Friday, August 28, 2009

Slam Dunk the Funk!

I'd like to introduce to some, and reacquaint to others a little invention which I have thoroughly enjoyed over the past three weeks: The Diaper Genie.

Ironically, me "enjoying it" consists of being able to ignore it, because of this canister's contents. If you are as intelligent as you look, you'd have figured out that the contents are none other than dirty diapers. The premise of this product is to safely contain its gooey insides.

The purpose of this post, though, is to provide a multimedia how-to on using it. So without further ado:

With dirty diaper condensely packaged (with the weight and feel of a baseball), step on the foot-activated lever to open top lid. The foot-activated lever not only opens the top lid, but it also disengages a clamp just under the top lid. When the foot-activated lever is at rest, the lid is shut and the clamp cuts off unpleasant odours - maintaining room freshness.

Toss the diaper into the top orifice and take your foot off of the foot-activated lever. This situation is not unlike those seen in many exciting sports (like this one, this one, and - my favourite - this one). How much enthusiasm or creativity you use to toss the diaper is up to you, but 360ยบ, through the legs, or no-look are all interesting options and are sure to please.

Open the Diaper Genie by pressing in the button located half-way up the canister. It uses a plastic Snap Fit Joint to keep the two Diaper Genie halves together.

Cut the plastic bag using the convenient cutter, which is labelled "CUTTER". The process is easy to manage, even for the simplest of minds. That's one of the reasons why I like this product!

Once cut, tie both ends of the plastic bag. Any type of knot is OK.

Pull a generous amount of the bagging from the empty half (the half not containing dirty diapers). Remove the package of dirty diapers (note that the bag will be heavier than you think) and toss into the garbage. Close up the Diaper Genie.

You have now gone through a typical life cycle of Diaper Genie usage. Note that once the plastic bag feed runs out, you can conveniently buy a new one. They just poop pop into place.

So instead of belittling me for what my life has become (I did, after all, just blog about throwing soiled diapers in the garbage!), I hope you reflect on the joys of parenting, what it means to be a dad, and the similarities of baby products and kitchen products.

What about you? Do you think the Diaper Genie just a luxurious extravagance? If you have/had kids, did you use one? If you didn't, how did you manage? Is the smell really not all that bad?

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

QuikPic: Delicious Subway

Here's a QuikPic of a family outing to Subway we had recently.
In case you're asking, we had the roasted chicken sub. It was delicious.

Monday, August 24, 2009

A little more space and A LOT more horses.

This past week, Kristin and I had the joyous task of finalizing our car purchase. After many (and I mean many) weeks of deliberation, we were finally able to put down our money!

If you know me, you know that I tend to do things quite logically, and systemically. In an effort to keep buyer's remorse at bay, I did what any logical left-side-of-the-brain type guy would do: I trusted the numbers.

Kristin and I developed criteria for what would make a car purchase-worthy; things like cost, colour, safety ratings (freely available from NHTSA), and whether or not it has a roof rack. These perfromance characteristics were given a weight factor depending on how important they were to us. For example, whether or not a car had All Wheel Drive could get either 0 or 1 point, but the colour and look of the car could get anywhere from 0 to 3 points.

After looking tirelessly on sites like Autotrader and Usedottawa, a fairly large database was amassed, consisting of RAV4's, CR-V's, and less-so, Tucsons. We visited dealerships, private sellers and were told countless times about the CR-V's picnic table in the back cargo area! After many close calls and a botched sell by The 4x4 Store, the numbers told us to go with a 2005 CR-V from Bridgeport Motors. Nice guys.

Our little guy's transportation means will now be provided not by our '98 EL (named Ellie), but by our new CR-V (named Rachel). As far as the space and horsepower increase, as by this post's title, Rachel offers over 20 extra cubic feet as compared to Ellie, and 33 extra horses. With the infamously high-revving Honda engines, though, and my miserly acceleration habits, who knows if I'll ever actually see those numbers!

What about you? What do you most care about when buying a car? Safety? Look? Performance?

Monday, August 17, 2009

The calm, soothing sounds of a Nikon D3

Today Bradley had his first ever photoshoot! Through a friend of Kristin's dad's receptionist's husband's brother (or something like that), it was brought to our attention that Amber Shereen required newborns for some free photo shoots. Quid pro quo, she was giving workshops to some trainees on shooting newborns. You can't be disappointed with that kind of an opportunity, though!

