Tuesday, 26 November 2013

New Blog Design



Hi all,



You may have noticed recently that my blog has a funky new design! This was done by a brilliant illustrator from Surrey, Carmi Latham, over at The Inker’s Boudoir. Not only is she one of the nicest people you’re ever likely to meet, she is a fantastic artist as well!


Before on the blog I used a standard template, but that was in need of some Man-Childing up, so I spoke to Carmi and we discussed some ideas and she has come up with what you see now! She is a compete whizz with photoshop and all sorts of other art programs. Have a look around, what do you think?




The main images are of course Dragons, because Dragons are awesome and I love them. There is a baby dragon based on Albert and a daddy dragon based on myself. The main banner is ‘Child, Man-Child’ but with a sort of child’s writing that could quite feasibly me mine, and the whole background is a bright blue, with recurring pictures of both dragons.



Here is the Baby dragon first in more detail. He has a nappy, a bottle of a milk and a dummy in his mouth. As you can see he is an orange colour with green spots, I love the attention to detail!




And here is the Daddy dragon. He is green with orange spots to tie the pictures together, like the baby is growing up and changing into the adult dragon but keeping similar colours. The daddy dragon also has a beer and has a sneaky thumbs up. He is wearing big brown boots. I wear brown boots all the time and my wife says I like to stomp around. One of my life’s ambitions is to kick down a door like in an action film, and so that’s a lot easier with boots on and I like to be prepared. (I’m a simple soul – got to have reachable targets right?) My favourite part of the pic is that the dragon has my glasses on! Carmi took an actual picture of my glasses, and photoshopped them into the picture, they aren’t actually drawn by hand. They are authentically my glasses!




I also wanted to share some more of Carmi’s art with you. A few years ago my now-wife had asked Carmi to do some bespoke artwork for my birthday. The Hulk is my favourite superhero (maybe that harks back to the stomping?), and she painted this awesome canvas of him for me! Once Albert is old enough we will definitely hang this in his room for him!




CHRISTMAS ALERT!


As you can see, Carmi is super talented, and you can take a look at more of her work on her website at www.theinkersboudoir.co.uk



She has several sets of awesome Christmas cards now for sale if you fancy some bespoke and unique Christmas designs to send to your peeps. There are also a load of other card sets she does, for birthdays and moving and all sorts, and tons of other great artwork! Here are some more of her designs. Go take a look and see what you think!











If you would like to contact Carmi at The Inker’s Boudoir then you can here:






On Twitter @inkersboudoir






Thanks Carmi!



So what do you think of the new look? Hope you like it!

Thursday, 14 November 2013

10 Changes After Having a Newborn


Hi all,



I have been thinking recently about how much my life has changed since Albert has come along, and the answer is massively. A big baby shaped change. Having a baby changes your life in pretty much every way possible, and all of them for the better. Now I can’t even go for a wee without thinking about how it might affect Albert (ie I can’t just go for a wee whenever I like and leave him in the garden with the foxes).
  
So apart from the obvious big changes (heart swelling with love etc) that you always hear parents talking about, it changes your life in so many little ways as well. So I thought I would take a light hearted, honest look at a few small changes in my life that have happened recently.


Foxes, they look cute, but don't leave them with your baby. 


Increased Bladder Control

I’ve got to start with something to do with urine, it basically means the time I can go without weeing has increased. I can now hold my bladder at an Olympic level. I'm like a Super Hero whose power involves not going for a wee. As I mentioned above, you shouldn’t leave babies alone with foxes, or any animals really, so sometimes you have to hold it in. Usually I haven’t got time to wee when he needs feeding, changing, soothing, rocking, cleaning up after, someone to play Playstation with. Obviously Lucy looks after Albert while I am at work so her bladder must be Adamantium by now, whereas mine is just Iron. I’m not a doctor (...yet, any Universities that want to give me an honorary doctorate then please tweet me on @DudasPriest) so I don’t know if the bladder is like a muscle where you can increase its strength but flexing it or whatever, but I am able to hold in a wee much more than I was before. Which you can't fight crime with, but it's still good.




