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Monday, January 31, 2011

Baby's First Intervention

Dear Baby Boy (a.k.a. Doctor):

I know how much you enjoy shopping for your chic-but-manly little baby clothes, because you are stylish and metro like that.  I enjoy it too, especially since it's less expensive and way more coo-inducing than shopping for maternity clothes.  But I think we better cool it for a while, or Dad is going to take away our credit card.  And then we'd have to stay home and do boring stuff.  Like cleaning. 

Love, Mom

The Closet of Cuteness

Monday, January 24, 2011

The pros and cons of procreating with an enginerd, and the only reason I'd ever say "Take the gun. Leave the cannoli."

Jeromy deserves a husband medal of honor after this weekend....we took a couple of trips into town in order to do our baby registries and to look for some nursery furniture.  Like most guys, Jeromy does not love shopping.  He'd rather be playing video games, or probably even washing the dishes.  But Jeromy especially does not love shopping with his pregnant wife who feels compelled to spend hours examining the flaws and features of diaper bags and car seats, but who also whines about back pain and has to take a pee break ever 10-25 minutes.  

I knew the whole situation was going to make him grumpy.  I even stopped in at the baby store the day before to ask when was the least crowded time to come in and register without too much hassle.  
Saleslady: "Well, the best time to come in is definitely during a UT football game."
Me:  "Ummm....isn't the season over for this year?"
Saleslady: "Oh, I guess so."
Me: " baby is due in May.  This does not help me."

When we did go in, I wanted Jeromy to mainly focus on the more technical baby stuff that has to be assembled and plugged in and all that business.  So I led Jeromy to the infant swings.
Me: "Ok, so you need to look at these and figure out which ones are good and which ones are crappy."
Jeromy: "Umm, I can't really tell that just by looking at them."
Me: "Well, I know, we should try them out and play with them and all that."
Jeromy: [after messing with a few] "I don't know.  I can't really tell."
Me: [giving him the special wifely look that says that I'm having a mental floor-kicking hissy fit] "What do you MEAN you don't know?!  You're an ELECTRICAL ENGINEER."

I do think I deserve some credit for not making him look at the breast pumps though.

Some other baby gear shopping Gems from Jeromy:

Me: "We should probably get one of these rubber duckies that changes color if the bath water is too hot."
Jeromy: "Nah, don't put that on the list.  We can just use my infrared thermometer."
Me: "Umm, ok."
Jeromy posing with his infrared thermometer on Christmas morning. 
Me: "Janet sent me a link to a one-day deal on the video monitor they bought.  It looks pretty good, so I was going to go ahead and get one."
Jeromy:  "No, don't buy one yet.  Let me do some research.  We might be able to set up a system where we can watch the baby on our iPhones."
Me: "Umm, ok."

I have to admit that I was really excited about registering.  And not just because it helped to satisfy my intense get-ready-for-this-baby-by-finding-the-perfect-baby-products nesting urge.  I also got the fulfill my long-held desire to use.....the registry gun.  

I have no explanation for why I'm so fascinated by these; I'm not THAT into technology gadgets, and I'm certainly not a fan of guns.  When we got married, we registered for our honeymoon and a set of handmade pottery dishes rather than the typical stuff, which I don't regret for a second, but I was a little sad not to get to use the gun.  Especially after I found out that Crate & Barrel does special registry events with champagne and hors d'oeuvres.  Yes, please.  I am still tempted to make Jeromy to take off his wedding band and go with me to pretend to be my brother and his fiance and register for them while they are out of the country.  I'd have to skip the champagne, and we might get some awkward "oooohh, you got pregnant and now you have to get married" looks, but I would still get to use the gun and eat finger food!

Anyway, I finally got to use a couple of registry guns this weekend, and it was pretty fantastic.  

In other news, I have updated the
page, so check it out and give some advice if you are interested!

Monday, January 17, 2011

My patented baby-naming method for the ridiculously obsessive

5-10 Years Prior to Conception: Begin keeping a mental list of names you like.  Oh, and find a spouse to have babies with. 
Sign on the dotted line if you agree to be my Baby Daddy
2.5 Years Prior to Conception:  Work on naming your puppy, and agonize over which names to keep off the list because you MIGHT want to use them for a human child someday.
Fur Baby
6 Months Prior to Conception: Begin keeping a typed list of baby names on your iPhone.  Go back and forth between excitedly sharing the list with every person who walks by and suspiciously hiding the list from anyone who looks like they might be remotely close to childbearing age.

