Monday, January 30, 2012

This Post is Brought to You by the Numbers 1 and 2

When I started this blog, I suspected there would eventually be a baby poop/pee/puke post (let’s be realistic here, I knew there would be many of them), but the important thing for me was that it be more than simply rambling on about how much a tiny person can expel.  What I did not take into consideration when formulating this mandate, however, was that tracking how much comes out of your bundle of joy (and whether it is pee, poop or puke) is of paramount importance.  You see, My Wife informed me that in order to be certain that all of his plumbing is in perfect working order, Sidney needs to have X pee diapers a day, Y poop diapers a day and as little puke (technically “spit up”, but if it went down and then came back up, I am calling it puke damnit) as possible.  From what she told me, and as best as I can derive from the literature she cited (that I actually read), X and Y are limited dependent variables (god I am a dork), calculated as a function of his age, in days, for the first week or so and thereafter a function of how much he ate at the immediate prior feedings (forget dork, I just turned into my Calc II professor, someone shoot me).  Puke we want at 0, but need it to be less than “a good chunk” of his immediately preceding feeding (pun intended; loose definition necessitated by reality).  Long boring story short, we count diapers and what was in them.  Now, aside from making me think “wow, having a baby involves a lot more math than I had thought”, this basically means that I spend a good portion of my day concerning myself with what, and how much, is coming out of Sidney.  Best laid plans, blah blah blah, here we go with a post about how much a tiny person can expel.

Our boy is currently eating between 2 to 4 ounces a feeding, and feeds every 2.5 to 3.5 hours on average (mean, not median … dear god I can’t stop with the math).  Contrary to my initial assumption (based mostly on wishful thinking), this does not mean he is going to expel between 2 to 4 ounces in combined pee and poo in between feedings.  What actually happens the majority of the time is one of the following:

1)  We get around 3 diapers between feedings: 2 pee diapers which appear to have been filled by a college student half-way through a kegger, and one poop diaper which contains enough excrement to choke a toilet.  I have no idea how he does it, but by all indications he is violating the first law of thermodynamics.  Thanks to a generous Paternity Leave Policy, I am able to spend Sidney’s first month home helping to care for him (I cannot overstate how civilized this practice is; seriously major businesses of America, the only reason to deny your employees this benefit is abject greed).  I mention this only because being home means that I see what he eats … all of it.  I can state, with only enough hyperbole for effect, that he appears to be pumping out a good portion more than he takes in;  I don’t know whether to call CERN or chalk it up to the magic of babies. 

2) We don’t get a diaper between feedings and find ourselves asking the kid to please pee or poo soon.  Why, yes, this one does lead to “well, we asked for it” moments … how ever did you know? More precisely, what ends up happening in this scenario is that we get so obsessed with whether he is “blocked up” or not that we start checking his diaper every 10 minutes.  The whole “your kid is going to pee on you” aphorism that every parent tells you?  The one you get sick of hearing? Well, turns out that 9 times out of 10 the reason your kid pees on you is that you keep opening up his diaper at the first sign of moisture because you are happy he finally peed.  The problem with this is that he’s most likely not done yet, so you open the diaper, he stops peeing … then starts again.  Cue sprinkler.  The same goes with poo, and when this one happens, trust me you find yourself praying to multiple deities that he does not fart before you can get the diaper back up (I call these “back blast” moments).  However you look at it, “ask and ye shall receive” takes on new meaning.

Now, I am reluctant to broach the puke topic out of nothing deeper than rank superstition.  With the exception of one “projectile vomit” incident, precipitated by not burping him enough, we have had a blissfully puke free existence for the past week and 3 days.  Will this last?  Reality dictates that, no, this will not last in the least.  Truth be told, anecdotal evidence (tales from other parents, countless books and various scenes from slap-stick comedies) points to quite a bit of puke being in our immediate future, much of which is likely to continue Sidney’s track record of violating basic laws of physics.  That being said, why tempt Fate/D’jinns/Vengeful Gods/Imps/Gremlins?  Unless typing that sentence is enough to tempt them … in which case mentioning the relatively puke free existence will have no additional effect.  Superstition is hard … can we go back to math?

Friday, January 27, 2012

Week One

Hackneyed phrases about the relative speed and/or aeronautical qualities of time (when having fun or otherwise) aside, Sidney is one week old today.  Given that this short period of time we have spent together is not nearly enough for me to realistically discuss his personality, likes, etc. as of yet (oh, and there is the whole thing about him only being one week old), what we can discuss are the changes in my daily routine introduced by Sidney.  Some of them I expected, some were a surprise, but I will endeavor to make them all entertaining for you (I said endeavor; lawyers should always avoid stating absolutes ... oh crap).

1) I no longer have a committed relationship with sleep, but rather a clandestine affair.  "New baby? Say goodbye to sleep!" is what you hear from every Tom, Dick and Captain Obvious that finds out you are expecting a child.  However, not only is this formulation of the "fact" beyond purple-prose (which reminds me, is "purple prose" itself purple prose at this point?), but it is quite inaccurate.  You do not "say goodbye to sleep", because it is still in your life; what you do is start an affair with sleep.  Hear me out on this one.  No longer is it a certain part of your life, waiting for you at the end of a long day with a warm kiss and gentle embrace.  No, sleep is now something you sneak away with, hoping you don't get caught by the jealous and possessive Feeding Time, Changing Time, and/or I Want To Be Up Now Daddy Time.  What you now have with sleep are highly anticipated, but sporadic, interludes on beds, couches, and chairs, stolen moments during the day, and as euphoric and satisfying as each encounter is, you are constantly either fearing being interrupted or are burdened with a tremendous guilt for giving in to the desire.  You catch yourself day-dreaming about sleep, about the next time you'll get to steal away for a nap ... I mean tryst.  Sleep is still in your life, it is just something you have to sneak around for, make elaborate plans to get, and if caught doing it by any of the jealous Times, you will be sorry.

2) I see sunrises. I know there are a good portion of you that likely are up before the sun each day (*cough*the Admiral and Nana*cough*), but that generally was not me.  The Wife and I moved into the City last year for many reasons, one of which being that we'd have better commutes to work.  Case in point, I now walk to work in under 15 minutes.  This means that I have been able to stave off starting my day until 8 on average, and we wont discuss weekends.  Even before that, my day rarely started before 7, and you'd have to go all the way back to law school for when I regularly saw sunrises, and then it was usually because I had stayed up to sunrise, not woken up just before it.  My point? To me sunrises were things discussed by poets, weathermen and insomniacs.  Now, sunrises are what happen during a Feeding Time.  I am not complaining, because Sindey is wonderful company, I am just saying I need to brush up on my open verse because I can't track barometric pressure and I am not buying Snuggies(tm) at 3am.

