August 29, 2008

Here! Now leave me alone.

August 20, 2008


It seems like just yesterday that Unfinished Dad took to the internet, giving you soul searching, insightful commentary on the life of a stay at home dad. 185 posts later it is time for a vacation. The beach, two babies, golf, and a little game called Axis and Allies have proved too much for me to least if I want to enjoy myself. Ya'll can check here on August 31st when we get back from vacation. There are already some crazy stories to tell.

August 17, 2008


When we first crested the dune at Surfside Beach Annie let out a spontaneous Oooooooh! I've never seen her do anything like this before. It made me realize how much of this world she's starting to understand. We weren't sure how she would feel about the waves, but at as you'll see below, it was a big success. I'm pretty sure she would be halfway to England by now if we had let her go.

Also, for all of you complainers out there you can see how red Mattie's hair is in the picture of all of us, even if you can't see her face.

Oh, and I finally have a shot of Annie underwater, though I need to get one with a waterproof camera for full effect.

Finally, for all of you parents out there who come to this space for sound advice, taking two children under 14 months old on a 14 hour road trip is neither fun, nor easy.

August 14, 2008

Thursday Night

It's Thursday night. My family leaves for a two week vacation on Saturday morning at 4 a.m. We are headed to Surfside (just south of Myrtle) Beach. As you can imagine, taking two youngins on a beach vacation is going to be,um, eye opening. Somehow, I don't think that I will come back with an amazing tan. I wonder if I will ever leave the house.

We will have Internet access, so I'll make sure to post pictures of Annie eating sand and all of our bleary, sleep deprived eyes.

If I don't post as often as I do while in New Jersey, check out the blog of my sister-in-law Dani who now resides in New Zealand. I'm sure that she will have an interesting perspective on what should be a very interesting place. All I'll say is that in the etiquette section of her guide book there was a warning against using the toilet while standing on top of it. Weird.

August 13, 2008

A day in the life, or. Only three hours in the life

10:39-Start witty blog post in which I detail to you, the reader, how it is that I am going to get through my first extended period alone with two children under fourteen months old.

10:40-Instantly cheat by having my wife put Annie down for her nap before she goes out shopping at Ikea.

10:40:30-Realize I got the better end of today’s bargain

10:45-Ask my wife to get my iPod out of the car before she leaves for her shopping tip.

10:45:03-Get dirty look…become martyr.

10:46-Get iPod for myself just so I can blog about it.

10:55-Use bathroom with Matilda in sling and wonder if DYFS can put me in jail for it.

10:59-Pick up The Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou where I left off last weekend. Watching a Wes Anderson movie always leaves me speaking in a certain dry, direct manner. Funny.

11:06-Feed Matilda. Type with one hand.

11:23-God I love Bill Murray. “Remind me…we’ll send him a red cap and a Speedo.”

11:41-Good movie. Great soundtrack as usual. I feel stupid for waiting so long to see it, I loved Rushmore.

11:51-Put Matilda down for nap in her swing—pretty much the only place she consistently sleeps. She is already light years ahead of Annie who only slept in my arms. The second baby is forced to adjust so much faster. I feel a bit guilty about how much less Dad time the two of them are getting. I console myself by saying, “Self, this is how well adjusted children are made.”

11:55-Transfer newly downloaded music from emusic to my iPod. Today’s menu: Sufjan Stevens, My Brightest Diamond, Built to Spill, Bobby Bare, Jr, and Freddie Stevenson. I’ll put up some tracks later.

11:59-Why is it that when someone starts something in this internet age and wants a cool name for it they don’t capitalize the first letter? Is emusic that much cooler than Emusic? Is my iPod more cutting edge without the capital I? Who knew Capital letters were so establishment?

12:05 to 12:13-Take an online employment survey and laugh out lout at how many different ways they can ask if a person smokes marijuana. I almost got tripped up by “Smoking marijuana is just like drinking alcohol.” I worry about this country sometimes.

