Baby Defies Gravity – Ambushes PaPa at Panera

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Is she still out there?

Poop Happens! This is a surprise to no one who has ever had the pleasure of raising a child, but my little girl is different – she is a SNIPER. Maddie has the patience to become one with the environment – stalk her prey – and fire the shot before the target even knows it’s been hit.

Her doctrine is simple, “One shot, One kill!”

Today’s covert operation was Maddie’s most successful undertaking yet. The baby had a lunch date scheduled with her grandmother this afternoon. The trip out to the restaurant was fairly uneventful. Never one to be caught by surprise, Maddie took a seat in the back so she could see everyone who came in or out.

She spotted her grandmother right away and called her over to the table. Maddie stayed in stealth mode as her grandmother approached – she pretended to be a baby drinking a bottle in the arms of her PaPa, but looks can be deceiving. Grandma Mary Anne came to the table and greeted both of us and Maddie gave her a great big warm smile.

PaPa and Maddie’s grandmother started talking while the baby seemed to be innocently eating her lunch. It was then that Maddie’s father was catching a stray scent of cosmic proportions. A smell that had no place in this world. His hand instinctively went to Maddie’s diaper, but everything was completely dry. Hmmm, PaPa wondered if the lack of sleep was really getting to him.

He kept feeding the baby, but the smell was getting worse! He picked Maddie up, looked at her pants and nothing was out of place. Where could this smell be coming from? Suddenly he felt a warm sickly sensation ebbing down the left thigh of his jeans. He put his hand down there only to find a honey badger sized pool of nastiness gathering on his jeans.

He looked at his mother, scooped up the baby and said, “Umm, we might be a while.”

I busted into the bathroom and placed the baby on the changing table. At this point, the diaper is still clean, her pants are clean – Is there a hidden camera? Is this some sort of joke? This time I lifted Maddie up and turned her around and what I saw violated the very laws of gravity. A biblical poop storm had burst out of the back top of the diaper and shot up the back of the little sniper’s shirt. That’s right – the poop went UP!!!

Poop goes down, not up! Apples fall down, not up! I turned Maddie around and she was gurgling and laughing – “Hey PaPa, Didn’t see that one coming, didja?”

The cleanup was an arduous process with no good way in or out. To make matters worse, once I got the soiled clothing off of the baby, she went ballistic! She screamed to the high heavens as the people who walked into the restroom did a quick about face and hightailed it out of there.

I finally got my little angel all cleaned up and the second we walked back out into public, the water works suddenly dried up and the baby’s best Sunday smile was pasted across her face. She was all prim and proper, Miss Butterscotch and Ponies herself! No evidence of the mess she had made or the tantrum she had thrown. Just the perfect and happy little sniper – always waiting and biding her time for the next big hit!

Annoyed Baby Suspends Church Services

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I made it to the church on time, but I'm leaving early!

Even though Maddie looked amazing in her pink suspenders this morning, she wanted to arrive at church with as little fanfare as possible. Flanked by her posse, she made into Mass under the radar and was soon seated comfortably in her PaPa’s arms.

The problem was, she was doing her best to make her father laugh and it was really working. She kept making funny faces and her dad kept chuckling, helpless to resist Maddie’s charming sense of humor.

PaPa was actually worried that his daughter’s shenanigans might get him into some hot water when he noticed that something was really rubbing Maddie the wrong way. It turned out that the little boy sitting in front of Madeleine had a squeaky high-pitched voice and it was really disturbing the baby. He kept chattering away and Maddie’s patience was drying up quickly.

Suddenly her bottom lip started to quiver and I realized that the tears could not be far behind. Sure enough, Maddie’s started melting down and it was time for both of us to hit the road. I gathered up my little girl and we made a beeline for the exit. As soon as we got out into the foyer, Maddie was more than happy to quiet down and take a look around.

After about 15 minutes, PaPa mistakenly tried to bring the baby back into Mass. That lasted about three whole minutes before Maddie notified her dad once again, “Time to get me out of here!”

This time we went outside and once again, Maddie was perfectly happy with the change of scenery. Maddie’s reaction to sounds continue to change from week to week, so there’s no telling which noises will bother her and which ones she will ignore. This is just another funny way the baby strives to keep us on our toes.

Stroller Adventure Leaves Baby Out of Sorts

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What's wrong with this picture?

After yesterday’s sleep debacle, it was time reintroduce Maddie to some intense outdoor time. One of the surest ways to put the little girl down for the count is a heavy does of fresh air during the day. So right after breakfast, I grabbed a shopping list from MiMi, popped Maddie into her stroller and set off for greener pastures.

As soon as we turned the corner, Maddie was sleeping it off. She stayed that way for a good hour – but all good things must come to an end. Maddie woke up on the way home from store in her new stroller – a stroller that faces front and not the backwards-facing model she is used to. This is where things really began to unravel.

