The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 97

pop poppa nap cast logo

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 97 reflects back on a year of Jack, his many developments in recent weeks and our struggles to get our daughter to sleep in her own bed.

If you want to listen to the episode I recorded after Jack was born a year ago, you can find it here. I also chronicled the events in the Photo Diaries from that month.

sign for moreHere’s me doing the sign for “more.”

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, Comic Book Resources, Geek.com and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

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The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 62

pop poppa nap cast logo

Not only does the 62nd episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast recount our Memorial Day weekend woes, but also lays out the groundwork for Lu’s new mastery of the potty and a brand new intro.

baby bjorn smart potty

The potty we use is the white BABYBJORN Smart Potty.

Go, Girl! Go Potty!, The Potty Book for Girls, Elmo’s Potty Time and Nina Needs To Go on Disney Channel have all helped our daughter figure out what this whole potty training thing is about.

I wrote about my first time using the Lost It! app over on Monkeying Around The Kitchen last year.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 58

pop poppa nap cast logoMy apologies once again for the lateness of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 58, but our little dude has been taking up a lot of our time. Plus, who wants to cut a podcast when you could be holding your new kiddo? Still, this one covers Jack’s homecoming, his first meeting with Lu and a few more odds and ends from last week.

lu and jack at home

I haven’t posted the video of Lu meeting Jack yet or even gotten it off the camera yet, but I’ll keep you posted. Here’s a picture, though!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 57

pop poppa nap cast logo

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 57 gives a good deal of Jack updates, including an estimated time of arrival her at home, discusses Lu’s improving sleep habits and my recent trip to Michigan for a wedding. Please excuse the heavy breathing, uhs and drawn out words.

The food thing I mentioned in the episode is called Meal Baby. We super appreciate if you can help out.

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 56

pop poppa nap cast logo

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 56 is coming at you a few days late, but it does get into some of the day to day details of dealing with a little dude in the NICU and our early attempts at altering Lu’s sleeping habits which did not go so well.

bitty baby and me

Here’s the Bitty Baby and Me book I mentioned. It’s not actually a good story, but it’s worth having just for that “taking a rest” idea which Lu has gotten a lot more used to since I recorded this episode.

A few quick updates: Jack’s putting on great weight, Lu’s sleeping better and the wedding was great, but more on that next episode which will hopefully be on time!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 55

pop poppa nap cast logo

The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 55 might be the shortest episode yet, but that’s because we had a crazy week that ended with labor and began with a brand new baby boy! I recorded this on his birthday, April 7, since then he’s gotten bigger, is breathing better and Em’s been released from the hospital!

baby jack Here he is on day one, he looks even more solid today!

For more of me check out UnitedMonkee.com, MonkeyingAroundTheKitchen.com, Comic Book Resources and @PoppaDietsch on Twitter.

An Open Letter To My Darling Daughter On Her First Birthday

Wow, I can’t believe you’re one today. Depending on the day, it either seems like the time has flown by or like you’re been part of our lives for far more than 365 days. Truthfully, you were part of us for the nine months before that, of course, but as much as I would look at the black and white ultrasound photo that still sits on a shelf directly across from where I sit every day, I could not have imagined what you’d really be like. I could see your nose, but that’s about it. I had no idea you’d have such bright, blue, sparkly eyes or that your cheeks would be so popular that strangers would come out of nowhere and say they wanted to eat them. Don’t worry, I didn’t let them. A few copped a quick cheek feel, but I kept an eye on them.

No, I really could not have known what being your dad would be like, how amazing it would be, how impressive you are and how completely my happiness has been connected to yours. I doubt you will remember this down the line, but when you have a bad day, so do I. When you’re popping out teeth and just not feeling well, I can’t help but feel out of sorts myself (and not just because those are the days where you seem dead set on clearing everything off of every shelf and table in the condo). I could not have known how warm my heart would get when you look at me and said “dada” or when you finally started laughing. I can’t really explain how mad I get when people cut us off in the car or when those strangers try to touch you. Mom calls it my “daddy bear” coming out and that just about explains it perfectly. How dare they, don’t they know I’m carrying precious cargo?

Something that most parents say to their kids is that they just want their kids to be safe and happy. Oftentimes, parents will go overboard on the former and wind up inhibiting the latter. I know I’ve probably done this already and will most likely do it as you grow up, but I want you to know that it all comes from a place of love and caring. I do my best to let you run around and do your own thing and hope you know I’ll always be there to scoop you up when you fall down (both literally and figuratively).

Looking back, it’s been a heckuva year. Remember when I used to carry you through the whole grocery store because you were too small for the cart and I didn’t want to use those gross ones with built in baby seats? Or how about when you were so little, we’d have to wrap you up in a blanket so you wouldn’t bonk yourself in the face and wake up? Or how your tiny hands and inquisitive nature have lead to an early exploration of the guitar? No, you probably won’t, but that’s okay. I’ve taken plenty of pictures and done a fair amount of writing her on the blog and over on my photo diary about your exploits, so we’ll hopefully be able to strolls together down memory lane.

