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January 05, 2004

"I missed my first trimester. I was home sick."

Sunday hopefully marked the turning point for Fabulous Babe vs. Morning Sickness.

That is the Japanese monster film that has been playing in our house for four months straight. Originally billed for a limited engagement it's been showing non-stop, 24-7, since October. If I had a dollar for every time FB has gagged we would have Scrooge McDuck's 3 cubic acres of money.

Alas no such incentive program exists. Instead I wake up at 2:30 when FB smacks me and says "Can you make me some toast?" to which I stumble downstairs and attempt to wrestle with butter, a knive and bread while the cats circle around me thinking they are about to be fed.

The optimist in me is keeping my fingers crossed but the practical side of me bought two loaves of bread tonight at the store.

Posted by Jim at 11:55 PM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2004

"Pea in a Pod" or "Rethinking Mrs. Charlie Sheen"

Well we had our first trip to Pea in a Pod, a local maternity store, on Sunday.

This all began when FB woke up, tried on some pants and declared that all was not well with the wardrobe and that new clothes, pants in particular, must be obtained. The emphasis was "NOW!"

The store was pretty much what I expected. Not much on sale and all of it designed to take a woman at her most uncomfortable and attempt to bring her to some state of fashion grace. There's a joke there that I'm not comfortable making if I want to live to see the birth of our son.

I soon found myself in one of two chairs set in the middle of the store. It was clear that they may as well have been labeled: "MEN SIT HERE WHILE YOU WAIT. BY THE WAY YOU GOT THEM INTO THIS, BE HAPPY YOU HAVE A CHAIR." Sitting there I discovered a couple of things: the book and the pillow.

I was thumbing through the book when my wife emerged from the dressing room wearing, beneath her clothes, a pillow to simulate her ultimate potential size. A pillow whose overhang you could easily use as a car port. When I saw it I couldn't help myself: I jumped in my seat.

After the initial shock I did what any sane person would: I laughed my ass off.

Even FB laughed. I've seen full grown baboons that were smaller than this pillow. All in all it gave us a good chuckle.

The book was something else. It was a thinly veiled attempt to clue us in to how "hip" Pea in a Pod is. How all the stars buy their maternity wear there. How buying something there puts you in the same social circle and esteemed company as Catherine Bell and Kelly Ripa. It's page after page of magazine pages and autographed photos. Most of it not very memorable or pretty over the top.

The back however had photocopies of 3-4 "Thank You" notes from the stars. One was from Brooke Shields, a couple more from people I didn't know and the final one: Mrs. Charlie Sheen, aka Denise Richards. The same Denise Richards probably more famous for her assets than her acting. An actress whose career is most memorable for a movie called "Wild Things" where at one point she askes Matt Damon where he keeps his hose. (She and another young lady are offering to wash his car.) Yes, that Denise Richards.

Her "Thank You" was the best in the book. It was sweet, thoughtful and, unlike Brooke Shields and the others, actually hand written and personalized to the store and staff she had been to. It didn't read like a form letter and struck me as something she had actually put some thought into. Reading it made me realize why Charlie married her: despite the "B" movies and the numerous photographs in mens magazines she's a rare catch. She's that one in a million that cares enough to take the time to write a decent "Thank You" on nice stationary to people who actually helped her.

Here's to you Mrs. Sheen. I hope your pregnancy goes well and that you and Charlie raise one as well as your parents raised you.

Since I wrote this Denise Richards became pregnant again and then, before giving birth to their second child, reached a decision that she needed to divorce Mr. Sheen. (Later taking him back.) If she's ever in this neck of the woods I'm offering an open invitation to Denise and the kids for a picnic, our treat. It's the least we can do.

Posted by Jim at 12:13 AM | Comments (0)

Getting pregnant Vol. I

When you are trying to get pregnant your life soon takes on a surreal quality. For men little changes. For women everything changes.

The most obvious change?

Your life is soon taken over by what type of stick you are peeing on next.

The first half of the month? Ovulation detectors.

The second half? Pregnancy detectors.

Pretty soon I got to the point that I could read one of these things from 20 feet across the room.

"Hon the rolls are coming out of the oven. I already put the drinks on the table and, wait a second, yup, you're ovulating in the next 24 hours."

You laugh. It actually happened like that once.

Posted by Jim at 12:21 AM | Comments (0)

Gardening, the Reverand Horton Heat and a baby!

So Memorial Day weekend saw us tearing up our yard.

That's right. Defacing and despoiling perfectly good sod that a little over a year before we had paid good money for. Sod that was green and lush and perfect. Sod that had risen to the sun of May and produced an emerald field that my wife was determined to gut for another flower bed.