Ever since the baby was born (when she wakes up in her stroller) she has always been able to see who was pushing her. Apparently not seeing her chauffeur caused Maddie a great deal of angst and she was not afraid to share her acute displeasure with her PaPa. She lit up her father just 100 yards away from her grandparent’s house. Bummer.

It was classic. Maddie calmed down every time I came around the stroller into her line of sight – but as soon as I went around to push her, she lost it again. We were now crawling in 7-foot increments and getting nowhere fast. Each time I appeared and then disappeared again, the howling got worse. So what do you do with a stroller full of groceries and an angry baby?

Since MiMi’s house was actually in view, it was time to pick up Maddie and carry her in my right arm and push the stroller with the left hand. It seemed like a great solution to me, but at least three passing cars slowed down to stare as they watched this one-man-band stagger up the sidewalk with a very intense looking baby.

Towards the end, Maddie started getting fussy again and to save a few precious minutes, it was time for a little off-roading. We ran up the grassy hill to get inside the house, but the stroller was bogging down in the grass. It was at this point I realized that if I slowed down and lost momentum, the stroller full of groceries would wither roll back down the hill or topple end over end.

We made it to the top of the hill where Maddie was quickly returned to her mother and all the groceries eventually made it in safely. Tomorrow we are headed to central Virginia to see more relatives, so Maddie can enjoy as much time in the car as possible – probably not the best idea we’ve ever had, but hey, it’s the holidays!

Baby Lets Loose for Some Friday Night Fun

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Maddie celebrates 12-Week birthday in style!

The baby’s fussiness meter soared off the charts Friday night leaving her Stay Home PaPa in dire straights. Maddie had been in a great mood all day long, but as the late afternoon drifted in – the baby went off the reservation.

The baby had been living the good life in her Amazon Rainforest bouncy chair, complete with swinging monkeys and bobbing tree frogs. But somehow, Maddie got lost in the forest and there would be heck to pay. The crying came on in a vintage Zero-to-Sixty fashion. One minute the baby was frolicking in the jungle, the next minute she was ready to burn and pillage.

She stopped crying immediately and gave me a big smile when I lifted her out of the chair – surely there had been some kind of misunderstanding, my little girl was as happy as a clam! But are clams really happy? Don’t people pry them apart and turn them into clam chowder?

Two minutes after I took Maddie into my arms, she came undone and began crying in fits and starts. I checked the usual suspects, no diaper issues, no gas problems and she wasn’t hungry. But the crying grew in intensity and we both struggled for the better part of 40 minutes. Time to get the baby outside for some fresh air.

I wrapped her up into a swaddle blanket and we hit the great outdoors. The cool air and the sounds of traffic calmed Maddie down – but she was determined that there would be no sleep on this evening’s docket. As soon as Maddie began to get drowsy, we headed back inside where she started getting upset all over again.

I passed her off to her Mom who was able to ease a little bit of the baby’s angst, but Maddie was still filled with restlessness. It was at this point when Gina passed the baby back to me and told me to just snuggle the baby tightly. Women never cease to amaze me with this type of intelligence – Gina was absolutely right as Maddie passed out into my arms.

About a half hour later, there was a huge wet tug on the knuckle of my index finger, kind of like a fish on the end of a line. Maddie had woken up and decided that my knuckle must be a great source of protein and nutrients. She shook the finger wildly, trying to draw on it’s hidden source of mother’s milk. I struggled, trying to draw my finger back from the snapping jaws of the child. I could feel my strength fading as the mighty beast ravaged the defenseless knuckle.

Sadly, it took very little time for her to realize that the knuckle had run dry and another food source was needed to satisfy her insatiable hunger. Lucky for us, feeding time marked the end of the screaming and her righteous indignation. The problem with events like this is that we never get to learn what actually caused the meltdown. But at least now I know to keep my knuckles well nourished and ready for the baby’s next feeding session.

Maddie Decides Bath Time is for the Birds

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Maybe this bath stuff isn't such a good idea!

Since Maddie’s birth, bath time has always been one of her favorite activities. But as we discussed earlier this week, Maddie’s interpretation and reaction to outside stimuli has undergone some sort of dramatic transformation.

Unfortunately, this shift in behavior has found its way into the bathtub. We were forced into an early bath this afternoon when Maddie pulled a fast one after I removed her diaper. The diaper came off and she started urinating into the air. She really must have had to go, because the stream was shooting straight out.

I blocked the pee-stream in mid-air like some sort of super hero using his hand to deflect a punishing laser. (Luckily I had a cloth diaper lodged in my hand for this type of attack) Maddie obviously thought this was great sport, as she smiled with pure delight. She was in a really great mood now.

Our trip to the bathtub was starting with such promise – but as soon as the baby hit the water, she panicked.

