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September 27, 2006

Last Post

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Following the grand tradition of the majority of parenting/daddy blogs, PatataMonkey will only last about two years. Yes, this will be my last post here. I will leave the blog online as a resource for new parents (I know a few people who count on it, which is flattering), and you will be able to follow The Guid's growth and adventures through pictures at guidojack.com.

So why do all these parenting blogs end when the baby is about a year old? Hard to tell, but I can give you my reasons: the baby is quickly becoming a toddler -- he almost walks, he understand a lot of what we say, in either language, he signs (as of today: eat, milk, sleep, more, up, down, train, cat, dog, thank-you, please, bird, airplane, hurt, ball, book, horse, fish and blows kisses. Oh, and "ceiling fan"), he only nurses twice a day (and tomorrow we introduce cow's milk!), he is a once-a-day napper, he is a sweetie-pie, a little clown, a heartbreaker...in short, he's our bug.

So anyways, the rate of change is incredible. Every day he learns something new or does something new. Little, hart-melting actions/gestures/skills, which make us incredibly proud. Tracking all of it in the blog would be both boastful and very time-consuming. With the little time I have every day to spend with him, I'd much rather BE with him than to write about it.

Then there's the fact that I don't need the blog any more. Blogging about the pregnancy and our baby's first months was extremely therapeutic for me. It was a way for me to vent and to share what have been some of the most challenging times of my life, both in hope that someone could sympathize and to feel good about sharing some tips about what worked for us.

About a month ago, after we came back from our Italian vacation (GJ was about 10-months old then), Mariah and I definitely felt like, all of a sudden, we had come "out of the tunnel" that started at the beginning of the pregnancy. Guido is big enough to be easier to tend to, he spends two days a week with a sitter, we do baby-sitting swaps almost every week (sometimes twice a week), our schedule allows for more human interaction with our old friends...in short, we're back! Things are under control again.

So the need for blogging sort-of evaporated. As did the need for reading other parenting blogs. I have a whole lot of them saved up in my Google RSS reader, but I barely every look at them any more. I made another list of Guido's little friends' blogs or Flickr picture feeds, and that's enough.

So here we are, one last post, at least for now. I would like to thank all of you who posted comments (really, thank you so much), and all the daddy blogs out there, especially Greg of daddytypes.com and Jan Garcia, Lucas' dad: you've been great companions, whether you know it or not.

So...are you thinking of having kids? Let me squeeze in some last-minute, annoyingly unrequested advice, while I still have a blog:

* Work on that solid foundation of love with your partner before you start thinking of having babies. I heard that most marriages end when the first child is between 8 and 18 months of age, and I can see why (though ours is going super-strong, don't you worry about us!)

* Have family nearby: our families are very far away, and it's been VERY hard without them. Both for the free baby-sitting and support that comes with it, and for the enormous amount of love that your baby will receive and give back to them (we really hate that we're depriving our kid and our parents of it by living out here. Sure we use Skype every day, but it's not quite the same).

* Do it while you're young, it takes a lot of energy

* Fathers: don't be jerks. Do more around the house. Come home early. Recognize that being a mother is an incredible amount of hard work. Yes, harder than your job. And it's 24/7. Think about it for a second. At 3:00am it's easy to hide behind the "but I gotta go to work in the morning" excuse, but guess what? If your partner COULD go to work instead of you, she'd do it in a heartbeat. So be there for your hormones-filled wife. Listen to her and try to put yourself in her shoes for a second.

* Build a support group: moms groups, playground friends, library lap-sits, you name it. Keep looking until you find some people you really like, and who happen to have a kid about the same age as yours. This is invaluable, and we feel terribly lucky to have met a few such people (hi Maggie, hi Elias, hi Riley!)

* Do baby-sitting swaps (it's so easy, the kids are sleeping anyways)

* Do sign language, it's magic (if you can stomach the songs, Signing Time is really good)

* Blog about it all! ;)


So, much love from the three of us, and goodbye.

Posted by patata at September 27, 2006 09:12 PM

Comments

Mille Grazie for sharing your experience with us! The valuable information and comments were precious when our little Jamie came to us. You all were the first baby blog we found and loved. Jamie's a few months behind Guido and you are so right, IT GETS EASIER! We'll miss you all and seeing adorable pics of our favorite online family. Buon compleanno to little Guido Jack! Arrivedeci con amore!

Posted by: pinky chong at September 29, 2006 12:21 PM

We will miss all your updates - thanks for leading the way -- our little guy is almost 6 months and I find very little time to get on the internet let alone blog about him. We try and spend as much awake time with him as possible. Thanks for all the recomended reading they were very helpful.

Posted by: Jigme Chhimi at September 30, 2006 01:24 AM

Aw... well I'm sad to see you go. My 10 month old seemed fascinated watching videos of little Guido laughing. Thanks.

Posted by: Rengirl at October 10, 2006 12:59 PM