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New Jersey Turnpike Mangles Magic Carpet Ride

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As if Delaware wasn't bad enough!

The set up was perfect.

We recreated every detail down to the time of day, temperature, even clothing.

 

Our drive down to Virginia a week earlier had been a smashing success – Maddie slept the whole way and we were in awe of our brilliance.

 

Enter the Klumps – despite our elaborate planning and meticulous attention to detail – Maddie proved that what works one time, is no guarantee for success during the next go around.

Our seamless drive down to Virginia was the polar opposite of last night’s funny little trip home.

The little lioness was wild right of the box. As we gently placed her in the car seat – “The child done lost her mind!” The screaming started and we realized that we might be in for a rocky trip.  We went through the checklist – Maddie was in good shape, but man, she was cantankerous! The little lungs that initially emitted a tropical depression, were revving up to hurricane speed. We made it a little less than 20 minutes when we pulled over see if we could calm the storm. 45 minutes later, the little girl was finally ready for sleep.

 

The next 140 miles were smooth as silk, it was the magical carpet ride we had all dreamed about – until we ran head long into the diabolical maze of NIGHT CONSTRUCTION!! Oh yes, I-95 went down to one lane ONLY 2 different times during a 6-mile span in the useless state of Delaware!

Somehow Maddie slept her way through it – but it was the construction project on the wild and wonderful New Jersey Turnpike that proved to be our undoing. Mad Maddie unleashed the fury and we were stuck in the toxic New Jersey soup.

Finally we made our way to a rest stop so Maddie could pick up some Mom’s milk – but by that time – the weary trio just wanted it to be over.

Less than an hour later – Mom and baby were safely tucked away in bed – and Stay Home PaPa was left to ponder where it all went wrong.

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Next Karate Kid KO’s Stay Home PaPa

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Maddie-San asks wasn't that guy about 30 when he made that movie?

Perhaps watching the beginning of Bloodsport with Jean-Claude Van Damme with Maddie in the room wasn’t the best move last night. After all, she was already in the midst of a pretty impressive temper tantrum and every time she heard Jean-Claude’s voice, her fierce gaze contorted and her biceps quivered.

Recent diaper changes have been marred by violence as Maddie has begun the new practice of delivering roundhouse kicks to my head with every attempt to fasten the diaper along with hand thrusts that would make Mr. Miyagi bubble with pride. Every diaper change is now conducted with a precautionary mouth piece and padded crash helmet for that added Maddie protection.

Maddie’s aggressive training regimen now includes bare-knuckle pushups, triple back flips and unbridled boppy biting. My baby is also perfecting her uppercut motions and head-strike combos for reasons I am unable to comprehend. She’s even put up a Joe Eposito, “You’re the Best” poster in her crib!! (Listen to Maddie’s soundtrack at the bottom of this post)

Maddie got a head start on her training before she was born because her Mom continued kickboxing classes throughout the second trimester. This gave our little warrior the edge she needed to make sure she was keeping Dad in line. 

Even in her deepest sleep – you will often hear a primal scream ring out accompanied by a double fist pump. I’ve taken to crouching in the corner at night with a large flashlight and an industrial grade cattle prod to ward off any unprovoked attacks.   

Click here for Maddie’s Jam: “You’re the Best”

Little Lion Terrorizes on Tight Schedule

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Lions do the majority of their hunting at night – my little Leo is on a much tighter schedule.

It doesn’t happen every day, but when Maddie goes to the dark side, it almost always happens between 3am and 6am.

Her jaws began to snap and her screams reach a fever pitch that will not be silenced for any significant length of time. It’s actually quite a phenomenon to behold. Gina and I first encountered this fearsome predatory behavior the day she was born in the hospital.

Since then, we have struggled with what we were doing that was so wrong. What terrible mistakes were we making as parents that would make someone we love so much so terribly angry?

What strikes us during these episodes is the intensity and determination displayed these each tantrum. Maddie is bound and determined to rage for this short period of time even if all of her basic needs are met.

