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May 02, 2004

Baby A-Z.

Otherwise known as "Diapers are looming on your horizon!"

We had our next big class yesterday. It covered how to survive the first few weeks at home with Junior. Fabulous Babe and I agreed we learned a few new things but nothing earthshattering.

The coolest part of the class was a live demonstration of giving a baby a bath. A couple with a newborn from the Maternity ward volunteered to stand in front of the class and show off.

The mom had gone through a c-section and was moving a little slow. The dad was a big guy in his late 20's / early 30's sporting a Nascar hat. He then surprised everyone with a tremendous performance of baby bathing that got a round of applause. He knew exactly what he was doing and soon had the 2 day old little girl clean and tucked away. Simply inspiring.

Fabulous Babe cried yestereday seeing some of the video of newborns. She's starting to get her head around what is coming and that maternal bond is starting to take hold in a pretty big way.

Posted by Jim at 09:38 PM | Comments (0)

That gigantic sucking sound?

No. It's not Fabulous Babe practicing with the Uddermaster 9000. It's the Toronto Maple Leafs performing at an all time low in today's horrific game against Philadephia.


I'm still trying to figure out who cursed the Leafs and why. At this point I'm seriously thinking it's Voodoo. Some hapless Leaf blundered into the wrong ceremony, disrupted everything and ever since Toronto has been denied Lord Stanley's cup.


Posted by Jim at 09:45 PM | Comments (0)

Riotously funny dream

Had a daydream today about walking downstairs and our living room was a gigantic blanket fort with a dozen kids spending the night due to a snow day. Peeking under the blanket I saw sleeping bags and half heights as far as the eye could see. Popcorn was everywhere. Upon noticing my intrusion I was chastised:


The next 10 years are going to pass way too quickly.

Posted by Jim at 09:51 PM | Comments (0)

May 04, 2004


"I think my belly grew 5 inches yesterday."

My sleep addled mind tried to comprehend this bit of news while Fabulous Babe turned from side to side looking at herself. Still foggy from my stay in slumberland I asked her to turn profile.

If you've ever watched the Beatles cartoon "Yellow Submarine" one of the most memorable of the Blue Meanies are the "Snapping Turtle Turks" who have huge stomachs lined with gigantic shark teeth. Looking at my wife this morning I was struck by the comparison.

Instead of pointing this out I fell back on my safest path:

"I don't think you can hide the pregnancy much longer."

That got me a grin so I must have hit the right chord after all.

Posted by Jim at 08:44 AM | Comments (0)

May 06, 2004

Head down...

Fabulous Babe went to the doctor yesterday. The report?

So far so good. The baby is positioned correctly so we were happy to hear that. Junior has assumed the "head down" position which means that on the big day there will be no resistance for the bobsled like descent through the plumbing. (When FB reads this I'll probably get smacked.) FB heads to the doctor every two weeks currently and when we hit June will be going once a week.

Unfortunately she's still having problems sleeping. Between elevated body heat and her, how best to phrase this, "girth" she's tossing and turning. I tend to wake up when she does so neither of us are sleeping well.

Someone asked if FB has any particular food she wants. She hasn't had any cravings in the traditional sense. Every once in a while she's hungry for Wendy's and the occasional trip to Dairy Queen seems to go over pretty well. All in all she's eating normally.

If the target date is correct we're 55 days away as of Thursday. I can't say it scares me at this point. If anything the sooner Junior arrives the better Fabulous Babe will feel.

Posted by Jim at 12:15 AM | Comments (0)

The Artist and J-"Hi!"

My friends in Seattle, the Artist and his squeeze J-"Hi!", are moving in together at the end of this month. It's a big step for the both of them and they asked for some survival tips from friends.

All I could think of at the time was to advise separate bathrooms. That's really too short an answer but at the time all I could think of. Here are some better suggestions:

Take the time to garden together. Even if one or both of you have no talent for it the odds are that everyone will benefit from your efforts.

Make sure that if something one of you owns bothers the other that you tell them straight away. Fabulous Babe weeded some couches out very early on.

