12 Months of Charlee: The 12 Things I’ve Learned in my First Year of Parenting


So, what better way to celebrate a year of Charlee then to reflect back on getting here and what I’ve learned.

It’s really interesting and almost comical sometimes when I look back on the older posts in my blog, where I have advice or recommendations that I’m providing. There was nothing wrong with those, but often they reveal a Dad who was sooooooo unaware of what was up next! Not unprepared per se, but most definitely unaware. And here I am, looking back on only the first year! I can’t even begin to think about year 2… daycare, talking, walking…. Oy vey!

What I can say is that this year has been something that I could have never expected. I hope you’ve enjoyed following along with my journey so far. You keep reading and I’ll keep writing J

On that note, what a great segue into number 1 on my list… Enjoy!

  1. Read!


It’s really just that simple.


There are tons of books and while I personally recommend the Dr. Karp series, look around… ask around… google some reviews. There are so many parenting books out there and they are there for a reason.

You will have questions!

You will want to know that you are not alone in this journey, nor has anything you are about to encounter never been encountered before!

I read one book that ironically advised not to read books. But rather, many of your parenting intuitions will come naturally. That’s fine and dandy, and I hope for whomever abides by that principal, they are right, but the number of approaches that we took which did not come naturally, were not spawned off of our natural intuitions, yet resulted in the right outcome is staggering (approaches to sleep is my #1 in that regard!)

It was interesting what happened in-between books as well.  We read plenty leading up to having Charlee, a little bit after having her, and then sort of assumed things were on cruise control. Little did we realize how quickly babies change and how difficult it is to stay on top of what happens next and how to handle it!

I’ve started reading again, and right now I’m on Dr. Karp’s, The Happiest Toddler on the Block. He himself says that you should start reading it ideally when your little one is 9 months of so, in order to be ramped up for the 1-3 year window.

I know it’s a toughie to fit in to anyone’s schedule, but really, it will help out immensely to be as prepared as possible.

  1. Yard by yard is pretty hard, but inch by inch is a cinch


I wrote a blog entry once called How Quickly We Forget – The Halo Effect and Dad’s with PTSD. The main point being that we often go through situations which seems incredibly catastrophic and painful yet, in time, we move on and get to reflect back on it.

I look back at Charlee’s year and even when she was enjoying womb service:

First there was the determination that she was breeched and all the chiropractic visits and moxibustion attempts and the scheduling of a C-section. Finally when she was born there was 4 days in the NICU, sleep regression, food sensitivities, more sleep regression, teething, my changing employers, more sleep regression, milk shortages, financial hiccups, more sleep regression, relationship strains, and did I mention sleep regression?!

But at a certain point, you get a chance to look back, be it through a blog or just personal memory, and go, holy shit that was rough, but we made it!

  1. It ain’t a competition


So don’t get me wrong – I fully understand that everybody wants to know that their child is doing well. But similar to the earlier point, if your baby starts crawling at 6, 7, 8 or even 15 months, it’s great at the time, but when they are older these things will be so inconsequential! The fact that your baby is in the 85th percentile, or the 35th percentile – it’s all irrelevant as long as they’re healthy, it doesn’t matter!!

However, and I hope this point makes sense, you should never, ever, ever, feel that you need to suppress your urges to talk about your baby.

You should be proud.

You are raising a human being and every achievement of theirs, is a representation of your work and dedication. So good on you!

Granted there is a fine line between pride and gloating, and you know what, sometimes it will just be heard the way that it’s heard, but in my honest opinion, you don’t get these opportunities too often, unless you’re breeding like bunnies (and all the power to you if you are), so go on, be proud of yourself and of your little one!

  1. Your life will change… duh!


In case for some ungodly reason you thought that this is just an addition to your life, I will firmly state that you are wrong!

A baby does not accompany you to the club. They WILL get carded and refused access.

A baby does not sleep in on weekends, nor do they pull all-nighters… well… not in the good sense…

Your relationship will not be the same and you need to come to terms with that.


You’ve just created a miniature version of yourselves – how friggin cool is that?! Granted when they first arrive, they’re a tad wrinkly or ‘fresh’ as one woman in a shopping mall once referred to 2 week old Charlee. But in time, it’s amazing how you start to see elements of yourselves in him or her.

With Charlee, she has my laugh, many of my features, and somehow at the age of 1, my sense of humor. She also has Becca’s disposition, kindness, and for what it’s worth, toes!

