Category Archives: First Happenings

Doctor gives two thumbs up




Well, we’re back! Our doctor gave us two thumbs up and said that baby is perfectly normal / healthy.


If you’ve never been to a first check-up before, it’s a pre-booked appointment, so you just show up, give your name and info, then go right in. It’s not great if, say, there are two other sets of patients in the waiting lounge who’ve been waiting 20 minutes or so to see someone (not that this was the case for us today or anything).


Next, you’ll probably fill out an info sheet about you, mom, baby and your other kids (if you have them). This is usually given to Mom, but she handed it off to me for reasons still unknown.


Anyway, after the nurse who showed you to your room comes back, you strip baby down to his/her diaper so the nurse can measure baby’s length (head to toe), circumference/diameter of the head (?) and see how much baby weighs. Once that’s done (about 5 minutes if you’re quick), you wrap baby up in the blanket and wait for the doctor to come to your room.



Once the doctor comes to your room, he/she skims through the info sheet and verbally verifies that the information you’ve written down is correct. He/she may make his own notes in the scrawl that is famous for belonging to all doctors (because, when you’re busy saving lives or helping make sure people are healthy, writing isn’t all that important) and then will break out his/her stethoscope and place this on your baby’s chest (maybe back, too… I don’t recall whether ours did that or not).


The doctor also looked at baby’s tongue and checked baby’s eyes. After that, he answered our questions, gave us some sample products and gave us the news (baby’s doing just fine in our case).



Oh, yes… I almost forgot. Baby’s umbilical cord (the part that was attached to her, anyway) fell off a couple days ago. Our doctor told us to clean the area with one wet Q-tip and then apply some polysporin to the area with a 2nd Q-tip 4x/day. (disclaimer: I’m not a doctor, so please don’t do this yourself. Consult your doctor or physican for best medical information.)



We’re back home now (obviously). Mom and baby are having a rest. I’ve got our lunch thawing out in the sink, the washer and dryer running and a small load of clothing waiting for me to fold it to death.

It’s only day 4, but I already feel like I’m beginning to get into the swing of things, largely due to comments & conversations from  / with others and my wife’s response (read: whole-hearted agreement) to said comments.











All right – laundry’s callin’ my name. Later, y’all!

photo credit: Mercedes_Garcia via photopin cc


First day of parental leave, pt. 4


No, this isn’t me at home. Our house isn’t big enough for anyone to have their own space (unless they try to lock the bathroom door which doesn’t lock).

Prior to today there were things I could only witness and experience on my days off. Now, thanks to the advent of parental leave, I can be here to experience all of them.

Last night, after returning from the hospital with my mother-i.l. and sister-i.l. (for more info, read here and here) I was wide awake, so I stayed up and played some games until I started yawning. That’s pretty similar to the way things would’ve been on a work day. Today, however, my newborn daughter was crying, so I was able to hold her and soothe her to a sleep-like state (that she promptly woke from the minute she heard her mother’s voice).

This morning I got up at 9:45 and went to work on my online employment insurance application (for information on that, read here). I grabbed some leftovers for breakfast while my middle daughter watched Wall-E and ate crackers on the couch, my wife busy sleeping alongside our newborn.

At present, I’m typing this blog on WordPress, the post that I’ll put on my personal site and Facebook in mere moments. My oldest daughter is at school until this afternoon, and my middle daughter is watching Ratatouille with Grandma and Auntie. Even though it may not seem like much, it’s certainly nice to be here for it.

This afternoon I plan to crush some more bricks for our patio (read here) if the weather stays nice, and this evening I’ll be taking part in a webinar sponsored by DiscMakers. Today has all the makings of a great day – time with family, time for recreation and time for individual pursuits. I’m so glad that I’m able to take advantage of this opportunity.

photo credit: slworking2 via photopin cc

First day of parental leave, pt. 3

medium_4643478367All right… I’ve taken a big step this morning and completed the online EI application for parental leave benefits. No easy feat, mind you. When they say it’ll take 60 minutes, they mean it.