Its part of the learning curve I suppose. Unmistakable patterns have developed and once you have determined that the diaper is clean, the swaddle is sound and the belly is full – you just strap in and hang on for the ride of your life.

I’m actually learning to appreciate these magnificent and shocking acts of nature. A couple hours of unbridled fury is not the end of the world. I also have to respect a tiny little lady who is so determined to share her strong opinions with anybody in earshot.

Who knows where this special brand of obstinacy could take Maddie. Whether this mind set is directed towards studies, athletics or exploration – her competitors will likely shrivel up in fear at the mere mention of her name.

It’s also remarkable that these incidents only occur during such a small three-hour window. This actually provides the recipient with shades of hope that the sun will rise and the storm shall pass.

Whatever You Do – Don’t Wake the Baby!!

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Waking the baby could signal the end of civilization.

The fact that my wife and I are completely ready for bed each evening by 8pm each is a pretty stern indicator of how life has changed a bit since the arrival of sweet baby Madeleine less than two weeks ago.

Sleep for all three of us has become an intricate game of cat and mouse.

During a recent car trip, Maddie was sound asleep with about 60 miles yet to drive. But Daddy was losing his edge and we had to make a high-risk stop to refuel the batteries. High risk because we risked incurring the wraith of the one they call Mad Maddie!

We glided to a gentle stop while I did a commando roll out of the vehicle applying just enough pressure to shut the door without any offending noise or vibration. I silently fled the vehicle in search of some caffeine.

I was gone no more than 90 seconds when I noticed my wife frantically signaling me from the passenger seat. It instantly dawned on me that the Phoenix must be stirring from her slumber – and our DEFCON Threat level had just been elevated to PANIC! The seismic readings were registering off the chart and my mini Mt. Vesuvius was ripe for an eruption!

Go Go Go – All hands on deck! This is not a drill. I scrambled towards my post, silently praying that all was not lost. I got to the driver’s side door initiating Silent Delta opening procedures while using Ninja breathing techniques to slow my heart rate.

As the door opened, I could sense the creature’s restlessness – I tried to strengthen my resolve, “Steady man, she’s not a lick over seven pounds!” But who was I trying to fool; those tiny lungs could rupture eardrums and shatter windows! The Banshee was nearly awake.

My wife silently implored me to get the vehicle in motion – as she dared a glance into car seat in the back. I slipped the car into reverse and the briefest of shockwaves hit – Maddie was coming to and she did not sound pleased!

I fumbled with the gears and got the car into drive – we didn’t have a prayer! We made it to the ramp heading for I-95 – hitting each gear seamlessly and praying for a miracle. My wife and I cringed as our daughter emitted a little grunt and cough – here we go – All hands, Shields Up, Brace for impact!!

I eased off at 60 mph and locked in the cruise control. Silence radiated from the back seat like a beacon of hope and promise.

A few miles down the road – we realized that we had dodged the bullet. With the crisis averted – Gina and I smirked at each other, basking in the satisfaction of the great escape. However, we also knew that although Maddie was asleep – she was plotting her next strike and next time we would not be so lucky!

Is Maddie Asleep or Playing Possum?

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My little girl learns from the possums!

What our baby has accomplished in the past three days truly goes beyond the scope. Our little jet setter has traveled the I-95 New York/DC corridor, attended a wedding and even her own baby shower. Maddie made it through each event with class and dignity – charming all that have come into contact with her.

It seems that we might also have an Oscar worthy actress in our midst. Gina and I have speculated that when the crowd around Madeleine grows past the eight-person mark – she plays a little game of possum. No matter how much the volume swells around her – Maddie slips into a rich deep sleep – or does she?

 

Is it possible that this so called slumber of the angels may just be a ruse? Both parents have noticed time and time again that when Maddie is immersed into a crowd of people – she covertly checks them out. It only lasts about a second and she only uses one eye – but she does a quick scan and then is seemingly knocked out again.

