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Saturday, May 25, 2013

Week 23 Day 6 - Those Are Some Huge Pancakes


I have to work at 10am today. Going to be another horribly busy day, but there's a lot more help at least. My wife convinced me to wake up a little early today so I did, and got ready for work. Only to find that she made my lunch for work, and a huge breakfast for me. Pancakes, scrambled eggs, strawberries, mango, banana. I love that her new job has her waking up early. So now on the weekends, when she is off, she still gets up early. I am the same way. But anyways I have to get going to work. Hope everyone got this treatment this morning!


While on my lunch break, thought I would share 10 facts about Memorial Day. Many seem to forget why we celebrate the day, it's not just a free day off of work. 

  1. Memorial Day began after the Civil War. It was originally called Decoration Day because both Northerners and Southerners decorated the graves of their Civil War dead.
  2. Memorial Day continued to be Civil War-focused until WWI when observances expanded to honor all those who had died in America?s wars. It is different from Veteran’s Day which honors all veterans living or dead.
  3. The holiday was first widely observed on May 30, 1868 when flowers were placed on the graves of Union and Confederate soldiers at Arlington National Cemetery. The cemetery, which lies across the Potomac River from Washington, D.C., had been Confederate General Robert E. Lee’s plantation. It is thought the date was chosen because by that time of the year flowers would be in bloom all over the country.
  4. About 5000 individuals attended the first ceremony, the same as today. 
  5. Several southern states have an additional separate day for honoring their Confederate war dead including… January 19 — Texas Confederate Heroes Day signifying Robert E. Lee’s birthday. The last Monday in April (or April 26) — Alabama, Florida, Georgia and Mississippi to mark the surrender of Confederate General Joseph E. Johnston to Union General William Sherman. May 10 — North and South Carolina which marks the death of “Stonewall” Jackson and the capture of President Jefferson Davis. June 3 — Louisiana and Tennessee for Jefferson Davis’ birthday.
  6. The first state to officially recognize the holiday was New York in 1873. While approximately 25 cities claim to be the birthplace of Memorial Day, in 1966 President Lyndon Johnson bestowed that honor to Waterloo, New York because they had begun conducting an annual community service regularly since May 5, 1866.
  7. In 1971 Memorial Day was declared a national holiday to be celebrated the last Monday in May, thus beginning the tradition of federal three-day holiday weekends.
  8. Memorial Day etiquette is to fly the flag at half staff until noon, then fully raise it until sunset.
  9. The inspiration to wear red poppies to honor the dead on Memorial Day originates from the 1915 poem “In Flanders Fields” by John McCrae.

    In Flanders fields the poppies blow
    Between the crosses, row on row,
    That mark our place; and in the sky
    The larks, still bravely singing, fly
    Scarce heard amid the guns below.

    We are the Dead. Short days ago

    We lived, felt dawn, saw sunset glow,

    Loved and were loved, and now we lie

    In Flanders fields.

    Take up our quarrel with the foe:
    To you from failing hands we throw
    The torch; be yours to hold it high.
    If ye break faith with us who die
    We shall not sleep, though poppies grow
    In Flanders fields.

  10. To ensure Americans do not lose sight of the sacrifices soldiers have made, “The National Moment of Remembrance Act” was signed into law in December 2000. On Memorial Day at 3PM local time Americans are encouraged to pause wherever they are for a minute of silence to remember those who have died in service to the nation.



Got my jersey on! 

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Friday, May 24, 2013

Week 23 Day 5 - Busy Day at Work


It's another one of those days. Too much to do at work with not enough help. But it is what it is right? I will survive. 

Hamburgers are on a huge sale for Memorial Day weekend, the second biggest grilling holiday of the year. So naturally it's going to be busy. And of course everyone wants 20 burgers, but only 2 per package. Freezer wrapped. Ugh. Look at the positive side, it's job security. 


7 Things For Women To Expect From The Guy During Pregnancy

Taken from

He’s cranky.

