Daddy Diary: The Beginning



Alexandra or Norah?

Alexandra or Norah?

I sit in the darkened post-partum room, my exhausted wife gently snoring two feet to my left.

My feet rest on an extra chair, my laptop warming the former part of the word’s nomenclature.

I am a father. A Dad. A Papa. (You get the idea.)

My daughters are a few hundred feet away in the Neonatal Intensive Care Unit, where highly skilled caregivers are trying to help them learn to breathe in this strange new world of air. After their breathing regulates, they’ll be able to feed normally and gain enough weight to get out of here.

Sorry, thought this would be a longer blog…but I’m on three hours of sleep. Must get some more…after the rest of this Frasier rerun.

(Even though I’m a dad, some things are unlikely to change. Especially my love of well-written sitcoms in syndication. Only now, my viewing will be between feedings and diaperings and burpings.)

Twins: Names explained

Alexandra Faye Rose Rubin is for my paternal grandfather Al (Alexander), Faye is for Shannon’s great-uncle Fred, Rose is for my paternal grandmother Rose.

Norah Vivienne Rubin is for Shannon’s “bubby” (maternal grandmother) and my maternal great-grandmother Vivian.

I’m a daddy!

Please give a big round of applause to Alexandra Faye Rose Rubin and Norah Vivienne Rubin!

Mommy doing well, girls in NICU because they couldn’t wait to get out here. Hopefully out in a week or two, since their weights were pretty good (4+ lbs. each).

More to come.

In the meantime, I can only say:






Brief Babies Blurb

Yesterday, we got the option we expected from the doctor:

c) “You’re doing great, even though you’re in incredible discomfort 24/7. I want you to hang in there for another week at least.”

If, by some miracle Shannon can go another month, we’re scheduled to deliver on May 12.

But the doc doesn’t think we’ll go that long.

The High (Chair) Alert continues.

Like I can write about anything else right now?

We’re at Defcon Twins.

High (Chair) Alert.

Of course, we’ve been here for the past couple weeks. But now it’s more real than ever.

Tomorrow, we see the OB/GYN and will hear one of three things:

a) “Get yourself to the hospital right now, it’s Go Time.”

b) “Be at the hospital tomorrow morning, it’s Go Time.”

c) “You’re doing great, even though you’re in incredible discomfort 24/7. I want you to hang in there for another week at least.”

The answer we’d like to hear, we think, is either a) or b).

But the most likely answer, the one we’re trying to be ready for, is c).

I feel so bad – Shannon is just absolutely miserable all the time. She has erratic pre-term contractions almost all day long, can’t get comfortable, she can’t sleep for more than a few hours, and oh by the way she’s pretty much half-baby at this point.

So if we heard that the doc wanted to go in and get ’em early, it would be both good and bad. Good – no more discomfort for Shannon, except for the C-section recovery. Bad – because we’re barely ready.

This Tuesday starts Week 34. So that’s better than a lot of twin pregnancies, but the longer you can go, the better.

And I see the creepy Burger King dancing around a bunch of square-butted dancers, and then I think they’d be better off staying inside a lot longer.

Twins: A message for my daughters before they’re born

You’re not even here yet, and you’re going to turn my life upside-down. And I’m psyched about it.

Maybe you’re reading this 20 years from now on some teeny handheld device or your computer sunglasses or something. (Hopefully you’ll teach me how to use those things.)

Girls, I’m 36 when I write this. I’ve earned undergraduate and graduate degrees, had like nine or ten jobs, lived in three different states, been to England, Mexico and Aruba, and gotten married to your amazing mother. So far, it’s been a pretty cool and fulfilling life.

But just before your arrival (you’re due in like 5-6 weeks), I’m still unaware of how crazy and wonderful and difficult and awesome you’re going to make my life (and your mom’s life, but she doesn’t blog). I think I can kind of imagine the 3:00 a.m. feedings and diaper changes and barf cleanups and two-hour crying jags, and I think we’ll be able to handle it. (Said the idiot, kidding himself.)

I will tell you this: you were desperately wanted, and loved long before you were born. Your mom had a very tough pregnancy (I don’t have to tell you – you were there), but she worked for a full seven months before having to stop. She was uncomfortable most of the time, barely slept, and went from not eating enough to eating a lot and feeling bad about it. But when you moved or kicked, she smiled the same smile I saw on our wedding day.

We’re so excited to bring you into the world, there are no words. We’re going to do everything we can to keep you healthy and happy and safe. We’re going to support you in all of your endeavors, and do whatever it takes to help you turn your dreams into reality.

It’s a very fuzzy future, but your mom and I are speeding towards it with great enthusiasm.

Can’t wait to see you!

(P.S.: Please don’t poop on me too much.)

Rant: Advertising Job Search (& Welcome WAS readers!)

One of the sites I visit daily is Why Advertising Sucks, a multi-writered blog that covers pop culture, has funny “Top 5”-type entries, and of course, poops on advertising.

Here’s a mini-rant, dedicated to the WAS peeps and their many other devoted readers:

(Disclaimer: I am blessed enough to be currently employed and NOT searching for a new position.)

A colleague of mine (never worked with or even met the guy in person, but he’s a fellow copywriter in the DF-Dub, funny/brilliant/creative/etc. and we “met” through online networking) who’s currently unemployed hit me up yesterday, asking if I knew anybody interested in a copywriter gig.

