Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Rolling over, eating cereal and fruit and everything else

Guess who's back?  Hello everyone!  I hope that you are all still out there and that everything has been going good for you.  Evan is now 4 months old!  Time has been flying by, it seems like yesterday I was sitting in the hopsital typing the story of the labor and delivery and being so amazingly nervous about how things were going to be.  Fast forward through countless poopie diapers, un-godly amounts of spit up stains and even more smiles and we are at today.  Evan's personality is developing the way I expected it to.  He gets pissed off and yells when he tries to do something he can't (like get a toy into his mouth right) and will laugh at anything remotely funny or amusing.  He loves LOVES loves Sesame Street, especially Cookie Monster, and has recently found the horror that is Yo Gabba Gabba.  He is over 13 pounds, eats cereal and fruit - Which by the way, does anyone know if Gerber makes anything other than apples, pears and bananas?  Anyway, our lives are full of bottles, diapers, bills and moments we never thought we would be sharing together. 
Our new house is great and the other three kids have adjusted seemlessly to having a baby in the house.  The girls help when needed (except for diaper changes that is) and Jay wants to be involved in everything. 
Life is good here in the Rush household.  I really shouldn't complain as much as I do about things.  Money is tighter but that was to be expected.  Alone time with my wife is limited, but that's not a shocker either.  But I keep reminding myself that all of the little things that have changed are definitely worth going through, especially when I get to look at my son everyday.

Friday, August 13, 2010

It's been quite awhile, but with good reason I swear!

Hello everyone!  Sorry it's been so long since my last update but like normal, things are banana's here in the Rush household.  Over the last few weeks there have been quite a few family issues that we have been tending to as well as some episodes with Evan that those of you who follow our facebook page have been aware of. 
A week ago today we had our first big scare with Evan, he vomitted his entire bottle, his mouth and nose were full of formula.  He was left gasping for air and screaming in fear which as a parent is the worst feeling in the world.  We were shaken up but assumed it was just from a gas bubble or upset belly or something along those lines.  Tuesday morning came and the same thing happened which got us looking into pyloric stenosis due to some family history on her side.  We called our Dr. and went in for a check up and he said it did not appear as though that was the case seeing as how he was gaining weight (10lbs 8oz) and it had only happened twice but we were to keep an eye on him and if it happened again to take him to the ER and get an ultrasound done.
Which brings me to yesterday.  I was at work when I got a voice mail from my frantic wife saying it happened again and she was taking him to the ER. I rushed home, got in the car and drove up to the hospital where he was born.  It is a strange feeling making the same drive we took when she was still pregnant.  I have not been in that area since he was born so it was a bit surreal to make the drive again.  Anyway, we were in the ER for the afternoon with our little man for an ultrasound and check up to ensure his tummy was working the way it is supposed to, which it is.  We were essentially told to cut back a little on the amount of formula and keep him sitting up for about 20 to 30 minutes after each feeding before allowing him to lay down.
I had forgotten what parenting a newborn was like, what it was all about.  It is hard, it is exhausting, it is draining, it is expensive and it is 100% worth it when you are dead tired and you look down and your baby is smiling with a face full of formula.  Things have been tough lately.  My wife and I are navigating the waters of a relationship that has changed, my sister has been dealing with some problems at home and sometimes I feel like my parents turn to me the way I turned to them when I was younger, but as my parents only son and being only 3 years younger than my sister this tends to happen I suppose.  Along with the burdens of supporting my 6 person household and getting ready for a move that is happening in the next 2 weeks I have taken on the added stress and pressure of ensuring the rest of my family is doing ok as well.  This is something that takes some time to get used to with the addition of a new baby.  My days go from Evan's first feeding around 5:30 or 6:00am (which I do because I am up for work anyway) until 11 or sometimes 12 at night depending. 
For those who are parents you know where I am coming from and for those who are expecting take my advice on this one thing if nothing else, SLEEP NOW!  Trust me, even if your baby sleeps through the night like Evan does (usually 10 - 5:30 or 6) you won't. 