 

Gina and I are starting to wonder if she’s really sleeping as soundly as she exhibits. When she sleeps with us – she never checks out anything – but in the crowd – she’s actually going undercover.

 

Is this just a quick check or perhaps some sort of atavistic defense mechanism?

 

I know what you’re thinking – a nine-day-old infant doesn’t plot anything. But Gina and I are quickly learning that it’s never a good idea to underestimate the one we call: “Maddie A!”

Week Old Wedding Crasher Snubs Kate Middleton

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Don't bug me, Kate!

Just seven days out of the womb – most infants like to take it easy. Some hit the bottle or breast and just pass out – others just lounge around for a good cry or two. That was not on the menu for Mad Maddie – she took her shot at becoming the world’s youngest wedding crasher.

Maddie had been scheduled to spend the weekend with the royal couple, Kate Middleton and Prince William in Monaco – but she was insistent that family comes first and was determined to see her Aunt Joni walk down the aisle.

Aunt Joni’s wedding was flanked by heavy security – but Madeleine made her way in by flirting and charming her way past the most ardent professionals in the business.

She wore a stunning purple Cartier floral tiara that would make Pippa green with envy along with a spectacular Vera Wang Couture Red Carpet evening gown specially imported from the chic Babies R Us in Secaucus, New Jersey.

Maddie crept into the bride’s side pews near the front and pretended to sleep through the whole affair. After the ceremony she was whisked away by Denise aka MiMi with her secret bodyguard “El Jefe” riding in the chase car.

At the reception, Maddie reportedly told Aunt Jacque that she was, “Single and ready to mingle!” Instead I plopped her down into the protective nest of her cadre of great grandparents!

But when the music started – Madeleine enjoyed a special slow dance with Aunt Joni. They were tripping the light fantastic until that eager beaver, Uncle Tim, swept in and called the dance off.

Maddie said a lively time was had by all and was humbled to become the youngest wedding crasher in history. WELL DONE!!

Stay Home PaPa Rides the Brown Lightning

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What can brown do for you??

An old cliché says into each life, some rain must fall. My sly little daughter introduced me to her own interpretation of that little idiom this morning during bath time.

Just one day after I had the audacity to refer to her as a pooping raptor after giving her Mom the brown treatment – it was my turn to join the festivities. I had just changed Maddie’s diaper and decided to follow it up with a nice bath in the sink.

This was mostly because that the diaper change went horribly wrong. My gorgeous daughter unleashed a deluge of urine that quickly soaked her little nightshirt. Wow, how quickly fortunes can change with a magical peeing munchkin.

Maddie seemed most entertained as I fought to stem the tide of rising urine. Sadly, my good intentions were not enough, as she was now lying in a pool of Mike’s Hard Lemonade.

BATHTIME!!!!!!!!

A quick jaunt to the bathroom sink and I was ready to initiate emergency clean-up operations. Maddie batted her mesmerizing eyes at me, clearly taken by the theater of the moment. I fumbled with faucet, but we were soon ready to go.

Just as I put the warm soapy washcloth to my baby, she decided that it would be best to pee on me as well. But, I was ready. I pivoted her little butt over the sink and Angle Falls fell harmlessly into the running water.

Haaaa!!! – I gazed triumphantly into the mirror only to find a large streak of brown lightning splayed across my t-shirt. But I was so clever, how did, wha had happen was, I mean, but she, where did that come from???

Now the left side of my shirt was a DMZ zone and our bath time had only just begun.

I deftly moved her to the right, determined to finish our clean up when another warm front of pee came in from the west. Still in shock from the brown finger paint – and with my left side now off limits – I was forced to briefly bask in the glory of this introductory golden shower.

It took a good two seconds before I could get her back privates back into the soothing waters of Ashburn, Virginia – but the damage was done.

Now that I’ve joined the Mud Membership Club – I now know what BROWN can do for you!