Parenting: Star Wars Toys for Baby

Back in May, we attended Star Wars Galactic Nights.  The Nola Nerd Baby was three months old and did a fantastic job.  She didn’t complain and slept through most of it.

On the first meeting of her great-grandfather, he slipped her twenty dollars.  We want to make sure we bought something for her.  We settled on a two sets of toys.  There were squeezable Star Wars and Princesses.  We held up both in front of her.  She raised her hand closest to the Star Wars set.  We then switched hands and she held up that hand.  We know she really didn’t pick Star Wars but we acted as if she did anyway!

Over the summer, this became her favorite set of toys.  They were too big to fit into her mouth but small enough for her to grab.  If you squeeze them they will squeak.

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Over time, one of the toys became her favorite.  In fact, when you give it to her, her face lights up.  Surprisingly, it was C3PO. She also loves R2 and Vader.  Boba and the Storm troop pick up the rear with Chewie trailing behind.

We can’t wait to share more Star Wars toys with her in the future.  We really can’t wait to shop for her at Star Wars Celebration.  Hopefully, she keeps enjoying them!

Parenting: Smiles and Pouts

Mr. Nola Nerd Couple’s grandfather passed away last week.  He lived a long, productive life full of good works.  Today, we put him to rest.

The Nola Nerd Baby spent a couple of afternoons with him.  On the first one, she was all smiles and totally enthralled with her great-grandfather.

On the second trip, she was not having a good day.  She threw one of her few tantrums that day.  Still, she was cute and her great-grandfather new it. The more she bouded (cajun for being upset…not sure if the spelling is right), the bigger her bahbin (cajun for pout…again, not sure of spelling…I did check the internet and got 3 different spellings), the larger his laugh.

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These photos, and this blog, in particular, will be shared with her when she gets older.  You can’t know where you are going unless you know where you have been.

Parenting: A Walk in the Park

For our readers that don’t live in Louisiana, you have to understand that Fall, the season, is a rare thing.  We get a few days that are in the 50s and 60s.  When we get to the low 50s and 40s, it starts to get too cold for us because we still have high humidity and the cold is sometimes miserable.

So, when we do get those high 50s and 60 degree days, we try to take advantage of it. The New Orleans area has some great parks.  City Park and Audobon Park are some of our favorites in the city proper.  We also love Lafreniere Park in Metairie.

We have been spending quite a few weekends in Lafreniere, lately.  It’s a quiet park and has some great views. We love bringing the Nola Nerd Baby there because there are a lot of different places to walk and it has plenty of shade.

During our Fall Break, we even went on a picnic, and the Baby sure did enjoy it.

 

 

On one of our trips, we came across their pumpkin patch. The Nola Nerd Baby loved hamming it up during the picture taking part.

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We can’t wait to be able to spend more days outdoors with our little one. The summer in Louisiana is too oppressively hot to do this kind of activities.  We are thankful for those sporadic days of Fall.

Parenting: Smiles Can Go a Long Way

Healthwise, the last year has been awful.  In fact, I wrote about it in last week’s parenting post.  I also used this metaphor to describe our sweet little one:

So, the Nola Nerd Baby has been at the center of this stormy, turbulent, terrifying year. But like all centers of a storm, she has been our quiet refugee.

I used it too soon.

Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple’s family was from the New Orleans area originally.  Her uncle moved first and then opened up his own business.  Her grandparents and family followed.  Eventually, her uncle and grandparents ended up in Panama City Beach.  Her mom resides in Panama City.

Last week was an emotional rollercoaster, to say the least.  I don’t want to get too much into it, but the bottom line is that everyone is safe and the property damage could have been worse, especially for her mom.  Her uncle’s place of business should be opening up soon, and he has power.

Her mom evacuated to this area. Wednesday was an extremely emotional day.  A day, the Mrs. and I only know too well for we lived it 13 years ago.  Nothing we could say or do could really provide them the comfort they needed.

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Silly even when she sleeps

Yet, the Nola Nerd Baby could.  She didn’t know what was going on.  She just lives in the moment.  Her favorite things are to grab things and smile at you.  She repeatedly brought my mother-in-law and step-father-in-law out of horrible realities they were facing and into a world where smiles are the only currency.  She was their quiet refugee in the center of the very real storm they were facing.

Because we have her, we can’t really go help with recovery until power and running water are restored (my mother-in-law has neither at this time, but her parents do). However, we do have a baby willing to smile and talk baby talk through FaceTime. Same with my mother-in-law’s other grandchild.

