In love with the sound

When you fall in love, originally uploaded by Ngọc Hà

In the eleventh week of her pregnancy, my wife and I went to her doctor for a checkup and the first attempt at detecting a tiny heartbeat. We were both nervous. Even though her diagnosis had been confirmed, something might have gone wrong in the meantime.

I'm sure that all expectant parents are nervous. It's not like we can peek into the womb to make sure that everything is okay. On top of that, there's a history of miscarriage in my wife's family, so we had a valid cause for alarm when her doctor couldn't find a heartbeat. She tried to assure us that it was easy to miss at that stage in development; don't worry, she said, make another appointment and come back in two weeks.

We were sad and nervous during those two weeks. So when we finally heard that hummingbird patter, I felt a sensation of pure relief and joy. It was only the first of many emotional hurdles yet to come, but at least now we can see that track laid out in front of us.

AMX with custom car seat

I spotted this car at the 2007 Car Craft Summer Nationals. You see a lot of custom work at these shows, most of which is either cosmetic or related to performance. With this little lime green beauty, it's not what's under the hood, but what is inside that counts.

Behold: a custom-built cage for mounting a child seat in the back of the car. That's an impressive project that grabbed my attention even though I was not expecting a child at the time. To see this gave me hope as a potential future father. Yes, there is a way to have a baby and still be awesome at the same time.

Borrowed time

Let us help with your babyrental needs, originally uploaded by bootsintheoven

I have a new niece! After a long and excruciating labor, my sister-in-law delivered a healthy newborn girl with giant eyes and a full head of dark hair. I went to visit when she (the niece) was just one or two weeks old. Her mom needed a baby break when we arrived and happily offered her up to me for some quality uncle time.

I couldn't believe that she was so small and yet so punchy. After I was properly trained in the art of coddling, she calmed down again and went back to sleep. It was the first time I was able to visualize myself as a father. When I held that tiny baby, I was at peace. She napped for an hour in my arms while I swayed her back and forth and watched Spiderman on TV.

With parenthood comes great responsibility. But I'm not a parent yet! When it was time for her to be changed, I handed my niece back to her mother, and I went back to watching TV and playing video games. With my nieces, I get to do all the fun stuff with none of the responsibility, and I am going to savor that for the next six months.

Ramalama sling for men

We will have a sling to hold the kid. My wife already made a few prototype designs, and they're very bright and lovely and I'm sure they will look great on her. But what about something for me to wear when I'm hauling our baby around? That's where Ramalama comes through with the manliest sling I've seen so far. It's so tough that it's available in leather and black nylon. Found in the archives of Babygadget.

Black onesies

The man in Black, originally uploaded by J J Justinsen

I don't understand the whole blue/pink dichotomy. When it comes to children's clothes, why not go with black? It's good enough for me, and the baby looks cute regardless of garment color. Besides, it's going to get dirty anyway, right? A black onesie from Pokkadots will hide the stains on your little ninja and it can be passed down to a child of either gender. Thrifty!


This Is Goodbye, originally uploaded by CrdvJavier

Pregnancy is boring, for dads. Getting the big news was great, and there was a flurry of activity, at first. Now? I'm settled into the long, dull wait.

I don't have much to contribute to this part. My wife is going through her own things in her own body, and I do my best to help, and otherwise life is back to normal. It's a bit of a let-down after all the excitement, but I guess I should enjoy this while it lasts!


Support, originally uploaded by Andreas Reinhold

My wife is normally super-competent at getting stuff done around the house, so I'm only marginally aware of her contributions. I'll notice a pile of dirty dishes in the sink, for example, and the next time I walk through the kitchen they're all cleaned and back in the cupboards.

Then she got pregnant. I knew that things would change, but what I didn't know was how many things I take for granted. When she started feeling tired and sick, and suddenly the chores didn't get done, I was caught somewhat off guard. In turn, she is surprised when I actually wash the dishes or cook a meal.

I don't mind taking more responsibility for these things. It's just that there are unspoken agreements in our marriage about who does what, and she had accepted most of the "maid" duties.* It's all stuff that I did without a second thought in college, but not in our marriage, so I get bonus points for doing it now. It's a good arrangement.

*My job description includes giving back rubs, killing scary bugs, and taking out the damn dog at 6:00 in the morning.


seventy :: 365days, originally uploaded by ♥stefani!

