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Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Many Many Changes - Coupon Exchange?

So I haven't posted in forever. Funny how you lose track of things. Lots of changes have been going on that have been keeping me pretty busy.

1 - WE HAD OUR BABY! What an exciting time that was. Everything went ok and apart for some hurdles to cross regarding feed we are still doing great. She is growing well and we are getting settled in.

2 - I am traveling. So work has me traveling a bunch over the next year. No fun at all. I have my frequent flyer number ready and my ipad prepared for facetiming with the baby. Traveling here we come!

3 - I am thinking of starting some sort of formula coupon exchange for the Harrisburg and surrounding Pennsylvania area. I know formula is stupid expensive and we get tons of different coupons in the mail. It would be fun to trade those with other parents that need them in exchange for the ones we need.

I will try to keep this more current than I have been. Let me know your thoughts on the coupon exchange, or any other exchange for that matter. It is enevitable that I will have something that others need that my daughter just outgrew or doesnt use or has 2 of.


Thursday, August 11, 2011

A doctor's appointment. or lack thereof....

This morning I had hoped to post a blog about my very real irrational fear of all things medical. If you remember back to you remember back to my hospital tour post, I have already determined there is sufficient room for me to pass out in the delivery room without hitting my head. Yesterday we had a doctor’s appointment so I assumed this would provide me with ample scenarios where I was scared to death of absolutely nothing for all my readers to chuckle at. This, however, was not the case. You will need to wait until next week when I need to have blood drawn in order to start picking on me.

What I did gather at the doctors appointment, worthy of a blog post, was more frustration. Seems to be a theme lately. The doctor’s office that my wife goes to is an amalgam of different doctors that treat just about every ailment. This means only one thing to me; we have to wait forever to see a doctor.

I left work at 9 yesterday to get over to a 9:20 appointment. We checked in at 9:15. Then we proceeded to sit in the waiting room until 9:45 until the doctor finally called us in. By the time my wife actually got to see the doctor, I already had to leave to go back to work for another meeting.

This kind of stuff bugs the heck out of me. Why make an appointment if you have no intentions of keeping it? If we had been the ones 30 minutes behind schedule, we would have gotten scolded and probably wouldn’t have been able to see the doctor at all. But, it is no big deal if the doctor runs that late. I think they should pay me for the time wasted sitting there. Any thoughts? Am I being too irrational with my obsession of schedules and time? Is it unreasonable for me to expect a licensed professional to keep an appointment?

You decide….P@

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

New Car Frustration

This weekend my wife and I went car shopping. With the addition to our family soon coming we decided we should have at least one vehicle with 4 doors to make life a little easier. We did quite a bit of research online (I am a researcher by nature, you should see the decision matrices I build in excel for purchases). We narrowed it down to a 2011 VW Jetta or a 2011 Ford Fusion. Both cars had their pluses and minuses but we decided driving them would be the deciding factor.

We started with the VW dealership. Drove the car, listened to the speech, and then went to Ford. Here, I got frustrated, taught the salesman a lesson in mathematics and left to go back to Volkswagen. Here, I got the exact price I wanted and drove home in a new car. There, 4-door problem solved, I can check that off the list.

Well, almost. We made it about 2 miles down the road before I heard this disgusting vibrating/rattling noise coming from the driver door. At first I tried to ignore it, but as we kept driving, the door kept rattling. At that time the dealership was closed and it was a Saturday night, meaning no one could help until Monday. I left the Lead Sales Manager a long voicemail about my dissatisfaction and left it at that. I figured it was a loose clip, or something not snapped together properly; no big deal.

Monday, my wife took the car in the have it repaired. They acknowledged the noise, and vowed to fix it. 2 hours later they said they were done. My wife got in the car and drove away. No more than 500 yards down the road and boom, there it was again. This time, I took the car back. 2 more hours and they claimed they fixed it again. This time I took the mechanic for a ride, and sure enough, rattle rattle rattle. At this point I am getting pretty frustrated. I mean, brand new car, owned it for 2 days, driven it 30 miles max, and it is already broken. This time the mechanic disappeared to go talk to his boss. Their solution, order an entire new door panel (3-5 days Lead time) and install that. This, they hope, will replace whatever is making the noise. Grrr, so frustrating.

I did my best to contain my frustration throughout the whole process. The dealership was very accommodating and claimed they would fix it. As you read this, does it bring to mind any stories of vehicle woes you have had? Anyone else ever had to have their new vehicle back in the shop the day after purchasing? Please let me know I am not the only one…P@

Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Self Assessment

This week at work we are starting the self assessment process for our end of year reviews. We have to fill out this long internet form telling how great we are. We list out the projects we worked on, whether they were successes or failures and how we will do better next year. We then have to give examples of how our actions throughout the year aligned with the company’s vision. Lastly we list four strengths and four weaknesses and talk about examples of these as well.

It is quite an annoying process. Of course at work everyone is going to detail how awesome they are and try not to shed light on some of the areas where they may have faltered. Our bonus is tied directly to the results of the self assessment, so who is going to make themselves look bad? After we fill it out, our bosses review it with us, and then it gets submitted to mathmagically fit into our bonus structure.