Now why was this guy – who’s been at several of the “major” shops in the area – not even considered for the job? Because he didn’t have enough experience with the certain industry/market in which the major new client did business.

So this writer who’s been putting words together professionally for the better part of a decade, a guy who comes highly recommended by former bosses and colleagues alike, and a highly intelligent human being, is told that he’s not qualified for a position.

This is a problem that runs rampant throughout advertising. “If you haven’t done it, you can’t do it” is the attitude of many hiring-decision-makers (HDMs, for our purposes) in our biz, which is incredibly stupid. Eminently qualified creatives with years of experience and high IQs can’t “learn” a new industry?

Here’s a quick lesson on some of the “niche” industries that these decision-makers are so picky about:

  • Pharma = Don’t say it if you can’t back it up or have Legal back it up. Have disclaimers ready for everything.
  • B2B = Give up now. Mediocrity reigns supreme. Pick up any trade magazine and you’ll see 90% crap. Just ask the client’s company president’s wife to throw something together. Either that, or use a big-ass product shot. They love that. “Ooh, show ’em our new flibbertygibbet valve!”
  • High-tech = Buzzwords, buzzwords, buzzwords. Robust. Synergistic. Leverage. Platform.

Final message to HDMs: Don’t eliminate candidates who don’t have the exact specifications you’re looking for, because frankly you’re eliminating new, fresh perspectives on the industry/market. If they can write or art direct or run an account or buy/plan media for other types of accounts, they can handle yours too.

Fantasy baseball: Draft report

OK, so I had my draft this past Saturday night. (And on the heels of that last blog, it was pretty clear that this particular hobby will be taking a back seat to many things once the twins are born.)

Anywho, these were my keepers:

C: Dioner Navarro, TB, $7; Taylor Teagarden, TEX, $0 (Prospect)

1B: Albert Pujols, STL, $40

2B: Kelly Johnson, ATL, $11; Emilio Bonafacio, FLA, $1

SS: Alexei Ramirez, CHW, $10

3B: Ryan Zimmerman, WAS, $13

OF: Matt Kemp, LA, $25; Colby Rasmus, STL, $0 (Prospect)

SP: Matt Cain, SF, $14; Jered Weaver, LAA, $9; Max Scherzer, ARZ, $8; Jonathan Sanchez, SF, $5; Ubaldo Jimenez, COL, $4; Joe Blanton, PHI, $1; Jordan Zimmermann, WAS, $1; Shaun Marcum, TOR, $1 (will go straight to DL); Scott Elbert, LA, $0 (Prospect)

RP: None

So the draft was its usual fast-and-furious auction bidding war, with plenty of good-natured ribbing and fun. At some point, we were discussing Danny DeVito and Rhea Perlman’s anatomy, but such is the rapid-fire, stream-of-consciousness mindset of the drafter.

As you can see above, I clearly needed help in the outfield, bench depth, an ace pitcher and an entire bullpen. Lemme know if you think I addressed those needs:

–Daisuke Matsuzaka, SP, BOS, $32

–Corey Hart, OF, MIL, $32

–Jonathan Papelbon, RP, BOS, $28

–Andre Ethier, OF, LA, $26

–Joakim Soria, RP, KC, $23

–Jose Lopez, 2B, SEA, $12

–Hong-Chih Kuo, RP, LA, $7

–Andrew Sonnanstine, SP, TB, $4

–Felipe Lopez, IF, ARZ, $3

–Ryan Madson, RP, PHI, $3

–Hideki Okajima, RP, BOS, $3

–Brandon Lyon, RP, DET, $2

–Jason Kubel, OF, MIN, $2

–Denard Span, OF, MIN, $2

–Chris Snyder, C, ARZ, $1

Since I haven’t blogged in a while, I never posted the results of our Prospect Draft (we get to carry six minor leaguers now):

–Elvis Andrus, SS, TEX

–Carlos Triunfel, SS, SEA

–Jesus Montero, C, NYY

My other three prospects were the keepers listed above.

And there’s a trade in the works for another guy’s Prospect – sending him $2 for next year’s MLB Auction Draft.

Fantasy geek out.

Twins Update: Starting Week 32

It’s interesting to me how most of our pre-pregnancy life was counted in years.

Now, everything is weeks and months.

Sweetie just started Week 32 of her pregnancy, also known as her eighth month. We’re hoping to get to week 37 or 38, and the docs feel she might be able to get that far. (Which is pretty amazing for twins.)

And once they get here, it’ll be the same.

–“Oh, how darling! How old are they?”

–“Eight weeks tomorrow.”


–“Oh, they’re gorgeous! How old?”

–“Four-and-a-half months.”

(If you couldn’t tell, I’m pretty confident they’ll have the best of both of their parents’ features.)

Anyway, I couldn’t be more excited and terrified at the same time. I kid myself sometimes, thinking “OK, you can handle this. You’ll be up every two hours every night for a while, you’ll somehow drag your carcass to work after wiping off any excess baby substances, and be a kind, happy, supportive dad.”

And then I realize they’ll just scream in my face with tiny pink faces for hours on end, run fevers of 100.1 that send us into a panic, and basically not listen to any of our requests until, um, well, they’re 24 or so.

So yeah, I’m all over the place. I realize that it’s really never going to be about me again, and I’m cool with that.

This is a life-changing time for us, and although I’m quite satisfied with my life up to this point, I’m excited about the future.