Lazy Days..

Today I got bored for this first time. And it’s my fault really. I think Lindsey being here for half of the day yesterday made me get out of my routine. I was more tired than usual so I took a little power nap during Jackson’s nap time. There was a lot I probably could have got accomplished, but decided not to. Ugh, I hope tomorrow is a better day! I’m really hoping Jackson is completely clear from his cold after today. He hasn’t had a fever all day which is good, and his runny nose is nearly gone. I’ve decided that tomorrow we are going to get outside and move around a bit and burn some energy by playing in the snow.. Why not!

At this point I’ve definitely got Jackson’s routine down. I’m seeing though that if I don’t get out of this house soon I might go stir crazy! I’m going to spend some time to continue researching things to do outside of the house. Jackson is doing great though. He is taking great naps and no longer cries when its nap time! This is such a relief. It’s so fun to watch him grow. I have to be careful though. I’ve seen today, especially on the days I’m a little tired and just want to do nothing, that he gets bored and quick. And I can understand. I’m going to try real hard to give him more attention tomorrow than I have today.

Nobody said this would be easy. But I can’t make excuses. I have to continue to go, go, go! Please continue to encourage me! I’ve enjoyed all of the feedback.

Snowly, Disappointed.

Today was completely out of whack and started a lot earlier than expected. Two in the morning to be exact. Jackson woke me up by yelling and standing in his play pen. Not crying mind you. Just yelling. Mama! Papa! Hello! Bye Bye!

We had him in our room last night because his cold returned over the weekend. We really thought we were free of it on Sunday, but I think he caught a new one while at child care for church. So I guess it doesn’t take much to get this kid sick. But now that I think about it, he probably wasn’t subjected to that many germs in the orphanage. So to look at this on the bright side, maybe this is helping him build his immune system. Right?

Anyway, so the kid wakes up screaming all of the words he can remember and is smiling grin to grin like a crazy person. So I get up thinking that maybe rocking would help, when I noticed he felt very hot. He did have a low grade fever the night before and we gave him some medicine, so I was guessing this meant the medicine had wore off. So we took his temp and it was about 102 F. It was a little higher than last night. So we just decided to give him a drink of water, give some more medicine since eight hours had passed,  and rocked him for a bit. After all that he was out cold.

He woke up with no fever in the morning, but he’s had a slight fever off and on today around 98, which we are not medicating at this point. He seems to be doing better. I think it’s just a cold as his nose was running a lot since yesterday, but he’s doing a lot better now. I think we will be in the clear soon. Whew!

I kept up with Jackson’s rigorous schedule in the morning and he did well. However with the impending snow storm that the news said was coming Lindsey came home at lunch and worked from home, so that messed up his routine a little bit – but he took a long nap and was excited to see his Mama! Turned out this snow storm wasn’t nearly as bad as the news hyped. I probably only had about 2 inches to shovel off our driveway. I’m somewhat snowly disappointed in this non storm. Since I don’t have to drive in it, I was hoping for more..

That’s about all folks. As for SAHD duties, I need to figure out what pediatrician we are going to go to with Jackson. Also Lindsey and I have some unrelated decisions we need to make. Some pretty heavy decisions. Pray that, as for Jackson, I will continue to become great in my role and keep myself and him busy, and that Lindsey and I continue to follow God’s guidance for our lives in the months ahead.

“Uh Oh.. I did it.”

Well I’m getting back into the swing of things today, and nothing out of the ordinary. I will say however that over the weekend Jackson started doing some funny things. I have an iPod Touch and usually I have been safe to just keep it laying around as it auto locks. However, with a little practice my boy figured out how to unlock it himself. Luckily he didn’t post to my Twitter/Facebook. So, anyway I added a passcode to the mix, and unless he cracks that, I think I’ll be okay. The funniest part out of all of this was that one time he brought the iPod over to me where it showed the screen to key in your passcode, and Jackson clearly stated. “Uh Oh! I did it!”. Ha! That is the first complete sentence we can remember him saying to our best knowledge. There was other times throughout the weekend too where we heard him saying “I do it!” or something similar. It’s so fun to watch him say more things as time moves on.

