My Daughter is 11 Months Old

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And can't stand the sight of blocks stacked up.

A Cool, Dark Room

Walking into a bedroom late at night, with the lights out and the air conditioning going, always reminds me of growing up on Shadeland. I would go into the bedroom on the far side of the house, there would be no light, with the loud drone of an 80s era air conditioning window unit blaring away, with 3-5 Connell brothers, on any given night, lying around the room in various places, in various states of sleep. I'm almost conditioned to turn on a light real quick... not long enough to wake anyone and get cursed at, but long enough to mark my path through the room without steppin on any heads.

Ahh those are good memories :)

Genevieve Naomi Connell

I wanted to get this all down before "today" turned into "yesterday", and "yesterday" turns into "last year", etc.

Today, your Mom and I welcomed you into the world, beautiful baby girl! You were born by Cesarean Section at 13:14 on April 30th, 2012, weighing 8 lbs 8 oz, and 19.5 inches long.

Where to begin. I suppose Wednesday.

Wednesday


This was the day before your due date. We had an appointment at the Dr's office. I will butcher the spellings, but we met with Dr. Heinzel. He and Dr. Laveran are really nice and very good doctors.  He measured your Mom and there was absolutely nothing going on. Dr. Heinzel set the cutoff point. If nothing happened by Sunday night, they were going to induce labor that night, and it could take a day or two for you to be born. This was due to the fact that your Mom had a bit of extra amniotic fluid in her sac, which you didn't mind at all!  It's warm and sound proof from the high pitched squeal of Beaker barking at horses on TV. We apologize for any spoiled naps caused by this same crazy dog, by the way. We can't control it!

Sunday was also the unselfish call for Dr. Heinzel, since he would like to be there to deliver you, but he wasn't in until Tuesday. He wanted to get the process started earlier, giving the pleasure of delivering the most beautiful baby in the world to his colleague, Dr. Laveran. What a guy!

The Flyers had just beaten the Pittsburgh Penguins on the previous Sunday to advance to the second round of the 2012 NHL Playoffs, which were set to begin that same Sunday we were going to the hospital.  This was fine, since the game started at 3pm and we weren't due in the hospital until 8. You will come to learn that Daddy loves his Flyers hockey! Mommy had taken off of work that week, her leave started on the Friday before, and she needed a week of doing nothing.

Saturday


After a long week of work for Daddy, I wanted to surprise Mommy with some flowers and another little gift that, as of this writing, I hadn't given to her yet.  I had taken Beaker for a walk that morning, and we hung out with Mommy in the bed. I wanted to go get Dunkin Donuts before I went shopping, but before that I decided to take Beaker for another walk. This would prove to be a bad move.  Taking Beaker for his second walk, we went up a street where a big dog lived behind a weak gate. This time the owner wasn't there to tell the dog "NO!". It busted through that gate like Black Friday shoppers at a Walmart!  I picked up Beaker and tried to fend off the dog, but he got a pretty good hold of Beaker. I dropped to my knees, bloodying them in the process, and was reaching into this dog's giant-teethed-germ-filled-mouth, trying to get Beaker out. I ended up with some bloody fingers. I nearly passed out from the shock I just went through! You might witness my wooziness or fainting first hand if you ever get injured!!

Your grandpop, and the cop that we called, suggested that I go to the emergency room to get my hands checked out. I really didn't want to! I had to go shopping for your Mom's flowers and surprise gift!  I fought this like a kid not wanting to eat vegetables. I had other plans with a 4pm deadline, and it was 1 o'clock!

Sunday


Sunday was game time!  The Flyers started their series against the New Jersey Devils.  Your Uncle Billy and Aunt Mara (Aunt and Uncle MOFAS) came over with your "boyfriend" Ryan, and his big sister Rayann. We watched the Flyers knowing we would be going to the hospital that night. Of course, the game went into overtime, and we didn't have time for overtime!!  I ran out at the intermission between the third period and overtime to get some last minute supplies, like Pop Tarts. Hearing the radio, a goal was scored by Danny Briere on my way back, but it was called off. I ran into the house, but in the time it took to go from my car to the house, Briere had scored an official goal, and the Flyers had won!  Oh well!  A game winning goal is something I can miss, Sunday night and Monday were not something I would ever miss.

Sunday night we were getting a little hungry, and decided to go to Casey's for dinner. We finally left the house around 7:15 PM, after getting absolutely everything we own packed up!  Just kidding, we just packed what we need, which for me didn't include extra underwear, although your Mom insists she packed it!!  Haha. I checked that bag twice, but didn't see it. I wouldn't say that they definitely weren't there, but I didn't see them :)  Casey's that night was terribly understaffed, and we ended up getting to the hospital at around 8:25, 25 minutes late.

