Thursday, September 28, 2006

Look At All The Pictures

Happy Birthday, Auntie Becky (Actual Relative Version).

Antonio's had a few good days. He's eaten a bunch. He's slept a bunch. He's pooped and peed a bunch. Grandma Liz also became the first victim of changing table pee.

(I'm not sure about these Internets, so I've decided to erase all boy parts from the pictures. I know Antonio will thank me when he thinks about future girlfriends who could come into possession of these pictures. I'm just looking out for my son.)

Yesterday, GrandTias Maria and Liz came to visit. They had a great time meeting Antonio. (I mean, who wouldn't?) And then Tia Liz, who is a midwife, came back again today to help Deb with a little bit of the nursing. Antonio is very happy about this development.

Then Grandpa Tony came back from another work trip and gave his grandson a bath today. I don't know what it is about those things, because I swear Antonio like the first one, but each one since then has been a scream-a-thon.

Mommy took a nap with the kids this afternoon. (Hey, look who made it back into a picture. It's Havana!) Havana now tolerates her brother. He smells kinda funny sometimes, and she gets in trouble when she plays with his toys, but she's starting to to understand that he's going to be around for a few days. I think she's still got a decent shot at being a good big sister yet.

I know some of you out there are thinking, "You know, that's all very good and all, but where are all the pictures of Antonio without all these pesky adults around. The dog's fine, but I want some Antonio solo pictures."

Well, I aim to please. So as long as you don't count my stubby fingers, here's the little guy doing the whole "cute" thing he's so good at.

That's it for now. More pictures again soon.

Tuesday, September 26, 2006

Is Antonio the Best Baby Ever?

By now, you're probably sick of my writing about how my son is the absolute best baby ever. This is most likely for at least one of three reasons:

1) You have a child and believe that your child is/was the best baby ever (You are wrong. Antonio is the best. There is no debating this. Although I'm sure your kid is pretty good.);

2) You were once a baby and are pretty sure you were the best baby ever. (You would be wrong on this count, too. [And a bit full of yourself] You may have been the best child ever at the time you were a child, but Antionio is younger than you are [unless you are younger than Antonio, in which case, if you're reading this at less than one week of age, you may, in fact, be better than he is, because that's just darn impressive] and has taken the title. It's Best Baby Ever, not Best Baby Ever Except for That Baby Thirty-Two Years Ago;

3) You happen to believe that I am prone to exaggeration and outright fabrications regarding matters of my son and other general topics. (Well... You got me on that one.)

But you have to admit, even if he's not the best baby ever (I'm not saying he's not, I'm saying IF he's not), he's got to be in the top ten.

Now, I know what you're thinking. Sure Antonio's the best baby... er... One of the top ten babies ever, but me, I'm just lucky to be in the top hundred people of all time on my best day (work with me here, people), how can I be sure that Antonio is, in fact, my own flesh and blood.

I, too, was worried about this. I knew Antonio was next to perfect, and I am imperfection personified. Well, I wasn't about to take any thing for granted. No, I didn't pack the Debbie and the kid up and get a paternity test on the Maury show, but I did do a little research and I ended up with 100% infallible scientific proof that Antonio is my son. It may not be DNA evidence, but take a look at the following two pictures:

Can you tell the difference? Neither can science.

Saturday, September 23, 2006

Antonio Comes Home

All 6+ pounds of Antonio made his way home yesterday. I don't know if he needs to gain weight, or if the entire infant clothing manufacturing business needs to make smaller sizes, but this kid can't wear anything without it hanging off his body.

Not that it's not cute, however.

After a few hours of getting settled, the one grandparent who had yet to meet the youngster, having been out of town for work at the time (Once again, Antonio's stubbornness gets him in trouble with those who are supposed to change his diapers) finally got to see him. Needless to say, Tony enjoyed the encounter, and has not put him down willingly yet.

That's about it for the weekend. Antonio has been spoiled rotten by Deb's side of the family. Tomorrow, they'll be joined by my side to complete the quadruple grandparent lovefest. Somehow I don't think he'll mind.

Look at that face. More later.

Thursday, September 21, 2006

Here Comes Me!

Due Date +6, Due Date +7 (aka Birth Date)

Okay, in case you were wondering. I've been just a little busy lately. Not to mention the fact I wrote a post the day after young Antonio was born (pretty much the best thing I've ever written, if you ask me [okay, not really, but it seemed like it after being awake for 38 of the most intense hours in my life]) which got deleted.

