1.Caroline trying to play a tune in Mara's Lamaze Octotune toy sounds like a dog trying to shag a burst bagpipe...
2. The flashing lights on Mara's Snuza Hero sleep apnoea monitor make me think she's gearing up to annihilate us in a game of Laserquest!
3. When your baby sick-ups and sneezes at the same time. All over you. At 03.30 in the morning.
4. At various points this week, depending on how I'm holding her, my daughter has confused my knuckle, pinky finger, nose and earlobe for a nipple just before feeding time!
5. During our ridiculous o'clock starts Mara and I have ploughed our way through a fair few movies. Pirates of the Caribbean 1,2,3 AND 4, Kill Bill Vol. 1&2, The Help the Tina Turner Biopic (smashing movie!) and Fantasia 2000.
I think this week we'll aim to watch the Harry Potter box set and maybe The Dark Knight Trilogy. None of this Disney Princess patter and definitely no Frozen!
6. Amazon have been at our house every day since we got out of hospital with deliveries of varying sizes. We signed up to Amazon Prime and in 10 days it has paid for itself through the lack of delivery charges. The delivery drivers will be cursing us!
7. The residents of Curling Pond Lane were hit twice this week by a Poo-nami. They had no prior warning. And judging by recent happenings, or lack of, there's gonna be another.
8. Waking up to your little ones poo stare is awkward for you both. It's even worse when said little one is doing it while looking you square in the eyes and smiling creepily.
9. Look Who's Talking (another movie me and the bub have watched) is 100% funnier now we are living it! I imagine Mara to be thinking the same things as Baby Mikey.
"Help! Help! Somebody burp me before I blow up!!"
10. Cuddles from my baby just get better and better.
1. My eyes are literally bigger than my belly. Mummy's milk is so tasty I don't know when to stop.
2. The big people are always making fools of themselves trying to make me laugh.
They think they're hilarious. Me? Not so much!
3. Mummy gives me amazing cuddles.
4. I cried all night last night and refused to nap when I was supposed to. The big people seem a bit tired today and I'm not sure why. I'm fine. More of the same tonight works for me.
5. I pooed myself awake at 05.00am today, then again at 07.00am. That'll wake you up in the morning, for sure!
6. Grannie appears to like washing my clothes so I've made sure she has plenty of washing to occupy her time.
7. Daddy was showing me a picture of Las Vegas last night, I think I'd quite like to go there sometime. So to show my appreciation, during every nappy change yesterday I gave mummy, daddy, grannie & grandad my own impromptu performance of the famous Bellagio Fountains.
I was so good at it I even managed to wee on my own sleeve!
8. I like to watch disaster movies at 04.00am in the morning with my daddy, all the noises and explosions are quite soothing. This morning we watched San Andreas. I don't like the quiet. SCBU was noisy all the time.
9. I blew bubbles in the bath tonight... with my bottom! Poobles!
10. I've acquired a tonne of clothes. toys and books and am very grateful to everyone who came to visit me during my stay in SCBU at St. John's. Thanks very much you lovely other big people!
1. Its possible to be so tired that you feel sick. And then to be so excited about the prospect of getting sleep when the opportunity comes around that you can't sleep. When Mara cries because she is tired, sometimes I'm almost tempted to join her.
2. Changing Mara's rancid nappies is a good incentive for me to stop biting my nails, irrespective of nailbrushes and alcohol gel. I've had more shit on my fingers this week than a doctor doing 100 prostate exams a day with the hangover shakes.
3. Your day doesn't get any better when a fellow parent tells you their little one can sleep right through the night. *Round of applause* "Good for you, that's great to know. Our little one likes to party all night, and we have to join in whether we like it or not!"
4. Sniffing our baby's arse to ascertain if she has dirtied her nappy or not has quickly become something that is socially acceptable in our house despite vowing I wouldn't be that guy!
5. Emptying the nappy bin is a thankless task. It will always be full. Always.
Actually, same rules apply for the laundry bin too. Clothing seems to multiply in there or something.
6. Your child being born is easily the best day of your life, but being the proud owner of a tumble dryer that works comes a very close second.
7. The most romantic thing I can do for Caroline right now is get the nipple shield from the steriliser tub in the middle of the night so she doesn't need to get out of bed.
8. Trying to maintain a tidy house is like trying to run in mud whilst tethered to the ground. It doesn't matter how hard you try, you're not going anywhere fast.
9. Mara's nursery is slowly turning into a plushophile's wet dream! In contrast, our living room is turning into Toy's 'R' Us with the number of play mats and Jungle Gyms arriving!
10. No matter how horrible a day I've had at work, or how stressed I get about things that don't even matter, nothing beats coming home to a big, cosy cuddle on the sofa with my two favourite girls.
1. Mara made a new friend in the Monkey Mansion this week. And he's a boy! (And I said no boyfriends, EVER!)
Little Joshua is a wee star though and he has an awesome hairstyle! We'll hopefully be meeting up with him and his parents Keren & Stephen for a play date soon!
2. Baby tired? Baby not feeding because she's asleep?
Parents! Go sit down, kick back, have a meal and a cup of tea and relax.
