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Archive for January, 2010

Car seat woes…

One of the pre-Emerson tasks that I had left to do was install the car seat this weekend.

Wow! What a pain in the ass!

Worse, I still don’t have the seat installed properly in either our SUV or sedan!

In both cars, the infant seat has too much side-to-side play on the leather seats no matter how much I tighten the straps. This seems to be a “known problem” with leather seats… Google tells me to use either 1) non-skid shelving liners (seriously? can this be safe? or good for the seating?) or 2) to purchase a skid proof “seat saver” (which I did last night — x2 plus rapid shipping — from Amazon.com). Hopefully, this will resolve side-to-side problem.

I’m also hoping that the seat savers will reduce the angle on our bucket seats. Otherwise, we won’t be able to use the LATCH system on those seats and will need to place the car seat in the rear-middle seat (which isn’t bucketed, but lacks LATCH support). If so, that shouldn’t be a big deal because the seats (thankfully) support the correct kind of belt locking mechanism to support a child restraint. Why are the bucket seats a problem? Even at the highest setting, the car seat still isn’t at an appropriate angle for correct installation. A “rolled up towel” isn’t the answer (despite what some web sites say), because the material can be too easily compressed under force. However, I suspect a wedge of very high-density foam might work as an alternative.

It’s no wonder 5 out of 6 car seats are installed improperly!

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Week 36

On Tuesday, L and I went for her weekly check-up and a sonogram to see if Emerson had turned (she’d been transverse previously). She’s now heads down and looking good, as well as estimated at a weight of 6 lbs 3 oz. We also learned that L was about 1cm dilated and 50% effaced.

I wasn’t sure what that really means. After further research, I learned it has no predictive value with respect to when Emerson will make her appearance (other than sometime in the next few weeks).

So, we wait.

Baby Shower

Yesterday, L had a baby shower hosted by the teachers and fellow administrators at her school. They really did a great job of organizing things—especially a teacher named Allison, who I think could become a professional shower planner—and it made for quite the haul of (mostly useful, thankfully) gifts.

Here’s a photo of a diaper cake (very creative, I thought):

Diaper Cake

Not to be excluded on my side, a good friend and co-worker of mine sent a really nice gift (Fisher Price’s “Rainforest Open-Top Cradle Swing”). I have to imagine Emerson will love that… sweet!


So, I went to the dermatologist on Tuesday for a “skin check.”

I have a couple of friends with melanoma. Not fun. Given my increasing penchant for hypochondria as I grow older, I thought it better to be safe than sorry.

It turned out that most of my moles, spots, and whatnots were fine. However, I was also told that I had “one lesion that might look suspicious” and that they “wanted to perform a biopsy—just to be safe.”

Holy crap!

I’ve talked in the past about my other psychological tick: occasional (mild) panic attacks. This news brought one on. Although, unlike the usual chest pains (which I’ve grown accustomed to), this time I starting sweated like a pregnant nun on her way to confession and then suddenly lost most of my ability to hear. Can you imagine?

Dr. Google tells me this is called “psychogenic hearing loss.”

Thankfully, it passed quickly. I get the biopsy results in two weeks. Perhaps, I’m just jealous of all my IVF sisters who’ve gone through the “two week wait” (2WW).

However, this time I’m really hoping for a BFN! :-)

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A gift to complete the nursery…

Back in October, I bought L an antique Stickley Brothers rocking chair, circa 1910. I purchased the chair at a gallery in St. Paul, MN while traveling on business. It arrived in Florida in early December, and I managed to hide the chair until its unveiling in the nursery on Christmas morning. I really wanted this to be a touching surprise, which I think it turned out to be (yes, L cried).

Stickley Borthers Rocker (#610, Circa 1910)

I don’t like much the gliders available at stores, such as Babies ‘r Us. They’re not very appealing visually and don’t seem to be especially well made. I think of those gliders as “throw away” furniture that we simply wouldn’t keep once it lived out its all-to-brief usefulness (or simply fell apart).

In contrast, I think the antique rocker gives the nursery real character. And, it’s kind of cool for Emerson to use a rocking chair that’s almost a century older than her. Indeed, the chair is old enough that her great-grandfather could have been rocked in at as a baby!

We hope that the chair will stay in the family and be used by future generations.

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The long-awaited, much-anticipated name announcement…

For New Year’s Day, I thought I’d finally do the “big reveal” on the baby’s name:

Emerson Abigail

Now, for the rest of the “Emerson” story…

We actually picked the name “Emerson” back in June, shortly after we confirmed that L was indeed pregnant and with a single child. We opted for selecting a first name quickly because we really liked the idea of referring to the baby by his/her (at the time we didn’t know) permanent name.

Why? I don’t know — perhaps, it made the pregnancy seem more tangible.

Of course, we didn’t know the sex of the baby. But, because we wanted a name (rather than two possible options), we turned to the lists of unisex names. In theory, I philosophically prefer the concept of a non-gendered name anyway. For example, when Emerson eventually applies for a job, her gender will be less (or not) obvious on a resume or curriculum vitae. That seems like a good thing to me—less of a chance for bias.

We scanned the list of unisex names and both agreed—immediately and without hesitation—that we would, in fact, be the parents of an “Emerson.” It fit us (and our imagined offspring) like a glove.

Emerson isn’t a family name. Emerson isn’t based on the transcendentalist poet, Ralph Waldo (though it is a happy accident). Emerson also isn’t based on the low-cost consumer electronics firm either (though it’s a funny suggestion that I’ve used in response to the inevitable—at least in our circle of acquaintances—transcendentalist poet question). Finally, Emerson isn’t exclusively a “boy’s name” (despite what some post on the “baby name” message boards… my message to those people: opinions are like assholes — everybody has one and nobody is especially interested in yours).

Emerson is simply a name that we fell in love with because it’s somewhat unique but not strange (largely unused today for boys but rising in popularity for girls), has a strength about it (which I’m sure any daughter of ours will exhibit too), and somehow it just fits us / our family (which all of our closest friends have recognized immediately upon hearing the selection).

As for Abigail…

There was less magic here.

While we immediately loved Emerson, we sort of agonized (for months and months) over a middle name until we finally came to a decision yesterday. We had originally thought about using a middle name that started with “M” as that’s the same middle initial both L and I share (Margaret and Michael, respectively). However, L wanted to avoid family names (including her own), and I wasn’t too pleased with many of the other “M” options (aside from maybe Marlowe or Mae). Other options we considered included Eleanor / Eleanora, Olivia, Grace, Avery, and Aubrey.

In the end, we settled on Abigail. Like Emerson, it’s a strong name (I tend to think of Abigail Adams amongst others). It has a classic and timeless feel. It’s obviously female, remarkably common these days, and suitable for many nicknames – all good points just in case Emerson doesn’t like “Emerson” (or our thinking behind it) as much as we do. And, it sounds good in conjunction with Emerson and our last name (which is also pretty WASPish).

So, Emerson Abigail it is…

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