As you know, Maria and I are eagerly awaiting the arrival of our first child this July. Like all expectant parents, we aren’t exactly sure what’s in store for us when Baby Gavin finally joins us, but we’re doing our best to prepare for what’s to come. While Maria has been busy nesting and keeping our baby healthy and safe, I’ve been preparing for fatherhood in other ways. My weekend routines are evolving the most, and I’ve recently started sporting a new JORD watch to help me refine my “dad style.”
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Honing My Coffee Skills
One thing I “work” on every weekend is my coffee-making skills. Because Lord knows that once that baby arrives, we’re going to be two very tired parents and we’ll want a lot of caffeine to get us through those first few weeks. (I say “work” because, let’s be honest, I’d be making coffee even if we weren’t expecting a baby).
Maria has really cut down on her caffeine intake during her pregnancy, but I am a coffee fiend. I think I generally have 3-4 cups of coffee a day. So, yeah, I’m addicted.
Crunching the Numbers
Another item as that we’ve adjusted as we prepare for the arrival of Baby Gavin (or Baby Pierogi as some of our friends have taken to calling him or her) is our budget. We’ve certainly had medical expenses, though they haven’t been bad as everything is going smoothly so far. We bumped up our medical savings significantly to help lessen the burden of the cost of delivery when the time comes. And we started a new sinking fund to save up for baby-related expenses. We don’t know what they’ll be, but we know they’re coming and we can at least cushion the financial blow a little bit.
One other item we had to revisit was our long-term financial plan. Specifically, bumping up our 6-month emergency fund from Dave Ramsey’s Baby Step 3. We recalculated our needed savings based on our best guess of what our expenses for 6 months would be with a baby in the house. Thankfully, our tax refund will take care of that extra savings amount in a jiffy.
Figuring Out Just What I Got Myself Into
Remember the movie Knocked Up? If there is one thing I took away from that movie, it’s this: read the baby books. Maria has a copy of the classic What to Expect When You’re Expecting, which is super helpful and full of great advice, but it’s really written for women.
Fortunately, Maria’s brother lent me his copy of The Expectant Father, which has advice aimed more at (you guessed it) guys. I’ve been reading this book along with What to Expect. The layout is pretty similar; it covers each month of the pregnancy and then has helpful advice, both medical and practical, relevant to that month of the pregnancy.
I will say that The Expectant Father has been a great resource to help put myself in the right frame of mind as we go through this journey together.
Folding Teeny Tiny Clothes
As we’ve mentioned before, I do most of the laundry in our house. We’ve already received baby clothes as gifts and we wash them right away so they will be ready to go when baby Gavin arrives. After each outfit is washed, I find myself faced with the challenge of trying to folding teeny tiny baby clothes.
Getting used to folding someone else’s clothes takes me time. It took me a while to develop a good folding system for Maria’s clothes, but I’ve finally gotten it down.
But Maria’s clothes are at least somewhat close in size to my clothes, so it’s not a major difference. But this adorable outfit my sister bought for us? Yeah, it’s a lot smaller.
I honestly don’t even know how to fold this. Do you just kind of ball it up? I think I opted for folding in the sleeves and hood and then folding it in half. I mean, they take up like no space in the drawer, so I guess it’s not a crisis. It’s just … different. (And, oh man, I can see that baby’s dresser becoming a mess quickly as we dig for different outfits. Sigh.)
I know it sounds weird, but these are the things that go through my head as we are preparing for the arrival of our baby.
Expanding My Blog Horizons
Another big change for me: my online reading habits. I am a blogger, so of course I naturally turn to other blogs when I’m looking for advice, sympathy or humor. So, I’ve started looking for blogs aimed at fathers.
Reading the other peoples’ stories and perspectives helps me to remember that I’m not the first guy to go through this and it’s all going to work out just fine. And it helps to be able to learn from other people’s mistakes, too.
Working on my Dad Style
With all of these baby-related changes coming our way, there’s one thing I don’t intend to change -- my sense of style. Maria is desperate to avoid the infamous “mom jeans” and I’m making sure that my outfits avoid the combo of white tennis shoes with black dress socks and a pair of khaki shorts. You’ve probably figured out that my sense of style is pretty basic -- lots of jeans, solid colored sweaters, and plaid button down shirts (all of which have Maria’s stamp of approval).
When JORD offered to send one of their wood watches for me to try out, I was curious. My traditional steel watch doesn’t get much use on the weekends because it feels so heavy and doesn’t quite go with my casual clothes. Maria and I are both aware that we will soon become much more mindful of the time once the baby arrives and I really need to get into the habit of monitoring the time better now. And what better way to do that than by wearing a watch more often?
JORD Wood Watches
Let me tell you a bit about my JORD watch. My watch is the Dover in olive and acacia wood. The Dover is really cool because it’s a self-winding watch (it has a weight in it that winds the spring through your natural wrist movements). I’ve always wanted one of those because replacing watch batteries can be annoying. In fact, I once stopped wearing my steel watch for over a year because the battery died and it just seemed like too much trouble to get the battery replaced. (Maria laughed good and hard when she heard that story.)
The absolute coolest feature of the Dover is that you can see the gears in the watch! The mechanical engineer in me just loves that. I sometimes find myself just zoning out, staring at the gears slowly moving. It’s hypnotic.
Another bonus is the wood wristband. I like the wristband far more than I would have thought. For one, it looks cool. But even better is that it actually breathes a little bit more than you would expect. Metal watches tend to make my wrist a little sweaty and clammy, but a JORD wood watch is much more breathable, which keeps my wrist more comfortable. The band is also surprisingly light, which makes sense but I somehow did not expect that level of comfort.
JORD has graciously agreed to giveaway a $100 e-gift code towards the purchase of a JORD watch to one lucky reader. And if you don’t win the big prize, you still win because JORD will also give all other entrants a $25 e-gift code, too! All you need to do is fill out this form to enter. Hurry up, though, as the contest closes April 12 at 11:59 PM Eastern! The gift codes will expire on June 30, 2017.
My JORD watch keeps me looking good, even as Maria and I prepare for the next major phase of our lives with Baby Gavin arriving in July. I’m looking forward (both eagerly and with a bit of nervousness) to even more changes coming our way. At least I’ll be able to tell exactly how little sleep I’ve gotten with my JORD watch.