The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 36

IMAG1873Hey guys … We don’t have much to report this week. Tina and I are just waiting for the arrival of our little guy! She’s passing her time reading, learning scales on her new bass guitar, and walking walking walking. I’ve been slammed busy at work keeping the Internet’s traffic flowing.

We saw the doc yesterday and everything is A-OK. The baby is technically fully-grown and could deliver at any time, but we’re not expecting him for another three weeks. Will update more next week after visiting the doctor.

Cheers!

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 35

We’ve been very busy and two weeks seem to have passed in the blink of an eye. We’ve gotten quite a lot done since my last post. The baby’s room is completed, with paint, furniture, and fixtures all installed. The bags are packed and ready to go to the hospital at a moment’s notice. Tina is officially on leave from work and resting up for the big day.

If the doctor’s estimate is correct, in five weeks our baby will be born and our family one step closer to completion. The road that leads to that day, however, will be a very long one.

Our preparations are nearing completion and our minds are in the right place, but now we are deep into weekly doctor’s visits, pre-labor contractions, and constant apprehension. It’s going to be a long month – a long month, indeed.

Over the three-day holiday weekend, we had visits from every family member in Florida. Silvana and Don, Tina’s mother and step-father came from Wednesday to Friday, followed by my Mom, Roger, and my sister on Saturday. They brought along their contribution to our baby registry and helped us assemble and set up the baby’s crib and dresser. Lastly, Tina’s sisters came to visit Saturday night and stayed until Monday evening.

This weekend, we will go to Key Largo to finalize some of our wedding plans, waddle around the island, and enjoy what will likely be our last vacation without a child.

The Greatest Creation of My Life | Week 33

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It’s week 33 and we’re finally ready to start decorating the babies room. It’s taken quite a while to figure out what we want to do, but now that we know it will be pretty painless. We’re doing a split-theme, with most of the room being jungle-themed. We will paint the bottom few feet of the walls with pastel green paint, border this with a dark brown border, and apply large jungle animal “stickers” to the walls above. We have reserved one wall, however, to hang my guitar collection and some music-themed artwork. We look forward to having a house next year where we have the room to give the baby his own theme, though I don’t think he’ll object at this point. And anyways, what’s wrong with playing music in the jungle? I dig the idea …

It has truly taken a lot longer than I expected to baby-proof our home and get everything in place for a “renovation” of sorts in our second bedroom. We’ve moved, adjusted, and re-moved nearly every item we own and we finally have everything nicely arranged. The baby’s room is still littered with baby purchases waiting to be stored, but we don’t have the furniture yet. The grandparents are making a large contribution to our registry by bringing a crib and dresser for us in the next couple of weeks. More assembly.

We made our first large purchase yesterday and brought home a nice stroller/car seat combo. We did some research and chose what we thought would be best for our needs, our child’s safety, and long-term durability. There was an enormous sense of pride carting that huge box out of the Babies-R-Us store that I think both Tina and I felt as we waddled our way to the car with it.

Tina’s last day working is January 16. Thankfully, she won’t have to endure hours on her feet every day running around a large retail store serving customers who are ignorant of her condition. I think about the families whose mommy can’t quit work and my heart goes out to them. We are truly fortunate to live the life we do.

Tina went to the doctor for her final intermittent visit today. From February 1 until delivery, she will be visiting every week to check the progress. Everything is normal and healthy for now. We’ve reached the time to pack that infamous hospital bag and prepare for labor at any minute. What a wonderful feeling of apprehensive, nervousness, and joy. Tina’s doing and feeling pretty well still, though I can easily tell she’s starting to become uncomfortable with herself. I fall asleep each night with her curled up next to me, and I wake up to her snoring on the couch. Shocking? Not so much. She warned me.

Last Saturday, we attended Diane Ellen’s childbirth training class. It was quite shocking to see how many misconceptions there are, and wonderful to walk away with a good bit of confidence about what will shortly be a big part of our lives. Thanks Diane!

We’ve selected a pediatrician for our baby. There will be another “orientation” type class we will be attending soon with them. We will also be going to the hospital on February 1 to view and tour the maternity area where we will spend three of the most important days of our lives.

If you know me, you probably know that the creative wheels are spinning in my head by now. I have some really cool photography projects I’m planning. I can’t wait to share them (but you’ll have to wait until after the baby is born).

As I promised in my last post, here are a few pictures of babies room so far. All we have done so far is cleaned out the room, painted the bottom half of the wall, and played with the border. We’ll be applying the jungle border and decals tonight. We’re still hard at work but will have most everything decorated this week. You can see the completed product next week!

Paint ready for the border

 

I can’t believe that in three short weeks, Tina will be full-term. That means (by South Florida medical standards) that our baby will be born between 3 and 8 weeks from now. Stay tuned, the very best is yet to come!