Jackson has been doing a lot greater with the potty in the last few days as well, which is encouraging. I hope he keeps this up. We ran out of our Pampers and now are using Huggies. I’m not sure if there is a difference, but I’m not liking the Huggies so much!

Well, Jackson’s cold seems to be back for round two. His cough is mostly gone, but after I got him up from his nap his nose is running like a faucet and he’s got a low grade fever again. Back to drinking lots of water and to the medicine. It seems like everyone is sick! My parents have been sick for a week and Lindsey is just getting better herself. Luckily so far I have escaped the wrath of a cold. Here’s hoping it stays that way. However, I’ve been told that in this world of staying home I can expect to be sick a lot..

Can’t wait to see the snow storm blow in. See you tomorrow!

Looking Back on Week 1

It’s Friday, and I’m about an hour or so from completing my first week on the job as a Stay at Home Dad with a newly adopted child whose world had been rocked in so many ways since we took him out of the orphanage nearly two months ago. Today was our first official outing, though quick. We were hit with some icy roads around here last evening and are getting another burst of snow this afternoon. So, we made our trip to the Social Security Administration building in the morning. Jackson I think is about 95% free from his cold. He has only coughed a couple of times today that I can remember. The day started off a little bit later as Lindsey went into the office not as early and Jackson slept in until 8:30, which I think is a record. So once Lindsey was out, I quickly made breakfast and as he ate I filled out the form I needed for his Social Security Card and collected all of the documentation we needed like his Certificate of Citizenship, Ukraine Passport, etc.

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Twinkle, Twinkle Little Fuss. How I Wonder Why you Pout?

Jackson is a bit fussy today. I usually wake him up at three, but I’m going to let him sleep a little longer and see what happens. During “learning time” today I was showing him a few YouTube videos I found like the numbers song and the alphabet. Well, one of the suggested videos was “Twinkle Twinkle Little Star”. We used to to sing that to Jackson at the orphanage to calm him down at the end of our visits. Well as he was watching the video he started crying at the end. Usually I can tell what he’s whining about, but I wasn’t really sure. So I let him get off the couch with me and just sat back and watched what he would do, but he just sort of walked around in circles and continued to cry. He finally calmed down so I showed him the numbers video again and he was fine. So after that as a test I started playing Twinkle Little Star again. Instant tears!

So I let him climb off the couch again and I followed him as he walked away. He walked straight to his play pen that we had set up and he was trying to get in, all the while crying. I guess he associates Twinkle Twinkle Little Star with bed time and wasn’t too happy about it!

The whining continued though a little later at lunch. I’m not very creative for meals. Luckily Lindsey was kind enough to buy some food she fed him when I was back at work for my last two weeks. I sat his food out in front of him and he just kept pushing it away. Which I like to call as Jackson “politely declining”. But he’s really stubborn about what he wants to eat for his meal and since he can’t really communicate what he wants you just kind of have to sit there and try to get him to eat. After him balling his eyes out and me telling him he had to eat, he finally gave in, and then did real well!

But yeah, he must have been tired as he’s completely knocked out in his bed room. We finally, for the most part, have eliminated his pack n play. When he wakes up in the morning he usually walks straight in our room now to let us know he’s ready for the day. Which of coarse is always way too early for me, but Lindsey has usually been up.

I’m getting a little more comfortable in this role. I know things are kind of boring to report at this point, but I’m sure there will be much to report in the months ahead as it sets in that I’m actually doing this for more than just a week. I have got to get out of the house though. I’m excited for the trip out tomorrow! I’m trying to research things that we can do outside of the house. Does anybody know any Libraries that have reading time or something for two year olds? I need ideas, I have no clue what to do that’s fun!

Overall though it’s been a nice four days. Jackson is really great at following directions! He seems to understand the majority of my directions. He’s surprises me daily with words he seems to understand.

Well the little guy just woke up finally, so I think I’m going to turn on Sesame Street and relax with him for a bit. See you tomorrow.

