We’ve delayed it as long as possible, but sooner or later Kayleigh was bound to develop an interest in moving on her own. Crawling has not been a big concern, and even now she only does a 3-legged butt-shuffle when the mood strikes. Instead it is the full-on 2-legged mode of transport that has tickled her fancy.

This has been going on for less than a week, but her progress is disconcerting for us and our lack of baby-proofing. She still lacks complete confidence in her wobbly balance, which means much of the day is spent partially hunched over providing two fingers to grip tightly for support. As much as this prospect terrifies me, Kayleigh can be even more adorable than usual when she excitedly stamps her feet in circles around the house. And it sure does make her smile.

Now an outdoor component has been added, which means shoes have become a necessity – which also lets her flaunt some of her new vocabulary. There’s some video of all of this that needs to be uploaded, in the meantime I came across this ad for It’s Always Sunny in Philadelphia which rather accurately depicts her first steps with footwear.

Alright, not exactly accurate as we got rid of the coffee table, but you get the idea.

Curly locks! Curly locks!

Talking to a friend on the phone the other day I was reminded just how few photos have been posted here lately. He commented about seeing a picture of Kayleigh with curls starting to show. Starting to show? What the… It’s a full blown invasion!

Curly locks like golden honey
I just love those curly locks

Granted, those have some serious help from the humidity these days, but sometimes it’s hard to imagine that she’s the same baby as the one with such short and flat hair in all of the pictures around me.

Hair is now officially long enough for barrettes
Hair is now officially long enough for barrettes
Sharing a moment with a cow
Sharing a moment with a cow

Two days ago Kayleigh turned 13 months. I can’t believe how much she’s grown in that time. Of course I also can’t believe how much I’ve grown in that time. Since the initial year that I gave myself to adjust before really getting back into my hobbies is over (that’s my excuse for inconsistent posting, by the way), it’s time to start playing around with the tools at hand to get words and photos out there. This is my first attempt at using WordPress’s built-in photo tools – figured that was a good enough reason to post these.

The times they are a-changin’

I started to write about Kayleigh’s wonderful sleep habits. And then I switched to writing about how horrible they had become. And then it was about how she had snapped out of it and started sleeping well again. And then, just in case you couldn’t guess, it was back to the bad. That would be a short synopsis of how things are going – they change constantly.

So let me focus on what really matters right now: Kayleigh honestly becomes more wonderful everyday. In spite of any setbacks with the sleep routine or eating (does she really need to throw half the banana on the floor), her beautiful smile and sweet disposition overshadows everything. Yeah, I’m gushing – but that’s what us dads do. And the biggest reason for me to gush these days? She really loves me, too.

You see, for a while there Kayleigh got wrapped up in my role as the Bringer of Bedtime. When I got home from work, fun time was over and I was just going to rock the dickens out of her until drowsiness took hold and she lost another night of playing with Mom. Coupled with her separation anxiety (which now only applied to The Woman) this meant that my return from work was greeted with a brief smile followed by wailing and gnashing of teeth at her impending fate. Never mind the fact that most times I wasn’t rushing her off to bed – logic need not apply to babies! All that mattered was that I was linked to her most hated part of the day.

But like everything else, that changed. One day I came home, she flashed a HUGE smile, said “Daddy!” and reached out for a hug. And unlike before, she was actually excited to come to me and be held. No rushing off to hide from Mommy or distract her with a video. She stayed in my arms willingly – even while standing next to her preferred parent. And now our routine has expanded to include a nice walk around the neighborhood to ease into bed time.

Oh those walks! Nothing but big smiles and pointing out all of the words she knows – tree, dog, car. We say hi to the neighbors and watch birds fly over head. She lets me munch on her neck and blow raspberries and toss her up in the air. This is becoming my favorite part of the day.