  1. Routine is important, but don’t obsess

Many books we’ve read address the fact that babies thrive off of routine. They will act better, sleep better, and overall just function better. But this doesn’t mean that there is no flex to the rigidity. Other than the fact that there can be extenuating circumstances, you have to realize that your life is not obsessively routine so how can your child’s be?

My mum had my brother and me 11 months apart (he was adopted, not that that matters, but just to help with the math and not assume that my mum and dad were aiming to have two kids so close together). Her line to me when I asked how the heck she juggled two children under the age of 1 was simply, “have baby, will travel”.

Makes sense to me – sometimes your baby just has to come along for the ride.

I’m a pretty firm believer that balance is everything, so stick to a routine for sure, but don’t obsess over every little thing… for the baby’s sake… and your own!

  1. Figure out child care as early as possible


Maybe I’m putting this in here because it’s kinda fresh in my mind, but the most ridiculous thing happened the other day to me, and apparently it’s much more common than you would expect.

I approached a daycare which is well situated and affordable, they start with kids at the age of 1, and with all of these factors there understandably is a queue of families who are pre-registered.

Now here’s where it gets interesting…

I was directed to their website to register and low and behold, there is a 2 year waiting list… “Approximately”… meaning that it could actually be OVER 2 years!

In our situation, it would have meant a very interesting first date conversation where we skipped the dinner and drinks and went straight to pre-registering our unborn…nay, uncreated baby!

In Ontario and Toronto specifically, child care is expensive and hard to come by. Granted, our province has just recently abolished waiting list fees, but while we were searching it could potentially have cost us hundreds if not thousands of dollars just to get Charlee’s name on some lists!

We’re still sorting through ideas, but at this point, Becca is home with Charlee until at least 18 months and we’re on a few waiting lists, but that clocks a’ tickin’ and finding out that there are waiting lists that are over 2 years long, gets the heart rate rising!

  1. Money talk


So, aside from those costs you can forecast, there are just a ton of things that creep up on you and apparently are never ending! Different wages for different stages you could say… patent pending.

When we first looked into daycare, we factored that it would cost anywhere from around $800 to $2000 a month; $800 being on the cheaper side through something like an unlicensed home daycare, and top of the price range being a licensed city run daycare (yup… $108 a day!).

Our in between option was a Montessori, where it’s around $1500 per month, but low and behold, waiting lists and questionable reviews have made things a wee bit more complex.

Next there is the food factor. If you’re breastfeeding, that’s fantastic, and we are too, but there were some unexpected situations with food sensitivities, sick baby not being able to feed successfully, drop in milk supply… y’know… expecting the unexpected again.

Due to Becca’s work and upbringing, she is very conscious about food additives and the like so we are pretty diligent about the quality of food we give Charlee. And with that comes a price tag too.

Even when you factor and budget for all of those things, there is still STUFF.

We have been extremely lucky to have Charlee’s older cousin who provides a ton of hand-me-downs, and also so many generous friends and family. And I’m actually pretty proud to admit that I don’t think we’ve binged on anything unnecessary for Charlee, even though I do still have my eye on a $2000 kids’ ride on Porsche…

But food, toys, gifts, and even at times entertainment, adds up – be mindful and diligent and don’t forget to put money into an RESP if you’re in Canada! In 17 years, university is going to be pretty steep.

  1. You and your baby are going to get sick
For the record, no baby is happy with a nosefrida

For the record, no baby is happy with a NoseFrida…

I always think of that Nyquil commercial, with the dad trying to call in sick.

We all wish that were true.

What actually happens is that one of the parents gets sick and brings it home to treat the whole family to a bout of the flu.

Somehow you have to muster the strength to get through your own cold while also treating the baby with whatever lack of medicine you can use (though infant Tylenol, Advil, a NoseFrida and a bottle of Salinex do work wonders) and all the while holding down a job, keeping the house in order, and sticking to the routine as best as possible.

Keep in mind that every sickness the baby gets through usually implies a strengthening of her immune system; so really, she’s just doing this to become that much bigger and stronger.

  1. Don’t forget about YOU
Healthy dad or attempted mugging?

Healthy dad or attempted mugging?

Remember that your health is just as important as the baby’s – after all, you’ve got to be in peak shape in order to take care of the little one.