Please don't forget to order my book from Amazon.com - http://www.amazon.com/What-Didnt-Expect-While-Expecting/dp/1453698175/ref=sr_1_1?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1281712135&sr=1-1

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Where did we go?

In the last few days it has become apparent that we have lost Eric and Shawna, we have lost Mr. and Mrs. Rush and have become solely Mommy and Daddy. Mommy is home with Evan all day and looks forward to me coming home from work for some much needed grown up talk and time together but at the same time I am walking through the door and grabbing Evan from wherever he is and holding him, talking to him and carrying him around with me everywhere I go until he falls asleep for the night. Generally when that happens it is our bed time as well and without watching TV we lie down and go to sleep and repeat the process all over again in the morning.

Without realizing it we have separated ourselves from each other and the things we did together that made us who we were. I have a feeling that we are not the only couple that this has happened to and I am sure we won’t be the last. We have quite a few things on our plate these days with the addition of Evan, the move coming up, Mommy will now be working, and the rest of the kids will be heading off to school again. All of these things have replaced the weekly flowers, the back rubs and the things that are better left out of this post that every couple needs to feel like they are more than robots.

Lost in the conversations and warnings of sleepless nights, shitty diapers and financial strains are the conversations about how hard it is to remain the couple you were. The TV shows that follow celebrities around with their families are an inaccurate and unfair portrayal of what the normal life of a family with a newborn actually is. We can’t turn to our live in Nanny and tell her we are going on a weekend getaway. There is no space in our home for the grandparents to stay and keep an eye on our four kids for the weekend and the bank account is not big enough that the new house and baby to have not impacted our ability to order takeout and a movie as often as we used to.

Having had 14 years in between kids for me and 7 years for her I think that part of the transition had been forgotten. Having a new born around, even when they are sleeping or just awake and happy, has the possibility of taking up every minute of your time at home if you are not careful.

Monday, July 26, 2010

What the hell were we thinking?

Hey everyone, I know it's been awhile but things here have been crazy! Suprise suprise right?  We have four kids ranging from 14 to 5 weeks so it's shocking I haven't had time right?  Anyway, since I last wrote a few things have happened here in Crazy Land and the first of which is we found a house!  Finally everyone will have their own space and best of all, it's three floors and the teenage girls from hell have the top floor, which requires opening two doors to get to.  Please don't think I dislike my kids I just am a big fan of Louis C.K.  (if you don't know him search Youtube) and his bluntness about his kids is something I think is funny as hell.  Anyway, so we are moving into the house on September 1st and any and all volunteers in the area are welcome and will be rewarded with a BBQ the weekend after we move in.
Event #2 was Evan's Dr. appointment this morning - he is 5 weeks old, weighs 10lbs and is 22 and 1/4 inches long.  According to the Dr. he is "Perfect".  Next time we go he will be getting two shots, one in each leg and Mommy was already weak in the knees at the thought so it should be interesting.  I won't lie, I hate... no no no, I loathe needles so I am sure this won't be easy for me either.
Finally, after we went to the Dr. we needed to run some errands so we decided it would be a good idea to pick up all the kids and bring them with us.  Which leads me to the title of this post "What the hell were we thinking?!?"  We have four kids which can be a bit overwhelming.  I realize there are some of you out there with more kids or more younger kids but this was our first official trip out of the house, to somewhere other than a relatives house with the 4 of us.  We got inside Target and it was like they were shot out of a canon, or so it seemed.  I guess in reality they were well behaved but we were greatly out numbered.  At this point there are now two kids to every one adult in our family and it is starting to scare the crap out of me.  In fact, if not for the fact that in the next 4 to 5 weeks we are going to be packing up and moving all of us into a new house I would probably be breathing into a brown paper bag. 