Because let’s face it, you can only rebuild if you yourself have a solid foundation.  And what is a better foundation, than the unconditional love of a child?

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How you can help?  Money is the best thing to give.  Actual supplies cause logistical problems (transporting them in and then find a place to store them.  Plus, they do have an influx of said supplies.)  Money helps because this is not a short-term problem.  This will be a long haul rebuilding of the area. Some charities include: 

Americares

Bear Creek Feline Center

Pensacola-Tallahassee Catholic Diocese

Parenting: Dealing with Body Trauma After Having Our Little One

Last week, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple had her gallbladder removed.

She had been experiencing pain on her left side since the baby was born.  She’s been easily nauseated and quite often would just have to vomit.  Most of these episodes were after a fatty meal.

However, while she had many of the symptoms, she wasn’t a textbook case.  Her general practitioner didn’t think it was the gallbladder but recommended her to a surgeon anyway.  The surgeon said she checked off enough of the boxes to make the decision to remove it.

So, let’s recap.  Since the conception of the Nola Nerd Baby, Mrs. Nola Nerd Couple has had extreme nausea, pre-partum depression, rapid weight loss during pregnancy, early delivery due to preeclampsia, three ER visits after birth also due to preeclampsia, and now this.

So, the Nola Nerd Baby has been at the center of this stormy, turbulent, terrifying year. But like all centers of a storm, she has been our quiet refugee.  She has comforted us more than we have ever had to comfort her.  She has been the best healing tool for mommy this week.  She has provided giggles and, even, cuddles (she is a very independent baby).

According to my wife, the Nola Nerd Baby is more than worth all the trauma that has been placed on her body.

In fact, she wouldn’t have it any other way. Well, maybe less pain, but still…

Parenting: Parenting Roles

I’ve been reading the DC comic of the Flintsontes from 2016. Its a devestatingly good comic that I’m reading awful slowly just to savor it. Last night I came across this panel.

I have admitted how scared I was about the birth of our daughter. I didn’t know if I was ready to be a father.  

Best moment of my life

Our baby was born, and I was still scared.  How do we sleep when she can’t?  How do I be there for my wife and go back to work? 

Then we had to rush my wife to the hospital, not once, but three times. (Please go here if you want to read the complete story).  When my wife was finally admitted, she was told she needed rest. I offered for me and the baby to stay.  My wife said no, she needed rest and the baby needed rest.  I can’t imagine how hard that must have been for her to say, but I do know that was the hardest thing I ever did. 

However, I couldn’t let my wife know that.  She needed to know I was confident enough to do it. And for the first time, I was.  She needed me to be strong because she couldn’t, and the baby needed me to protect her and make sure she survives.  There is no better motivation than that. 

The Nola Nerd Baby sleeping on me while mommy was in the hospital. 

You see, Fred is right.  We only have two roles, but the second one is everything. Let’s face, there are only two things we can’t do: we can’t have the kid and we can’t breastfeed.  However, as dads, we can do everything else.  And with modern technology we can still feed our children. We can change diapers, we can sing songs, we can dress and feed them. We can do everything. And the thing I’ve learned with the Nola Nerd Baby is she wants me to do everything. She wants to be near me. She wants to make me smile, because that’s the real reasons babies smiles. They want to see you smile.  

The Nola Nerd Trio

So I’ve learned that my role is to be a parent. We can put gender roles on things, but at the end of the day and at this point in our child’s life, I can do everything she needs me to do to protect her. So can my wife. 

And you know we will. 

Parenting: Living in a Tropical Storm Area

We never really have been afraid of low level tropical storms.  Hurricanes, yes, but where we live, tropical storms aren’t cause for alarm besides taking care of your lawn.

That was before having a kid.

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Before having a kid, we can go without electricity for awhile.  With a baby, it becomes a different ball game. We don’t have a generator yet and that is something we have to consider purchasing in the future.  Luckily, our house stays cool if the sun doesn’t come out, so in a tropical storm this shouldn’t happen.  We lowered the air all day and took care of the outside.

And Gordon never came.

Now, the Nola Nerd Couple work at the same school. Our district was extremely cautious and decided to shut down the day before landfall (it was to hit around midnight) and the day after.  As a parent, I will always think this is the right decision. This isn’t a poltical blog, so we won’t say any more than that.

We took the two days as a gift.  We got to spend more time with our favorite human. We played on the floor trying to see if she would crawl.  She’s close but not yet there.  She is getting better at sitting up.  We sang songs. We babbled with her.

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But what if the storm would have turned to us instead of toward Alabama? Our school board made the right decision.  Nothing means more to us than our child.