I follow so many dads online who are proponents of keeping in great shape. I am all about wanting to do that too, and I have way too many excuses.

The least you can and should do is keep up to date with your own doctors’ visits, eat your vitamins, and take your meds.

That’s the easy part.

What people often forget is that you sometimes need a break from your family. Sounds kinda mean, but it’s really true. It doesn’t mean you love them any less, but from a purely psychological perspective, getting out for a pint with the boys, or especially taking the misses out on a date night is hugely important for you and your relationship with your family.

  1. Treasure your quiet time


Date nights and drinks are few and far between, and I often find myself enjoying the most bizarre quiet times.

I follow a blogger online who wrote about how she even treasures the silence between buckling up her little one in the backseat of the car, closing the door, and walking to the driver side!

Another blogger seeks solace in his breaks to go to the bathroom…alone!

We’re lucky that Charlee is a lovely, calm, and gentle little angel, so in general the volume is fairly low, but she is active and mobile, and sometimes, yeah, it’s nice to get away, even if it’s just to sit on the can!

  1. More importantly, treasure your time with baby


Sure it’s important to get away, but it’s even more important to be involved.

Charlee is fantastic and watching her learn and develop is breath taking. In one weekend around 9 months, she said momma, dada and started crawling… ONE WEEKEND!

I did a review on the book thirty million words, and the messaging there is one that, at least for me, appears fairly new. There is an overall recognition now that the first three years of a baby’s life are some of the most fundamental for growth and learning. A child’s brain undergoes an amazing period of development from birth to three, producing 700 new neural connections every second. The fact that you can actually witness it firsthand and help develop it with the way you engage with them is surreal!

Treasure it!

  1. Love is the answer


Yeah it’s a little hokey, but you know what, it’s true.

Maybe I need to define what love means to me…

To me, there are two key factors in in love:

  1. Love is unconditional to those who are deserving of it.
  2. You get back what you give.

If those fundamentals are met, everything else is just noise.

Sometimes it is not easy to love, because the noise is loud; so loud that you forget that the fundamentals are still there.

You can block the noise with strong communication. Without it, the noise keeps ringing in your ears.

I don’t mean to sound too profound here, but that metaphor works for me.

With some, I’ve found that the noise is so consistent that I need to reassess the fundamentals.

With some I’ve found that the fundamentals are not there.

When that occurs, I need to rid myself of the noise, because it’s not healthy noise. It’s not noise that’s going to subside.

With others, the noise comes and goes, but the fundamentals are strong and the basis of our relationship is valid and meaningful and important.

Charlee has introduced to me a whole new world of love and a whole new approach to priorities.

She has fundamentally changed Becca and me, including our love for each other. It’s not gone by any means, it’s just different.

We’ve learned a lot about each other through Charlee, and we’ve developed a new love for one another and a new love as parents – a new definition of who we are.

I was thinking once about how you rarely know for sure about how your mate is going to parent, let alone how you are. You chat when you’re dating about things like what kind of school you’d like your future kids to attend, and how you’ll celebrate Chanukah and Christmas together, but you rarely discuss how you’ll approach baby led weaning, or what technique you’ll use for sleep training.

When those events arise in parenting, you are no longer addressing them as individuals. You are a team of two parents, approaching something foreign to the two of you.

You’ve either read up on it together or separately; queried a parent together or separately; have heard experiences through a friend, together or separately; or just have a gut instinct on how to handle the situation, together or separately.

Regardless, you now have to handle it… together!

This next year is going to be eventful, to say the least! I’ve just started back at school, part time. I have a new job but my contract expires in February (hoping for an extension). Becca and I have been chatting about opening up a store, but also discussing whether Becca may want to go back to her old work, or maybe school. We’re sorting out day cares and interviewing different Montessoris. We may even invest in a rental property in the next few months.


I do not know what the future holds but I look forward to continuing to share my wild journey through fatherhood with you and hope you’ll stick around for the ride!

Long time no…. type?


Hello, my name is Dad.

Remember me?

Come now, it’s only been a month… and a week… or two…

I remember speaking with a fellow blogger during the earlier days of my site and she mentioned that she was so impressed with the fact that I could dedicate so much time to typing out blog entries while having a little one at home. At the time I thought, wow, I must be really lucky that Charlee is so chill!

In hindsight, I think her being impressed was just a tad premature to the non stop parenting rollercoaster ride that really starts to peak around 6-8 months.