So in the midst of ripping the sod out and planting whatever it is we were planting I realized it was Sunday and I was allowed to once again bring up the "Special Project." (Which we were only talking about once a week per the rules dictated by Fabulous Babe.)

"So what do you think?"

"I think about daycare. I think about my work. I think about both of us working."

"So if we get all of that sorted out?"

*long pause*

"I think I want to have a baby." (Lots of tears started flowing right about then.)

I gently tackled her and smooched her in the midst of my now dying sod.

Later we went to Grand Avenue days and saw the Reverand Horton Heat while I got to drink a load of free beer. (Courtesy of the contractor / husband of the woman that works for Summit Brewing.) Fabulous Babe even wore my Reverand Horton Heat t-shirt that's about 10 years old now.

How cool is that? I find out I finally get to have a chance at being a dad and hear my favorite amazing Texas guitar music on the same day.

Posted by Jim at 10:23 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Pregnant Vol. 2

Once you decide to HAVE a baby that doesn't mean that things start happening immediately.

Oh no.

First you have to have a doctors appointment.

Our "Hi doc. We've lost our minds and want to have a baby" appointment went pretty well. Doctor Molotov is Fabulous Babe's regular doctor but she's also got the MLB training as a catcher to actually be the one to catch junior as he or she emerges.

Molotov quizzed us on our thoughts and general state of health. Gave us some suggestions and ideas on "how" to get pregnant and generally smacked us on the butt and said to wait 3 months for 16 years worth of birth control pills to get out of FB's bloodstream and then, when the time was right, have at it like a pair of love crazed weasels.

I like Doctor Molotov. Every once in a while when she talks you see that gleam in her eye that is either inspired genius or madness. (Must be her triplets.) It's that crazed spark that got her the moniker of Doctor Molotov. That and she strikes me as the type who would have chased German armor through the streets of Stalingrad with a couple of bottles of petrol if she had been there.

Posted by Jim at 11:01 PM | Comments (0)

The Kentucky Philosopher on determining the sex of your child.

Fabulous Babe dictated early on that she wanted a girl. (Like I have any sort of input in this department.) She since changed her mind and now just wants a healthy whatever it will be. That doesn't stop me from telling a relevant story.

Around the time I was 28 it seemed like it was last call at the singles bar and I got stuck with the bill. All of my friends were marrying off and trying to have kids. Of the merry band of misfits that I know the couple that got started right out of the gate were Slim and his wife Selma.

Slim is the closest thing to Plato that Kentucky may ever produce. Imagine Socrates being 6'4" at about 175 lbs and wearing a University of Kentucky hat and you're there. I have a BUNCH of good Slim stories.

It turned out that several of us ended up in KY for the 4th of July weekend. While we were sitting out drinking beer and contemplating the fireworks for later. Suddenly the subject turned to kids, who was trying to have them, etc. Soon enough the conversation turned around to trying to have either a boy or girl.

Slim's wife suddenly sat up. Where most of the conversation so far was pretty general this was an area near and dear to her heart. (Slim had wanted a boy and she had tried to oblige him.) For 15 minutes Selma poured out her heart on the subject. Within 5 we were beginning to nod off. By 10 minutes we were glazing like Krispy Kreme donuts. At 15 the veneer of polite society was wearing thin.

Realizing the need for action Slim realized an opening and spoke these immortal words:

"Aw hell Selma. If position had anything to do with it we'd a had puppies."

The explosion of laughter and beer spraying from noses and mouths drowned out completely the roar of air thrust from Slim's lungs as his wife elbowed him in the side. (He ended up with a bruise the size of a softball.) While Selma blushed and Slim recovered I was left with a very clear couple of lessons:

a.) You have no control over what sex your child will be.


b.) No good deed goes unpunished.

Posted by Jim at 11:18 PM | Comments (0)

January 07, 2004

"Can you hear me now?"

It's been a long day.

Despite my hopes the monster movie "Fabulous Babe vs. Morning Sickness" is back for an extended engagement. Three command performances at the Gym this morning. Ugh.

Farmer Dad had some pretty serious surgery today. At the last minute the venue was changed due to the ER being flooded with people from an accident. He's doing fine but will be in ICU for a few days.

Topping it off I missed our doctors appointment this afternoon due to a meeting I had to attend. (Never have I hated work more.) By the time I got to the car FB was already on the table. I called and low and behold, through the magic of cellular phone technology FB and Doctor Molotov turned up the volume and I heard...

"Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh."