12:17-Matilda is up. Kind of a short nap. Annie shouldn’t be too far behind and then things get interesting.

12:32-Make one handed hot dogs for me and one handed mac and cheese for Annie. Boiling water with a baby in a sling is very, very scary.

12:52-Put Tilda in swing. Run upstairs. Change Annie. Marvel at disparity between size and smelliness of Annie poops in relation to her age. Run downstairs. Fix plates. Blog and eat and feed.

1:00-One handed eating, typing, feeding and baby soothing. If my back survives today someone better pat me on it.

1:07-Wish that my wife’s car had GPS so that I could see how close she is to home. This is not like having one kid.

1:11-Just spilled glass of water for Annie all over floor and utter first F-word of the day. I cleaned it up with one hand and one foot and then left the towels where they were. Should I be sweating like this?

1:13-Wipe hands on my pants because I just can’t get up again.

1:18-Fuck. The water spilled again and is now making a giant spot on the rug.

1:26-Infant crying.

1:34-Toddler crying. Make note to never feed them together again.

1:37-Never, ever, I mean ever, buy a Playtex sippy cup. What a piece of crap. Annie looks like she just went swimming.

1:41-Wow. My wife is home. She was only gone for three hours. That was not fun.

1:46-Skip editing. In relation to what I just experience, how could typos matter.

1:47-Realize that I actually did not get the better end of this bargain.

August 11, 2008

Frayed at the ends

When you have a newborn you learn how to function on less sleep than you ever imagined. Suddenly, a typical night is about four hours of shut eye. At first you don't think that you can function as a contributing member of your family, let alone society. Then something strange happens and a two hour stretch of sleep starts to feel like a lot. I'm in this stage right now. Don't get me wrong, I feel like shit, but all I need is one continuous stretch of 120 minutes at night and I'm good to go. The rest of the night I'm up constantly, yet I can usually pass for a showered, clean clothes wearing adult the next day.

That being said, it doesn't take much to derail the whole thing. And I'm finding out that a one year old is the definition of much. If Annie throws the proverbial wrench in the day's proceedings, my wife and I are both done for. As I'm writing, she is zonked out on the couch with Matilda in her arms and I am sneaking in 20 minutes with you before Annie wakes up and kicks our asses again.

Today, Annie decided that her lunch would consist only of bananas. She managed to turn a simple activity into a one hour ordeal that ended with her in tears and me on janitorial duty.

I guess that most parents go through a phase where they feed their children one thing all the time in order to keep the peace. I am determined to avoid this...for now anyway. Annie of course has other ideas. More and more, anything that is not fruit gets rejected by my little Dikembe Motumbo. I'm quite sure that this photo says it all. Annie/Bananas:1. Dad/Vegetable Soup:0.

August 8, 2008


Dear Sirs and Madams,

I recently came across your help wanted advertisement on craigslist for the open position of Rocket Scientist. I am a motivated (for food) 13 month old who has a great inner desire to learn about this stunning world that I now inhabit. I have extensive experience in the field of aeronautics. It is possible that you have heard of my most recent discovery, the revolutionary “floating pacifier.” I have also completed numerous experiments exploring the principles of gravity, including throwing food from my high chair and well, standing. Currently, I am working on a project on personal aerodynamics. Once completed, I hope to be able to jump. Please respond promptly if you think an idea generating, interpersonal communicating, team motivating person like myself would be a good fit with your firm. Below, please see my resume. I believe it speaks for itself.


Annabelle Harper Poulas

P.S.-If you have any open positions at a lab in Uzbekistan I have a younger sister who would be a perfect candidate.

August 7, 2008

Montville Community Park

Every town has its share of playgrounds, and we have a very nice (shady) one here in West Caldwell. Lately though, we have been hearing rumors of the biggest, baddest playground around. Today we decided to go and check it out for ourselves. Unlike many things in life, the Montville Community Park did not disappoint. Not only did it have the best playground any of us had ever seen, it also had a great soccer field, a youth center (not sure what that is), a sweet bocce court (on which we witnessed a rousing game between various "seniors" being cheered on exuberantly by a large group of random kids), and a huge community garden.