He was thrilled when he first heard the happy news that you were pregnant, but now he’s a nervous wreck. Thankfully, it will probably get better, as most men’s feelings of anxiety and distress peak at 6-8 weeks in. Why? Because even just-a-little-bit pregnant women have been thinking “pregnant” before the line on the stick turned pink, but men are simply a month or two behind. “In baby-making mode, women are actively looking for signs and symptoms all the time,” says Dr. Brizendine. “They’re checking their breasts – are they bigger, are they always this sore? – thinking about what they’re eating and drinking ‘just in case’ and worrying every time they go to the bathroom. When the men finally find out, they’re already behind in processing this huge transition, initially feeling very excited but ultimately, when the reality sets in, anxious about being on a runaway train.” These feelings will start to abate as his new hormones set in. Wait:his hormones?

He’s on his own hormonal roller-coaster.

Yep, once that little embryo has latched on to mama, it’s not only her hormones that start surging. Science has known for a while that the mother’s estrogen and progesterone nearly triple while she’s pregnant, but, as it turns out, the father’s hormones get affected too. Certain pheromones sneak out of the mother’s sweat glands and cause his testosterone to decrease and his prolactin – the “Mr. Mom” hormone – to increase. All of this hormonal re-jiggering stimulates his paternal instincts. Basically, as boy brain turned to man brain during puberty, man brain is slowly converting to daddy brain during pregnancy.

His and hers maternity jeans.

You’ve heard of men gaining sympathy weight when their wives are pregnant, but there are dads-to-be who actually experience symptoms from a sympathetic pregnancy. It’s called couvade syndrome – from the French word “couvee,” meaning “to hatch” – and has been documented in dads-to-be worldwide. It usually starts at the end of the first trimester but can continue through the entire pregnancy. Along with the weight gain, some men have even been known to take on other unfortunate symptoms – like nausea and vomiting – as well. So share your crackers and ginger tea, ladies.

He’s nesting too – or at least building one.

If he was handy around the house before, expect him to get handier now. Like expectant women, expectant men are likely to go into a version of nesting mode. But the male form typically involves building, says Dr. Brizendine: “Where as women see the baby as a soft little creature to dress in soft little clothes, men’s focus is often on construction and equipment of all kinds – whether it’s a new family car, stroller or high chair.”

He’s actually listening.

He may not pay attention to everything you’re saying (even if it is about baby equipment!), but his hearing centers are changing to soon be able to hear the cries of babies he never would have heard before. Because newborns need round-the-clock care, Mother Nature changes parents’ brain circuitry to put them on high alert. New mothers still hear better than their partners do, but at least he has a tending instinct, too.

He’s falling in love.

Even though men aren’t physically connected to the unborn baby, they are being primed for that unbreakable biological bond and intense love. Just as his hearing becomes more acute, all his senses are heightening, as if he was falling in romantic love all over again. This new sensitivity begins before baby is born but intensifies dramatically with skin-to-skin contact and simply seeing the baby’s pudgy face. As Dr. Brizendine says, “Yes, the same brain that can be absorbed in Sunday football can become completely absorbed with baby.”

Daddy/Baby synchronicity.

It’s no surprise that mother and child fall into similar rhythms, but The Male Brain reveals that the combination of hormones, new brain circuitry and physical touch enables dads to experience baby/daddy synchronicity as well. “To ensure that this happens, moms have to let go a little bit and give dads a chance,” says Dr. Brizendine. “It’s one thing to let dads help under a watchful eye. But the research reveals that dads behave differently (and in ways that are more beneficial to baby) when Mom’s away or not watching.”


Is this normal?

I love jalepenos. And here in Chicago, ketchup on a hotdog is an absolute NO!

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Week 23 Day 4 - Top 18 Best Father Tips


Another day off. Gotta love it! No plans for the day, other than the wife was talking about going out for dinner, since we don't get enough quality time together. 

I put all the baby's furniture into her room. We had it sitting in the dining room until we moved some storage crap out of the way. So I took care of that today. We have our dining room back now.

