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T-minus 66 Days (And Counting)

Well, it’s been a little while since my last update. As I seem to suck at keeping up this blogging thing, I thought I’d share a few recent “news” highlights.

Nursery Progress

I’ve finally finished the “construction work” in the nursery. It’s now painted and ready to fill with decorations / furniture (of which we’ve started… I just lack photos). Anyway, here are a few photos:

Adding the pink

Installing the chair railing

Completed project

4D Ultrasound – Take Two

Last week, we did another 4D ultrasound at 29 weeks. We did the $100 “peek-a-boo” session. It was fun to “see” the baby again and reassuring to know that everything looks great. But, in all honesty the “wow factor” was kind of gone, because we’d already seen 3D images and (advice to those behind us) 29 weeks is a little late to get great pictures.

A little late? Huh?

Yes, a little late. You see, by this time, the baby is so large that there’s relatively little room free space in the womb. As a result, it’s difficult to get a full shot of anything without other structures/anatomy in the way. So, my advice would be to do a 4D ultrasound earlier even though the baby won’t be quite as baked yet.

Minor Crisis Averted

One morning this week, L freaked because her hands had starting swelling to the point that her wedding ring no longer fit without marked discomfort. She concluded that she simply couldn’t wear it to work. She was really upset. (Strange? Perhaps. But, she’s invested in these things.)

Anyway, she sent me a frantic text message later in the afternoon, confirming her worst fears. Apparently, some moron at work asked her “if something was wrong with Paul” based on the missing ring. Really? Who notices these things, on a pregnant woman nonetheless, and on the first day that the ring was “missing”? Get a life!

Fortunately, being the Greatest (and most modest) Husband in the History of the World, I’d already gone out that morning to a jewelry store and purchased her a “temporary” wedding ring (which is reasonably nice and just enough “non-wedding-bandy” that she can wear it decoratively on a larger finger on her other hand later).

Major bonus points, baby. Major points.

And it’s a reminder of my “Golden Rule of Pregnancy for Men”:

What the pregnant lady wants, the pregnant lady gets.

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Closing in on the third trimester…

It’s been a while since my last update.

As usual, I’m started writing this from 36k feet. Airplanes seem to be my one good source of downtime. Thankfully (or not) I usually spend a good deal of time on them.

Most of my “blogging” efforts of the past few weeks were reading and responding to posts over on Myndi’s site. In case you haven’t seen, she got the news we all wait for in the IF community: a BFP! L and I are so pleased for her. Congrats again, Myndi!

More shots… this time for the dog!

Back on the home front, one of our other “children” has become ill. Our male (nine year old) Min Pin, Harley, was diagnosed with diabetes. So, instead of being free from of needles and syringes, we now have an insulin dependent doggie that requires a special diet and shots twice per day. The good news is that the “training” for us was negligible—we’re shot giving experts. The biggest issues are his need for a very regimented feeding schedule (thankfully my Mom provides great assistance as our schedules are often hectic) and the fact that he can no longer sleep through the night without having to go outside. So, L and I are getting training for the sleep deprivation that will come along with the baby.

Checking out hospitals…

Last weekend, we started the process of touring birthing and delivery centers. We’re looking at two centers: St. Joseph’s Women’s Hospital and University Community Hospital. I’d personally prefer Tampa General (where I spent many a summer interning with their trauma team)… but Libby’s “for chicks, by chicks” OB/GYN practice only serves the aforementioned medical centers.

Overall, St. Joseph’s seemed alright. It’s a bit farther from the house. They’re very big on keeping the baby and mom close together following the birth. That means the kiddo may never go to the nursery (which is very tiny) unless they’re premature or ill and need to go to the NICU (which is very large and well-equipped as a Level 3 center). It seems like the downside of this is that L won’t have much time to rest following the labor and delivery… of course, I’ll be there to help.

We see UCH on the 14th.