It started to get real. The months of feeling you kick, baby showers, purchasing expensive camera equipment, painting and decorating your room... all of these things were about to have a purpose. In the delivery room, Daddies are given just about the least comfortable chair, or most comfortable torture chamber, to sleep on. Mommies are not comfortable either. Neither of us got a lot of sleep. Your Mom had to wear a monitor to measure your reactions to her contractions, and when she shifted in the night, the monitor would not hear your little heart beating, so the nurse would come in and adjust it, waking us both up. We got there at 8:25pm and I was awake for the day at 5:30am. The excitement and anxiousness coupled with trying to sleep, but not being able to, made this out to be the quickest 9 hours I have ever experienced in my entire life. I knew it was going to catch up with me. Right now as I write this, it's 1:49am on May 1st, and I can barely see straight.

At around 9 or 10 on Sunday night, the nurses had given Mommy her first dose of medicine that's supposed to speed up this whole process. At 2am they checked her again and gave her another dose. It seemed to be going well. At 5:15 am, her "water" broke, making for a very wet bed! Our nurse, Erin, was very excited for us. She was very nice. The medicine was working!!

Monday


A new nurse was on the shift. Ruth. The shift change is an experience that you wish you don't have to go through when you have an excellent nurse. You just wish you could have the same nurse forever!

Ruth had asked us what we think we're having... "Boy".  "Boy".  "Boy too". We were all pretty convinced, as much convinced as you can be with zero evidence. It's pretty much academic! Ruth said "I think Girl."  "What an idiot", I thought.

In the morning, another medicine was started that would hopefully move the process along further.  More Drs and nurses checked, medicine doses were upped, more checks and larger doses; Mommy was not progressing.  You were sitting high above where you needed to be, however still head down like you were supposed to be. Dr. Laveran gave us our options at around 11:30 or 12pm, the exact time to me is now fuzzy. We could sit around for another two hours and see if you had dropped lower in Mommy's belly to see if you would come out without surgery, or we could do the Cesarean Section. The Dr. was not impressed with the likelihood of a birth without surgery. After some emotional exchange, Mommy and Daddy opted for the surgery.

This all moved so fast! There were a set of twins being born in the Operating Room (OR) in the meantime, which means we would have to wait. Your Dad was a total wreck. Your Mommy was emotional, but knew what had to be done. This was in no way an emergency, but we would have the operating room in no time! After Mommy signed a few forms, she was whisked away in her bed. The nurse had dropped off scrubs, a hat, booties and a mask, all for me. I put them on, and was pacing back and forth, just very very nervous. Will I faint? Mess up somehow? Afterall, I have no idea what I'm doing. The lack of food I had that morning would have guaranteed a faint, so I wolfed down a bagel that your Grandmom Bullwinkle brought me that morning. After what seemed like an eternity, it was my turn to join your Mom in the operating room.

As I got in there, your Mom was already being operated on! I started the camera, recording a video of pretty much audio, since I was just pointing it at the ground and keeping close watch on your Mom. I sat next to her, talking to her. She was very quiet. I would try to peek over the curtain, and your Mom knew I would get queezy, saying "DON'T LOOK!".  Each time.. "STOP LOOKING!"  I felt a little bit like a faint coming on, but reminded myself that I had to breathe! The most anticipation I had felt (the good kind anyway) took place from about 5 minutes to 10 minutes in, because the Dr. said previously, "We'll have a baby out in 5 minutes, then take 30 minutes after to do the rest." Ok, five minutes had passed on the video I was recording. Six minutes, doctor...  Alright, we're at 8 minutes, I'm starting to get nervous! It was around 10 minutes in, when I heard you cry. Tears were coming from me too. I looked at your Mom and she was just ecstatic. We were awaiting SOMEONE, ANYONE to tell us the sex. Then I heard, "Dad, what is it, tell us the sex!!"  Oh man. I peeked over the curtain, saw some blood, and then I saw you. Now, I have seen woman privates and man privates in my life, but I don't remember ever seeing a newborn baby girl's privates!  So, I was a bit slow on my analysis, only because I didn't want to be wrong!! I said "It's a .... " and your Mom prepared herself for the next word, but she was not prepared for this. "Girl?" I asked. "It's a GIRL!!!!"

Oh my goodness!!!  A precious little girl. Our precious little girl!!

A nurse had called over to me, "Dad, can you come over here for a sec?"  I, having never been called "Dad" before, ignored her completely. "Dad. Jason." OH ME! I told her, "Sorry, I'm not yet used to being called that", it being the first time.

Dad. I'm a DAD! I'm your Dad!! My favorite title! I love you Genevieve Naomi Connell!!

Love Always,

Dad

More dog sickness

Kodie had diarrhea so I took her to the vet. She seems fine now. I can hear her from here banging on her bowl for food and she didn't eat when she was sick. That's her way of telling me something's not right. And banging on her bowl is her way of telling me "I'm effing hungry you ignorant clod!"