Somehow her congeniality even extends into the morning routine. When I pick her up out of the crib she says, “Hi Daddy, nice” and then proceeds to gently pet me. And she even happily comes with me after that first nursing, to spend some quality time with Dad, running around in circles on her toy while I throw things at her. It’s the little things…

I better wrap this post up before she wakes and forces me to add another paragraph about her new bad habits. Expect some more pictures in the coming days – she’s just too cute to resist.

Here’s the story, of a girl named Kayleigh

A year ago, at this moment, I was either calling my Mom, waiting for the epidural to be placed, or asking one of the doctors/interns floating around how many centimeters dilated the mother-to-be was. Or maybe I was quickly eating a McDonald’s snack wrap hoping to get another energy boost as my body started to fade…

As I already mentioned, it started last night. Well, 1 year ago last night. That’s when Lisa, The Woman, started feeling contractions. Not too surprisingly, they kept us up. We were only a few days shy of her actual due date, so this was expected. Of course that didn’t stop me from feeling completely unprepared – but at least I was ready to be unprepared…

Anyway, in case you couldn’t guess, nothing happened that night. We finally went to bed sometime after midnight, only to be woken by impending contractions around 4 in the morning. These ones kept us up for a couple of hours. After many failed attempts to properly count them, it was determined that they were not getting closer. But while the little lady decided to go back to sleep and rest up, I gave into the dawning day and headed into work early. If we were going to make a list of mistakes made that day, this would probably be listed #1.

Regardless, work went smoothly. Billy (my tech) was even nice enough to grab some lunch for me at McDonald’s. This is important to note, since I wouldn’t get to eat outside of the hospital for another 3 days – and can you guess what fast food place was located in said hospital? Yeah, anyway, work managed to slightly distract me long enough for the inevitable phone call to come.

Now you may hear a different version of this story. One in which I take my sweet time getting home. But the important part is that Lisa’s water broke, she called me and I eventually made my way to her with 2 slices of pizza. Nothing else in that part of the story matters, so let’s just move along…

As much as I’d like to finish this tonight, some really strange typos might start creeping in, so we’ll pick up tomorrow morning with us arriving at the hospital.

The end of year one

Exactly one year ago at this time my wife started to feel real contractions. We wouldn’t head to the hospital until the next afternoon, and Kayleigh wouldn’t make her appearance until the following day. But it all started on this night.

I’m amazed to realize that a full year has gone by. I had a lot more plans to make regular updates over the course of these twelve months, but a funny thing happened on the way: I fell in love. It’s true. I’d rather sit on the floor and watch her bang two random toys together in a nonsensical way than to sit at the computer and post about it. And let’s face it, just how exciting are those “she pooped a lot today” or “we started feeding her solids, so her poop is not as watery” or “Kayleigh’s poop is a different color than usual, should I be worried?” entries?

Alright, it had more to do with laziness and exhaustion. It would have been wonderful to have a collection of posts detailing her daily changes to enjoy years from now. Instead I’ll just have to rely on The Woman’s journal and the 10,000 photos that were taken…

Expect some year end summaries to grace this site over the next few days. Maybe then I’ll be able to turn this into a regular pattern…

Belated Father’s Day

One part of my gift for this past Father’s Day mirrored part of my gift for The Woman back on Mother’s Day – a tear-jerking slideshow set to appropriately maudlin music. Although it was uploaded to Youtube somewhat quickly, it was never posted here because… because our copyright laws are retarded. There, I said it. Here’s the video in its current state; please sing CSN’s “Our House” while viewing:

I plan on substituting another song, but haven’t had the chance to do it. And in the meantime I’m avoiding turning this into a rant against the ridiculous music industry…

Along with the slideshow, I got an awesome tie. It’s not just awesome because its beautiful and cool (which it is), but because it’d the stereotypical dad gift – and that makes me feel like a real part of the club. But the nicest part of the surprise was a copy of “Where the Wild Things Are” (along with a little stuffed Max), which I promptly read to my little girl. And yes, my voice cracked midway through.

Fortunately I was able to compose myself long enough to partake in a breakfast burrito and bacon/avocado omelet at Raymond’s. It was a good day.