Nursery updates

Last weekend, I also picked up the crib from Babies ‘r Us (pic below from Babies ‘r Us web site). It comes in a HUGE box… I had to rent a truck at the Home Depot to get it. It also weighs 150 lbs. So, lugging it off of the truck and around the house was a fun activity for me, myself, and I. My plan is to set it up next weekend.

Carter's Lifetime Crib

This past weekend, I also started “construction operations” in the baby’s room. I’m preparing for painting (a lot of work, as I’m hand painting strips below the chair rail on the wall) and then will be installing the aforementioned (custom built by me to match the rest of our woodwork) around the room. All in all, this work will be more time consuming than anything else.

In search of hauling capacity…

You’ll have to humor me on this one…

I also started to grow increasingly frustrated by the our utter lack of hauling capacity. Libby has a large sedan, which is decent for many objects. But, I drive a small two-seat sports car, which is utterly useless for “practical work” other than shuttling me to and from the airport. Plus, the only way for me to even drive the baby in my car is to get an (overpriced) “Genuine Porsche Child Seat” (otherwise, they won’t deactivate the passenger-side air bag).

So, we went out this weekend and got an SUV that provides a bit more… well… utility: a Porsche Cayenne S. Ok, sure, it falls a little short of earning the title “most practical choice.” But, it is both sporty (with the S’s larger V8 engine) and utilitarian (indeed, it’s larger and has more towing capacity than many other SUVs). Besides, it’s the one way I could justify a second Porsche after spending all of that money on the IVF treatment. ;-)

Porsche Cayanne S

I suppose I’m nothing if not goal-oriented…

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Some updates…

I’m writing this on an airplane (surprise, surprise) en route to Minneapolis for a Board meeting tomorrow morning. I think I’ve mentioned that work has been a bit hectic lately. It’s all been good, but I have a lot of responsibilities and feel very obligated to the ensuring the success of my company. One of my closer colleagues (and friends) mentioned that I’ve started losing something of my “easygoing” nature and that I seem more “intense” these days. I think he might be right, which worries me a bit as I’ve always prided myself on my imperturbable countenance.

Anyway, on with the “baby” news…

To start, I’d be sadly remiss if I didn’t mention that my IF buddy, Myndi, had her ET today. So, L and I send her our best wishes, many “sticky” baby thoughts, and much love! I’m really positive and hopeful for her.

I’ve also managed to finally get my rear-end in gear to start preparing the nursery. Last weekend (after returning from Minneapolis), we ordered a crib and changing table from Babies ‘r Us, which is now at the store and awaiting pickup. In addition, we’ve had the first shipment of nursery supplies arrive from Restoration Hardware Baby & Child too. Restoration Hardware stuff is really pretty pricey, but I honestly have a hard time resisting the temptation to get such things because, well, I simply think my daughter deserves to have the best.

L is spoiled rotten by me. Annie (my “doggy daughter” and “pretty, pretty princess”) is spoiled rotten by me. Now, they’ll just be another lady with me wrapped around her little finger. Go figure.

Meanwhile, I’ve also been reading baby books…

And, I have to say little comes as a real surprise. Indeed, I think I have pretty good instincts for what should and shouldn’t be done with little ones. So, it’s nice to see in print that my ideas are roughly on the mark.

The biggest “issue” that I’ve rethought is our ideas about travel without the baby. We’d planned to take two big vacation per year… one with and one without the little one. However, it seems that leaving an infant / toddler for a prolonged period (even with a very familiar family member) could be traumatic. As such, I’m really starting to rethink my position… not to reduce our travel plan (perish the thought) but to bring her along on more adventurous trips at a far earlier age. Crazy? Probably.

Today was another first…

For the first time today, I was able to feel the baby kick through L’s stomach. How cool! I know this will sound stupid, but it’s actually difficult for me (as a man) to really “get” that there’s a living human inside my wife. Oh, I understand it intellectually (I do have a Ph.D. for goodness sake—so, I’m ostensibly not an imbecile)… but it’s a little difficult to really feel/imagine. It’s actually amazing when one sits back to contemplate it.