Well, suffice it to say, these last few weeks and months have been the most trying, but also the most rewarding. For example, just this last weekend, Charlee did the following:

  • Clearly said “mama”
  • Started crawling
  • Cut two more teeth (yes, she’s up to FOUR now!)
  • And, I swear this is true, with Becca as my witness, specifically requested, through arm motions, for us to sing ‘skinamarinky dinky dink’ by Sharon, Lois and Bram.

I have video and photographic evidence (check out my youtube channel and follow my feeds to see more).

Anyway, let’s take it from the top, and sadly it begins on an unhappy note, with the passing of my uncle on May 26.

Two weeks prior I had tendered my resignation from work (more on that to follow) and was actually attending my going away party when my mother called from England where she had been vacationing with my aunt. Through some round about channels, she had heard the news and wanted to get in touch with me as soon as possible.

I spoke with my cousins and tried to come to terms with the news.

Though in recent years I had not been in close contact with my uncle or cousins, Becca and I had gotten together with them when Charlee was just a couple months old to introduce her to them then.


Aside from being 86 and diabetic, Uncle Seymour, or ‘Shim’ as he was known by family and friends, was in great health and his passing came as a huge shock.

I think the blessing in disguise is how extreme family events such as this can bring out the best in people, and give family an opportunity to first grieve together, and then reconnect.

This passing was one that brought out both the good and the bad, and it was quite a stressful occasion for all of us for many reasons.

I will always be grateful for the relationship I remember with my uncle. He was a soft-spoken man, but his family legacy lives on with 4 children, their spouses, and their combined 14 grandchildren (I hope I didn’t miss anyone). I only wish that I can one day see my own family grow like that.

My aunt is a wonderful woman with a strong circle of family and friends. Becca, Charlee and I have already made an effort to see her more often and help keep her involved as Charlee grows while also restoring our family bond.

The other piece of news, yup, I tendered my resignation with my employer after five and half years, having found a new opportunity that would benefit me and my family.

As a father, I’m now much more scrupulous in my decision making, and this by far was one of the most difficult. It had been in the works for well over a year mind you, and in fact, almost came to fruition in March of last year, but I opted to hold off having just found out that Charlee was on her way!

To be honest, I thing everything played out quite well.

With my old employer, I had the benefit of getting top up on nearly 5 months of parental leave. I also had all the benefits coverage that helped us be comfortable in the NICU and not out of pocket too much. I had added vacation time to help with Becca while we tried to turn Charlee, and then finally came back to a job that was mostly enjoyable for the few months that I needed to work out the details of this next opportunity.

I’ve decided to take the plunge and incorporate my own business under which I am doing consulting work.

The pay is very good, but the job security is non existent as I attempt to work contract to contract.

I feel very confident with the decision though, and Becca has my back as always.

This job gives us the luxury of having Becca stay at home with Charlee straight through until she is 18 months, and then we’re exploring a multitude of opportunities including Montessori for Charlee, and potentially opening a business for Becca… more details to follow as that slowly unfolds!

Not sure what your take is on Montessoris, but I can tell you that daycare here is a fortune and if I’m going to be spending that kind of money, I want an education for Charlee that I would be keen on. Having toured a few Montessoris, our hearts are set on it, and we’re on one waiting list in particular which we hope pans out.

As it sits right now, we’ve got another 9 months to go, so fingers crossed!

It’s crazy that Charlee is 9 months old already. We like to say she has officially been out of the womb longer than she was in it!

She is certainly keeping us busy.

Becca has her down to a routine that is impeccable – she now naps twice a day and gets a full nights sleep of 10 hours. I would like to say that it’s consistent, but of course it’s not. She has, however, improved astronomically!

As I mentioned, she’s crawling now, which changes the whole dynamic of our living space! We have to baby-proof the house now, and to add to it, she’s outgrown her exersaucer, so we’ve just recently unfolded the pack n’ play so she can use that as a holding pen while Becca needs to run off for a second to answer the door, use the facilities, or prepare a meal.

Charlee and Becca have been actively doing a bunch of different things from story time at the library, to swimming, to yoga.

The other day they went to the Royal Ontario Museum and I got this pic in my email:


I laughed my ass off!

All in all, it’s been a challenging yet rewarding few weeks.

From passing comes rekindled relationships.

From old jobs comes new challenges and opportunities.

And from a roly-poly baby, comes an explorative, engaging, adorable, astounding, developing little person.

