Sunday, July 26, 2009

summer update: fatherhood

Wow! Summer is flying by and I haven't blogged in ages. My wife started a blog for Caleb, and you can find it here. She was planning to update it once a week, but so far has only blogged the first couple. So, that has fallen by the wayside and I doubt it will be picked up anytime soon - but it does have some good info about the little munchkin.
Caleb is growing well, and staying fairly healthy (a minor encounter with a mouth fungus called thrush last week has been our only problem). I didn't know this was possible, but it feels like we are loving him more and more as he becomes someone who we can actually know as a person. As much as he is changing, it's crazy to see myself changing and growing too. I find myself learning to be less selfish, and I'm definitely more aware of what I do and say. All good things! Being a dad is great so far.
Recent developments:
- hand sucking - lots of it. He can't get enough of his own fingers (but not his thumb yet)
- smiles galore! It's pretty easy to get him to smile at this point, and we like that.
- sleeping through the night, and by through the night I mean 8-12 hours without waking us up. Yep, pretty great!
- finding ways to entertain himself - toys, t.v., dad playing guitar, the dog are all becoming fascinating things to watch.

As for the future, we had a day care trial today for 6 hrs, and we went out for a nice relaxing breakfast and an early movie. It was pretty hard, but we hear it gets easier. We are blessed to have found a great day care in the home of a wonderful Christian woman. Three of my co-workers at school highly recommend her and send their kids to her as well, which is also a bonus because we know they are great families with great kids. Steph will be working two twelve hr. shifts a week at the hospital starting this Wednesday. Technically I could watch him for the rest of the summer for 2 days a week, but I'm also trying to get our house painted before I have to start working again and it's taking forever (next post will be paint related). So I'll be taking him all by myself one day a week. Can I be trusted!? Of course :) School related stuff starts in about a month and during the school year he'll be going to day care 1 or 2 days a week depending on Steph's schedule. I'm not exactly looking forward to mixing the frantic life of a teacher with my parenting, but hey a guy should probably work I suppose. Oh yeah, and I actually like teaching too :) That's all for now.

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

We are parents at last!

Many of you have heard we had our baby, and we are of course, very happy. As we look back on the last few days, I really don't know how we (mostly Steph) did it. Here's the short version:
Contractions started 3 am Monday, and continued all day that day. We were planning to have a home birth, and our midwife checked in on Steph several times during the day. She was dilating, but not much. In the evening, things started kicking into high gear and by 3 am she was dilated to 6 cm, and her water had broken. We were getting ready for our little guy to show up. But he didn't. 12 hours later there was absolutely no progress, and the baby was not dropping into place. We didn't know what the problem was, but the midwife helped us decide to head into the hospital to try to get contractions going with medication. Nothing else was working. We headed in at about 6:30 pm., and the medication worked to get some quality contractions going. Within a few hours she was fully dilated and the baby was in place - ready for pushing! Steph worked so hard and pushed with all she had, but the closest we got after over 3 hours of intense pushing was just barely being able to see a little of the baby's head. The little guy was stuck and Steph was all out of steam. The only option left was a C-section, though we really hadn't wanted that. Still, after it was all over at 4:45 am we were left with a beautiful baby boy, and Steph is recovering well. In the end, it doesn't matter how he got here, the point is he's here! God is so good, and we can't wait to show off our strapping young lad. I'm at the hospital right now, and can't get the pics of my camera at the moment, but those will be coming soon - I promise.

Vital stats: 8 lb 9 oz, 21 cm long. Caleb . . . Vanderzee - middle name coming soon :)

Monday, April 6, 2009

Baby, Car, JOB!

As we have entered the month of April, Stephanie and I are feeling as if the baby could come any day now. The official due date is not until the 28th, but our midwife thinks we'll be on the early side of that. Stephanie is still working, although she moved to eight hour shifts this past week, instead of twelves. That is a good thing for her, and she's planning to keep going as long as she is able. I enjoy the irony of her going into labor while she's at work (although it wouldn't be ideal). Most people make the trip from home to the hospital, but because we're having a home birth, she'd be going from the hospital to our home. I can just picture her co-workers saying, "Quick let's get you down to . . . oh wait . . . home?"
Baby prep is plugging along in our home. I finished painting the "nursery", and now we just need to get some things up on the wall. We also bought a used car last Monday. We wanted to get a four door with good mileage, very reliable, and decent storage. After several weeks of research and some test driving, we settled on the Pontiac Vibe (actually identical to the Toyota Matrix). We're really happy with it (although I hate that it's red . . . again!) and we just sold the Focus yesterday. Yes, I realize these cars are nearly identical. Many friends may not even notice we got a new one. Still, it is quite a bit bigger, and I have to admit - I'm really excited to have cruise control for our frequent road trips. As I look at it next to some small SUVs, I realize the overall interior size is quite comparable, but the gas mileage is WAY better.
I hope she doesn't mind me saying, but Stephanie shed a few tears as she said goodbye to her faithful little car. It was sad. The decision to remain a one-car family was not an easy one. I always assumed that once we had kids we'd get 2 cars, but as we looked at it more closely, we realized that we will be just fine with one car. We came to the conclusion that if we have 2 cars, we will drive 2 cars, and now that we don't have 2 cars, we'll find alternatives, which is a good thing. We can bus, bike, bum (rides), and it will save us some money as well as save the world from the strain of another car driving around.