She got a haircut while she was there too. They gave her the "lion cut". She's had it before, and I wanted to take a picture of her when she had it because it's F#@$#@ing hilarious! Not just how she looks, but because her hair is so short, she freaks out because she's not used to feeling her tail on her back. Her tail curls up. I have to remember to take a picture.

The check is in the mail

I always feel like I accomplished something when I pay bills, so I have to write a post about it. But this time is extra special.

One check, which happened to be almost precisely covered by a combination of two checks I received recently, including my tax refund and a refund for homeowners insurance, with $8 remaining after the fact, will guarantee a great time for me and Zatko and a bunch of our friends, Zatko's fiancee Amanda, her friends, some family, and loads of unsuspecting resort occupants, as we embark on our trip to Jamaica!!! Zatko and Amanda are getting married down there.

It's at the end of June, we'll be departing Philadelphia on my Dad's birthday, June 25th, and heading back on July 2nd. I figure I'll take off the 3rd as well and be back in work that following Monday, since July 4th falls on a Friday. Woohoo. I'll use jet lag as an excuse even though Jamaica is in the same time zone. Not much to say about it now, though. I will have TONS of pictures and stories when we get back. I really can't wait.

I also mailed in some checks for things like mortgage and the oil bill, and mailed in my latest netflix movies, two John Grisham movies and a documentary. Good stuff. I have to get to mailing them in quicker so I can actually not waste all that money.

The postage price goes up tomorrow so I just put two $0.41 stamps on each envelope. The trip payment and the mortgage are close to due so I don't want them coming back to me.

Mother's Day was nice, even though the Flyers lost again. Not sure how the Phillies did but we watched for a while. It was 4-3 Giants last I saw. Then the golfer we were cheering for (Goydos) lost to Sergio Garcia in the playoff. I had to have some happy news to write about.

Tonight I called God an asshole

That's right. My brother Scott and I were talking about the shit our family's been through, and he said "When I get to heaven there's gonna be some words between God and me." Then he did a pretend dialogue, and said "You know what, God..." and I interjected, and said "You're an asshole". HA. It was funny.

New Patio and Kodie

My brothers and I have been working on the new patio for my house. Yesterday we laid the brick. I have video of the process. Contrary to the video, I wasn't standing around the whole time :P I actually moved about 350 bricks from the sidewalk to the patio, at about 25 bricks per barrel load, probably 50 pounds a pop. Here's the Kodie head tilt video:



My living room's a mess, and I'm not cleaning it until later today since we're not done for the weekend yet.

And here's the patio video so far. Next we'll be working on the lawn, putting in trees and a rock garden, and getting rid of all the grass and replacing it with mulch or rock or something.




I have to say, thank you to my brothers, Pat, Bean, and Scott, for their help / doing it all :)

I also have to say, I am glad that Google is around to upload my videos to for free and embed them in my website. And to Apple for iMovie '08, and Sony for the 30 GB HDD on my camera, and USB hookup, so I can record crap without worrying about tape and digitizing. Thanks.

Cool old stuff

On Saturday, we had to go over our grandmom's house and empty it out so they can sell it. They moved in there in December of 1966, and lived there until my grandmom's untimely death in 2007. My grandfather had passed over the summer of 96. They've saved tons of stuff in their 83 (Pop-pop) and 86 ("Nanny") years. Clearing all that stuff out was a history lesson, as well as a lot of good memories.

Pop-pop had a close-knit group of friends, and he was actually the last one of all of them to go. They were all drinkers and cigar smokers. He had actually built a bar in his basement, decorated with posters and little gag things he'd gathered over the years. He was the musician in the family, and he also had a piano down there, and he'd play and sing, all from memory. He sang for us a few times. A lot of the stuff he collected was just hilarious little things, maybe a little bit bigger than a post card, but with hilarious sayings. Like the one, which is definitely my favorite... no drawings, just some text: "Put it off until tomorrow, you've made enough mistakes for one day" !! That's just marvelous.

Of course, there were plenty of newspaper clippings, and whole newspapers. One from 1970, which looking through it, I found ads for technicians wanted to go over to Vietnam to assist. A newspaper from 1963, which headlined "Kennedy Shot to Death", and one from 1969, "MAN WALKS ON THE MOON". Yes, actual papers, some almost 40 years old, others a bit older. Yellow with age, but the ink on them still brightly showing historical events. Steve was going to take them and get them framed, and let the kids take them to school when they study about those things. Kira's eight now, so she's learning history (or will be soon) and other fun stuff.

