Saturday, January 1, 2011

Still waiting

To say I'm impatient is an understatement.

It's been three days since Tara reached her due date and there's still no new baby. I know every woman and baby is different when it comes to timing for childbirth, but I'm getting antsy.

At least I can take comfort in the fact that we made it through Christmas and it's likely we will not be having the first baby of the new year at Fort Memorial Hospital. That's fine by me: I've had my name in the Daily Jefferson County Union enough times as it is.

I thought for sure Tara would be in labor before Christmas. Her due date was Dec. 29, but given how Amelia surprised us by arriving a month early in 2008, I didn't think she would pass D Day.

We've been trying just about every suggestion on the Internet and from friends to help induce labor. I've walked the Janesville, Johnson Creek and East Towne malls several times in the last three days. I planned a nice date night with Tara and took her out for dinner, figuring the baby would want to ruin those plans. She's had a couple of pregnancy massages and a pedicure with an emphasis on the pressure points that can help cause contractions. Tara tagged along with her parents Thursday when they went shopping and apparently, Tara was jogging through Walmart at one point.

I wish I could have been there to see that.

Despite our best efforts, nothing seems to be working yet. At least we're both getting a good workout.

I'm trying to stay positive. I know he'll have to make an appearance at some point. I'm mostly concerned about his timing. If he waits too long, Tara will need to be induced at the hospital using pitocin, and that's not a fun ride for anybody.

In the meantime, I'm continuously responding to text and Facebook messages from people asking if the new baby is here. Each time, I feel a little more anxious. I know my friends and family are excited for the new baby and they mean well. It just feels a little overwhelming being reminded each time that we're still waiting.

It's like the old saying, "A watched pot never boils." Of course it's going to happen. It just seems like it takes forever when all eyes are on the pot.

Trust me: I won't keep everyone in the dark when the time comes. Check out the Baby Blog, find me on Facebook at www.facebook.com/james.debilzen or follow me on Twitter at www.twitter.com/JamesDebilzen for more updates.

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

No longer outnumbered

The gender balance is returning to the Debilzen household.

After an ultrasound at Fort Memorial Hospital on Aug. 11, we learned our new baby is a boy. Tara and I are both very excited.

For me, this means I am no longer outnumbered. My only other male companion up to this point has been Milo, our orange tabby cat... and he's neutered.

(Please refrain from any jokes referencing "neutered" and "married." I've heard them all.)

Since the ultrasound, we've moved Amelia into a new bedroom. It will be easy to turn her old bedroom into a nursery for the new baby. The green walls are pretty gender-neutral and the room is nice and big for the crib, changing table and every other piece of equipment it takes to raise a baby.

Amelia's new room was painted purple and I got a good deal on a white bedroom set that should last her through high school (that's a strange thought). She sleeps in a full-size bed now. It seems like only yesterday that she was sleeping in a crib.

She also had a toddler bed for a couple of months. We had to upgrade when she got big enough to almost climb put of her crib.

Amelia loves her "big girl" bed and it's nice for one of us to lay down with her to read a story before lights-out every night. She's adjusted well to the transition.

We talk to Amelia about the new baby quite often. She likes to pat Tara's stomach and say "Baby!" and we tell her she's going to be a big sister. She loves babies, especially her little cousin Sean, and she takes good care of her baby dolls.

I hope the new baby transition goes well with Amelia. So far, I'm optimistic.

Friday, July 30, 2010

Big news

Seven months goes by fast.

Last time I updated this blog, I announced I was leaving the Daily Union to become the editor of two weekly newspapers in the Madison area. That was right around Christmas.

And here were are at the end of July. I can't believe where the time has gone.

Amelia is growing up fast, too, and she’s becoming so smart. She’s been talking for months now and it seems she learns a new word every day.

She loves to give hugs and kisses, waves hello and goodbye, and recognizes when we’ve turned onto the road that goes to grandma and grandpa’s house.

When she hears music – any genre, any time, any place – Amelia stops to dance.

Tara and I have learned to spell out certain words so she can’t understand them. Tops on the list: Elmo, outside and shoes. Actually saying those words puts her into a panicked, whiny frenzy if she doesn’t actually get one of those three things.

Ah, the joy of raising a toddler.

Amelia is terrorizing our cats even more these days. Poor Milo; I don’t know how she hasn’t broken his neck.

I could talk all day about Amelia, but there’s another big reason for this new post.

In December, there will be another addition to the Debilzen household. Tara is due with baby number two on Dec. 29.

We couldn’t be more excited, although the reality still hasn’t sunk in yet – at least for me, and I’ve known since April.

At home, we’ve started getting ready for the new baby. Our house has three bedrooms and we had been utilizing one of them as an office.

A couple of months ago, we moved the office to the basement. The now vacant bedroom is still pretty bare, but I suspect there will be plenty of changes coming soon.

On Aug. 11, we’ll find out the gender of the baby and Tara will begin making plans for the nursery. When we went through this phase before Amelia was born, the reality of the situation really began to hit me as I assembled the crib and moved in all of the equipment that goes with having a newborn.

I plan to keep you up-to-date on how Tara and the new baby are progressing – and I mean it this time.

Of course, Amelia, the original star of this show, will be front-and-center, too.

Have a good weekend, everybody, and thanks for reading.