Recently I partnered with because I think they are a valuable website to any parent. Father, Mother, Grandparents, you name it, can find this website useful for anything baby related. Clothes, bottles, strollers, and more. also offer resources for your pregnancy, baby blogs, baby gear reviews, and great prices too!

giggle -- The New Parent Store

We need a new vacuum. Does anyone have any recommendations? There are so many brands and styles available, it is hard to know which is best. My wife really likes Kirby but they are extremely expensive. How about Dyson? Hoover? Oreck? Also there are some that are reasonably priced. Like under 100 dollars. Maybe Consumer Reports will have an article.

Crib Box - babi italia

18 Tips for Fatherhood

  1. Cherish your time with them. One thing that will amaze you is how quickly the years will fly. My oldest daughter is 15, which means I have three short years with her before she leaves the nest. That’s not enough time! The time you have with them is short and precious — make the most of it. Spend as much time as you can with them, and make it quality, loving time. Try to be present as much as possible while you’re with them too — don’t let your mind drift away, as they can sense that.
  2. It gets easier. Others may have different experiences, but I’ve always found the first couple of months the most difficult, when the baby is brand new and wants to feed at all hours of the night and you often have sleepless nights and walk around all day like zombies. It gets easier, as they get a regular sleeping pattern. The first couple of years are also a lot more demanding than later years, and as they hit middle school they become almost functioning, independent adults. It gets easier, trust me.
  3. Don’t look at anything as “mom” duties — share responsibilities. While there are a lot of good things from our grandparents’ day that we should bring back, the traditional dad/mom split of parenting duties isn’t one of them. Some men still look at certain duties as “mom” duties, but don’t be one of those dads. Get involved in everything, and share the load with your baby mama. Changing diapers, giving baths, getting them dressed, even feeding them (you can give them breast milk in a bottle).
  4. Love conquers all. This one sounds corny, but it should be at the center of your dad operating philosophy: above all, show your children love. When you’re upset, instead of yelling, show them love. When they are upset, show them love. When they least expect it, show them love. Everything else is just details.
  5. Kids like making decisions. While it is easier to be an authoritarian parent, what you’re teaching your child is to submit to orders no matter what. Instead, teach your child to make decisions, and he’ll grow up much more capable — and happier. Kids like freedom and decisions, just like any other human beings. Your job is to allow them to make decisions, but within the parameters that you set. Give them a choice between two healthy breakfasts, for example, rather than allowing them to eat a bowl of sugar if they choose to.
  6. A little patience goes a long way. As a parent, I know as well as anyone how easy it is to lose your patience and temper. However, allowing yourself to react in anger or frustration is not the best thing for your child, and you must remember that. That means you need to take a deep breath, or a walk, when you start to lose your patience. Practice patience with your child and your relationship, and your child, will benefit over the long run.
  7. Sense of humor required. There will be times when your child does something that might make you blow your lid — writing in crayon all over the walls is a good one, as is dumping some kind of liquid on your couch, or sneaking out and taking your car to meet up with friends. While you need to teach your child not to do these things, it’s better to just laugh at the humor in the situation. I’ve learned to do this more often, and it helps me keep my sanity.
  8. Read to them, often. Whether you’re a reader or not, reading to your children (from the time they’re babies onward) is crucial. It gets them in the habit of reading, and prepares them for a lifetime of learning. It gives you some special time together, and become a tradition your child will cherish. I read with all my children, from my 2-year-old and my 15-year-old, and love every word we read together.