Park in Child Spaces when Shopping

This is a great one. One of the many benefits of having a baby is that you can park right by the entrance to Tesco, or pretty much anywhere with a child parking space, so you don’t have to carry them as far when they start kicking off because shopping is SOOOO BORING DAD. This has also made me very critical of other people who park in these spaces whereas previously I didn’t really care (although I’ve never parked there without a baby myself). Critical to the point where I see people getting out their cars without children and I want to shout WHERE IS YOUR BABY!? WHY ARE YOU PARKING THERE??? Shouting WHERE IS YOUR BABY at people in car-parks could be taken the wrong way though so I never do, I just silently judge.




Quickly, can someone help me here? What is the rule for parking in these spaces? Do you actually need a child with you? What if you are leaving the child in the car while you pop in? How old do the children need to be until they are too old for you to use it? What if you’re just stopping by quickly to buy baby products but don’t actually have a baby with you? I feel Tesco need a sign up in the car-park, or a FAQ on their website or something. SORT IT TESCO.




Have Toned Arms

Spending increasing hours holding a baby means toning your arms up. They are never going to have holding a baby as an activity in a gym (at least I hope not), but I am sure my arm muscles are getting way stronger after tensing them into shape after having to stand there holding him and rocking him for hours at a time. I’m basically turning into The Rock.


Basically what my muscles are turning into: 


Jump to Front of queues

I haven’t done this one yet, but I have seen people do it and moved aside for them so I know it works. I’m not going to say I am never going to use my baby as an excuse for things, because being honest, I definitely will at some point, but I know that I always have the option that if I am in a big queue and I can’t be bothered to wait because the Formula 1 starts in 20 minutes and I need to get home in time, I can always push to the front and say MY BABY IS GETTING UPSET, MOVE OUT THE WAY.




Have a proper excuse to go to bed at 3am, AND get sympathy for it

I have definitely done this one. People seem to have a lot of sympathy for parents who went to bed at 3am and are really tired the next day. Nobody has sympathy for someone who stayed up to 3am playing Playstation while their child is asleep and are really tired the next day. So I tend to just say to people that I’m really tired and I didn’t get to sleep until late, and then wallow in the sympathy. Ah assumptions, you know what they say about those.


Babies and PS3, the best excuses to stay up late:


Not do things because you’re busy with the baby

Another excuse one that is waiting ready to be used. Been invited to something you don’t want to go to? Oh sorry, we can’t get a babysitter, Albert was feeling really ill etc. Again I feel slightly bad for using him as an excuse, but be honest, everyone does it, so I don’t feel bad enough not to if we are desperate for one. To make it fair I will total up all the times I do it, and when he is a bit older I will explain it to him, and I will give him that many notes to get out of P.E. lessons.




Spend more money on batteries

It seems like my battery expenditure has increased 400% since Albert has been born. Most baby products seem to involve batteries that last barely a week or so! Don’t get me wrong, I don’t resent buying them, as I would do anything to make him happy, but it’s amazing how all of a sudden I have a whole box on the desk that seems to be dedicated to batteries, and filled up with all different types waiting to be used.

  



Fart in public and blame it on the baby

Ahem... I am not going to comment on this one.




Suddenly stop awkward social situations by deflecting attention onto the baby

Parents definitely do this, I am definitely definitely sure! Especially dads, when you are all of a sudden in a social situation having to talk to someone you don’t really know (the dreaded Stop & Chat, as per Larry David) and you are looking for a way out of that conversation, or at least a distraction. ‘Oh, the baby is crying, I’ll go and see how he is!’ or ‘Awww look at the face he is pulling!’ and voila, subject changed = You’ve escaped. Especially handy when people come to the door wanting money, or you’re stuck on a phonecall to the bank and looking for a way out, or someone has been banging on about politics for 20 minutes a dinner party and you want to shut them up, or at least have a valid excuse to ignore them. A baby is an ideal way to divert attention and turn the tide in an awkward social situation.

How to get out of a Larry David style Stop & Chat, get a baby!