My questions – as fathers, how often do we sit down and do the same type of activity? When do we sit down and see if we are achieving the goals we had set? And if not, why aren’t we hitting those goals? When do we detail out how our actions throughout a given period of time align with our family values and the direction our families are headed? When do we list out our strengths and weaknesses as a father and make plans to improve on the latter?

Today I encourage you to take on this challenge. You may find yourself surprised to find how well you are doing or how far you have strayed off course. This could be a valuable exercise to do once a year to make sure you are doing what you said you would do. Make a list of goals at the beginning of the year. Not wimpy goals like “get in shape”, but tangible goals that can be measured. At the end of the year give yourself a review and gauge how well you did. There is no money involved, and no advancement in your career, so be honest. If you failed, figure out why you failed so you can achieve the goal the following year. I think if we actively and honestly monitor how we are doing as fathers, our family as a whole will benefit in the long run. Read more about this process here.

Let me know your thoughts…..P@

Monday, August 1, 2011

Dealing with Frustration

Hello readers. This morning while I was eating breakfast I heard a story on the news that really caught my attention. The story said that an Easton, PA man had received 20 to 40 years in prison for killing his infant daughter by punching her in the head. (Story from CBS21) You can imagine why this caught my attention. I did a little research and found that he admitted to punching his daughter in the head because she wouldn’t stop crying. (Original story from PennLive)

What?!?! Are you serious? I am just trying to imagine this in my own head. An innocent, 8 week old baby, lying in my arms, screaming her head off. I can see rocking. I can see hugging. I can see kissing. I can even hear some low singing (given no one is around.) But it is impossible for me to envision punching this baby in any part of her body!

Dads, if you find yourself reaching this point, please lay the baby down in a safe space and walk away, immediately. Yes, the crying of a baby can be overwhelming. It can seem like it will not end. But seriously, a five minute breather can be enough for you to gather your senses and approach the situation with a cool head. I learned in class that a single hair on the bottom of a baby’s foot can be enough to make them scream non-stop. A single hair! Do you think you will be able to determine that while you are frustrated and angry? No, of course not. Take a deep breath, and then try again. Imagine if all that was wrong with this little baby was a hair on the bottom of her foot. How sad to think about.

Let me get some feedback from you. Are there any thoughts or reactions to this? Dads, what tricks did you try to either 1) collect your emotions when your baby was screaming and 2) get your child to calm down and stop crying when they were upset? Anybody else out there struggle with getting completely frustrated with their kids?


Saturday, July 30, 2011

Quick Tour of Penn State Hershey

My wife and I have decided that we will have our baby at Penn State Hershey Medial Center. (Not sure why I say we when it is certainly not me that will be doing very much work.) Today we went for our final child birth education class and a tour of the hospital. I have been thoroughly impressed with the class and have learned quite a bit that I hadn't thought of before.

The tour went fairly well. The hospital was too busy and too full for us to see a lot of the rooms etc... for real so they showed us a video of the things that we didn't get to see. It was weird to think about all those rooms being filled with women giving birth. Sometimes it feels like we are the only ones going through the whole pregnancy process, so it was reassuring to think that we weren't alone.

The tour was very helpful for many reasons. First and foremost, now we know where to go when it's finally time to call the doctor. Second, we got to see all the stuff we don't need to bring because the hospital has it for free. Third, I now know where the ice machine is. I have been told this will be important. And fourth, I found out there is ample room in the C-Section room for me to pass out without hitting my head in the event we end up there. (I don't do very well with needles) This has all been a very exciting process.

As many thoughts and questions go through my head after the tour, are there any dads out there who want to share their first hospital tour experience? Or are there any new dads out there who have questions about the whole process? We certainly could all benefit the experiences many of the dads out there have already had. Did you find yourself constantly running for ice? Did you follow any of those suggestions the posters on the wall told you to? Feel free to leave comments or email me at . Thanks....P@

Friday, July 29, 2011

What is Fact Finding Fathers?

Hello Readers. I am going to start this off with a post all about what this blog is for. Like the name implies this is a webspace for Fathers maintained by a soon to be Father. To learn more about me check out the About Me section of the blog.

This will NOT be a place where I talk all about my new baby and post thousands of pictures of every new thing she does. If you are looking for that check out my wife’s blog.

This IS a place where I will share pertinent information to all dads of Central PA. You will find information about new products. You will find information about tips and tricks that I and others around the web have found helpful in being a dad. You will find information about places in Central PA that I or others have visited and found to be kid or dad friendly or not.

What will make this blog extremely useful to everyone is input from you, the reader. I have scoured the internet for hours and there isn’t a single place like this on the web for Central PA. No place for dads to share information. Hopefully, as you read about my experiences you will be willing to share some of your own. Provide information about products you’ve tried, places you have been and tips and tricks that have helped you out in being a dad.

I hope that you find this blog informative and useful in your everyday dad life. Feel free to ask as many questions as you like and I will get you an answer. Thanks for stopping in…..P@