Saturday, December 19, 2009

A new direction

It's been two years since I first joined the staff of the Daily Jefferson County Union.

During that time, I've become a father and a homeowner, experiences that I have chronicled here on the Baby Blog.

Now, I'm moving in another new direction.

Christmas Eve will be my last day as a reporter at the Daily Union. I've accepted a job in DeForest to serve as the editor of two weekly newspapers there. My first day on the job will be Dec. 28.

That, however, does not mean I'm going to abandon the Baby Blog. I've enjoyed writing about my new role as a new dad and sharing with everyone how Amelia is growing.

The Baby Blog will be moving to a new location on the Daily Union website. Since I will no longer be a member of the staff, my writings will now appear under the "Community Blogs" tab on the left side of the website.

After clicking on Community Blogs, you'll be able to find the Baby Blog and others.

The staff will leave the Baby Blog button on the homepage for a while until readers become accustomed to the transition.

As I wrap up my last week at the big paper, I'm saying my goodbyes to the many people who have supported me and I'm finishing projects that I never seemed to get to.

Fortunately, I don't have to say goodbye here. You won't see my name in the paper or see me getting coffee at Beauty and the Bean or walking down Main Street anymore, but I'll still be here, writing about a job I care about more than any occupation.

Thanks for reading.

Monday, November 16, 2009

Approaching toddlerhood


It's hard to believe it's been almost a year since I became a dad and life as I knew it would never be the same.

On Saturday, Tara and I will be hosting Amelia's first birthday party with our friends and family at our home.

There has been so much change since I came home from work in early April of 2008 and saw my wife grinning from ear to ear, holding a positive pregnancy test.

I wouldn't trade the experiences of having a baby together and raising her for anything else. And while Amelia technically becomes a toddler on Saturday, she'll continue to be our baby.

I went back and reread all of the Baby Blog posts I've written since December and I was amazed by how much she's grown since then. She was so fragile and little and couldn't really do a whole lot.

Now, she's crawling everywhere, chasing the cats and bumping her head on the coffee table in the living room.

Amelia is starting to stand on her own and, with a little bit of encouragement from us, she's taking a step or two before falling down on her behind. If we give Amelia anything she can use as a walker, she'll stand up and walk down the hallway, across the living room and through the kitchen.

I've taught her how to blow raspberry's, much to the amusement of both of us (though my wife doesn't seem to appreciate it as much.) And she loves to make new sounds, her favorite one being, "da da da," usually in a hushed voice.

Amelia loves to roughhouse and be tickled. If she's playing with me in the living room, she likes to crawl down the hall as fast as she can while I chase her. She'll squeal when I pick her up.

There are no more bottles. While she continues to nurse, any other beverage, whether it be whole milk or water, is in a sippy cup. One of her new favorite games is to throw the cup from her high chair repeatedly to see how many times we'll keep picking it up and giving it back to her.

She has two teeth that are completely in, two more are working their way in and we can see two more are getting ready to cut through. She's eating just about anything we eat and we have to ration how much food is put on her plate at a time. Otherwise, she'll stuff her cheeks full until she chokes.

Some of my friends say that's one trait she supposedly gets from me. Thanks, guys.

Oh, yes, she's acting like more of a toddler than she is a baby now and it seems so surreal. How did this all happen so fast?

I've contended that ever since I graduated high school, the world around me has continued to speed up. There's never enough time in a day to get everything done that I want to do and, before I know it, another month has come and gone.

When I wrote about Darius Rucker's song "It Won't Be Like This For Long," I didn't really appreciate how true that phase actually was.

Now I think I get it.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

UPDATE: Down the tubes

Amelia is back to her normal self after getting tubes in her ears this morning.

We arrived at Fort Memorial Hospital at 5:45 a.m. for the minor procedure, which took about 15 minutes total. We spent more time waiting for her to wake up enough to get her vital signs before leaving.

Amelia was groggy, for obvious reasons, and she protested the fact that we wanted her to wake up.

We also found out that her left ear had yet another ear infection when they went to put in the tubes, making it the seventh diagnosed ear infection. Hopefully, the tubes will cut down on those in the future.

By the end of the afternoon, after she took a lengthy nap, Amelia already seemed a lot more happy than she has been for a while. That's quite a statement given that she seems pretty happy most of the time anyway.

That's all the news I have for now. As she begins to stand more and prepares to take her first steps, I'll keep you updated.

Tuesday, October 27, 2009

Perpetual illness

Last night, I started feeling like I was coming down with another cold.

Last week, I felt nauseous, like I had a touch of the flu bug that's going around.

Two weeks before that, I had yet another cold.

I've grown accustomed to occasionally having the sniffles. In the last few years, Tara has always worked either in a daycare setting or in a classroom and has been in close contact with germ-carrying little brats she calls "students."

Whatever. I like to refer to them as "germ conduits."

Now that Amelia also attends daycare all day, I get a second daily dose of germs.

The difference has been noticeable. According to my last pay stub, I've taken 23.5 hours of sick leave since June and I have 112.5 hours left.

Given that I keep coming down with the latest trendy viruses, I wouldn't be surprised if I use up a substantial portion of what's left of my sick leave before the start of the new fiscal year in June 2010.

At this point, I believe that I will have had every single known strand of the common cold by the time Amelia is 3 years old.