Saturday, November 30, 2013

1 Month Into Fatherhood...

Our baby boy was born on October 23rd.  7 lbs, 4 oz.  Labor started at 1pm, and the Atomic Wife gave birth at 7:06am the next morning.

"YOU'RE NOT ALONE" - From what I hear, all new parents share common experiences.  Despite what you may think, you're not the only person to ever be a parent.  Here are my takes on some of my experiences so far:

1. "SHHHHHHHHHH" - For some reason, having a newborn automatically causes your brain to assume that the "Shhhhhhhhhhhhh" sound we make with our mouths is a "magic" sound that will keep your baby from crying.  In direct defiance to the "say it don't spray it" mantra, I both "say it" and "spray it."  In my head, the "Shhhhhhhhhh" sound is the only thing that gets both the baby and I some rest.  Does it work?  I liken it to when I'm talking to someone who doesn't speak English.  When I find myself in that situation, I notice that I subconsciously talk LOUDER and slooooower in English to them… because if I talk LOUDER and enunciate each syllable, they'll understand me better… right?  I think it works.  The person on the other end probably thinks I'm crazy.  For those of you who are reading this that can't speak English, "I'M TAL-KING A-BOUT CALM-ING A BA-BY TO KEEP THEM F-ROM CRY-ING.  CRY-ING.  BA-BY".  (Now, I'm making rocking gestures with my arms and nodding my head to see if they understand what I'm saying.)

2. DIAPERS - The term "blowout" has become common diction in our household.  "It's a blow-out!"  Before October 23rd, I've never called poop "mustardy" or "seedy".  If you're going to be a parent, get used to these terms.  I also learned that some diapers have a yellow stripe on the front.  When the baby pees, the stripe turns from yellow to blue.  This is invaluable.  Spend the extra money on these.  You'll thank me later.
Yep, that's poop.  The color gets lighter as the days go on.

3. BREAST PUMPS - Valuable.  Invaluable!  (Invaluable means valuable?  What a country!)  You place the clear plastic cones over your nipples (well, not MY nipples…) and turn the machine on.  

The machine starts making noises like someone congested is hocking a loogie.  You know, REEEEEEALLY "snorting one back" to hock a good one.  It makes this sound over and over and over.  The machine sucks the breast milk out of your nipples, through the thing that looks like an air horn, and into the bottle.  The breast pump works great.  

The only opinion I have is how the folks at Medela (the manufacturer) managed to design each washable piece with the most folds and crevices possible, which makes the pieces difficult to wash and dry.  
Rough surfaces = Difficult to wash/dry
Plus, Medela only includes (1) set of "nipple suckers" with the pump meaning that if you don't run out to Buy Buy Baby to buy more, you're doing dishes every time you pump.  The breast pump is good.  Medela, if you're reading this, eliminate the crevices and include a few more accessories.  Just my opinion.  Speaking of opinions

4. UNSOLICITED ADVICE - Once the baby arrives, everyone feels the need to give you their opinions and advice, and follows it up with a comparison of their kid(s) to yours.  Most conversations begin with someone asking me, "How old is he?  Well, when (insert their kid's name here) was that age, he/she was alreeeeady (insert a verb ending in "-ing") because I (insert something they did that earned them that 'World's Greatest Mom/Dad' coffee mug)".  It's like playing Mad Libs.

On a serious note, I WILL give all of you one piece of unsolicited advice.  When there's a new baby in the room, DON'T turn to another young couple in the room and say "You're next!" because 
1.) They may not want kids and are tired of people saying that to them.
2.) They can't have kids, and they get stabbed in the heart every time someone tells them "you're next!"
3.) They were pregnant, something happened, and they're no longer pregnant… and you just became the jerk that reminded them of that.  
Keep the "you're next's" to yourself, jerk.  And while you're at it, go bail your kid out of jail.  Yes, the one you earned that "World's Greatest Mom/Dad" mug raising.  And thanks for the advice.

5. SLEEP - Right after someone tells you how they raised their baby "the right way", they ask you, "SO, are you getting any sleep?"  Look at my face.  Look at my eyes.  Look at the 2 different shoes on my feet and the formula stains on my shirt.  I just stare back at them and say "Shhhhhhhhhhhhh.  It's a blowout.  Time to pump.  Thanks for the advice.  Jerk."

