How awesome is having a baby?

IMAG2338-1Hi everyone,

My apologies for being absent the past couple of weeks. My little son arrived on Tuesday, after 13 hours of hard labor that were almost as difficult as some grant application processes. We’re naming him Viet William Prinzing Le. We got lots of good suggestions for names, but the auctioning off the baby’s naming rights mentioned earlier…well, that was actually an April Fool’s joke. (Although, I think we may just do that if we have another kid, maybe get some corporate sponsors. “Doritos Shamwow Le” does have a nice ring to it).

I am sleep deprived, looking like an extra from the Walking Dead. I have not had more than two consecutive hours of sleep for seven days. Don’t worry, though, the poor sleep and exhaustion hasn’t been affecting me at yes, yes we would love a donation, Benjamin Franklin, thank you!

Huh? Sorry. Where was I? Oh yes, the baby. This has been one of the hardest few days of my life, trying to stay up to console the baby. For the first few days, he wouldn’t sleep without being held. Now he can for a short period of time, but once in a while, he jolts awake, and I have to tap him and say soothing things like “shhhhh, shhhh, Daddy’s here, and you don’t have to plan an annual dinner…” It is exhausting. And I have to learn all sorts of new stuff, like how to use cloth diapers (Since this is Seattle, the diapers are organic, gluten-free, and artisanal, made with hemp fibers). Having a baby changes you. Last week, I walked into the birthing center a boy. When I walked out, I was no longer a boy.

But a boy with an awesome baby! Sweeeet!!! Seriously, despite the exhaustion, the long nights, the hoarse voice, and the constant lingering smell of spit-up that surrounds me, this is one of the most amazing things I’ve ever experienced. How awesome is it, you ask? Since this is a nonprofit blog, I’ll try to put it into nonprofit perspective:

  • It is more awesome than a funder that you don’t know emailing you asking you to apply to a grant, and then you apply, and then you actually get the grant.
  • It is better than a four-day weekend where you don’t have any community meetings and you can just watch like an entire Season of Breaking Bad or Arrested Development.
  • It is better than giving someone feedback, and then seeing evidence that they actually used it and you no longer want to smack them each time you see them.
  • It is better than getting a thank-you note from a student saying how much your program has helped her, with terrible spelling and a sweet but horrible drawing of you.
  • Better than checking your email and finding someone has made an online donation. Better than meeting your annual dinner goal. Better than that feeling you get the day after a major event when you still have so much crap to do but at least it’s over and you can go splurge on some ice cream.
  • Better than a retreat that actually leads to a doable action plan that everyone is happy about.
  • It is better than cleaning up your cubicle and finding a gift certificate for a dozen vegan cupcakes that someone gave you but you promptly lost because your cubicle is the Bermuda Triangle of documents.
  • It is better than beating traffic and arriving early for a meeting, so early that you can take a 15-minute nap in your car in the sunshine and then waking up and freaking out thinking you may have overslept but then realizing you still have six minutes so you set your alarm for five minutes and go back to sleep.

Having a sweet little baby is better than all those things. And almost as good as a multiyear general operating grant.

The grant

12605crazyhandLast month we had to work on a grant. I don’t really mind writing grants, but this one was painful. It was awful. It was the worst grant I had ever written. It was like getting a thousand paper cuts, bathing in lime juice, and then drying off with a towel dusted with salt.

It was excruciating, like taking some tin foil, covering it with barbecue sauce, and then chewing the whole thing for five or six minutes and only taking a break once to punch yourself in the face.

Seriously, this grant was horrifying, like someone taking a garden statue of a skunk, breaking off its tail, dipping the tail in chunky peanut butter and fire ants, and then beating you with it while forcing you to watch Superman IV.

This grant was insane, like taking a Funshine Bear Care Bear doll, removing all the stuffing, filling it with sauerkraut, then duct-taping the kraut-stuffed bear to your chest before you run screaming into a garage wall while passers-by spit tapioca pearls at you with those giant bubble tea straws.

The grant was horrendously agonizing, like someone going to the farmer’s market, buying three organic purple carrots, freezing them with liquid nitrogen, smashing them into pieces, loading those pieces into a T-shirt cannon and firing them at you while you have one foot in a duffel bag filled with live scorpions and a puree of habanero peppers.

It was stressful and unpleasant, like taking a codpiece and some leeches and a blowtorch and some rope and a handful of pistachio shells and a week-old baguette and some mouthwash and …

Anyway, you get the point. It was an awful, awful grant, mind-numbingly tedious, frustrating, annoying, infuriating, and very, very irritating.

This week we just got notice that we made it to the interview round. Sweet!