Most of the information the application requested was pretty basic: who am I, where I’ve worked, SIN #, etc. What tripped me up was the self-employed bit.

See, EI wants to know about all the places you’ve worked. I can only speculate that they want to have a good idea of your annual income and/or know how many ROE’s they’ll need from employers, and as self-employed hobbyist, EI wants to know about that, too.

EI has changed a bit, from what I understand. Not only can you receive more assistance income, you can also work more while on leave. Used to be you could earn $50/week at no penalty. Well, those days have gone. Now you can earn up to 90% of your weekly insurable earnings (or something like that), but every time you earn $1 you’ll have $0.50 deducted from the total benefit you would’ve received.

I don’t know whether a sub-purpose of the application was to make the applicant feel like they’re going to get turned down, but my personal process definitely left me feeling concerned. Hopefully, things’ll work out for the best.

photo credit: jorge gonz@lez via photopin cc

Green Eggs + Green Ham = Green Poo!


Among the many different things I remember looking forward to with our new baby were things like new baby smell (it’s intoxicating… there’s nothing like it) and hospital ice (what? you’ve never tried it? well, go get injured or sick or something & go to the hospital and try some).

Honestly, though, to pinpoint the one thing I was looking forward to the most… well… it’s a bit awkward, a bit weird, and (most of all) quite disgusting. In fact, you may want to set down anything that you’re eating or change to a different blog if you’re one of those people with wimpy stomachs.

I, (yes, me) Andrew Plait of Southern Alberta, was especially looking forward to green poo.

Let me write that again, a little slower for the people who weren’t sure what they read: G – R – E – E – N – P – O – O.

Green poo is, without a doubt, the best part of the entire parenting experience. Never mind the crying or discontent from the baby (actually, there’s usually one of three things to do when a baby cries, but that’s another post on its own) – green poo is to die for.

Why this fascination with feces? Well, I’ll tell you.

In my un-medical slang experience, a new baby dispenses green slime from his/her bottom within the first few hours of it being alive. You see it once, twice if you’re lucky, and then it disappears forever (unless your baby has a health problem or is from outer space or subsists on a formula/breastmilk/spinach diet).

The stuff is tougher than the strongest epoxy and extremely rare. In fact, I snapped a pic of it while we were in the hospital (but had the decency not to post that sort of thing on the Internet… just yet).

That’s why I’m a fan of green poo. Look for the collectible T-shirts coming out later this summer. We’ll start a poo-volution! Who’s with me?

photo credit: nateOne via photopin cc

The curse of the loose tooth


Sometimes life is full of irony. My daughter lost her first tooth mere hours before some major dental work took place.

The tooth was one of the lower front ones, but, despite repeated assurance that she’d be okay, she was quite reluctant to remove it.

We tried the wiggle first. You know, where you move the tooth back and forth with your fingers or tongue until it works its way out. The wiggle seems simple enough, but my five-year-old didn’t seem to get it.

To aid with knowledge of different ways to extract the tooth, we turned to a major Internet info-spot, YouTube. We saw kids with string attached to doorknobs, remote control cars, Nerf darts, a parent’s hand, a Lego action figure, etc. String seemed to be the way to go, but you think she’d go with string? Nuh-uh.

So, we went back to wiggling and pushing with her tongue. Grandma kept telling her to come so she could take it out, but girly-girl wanted to do it herself.

There were tears, fits, slightly violent acts directed towards adults… it was as if she didn’t want the tooth to come out. In fact, she’d said several times that she wanted to eat something hard so the tooth would come out by itself.

25 minutes into the tooth pulling I suggested tweezers. Sure enough, she tried them, but couldn’t seem to get a good grip. After repeated no-go’s, the waterworks resumed. Handoff to Daddy-o. Two quick tugs with the tweezers and that sucker was outta there!

As I said, that tooth came out hours before her dental appt. today, but that’s a story for another time. Later, all!

photo credit: Wes Rogers via photopin cc