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New Morning Routine

No, this isn’t another preachy post about how you should definitely set a new morning routine. There are two goals I’m trying to accomplish with writing about how I’m now organizing my mornings.

The first is to set a level of accountability to keep myself focused. I often find something new that interests me or change something up that feels like my new ideal. Then I jump in with both feet! This is my attempt at being more scientific in my approach.

The second goal is to have my routine written down. It’s easy to have everything in my head and to deviate when it’s convenient. I rely strongly on lists to keep me organized and on track.

I’ll sneak in a third objective. I’m also going to look at this as an experiment. Both to see how long I can commit to this new routine and to know whether or not I can continue it after the baby’s arrival. That gives me 4 weeks until her due date.

Enough chatter. Let’s get after it!

new morning routine - day by day dad

ALARM!


Check Phone

I don’t spend much time checking but I do look to make sure I haven’t missed anything pressing in texts and phone calls.


Read

After avoiding any and all books until my 20s, I’ve become an avid reader. The problem, as always, is finding the time. No excuses, 15 to 30 minutes after I wake up is as great a time as any. I focus on reading anywhere from one section to a full chapter in this time.


Cuddles

I work from home so that means I’m home more often than I’m away. It’s easy to take that for granted and not be present with your loved ones. I take some time each morning to remind my wife and dogs how much I care about them. There’s no time limit on this. I’m definitely looking forward to adding the baby to our morning cuddles.


Hygiene

The boring and necessary stuff. Rinse face, brush teeth, shower, get dressed, etc.


Quick Workout

This is open to whatever I feel like doing. It could be pushups, pull ups or any other activity that gets my heart rate up. This isn’t the time to do a full workout. It’s just a primer.


Airpods In and Listen to a Podcast

Silence is beautiful. I take advantage of silent moments at other points during the day. I like to listen to a podcast in the morning. There’s no real rhyme or reason. It might just be a way to go back to my commutes to an office when I’d have up to an hour for podcasts.


Feed the Dogs and Let Them Outside

They each get a piece of chicken jerky and then their food. Once they’ve eaten and taken care of business outside, they’re happy to go back upstairs to cuddle with my wife.


Hydrate

I’ve read countless accounts of the importance of hydration and I understand it. I always have a mason jar of water with me in the house. I’ll use my water to take my vitamins and supplements. Maybe more on that another time.


Make Coffee

I’ll write a whole post on how my coffee routine has evolved from a French press through to a Chemex with stops along the way. Here’s my latest coffee routine.


Write

I like to give myself about an hour to sit down at the kitchen table and write on my laptop. Most of my writing is focused on this blog now. I have a running list of things I’d like to write about. There isn’t a set goal for my writing time. I switch to a playlist on Spotify that helps me get into a flow state and I write whatever comes to mind. It’s therapeutic and almost meditative.


Reconnect

After I’m done writing, I’ll take some time to reconnect with my family before I go into my office.

Start Work

Working from home is a luxury. I don’t take it for granted. It’s nice to not have to commute to an office but I have felt the need for clear delineation between my work and home hours. It’s far too easy to work 24/7. That’s why I’ve separated the spaces accordingly.


Why?

The goals of this post are entirely selfish. It has helped me to clearly define how I want to approach each day. There may be some changes based on what’s going on like travel or the weekends. I do believe that outlining my intentions will help point me in the right direction. And if I can’t complete everything on this list, then my goal is to accomplish the majority to win the morning.


#1 – Jamie Brasseur: Big Head, Small Space and a Tripod

Day by day dad podcast - Jamie Brasseur: Big Head, Small Space and a Tripod

Ryan interviews Jamie. Jamie and Ryan have been friends for a long time. Jamie is a dad of a one-year old son. Jamie has always wanted kids and is a great dad. He went through a period of worrying about everything and offers great perspective on it.

Topics Discussed

  • Jamie’s struggle with worrying about everything when the baby came.
  • Learning about a bump on the baby’s head.
  • Jamie’s life didn’t change much during the pregnancy.
  • What was the most exciting time during the pregnancy for him.
  • The story of the second ultrasound.
  • The story of their gender reveal.
  • Supporting his wife during the pregnancy.
  • Why Jamie deferred his parental leave to later in the year.
  • The first 40-days after the baby was born being more difficult.
  • How Jamie adapted his workout routine.
  • Jamie’s advice to new dads and expecting dads out there.

***

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For show notes and past guests, please visit daybydaydad.com/day-by-day-dad-podcast.