One mouthful and guaranteed it'll be baby feed o'clock! 30 minutes later you'll be able to go back to your soggy dinner and cold cuppa.
Forget Weight Watchers! Have a baby!
3. Mara is quite the joker. On her second sleepover with mummy and daddy last night she broke with her usual cycle of Eat, Sleep, Poop, Repeat.
The new regime is Cry, Cry, Eat, Cry, Scream, Poop, Cry, Scream, Poop, Repeat.
An anxious Caroline asked a nurse to take her temperature and just check her over. The result? "She's fine, she's just taking the piss!" And that is a medical term!
4. Babies can hide a multitude of things in their chubby skin folds...
Smell Brie? It's likely just some old milk trapped in a cheesy chin crevice signalling that it's time for a bath!
5. Having Mara to get back to has made me infinitely more efficient at other life chores. I left the hospital yesterday to go home and give the house a clean. The jobs done in those three hours, less travelling time, were many and to a high standard if I do say so myself. Incredible time keeping and top notch efficiency, like Speed but cheaper and less of a come down!
We watched 20 minutes of Limitless on TV last night and Caz commented that the house cleaning scene right at the start was now our life!
6. Talking of Limitless, those 20 minutes were welcomed like a fortnight in Las Vegas!
"Look Mara! We are watching TV! Look at the three of us together, chilling out!"
It felt like such a lovely glimpse of normality. Sofa and Disney films here we come!
7. Mara had her hearing test yesterday, looked a bit like Craig David, I'm not gonna lie!
8. When you look at the notice board in SCBU to see which night shift nurse is looking after Mara, and see that it says Parents. You then spend 20 mins looking for this weirdly named nurse before the realisation sets in...
Ignore the lovely hospital bedding!
10. After 33 days of care and attention from the Aunties and Doctors of the Special Care Baby Unit we are pleased to report that Mara is finally getting to come home today! The staff here have been amazing to say the least. We could not have done this without them and we'll be eternally grateful for all their support.
And of course we'll be back to visit everyone on a regular basis!
1. There is nothing more peaceful than a sleeping baby. I could watch Mara sleep all day long and not be bored.
2. Baby finger nails are worse than blades. She's caught her face a couple of times over the past few days and looked like she was auditioning for an Edward Scissorhands remake. Then she started on my arm...
3. How to resuscitate a doll.
Obviously in case anything should ever happen, but you can't help but feel like a bit of a tit trying to resuscitate a doll in front of your wife and under the tutelage of a midwife!
4. Don't drop the filter for the breast pump on the floor at 04.00am in the morning or your wife will give you the "I'm not angry, I'm just disapponted" look that makes you want to cry.
5. The sleep delirium is starting to set in with Caroline. She was driving home from the hospital late the other night and slowed down to a crawl to let a squirrel on the road cross over unharmed. Turns out it was a paper bag!
6. We're going to be playing catch up with Mara for the rest of our lives as she seems quite content on doing things at her own pace, which appears to be three steps ahead of everyone else. Within the past week she's been taken off her monitors, taken out of her incubator and into a heated cot and then taken out of the heated cot into a normal one a day later!
7. When Mara is breast feeding it sounds like she's going hell for leather on an empty Capri-Sun juice box! *slurp*
8. Caroline has been told by Liz, the midwife sometimes in charge of Mara's care in SCBU, that in regards to her milk she has a good let down reflex... Insert joke here...!
9. I must remember to delete the pregnancy apps we both downloaded as Caz gets a bit upset and frustrated every Saturday when they ping and say "You are now xx weeks pregnant, here's what to expect this week." Or "Your baby is now the size of a pineapple..."
App people, you've missed the boat a bit and maybe need to include something for premature babies!
10. Caroline and Marie went to Mass yesterday for the first time in 12 years only to discover they have changed the words!!! Akin to being at a music gig and trying to sing along to a song that came from the difficult third album you didn't bother to purchase!
On the plus side they didn't burst into flames on the way in, so that's good!
I've also set up a new Facebook page, just search for Thoughts Of A First Time Dad and give us a like! Plenty of photos and videos to be uploaded there!
All hilarity aside, I've got a more serious note to end on.
In the midst of our own lives, whether the times be good or bad, through the chaos, stresses and mundanity of life, it is shocking and humbling to discover that friends are dealing with their own difficult issues.
We recently discovered some friends and former colleagues of mine, Carol & Alan, had a difficult time with their own pregnancy last year and tragically lost one of their twin girls, Sophia, through something called TTTS (Twin to Twin Transfusion Syndrome.) Its not an issue I was familiar with before but offered to help them raise awareness through my blog, with their blessing.
They have set up a JustGiving page to raise funds for the hospital that cared for the family during this difficult time and it was their expertise that helped little Eloise survive.
You can read more of their story by clicking the link below and if you are able to help them out in anyway I am certain the family would be extremely grateful.
Caroline and I both know someone who has recently lost a loved one and a family friend who has health issues. It is hard, it is painful and it is part of life. So go and kiss your partner, hug your child, say thanks to your parents. And please keep those who are in difficult times in your thoughts and prayers. They are in ours.