Our trip happened to be highlighted by two people that we met. The first was an au pair, who when seeing Matilda in my wife's wrap, asked if "it was a dog." Sure to be one of her life's highlights.

The second person was our new friend Jon, a great six year old (pictured on the rope pyramid) who showed us around and bravely took on the park's largest elements. When we were leaving I asked him if he ever thought Annie would be six years old and he said, "Yes, but it's going to be hard." I wonder if he has any sense of his prescience.

August 6, 2008

The Most Important Invention of Our Time

Certain inventions seemingly fall from the sky, taking their creator and their public by complete surprise. Like Penicillin and the Microwave before it, we invented a little somthing here today that was born out of luck, but also out of a willingness to experiment and have a little fun.

Behold...The Floating Pacifier!

Oh, and I hope you voted for Twitch like I did tonight.

Still Adjusting to New Jersey

I don't have any time to post right now. I will try later this evening, but in the meantime I had a quick question for New Jersey. If I was cryogenically frozen and kept on ice for one hundred years, when you thawed me out would Route 46 still be under construction?

August 5, 2008

Conan Dogs

Okay, fingers are cracked and ready to slap the shit out of this keyboard. I’m rested—sort of—and ready to go. I’m going to blog like crazy today. My wife and I decided to split the night in two so that we both can get a bit of rest. Last night I took the 10-3 shift on the living room couch and she took the 3-8. Mattie is such a light sleeper for the first half of the night that neither of us was getting to sleep until after two, so we figured that we would hole up in front of the TV with her.

Two things will come of this. First, I will begin to catch up on Conan O’Brien (I’ve been an avid fan since my college roommate and I watched every night way back in 1995 and ate “Conan Dogs” made in our dorm room micro fridge) and second, my wife and I will be one step closer to separate beds and old age.

Last night’s trial run at this new schedule worked pretty well, although true to form Tildy didn’t do much sleeping before my shift was over, so I think I got the worst of it. We may have to alternate nights so that this dad doesn’t get too beat up. I will tell you though, that when my head hit the pillow at 3:00, well really 4:30, I was dead to the world for four solid hours and I am thankful for it. You parents out there know your world has gone through a drastic change when four hours is a lot of sleep.

Ouch, baby number one is awake. So much for earth shattering blog posts. In reality, this will probably be as long as they get for a while. I will at least try and keep them interesting.

Oh, right, Conan dogs are just two regular hot dogs with ketchup and mustard that have to be consumed before the first guest sits down. Yes, this lasted for a whole year. Yes, college was awe-some.

August 4, 2008

To Nap or To Blog

Let's start with the good news. Matilda is healthy and happy, with chubby cheeks that match her sister's, and she loves to sleep in her bassinet. The bad news? She only likes to sleep in her bassinet during the day. Thusly, this dad feels like shit and should be napping right now, but how else would I cope if not for unloading to ya'll?

Our nights have been very long lately. While Matilda is not often upset at night she will only sleep in my arms, and even then, just for short periods of time. I know what you are saying, you doubters out there. You think that by holding her all night I am taking the easy way out. In Annie's case you would have been right and I probably set her up for sleeping failure. This time, I am determined to give number two a fair shot at leading a normal life of slumber.

During the day, we put Matilda down for naps as often as possible and she will sleep on her own for an hour or two or, in the case of yesterday evening, almost three. Sure enough, when we went to sleep--the parents that is--Matilda got antsy and for the next eight hours she was rarely quiet for more than an hour. Yes, I'm exhausted. And a bit sad. And a bit overwhelmed.

On another note, I haven't updated your five songs in almost a month. Sorry. Time is a bit short. I will post some tunes today, though they won't be new...just awesome.

Oh, and I will try and post pictures of Mattie's red hair soon.