Tag Archives: babies

Girls Poop Stinks Too

7 May

In fairness I was warned this would happen. I was fully aware a bias could form. I suppose I simply ignored all the warning signs. I just had no idea what I was in for…

It started nearly a full year ago, around the same time that we found out that Baby Dill #3 would be a sweet, innocent little girl. Nearly all of our friends have at least one girl and all of the dads gave me a simple piece of advice: “Watch out. She’s gonna wrap you around her finger.”. Surrrreeeeee… I’ll believe it when I see it I thought to myself.
But then a few quick months later, there she was. My babes. And it happened; nearly instantly I was took – hook, line, and sinker. If she as much as whimpered I was there to console her in a flash. She was the perfect baby. She was the sun in the universe.  She did no wrong.

I was blind to my own illness for several months. In my boys I only saw ornery slobs, inconsiderate monsters. In my girl I saw a proper princess. Her smile lit up the room. I would cringe when she wasn’t handled like the fragile, masterpiece she is. If the boys would be playing with 15 feet I would be playing defense tighter than Bruce Bowen. Elise Ann Dill ruled the house, or at the very least she ruled my heart.

One evening it finally caught up to me. I was having a fairly normal conversation with the Mrs where we were discussing how difficult Tad had been that day (take your pick on what he was doing) and I said the most absurd thing a Dad could say:

“But babe… at least we won’t have to deal with these things with E, ya know?”

We both froze. She gave me this, “You heard what you just said, right?” look. Yeah… I heard it. What was I thinking? We won’t have to deal with these things? Really? Did I think I had created the daughter of Jesus? I mean, come on man! The only thing we might avoid dealing with by having a girl would be the constant grabbing of their wiener. She’ll still be a toddler; she’ll still misbehave, she’ll break things, she’ll be obnoxious and aggravating. Even worse – she’s going to be a teenager.

So what happened? I was buried under the spell. The Dad of a Daughter spell. I couldn’t even smell that her poop still stinks! I was fooled. There is no way around it. I know now what to look out for; I know what to avoid. It’s those eyes, isn’t it? Yes it has to be those eyes. Or is it the smile? Shoot I don’t know. I am going to just stop making any eye contact with her though, just to make sure.

I wonder if I would have any different perspective had I not started with boys. I wonder if the whole situation was exacerbated by the fact that I had been exposed to the wildness of boys before the sweet, perfect innocence of a daughter. See – there I go again.

Girls poop stinks too. That’s what I have to remember. Girls poop stinks too. They might fool you for a little while with their cute outfits and adorable bows in their hair, but just wait. They can make your heart melt with a sweet smile, or bring a tear to your eye with a delightful giggle. Watch yourself, they are going to catch you snoozing and make you pay. I think. Maybe? I haven’t really experienced that yet with my perfect daughter, but I imagine someone else has…

Argh! Are you kidding me?! I can’t get past it. I might as well give up. She’s just the cutest little thing I have ever seen. I swear to you her poop doesn’t even stink.


My Babes (photo cred to the wonderful Tessa F.)


RSV – Really Sucky Virus

9 Feb

Look, I realize I still haven’t finished the birth story of Elise. I totally understand that you have been hanging on the edge of your seat for an entire MONTH (!) waiting to hear part deux. The truth is this: that part of the story is extremely hard on my heart and is going to take much more effort to write than I had originally imagined. 

In other news, we have achieved a milestone only 40 days into 2017: another year – another high deductible met. We are getting really good at this… a little too good if you ask me. For the third year straight you can likely blame my family for the increase in your premium if you are insured by Cigna. Please accept our apologies. 

It started out innocently enough, a “common cold” showed up in the house. We employed the usual defense: keep all surfaces wiped down with Clorox, insert humidifiers into kids’ rooms, get as much rest as possible, wait it out. As every parent can attest: having a sick kid is brutal. As some parents can retort: having three sick kids at the same time is asinine. Both of our boys worked through it in normal course, leaving behind a simple cough and really no worse for the wear. We actually were cocky enough to think it had missed the Babes completely. Boy were we wrong.

