He Can’t Even Cheer Yet


Santa was thinking of you this year.  He brought you two Chris Cooley Redskins onesies that should fit by the time football season comes around again.  Babydoll, this is what your mother said.  “Great!  Skins game, bottle for Vegas, beer bottle for me.  Yeah!”  This was followed by a fist bump.

I cannot promise you that you’ll get to sit in the garden with me on Sundays.  I think you have plans.

Merry Christmas, Vegas.

Warning, language.

There actually is language in here, so if you’re pure of heart or simply want to spare your eyes, move along.

There are a lot of reasons why we have to get our act in gear right now.  We have some bad habits to break and only…182 days, 7 hours and 51 seconds (according to my ipod app)…left to go.

1.  No more hollering at the dog.  Moses, no!  Moses, stop whining!  Moses!  Moses, leave it!  Moses, drop it!  No, Moses, no!

2.  No more goddamn its.  Moses, goddamn it.  Leave.  It.

3.  No more whining about having to get up in the morning.  Please baby, just 5 more minutes.  What is that noise?!  Goddamn it, Moses, be quiet!

4.  No more colorful names.  No dillweed or its variations.  Nothing with the word douche, and so on.  Moses is at no time a dick.

5.  The word fuck is overused.  Really, as a verb, as a noun, in every sense.  Moses, I’m looking at you on this one.

We’re perfectly well spoken in every situation, except when we get home.  At that point, it’s like we’re drunken, bawdy sailors with a shortage of fine rum and loose women.  While we joke that our child’s first word will be no,moses,no, it will probably be something more colorful if we don’t nip this in the bud.

We’re getting to the point where a swear jar might be in order, except that neither of us could afford to participate.  So we’ll just have to do it by force of will.  The next thing we’ll work on is ignoring the dog when he’s being a twat.  Sorry.  Twit.

I’m telling you…

I think we’re in a first/second trimester limbo.  No one is full of energy or starving or happy as a lark (okay, no one actually said that bit about the lark).  In fact, there’s a lot of droopy eyelids, restless nights and lackluster dinner enthusiasm.  And that’s just me.  No, I’m kidding.  It’s both of us.  We’re plumb tuckered out.

Some of it is emotional.  Telling our 600 closest friends that Vegas is on his way resulted in a completely unexpected outpouring of good wishes.  I had no idea people liked us that much.  Or, at all.  Of course, everyone likes a baby and we are more than happy to oblige.  Here!  Here’s our baby!  Because…

That baby will not let her sleep.  I know, it’s going to be his full time job as we get later in the pregnancy and once she delivers him. But for the love of pete, Vegas, let the woman get some shut eye.  She says her stomach is gurgling.  That it feels like the baby is scratching and pinching.  Her insides are stretching.  It’s waking her up at night and she lays there, wondering what he’s doing in there.

On the plus side, we’re not relying so much on the nausea to know things are happening in there.  On the minus side, you leave your mother alone.  CHILD, DON’T MAKE ME COME DOWN THERE.

…As in Las

Do they do that on purpose?  Play “What Child is This?” while the ultrasound tech finds your baby and he pops up on the screen in all his big-headed 12 weeks glory?  We celebrate a range of religious events in this household, so the red velvet bows, candle cut outs and restful winter cheer alone might have been enough to make me tear up but carols, which do it to me anyway, sent me right over the edge.

That baby is in there and he’s doing everything he’s supposed to.  He posed for the tech and sat still for all of the pertinent measurements.  He also wriggled and arched his back, swinging his legs and throwing up a hand for show.  He is a perfectly average baby doing perfectly average things.  Yay for average!

I am happy that it’s too early to see if he’s a boy or a girl (a note here on why we’re defaulting to he) because I don’t want the dream to be spoiled.  I’ll admit it, I really want a girl.  So I’m content to wait the entire nine months hoping that I can influence the sex by sheer force of will.  Sure, we both feel like it’s a boy, but that doesn’t stop me from dreaming.  Just in case, we’ve picked out a boy’s name that will make up for the fact that he isn’t our girl.

