Wednesday, December 16, 2009


Our first ever Family Christmas Portrait...not a bad lookin' family, eh?

Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Camryn's First Thanksgiving

Here is the picture that Dane's brother Bill sent of the annual group photo at Dane and Karen's (Grandma and Grandpa Burdick) house on Thanksgiving. It's such a good picture because, as Dane pointed out, everyone's smile is totally natural; due to the fact that Camryn started screaming about .03 seconds before the picture was taken, resulting in some good hearty laughter from everyone just as the flash went off.

It was great for Camryn to get to meet all her new family members, and get to go to her Grandma and Grandpa Burdick's house for the first time! Great family, great friends and GREAT food (as always) and the newest addition to the family made for another wonderful Thanksgiving!

BOTTOM ROW FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Dane and Buddy the Dog Dane's brother Bill (Unkie Bill to me)

FROM LEFT TO RIGHT: Dad, Mom, Deena (Dane's twin sister), Auntie Lynn (Unkie Bill's wife), Me, Karen (who you can just barely see behind my head), Kimmie and Camryn in her lovely Bear suit, Gary (standing behind Kim; Deena's husband), Sara and Mary (Gary and Deena's daughters) and standing behind them- Brad and Nicole (Brad is Bill and Lynn's son and Nicole is his wife). I shall draw up a carefully mapped family tree to further year.

My Tragically Titled Blog

Kind of wishing I had come up with a different name for my blog...originally it was just meant to be a blog for the sake of blogging so I thought I'd come up with a nice funny and self-deprecating name. Now it just seems mean since it's pretty much entirely dedicated to Camryn. Well, Camryn, when you are old enough to read this some day, it goes without saying that despite the title, this really is the BEST blog on the net...because it's about you!


I'm hoping that this works, but its a link to the kodak gallery that Jess created after her visit in November. We had a mock-Thanksgiving and Camryn spent her first afternoon at Grandma and Grandpa Hopkins' house. Some really nice pics in here!

The Neglected blog

These are very sloppily placed pictures, but again - due to my preoccupation with actual parenting I have not done nearly as much work on this thing as I would like. I've been working on a Christmas gift for the grandparents so that has consumed all my time in the last week. But Camryn is already 2 inches longer than when she was born, and probably about 3-4 lbs heavier...she loves that milk! She also gets prettier and prettier every day.

In addition, she is becoming more and more aware of her surroundings with each passing day. I'm fairly confident that she's recognizing familiar voices...she certainly knows her mom and dad's voice and looks right up at me when i come home at night, and responds VERY well to Kimmie when she is talking to Camryn.

Another very lovely thing about Camryn is that she appreciates a good night's sleep...even at only 6.5 weeks old! We typically put her down between 11:30 and 12 midnight and with literally a handfull of exceptions, she sleeps right up until 5:30-6:30am. Kim and I are averaging about 5-6 hours of sleep a night (and have gotten as much as 7 and even 8 hours one night!) which is fantastic for a child this age. I guess it is true what they say... 3 shots of whiskey IS just what the doctor ordered. And if child services somehow sees this blog, A.) welcome! and B.) just kidding about the whiskey

She is also just the right size to fit comfortably in her swing and her little vibrating chair thingy, and is able to hold her head up with ease. We also bought her a play mat so she can hang out on her stomach and work on lifting her head and using her arms more. She is VERY responsive to all the neat lights and sounds and colors and fun toys that are attached to the play mat...I'm going to remind myself tonight to put some pictures (and maybe a video or two) of Camryn in all these settings (i just have to pick the best of the 8million pictures we have) so you can see how fast she's growing.

Also of note, I think she is becoming a fan of football, wrestling and video games as she sits quietly and attentively whenever any one of these 3 things is on the TV...yep, she is definitely my daughter.

Well, enjoy these lovely pictures in the meantime of Mommy and daughter napping and of baby Camryn waiting for a diaper, I'm looking at that one now (she was only a few days old) and she already looks so different.

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Videos, Pics and the like

Going forward I will be posting lots of cool things on here. Hopefully I can get some time this weekend and post a few videos. One of the most special moments was Kimmie getting to meet her daughter for the first time. And what is also special is that I have it recorded on video and would like to post that on here for all to see.