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The Second Ultrasound

The second ultrasound is a very exciting time. I would argue that it was the most exciting time in the pregnancy up until now. I’m writing this at the 35-week mark. My opinion may change.

The first ultrasound is exciting because you get to hear the baby’s heartbeat and see what looks like a human. Aside from a silhouette and heartbeat though, there isn’t much else. Our first ultrasound was around the 12-week mark, so it is still too early to know the sex of the baby and, in our case, we hadn’t completed the genetic screening.

The second ultrasound was at the end of Week 19. We had the results of the genetic screening and the baby had developed enough that there was so much more to see. Our ultrasound technician is a dream as well! She clearly loves what she does. During this ultrasound, she has a number of measurements to take and she made sure to describe every limb, bump and movement that she saw while she worked. We ended up with well over 30 pictures printed for us of our little Jellybean. It was even more exciting because the baby was lively, and you could clearly see every feature from her face to her feet..

The Second Ultrasound - the camera roll

We found out the sex of the baby from the genetic testing and had confirmation that we are having a girl during the ultrasound. Hearing her heart racing at 150+ beats per minute put it over the edge. It was an incredible time and I was so thankful to have been there to experience it.

I hope that most fathers-to-be attend as many appointments as possible and feel included. If you can only be there for some, then make sure you attend the ultrasounds! They are what made everything real for me ahead of finally feeling the baby during Week 28.

Baby’s Hospital Bag

The Boy Scout in me always want me to be overprepared. Or maybe that’s just my excuse for overpacking. I travel for work so I’m fairly adept at only packing the essentials for myself. Coming up with Dad’s Hospital Bag was fairly easy. What about my baby’s hospital bag? Similar to any information I found for my own bag, there are exhaustive lists out there.

There are a couple of variables that you need to keep in mind:

  1. You don’t know how big the baby will be ahead of time so having different sizes will be key. Especially if the baby decides to come before 40 weeks and you don’t want them floating in 0-3-month clothes.
  2. The length of your stay in hospital. This will depend on your hospital’s policy, a full-term baby, and the birthing method.

Here is our packing list for the baby’s hospital bag. I’ll update it after the baby comes so we can compare together.

  • Diaper bag
  • Pacifiers
  • Package of N-size diapers
  • Baby wipes
  • Vaseline
  • 3x pyjamas
  • 1x newborn outfit
  • 1x newborn onesie
  • 1x 1m onesie
  • 1x 1m outfit
  • Socks
  • 2x Hat
  • 3x blankets
  • Carseat base installed in the car
  • Infant carseat

The Green Smoothie Recipe

I’ve been experimenting with a number of different fitness and nutrition routines for years. I had a dad bod in my 20s way before having children. I had one before it was cool. It was due to a lack of discipline in my sleep routine and my nutrition. My go-to was fast food and all-nighters. I happened upon a number of different dietary experiments including smoothies, juicing, slow carb and finally the Ketogenic Diet. Some things worked for a time but like most diets, I could not commit. I lost 50bs going Keto. I’ve stayed Keto for the better part of 4 years because it works for me. I have incorporated time-restricted feeding or intermittent fasting into my regimen. The latest addition has been my green smoothie recipe inspired by my all-around inspiration, Colin Toop. Check out the Tools Podcast.

 I added the Green Smoothie to my daily routine to make sure I am getting enough vegetables and fiber. It helps me to start my eating window off on the right foot. I try to time it right after a fasted workout and before eating my first meal of the day. There are a number of staples in the recipe and some ingredients that may change over time. I’ll update it accordingly.


Ingredients

  • Jocko MÖLK – Mint Chocolate is my favorite
  • Kale
  • Frozen avocado chunks
  • ½ cup Cashew milk
  • ¼ cup heavy cream
  • ¼ cup water
  • 1 tbsp Matcha powder
  • 1 tbsp Spirulina powder
  • 1 tbsp ground Flax seeds
  • 1 tbsp Chia seeds
  • 1 tbsp MCT powder

My measurements are all eyeballed. I put everything in my Vitamix and serve it in a stainless-steel cup.

Feel free to share your Green Smoothie recipe and pictures with me. I’d love to see what you’re doing.

Dad’s Hospital Bag

I’ve scoured the internet for “Dad’s hospital bag packing list” and have not found anything realistic. You end up finding YouTubers who bring tons of camera equipment which is totally ridiculous. Here is this dad’s hospital bag packing list. I’ll follow this post up after the baby is born with an adjusted list based on my experience.

