January 15, 2006
Holy Photo Archive!


Scott was cleaning out more photo space for me on my photo computer and he came across this!

Of course Olivia looks at the picture and says "Oh Gramma!!"

Posted by Ellen at 12:22 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
June 27, 2005
New Category

Since "baby" is becoming less and less relevant as Olivia continues to imitate a weed planted in a sack of fertilizer, I've added an eponymous category for her. Since they didn't have drawings of demons with binkies in their mouths and Elmo dolls in their hands, I chose something a little more subtle and hopefully longer-lasting. Look for the latest "O-monster" updates there.

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June 20, 2005
Oh Dear...


See what happens when you turn your back to make O dinner and she finds a pen. Bad things happen. Soap good.

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June 19, 2005
View from a Wookie

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June 17, 2005
Cat Snuggle


Per request of a certain Daddy in TX right now. "Just take a pix and post it, right now. No matter what she is doing."

OOOO K. Here ya go :)

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June 15, 2005

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June 12, 2005
Splash the Baby!

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Fun At The Pool

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June 06, 2005
Hollywood by the Pool


I am ready for my closeup.

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Splish Splash

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June 04, 2005
The Chlorine Mermaid 2005


According to the pool thermometer. The water was 72 degrees. COLD!

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Tossing the Chlorine Mermaid v2.0

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May 30, 2005
Commercial Break


Deer Park that's good water!

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You Forgot This


O!! Mommy is trying to be serious with Memorial Day photos! I don't want the lens cap! No wait! Gah!!

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May 28, 2005
Tub Time!

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Raindrops Keep Falling On My Head!

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An Elegant Weapon, from a More Civilized Age


Your Father wanted you to have this when you were old enough, but your Uncle wouldn't allow it.

He wanted it for himself.

According to said Uncle, light sabers do not come in yellow.

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Climbing Up

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Hi Mom!

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Looking Up

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On The Slide

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May 20, 2005
In The Car


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May 15, 2005
Summer Hair!

Olivia is no longer a moppet!



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Hi Baby!

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May 13, 2005


What happens when a little girl is mailed a huge box of Mardi Gras beads? You wear them ALL!

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May 09, 2005
Are Those Pants On Your Head?


Um...O? Can I have my pajama bottoms back?

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May 08, 2005
Cheese!! Part Deux!

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Pop A Wheelie!

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O In The Window!


Olivia last Mother's Day

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May 04, 2005
The Bumble Bee Helmet


Why yes that's a bee on my head. Why do you ask?

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May 01, 2005

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Bravo Bravo!


Put on some classical music and you have a little girl that will not only conduct music, but turns into an instant flapper styled ballerina!

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At the Park


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Daddy's Girl


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April 28, 2005
The Spaghetti Incident

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April 25, 2005

blowing bubbles.jpg
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Brown Eyed Girl

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NO Hair Washing!


As you can see, she detests the hair wash.

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Bundle Up!


Note she is wearing MY sneakers, my jacket and my sock in her hand!

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April 24, 2005
Swiffer It!


Swiffer it, just a little bit!

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April 23, 2005
Monkey Bar Queen


Our child a primate? You don't say.

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Doo Dee Doo...

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O in the Swing

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Cutie Baby!

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Olivia A Go-Go


Note the normal clothing is covered in bellydance costuming with the snow boots (they light up).

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April 19, 2005
Get In The Car!

Mom! Get in the car before I drive!
Posted by Ellen at 08:53 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!

She is my child. Get her still and in a car, and she falls alseep. Like me, she must be strapped down in order to be still. Thank god for baby seats.
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April 17, 2005
O in the Tree


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April 14, 2005
O In the Hat 2

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April 10, 2005
Playing in the Sand


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April 06, 2005
It Helps Mommy with The Gardening or It Gets The Hose Again!

It all started so innocently...just a spritz.


Then Olivia realized that getting hosed down was pretty cool.


In the end, we had to strip her on the front porch. It was an all out wet baby contest!

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Pot Head!



This is what happens when Olivia helps plant flowers!

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April 04, 2005
Gimme A Kiss!

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NO NO!!! Stay back!! Mommy doesn't want a spaghetti kiss!! AAAHHHH!!!!

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April 03, 2005
Let's Go!