Certainly there are now officially 7 million pictures and videos of Camryn so I will have to go through and hand-pick the very best ones and post them here (although I can say without any bias WHATSOEVER that there are NO bad pics or videos of Camryn). In the meantime, here is a picture of Grandma Burdick and Camryn on Halloween! This was the day Kimmie and Cammie were released from the hospital, and Camryn was given an awesome pumpkin Halloween costume to wear home.
Oh and what the heck, here is another picture that you've probably already seen of Camryn (who I affectionately call Boobert The Chimp...usually just Boobert) after being burped by daddy...I just love this picture of her!!
Many more to come! Stay tuned!!

What a Month!

This is a LOOOOOOOONNNNNGGGGG overdue update. A FEW things have happened since the last update...
So Camryn Rose Hopkins was born at 11:24pm on October 29, 2009. 7lb, 3oz and 19 inches long. Kimmie was AMAZING at this whole "giving birth" thing...they could NOT use her for instructional videos to show pregnant people or people thinking about getting pregnant because they would think it was really easy to be pregnant/give birth. Seriously, Dr. Bied and nurse Rhi were amazed at how easy it was and how great Kimmie did in the process. She was the talk of the town among all the other nurses for her "birth-giving" abilities!
And as for me? I felt no pain or discomfort at all...yep, I really stayed tough.

I can't tell you how proud I am of Kim -- she was in some serious pain but toughed it out for the whole 15+ hours that she was in labor. Actually, since this is my blog and i can do what i want, let me recap the whole day for you...

I shall now paint the picture of a crisp, cloudy October morn. I was at work looking at cheap Halloween costumes for Nate and Jennah's party on friday (i really figured the baby would keep us from going so i never even bothered looking for costumes). Once I had decided on a costume for Kim and for me (a red, yellow, and green circle taped vertically on kimmie's chest to make her a traffic light; and the letter "E" taped on my chest to make me an "E-Male") it wasn't more than a few minutes later that I noticed Kimmie was calling my cell phone.

Now, every single time Kimmie called me at work I would pick up and yell "IS THIS IT? ITS TIME?!" which would be met with a response of "no...relax...i'm just calling to see if you want to go to my parent's for dinner" or something to that effect.

So naturally, when Kimmie called me at 8:42am, (alarm should have gone off for me), 4 days after the due date (again, more alarms should have gone off), I think I made the right move in thinking "nah, probably not important" and ignoring the call. Yeah, that was probably the smartest thing to do...

Of course, I called Kimmie back within seconds and sure enough, THIS WAS IT! The funny part is that Kim wasn't sure if her water broke or if maybe she was just randomly leaking heavy quantities of fluid...because that happens all the time. "I may not be a fancy, big-city doctor, but it sounds like your water broke" was my response. And with that, I ran back to my desk, shut down my computer (which, like the classic scene in Office Space, took a comically long time because computers know when you're in a hurry) and flew out the door.

The bizarre part was, on the way home, I was cool as a cuccumber. Didn't speed, wasn't worried, listened to tunes like it was any other commute. I was very proud of myself as I didn't want to be that TV/Movie cliche husband who's flipping out and doing "zany" things like driving to the hospital without the wife, etc. So far, so good!

Of course, when I got home, things were a bit different...

I pretty much parked the car on the front lawn/sidewalk so that Kim didn't have to walk a single foot to get to the car. I'm not sure why, but when I went inside I half-expected to see Kimmie sitting in bed, vomitting pea soup and spinning her head around -- why i thought pregnancy/child birth had anything to do with the movie "The Exorcist" is beyond me.

So you can imagine I was quite relieved when i walked upstairs and found Kimmie (fresh out of the shower), combing her hair, putting on makeup and quite frankly, looking as beautiful as I can ever remember her looking. "Is this a practical joke? Women about to give birth aren't supposed to look like this! Where's the sweat? Where's the anger? Why am I not being punched in the face and being told that I 'did this to her'?" Instead, Kim is calmly getting dressed as if she was going out to an afternoon lunch with friends...and asking ME how I'M doing? WHHAAAAA?!