That's it. That's what a baby's heartbeat sounds like at 15 weeks and two sevenths. (Doctor Molotov's fraction, not mine.) I'm driving on I-94 getting ready to take the ramp to I-494 and I get to hear "Whoosh. Whoosh. Whoosh."

It's funny how the smallest of things can make a really crappy day so much better.

Posted by Jim at 10:14 PM | Comments (0)

January 08, 2004

Getting Pregnant Vol. 3

Sure it sounds like fun: "We'll make a baby!"

Then you find out that making a baby shares 5 things in common with grief.

Denial: "We have to wait for the right time."

Anger: "What do you mean we have to wait for the right time?"

Bargaining: "Isn't it close to the right time?"

Depression: "Don't you want to make sure it worked?"

Acceptance: "Fine. I'll go to sleep but you have to go turn out the light."

Posted by Jim at 10:24 PM | Comments (0)

Our growing pregnancy library...

Pregnancy books seem geared to accomplish one of two different things.

Soothe or terrify you.

Our initial purchase was the well known "What to expect when you want to loose complete control of your life." June down the street was a gentle ear that FB spoke with early on and she lent us "The book with a peaceful soothing cover that gently prepares you for losing complete control of your life."

Once we were finally pregnant Doctor Molotov gifted us with "Frightening book your HMO wants you to have to realize you are in deep doo doo." It is a book loaded with gigantic, full page, black and white illustrations that leave no secrets to the process. It's just the sort of thing I've been wanting to read during the dinner hour. "Oh look. An illustration of "crowning" just in time for desert."

Christmas brought us the sacred tome "They're bigger for a reason so keep your hands off." I'm sure more will follow but admit I'm afraid of what they'll contain.

Posted by Jim at 10:55 PM | Comments (0)

January 09, 2004


What a week.

Farmer Dad gets replacement parts for his ticker. (He's doing great. Be home Monday at the latest.)

Both cars go into the shop. (On the same day no less.)

Fabulous Babe melted down in a hormone induced Incredible Hulk style Tuesday night. Hell hath no fury like a woman whose emotions are out of control.

Fortunately misery loves company:

My Canadian Sister lost our Christmas letter that was with our card and didn't find out that we were "with child" until someone who actually *read* the letter told her. Flabbergasted she called and many laughs were had. (She is SO getting next year's letter on the ugly blaze orange paper next year.)

My Spiritual Train Brother received and actually read the letter but didn't bother to check the site until I mentioned it on the cell tonight. "Website? What website?" This after my sound auction advice gains him some extra spending money.

I'm beginning to think I need a new press agent.

The thing that makes the whole week better: 3 out of the last 7 days have been almost free of gagging and vomiting. Hooray!

Posted by Jim at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)


It's been some weird dreams in this neck of the woods lately.

3 weeks ago I dreamed I was in between my wife and our teenage daughter having a fight. Junior had inherited her mothers red headed temper and all around stubborn demeanor in such arguements.

The end result was that instead of losing the top of the house to the arguement I stepped in and said that I was shipping the kid to Canada to spend the summer away from us. (She would go live with her aunt my Canadian Sister.) This ended working out well by the time I woke up.

Fabulous Babe on the other hand has strange dreams almost nightly. Most are work related but lately there have been some odd ones about the baby. Sometimes she will wake me up by asking questions in her sleep. The other night was a "Do you know how to change a diaper?" pop quiz. My answer passed muster and I was left pondering where it came from.

My other memorable dream was trying to get Junior to come out from behind a chair. I finally had to pull the chair away from the wall. Somehow this lead to the creation of a blanket fort in the middle of the room that had Junior giggling like mad and the envy of all the other kids.

I'm not alone when it comes to strange dreams. We recently moved our offices at work and I was chatting to some people that will eventually be taking over our space. (They work in HR. One of them works out at the gym with FB.) The person you would least suspect mentioned having a dream about a box. When the box was opened it inside were three mice with argyle patterns in their fur.

Argyle mice.

I'm not sure what you have to eat, drink, smoke or have been exposed to that would bring argyle mice into your thoughts. When she said it I began looking around for Agent Cooper and the dancing backwards talking dwarf. (I'm an old Twin Peaks fan. Sorry for the obscure reference.)

It did give me newfound respect for the HR department though. I'm betting this leads somehow to cubes in the forms of mazes and manditory argyle shirts. You just wait.

Posted by Jim at 10:57 PM | Comments (0)

January 11, 2004

Outbound for IL...

Complications with Farmer Dad.

We're leaving for IL. Say some prayers.

More when I can.


Posted by Jim at 11:07 AM | Comments (0)

January 12, 2004


Farmer Dad looks to be coming around at a record pace. Thanks for all the kind thoughts and words.