  9. Don’t be the absent dad. The biggest mistake that dads make are not being there for their children. Always, always set aside time each day and each week for your children. Don’t let anything violate this sacred time. And at those big moments in your child’s life — a soccer game, a music recital, a science fair — do you very best to be there. It means the world.
  10. Let them play. Kids really develop through playing — and while it might seem obvious, you should allow them as much free play as possible. That’s aside from TV and video games (see below), aside from reading, aside from anything structured or educational. Just let them play, and make things up, and have fun.
  11. Spark their imagination. Free play, mentioned above, is the best way to develop the imagination, but sometimes you can provide a little spark. Play with your kids, creating forts, dressing up as ninjas, role playing, imagining you’re explorers or characters in a movie or book … the possibilities are endless, and you’ll have as much fun as they will.
  12. Limit TV and video games. I’m not saying you have to be Amish or anything, but too much of this type of entertainment keeps them from doing more imaginative playing, from reading, from getting outside to exercise. I recommend an hour a day of “media time”, but you can find the amount that works for you and your family.
  13. Learn the “firm no”. While I’m all for giving kids the freedom to choose, and for free play, and lots of other freedoms, there should be limits. Parents who don’t set boundaries are going to have children with behavior problems, who have problems when they grow up. And if it’s not good to always say “yes”, it’s also not good for the child to say “no” at first … and then cave in when they throw a temper tantrum or beg and plead. Teach them that your “no” is firm, but only say “no” when you really feel that it’s a boundary you need to set.
  14. Model good behavior. It’s one thing to tell you child what she should do, but to say one thing and do another just ruins the message. In fact, the real lesson your child will learn is what you do. Your child is always watching you, to learn appropriate behavior. Excessive drinking or smoking or drug use by parents, for example, will become ingrained in the child’s head. Bad manners, inconsiderate behavior, sloppy habits, anger and a negative attitude, laziness and greed … all these behaviors will rub off on your child. Instead, model the behavior you’d like your child to learn.
  15. Treat their mother with respect, always. Some fathers can be abusive toward their spouse, and that will lead to a cycle of abuse when the child grows up. But beyond physical or verbal abuse, there’s the milder sin against the child’s mother: disrespectful behavior. If you treat your child’s mother with disrespect, your child will not only learn that behavior, but grow up with insecurities and other emotional problems. Treat your child’s mother with respect at all times.
  16. Let them be themselves. Many parents try to mold their child into the person they want their child to be … even if the child’s personality doesn’t fit that mold. Instead, instill good behaviors and values in your child, but give your child freedom to be himself. Children, like all humans, have quirks and different personalities. Let those personalities flourish. Love your child for who he is, not who you want him to be.
  17. Teach them independence. From an early age, teach your children to do things for themselves, gradually letting them be more independent as they grow older. While it may seem difficult and time-consuming to teach your child to do something that you could do much faster yourself, it’s worth it in the long run, for the child’s self-confidence and also in terms of how much you have to do. For example, my kids know how to wash their own dishes, help clean the house, clean their rooms, fold and put away laundry, shower, groom and dress themselves, and much more — saving a lot of time and work for me. Even my 2-year-old knows how to pick things up when she’s told to do so.
  18. Stand together with mom. It’s no good to have one parent say one thing, just to have the other contradict that parent. Instead, you and mom should be working together as a parenting team, and should stand by each other’s decisions. That said, it’s important that you talk out these decisions beforehand, so that you don’t end up having to support a decision you strongly disagree with.