Sunday morning breakfasts in bed with the paper can do more for tension and stress than any medicine or therapy.

Multiple vacuum cleaners are not a bad thing. Having two makes the clean up go a LOT faster.

Be prepared to visit Home Depot almost daily in the first month. Don?t be discouraged when the staff begins to know you by sight. It?s part of your evolution of being a homeowner.

Stock her favorite candy but keep it hidden.

Have people over. Regularly. No visitors means you're a pair of hermits and these days that's only a couple of steps away from being that weird couple with 8 cats and a house full of junk. ;-)

Use the move as an excuse to part with truly dreadful clothes you will NEVER wear again.

Buy a two wheel dolly cart at Office Depot. The $75 you spend will repay itself when you first start moving boxes of books.

Revel in the fact that you wake up next to someone everyday that loves you enough to tolerate your morning breath. (Bed hair as well.) When you wake up go brush your teeth, rinse out with mouthwash and THEN kiss her.

Anyone have any others?

Posted by Jim at 12:36 AM | Comments (0)

The Pink Purse of Doom

When My Canadian Sister and Mrs. Canadian Hotness were in town to surprise Fabulous Babe for her birthday I took them all to the Mall of America for an afternoon of shopping. In writing up everything I forgot to mention that FB bought something that day: The Pink Purse of Doom.

Fabulous Babe isn't a clothes horse. She doesn't buy on a whim too often. The Pink Purse of Doom was one of those rare buys.

Pink doesn't begin to describe the retina shocking color of this purse. This is a Pink that grabs a hold of your optic nerves, manipulates them like a loop of string into a Cats Cradle, and then bounces your hapless brain up and down in the air like a trampoline. It's as girly as a woman could ever hope to have.

I think it is perfect. A pregnant woman should have whatever objects she desires to maintain a connection to her feminine side. The Pink Purse of Doom goes with her clothes, is a good color for my super hotty redheaded wife and even matches her Mini Ipod.

Every woman who has seen it says they love it. They think it's cute and always compliment her. (Well one exception: FB's sister.)

Here's my point: If you have a woman in your life that is pregnant and feeling out of sorts who goes and buys a purse that is blaze orange, neon yellow or something equally colorful just relax. If you really want to help try to find matching socks.

Posted by Jim at 01:16 AM | Comments (0)


Tonight is the last episode of Friends.

The only way that you, my gentle reader, aren't aware of this is if you've been holed up in your fallout shelter waiting for the Y2K issues to settle down.

How will I celebrate this very special last episode of "Friends" you ask?

Well if it were it up to me I would slather honey mustard across my bare chest in letters that say "I miss Friends" and then drink a full case of beer and pass out sprawled across my front yard clad only in my special "Friends" boxer shorts clutching my special "Central Perk" coffee from my Target Exclusive "Friends" party pack. Alas Fabulous Babe has vetoed my idea for the sake of our neighbors.

Don't get me wrong. Friends is a funny show. The last few seasons have been a stretch but it had a good run. Unfortunately it became a juggernaut that has continued long past its prime. The laugh out loud moments have been fewer and farther between than the original season.

To really enjoy Friends you have to suspend belief. Why? Little things like the apartment that the girls share would really cost $5000 a month in rent are a start. While I have a circle of friends in my hometown that have inter-dated a bit it hasn't been the blissful "no hurt feelings" experience that Friends has portrayed.

The other key factor is you have to really be willing to go with to enjoy Friends is the lowest common denominator humor. Friends never learned the Rockey and Bullwinkle / MST3K lesson that the writers of Frasier did: Never write down to the audience. Friends became predictable as the same gags happened all too often.

A black man I worked with in Seattle once quipped "When they get some black people on that show I'll start watching it." While funny at the time his point was pretty spot on: How am I supposed to relate to this? I wonder what Gary would say now that they finally did manage to find a black woman in all of New York City last season but she hooked up with Ross. (Gary also used to joke that he would love to see the cast wearing FUBU once in a while.)