The last thing I need to update you all on, my faithful readers, is this: I have a job for next year! God has provided, and we are so thankful. I found out about 2 weeks ago, that there are significant needs in the social studies department at my school for next year and I'll be working pretty close to full time (at least .92 FTE). I'll be teaching U.S. history, global issues, and one section of government. Ok, this post is too long, so until next time . . .

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

I'm still alive

The idea of blogging has been really intimidating over the past few months because It usually takes a lot of time (time that I have, but just don't want to spend). So I'll keep this update very short so that I might be less inclined to be intimidated in the future.
I'm teaching, loving it, but sometimes being stressed. I'm still playing Xbox - beat Mass Effect twice, gave up on Assassin's Creed after it lost my data twice, beat Fable II, and I'm now playing the game responsible for the downfall of Western Civilization - you guessed it GTA IV. I resisted for so long, but after it got game of the year and I saw it for 17 bucks I caved, and I'm glad I did.
Stephanie is still pregnant, and it shows :) We're having a boy and want to name him Caleb. As far as middle names go, we disagree, so we'll see. If all goes according to plan he'll come screaming (or maybe not) into our lives in about 2 months. We are very excited!
Next year's job prospects are iffy for me, but God will provide. He is good.
That's all for now.

Monday, October 20, 2008

The battle for the kitchen!

Here's a post I wrote a couple months back and never posted. I've seriously been neglecting the blog, in case you haven't noticed.

Shortly after we found out Stephanie was pregnant she began having cravings. She tried the vegan thing for about a week of that time, but shortly after, started eating meat and dairy once again (not all the time - but here and there). She knows she doesn't need this stuff to be healthy and grow a healthy child (we've known and heard of quite a few people who have remained vegan all through their pregnancy with great results). Still, when she feels like crap already, she really just wants to eat what she can to make her feel better, and often that's a piece of chicken or some mac' n cheese. I even tried making vegan mac 'n cheese one night, and we both thought it was really good. Still her craving was for Kraft :) and she had to have it (she waited until the next day). Basically, most of the things I cook for dinner haven't sounded very good to her, and we've been cooking separate meals most nights.
Honestly, this has been pretty hard for me to deal with. It's been a huge hassle for both of us, and I've given up questioning it, and have finally just accepted that this is the way it is. She works until 7:30 or 8 pm many nights so on those nights I try to cook dinner before she gets home.

Since I wrote this a few months ago, things have gotten a little better. We've started trying to find more common ground in our menu, and we're just getting used to getting in each other's way in the kitchen. We're bracing ourselves for how having a child will make things even more complicated. Of course, because of nursing we hopefully won't have to deal with that for another year or so.

Thursday, October 16, 2008

some permanency would be nice

Lately life has been very busy. It makes sense now that I think about it, because I currently have the heaviest class load of any year I've taught, and next semester will be even heavier. Did I mention we recently bought a house that needs a lot of work and we also have a child on the way for April?
I've taught more hours in the past, but never had three different classes to prepare for, one of which I have never taught in the past. I am so thankful for the job I have, really enjoy it, and know that jobs like this are hard to come by in Michigan. God has been good. Still, I find myself longing for something better. And when I say better I mean-- permanent. In my four years of teaching I've never done the same thing two years in a row, and I've never had a completely full time job (though I certainly work 60 hours per week). Having my own classroom this year has been amazing, but I hope some day soon I can take the next step to being a real teacher :) by landing a job where I can teach the same thing 2 years in a row and benefit from having some lesson plans and experience! Some day it will come, I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

Chicago Diner

Stephanie and I recently went to Chicago for the wedding of our good friends Sara and Jack. Congratulations guys!! It was a great wedding for sure, but lately one of the highlights of my Chicago trips has been hitting up a little establishment called the Chicago Diner. Their motto is 'meat-free since '83', and the menu is almost entirely vegan. The great thing about this place is they have pretty traditional American -style diner food, but they've veganized it all without sacrificing any of the deliciousness. I may be vegan, but I still crave a nice meaty sandwich now and then, so this place always hits the spot. This time, I ordered the reuben with a side of mashed potatoes and gravy. Stephanie ordered the dagwood with some spicy corn chowder. Dang it was good. Oh, I almost forgot, for desert we shared a slice of chocolate "cheese" cake that was rich as can be and out of this world.
Even if you aren't vegan, I highly recommend this place if you're ever in Chicago.

Big shock - we hit traffic everywhere we went! Some day we'll wisen up and take the train.