Archives: baby

Forced Hiatus from Popular Culture

I understand it’s been a good year for movies. I read glowing reviews and happy Facebook chatter about the recent crop of comic book films and the return of everyone’s favorite city-stomping behemoth.

I certainly hope they hold up on the small screen because that’s the only way I’m going to see them – months or perhaps years after their release. And when I say small screen I mean one of two screens: either my big screen television or the much more modest dimensions of my Acer Chromebook.

It isn’t that I do not want to see any of these movies in the theater. But my priority is my 6-month old daughter. Going to the theater is simply not an option. I can wait for the Blu-ray to reach the Red Box and rent the film for the night. That seldom works as well as one might hope. A two hour block of time, uninterrupted by an infant’s needs, is difficult to achieve. And if she is sleeping the volume must, of course, be minimized. The usual result of a rental is that my lovely wife and I watch twenty, perhaps thirty minutes of the movie, then turn it off for the night. We may – or may not – be able to finish it the next day before I need to return it.

So most of last year’s fare that is on my to-see list remains on the list.

My other source for film is Neflix. I am up late every night, writing and attending to Victoria’s last feeding and changing of the day. After getting in my word count I usually have time to watch a third or even half of a movie. Now, Neflix tends to provide streaming movies later than they are available for rental. And the selection is curtailed. But patience eventually brings many films I’ve hoped to watch to the small screen – to the very small screen. Hence my hope that the current crop of effects-driven spectaculars hold up on my – compact – viewing area.

And now Comcast has ceased providing free streaming of HBO shows. So no more “Game of Thrones” until the library gets in this season’s DVD set.

First World problems, right? I’ve plenty of books and a near endless supply of older films or television series at my beck. I’m hardly hurting for entertainment. Just don’t expect me to contribute to any conversations about the latest and greatest. I haven’t seen it.

Writer and Child

 

Snapshot of the part-time writer with a newborn: Wife, exhausted, hits the sheets shortly after eight. The time varies dependent upon the baby’s needs/whims, of course. The almost equally exhausted part-time writer feeds the baby. Then begins the drama – suspense builds as the part-time writer watches anxiously to see if the baby will drift off to sleep. Or will she instead remain stubbornly alert until the wee hours? If the latter, the writer will consider himself lucky to get in a hundred words, pecking one-handed at the keyboard while supporting the baby in his other arm.

Introducing to the World, Victoria Valentina Lizzi

Saturday took a more eventful turn than anticipated. After celebrating my wife Isa’s birthday on Friday I assumed I’d disposed of family birthdays for awhile. But the little one who’d been gestating in Isa for over thirty-seven weeks had other ideas.

Not that we’d been bereft of portents. The signs of impending arrival were there, but the contractions were nowhere near the frequency we’d been told indicated labor. Some disconcerting physical manifestations convinced Isa to call the doctor. The doctor suggested she come in for a precautionary exam. Everything was routine, precautionary, just-in-case. We figured we be home by the afternoon.

Nope.

Your standard labor is filled with sufficient drama as is. We weren’t asking for any theatrical upgrades. Got ‘em anyways, gratis. High blood pressure, magnesium sulphate drips, dislodged placenta. Then, many hours later…

A large room crammed with doctors and nurses. Your humble web logger as supernumary, dressed for a NASA clean room. Beeping equipment (though sadly absent the machine that goes “bing”), muttered medical jargon, flashes and glimpses of viscera – things externalized that should best remain internalized. Then…

Victoria Valentina Lizzi. A miniature human being. Quite miniature: about a jigger short of four pounds. Tiny but perfect.

The doctors scooped the innards back into Isa – all the pieces in order, one hopes – and stapled her shut. She’s had a chance to hold little V.V., but given our daughter’s current minuscule proportions the two currently occupy separate rooms. I’m sharing a post-partum room with Isa while V.V. enjoys the company of her peers in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit.

So, yeah, interesting Saturday. I’m a father. Wrap your head around that one.

Book Backlog

I’m hip-deep in unread and partially read books. Normally I wallow happily in such a morass. Today instead  I’m feeling more inundated and borderline panicked.

The release date for event books, books I’ve waited months or years for often clump. At least it seems so. When I reserve them at the library they always seem to come in the same day. Or a long-expected book and a book that caught my eye in a reference in some article or other. I can reserve them months apart. They still await me at the library on the same damn day.

Getting Real

Step by step it grows increasingly real.

My beautiful wife attended her baby shower last night and returned laden with ridiculously tiny outfits and boxes containing gadgets of arcane purpose. The boys bought me beer at my nearby watering hole and reminisced. Today I assembled a three-wheeled stroller and puzzled out the method of locking a baby seat into the stroller’s frame.

Something is changing.

There is a certain tradition in Mexico – or so MBW tells me – that the husband purchases his wife another ring to commemorate a new child. Today I picked up a piece of jewelry, sterling silver and blue and white topaz. MBW will need to resize it once the swelling in her fingers recedes.

Step by step.

I have new furnishings that I can make no use of. I have plastic contraptions that rattle and beep. This place once felt pretty roomy. Each new preparatory accretion renders the condo more and more – let’s say cozy.

MBW is laundering a pile of towels sufficient to dry off an army. Well, an army of very small soldiers. And we’ve got blankets enough to keep each miniature myrmidon warm.

I attended a class on infant CPR the other day. I filled those plastic lungs with my own breath and compressed that little chest.

So, yeah. Getting real.

It's a Girl!

I bought a crib yesterday. And a changing table. And other assorted items deemed indispensable for a newborn. The reality is still sinking in. Slowly: the density and relatively non-porous nature of my thick head renders comprehension a glacial process. But it is undeniable. I am going to be a father.

I’ve extended my adolescence longer than most, I suppose. Time to take a stab at adulthood. Any advice? I’m not, honestly, overly concerned. I’ve muddled my way through life with some degree of success, making it up as I went along. Less qualified people than I have become perfectly serviceable parents. I can do this. Right?

I still intend to make time for writing. I will continue to reach my word count. Plug away at the work-in-progress until it is finished, then move on to the next. Only now I have that much more incentive. My daughter deserves the best from me.

OK, there. I think that was a twinge of anxiety. Or maybe just hunger. Yeah, probably just hunger. Time for lunch.