To make up for being such judgmental parents already, we’ve nicknamed him Vegas.  For a few months, we were pretty sure that would be the child’s actual name until we came to our senses and realized the wrath our families might shower down on us.  That, and, have you ever imagined a Supreme Court judge named Vegas?  While Vegas suits a rock star fine (and that’s way more up our alley), it just doesn’t scream hire me!  And we want the poor thing to have a job.  We might even call him Vegas once he’s born though, if we get a girl, I think we’ll skip that as a nickname.  Stripper, right?

So, looking like every other 12 week ultrasound you’ve ever seen, meet Vegas!

What Just Happened?

It was a particularly hard week for me. Fortunately, I have tomorrow off while I send my wife and that child off to earn the bread.  Speaking of bread…  Oh, I know, you deserve a better segue than that.  I’m sorry.  Please accept this fruitcake as an apology.

While we’re on the topic of food…I know!  I’m sorry, I can’t help it!  I’d like to tell you something that took an exhausting week and transformed it into something amazing.  My wife consumed an entire plate of food.

Since we’re attempting to give our budget CPR in the form of not gift wrapping each cent and handing it to restaurateurs, we’ve been eating at home this month.  That has involved vats of soup, piles of tangerines, and bits of protein in microscopic amounts.  She gets about two bites down, turns green and sets her dish aside.  I clean my plate and sit, staring solemnly at it and picturing a large, chocolate mousse.  I don’t know if you knew, but you can’t exactly imagine one of those into existence.  No need to thank me for the tip.

So at the tail end of a rough week, it’s not surprising that I forgot to thaw some chicken.  Or that we had eaten all the soup.  And that I wasn’t about to try to dream up a new concoction that wouldn’t be chocolate mousse.  By the way, don’t try to whine to your pregnant wife about your period.  Or, at least remember to duck when she swings her belly at your temple.

So we walked to a favorite restaurant after work.  It was rough and windy outside and warm and friendly inside.  It’s a small place where we’re recognized and it feels a little like supper with friends.  Unlike supper with friends, I managed to order and eat while talking and never taking a breath.  I monopolized the conversation (sorry darlin) and when I looked up, this is what I saw:

I’ve never seen such a beautiful sight in all my life.  Her appetite is back.

I realize the tide could turn at any second, but for one brief moment, we had a quease-free meal.  It was like the sun broke over me and little fairies fluttered all around my ears.  People, I had a moment of hope.  And it was good.

Subtract Three from Eighty Seven and…

People, I was bad at Algebra, but this is ridiculous.  Can someone please explain when we can say “I’m 12 weeks pregnant!” and be telling the truth?  Right, then.  Let’s get started.

Tomorrow we will be 12 weeks and 1 day.  Is this then the 13th week?  Assuming at one point we would have been one week and one day (way before.  Yes, I did okay in Geometry) it would actually be eight days which would have been the second week even though it was ONE week and a bit.  And we would have told people (again, I know we weren’t actually pregnant) that we were IN our 2nd week.  So logically, at 12 weeks and 1 day, we’re IN the 13th week. Right? Or…

People, I need to know which week to stalk on every baby website in the world.  This is critical information.  Is it the 12th week?  Is she still supposed to be nauseous?  Or is it the 13th and should she be feeling spry?  Hear that, darlin?  SPRY.  I know that this doesn’t matter really but I’d like to be telling the truth when I say we’re 12 weeks.

Are we 12 weeks all the way through 12 weeks and 7 days?  And if a train is coming toward you from the west at 70 miles per hour and there is a stack of diapers on the track ten inches before the switch, what time will dinner be served on the train approaching from the east 12 weeks later?  WHAT TIME?

Consider this part of my peace of mind.  Actually, consider it part of my wife’s well-being.  Despite my devoted cream rubbing, food tempting and back massaging, her head is beginning to spin a touch when I ask again, how far along are we?  Then it spins, you know just a little, blurring right around the ears.

I promise to stop bemoaning my pitiful math skills in a few weeks.  I vow not to care again until we’re near the end.  However, 12 weeks is exciting and 13 weeks is even better and I’d like to know.  Which is it?!


Folks, I’ve descended to a whole new level.  Instead of pondering world peace or coming up with interesting dinner topics, I’ve become fixated on the bippy.  Boppy.  Bippy.  Nuk.  Pacifier.