-Leo Babauta


Our daughter had her first taste of Chipotle Mexican Grill tonight. I am positive that she's already hooked for life. The food is so good, even the unborn don't stand a chance. (Obviously the beer was mine. No alcohol for the baby. Not til she's 21! Or sneaking it behind our backs.)

Now on Instagram!

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Week 23 Day 3 - Best Foods for Pregnant Women


This will be our daughter someday!

Top Foods for Pregnant Women

Whole grains

Enriched, whole-grain breads and cereals are fortified with folic acid and iron and have more fiber than white bread and rice. Work whole grains into your day: oatmeal for breakfast, a sandwich on whole-grain bread at lunch, and whole-wheat pasta or brown rice for dinner.


Add black beans, white beans, pinto beans, lentils, black-eyed peas, and kidney, garbanzo, or soy beans to your diet. Try them in chili and soups, salads, and pasta dishes. Besides providing protein and fiber, they are also good sources of key nutrients, such as iron, folate, calcium, and zinc.


Omega-3 fatty acids are good for your baby's brain and eyes, and salmon is a great source. Plus it provides protein and B vitamins. Salmon is also relatively low in mercury compared to other fish. Try it grilled, broiled, or on a salad. You can safely eat up to 12 ounces of low-mercury fish, such as salmon, per week. 


Eggs are versatile and a good source of protein that provides amino acids you and your baby need. They contain more than a dozen vitamins and minerals, including choline, which is good for baby's brain development. However, be sure not to eat undercooked or raw eggs.


Blueberries, raspberries, and blackberries are delicious snacks and taste great in pancakes and on top of cereal. Berries are packed with vitamin C, potassium, folate, and fiber.

Low-fat yogurt

One cup of plain, low-fat yogurt has more calcium than milk, is high in protein, and doesn’t have the added sugar of flavored yogurts. Dress it up with fruit or crunchy, whole-grain cereal.

- WebMD

I have to work from 12pm-8pm today. I actually am starting to like the later shifts, I can sleep in a little bit, and also because I usually get to cut more at work when I work later. My wife has to go to the wake of the guy that lost his life at her work last week. Still so sad.

The "Today Show" on NBC is doing a special on the city of Chicago this morning. Pretty cool to see them talking about all of our unique attractions, foods, and what makes this city so special. Nothing better than a Chicago-style hotdog, or a hot day at North Avenue Beach, or even better, a Pizzeria Uno Deep Dish Pizza! If you have never been to Chicago, it is worth the trip, just come in the summer because it sure gets cold here in the winter! And stay a few days because there is just so much to see.


It has been crazy at work today. So much to do and because I started at Noon instead of 9am, I was naturally 3 hours behind. Not fun, but at least it's almost over now, and I am off tomorrow. Thursdays are the worst. 

My wife is at her cousin's wake right now. I will probably beat her home. 

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Week 23 Day 2 - Microwave Eggs and Moore Tornado


My grandma got us the coolest microwave hard-boiled egg cooker. This is really great news. Why?

  1. We eat hard-boiled eggs every day, great source of protein, and quick to grab for lunch
  2. It's a pain to cook them on the stove, with timers/pots/boiling water/messes
  3. We now have an electric stover, and it's terrible
  4. I haven't had an egg open easy since we have lived here
 Now this little contraption can cook up to four eggs at a time. You simply fill the bottom of the egg-shaped container with water, up to the fill line. Add your eggs into the fitted holder, secure the top, pop it in the microwave for about 8 minutes in mine, and voila! hard-boiled eggs.

You can find them here : Amazon

I see there are also electric egg cookers as well. A little more expensive but I am sure they work great too.

My wife said she was cramping some this morning. Occasionally she does, but we aren't sure why. It's normal and most likely because of her stomach stretching. At least that's what I think. But I don't know much about women stuff either.

I have a dentist appointment today, and after that we are going back to get another ultrasound. The doctor called for a follow-up from the one last week, and she explained that we only got a couple pictures, and they weren't very good. Also, that the girl seemed to be in a rush to get out of there, and was getting frustrated because the baby wasn't positioned how she wanted her. When we asked about the 3d images she told us "Sorry, but it doesn't look like you will be able to get any today." The doctor said that is absolutely unacceptable and that he was sorry, and has had complaints about her before. He rescheduled her to come back today and promised a better experience and ultrasound. Oh, she also measured some things inaccurately. So maybe I will have some better pictures to share tonight!

I want to share this footage from the tornado in Moore, Oklahoma. My prayers go out to the familes that lost not only everything they owned, but also lives.


We got a few more pictures of our daughter earlier at the ultrasound visit. However, her head was faced down most of the time so our 3d pictures still aren't that great. Better than last time though.

