Thoughts on life, travel, and fatherhood

Tag: fatherhood blog (page 1 of 2)

Quick Reflections on the First Six Months of Fatherhood

Saturday December 21, 2019 // Morning Nap

My wife is out running errands and the little guy just fell asleep. A shot of espresso is in my system and the dog is content with a bone. As long as the nap holds, there’s no better time to attempt to write than this very second.

My son will soon be six months old. Wow. They’re right. Time flies once you become a parent. The first ~two months are kinda slow because it’s all so new and you’re exhausted. Since then though, it’s gone by faster than I could have ever imagined.

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Groundhog Day Parenting

Monday December 9, 2019 // Bedtime

It’s been awhile since I’ve checked in. I haven’t forgotten about you. I’ve been buried under a mountain of work and emails and bottles and laundry. Too far buried to think about sticking my head out for even as long as Punxsutawney Phil would.

Being a working parent is rough. I knew it going into this whole thing. I wouldn’t trade it for the world (well, maybe working part and the dishes part). But I sure do wish it wasn’t 9:30 PM every night and I’m looking around thinking, “where did the day go?”. Every night. Tonight is no different.

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Blank Canvas

Saturday October 19, 2019 // Evening Nap

I came across something the other day that’s stuck with me from one of those inspirational tweets or Instagram posts that magically appears in your feed without you asking for it. The exact quote escapes me but the gist of it was this:

Imagine your to-do list is blank. Literally nothing on it; like it never existed to begin with. Nothing from the past matters. Nothing you told yourself that you’d get done at some point matters. You can choose anything you’d like to work on. What is it?

This idea has been sitting with me, fermenting in the back of my brain over the past few days.

What would I work on if there was a blank canvas in front of me?

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Bitten Again // The Travel Bug

Thursday October 10, 2019 // Evening Nap

Ouch! What was that? I slapped my neck and see a smashed mosquito. Ugh, that’s going to itch for two days, isn’t it?

I step inside the house and unhook my dog from her leash. The steamy summer evening walks at sunset have turned into crisp autumn walks in the dark. Our summer trip to Asheville, North Carolina feels like a fading memory. Yeah, I never got around to finishing that blog post on it did I?

I head upstairs. Warm up my kid’s bottle and start the nighttime routine. The days are blurring together. Wake up, work, pick up kid from daycare, hang out with kid until he needs to nap, eat dinner with wife, wash dishes, do nighttime routine, go to sleep, repeat. Each day is wonderful. Each day I see my child grow and laugh and learn. Work treats me well. The Nats are winning baseball games. All is right. Until the itch sets in…

That was no mosquito that bit me. It was the Travel Bug. It’s two-inch fangs were dripping venom when it sank its teeth into my flesh.

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Memories from the First 14 Weeks of Fatherhood

Thursday September 26th, 2019 // After Bedtime

My kid turns 14 weeks in a few days. For those unaccustomed to counting in weeks instead of months like I was a short time ago, that’s a little north of 3 months old.

The days and weeks are whizzing by. I feel like I’m running alongside a highway and the cars and trucks passing me are time itself.

Before I blink and 14 weeks is 14 years, I want to jot down some memories from my time with my little guy up to this point so they don’t get lost on the side of my time road.

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First Day of Daycare

Monday September 23rd, 2019 // Mid-Afternoon

It’s been awhile since I’ve posted. The days leading up to our Asheville road trip were hectic. We had a successful trip which included numerous stops on highway exits in the middle of nowhere to change diapers. And once we made it back home it was like work and life wanted 110% of every waking second from me.

Today, weeks after our trip, is the first real breath of air I’ve been able to come up for. I took the day off from work. Might I suggest that more Mondays and just random workdays get taken off more often. I took today off because today was the first day of our little guy going to daycare.

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Playing Catch With My Son // A Father’s Dream

Monday August 26th, 2019 // Just After Bedtime

I just put my little guy down for the night. He’s laying in the pack ‘n play in our room. Tossing and turning every 30-60 seconds. He’ll eventually stop and fall asleep in the next ten minutes. At least that’s how it normally goes.

We’re over nine weeks into him being with us. It’s flown. The time goes by so damn fast.

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Future Travel Adventures With My Family

Friday August 23rd, 2019 // Past Bedtime

During my lunch break at work today I was feeling pretty down about the recent hamster wheel it’s felt like I’ve been on. It goes a little like this: 4:00 AM diaper change. 5:30 AM alarm clock. Hour drive to work. Eight hour day. Hour+ drive home. Then fun with my son for the next four or so hours. Pass out. Repeat the next day.

