Thursday, August 25, 2011


(Photo courtesy of Emily Malone)

What you see is not a human being. It is a great white whale, at least according to his dietary habits. I have never seen a kid this hungry. Poor Jillian. When one bottle is done, I swear it seems like 30 minutes  pass before he's asking for more. At this rate, by the time he's a teenager, we will need a second mortgage just to pay our grocery bill. Thank goodness Jillian's company keeps us in free formula for the time being otherwise I might already be filling out applications for a second job.

Colin just had his two month checkup and he has gained four pounds since being born. He's now a robust 11.5 lbs. And he's gained four inches in length, up to 23 inches. I like this growth rate. It's pretty much a given he's going to be 6'7 at this point with a vertical that Blake Griffin would shiver at. His future career path as the next Larry Bird is on track. In fact I'm headed to the car dealership down the street to see if I can get a sweet ride as collateral off his future earnings.

I was going to start him working on his jump shot last night. But then he got hungry and started crying. What a baby.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Pretty Ballerina

(Look. You know and I know I have no excuse for not posting over the summer. Let's just agree to be friends again and forget that part of our lives.)

Anybody who knows me is aware that I am passionate about sports. From the moment Megan was born I have been ITCHING to sign her up for soccer, golf, tennis, badminton, floor hockey, tiddlywinks leagues, etc.

However you can't just throw her in these things before she's ready. Because I know if she isn't slightly skilled or is scared it will scar her forever from participating. So I've been biding my time until I can turn this little girl into the competitive dynamo of my dreams (slight sarcasm).

BUT blogworld, what I didn't anticipate were nefarious entities within my own family who were conspiring against my plan. I laughed when she got her first tutu. I can now count four in our home. I even raised an eyebrow when Jillian started painting her fingernails and toes earlier this summer.

I should have known this was all a set up for the long con. For you see, my wife casually decided to sign up my sweet athletic powerhouse for .... dance class. NNNNNNNOOOOOOOOO!

To add insult to injury, I was taken to help buy her outfit and shoes for said dance class. I cried the whole way there. Internally. I feared this was the gateway to losing my little girl forever. There would be no time for grass stains and shinguards. She'll be too busy with sequins and tights. My world was irrevocably shifting.

And then I saw her in her outfit.

The emotion I felt seeing her standing there, grinning from ear to ear, staring at me, wanting affirmation and approval, was too much. My eyes watered, endorphins within me bubbled, and I smiled; a wide, infectious, all-encompassing smile at seeing my daughter enter a new stage of life.

I could resist no longer.

Besides ... I hear dance is good for balance and core stability. Those traits will come in handy in a few years in youth soccer. Right?

Saturday, June 18, 2011

The Redesign

Colin's arrival has brightened my world in every way but one. This blog. I can't exactly post stories about Colin on a site named "Baby Girl Parsons." And given my infrequency at blog posts it seems completely illogical to try and keep two separate, distinct blogs. The best solution was to rebrand the site. I'm keeping the URL the same b/c trying to redirect traffic to another address would just be goofy in my view.

So here we are ... a pinkless background, a new title, and we're done. If only the redesign of our family dynamic could be so easy.

In Megan's visits to the hospital she bounces up and down waiting to be picked up so she can look in on Colin in his crib. She cries out to him in her high-pitched falsetto, "Hi baby!" But then she quickly bores of the hospital, it's sterileness and lack of toys, and asks for our cell phones to play games on. This leads me to believe that once Colin, Jillian and I come home, baby Colin will get lost in the midst of everything else that garners Megan's attention.

Friends with slightly older children have warned us of the possibility that Megan might regress in her development and want to be babied more again because of the attention she sees Colin receiving. I'm hoping that type of behavior will be minimal but it's good to know about it ahead of time.

We have tried to make her an integral part of this experience. Colin gave her a welcome gift when she came to the hospital, I've made sure to let her know Jill and I will need her help in caring for him, and we've reassured her that Colin will be sleeping a LOT when he comes home so she will still have plenty of time with mom and dad. But I know she will feel neglected at times and my job is to minimize those feelings.

I still want to read books at bedtime with her, play hoops in the driveway, scamper through the playground, and play dollhouse together. Looking at that list, I guess maybe the redesign for the family doesn't need to be the ordeal I'm making it out to be.

Friday, June 17, 2011

Fatherhood: Part Two

Colin Brady Parsons. My son.

Just typing those words shoots a bolt of endorphins through my fingers as I think about the whirlwind of today and the fact that Jillian gave birth to our second child early this morning.

To some of you in the blogosphere I have to apologize for burying the lead and refusing to mention that Jillian was even pregnant. I wanted the timing to be right, procrastinated, and decided it was pointless to say something at 7 months. Might as well just wait until Colin was here.

He was born at 7:57 am and we have spent the rest of today just marveling at all of his details. 

  • The white cream on his skin at birth fascinated me and I learned this stuff, vernix, was his 'lotion' to protect him while he was in utero. 
  • I was nervous when I cut his umbilical cord. Asking me to use scissors at that moment was akin to asking LeBron James to make a basket in the fourth quarter.
  • I was embarrassed at my incompetence in swaddling. I used to be a pro.
  • I analyzed his facial features and marveled at how similar he looked to Megan when she was born.
  • I giggled at his baby farts as he passed gas from eating and how he intuitively seemed to lift his left leg up slightly.
  • I cringed when changing his dirty diaper and I had to touch his ball sac to clean underneath it.

But I rocked at holding him. Unfortunately for Jillian, she had the pain of carrying him for the past 37 weeks and while she recuperated ... I nuzzled, poked, kissed, and canoodled with him.