So here I sit, in the PICU of Children’s Hospital next to a baby that did nothing of her own accord to catch the most contagious virus of the season. When she first showed signs of the cold we didn’t ever expect it to get to this point. But as it developed her appetite waned and her breathing deepened to the point where a visit to the doctor was warranted. They passed us to a satellite hospital, who treated her for a day before reaching the ceiling of their care and transferring us to Children’s. And here is where we confirmed that she indeed was dealing with RSV that had complicated to Bronchiolitis. RSV. Respiratory Syncytial Virus. Really Sucky Virus. Most parents know the basis of this virus, a respiratory bug that usually bears out as a a simple cold but can be serious for kids under 2 yr old. For some reason the 2017 version is amped up a little bit. Statistics would tell you that 48% of ALL COLORADOANS have recently had or currently have RSV whether you have been formally diagnosed or not. I believe you call that epidemic. 

What is my point? I don’t know. I’m tired, but not as wiped out as my daughter who has had her lungs sucked out 9 times in the last 36 hours, been poked, prodded, jostled, and constantly monitored. I’m hungry, but not as hungry as she is after only eating minimal volumes for 4 days. I’m frustrated, but not as pissed as she gets when they put a suction tube down her inflamed and swollen nose. 

Most of all I am aware. I have never been one to expect to keep my kids healthy 100% of the time – or at least not after I got out of the crazy first-time parent mentality. We can’t live in a perfect little eco-bubble. But at 4:00 AM as I listen to my Babes choke on mucus too thick for her to cough up, my mind definitely wanders toward “what could I have done to prevent this?”. Maybe there wasn’t a thing… or maybe there was the thing and I missed it. Maybe I’ll never know. 

One thing I do know: I’d rather not deal with this again and I will definitely step up my home defense against bugs of the future. I’m reinvigorated to be more diligent in defending against other sickness. I’d rather not watch my kid suffer to take a breath, choking on saliva and snot. I’d rather not sit in an ICU room listening to the hum of machines and monitors working on my precious child. 

Elise is progressing well and she will heal up just fine. She’s already made leaps and bounds in the last 16 hours. She’s a fighter and she won’t even remember this episode. But her parents will never forget it.

Really Sucky Virus – you win this time. But you better watch your back. You pissed off the wrong high-deductible paying-stretched-too-thin-at-the-end-of-our-rope crazy parents. I might just do something drastic. Something like carry a holster full of Lysol spray with me at all times. Or wear a fanny pack full of Clorox wipes. Sorry Josie, but let’s be real here – the fanny pack would only add to my sex appeal. It’s why you married me. 

Three’s a Crowd (Part 1)

5 Jan

By now anyone who knows the Pickle Jar knows that we are a crazy, fun, chaotic family of five. Three beautiful children tag along with us wherever we journey, no matter what we do to shed them off our trail. If they were investigative agents… well they wouldn’t be very good at covert operations but by God they stick to you like bloodhounds on a scent. What most people do not realize is that being a family of five was not our plan. I can say that most people don’t realize this fact with confidence due to the comments we get when we are out with our crew. It ranges from the blunt “Why would you have 3 kids under 4 years old?” to the more subtle “Ohhh you guys are busy!” and everything in between. Be warned: I am about to lay a story flat out on the table. If you believe in TMI you must not have kids or you’ve somehow managed to keep them from eating their boogers, their brother’s boogers, or feeding their brother their own boogers.

To refresh my three kind readers, pregnancy is not a friend of the Pickle Jar. And as much as the Mrs. enjoys being pregnant (let me emphasize that she doesn’t) the deliveries are even more non-enjoyable. In each of our boys births there was something that went awry, mostly surrounding the fact that they were each born 8-weeks early. During Trevor’s delivery we went from potentially transferring both mom and baby to a larger hospital, to talk of a life-flight ride, to an emergent c-section surgery to reach our baby whose heartbeat could not be found en utero and included a special incision during the surgery that forever compromised the ability of the Mrs. to grow babies. Top that off with an hour-long transfer of Trev to the nearest Children’s Hospital while leaving Josie in recovery, and we had no warm and fuzzies feelings left over about delivering babies.

It is said that given some amount of time you forget the pain and trouble of a delivery and it allows you to open up to the idea of more children. We didn’t even give that a chance – three months after our second preemie baby was born I surgically altered my body to eliminate the possibility of having more children. From our perspective we had played the lottery and won big with two, (literal) million-dollar babies who were happy and healthy and kept us always on our toes. We had fought through intense adversity to get these little boys home and no worse for the wear. It felt more like roulette to entertain the thought of more kids. And so we settled in to life as a family of four. Four. Family of four.

