Welcome to the world, Matilda


At exactly 7:56AM Friday (9/24) morning, Matilda Sheehy Renaut was born at the DC Developing Families Center in Northeast.

I know I haven’t done much posting to this blog recently. Or, really, any. But I’ve been busy with other projects, and the now two kids, and all of that. I’d like to get back to blogging at some point, so I’m keeping this alive, but I make no promises.

Anyway, Matilda. Another great experience at the birth center. The wife’s labor was incredibly quick – first contraction was only about five hours before the baby was born.

I’m still getting used to the fact that I have two little girls. Matilda looks JUST like Adelina did at this age except for her chin. Adelina’s was a little more like mine. We’re curious if they’ll end up looking the same as they get older. My little brother and I could have been twins up to age one or so, and now look very different.

It’s very convenient to have another girl at the same time of year – she’ll be the same size as her sister in the same year/season, so we should be set for hand-me-down clothes.

I’m taking more time off work this time. I took all of last week and all of this week. I’ll go back after the Columbus Day holiday next Monday. It’s been cool to spend time with the family, and now we should be a little more settled in to the change before I have to go back to work and leave the wife alone at home.

And, in case you’re wondering, it’s still crazy, being a dad. And both of my girls are amazing.

Keeping me busy – ebooks and publishing

I’ve got a lot going on these days. Work, the kid, family, finding time to spend with the wife – probably a lot like your life. But over the last few months I’ve added one more thing, and it’s getting close to becoming a reality. You may know that I was blogging over here for a while. It started out as an experiment to see where it would go, or to see if I liked blogging with a more professional tone. But the more I wrote about the ebook industry, the more I hated it. It started to feel like everyone was getting it wrong. $10 ebooks? Really? So I decided I had to do something about it, and the idea for Manfred Macx publishing was born. I’m hoping to launch the site in November. In brief, it will be a place where authors can come and get some help in getting their work out there, and giving fans an opportunity to support them. I will still complain here about DC parking enforcement (Have you seen the VW at 14th and Harvard that’s been parked there for 3 weeks? Why haven’t they towed it?) and various other things that need complaining about. It’s just going to be a bit lower on my priority list. But do check out Manfred Macx. At the very least, it will partially excuse my neglect of this blog.

Welcome to the world, Adelina

Originally uploaded by thetejon

Well, that was certainly an experience. At exactly 9AM Friday morning, Adelina Sheehy Renaut was born at the DC Developing Families Center in Northeast. It was pretty quick, as these things go – the wife went into labor around 7:15 PM Thursday, and we were at the birth center at 7:30 Friday. I’m not sure it felt so quick to her, though. The baby was 8 pounds, 2 ounces, and 21 1/2 inches long. I think she has my eyes. We got a lot of puzzled looks from people when we told them we were doing a natural birth at a birthing center, with midwives instead of doctors. Not that I have anything to compare it to, but our experience was fantastic. Our doula, Heather Wilson, was amazing. I’m not sure I would have made it through the experience without her. A doula, for those that don’t know and won’t read the Wikipedia page, is basically a birth coach/assistant. She came to the house before we went to the birth center, and she sat with us and helped and gave advice and did everything you could possibly think of to make the experience easier for us. Then she came with us to the birth center, and worked with the midwives as if they’d known each other for years. She’s also responsible for most of the photos taken just after Addy (Addie?) was born.

Originally uploaded by thetejon

The birth center is really more like a hotel than a hospital. One of the frequent complaints I’ve heard from dads is that there is no place for the at the hospital. The best they can hope for is an uncomfortable chair. The birth center had a bed big enough for two, and also a great couch that I easily could have slept on if that had been necessary. It was a private room, with a private bathroom. And the midwives never left us. It wasn’t like a hospital doctor, who might check in now and again. At least one of our midwives, Sierra and Lisa, was there every moment until they gave us some time alone after the baby was born. And even then, Sierra was just down the hall, available whenever we needed her. And they never took her out of the room. The first time Addy left the room where she was born was when she left with us to come home around 7:30PM (Much earlier than they would have let us leave if we were at the hospital). So, all that to say, if you’re having a baby, or planning to have one soon, and don’t think there are options besides the hospital, there are. Check out the birth center. Talk to a doula. It’s pretty crazy, being a dad. I look at her and still have a hard time believing she’s my daughter. But she’s pretty amazing.