And it made me. Colin's presence in my life is an indescribably joy. My expectations with this delivery couldn't have been any lower. I think my biggest contribution was dragging the baby swing and car seats from the basement storage earlier this week. This is in stark contrast to the weeks leading up to Megan's birth when I was devouring every book about parenting. I figured I could just wing it with this little guy.

That may seem idiotic but I think the lack of expectation allowed me to experience Colin's birth 'in the moment.' I wasn't worried about a checklist I read about or a tip on how to capture the perfect picture pose. 

I was just present. And it was powerful.

With Megan, the unexpectedness of her arrival and immediate whisking away to the NICU unit because she was born 6 weeks early, as well as complications with the delivery for Jillian kept me from focusing on my feelings. Plus I was a first-time dad. I was an idiot. This time I was better prepared.

Let me clarify ... I was better prepared for the delivery. Now with that part over I am completely terrified of what to do next. Just like I'm completely terrified about what the lasting implications will be on my daughter from Jillian deciding to paint her nails last weekend as a treat. 

But those stories are for another day and another time. 

Because today, I held my son, Colin Brady, in my arms for the first time. 

And it was perfect.

Thursday, April 14, 2011

Our first signs of Spring

Well if the weather isn't fully cooperating yet for Spring, at least the greenhouse in Meijer Gardens is. We went to check out the butterflies and convince Megan not to freak out at them. She was mildly successful.

This isn't too surprising. I've noticed she is a very tentative person, not prone to taking risks. She'll watch other kids at an activity until she feels like she has it down. And for the most part I think this is a great trait to have. Hopefully later in life it will be the same device that keeps her away from peer pressure in negative situations. But for now? I just want her to not show fear at times. She refuses to go down a slide headfirst even if I model the behavior (which I KNOW isn't the most productive if I'm trying to get her to  do other things properly). Oh well. She's still a riot to hang out with, and despite her nervousness with the butterflies, we still had a great time.

Also, if you look carefully Megan has a 'friend' in several pictures. We helped a friend out with a 'Flat Stanley' project too. He stayed happy the whole time.

Tuesday, April 12, 2011

Will you bee mine?

Been taking a bit of a hiatus ... like you haven't noticed. I've been working on compiling all of Megan's pics and posts from the past year. The good news is that I've been stockpiling pictures and videos for the better part of two months.

A month or so ago we were cleaning out Megan's closets as we transitioned her to the big girl room. While doing that Megan saw her bee costume from Halloween a year-and-a-half ago. She was adamant to try it on. Almost blatantly demanding to do so. We bought it big ... remember, she wore a winter coat under it. But still ... I had my doubts on whether this thing would fit. 

As you can see, she rocked it. And loved it. So much so, she refused to eat lunch unless she wore it. It was all we could do to get her out of it for nap time. Since then, she hasn't asked for the bee costume again. So perhaps it was a momentary want.

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Wanna see my party?

We celebrated Megan's third birthday this afternoon ... want a sneak peek of the festivities? Of course you do. As with every other holiday that has involved gifts for Megan (Christmas, birthday, a random Saturday, etc.) we say we're going to tone down the amount she receives THIS time. Well, yet another holiday has come and gone where we have failed at that task.

Personally, I blame Jillian's trip to IKEA yesterday in which she bagged an easel, some art supplies, a train set, a play mat, and a tent. This is in addition to stuff in the closet we had decided not to give her at Christmas because we had too much stuff already. 

But when you see that face ... how can you say no? This year we were able to avoid the cartoon character theme and went with more of a butterfly and flowers motif. However if you look closely at the birthday cake I'm sure Eric Carle and "The Hungry Hungry Caterpillar" probably want some royalties.

Anyway, enjoy the pics. I promise there were actual people at her party, she just didn't pose with any of them long enough for a picture.

Monday, January 31, 2011

Pond Hockey

Yesterday we spent the day on Reeds Lake at the Pond Hockey tournament. Megan seemed less interested in watching the hockey and more about just running on the snow and ice. So that's what we did. And, with a little imovie magic, here's the trailer of our morning.

Thursday, January 27, 2011

Megan versus Bubble Wrap

Although it's hard to see, Megan was putting her FULL force into trying to pop the bubble wrap. If you focus on her jawline and her quivering fingers you get a sense of it. She was so cute in her struggles that I had to tape it.

And to be fair, I didn't take her picture, filming is completely different.

Later she resorted to putting the bubble wrap on the kitchen floor and jumping on it. Resourceful girl.

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Movin' on Up

It's official. Megan is now in the high rent district. She has gone from a silly, old baby room to a full-fledged big girl room. Over the past few weeks we tirelessly worked, okay well, Jillian's parents worked tirelessly to help us make the transition. I think her initial reaction of jumping up and down for close to an hour screaming "YEA!" and immediately transporting her 87 stuffed animals into the new room told us all we needed to know.

With her third birthday looming on the horizon, it's incredible to see what a little person she is becoming. We're FINALLY seeing progress in the potty training department, she's discarded her booster seat at the dinner table, and she's becoming much more skilled at manipulating us.

I walked into her former room, the nursery, and with all the things moved out or stored, it seemed ghostly, as if she had barely placed her stamp in that room, despite living in it for close to two years. Her new room seems made for her (right down to Jillian's old childhood dollhouse complete with outdated wallpapering that was saved for the next generation way back when). It's as if she's always belonged there and it took us to simply realize it and make it happen.

And I think she's taken to her new, 'upgraded' role fairly well. No complaints, no fears of being in a new environment even if it just next door to her old place. In fact, when Jillian put her to bed tonight she disdained the bedtime music she fell asleep to in her old room. I guess that music was her 'baby music' and she has taken up adult ways. Who knows ... 

... at any rate, enjoy the pictures. I can promise her room will never look this clean for awhile.