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Almost there!

With the due date right around the corner (October 21st), I thought I'd share some tips I've received over these last 9 months:

"I had no idea you could milk a cat."  "Oh, you could milk just about anything with nipples." 

One more.  One more.  Push it!  You got this!  All you!  All you!

Delicate cycle.

I've got hose, I've got hose, In different area codes, area codes

4 more days until our due date.

Saturday, September 7, 2013

"Nesting" and the Baby's Room AKA "How to paint an argyle wall"

It's been a long time since I've posted a blog entry.  If you want excuses, here's a list: I left my old job.  I started a new job.  I've been busy painting the baby's room.  I was just cleaning it, and it went off.  It's not mine... I was holding it for a friend.   She started it.  There was traffic.  Etc., etc., etc.

Let me tell you what I've learned since my last post:

1.) Nesting is in full effect at Casa de Atomico.

2.) Pinterest can be a real pain.  For those of you who are married (or are in a relationship) with someone on Pinterest, you know what I'm talking about.  For those of you who are not familiar with Pinterest, here's what Wikipedia has to say:

"Pinterest is a pinboard-style photo-sharing website that allows users to create and manage theme-based image collections such as events, interests, and hobbies.  Users can browse other pinboards for images, 're-pin' images to their own inboards, or 'like' photos."

To summarize: Pinterest is where people go to get ideas of how to be creative. Users can go to and find a picture of something they like. (Example: Patterns to paint on the walls of a baby's room.)  Once the user sees an idea they like, the user tells their spouse or significant other about it, and the spouse spends 4 weekends trying to outdo what's shown in the picture.

Speaking of painting patterns on the walls of a baby's room... my wife found a picture of an argyle wall pattern she liked on Pinterest.  Not backing down from any challenge, I went forth to Home Depot, purchased painting supplies, painted, measured, drew lines, taped, painted, razor-bladed pieces of painter's tape, painted, peeled, bled, sweated, cried, laughed, left my old job, started a new job... you get the idea.  I finished painting at 1:00am this morning.

Follow along. Don't just scroll to the bottom.  DON'T DO IT.Resist the urge. Scroll slowly (for effect).  There are 20 pictures detailing the 20 steps it took to paint the argyle accent wall in our baby's room.  Check it out:

1. This is what the room started out looking like.  Taupe-colored walls with a red accent wall.

2. I started by painting all (4) walls walls a light gray color.  (1) shade of gray.  Not 50 shades of gray.

3. Blue painter's tape.  You can't paint an argyle wall without it.  After taking careful measurements, doing the math, and outlining everything in pencil, I started taping the future "accent wall."  There are (10) diamonds horizontally, and (4) diamonds vertically.  Each diamond is 12 inches wide by 24 inches high.

4. To make the diamonds alternating colors, I painted every-other-one a dark gray.  I made sure to mark the diamonds with an "x" to remind me which ones were not supposed to be painted dark gray.  As you can see, there are now 2 shades of gray (...still not 50 shades of gray.)  Here's a little trick I learned: To get really crisp paint lines, you have to re-paint the 1st color along the edges of the painter's tape to seal the edges of the painter's tape.  This helps prevent your 2nd paint color from bleeding under the edges of the painter's tape, thus preventing your lines from looking like squiggly crap.  SO...I painted the original color (in this case, the light gray) along the taped borders.  That way, any seepage under the tape will be the same color as the original wall (light gray).  THEN, I painted my 2nd color (the dark gray) over the edges of the tape, and every-other diamond.  Make sense?

5. This is what the wall looked like after painting every-other diamond dark gray.  The next step is removing the tape.  When you peel off the tape, it looks like....

6. Lots of diamonds.  Looks pretty sweet if I do say so myself... although it's missing something.  We could have left it like this, but any good argyle pattern has additional "highlight lines" (as I'll call them).  The subsequent "highlight lines" were the most time consuming part of this project.  Here's how I did them:

7. MORE painter's tape.  I measured and drew diagonal lines with pencil through the center of each diamond, then ran blue painter's tape 1/8 of an inch on both sides of the penciled lines.  This created 1/4" wide diagonal stripes.