Re-runs of Friends in syndication offer chuckles never intended. What do I mean? Well the first season is as easy to spot as the first season Star Trek the Next Generation: With Star Trek you look for a beardless Riker, with Friends all the women on the show wore push up bras that first year. Later episodes allow you to play the "how much does Chandler weigh this week" game.

Watching Friends is watching the final evolution of a sitcom. By comparison episodes of Frasier are like watching a play. Drew Carey, another long running show ending this year, still has that "vibe" that comes from a willingness to break down the fourth wall a la Moonlighting that Friends never approaches.

If you are curious we aren't having a party. We might not even watch it. (The odds are it will be on the Tivo by night's end.) I'm sure that NBC will re-run it at least once before the next week is out.

Maybe now they'll quit playing that damn Rembrandts song on the radio.

Posted by Jim at 01:52 AM | Comments (0)

May 07, 2004

"Pass on your left!"

In 1954 Roger Bannister became the first person to run 1 mile in less than 4 minutes. (A feat some scientists at the time said was impossible.) This week marks the anniversary of his remarkable accomplishment.

While at the gym yesterday on her lunch hour Fabulous Babe did her part to celebrate Bannister's accomplishments. She walked one mile in 18 and a half minutes.

When she told me this last night she also admitted that the effort was probably more than she should have expended. Her victory celebration was cut short by the fact that she pretty much sacked out when she got home last night.

For Bannister there was glory and fame. For her efforts Fabulous Babe scored her favorite couch, her blanket and a bowl full of hot noodles.

Posted by Jim at 01:54 AM | Comments (0)

May 14, 2004

Weekend with the inlaws.

Fabulous Babe's parents are in town this weekend.

FB's mom wanted to help hang wallpaper in the Nursery this weekend. At the same time they brought us a rocking chair and matching footstool that Farmer Dad has broken in. (After bringing it in the cats laid claim to both immediately.)

Since it's a full blown Mother in Law warning, not a drill or test of the Mother in Law warning system, I'm pretty pleased. We get along pretty well and I've been known to make her laugh.

The other big news is that the weekend will see not one but two baby showers for my wife. (I think I mentioned we're registered at Target and Babies-R-Us.) One is a ladies only shower in the neighborhood and the other is a family event from her co-workers.

We've talked about renting a roto-tiller for FB's garden. It needs a good turning over. The racetrack neighbors are willing to split the cost but I still need to see the full schedule.

FB and her mother are cute to watch. Fabulous Mom keeps touching Fabulous Babe's stomach and you can see how excited she is. It's quite humbling.

Posted by Jim at 02:01 AM | Comments (0)

May 15, 2004

Dry Run

We had our first operational drill for the blessed event last night. All in all I would give the troops a 9 out of 10.

We drove from the house to the hospital so that Fabulous Mom and Farmer Dad had a chance to see where to go. Afterward we ate at the Italian restaurant that garners a lot of hospital traffic.

Why dock a point you ask? Between you and I it's really just to keep them on their toes. If I give them a 10 now they'll just go all soft on me.

Time for a Sassparilla.

Posted by Jim at 04:41 AM | Comments (0)

Registry update

I was thinking last night that our registry was missing something. Something to help pass the time while I was feeding Junior. Something to help pass the wee hours of the morning. After thinking about it I broke down and tacked it onto the registry.

Go ahead. Head over to Babies R Us (Amazon) and have a look. I'll wait.


How much trouble do you think I am going to get into for that?


Posted by Jim at 04:49 AM | Comments (0)

Saturday Shower Spectacular

We're taking a break right now between the social events of the season: Fabulous Babe's baby showers.

The first one today was the neighborhood event. FB was pretty excited and said that it went really well. She got a lot of really useful things and thoughtful gifts. I stopped by to drop off the video camera and the place was brimming with pre-natal excitement.

The next event is an event being put on by Fabulous Babe's co-workers. It's a family affair so all of us are going. (I have to go clean up and shave.) All in all it should be pretty fun as well.

I'll update after all is said and done.