Never get anywhere on time

I am 100% positive that every single parent has experienced this at some point in their lives. We have been pretty good so far, but trying to get anywhere on time is almost impossible with a baby in tow. They have so much more stuff than you can imagine to take with them, even for a 2 day trip, I feel like a footman from Downton Abbey packing up the car with 18 bags for his Lordship. With the best of intentions, even if you start getting ready 2 hours before you have to leave, you’ll still find yourself scrambling around with 3 minutes to go getting stuff ready, and finally getting out the house 15 minutes later than planned. A baby will always, ALWAYS be sick down its front, your front, your shoes, the floor, and the cat, just as you open the front door. 


Never enough time!


And that’s about it for now, having a baby is awesome! How has it changed your life in the little ways?

Wednesday, 6 November 2013

6 Weeks Worth of Baby Stats



Howdy all!



As mentioned in my last post, I’ve had a bit of time off from blog writing recently, I’ve been a busy Man-Child! What with work, being ill, weekends out, and of course parenting, I haven’t had any free time to write anything! Parenting is a full time job, who knew?



So anyway, I have finally managed to get this post done! Since my posts last month, Albert has passed his ten-week ‘birthday’, and is doing well (When you stick your tongue out he now mimics you, and sticks his tongue out back at you, something which I am classing as the act of a genius baby). So ever since his birth, we have been recording all his feeds and all his nappy changes in a little book (‘The Poo Diary’), so we could monitor when he was due to feed and altogether be super-organised. (FYI it’s good practise to do this for babies, but not as an adult, that’s weird). Once we filled up the diary we realised we had a whole 6 week’s worth of data on feeding and nappy changes! A whole book’s worth, what a novel it will make. So I did what any geek parent would do, I whacked it all into Excel, chucked in some formulas and started to analyse that bad boy! It’s interesting reading to find out just how many nappy changes a baby has per week (more than I ever imagined).



As I am using Excel, I have done what any normal person does and followed the main rules of Excel, which are:

A)  If you can use a formula, even for the easiest of sums, then do so.
B) Always make the formula as long and complicated as possible.

Obviously data from a spreadsheet taken out of context doesn’t mean anything, so rather than just copy and paste it all here, I have cherry picked the tasty bits and noted them all below. Hmmm cherries. I realise not everyone is going to be interested in Excel spreadsheets (if not, why not?) but I have included something on how each bit was worked out as well at the end (just in case). I’ve used all sorts of formulas, including my favourite formula, the COUNT formula. Because Count Formula sounds like some sort of Excel Vampire Lord from Transylvania. Which sounds like an excellent idea for a educational cartoon/horror?


I should probably add a Disclaimer at this point, I have gone purely off the data in the book, and as any parent knows, trying to concentrate and look after a newborn don’t go hand in hand, so I am fully aware there may be some mistakes! I have tried my best. Trying to remember when your baby last pooed at 5 in the morning when you’ve had barely any sleep for 2 days isn’t easy.

We recorded Feed Volume (in millilitres), Time of Feed (GMT), Time of Nappy Change (GMT), and Type of Dirty Nappy (More of that later! Who knew there were so many different types of poo?)

FYI we used a Black Bic Biro, the daddy of all pens. Anyone who says a Bic biro isn't the best pen I will challenge to a duel.


So onto some analysis (how exciting), here is the info for the first 6 weeks of Albert’s life:


Feeds

Total Feeds - 253

That works out at about 42 feeds of milk per week.
Or 6 feeds per day.

On average he fed every 4 hours for the first 6 weeks of his life, and that is pretty much still the case now.

Analysis

I wish I could drink milk 42 times a week! (I love milk, specifically milkshakes). That’s a lot of feeds. 6 per day is classic baby-drinking. He normally goes around 3-4 hours between feeds, and then a bigger sleep at the end of the day, so the average coming out at around 6 feeds per day is right (and also what it says on the Aptimil box, so that’s good he isn’t feeding on average 12 times a day like I would be, I'm like some sort of Milk-Demon). Luckily this wasn’t every 4 hours like clockwork for the WHOLE 6 weeks, otherwise we would never have any sleep longer than 4 hours. Which is classed as torture in most countries.


Volume of Feeds

The Mean Average feed of milk was 138.4ml.
The Mode Average Feed of milk was 150ml.