We got a new bike seat last week. Unfortunately, my bike's stem is too wide for the mount to fit, so we put it on Ellen's bike instead. We're still not completely sure we're happy with this front-mount type seat, mainly because we're having trouble getting it high enough and forward enought that Ellen's legs can move freely underneath it.

As you can see in the picture, it's definitely a hit with Olivia. We had a Class-A meltdown getting her out of it when we were done riding. It's 50 degrees outside with a 30 mph headwind, but that doesn't seem to matter to the Princess one bit. She likes the view from up there!

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I Want You!


Olivia wants you to join the US Army. Or find her some M&Ms.

Most likely find her some M&Ms.

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April 01, 2005
I Don't Have It!


I dunno what you're talking about Mom. I'm not hiding anything!

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March 30, 2005


This is haircut #2 for Olivia.

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March 06, 2005


"Excuse me, but can't you see I am shopping here?"


"'s on sale too!"


"Dad! I need money!"

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March 02, 2005
Shh! Be Quiet!

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Olivia has a new feature! We apparently were laughing too loud when she jumped up and did the 'SHH!' noise and collapsed to the floor in a fake snore. She is not even 2 and she is already bossy. Mommy's girl!

I need a video camera.

Posted by Ellen at 05:58 PM | Comments (15) | eMail this entry!
February 27, 2005
Cartoon Cuts!

Messy Hair!

messyhair Small Web view.jpg

New Hair!


Posted by Ellen at 05:13 PM | Comments (6) | eMail this entry!
February 22, 2005
Things They Don't Teach You in Daddy School

# 14: At approximately 19 months of age, when you hold a toddler at your eye level their feet are automatically targetted at a sensitive portion of your anatomy. Daddies are therefore cautioned against picking them up when they are throwing a "kicking" tantrum. Especially when they have shoes on.

Look, it's a skill I think she should have for her teenage years. I just don't want her to practice on me.

Oh, and mommies? It's not funny to laugh when your husband suddenly puts the baby down and sits quietly in the rocker for fifteen minutes. We're trying not to throw up, and giggles from the peanut gallery definitely qualify as not helping.

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February 16, 2005
Olivia Smiles Part Deux!

Fun with Photshop!

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February 13, 2005

Popcorn tastes much better if eaten with a spoon.

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What I DO!?
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February 12, 2005

Honk Medium Web view.jpg

You didn't need that nose anyway Daddy!

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At the Park with Grammy and Grampy



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February 09, 2005
Olivia Smiles
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A BlueLens exclusive!

Note the Ritz cracker in her mouth.

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February 05, 2005
O-closeup-sepia-smallretouch Medium Web view.jpg

Many thanks to BlueLens for the great photo!

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February 03, 2005
O In The Hat II


That's MY ski hat O!!

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February 01, 2005

Teaching a small child how the potty works is not an easy thing. It's time consuming; one eventually runs out of cheers to hoot and holler, and you lose toilet paper rolls. Lots of them. Mainly because you are busy dragging the portapotty into the living room in order to get said child to go (however, a certain feline's well-known role as the Jeffry Dhamer of toilet paper does not help.)

Are you with me yet? Ok, you have to drag the roll of TP out with the portapotty so you can wipe said child's bits and butt dry.

So what does this have to do with being stranded? Ok, I'll tell you.

Yesterday we came home from work after picking Olivia up from daycare. Scott thinks I'm bit obsessed about this, but that's just because he's a stupid man and doesn't understand.

Hello? Hello? Is this thing on?

Ok, obviously you all are not dedicated fitness buffs. Because if you were, you'd know that at the end of a 40 minute commute I had consumed.... wait for it...

One liter of water. Therefore, I had to pee something fierce. You know what I mean. One of those pee moments that will ensure you'll be sitting there on the toilet for a few sad seconds while you wait...and wait... for your bladder to finally give up and let you have the type of pee that makes your eyes cross (ok guys, just accept it, hmm? Ah geeze. Ok. Imagine it's 3/4ths of the way through your favorite sporting event. You've had ten beers. You don't want to "break the seal" because you've drunkenly convined your boozy friend to vote for the right party in the next election. Almost...)

That was me. Except when I was finished I turned to get my bit of TP and... nothing. The bar was empty. You could almost hear the wind blowing through the empty saloon windows. I swear, a tiny tumbleweed blew across the floor. Or maybe it was a hairball...

Me: "Olivia!! Help Mommy!!!"