Posted by Jim at 02:55 PM | Comments (0)

May 16, 2004

Showers part 2

I now own a duck.

Not just any duck. A stuffed duck that quacks "Old McDonald" when you squeeze its left webbed foot.

It's awesome.

The second shower left us with more gifts and good times with the people that work with Fabulous Babe. Wonder Woman was there with her husband and about a dozen others. (They make me feel so old.) FB's parents were with us which was nice. They got a chance to meet all of the people FB has mentioned over the years. I taped the gift opening parts and took a load of pictures. (I'm crap with a camera so I shoot for volume hoping that a few turn out well.)

After the party we headed home with the cargo area of the truckster overflowing. All of it useful. All of it very thoughtful. If you are reading this please accept our deepest thanks.

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

"Thanks for shopping at Babies R Us"

Fabulous Babe's parents hit the road pretty early today. (He needs to spray the corn on Monday.) That gave us a chance to regroup and organize from the crazy pace of Saturday.

First up was an inventory of all things received. We got a few duplicates so we sorted out the receipts and made a small pile of things to be returned. After that we made a full accounting of what we had received.

Then we had figure out what was on the immediate "must have" list in case of FB chucking the next 43 days at a moments notice and going into early labor. We compared registry lists, decided on what the show stoppers were and then hit the road.

Our first stop, Target, yielded a Boppy Pillow and a couple of minor items. The Target registry system is pretty easy to use but woe to anyone who attempts to print a registry list. I think I know where my 1979 Epson MX-80 printer ended up. I take that back. My MX-80 was a heck of a lot faster.

The next shopping stop was the ugly one: Babies R Us.

Just walking into the place can give normal men hives. You get over it after a while but it is still fun to see the men trailing around behind wives and girlfriends in various stages of pudgery directing them here and there like a movie director. (Once a woman becomes pregnant your decision making authority as the man responsible really does chuck right out the window.) By the time we left we bought:

A.) A diaper bag. I found out that a backpack style bag was a resounding "No." In a sick twist of fate the one we bought turned out to be slashed in a way that we missed. *sigh* Another trip at some point in the next 14 days.

B.) A car seat. I want to tell you of my woe and pain but despise people that wail and carry on. I'll just say that whatever muckwit at Babies R Us that stocks a style of seat without the matching stroller needs to be raked over coals sooner than later.

C.) In buying the seat we decided to go ahead and get the matching stroller. (See the above complaint for why.) My first car, a 1975 Dodge Swinger, wasn't nearly as nice. Peg Perrego must be an arm of Ferrari. Their pricing models are similar.

D.) A swing. Not just any swing but one with a remote control. *SCORE* I'm trying to figure out if I can program the universal remote with the correct functions. Hmmm. I'll set up a macro. TV, DVD, Receiver and the baby swing.

E.) A nightgown. Ooooh mama. Floor length. About the only thing this victorian wonder doesn't cover are the feet and face. No matching veil.

F.) A dresser / changing station. Oak. Heavy Oak. Ugh.

If any of you have the mythical 20% off coupon that Babies R Us Mailed out please send me one. Please. I can go back with the receipt and retro it. At the rate things are going I am running out of trains to sell. ;-)

When we got home the next three hours were spent assembling and cleaning. When we were done both of us were pretty well aware that within the next month we were going to be parents.

It's so cool.

Posted by Jim at 11:36 PM | Comments (0)

May 17, 2004

"Pull the strings! Pull the Strings!"

With all things Junior dominating our lives at this point I've been worried about keeping in touch with my (our) friends.

This afternoon I called a few friends on the way home from work. Some thwarted me and I had to leave messages. However a I did get a few on my phone. What happened next was worth the price of the call.

I called a friend of mine at work and ended up having to leave a message with his frighteningly capable assistant that he HAD to call me before he went home. Then I called his house and ended up talking to his wife for a few minutes.

"_____ you have to do me a favor."

"What's that?"

"You have to promise that when ______ gets home you'll run up to him, wrap him in both arms, give him a huge hug and then say "Hello Sailor!""


