Monday, December 22, 2008

true mom confessions

  1. one handed typing as bobo is sleeping on a very uncomfortably reclined me right now.
  2. i love both of my kids dearly. mr. hard-to-nap and mr. hard-to-nap-revisited or Chuckles and Bobo as they are also known (hey I am two handed typing now, hope Bobo doesn't move much). But oh man, this is exhausting.
  3. I am not an intuitive mother and i have no idea how to learn to be one (definition of intuitive probably means I can't learn how to do it, huh?). Example: Bobo is crying. I have no idea why. None. So I look at my chart (must have a chart) and see how long it's been since he ate. 2 hours, is that long enough to be hungry again? How about diaper? Maybe tired? Bored, cold? I have no idea. I just scroll through things until he stops screaming or daddy comes home. I was the same with Chuckles. This is why I believe in schedules (or at least routine). If it's time to eat, feed them, time to nap, put them to sleep, etc. Otherwise, you're on your own.
  4. I think I love Chuckles more. But not really. I just know him better. Does that make sense?
  5. Sometimes, I put blankets on the baby.
  6. Sometimes, I let Bobo sleep on his stomach (on my lap of shoulder as in right now).
  7. I'm not working, I send my older kid to school part-time and I just called the cleaning lady to get that going again. Am I lazy? Are my standards too high (and trust me, my housekeeping standards are fairly low)? Am I just trying to do too much? Am I inefficient? Do I like sleep too much and others are foregoing that to keep their balls in the air?
  8. I only made two kinds of Christmass cookies (but hey, they're from scratch and I involved the pre-schooler in the making so it took twice as long).
  9. I got my husband the lamest Christmas gifts ever BUT he didn't get me anything (I bought stuff for me and told him he had to wrap it himself).
  10. Baby elf ear is clearing up and becoming normal ear. I am sad. My last baby ever is growing up.

sub-part E: freaky things I do in bed

  • rhymes with hecks did happen and it wasn't terrible. after a 5-month hiatus, I was nervous that it would be unpleasant, but it wasn't. Must get IUD soon.
  • I slept on my stomach. after a 5-month hiatus from that (maybe more), I was nervous that it would also be unpleasant, and it was. A little. My knockers are a wee bit sore what with the constant attention they receive from Baby Elf Ear, and laying on them was not doing them any favors.
  • Lay on my back and try on my regular jeans. Cannot even get them past mid-thigh to see whether I can zip them. Maybe next year.

Friday, December 19, 2008


I am so outnumbered. And in over my head.

Do you want to know who asks for help out with their groceries? THe answer is me. ANd the elderly. Actually, I don't ask for the help. I must look totally overwhelmed because people keep offering. Even at the stores that don't typically offer that service (think Aldi). And in totally not me fashion, I am accepting the help. I need it. Two kids, 10 pounds of clemtines, 16 pounds of milk, an extra-large bottle of vodka (I swear, it's a Christmas present), a jumbo pack of diapers, and I needed the help. The baby bucket car seat carrier took up the whole basket. Big kid in the seat (which couldn't go all the way back because of the car seat in the basket) and all the groceries on the rack/shelf underneath. Good times.

What's the deal with the Nicole Kidman/Chanel commercials?

Here's a story.
Of a lovely lady....

Bobo was happily nursing as is his habit. Also as his habit, food in made poop come out. I finished nursing him and headed up to the changing table. I got to the bottom step and heard Lisa The Cat start to puke. I set Bobo down in his little chair and I relocated Lisa from the carpet to the tile to facilitate clean up. I picked Bobo up again and started up the steps. I got to the second step and heard Chuckles in the kitchen say that he was wet. I asked why. He spilled his milk. Now, I know I only put a half ounce of milk in the cup, so it couldn't be that bad. I set Bobo back in his little chair. Chuckles was soaked. I have no idea how. I cleaned the floor, table, the place between the table where things go to become sticky, the booster seat, the chair under the booster. THen I realize Chuckles's clothes were soaked. He was stripped naked in the kitchen because he was that wet. I sent him to his room to get clothes. I picked up Bobo and plopped him in his crib while I tended to Chuckles. I got Chuckles dressed, went in and changed Bobo's still-poopy diaper. As long as I was upstairs, I brushed my teeth. Got both kids and headed back downstairs. I cleaned up the cake puke which was quite easy to clean off of the tile. Chuckles asked for lunch as it was now 11:00. I obliged. I heard Bobo deposit poop in his diaper again. Didn't I just change him? Yes I did, but he'd been sitting in it for a half hour. Bobo was changed. Time to feed him again. I just get Bobo settled to eat (which is quite a production what with the pillows and the repetitive stress injury I have from my nursing position). Chuckles needs milk since he spilled his earlier and the cup and remaining milk were set in the sink. I can't get it for him. I told him to wait. He decides to get it himself. There is nothing I can do. He pulls a chair over to the cupboard, gets a cup, gets the milk out of the fridge, climbs up on the chair and pours it into his cup. He replaces the milk in the fridge. Success. Success. Milk has been acquired and I didn't have to do anything. Woo Hoo. I count this day as one for the "Good" column.

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

The Sights of the Season

Hi. My name is Bobo and my mother dresses me funny.
From my head to my toes, she dresses me funny. I will so get even with her later.
But I am cute.

And this is a picture that could have been good if Bobo had been into the baby photo shoot, which he was not.
Nasty elves at work...
Look, it must be Italian. It's Fragile (pronounced frah-gee-lay)...

Gratuitous Santa photo. Note children not screaming, so that's good. One chld is sleeping and that is just fine with me.
I told you I was going to the 25th anniversary of A Christmas Story at the Indiana Welcome Center. I went. The Santa was nice but the kids did dismount via red twisty slide (only one of my kids did the slide and he would not wait for me to get my camera out).

Friday, December 12, 2008

Where were you at 3am?

I was being pooped upon. No harm, no foul.

I wrote a song. It's set to the tune of that Christmas ditty about the kid who needs front teeth. It goes like this:
All I want for Christmas is a Full Night's Sleep
A Full Night's Sleep
A Full Night's Sleep
All I want for Christmas is a Full Night's Sleep
So I can wish you Merry Christmas
And mean it

So, that's where I am. I found two places with free photos with Santa for tomorrow. Am not looking forward to waiting in a line but one of the places has the Actual Macy's Window Displays from the movie A Christmas Story (you know, you'll shoot your eye out). It's the 25th anniversary of that movie and it was set in Hammond, IN which is super duper close to where we live so it seems like it might be cute. And I want a Red Ryder bee-bee gun this year.

I have noticed a recurring theme around blog-land and in real life at the library where I saw actual real people with actual real children. The theme is that when your second child arrives, you first child watches more tv . Now this is no scientific study or anything, but I know of 6 people who will say this is true. I concur. The only thing I can say is I hope in a few months (maybe 3, since I keep my expectations low) I won't be using the TV as much as I am right now. And the pacifier. I hope I won't be using the pacifier quite so much.

I am starting a new paragraph but other than that I have no way to transition to this next topic, so don't get whiplash as we move about quickly. I really enjoy the mailman coming because it gets me out of the front door and feels like my only link to the outside world. Pathetic yes, yet it's my reality.

I do not think I will be baking 9 varieties of Christmas cookies. I must make my pecan sandies/snowballs. I'd like to make oatmeal cranberry cookies since I am the only one who makes them. And I'd like to make cut out sugar cookies but I just don't know whether I have it in me. It would require cleaning the kitchen both before and after and I just don't think I can. Maybe only two varieties of cookies this year. Will keep you posted.

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

900 posts

I have 900 posts inside my head but since Blogger doesn't read minds, I actually have to find the time to type the post into the computer. Very inefficient.

By the numbers:
  • 5 - number of tubes of petroleum jelly we have already consumed on Bobo (really, that's a lot of grease!)
  • 200 - approximate number of diapers already changed (possibly more, often in quick succession)
  • 8, broken - number of hours of sleep I got last night but not restful
  • 9 - approximate weight, in pounds, of Bobo
  • A jillion - approximate size, in comparison, of Chuckles when playing rambunctiously near Bobo
  • 15 - pounds I still need to lose
  • 3 - number of reasons I won't lose those pounds (Christmas cookies, hot chocolate, and an appetite that does. not. shut. off, ever. And also whipped cream in a can.)
  • 36/38E - Nursing bra size I am using, although I suspect it is wrong. 38C is definitely wrong (too small!).
  • 3-6months - size of clothes my 3-week old baby wears (it's a length issue)

I feel pretty good. The doctor gave me the go-ahead to normalize my life. Cleaning and exercising are still strictly forbidden. Doc said exercising, I added cleaning for good measure. I anticipate that rhymes with hecks will resume in a week or so, if I ever stop bleeding. Rhymes with Hecks has been gone for so long (4 months, 5, who knows?) that I wonder if I'll remember how.

I have taken both children out of the house by myself. I have cooked and bathed - just not all in the same day. My husband was off work for almost 3 weeks and when he went back, everything exploded and he's been working long and odd hours since. This has annoyed me to no end, but bolstered my confidence in my ability to have two kids and do OK by myself. We'll see whether confidence or annoyance wins long-term.

I (ridiculously) hosted Thanksgiving and a party the Sunday after. Paper plates were enjoyed by all, I hope. My husband deep-fried a turkey. I am attempting to get out of attending the holiday festivities with my extended family. It's just too much for one day. But I know I'll get flak because everyone wants to see the new baby. Must stand ground. Ugh. Can't I hire someone to do this for me?