You won’t understand this — or maybe any of this — until you have kids of your own, but I want you to know how proud I am of you and how much I love you. It’s such a complete and honest and true feeling that comes from deep inside. Like just about everything else about being a parent, it’s hard to explain, but instantly recognizable when you feel it. I hope my own issues and problems don’t seep down to do you too much and I apologize for my bad days, but want you to know without a shadow of a doubt that I love and support you and want you to have everything the world has to offer. Happy birthday chickadee.

Birthing At Home

Originally posted on UnitedMonkee.com on May 11th, 2011

“Dad Stuff” will be a recurring column I’ve had in my mind for quite a while. As I’m sure you can surmise, it’ll be about my experiences as a dad. I’m thinking it’ll include stories, anecdotes and maybe even some dad related reviews. I figured the best place to start would be at the beginning. About nine months back after realizing we were expecting, the missus came to me and said she really wanted to do a natural birth. Her mom had had her and her brother at a birthing center with a midwife, but that apparently isn’t an option in our area. So, the only way to do a birth with a midwife was at home. The concept spooked me to be sure. What if there were complications? What kind of training do midwives have? What happens if I pass out from all the blood and whatnot? What if it was messy? I had my questions and concerns, but it was clearly something important to her, so I went along with it.

From there we talked to a few different midwife groups and decided on one that fit really well called River and Mountain Midwives. The missus watched a few documentaries about birth like The Business of Being Born (on Netflix Instant) and I saw one or two myself like The Orgasmic Birth, and I was convinced. See, I haven’t been around babies much. I’m an only child and my younger cousins were all born in hospitals. I figured the normal way to give birth was to head to a hospital, get some shots, have the baby and go home. But it turns out it’s a lot more complicated than that. I don’t want to get into the horror stories, but I bet if you started asking your friends and family how their hospital births went, you probably won’t get 100% positive responses. The main point that talking to the missus, the midwives and watching the movies made for me, though, was that birth is natural and should be handled as such unless there are circumstances that present themselves that require medical attention. People have been doing this for millions of years right?

From there we had regular meetings with the midwives where I learned more and more and saw my baby grow and grow. We also went to a birth class with three other couples in our general area who were also having home births, so I really got a crash course in all this stuff and met other like-minded folks that gave me a pretty good feeling going into the birth.

As I’m sure everyone is aware, word got out on Sunday May 1st that Osama bin Laden had been assassinated. We were pretty fascinated by this and even though the details wouldn’t be made prominent for a couple days (and even longer for us), we staid up to watch the news. The missus had planned to go on pre-maternity leave starting the previous Friday, so she staid up later than usual. Eventually we turned the TV off and I did some reading. Not much further into the evening I heard a pop and thought “Oh man, I bet that was her water breaking,” but she didn’t say anything and it’s good to sleep through some of your labor, so I didn’t say anything. A few moments later, she was up and said “I think my water just broke…yeah, it broke.” That’s when I kicked into stereotypical dad mode and started pacing, playing with my hair and wondering what I needed to do. That was at 1:23AM.

I got control of myself, got her a towel and then called the midwife. She said to try and get some sleep, but it soon became evident that it was very uncomfortable for her to try and go through a contraction while lying down. We also noticed–thanks to an app on her iPod Touch–that the contractions were coming closer together than we expected, but not alarmingly so, so we waited to call the midwife again. Around 4AM, after finding a good laboring place in our hallway bathroom, things were starting to move faster, so I called the midwife again and then called our parents. The original plan was to have her mom there for the birth with her dad waiting in a hotel, but that wasn’t in the cards. I called the midwife again at 4:30AM and she said she’s be there in a half hour to forty five minutes. Right before she did get here, the missus went through one helluva contraction that brought out a whole different sound than the others. Thankfully, the midwife got there and everything was moving along just as it should have been.

The hardest thing for me during the home birth was seeing my wife in such pain. She says now that the contractions and pushing weren’t super painful, but that’s not how it looked or sounded to me. I completely understand why the time-saving birthing procedures were created and why people schedule C-sections after all this because there really is no schedule to go by and I am a fan of such things.

However, the most amazing thing about the whole process was how my wife seemed to instinctively know the perfect way to move her body to not only get through the contraction, but also to arrange herself in the perfect way to maximize the efficiency of every movement. She said afterwards that she honestly could not have imagined giving birth in one of the more uptight hospitals that make you lie on your back during labor (a fairly unnatural practice when you think of how everything’s laid out) because the very thought of doing anything different than what she did was not working for her.

So, all in all, it was a great experience. I saw things I never thought I’d see and didn’t even pass out. The missus went through everything like a champ and wound up tired but felt great about what she had done. Plus, our baby got to be born in her own house without all those crazy lights and noise. It was just the three of us in a tiny bathroom. She also didn’t come out feeling the effects of any drugs and got to see things pretty clearly right away. Big ups to both of them and our midwife Susan for doing such a great job.