My Favorite Posts from I’m Not Grandpa’s First Year*

Sono 1Wow I can’t believe it’s been a year since I launched I’m Not Grandpa—well sort of.  My first post, the Introduction, went live September 26th 2014 followed by a second post about a week later.  Unsure of the tone and voice and being deep into a high-risk pregnancy I put blogging on hold until after the baby was born because my mind was elsewhere.

Cataloging experiences between naps and diaper changes I started writing at the end of February.  Memories of Esther’s pregnancy, our first days as parents, and unsolicited advice from all directions poured from me like poop out of a diaper.

With three posts in the can and halfway through a fourth I published my second first post (the first two were warmupsand asked friends to check out I’m Not Grandpa when the fourth post went live.  Imagine my surprise when parents said they could relate to it.

Fatherhood and blogging are new experiences, I’ve enjoyed both, but I’m still learning.  I made a list of my favorite posts.  Click on the links below to check them out.

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Esther’s Pregnancy—Nine Months in a Few Paragraphs — This is the most popular and shared post.  Published by The Good Men Project, I wrote about my surviving the wife’s pregnancy.  Written strictly from the male point of view, more than a few friends told me how relatable it was.

My response to anyone suggesting we name our child Brooklyn
My response to anyone suggesting we name our child Brooklyn

What’s in a Name? — You found out your having a baby?  Congratulations!  What a tremendous feeling, until you realize you have to agree on a name.    It’s not as easy as you think.  Men and women have different concepts of what makes a good name.  This is my favorite post.  If you are debating baby names this post is a must read.

Dad playing with Cristian on his last birthday.
Dad playing with Cristian on his last birthday.

For Dad — I wrote this the day before my Dad’s 89th birthday as a birthday gift (he hated receiving Christmas, Father’s Day and Birthday Gifts).  Written from the perspective of a newly-minted Dad, he made it look easy.  At the time none of us knew he was suffering from pancreatic cancer.  He passed away three months later.  This post was the frame work for his eulogy.

One and Done — I was 50-years old when Cristian was born meaning he’s probably going to be an only child.  I wrote about my concerns.  The response I received from single-children parents was overwhelming.

Déjà vu All Over Again  — After Dad passed away we moved in with Mom to help out.  Moving back home is difficult under any circumstances—doing it with your wife, baby, and diaper-clad dog is a sitcom in the making.  We miss you Chico.  Settling in I experienced Déjà vu.   Mom and Dad moved into the same house with two young children 50-years earlier.  This post shows a few changes in the years between both sets of Priegue parents moving into the same Cape Cod House in Queens.

Baby 2.0 – Your Survival Guide — My intervention post to any parent thinking it gets easier after your child’s first birthday.  Published by The Good Men Project this survival guide lets you know what to expect.  Don’t worry you can join a support group—they meet at most local bars.

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The Road Back

Running the 2012 Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler
Running the 2012 Battle of Brooklyn 10 Miler

Note this post appears in North Queens Runner in addition to I’m Not Grandpa

I’m back in a familiar place—in front of the keyboard writing another how do I resolve my weight gain post.  I’ve written several over the years, like this one and this one.

Keeping fit gets tougher as you get older, this year was more difficult than past years. Being a stay-at-home Dad, managing my Dad’s health care during his illness, and caring for Mom, were among the challenges I faced. A sedentary consultant gig didn’t help much either.

It’s not like I’ve been completely inactive, I haven’t been able to maintain consistency.  Every time I’d gain traction, something came along and derailed my progress.

The way my clothes fit and how my bulging belly looked in pictures, I knew I gained weight, I just didn’t know how much.  A few weeks ago I replaced a broken bathroom scale—it was a wake-up call.  Like recent pictures of me, it wasn’t flattering.

halloween party 2

The scale said 225.  Stupid scale.  This was before celebrating the Christmas holiday with the family. Two days of solid eating, lasagna, ribs, pernil, chased with beer, wine and coquito (Puerto Rican Egg Nog) and lots of desserts during Christmas Eve spent with my family and Christmas Day with Esther’s pushed the scale to 228 as of yesterday morning.

Now it’s time to fix the problem.  This isn’t a resolution post—I don’t make resolutions—I set goals.  My current goal is more about creating new habits, than resolving to lose 15 or 20 pounds.  My first goal is getting active or more accurately fitting activity time into an already busy schedule.

Over the past few days I started with slow runs, actually run/walks. Sunday Morning Esther and I bundled the baby up taking him for a long walk in his jog stroller.  This morning I woke up at 5am before things got hectic and ran for 30 minutes, it was more of a challenge since Cristian woke me up at 1:30 this morning for a bottle.

My second goal is eating healthier and smaller portions.  Although I started running again, unless I consume less calories than I burn, I’ll keep gaining weight.

Motivation is important and mine is simple, it’s not about race times, personal records, or about maintaining my brand as the Badass 50-something marathon running first-time dad, it’s about Cristian.  He’s getting bigger and more energetic and deserves a dad who is there for him.  I owe him that.

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