Total Volume of milk is 35010ml, or 35 litres.



Analysis

Wow talk about a lot of milk, I guess if you drink milk on average 6 times a day, then after 6 weeks you will have bashed through a whole load of crates of milk. Just to put it into perspective, 138.4ml is just over a third of a can of coke, or around 3 shot glasses of milk. Imagine sitting down to lunch to have 3 shot glasses of milk? No wonder he cries a lot, he must be starved.

Just a very quick maths lesson, the Mean Average is the average where they are all added together and divided by how many their are. The Mode Average is the most common anmount of any 1 value. MATHS TEACHER MODE STOP.

I think the Average Mode feed reflects his most common feed as he drank 150ml of milk most of the time. Not to mention the Mode average is cooler, as it always makes me think of Depeche Mode. And 80s music is awesome (and the Mean average is just mean, he’s a dickhead)



So anyway, after 6 weeks of feeds, there was an overall total of 35 litres of milk?? Holy cow, glad he isn’t lactose intolerant! Maybe he is though, maybe that’s why he poos so much. Anyway, 35 litres is a lot, no matter how you look at it. And if you didn’t know what 35 litres of milk is, then it’s about the same as 17 and a half bottles of coke, which looks like this:

Or put it this way, if you took the same volume of petrol as that of milk he had drank, and you had a brand new 2013 3 Door, Petrol, Volkswagon Golf S with a manual gearbox, you could drive it around 443 and half miles. Which if you drove from Lands End in a northerly direction, you’d make it all the way to Penrith in Cumbria, nearly the length of the country. All that powered by the amount of milk a baby drinks in 6 months. Make of that what you will.



If you want another FF (fun fact), if you took his average bottle of milk and poured it into an Olympic swimming pool, you would have to do it at least 18,063,584 times to fill it up. Now THAT is a lot of milk.


Time of Feeds

Depeche Mode feed – 6.10pm



Analysis

I did also work out all the times for all the feeds BUT... he spent his first few weeks feeding randomly, by the end of the 6 weeks he was in a routine and sleeping through the night. So all the average times of feeds really don’t make a lot of sense! The only good stat to take from this is the Depeche Mode feed, which was 6.10pm. For his first 6 weeks of his life, the most common time he fed was ten past six. All this really means is that when the news comes on, we know it’s time to go and get his bottle ready.




Nappy Changes

Total nappy changes was 250.

Average of 42 per week.
Or 6 nappy changes per day.
Of which 1.3 were pooey and 4.6 were wet.

There is a 22.4% chance you will find some form of poo when you open that nappy up.



Analysis

Just like the milk, that’s a lot of nappies. Which means a lot of wee and a lot of poo. It almost works out at exactly 1 nappy change per feed, which seems bang on as we almost always changed his nappy at the same time as feeding him. (It’s like there is only so much room in him for milk, it only comes out the bottom end when the milk goes in the top end, he is basically a giant hydraulic tube)

At different points over the 6 weeks it seemed like he was either pooing uncontrollably or not pooing for days, so I guess working out the average at 1 poo per day seems right. I feel sorry for the parents whose children poo every single nappy. I hope you find peace in your next life. For us, it was a 1 in 4 chance you will find poo when you open the nappy up, it’s like a scratchcard in reverse, but you don’t win money, you just win poo.



Just so you know, when we recorded the poos, we normally marked down them down as wet or dirty (or both). There were a few instances of Uber-Poo being recorded, and one memorable time of a MOAS being recorded. A Mother Of All Shits. The less questions asked about the MOAS the better.


Also I looked at the average nappy we used, which was a Pampers size 2. If you took all the nappies he used over 6 weeks, and folded them open, they would make a line 85 metres long. How long is that you ask? Oh about the length of 8 and a half double decker buses, which looks like this:
 
If you want to go on height, then if you stretched all the nappies out and stood them vertically, believe or not, it would be higher than Nelson’s Column. In fact it would be around 80% of the height of Big Ben. Ding dong!



If you want to measure that in time, Usain Bolt could run the length of the nappies in around 8.14 seconds. I could run the length of the nappies in around 28.14 seconds.