3) I schedule everything around Feeding Times.  This one sounds obvious, and I thought I was ready for it.  The problem with my plan (aside from contact with reality ... thank you Sun Tzu) was how I had defined "Feeding Time."  You see, I was under the foolish impression that once Sidney ate, setting Feeding Times was going to be as easy as feeding him and then counting forward x hours to the next Feeding Time, x being a straight function of his age, stomach size and appetite.  Cue Family Feud Buzzer.  It turns out that x is, in fact, a wave function (although at times it feels more like a random transposition model or some other stochastic process) subject to multiple variables, only a few of which are knowable.  In simpler terms, a Feeding Times is when Sindey decides it is a Feeding Time.  This makes planning anything (showering, cleaning up, eating, writing a witty blog) interesting.  For the most part, the resulting schedule looks like this: do whatever it is you were planning on doing immediately after a Feeding Time, and make sure it takes two hours or less.  (Case in point, finishing this entry has taken 4 tries.)

4) Clocks, watches, calendars, sun dials and all other manner of reckoning time are baffling.  I don't know whether it is garden variety disorientation, exotic date/time term specific aphasia, or House M.D. inspired sleep deprivation induced psychosis, but I have no idea what time and/or day it is at any given moment.  Looking at a clock and/or calendar does not help either; all that accomplishes is that I stare blankly at the device and wonder if it needs to be fed or changed.  After a few moments, though, clarity occasionally sets in and I am jarred back to reality.  The whole experience is only relatively off, however, as I can still fathom distance and discern speed (who doesn't love a physics pun).

Sidney is stirring, which means it is a Feeding Time.  I am starting to wonder if Schrödinger was babysitting when he had his epiphany.   

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Insert Witty Title About Sidney's Birth Here...

As those of you that followed the Twitter feed already know, Sidney arrived on January 20, 2012 at 1:49 pm (and for those of you that didn’t follow the feed, he still arrived at that time).  I give the date and time not only because I am a proud new father who cannot help himself, but because today we will be discussing what I learned during Sidney’s birth (the highlights, anyhow), a series of lessons that began at roughly 8:20pm on January 18, 2012 (now you see why the time was important … 42 hours these lessons took.).  So without further ado (in this paragraph at least), here's (some of) what Dad learned on the day(s) he met Sidney.

1) There is labor and there is labor.  To be precise, there is passive labor and there is active labor.  Now, at the time, we (and by “we” I mean “me”; you know, the one who was not about to pass the medicine ball through his nether-regions) had no idea there were two types of labor, and more importantly, just how the two differed.  Passive labor started at 8:20pm on January 18 with  contractions that My Wife (at the time) described as strong and steady.  These went on, getting stronger, for the next 24 hours.  With each passing one she'd grimace just a bit more and then around 7pm on January 19, she had what she thought was a really painful contraction, and we headed to the hospital (for the second time, we’ll touch on this later).  After being admitted and brought to a birthing room, we thought birth would come soon ... after all, this had been going on for 24 hours.  It was at this point that we were informed that My Wife was in passive labor, and that she needed to get into active labor before the real party started.  The contractions, however, were bad enough to warrant an epidural (more below), so that was administered.  The pain kept ramping up and around 8am, January 20, My Wife made a sound I had never heard from her and followed it up with "YOWZERS."  Yes, the pain of reaching active labor is sufficient to knock the ability to curse out of a woman.  From that point to about 1:40 pm, it was a geometrically increasing curve of pain (she was hooked up to a monitor that graphed the contractions ... yes I was doing math during my Wife's labor).  At 1:40pm? Well, at that point the contractions started going off the chart, quite literally.  We reached the screaming, grunting, making deals with the devil portion of labor.  Then, at 1:49, after one final heroic push, Sidney was in the world.

2) I now know why kids end up getting born in cabs.  At about 11am on January 19, My Wife had a series of contractions that convinced us she was ready to go to the hospital.  She called her OBGYN's office and they advised that she wait an hour or so and then head in.  So we wait the hour or so, the contractions continued, we run down, hail a cab and go to the hospital (15 minute ride downtown).  Once there, a doctor whom appeared to be 15 (let's call her Doogette Howser) hooked My Wife up to a contraction monitor (I am telling you, this thing is cool), and after about 30 minutes announced that we were not anywhere near "ready" and should go home.  So hail another cab, go back uptown.  Fast forward to around 7pm and the aforementioned "serious" contraction hits ... hard.  We call the doctor, doctor hears the pain level in My Wife's voice and we are told to come back on down.  Hail another cab ... and proceed to have 3 huge contractions on the ride down.  As I sit here today I realize that we were still several long hours away from the baby coming, but during those contractions we thought Sidney was not going to wait for the hospital (and a few of you joked we should name the kid after the cabbie or some cab themed name had he come then).  Now, we were "lucky" in that Sidney was still hours away when we got in that cab, but given the "we are going to send you home until you are closer to giving birth" rule, and more importantly the inexact science of determining "you are closer to giving birth", some women are not going to make it to the hospital.  The point of my rambling? I can now very easily see how women end up popping out babies in cabs and subways.

3) The hospital at which Sidney was born sucks.  I am going to refrain from naming names (partly out of my gentlemanly nature, mostly because I don't want a letter from their lawyers), but that does not mean I am going to water this down.  From the moment My Wife was admitted at 8pm on January 19 to the moment we were discharged with Sidney at 3pm on January 22, the parade of incompetence would make for a Comedy of Errors but for the facts that: (a) none of it involved mistaking twins for each other (the Lit majors should at least be chuckling); and (b) THIS IS MY SON, WHAT ARE YOU IDIOTS DOING.  Keeping this brief, but accurate, the following happened: (a) the anesthesiologist needed 3 tries to get the epidural into My Wife ... 3 painful tries; (b) while we are on the epidural, they gave her the wrong dosage and drug cocktail on the epidural. Yeah, this one is a biggie, and they explained it several hours later as a "labeling mistake" (we're following up on this one because I am a pissed off Dad that happens to have a license to practice law). Luckily Sidney is fine, as is My Wife, so we are thankful for that, but JESUS CHRIST YOU MORONS; (c) My Wife's OBGYN never saw her (another doctor from her practice group did the delivery).  Three days, not one visit from the primary care physician ... brilliant; (d) they "forgot" to give Sidney his hearing test and perform his circumcision until just a few hours before we were supposed to be discharged ... seriously people?;  (e) the "deluxe" room we checked My Wife into was more along the lines of a seedy motel.  The water coming out of the faucets in the room was brown ... BROWN.  This is a hospital for crying out loud.  Moreover, the "Daddy Bed", the reason we went "deluxe" so I could stay with My Wife and Sidney, was designed by DeSade - seriously, a bed should not assault you (I am still bruised from the "springs"); and (f) did I mention the medication f*ck up?  Because that one is kind of annoying.  I know "things happen", and yes, we are all ok and that is all that matters, and platitude platitude, polite adage, grateful for what we have, if you can't say something nice ... blah blah too polite to be honest blah, but this is a goddamn hospital and having this many things to legitimately complain about is unacceptable.  The place is horrid, and if we are lucky enough to get pregnant again, our second child will not be born anywhere near, period.  So, the take-away from this one is GODDAMN HOSPITAL SUCKED.