Duffle Bag

  • 2x underwear
  • 1x socks
  • 1x pants
  • 1x track pants
  • 2x t-shirts
  • 1x hoodie
  • Blanket
  • Reusable grocery bag
  • Pillow
  • Lysol wipes

Backpack

  • AirPods
  • Camera
  • Memory card
  • Laptop
  • Power Cord
  • Ipad
  • AmazonBasics cable holder
  • Watch charger
  • Charging brick
  • Lightning cables x2
  • Micro-USB cable
  • Bluetooth speaker
  • Spare battery
  • Book
  • Crossword puzzle
  • Cash

Toileteries

  • Deodorant
  • Floss
  • Babywipes
  • Comb
  • Mouthwash
  • Toothpaste
  • Toothbrush case
  • Toothbrush
  • Vitamins and supplements
  • Chapstick

Other

  • Guinness
  • Kind bars

Want to know what’s in baby’s hospital bag?

I can’t attend doctor appointments

Due to the current Covid-19 pandemic, I can’t attend doctor appointments anymore. The news was difficult to take but I definitely understand the precautions. We’ve had two appointments in the last 3 weeks since the government ordered everyone to stay home and practice physical distancing.

Before the pandemic, I would attend all of my wife’s appointments. I am lucky enough to work for a remote company, so I work from home. I also have the added flexibility of being able to go to appointments without taking time off. I’m able to make up the time away later in the day or throughout the week.

Now that things have changed so drastically, I’m still driving her to her appointments. I’m relegated to waiting in the car. I say that with a sarcastic tone that doesn’t translate well to the page. I’m doing it to make myself feel better that my wife and unborn baby aren’t driving around without me. I cling to the idea that I can protect them better than anyone else can. It’s just in my nature

I can’t help but feel like I’m missing out on something important but like I said, I totally understand the precautions being taken. I would hate to have another woman, someone on staff or one of the doctors become ill because someone’s partner, myself included, transmitted the virus in the office. I’m incredibly lucky that Diana made sure to record a quick video of the ultrasound the doctor did during her last appointment, so it feels like I was there.

With 5 weeks left until full-term at 40, the birthing center has not restricted husbands from delivery or post-partum rooms. Yet. I say yet because one hospital in Montreal has suspended partners from being present due to one symptomatic man being present during the birth of his child. The last thing we need is more healthcare workers falling sick. I just hope that our birthing center does not change their policy when the time comes. Only time will tell.

Baby Gear Invasion

It’s is very tempting to go out and buy tons of items, clothes and toys that are suggested to you by every other person in your life or on YouTube. Everything is essential, a must-have or something someone can’t live without! It’s easy to find yourself in the baby gear invasion!

We’re very lucky that both of our families threw a shower for my wife and our future baby. Showers remain an anomaly for me in that it is just a gathering so that people can buy you tons of stuff. That should not be read as anything but gratitude. It means you can focus on saving up for when the baby comes. It is far too easy to go broke just buying up the latest and greatest baby gear on the market.

We did go out and buy some of the essentials ourselves. We try to be conscious of the environment when making purchases. Our focus for some of the baby gear was to buy things used. Facebook Marketplace is our go-to. It gives us the opportunity to buy from people within a short distance of us. Obviously, there are precautions that need to be taken when buying used gear and you should always follow government safety guidelines. For example, we bought our car seat used. We followed the guidelines here: https://www.canada.ca/en/health-canada/services/road-safety/second-hand-car-seats.html.

We really like the Nuna Pipa Lite infant car seat. My wife is pretty small so lugging around a baby in a 10lb carrier seemed excessive. More excessive though, was the price of the Lite so we found a good deal on a used seat online.

We also bought clothing, a Fisher Price swing, a second car seat, change table, bassinet, maternity clothes, breast pump and some toys. A note on breast pumps: You’ll need to replace any items that come into contact with milk. The most expensive part is the pump motor. We both felt very strongly that anything we could buy used, should be bought used. A lot of baby items are used for such short periods of t

Where do we put all of this stuff?

Buying or receiving all of the gear is one thing, storing it is another! We’re lucky that we moved into a single-family home in 2017 and have the space for our growing family. Even with the space, we tried to avoid filling every empty bit of space with items so as not to overwhelm our lives. We also have two dogs and didn’t want to encroach on all of their space either. Reo, a Weimaraner-Lab mix, is skittish and would not have appreciated losing his safe spaces. Chip, our Chihuahua, has turned any and all potential sleeping spaces into his new spots.

