September 30, 2009

Hanging Out at PetCo

Posted by Ryan at 07:03 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 29, 2009

A little shout out to my niece

With all the space I've dedicated over the last couple weeks to my new son, I feel I should also note I have a very cute niece.

Posted by Ryan at 06:26 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 28, 2009

The All Baby Picture Channel

Yes, my ThunderJournal has become a medium for posting baby pictures and stories. Hey, it's my ThunderJournal, so it can be whatever the hell I want it to, so NYAAHHHHHH!


This was Aiden's first walk, which he took very seriously, whereas I, having been on countless walks in my lifetime, was more on the silly side.


Scowl baby scowls at your shenanigans.


This baby can sleep like nothing you've ever seen before. During this nap, I swear I could actually see him growing as he stretched ever further, draping himself over his mother.

Posted by Ryan at 04:28 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 25, 2009

Your Guide to 50 Hours of Labor

Ever hopeful writer that I am, I went into my wife's labor inducement appointment earlier this month equipped with a notebook and pen, intent on chronicling the event as it unfolded. Of course, I was expecting a fairly routine labor experience but, as you'll see here, as with so many things in my life, this whole thing wasn't exactly "routine."

Sept. 16, 2009 - 7:30 p.m. - My wife and I arrive at the hospital and quickly realize the staff seems to know more about our pregnancy than we do. So long as they don't know the details of the conception, I guess I'm okay with that.

8:30 p.m. - My wife now has so many tubes and wires hooked up to her, she looks like some sort of biological experiment. I keep expecting a doctor to come in and say "Gentlemen, we have the technology. . . we CAN rebuild her.

8:45 p.m. - A doctor inserted a labor inducement drug near my wife's cervix in a procedure I think I last saw in an adult film. My wife pointed out there's an advantage to having a woman doctor: "Their hands are smaller." Good to know. . . and ewwwwwww.

9:20 p.m. - I started filling out baby book information, but I gave up because my handwriting looks like something a person buried alive would claw into the lid of the casket. Computer keyboards have spoiled me for life.

9:45 p.m. - Wife: "I'm really thirsty. . . and I dropped my straw." This was a hint for me to pick up the straw. It's going to be a long night.

10:08 p.m. - My wife isn't happy with her IV placement, which apparently feels like Satan's trident inserted into her wrist. We had the IV moved to her forearm instead. I reminded my wife the baby probably won't move in a similar fashion.

Sept. 17, 2009 - Midnight - I get the feeling this whole thing isn't going to proceed all that quickly.

2:30 p.m. - I slept for over 12 straight hours, so I feel great. My wife looks like she wants to destroy me in a variety of painful ways; apparently she didn't have the same awesome night of sleep I had. Several inducement treatments into this thing and her cervical dilation has only made baby steps so small, most babies would make fun of them.

4:40 p.m. - Cleaning urine off my wife's catheter after she went to the bathroom was an unexpected experience I'm pretty sure was nowhere mentioned in our wedding vows. Labor contractions don't look nearly as fun as people never said they were.

7:10 p.m. - My wife officially reached three centimeters in dilation. At this rate, she'll give birth sometime in December, or possibly early next year.

9:17 p.m. - Just a thought here: anything over 20 hours of labor is just simply unnecessary. Congress should make a law or something.

9:50 p.m. - I consider it a strong sign I'm a great husband that I can detect, and get ten feet away from, my wife's projectile vomit. A couple nurses weren't quite so lucky. Neither were a couple pillows and a large portion of the floor.

Sept. 18, 2009 - 4:30 a.m. - Seven centimeters dilated. It's like her cervix is running in super slow motion or something. My journal posting has become fairly sparse because there are only so many ways to write "waiting. . . waiting. . . waiting some more."

7:45 a.m. - Over 36 hours after being admitted to the hospital, my wife is at 8 centimeters dilation. This baby had better sleep through the night AND do the dishes for the first 10 years of his life to make it up to his mom and me.

9:20 a.m. - Exhausted and helpless; both of us. Eventually, you just start wondering whether the "miracle of birth" mostly refers to the patience required to get through it.

12:15 p.m. - Entering hour 41 of labor. It's like some sort of drawn out negotiations between my wife's cervix and the U.N. security council.

2:40 p.m. - There's something both relieving but terribly sad when you realize your wife just can't take any more labor and sleeps through her contractions; you just grow to accept a c-section is inevitable.

