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.

My kid is way cuter than that

I found out today that Parents.com is having a contest to get your cute kid on the cover of their magazine. No offense to little Trevor, Cover Model 2008, but my little clownfish is a bazillion times cuter. We have no plans this weekend beyond her first baseball game (Orioles at Nationals on Sunday). So I’m planning to take some really cute pictures. What I need from you, readers (All of you who are still paying attention after the lack of updates these recent months), is suggestions on cutening up my daughter. She’s already off-the-charts cute, but I need more. I need photos of her that will literally make your eyeballs melt with cuteness. Like a puppy raised to the kitten power. I want to make Anne Geddes’ babies look like little gargoyles. How do I do that? Any suggestions are welcome. She’s a very smiley baby, so that isn’t an issue. What makes a cute baby photo?

Coffee shop with fringe benefits

The wife and I took the kid out for her morning walk this morning and decided to stop in at Pan Lourdes, the new-ish coffee shop/bakery on 14th Street just north of Columbia Heights Target. It was great – they have a big refrigerator that makes a lot of noise and even vibrates the floor just a little bit. The kid slept like a rock in her stroller. She stirred a little bit when it cut off, but then went back to sleep. The coffee is nothing to write home about, but the baked goods are pretty awesome. I think they all come from the big bakery on 11th Street near Wonderland, but I’m not sure. It’s funny – I imagine someone from Central America would recognize most of the baked goods, but I sure didn’t. I mean, if I go into a Dunkin Donuts or something, I recognize what most of the things are without needing a sign. Maybe I can’t tell the difference between raisins and blueberries from across the counter, but at least I’d be close. At Pan Lourdes, nothing looks familiar. And they have nothing labeled. I suppose I could have asked the guy behind the counter, but that’s not as adventurous. I had something with a stripe of red frosting, and the wife had something with lemon. Both were good. We’ll definitely go back, for the fridge if nothing else. Everything is really cheap, too – four dollars and change for two pastries and two coffees.

Her favorite pastime

Originally uploaded by thetejon

I hate the “I’m sorry I haven’t updated my blog” posts, but I’d like to point out that I actually do have a really good excuse (Pictured at left).

Anyway, my excuse loves to look at herself in the mirror while she’s being changed. I’m not sure what she thinks she’s looking at, because I don’t think she really has that self-awareness. But any time she’s awake, not eating, and not screaming, I’m happy, so at this point I don’t care. People keep telling me that the six week mark is where it all turns around and gets easier. We’re almost at three weeks. I have to say that, while I love my daughter and still can’t believe she’s real, the first few weeks of parenting are hard. I wasn’t really prepared for this. It’s cool, though. At least I have a photo subject that doesn’t (can’t) run away.

That’s my daughter!

Originally uploaded by Nine Inch Nails

No, not the picture. That’s clearly not my daughter. No, the wife was taking her to get her hearing tested and had some issues finding the place she had to go. The kid was fussing, so the wife turned on the radio, thinking she’d tune in a station that doesn’t exist, and maybe the white noise would calm the kid down.

Well, the last time I was in the car, I was listening to Nine Inch Nails, and that came on instead of the radio.

Sure enough, the kid stopped crying right away. I think she might have fallen asleep.

I think I’m awake

Originally uploaded by thetejon

On the bright side, the kid met her great grandmother yesterday. She even behaved herself.

On the other hand, we are going to have to teach her that staying up until 2AM is moderately tolerable on the weekend, but highly frowned upon when Mommy has to take her to the doctor at 8AM the next day and Daddy has to go to work.

If I don’t admit I’m exhausted, maybe I won’t be

I’m back at work for the first time since the kid. It’s not fun. She was up really late last night. The wife tried to get her down so I could sleep before work, but at 2AM she needed some help. The kid and I fell asleep on the couch sometime around 2:30, and here I am at work by 8:15. I have a two hour meeting at 9:30, and a shorter meeting at 1, and then I’m going home. So maybe five more hours. On the bright side, it’s a pretty amazing feeling to listen to her slow down from screaming to crying to sleeping while I’m bouncing her up and down and whispering in her ear. In the long run, I suspect that’s what I’ll remember, rather than the sleepless nights.

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.

Baby Never Forget

No baby yet. I am becoming increasingly worried that we will have a baby born on September 11th. I mean, that wouldn’t be the end of the world, and it would attach a nice thing to that unfortunate date, but it really isn’t my first choice of birthdays for the kid. In any event, a friend told me yesterday that, if the baby is born tomorrow, we have to name it Never Forget. Or Rudy Bush. I was thinking, though, that if it was a girl we could probably get away with Neverina Forget. That has kind of a nice ring to it, huh? Or maybe Giuliana Bush. Edit to add: Another friend suggested FREEDOM GLORY. I like the all-caps. That means the baby will be forceful and confident. Feel free to add your own 9/11 baby name suggestions in the comments. If one of them makes me fall on the floor laughing, I promise to name the baby that. Thankfully, the wife will certainly veto this.