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

It's the Economy, Stupid

I have heard that the tanking economy is hurting the business of professional Santas this Christmas season. Apparently, fat, jolly men with beards are having a hard time finding gigs as people and corporations cut back on personal Santa appearances. For cheap, I am willing to offer Bobo's services up. I think his pointy little ears make him look elfin (or is that elfen?). Either way, I think his ear is cute, even if a wee bit pointy.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bobo is a Boy

All the ultrasound techs were right. Bobo is a boy.

He's a great boy too. I had thought that the scheduled c-sectioin would be very convenient but I was certain I wouldn't get much sleep the night before wondering about it. Fortunately, Bobo came on Sunday instead of Monday rendering my fears moot. I started bleeding Sunday morning. I woke up in a pool of my own blood and woke my husband up, called my doctor's office (come right in to L&D) and then my mother-in-law to come sit on our child. She got there fast (and I don't think she washed, dressed, or brushed).

It was quick, quick, quick from there. I got to the hospital about 2 minutes before 7 am on Sunday morning, and Bobo was yanked from me (screaming his fool head off) at 9:11 am. I was relieved. Chuckles was not born breathing, let alone crying, so the cries, although they were frantic and make a mother's heart ache, were music to my ears. His Apgars were excellent (9 and 10) and the nurses mentioned that the neonatalogist who saw us rarely gives out 10s in case something happens later the parents don't feel misled.

My husband went with Bobo to do the bath, Vitamin K, eye goop, weighing stuff, and I went to Post-Anesthesia recovery. Then, I was off to my private room to wait to see my baby (during the lull, I made a few phone calls and boy were people surprised since this was a day earlier than planned and I guess I sounded coherent only 2 hours later). Unlike with Chuckles who was whisked away in a hurry, I got to see Bobo in the operating room. We even took some pictures of a nurse hanging a baby over my head.

Epidural/Spinal anesthesia often causes a dip in blood pressure. Since I run toward cadaver all the time, mine of course, dipped. I wasn't worried. Neither was Tim the nurse anesthetist at my procedure. He said if I had come in with normal blood pressure (120 over 80, maybe) and he saw the numbers I was putting up (88 over 44), there would be cause for concern but with my history, we'll just give you a little something for that, no worries.

It took a team of people laying on my stomach and pulling from the bottom to get Bobo out and all they said was "big head!" (so c-section is a winner!). Bobo is on my lap right now wearing the outfit my husband wore home from the hospital 34 years ago this week.

I'm also printing the birth announcements from one of the other computers here in our bunker (somehow our family room went from romper room to mission control with the addition of a 1950s-era filing cabinet and two new laptop computers). I spent the early afternoon in a sunny window trying to snap a birth announcement-worthy photo of Bobo. Flash makes baby squinty so I use sunny window and no flash on Macro setting in case you were wondering.

Everything is OK. The nurses at the hospital always make threats about how you have to feed your baby formula or the pediatrician won't let him go home, but I stood firm this time (notso with Chuckles as I didn't know any better) and everytually, the weight loss tapered off and poppie and wet diapers started coming. No biggie, but scary the first time around, I assure you. Second time is easier, I guess. I should tattle on the nurses, but frankly, I don't care that much now that we're home and thriving.

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Two photos, one story

So, I'm pregnant. 39 weeks today, as a matter of fact. This photo here was taken at about 37 weeks when I started swelling. I had to wear shorts with my pressure stockings because otherwise I was too hot. As for why I had to wear plaid shorts with a striped top while wearing anti-embolism stockings, I cannot tell you, but see also, I'm pregnant. And as for why my husband felt the need to take a picture, well, he's a gem. My embarassment is your gain.

The next photo can be filed under "Pregnant Women Do Stupid Things". After looking at the above photo with my ill-advised short hair, I noticed that when they cut all my hair off, they took off all the sun-lightened blonde parts. Then, I remembered that on Monday, people will take a lot of pictures of me. Sure, I won't be the star of the pictures, but I'll be in them, and I will see them for the rest of my life. So, on a stupid, stupid whim, I decided to frost/highlight/tip my hair. I spent a very long time pulling my hair through a bonnet, or cap. Here's a tip...have a friend do it for you because figuring out how to use the hook in a three-way mirror to get the back of your hair is a bitch. Also, if you are pregnant, do not do it.
So, after an hour of pulling my hair through (hint, the hook part faces down toward your skull), I put the peroxide mixture on, put a plastic bag over that mess and went to wrap Christmas presents. I glanced up into the mirror a while later and let out an audible eff-you-see-kay (if you know what I mean). I was reverse skunked, but the light parts were the color of straw. I washed the whole concoction out and then proceeded to shower while consoling myself with the fact that it would only be a week before I could do corrective coloring. I called a friend. She laughed (rightly) at me. What kind of person frosts her hair for the first-time ever while hugely pregnant? A stupid one, that's what kind. So, this very good friend caught her breath long enough to ask me to cough, laugh, cough, take a picture. So, I moussed and blow dried and came up with this.

And really, it's not that bad. Do you even think my husband will notice?

Sunday, November 09, 2008

Where do babies come from and other tidbits from my life

My child is no longer a baby. I stood in the kitchen today listening to him playing by himself in the other room.

Chuckles as 1 person: That's not your truck; that's my fire truck.

Chuckles as a second person: No, it's mine. Give it.

1: Hands off my truck.

2: You are not very nice. Share with me.

1: I am not your friend.

2: Mine.

And so it went for quite some time. It was cute. And he did not at any point start beating himself up to get the fire truck from himself, so he's not a future mental patient.

He is also no longer a baby because "buyed" has turned into "bought" and "taked" has turned into "took" or "has taken", depending on context.

Babies are made of every last little bit of patience I had mixed liberally with leftover Fun Size Halloween chocolates. So, I am a wee bit cranky but sweet.

What's for dinner?

As part of our ongoing and continuing periodic feature, I will now tell you what I ate for dinner.

Tuesday (my first day of maternity leave and day I voted and painted): Crock Pot Roast and salad

Wednesday: Homemade Creamed Chipped Beef (made with Carl Buddig brand luncheon meat)

Thursday: Leftover pot roast

Friday: Homemade banana muffins for breakfast courtesy of Chuckles who "needed" a muffin. Ham and cheese quiche with a spring mix salad fixed with mandarin oranges and a pomegranate vinaigrette dressing (sugar, basil, pomegranate vinegar, water, olive oil) AND French Silk pie from Baker's Square for dinner. The first thing Mr. Long-Suffering said when he got home was, "Someone put fruit in my salad." Not, "Hi honey, I'm home." or even, "Gee, that smells good." But "Someone put fruit in my salad."

Saturday: Weekend Waffles for breakfast. Pecan crusted chicken, tomato bisque, and seasonal hearty vegetable from Scarborough Faire for dinner AND later at home, French Silk pie. Child spent the night with Grandma.

Sunday: Mr. Long-Suffering's awesome reward French Toast for breakfast (he makes it for me when I have been very good). For dinner, rosemary roasted chicken (with garlic), mushroom wild rice (wild rice, brown rice, mushrooms, white sauce, hint of black pepper and salt), assorted frozen veggies, a (hopefully) good cranberry dish (I was out of one of the ingredients and tried to sub something else in), and two pumpkin pies (since after that, the French Silk was all gone). One of the pies got a homemade pat-in-the-pan oil crust (1-1/3 cup flour, 1/3 cup oil, 1/2 tsp salt, 2 T ice cold water) and the other got a Meirco brand store-bought crust that contains hydrogenated lard. Ewwww. Oh, and whipped cream, because you cannot, by law, have pumpkin pie without whipped cream.

And now for more of our regularly-scheduled programming:

Right now, I am listening to Mr. Long-Suffering explaining that the Chicago Bears are not "in a time out" but are "taking a time out" because Tennessee is winning and something about the clock running out, but they didn't do anything wrong or get put in a time out. And I am listening to this while eating a Fun Size Heath bar. Baby likes toffee.

I am 38.5 weeks. I have less than 8 days to go. I have gained just a hair less than 40 lbs, but I swear it's all baby. Maybe a record breaker, this one. Or not. I'm still really shamefully energetic and am planning on raking leaves tomorrow. I'll let you know how that plan goes.

Wednesday, November 05, 2008


OK, now that I got that primal scream, sigh of relief out, I guess I have some things to tell you.