Thursday, July 22, 2010

Teen Role Models

I am not a huge believer in having celebrities as role models for our children, especially professional athletes but I did find something a little troublesome today on my way into work. Being responsible for the well being of four children, two of them entering high school, puts things into a different perspective than for someone who has no children, or has children too young to be influenced by celebs. So anyway, I was driving into work listening to some morning sports talk radio and they mentioned a poll that was done about month ago “Name your favorite male athlete”. The list included Peyton Manning, Dale Earnhardt Jr., Lebron James and some others that really didn’t make too much of an impact on me but then the mentioned who #1 and #2 were and it took me by surprise and then made me think about what kind of people we as fans are idolizing and introducing our children to.

There was a tie for first between Tiger Woods and Kobe Bryant, second place belonged to Derek Jeter. For those who have short memories, don’t follow sports or live under a rock Kobe Bryant was accused of raping a woman a few years ago in Denver and to prove his innocence he bought his wife a $4 million diamond ring and Tiger Woods has slept with so many women not named Mrs. Tiger Woods he can’t even afford to keep them quiet. Derek Jeter on the other hand is engaged, has never been married, never been involved in a sex scandal, never had to make a public apology for anything other than not winning the World Series and from all accounts is a genuinely nice human being.

This also brings to mind the fact that shows like “Secret Life of the American Teenager” and pretty much anything on MTV these days. Now again, don’t get me wrong I won’t be in line for sainthood when I die but I am no longer a kid and look at all of these things differently. In case you haven’t seen or heard anything about this show the crux of it is that all of these kids are having sex or going down on each other and two of them have gotten pregnant (one last year and one this year). Justine loves this show and Tami watches it when we have it on our DVR and I may sound a bit up and down about it but I am glad they do because we sit and watch it with them and answer any questions and be sure to point out anything that would not happen in real life when it’s on screen.

For those of you who don’t have teenage kids yet you will be here one day. You will hear a story from your teen about a friend or catch a glimpse of a show they are watching and hear the characters talking about having sex and wonder what happened to the baby that fell asleep on your chest every night.

Tuesday, July 20, 2010

The book is for sale!

Guess what everyone?!?!? The moment I have been waiting for has finally arrived! My book is available now at https://www.createspace.com/3469029

createspace is an affiliate of amazon and is where the best deal is. Please be sure to check it out, leave comments to help me out and oh yeah, buy a copy! It's only $11.99 and... is a great read, especially for those that are expecting!

You know when I was a kid...

It has been a month since we rushed to the hospital. Four weeks have gone by since we rushed into the emergency room and began the final stage of the pregnancy. That’s right everyone, Evan is 1 month old already and the time has been rushing by. Evan has been a great baby so far, he sleeps almost every night for anywhere between 5 and 7 hours straight and is a pretty happy baby when he is awake. The only time we really hear him get a little cranky is when he has been sleeping for awhile and wakes up hungry. One of the nicknames we have given him is baby bird. When he is starving his mouth flies open and his head wiggles around the second anything touches his chin or anywhere near his mouth. He goes after his clothes, burp cloths, blankets, our noses, anything. Mommy and I have adjusted to the change in schedule and have been in a routine that is working great for us. The visitors have slowed down but that is fine with us because we are pretty greedy when it comes to him anyway  .

Shawna has not been hovering nearly as much as she was the first two weeks which is a great relief for me. In fact, this past weekend she went to a wedding that was about 1.5 hours away. This gave me the entire afternoon to be alone with Tami and Evan. I felt a lot like Tom Hanks in “Cast Away” when he created fire. It was hard for me to control my emotions sitting on the couch with the two human beings that were in this world because of me. I have created two lives and am partially responsible for ensuring they become successful members of society. There really is no way in the world you can describe the feelings you have for your children, it’s just something only a parent can understand.