1 Month After Conception:  Buy a baby name book, download baby name app, and bookmark baby name websitesBegin adding and subtracting names from your master list.  Remind yourself to spend equal time looking at names for both genders.

4 Months After Conception:  Harass your husband into looking at name lists for the first time, even though he doesn't want to spend time on it until finding out the baby's gender.  Pout when your husband quickly vetoes some of the names you like.  

4.5 Months After Conception: Realize that you are 99% sure which female name you would choose if the baby is a girl.  Feel smug.

5 Months After Conception:  Find out that you are having a boy.  Lose feeling of smugness.  Make your husband study and talk about the boy name list within one hour of the ultrasound.  That night, threaten to lock your husband in a dark cellar until he reads through the entire baby name book.  Begin stalking the Social Security website to look at and record name popularity rankings for the last 10 years.  Rant at the SSA for not releasing the 2010 rankings until May. Fail to get a full night's sleep because you are obsessing.

5 Months and 1 Day After Conception: Send a list of names to immediate family members with strict feedback instructions:

Ok, I think we are ready for some name input. 
We would like to know if you:
-LOVE any of these names and want to vote for them
-really HATE any of these names and would be horrified if we used them
-can think of some horrible nickname that might be associated with any of these names
-know of a serial killer or famous person associated with any of these names
We are open to hearing your thoughts and opinions, but be a little gentle; we could still pick any of these.  We would prefer that you NOT vote against a name just because YOU personally have encountered someone that you didn't like who has it.  But,  you know more than one unpleasant person with the same name and think it's a trend, you can tell us.  For instance, a lot of my teacher friends swear that every Mason they've had as a student has been out of control.
The number next to the name is it's popularity rank in 2009.  (2010 ranks are not available yet)  
We look forward to hearing from you!

Carefully record the results as the e-mails come in.

5 Months and 2-5 Days After ConceptionWrite out each potential name with middle and last name; examine the initials for each name.  Discuss possible associations and unfortunate nicknames for each name.  Suddenly realize that while Will/William--which has been on your list for months--is a great name, "Will Smith" will cause people to make Fresh Prince of Bel Air allusions until you want to cry.  Cross it off the list.

5 Months and 6-10 Days After Conception: Google "[possible first name] Smith" for each option to see if there are any serial killers or other horrible people by that name.  Walk around everywhere clutching the name list like a security blankie.

5 Months and 12 Days After Conception:  Grudgingly cross three of your favorite names off the list because your husband has vetoed them:  Shane, because he has a negative association with the name, Quinn, because it would"always remind [him] of Dr. Quinn Medicine Woman," and Rory, because "it sounds like a drunken slur, " which he exaggeratedly demonstrates ("Raaaaawwwwwwwrrrrrrryyyy") every time you mention it.  Pout even more.  Go back and forth between eliminating names and adding new names to the list.

5 Months and 14 Days After ConceptionGet the name list fairly narrowed down, and realize that there does seem to be a front-runner.  Feel glad that you and your husband and family members all like it, but lie awake worrying that the name is too high on the popularity list. Wail that you don't want your precious child to have to go by "[first name] S." throughout his entire school career just because there are four other [first name]s in his class.  Curse all of the other parents out there who have the audacity to like the same name.

5 months and 16 Days After Conception: Throw up your hands and decide to wait on finalizing for a few more weeks until after your two cousins have their baby boys and name them, just in case one of them is thinking along the same lines you are. 
So that's pretty much where we are now.  Are you exhausted just reading about all of this obsessiveness?  You definitely should be.  

Sorry that we don't have any name news yet, you may or may not have noticed at the top of the blog, I have added a "Pimp Our Nursery" Page!  Check it out if you are all interested in being a part of our nursery decorating dilemmas.  

Saturday, January 15, 2011

The Cuteness of Baby Stuff Compels You, Part Deux

I'm not sure if anyone can possibly be quite as excited as I am by pictures of baby gifts and purchases, but since *I* am The Great Hormonal Empress of This Blog, we are going to look at some more of them.  Deal.