Finally, a name will be forthcoming soon…

We actually have/have had a first name picked out for a really long time. We’re just working on finalizing the middle name… so stay tuned! The announcement may come as early as next weekend.

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I’m a horrible blogger…

I’ve come to the conclusion that I’m just a horrible blogger. I have three reasons:

1. I fail to write regularly.
2. I fail to even check my blog and respond to comments regularly.
3. I can’t even seem to report the “news” about related areas of my life.

It’s all very shameful. I should do better.

In my defense, I’ve become increasingly consumed with work since my promotion in July. I’m not complaining. I’m really happy doing what I do. But, it does distract me from other interests, especially as I usually end the day fulfilled in terms of doing work in my headspace (reading, writing, thinking).

Anyway, I apologize to my loyal readers (all two of you). I’d promise to do better, but I’d hate to lie. ;-)

P.S. All is well in babyland… the girls (Libby and the baby) are doing well.

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Shopping for Maternity Clothes

Finally feeling better, I went shopping this weekend with L for maternity clothes! We went to our relatively new neighborhood mall, The Shops at Wiregrass, which I might add that I hate.

(Note: the mall is one of these outdoor “lifestyle centers” that smacks of ill-conceived new urbanism. It’s setup to resemble an ambling street, complete with a gently curving “road” with on-street parking. Of course, the “road” only leads between the parking lot at one end and a parking lot at another. This layout means the “sidewalks” are relatively narrow, causing pedestrian traffic jams as the moronic residents of New Tampa stop to inexplicably gawk at The Gap or whatever, as if it were an unknown and foreign destination. Worse yet, it’s out-of-doors: a hot and humid mass of concrete and asphalt that leaves you a sweaty, sticky mess 9 months out of the year. Give me a good, old-fashioned air-conditioned shopping center a la Mallrats. But, I digress).

However, given its proximity and my laziness, I didn’t want to drive to a more distant destination. Plus, it has a Motherhood Maternity in addition to the department stores that sell prego-wear.

I’m a guy who doesn’t mind shopping. But, I have to say: I did not enjoy shopping for maternity clothing. We started at the JC Penney. It’s not the sort of place L usually shops for clothing at, but any port will do in a storm, I suppose. We actually found some decent pants and jeans there. Better still, they were on sale for 50% off. That made the average price $15-20 per pair. Sweet.

Next, we went to Motherhood Maternity. For me, this is when things went downhill. I was the only dude in the store (it seems that most pregnant women like to shop with their mothers, not husbands). I was inundated with “color commentary” about all sorts of body parts: “my thighs are disgusting,” “I used to be a member of the ‘tiny tity committee’ before they blew up” (blew up? that can’t be good., “my ass is sooo huge,” and so forth. I listened to women talk about spreading their nether regions with cocoa butter and cocoa oil (both are best, it seems). At some point, I started longing for a trip to Victoria’s Secret, my previously least favorite place to shop with L.

I don’t think L loved the experience either. She had a sort of a “deer in headlights” look about her. This was especially true when they strapped the plus-three-months belly onto her. Upon the sight of herself in the mirror, her eyes grew wide to the size of half dollars. I thought she was going to let out a scream. And, she only managed to stammer out answers to the salesperson’s questions. Happily, she found some very nice shirts. I said we should buy them all.

So, all told we managed to get: 4 pairs of pants/jeans and about 7 shirts. Plus, some sort of undergarment and cocoa butter/oil. The told cost came to around $250. Not too bad.

While walking back to the car, L stopped abruptly in the parking lot and informed me we’d order the rest of her maternity clothing online. It seems the strap-on faux belly and talk of thighs was too much for her too. Fine with me.

P.S. I’m posting this entry from 34,000 feet while flying from Atlanta to Dallas. I have a one-day trip that started with me leaving the house at 3:30 this morning. I’m scheduled to land back in Tampa around midnight tonight… long day! The WiFi service on planes is pretty cool… I’m becoming addicted.

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