This is a radical departure from her previous love of the tub. Maddie seemed very concerned that her head might slip under the water – even though that’s never happened before. She did not scream or cry – but she was fiercely communicating to me that I needed to keep a firm hand hold on the back of her neck.

This complicated our usual bathing process – but eventually Maddie started to relax and enjoy herself, although not as much as usual. Normally she splashes around a little bit, but today she was keeping a firm grip on my arms to make sure I was ready for any needed rescue operations. Even when I was washing the baby’s feet, her smiles were very cautious, as if she expected me to run out of the room at any moment and order a pizza.

It was if she had never been exposed to water before. I made sure that we took our time and kept the water nice and warm. It wasn’t until I started washing her hair that Maddie realized she was in good hands. We enjoyed the rest of our bath and I could tell that Maddie felt much better. This is because she carpet bombed my arm with poop after I finished drying her off.

When you really think about it, it’s obvious that I’m the one who should be terrified when it’s time for the baby to take a bath!

Sleep Hard – Play to Win!

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No day is so bad that it can’t be fixed with a nap.

One of the first things people notice about Maddie is that she is NOT a halfway kind of girl. Whatever, she does – Eat, sleep or poop – She does it with gusto, intensity and panache. Even at eleven weeks old, Maddie has a well-defined sense of purpose and is always striving to hit the next gear.

After a week of trailblazing and fighting the good fight against the institution of sleep – Maddie finally succumbed to Morpheus and was able to really recharge her batteries. I couldn’t believe my good fortune when she and I woke up from a two and half hour nap at 7:30 this morning.

People who say they sleep like a baby, probably don’t have one!

She woke up seemingly ready for action – but apparently, that was just a false positive. I was in the process of burping Maddie after her feeding when I noticed that she was completely knocked out on my shoulder. Oh my, 9am and our little bean was already on the ropes. I laid her in the crib and she slept soundly for another two hours.

Now this is a truly unexpected treat! I went out during the afternoon and left Maddie with her momma. When I got back, little Miss Thang was out like a light sleeping on her Mom. We made the seamless handoff and in no time, the baby was sawing wood on my chest as well.

During this particular nap, I noticed that Maddie was having a very intense feeding dream. Her little lips were moving at the speed of sound as if she were really working over her bottle.

What’s really funny about this drastic sleeping episode is that it comes as no surprise what so ever. Dealing with Maddie is a life-lesson in the art of expecting the unexpected. She doles out a new adventure every single day and you have to love the independent and pioneer spirit she is already exhibiting. (I can hear seasoned parents snickering at me now!) But seriously, who can resist someone who is just bubbling with life even before they even reach 11-weeks-old?

Baby Pays the Price for Rigorous Vaccination Practices

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CDC vaccination policies do more harm than good

A combination of doctor trickery and parental ignorance led to a great deal of pain and suffering for our baby Tuesday night.

I have always wondered about the controversy surrounding infant immunizations and the adverse impact on young children. I’m here to tell you folks – there is great reason to fear your doctors and their half-assed policies regarding shots for babies.

Our pediatrician (not for long) told us that our 11-pound, 2-month old baby needed two shots and an oral Rotavirus vaccine. Three doses of WHATEVER seemed like a lot for such a tiny creature – but like an idiot – I deferred to the doctor. Moments later, we found out that these two shots actually contain FOUR different vaccinations. Now I’m pissed and praying that the baby is ok.

Turns out that praying was not enough, because four hours later – the dam ruptured and all hell broke loose. Out of nowhere – Maddie started screaming with a desperation we could not have even imagined in our wildest dreams. She was inconsolable for nearly two hours and clearly suffering from her vaccine cocktail. We contacted the on-call doctor who told us that this was a very rare reaction to the shots. Being lied to by a witch doctor didn’t make the situation any better at all.

Despite all the warnings from friends and family who had bad experiences with their kids – we just had to learn the hard way.

Watching my baby suffer has made me a true believer in the ineptitude of the CDC and these so-called medicinal practitioners. There is no reason to load up such a little person with such a potent cocktail of drugs when these vaccinations could be spread out over time.

The CDC and its rigorous shot schedule is for the birds. It is completely up to the parents to modify the shot schedule and defy both the pediatricians and our wonderful friends at the CDC.

Our doctor was very slick – but our eyes have been pried wide open. One shot at a time is more than enough from now on – but thanks anyway.

Exhausted Baby’s Sunday Night Implosion

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Didn't see that coming

After a full day of visiting relatives – the baby, my wife and I arrived home to what we hoped would be a nice relaxing evening. Maddie however, had a completely different agenda on her mind and it did not include relaxation, despite the fact that she was completely exhausted.

It was so strange that after a day of smiles and sleeping, things basically fell apart the second we walked through the door. Maddie’s concentrated effort to stave off sleep and stay awake finally caught up to her and her parents. Now the baby was fighting mad and looking for a little payback!