This is a perviously foreign object to us.  My recent memories of these rubber soothers are pop culture related.  I’ll spare you from the Britney Spears pic, but here’s what I’m talking about – straight from Fashion Week.

If I could find the picture of Left Eye Lopes with one, I’d tack it here too.  Imagine the fun the search engines would have with that.  Back to the point, we don’t usually have any pacifiers in our house.

No, as babyless adults, we have skipped pacifier purchases in favor of beer.  I know.  Surprise.  When our friends with twins (FWT) came to visit, they came armed with a few carefully selected pacifiers.  There seemed to be a “travel” one and a regular one for each child.  I’ll admit, we lay in bed the first night of their visit thinking, why not just carry a case of them?  Perhaps sew clothing with hundreds of pockets to jam them into.  Because it’s the simple law of babies, right?  Nothing stays in their mouths.

Pop!  Pacifier on the floor!  Rinse!  Pop!  Dog is licking pacifier!  Find a new one!  Pop!  You get the idea.  With thousands of pacifiers at the ready, you are prepared for any popping crisis.  The FWT did a remarkable job keeping track of those suckers.  They didn’t need thousands because they never lost sight of the ones in play.  But I’m scatterbrained (at best, y’all) and I’m going to need buckets full.

I wouldn’t be obsessing over the little things but for the pacifier that turned up in our dog’s GIANT CRAW after the FWT left.  I doubt they want it back at this point.  Maybe it’s the poop he just licked off his paw.  No, I’m kidding.  He wasn’t licking it, HE WAS CHEWING IT LIKE BUBBLEGUM.  At any rate, here is this tiny blue pacifier and it’s in our laundry room on our dryer which begs the question, what do we call it?

I grew up in an (obviously by this point) pacifier house.  The thing is, this is a lot of syllables and it seems people have begun to shorten it drastically.  Bippy is a favorite.  I’ve heard boppy.  Since I’ve also heard folks refer to pillows and seats as boppies (is that even the correct plural?) I think boppy could be confusing.  But bippy is the name of my mother’s dead cat and, well, you can see why I’m not jumping at the chance to use that.  Then there’s the economical nuk.  This is one syllable and reminds me of Nanook of the North.  I understand both bippy and nuk are brand names though, which makes sense.

So what are we going to call it?  I’m leaning toward paco just now.  See?  Where’s the paco?  No, the blue paco.  No dammit!  The BLUE paco.  Forget it, just give me the damn red paco and leave us alone.  Oh wait, it wouldn’t happen like that, I promise.  For the baby.  By the way, I am pronouncing this pahco like a Sonoran guy I once knew and not peco or packo.  Let’s be clear about that anyway.  No!  The BLUE one!

Sorry.  Distracted by my future.  Anyway, I’d like to know.  What do you call your pacifiers?  I assume if you have the this one, you just go with “bling”…

And now for more of the same…

We spent thanksgiving with 3 month old twins.  Their mothers came too, which was lovely, as four on two is better than any lesser alternative.  Though we saw the babies the day they were born, it has been more than a month since I’ve seen them last.  That’s like me not having see you in the last 15 years (you look different, lovelier).  The twins are bigger and stronger.  It’s fantastic to see the whole family bouncing back from the chaos of the last few months.

It was also fantastic to spend time with babies.  We’re in a pretty adult world.  Our local friends have grown children (or none at all) and while many of our local acquaintances are part of the under 2 set, we don’t know them well…yet.  Happily, our couches held up to fountains of undigested formula and our home to the tasks of keeping babies clean, fed and warm.  We were able to put our recently acquired cosleeper to use and found it worked nicely.  Most importantly, our personalities and good humor held up.

I’m sure it will be different with our own child (isn’t that what you’re supposed to say here?) but I was pleasantly surprised at our ability to let the tears and the screams roll off, plans develop gently and change at will, and experience the peaceful feeling of hearing the baby settle from red-faced sobs to sleepy coos.  Honestly, I didn’t even mind the shrieks.  If I were a baby, I’d be hollering too.  Two days wasn’t long enough to let the tiredness and tension build and break, but it was enough to bolster my confidence.  I know exactly what I’m doing.  Mostly.