We made the trip from the Twin Cities in a little over 6 hours. (Normally an 8 hour drive.) When we got here we gave the hooded guy with the sickle his marching orders. Things were pretty grim when we arrived and people were bracing for the worst. It brought back a lot of memories of the year my grandfather spent in the hospital when I was younger.

Mercifully Farmer Dad looks much better today than yesterday. Hopefully stepping down from ICU tonight. If all goes well the odds are we head back tomorrow.

It's 40 degrees here so I'm in shorts. Considering its 60 degrees warmer than the average back home last week I think I'm entitled.

Posted by Jim at 06:05 PM | Comments (0)

Out among the humans...

Saturday night Fabulous Babe insisted that we go to dinner on a "date" of sorts. Surprised that she felt well enough I readily agreed. It was our first night out since the morning sickness began.

We went to one of our favorite restaurants that has a pizza kitchen attached to the main restaurant. The pizza was perfect: light and zero grease. I had crab cakes as a starter and the traditional pepperoni pizza. Wife-o deluxe-o had similar.

At work on Friday someone remarked that FB was looking better and they were glad to see her once more "among the humans" as it were. The dinner Saturday night clinched it.

Posted by Jim at 06:08 PM | Comments (0)

January 13, 2004


We got back home tonight. Without the impetus we had Sunday things the pace of the trip home was much slower. The cats seem to have survived two days without any harm.

The mail awaiting us was filled with splendor, possibility and mirth: There was my latest copy of the Guilt-o-Gram, (It's the newsletter from the church I grew up in and always a good read,) 7 pre-approved credit card applications that were promptly shredded and disposed of, an assortment of magazines that I might have time to read in February. Four pieces stood out though.

The first was a pre-approved Amex application for the cat's dummy front company, Inter-Global Omni Corp. The company stems from their free subscriptions to some industry magazines that I receive. What began as an experiment on tracking name sales has now led to the periodic phone call and a fascinating selection of mail. (Aida is the Enterprise Architect / CEO and Tosca is the CFO / Graphical End User Manager.) The phone calls are always the best and consist of me playing receptionist for Aida and declining interviews, appointments and queries due to her schedule. While I appreciated Amex's willingness to grant them a substantial credit line I declined.

Next was a gift from my mother. It was a copy of "What to Expect when you want to loose complete control of your life." Mercifully its arrival resolved the issue of finding out her physical address. (It's a long story.) Greatly appreciated.

Our friends the Ex-Neighbors sent us an email with pictures of their son in a polar snow suit playing in Seattle's recent snowfall. The smile on his face was astounding.

The last item was a small box from Pearl of Love and Patience and my Spiritual Train brother. They sent us two receiving blankets that Fabulous Babe got misty over. One had little trains on it which is officially the first train related item in the queue for Junior. FB was thrilled.

Glad to be back.

Posted by Jim at 11:10 PM | Comments (0)

Worries and fears...

A week ago we realized we hadn't heard from our neighbors, the Racetracks, in a while.

Everything is ok but the situation really highlights that terrible feeling you have when you don't hear from someone that is expecting a baby for a while. It is only made worse when you know that they are having some complications.

"Are they ok?"
"I wonder if the baby is alright?"
"Oh God. It's been two weeks since we called."

I finally broke down and called one of their cell phones. Turns out the flu had zapped them. All is well. They are still on target to beat us by a week. (Damn them.)

Everytime FB is sick I ask the stupid question "Can I help?" out loud knowing full well that I'm just sort of along for this 9 month ride. There isn't a thing that I can do but stand there and try to be supportive.

So what does that leave? I can hold her hair while she is throwing up. I can give her a hug when she starts crying for no reason. I can brush her hair at night when she can't sleep. I do the laundry, the dishes and take the trash out before the smell sends her running from the kitchen. I do all of this and yet it all seems so small in the face of watching her suffer and bear the burden of the pregnancy.


I told a friend of mine in Seattle a couple of months ago that love is putting anothers needs ahead of yours for no other reason than you know it's the thing you have to do. Having that feeling and not being able to truly act on it may be the most damning fate a man can have.

Posted by Jim at 11:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 14, 2004

Getting Pregnant Vol. 4

"So dad I have some news."

"Oh. What's that?"

"We're going to try to have a baby."


"Dad did you hear me?"


"What do you think?"

"I think you just declared your intention to have sex."

"Thanks dad."

"Her parents are going to be thrilled that the two of you are finally getting around to consummating the wedding."

"Thanks a lot dad."


Posted by Jim at 10:37 PM | Comments (0)

Names Vol. 1

There are some names that you just can't stick a child with these days. Names that seem destined to damn your child to a life of schoolyard torment.