Chihuahua in baby playpen

I think we found a nice balance. We put most of the baby’s things in her room on the second floor. Her swing and playpen are in the main living space.  We spend most of our time there. She’ll also have a bassinet in our bedroom for the first 6 months as we’ll co-sleep. I added a small swing to my office/studio so she can spend time with me while I work.

I’m writing all of this before she arrives so it may all go out the window after she’s born. My advice is to find a good balance in your living space. I’m already anticipating how many adjustments I’ll need to make after her arrival. My sleep schedule will certainly be impacted and so will the rest of my routine. I need my environment to be fairly organized to remain grounded so I hope the steps we’re taking will help me achieve that. Only time will tell. Tune in to the next episode of baby gear invasion!

3 Reasons I Got Braces

I got braces because being a dad is as much about you as it is your children. The confidence you have in yourself will transfer to your kids. My orthodontic treatment is set to take about 24 months to complete. I’m already 9 months in and my teeth are already much straighter than they were. As part of my treatment, I’ve also had two molars extracted to make room for my teeth.

Aside from being able to afford orthodontics, here are the 3 reasons why I decided to get braces:

1. I hate having food stuck in my teeth

I’ve had crooked teeth my entire life and that causes a number of issues including always having food stuck in my teeth. I can hardly remember a time when I ate that I didn’t immediately feel the need to floss because I had pieces of food stuck everywhere! Now, with braces, of course food gets stuck in them, but I already have tons of space. It is much easier to clean. I can only imagine how easy it will be without the braces.

2. Stop grinding my teeth

For years, I had my dentist telling me that I was grinding my teeth. It got to the point that they suggested a mouthpiece I have to wear while I sleep in order to protect my teeth. Correcting my teeth with braces should correct my issue with grinding.

3. Confidence Booster

I am a pretty confident person. Looking back at pictures of myself including my wedding pictures, I am embarrassed by the way my teeth look. Especially my front teeth on top as they jut out of my mouth whenever I smile. I spend a lot of my time working face to face with people. I no longer want to worry that they are looking at my teeth when I smile. They’re welcome to look at all of the other faults!

A healthy baby

Before getting pregnant, and even as long as I can remember, I hoped to have a son. It was probably a mix of some clinging to gender stereotypes and wanting to go out on lots of manly adventures with my son, but I know it was born more of a fear of the unknown.

I never had sisters growing up. Most of my interactions with the fairer sex between the ages of 3 and 13 were spent keeping my distance. Don’t get me wrong, I wasn’t terribly afraid of girls. They just seemed to play with different toys and have different interests. Even writing this, I catch myself referring back to relics of the times where boys and girls had entirely different toys that were marketed to us in obscenely stereotypical ways.

Flash forward to getting pregnant.

I tell myself that I’ve matured, I’m a grown up now, I must not have the same fear. Right? Wrong!

Going into the doctor’s office to find out the results of some diagnostic tests that would also give us the sex of the baby, I found myself falling back into the same thought process I swore I wouldn’t. I kept telling myself that the important thing is having a healthy baby. I can adapt and overcome being told the baby is a girl. And yes, I’m aware how terribly that sounds as I read it now, months later.

The appointment went very well. All of the tests came back with the results we were hoping: a healthy baby! GIRL! Admittedly, I was a bit disappointed at first. I found myself simply overjoyed with the fact that we are going to have a healthy baby girl. In the end, health is most important.

What activities could we possibly do together?

In the few weeks that followed, I spent time wondering what kind of interests that I could have in common with my daughter as she grows up. “Surely, my interests are far too manly for a little girl,” a phrase not unlike something that went through my head.

An incredibly pleasant epiphany hit me square in the face on two separate occasions, and both on the same day! I decided to spend a Saturday doing two activities that I really enjoy; Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and indoor rock climbing. I’m not sure if it was due to the fact that I was more aware, but I started to notice that there were lots of girls between the ages of 3 and 13 practicing both sports. Even more reassuring was the number of incredibly proud dads watching their daughters dominate their male opponents on the mats and on the rock walls.

And there it was, right in front of me, my “Aha” moment. Girls can do all of the same things that boys can. Dads can share their interests with their daughters because the interest is not the important detail. The most important part is finding something that you both enjoy doing together.

What’s next?

So, bring it on world, I look forward to finding even more interests that we can share in the years to come. And yes, I’ll gladly sit down to a tea party or to braid her hair whenever she wants. Why? Because I’m her dad and I’ll do anything for her.

That’s the story of how my logo came to be.