I’m impatient to get fully past 12 weeks so that we can tell folks in the traditionally acceptable time frame.  I’m ready to tell now – doctor’s appts. have started, she’s exhausted and, if you know her well, she’s beginning to show.  I’m sure her belly will sneak around under bulky sweaters and the like for several more months (though we’re not trying to hide anything).  It’s just a subtle change that I notice because I spend all my free hours looking at her body.  What?  She’s hot!  Even though we have no reason to expect anything will go wrong, I’m looking forward to the ultrasound in another couple of weeks.  Mid-December we’ll get to spill the beans.

Thank You

We’ve been pressing forward on faith lately.  Faith that nausea meant a baby and that all those other little symptoms were adding up to a thriving possibility.  It has been a month since we last saw a doctor about being pregnant and, since then, faith.

On Wednesday we had an appointment with a doctor who looked just like me.  She was my wife’s type, a smiling, healthy, blonde and it made it just a tiny bit easier to let her break out the lube and a glove.  Dr. M was happy for us and completely comfortable with our relationship.  It’s a constant concern for me, this issue of acceptance, and I was almost as grateful that she was welcoming as I was to hear the heartbeat.

To. Hear. The. Heart. Beat.

She took us by surprise, whipping out the small machine and greasing up D’s belly lickety-split.  Afterwards, she confessed that she often doesn’t try with couples at ten weeks if they appear stressed out or high-strung, the chance of not finding it is too stressful for the panicked.  I was relieved that we appeared nonchalant because I didn’t feel relaxed, I felt like I wanted to take her by the shoulders and say SHOW ME MY BABY.

The little whoosh whoosh was extraordinarily gratifying.  Actually, that doesn’t even begin to do it justice.  It was phenomenally humbling.  If we’ve taken this at all lightly so far, shame on us.  That lovely little heartbeat was normal and we go back for an ultrasound in two weeks.

That’s all I’ve got to say – thank you.

Not so tasty

I had no idea how much I associate enjoyment of food with other people.  I’m sure this is a question for therapy, but I feel okay with it, just…baffled.

One month ago, I would have told you that I loved to cook.  Like M and Cooking sitting in a tree K-I-S-S-I-N-G love.  I would have told you about shelves of tattered cookbooks, memories about cooking with my mother, attempts at new dishes both successful and not, spilled stews, perfect summer suppers, campfire dinners and candlelit restaurants.  There’s no doubt I love to eat.  I love to taste.  I love the idea of trying every last thing, even if it’s just a bite.

I’ve come to terms with being heavier than I was at 20 because in the intervening years I have learned what it is to enjoy flavor.  Admittedly, it was only recently that I also learned to enjoy moderation, but that’s another post.  Even failed recipe attempts (or, more likely, failed attempts that didn’t involve a recipe) are a delight because of the experience of cooking and tasting.

At any rate, I’d have sworn that my love of food and cooking had nothing to do with the company.  That I’d enjoy it just as much alone as I do with you.  And I’d love to sit down with you over a flaky coffee cake and a steaming mug of…wait.  Distracted.  It turns out, that I am completely disinterested in food if the person I’m eating with is ambivalent about the dish.  Or, on the verge of throwing up.  Hi, honey!

I should have gotten a tip off when, given a night alone, I prefer to eat some of an oven pizza than to cook, but I’d never put two and two together.  This month has been instructional.  Food loses all flavor and incentive when D isn’t interested in eating.  She’s lost weight.  I’ve lost weight.  She’s choking down crackers at breakfast, I’m eating a lackluster piece of toast.  She blanches over a bowl of soup, my salad becomes flavorless.  She doesn’t feel like eating, I’m not the slightest bit hungry.

Maybe it seems like I’m missing it.  I’m not.  I suspect not anymore than she is in the depth of queasiness.  Before she got pregnant, I made promises of healthy, tasty dishes that would bring the baby up loving brussels sprouts and eating candied tofu.  Right, I know.  I know!  But also, food that would make her enjoy being pregnant.  Intellectually, I know I could try to tempt her with foods she felt like eating.  I have a huge arsenal of flavor to throw at her.  I could make a sweet and sour chicken.  Or sauerkraut.  Or feed her raw lemons topped with pickles.  Hmm…that might actually work.  But instead, I fail at temptation, preferring to let us both eat when she’s hungry to the extent that she feels like eating.

I won’t miss that 10 pounds anyway.