  1. I'm nesting, and it involves cleaning. It's scary. I don't like cleaning and yet, I cannot stop.
  2. Mr. Long-Suffering is also nesting. For him, it involves having contractors come over and give us estimates on attic insulation. That is fun.
  3. Stanley Steemer was here today and now my carpeting is not a great source of embarrassment and shame. It's a small source, but not a great source.
  4. I went to work on Monday and will not return until April. helllllo Maternity Leave.
  5. I went on a huge play date today with women from some church. We were talking about infertility, and I just said that I didn't think higher order multiples were a good idea. I did not suggest selective reduction. I just said you could cancel a cycle with too many good follicles. And they looked at me like I had multiple heads. Perhaps the church-y people like to have 6 kids at a time. Oh well. Other than my obvious social blunder the time went well.
  6. The date and time of my surgery are set. 10 am on the 17th. That's 12 days from now. Wow.
  7. I am 38 weeks tomorrow. I am term. I am grateful.
  8. I voted. Line took 1 hour 20 minutes. It was OK. I hung out with my neighbors. Just as in the primary, I voted for Mike "The Waiter" White. He lost. I have no idea what his platform is, but I was worried about a potential mob hit if I didn't vote for The Waiter.
  9. Do you know what has irritated me in the last few weeks? People who said that people wouldn't vote for Obama because of the color of his skin. What about all of us who would not vote for him because of the content of his character? Obviously, I did not vote for Obama. He stands for pretty much everything I don't stand for (progressive taxation, income redistribution, pulling out of Iraq on a fixed timeline, nationalized health fact, government interference into health care, purposely limiting exploitation of our country's natural resources...Drill, Baby, Drill, government interference into free markets, social safety net, etc...I think you see where I am going...right down Libertarian Way to the corner of Strict Constructionist and Individual Liberty). Mind you, the current incarnation of McCain is no better. Go Libertarians! Unite!
  10. And I painted our foyer and hallway. It feels good to accomplish things.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Photos are the Lazy Mom's Way of Filling a Blog Post

I emailed a midwife friend of mine to find out if there was anything I could do about the swelling other than water with lemon, sleeping on my left side, watermelon (which is so not in season right now), and the super-sexy stockings. Here is her answer:

The swelling is caused by lymphatic fluid leaking out of your vessels and into
your tissue. One thing that works really well is to get into a pool
for an hour or so, 3-4 times a week. The pressure (hydrostatic?) of a big
pool of water is greater than the pressure of the free lymphatic fluid in the
tissues and it forces the lymphatic fluid back into the vessels. The
vessels take it to the kidneys where it can be processed into urine and
eliminated. I guess it’s almost the same principal as pressure stockings
but on a whole body scale. You don’t have to swim. You just
hold onto the side in water up to your shoulders and let the pressure do its
thing. It’s time-consuming and impractical (unless you belong to the YMCA
or a health club) but it really works.
So, I decided to give it a try. Here is a picture of me floating in the swimming pool to relieve swelling.

After that, I decided to have my husband take my picture, because I think the baby has actually dropped (although that doesn't seem possible given how low I was carrying to start, but judge for yourself).

You miht notice, if you've been studying me closely, that I cut my hair. I donated another ponytail to Pantene Beautiful Lengths. It was two years, two weeks since I cut it, and I had another 12" to cut. So, I guess my hair grows about 6" per year. The lady at the salon was ery nervous about cutting my hair. Apparently, they do not like to cut off all the hair of pregnant women because we do things that are irrational when our faces are all puffy and we think it's a good idea, but, dude, it is so totally not. I assured her that I had been planning on cutting my hair for two years since the last time I did this. So, she cut it. But I have heard that hormones make your hair thick and gorgeous, so it would seem an awesome time to cut and donate hair. But then again, I am totally not in love with my hair. It's something to keep my head warm.
As long as I had teh camera out, I snapped a picture. Call this photo "The View of my Lap from Right Here".

And our last picture from this set is called "Use This Photo to Discourage Teen Sex and Pregnancy". Oh man, that's one hot photo. In actuality, I hadn't seem myself from that angle, uhm, ever, so this was quite illuminating. This picture is actually upside-down (note that my jeans are at the top) because of how I was holding the camera. If you look at it while standing on yoru head, it's not nearly as scary.

Photos are the Lazy

Lesson One: Don't Be Smug

Two months ago...
Me: What do you think we should name the baby?
Chuckles: Stoopio.

Last month...
Me: What do you think we should name the baby?
Chuckles: Morganda.

Me: What do you think we should name the baby?
Chuckles: Opladah. (at least, I think that's how it would be spelled.)

I have officially gone from pregnant and justfinethankyou to OhMyGod, my toes look like breakfast sausages. I have swollen. I wore super-sexy pressure stockings to bed last night (they have some writing on them. They are officially anti-embolism stockings). My wedding rings are in a little box and will be seen again in a month or so. I swelled at 36 weeks-even with Chuckles. I swelled at 36w2d this time around. Way to hold that swelling at bay, eh? I'll let you know if the ice-cold showers and pressure stockings work. Mostly, I am just resigned to the fact that I am puffing. I will mention it at my next doctor's appointment, but until then, I am just resigned. Woo woo.

I was smug thinking I'd keep my weight gain down this time and thinking that I wasn't going to swell. It's just not true. I'm a sweller. Hopefully, I will be able to keep the carpal tunnel at bay. I only have 6 days of work left (although work is totally hectic because of the Global Financial Implosion and my fill-in is "nothing but brain stem" as Mr. Long-Suffering puts it).

So, that's where I am. Puffing, cranky, napping, nesting, and very very happy to be so lucky to be here.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

I'm here feathering my nest

I guess I have hit the home stretch. Everything is moving right along.

I asked Chuckles if he would like a brother or a sister.

Me: Would you like a brother or a sister?
Chuckles: Which one is the boy?
Me: Brothers are boys, and sisters are girls.
Him: I want a boy sister.
Me: OK, good luck with that.

Chuckles has also recently taken to singing something that sounds vaguely like the Barney song.
I love you.
Hugs and kisses for you and me.
You love me.
I want hugs and kisses too.
And you are the best and I'm so good too and here are my cars, I love you, kiss me.
And so on.

I have started cleaning things. And vacuuming. Which if you know me, is quite amazing. Truly amazing. I don't vacuum. My motto should be, "I'm cool with windows but I don't do floors." It's a really good thing we have hardwood floors because you really don't need to do much with those. I also mopped some floors. And I scheduled the carpet cleaner guys for the day after Election Day.

And because I figured this flurry of cleaning was probably nesting (which I never did with Chuckles), I bought a rocking chair, cleaned curtains, rearranged all the furniture in Chuckles's room, arranged the furniture in the guest room/baby's room, decorated (mostly) the baby's room, purchased various and sundry baby items I needed in the house (infant acetaminophen, diaper ointment, petroleum jelly in squeeze tubes, etc), cleaned some more, organized the front hall closet, threw away a ton of shoes that were ripped and had holes, filed papers, and much much more. And that was Monday. Last night, I laid awake from 4 am on thinking about all the cleaning, painting, and organizing I could get done in the next three weeks. It's a sickness.

Somewhere in here, I morphed from a woman who was convinced that she would not to conceive, to one who did, to someone who thought for sure she would miscarry due to low progesterone or the bleeding, to one who stayed pregnant, to one who thought she'd start bleeding and have a premature infant thanks to the previa, to one who is pretty much beyond preemie-land, to someone who decorates nurseries sure in the knowledge that a baby is coming home. It's weird. I feel like everything I do for the new baby is like a jinx on me, but I so want to be ready because I really don't need to be at Target buying baby essentials at 4 days post-partum. I have a crib and diapers and ointments and unguents and a baby tub and clothes and every day I feel like an impostor. It's so weird. And I'm huge, so I'm really not impostering.

Small gripe: the other day I came home from work at 5:30 and discovered my husband on the couch watching TV and my son on the other couch reading books. I ran in and started heating the leftovers that were for dinner (lamb chops! whole grain pasta with homemade pesto! vegetables!). During this, my son wanted to be attached to me bodily. And my husband quips that for the 40 minutes he was home, Chuckles left him alone to watch TV. Now, I have three or ten things wrong with this scenario. 1 - You've been home for 40 minutes and haven't started dinner. 2 - You've been home for 40 minutes and haven't thrown in laundry, picked up anything, loaded or unloaded the dishwasher. 3 - You have been home for 40 minutes and did not spend it interacting with your child who has been at child care all day long. 4 - You are home right now not doing anything productive as far as I can tell and you are not helping fix dinner or entertaining the child so I can do it freely. Please give me a break. I think the heavy sigh I passive aggressively let out showed my displeasure, and then I left him the ingredients on the counter for what I wanted for dinner the next night (because I think actually figuring out what to fix is the hardest part for him).

Sometimes, Chuckles comes up to me. He's about this tall (see my hand right here). Then he proceeds to yell at my stomach something like, "HI BABY. Baby-Baby-Baby." It's supercute. I should get it on video.

Do you think I should start refering to the Baby by name when I talk about it in my home or am I good to refer to Baby as "baby"?

Global Financial Collapse makes me want to buy a new car. With 0% financing and no money down. I want the Honda Accord Cross-over but it doesn't come out until Model Year 2010. Nissan has a year's worth of Pathfinder inventories on the lot, so I could try that. They're probably buy one-get one.

Saturday, October 18, 2008

One month to go

The big event at my last doctor's appointment was that my "surgery" was scheduled. You know, the birth of my child. It's November 17th (time tbd).

In other news, I am still on pelvic rest and will be for the duration. There's no hope of the placenta moving now. And the baby is breech. And that's about it.

I only gained 1 pound in the previous week, so I feel pretty good. My food cravings are decidedly toward the unhealthy (milk shakes, rice pudding, chocolate milk, cereal, caramel, toffee), so it's good that I am not keeping that stuff in the house and only gained a pound.

I had horrible carpal tunnel from about 5 months on with Chuckles. It appeared on Thursday. That seems pretty good to me. I make it to 35 weeks and only wore my brace once. I've worn it a bit since then. This time around, it is nowhere near as bad.

With Chuckles, at 36 weeks, I took my wedding ring (and my shoes) off and didn't see them again for 3 months (ironically, it was April Fool's Day and I figured someone had to be kidding me). So far, nothing even seems tight...even by the end of the day after eating lots of salt. So far, so good. We'll see how it goes.

I only have two weeks of work left and they still haven't figured out who my replacement is. This ought to be fun. Fun, I say. Except it's not. But, that's OK. It'll be fine. I won't be there. They'll muddle through.

Product Review: Fiber Supplements

I believe I mentioned that I was encouraged to increase my already-plentiful fiber consumption after I had some south-of-the-border issues. So, now I am an EXPERT on fiber. Let's review.