8. This photo shows how the crisscrossed taping is progressing.  Crisscross... not to be confused with Kris Kross ("Jump! Jump! Kris Kross will make ya Jump! Jump!) or Christopher Cross ("Saaaaaailing, takes me awaaaaaaay to where I've al-ways heard it could be...")  (Bah-dah-cha!  Rimshot!  Crickets crickets crickets)

9. When you tape diagonally, pieces of tape wind up overlapping.  To get ride of the overlap (and maintain the diagonal striping), I had to cut out pieces of tape with a razor blade.  (4) pieces of tape had to be cut out for every "X" to maintain continuity of the diagonal stripes.

10. Once the small diagonal pieces of tape were cut with the razor blade, I peeled the pieces of tape off the wall.  Very appealing, huh.  Bazinga.

11. Peeling the pieces of tape left an "X" in the middle of the diamond, and maintained the continuity of all diagonal stripes.

12. Here's what the taping job looked like after several roles of painter's tape, and several hours of cutting and peeling, and several bloody fingers.

13. Like I said before: To get crisp lines, you have to re-paint the original color along the edge of the painter's tape to  seal the edges of the painter's tape.  This helps prevent your new paint color from bleeding under the edges of the painter's tape.

14. Here's what I mean by "painting over the edges of the painter's tape."  This seals the edges so that your next color doesn't seep under the tape.  This gives you crisp lines.  Tricks of the trade.  Very time consuming, but you'll thank me later.

15. I then painted the diagonal "highlight lines" with fluorescent green paint.  The final lines won't be as thick as they look here.  They'll be thin after I remove the painter's tape.  Remember, the diagonal lines (which are outlined by the painter's tape) are only 1/4" wide.

16. It took several coats of paint to get these "highlight lines" to cover the dark gray paint.

17. Here's a pic of me peeling off the last piece of painter's tape.  It took me 1.5 hours (... yes, one-and-a-half hours) to carefully remove all of the painter's tape from the wall.

18. Here's a pic of all the tape I used to outline the diagonal "highlight lines."

And the finished product looks like...

19. Voila!  The finished accent wall.  Eat your heart out Pinterest!

20.  Finally, here's a close-up pic of the argyle pattern.  Crisp lines.
If you like this, share it on facebook. 
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Comment on this.
Someone may see it and be inspired to have their spouse dedicate 4 weekends of their life to a labor of love.

The baby is due 1.5 months.  Time is flying by.

Next up: Crib assemblage!

Until next time...

Sunday, July 14, 2013

Can't sleep

It's 12:35am.  I can't sleep.  Perhaps this is the universe's way of training me to be up at odd hours.

In other news, I haven't made a blog entry in a while.  Life always seems to get in the way of finding time to write.

How have you been?  Yes.  You.  The one staring at the monitor.  What's new in your life?  

Is anyone reading this?

I just got back into town from a week of vacation.  Here's what I learned over the past week (and documented with my iPhone):

1. The world can be pretty:

2. Aerosmith may have been right when they said "Life's a journey, not a destination..."

3. Sometimes, you need to have a drink.

4. ...And forget about how absurd work can be.

5. Sometimes you need to hit a ball.

6. Or ride a bike.

7. Or forget about high cholesterol.

8. And after all of that, try your best to fall asleep.  When you can't, type on your blog at 12:35am.

Monday, June 10, 2013


While browsing the breast pump aisle at Buy Buy Baby this past weekend (a typical Saturday), I stumbled across a product that made me think, "Why didn't I think of that?!"  It's a bra designed to work together with the breast pump so that you can pump and have your hands free!  Free to do whatever you want!  Look for yourself:

The box says that this "bustier" "gives you the freedom to do other things while pumping."  Like what?  Let's see...

Pump and read the paper!

Pump, read a magazine, and drink coffee!

Pump, talk on the phone, AND use the computer.  Now THAT'S what I call multitasking!

Stand in a pile of hay!

Hang out with friends!

The possibilities are endless.

Getting milked.  Reminds me of a scene from the movie "Kingpin":

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Atomic Items

Here are some Atomic items for you to enjoy:

Atomic Dad

Atomic Pizza

Atomic Ukulele

Atomic Baby