The Pop Poppa Nap Cast Episode 31

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There’s a whole lotta New York Comic Con talk on this episode of The Pop Poppa Nap Cast, which happens to be the 31st episode if you’re counting.

The article I mentioned about moms taking it easier on themselves and each other is called “Moms When Are You Going To Learn?” and was posted on So Wonderful, So Marvelous.

My review for The Frighteners can be read over on UnitedMonkee.

Unfortunately, I can’t seem to find the exact Cinderella crown on Amazon, so I can’t link to it right now, but I’ll keep looking and let you know when/if I do track it down.

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

Baby Update: 16 Months And Counting

One of these days, I’ll get the hang of coming up with posts on a regular basis for Pop Poppa. One of the problems I have in coming up with topics is that parenting a child who’s not even two yet is both the same every day and always changing, which means while a topic might sound interesting one day, it’s changed a few days later or I’ve become so used to it, it doesn’t seem worth writing about. Anyway, I figured now was as good a time as any to update readers on where Lu’s at with a few things here and there, many of the topics I’ve written about previously or talked about in various Photo Diary posts.

Diapers/Potty
We’re still working with the cloth diapers and wipes and my wife does that laundry every other day. As I mentioned in a somewhat recent post, we’ve been trying elimination communication which is still a little tricky. Lu doesn’t mind using her potty and sometimes we can get into a good rhythm where I get her on the potty every hour or so and she holds it until then, but sometimes my timing’s off. She’s also not really doing the sign to let us know when she has to use the bathroom which makes the whole process more difficult. Still, she’s doing well and I think she’ll catch on to the sign soon.

Talking/Signing
Speaking of signs, we’ve actually had some pretty impressive leaps in that department lately. Lu’s had the ones for “eat” and “all done” down for a while and we do our best to accomodate her when she uses them so she knows that we’re listening. She’s also got “hot,” “cold” and a few others down. The biggest surprise was when she started using the sign for “cat.” She’s been able to actually say “kitty” for a while now, so we figured there wasn’t much point continuing to use the sign, but out of the blue a few weeks back she started using her version of “cat” and does it while saying “kitty” which is pretty neat. She’s also talking pretty well and learning new words all the time, my personal favorite so far is “touchdown” which she says while raising both arms straight up in the air.

Walking
The kid walks like a champ. She’s getting pretty good at going up and down hills and is even learning how to use steps while either holding a railing or our hands. For a while, she had no interest in hand holding and would yank hers away if we tried, but she’s getting better at that too. She still gets a little antsy when we’re out running errands or at the grocery store, but even that’s getting a little better, though I’m also getting faster at the latter.

Eating
Lu still breastfeeds, but only in the morning, to go to bed and when she wakes up in the early morning. Though our freezer is packed with homemade baby food, these days Lu either eats what we’re eating or gets her own meal when we eat out. I’m been surprised to find that she’s more interested in spicy foods than my wife or I would have thought and only seems sensitive to temperature (which is why we taught her the signs for “hot” and “cold”). She tries just about everything, but isn’t the biggest fan of leafy greens and some other vegetables, but I think she makes up for it nutrition-wise thanks to her intense fruit addiction, I can barely keep the stuff in the house and even had to move our fruit bowl up high because she was taking bites out of everything from plums to oranges.

Sleeping
Naps have never been an exact science with us, though I have gotten her into a pretty regular schedule of going down for about an hour between 10 and 11AM. If I’m lucky, I get some work done and a shower in in that time. If I’m even luckier, when she wakes up crying, I can pick her back up and get her to fall back asleep. She usually wakes up crying if I try to put her back in her crib, so I’ve been placing her on a blanket on the floor in the living room and going about my business. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn’t. At night, she’s going down between 8 and 9PM and sleeps through to about 5:30AM. At that point I bring her into bed and she nurses until she falls back asleep. Just when I think she’s starting to sleep in more or switch things up, it turns out to be a fluke, but I still hope to get to the day where she’ll let her fall asleep for naps and the like on her own instead of fighting like crazy to stay awake.

Music
One of my favorite things Lu seems to be learning is an appreciation of music. When it’s on she dances around and really seems to enjoy herself. She likes when I play guitar and is even starting to learn the rhythms to the songs a few of her toys play. My wife even signed up for a weekly class that the two of them are going to take that revolves around different music and instruments. It’s becoming pretty evident that the kid has good timing.