Since Jeromy had taken the whole day off work for the big ultrasound, we drove up to Round Rock afterward (without even going into Ikea--how strong am I???) to go to the Baby Earth store, which was pretty neat.  Baby Earth is mostly an online retailer, but they are based in Austin, so they have a store in front of their warehouse.  The lady there was really helpful and spent probably almost an hour talking to us about strollers and cloth diapers and baby carriers.  I so wish we had taken pictures of us trying out the different baby carriers with their ten-pound fake baby, which she called "creepy baby" and definitely looked like it had hit the floor a few times.  I have to say that I think it bodes well for our parenting skills that neither Jeromy nor I dropped that sucker.

Anyway, here is the super-soft, organic, soy-dyed outfit that Jeromy and I bought to celebrate finding out the Doctor is a He-Baby:
What?  It's TOTALLY masculine.
We also got an e-mail that weekend from my brother, who sent a picture of an adorable bib that they had bought "for the good Doctor" in Laos.  
That's right, booties from Nepal, a bib from Laos; this fetus is going to be a sophisticated, jet-setting baby of the world, obviously.  I am envisioning this bib as not so much catching spit-up or half-chewed carrot mush, but more like in a shadow box on the nursery wall along with a picture of Uncle Travis and Aunt Victoria on their travels.  Too cute.

Then, last weekend Jeromy and I went out to see my parents in Mason, and had lunch with my aunt and uncle, who really helped to add to Doctor's library!
Goodnight Moon was my FAVORITE when I was little, an The Very Hungry Catepillar is a classic!  They also gave Doctor a precious and sweet totally manly little organic dog rattle.

Finally, one of my awesome teacher friends, who is a mommy herself, gave us some of her favorite, tried-and-true things:
No-scratch mittens, a super-soft hat, and another great book!
She also gave us these:
Jeromy and I had actually seen these in the store and thought they were really cute (me) and hilarious (Jeromy).  My friend must have known that one of my biggest having-a-boy fears centered around Unauthorized Pee Spraying (UPS)  during diaper changes.  Crisis averted!

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Torture by churros, abuse of parking privileges, and why Goodwill LOVES me

So I'm feeling a little behind on my blog-posting and e-mailing, but it's for a good cause; my mom has been in town helping me organize the house.  Because, hello, my name is Rebecca, and I have a clutter problem.  Mostly because: A) I have a hard time letting things go, and B) I'm really indecisive about where to put things.  My mom, on the other hand, is a hard-core organizer, and has no trouble getting rid of things (except her clothes from the 80s, but we won't go there).  She's helped me go through and organize or get rid of a TON of stuff.  Like, CAR-FULLS of stuff.  I feel like from now on, Goodwill is going to see my car pull up and automatically send out a U-haul to help me unload. 

You should see all of the stuff that I have not only kept for years and years, but have also moved 3 or 4 times.  Here is just a sampling of what we have come across:
  • Every academic paper I have ever written
  •  My entire set of notes from A.P. U.S. History and several other classes
  • All of the statements from my college bank account
  • All of our leftover wedding invitations, including the envelopes and response cards
  •  A birthday card that my brother gave to me when he was just learning to write
  • Matchbooks from restaurants in France that I went to with my grandparents after I graduated from high school
You get the picture.  I tend to keep everything that might have even a tiny scrap of sentimental value.  And I am still going to end up keeping more than most people probably would (throw away that wine cork from our honeymoon??? NEVER!), but it's going to be much more organized and condensed.  Why take on this project now, you ask?  Um, because most of this stuff was crammed in the room that is going to be the nursery.  I'm pretty sure that having boxes stacked up inside the crib would be considered a "suffocation hazard."  And I KNOW that plastic boxes of wrapping paper don't  fit in with my nursery decorating scheme.

So that's a big part of what I'm up to these days.  I also spent half of Monday sitting around at Costco waiting for my car tire to get fixed.  Apparently in Costco Land, "It might take up to an hour and a half, just to let you know" ACTUALLY means, "It will take just over three hours, and we aren't even going to apologize for it."  I was about 2.5 minutes away from throwing a tearful "I am PREGNANT, and I CANNOT SIT HERE in your windowless, flourescent-lit cafe smelling the hot dogs ANY MORE, so give me my car back, and I will pull out the screw and slap on some Duct Tape MYSELF" fit when they finally called my name.  The worst part, though, was NOT buying one of their churros.  Churros are delicious, and I wanted one REALLY badly, but I was strong and resisted!  