Interesting, this leads to the quite awesome fact, that if Usain Bolt could run up walls, he could run up the length of Big Ben in 9.2 seconds. Now that’s an Olympic event I would watch! That's what that would look like, in this incredably realistic not-at-all photoshopped picture.





Time of Nappy Changes

Depeche Mode change – 4pm

Analysis

Not much to say here other than a similar thing to the times of the feeds. They are so random for the first few weeks of his life, that they skewer the data for the whole 6 weeks. All we can take from the Depeche Mode nappy change is that he most often needed a change at 4pm, which is now referred to as The Pooey Hour.



Average Day

So taking that all that information above into account, that would mean his average day is:

6 feeds at 150ml each.
6 nappy changes, of which 1 will contain some form of poo.

I used the Depeche Mode for this average again, because I love the 80s.


And that’s about it, again I apologise for some of my shotgun maths, I assume something has gone wrong somewhere!

I really wanted to work out the difference in time between each of the feeds, so I can see when he did all his long sleeps, but I’ve spent long enough on it and I can’t figure out a way to do this without going through it and counting them all up individually! Any Excel geniuses out there that can help? Any Count Formulas that want to lend their expertise?

If for some reason anyone would like a look at the spreadsheet of the data, formulas and analysis then let me know, you can tweet me on @DudasPriest or use the form at the side to email me, and I can send it on to you.

Anyone else monitored their baby’s feeding and pooing like this and have any of their own analysis? I doubt it but let me know!




How it was all worked out



Here we go if you are still interested!

Feeds

I added all the values of the feeds into the spreado, and then did a COUNT formula at the end to count the value of each day. I did a COUNT formula so that blank cells wouldn’t have a value counted towards it, so it just worked out the number of feeds (rather than total volume). Then I added in simple SUM formula to add up the count of each days feeds, and then divided that by 6 to get the average per week, and then by 42 for the average for each day. I rounded off to the nearest whole numbers, as you can’t really have a decimal of a feed. You either feed or you don’t! I then manually minused the water feeds as there were only 7 of them and I had highlighted them in yellow when I was entering the data.

To work out the average milk feeds over the whole weeks was a simple 42 days x 24 hours to get 1008 hours total, then divided by 253, the number of milk feeds. I then rounded off to 4. Simples!

Volume of Feeds

Each feed was recorded in ml, and entered in the spreadsheet with General formatting. I did a SUM formula of the whole of the data to get the total in ml of feeds. I then manually added up the volume of the water feeds (as there were only 7), and misused from the total volume to get the milk volume. I then divided by the total amount of milk feeds to get the average (mean) of the milk feed. To get the volume in litres I divided by 1000 (as each litre has 1000ml in it).

To work out the Depeche Mode feed volume, I used the MODE formula =MODE(D3:L9)

A coke can is 330ml, of which a third is 110ml (just under the average feed). A shot glass is around 45ml, so 3 of them is 135ml, pretty close to 138.4ml. A bottle of coke is 2 litres, so 35/2 is 17.5 bottles.

I looked up the specs of a brand new VW Golf S, and can see it has a combined MPG between urban and country driving, of 57.6. I took the amount of ml of milk drank (35010) and converted that to gallons (works out at 7.7), which I then multiplied by the MPG to get total distance in miles, which I then put into Google maps.

I googled the size of an Olympic swimming pool so hopefully it’s right, and got these dimensions and maths to work out the volume in litres:

Olympic size pools measure: 50 metres long, 25 metres wide, and a minimum of 2 metres deep.

25m x 50m x 2m = 2,500m3; 1L = 0.001m3 so 2,500 x 1000 = 2,500,000L

2,500,000 litres x 1000 to get the ml is 2,500,000,000, which is then divided by the average feed of 138.4ml to get 18,063,584 (which I had rounded off to the nearest whole number)

Time of Feeds

Right, I did initially enter all the times into the spreadsheet and put some formulas on them, but I didn’t use this in my final analysis. The reason why is that the feeds for the first week or so were so random, it just skewered all the data. We recorded the 1st, 2nd 3rd feeds of the day etc all the way up to 9 (as one time he feed 9 times in a day, but the overall average was 6) Also when we recorded the times, we recorded them from midnight to midnight. The times when Albert had a feed after midnight and then had a long sleep just messed up the average time of each feed per day. So I just decided to leave this all out. However the data was all still there, and I spent ages doing the formulas and am a little proud, so I included it here anyway!