Clean bill of health for me, but no baby yet

Just got back from the podiatrist – I am completely medically cleared to run, jump, dance, and generally frolic about on my surgically repaired foot. If you are looking for a podiatrist in the DC area, I highly recommend Dr. Ian Beiser. Every aspect of my experience with him and his practice was excellent, and I will definitely go back next time I’m in need of podiatric (is that a word? Firefox doesn’t think so, but Firefox’s dictionary is often a bit lacking.) services. That means I can play flag football this weekend if I’m up to it, and I can slowly start getting ready for my 10K next month (Although with about 30 days to go, I can’t imagine I’m going to be all that prepared). But there’s no baby yet. The wife has an appointment today, and maybe they’ll have something insightful to tell us, but as far as I know we’re just waiting. We have until September 24th before they’ll induce her, and I think that will be plenty of time. I’ve been trying to tell the kid about how great it is out here, but it doesn’t seem convinced.

The baby is officially late

The official due date has come and gone, and the house is still baby-free. That’s okay, because it’s perfectly normal for first-time mothers to be late. However, it’s not okay, because the wife would really like to be done with this whole pregnancy thing. And I’d really like to meet our kid. We’re not quite at the “spicy food and pineapple” stage, or any of the other crazy techniques to entice the kid to come out. For all you parents out there – did you do anything to get the kid to come out? I’d especially like to hear things that 1) worked and 2) are fun for me. Like, if you went out to a really nice dinner, maybe? Or I really like the suggestion that pregnant women should clean the floor on their hands and knees because it’s a good position to relieve pain from carrying the baby.

Your job is more interesting than mine

I can’t be the only one who constantly finds that most other jobs seem more interesting than mine. It doesn’t help that I’m going through a frustrating time at work where we’re understaffed as we’re expanding, so I get to deal with a ton of customers who aren’t that happy with us because we’re pushing back deadlines. And I generally like my job. I’m paid very well relative to how hard I have to work, the company treats me like a person, and I like my coworkers. But there are so many other jobs that sound cooler. For example, I’ve recently rolled over an old 401K into a new IRA, which means I can do a little playing in the market. So I’ve been reading market articles here and there, and I read about a “planned coup” at Lehman Brothers, and a lowball offer for a competitor by Precision Drilling Trust. These things sound exciting! And then you have the Fannie Mae/Freddie Mac disaster, and the general unrest in the financial industry, plus releasing earnings statements . . . All I have here are annual budget submissions. It pales in comparison. Don’t get me wrong, I don’t want to be a day trader or a fund manager or anything like that. That sounds distinctly like work. What I’d really like is for someone to pay me for offering uninformed insight on the market. That would be pretty cool.

I’m wearing a left shoe!

It will be six weeks on Wednesday since I had my foot surgery, and today I wore two shoes to work. For many of you, that may not seem like a big deal. You probably wear two shoes to work every day. But try only wearing one for a while. Better yet, try only wearing one because your foot is so swollen that it won’t fit into the shoe. Then you’ll see. So the foot is a little uncomfortable in the shoe, but not terrible. And I brought the boot, just in case. But I’m hoping to make it through the day with my shoe on.

The (unborn) baby likes me!

The wife was sitting on the couch just now, so I thought it would be a good time to go have a little chat with our unborn child. I had been reading to it now and then. It is said that a story that the baby hears over and over before it’s born will have a calming effect on the baby once it comes out. But I’ve been slacking a little in my reading. So I offered to read the baby a story tonight. I offered again, asking it to move if it wanted a story. It kicked me in the nose! The baby clearly wants a story tonight. And a story it shall get!

The little brother is off to law school

My baby brother is leaving today for law school on the other side of the country. It’s a pretty mixed feeling for me. On one hand, I’m obviously happy and excited for him. Law school is a great opportunity, and it should be a great experience, and I’m glad he’s figuring out what he wants to do with his life. On the other hand, I’d kind of gotten used to him being close by, playing on the flag football team, and all that. Plus, he’ll be in Arizona when his first niece or nephew is born next month. Luckily, I’ll be at happy hour when his plane leaves today, so I can have a drink for him. I think he’ll appreciate that.