Lester is pretty much out. The only one I knew in school was miserable.

Winnie rings in my ears like nails down a chalkboard.

I have known a Conan and an Elvis. Both were children in the same family. Frightening.

For the first few weeks I would periodically throw out names that our child had a 0.0000% chance of being named. This led to improbable combinations that sometimes got a laugh depending on the circumstances.

The most successful: Foghorn Leghorn. At least until we realized that if it were to ever have a brother or sister we might have to name the second child something like Chicken Hawk.

I have a name picked out be it boy or girl but as our friends the Ex-Neighbors say it all depends on what happens when you look at your child the first time. Hmmm.

Posted by Jim at 10:51 PM | Comments (0)

January 15, 2004

Blood test

We've been waiting for blood screen results.

This is the initial screen that represents our chances of things like the baby couldn't wait to tell me. That was my clue into how much it had been bothering her.

Our friends in Seattle, the Ex-Neighbors, went through a different experience. Their son is fine but the initial screen said differently. I think that was lurking in the corner of FB's mind along with other thoughts: junior having two heads, being too much like it's father and other horrific abnormalities.

If the results are not good we would then have to have more extensive testing done to find out more. This would involve drawing amniotic fluid which can possibly cause problems.

Fabulous Babe called me today at work. The results were all fine. She's very relieved.

So far this pregnancy landscape is rife with landmines which we seem to be required to tapdance through. God willing they'll all be duds.

Posted by Jim at 10:42 PM | Comments (0)

Favorite Children's books?

I've always loved books. A lot of my early memories are of reading or being read to. I thank my grandparents for that. They emphasized reading to me early on. Mercifully it stuck.

When I was a little monster my grandfather used to read to me nightly. Tales of Sinbad and the Arabian Nights, the Oz books and anything else he thought I might like. I remember the Jungle Book and Tarzan and how excited he was when one night when I returned the favor and read the last chapter of "The Wizard of Oz" out loud to him when I was 5. He was so excited he ran downstairs and left me sitting on the bed wondering what the big deal was.

It's time for some suggestions from the gallery. Post your suggestions in the comments area and lets see what you recommend.

Posted by Jim at 11:03 PM | Comments (0)

January 18, 2004

Light at the end of the tunnel

We made it through a week with almost no morning sickness! Hooray!

FB is still fighting her two week old cold. Boo!

So our bedroom now has a vaporizer that is running non-stop in an attempt to keep FB's sinus passages clear when she is trying to sleep.

Every night I go to sleep with a grouchy pregnant woman who wakes up almost every hour, two cats that are still acting like they are receiving the bribes from my mother-in-law to sleep between us (joke) and a vaporizer that spits in the background.

It must be love.

Posted by Jim at 09:46 PM | Comments (0)

Out among the Humans Vol. 2

Saturday saw us going out to eat for the second Saturday in a row. This time we turned it into a double date: we went with the Racetrack Neighbors.

They're doing well. The pregnancy is coming along without a hitch and they've told their respective families. Their bouts with the flu are behind them, although Mr. Racetrack lost something like 15 pounds over 4-5 days and had an acute sinus infection and fever. Ugh.

We ate at a quiet seafood restaurant of their choice that we all liked. I refrained from my usual crab leg feast and had a salad instead. (They checked me for a fever.) In the time we were in the restaurant the cold weather outside dropped to somewhere around "brass monkey" cold.

We're all in agreement that it will be nice to have another couple going through all of this at the same time. If anything FB and Mrs. Racetrack won't feel alone. I can just see them in sweats pushing the strollers down the street.

He and I on the other hand are planning some late night games of Civilization 3 when we have to take care of those 2 a.m. feedings. Who says you can't multi-task.

Posted by Jim at 09:59 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Pregnant Vol. 5


"Is this the month?"



"How about this month?"



"Come on."


"It's time."


"Yes. Get up stairs. It's late and I'm tired."

"Way to set the mood hon."

"Maybe it isn't time."

"Be there in a sec."

Posted by Jim at 10:22 PM | Comments (0)

January 20, 2004

Lessons for Junior Vol. 1

I firmly believe that being a parent should be treated with the respect for the awesome responsibility that it is. After all you get to impart all of the things you've learned in an effort that your offspring avoid the mistakes you made and hopefully doesn't waste the time they have on this earth doing the same dumb things you did.

If for some reason I am struck by a meteor I'll at least try to leave some of my own advice here. If I leave something out feel free to add some of your own bits of insight.

Here goes nothing:

Never pick the path by ease or difficulty. Pick the one that produces the best end result.