4) There are no words to describe holding your new born child.  This is not hyperbole.  I have spent an inordinate amount of time trying to describe what it felt like to hold Sidney just moments after he was born.  I cannot even come close.  Elated, over-joyed, overwhelmed, proud, serene, euphoric ... they all cover a corner of it, but even combined the totality of the moment is barely scratched.  In that instant, as I looked into his face and felt him close on my chest, every single thing in my life made sense.  An instant of clarity, a moment of Zen, an overdose of serotonin and dopamine ... call it what you like or will, but I felt it and I still feel it every time he looks up at me.  I am guessing this is an evolutionary mechanism, designed to keep me from killing him in 16 years when he wrecks the car.

More later, but for now I am going to pass out because there is a fifth thing I have learned: sleep comes not for parents of new borns.

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Sidney cometh...

Although I am not going to verify which item from yesterday's list triggered it (that's my story, I am sticking with it), I can verify launch sequence start and we are leaving for the hospital shortly.
The Wife began having serious contractions around 2am (as if they were comedic when the small ones started at 8). The grunting and grimacing are now at the prescribed separation. Of note, however, labor apparently triggers OCD because since the big ones started she and Nana have cleaned the nursery, made the bed and tried to clean the livingroom. On the upside, she has not yet started cursing me in dead languages.
Live coverage starting now on my Twitter feed.
(For the record, posting from my phone is not fun ... Autocorrect is doing its damnest to spoil the elegant prose. Hey, that wasn't that funny.)

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Getting ready for the launch ...

We’re sitting at T-Minus 4 days and, as you can imagine, we are getting antsy for Sidney’s arrival.  Well, to be more accurate, I am getting antsy.  My Wife, on the other hand, is ready for this child to issue forth so that she can get her body back.  It’s a subtle distinction, I realize, but one worth noting.  She has been absolutely amazing throughout the pregnancy, dealing with all manner of annoyances (as we’ve discussed) with aplomb, but she’s reached the part where this baby need not be inside anymore.  As it happens, however, babies apparently don’t care what you are or are not ready for, and will move at their own damn pleasure.  I know this not only from observing My Wife’s belly, but everyone tells me this every chance they get; I wish that last sentence were hyperbole (kids are hard work, I get it).  All of this being said, we being the stubborn, if not still idealistic, parents-to-be, research has been done (I know, you’re shocked) in to things that may move this whole “baby coming out” process along.  Here are the most popular (according to me).  Oh, and, yes, I also comment on each (the hell you say).
1) Having the doctor “strip the membranes”.  Now, I start with this one not only because it is the most scientifically sound (hey, it’s the only one performed by a doctor on the list, that makes it scientific), but because that is exactly what my Wife’s doctor is doing to her today.  It turns out that the procedure is just as disturbing as it sounds.  For the uninitiated, there a mucous membrane/mass develops during pregnancy and, to be simplistic about it, blocks the birthing canal.  Essentially, it separates the baby carrying uterus from the baby issuing cervix.  So, what the doctor does is … well … reach in and strip this membrane out.  I’ll wait here while you get that image out of your head.  To avoid re-inserting (yes that was on purpose) this grating (also intended) image from your mind, I will hereafter use a less sticky (ok, last one) metaphor for birthing.  So, this … launch pad readying procedure … usually happens naturally as the baby starts the launch sequence, but if the count is running behind, having the doctor do this can speed up the count-down.  We’ll let you know if it worked, or if we were just scraping the barrel with the thought (ok, I lied, sue me).
2) Eat spicy food.  Interesting concept if only because I have no idea how it would work for women whom already eat lots of spicy food and enjoy it.  Is there a sudden drop in curry sales in certain communities during pregnancies?  Does the mother have to increase the Scoville ratings of her foods by some particular interval to trigger the effect?  Do hot-wing eating competitions precede spikes in labor/delivery room visitations?  The questions are boundless.  With regards to my Wife, she is not exactly a spicy food enthusiast, so I don’t see this as being high on her list.  Then again, depending how long the launch sequence takes to queue up, she may say damn the heart burn and thrust that will follow (see, I can make fart jokes classy honey) and grab the bottle of Tabasco.
3) Walk a lot.  She’s already doing this, and to no avail (case in point, the doctors is … prepping the launch pad … today).  To be fair, she’s also not doing it alone.  She and Nana are walking close to 3 miles a day (Nana’s actually stuck with an extra 2 miles) thanks to Nana and the Admiral’s (Sidney’s grandpa; entertaining story for another time) two adorable dogs that have not quite acclimated to NYC living.  More to the point, they will only pee and poo on grass, and the nearest grass to our apartment is Central Park (about .4 miles from the apartment).  So 3 times a day (5 for Nana) they walk to Central Park, walk around Central Park until the puppies go potty (this phrase is taken verbatim from Nana) and then walk home.  For those keeping score, those are 3 long (5 for Nana) walks, in what has been very cold weather, a day.  No labor.
4) Eat lots of pineapple.  As with the spicy food, this one is wrought with questions of regular dietary intake and circumstantial evidence.  In any event, we have not tried it yet, but I may be getting a call from my Wife any moment to pick up 5 pineapples on the way home because this kid is still not budging.  Who knows, maybe a combination of pineapples and capsaicin produces the birth triggering hormone equivalent of liquid oxygen and hydrogen for booster rockets.  I also acknowledge this metaphor is getting a bit strained.
 5) Sex.  Right about now the Admiral has his fingers in his ears and is humming the first song that came to mind, Nana is asking “yeah, what of it?”, and Abuelo is telling Abuela that they are skipping this paragraph.  Worry not grandparents, we’re not lingering here for two important reasons.  First, nobody wants to hear about it (and if you do, I can have Uncle R send you some links to tide you over), and second, my wife is 9 months pregnant.  Now, this is not a “my Wife is 9 months pregnant, ewww.”  To the contrary, she’s as beautiful as ever.  No, this is a “my Wife is 9 months pregnant … her back hurts, her legs hurt, she gets insane heart burn if she leans back too far, can’t breath if she is on her back, is smuggling a 35 lb medicine ball that creates one hell of a barrier, oh and did I mention the raging hormones that take her from tears to laughter in moments.  I seriously think whomever came up with this suggestion did so exclusively by studying anatomical diagrams of a pregnant woman and concluding “yep, sexual congress is still a statistical possibility.”  Real world people, it would be a logistical nightmare.  This being said, if this kid does not budge soon my Wife may maul me while holding a pineapple in one hand and jalapeno in the other.
For now, we’re still waiting, but this kid better come soon because I am running out of material.  As a reminder, whenever he does decide to make his entrance, I’ll be live tweeting as much of the event as I can (meaning until my Wife grabs on to me and starts yelling to get the kid out of her) so be sure to follow.