4:45 p.m. - Natural birth is back on. Wife is now at 9.5 centimeters dilated.

7 p.m. - Wife is preparing to push!!

7:30 p.m. - Baby's heart rate is not responding well to all the pushing. This does not bode well.

8 p.m. - Back to a likely c-section. ARGH!!

9 p.m. - Wife is being prepped for surgery. I'm looking around the delivery room at all the hopeful stuff we packed, expecting a natural birth. It's all very emotionally draining. It's hard to be funny after nearly 50 hours of labor. Even a good fart joke won't get me to laugh right now, which is saying something.

9:12 p.m. - I'm waiting to be called into the operating room to join my wife. Man, it sucks just standing here alone in an empty delivery room, with nothing but a head full of nightmare scenarios playing out over and over again. Praying for a happy ending to all this.

9:50 p.m. - A healthy Aiden Ryan Rhodes was delivered successfully at 9:38 p.m. via c-section. It's an odd sensation, writing this with so much pride seemingly about to take control of me. I think I'm ready to start this little adventure. At least, I hope I am. . .

Posted by Ryan at 01:17 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 24, 2009


Those of you who know me, know I'm somewhat of a martial arts enthusiast: I've dabbled in Aikido, Tae-Kwon-Do, Hapkido and, currently, Brazillian Jiu-Jitsu. Therefore, it's understandable why I want to pass some of this experience on to my newborn son, and thankfully he's already equipped with some of the basics. Take, for example, the following image snapped during a sparring session he recently had with the mobile that hangs from his bouncer chair:


Just look at that perfect form extending a flawless left jab, his eyes keenly focused on the target, with his right hand readily cocked back, ready for follow-up action, but also kept in reserve guarding his face. His stance is admittedly a bit wobbly, owing to the fact he can't actually walk yet, but you'll notice a brilliantly orchestrated "broken toe" feint on his left foot, which is meant to lull his opponent into a false sense of security so Aiden can then let loose a firey barrage of punches when his unsuspecting victim wanders too close.

I'm telling you, this kid is a prodigy. I can't wait to start teaching him arm bars and triangles.

Posted by Ryan at 04:39 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 22, 2009

How Was Babby Formed?


Here was my wife, early on Wednesday night, Sept. 16, all smiles and popsicles in bed. About 45+ hours of labor from the time this picture was taken, things were considerably different. The mothers get the most attention, obviously, but still:


Believe it or not, the "bed" I got to sleep in in the family neo-natal room was even worse. I'm going to have back pain for about a month.


Here I am, the aspiring medical student, off to learn the anatomical wonders of the human body. Okay, no, actually, here I am, the terrified father-to-be, dressed in scrubs in preparation for my wife's c-section after nearly 50 hours of labor.

Warning: The following video shows actual footage of my son being brought into this world through an incision in my wife's abdomen; the squeamish may not apply:

Following the extrication of my 8 lb. 15 oz. son from the womb by non-vaginal conveyance at 9:28 p.m. on 9/18/09, I stood helplessly by as the doctors worked to stabilize life into the body of my mildly shocked son. The following video is remarkable in that I was able to keep such a steady camera hand while in the back of my mind I was seriously wondering if I was witnessing the precious few minutes of my son's life ebb away. It was made all the more jarring by all the alarms and signals towards the end that had my heart practically thumping out of my throat:


All turned out well, however, once the doctors got Aiden breathing and crying (an act he's excelled at ever since). So, the time had arrived to have some fun, including getting my son's footprint stamped on my forearm.


So, without further narration, here's my boy, Aiden Ryan Rhodes! He's pretty much awesome. . .











Posted by Ryan at 09:31 PM | Comments (14) | TrackBack

September 19, 2009

Babby Arrival

After a mere 50 hours of labor, followed by one hour of c-section, my wife and I now are the proud new owners of a 2009 Boy Gender Cruiser. This 8 lb. 15 oz. horsepower human, comes equipped with more tar-like poop than all previous models combined. ...We've named him Aiden Ryan Rhodes, or "ARR" in pirate-speak.

Posted by Ryan at 01:40 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 11, 2009

Where's Nelson Muntz When You Need Him?


My wife saw this poster in the women's bathroom at Applebees last night, following our breast feeding class. She thought it was freakin' hilarious. Probably not the reaction the creators intended, but as dark humor goes, this thing is GOLD.