Rebecca and her emergency baggie of organic cheerios: 1.  Churros: 0. 

In other news, Jeromy and I went on a little baby gear shopping expedition recently:
Why yes, we WILL use the preferential parking, thank you.
Jeromy trying to figure out how to put on a baby carrier.  There was only a little bit of swearing involved. 
"Did you see the Regretsy post today?  Screw the Baby Bjorn, just get me a Daddle!"

Wednesday, January 5, 2011

Situation #457 in which I did not handle awkwardness well

As promised, here is my Awkward Doctor's Office Story. Now that I read over it, it doesn't sound quite as dramatic as I though it would, but let me assure you that it was pretty awful at the time.

Last week for my OBGYN appointment, I had to go to the practice's second location--a much smaller office attached to the hospital-- for the first time.  After I checked in, the receptionist directed me down a hallway to do the usual urine sample.  I couldn't really tell which door was the bathroom, so when I came to the nurses' station, I asked the woman there--who had her back to me--where the bathroom was.  So she turned around.  And she was NOT what I would call a woman; more like a girl.  A girl who was ONE OF MY FORMER STUDENTS, to be exact.  By the time my brain had processed this, though, I was down the hall and in the bathroom.  Well that's kind of weird, I thought, maybe her mom is a nurse and she's just here helping out or something.  I couldn't remember exactly which year she had been in my class, but I knew that she was in the graduating class of 2010 at the oldest.  I wondered if she had recognized me, and felt a little bad that I hadn't said anything to her.  Awkward.

I went back to the waiting room until it was my turn to be called back by the nurse.  Only, as I'm sure you can guess, it wasn't a nurse.  It was my former student.  Who was suddenly asking me to step up on the scale!  Why yes, I have gained some weight since it was recorded at my last appointment, thank you for noticing.  So then I was flustered and had no idea when or how to say something along the lines of "yeah, hi, remember me?  Your freshman English teacher?  Read any good books lately?"  

And then of course we went into the exam room and the awkwardness continued to escalate, with her asking me all the usual personal questions and typing my answers into the computer.

Her: "Are you having any [gross symptom], [weird symptom], [bad symptom], [uncomfortable symptom]?

Me: Not really, no, no, sometimes.   
My brain:  REALLY??  We're doing this??  How old are you now??  WHAT are you doing here??  There hasn't been TIME for you to go to nursing school!  Do you actually know how to use that stethoscope around your neck??

She took my blood pressure, which was a little high.  Well, obviously!!  I used to grade your papers and tell you to quit talking during our discussions over The Odyssey!  So she made me lay on my side for a minute until it went down. Great, no problem.  My former students see me curled up on exam tables all the time.

And THEN, she told me pull down the top of my maternity pants.  Yes.  And then she squirted a huge pile of goo on my bare stomach and used the Doppler to find the baby's heartbeat.  Now, I do have to give her some credit; she found the heartbeat WAY faster than the nurse at the other place ever had.  But still. Partial nudity in front of student!!

It was all over pretty quickly; she soon left the room and my doctor came in for our monthly chit chat/stomach groping.  I started feeling like a jerk for not saying something to the student, who had always been very sweet in class.  I mean, I'm pretty sure she knew who I was, and maybe even knew that I knew who she was.  But I think we were both trying to avoid the awkwardness by pretending to be total strangers.  

 I know that people who have been teaching for 20+ years see their grown-up students fairly frequently.  But I only taught for 5 years, and I taught 9TH GRADERS.  You know, the ones who have just been release from middle school. I see former students around town, sure, but it's always when they are giggling in the mall or at the grocery store with their moms.  NOT handling charts in an OBGYN office. 

As I left the office, I wondered how many other former students were going to hear about the encounter.  I assume that she was probably bound by some form of doctor/patient confidentiality, but who knows.  The story of knocked-up Mrs. Smith with her jeans pulled down on an exam table might have been pretty tempting to spread all over Facebook.   

I ALSO realized that I had only seen three people working in the office: the receptionist, my doctor, and the student.  So WHO do you think dealt with the urine sample??!!  %$^#$#.