Monday, January 16, 2012

The Fine Line...

As I was preparing the entry dealing with all the things my Wife puts up with, one or two items were left off to save space (I'm verbose as it is), but the intent was to share them as part of an ersatz sequel post.   So there I metaphorically sat, compiling part deux, and more so than the first list, this one was turning into "things total strangers do when faced with a pregnant woman."  The queue grew and suddenly it dawned on me, a majority of the list not only constituted irritants to my Wife, but under any circumstances other than her being pregnant, this stuff bordered on misdemeanor assault (trust me, we're going somewhere with this).  Now, remember, we're not talking about family members or friends here, we're discussing absolute strangers approaching on the street.  I considered whether this was simply my deep Cave-Man Brain asserting itself and triggering the "me protect family" reflex (I can hear my Mother-in-Law, Sidney's Nana, chuckling "or not so deep...").  To eliminate this possibility, I would imagine the same interaction sans the baby belly and, wouldn't you know it, an "encounter with a friendly stranger" turns into "call the police, this guy/gal is nuts."  Let's run the big ones down:

1) Walking up and touching the belly: This one is a no brainer. Think about it, you're standing on the subway/line at the supermarket/getting insulted at Starbucks by the barrista and someone walks up, says "ooooh, how cute!" and starts rubbing your belly. Is your reaction "harmless moment" or "what the hell do you thing you're doing?!"  I know, some of you are saying "but most people ask before rubbing the belly" or "Oh, come on, it is no more offensive than a hug."  To you I say, remove the baby and does that make it ok?  Asking for permission before you grope the stranger absolves the inappropriate conduct?  Hugging random strangers is ok because it is "inoffensive?"  Well hot damn, someone get me over to the supermarket the next time Charlize Theron is shopping, I'm going to ask to rub her belly, rub it and then ambush hug her.  You know what people would call me?  The defendant, that's what.  My Wife, bless her kind nature, smiles and declines (when asked) or tries not to freak out when it is Assault 3 ... er ... I mean a reach-and-touch-without-asking.  Personal space people, quit feeling up strangers.

2) Asking the baby's sex and name:  Hear me out on this one, because I can hear the objections on my criticizing this "harmless" question.  We're not talking about you seeing an adorable child in a stroller or walking with Mommy and Daddy, and the child looks up and makes eye contact and engages you in some level of human contact.  The child is in utero, the only contact you are having is with a belly.  You say "innocent question" I say "if a total stranger is asking questions about your child's genitalia, red flags usually go up."  The follow up question, since you are a polite person and answer the first (I still proffer wholly inappropriate one), is "what are you going to name him/her?" and is disturbing for a different reason: a total stranger is asking for information that generally is employed for identity verification purposes.  Should I tell you my mother's maiden name and the name of my first pet while we are at it?  Remember, this is not a neighbor that will see you and the child regularly, or a co-worker or an acquaintance, this is a damn stranger asking you about your kid's junk and their name.  Perverts and identity thieves, that's what they would be minus the gestating life.

3) Asking if you will have the boy circumcised:  This one flows from Number 2, obviously, and it gets asked more often than you'd think.  I give it its own entry, despite it falling squarely within "why are you asking about my child's sexual organs", because, well quite frankly, it boggles my mind.  Not content with simply finding out that my child has a penis, you now want to know an even more personal piece of information regarding it.  And if you say "oh, maybe it is a veiled attempt at finding out your religion", well I have three answers to that: (a) it's a really awkward way to ask a pretty straightforward question; (b) it is not a definitive way to tell religion, unless you ask if a mohel is performing the procedure, and even then it is not 100% determinative (we live in NYC, it's a melting pot folks), and (c) you're a stranger asking about my child's genitalia.  Ok, so maybe I was trying to get more mileage out of that humorous/disturbing thought, but seriously, stop asking about my kid's junk.

4) Asking if the baby will be breast feeding:  A stranger asking about a woman's boobs.  That's what this is, plain and simple.  While we are on this, let's add "are you going to have a Cesarean?" for obvious reasons.  If asking about either of these areas is ok, then add "asking about her boobs/hoo-ha" to my Charlize Theron supermarket run-in.  Now, I don't practice criminal law, but I am relatively certain "but, she's pregnant your honor" is not a defense to Sexual Harassment in the Third Degree.  So, I offer this simple rule of thumb: quit asking about the baby and  the mother's genitalia. 

As a closing thought, I just want to offer that we're down to the final week (T-Minus 6 days to be exact) and that if I miss a post it is likely because the Wife is in labor/has just had the baby.  Follow me on Twitter (button above) because I will likely be doing a live stream as we go to the hospital and Sidney makes his way out.  Also, seriously, stop asking questions' about stranger's kid's junk.

Friday, January 13, 2012

Some Assembly Required ...