"Trust me."

"Fine. You're weird but fine."

After talking for a few more minutes I quizzed her on her responsiblities, coached her to say "Hello" with the emphasis on the second syllable and left her at that.

A little while later her husband returned my call. We chatted for a few minutes and then...

"So why did I have to call you before going home?"

"You have to promise to do something before you walk into the house."


"You have to promise. I'm working on two pieces of the puzzle here."

"Um. Ok."

"You have to buy flowers for _______ before you walk through the door."


"No questions! Just promise. Trust me."

"Ok. I'll buy _______ flowers on the way home."

*insert evil genius type laughter*

Hopefully things go well for them. I did my best.

Posted by Jim at 11:50 PM | Comments (0)

May 19, 2004

Eerie movement

A few weeks ago a friend of mine mentioned watching his wife's stomach move while seated across the room. I thought this was a little odd when I heard it but didn't say anything.

Tonight I'm a believer.

Fabulous Babe has endured some serious Junior gyrations today. She's physically sore from the pounding the little monster has been doing. When she sat still tonight I literally watched her stomach bulge out as Junior stretched.

Very cool but very sobering. 40 days folks. 40 days.

Posted by Jim at 09:00 PM

May 20, 2004

As big as a...

Let's just say it rhymes with "mouse"

Fabulous Babe is finding it harder and harder to get comfortable with Junior. The non-stop breakdancing of our favorite in vitro family member is getting a bit tiring. Add to this the increased weight of Juniors current environment.

The good news? I spoke with a woman who is expecting twins the first week of August today. Her dimensions make Fabulous Babe look like an amateur.

Posted by Jim at 10:41 PM

May 25, 2004


Most of the weekend was a drab wet rainfest here. We watched a couple of movies, read books and took it easy.

As the days slip by Fabulous Babe is feeling less and less like going anywhere or doing anything. She's still working a full week of 40+ hours a week and intends to do so until she finally gives birth in her office. Since FB works so much it seems easier to think about a office delivery instead of a home delivery.

So our moviefest was a double feature: Miracle and Peter Pan. Both were well done but if you have to choose Miracle wins out according to the Mrs. There you have it. More pregnant women choose Kurt Russell than a young boy that flies.

Posted by Jim at 09:07 PM

Party like it's your Birthday

So Monday was my Birthday.

It was pretty low key. My day was filled with work and when I got home I got to spend about 45 minutes working on our lawn. Fabulous Babe didn't get home for a while so it was me and the cats until almost 7:00.

The older you get the more I've noticed how strange birthdays become. You get less cards and gifts which sort of stinks in a greedy self centered way. It's odd but birthdays seem to drift from being events of celebration to being milestones that pass with a quickness that only gains speed as time passes.

A lot of this weekend was very my thinking about this birthday and Juniors upcoming arrival. My father was 19 when I was born, my mom 18. Heavy stuff.

Being so far away from friends and family gifts always trickle in over a few days. Fabulous Babe's parents sprung for a pair of seat covers for the Miata via a check. (Can't have the seats fade out in the sun.) My dad and stepmom surprised me with some books on model railroading. My grandparents that raised me sent a package that included a small robot that my grandmother informs me my 86 year old grandfather saw and had to send me.

Fabulous Babe? Knowing my love of tiki mugs decided to come home yesterday bearing a half dozen tiki torches for the deck. Of the two of us I'm usually the more creative one so I was very pleasantly surprised.

In the end my birthday dinner was take out from Wendy's. Sad but true. We were both tired and generally not in the mood to go out. In the end we went to bed and my last thoughts were that my big present isn't due to arrive for a few weeks. Best of all when it gets here I already know it will be perfect.

Posted by Jim at 09:28 PM

May 28, 2004

The Kentucky Philosopher's tale of true love...

Since our week has been filled with fairly mundane things like Fabulous Babe sitting on a couch and me rubbing her feet it seems only fair to NOT subject you to the details. Instead I've been trying to think of a few stories to serve as lessons for Junior.