I can’t wait to keep sharing my journey with my family, with you.



Beer and Cookies to the Rescue!

I knew it would happen! I logged in today and realized that it’s been almost an entire month since I’ve blogged.

I had read somewhere that the best way to keep yourself honest was to assign a writing day. Let me just say, that aside from showing up to work every day, I can hardly commit to much more! Just as I think I’m getting better at my time management skills, Charlee throws us for a loop and we have to rethink EVERYTHING.

So suffice it to say, there have been a few things that have happened over the course of the last month, and so today I’m writing two… yes TWO blog posts!

Let’s start with the recap:

First and foremost, Charlee got sick… again! I’m pretty sure this time was my fault, or at least I was the conveyor of said illness. She took another 2 weeks to get through it, but she seemed to have done better this (her third) time. We did nose-frida the crap out of her, but she never got a fever thank god, so it was really just something viral.

The cold happened during the most inopportune time (not that it’s ever ‘opportune’!) and we missed what would have been Charlee’s first Passover seder. There will be more, and we truly tried, but she was having an absolute meltdown and we couldn’t make it out the door.

The sickness, this time, had another residual effect, and that was the old ‘too plugged up to be able to feed properly’ syndrome, but this time, it really took it’s toll.

Looking back and even dealing with the onset of her rebounding now, we’re probably dealing with a series of events happening simultaneously, which I will refer to as STIF – sick, teething, introduction of solids, and fussy.



Not being able to breath is making her uncomfortable while feeding – she can’t breath through her nose, and there’s the chance that she’s associating this discomfort with the breast rather than the boogers




Nothing has “cut” the surface yet, but we know, nay, we are POSITIVE, that she is teething. There is no other excuse for the compulsive goobering, red cheeks, and all in all discomfort that Charlee is going through. Becca’s mum said that Becca didn’t get her teeth in until late, but they came in one fell swoop. Mine were fairly quick according to my mum. Charlee appears to be somewhere in the middle. For what it’s worth, we’ve been giving her this stuff called Camilia which really seems to help. It’s a natural formula that we can give Charlee before the real teething starts and we need to resort to Tylenol.

Introduction of Solids


Trying to find a balance for solid food has been a struggle for us… and evidently for Charlee too. If you feed her solids too soon, she forgoes milk and doesn’t get enough nutrients, which then leads to crappy sleeps. Feed her too little, and you miss out on the opportunity to introduce these new foods to her and close the gap on any allergy issues. It’s a tough balance and many different debates.



Remember that app I told you about? It’s called the Wonder Weeks and is based off of the book by the same name. Charlee has been living her life in direct correlation to what this chart forecasts. It’s kinda frightening.

Well, with our luck, we’re getting Charlee sick and teething, just on the cusp of one of her fussy stages. On the positive, this does mean that she is perfecting some new developmental milestone, but on the flip side, we get a fussy little munchkin who is quite the handful.

Through all the STIF, it’s been taking a toll on Becca and my patience, but more importantly, Charlee’s feeding habits based on the above have been totally thrown outta whack.

Her feeding being off schedule therefore throws her sleeping off schedule, which throws us off schedule and better yet (sarcasm), Becca’s having some issues with her production, and yes, I mean the milk kind.

Now, historically I’ve chatted about breastfeeding as one of those things that we dudes just can’t do, and maybe for some of us, that’s that. But lately I’ve gotten the sense of how impactful it is on our partners, and how in the end, we have to remember one of the large roles we play throughout all of this child rearing journey – supporter.

I’m a huge proponent of men playing a co-starring role in parenting, obviously. I’m super proud of the National At-Home Dad Network’s campaign to distinguish the fact that “Dad’s don’t babysit!” And I’m also hugely aware of the fact that there are many things women can do that we guys just can’t, and with that there is a level of importance and determination that come along with it that we dads need to recognize, admire, support, and encourage.

I know the breastfeeding debate goes back and forth – “breast is best” vs. formula feeding.

First and foremost, you’ll have to get a catchier slogan than simply ‘formula feeding’ in order to compete.

How bout “breast is best” vs. “fuck that, formula’s fine”

Not bad… let’s call it a work in progress.

Well, in my mind, I understood the debate and would support Becca regardless of her choice. I’m a huge fan of the health benefits behind breast feeding, and was very happy when Becca decided that this was the choice she was going to make.