Has Television been misleading? Are movies not factually correct? NO, this can't be! Perhaps in 10 hours or so the ugly side of child birth will be revealed to me...

Now, it should be noted that we both made sure to have TWO identical bags packed WEEKS in advance - one for my car, and one for Kim's car. The bags were packed with equal amounts of clothing, snacks, drinks, games, books, baby clothes and other things that one should have for a stay in the hospital. With that being said, this preparedness still didn't keep me from grabbing random items that I deemed "critical" off the shelves out of fear that the universe would implode if we didn't have such crucial survival necessities as recees cups and DVDs of The Office...

So off we went to the hospital. I called Mom, Grandma and Jess to let them know. Dane and Karen were there to greet us when we arrived. I handed the keys over to valet and didn't even stop to worry that my car was in someone elses hands...i guess focusing 100% on your wife/soon-to-be-born child makes you not really care so much about a car.

In to the hospital we went. When we got to the check-in area one of the nurses asked "how can i help you," to which i replied "one child birth please!" Either nurses hear that all the time or they have no sense of humor because THAT WAS FUNNY. I mean, really. Break that joke's funny on at least a million levels. At least Kim and my in-laws got a kick out of it, and I made myself laugh as always.

So we spent much of the afternoon in the hospital room, just hanging out and meeting a large number of nurses, technicians, doctors and even a juggling grizzly bear. Well, not the last one, but the rest is true. The staff at St. Peter's in Albany is fantastic. We met some of the friendliest doctors and nurses during our entire stay (and one complete scumbag who makes nurse ratchett look like Ghandi). I can't say enough good things about these wonderful people.

Jenn, Elyse, Dr. Shippman, Sandie, Dr. Barteletti, Rhi, Dr. Bied (or obgyn), Claire, Maureen, Sue, and Michelle were absolutely fantastic. And the fact that I remember all of their names 3 weeks after the fact is a pretty good testament to the caliber of the great people working at this Hospital.

I stayed in the room with Kim all day while Mom, Dad, Dane and Karen stopped by for visits on a rotating basis throughout.

After monitoring Kim and Camryn all afternoon in the first room (including an ultrasound to make sure that Camryn was positioned properly) we moved into the delivery room around 5pm when Kim's contractions started getting a bit stronger.

I was there to hold Kimmie's hand when the contractions got really bad. She fought back the tears on many occassions and fought through the pain in an incredible display of toughness like I've never seen before. Don't be fooled by the cuteness and quietness, Kim's tough as nails, and proved it to the world today! It wasn't a surprise to me though, as I kept telling her for the last 9 months that she would do brilliantly...and she did!

Does that mean that Kim had a wonderful time with the contractions? Nope. But was it the TV/Movie cliches of anger, and hand squeezing and "you did this to me"s and the like? Also, nope. But what would a child birth blog be without a fun story of what contractions will do to a woman's attitude; and in straying from a PG-level of cleanliness in this blog, i have to mention Kim's response to me when asking if there was anything i could do for her:

KIM: *sighs of discomfort and pain*

JOHN: "How are ya doin Kiddo?"

KIM: "ugh, fine"

JOHN: "Can I get you anything?"

KIM: "ugh, no!"

JOHN: "How about some juice or something?"


Also, Kim's response should be noted when I informed her that our OBGYN, Dr. Bied had arrived for the delivery:


So there were definiely some TV-quality outbursts from a very ready-to-deliver Kimmie, but considering those were the only ones, I'd say all-in-all, not bad for someone enduring unspeakable amounts of pain.

Nurse Sandie was there to help Kim when she got the epidural around 7pm...this was the only time that i was not allowed in the room; thus it was the only time during those 48 hours that i was not in the room. Easily the worst 30 minutes ever as I paced nervously around the corridors waiting for someone to bring me back into the room.

Once Jenn came out and got me, I leapt out of my seat in the waiting room and headed back in to find a very satsified wife, post-epidural, smiling widely at me from the bed.

Kimmie informed me that it was no big deal getting the epidural...what? People have been paralyzed from these things, yet Kimmie's reaction to the whole process was "I don't know what the fuss is all about, that was super easy." Wow. Amazing.