Chronologically, my wife's at the stage where she could start to expect feeling sick, sore, and generally miserable all the time. The fact that she is right on schedule could be taken as an indication that the pregnancy is proceeding normally. For some reason, she doesn't take any comfort in this suggestion.

Color wheel puzzle blocks

I wasn't aware that I had strong opinions about baby toys until my niece's first Christmas. She got so much noisy, annoying, plastic crap! If I had my druthers, our home would institute a ban on any toy that requires batteries (for the baby, that is).

I know what I hate--the ones that talk are the absolute worst--but I'm still learning which toys I like. There must be lots of great toys for kids that don't drive parents crazy, and they will be posted here as they are discovered.

First up: I'm adding this wooden color wheel to my "approved" list. This puzzle is available online at A Toy Garden. Pottery Barn sells a set with fewer colors and labeled blocks.

Kid Kustoms hotrod strollers

The Roddler by Kid Kustoms, originally uploaded by jalopnik

I may never drive a fancy ride myself, but $2,500 from the muscle car fund can buy my kid a stock "Roddler," pictured above. Custom fenders, paints and trim cost extra. These strollers look incredible, so why do I suspect that I'd just feel like an asshole pushing one around?

Link via Babygadget, which I'm going to be watching from now on.

A Second Opinion

After peeing on a couple of pregnancy sticks, my wife made an appointment with her doctor to verify the diagnosis. This was done, again, with a urine test. In return she got a confirmation (yes) and ETA (June).

So that is all very interesting and exciting. Modern science is truly remarkable. Isn't it amazing that we can get all this information, just from looking at pee?

Handmade baby shoes

photo credit: Heather Bailey (via TreeHugger)

I'm a hands-on kind of guy--if I can do something myself, then I will. If I don't know how to do it, I will learn from someone who does, or teach myself. I look forward to creating some baby stuff in the upcoming months, and basic booties look simple enough that I might give it a try.

The pair pictured above are made by Heather Bailey, and she is providing a free pattern if you would like to sew your own. Of course, the best part about do-it-yourself projects is the potential for customization. Ribbons and bows are good for girls, but a boy baby would look awfully stylish in some tiny faux-sneakers.

More instructions and ideas are available at TreeHugger.

The Announcement

Originally uploaded by peach plum bear

This is how I learned that my beautiful bride had transformed into an expectant mother-to-be. It was a little after 9:00 on Monday evening. I was in our basement laying down carpet pad. My wife was upstairs. When I heard her calling my name, I sensed immediately that something was up.

After three years of marriage, I have learned to interpret her different hollers so that I know what to expect when I respond. For example, she has a certain type of yell that means she has been startled from discovering a bug, and wants me to murder it immediately. More usefully, based on subtle inflections of timbre, I can tell if an angry shout means that she is furious with me, upset, or merely peeved.

But the sound of her voice that night was unlike I had ever heard before. It was a nervous mixture of fear, excitement, and something new. I met her at the bottom of the stairs and she showed me the pregnancy test with a plus-mark in the results box. And that's when I knew that nothing would be quite the same again.


Hi. Nice to meet you. I'm a 20-something-year-old husband. My hobbies include watching horror movies, playing video games, drinking booze, and getting tattoos. I like bicycles, motorcycles, and muscle cars. I work full time at a start-up, volunteer at a non-profit, and run a small business on the side. And I just found out that my wife of three years is pregnant.


I'm starting a new journal for this new adventure. Yes, it's another "dad blog." I need an outlet to record my journey during these strange times, to seek counsel from those who've gone before me, and to commiserate with other rookie dads.

My whole world is about to change. I can hardly wait.

About us

This blog is about me and my family. I've been happily married to my wife Jenna for five years. Our daughter Natalie was born on June 18th, 2008.

A snapshot of our life right now (updated 2/12/10):
Natalie is walking and talking, and still amusing us with her great sense of humor. She enjoys reading books, playing with our Pug, and making messes. I work outside the home selling robots to the military and my wife is a stay-at-home mom with a full-time graphic design job.

In our spare time we run the St. Paul Craftstravaganza, a large urban craft fair. This year I'm also starting an indie comics festival called MIX which I'm super excited about. We live in the city but use our yard to grow flowers, vegetables, and fruit for jam. Some day we'll sell our house and move to the country, but for now I am content to stay where we are.

I'm glad you found us! Introduce yourself in the comments or send me an email. I love meeting people, especially other new parents. It's a weird voyage we're all embarking on.