Here's the shorter version.

Monday, September 18, 2006.

9:00 AM: Since the baby in Debbie's belly had no interest in arriving anytime in the near future, we arrive at the hospital so Deb can be induced. Hopefully speeding up the process.

1:00 PM: Nope, nothing yet.

5:00 PM: Nope, still nothing.

9:00 PM: Nothing.

Tuesday, September 19, 2006.

12:00 Midnight: Not a thing.

12:30 AM: Nothing. This is probably a good time to settle in for a little sleep, because it seems like Deb might have a long day ahead of her.

12:31 AM: Nevermind. Things are happening. A lot of things. And they're happening really quickly. And painfully.

1:30 AM: Still happening. Still painful. Deb wants her drugs. No drugs in the near future. She says some things in a very loud tone of voice.

2:00 AM: Still painful. Still no drugs. Deb has to improvise*.

(Don't worry, she didn't really eat the Root Beer Float).

2:30 AM: Here come the drugs.

2:31 AM: Ohhhhhhhhhhhhh yeah. That's better.

3:00 AM: Things settle down again. The doctor tells us he'll be back before 7:00 AM and we should be ready to start pushing. Deb settles in for a few hours of pain free labor. Drugs are pretty cool.

(Kids, just say no.)

6:59 AM: The doctor returns.

7:00 AM: Time to push.

7:20 AM: Time to stop pushing. Since the youngster was stubborn enough that he wanted to delay his time of entry into the world, it only makes sense that he would make it difficult to actually come into the world. So it's time to go to a different room with different doctors for a different kind of procedure that sounds a lot like "emergency c-section."

7:21 AM: Time for Jeff to freak out.

7-something AM: Time is kind of blurry here. Let's just say I'm so happy Deb was the one having the baby instead of me, because she was such an absolute trooper and pretty much the bravest person I've ever seen. I was an absolute mess. The doctors and nurses kicked all kinds of ass, and then, at:

7:49 AM: Antonio Scott Rodgers was born. My life changed forever.


Mother and baby are doing great. She's feeling better, and he's being a baby. And not just any baby, but the bestest baby in the entire world.

We couldn't be happier. Thank you to everyone for your kind thoughts and prayers.

More pictures and updates to come.

(And one question, does this mean I have to start losing all my sympathy baby weight now?

Sunday, September 17, 2006

Get This Kid on a Milk Carton

Due Date +5

All good will earned yesterday? Gone today.

He's done nothing new to make Mom and Dad upset. That's the problem. He's done nothing. He just sits in the belly, kicking from time to time, but showing no signs of wanting to come out.

I guess I can't blame him though, if I was allowed to hang out all day and just be warm and naked and not have any worries or cares in the world, I'm sure I'd sign up for that kind of duty. That sounds like a pretty good deal if you ask me.

I guess I'm just jealous.

He must know his days are numbered. Pretty soon, he'll be out here in the world, wearing clothes, listening to his sister bark at him, doing whatever Mom and Dad say he has to do (until he starts acting up). Yeah, life is pretty good.

So now I've changed my mind. Stay in there, kid. It's cold and scary out here. You've got it good. Enjoy it while you can.

Of course, now he'll probably come tomorrow.

Here's Mom in Paris for no other reason than I like this picture and we probably won't be going back to Paris for a while.

Maybe My Kid's Not So Bad After All

Due Date +4

Okay, first things first. The kid's still not here. I don't think I need to say any more on the subject. His mother and I want him out; he doesn't want to come out. By this point, we've agreed to disagree on this whole birthing situation.

But tonight, I may have come to realize why the little one doesn't want to come out, and maybe it's not as selfish as I originally believed.

You see, Deb has been working hard these past few (actually, many) weeks, trying to help the March of Dimes put together their annual Celebrity Chefs Dinner and Auction. This is the third year in a row she's worked on this event, and of all the events she helps organize, this is by far the most enjoyable to be a part of.

However, the point of the event is not to insure that I have a good time, but actually to raise money for a worthwhile cause. In this case, the March of Dimes, having succeeded in its original goal of finding a cure for polio, has turned its attention to helping premature babies.