Let me preface all of this by saying that Maddie is a remarkably good-natured baby and 99% of all of her meltdowns are caused by some form of hunger. This little tantrum bug was caused by plain and simple fatigue – and there was heck to pay!

Our afternoon was punctuated with a series of crying fits and over all restlessness. We played every card in the deck: diaper change, snuggling, pacifier, singing and even food. But when all was said and done – we were helpless to quell the riot boiling inside of our little girl.

We both took equal turns trying to bring some peace to Maddie, but we came up snake eyes every time. I really thought she would be delighted after trouncing her PaPa in a head-to-head fantasy football matchup to remain undefeated in her league. But nothing but time was going to heal these wounds!

It took hours before we finally coaxed Maddie into some decent sleep. I’m sure I really learned something from this experience – I just have no idea what that might have been.

Look But Don’t Touch!

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Can I hold the baby?

Parents often sit back and watch the various ways people react when they catch a quick glimpse of the baby. Thursday morning presented one of the most bizarre encounters with Maddie that I’ve seen yet.

A quick trip to a local merchant triggered a joyous – but wildly odd reaction from the woman behind the counter that left the baby out-of-sorts and me scratching my head.

I had the car seat with Maddie in my right hand and a stack of clothes in my left. I walked into the drycleaners, set the car seat on the floor and the clothes on the counter. Suddenly a frantic cry split the morning’s silence startling the baby and her father, “Oh my goshhhhh – Hello baby, Hellloooo!!”

Before we could react, the clerk was motoring around the counter towards the baby who was strapped into the car seat. She was squealing the whole way – “Hello BayyBeee – HELLLOOOO!!!”

Maddie looked up at the strange incoming woman with a bewildered look on her face. The woman crouched down, reached into the car seat and grasped both of Maddie’s thighs. She started pumping Maddie’s little legs all the while crying out, “Baby – What are you doing baby?”

Taken aback by this series of strange incidents – Maddie looked desperately to me for guidance and then started screaming at the top of her lungs.

“OH NOOOOO, Baby!” The scary and loud woman was reaching for Maddie’s face with her dirty hands when I snatched up the car seat and said maybe I better hold onto her for now. I exchanged a few awkward pleasantries with the woman and exited the store with the less-than-impressed young Madeleine.

My little girl was still shaken by the volume of the greeting and the impromptu leg pumping session. I gently massaged Maddie’s face and soothed her and within 30 seconds, that strange little encounter was all but forgotten. As I placed Maddie into the car – she admonished me with a harsh look that seemed to say, “What were you thinking?”

Sadly, I’m still searching for the answer to that one.

Monitoring Baby with Night Vision Technology

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Maddie is watching you

What started off as a relatively normal morning become another day of firsts with young Maddie. Our little girl was in high spirits right up until dinnertime when things suddenly spun off course.

Maddie and I were just finishing up a feeding when she erupted into an unexpected little fit of anger. Apparently 6 oz is no longer sufficient – and since the baby was convinced that she was starving, I decided to break new ground and try for a record breaking 8 ounces. She tore through that in no time – but was still out of sorts.

All the necessary steps were taken to properly soothe the little girl including an elongated burp session. When I laid Maddie on the couch, I did wonder how she would be able to process all of that liquid. I didn’t have to wait long for the answer.

Maddie was cooing and chirping on the couch with a huge smile on her face – I reached under the blanket to lift her up and was treated not only to a wet blanket – but large wet spot on the couch as well. Surprise!

Fair enough – time for a diaper change and a new outfit. We went back to the living room where I held Maddie for a while. About 40 minutes later, we laid the baby down to eat dinner. When dinner was done, I reached under Maddie to pick her up and guess what – Act II had already been completed. Wet blanket, wet diaper and a wet couch.

Luckily, this accident took place on the opposite side of the couch – so now each corner of the couch matches the other.

These unfortunate events almost postponed Maddie’s first planned solo nap, but we decided to go ahead with it. Our definition of solo means that this would be the first time Maddie slept in a room without us being physically present. I set Maddie in the crib and pointed the baby bubble camera at her and took the monitor into the other room with me.

I stared at the image of Maddie situated in the eerie glow of her darkened room. It was kind of like watching a movie where a Delta Force team is conducting night operations to snag the sleeping villains.

I could tell right off the bat that this monitor thing is going to take some getting used to. My wife and I sat on the stinky couch ignoring the television and staring at the baby monitor for two hours until Gina finally went to bed. This obsession with watching the baby monitor kind of defeats the purpose of the device – instead of being productive while the baby is sleeping, we’re in some sort of parental trance – locked into the image of our sleeping daughter.

I suppose we just need more time to feel comfortable – but watching the Maddie show seemed infinitely more entertaining than whatever ever show we might have conjured up on the television.