You can choose the ones you love and your friends. Family you're stuck with.

Know full well that the more time that passes the more painful your high school pictures will become.

Beer is NOT a beauty aid.

It took me 35 years to become a father. Don't become a parent until you're ready.

If she won't lean over to unlock your door dump her. If he doesn't open the door for you dump him. Pick the one that applies.

Woo the one you love with an unrelenting scorched earth campaign of care and affection. While it may not work out in the long run you can at least say you gave it your best shot.

Kissing the opposite sex in 1st grade may seem like a good idea but only leads to awkward explanations and comments on your report card.

Nothing can hold you prisoner like the combination of being old and poor.

If you break the law you deserve to be punished. Accept the consequences of your actions.

Never say something in haste or anger. Words, once spoken, can never be taken back and will forever be remembered.

Don't write checks you can't cash.

Your great grandfather was perfectly happy playing with a barrel hoop as a child. It didn't require batteries, wasn't made of plastic and never came about as a result of a licensing agreement. Sometimes the best things in life are the most simple.

It's not winning or losing the game that counts. It's how you play the game that will be remembered.

A Polaroid camera is one of the most powerful tools of good and evil ever created.

More to come.

Posted by Jim at 10:52 PM | Comments (0)

January 21, 2004

Getting Pregnant Vol. 6

Eventually the science of making a baby reaches critical mass.

You're taking vitamins. You're now entering the production phase of things only when the cursed test sticks tell you to. You read and re-read the books telling you what to do and when to do it and what to expect if things go the way you want. With each month that passes without a "positive" result you find yourself getting more and more frustrated. You start wondering what is or isn't working and what you can do to fix it.

Of course something that comes up is fertility drugs. Drugs that up your odds. Drugs that also carry the risk of having a multiple birth.

Fabulous Babe is a twin. Considering what she went through to decide to have one child the idea of two was never entertained. Not once.

At the same time she's been following the story of a friend of mine.

They tried for 2 and a half years to have thier first. What began as a labor of love soon became a labor of toil. Their struggle was rewarded with a wonderful little boy.

But they wanted a second.

So about two years ago they went to the doc, started taking some fertility drugs and went at it. Pretty quickly they discovered they were pregnant again.

Eventually they went to their ultrasound and sure enough discovered they were pregnant with their 2nd.

And their 3rd, 4th and 5th.

Yup. Quads. All of which are 19 months old and in great health as I write this.

Fabulous Babe made it perfectly clear: No fertility drugs.

Posted by Jim at 09:03 PM | Comments (0)

Names Vol. 2

My wife comes from a long line of good German folk. She used to joke that she married me to end up with a last name with fewer letters.

Despite this all my Germanic name suggestions have been vetoed.

Junior seems spared being named Heinrich, Rolf, Hildegard, Helmut and Marlene.

Some of the more traditional Southern names fell short as well. Our collective parents will mercifully be spared the splendor of a grandchild named Hezekiah or Alowicious.


I'm still holding my favorite name close to my vest. We'll see what happens.

Posted by Jim at 09:20 PM | Comments (0)

"Welcome to Victoria's Secret. Oh. It's you. Welcome back."

Yesterday morning.

"Hon is something wrong?"


"You sure."



"Do we need to go to the mall and buy you more new bras?"



"No worries."

Posted by Jim at 09:29 PM | Comments (0)

January 22, 2004

Out among the Humans Vol. 3

It's official: We're through the morning sickness!

It's been so long since Fabulous Babe vomited randomly that I'm declaring an end to major stomach hostilities. Woo hoo! It's like a whole new day.

Tonight we went to Buca di Beppo for a work function. Fabulous Babe was once almost thrown out of one a couple of years ago for being part of a group that was too rowdy. (Which just goes to show it's always the quiet ones. CPA's are truly the worst.)

The best part of the night was watching FB hork back food at a pace I hadn't seen in a long time. When the Tiramisu arrived I thought she was in heaven.

Afterwards we journeyed over to that once a decade or so Minnesota event: The St. Paul Winter Carnival. Here's how the event got started:

"In 1885 a New York reporter wrote that Saint Paul was "another Siberia, unfit for human habitation" in winter. Offended by this attack on their Capital City, the Saint Paul Chamber of Commerce decided to not only prove that Saint Paul was habitable but that it"s citizens were very much alive during winter, the most dominant season. Thus was born the Saint Paul Winter Carnival."

That's right. We revel in weather that normal people with God given sense shun, fear and loathe. -30 with the wind? No problem. A frost in the air that causes your heart to seize? Pass me a beer. They don't even call kids off the playgrounds unless it's 15 below zero. Hearty but foolish descendents of pioneer stock are the norm in these parts.