I fancy myself as being handy with tools.  Some of my fondest memories from childhood are of my Dad (or, as Sidney will know him, Abuelo) and I working on something or other around the house.  Re-fitting a bathroom, tinkering with an engine, building a tool-shed in the back yard, rebuilding a chunk of the house after a fire … you know, the usual.  To this day there is little my Dad will not take a stab (usually successfully) at putting together or fixing.  It’s in the blood, if you will.  So, when my Wife started buying various baby furniture and peripherals for Sidney, it was only natural that I would carry on the family tradition of grabbing the tools and building the stuff.  I’ve built things before, I told myself.  Hell, I have a degree in physics in addition to my years of ersatz construction, how difficult could this be?  As with most rhetorical questions asked by a protagonist as Act I draws to a close, the answer came in the opening moments of Act II.  But more important than the “quite difficult”, writ large as the story unfolds, is the reason for the difficulty: the manufacturers of baby products are sadists that derive considerable joy from the screams of frustrated parents as they try, generally in vain, to decipher the method of constructing their wares.  No, seriously.
The first thing that arrived for me to build was the changing table.  As the name suggests, this table, generally with some drawers on the side to keep diapers and cleaning products on hand, provides a stable and designated surface on which to change your child’s soiled diapers.  No need to clear the kitchen table or risk getting poo or pee on the couch; very useful.  I open the box, I pull out the slats, screws, nuts, rods and other miscellany that will become the table.  So far, so good, right?  Then I pull out the instructions; cue ominous music.  Let me try to describe these for you: imagine a set of instructions written by the Cold-War era Soviet nuclear engineer that designed the safety protocols at Chernobyl, which are then translated into English by a Chinese assembly line QA inspector whom learned all of his English from watching episodes of Bob Villa.  Was that sentence confusing?  Well, good, because the instructions were worse and now you know how I felt.  I wish this were hyperbole; one panel showed 3 different slats, 2 of which had to be held perpendicular to the third, being secured by way of screws that had to be simultaneously tightened because if you tried to do them one at a time the weight of the 2 slats you weren’t securing at that moment would strip and crack the third slat right at the screw.  You needed either 2 people or an extra set of arms.  What’s more, this step created part of the support for the slab of wood on which the child is to be placed, you know, the thing that stops your child from falling to the floor as you change him.  So cracking or fraying of these supports would be … uh .. bad.  Ultimately I solved the issue by using a make-shift hobby-horse and a clamp, but none of this was suggested by the instructions.  Nope, all that had was the various materials suspended in mid-air.  Come to think of it, these instructions were perfect for a physicist: “ok, so this solution works so long as you ignore the effects of gravity and friction.”  Long story short, the table got built, but not without a good amount of “are you f*cking kidding me? how am I supposed to do that?
Next to be built was the bassinet.  Having learned my lesson on the changing table, I enlisted not one, but two extra sets of hands in case the instructions called for more gravity defying maneuvers.  So Uncle R (a systems engineer) and Aunt A (another lawyer)  got dragged in.  We were pleased to find the instructions reasonably intelligible and set about construction.  The problem this time?  A lot of the steps involved keeping fabric pulled taught, and by taught I don’t mean “military bed making” taught, I mean “pulled so tight the molecular structure of the fabric is re-aligned so as to create a super-solid”.  Two of us would pull as the third tried to thread a rod; someone would try to fasten a clamp and another would have to duck as the rod would pull free and launch itself on a ballistic trajectory.  Several hours and one rebuild later (we had an entire section on upside down … don’t ask), we were done and Sidney had a bassinet.
You can imagine my relief when the glider (fancy rocking chair; I swear, changing the name adds at least 30% to the price … ) arrived and it was 95% built.  “All” I had to do was secure the seat part to the gliding part via a slot and lock system (no tools needed) and then snap on the back and arm rest padding via already sewn in snaps on the fabric/padding and tabs attached to the wood frame (again, no tools).  Piece of cake, right?  Wrong.  Sure, the slot and lock went just as planned, and then 8 of the 10 snaps went easy as pie … but the last 2 snaps would not “click.”  It was the last snap on each of the arm rests and no manner of pulling and pushing would get them to go.  The more pressure I applied the more stubborn they got, and at one point I feared I was going to bend the damn things, so I start applying the pressure only in spurts.  After 5 minutes of cursing in every language I knew how to curse in and at least 3 instances where I was certain I had broken the damned thing, the first snap locked.  My euphoria was as short lived, however, because I realized I still had one to go.  Either because my hand had gone numb or because I had subconsciously learned some secret on that penultimate snap, this one went quietly and we were done.  Hands tired and cramping I could just about hear the cackle of the company.
Then the crib arrived, and as with most Act IIIs, the situation looked dire.  So how did it all end?  What did our protagonist learn?  How was the conflict resolved?  The answer to all 3 is sublime: you can pay the delivery company to build a crib.  Roll credits.

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

At Least I'll Look Good Doing It.

As we (and by “we” I mean my Wife) prepared for Sidney’s arrival, various “necessary” supplies were discussed and acquired.  In order to preserve marital bliss (and, quite frankly my sanity) my position on the matter was that given the extensive research my Wife was doing with regards to child rearing and the accoutrements “necessary” for same, I would defer to her on the topic and rubber stamp the vast majority of the decisions.  I was comfortable with this because of the aforementioned extensive research, emphasis on extensive.  She cross-referenced doctors’ advice, product claims, product reviews, advice posted by parent’s online, books filled with anecdotal evidence and even the occasional pick up the item and examine it.  There was no question, she was informed.  To her credit, she often tried to impart the information on to me, but there is only so much information on the gas-reducing properties of one bottle over another or the shape of pacifiers I can absorb before all I hear is white noise.  There were only two instances where I disagreed with her findings, this is the story of one of them (the second one wont be too far behind).
One day my Wife announced that we needed to get me a diaper bag.  To her credit, before I could get the “why?” out, she interjected that this was so because the diaper bag she had was much too frilly and dainty for me to be seen with (live with a lawyer long enough and you learn to anticipate counter-arguments).  I agreed with her frilly/dainty postulate, but insisted that her conclusion was nevertheless flawed because I didn’t need a diaper bag; I could easily use a messenger bag (specifically, a way cool Timbuk2) as a diaper bag.  The thing was big, water-proof and sufficiently un-frilly/dainty-free.  Apparently, I was wrong because.  That sentence was not truncated prematurely, by the way.  “Because,” as far as I can tell, was the reason.  Well, not exactly just “because”, there was some other stuff, but it might have become white noise at one point or another.  The following is what I can remember.
Oh, and in case you were wondering, one should not argue with a pregnant woman about what is and is not needed for adequate child care in general.  One should never argue with a pregnant woman that is armed to the teeth with statistical information and five-star product reviews.  Yes, I realize statistics on which diaper bag is purchased more often over another, and what items are most often found in a diaper bag, does not establish anything beyond that certain people buy certain bags and put certain things in them (not to mention the ease with which any rating system can be skewed); this is, unfortunately, irrelevant.  Here, instead, is what is relevant (according to my Wife):
1) A diaper bag has a designed slot for a changing pad.  What is a changing pad you ask (because I did), well, it’s a pad that you can fold up/out and lay on a surface so you can change the child.  Why not simply lay down a towel on the aforesaid surface, because a towel is easy to roll up and carry? Because a towel is not padded and cannot be easily wiped down, like a changing pad and if the towel gets pee or poo on it then you can’t use it again while you are out, and then you’re going to have to wash it when you get home and who has to do the laundry? not you certainly and finally why do you want your child to be uncomfortable and on a potentially dirty towel!?  So … changing pad.
2) A diaper bag has slots for multiple diapers.  But, why can’t the diapers just go inside the bag with the rest of the stuff you ask? Because, the diapers go on the baby and the other stuff might be dirty (yes, poop goes in diapers, but just let it go … trust me) or they might get mixed up and hard to find in the bag and why do you want your child in a contaminated hard to locate diaper?!  So … diaper pockets.
3) A diaper bag will segregate the multiple sets of spare clothing and all the various cleaning, wiping and moisturizing products you need.  By the way, in case you are under the impression that you don’t need to carry around 3 different types of wipes, 2 types of moisturizers and at least 4 sets of clothing because, I don’t know, humanity made it from cave to industrial revolution without any of them, and one set of each of these things is enough for our enlightened and civilized age … well, you’re wrong.  Why are you wrong? Because don’t you love your child you savage?!
4) A diaper bag is a diaper bag, and that is a messenger bag.  Have I mentioned that one does not argue with a pregnant woman on certain topics?  Yeah.  That.
5) A really cool diaper bag costs half of what a Timbuk2 bag costs.  She had me here; these things are, in fact, reasonably priced.  Sure, they may not be as durable as a messenger bag, but then again, all you’re carrying around is the changing pad, diapers, different wipes and moisturizers and the four sets of clothing, it’s not like any of  … oh for crying out loud, this stuff makes it through white noise.  I give up.
So … yeah … I own this really cool diaper bag.