I started with a corn dextrin-based fiber supplement (I bought CVS store brand. The name brand used wheat dextrin. I have no idea whether that matters).
Pros: Dissolved completely in water (not milk) and did not taste like anything.
Cons: Did not work (and really, what's the point if it doesn't work). It did cause a change in the, ummm, product that I was producing but it did not appear to be for the better (nor for the worse, neutral).

Next, I decided to try the most famous of all: Metamucil. The woman pictured on the website is clearly not constipated. Nor has she ever been constipated. In fact, I'm not sure she's ever had a bowel movement. She's just too young, non-pregnant, and perky. I tried coarse ground, unflavored (but still sweetened) Metamucil (psyllium fiber).
Pros: Works great in as little as 12 hours.
Cons: Absolutely disgusting dissolved in plain water. Do not dissolve in warm water (it not try to hide it in your oatmeal unless you'd like to throw away a really big bowl of oatmeal). Do not put the cap back on the bottle before chugging the vile liquid because the longer it sits, the more disgusting it gets. Here's the deal: get yourself about 3 ounces of ice cold tap water, add one ounce of OJ for flavor, measure in one heaping teaspoon of Metamucil and stir vigorously for 10 seconds. Chug the whole mess. Rinse the glass with a bit of water and drink that (because it sticks to the glass). Replace the cap on the Metamucil jar and fill your glass with water to let it soak overnight.

Obviously, I found the Metamucial vile (but effective), so I wanted to try something else. I bought a bottle of fiber supplement tablets (made from inulin vegetable fiber) that are about 4 times bigger than a tumes but they taste like oranges and go down easy.
Pros: They taste good. Sometimes I would have one after dinner in lieu of a cookie.
Cons: They don't work. They do have an effect. It's the same effect as the corn dextrin fiber. That effect is that it turns your excrement into rubber. It's a bizarre occurrence and not one that I'd definitely say is for the positive.

Lastly, I found the Metamucil to be a little pricey, so I bought Pharmacists' Choice unflavored (but sweetened!) psyllium fiber supplement. It's OK. It's fine ground, I guess, since it isn't as coarse as the coarse-ground Metamucil.
Pros: Low, Low Price, and it works!
Cons: It dissolves a little funny and the sugar stays in the glass (which I guess isn't a bad thing since I don't need the sugar).

Overall, I highly recommend the psyllium powders that you mix with water (or juice). And eat some raisin bran every day. And fruit. And stay away from the rubber makers.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

I'd love to blog but I am sooooo tired

Instead of anything substantive, I give you the following...

Things I love
  • Affy Tapples ('nuff said)
  • My kid (who was sleeping in bed with me, work up for 3 seconds to say, "I love you and need to give you hugs and kisses." And then, to prove it, promptly fell back asleep for, like, 11 more hours.)
  • 75% off yellow tags at the Goodwill. I got some awesome stuff. Brand new stuff from Target, used stuff, snow pants.
  • My kid who hung out in bed for an hour today playing some elaborate game with pillows while I took a nap 3 inches away. He was very quiet. He may have slept. I have no idea. I was comatose.
  • A clean car
  • Ultrasounds that show a 5 lb 2 ounce to 5 lb 14 ounce fetus wiggling about all breech in position and cute as a button. And a 3.4 cm cervix that has plenty of length left depsite the fact that I contract (a lot).
  • Chuckles's new, big boy hair cut. Same cut he's had before, just done. And he's so dang cute. Really. I'm not just saying that because I'm his mom.

Things I do not love

  • My husband is on the midnight shift. I do not like solo parenting. Am so tired.
  • Industrial accidents that (slightly) injure my husband. I am really glad that the thing that hit him got him on the arm and not somewhere important (like his head).
  • Traffic on a Saturday afternoon. It just goes against the code of What Is True, Just, and Right in This World.
  • A car that, even after I washed it, is still dirty (that shows just how dirty the car was when I started).
  • People who keep saying how big I am. Yes, yes, I know. I am enormous. I get it. And people who keep mentioning how uncomfortable I look. Ok, here's the thing...there's not much I can do about it, ok?
  • Ultrasound techs who don't show me the screen. I had to crane my neck and all just to see what I saw.
  • Contractions. I was driving home in the aforementioned Traffic (with sleeping Chuckles in the back seat) and I got a contraction that lasted from the Circle Interchange to 115th St. There was nothing I could do about it. It's not like I was going to stop on the South Side of Chicago, and it's not like I could move or walk it off, so I just sat there praying I wouldn't pee myself. Good times. Good times. I guess I have officially given up driving long distances through sketchy neighborhoods by myself.

Tuesday, October 07, 2008

This Post Rated PG-13 for Brief Nudity

It's Official.

I Am All Kinds of Huge.


  1. I tried to do a push-up today and could not as my belly hit the floor before my elbows could bend.

  2. I no longer fit in my size L maternity clothes. All of my XL clothes are sweatpants, so I don't foresee any further wardrobe dilemmas.

  3. I saw my old ob at Chuckles's school on Friday night (I see her partner now because it is MUCH easier to get an appointment with him). Anyway, OB says to me, "Oh my! You look ready to pop (or maybe she said drop...anyway...)!" I laughed and said I was only 33 weeks. And she got this horrified look on her face. I said, "It's OK. I'm on track for a 9-pounder." She agreed heartily based on how I looked, and the fact that Chuckles was over 8 lbs. And she agreed about the c-section given the potential size and the placenta previa. So, look, I got a second opinion on the medical necessity of my c-section.

  4. My boss thinks I have begun to waddle. My boss also thinks I appreciate that he noticed. Ha ha ha. That boss-man. So funny.

  5. My husband has stopped thinking that pelvic rest is a bad idea. He finds the physics daunting.

  6. Here's your proof positive.......

Friday, October 03, 2008


Well, it went from summer to Fall in 3.2 seconds. They're calling for FROST in the far-outlying areas tonight. I do not live in a far outlying area, so no frost for me, but still. I have this theory that it always snows once before Halloween and it will also always be 80 once in October. So, there you go. I remember that the first weekend in October last year was 90 degrees (we were apple picking) and the weekend before Halloween was hotter than Hades (we were at Boo At The Zoo). I felt bad for all the kids in plush costumes. So sweaty.

On to other news, another Thursday, another doctor's appointment. My blood pressure is steady at 115/60, where it has been every day of my life. My weight, however, is not so steady. It's climbing at an alarming rate now. I'm up over 30 pounds total so far. I still have up to 7 weeks to go. At the current rate, I could end up packing on 60 pounds! But I won't. You are my witnesses.

I mentioned the Braxton Hicks contractions that are so bad I think I am in labor when then come (but they do always go away with some walking). If I didn't have placenta previa, he probably would have checked my cervix. As it was, he told me to stay pregnant for 2 more weeks (as if I can control it! I told him to keep me pregnant for 4 more!) and get an ultrasound to check placental placement and cervical length, so I'm going for another ultrasound next week. I go back for another doctor visit in 10 days. My husband is scheduled to work the midnight shift next week for 11 consecutive days (this is how he is earning paid time off after the baby comes). I need to call in the cavalry because dinner, evening routine, bath, jammies, books, etc take its toll on my body. Mom, Mother-in-Law, etc will all be contacted for help picking child up from day care and bringing me dinner. I know it sounds like I have it easy, but really, I need to stay pregnant for two more weeks and I need help. If cervical length is shortening, I am going to be smacked onto bed rest next week, so I need a plan.

I watched some of the Vice-Presidential debate last night. Biden called people in Bosnia bosniaks, which is apparently a correct thing to do, but I always thought they were Bosnians. Palin was folksy, they say. She was real. Some of her personality shined through. That's nice. I'm all for authentic. Biden's a fine guy too, but I'm not so keen on the governmental intervention into my life (no taxes, boo hiss).
I'm reminded of an episode of pandering from the Simpson's.

Kang [running for President]: Abortions for all!
[crowd boos]
Very well, Abortions for none!
[crowd boos]
Abortions for some, miniature American flags for the others!
[crowd cheers and waves tiny American Flags]

Well, that's all I have for now and my formatting got all messed up, so I bid you adieu for today. Wish me a fine weekend. We have FAMILY FUN night tonight and maybe some apple picking tomorrow. And then, baked apples...mmmmm.

Wednesday, October 01, 2008

Seriously, it's October

So, well, where did summer go? Oh yes, that's right, I spent my summer being pregnant, traveling, experiencing bad weather, and various and sundry other things. And now it is Fall.

Only 31 days until Halloween and Chuckles would like to be a Race Car Driver (but not Speed Racer nor Ricky Bobby). So, we bought him a helmet at the fly-by-night costume shop that sprang up in a strip mall near our home, and I've decided to let him wear his Race Car Driver pajamas that day. Now, I just need stickers from sponsors to stick to his jammies. So creative.

Since his little wallopping expedition, CHuckles has not wailed on any more kids at school. He is reminded every morning not to touch the other kids and to obey his teachers. Good times. He has defied a teacher every day since then but he comes clean when you pick him up and says, "I yelled at Miss Kelly today." Well, the honesty is a nice touch.

I'm almost 33 weeks now. Things continue to progess but I have nothing to report. Baby changes position frequently and has not gone head down (which, frankly, does not matter since the c-section will take care of that). It hurts to sit for long periods of time without shifting and fidgeting. Walking is fine. Standing is double plus un-good. A few times a week I wake up in the middle of the night convinced I am in labor but really, I just need to pee and am having contractions of a non-regular, non-productive nature.