We wandered around with some of my co-workers for about an hour gazing at the spectacle. The Ice Castle is really amazing. You can hear "27,000 200 lb. blocks of ice" but you do really have to see it to believe it. Have a look: http://www.winter-carnival.com/castles.html

The crowd was pretty light tonight but the place will be packed this weekend. FB and I are volunteering Sunday for a couple of hours so if you are going to be around I'll try to think of some way you can recognize us if you want to say "Hi!"

We got home and after a warm bath FB passed out in the bed. (Flanked by our cats, Aida and Tosca.) I'm finishing this up and then it's lights out for me.

A quick thanks to all you fine folks visiting from the kind recommendation of my friend "The Artist". I've added a link at the left to facilitate reading the site from the beginning. I'm still stumbling through figuring out MT so suggestions are always appreciated.

Posted by Jim at 11:13 PM | Comments (0)

January 24, 2004

Busy Saturday.

The morning began with a phone call for PC support from Farmer Dad. He's feeling better. The vote is still out on his C: drive. I think that between his two son-in-laws he now has better PC support than Microsoft Premier Support Services offers. (If you get that joke you get a gold star.)

Fabulous Babe was moving pretty slow today. She overdid it this week and was feeling run down. A few 14 hour work days during a week don't mix well with a pregnancy. I keep telling her that but it never sticks between her ears.

As per the mandate handed down earlier this week by FB we went out to do our part for the American retail economy.

First up in the a.m. was a trip to the temple of sporting goods. It's one of those everything under one roof sort of stores. (Lacking only boats and RV's.) I was looking for a coat but didn't find one. Fabulous Babe wanted some boots and found a nice pair. We both scored on the long johns we need for tomorrow.

After lunch and some other errands we buckled down and made a run to the high holy temple of retailing: The "LARGEST MALL IN AMERICA". Why anyone would travel hundreds of miles to shop at the Mall of America is beyond me. It's just a mall with all the stores you know from the malls back where you live, it's just bigger. "Oooh! Two Victoria's Secrets!" Granted there isn't any tax on clothing but everything else in this state is taxed to bejeezus and back so it's all a wash in the long run.

We hit all three floors and stopped in anything that looked like a maternity store. In yet another example of how small the world is we ran into Doctor Molotov, her husband and three daughters. (They could be triplets instead of a single and twins.) After three+ hours FB came away with:

A new pair of maternity jeans. (FB was wearing a pair of mine to make do.) The all important elastic band makes the biggest difference.

Dress shirts a plenty.

A pair of new suits. (She's got a couple of big meetings at work in Feb.)

New undies. (censored)

FB summed the results up: "Well now I won't be going to work with my tummy hanging out."

Posted by Jim at 07:34 PM | Comments (0)

January 25, 2004

Can you hear me now? Redux.

After a few visits to maternity shops you learn a few things.

1.) There's hardly ever a sale.

2.) There's never a "man" section.

3.) There are devices for sale that belong in the secret hideout of a James Bond supervillian. Case in point: Fetal communicators.

The box assures you that through application of a steady stream of music and soothing communication your child will grow up to be a super genius. Slapping a pair of used headphones onto your wife's stomach doesn't seem to do the trick either. Nope, you need to buy these specially engineered suction cup things that will make sure to apply the music and speech in the way that God intended.

After seeing these after a few visits I decided to try making do at the house. I'm not going to stand in the way of my child's development. Here's my clinical progress.

A.) I took a busted pair of FB's earbud headphones and approached my wife. "Hon. Do you think one of these will fit in your bellybutton?" The look I received pretty much nipped that in the bud.

B.) I took another pair of headphones and tried placing them around my wife's stomach. Again no luck. At this point I noticed FB starting to glare again and retreated quickly.

C.) I gave up completely on the mechanical means. I leaned over, cupped my hands, and just spoke to my wife's stomach. Alas the end results may not be what we had hoped for. Between the two of us we couldn't come up with any insightful points that Junior would benefit from.

Oh well.

Posted by Jim at 11:04 AM | Comments (0)

Nursery Decoration Vol. 1.

"What do you think of this wallpaper trim?"

"I don't know. Maybe we should go to Home Depot and look around a bit."

"Are you saying you don't you like this?"

"I'm not sure. Can I have some choices?"

"It has rabbits and frogs."


(Thinking the frog looks like an African Caine Toad.)

Posted by Jim at 11:29 AM | Comments (0)

January 26, 2004

Ugh. Food Poisoning.

