I’m a Father Again

A little over three months ago — October 7, 2016 — Julie, Fox, and I welcomed River Kate Premo into the world and our family.

For a while I thought she looked like Michael Chiklis. First, while she was still skinny, she looked like bald, ripped Michael Chiklis. Then she gained weight and just a little hair and looked like chubby Michael Chiklis.

Her skin color is like mine, whereas Fox’s is more like Julie’s.

Fox likes her, but does get frustrated at times — like when one parent is in the bathroom and the other parent is holding the baby.

I’m sure that will get better.

I Can Read!

For the first time since I became a father, I read a book.

Last Friday I got an email from Amazon about the eBooks Antitrust Settlement. Suddenly I had $2.44 to spend at Amazon on books — physical or digital. It’s not a ton of money, but we’re talking about books, not iPhones.

So I poked around for a few minutes. I found The Martian: A Novel by Andy Weir.

I’m familiar with this book because I’ve seen one or two trailers for the Matt Damon movie based on it. I want to see the movie. I knew it was based on a book.

The Kindle version was priced at $5.99. Minus $2.44, I was going to pay $3.55. Good enough. Click.

After I got home from work I started reading it. I used the Kindle App on my iPhone 6. (Much easier to read a book on an iPhone 6 than previous models.) After my wife went to bed I got a good uninterrupted chunk of time and managed to get through between a quarter and a third of the book.

I read more on Saturday. Made it to the to about the three quarters mark.

On Sunday I finished it. The Martian isn’t the longest book ever, but this is among my fastest times for reading a book start to finish. (I got through Rising Sun in four days back when I was in high school, and I may have burned through Prey in two days when I couldn’t find a job after college. RIP, Michael Crichton, even though you may have been a little nuts.)

Since this is my Dad Blog, I think I can admit that I felt some guilt that I didn’t pay enough attention to my son during that weekend. In particular, when he was upset and didn’t want to go to bed on Sunday night, it occurred to me that I should have had more fun with him. If I just limit my book reading to one weekend every two years it should be okay.

The last book I read from start to finish was A Storm of Swords, the third book in A Song of Ice and Fire. (That’s Game of Thrones for you TV types.) I believe I finished it shortly before season 3 of the show started. (Let me check.) Yes, that sounds right. Season 3 ran from March to June of 2013, right before my son was born.

Or it may have been right before Season 2 started. Details.

Since then, my “Kindle device,” my iPad, has been converted to a YouTube for Kids player. (So has my wife’s iPad.) And of course, I have less free time. And my wife and I watch more TV. But we go out less. (A lot less.)

Shortly after I finished A Storm of Swords, I started A Feast for Crows, but I didn’t get far. I had just read three books about this world. And seen two seasons (or maybe just one season) of the show based on it. It was a lot of Westeros. My brain needed a break.

I probably won’t tear through the entirety of Crows this weekend. But why not? Why could I do it with The Martian? The first difference that comes to mind is the number of characters. Anyone who has delved into Game of Throne‘s Westeros knows that there are a lot of characters. It’s the classic “couldn’t keep track of all the characters while reading the book” problem. The majority of The Martian is about the day to day activities of one character — Mark Watney — who is stranded alone on Mars. Watney is not the only character, but the book does make it easy to keep characters straight.

I think this weekend, I’ll dip into my Kindle backlog.

Multiplayer Gaming

Last night, for the first time since becoming a father, I had to exit out of a multiplayer match so I could tend to the baby.

I was playing Titanfall, and I was doing well! Sounds of discomfort and/or distress came from the baby monitor. I pulled up the game’s menu, turned down the volume, and waited for a bit to see if it was a blip or a real “come get me” event. When it turned out to be the latter, I chose the “leave game” menu option.

After I picked the kiddo up out of his crib, he probably went back to sleep in less than a minute. I held onto him for about two minutes then put him back in the crib. Lately there have been a couple times when he’s started crying moments after I’ve left his room, so to avoid that I sat in the chair we have there. I stayed for about ten minutes because let’s face it, I was bushed.

When I went back to the basement, I uploaded one game clip from that night, then went to bed.

Weighty Issue

The little guy is big.  And he likes it when I hold him.

My back is suffering.

A week or ten days ago I started to feel some pain in my left shoulder/back.  I didn’t think much of it at the time.  I’ve experienced some pain and fatigue in my shoulders and back since the baby was born.  But usually it goes away after a day or two.  Not this time.

It’s spread to my entire back.  I’ve been taking Tylenol twice a day for about five days (up until today).  The pain in the small of my back is not as bad as on those occasions when I have lifted something off the floor, using my back, that was heavier than I anticipated.  But Monday morning I picked the kid up and my mother-in-law noticed the popping noise.

But the entirety of my back is stiff in the morning.  I’ve been taking Tylenol before breakfast and again in the afternoon some days.  I’m sure being at work and away from the baby has helped out my back, so this morning I didn’t even take anything.  I know it’s there, but it’s not unbearable.

The baby’s size is remarkable enough — we’re talking percentile in the high nineties — but he’s been battling ear infections for more than six weeks and it’s decreased his appetite.  He gets tubes Monday and god help us, I’m expecting his appetite to increase soon.

Windows Updates

You know when Windows tells you, “The computer’s going to restart in 15 minutes unless you hit cancel” and then you hit cancel every 15 minutes for two days?

Thanks to my son, Windows pulled a fast one on me. I hit cancel once, then my son started making noise. So I put my laptop on the coffee table and proceeded to change my son’s diaper, give him some formula, and burp him. As I put him back in his swing, I heard the Windows 8 alert noise. Looked at the screen just in time to see this:


Thanks, kiddo.

I’m a Father.

Six weeks ago tomorrow — June 26, 2013 — Julie and I welcomed Fox Harrison Premo into the world and our family.

For the most part he’s been a great baby.  He cries, but not nearly as often as I anticipated. He pees after we open the diaper, but it doesn’t shoot over my head or worse — into my face. He eats, he sleeps, he poops.

He lets us know when he’s hungry. Sometimes he’s gassy.

He’s photogenic.  When he was born his hands and feet looked like adult hands and feet, just shrunk down.

Although I can’t remember the time specifically, I have seen pictures of myself as a baby.  I suspect that when my mom meets Fox, she will remark that he looks a lot like I looked.

He’s not particularly interactive just yet, but today I found myself looking at pictures of him on my phone, and I found myself wishing I was with him.  It was at that point I decided to start this blog.