Papa Bear

Dad Diary: The First 6 Months

It hasn’t really been six months yet. It’s been five months and eighteen days since Savannah came into this world, but six months looks a lot better in the title. Sometimes it feels like it’s been a year of sleepless nights and other times I can’t believe it’s been longer than a few weeks. Where has al the time gone. Our little baby, Savy Bee, has grown up a little bit and now she is holding her head up and rolling over all by herself. She is probably a couple weeks from sitting up on her own too. You don’t want to blink because you will miss it.

I googled, “what are babies supposed to be doing at six months,” which is sort of a cardinal sin, but I did it anyway! I got; motor skills, sitting up on their own, rolling over both ways, and 6-8 hours of sleep at night. Savannah is pretty much spot on! You go little girl!

Our family has been blessed in so many ways these past six months and I wanted to take a moment to reflect on a few fun memories to share with the world! We were expecting Savannah, other than that, 2020 has been filled with so many unexpected things from a pandemic coupled with learning to live in a national quarantine to starting at a new job with a new company to working from home with a SAHM who thought she was headed back to work after eight weeks of maternity leave. Now that we are here, let’s look at the past six months…

Whirlwind Memories

That first month and a half was a complete whirlwind. I was reading through my last blog entry in the Whirlwind section and all the memories came flooding back to me. Alex and I were in physical pain from a lack of sleep. Savannah would go through these cycles where she would sleep three days in a row. By sleep, I mean she would only wake up maybe twice for an hour each time so at least one of us would probably get a good night’s rest and by good nights rest I mean four or five hours. Then she would go through a phase where she would sleep in your arms and the moment you set her down in the bassinet she would start to cry. You pick her up and she falls asleep instantly again. So, you set her down and boom, she’s awake. Yeah, those were really fun…

There is something really special about all the chaos. We have a rocking chair in Savannah’s room, and I remember sitting in her chair rocking her back to sleep. Before she fell back asleep, she would be all wrapped up in her swaddle blanket and her big blue eyes would be looking up at me with a stoic face as she slowly dozed back to sleep. I really felt like a parent during those times.

I mentioned Alex and I have felt really blessed this entire time. Back during those first few weeks and probably even first month or so, our family and friends kept showing up to our place with dinner and/or gifts for Savannah. We got to try so many fun new things too. We have really felt the love from everyone and hopefully we can put that back out into the multiverse.

I watched so much TV during those first few months too! I was fortunate enough to get about two ½ weeks off work and all we did was watch her stomach rise and fall to make sure she was breathing, eat, and try to get some sleep in where we could. We never left the house and we were exhausted. So we watched a lot of TV. I started to get into the dark corners of Netflix, Amazon Prime, Hulu, HBO Now, and Disney Plus. I would probably scroll so long that I could have watched an entire episode of Dragon Ball Z before finding a show. Sometimes I miss those days!

A World Wide Pandemic

I went back to work at the end of January and by mid-March I was working from home. We all know how unexpected working from home was for the country. That was the exact week that Alex was going to return to substitute teaching. Suddenly, she was staying home, and I was working from home. It was so weird but also, we felt very fortunate because we had a two-month-old at home.

I remember I was petrified of the pandemic at first because I was worried that I would get it at work and then I would give it to our daughter. Luckily, they quickly had us transition to working from home we were fortunate enough that none of us got it. There was a crazy week there where Italy was being hit hard, then the U.S. was seeing a spike, then the NBA announced they were going to stop playing, then the NCAA Tournament was cancelled, then local schools were closing. Everyday something crazy was happening and I was honestly in total shock.

I remember having conversations with my brother-in-law and my grandfather and my two best friends about conspiracy theories on the virus. It didn’t take long before I started telling Alex we needed to start buying bottles of water in mass quantities and load up on canned food. I was making trips to the grocery store because I wasn’t sure how bad it was going to get. I thought the grocery stores were going to run out of food the town would turn to hysteria. So, I decided to get prepared for the worst.

This pandemic isn’t behind us yet. I have stopped looking at the numbers because I must admit I have pandemic fatigue. It sort of feels like the numbers kept going up but we started caring less. Our restaurants and bars have opened to 50% capacity. Kids will be returning to school this fall and we will see NFL Football (thank the gods). I just don’t think I would have made it without fantasy football. We will see if we get another wave and if people accept it or if we are forced to shut down again. We are living in a historic time no doubt.

A New Job

Transitioning to a new job during the COVID pandemic is scary enough and on top of that I transitioned to a new company. I was a little nervous, but Alex and I had gone over all the details and we prayed together and ultimately decided to make the switch. It has been amazing in so many ways. I certainly did not see this coming back in January.

All I really want to say about my new job is that I get to work from home for as Alex and I desire. The headquarters are in another state. We could relocate there and have a desk in an office or we could stay or we could relocate someplace else and work from home. The flexibility is really nice. Working from home isn’t for everyone, but it is for me. I love the flexibility and that anytime I want to pop downstairs for a quick break to see little Savy Bee, I can do that.

A Few Firsts

We all love watching our children learn something for the first time. Savannah has had a couple first time experiences over these last few months, and I am so happy that I have been able to be home and see them all. It’s honestly really hard to remember some of them. Alex and I probably made a big deal out of something small, but the moment was really exciting for us!

I remember when she started holding her head up on her own. I kept my arm there to secure it just in case. She has always been a very stoic baby but now she smiles and laughs all the time. I remember when I figured out how to make her laugh every time. Really the biggest thing is that she is rolling over now. We watched her try that so many times and get stuck on her arm. Alex started screaming for joy the first time! I think she is near crawling. She kind of rolls back and forth maneuvering towards something she wants to touch. I see her trying to get her legs involved. Alex said she thinks she is about to start sitting up on her own too. I cannot wait!

Welcoming A New Family Member

Last month Alex’s sister’s family brought a little one into the world. Her name is Ella. We are so excited she is here! We have been able to see her a few times despite this pandemic. I love to think that Savannah is going to have cousins that she will grow up with and hopefully be lifelong friends. I have so many cousins that I have relationships with, and it is really amazing, but Alex doesn’t necessarily. So, it’s not a given. 

Alex and I have six siblings combined so the chances of more cousins to come someday are… good. Which I love. We hope that someday our little family will grow, but it would be so amazing if our extended family grew too. Maybe someday we will have a big reunion or something and there will be more people there than I can even imagine. I love big families!

Adventure Awaits

And so the adventure begins. I made the outline for my blog yesterday with the subject Adventure Awaits. Alex picked out a shirt for Savannah that says, “And so the adventure begins.” Neat. Savannah’s Aunt Cheyann and her boyfriend Kareem visited Alex’s side of the family this past week (which was awesome) and they brought so many gifts for all of us! One of them being the shirt Savy is wearing today. It was so much fun visiting and eating all the good food. One evening Cheyann grilled BBQ for us all and we sat outside. It was a wonderful evening and Savannah got to meet her cousin Kailey too!

We have no idea what the rest of 2020 is going to bring. If this pandemic ends in time, we would like to start traveling as a family. We have a few destinations in mind that we could bring Savannah on. There is a wedding in November that we hope is not delayed by this virus. We are having family in other states we would like to visit. We have a wedding right here in Lincoln with people traveling long distances to attend. The first six months were a total surprise and most likely the next six months will be as well.

I am starting to realize that things are probably not going to settle into a new normal anytime soon. Savannah will start crawling, then walking, then talking and every step will be full of cherished memories and challenges. Alex and I are learning right along with Savannah on how to do all of this. Our adventures truly are out in front of us.