It seems that on Sunday I came down with a case of food poisoning. Things didn't seem right at dinner and only got worse on the way home.

After a long night and a longer morning I am on my way to see Doctor Molotov in a bit.

Fabulous Babe on the other hand is doing fine.

The irony of our role reversal has not escaped me.

Posted by Jim at 10:00 AM | Comments (0)

January 28, 2004

Plans within Plans

Fabulous Babe's birthday is approaching.

I could say I've planned accordingly.

I could say that I have a surprise or two up my sleeve.

I could say many things. Instead I'll just say this:

"I've got a secret! I've got a secret!"

Posted by Jim at 07:39 PM | Comments (0)

Getting Pregnant Vol. 7

"That's it."


"We've been doing this your way for 3 months with nothing to show for it. Now we do it my way."

"But the book says it's too early!"

"Don't care." (Closes door to shut the cats out.)

"The timing!"

"Hasn't worked so far." (Taking off shirt.)

"What do you have in mind?"

"Quit talking and start smooching. It's going to be a long week."

(Lights out.)

Posted by Jim at 08:07 PM | Comments (0)

"Hi! I'm Paige Davis!"

Fabulous Babe went to bed a little while ago.

She's exhausted from work. Even though she came home "early" tonight she was pale when she walked through the door. After a bath she crashed on the couch in her comfy robe. Within an hour she was out like a light.

We entered a new phase of the pregnancy this past week. As expected her stomach muscles are stretching and expanding for the baby. It's been happening all along but recently has begun to increase in pace to the point that it is causing pain and leaving her sore. After a long day of this it leaves her pretty worn out.

I think it's like having Trading Spaces come over and upgrade your uterus. I can just hear that little pixie Paige Davis: "Now we're going to throw those ligaments over there. Get ready because we are going to do some AMAZING things with those ovaries." I'm fine with Vern having a hand in it. Frank's ok as well. I draw the line at Hildy though. She's as sharp as a sack of wet kittens. Everything that woman touches turns out badly. I ask you: Who sets couches outside in Seattle to dry during winter? To quote B. Bunny: "What a Maroon!"

This has led to some interesting nights this past week. FB hasn't been sleeping well. When she does sleep she ends up having some weird dreams. These are usually punctuated by the occasional odd outburst. Things like:

"Scoot over!" (Where I'm already on the edge of the bed and there's a foot between us.)

"What does the ledger say?" (The only Director who still works while asleep.)

My favorite?

"Lend me some sugar. I am your neighbor."

That's right. Even exhausted, pregnant and wacky with a lack of sleep she's still hip enough to quote Outkast's "Hey Ya!".

The cool mom to be. Fabulous Babe.

Posted by Jim at 10:12 PM | Comments (0)

January 29, 2004

"The cattle! The cattle!"

Last night I went to bed after I posted here. When I got to bed Fabulous Babe was snoozing away. Within a half an hour she began talking.

"What about the cattle? What are we going to do about the cattle?"

I thought I had strange dreams.

When we were getting ready for work this morning FB "borrowed" a sweater of mine since it would fit better. My sweater never looked better. As payment she she took the time to straighten her hair and give it that face framing swish which always makes my heart beat a little bit faster.

She went to the ladies book club tonight. (Also known as the world's flimsiest excuse for gossiping and wine drinking.) I worked late and then came home and worked some more.

Posted by Jim at 11:30 PM | Comments (0)

January 30, 2004

Music for a developing mind

There are so many things I want to teach Junior and one of the first is a love for music.

I'm already crafting a list of music. I keep thinking in terms of genre but a few songs and bands keep coming up. One of the best: Great Big Sea.

That's right. What may be Canada's greatest export. (Yes even more so than beer.) They're the only band to have 2 songs on our wedding cd. (Ordinary Day and The Night that Patty Murphy died.)

No matter the mood I am in I only have to throw one of their CD's in my car and soon I am singing about love, rum, the sea and whatever else the boys are going on about. Fabulous Babe is just as passionate about them.

God I miss Canada some times. When I do I only have to play one of their CD's and I am in Halifax drinking Ten Penny again. *sigh*

Do yourself a favor. Great Big Sea is touring right now. Make the time to see them. Here is their schedule. It will change your life.

If nothing else Great Big Sea will teach you the best chorus you can ever sing at a party:

"Well the old black rum's got a hold on me like a dog wrapped round my leg."

Fabulous Babe is just as wild about them as I am. Maybe more so. I've noticed her glancing at Sean McCann a bit more than I care to admit.

Junior may be the only child in 1st grade singing music from Newfoundland but I won't have it any other way.

Posted by Jim at 12:02 AM | Comments (0)