“Change of Plans”

Typical day today. Jackson is surprising me everyday with words that he understands and knows, even though he is not speaking them yet. For instance today he easily pointed out his head to me, when I thought he only knew his eyes, ears, mouth, and nose. And he’s doing really well with flashcards. He has problems sounding out some of the letters but his memory is really good. I showed him “peas” yesterday which I don’t think he’s even ate before, and he remembered it on his first try today. It’s going to be so exciting when he actually starts using more and more words. He understands a lot more than he speaks at this point.

The potty is still a struggle at the moment. He can go on it, but he’s having a lot of accidents. He never went once when it wasn’t potty time that we knew of while at the orphanage. But I think he’s just confused as to when he is supposed to go, so I’m going to start trying to only take him at certain times. We had another accident today, and now he’s starting to wet his diaper whenever he’s napping.

I also am trying to train myself from stop saying “Pizet” which is #1 and “Ca ca” which is #2. It’s been embarrassing for Lindsey and I both when we are out in a public restrooms using these terms! Ok, enough potty talk. I can’t believe I’m blogging about going on the potty.

I looked at our post adoption planner today. I think I’m going to take him to the Social Security office on Friday and get him registered for a number and card. I think Friday’s will be our escape day during these cold winter months.

Last, I put this on Facebook yesterday, but I saw CWA blog about “Family Movie Night” on Fox this Saturday. I don’t know if the movie will be any good, but they will be showing a movie with ties to international adoptions called “Change of Plans”.  Here’s the trailer:

You know I’ve never felt like this before..

I survived another day. Although there is still a couple of hours left before Lindsey comes home, so anything is possible. Today was a little rougher than yesterday. Jackson is a little cranky today. He didn’t sleep that good last night. He kept waking up coughing from his cold so we put him back in the room last night in his play pen and turned on the humidifier and that seemed to help. I followed the same rigorous schedule from yesterday, but tried a few new flash cards. He surprised me by knowing that a car was a car, and that a cat was a “kitty cat”. Way to go! So all in all kind of the same day as yesterday. Eventually I want to work out a schedule of my own throughout the week so that things are different a little bit. Plus, I have a feeling I’m going to get bored after awhile. Eventually though we will have errands to run, and that will make some days different. I can’t wait until its warm out and we can play outside, that will be lots of fun.

I slacked off on it today, but I need to start looking at all of the Post Adoption materials this week and finish something for Amy Hesterman for SnoCamp. (I’ll have it by Friday!) As for the post adoption we just got his certificate of citizenship which we will need to get his social security card and start the process of “re-adopting” him here in the states.

Of last interest today, I decided to spice up our “physical time” this morning with some Just Dance for Wii. Jackson and I rocked out to such hits as S.O.S., Tic Toc, & Toxic. That wore me out, haha. Here’s a picture:


See you here tomorrow. Go Buckeyes!

Day 1: Orientation

Today I survived Day One. A day marked with rice crispies being knocked off the table, water spilled all over the table, and two random diaper blow-outs.

Welcome to the life of a Stay at Home Papa.

Thankfully for me, I had a complete schedule written out for my first day. It was busy, it was structured, and no room for mistakes. But I got through it and enjoyed every minute with Action Jackson. The day was good, but will I survive another?

It started off with breakfast which was pretty uneventful except that I forgot to do all of the things I learned while Lindsey was here, like put Jackson’s bib on. Once I got it back on he thanked me by dumping his cereal all over the ground. Fail #1

Up next on the schedule was “Physical Activity”. Uncle Jordan got us a kid’s basketball net, so we practiced our dunks. Jackson’s pretty good at throwing the ball, but catching not so much. He got the idea sometimes and would catch, but he really just thought it was funny to keep his hands by his side and get hit instead. We then played on his new giraffe bike for a bit, and then did a little chasing around the house. After that I smelled something – a dirty diaper. Fail #2

But hey that’s not my fault. That one is on him. I was actually surprised. He rarely goes in his diaper as he’s basically potty trained. But I don’t think he is feeling too well as he’s got a cold right now. Anyway, I cleaned up the mess much to my delight and we took a shower and got out of our pajamas. Next up on the docket – learning time.