Anybody out there like statistics and odds? Me too. Let’s digress and take a minute to play with numbers. We were told that the odds of a successfully tested vasectomy failing after the second “all clear” test is somewhere near 1:100,000 – particular to the methodology the doctor used.
The odds of you being bitten by a snake/venomous creature is 1:83,930. The odds of you dating a supermodel – 1:88,000. Odds of striking it rich on Antique Roadshow – 1:60,000. Odds that you will be audited by the IRS – 1:175. What does this all mean? You have a greater shot of being bit by a venomous creature, dating a supermodel, striking it rich, and have almost a 10x time risk of being audited by the IRS than that certain medical procedure failing. To be blunt, you have more of a risk of a condom failing and you have far greater risk of a tubal ligation yielding a pregnancy. There…it’s all on the table.

For those of you keeping score at home, we have a scorecard full of difficult pregnancies, preemie babies, prolonged NICU stays, and one tested permanent prophylactic. So it isn’t a far leap to imagine the shock and surprise we had coming to us that random Friday night in March 2016. The Mrs. had been feeling a little odd and one evening as we were headed home she dropped a bomb in the car – “Do you think I am pregnant?”. My answer was pretty adamant: No, no I do not, no that’s not possible, no way Jose. In any case we dropped by the grocery store for one of those magical sticks and 15 minutes later we had our unexpected answer – we would be a family of five. The emotions we went thru that night were insane. Everything from hints of joy to overwhelming fear raced through our minds. At one point as I was innocently putting away groceries in the pantry, the Mrs. stops in her tracks and bluntly says, “Do you have the strongest motherf-ing sperm in the universe???”. I thankfully had no answer.
We were not prepared and not ready to have another baby. We were still, as my wife puts it, “getting punched in the face” by our two crazy boys. A third kid? What, how, why…We had given away most of our baby toys, gotten rid of almost everything that had been outgrown. What just happened!?
The night we found out and the next couple of months were taxing on both Josie and myself emotionally and physically. Oh, and this reminds me to clue you in to another reason we were not planning on having another child:
That extra incision I mentioned a little while ago? In the operating room they referred to it as a T-cut, or a perpendicular cut in the uterus that (surprise) looks like a T. At this point in our story we could dive into hoop stress and how a transverse incision effects the integrity of the uterus and it’s ability to grow a baby to term, but I’ll spare you. The point is that this little incision meant this pregnancy – like the two before it – was going to be a wild ride.

to be continued…


An Age for Ages

5 Nov

Here’s an honest parenting observation: parents like to micro-manage age.

Ask a pregnant woman how far along she is and she tells you in weeks. Ask a young father how old their screaming baby is and he tells you in months. See what I mean? Micro-managers. All of them! As I continue my tragic plight as a white, middle-class male in America I find myself yet again left out. I am very simply labeled as “26 years old”. Blegh. What ever happened to my months age? What? Are you trying to tell me that I am not cute enough to be labeled as a dashing, dapper 314-month old?

But seriously, when does the micro-aging stop and true aging begin? I hear a lot about 18 month-old children, so I assume that at a year and a half old you’re still being corralled in the same old pig slop. Perhaps it is at the “terrible two” stage when parents finally determine that is no longer savvy to scream, “OK! THAT’S ENOUGH YOU 26-MONTH OLD TITAN OF TERROR!”. Maybe?

Last night as the Mrs and I were having our usual closing discussions before trailing off to sleep I declared that I would refuse to micro-manage my son’s age. Once he swan dives into that beautiful chocolate(?) birthday cake on March 15, 2014, then he will thenceforth (THAT’S STILL A WORD!!) be subject to the same age abuse and discrimination that his father is. He shall be one. One whole glorious year old. After a solid counter-argument from the wife, I did decide to allow an “18-month” nomenclature into the mix… Actually I said, “Oh, you mean a year and a half? Yes he will be 1.5 (read: one-point-five) years old at that point, I agree”. She rolled her eyes and said goodnight… and the dissenters add to their number. But I won’t be deterred. There is nothing to gain in piling the responsibilities of the 15th month onto such an innocent, sweet human being.

Maybe I just don’t get it; perhaps it is a point of pride. “I’ve managed to keep this growing child alive for a whole 13 months!”. I could understand that because most times I am thrilled when I manage to keep him alive while Josie goes to lie down for a short nap. But I don’t buy it. In fact, if it was a pride thing I’d be more in favor of a little friendly rounding — anything above 10 months is just as good as a year. How does that sound? I like it.