So initially we had all the times worked out in the book and I was a little stumped as to how to enter them to successfully show times, rather than just plain data. The Formatting for Time always seemed to include a 00:00:0000 date first, and I couldn’t be bothered to manually enter the full date each time. So in the end I bodged up this solution, which is properly overkill, and as such is in the spirit of Excel. I had a separate data table elsewhere on the spreadsheet where I entered each time as a 24 clock format, with the formatting set to Custom, and set as 0\:00. I entered each of the values with a single digit (or double if it had double digits in the hour), like this: 300 for 3am, 800 for 8am, 1145 for 11.45am, 1530 and 3.30pm and 2200 for 10pm etc. I then had the main data fields at the top with the rest of the data, with formulas in that referred back to the data chart. These formulas changed the data from the 24 clock format, to something easier to read. Mainly because a) I could, and b) I wanted to read the time as 8am, or 3:30pm rather than 800 or 1530. The formula I used for this was:

=TIME(TRUNC(Q118/100),MOD(Q118,100),0)

To work out the average time of each feed in the whole column was more tricky, because not all the columns were filled (eg there was always a 1st feed for the day, but not always a 8th or 9th feed), so I couldn’t just highlight the whole column divide by 42 (the amount of days) as there wasn’t always 42 volumes. In the end I put together this formula, which added up the totals of all the times (as they were recorded in data form) and divided by the COUNTA (not COUNT) figure for the column, it looked like this (and I am 95% sure it’s right)

=(SUM(P3:P44))/(COUNTA(P3:P44))

The Depeche Mode was again a basic MODE formula across the whole of the time data.

Nappy Changes

This was worked out in much the same way as the times he fed. I had COUNTA formulas for each day, and then did a SUM formula to total them up. Then the normal divide by 6 for the average per week and divide by 42 for the average per day.



To work out the poo and wee ratio took slightly longer. When we recorded the nappy state, we noted it down as a number of things. I entered all of these into the data. We had W for Wet, D for Dirty, B for Both, U for Uber-Poo and M for Mother Of All Shits (of which we only had 1 thankfully). Looking back I think there were many times we noted down Dirty when it was probably both. We can safely probably assume that every time he did a poo, he did some form of wee as well, we just couldn’t notice as there was poo everywhere (and it stunk so we did it quick and didn’t investigate the nappy in depth). So in the end I worked out the totals of each W, D, B, U and M using this COUNTIF formula:

=COUNTIF(Y3:AF44,"W")

And then the percentage of each of those totals, using this formula:

=AC51*(100/AC49)

But to get the total figures of just Wee or Poo, I already had the percentage of nappies that were just wee, so I just minused that from 100 to get the percentage for times there was some sort of Poo (100 minus 77.6, the simplest sum in this post)

To work out the poos and wees per day, I just divided the Total Wees and Total All Types Of Poo by 42 and rounded off.



Each nappy is 17cm folded and then 34cm when unfolded. 34cm x the total number of nappies at 250 is 8500cm, which is 85 metres. I find this hard to believe too, I am sure I have messed up the maths somewhere!

I googled the length of a London bus and found out that the average buses in London range from 9.5 to 11.1 metres, so I got 10.3 down the middle as an average. Then divided the total length of nappies by the length of an individual bus.

The height of Big Ben is 96 metres, so I worked out the percentage of that which 85 metres is (which is 81.6%)

Usain Bolt can run 100 metres in 9.58 seconds, which is the World Record. Assuming he goes at the same speed for the whole 100 metres, which is wrong because he doesn’t, but assuming he does because it makes the maths easier. It’s the total time divided by 100, then multiplied by 85 metres for the nappies, and by 96 metres for Big Ben.

Time of Nappy Changes

Exactly the same way as the times of the feeds. Separate data chart and longer formulas than probably necessary.

And if you're still reading after all that, he's a print screen of the whole spreadsheet!