Sunday, January 8, 2012

On Quantum Pregnancy States, Or, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To Pregnancy

Pregnancy does not just happen.  Whether you realize it instantly, this statement is a bit of a paradox.  The knee-jerk response is one of two: (1) well, of course it doesn't; or (2) what are you talking about, of course it does. The one you go with, as with most things, will be dictated by your experience with the topic.  The fact of the matter is that it is both.  It does just happen, but only if certain conditions (which you have no way of actually ensuring) were met before you even tried.  It's not so much Schrödinger's Blastocyst following the baby-making activities, but you get the idea.  Why the pseudo-scientific/philosophical discussion on the topic? Well, my Wife's perception lead to some comedy on our way to Sidney.

My Wife has always wanted children, as have I.  So it should not be a surprise that soon after our nuptials we started planning our family.  Now, unfortunately, we did not have the same idea of what "planning" meant.  I meant that I knew she'd come off The Pill and trusted pregnancy would soon follow as we continued our marital relations (ie, of course it does).  She meant she would now go about researching and strategizing every moment of our conception attempts so as to ensure pregnancy (ie, of course it doesn't).  Because the culmination of her "planning" will give us the punchline, and more importantly because I don't think many of you are getting the appropriate impression of the extremes of her activities, I will elaborate. 

First, she read every scrap of information on conception that she could get her hands on.  Books, websites, old wives's tales, you name it and there is a high probability she looked into it.  Although I am usually of the opinion that more knowledge is better, in this instance more knowledge meant more things to obsess about.  She charted her periods, tracked her temperature, checked her cervical mucus (don't ask, seriously) and peed on ovulation detection strips (...often).  All of this charting, checking and graphing lead to her scheduling out our "optimum windows" for conception and directing that we hit as many of these windows as physically possible.  Now, I can hear some of you asking, "how is this a problem Ed? Your wife was demanding marital congress on a regular and vigorous basis; hello, win fall!"  The problem is the reality of what it meant versus the fantasy some of you are entertaining, and conveniently part two.

Hitting the "optimum windows" as often as physically possible actually meant "hit every window I have determined exists the moment I declare it exists, regardless of circumstances." Red Alert, Battle Stations, General Quarters, arm all warheads and forward ho NOW. This is not a sensual seduction by a desirable and loving partner, it is a battle between you and the forces of WHY ARE WE NOT PREGNANT YET.  Operation Make Sidney was deployed and being tired, sick, injured or otherwise not in the mood for baby making activities at that instant was not an option.  And god help you if you had ... uh ... manually tested the weapons systems earlier that day.  There were successful maneuvers, interrupted marches and the occasional deployment called off by reason of actual battle (nothing like fighting about why not being in the mood for sex at that second does not really mean you're a horrible human being that hates your wife).  As eventful as this sounds, the important thing to take away is that these engagements in Operation Make Sidney all happened in just over a three month period.  Three months is, in fact, not that long a period when it comes to trying for a baby it turns out.  This fact is important for the denouement of our tale today, but before we get there, there is part three.

Despite all of her research (all of which was directly contrary to her conclusion) my Wife decided that trying for three months and not succeeding meant that something was wrong.  So she did the only logical thing and told her Oby-Gyn our situation ... except for the three month part.  Why leave this part out? Well, so that the doctor would prescribe a sperm-analysis for me, naturally.  Let's just leave it at her doctor was under the impression we had been trying considerably longer, so the test got ordered, and I was under the impression that the doctor knew how long we had actually been trying but still felt the test was appropriate, so I agreed to ... uh ... test the munitions.  This brings us to the morning of the test.  The ... firing range? ... consisted of a drab room in the medical center with 2 VCRs (no idea why 2), a few adult video tapes from the 1980s, a couch (yeah, no chance I was touching that thing) and a box full of sample capturing sterilized cups.  I was instructed to place a sample in one of the cups.  For those of you that remember porn from the 1980s, this was not going to help.  Luckily for me, Sidney's Uncle R makes it a point to surf for porn on my Smart Phone every chance he gets (he finds this humorous), and we had recently had dinner with him and Aunt A.  So, browser history flush with links, I ... discharged artillery ... successfully in this otherwise orgasm preventing room.  Why tell you this story?  The payoff is part four.