I’m not trying to be a visionary. I’m just a humble man, out on the campaign trail. Parents around the world, join me! Let’s make micro-managing of our children’s age a thing of the past. Together we can stop this pandemic. Together we can stop it from being their age for ages.

Now, go ahead and check out this strapping, young 235-day-old baby:


When Diapers Attack

26 Aug

Diaper rash sucks. If you don’t believe me, ask my wife who has had to deal with a screamy baby all day. Simply unconsolable, Baby Nolan’s butt hurts and that’s a fact. I truly feel bad for them both. Listen — anyone who wants to say that being a stay-at-home mom is easy is as high as Miley Cyrus at the VMAs. It is a 24-hr/day, 365 days/year job! Think about that… You practically never get away. All those times when the commute home reminds you that there are ~14 hours until you have to deal with your boss again….Moms don’t get that. And I guarantee that their boss screams at them more than yours does. I have gained a whole new respect for my wife since she made the decision to stay home. I don’t know if either Noles or myself would survive me staying home and we definitely wouldn’t get anything accomplished. I truly appreciate the sacrifice that Josie has made to raise our little boy. (Also, please know that I’m not discounting Mom’s who  work and still are the phenomenal parent they are every evening.) But enough mushy-gushy soapboxing, back to poopy diapers!

This diaper rash stuff doesn’t mess around. It comes on quickly, with little-to-no warning, completely terrorizing butts worldwide. And even though it happens at some point to practically all babies, you still feel pretty horrible when you are having to deal with it. It is as if you let your child down by letting their poor tush get so chafed.
Let me tell some backstory here.
We recently ran out of our vast supply of breast milk (Nolan once called his mom a “milk factory”, and lived to tell about it… Brave he is) and are now purely a formula household. I kind of liked the whole formula gig at first because it doesn’t require so much forward planning to thaw enough milk while not spoiling any. And it is simple: Water + Powder = happy baby, right? Wrong. More like Water + Powder = gassy fussy poop monster mess. To top it off, formula really smells horrible too! No wonder the waste laid in Huggies around the world is so foul. Well Noles is the foulest of the foul when laying waste, and I would put his smelly butt up against any baby’s, anywhere. It is said that breastfed babies have less raunchy smelling feces, but even then Nolan’s was downright bothersome to the nose. This should have been our clue that formula would only be worse, but we still are shocked every time we change a diaper.
So now we love on a smelly, fussy, gas-filled 16 pounds of pure man that poops what seems like constantly. Hey, that would hurt my rear end too! (I have no problem talking about poop this much, which is either a sign that I’m a true dad, or a true man. I accept either title).

Forward on to tonight. I had been fairly warned that our Monster was in rare form on this day, so I prepared for the worst. I don’t even know what the worst is, but I was completely emotionally prepared for it. I walk in to my door to the sound of….nothing? Silence? What!? That couldn’t be right, so I do what any man would do. I break it. I start singing my latest favorite boy band song, Best Song Ever, to which Mrs Pickle greats me from around the corner with a resounding “SHHHHHH!”. Ah! The Nolanator is/was asleep — whoops. But now that I’ve ruined his nap I sit down and start talking to him, turn on some baseball, lay down on the floor beside him… Then I smell it. You know, IT. Time to change that stinky diaper!

I hadn’t seen the starting stages of the diaper rash in days past, but I saw it tonight — at what we hope is it’s worst. No, we haven’t stood by idly and let this rash spread like a wildfire.. We’ve applied every remedy we could think of to his butt over the past couple of days but nothing has worked. Tonight we went to Plan D, good ol’ fashioned Bag Balm. He seems happier and more comfortable already but only time will tell if it finally does do the trick. It should, if for no other reason than the fact that we’ve literally slathered it on with a stick.

These obstacles are some of the hardest pieces to fit together when you’re a new parent: deciding not only what is working or will work on your baby, but also when to switch options; when do you throw in the towel. I have stated that sentiment in a variety of ways over the past year since I found out we were expecting.  Yes, there is some comfort in the fact that our baby won’t remember how red his little butt is, or how much it hurts him. He won’t hold this against us and put us into a nursing home at age 67 — at least I hope not! But overall it is a helpless feeling to not really know what to do, or what exactly will help this situation. Sure it is exciting to figure it out, and success makes you feel like you’re truly the world’s greatest parent…

And you probably are. That is, until the next time that diapers attack!


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