I needed to feel better and since we’re not too far off from our upcoming Asheville trip it got me thinking… What other travel adventures do I want to go on with my wife and kid?

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Non-Essential Life Projects & Being a Working Parent

Tuesday August 20th, 2019 // Late Afternoon Nap

Lately I’ve been feeling the grind of being a working parent. Our son has been with us for a bit more than eight weeks and I’ve been back at work for the past six weeks. And the day-to-day grind is beginning to wear on me.

That ever elusive “time” for stuff has always haunted me, even before becoming a parent. I’ve always been searching for time to blog more. Or time to run. Or time to learn Vietnamese. I’m probably no different than you.

All these “non-essential life projects” require time and there just never seems to be enough of it, especially as a working parent. Especially as a working parent who freelances on the side and wants to maintain a somewhat social life.

Time.

Between commuting, working, walking the pup, and trying to spend as much time as possible in the evening with my kiddo I’m flat out exhausted by the time he goes down around 9:00 PM. When am I supposed to [insert non-essential life project here]???!?

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Let’s Take a Trip to Asheville with a Baby — Part 2: Babyproofing the Itinerary

Monday August 12th, 2019 // Afternoon Nap

Current situation: trying to get into Nap Jail but I’m in Fussy Jail instead blaring white noise from my phone and getting stabbed by tiny sharp fingernails. 

A couple weeks ago my wife and I started planning a trip for us and our newborn. He’ll be a little more than two months old when we go. We’re nervous but know we have to rip the bandaid off some point because we want to continue our lifestyle of semi-frequent travel. 

Pre-baby we averaged one big trip a year that’s roughly 2-3 weeks and usually international. On top of that we general get two smaller trips in each year that are about a week long and are domestic. And we also have a couple long weekend trips mixed in when we can. Almost all of our vacation time is dedicated to traveling. 

Asheville is about a 7-8 hour drive from where we live in Virginia. We’ve never been and have heard great things. We’re not super outdoorsy people but there still should be plenty to do for a laid back quick trip with a baby. 

Traveling with a baby is unique. We’ve slowly been able to become minimalist travelers — we did France for two weeks last year (while pregnant) with one backpack a person. You can’t quite do that with a baby though. My wife wrote out his packing list and I swear it’s half our house. Good thing we’re driving. 

The first question when planning our trip we needed to answer was hotel or Airbnb? I documented my thought process in Part 1. We landed on an Airbnb. 

We wanted to stay somewhere we can walk to almost everything and Downtown Asheville near the South Slope Brewing District seemed to be the right spot. It just so happened there was a great looking Airbnb available for a decent price. We pulled the trigger and booked.

The things that sold us were:

  1. Close to a bunch of the good breweries
  2. Free parking
  3. Superhost on Airbnb
  4. Extra bedroom in case our friend tags along

Besides all the extra gear we need to lug down with us, the other challenge traveling with a baby presents is that we can really only do things in 2-3 hour chunks. He’ll either need to feed, mama will need to pump, we’ll want to get him down for a real nap, need to handle a blowout, yada yada yada. We don’t want to be far from our home base — not yet at least. We’re still new to this whole parenting thing and it’s just as much as a challenge for us as it will be for him.

This means we need lots of things close by. The Funkatorium, Wicked Weed, and Burial are all nearby. We can walk to one or two, head back when we need to, then walk back for dinner or shopping or exploring. Repeat the next day. Worst case scenario is we have a super fussy kid and have to grab to-go beer from Wicked Weed and takeout from somewhere and chill at the Airbnb. I could think of worse evenings. 

One day we will venture out to Sierra Nevada. It’s a drive but hopefully the large facility will lend us some privacy for a feeding and diaper change instead of some cramped stall in a downtown restaurant or coffeeshop. 

Btw made it to nap jail!!

City Bakery and Vortex Doughnuts seem to be close and should cover breakfast for us. We don’t want to do too much research to save room for spontaneity but we could still use some more baby-friendly restaurants recommendations from Asheville folks / past travelers. Leave us some suggestions below! 

Hmm I’m thinking Part 3 should be about the baby packing list. Have you subscribed to get emailed new posts yet?

– Josh // #havekidswilltravel