So what did I learn from this experience?
  1. Apparently the people who weigh you and take your blood pressure and all that do not have to be full-fledged nurses. They can be just a few years past 9th grade "their, they're, there" grammar lessons.
  2.  Awkwardness makes me have high blood pressure and need to lay down.  I'm sure we are all shocked by this.
  3. Always make an appointment to see the doctor at the other office.  ALWAYS.

P.S. Did someone forward my last post to Doctor in utero?  Because I am getting kicked like CRAZY!  Jeromy even got to feel it for the first time last night...yay!

Upon seeing me come home from Target with a baby outfit: 
Jeromy: [eye roll] It's like you decided since you can't  really shop for clothes for yourself right now, you've decided to shop for someone who doesn't exist.

Me: I can't BELIEVE you said that!  Doctor totally exists!!!

Jeromy:  Well, ok, yeah, but you have to admit, you can't exactly dress and undress him at this point.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Rebecca = deer in the headlights

Well, as several of you have probably read or heard by now....
 "Did you bring BOTH a blue AND a pink marker with you??!"  Jeromy asked.  Um, DUH. 
I think I'm a little bit in shock.  I had been telling others and even myself that it was probably a boy, but now that we have confirmation, I'm not sure I really believed it.  I was trying to be really Zen and "oh, it doesn't matter, as long as it's healthy!" about the whole thing, but I'm sure pretty much everyone who knows me suspected--correctly--that I secretly kind of wanted a girl.  I tried not to, I really did.  I know how incredibly lucky we are to have a healthy baby and to have not had any fertility issues ,and that I'm kind of a jerk for caring about anything else.  But this is the girl who has been saving a box of Barbie stuff, a pristine American Girl doll, and a dress-up box for years.  I was feeling fairly confident about dealing with a little girl, but I'm more than a little intimidated by the thought of raising a boy.  Traditional male stuff has always been totally alien to me; I don't really DO contact sports or toy trucks or loud "blam blam! I shot you!" games.  And yes, I know, we could very well have had a girl that was into that stuff.  But at least I could have dressed her in pink sparkly stuff until she was old enough to protest.    

Don't get me wrong, I WANT a boy. The thought that Jeromy will probably be getting a little buddy to play Legos and throw a ball with gives me warm fuzzies all over. Many of my favorite people on the planet are members of the male species.  Boys are great; I just really want a girl, TOO.  If someone looked into the future right now and told me that next time it would for sure be a girl, I'd probably snap out of my little pout and be just fine.  But as it is, I'm kind of mentally adjusting our "we'll stop after two" decision to "we'll stop as soon as mommy gets her girl!" which I'm sure Jeromy will be thrilled about. (Yes honey, I know that college scholarships don't grow on trees).

While I know that this little theory is in no way scientific, I would swear from personal experience/observation that a lot of women who are really hoping for a girl end up with a boy, and women who are more mellow and don't really care either way end up with girls! So, in some ways I feel like this is a karma thing, as though the universe is probably reminding me that I can't will things to be just the way I want them all the time.  I think nature is telling me to chill out and go with the flow and do some yoga or something.   

Jeromy said that having a girl might have been the worst thing for me, because I probably would have gone completely manic with the girly princess stuff.  My brother and his fiance had similar thoughts.  I'm sure they are all right.  Hopefully this baby boy adventure that we are embarking on will help me to be a more open-minded and balanced person. 
I SO would have gone there...
I'm still not playing with toy guns, though.

I do know that it's going to be fine.  I will tuck away our girl name (NOBODY CLOSE TO US BETTER USE IT!!!  Just kidding.  Not really.) and the feminine nursery pictures and the Barbie box for another little one down the road, whether it's ours or a friend's or relative's.  I will quit being selfish and deal with myself.  It's not like I'm going to look at our baby boy when he arrives and try to negotiate a swap for someone else's little girl.  I have no doubt that once we meet our baby, I won't be able to imagine having things any other way.  

Besides, I did think of one major bonus for me: JEROMY has to do the "birds and bees" talk for this kiddo!!!  HA!!

So enough about me and my therapist-couch are the ultrasound pictures!
Side profile...looks like a baby!