On a completely unrelated note I was talking with my parents the other day and they had mentioned some of things they used to do when my sister and I were little to get out of the house but not spend a ton of money. One of the things they talked about was how they used to take us to a Chinese food place and get an order of pork fried rice, two egg rolls (cut in half) and a drink for us to share. Until that conversation I never realized that we shared a meal or anything. I only remember going there and having fun, sitting on a booster seat and eating off a red tray. Now kids expect so much and it’s because we continue to give them way more than we ever had. The things kids will remember most are the things I remembered. Spending time as a family and joking around with each other far outweighs the actual event. My Dad worked long hours Tuesday through Saturday so he wasn’t home that often but what I remember about those days were the trips to the community pool, day trips to the Pocconos (which he always called the Poke-a-nose) and just spending time doing things that didn’t involved a cell phone, a TV or a computer.

I am guilty of this myself. My kids don’t know what it’s like to get your clothes from a grocery store like I did when Laneco was big. They don’t share food and they sure as hell can’t breathe without some type of electronic device near them. Every generation looks at the one behind it and says the same thing, “you know when I was a kid …” No kid wants to hear that anymore than any parent wants to hear about Little Johnny and how his parents bought him this and they went there on vacation when they can’t afford to keep up with them.

Saturday, July 17, 2010

We all sucked when we were kids

Once you become a parent you eventually start to realize that your parents gave up a lot of themselves to raise you the best they could.  You sit back and listen to stories about how you faught with your siblings and how you broke their favorite holiday decoration and you say to yourself, "Man, I was an asshole when I was younger.  I really put them through some shit."  Then you take a look at your innocent baby and your heart races, your palms sweat and you realize that, like a boom-a-rang, it will all come back at you. 
I remember a very distinct incident involving my sister, my father and I that always stood out as a bit ridiculous and I couldn't figure out how it escalated the way it did, until something similar happened between Jason and myself.  As the majority of you reading this know, kids have the tendency to know just what to do or say and just when to do it or say it to really piss you off.  We were at a local fair, I think I was maybe 7 and my sister about 10.  My dad wanted to get something to eat so we stood in line for probably 15 minutes and the whole time both he and my mother asked us if we wanted anything, "Are you sure?  Once we order and get the food we are not getting back in line."  Of course we didn't want anything, we wanted to go on the rides and play games, not stand around and eat.  So my Dad ordered a pork roll and cheese sandwhich, paid and moved to the side to wait.
At this point my sister and I were in the direct path of all the smells wafting their way out of the kitchen and into the air.  By the time my Dad got his sandwhich we were like vultures.  He took one bite and we pounched immediately bothering the hell out of him for a bite, just a small bite, just one each, PLEASE!!!  Now, my Dad could be pretty mellow for the most part, unless provoked.  Let's just say he is like a rattle snake, if you didn't bother him and he didn't bother you.  Well, for the sake of the comparison at this point he curled his body up, stuck his tail in the air and rattled away.  Did we stop when we saw all of the signs?  Of course not because like I said before, I was an asshole when I was a kid.  Now let me reset the image for you so you can see this in your head as I describe it:
We are at a Farmer's Fair - hillbillies, overalls, tractors and a ton of denim all walking around.  The sounds of games and rides are in the background and we are at the intersection of two walk ways.
In order to end this non-stop pestering my Dad did the first thing he could think of, he yelled something at us and threw the sandwhich to the ground and walked away from everyone.
Now at the time I was scared for my life but while I sit and type this I can't help but laugh uncontrollably.  I have probably told this story 10 times to people and it never gets old.  But to tie this all together a few months back I started making myself something for lunch and asked Jay if he wanted any.  "No, I am not hungry."  I did the same "are you sure" routine and got the same result my parents did.  I made just enough food for myself, sat down at the table and as soon as I took a bite I heard, "can I have some?"  I offered him a bite, which of course was not good enough so he started crying and acting the way he normally does when he doesn't get his own way.  About 3 minutes into this display of ridiculousness I slid the plate to the end of the table, yelled something un-recognizable and walked away.  A few hours later I contacted my Dad and just said the following, "I finally get it, it all makes sense to me now.  I was an asshole when I was a kid and I'm sorry."

