Saturday, 25 June 2016

10 Things I've Learned As A New Daddy This Week (Part 15)

1. I'm so thankful we already have Mara.
This week alone I've been kicked in the balls twice by her (surprisingly strong for a near 5 month old) and was brought to my knees by our friends dog, Bear - again, hit square in the knackers!

2. All of my clothes smell of sick. I generally leave the house with stains on my t-shirts most days.

3. Just because a song from a toy is catchy doesn't mean it's any good. Norovirus is catchy. I hear Caroline humming the baby gym songs at random points every day!

4. Babies give you endless amounts of new material to write about but zero time to write it.

5. When your baby laughs the world makes sense. She's working on her giggles and belly laughs.

6.Mara's poo stare is really something to see.

7. We've discovered Disney films this morning. It took me 4 attempts to walk out the sitting room with her while The Lion King was on!

8. Tiny hasn't quite grasped the concept of traffic lights yet. She quite likes when the car is in motion, but God help you if you have to stop for longer than 5 seconds!
9. Mara threw up a little earlier and then decided to heavy breathe all over me as she came in for a cuddle. My body performed a vasectomy on itself.

10. Tonight is DATE NIGHT!
The first proper date night since Mara was born... It's mostly going to consist of cleaning the house, hoovering, a nice dinner followed by a movie rental on SKY (we might actually get to see The Revenant, just 6 months behind everyone else) and then bed for 9pm if we're lucky!
I'm gonna miss her, even though she's only going to be staying next door with her Gran & Papa, but we did have a little chat earlier, lots and lots of dirty nappies for them please!!

Tuesday, 14 June 2016

10 Things I've Learned As A New Daddy This Week (Part 14)

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1. Running out of baby wipes mid change is scarier than Club Earth on a Friday night... (Or Melville's, or Zen or whatever the hell it's called these days! EQHQ? All horrendous names for a crappy nightclub IMO!!)

2. Tidying up around your sleeping child makes you feel as though you're burgling your own home.

3. Someone told Mara the best time to fill her nappy was just before she falls asleep. Halfway through a feed is also another favourite.

Not just Hell... Hell. On. Fucking. Earth. Seems more appropriate!.

5.  I've got to remember to lick my fingers to open the nappy bag *before* I change the rancid nappy.

6. When cutting your baby's razorblades (I mean fingernails) its always best to leave the tip of their finger attached. Failure to do so will result in Caroline hitting the fucking roof! Mara actually wasn't too bothered and I can assure you it was just a little nick, I've had worse paper cuts!

7. Now, having been unable to cut said fingernails, Mara has taken this opportunity to claw her head and take a little chunk out of her scalp. I very near had a fit when I woke up this morning to find her muslin dotted with blood!

8. I am nothing without coffee. Every day they're getting a little bit stronger. If I keep increasing the strength I should be able to tar a road by the end of September.

9. There's no feeling as nice as waking up in the morning and the first thing you see is your baby, who has been watching you sleep for who knows how long, smiling at you.

10. I went for my first proper run since Mara was born last night. I'm not saying I'm Usain Bolt or anything but my time for a 5K was 39:58. This is 58 seconds longer than my Personal Best from the 5K I completed in Las Vegas in November. That's what 5 weeks of hospital food will do to you I suppose! I may be slower than a herd of turtles running through peanut butter (mmmmm, peanut butter!) but it's a start. I'm running in a 5K at The Kelpies in Falkirk in November (a birthday gift to myself) so my goal time is 35 mins. I'll be raising money for the Special Care Baby Unit (SCBU) at St Johns Hospital, Livngston as a way to say thank you for everything they did for Mara during what was a really difficult time. Without all of those amazing ladies, we might not be where we are today. They are a credit to the NHS.
If you would like to help with a donation, please click on the following link -
Thoughts Of A First Time Dad's JustGiving page.

Thanks in advance!

Mark, Caroline & Mara x

Sunday, 5 June 2016

Baby Wearing

My writers block is (hopefully) gone! Apologies if you were getting a bit fed up with my "10 Things" posts. This is the first time in months I've had time to sit down and properly write something instead of collecting things that happen, or random thoughts I've had, in the notes app on my iPhone.

In November last year, while we were out shopping for furniture for the nursery Caroline came across this :
The Mamas & Papas Morph Baby Carrier.

I decided that I definitely wanted one of these, my reasoning being that Caroline had carried Baby Irvine for 9 months (to be fair Mara was out in 7 for *ahem* good behaviour...) it only seemed fair that I should do a bit of carrying myself, despite reservations that I would look like Alan from The Hangover as mentioned in a previous post. Click this handy link in case you missed it!

Today was finally the day I got to test that baby out (bad pun?)

I spent 20 minutes before we went out reading the instruction manual and assembling the Morph and then another 20 minutes strutting around between our house and Gran & Papa G's. testing it out (they live next door to us for those who don't know - handy for babysitting!)
Mara seemed to relish this new experience of being carted around in a baby sized rucksack in her pyjamas! So we set off to Falkirk to visit The Kelpies & Helix Park again, this time with Gran & Papa G in tow, before heading up to Hotel Colessio in Stirling for afternoon tea! 

This is where the interesting bit kicks in and to help me describe it in the best way possible I got in touch with a fellow dad blogger, Matt Coyne from Man Vs Baby (& the guy off of the telly!) to ask if I could quote one of his latest posts about baby wearing. Thankfully he agreed as I feel that I might not have been able to do it justice otherwise! He nails it! Thanks for allowing me to use this buddy!!

Matt wrote on his product review for Amazon -

- Trying to get it on feels like you're being sexually assaulted by a set of bagpipes....

- It says in the instructions that its designed so that you feel a real bond with your baby... when I wear it I feel like I'm doing a tandem skydive with Verne Troyer.

- The baby sits at exactly the right height to... repeatedly kick you in the bollocks.

- It's hard to describe but, with Charlie in it, it feels like I'm going to topple over.. When I walk I feel dangerously top-heavy like one of those women with record-breakingly massive tits.

Anyway, The daft thing is I still gave it 5 stars. Why? Because Charlie absolutely loves it.. He's suddenly 4 foot taller and enjoying striding around the place like he's f*cking Godzilla. (He must feel like Sigourney Weaver at the end of Aliens when she climbs into that big forklift suit thing and turns dead hard).
"Get away from her you bitch."

Honestly, everything he said was exactly how I felt today and I wouldn't have changed any of it!! I'm not gonna lie, there was a little bit of peacocking happening on my part: "I'm awesome, I'm wearing a baby and totally rocking this!" Mara was just happy to be doing something different, although I did feel like I should have been wearing a mirror as well so she could see what was happening since she was stuck facing my chest. She's beginning to hold her head up now unaided, but can't sustain it for long periods of time so Caroline adjusted the straps so we were both still comfortable but her head could be as supported as she wanted it to be... and also, Mara could still have a nose around by peeking out the sides! A few times though, she would look up at me with this massive cheesey grin and it made me so happy! I secretly think she loved it.

Now, I'm looking forward to when she is able to sit front facing and totally enjoy the experience. It also means I won't end up with a soaking wet shirt and look like I've been dribbling on myself when I take her off! Damn teething! There's drool everywhere, she's worse than Beethoven right now (the dog, not the composer!)

Lastly, something else to look forward to this week coming... we're going to try a bit of weaning... We are armed to the teeth (too soon?!) with bibs, spoons, rusks, baby rice & fruit purees!
Wish us luck!!

Here's a link to my last blog post in case you missed it too - 10 Things... Part 13
And as always, please get in touch with any advice (or criticisms)! Feel free to share your stories and my blogs!