The initial phases during our time at the NICU, and then subsequently being home and getting into a routine, were all huge learning experiences for us, and I’m proud of Becca for how she handled it all.

Our main goal was to get by the 6 week window, where studies had shown that it was the most valuable, physiologically, for the baby.

Of course, the act of breastfeeding continues to be a bonding experience for Becca and Charlee; one that Becca was aiming to hold onto until Charlee reached at least a year.

Now back to present day STIF Charlee, and we have been forced to supplement her meals with bottle feeding formula, as her routine while being STIF has been near impossible to keep up with, and we’d rather “waste” formula when Charlee is snacking, then liquid gold aka breast milk.

Unfortunately, this has caused Charlee to not only completely toss her sleep schedule out the window, but it has also cause Becca’s supply to drop as Charlee is on a milk strike.

Pop quiz Dad… what do you do!?

Well, first I can tell you what not to do…

Do not assume that 8 months was a good run, and that getting food into Charlee is all that’s important. Of course, it is the most important thing, but understanding the impact a drop in breastmilk production can have is something else altogether.

When your partner has their heart set on something, and that something is important to them, you should make it important to you.

Once we talked and I had a better sense of just how impactful the drop in flow was, I did what I always do solve a problem.

I picked up a six pack


Come on now – when was the last time beer actually was the answer!?

Along with that, I bought Becca some lactation cookies by a company called Stork and Dove and some tea which also promotes lactation.

The most important thing though, was chatting about it; getting an understanding of the importance and trying to destress from the situation.

Fortunately, we’re also surrounded by a good support network. Within walking distance, we have a very good (and free!) breastfeeding clinic at the Michael Garron Hospital, so Becca swung by for a consultation.

Just as important, was her mummy’s group, where she could compare notes with other mums who had gone through, or were going through the same thing. There is an odd sense of reassurance knowing that other people have some of the shitty experiences you go through with your kids, and that there is a light at the end of the tunnel… I guess that’s the premise of my blog sometimes too.

Well, at the end of the day, I guess two things happened.

First is that Becca is much more at ease about what’s happening with her production, and she’s doing what she can to increase it (which is so far working quite well) while at the same time she’s comfortable with the fact that through the breast milk she is providing and in addition the solids and formula, Charlee is getting the nutrients she needs.

The other thing that happened over the course of the last month was mother’s day – Becca’s first.

Last year we celebrated cause Charlee was the little bun in the oven, and I got Becca a ring.

This year I went for the spa retreat gift certificate, cause no one deserves a break more than my wonderful lady does.

Now if only I can convince her to leave the breast pump at home.

HMNID’s best and…er… ‘least best’ things about parenthood 


I think I’m almost there.

I haven’t quite had the moment yet, but I feel like it’s on the horizon.

Referring to my daughter is so much more casual now; the words actually sound right.

I still push, but even with the help of Jimmy Fallon’s book, it hasn’t materialized yet.

Nearly seven months in and still almost every day brings something new. The sheer amount of these experiences is staggering for such a short period of time, and watching Charlee mature and develop into a little person is unfathomable.

I still genuinely think that the clincher is going to be when my little bubbaloo actually says it.


Yeah, that’s the ticket.

But I will tell you this. So far, I’m having so much fun!

Sure, there are some days that the word “fun” would not describe in a million years, and with that I offer you the “Hello, my name is dad, best, and least best things about parenting“.

Like any conveyance of news, let’s start with the bad.

You will never sleep the same again

I wake up and all I smell are dirty diapers!

I wake up and all I smell are dirty diapers!

Let’s think about that sentence for a second. I’m not saying that you will never sleep again – that’s on you, my friend. But the idea of waking up at noon on a Sunday at this point would be tied to a gross demonstration of child negligence.

I’m sure we’ve all heard the stories on both ends of the spectrum with regards to kids’ sleep habits, and I for one will be the first to admit that whatever I think we have right now, is just point in time and could change again. But for the most part, my understanding is that Charlee is somewhere in the middle of good and bad sleepers, leaning more toward good sleepers, considering the ever increasing 7+ hour stretches.

Regardless, when baby’s up… baby’s up!

Sure they sleep up to 15 hours a day at this age… but not 15 hours straight! And not at reasonable hours! And not without naps which may or may not prove to be successful!