TV
I try to limit the amount of TV watching in a day and have been doing an okay job of it, though some days are better than others. Our morning TV routine includes Sesame Street, The Mickey Mouse Clubhouse, Jake And The Neverland Pirates and Doc McStuffins. None of those shows are too annoying, though I am starting to notice reruns, something I’m not too happy with considering we’ve only been watching these shows for a few months. After that I get her down for a nap and then have the TV off for most of the middle of the day while I get work done. In the afternoon, I usually turn it back on to distract her a bit while I cook, but it rarely works. Maybe I need to just start blasting tunes!

So that’s a pretty general idea of where we’re at. If you have any more specific questions, drop me a comment and I’ll either respond there, or do another post answering them.

The Coffee Table Safe Zone

Remember those carefree days when you could actually keep a cup of coffee or glass of water within normal reaching distance? Or when you could leave a bill out so you’d remember to send the check the next day? Man, those were good times. Of course, I didn’t realize it at the time, but after Lu started pulling herself up and examining the coffee table, things changed.

Since then, I’ve had an increasingly shrinking are I’ve dubbed the safe zone. As Lu so kindly demonstrated in the above photo, it’s basically an inch or two away from the kid’s arm span. As she’s gotten bigger the safe zone has shrunk and the danger zone only increased. The only real safe place is indicated on our table by those four coasters and the computer’s locale. I used to use a lap desk, but it’s bulk crossed over into the danger zone and gave her an easy handle to pull the computer towards her and smash the keys.

As you can see, she’ll never stop trying. I just hope she doesn’t have a freak arm growth spurt. I’ll really be in trouble then.

She’s Walkin’, Yesiree

Sorry about the lack of posts lately. There have been some things going on around the house that have made blogging a bit difficult and, I’ll be honest, compared to all my blogs, this one is always the hardest one for me to come up with posts for. Maybe it’s because I’m so close and emotionally invested in the raising of my daughter or maybe it’s because I cover some of this stuff in shorter formats over on my photo diary site and Twitter. My pop culture intake has also been limited, but these are all just excuses.

Anyway, the biggest news around our house is that our daughter — who turned 13 months last weekend — is walking around the house like a maniac. For a while it seemed like she wasn’t going to shift to walking because she was just such a fast crawler. The kid could make it around our small condo with ease or stand and walk holding onto things. My idea was to hang a remote control — one of her favorite things in the world — from the ceiling in the middle of the room, but couldn’t figure out a quick release system so she wouldn’t pull down the ceiling fan.

Anyway, within the last few weeks, she’s really started walking. She would take the occasional free steps between my wife and I or her parents when they visited. Then, she stopped for a while and then one day, bam, she’s standing up and walking around on her own. The first day she really started, she actually startled me because she had been behind me in the living room and just appeared in the middle of the room while I was writing an email, shambling like a tiny zombie.

Since then she’s gone from mostly crawling with a little walking thrown into to primarily walking. I actually just realized a few days ago that she’s barely crawling anymore. It’s been an amazing transition to see, one — like most — I wish I had paid even more attention to. Now she’s even walking alongside us in stores and at restaurants. The bad part is that she doesn’t want to sit when we’re out anymore, which doesn’t really work when we’re out to eat.

She’s Got Rhythm, Yes She Do

The video kind of speaks for itself. Amidst plenty of sleep problems and busy days of work, I smile every time I put on music and Lu starts bobbing her head and kind of dancing in place. If you’re wondering, the song is by The Cardigans and Lu really seemed to dig it.

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.

Building Boundaries

This might look like a random picture of a cluttered corner of our place, but it’s actually a well-designed defense structure. You can’t quite see it because one of her bibs is in the way, but up against that wall in the background of the photo sits our cat’s food and water. Ever since she could crawl, this area has been of the utmost fascination to our daughter. I used to be able to hear her clomping her way over there and have enough time to put a stop to it, but now she’s got a quickness that puts her knuckle deep in cat food in a few seconds.

So, we devised a blockade. To the left you can see the stool to a chair from the living room, in the middle is a step stool we used to keep in the kitchen and then a pair of chairs staggered to theoretically block her passage. Now, I know I said last week that I’m impressed by the kid’s determination, but even she will find something else that interests her if faced with enough literal roadblocks.

Most of the time that is. Every now and then we’ll shift one of the chairs to feed her or I’ll need the foot stool for something and not put it back in just the right place. A few minutes later, I hear that familiar rustling of tiny hands through dry food. Thankfully, she seems more interested in playing with the food than eating it, so we’ve at least got that going for us…for now.