So now that the contractions were not such a huge issue, Kimmie, Mom, Karen and myself enjoyed a lovely evening in the delivery room - watching the NBC lineup (Halloween episodes of Community, Parks and Rec, Office and 30 Rock) and even a full hour of America's funniest home videos. We all had a fun time, and for a bit forgot that we were even in the delivery room...well, I'd be willing to guess that Kimmie didn't forget. In fact, I'd put money on it.

So just before 11pm, Kimmie looked up at nurse Rhi and said "OK. It's time." After hearing those magic words, we were up and runnin!

Dr. Bied came in for the first few minutes, but had to go do a C-section for someone else, so it was Nurse Rhi and myself in the "baby-receiving" area, with Karen and Mom back with Kimmie, holding her hand and brushing her head to try and give her some comfort.

What happens next is truly the most amazing thing I've ever had the good fortune of being a part of...

For the next 25 minutes or so, I stayed right in the same spot (i had one leg, nurse Rhi had the other) and held Kimmie in place during contractions so she could push. Rhi coached her along with words of encouragement and I gave my own words of encouragement as well. Kimmie did an amazing job of pushing as each contraction brought Camryn one step closer to this world.

During this whole event, (and without being to awkwardly graphic), I could not stop looking at the top of my daughter's head, and a few strands of hair that were visible. After 9 months of heartbeats and ultrasounds, the fact that we were about to meet our daughter for the first time filled me with such a feeling of anticipation and joy I felt like my heart was going to explode (or i was having a mild heart attack).

After 3 or 4 contractions and some good solid pushing from Kimmie, Camryn was almost here! Dr. Bied returned just in time to help with the final few pushes. He had Camryn's head in his hands and after telling Kimmie to give ONE...LAST....PUSH!!! And with that, I was suddenly looking at the most beautiful face in the world!

A split second later, out comes an arm - and then another - and then the legs! AND SHE HAS MY CALVES!! And now she's crying! It's the most beautiful sound I've ever heard! (EDITORS NOTE: I retract that statement as of November 19th, 2009). And ladies and gentlemen, just like that - at 11:24 pm on October 29th, 2009, our daughter, Camryn Rose Hopkins was born into this great world!

I cut the cord and Kimmie and I kissed and said "I love you." After that I went over to formally introduce myself to Camryn. She immediately grabbed my pinky finger with her right hand and I was instantly in love! She's perfect! I had never seen a more beautiful baby, and looking back across the room at Kimmie, had never seen a more beautiful woman in my life. What a day! What a blessing!

Friday, October 9, 2009


This has nothing to do with the baby, or anything at all but this site is fascinating (especially in the wake of texting my 17 year old cousin and not knowing what the hell he was saying due to the text lingo):

FUJIMO is by far the best one. -- RAE!! (that means read and enjoy...ah forget it. FUJIMO!!)

Monday, October 5, 2009

Baby Showers...Not QUITE the audience for a sex joke

So Kimmie had her baby shower yesterday. It was really nice to see all the female family members (and Dubba J and my Dad, who thankfully came to relieve me of being the only male there - even the bartender was a woman) and get to have a day for Kimmie and for Cammie. She/we got tons of great things, lots of diapers, toys, clothes and all kinds of good stuff. So good food, good drink, good friends, good family, and a good time...BUT...

...i never realized how much i need a male audience to appreciate my humor. Now granted, Kimmie, my Mom, Karen, my Grandma, Jess, aunts and other various female family members and friends get my jokes, but really...if i don't have at least 3 - AT LEAST 3 other dudes in the room, it's a mess of epic proportions.

Case in point: after opening all the presents (oh, and have i mentioned that sitting with my wife, mother and mother-in-law while opening baby gifts is awful? not being in a room with family, friends and loved ones, and opening wonderful gifts that are so generous and carefully thought, that part is wonderful...its the actual act of sitting in front of a room full of women, opening presents, 90% of which are pink is the part that makes me tense up in a way i never knew my muscles could do)