There were a ton of unopened bottles of stuff by the bar. Wines, liquors, carbonated water. My Dad was like "should we keep these", and my brother and uncle were like "I don't think they're good anymore." And I said "there's only one way to find out." Scott got a kick out of that :) Also, in the back, there were cans of beer unopened. A pounder can of Foster's... we couldn't tell what year it was from, but it was definitely really old. They just don't make cans like that anymore, and you could tell it was really old too, because of the tab that came off, rather than pushing it in like today's aluminum cans. I dumped that one out, and it just didn't look too appetizing. Foggy, disgusting, old beer. I remember my dad had cans like that, where the tab comes off, but that was back in the late eighties.

After about four hours of work, we almost got the whole house empty. There were eight of us working. The front of the house was lined with garbage, as was the entire side of the house. It'll definitely take the garbage truck two or three visits, but we're not even done yet. We were allowed to take anything we wanted, because there is just a ton of history there, and anything that can't be considered trash could be considered treasure. I got two things out of it. Pop-pop had a collection of canes, but I really don't remember him using one. Ever. There was this cool one that I decided I needed. I'll never use it either, but canes are sweet. Also, there was this old coffee mug that was with the bar. Hand made similar to that of pottery. And in a kiln. Glazed or whatever. I'm bringing it into work with me. Work complains that I use too big a mug, and this one probably holds a little bit less. Plus it's brown, so it can't be stained :D

After all of that, we all went to the Ivy Inn, drank, played shuffleboard. I had some awesome shots.

Merry Christmas etc

Today, I got a pair of really comfortable slippers that can also be worn outside, so I don't have to put my shoes on to take Kodie out. Also, I got a sweater, a zipper up sweater, a manger scene for my house because I have no Christmas decorations, and I made a funny today! I was getting my hair cut (Christmas present!) by my Mom, and she says that my brother Pat has turned into an ironing maniac! I said "That's ironic" :P You love it.

Today we're going to the 12:00 mass at St. Bernadette's, the school I went to all my life, until High School... which, it turned out, taught me nothing. Then my Mom's family is having something way up in the Warminster part of the country. Should be a good time. My parents are driving me so I can drink all I want. w00t.

I got my brother Pat, for a Pollyanna gift, a money clip. It's a nice one that has a diamond on it. I gave him the bag with it in it, and he read it with a big question mark on the end, like "Jeweler's?!??" I said "It's your bling" having no knowledge of what bling is :P It's sharp looking.

I also got floss, Scott gave me $50 and a 12 pack of Pepsi for a Pollyanna gift, I got a $20 gift card to Wawa, a zipper down hoodie sweatshirt (awesome), and socks, a belt... I forget everything else, but it was a productive Christmas as always. Of course, I bought myself the Gretsch earlier this month :)

Merry Christmas!

An even bigger week

So, some big weeks lately... This week:

Monday: Paid off my car on Friday and got the title on today!

Tuesday: Received second iPod Touch that I didn't order, and assumed I'm on some sort of iPod touch weekly subscription, for only $400 a week! I sent it back. (It was Amazon's fault, not Apple's :P )

The rest of the week... I will finally be buying my house! My parents sold their house and move on Halloween. They are hiring movers.

My keyboard's kinda screwed up because soda was spilled on it (not me!!). The keys were really sticky, so I pulled a bunch of them off and wiped behind them with a wet paper towel, but my "I" key will never be the same (although it works fine, it just sticks up a little more than the others), and my "0" (zero) key (and hence, my "close parentheses" key) makes some weird noise when pressed.

This month and next are big months for gamers:

Crysis Collector's Edition DVD-ROM with Bonus! PC Pre-Release
Ships 11/13/07 $59.99
Kane & Lynch: Dead Men with Bonus! PC Pre-Release
Ships 11/20/07 $49.99
Sim City Societies with Bonus! PC Pre-Release
Ships 11/13/07 $49.99
Super Mario Galaxy Wii Pre-Release
Ships 11/12/07 $49.99
Uncharted: Drake's Fortune PS3 Pre-Release
Ships 11/20/07 $59.99
Zack & Wiki: Quest for Barbaros' Treasure Wii Pre-Release
Ships 10/23/07 $39.99


That's my shopping cart at EB games.

This Friday will be the first time all of us from work head out to the bar since we hired a bunch of new people, including me! We're gonna get wasted.

I'm 3-3 in Fantasy Football this year, winning the last game by 2 points! Tony Gonzalez had a huge game, and Muhsin Muhammad has finally started scoring for me. My team stinks, though. It will be miraculous if I finish over .500. I only had 76 points, and really only got points from those two and the Eagles D. No one else contributes. This week I play my brother Scott. He'll be at the Eagles game so I'll have to call him and tell him I'm whooping his ass.

I joined Netflix finally. It's gonna be a great way to finally watch all those movies I haven't seen yet.

I'm also trying to quit smoking. It's rough, and I know drinking will make it really hard, but the trick would be to go back to quitting after a long night of drinking with a few smokes here or there. Drinking in Philly is a lot easier than in the suburbs.

This post has a little of everything.