Wednesday, March 30, 2011

What is all this crap?

The Baby Registry process isn't easy.  To me, it's like socially acceptable begging.  The overwhelming part of registering as new parents is that baby items fall into one of two categories.  1) Things you have no idea if you need (or even what they are sometimes) or 2) things that you know you need, but have no idea to differentiate between the thousand different options.                                                  
As to the first category, the problem is both the sheer volume of baby products, multiplied by our fear of not getting the right stuff.  How the heck would we know if we need a harness system to hang our kid from if we have to go to the bathroom in a public place?  Or will we be able, as inexperienced as we are, be able to suck our kids snot on our own or will we need assistance?  It's tough to know what situations you will find yourself in. The one thing we have going for us is the large number of currently pregnant women we know, which allows us to cheat and copy off of their registry lists.  The only flaw in this plan is that only first time parents have showers (except for strange exceptions that cause certain members of my family to fly into uncontrollable rages, but even then the greedy shower-mongers usually don't register the second time around).  So it's a giant loop of the blind leading the unprepared, with the only winners being the people smart enough to make baby crap and sell it at a 4,000% mark up.
As to the second category, even if you know what you need, it's not easy to register for.  Rachel and I, having read all of the baby books ever written, realized that it might be a good idea to register for baby bottles.  So trudging through Babies R Us, or "The 7th Circle of Hell" as it is more commonly called by guys, I was pretty confident that we could find the bottle section, scan a random bar code, and move on.  Little did I know that it would be a 4 hour debate.  I knew I was in trouble when Rachel asked "which bottles do you think are best?"  Unfortunately, I had a tough time remembering back to the time when I used bottles, let alone the pro's and con's of different brands.  So we started reading the labels, which is a complete waste of time because although our country allegedly has truth in advertising laws, there must be a loophole for baby products as every single description made it sound as if said bottle descended straight from baby Jesus' mouth right to aisle 7.  I was really hoping for labels that were truthful, such as "this bottle is overpriced crap that will break the first time its dropped" or "putting this bottle in the microwave may cause leprosy".  Since our philosophy is "if it's not dishwasher safe, it's dirty" we really didn't have much to go on. (RIP Mitch Hedberg).  So then we were stuck with trying to register for a bottle among a sea of seemingly identical bottles based solely on price.  You don't want to register for the cheap stuff because other people will buy it for you, but you don't want to register for the most expensive stuff because other people will buy it for you, but you don't want to make it look like you and your kid are snobs based on bottle selection.                        
So what did we register for?  I have no idea, but it better be dishwasher safe.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011


Math so simple, even my sister can do it without her fingers, toes, and a ten key:

Pregnancy is 40 weeks.  There are 4 weeks in a month.  So why does everyone say pregnancy is 9 months?  This is right up there with "I could care less" in my book.

Monday, March 21, 2011

The Beauty of Childbirth

A lady I work with just became a grandma for the first time.   Her son and his baby mama put together a nice little photo book for her to remember the momentous occasion.  So, knowing that I will be a dad soon, and because I am 100% incapable of sending out the "I don't care, stop talking to me" vibes regardless of how hard I try, she stopped by my office to show me the pictures and tell me all of the details of her visit.  Looking at the little album, with all sorts of precious little lambs and rabbits on the cover, I started thinking that this would be a nice, heartwarming gift for Zia's grandparents when the time is right. But then I made the mistake of opening the album, and was shocked to see the horror that awaited for me.  First picture, in gory HD detail, was the kid, fresh out of the womb, covered in blood and countless other unidentifiable body fluids. Turns out the beauty that is childbirth is really, really disgusting.

Now, granted everyone is different, and perhaps I do tend to be more averse to bodily fluids than most, but I can't really ever think of a time when one human is excited to see another human's blood.  Especially when you don't know whose blood it is.  Was that kid covered in his own blood, his mom's blood, or perhaps the dad was like I'll be and was retching violently and got some on the kid.... who knows, but more importantly, who really wants to try to figure that out?  Nothing is photogenic when covered in a blood / snot mixture.  Just sayin'...                                                                                     

So here's a little tip for you new parents: no one wants to see your kid until after he or she has been hosed down and toweled off.  And even then most people don't care about your kid and are just being polite, so if you must, show the pictures of a clean kid in a little hat and blanket, and move on.                                                                                     

And continuing the nastiness that is the most beautiful thing in the world, according to the latest book I skimmed, my dear wife may experience any of these joyful signs of pregnancy during this week 23:
pain and numbness in the hands
pins and needles
clumsiness (not that it could be any worse than usual)
baby kicking (which sounds nice, but really, who wants their organs kicked from the inside?)
leg cramps
rectal bleeding and hemorrhoids
itchy abdomen
protruding navel
clogged milk ducts
preeclampsia or toxemia (no idea but doesn't sound fun)
and the worst, most painful part of the whole ordeal, childbirth classes.

Monday, March 14, 2011

Are you the goddess?