So I'm sitting there tonight, watching a speaker up on the stage telling a story of how her two twins were born 14 weeks early, weighing a total of 4 pounds total between them. For 119 days, the parents of these two children endured so much, and their only wish was that their children survived the night.

As this mother, whose children are now healthy two-year-olds, told of the emotional pain she endured, I realized that maybe my son decided wait to join the world so that his mom (who really has been working too hard) could help the March of Dimes raise over $250,000 tonight for kids who don't have it as good as he does. Those pre-mature babies just might have been helped by one post-mature baby. He really is his mother's son.

So for tonight, I can find no fault in my son for delaying his entry into the world. Because just maybe his stubbornness is just his first foray into the philanthropic arena his mother has made her name in.

And, for the first time, I am proud of my son.

Even though he is still hurting Mommy's back.

(Sorry if you were looking for some funny hazing of my unborn child. Tomorrow, if he's not out, I'll rip this kid a new one. But for tonight, I'm still enjoying helping a worthy cause.)

(And my wine buzz.)

Friday, September 15, 2006

Kids Today, I Tell Ya

Due Date +3

Okay, I give up. There's nothing more I can say. I've tried shame. I've tried guilt. I've tried sublte mockery. But nothing works. I don't know what else I can do to convince my son that it's time he come out and see the world.


No. Not yet. There will be plenty of time for me to get suckered into the whole thing where I promise outstanding gifts and presents in exchange for my son doing what I wish. But not today.

Today it's time for a man-to-man discussion. This will be the first one I ever have when I'm on the man- end rather than the -man end, so I'm breaking new ground here.

There are many things I'd like to tell my son before he comes into the world.

I'd tell him to enjoy each and every day of his life and to take in the world with wide eyes and a good sense of humor. That's the way I've lived my life, and I happen to think it's a good way to do it.

I'd tell him to be a giving and caring person, because no matter how tough you think you have it, there's someone out there who has it tougher than you do, and you should do your best to make that person's life just that much better. That's the way his mother has lived her life, and I know it's a good way to do it.

I'd also tell him to be careful what girls he kisses in the seventh grade, because you never know what ones you're going to end up married to.

But mostly I'd like to tell him of how the world will be a much better place once he makes his entrance.

Nah. Nevermind.

You know what, bribery's easier.

Son, if you come into the world tomorrow, then this is yours:

Yep. You can have the Corvair.

(Provided it's still running by the time you turn sixteen, of course.)

My Baby Dislikes His Mother

Due Date +2

Okay, now this is getting ridiculous. Where is this kid? What have we done to make him treat us so badly? It's not me really, it's his mother. She's been growing him in her belly for over nine months now. Nine months. That's a long time. Think about the worst movie you've seen lately. With previews and commercials and credits, that's about two hours you wasted watching a poorly-plotted, ill-conceived romantic comedy starring Matthew McConaughey. It felt longer than two hours, didn't it? Well, guess what, my wife has been watching that movie 3360 times in a row. That's how long she's been pregnant.

That's not to say pregnancy is like watching an awful Matthew McConaughey movie 3360 times in a row. (Even though I just made that argument, I am backtracking away from it in the very next sentence [Plus a parenthetical (I'm like that)]). Pregnancy is a beautiful thing. But the time has come for Junior to come out into the world. We want to meet him. We want to give him a loving home. We want to start this new chapter of our family.

And Mommy's back is really starting to hurt.

In lieu of baby pictures (and I think we all know whose fault that is), here is a picture of Havana riding a tractor with her Grandpa.

See that, Junior? That could be you riding the tractor with Grandpa. But you've got to get here first. The ball's in your court now.

Wednesday, September 13, 2006

Wanted: One Baby

Due Date +1

Where is our son? Is he stubborn, like his mother? Or lazy, like his father? We'd love for him to come now. Really, any time he wants to show up, we'd welcome him with open arms. We're two loving and caring people. His room is ready for him. I'd show you pictures, but I can't because the camera is in the car, packed with everything else we need for the hospital.

By this time, the only person who's happy Baby Boy Rodgers (not his real name) isn't here yet is Havana. And since she gets to be an only child for a few more days, I'll post a picture of her.

That should make her happy. And hopefully make her brother jealous, thus making him show up sooner rather than later. (I think I read about doing stuff like that in one of the child-raising books. [Chances are I'm wrong about that.])