Friday, July 21, 2017

Maia Week #2 Battle Report

Learning to understand Maia has been a lot like the level progression in a well-designed video game -- new challenges are introduced as we master the old ones, but not so quickly that we uninstall the game. We stopped the extra 20 minutes of syringe feeding at the end of week #1, which was immediately replaced by 20 minutes of post-feeding fussiness that we had to deal with, not unlike that friend that always orders the extra cheese fries then spends the end of dinner complaining about how much gym purgatory said cheese fries will require.

Once we'd gotten the handle on the fussiness, she switched to "cluster feeding", which sounds like a distributed way to feed her with four computers in parallel over the Internet, but is actual just a fancy way to say that she stays up for four hours and eats every hour on the hour. We passed this challenge as well and have allocated our level-up experience points in "playing Overwatch with a baby on your chest", "finally getting to watch TV again at least once per day" (currently watching: season one of Goliath and GLOW), and "blasting Palestrina during afternoon naps". Just yesterday, she fell asleep to Elevator by Flo Rida (and when she woke up, she asked why Elevator was in my MP3 collection and why I still have an MP3 collection).

Maia passed her two week pediatrician visit with flying colours. Her height remains unchanged, but she's gained 9 ounces over her birth weight and is in the 64% percentile for babies with big heads. Eventually her height, weight, and head size should normalize -- if not, she will probably look like a female Danny DeVito for a little while, which is not a bad thing because look what that man has accomplished.

Being a data-driven dad, I've been keeping track of my sleep time and was surprised to find that (other than the first night in the hospital) it never slipped under 7 hours in a day, albeit in tiny chunks of 1 - 3 hours at a time. We are also diligently tracking the hours slept, poops made, and other minutia as you are supposed to do as a new parent. Look for exciting brown-coloured charts some day when sufficient data exists for the purposes of science!

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 2 comments

Wednesday, July 19, 2017

Memory Day: Snapshots

This picture was taken yesterday at 8:08 AM.

Maia was 12 days old, Booty was 14 years old, and I was 37 years old. It was not quite feeding time, so I'd gotten up a few minutes early to have a quiet moment with Maia and teach her how to cosplay as a Roman mummy. Meanwhile, Booty is trying to give me pink eye -- Classic prank, Booty!

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Monday, July 17, 2017

Review Day

There are no major spoilers in these reviews.

Okja (Not Rated):
This whimsical Korean film tells the tale of a farmer girl and her giant pet pig as they become embroiled in a tug-of-war between a multinational corporation that wants to feed the world and a PETA-like group. The movie mashes an incredible number of themes and moods into its dense 2 hour running time but manages to be charming and evocative throughout, with over-the-top performances from Jake Gyllenhaal and Tilda Swinton among many others. Definitely worth a watch. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: A

Baby Driver (R):
At its core, this is just a car chase movie, but it's put together with plenty of style and just enough character development to make you care. Its use of a musical soundtrack to tie scenes together is reminiscent of Guardians of the Galaxy (but way better than that boring movie) and we enjoyed it thoroughly on one of our rare trips to a real movie theatre.

Final Grade: A-

Fortitude, Season One:
This entry in the "Arctic Noir" genre is a murder mystery in a remote Norwegian town, where scientists have recently stumbled upon something valuable, deadly, or both. The interplay between Stanley Tucci and Richard Dormer is a lot of fun, and the shades of grey in every character is well-explored. To an extent, it reminded me of the old Nolan movie, Insomnia. Worth catching in spite of its awful title credits music. Free on Amazon Prime.

Final Grade: B+

House of Cards, Season Five:
House of Cards as a series suffers from Frank Underwood's rapid rise to power in the second season -- watching him try to stay afloat is much less interesting than watching him get ahead. The plot is too tangled and references too many minor details from previous seasons that I no longer remember nor care to go back and refresh my memory about. The payoff that comes in the 13th episode of this season is too slow and makes very little sense from the perspective of Frank's character. Watch for Kevin Spacey's always-great monologues, but don't expect to care much about anything that happens plotwise. Free on Netflix.

Final Grade: C

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Friday, July 14, 2017

Maia Week #1 Battle Report

Maia is one week old as of yesterday and everyone is doing well. Rebecca has dibs on the birth story and days in the hospital, so I can skip ahead to the days spent since we got home on Sunday afternoon.

Babies have to eat 8 times a day in the beginning, and some early concerns about Maia's weight and ability to breastfeed resulted in a byzantine progression of feeding steps requiring two people. This involved boobs, pumps, and syringes, such that each feeding took 1 - 1.5 hours for both of us to accomplish (8 - 12 hours per day).

Boiling down to pure logistics, caring for a newborn is really just a discrete calculus of hours in the day. With a fixed number of hours required for feeding both the baby and yourself (which you can overlap if you are a pro like me), what you do with your "free time" really comes down to how many hours of sleep you want to get. Every hour you spend doing something fun is an hour of sleep you'll never get back.

For the most part, my free time has all gone towards sleeping and critical errands, a far cry from the week I played Far Cry 3 for 6 straight hours a day. As a result, I am constantly tired, but definitely not sleep-deprived, and reserve a little bit of "me" time for sorting through 8 million photographs, updating this blog for you worthy readers, replying sporadically to work emails, and rereading the Chronicles of Prydain by Lloyd Alexander to verify that they are a safe recommendation for reading by Anna's precocious youngsters.

After getting an "A+" from the lactation consultants we visited with today and the extrapolation that Maia will regain her birth weight far ahead of schedule, our feeding time should drop down to about 30-40 minutes in each sitting, during which Rebecca will feed Maia with her magical founts of life-giving mana and I will tackle small household chores like cleaning dishes, starting laundry loads, or fixing the slowly dripping toilet tank. This will increase the amount of sleep we get and pave the way for non-sick visitors to stop by (Maia has met both sets of grandparents so far).

Being a dad is pretty easy so far, especially since Maia is a very calm baby who communicates her needs well and doesn't get dramatic about much. She spends a lot of alert time looking around at the beauty of her parents and our 1978 Sterling house decor and rarely wakes up in distress. She has only seriously cried a couple times and spends the rest of the time being super cute. She is an overachiever in all medical tests performed on her, but I'll be totally content even if that is the most overachieving she ever does in her long life to come.

tagged as offspring, day-to-day | permalink | 8 comments

 

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