Lindsey had very specific things outlined during this part of the day. But I diverted a little bit. His stinky diaper was smelling up the bathroom at this point, so I decided all of the trash in the house needed to go out. So for learning time I showed Jackson how we take the trash to the dumpster around the corner from our apartment. It was pretty cold, and I had a lot to carry, so I decided to drive to the dumpster. He was probably confused by his five minute ride in his car seat, but he’s 2. He just goes with the flow. After we got back we counted to ten with some videos I found, did some A,B,C action and worked on his fine motor skills. I also had him work on some flashcards. After that and a little bit of Magna-Doodle it was..

Lunch time! This kid eats a lot. Fail #3 – He spilled his water all over the table soaking everything in sight. Moving on.

I successfully rocked Jackson for a bit in his room and he voluntarily went to his toddler bed and fell asleep. Victory! He slept for two hours, which for him is good. We’ve been having issues with naps some days, but he did great today. I relaxed, got some things done around the house and paid the bills.

After his nap I realized he went #2 in his diaper again! Jackson! Fail #4. So I gave him a little talking to, and off we went to revisit some of the things we practiced at learning time. Around 4 or so I put on Sesame Street that I DVR’d earlier in the day. This is all I let him watch today, besides Mickey Mouse Clubhouse. Although in the mornings he gets real excited when we forget to turn off the news and Jerry Springer comes on.

Soon after my wife came home and saved the day. I made it through Day 1 and haven’t quit yet. Let’s see how tomorrow goes!

From Number Cruncher to Sandwich Maker. Here’s to 2011.

Though the news has made its rounds on Facebook and to some family and friends, I guess this will count as my blog’s official announcement that I will be putting away the dress clothes, putting on an apron in its place, and becoming a Stay at Home Dad! I didn’t get laid off or anything like that. It was a decision that Lindsey and I had contemplated for awhile based on a couple of reasons.

The first being simple. It has been recommended many times during our adoption process with Jackson that one of us needed to stay home initially for the first year. As happy and joyful as our boy seems to be, it is very common for newly adopted orphans to suffer some of the same symptoms of post traumatic stress disorder. We knew one of us needed to stay home and that daycare wouldn’t be the best option for our family. Jackson needs a lot of one on one attention with us as he learns to trust us as parents and learn that we are in control and not a handful of nurse aids at an orphanage. There’s a lot of psychological issues we have to be careful of, so we needed one of us being home at all times and getting him on a routine to help him learn his new life as he is developmentally behind, though doing well.

Put simply, that is the major and real reason why one of us is staying home. As for why it will be me becoming the primary caregiver simply has to do with money. I’m not ashamed of it, but I never really was the breadwinner in our family. My drive to work and salary was comparable to what we would be spending on day care anyway. Besides the fact that I really was in a point in my career where I wanted to move on. I am very thankful for the opportunities that were given me these last four years, but I have other interests and desires I want to fulfill and I need this sort of change to make that happen. Not mention, Lindsey is happy in her career as a tax accountant and has numerous opportunities ahead of her.

I’m absolutely thrilled for the opportunity ahead of me. My “first day” will be the Monday after the New Year. I have always been kind of a geeky tech guy and my interests for working on cars, hunting, and other manly things like that have always been on the low side. I love children and I think my personality might be a good fit for a job as this. However, I’m a little lazy when it comes to chores and I’m not sure how creative I will be with meals or crafts, so I have a lot to learn. It will be funny to reach out to other “moms” in my life for tips and the like.

I actually plan to start blogging daily about my adventures as a Stay at Home Papa. I’m hoping I can reach out to other stay at home dad’s who are as clueless as I am. I invite you to join me in 2011 as I tackle this new challenge and learn to be a homemaker to my wonderful wife and new son.

To everyone reading I hope your 2010 was as blessed as ours and I wish you all a Happy Near Year in 2011!