That very night, unbeknownst to me, my Wife peed on her umpteenth pregnancy test (seriously, this woman bought out our local pharmacy's pregnancy test shelf) and finally got the "you're pregnant" line.  Of course, this meant that she had to take another 10 tests to confirm.  We're talking pink line tests, blue plus sign tests, digital read out tests ... you name it she tried it, multiple times  (if you are seeing a "peeing" theme in pregnancy, you're getting warm - pun yet again intended).  I am actually shocked she didn't try to find a pet store that would sell her a rabbit (yes, getting this joke makes you old).  The very next day she visits me at work and let's me know.  After the joy of finding out settled in, my first thought was "you mean I went through yesterday morning for nothing?"  It was at this point she broke the news to me that in addition to her already being pregnant, she had actually told her doctor we had been trying significantly longer than three months just because she wanted the test to be prescribed so she could "be sure" nothing was wrong with ... the ammunition.  So not only did I ... oh screw it ... jerk off in that god-forsaken room into that blasted sample cup for no reason, but it wasn't even an accurately doctor ordered wank.  Her response? "Had you not taken the test I would not have gotten pregnant."  After my initial apoplexy passed, two things immediately flashed across my mind: (1) dear god, she's proposing Schrödinger's Blastocyst despite the laws of causality being squarely against it; and (2) dear god ... I'm going to be a father.

The moral of the story? Pregnancy does not just happen, except for when it does.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Things My Wife Has had to Deal With...

I realize that I may be giving the impression that Sidney's gestation has been a source of amusement and bemusement for me alone. Far from that, the truth is that my Wife (obviously) has been the one to bear the full brunt of Sidney's continuing journey to this point (T-minus 16 days or so).  Nowhere near a comprehensive list, here are the highlights (or lowlights) as I have observed them:

1) Nothing fits. Now, the uninitiated may sit back and scoff "well, she's pregnant, of course her pre-maternity clothing stop fitting."  The problem with this line of reasoning is that it misreads my statement, to wit, nothing fits.  Sure, it started with just her pre-maternity clothing getting tighter around the baby bump, and this expanded (you're damn straight pun intended) to her bras, but all that was just the tip of the Sidney Belly Modification™ program.  With regular clothes not being able to handle his co-opted space, maternity clothes were purchased, but, for awhile, these were too big and didn’t really fit either.  Somehow, this kid managed to make it go from “too big” to “nope, too small” in a blink.  Before you could say “end of the second trimester” maternity shirts, maternity pants, shoes, maternity shoes (yes, these exist, I had no idea) and finally my over-sized t-shirts were no longer roomy enough in the “baby is causing havoc here” area.  My Wife is a tiny woman, the concept of her not fitting into clothing that is supposed to accommodate a pregnant belly is baffling ... until you see the baby belly in profile; she’s basically trying to shoplift a 30lb medicine ball.  Our child has decided to install a 3 bedroom apartment, with entry foyer, in a space that originally barely allowed for a studio (no kitchen, and half bath ... this joke will most likely only be funny to city dwellers).  The fact is, however, that she has continued to soldier on and look gorgeous while doing it.  Meanwhile, my pants fit slightly tight after a holiday meal and I start whining about needing to get to the gym.  I am amazed she has not smothered me in my sleep.

2) Heart burn. You know those antacid commercials that show someone grimacing and rubbing their sternum because they have heart burn?  Or, sometimes, they embellish with some fire animation in the chest area?  This is nothing.  From what I can tell, pregnancy turns your upper digestive tract into the bastard child of a steel forging mill, lava lake and the burning city of Dis.  From the discomfort I see my wife in, I assume her esophagus has been turned into a channel of pyroclastic debris.  The poor woman goes through Tums at a rate that I am amazed every cough, sneeze or fart (women fart, get over it; and we’re not even getting to pregnant women) is not accompanied by a cloud of chalk.  Oh, and did I mention she cannot take most antacid medications because she’s pregnant?  That’s right, Sidney turns her stomach into Krakatoa and then prevents her from dousing the flames with anything other than the aforementioned chalk.  This kid is lucky his Mom loves him. 

3) Insomnia.  The old “say goodbye to sleep” adage is slightly off.  It does not start once the child arrives, it starts right around the moment of conception.  Between morning sickness in the beginning, the previously discussed “pregnant women pee a lot” (like it being the middle of the night is going to stop that) through out, and the “for the love of whatever deity you call to in moments of distress, I have a 30lb medicine ball re-arranging my insides” at the end, you’re pretty much up all night.  Of course, the tossing, turning and constant trips to the loo mean that your mate gets to share in your sleep deprivation experiment.  For my part, I grumble, grouse and occasionally ask in a panic "holy crap are you in labor?" to which she calmly says no and reminds me she is simply in discomfort due to my child which she is bearing (ok, occaisonally there is a smidge less calm and a touch of glare when she says it).  Given that she is already up, I am amazed she has not smothered me in my sleep.  An interesting side effect of her insomnia is that has seen a sharp uptick in sales of crap books from the Kindle store.  Suddenly the relative success of many authors makes more sense to me: pregnant women across the world are buying books in bulk, regardless of quality, just to make it through the night. 
4) Everyone is full of advice, and some serve it with an attitude.  Yes, yes … I am sure they are all well meaning, but when the barista “refuses”, with an extra shot of righteous indignation, to serve my wife a latte because “pregnant women should not be drinking coffee”, it’s time to take a step back.  Last I checked, a medical degree was not a pre-requisite for a job making caramel double skim no whip but extra syrup macchiatos (extra shot of pretention standard).  Although the lass’s erstwhile concern is appreciated, and her righteous indignation ignored because … well … seriously?, the treating physician said it was ok to have one cup a day and little miss “I read this somewhere on the internet” should drop the attitude and make with the latte.  In the same vein was the supermarket clerk whom on New Year’s Eve pointed out the “pregnant women should not drink alcohol” sign to my wife, also with an attitude, as she tried to purchase a last minute bottle of champagne for the night’s toast.  Really lady?  It’s New Year’s Eve and you think she’s buying the bottle for herself?  Again, the intent is appreciated, but why not add the “thought” to the “thoughtfulness” before giving a pregnant woman an attitude.  That’s all I am saying.
5) Her husband.  Have you been reading this blog?  Can you imagine the type of guy that would write this blog?  Hell, read the previous paragraph.  I am unapologetically sarcastic, judgmental and honest.  And my wife puts up with me.  I am truly amazed she has not smothered me in my sleep.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

My wife dragged me to a parenting class...

One of the many things I have discovered during Sidney’s time in utero is that husbands need to participate in activities that under normal circumstances they would veto outright - all in a very important bid to maintain marital bliss.  My biggest offering on the altar of “happy pregnant wife” was attending the parenting class.