Posted by Ryan at 01:40 PM | Comments (5) | TrackBack

September 10, 2009


Ryan: Honest to God, all of the pictures and video of women giving birth I've seen over the past weeks, I've been totally okay with.

Caroline: Well, that's a relief.

Ryan: The one image of a baby's first poop, however. . . W.T.F.

Caroline: I changed that diaper. It wasn't that bad. At least they don't stink.

Ryan: Maybe they just showed an extreme example in class. It looked like that baby was trying to re-pave I-90.

Caroline: Which, let's be honest, has to be done.

Ryan: Well, totally, but we shouldn't rely on one baby's bowel movement to do it.

Ryan: WWJFSL? What Was Jesus' First Shit Like?

Caroline: Wristband!

Ryan: Did they have to change the manger?

Caroline: He probably just pooped in the hay.

Ryan: That's such a strawman argument.

Posted by Ryan at 09:14 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 08, 2009

I Prefer "Fight Club"

Tyler Durden: OK: any historic figure.
Narrator: I'd fight Gandhi.
Tyler Durden: Good answer.


Obama's kiddie speech:

One young person asked the president whom he would choose to dine with if he could make only one such selection.

"Ghandhi," Obama replied. "He's somebody I find a lot of inspiration in.

Me: Lousy answer.

Posted by Ryan at 11:01 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 05, 2009

Double Standard

So, apparently, a few years ago, many news outlets deemed certain Danish cartoons depicting Mohammed so potentially offensive, they refused to republish them.

But now it's okay to publish an image of a mortally wounded soldier against the family's wishes.


Posted by Ryan at 01:37 PM | Comments (1) | TrackBack

September 04, 2009


Yesterday, Vice President Joe Biden proclaimed the "stimulus" had achieved success beyond expectations.

Today, the unemployment rate sits at 9.7 percent.

Somebody should tell Joe Biden to STFU.

Posted by Ryan at 10:07 AM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

September 01, 2009

Gross to the Third Degree

There's an ongoing slogan bandied about between my wife and me regarding the impending arrival of our first child. The slogan has several different variants to better reflect each unique circumstance we encounter, but at its heart, it goes: "our lives are about to get 50 percent more gross."

Whether she's cleaning the toilet, or I'm cleaning the litter box, or we're taking turns cleaning up the latest hot pile of cat sick, we know, as gross as these tasks may be, our lives are inevitably going to be 50 percent more gross once the baby arrives.

I've tried to mentally prepare for the reality of changing diapers, to say nothing of the horrific (I'm sorry, "wonderful") world of the childbirth process itself, but as creative as my mind normally can be, it just repeatedly falls short of adequately envisioning the disgusting (yet "life affirming") adventure on which we're about to embark.

Oh, sure, the baby marketing powers that be do their best to try and make babies sound fun, even magical. However, I don't care how magical a "Diaper Genie" may be; deep down I know it's a trash can for dirty diapers. Also, they may have scored a coup when they labelled what are essentially spit-up rags "receiving blankets," but I'm onto the scam. Yeah, they're receiving SOMETHING all right.

Thankfully, our two righteously disgusting cats are doing their part to prepare us for the impending increased grossness that will no doubt be delivered by the new human fecal-production machine that's about to bless our lives.

Last week, for example, both cats were sleeping on the bed with me, since my wife is now so incredibly pregnant she has her own gravitational field and requires her own bed entirely to herself.

One of the cats, showing feline affection as only cats can, extended its paw and pressed it against my lips, an act which woke me up briefly, but I quickly fell back asleep. When I awoke again a few minutes later, I bit down and immediately realized I was crunching on granules of kitty litter, which had apparently lodged in the cat's paw and had been transferred into my mouth.

The cats both seemed genuinely nonplussed by my reaction to a mouthful of kitty litter, which included gargling violently with water, swearing considerably and spitting on the floor. The cats were just trying to help, after all, doing their part to prepare me for the grossness of fatherhood.

Despite their "help," what I really wanted at that exact moment was a "Cat Genie," which unfortunately hasn't been invented yet.

Posted by Ryan at 12:01 PM | Comments (4) | TrackBack
I use third-party advertising companies to serve ads when you visit my website. These companies may use information (not including your name, address, email address, or telephone number) about your visits to this and other websites in order to provide advertisements about goods and services of interest to you. If you would like more information about this practice and to know your choices about not having this information used by these companies, click here.