Upon arrival, we were confronted by this petite, unassuming woman holding a Nikon D3, which was half her size! She sure used it well, though, in her wonderful home studio in which she was using natural light to shoot baby Bradley. She also has a lit studio in the basement, which we didn't make use of. Her sunlit workroom had a heater (for baby) as well as a background noise-maker, spewing out sounds of the ocean.

Apparently, we were supposed to arrive to her place with baby sleeping. We thought we would make sure of that using some tricks we've learned:
• We made sure he was stimulated and awake the hours leading up to his appointment,
• Kristin fed him 45 minutes before his big shoot, and
• We went over in the car.

Even with all of these measures, though, he didn't arrive asleep. Since her studio is but a 6 minute drive from our place, maybe an extra drive around the block (or two) would have been a good idea! Nevertheless, Amber worked with what she had.

We started by trying some cute awake poses, but that had mediocre results because an awake Bradley is oftentimes a crying Bradley (and a crying Bradley is not conducive to a serene, artsy newborn photo). That was followed up with some mother-baby shots, which went quite well (check out this early release!), except that Bradley was still in and out of dormancy. When I stepped up to the plate, though, excited as can be for some memorable snaps to be taken, little Bradley peed on me. I guess that's one of the potential perils posed by taking pictures with a naked baby! Oh well!!!

On the bright side, her setup gave me the idea to buy a baby whitenoise cd from iTunes to help with his sleeping. There is another happy ending, though: Bradley did end up falling asleep. Amber will be giving us (8x10") shots of 5 different poses within 6 weeks.

What about you? Do you have any photography tips for shooting unpredictable subjects like newborns?

Monday, August 10, 2009

Back from the Hospital!!!

Saturday, August 8th was the date we returned home from the hospital...what a relief! The whole process was amazing. Tiring, but amazing.

We arrived at the Queensway Carleton Hospital at around 9 am on Thursday, August 6th (Kristin's original due date). The progression of labour is oftentimes characterized by how dilated, or effaced, the cervix is. Starting at 0 cm (diameter of the opening), the walls of the cervix gradually become thinner and thinner, ripening 10 cm of dilation. When we arrived at the hospital, Kristin was around 2 cm.

After some walking about (to try to promote effacement), Kristin was soon at 4 cm, the point at which Active Labour is often classified.
After ~13 hours (from noon until 1am), including
1) A room switch from triage to the birthing unit,
2) A couple of hours in a tub with water jets,
3) Enduring contractions to exhaustion,
4) An epidural,
5) Some relatively painless contractions,
6) Some heavy pushing to exhaustion, and finally
baby Bradley was born!!!

What an amazing experience it was! All the noises of the doctor and nurses' instructions, instruments beeping, and Kristin's screams were more than drowned out by the fresh helpless cry of our newborn baby. Even as I type this, it's hard to comprehend that our little bundle of joy was released from inside Kristin's body - but I was there to witness it. The tears almost rendered me unable to announce to Kristin and grandma, "It's a boy!"

The next 40 hours were spent sleeping, feeding, taking pictures, spending time with family and friendly visitors, and just enjoying our little guy.
His data sheet:
• Name: Bradley Hudson Paterson
• Weight: 6 lbs 11 oz
• Length: 50 cm
Apgar score: must have been off the charts!

About 40 hours after delivery, on Saturday afternoon, Kristin and baby were released from the hospital. What a joy! It's now time to start a new chapter of our lives...the three of us.

What about you? How have you passed time at a hospital?

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Hello World!

Whether you are a family member of mine, a friend, or an anonymous blog hopper, I'm glad you stumbled upon my blog. This blog is meant to keep loved ones updated on my life, with particular emphasis on my little boy: Bradley Hudson Paterson.

When I was thinking about creating a blog, I pondered how I would give my blog some pizzaz. I wondered what my style was going to be - what persona would I release to the masses? I knew I wanted to blog about the ups and downs of parenthood, but what spin would I put on it? Would I try to be funny and sarcastic? Logical and structured? Serious and to-the-point? Having fruitlessly analyzed my life, I decided that I would be all these things (and more!).

I hope that through this blog, you learn more about me: my thoughts, my dreams, my day-to-day, my experiences being a dad. Because in the end, I am an amalgam of so many alloys of life:
• I am a twenty-something,
• I am a Christian,
• I am now a father (!!!),
• I am Canadian,
• I am an Engineering graduate (and EIT),
• I am a hockey official, and
• I love sports!

So please remember how to find me (in order of tech-savvyness): add to your RSS feed reader, bookmark this website, email yourself the url, or write the url down on a piece of paper.

I look forward to sharing with you the happenings of my life...being a dad.

• Photo - S. Cornette,
• Final push to start this blog - R. Kieley