Many of you may remember my friend the Kentucky Philosopher. ("Aw hell Selma. If position had anything to do with it we'd a had puppies.") What most of you may haven't heard is how he won Selma in a wrestling match.

You have to understand that at first these two were star crossed. Everytime one of them was single the other was taken. She didn't know he existed and he was smitten with the very sight of her.

One day while over at a friend's house he confessed his affection. This brought a response of raucous laughter. His friend, Charlie, explained that she had broken up with her boyfriend and that Selma was now available.

“What? Are you sure?”


“How do you know?”

“Because I asked her out and got her phone number.” With those fateful words he lifted a scrap of paper out of his shirt pocket and grinned like the Cheshire cat.

What followed was one of the greatest begging sessions of all time but to no avail. The KP explained how much he had Realizing he had his friend over a barrel the phone number remained squarely in Charlie’s possession, despite the KP using every weapon in his Wile E. Coyote bag of tricks. This went on for hours and still the result was the same. Finally in desperation a feverish idea came forth.

“Lets wrestle for it. Best 2 out of 3.”

I’ve explained previously that the KP resembles Sam Elliot but slightly taller and thinner. If he’s 190 lbs now that’s soaking wet. Figuring that this was 15+ years ago I’m betting that he weighed around 175.

Charle? Well he was what most people would typically call “gigantic” or “huge” depending on where you come from. Farm raised and bred at the time he topped 250 easily and any fat he had on him was positioned for leverage. Best testimony to his strength: he once knocked out two men who started a fight with him while he was falling down drunk. Two punches. Witnesses say he really didn’t hit them as hard as he could have and just wanted to be left alone.

“You want to wrestle me? Are you crazy? Ooof!”

That’s right. Figuring there was no other way the KP suckered him before he had a chance. With a flying tackle he leveled Charlie on the living room floor and pinned him before Charlie could recover from the initial blow to the gut.

“1, 2, 3!”

Once he could breathe again Charlie stood up. He took off his shirt and glared at the KP. Without a word he began moving furniture out of the way until there was finally enough room for two grown men to wrestle. When he was done he hunched over, glared and said:

“Let’s go.”

As the KP describes it the next 5 minutes were a complete waste of time, Charlie essentially folded him in half and planted him on his back. Along the way he gave the KP some serious rug burns and knocked him around out of principle. The KP said he struggled fiercely but there really wasn’t much he could do.

When the birds had quit circling his head the KP stood back up. (In hindsight he is always proud of the fact that he had at least winded Charlie.) They stood across from each other until finally they agreed to engage in the final match.

The KP describes what follows as one of the single greatest struggles of his entire life. For the next 15 minutes the two of them engaged in a brutal, no holds barred wrestling match. Both men freely admitted to kicking, scratching, gouging and other unseemly conduct. They tumbled and rolled throughout Charlie’s house knocking furniture akimbo.

In the end Charlie got the KP in a choke hold that there was no getting out of. (The KP remembers thinking that oxygen was really something he didn’t need but that he was starting to have trouble seeing.) At this point the two men had wound up near the kitchen. It was with his last spasms of resistance that the KP reached out to grab anything that might get him loose from Charlie. What he wound up with was…

A skillet.

Charlie doesn’t remember actually being hit with the skillet which is probably a good thing. All he remembers is the KP holding him down, finishing the 3 count and diving for the phone number. Realizing that all is fair in love and war Charlie let him have it. (Charlie does point out that any fine motor control he had at this point was a bit fuzzy.)

The KP called Selma, told her that he got her phone number from Charlie and that he would like to ask her out on a date. She agreed and things went from there. I seem to remember that Selma recalls the KP being a bit frayed at the edges on their first date but that seems appropriate. They’re married with two children now and a certain skillet hangs in their home.

Here’s the lesson Junior: True love is worth fighting for, even if it means wrestling someone almost twice your weight.

I almost forgot. Always get a souvenir of your greatest victories. (This explains why I still have the business card your mom gave me with her phone number on it the night we met.)

Posted by Jim at 12:57 AM