...ok, anyway, i after opening the presents we thanked everyone for coming and for the wonderful gifts. In response, the female friends and family congratulated kimmie on being pregnant or getting pregnant or something to that effect...ok, so let me clarify everything and preface everything and say everything i need to say so i don't get in trouble for what i am about to say - my wife is incredible; women are incredible. Anyone who can carry a living human being inside them for 9 months and maintain their, become even more beautiful, and even more glowing while also putting together baby furniture, cleaning, cooking, working (actually, not just working, but getting a promotion on top of all that), and still being able to spend quality time with family, friends and husband is an amazing human being who is capable of anything. I will never be pregnant, can never get pregnant, and have no desire to ever BE pregnant, which gives me even more reason to be in awe of this wonderful woman that i am married to (who i am fully convinced has the ability to do anything). It's truly awe inspiring to see Kimmie do so many of the things she does while carrying our first child...amazing. To not have a room full of closest family and friends congratulating her would be a crime, and she deserves all the congratulations in the world.

That being said...

I felt like i played at least a SMALL role in the pregnancy thing -- I was there, I contributed, and the plain and simple fact is that there would be no pregnancy with out ole' Johnny boy. Well, there could be A pregnancy, just not THIS pregnancy. Anyways, while the women folk were congratulating kimmie on being pregnant, and everything else, I decided to jump in and mention that i did help out myself (and while it can't be confirmed, i may or may not have made some peculiar hand motions for the hearing impared) and that i should be congratulated as well for all my hard work. And I also paused for laughter and looked out into the crowd of female relatives with my arms out, palms face up and a look on my face as if to say "eh? EH? EHHHH? get it? EH? Am I right ladies? EH?"


NOTHING...NOTHING at all. I thought someone was going to cry. Or stab me with a fork.

Now I'm confident that had a few of my close male companions been in the room, alluding to the specific act of intercourse that lead to my wife's pregnancy and a modest hand-gesture-sign-languagey re-creation of said act would have drawn a few solid yucks from my bros...of course, I forgot that there wasn't a single bro in attendance (Jonathan had left earlier in the day but i know he would be laughing along with me) and therefore forgot who my audience was...oops.

Of course, I am also the person who suggested Kimmie give out certain electronic "toys" as a kind-of gag gift and then pretend that she forgot which party favors are given out at which showers so I may not be the best at doing comedy in front of an all-women audience...

One very plain and simple explanation that has not been touched upon here may very well be BEST explanation as to why no laughter for my just wasn't funny. But i refuse to buy into this theory on principle alone.

So lesson learned...if i ever find the guts to actually try stand-up, a women's baby shower may not be the best place to start

Am I right ladies? eh? EH? Am I right?

Friday, October 2, 2009

Blog Cherry....POPPED

Well, I guess technically it's not really my first. I did have a 2-year-long, highly successful myspace blog. And when i say "highly successful" i mean "not successful in any way, shape or form." But some of the friends enjoyed my 'musings' on a regular basis, and verbally assaulted me on an even more regular basis when i did not blog regularly... so naturally i stopped blogging entirely.

I have been tweeting for quite some time now - with my earliest tweets dating back as far as March of 2009. Rapidly approaching my 500th tweet, each one better than the last; no one any less or any more important than the other. is the place to be if you want to know EXACTLY how i am feeling and EXACTLY what i am doing at all times...well, at least during the hours of 7-4pm on weekdays since that's when i'm working, and thus have lots of time to spend on things like blogging and tweeting.

More than likely this blog will chronicle my daughter (Camryn Rose Hopkins) from her birth (which is going to be October 20th because there's no football on that day and i know she wouldn't want to inconvenience daddy) and all important moments henceforth. I think i just used the word henceforth for the first time. Fantastic.

In all honesty, I have no idea where this blog will go or what it will do. That's the great thing about happens...and life, much like this blog, will take me to all kinds of fascinating places, in all kinds of directions with no end in sight (with the exception of death, which i guess is basically when this blog, and my life will in fact...end). And this paragraph is the most intentionally pretentious thing i've ever, I LOVE blogging!

Also, i'm having a hard time adjusting to writing more than 140 characters at a time. Kind-of a stretch for the ole' noodle. But I will do my best.

So follow me on twitter, friend me on facebook, read me on blogger, hug me in public, kiss me in the rain and bathe me in the ocean...yes friends, this will be fun. i'm positively giddy with delight at the endless possibilities.