Today Is My Birthday And I Want Nothing

Life Goals

Today is my birthday, but I don’t want anything. No gifts. No money. I have only one small wish – which I’ll get to shortly. I have already been truly fortunate:

  • I’ve been to the depths of the oceans on SCUBA, and the heights of the sky in the driver’s seat of an airplane.
  • I’ve hiked long parts of the Appalachian Trail and seen the beauty of the natural world and learned to respect and enjoy mother nature.
  • I drove half of the USA in an epic road trip with the girl of my dreams.
  • Amid the waves on a beautiful beach, I gently placed a ring on that girl’s finger.
  • I spent a week in the forest with nothing but a bag of rice, and became a real-life Survivorman.
  • I practiced martial arts, hiked, sang, and rode horseback on a mountaintop in Colorado.
  • I have designed and developed websites that have been seen by millions of eyes.
  • I canoed most of Shenandoah River.
  • I wrote my feelings down and boldly challenged the evils of the world with my voice – on stage while my best friends created the melody behind me.
  • I’ve driven some of the coolest vehicles man has ever created, from semi-trucks to heart-stopping speed race cars. I’ve flown airplanes, sailed boats, driven motorcycles. I survived an ATV accident which could have killed me.
  • I found the confidence to leave everything and everyone I had ever known in search of a new lifelong adventure in a place I always wanted to live.
  • I have a job – a good job – one that most people would be jealous of. I get to wake up every day and do what I love to do, surrounded by some pretty cool people. I was given opportunities that a lot of people never get.
  • I have a loving family who would, and have, gone to the ends of the Earth for me.

I love to write about the adventures I’ve had, you can read more details about them throughout this website – that’s why I established this blog. But I’m not stopping there – this is my hit-list for future adventures. They are bigger and more glamorous than anything I’ve ever done and I intend to swallow each of them whole, one at a time, and hopefully with my Tina beside me:

  • Hike – Hike the entire Appalachian Trail at one shot.
  • Sail – Circumnavigate the globe by power of wind and water, and see all of the other inhabited continents with my wife and son.
  • Summit – Climb to the top of Mount Everest. I know it’s cliché, but Everest is Earth’s ultimate test of self-confidence, endurance, strength, and immeasurable willpower.
  • Explore – Train for and dive in the Diepolder cave system in central Florida and Sistema Dos Ojos north of Tulum, Mexico.
  • Build – Live on an island in a house that I design and build with my very own hands.
  • Fly – If made possible in my lifetime, I’d like to pilot an airplane beyond the boundaries of Earth’s gravity.
  • Write – Publish one or more books.
  • Sing – Publish one or more music collections.
  • Swim – Dive the mecca of all ocean reefs, the Great Barrier.
  • Safari – Witness the beautiful plains and meet the indigenous people of Africa.
  • Shiver – Explore an Alaskan mountain.
  • Contribute – Share a bit of my good fortune with less fortunate people on a wide scale, possibly through a future re-evolved political system.
  • Teach – Raise my son to have values, a strong moral compass, a thirst for knowledge and desire for adventure, and to pass on the ideals I give to him.
  • Love – Lastly, I hope to happily fall asleep as an old man, and painlessly pass away knowing that I have always unconditionally loved and honored my beautiful wife.

So what exactly is it that I want from you for my birthday? Truly and sincerely – I want you to wish me luck with my list … It’s going to be a long hard journey, and I’m already 29 years old.

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Childbirth Class with Diane Ellen

Yesterday, Tina and I were fortunate to attend the Childbirth Workshop by Diane Ellen at Good Samaritan Hospital in West Palm Beach where we will have the baby in February. The class was from 8AM until 5PM and was absolutely packed with wonderful information and answers to daunting questions that had been on our minds. We can’t say enough to thank Diane for her engaging, informational, and humorous lectures. We walked away feeling much more confident and informed about birthing and raising our child.

Please check out Diane Ellen, Palm Beach Childbirth Educator website. If you’re expecting, we highly recommend this workshop.

A few tasks that we are currently taking care of:

  • Removing the “missiles” from the car and the truck
  • Finding the best pediatrician in West Palm Beach
  • Registering for a tour of the maternity wing at the hospital
  • Returning and/or replacing a few possibly dangerous items we received at the baby shower
  • A few other things that I won’t mention here …

Soon, I’ll be writing about the 33rd week and updating you on what else is happening in the land of pregnancy and parenthood.

Have a good week everyone!

Fishing West of the Key Largo Reefs

If you know anything about fishing in Key Largo you probably know how this ended. We couldn’t get out to sea because of 10+ foot seas in the deep water so we decided to troll around in 20-foot water just because we could. We didn’t catch anything, except some pretty cool footage of the canal and the open ocean.