I mentioned the mosquitoes, yes? Well, yesterday at about 6:15 am on my way to work, I drove through the cloud of a truck spraying to rid the neighborhood of said mosquitoes. I closed my vents and held my breath until I was well-passed there, but you know, I drove through a cloud of insecticide.

It's raining today. The floodwaters receded but they are rightthere at the edge of the pavement, in the backyard, just under the bridge. I really don't want a repeat of what happened before and I am sure the people's whose homes were detroyed don't want that either. I hope the rain stops soon.

The new season of Chuck is back on nbc. I watched it on streaming video at yesterday and it did not disappoint. It's not a realistic show. It's a fun comedy romp with an action angle. And there is all this unrequited I just can't shake. I love the unrequited.

I bought Chuckles some Carters pajamas at Kohl's and since it's been chilly the last few nights, he's been wearing them. He loves them and calls them his soft pants and tells me that they are as soft as his ding, which is truly high praise. Praise of the highest.

I went to Goodwill this weekend and let Chuckles pick out some books (we got 19 new books). Several of them are children's Bibles. He likes boats so he always wants the story about Noah. He also likes jungles, so he's been asking for the Garden of Eden story a lot and I have the hardest time refraining from adding baum-chicka-bow-bow when the serpent gives Eve the apple and she eats it, if you know what I mean, wink-wink. I'm a horrible person.

And in conclusion, I am a horrible person. But, I am a Libertarian and I am glad the Wall Street Bail-Out failed to pass. And I think that bankers who gave 120%, $0 down, interest only, stated income mortgages to anyone deserve what they get. And to the people who took out those obviously could not afford what you were buying, are you really that dumb? Or greedy? Then you too get what you deserve. I'm a horrible person, I know, but I've never taken out anything but a 30-year fixed rate mortgage with 20% down. And usually, I buy a house that costs half of what I could be approved to borrow. Oh, and lest you think I'm truly horrible and only enjoy the misery of others, I'll have you know that I am losing a bundle in my 401(k) every single day here (except yesterday when I made money, but not nearly as much as I lost on Monday).

Oh, and the secret to motherhood is cassroles made with a can of Cream of Mushroom soup.

Friday, September 26, 2008

It's Never the Thing You Worry About

Locusts - pshaw. My mosquitoes can carry your locusts away. We have mosquitoes. Not just at dusk, either. We have bold, brazen, daytime biting mosquitoes. There are skeeters everywhere. Chuckles was in the grass for 22 seconds and came out nibbled to death. There are mosquitoes in the car, on the front door, covering the grass, in the bushes, lurking in the shadows just waiting to do me harm. And yet, few of them are biting me. The Man and the Boy are being eaten alive, but preggo lady is happily unaffected (mostly, and in comparison).

I have given up cutting the grass. I have also decided that the toenails I painted for the wedding last weekend are the last toenails I will be painting until December. Further to that I got an ingrown hair below the Mason-Dixon line and I had to get out a hand mirror to see it. Apparently, the Battle of the Bulge has been lost and the Baby won. 5 pounds of baby sticking straight out in front. As in, perpendicular to my body.

I have a long torso. I cannot wear a one-piece bathing suit without digging my suit out of my derriere for the entire day. Consequently, there is a large amount of space between the bottom of my (totally ample but well-supported) rack and the start of my Bulge. People keep asking me if I have dropped. Nope. Haven't dropped. I just keep my babies between my knees. I carry low. Low, low, low. I'm sitting here right now (slightly reclined) and my baby is resting on my thighs. It's an icky, gross feeling but the baby leaves my internal organs and my lungs alone, so I can't complain.

We switched to digital broadcast TV a few months back and the switch has left me with spotty ABC coverage. So, I was watching Grey's Anatomy last night while ignoring pleas for a 4th bedtime story, and Christina and Meredith were talking or fighting or something outside, the screen froze for a bit, and the next thing I know there was a giant icicle in Christina's abdomen. OK, then. I turned the TV off shortly after that because it would be too entirely frustrating to try and watch that. At least Chuck is on NBC (on Monday after 9 months of hiatus).

Chuckles is embracing all that is 3. He is three. And so good at being three. We got a report from school yesterday and he pounded (repeatedly) on a classmate who would not give up a toy. He had to be removed bodily. While in the Director's office, he was screaming full on at her. She noticed his tonsils are swollen (I'd thought so too and asked the ped and was told he has big tonsils that don't seem to cause a problem), and was quite concerned. So, my kid is a menace who may or may not have unusually large tonsils. And he's coming in to his bad behavior right before I bring a new baby home. Great. Good timing there.

When Chuckles eats his green beans or stays dry overnight, I tell him "Good Job!". I made myself a little bowl of ice cream the other night. He asked me where it went. I replied that I had eaten it and was finished. I was rewarded with, "Good Job, Mommy!"

Monday, September 22, 2008

No longer waiting for the locusts

The locusts never showed, but homes did start exploding seemingly at random. Possible natural gas. Big fun.

The waters receded and most of the roads reopened, although a few are still closed.

We had a super-social weekend. We did FOUR activities that involved other people and one involved getting dressed up. I wore a dress. And I looked OK.

Although, as an aside to the man who thought I was about to give birth right there during the wedding reception, I have 6 to 10 weeks to go. Don't say that kind of thing to a pregnant woman when there are knives sitting rightthere on the table.

And I had the realization that I may have only 6 weeks to go (as if I ever thought I would make it to term without bed rest!). Since all of the baby stuff had been removed from the basement during the flood, I started dismantling it and washing things. I guess I am nesting. Or panicking. One of those.

I did go to the doctor and my blood pressure is still good. I passed the glucose screening thing. Nookie is still prohibited. I gained virtually no weight last month (my husband did notice that we were not going through as much ice cream recently) after being chastised the previous month. Heartbeat was something in the 140s. And we all agree (four ultrasound techs, the internet, my actual doctor, my mother-in-law, and me) that I am on track, should I go to term, for a 9-pound baby. I would say, "Yikes," but since this is a c-section anyway, who cares?!? And I mentioned 9-pounds to the man at the wedding reception so he wouldn't think I was pretending to be only 7-months pregnant.

We went to the hospital for Sibling Class on Saturday. Chuckles wanted to know if that's where they keep the babies. The class involved a movie in the auditorium and a trip to look through the window at the babies. They unwrapped one baby from its swaddle and I was flabbergasted. That thing was small! Small! I have heard that during the 3 days you are in the hospital your existing child becomes HUGE but DUDE, that baby was small. And blond. They had removed the card from the rolling bassinet that said the baby's name and size, etc. Probably some HIPAA thing, but I really wanted to know how big that baby was. I'd say maybe 19" and 7 lbs at birth (maybe as low as 6 lbs 8 oz now. Yowzers!

This hospital also has a Special Care Nursery and NICU and I saw a mom and dad (the mom obviously had recently delviered and was still attached to various IVs) holding a tiny baby who was attached to a million little wires. Someone snapped their picture. THey looked pretty happy. The baby they were holding was big enough so I guess it wasn't too serious. Good thing. THen we saw a mom walk down teh hallway with a car seat and a teeny little baby in it under a batch of cookies. A NICU graduate coming back to thank the nurses. Nice stuff.

Monday, September 15, 2008

Waiting for the Locusts

We got 11" of rain this weekend. At least, I think it was 11". My rain gauge only goes up to 6, but it was emptied and so on. I think I need to channel my inner Spinal Tap and get one that goes to eleven.

The deluge brought about road closures (interstates, side streets, US highways, state roads, more interstates) and flooding. Our only major problem is that the drain tile is filling as fast as the sump pump can pump it out (so we got a SECOND sump pump) and there is no where to put the water that we pump (front yard flooded, back yard a and boy ran hovercraft around the yard yesterday) AND the town's storm and waste water pumping stations went down so some untreated sewage water backed up into our laundry tub. THis wasn't that bad, but it does mean we can't use any of the drains in our house (like no flushing, wash hands into a pot and dump the pot in the lake in the back yard, no showering, and so on). It's fine.

In other news, I had an ultrasound and Doppler blood flow study on Friday. The technician agreed on the bay's sex so I guess that's it. I still don't see it, but whatever. How is it that I can clearly see kidneys but I cannot see genitalia even when it is quite clear to others?

At about 30 weeks, BoBo is measuring 2 weeks ahead with an estimated weight of 1902 g (which is 4 lbs 3 ounces). BoBo was happily playing with the only toy we've give him/her---the umbilical cord. Bobo was playing with it, fondling it, sucking on it, and using its hands to smoosh its face.

My placenta continues to be previa. At 30 weeks, there is not much chance of it moving significantly. It's going to stay previa, I guess, so pelvic rest continues apace, but I do have an appointment with an actual doctor on Thursday to get the official word. My cervix is long and closed at 4.4 cm (down from 5 cm a little over 3 weeks ago, but still totally good and not showing any signs of dilation).

I went to a bar on Saturday and it was an odd experience. I guess I am glad I am married and boring because a noisy, crowded bar was not fun. I had a better time at the bar/restaurant we went to first. It was brighter so I could see everyone and quieter so we could talk and it served actual food which was good (in addition to the full bar menu available for those who chose to imbibe).

Whew. I'm going to go watch the YouTUbe or hulu of the SNL/Tina Fey thing from this weekend.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Seven Eleven

It's been seven years.

Today is the 11th.

I knew this, and yet, somehow, the site of the flag this morning on my very own front porch took my breath away. And then Chuckles asked why Daddy put the flag out. Why indeed?

