Most useful baby items

I may not know many things about raising a child, but in my short three and a half months as a new mom, I have learned what some of the most useful baby items are. I want to share these items with you in order to make your life easier as a new parent.

For Out and About

Stroller frameFirst and foremost, I must say that this is the best and most used item that we have received: a stroller frame. This is a lightweight stroller that a car seat can click into. In order for it to be used and must have the car seat, unlike the traditional stroller that comes as part of a travel system. Many of these stroller frames have a basket beneath the car seat to carry your belongings, and some even have cup holders to carry a drink (obviously, specifications vary depending on the brand). These frames are very lightweight and easy to stowaway in your trunk without killing yourself. The frame that I use, is about 10 pounds. The stroller that came with my travel system, weighs about 20 pounds. And that is a big difference, especially if you are in and out of the car multiple times with the baby. For someone who has trouble carrying the car seat, this is a huge help. Aside from being lightweight the frame also folds up smaller than the travel system stroller. If you have a small trunk like me, this is very important. Continue reading Most useful baby items

Micah: 3 months

Micah

Length: About 24.5 inches

Weight: About 12 pounds

Likes

Bug loves to talk! He’s babbling quite a bit lately, carrying on an entire conversation with Mommy or Daddy in those babbles. It’s really quite adorable. Micah loves smiling and giggling. Mommy plays the “I’m gonna get ya” game with him and he goes crazy for it. He loves to stand up while holding onto your fingers, although still won’t do it without Mommy or Daddy to pull up on. He doesn’t quite have the balance to stay upright, but that has significantly improved over the last month. Something that has not changed it how much of a snuggler he is. He loves to curl up with Mama and go to sleep. Micah has become much more interested in books during the last month. During the first 2 months, any books that were read to him were simply for the benefit of Mommy or Daddy – however, he has really become interested in the pretty pictures on the books (his favorites so far are The Very Hungry Caterpillar and Dr. Seuss’ ABC book). And he loves music being played or listening to Mommy’s singing. He has also discovered the TV. The colorful moving pictures are the most intriguing part of it, not the sound. Continue reading Micah: 3 months

2013 In Review

It has been a crazy year for the Dobles in 2013. If you’re looking for a list of major life stressors, we probably had you covered. A new job for Suzanne, buying a house, bringing in another dog, starting graduate school, and having a baby topped the list for the year. At the end of last year, I was working at Value Printing, Suzanne had just lost her job with Duke University, we had one dog, and lived in an apartment. If you ask Marble, life was just about perfect.

Suzanne found another – better – part time job with Wake Tech as a skills instructor in their EMS department. It wasn’t much regular work, but it is something she loves and has plenty of experience doing. It really is about the perfect job for her. She did take some time off this fall because of Micah, but she has plans to return.

I’m still working at Value Printing. However, I am now the Print & Design Services Manager, whatever that really means. For the most part it means that my job is to keep the office running smoothly, get the customers taken care of, and make sure jobs are getting out in a timely manner. Some days are easier than others, but I do love my job and what I do, even if there are a particular set of associated stresses that make it wish some days I didn’t work there. But I think everyone has those days at work. Continue reading 2013 In Review

Micah: 2 months

2 months!Length: 23.5 inches (69%)

Weight: 11 pounds, 5.5 ounces (38%)

Likes

Micah loves snuggling still (and Mommy is okay with that). He loves looking around and seeing what this world is all about. He’s very inquisitive and intrigued by many things. Right now, his fascination is with mirrors. Micah loves standing and pulling himself up by holding on to your fingers. He doesn’t have much balance yet, but he is strong enough to support his own weight without much difficulty. Micah is also quite the “talker” and loves carrying on a conversation in babbles.

Dislikes

He’s still not a fan of tummy time, but he puts up with it from time to time. Micah dislikes being alone. If you’re nearby, and he can hear you and see you (that last one is key), he’s usually a happy camper. Continue reading Micah: 2 months

What are you thankful for?

Today is Thanksgiving Day. The day of the year that families get together, eat a big meal, watch some football, and take a nap. I mean, who wouldn’t want to celebrate such a day?

But the concept behind Thanksgiving is more than that. It’s to remember and think about what we’re thankful for. It’s so easy in our every day lives to be living so fast that we forget to be thankful for what we have. I see many of my friends doing the “month of thanks” on social networking, taking a post each day and talking about something they’re thankful for. I’m entirely sure I could come up with 30 things to be thankful for without getting overly corny and simplistic.

However thinking today about what I’m thankful for reminded me of a conversation that I had a couple weeks ago with my mom. I realized during that conversation that I really have everything I ever really wanted. You see, as long as I could really plan what I wanted to be, I really wanted to be a husband and a father. Being rich (though I certainly wouldn’t turn down the option) or having an important job really wasn’t the goal of my life. I wanted a job that would allow me the money and time to ensure that my family was taken care of and that I would be there when they needed me.

And I have that.

I have an amazing wife who makes me happy and constantly makes me strive to be a better husband with her selflessness as a wife and mother. She has been the anchor through the storms of life that have hit us in the four years of our relationship. We’ve been married a little more than two and a half years into our marriage and I love her more today than I did that day as I waited for her at the end of the aisle to take her as my wife.

We have a newborn son Micah, who I would already do anything for. He was healthy and happy when he was born and I praise God daily for that. I love talking to him and seeing him start to learn his way through this world, whether that be rolling over, standing up, or burping (he’s already a pro at that, by the way).

We have a couple rascally dogs that run around at our feet, Marble and Jax. As much as they are frustrating, it is a constant lesson in patience, but they’re cute and willing to unselfishly share their love. It’s been a couple months since we got Jax, but they have finally become accustomed to each other and have begun playing together. It is fun to watch and makes us smile. It brings joy to our lives.

