#daddyskill #2, Burping

#​d​addyskill​ #2 Burping: burping the baby after a feeding is a great time to practice your hand drumming. #​k​eepittight​

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This seems goofy, but honestly there is a point aside from being silly and bettering your sense of rhythm. Certain cultures and ethnicities are stereotyped as producing people with rhythm. It’s my opinion that the race of an individual doesn’t determine whether or not they will be musical or have a natural sense of rhythm. Rather, it is the rhythm inherent in the culture they grow up in that influences this. Marcus Miller, the jazz bassist, has some great thoughts about this in his FAQ on his website (www.marcusmiller.com), check it out.

So burping in rhythm is my tiny little first step towards giving my daughter the gift of rhythm (as best I can).

Here are four songs with distinctive drum part to test your mad skills, and have all the other parents look at you like you are crazy.

1. YYZ by Rush

2. Palm Grease by Herbie Hancock

3. Unluck by James Blake

4. I’m gonna fight by William Stonewall Monroe

That last one may be a little self serving, but it does have a great straight burp able rhythm throughout.

What songs would you add to the list?

William Stonewall Monroe

Individuality: She’s her own little person!

It’s shocking really, just how much of an individual Li’l Miss Thang is already. It’s unreal. She’s a fully formed person with thoughts and feelings and hopes. She’s ours, but only insofar as she is ours to guide. I knew philosophically that she would always be her own person, but like so many things it doesn’t hit you until you are in the midst of it. There are so many things about being a parent that people can tell you and they just won’t make any sense until you are there.

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I can tell you that standing at the base of Vulcan at the top of the mountain, the view is amazing, or that you might think that you have trees where you live, but you don’t know trees until you drive through Alabama. You can intellectually assent that I am right, but it won’t hit you until you experience it.

She’s her own little person! It blows my mind. When she makes mistakes, those are her mistakes, when she achieves success, that’s her success. As parents, Li’l Momma and I am here to give her the best wisdom we have, make sure she feels love, and has the best shot at winning in this world that we can. Ultimately, though, that will be up to her.

After all, she’s her own little person.

William Stonewall Monroe

Song: Accelerating by William Stonewall Monroe

Accelerating by William Stonewall Monroe, a rock tune regarding feeling unstoppable.

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You can’t catch me while I’m accelerating
Changing lanes, crossing lines on foreign pavements
That glimmer in your eye, is my mirror
That glimmer in your eye, ain’t getting clearer

You can’t quit, while I’m accelerating
There you sittin, listen to your statements
That glimmer in your eye, is my mirror
That glimmer in your eye, ain’t getting clearer

You can’t stop, while I’m accelerating
Air poppin in your face through the turns you’ve been debating
That glimmer in your eye, is my mirror
That glimmer in your eye, ain’t getting clearer

William Stonewall Monroe

#daddyskill #1 Swaddling

#daddyskill #1 Swaddling: swaddling works great for keeping baby comfy or swaddling your lunch wrap in a paper towel #keepittogether

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Swaddling is great. Remember being a kid. Remember your parents tucking you in. Being wrapped up tight is simply a wonderful feeling, particularly for babies. I admit, I really didn’t understand how helpful swaddling could be for newborns. After Li’l Miss Thang was born, however, it became clear.

Swaddling keeps her warm. Not all babies kick and wiggle a bunch, but Li’l Miss Thang does. As such, she would lose her blanket fast, get cold, and wake up, were it not for being swaddled.

Swaddling keeps her safe. To prevent suffocation, you really don’t want anything in the crib with the baby. Swaddling keeps her from moving around too much and makes it so you don’t need to have other blankets in there with her.

Babies don’t know what to do with their hands. It is not uncommon for babies to alarm themselves by bonking themselves in the head or scratching their face. (Sidebar: you can get baby boxing gloves to prevent the face scratching)

I love food, so… it wasn’t too long before the culinary benefits of swaddling became evident

1. Swaddling techniques work just as well for wrapping up burritos as they do for babies.

2. Swaddling is great for using a paper towel to hold together lunch wraps and sandwiches.

3. Swaddling a 2-liter bottle of coke with a towel can help keep it cold for a picnic.

4. Swaddling your laptop in a light blankie is a decent substitute for a laptop case.

To be honest though, there are lots of things swaddling doesn’t work for…

1. Swaddling your dog will just drive her crazy.

2. Swaddling the fussy fast food cashier will not make them less fussy.

3. Swaddling your phone will just get you weird looks, but I suppose it could work…

What do you think you could use swaddling for (aside from babies)?

William Stonewall Monroe

Fatherhood: I Love Being a Dad

I love being a dad. I don’t know if I can say that I love being a dad more than I’ve loved anything else in my life, but I can say this: I love being a dad.

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That little soul depends on me for her well-being. Little Miss Thang depends on me to protect her, to love her. She needs me to be the type of person I want her to become, and she needs me to provide and take care of her, Li’l Momma, and Pooka.

Gazing into her eyes is more awe-inspiring than mountains and more mesmerizing than a dancing flame. When I first watched the movie, “What to Expect When You’re Expecting,” I laughed at the end where one of the new mothers looks at her child and says, “he’s so wise.” How could a baby be wise? Now? I get it. Little Miss Thang is a thinker, and those eyes of hers are worth getting lost in.

I want to win the world for her, and yet I count successfully singing her to sleep as one of my greatest accomplishments. I have my aspirations, my hopes and my dreams, but this life that I have right now? This is the dream life, being married to my best friend, with the most wonderful baby , and enjoying the little moments.

I just need to keep reminding myself to savor those little moments. Don’t get too caught up in surviving, and don’t worry too much about getting everything done. There will always be more things to do. I won’t ever regret the times that I’ve enjoyed my family.