Friday, July 16, 2010

Parenting across the ages

It has dawned on me that I am currently in the midst of a parenting rarity. I have to concern myself with the worries of two teenage girls, one 7 year old boy, and a soon to be one month old baby. My girls are at the ages where I am worried about them making the wrong decisions or getting mixed in with the wrong crowd as they begin their high school careers. Meanwhile I have all of the worries that come along with having a newborn; will he continue to be healthy, sleep at night and be a happy baby are among the big ones right now. Finally we have Jay who is sort of in the middle. Our biggest concern with him is that he doesn’t end up falling out of a tree lol.

Parenting is a hard gig and every child that you add increases your level of stress exponentially. Having kids in three distinct age groups gives me a great chance to appreciate what each age means to a parent. Babies are completely reliant on you (duh) for everything. When they are awake you need to be 100% on your game and ready to change a shitty diaper or feed them at almost any moment. A seven year old relies on you for bigger things, like getting a hot lunch together for them or listening to their stories that tend to last for 45 minutes and are about as full of fantasy as George Bush’s victory speech on that boat in Iraq.

This brings me to the teenage girls. First let me explain that I love these two girls and would do anything for either of them. I don’t want you to feel as though all I do is complain about them however this gives me a chance to vent and hopefully prepare you other parents for what is coming your way. Anyway, you would think that the age group where they can do things on their own; like go to the bathroom, make something to eat and wash their own laundry would be the easiest to handle however this is far from the truth. See the problem with kids this age is that they are also old enough to realize what they want you to know about them and what they don’t want you to know and try their best to make sure these categories don’t get crossed. There is a delicate balancing act going on between teens and their parents that is seemingly never ending. On one side, as a parent you tell your children to come to with everything and that they should feel comfortable telling you anything but sometimes it is hard to do that when they say or do something that is completely against everything you hoped for them.

Parenting is not for the faint hearted and I caution anyone who is thinking of becoming a parent who has a heart condition, a nervous disorder, a brain or a social life that you must prepare yourself for anything and everything.

Wednesday, July 14, 2010


Last night there were two events that took place that I wanted to discuss. The first of which needs a brief back story. I play in a men’s softball league and on this past Monday I was running from 2nd to 3rd when I felt a slight pop in Achilles heel and have been limping since. Ok, so at about 4:30am Evan lets out this scream and cry that made me jump from the bed and run over to his crib. By the time I got there and put my hand on his chest to try and soothe him he already fallen back to sleep. As any parent knows, these types of things send a jolt of adrenaline through your veins that can only be matched by the first drop of a really friggin tall roller coaster.

After realizing he was ok the adrenaline started wearing off and the realization that I had just literally jumped off my bed and ran across the room on my weak foot and the pain shot straight up to my head and I fell to the ground. Again, to touch on yesterday’s post, these are the types of things that drive me nuts as a parent of older kids. It brings to life all of the things that you put your kids needs and wants in front of yours. While I was waiting for the ability to get back up and hobble over to the bed I started thinking that one day Evan will look at me when I tell him no and say something close to, “It’s not fair!” Ahh the innocence of teens assuming that life should be fair.

The other event that got me thinking happened after his feeding was done. Generally I do the feeding before I go to work but since he slept from 9:30pm to 4:30am I knew he wouldn’t be ready to eat again before I left at 6:45 so I wanted to hold him for a few minutes while he was up. I was laying in bed and laid him down next to me as I have done a few times, not for him to sleep there but just so we can be on the same level. While looking into his eyes I heard the following from the other side of the bed, “Be careful with him, I just read an article about SIDS and it said sleeping in the bed is a major cause.” This is something that you hovering mothers need to think long and hard about approaching. My wife especially because with my first baby I was 14 and got an awful lot of suggestions and explanations from everyone on how to do certain things and what not to do because I was kid. This time however I am a 28 year old man and I know what I am doing. In fact, unless you see the father of your baby doing something completely idiotic or he specifically says, “I have no idea what the hell I am doing, can you help me out?” Try not to interject too much because he will eventually feel like he can’t do anything with the baby around you because you don’t trust him.