We own a house that meets our needs. It’s not huge, but it fits us well. It’s in good shape and doesn’t need any major work. We have a bedroom, Micah has a bedroom, and we have a room for our office. There’s also plenty of yard for our puppies and, one day perhaps, Micah to roam around on.

And I have a job that provides enough money to care for my family. There may not be much to spare some months, but its better than being unemployed. There are some particular stresses to it, as there are with any job, but I enjoy what I do and I’m good at it.

So you see, it’s not every day you realize that at the age of 28, you have everything you ever really wanted. That is what I’m thankful for. Today and everyday.

Franchitti ending his racing career

Dario+Franchitti+Shell+Pennzoil+Grand+Prix+eWW4_kwMYxKl Yesterday it was announced that IndyCar driver Dario Franchitti was retiring from racing on the advice of his doctors. For those of you who don’t follow racing, Franchitti was in a devastating accident in this season’s penultimate race in Houston (video link). As a result of the injuries sustained in that accident, doctors advised that the risk of further injury was too great if he returned to racing.

Since the announcement was made, I’ve seen many friends and fellow racing fans express disappointment that Franchitti is having to retire and walk away from the sport. I haven’t been able to express such disappointment, because I don’t have it. The way I see it, Franchitti is lucky that he gets to retire from racing, and he should know this all too well.

You see racing, especially open cockpit style IndyCar racing, is pretty dangerous.

On October 31, 1999, the racing world watched as the #99 car of Greg Moore crashed into the wall at California Speedway. Moore, 24 at the time and poised to be open wheel’s latest rising star, was fatally injured in that accident. A close friend of Dario’s, Moore even introduced him to actress Ashley Judd at a party. Dario and Ashley would go on to get married in 2001. Franchitti would win in Vancouver, Canada, Greg’s home race, in 2002 and dedicate the victory to Greg. He would dedicate his second IndyCar championship to Moore as well, won ten years after Moore’s death. Even the picture posted to Dario’s Twitter account as part of his retirement announcement had a quote from Moore on it.

Twelve years later on October 16, 2011, the racing world watched again as Dan Wheldon was involved in a spectacular crash in the early laps at Las Vegas Motor Speedway. Wheldon, 33 at the time, was fatally injured in that accident and died at the track. He left behind a wife and two young kids. Wheldon, a former teammate of Dario’s, was a close friend of his away from the track too.

After the death of Wheldon, I expected 2012 to be Franchitti’s last season behind the wheel. From 2008 to 2012, Dario won four consecutive IndyCar championships (he didn’t race in the series in 2009). He has won three Indianapolis 500s. While I’ve always downplayed Franchitti’s success as attributed to quite a bit of luck, the fact is that he has been very successful. There wasn’t anything left for him to accomplish.

So on October 6, 2013, I watched in horror as Franchitti’s car go airborne and fall apart in a wreck in the Houston Grand Prix, I feared the worst. I feared that we had once again lost another great race car driver. Yet he survived.

So excuse me if I can’t see the disappointment in his retirement. While he may only be 40 years old, I see him as lucky that he gets to make that decision. I see him lucky that he gets to retire and walk away from the sport. And of all people, he should realize what that means.

Micah: 1 month

Mom, this is ridiculous. Everyone will think I'm cute.
Mom, this is ridiculous. Everyone will think I’m cute.

Length: 21.75 inches (as of our 2-week check up)

Weight: 8 pounds, 8 ounces (as of our 2-week check up, though I think we’re close to 10 pounds now)

Likes

Micah loves snuggle time with Mommy and Daddy. He loves taking his afternoon nap laying on Mommy’s chest. He loves to just be held. He prefers bouncing rather than swaying, though both at the same time works well.

Dislikes

Tummy time. He is not a fan of tummy time in the least. He also pitches a fit when you go to change him…until he has a clean diaper on and then he’s pretty happy (it’s fun to see that sudden realization that he’s all fresh and clean…and he can then proceed to do his business in the clean diaper…little booger). He started out not being a fan of the dogs (wet noses, whining/crying, licking) and they (really Marble) wasn’t a fan of him. The pups have learned that Micah is not a chew toy and is not able to be returned so they had better learn to like him. Marble is becoming more protective of him and is starting to like him, I think. And Micah is starting to like them more (he doesn’t burst into tears every time his toes are licked). Continue reading Micah: 1 month

Birth stories are like butts…

…everyone has one.

MicahIt has been a crazy past 10 days in our house. In case you haven’t heard, Micah. Jonathan was born on Sunday, October 13 at 7:58 pm. He was 8 pounds, 9 ounces and 21.5 inches long. He has a full head of hair and is ridiculously adorable (we’re not biased…).

So, how did we get to that time of 7:58 pm?

Things really started the Wednesday before. Micah (or as you’re used to him being called, Peanut) decided he wanted to be uncooperative. He has been very active throughout the pregnancy. Even in the final weeks, he was as active as ever…throwing punches left and right, kicking everything he felt was in his way. The strength and level of his activity never decreased – until Wednesday. Instead of moving once every hour or so, he only moved twice in the entire day. Thursday, his due date, we had a repeat performance. I had a regular OB appointment on Friday so I decided to wait until then and see what the doctor had to say.

Continue reading Birth stories are like butts…

My kitchen must haves – Part 5

What are you kitchen must haves?

You’re jumping into the middle of a 5-part series on what I need to work in my kitchen. (You’ve reached the last part!)

Visit part 1 with my cookie or ice cream scoop here.
Visit part 2 with my pizza cutter here.
Visit part 3 with my measuring cups here.
Visit part 4 with a good knife here.

Today’s must have: Continue reading My kitchen must haves – Part 5