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

Q&A with Chuckles and Mommy

The Convo at Ask Moxie today is all about "Your Three-Year Old: Menace to Society or Mini-Mad Hatter". Here is a rough excerpt of my life for the last 5 days:

Q: Mommy, is that car faster than your truck?
A: Well, mommy's truck is currently driving faster, but I think that Corvette has a higher top-end than my truck. And the Corvette can certainly get off the line and to the legally posted speed limit faster than I can.

Q: Mommy, is grandpa's boat stronger than Daddy's car?
A: The horsepower ratings of the two vehicles are approximately the same, but the boat has to overcome a lot more drag to get through the water than the car does to drive on the road.

Q: Mommy, is Daddy bigger than Uncle Jake?
A: I think Uncle Jake weighs more, but Daddy is taller.

Q: Mommy, are dinosaurs louder than yelling?
A: Dinosaurs are extinct and, therefore, are quite quiet.

Q: Mommy, are my shoes redder than your shoes?
A: Well, your shoes are grey, and mine are black. Black is made up of all the colors in the rainbow. Since my shoes are blacker than your shoes, they are also redder.

And the sweetest question of all after I spent the evening in bed last night because I had Braxton-Hicks contractions that would not stop if I was even remotely upright:
Q: Mommy, are you still sick?
A: No, but climb up in bed with me so I can read you a book and give you a kiss.

Tuesday, September 09, 2008

Post-Vacay Q&A

Q: So, are you, like, a Republican?
A: No, I am not. I have voted for a few in my day and some of my best friends are, but I am not. I am a Libertarian who sometimes has trouble finding viable candidates, so I need to venture out and vote for others. In the interest of full-disclosure, I voted for Ron Paul in the Republican primary (to send a message to John McCain about picking a running mate). Ron Paul and I definitely do not see eye-to-eye on all the issues. I will also divulge that my husband voted in the Democratic primary but abstained from voting in the Presidential part of it. He was more concerned about some local elections.

Q: How was your vacation?
A: I feel like I got hit by a Mack truck.

Q: Oh, that's funny.
A: Yes, it is, because I was actually hit by a 2006 Mack Truck AND a 2003 International Harvester semi.

Q: What the heck?
A: Oh, right. Chicagoland, yesterday, rush hour, Tri-State Tollway, driving rain, construction zone, towing a boat, rear-ended by two semis. Glad to be alive. Boat not so lucky. Spent the evening in the L&D being evaluated.

Q: So what is it with you and winding up in the hospital on vacation?
A: Good-timing and luck, I would guess.

Q: Is everything OK?
A: Baby is moving and looked great on the monitors. I was not given an internal exam because of the previa, but things appeared OK from the outside. I am taking it easy today and looking for signs of abruption, but none are apparent, so I feel OK. Waiting for a call back from the insurance company. (Note to the reader, I did not read the Mayo Clinic article at the link about placental abruption because I need no help freaking myself right out. No help at all.)

Q: Anything else you want to tell us?
A: I called 9-1-1, and they were quite speedy. The cell phone shows the number as SOS Call.
We drove home, and my husband dropped me off at our local hospital on the way and came back for me later.
My husband actually backed up on the highway to put us in a safer place. That's right...he backed up with a trailer in traffic. But it felt safer to be on teh shoulder rather than sitting in the left lane.
The people in the hospital have a hard time when you don't give them a maiden name but insist that you are married. What is the right way to handle that? Why do they really need my maiden name?
Oh, and funny thing...the nurse asking for my history had me look at a paper to answer one question when taking my history in front of my husband. The question was whether I had a history of STDs. Ha ha ha, no.

Q: When involved in a minor crash, do you need to replace your child's car seat?
A: Excellent question. NHTSA says Maybe Yes, Maybe No. Read here to decide for yourself. You may wish to contact your seat manufacturer to find out what they recommend (they may even replace yours for free if you send your used one in so they can do research and testing on seats that have gone through actual accidents installed in vehicles and used by real people).

Thursday, September 04, 2008

Twenty-Nine and One

I am 29 weeks now. Viability is good. Placental location will be checked next week. I went for my glucose tolerance screening on Tuesday. I felt fine, so I assume I passed.

And I'd like to send a hearty congratulations out to a friend who had her second baby last week. Welcome William James. And his name meets all my criteria!

I'm going out-of-town for a few days here. (Bags not yet packed but will be tonight, local in-network hospital located in our destination city should the need arise, small copy of my medical record tucked into my handbag, a little silent prayer that my cold gets better and Chuckles sleeps through the night while we're gone.) Wish me luck.

I am not a Feminist

I am not a feminist. I'm not all screedy and anti-male. I don't think women owe it to other women to work in their chosen profession if what they really want to do is stay at home and raise their children. Or even if that's not what they want to do, but it's what they've chosen to do because it feels right to them or best or easiest or whatever. Your choice, your thing. Oh, hey I guess I am Pro-Choice! Woo woo. I trust women to make their own choices! Yay women!

So, I'm not one of those Establishment Feminists. I believe men and women should be treated fairly and more-or-less equally, although I think it is impossible to treat two separate people equally because everyone is different. So, let's stick with fairly. People should be treated fairly.

Do you know what is not fair? It is not fair to ask Sarah Palin how she will have enough time to devote to her family and children and not ask the same of Barack Obama nor John McCain, who also have minor children. She's not even running for President. The job of Vice-President is far less-taxing than that of President. She'll have gobs of time. And her husband will probably quit his job to stay home and raise their children (two of whom I assume will be out of the house in the next year...the son, Track who is leaving next week to serve in Iraq and the daughter, Bristol, who will be busy getting married and raising her own family).

I actually watched her speech last night at the RNC. I have no idea why. I am a huge politcal junkie, but I normally do not have the patience to sit through an entire speech. I got out of the shower shortly before she went on and I went to bed promptly at 10 pm, even though she wasn't done. I thought the part of her speech that I saw was great. Really great. This morning people of the chattering classes were saying that it was too negative and too sarcastic.

Huh? I didn't even notice. I didn't see any sarcasm, although I guess it was there. Perhaps I just don't see sarcasm any longer since it oozes from the tips of my fingers. And too negative? No. It was not negative. She said she loved the US of A, apple pie, children, old people, the military (and she wants us to WIN), Alaska, small towns, people who work for a living, and low taxes. She likes cutting waste (I loved the part where she said she put Alaska's executive jet on e*bay).

She also took some shots at the opposing party. I didn't find it negative. She made some substantive arguments (although, perhaps her line about the Greek columns was a little biting...but it was funny). In fact, her funniest line of the night...which all the news organizations are picking up this morning...was unscripted and improvised. The line about the Hockey Mom, The Pitbull, and Lipstick. She improvised a joke. And got a big laugh.

At one point during the introduce-your-family part of the speech, baby Trig went from Daddy's arms to the 5 or 6 year old, Piper's arms. Daddy was going to be introduced and need to stand, smile, and wave, so he needed his arms free. So the kid has the baby and she is looking at him and smoothing his hair and fawning on him. They cut back to the speech then back to the kid and back to the speech and at one point, the kid licks her hand to smooth down her (sleeping) baby brother’s hair. It was the cutest thing I have seen on TV in a month. And some people think that was gross, but seriously, moms and sisters do this to babies all-the-time. And a 5-year old doing it is just precious.

It was a good speech. She appears capable. She has at least as much, if not more, executive-level experience than Barack. And she's a woman. Which apparently, makes this a "game-changer". I'm excited to see it all play out. I don't like some of the criticism I am hearing because it makes me realize that there really is a double-standard for men and women in power. In fact, some people even criticized the earrings she wore to visit the Gulf Coast in the run-up to Gustav. She needed more-serious earrings? You have to be kidding me. Just kill me now. Certainly, she's no Suze Orman (did you know Suze only owns one pair of earrings?). But really, her earrings. Let's bash her for turning a national disaster-in-the-making into a photo-op and leave her earrings out of it, OK? And her red shoes, for that matter.

Oh hey, there are policy issues and stuff about which I disagree with Sarah Palin. For starters, abortion. She is only OK with it in the case of risk to a mother's life. A fine position to have, but one which I do not share. Rape, no? Incest, no? Health of the mother (wherein her life is not actually endangered but her health oh, I don't know, need to terminate a pregnancy because you just discovered you have cancer and need chemo now and you already have 2 kids whom you do not want to about your heartbreaking choice!)?

I'm not really worried about the abortion thing though because with a Democratically-controlled Congress, which I do not see changing in the next 4-8 years, no legislative Roe rollback is going to happen any time soon. Sure, McCain could appoint enough justices to the court, but it would then go to the legislature or to the states, neither of which disturbs me at this point.

Palin is lukewarm on the War on Drugs. It's one war I don't think we should be fighting, so I'm OK with her position here.

She supports school-choice programs. Yay!!!

She is supposedly socially and religiously conservative, but she vetoed a bill in Alaska that would have denied health insurance to same-sex couples because it was in violation of the state constituion. You have to love someone whose personal beliefs may contradict directly with their actions because they are bound by the constitution. Unlike some people for whom the 2nd Amendment is merely window-dressing, I guess.

Tuesday, September 02, 2008

The Personal Becomes Political

I am Pro-Choice. I am seriously Pro-Choice. And I support every one's right to make whatever choices they need to make for themselves. I do not support people who want to impose their choices onto you (or me!).

So, let's talk about Sarah Palin. She's Pro-Life. She is seriously Pro-Life. She talks her talk and walks her walk. Despite knowing her youngest son would have Down Syndrome and being given the option to terminate, she chose to continue the pregnancy and has said that her son, Trig, is perfect. And honestly, having seen pictures of him, I'd say he's perfect too. He's one cute baby.