My full time job is at the office. I’m up when Charlee stirs, but Becca spoils me by dealing with her overnight wakings. Otherwise, I’m up sometime between 6 and 7, out the door by 7:30 and home ideally by 5:30 the latest. Then Charlee, Becca and I have  a nice sit down dinner together, and I begin her bath routine. She’s fed, bathed and in bed by 7:30 the latest, and then Becca and I get a couple hours to catch up about our days, our plans, our house chores and whatever else before we both tap out realizing how exhausted we are.

We’re usually in bed by 9:30, anticipating waking up at least once overnight.

Becca’s day’s are exhausting. Her full time job is parenting a 6 month old! This means trying to keep her in a routine that ensures she eats enough while trying new foods, sleeps properly, gets the right amount of stimulation and socialization, all while keeping the house in order in terms of laundry, cleaning, dishes, dinners, etc.

Every day we try and keep a routine because we’ve been advised that consistency is key. At the same time we’ve heard the saying ‘have baby, will travel’, eluding to some parents perspective of  trying to keep schedules loose so that you can have more flex in their day.

I’m pretty convinced that regimented scheduling is a first time parent move and later if/when we have baby number 2, it’ll be for the most part out the window, while we try and manage two very distinct children and their relative scheduling needs.

So yeah, you’ll never sleep the same again, but if you’re lucky, you may still get some sleep – a lot of it comes back to you and your approach.

You’ll often feel at a loss


Life is full of firsts.

Many of these firsts are fairly short. They happen, you learn, and you move on with your life.

With a newborn, there are many firsts. MANY MANY MANY firsts.

And they come at you one after the other, after the other, like clowns emerging from the most ridiculous clown car you could ever imagine.

Holding a newborn. Changing a diaper. Interpreting cries. Feeding. Prepping bottles. Figuring out sleep routines. And so on, and so on.

What about the conversations you have… some of which turn into arguments! After all, it’s a first for both of you potentially!

The worst thing? For the most part, there is no one single correct answer to any of it!

I’m a very finite guy. I like for there to be a common solution to a common problem.

As I’ve mentioned in earlier posts, there is just no single right answer to solve everything. There are way to many variables at play with parenting, that even the greatest of google searches will never find the one right answer.

I have often felt totally lost. It can be frustrating and put a huge strain on you and your relationship while you try and navigate your way through sleep regressions and 2 AM wailings.

But man is it ever worth it – let’s chat about the good!

Ben + Becca = Charlee

Don't worry - she's only working part time

Don’t worry – she’s only working part time

I’m a huge fan of Becca.

I’m a pretty big fan of myself. God that sounds arrogant, but c’mon, if you don’t love yourself, you’ve gotta work through that.

So put a splash of Becca with a dash of Ben together and you get, what in my eyes, is the most perfect creation this planet has ever seen – Charlee!

The crazy thing is that aside from how visually perfect Charlee is in my eyes, it’s only recently that I’ve gotten to actually know her.

Let me explain.

From birth to 3 months, Charlee was a gorgeous, little, wrinkly, bald, leaky, sometimes stinky, giggly, cooing ball of wonder. I was gobsmacked with what I was encountering on the daily and it was changing Becca and I throughout the journey.

At 4 months, just as we were getting in a groove, Charlee reverted back to being fussy and sleepless, and frustration was creeping in.

Two to three very long weeks later things changed. Dramatically.

Suddenly, there was something that transpired. Charlee was connecting. She knew us. She cared for us. She wanted to be close to us and be with us.

She reciprocates morning hugs.

She looks forward to bath time.

She sings songs with us.

She loves books.

She has a sense of humour; A great one in fact!

My heart aches when I’m not with Charlee and I know the same is true for her because the look on her face when I get home just melts me every time.

You often read that you will never feel love like the love you have for your child. It sounds so cliche, but it couldn’t be truer.

I’ve been told that the magic age is 5. Apparently from then till about 9 or 10 is the sweet spot, when your child idolizes you and you can do no wrong.

So far, 5 months was what has done it for me – this kid is my world and I can’t get enough of her.

Tomorrow I get to take Charlee for her first swimming lesson. While it will be my first time taking my daughter swimming, it will be Charlee’s first time in a bathing suit, in a pool, at the community centre, with new people, etc etc.

For all of the firsts we encounter, she is having her firsts in multiples!

I’m forever grateful and privileged to be able to be there for many of Charlee’s firsts and I can’t wait for more to come.