin cushion wife is much better than me about that)

***

Random Thoughts

  1. I was walking into work one morning when I saw a rabbit. This is really common here. We have a bunch of rabbits that live in our backyard, and all around the neighborhood. Because of this, we started calling the kiddo ‘the littlest bunny.’ Seeing a rabbit on the way into work I wanted to make it mean something – a rabbit! Ok, that’s a good sign … right? Or maybe it means he’s coming now!? Then it struck me, it must have been so easy for ancient peoples to concoct gods or various meanings for all kinds of things. I felt so powerless in this whole situation, and even though there was plenty of science and educated people talking to us about what was going on, I wanted to assign meaning to all kinds of arbitrary things.
  2. My wife was on a lot of powerful drugs, lacking sleep, and feeling stressed. As a result, she was in a sort of perpetual beaten down state. In this state, she had a funny habit of everything getting the same level of urgency. ‘Brad,’ said with a sort of sad and concerned voice, which would immediately awaken me or draw me out of whatever distraction I had thrown myself into (generally stupid apps), ‘I can’t find my chap stick.’ Ridiculous to have it awaken fear in me every time I heard my name said with that voice, right? BUT. With the SAME EXACT TONE, ‘Brad? … I feel too dizzy to get up, can you help me?’ I mean, come on.
  3. I had been reading, very slowly, one of those what to expect books, and you can sure read a lot of pages in a hurry when your kiddo is taking the bullet train to the station.

***

I doubt I encapsulated all my thoughts or feelings with much articulation. But I wanted to get this down for myself. I’m sure I’ll look back on this and feel like I left out big chapters in this story, but up next I’ll talk about the day he said ‘READY OR NOT, HERE I COME!’

Attn: Ellen (8/16/17)

Front

Ellen321a

Back (apologies for my handwriting!)

Ellen321b

 

The text of the postcard is

Dear Ellen,

In my feeble attempt to learn some German via Duolingo, I am also learning that I don’t know much English. For example, today I am doing a lesson on ‘Genitive Case.’ I don’t know what that means, but I can only assume it’s language you’d use while visiting Geneva. Stuff like, “hey, nice watch!”

Sincerely,
DumbFunnery.com OR @DumbFunnery

Why am I doing this?

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