It is not that I personally have anything against parenting classes, or those that attend.  It is simply that I am of the humble opinion that humanity has survived quite some time without sitting through two and a half hours of classroom instruction on how to keep our young alive.  Hell, most of you reading this (all 3 of you) probably were raised by parents whom did not attend such a class, and you turned out just fine (all things, of course, being relative).  This all being said, so as to keep the “happy pregnant wife” happy, I agreed to attend this farce … er … class.

So, what did I learn in parenting class you may ask?  Well, after the aforementioned two and a half hours of “instruction” from an enthusiastic, if not a tad eccentric, lactation consultant (it is what was on her ID badge), I absorbed the following:

1) Pay attention to the child.  This is sooo complex.  Basically, it boils down to if they are crying, try to find out why. Check for: soiled diaper; hunger; need of burping; fever; or something in the environment that is making them uncomfortable.  If all of these check out, and the baby is still crying, he/she may simply have colic.  Good luck.

2) Don’t be a moron.  No, seriously, some of the things that we were “instructed” to avoid doing would only be engaged in by an abject buffoon.  Oh, so I shouldn’t try to feed the baby solid food during the first 3 months of life? Fascinating. Oh, not checking the diaper regularly and changing him may cause diaper rash? Astonishing. Babies cry when they are hungry or need to be burped? Will wonders never cease! I should support the child’s wobbly head until his neck gets stronger? WHO’D HAVE THOUGHT OF THIS, THANK YOU.

3) Fevers are bad.  You know, unlike with adults, where a fever is no source of concern.  Oh, wait, no.  That’s not right, it is a source of concern.  So, basically, just like with anyone, call the Dr. if the baby has a fever and find out what to do next.  Or, put more simply: see Rules 1 and 2, pay attention to the child and don’t be a moron.

4) Picking up your newborn will likely make them stop crying. If it doesn’t, check for the stuff set forth in Rule 1, ie, pay attention to the child.  If that doesn’t work, it’s probably colic.  Good luck.

5) No one has any idea what causes colic.  In fact, anytime a child spends 3 hours crying without any other discernable cause, they call it colic.  If your baby does that despite you following Rules 1 and 2, good luck.

6) SIDS (sudden infant death syndrome) is bad.  It is also not actually a syndrome. To prevent SIDS, have a new born sleep on its back on a firm mattress with tight sheets and nothing else in the crib that may fall on, roll into or otherwise cover the baby’s face and suffocate him/her; if you are a total moron and leave something in the crib other than the baby, the firm mattress and the tight sheet, checking in on the child as they sleep to make sure nothing has covered his/her face may help the child, but you’re still a moron.  I know what you are going to say, “wait Ed, are you saying we have to keep things away from a sleeping baby that might suffocate them? This sounds a lot like Rules 1 and 2.”  And you’d be right. PAY ATTENTION TO THE DAMN CHILD AND DON’T BE A MORON.

7) There are a ton of morons having babies.  In our class alone I counted 4 such couples.  Two highlights, first the geniuses that wanted to know if there was an ”exact fever” the child needed before they called the Dr.  I am not talking “if he breaks 100”, they wanted a decimal point reading. Oh, well, 100.2 is fine, but at 100.3 his brain melts. RULE 2 PEOPLE. Then there was the couple that did not quite understand the directions to avoid SIDS, and to top it off, the wife sounded like Natasha from Bullwinkle.  So we get such gems as: “so, can I put one pillow under baby for to roll him over slightly?  No?  What about soft blanket if he get cold? No?”  I kept waiting for her to ask: “Can we put family bear skin in crib? No? But it was small bear killed by grandpapa. No? Ok, what about baby bottle of vodka?”

8) Your baby likely will have colic.  Good luck.

So, to sum up: pay attention to the child and don’t be a moron.  I am so glad I spent those two and a half hours getting that straight.  Love you honey.

So your wife is 9 months pregnant...

Some of the things I have discovered during my wife’s pregnancy:

1) All roads must lead to, and have multiple stop-offs in-between for, bathrooms.  To be more specific, she’s going to need to pee often.  I don’t mean “often” as in “hey, didn’t you just go a half hour ago”, I mean often, as in “What do you mean you have to go again, didn’t you literally just flush the toilet?!” Going for a drive? You better program every possible pit stop location into the GPS.  Going for a walk?  Familiarize yourself with every publicly available restroom on the route. Going to a movie? She better sit on the aisle seat closest to the door. Going to the bathroom? Too late, she’s already in there. I am amazed the folks that make Depends have not branched off into the pregnant woman market. Of course, they’d have to switch the name from “Depends” to “Certainty.”

2) Commercials are the saddest things on the planet.  You know when the ubiquitous “they” say “pregnant women are emotional”?  Well, “they” understated it.  Commercials will cause more tears than watching the ends of Old Yeller, Marley and Me and War Horse back-to-back-to-back.  And I am not just talking the mushy long distance commercials or that Sarah Mclachlan knife-to-the-heart animal rescue commercial (goddamnit, why is it so dusty in here), I mean any commercial that invokes thoughts of babies, families, happiness, sadness, loneliness, celebration or death.  By the way, “invoke” means “invokes in her hormone enhanced mind”.  Case in point, my wife has decreed that a current Lowes commercial which follows a couple through the years as they build their house is about death.  Why?  Because if they are showing their life together, the inevitable next step is that they die - cue waterworks.  My advice?  Avoid commercials … and home improvement stores.

3) The joke “are you sure you aren’t carrying twins” is not funny … to your wife.

4) Einstein was slightly off.  Not only is time relative, but so is distance.  Specifically, distances between your wife and food are shorter than distances between your wife and anything else.  No, seriously.  The remote and the sandwich only appear to be the same distance from your wife; a fact that will be made salient when she grabs the sandwich, but asks that you hand her the remote because it is obviously out of reach.  I think it has something do with the acceleration of objects through a digestive tract … or the like.

5) The question “do you know the color of your shoes” is not funny … to your wife.

6) No, seriously, pregnant women pee a lot.

Well, this should be interesting...

For some odd reason (not really odd, more likely narcissistic), I have decided to share (albiet likely on a sporadic basis) the adventures I (and my wife, and parents, and in-laws … hell, likely a lot of our friends as well) will get into getting to know Sidney, our presently in-the-oven son.  Hopefully one day he’ll read all of these and realize that his father loved him right from the start.  He’ll also likely realize that his father is a huge dork whom would go through the exercise of creating a blog for this.
Stay tuned.