Apparently waving to us

Looking at the little skeleton face from the front

Tiny foot

 They said that he was "being shy" so they couldn't get a great "It's a boy" picture, but they promised us that they were 100% sure on the gender.  I'm glad they could tell, because we really couldn't see it AT ALL.  

Still the Baby Girl of the house...
We are hard at work on names.  The girl name was 99% decided on (so, again, OF COURSE it's a boy) but the boy name list is still pretty long.  We'll keep you posted.

A funny gender side note.....
This morning I realized that every time I had imagined today's ultrasound, I had pictured the perinatal specialist as a male, and got all mad at myself for making the sexist assumption that a highly-trained medical specialist wouldn't be a female.  (My first assumption was correct, though!)
Then, when we announced our big news today, I think about 4 or 5 people (including one of my parents), said something along the lines of "Oh, the "Doctor" nickname works, then!"  Ha!  I guess we ALL need to remember that females can be doctors, too!

A SUPER awkward story about my last visit to the OBGYN office!  It's nothing gross, but it was high on the embarrassment scale.  Prepare to enjoy my mortification.

A letter to Baby Smith at 20 weeks, 2 Days

Dear Doctor,
 Today is your big day.  You should know that both of your parents are very cooperative people, especially when it comes to dealing with medical professionals.  We expect you to follow this family trait and show the nice perinatologist your important bits.   If you don't behave, not only will we be very disappointed with you, but you will also be GROUNDED.  And we don't mean grounded when you come out and sleep most of the time anyway.  No, we will choose some weekend when you are 16 years old and REALLY want to go out with your friends to ground you.  Don't test us; we will totally do it.  Don't think that we are going to be like some parents these days who just want you to think we're "cool."  We will take away your cell phone and ipod and whatever other kind if newfangled electronic device you kids are obsessed with in those days.  Because we care.

Fair warning.  

Love, Mom and Dad

Saturday, January 1, 2011

The cuteness of baby stuff compels you...

Jeromy and I got our first baby gifts at Christmas!!!  You will be rendered lip-quivering and powerless by the sheer cuteness of what we got....

From my best friend in California:
  • Tummy Tatts for my belly--totally fun and hilarious.  I think I'm going to surprise Jeromy with a new one every week.  I also think it would be awesome to wear one to the doctor's office just to see her face...maybe the one that says "Kiss me, I'm pregnant" or the one that says "One hot mama" with flames on it.  I really think it would take our doctor-patient relationship to a special new level.
Modeling the "Bun in the oven" tatt for you.  Oh yes, I did.

  • A Pacimals huggable pacifier--So sweet and clever.  It's a stuffed sheep with a pacifier on its head  that can later morph into a teething ring.  When the baby is all done with that, you can just cut off the top and it becomes a regular stuffed animal!  Love it!
From our longtime family friends and former neighbors (who I stayed with when my little brother Travis was born 26 years ago!!):
  • Boudreaux's Butt Paste, which is apparently the best diaper rash cream EVER.  Jeromy is super entertained by the name (of course).
  • Our first kiddo book!  Llama Llama Mad at Mama!  The whole book rhymes and is just too cute for words.  I might need a baby llama to tide me over until Doctor arrives.
From my Mom:
Woven baby booties that she bought in Nepal!!!  Are you not dying of cuteness overload!?  They are fleece-lined and cozy as can be--I want some in my size.  We're not sure why they are so long and must be how all the Nepalese babies are wearing their booties these days.  Very trendsetting.  I obviously can't wait to put them on Doctor:

Other excellent baby-related gifts that I got:
  • Maternity store gift cards from Jeromy's family.  I actually already used one of them to buy some warm stuff to take to Colorado.  Several of my non-maternity shirts aren't quite making it over the bump, and the whole bare-belly-hanging-out-between-shirt-and-pants is NOT a look that I am ok with.

  • The sewing machine I asked for, and a gift certificate for more sewing classes...I am well on my way to earning my Martha Wings!  I consider these gifts baby-related because I am really hoping to sew stuff for the nursery, like the crib skirt, pillows, etc.  We'll see how it goes.  I wonder if Martha ever cries or swears when she sews.  Probably not. She probably has a well-paid assistant who cries and swears FOR her so that she doesn't move her face and get wrinkles.  

On seeing my face when I feel the baby kick: "You should probably stop reacting like that every time.  You look like a dog that farted and scared itself."