I do not think this makes her any better than anyone else. She is Pro-Life. What else could she have done? If you are Pro-Life, there really isn't any other option for you. I'm glad she's not a hypocrite. And I'm sure it was very difficult knowing the diagnosis and coming to terms with giving birth to a child with special needs. I assume there is a grieving process upon diagnosis, but I really have no idea as I have never been in that position.

The real question is: What would I do?
And the answer is: I have no idea. Since I am Pro-Choice, I could theoretically choose to terminate. That's where choice comes in.

Now, we find out that Palin's 17-year old daughter (unmarried) is pregnant. She is planning to marry the father of her baby. Given the family's Pro-Life credentials, this makes sense. Generations of girls who found themselves "in trouble" married the baby's father. It was expected. And generally, girls did not sleep with boys who couldn't be counted on to "do the right thing".

Also, given the Pro-Life credentials, she could place the child for adoption. Many a middle-class girl did that back in the day. By my mother's generation, there were not a ton of girls sent to "spend a summer with their aunts", but in the 10 or 20 years prior to her, many girls were sent away to have babies and place them for adoption. My mother, who found herself in a family way, married my father. It worked out OK. They divorced 13 years later, but they get along well now and their two children are functional, college-graduate adults who were married years before procreating. No cycle of unwed pregnancy was started.

I'm sure Bristol Palin can marry her baby's father, and they can all grow up to be healthy, successful adults.

I'm not even sure where I am going with this, but here it is. Half of the babies born in my county are born to unwed mothers. I imagine many more than that are conceived by unwed mothers. It's not exactly a national tragedy. And teenagers having sex isn't really news. And there is not much of a stigma left to unwed, teenage pregnancy, especially not if the girl marries the baby's father prior to birth. No story here. Nothing really to see here. Move along.

Even Barack Obama has noted that having a pregnant teenage daughter does not reflect on Gov. Palin's ability to govern. If anything, it says that they have a normal family life. Barack himself was born to an 18-year old mother. Dick Cheney has a gay daughter. Joe Biden has a son who is a lobbyist. People have families, and candidates really can't control the other members of their families to keep their image in line. When I read about Jenna Bush's recent wedding, I noted something that in previous generations would have been taboo hat these days isn't even an issue. He husband proposed to her while they were on vacation camping together in some mountains. No big deal to me. To previous generations, an unmarried young lady on a vacation trip camping(!) unchaperoned with a boy would have been big news.

Times change. Families can still embarrass you. Move along, nothing to see here.


Seven years ago today, I married Mr. Long-Suffering. He's still recovering.

Despite my super-traditional baby naming choices, there are some things about me that are totally moderne.

For example, I lived with Mr. L-S prior to marrying him, and we lived in my (!) house. Yes, that's right. A single woman bought a house on her own. In the 1990s. And lived with a man without the benefit of clergy.

We did marry in a church, but only for two reasons (1) the reception hall was unavailable for the ceremony earlier in the day and (2) Mr. L-S's grandmother had a lovely church that would accomodate us. She did not live too long after that, and we are so glad we were able to honor her with this. Her name was in the church bulletin that week stating that her grandson was being married in her church. Many people called on her and congratulated her and speculated on the arrival of great-grandchildren with her. She was beaming. I think it was extra-special for her because her only child, a son, married in the Church of his (future)-wife.

I was married on a Sunday. Why? Because I was engaged and married relatively quickly (less than 6 months), and most places had already been booked. It was a holiday weekend, so no one needed to be anywhere on Monday. It worked out well.

I didn't wear white or a veil. I wore shimmering silver, and I looked stunning, if I do say so myself.

And I did not avoid seeing the groom the morning of the ceremony. In fact, we woke up in bed together (like every other morning of the preceding 2 years), had a lovely brunch, and then parted ways not to see eachother until ceremony time.

I did not change my last name. I didn't even compromise with a hyphen. I've always said that if I screw up royally, I reserve the right to change my name to save my good name!

I did follow one fun tradition. I did the old, new, borrowed, blue thing. I had my great-grandmother's gorgeous mine-cut diamond ring with filigree. I had my new dress and new shoes (from TJ Maxx, no less). I borrowed the most-beautiful piece of jewelry I have ever seen from my mother-in-law but which pulled every single hair out of my wrist and hurt like you wouldn't believe...good thing I wore it a couple of days in advance or my wrist would've been red in all the photos. I had a $2 blue garter from the craft/hobby store. I also carried an antique handkerchief which I fooolishly handed to my sister with my flowers during the ceremony. I was one of the teariest, weepiest brides you'd ever seen. In fact, the minister (who had not attended a Sunday wedding since his own 30 years prior) actually asked me whether I was capable of going on. I was, and we did. And it's been a pretty good ride ever since.

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Baby Names

Since I have already posted at least 3 times on my baby name thoughts, I figured I'd follow up on that theme.

Regarding Margaret, I do like it paired with Grace. Does Margaret Lauren have too many Rs in it? Or maybe just too many syllables?

Regarding maiden name usage as a part of your child's name: my father has his mother's maiden name as his middle name. I have always liked that tradition. Mind you, my last name might as well be Jasciliewzski, so while I would like to do that, it seems a little...mean. BUT, I have thought about something like a tribute to my last name. So, a middle name like Jack or Louie might be in order. In fact, truth be told, one of those girl names I listed as a middle name is a tribute to my last name.

Now for boy names... Remember that I have Six Simple Rules for Naming Your Child After British Aristocracy, so if your naming habits run more toward trendy then I might not be the place to look. Here are my favorite boy names.

John August
John Philip
James Paul
James Anthony
Anthony Paul
James Alan
Charles Paul
Charles Philip
Harlan (and I never came up with a middle name for that)
Daniel Paul
Daniel Jay
Christopher George (but NOT George as a first name)
Christopher Jay
Christopher John
John Jay (but I believe John Jay was the first Chief Justice of the Supreme Court, so that might be weird, but it sounds so nice)
John Alan
John William
Edward Harlan
Edward William
Wesley Thomas
Thomas Wesley
Michael (with almost anything as a middle name like David, Wesley, August)
Matthew (ditto)
Thomas Ryan
Daniel Thomas

I'm sure I like other names, but this is all I have for now.

Tuesday, August 26, 2008


I am now in the third trimester by pretty much any pregnancy calendar you use. I am 27.5 weeks.

After the awesome ultrasound (which featured lenses of the eyes), I had to wait three days before getting a look at the official report from the radiologist. It is official. I still have partial placenta previa. However, the good news is my cervix is 5 cm long and showing no signs of changing, so the chances of having a bleed soon are low. And pre-term labor is not yet on the map. Whee. I was chastised lightly by my ob for my 7-pound in one month weight gain (which didn't seem too bad to me considering my previous pregnancy weight gain experience). I was given a slip for another ultrasound, a slip for a gestational diabetes screening, and told to come back sometime in the next 2-4 weeks. I chose 4. I am the queen of compliance, and my ob knows it. If I have problems, he knows he'll hear from me and he knows that I know what a problem looks like. It's nice to be treated like an intelligent adult.

Name games continue. My mother, in her wisdom, has decided that baby names need to be icky. I think she's chosen Mortimor for a boy and Grisella for a girl. I kid, but still, her choices have been...odd. We have a left-over boy name from when Chuckles was born (which should have been his name but for a moment of miscommunication) and we have a ton of girl names so we just need to nail down a first and middle name for a girl and we're set. And yes, I know what is between the baby's legs, and I still insist on having boy and girl names at the ready because I know what I saw, and it looked like a whole lot of nothing, that's what. I am not convinced.

Here are my girl names (I've given the names combos that I like, but feel free to suggest your own following my Six Simple Rules for Naming Your Baby After British Aristocracy):
Caroline Elizabeth (not to be confused with Carolyn, which I do not like)
Caroline Grace
Elizabeth Lauren
Katherine Elizabeth
Elizabeth Claire
Corrinne Grace

Abigail was our cat and I love the name, but Mr. Long-Suffering says, "No."
I like Margaret but have no idea what to do with it.
So, that's where I am with that.

I am having some "back-door" issues. This is all TMI, but whatever. In the interest of full disclosure, I should tell you that I made it through my entire pregnancy with Chuckles without any constipation and no hemmorhoids. I developed a pair or three while pushing for a few hours trying to get Chuckles to go through the door and avoid cutting a window. But, alas, I got the window and the hemmorhoids. They have not been much of a bother for the last 3 years, so I didn't think much of them until Oh.My.God.The.Blood one day. And when you have placenta previa and are searching the TP for signs of imminent trouble, having a toilet full of blood is not so great. At least I quickly figured out the source so I did not fall into a giant pit of despair. Anyway, I am not really constipated but I did start taking one of those dissolves-in-any-beverage-and-you-can't-even-taste-it fiber things. And it's true, you don't taste it but it doesn't dissolve in cold milk. I haven't noticed any change in that area since I started it on Thursday. I have a pretty fiber-rich diet as it is. So, I guess we just hope it doesn't get any worse. It doesn't hurt or burn or itch or anything, so it's just gross and disgusting. That is all.

At my appointment, I was given the go-ahead to have rhymes with smorgasms. Pelvic rest continues but smorgasms (which I assume are chocolate and marshamallow covered) are allowed.

My born child has a cold and has coughed and puked on me in the last few days. Which is always good times. I also cut his hair since his gradmother basically said he looked like a ragamuffin. Now, he looks like a ragamuffin whose mother is too cheap to take him to get his hair cut. Actually, it doesn't looke that bad. But do you think he could stop moving while I do it? I am sure that a very funny/cute photo is in the offing since he asked me, oh I don't know, about a hundred times if he could cut his own hair. It's just a matter of time before he does.