Was able to get a little time out on the bike today. We needed milk and a couple things from the grocery store so I strapped on my backpack and took a ride. It was nice today, around 80 and partially sunny. She made loaded baked potato soup for dinner. It was really good. I am usually not a soup guy, but this was almost like a stew. Not bad. Plenty leftover for lunch tomorrow. I am seriously thinking about starting another blog out of all the stuff she makes, no recipes ever, no formal training, just from her head or past family recipes. Very impressive.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Week 23 Day 1 - Five Foods To Avoid While Pregnant


Up a little early this morning for some reason. We were able to pick up our baby's crib and dresser yesterday. They are solid wood so of course they were extremely heavy! Thanks to my grandpa and uncle for helping me get them into the house. Couldn't have done it by myself. And Thanks to my wife's parents for buying them for us!

I am supposed to have a dentist appointment at 2:30pm. I forgot to write it in my calendar way back when I originally scheduled. So they called me late last week and I realized I was scheduled to work today. By the time I was going to call and cancel on Saturday they had already closed. Found out later that if I cancel the day of the appointment, today, that it will be a $50 cancellation fee. My luck.


Have you ever stuck your head into a pile of cow manure? My way to work felt a lot like that thanks to the truck full of it driving in front of me. Yum. 

Man that crib was heavy! I didn't realize how awkward shaped the box would be. And it must be solid wood because it was no lightweight. The dresser is really nice too. Equally heavy. 

While at the baby store I used the restroom and couldn't help notice, and think to myself, who feels the need to violently tear toilet paper and throw it all over while using the restroom?

I don't get it. 


5 Foods To Avoid While Pregnant:

1. Packaged ramen noodles

Read the label: These quick-cooking noodles are packed with salt, fat, and little else.

2. Soda

If you fill up on empty calories and sugar, you won't have any room for more nutritious drinks. Low-fat milk, water, and juice are better choices.
3. Shelf-stable commercial lunches
Sure, they're a quick fix for hunger pangs, but preservatives, salt, and fat make most of them a poor choice. There are some okay packaged lunch options out there, though, so check the labels!
4. Too many frozen prepared meals
There are some good choices out there, but many have astronomical amounts of salt and fat. Instead, pop a potato in the microwave, then top it with cheese and steamed broccoli for a fast, healthy meal. If you can't avoid the occasional frozen meal, look for organic brands that are low in salt and fat.
5. Iceberg lettuce
When it comes to lettuce, choose greens, such as romaine, that are full of fiber, A and C vitamins, folic acid, calcium, and potassium. Iceberg lettuce has only trace amounts of these nutrients.


BabyandBump Awkward Pregnancy Photo Contest 

After finding a website full of hilarious awkward pregnancy photos, I decided to have a little contest amongst the members over at BabyandBump to see if they could come up with anything better. There are several great photos that they gave me to choose from, however "babyjan" had my wife and I laughing the hardest! Thanks babyjan and everyone else too!

Our favorite "Awkward Pregnancy Photo" via babyjan

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Week 22 Day 7 - A Little Too Hot


It feels really warm out today. My car says 88 degrees, but it seems like 100. I like nice weather, but too warm isn't good. Supposed to thunderstorm later and cool off a bit. 

My wife got a lot done around the house yesterday. Time to start inviting friends and family over, and not have to be embarrassed by the all the stuff laying everywhere still. We hung a few pictures and decorations last night. 

This morning I couldn't get the garage door to shut. I couldn't yesterday either. It would start to go but then pop back up like something was blocking the sensors. It sure is annoying especially when you need to leave and can't. I aligned the sensors correctly and that work last night. Not sure what the deal was this morning. If I can't figure it out I guess we will have to make another call to the landlord. 

Here's my fancy strawberry jello I found in my lunch today. 

Mmm whipped cream on top too. No wonder I'm getting fat. 


My wife and my grandpa are taking his truck to go pick up our baby furniture. The crib and the dresser. It looks like I will just meet them at home, and help unload. Hopefully I can find someone to help us because my wife and grandpa shouldn't be lifting anything. We didn't realize we would have to get it today but it is what it is. 
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