This weekend we were talking and realized that soon, we’re going to have a person on this earth who thinks that we are the end all, be all in terms of knowledge and authority (at least until the teen years).  This is scary because clearly we have no idea what we are doing, and rarely have plans.  And in fact, we find ourselves in this predicament solely from our “do what feels good” stance.  Clearly that is not a mantra we can instill to Zia during the formative years.
This conversation was an indirect result of the following video (go ahead and watch, I’ll wait….).  While obviously these people were not what most would consider “sane” or “normal” or “datable”, it reinforces the underlying theory that 1) everyone THINKS they are normal, rational beings and 2) things you think are fine at some points in your life were clearly absurd in hindsight.  So how can we, being brand new to this whole thing, confidently take a stand on anything parenting related?  Will our decisions in hindsight be as brilliant as Maurice’s decision to open with “I’m an executive by day and a wild man by night” or that chach asking “are you the goddess”?  How can I expect my child to take me seriously once she finds out that I once went to a Limp Bizkit concert?

We tried to make ourselves feel better by hypothesizing that perhaps you get smarter with age, and now that we are all growed up we will have all the answers.  This brief moment of confidence was shattered when Rachel reminded me that I drove to Tiffin, Ohio to jump in a frozen pond 3 weeks ago.  

So much for that theory.
Maybe it will all come together in the next 4 months.  But for now, our plan is to just ACT like we know what we are doing.  When our kid eventually starts questioning us, we’ll just throw out the battle-tested “because I said so, that’s why”.  Let's just hope Zia blindly accepts that as we did.
And in case you were interested in an actual baby update:  Our little alien has been very active lately, with Rachel feeling movements for a week or so now.  I asked what it feels like, and all she could say was that “it’s unlike anything I have ever felt before” which was really helpful in establishing yet again that this is her first pregnancy.  After many disappointing attempts, I think I was finally able to feel some movement myself the other day.  I'm not entirely sure Rachel wasn't just making her stomach move to make me feel better, so I either got to feel my kid move for the first time or yet again pretended to be fooled by my wife's faking.  Either way. We don’t have another doctor’s appointment for a while, and I am skipping this one, as the Grandma’s are accompanying Rachel so that they can hear Zia’s heartbeat.  However, I think they really picked a bad appointment to attend, as Rachel is doing the gestational diabetes test, which will make her cranky because it is an hour long and she is not allowed to smoke during the test.  I’m not sure who this doctor thinks he is expecting a pregnant woman to go an entire hour without lighting up and enjoying the cool, crisp sensation that is flavor country, but I’ll be glad to be far away on that one. 

And thanks to all the folks I got to hang out with this weekend. Grandma #1 turned 60 and we had quite the bash, which like all family parties turned into gambling and drinking.  I don't even mind that my niece peed on me.  Zia will be lucky to know all you fine folks.

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Home Improvement

Unfortunately, Rachel and I have both been under the weather recently, so we haven't made much progress on getting ready for Zia.  The issue is that we (and by "we" I mean "me") are huge babies when we are sick. And maybe it is the vicious Sheen-like cycle of DayQuil / NyQuil, but all I can do when I am sick is think about the following 6 things on a loop: how much I hate being sick, how much I love NyQuil, how much I hate phlegm, how is it that a can of Cambell's chicken noodle soup is half the size it was when I was a kid yet cost 4 times as much, how much worse work is when you are sick, and how "phlegm" is probably the greatest hangman word ever.  So, not very productive lately. 

But we have both turned the proverbial corner, so although it's not quite time to be productive, it's time to start thinking about being productive.  What we really need to do is get Zia's room ready.  Luckily for us, we have a lot of offers for help from our family, so that is good. The offers for help greatly outweigh the amount of work that needs to be done for a baby's room, so we are trying to leverage the offers into general home improvement projects. The only hard part will be convince our helpers that the projects we have are actually part of baby preparations. Not quite sure why having a kid means we need to reseal the driveway, but we are going to try anyway.

We feel so lucky to have people offer to help, but I gotta admit I'm a bit embarrassed that I'm so inadequate in basic home improvement projects. With two carpenters and a roofer on our two man crew, I feel really ridiculous when I'm asked to get a socket wrench and come back with a fork.  But, I have learned the most important home improvement skill, and that is the ability to size up any project, shake your head slowly and say "whoever did this had NO IDEA what they were doing.... this is all wrong!"  I've spent the last few days looking disgustedly at random things in our house and grumbling about the workmanship of whoever it was who did that, so hopefully at least I have saved some time for when the help arrives.  Step 1 - accomplished.

With not knowing the sex of our kid, we're not quite sure how to decorate.  Is it too much to ask for something awesome like this?  If only we knew someone so talented....

Thursday, March 3, 2011

A new addition to the long list of things I shouldn't have said...

As we were getting ready for bed last night: "Wow Rachel, you're not even a mom yet, but you skipped an entire generation in underpants".

The rule of 7 only works if you use it!