Mr. Long-Suffering is not thrilled about this little cold situation and bounces wildly from blaming me to blaming Chuckles. Basically, Chuckles has post-nasal drip which is irritating his throat and stomach and making him cough and spit up. And Mr. Long-Suffering thinks Chuckles, who let me remind you is 3 year 3.5 months old, should just know this and blow his nose even when he's tired or asleep or something. Or that he should at least blow his nose when asked. I say he's 3.

It is late August, the tomatoes are in. We have bounty.

I found out about my maternity leave benefits. 2 weeks paid before due date, 8 weeks afterward followed by up to 12 more unpaid weeks. If I can do the math, that's carry-the-one, 22 weeks off of work which sounds a lot like 5 months. So, that'd rock. We'll see what I end up taking. But I am so thrilled about this development I can barely contain myself. Must check with Chuckles's school to see what kinds of part-time pre-school options they have.

The Olympics are over and the Democratic National Convention has started. From one spectacle to another. Both spectator sports. Make sure your voter registration is up-to-date. I don't care who you vote for, reasonable people can disagree, but read up on the elections in your area (local officials have more say over your day-to-day life than the national politicians) and cast a vote.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

POP Goes the (what, are you calling me a weasel?)

Let's call this picture "Gee, Mom, you should cut back on the chocolate milk."

For some reason, this picture was on the camera when I unloaded it. I have no idea why I took a picture of my dinner one night. It's not like dinosaur-shaped white meat chicken nuggets are something of which I am proud.

This is a photo (if you squint really hard) of the Chicago skyline taken from the Indiana Dunes National Lakeshore.

This is my child hiking in the Dune Grass. I have no idea what he was doing. I took this picture on super-zoom. He and his 7-year old aunt were playing some game that had very detailed rules and something about digging a hole in the sand and dinosaurs.

This is The All-New Honda Pilot, as advertised behind an airplane at the beach.

This is Chuckles eating the first ice cream cone I ever made for him. This is not his first ice cream cone. The teenagers at the Photomat make him little torches with candy eyes of which he is quite fond.

My husband snapped this picture at the Lake House on Saturday. It is my belly in my new bathing suit. The scale is hard to tell, but each flower is the size of a Honda Civic, so you can imagine, I am quite rotund these days.

Monday, August 18, 2008

I Know Something You Don't Know

I went to the ultrasound. As did Mr. Long-Suffering. However, we did opt to find out. And I'm not telling.

In other ultrasound news, the heartbeat was in the 130s and had a rhythm you could dance to (depsite his presence at two ultrasounds already, I think this is the first time Mr. Long-Suffering got to hear the beat). Baby is about 2 lbs 5 ounces and measuring a solid 1-2 weeks ahead, which is the same as the last two ultrasounds and same growth curve as Chuckles, so good news there. We also saw all this other stuff:
  • three vessel cord (and this time I could really see it) with excellent Doppler flows
  • placenta still partially covering the cervix but looking better (probably not going to migrate totally out of the way, but looking decidedly less scary). Nicely closed, long cervix.
  • kidneys, four chambers to the heart and this time we could see the valves opening and closing, which was a neat bonus
  • gall bladder, liver, diaphragm (which is keeping all the organs on their own sides just like the masking tape on that one Brady Bunch episode)
  • intestines, baby bladder, cerebellum, ribs, spinal column, nasal bone, two hemispheres to the brain
  • choroid plexus (no cycsts!), lungs, liver, cross section of the kidneys, which are appropriately-sized
  • Toes. Tons and tons of baby toes. Like ten of them. Measurement on the baby foot is 52 mm. With Chuckles at 22 weeks, it was 48 mm. This is 26 weeks, so same growth track.
  • thumb sucking, upper lip, lack of cleft lip/palate, chin (which looks a ton like my baby sister's chin and bears some resemblance to Chuckles's chin, as well)

All-in-all, an awesome ultrasound. And Mr. Long-Suffering got a chair, which he did not use because he was huddled next to me and next to the screen. However, while I pottied (32 ounces of water an hour beforehand is really quite torturous) and changed and whatnot, he did avail himself of the chair, so I guess it was worth it. Since my placenta will continue to need to be monitored, according to the technician, I will most likely be going back for another ultrasound. I don't mind. I like seeing BoBo/Puppet Show. And I will schedule it at the place with the chair.

Dude, where's my post

Dear Teacher,

The cat knocked an oil lamp onto my pile of papers and the blog post I meant to write was lost in the fire.

Habitual Liar

I have no idea where I have been or why I haven't been posting. Let's just say, I wish it were sleeping - but it wasn't.

We went to a lake house on Saturday. Lake House was big fun. My kid went in a tube pulled behind the boat. He had a blast! Mr. Long-Suffering drove 1.3 miles per hour around teh lake while I yelled at him that there were Other Boats On This Lake so Move Over so my BABY doesn't get hit by a boat. At which point, he asked me to be quiet (or some other words, you know, whatever). I will state emphatically, that my child never saw my white knuckle freak out and that is a good thing. Chuckles's 4-year old cousin was not so sure about this behind the boat stuff. That was rather funny. There was water volleyball and a full-moon cruise around the lake, stars, food, fun, scooters, a tournament of bags (in which I did not play because I pulled the pregnancy card and took a nap in a lounge chair). Did you know some people call the bean bag tossing game "cornhole"? There is something terribly wrong about that.

Sunday we went to Build-A-Bear and then pizza. It was the birthday party of a turning-4 year old girl. My kid really oddly enjoyed the lip gloss in his officially sanctioned Build-A-Bear gift bag (and then we had to give him a good scrubbing because that stuff is just grease). He did not build a bear. He built a turtle whose shell is a back pack and then dressed him in a hard hat (all the girls picked gymnasts and princesses for their dolls). They had firemen and policemen, Spiderman, army men outfits. But just a hard hat (like Daddy’s). Well, you know, mommy wears a hard hat too, but that’s OK. And he named his turtle “Goggy”. This is why he’s not allowed to help name New Baby. Or maybe we just don’t stage manage him enough. I’m pretty sure the other kids didn’t come up with those names (Georgina (a monkey in honor of Curious George), Lucky, and Fluffy) on their own, is all I’m saying. We thought he should name the turtle Titian like the Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtles (you know, a Renaissance painter, but Goggy it was). Goggy rhymes with Groggy.

Oh, we got THE QUESTION on Sunday.
Chuckles: Mommy, who put the baby in there?
Me: Uhhh, Daddy did.
Chuckles: Oh, ok.
Me: Whew.

He also told me that Daddy didn't have any babies so he could not possibly be married, but he has FIVE babies in his back so he is married. To whom? Mommy. I love his little Oedipal-ness. But it's OK that I am married to Daddy (but I guess marriage is not a reflexive property since Daddy is not married to me, ok).

This morning, I wish I had heard the traffic report on the radio BEFORE this one…the traffic report I heard went like this: “I-55 is reopened in both directions. The buffalo are off of the road.” So, what? Were there buffalo on the road in Chicago? And yes, it turns out there were 4 buffalo on the road that escaped from somewhere and were shot by their owners after shutting down the interstate. It was not in the city proper but in what I would call a far-outlying subarban-type area.

My aunt, who once upon a time was a Certified Nurse Midwife, had me lay down on Saturday and she poked around and found baby head and showed my how to do it and then we found what were either hands or feet. And now I know how to do it too. This will be a party trick for the next x weeks (wherein I hope x is greater than 10). Baby had gone head down-ish. Aunt Midwife was not worried about the placenta previa since it is so common post c-section and I am not bleeding yet. She's even hopeful that today's ultrasound will show migration of the placenta. I am cautiously optimistic about that, since it is the most likely scenario, but let's say I'm not scheduling the VBAC right now.

In other news, Husband might not be able to make the ultrasound after all, in which case, I am looking between the legs and asking, but I am not telling. It will be my little secret. Mine Mine Mine.

***Abrupt Topic Change***

I have basically three, no wait, four, no five, six, six criteria for naming a baby:
  1. Thou shall not be named anything trendy (it should have been in the top 100 names at least 100 years ago…oddly, I dislike the name Mary, the #1 girl name of all time). If you can screen name someone Overused-Last-Name-As-A-First-Name, the name is right out. That's right, I'm looking at you: Tyler, Taylor, Jefferson, and Madison.
  2. The name shall not rhyme with swears or slurs (or fart). And it should not rhyme with itself. Naming your son Harry when your last name is Carey is not my idea of a good time.
  3. The initials shall not spell bad words (or really anything). Just ask Aaron Scott Smithson about this.
  4. The name shall reflect or honor your family in some way. You need not name the child after anyone, but giving your kid his grandfather's initials might be nice.
  5. The first and middle name should sound nice together. For example Corrine Lauren doesn't sound that great together (I think it's the N sound at the end of each name), but Hannah Lauren is nice and Corrine Leigh sounds fine, so it's not necessarily the names that are the problem but the combination. Johnjacobjinglehimerschmidt is right out as well.
  6. The name shall be obvious when you read it. So, naming your kid Gretyl and saying, "It's pronounced 'Betsy'." is not OK. No need to add extraneous Ys and extra Hs and Qs into the name either. However, I think Jamie Lynn Spears would have done well to name her daughter Maddie Briann something more like Madeline Brianne (so that Brianne is clearly a girls' name instead of like Brian and I feel the more formal name would give her more options as an adult). We can ask Jennifer Granholm, Michigan's governor, if she'd prefer to be called Jennie, but someone named Jennie, probably won't be going by Jennifer.