Olivia peers into the bathroom and does her 'hand up in the air' move. This is Olivia-speak (well, Olivia-gesture) for "Where'd it go?"

Me: "Ack!! Olivia! Help Mommy! Find the toilet paper. Get the roll of the toilet paper!"

Olivia turns and leaves, and I'm sitting there thinking if she does not return, maybe I can air dry a bit then get up and find the roll.

A few tense moments go by and I'm hearing Olivia's show Hi-5! playing. SHIT. She forgot about me.

Me: "O!!!? Baby?? Help Mommy!!"

Just when I think she has forgotten about me in the bathroom the door slowly swings open. You could almost hear the "ooo-EEE-ooo-EEE-ooo" theme from "The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly." I don't know how, I really don't, but she'd somehow found her poncho. All she needed was a hat and a cigarillo and we would have had our very own 2'11" Clint Eastwood. But in her hand was not a revolver, it was the Holy Grail. My roll of Charmin TP. I swear I saw that paper glisten in the lamplight. I was ever so relieved. Mostly because I was ignoring the "do you feel lucky, punk?!?" expression on her face. At least that's what I think I saw, but my legs were going numb, so who knows.

Me: "Yay!!!!! You found the toilet paper!! Woohoo!"

Olivia looks at me, shrugs, goes "bwah PAH! buh sha kah CHA!... bye bye!!!" and walks out the door to finish watching Hi-5.

The moral of the story: no matter how cute and fuzzy cats may be, if you yell at them for toilet paper they'll just stare at you wondering why you're not getting the food fast enough. Only children will rescue you.

Now to get the scent of cigarette smoke out of the furniture...

Posted by Ellen at 09:47 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
January 30, 2005
Potty Training 101

Olivia is finally learning how to use the potty. Nearly a month ago, I purchased potties for our 2 bathrooms, mostly so she'd just get used to looking at them. We figured we would take it day by day.

This week Olivia has used her potty every night before taking a bath. Today I thought I would work the potty angle just a bit more. For once, one of our ideas worked exactly according to plan. We have succeeded in *both* areas of "potty magic."

As parents we have learned:

  • Your child may wish to be naked before using the potty. This can make those mid-morning breaks a little more involved, but at this point, you take what you can get.
  • Your child may often want to wear a pointy princess hat while using the potty (We would've taken a picture of the princess on her throne, but Scott thought it would scar her for life). It would appear that some clothing is not, in fact, optional.
  • Your child may want to have a magazine to look at.
  • It's a good idea to call the cats in for company and to act as a cheering section.
  • Cheer loudly at accomplishments.
  • You still have to wrestle your kid to the floor to wipe their butt.
  • Diapers are suddenly NOT called diapers, they are panties. It makes them feel more grown up.
  • Clean toilet paper can be doubled as a scarf when you sit on the toilet (hey, you get cold sitting there naked!)
  • Little kids like to watch their parents use the potty too. Well, the parent with the proper anatomy anyway. The opposite parent is usually greeted with looks along the lines of, "no, that's not right, you're supposed to sit down!"
  • It's just a potty, not a potty box. One has litter in it, one doesn't.

We have had a little girl who has remained dry all day due to the sucessful potty attempts. Go us!

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January 28, 2005
Heartbreaker III


I would've sent it in to a magazine somewhere, but the little monster moved just as I pushed the button. My only real hope is that, if Ellen's and my history are any indicator, she'll be a really gawky teenager. If not, lord help us all.

Oh be quiet. If she follows her mom's path, at 21 she'll be able to write her own ticket and wonder why guys pay so much attention to her. But by then (God willing) she'll be in college, and will be able to lie to the old man convincingly.

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January 23, 2005
Bubbles Part Deux!


Keep those bubbles coming!

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Snowy Day Bubbles

WOW! Bubbles!


Note the demonic cat in the backround.


"I didn't tell you to STOP blowing those bubbles!"

What Olivia did not realize is that we were trying not to hyperventilate.

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January 22, 2005

All Olivia kept saying was "cool!"


Note the lobster like mitted hands and the overbundling. Olivia could barely move.

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January 20, 2005
Adventures in Daddy Sitting

While the rest of the country knows them as "federal holidays", around here they are known as "daddy days." Olivia's day care is closed on them, Ellen's work is nearly always open, and so daddy and baby get to spend the whole day together.

What I have Learned on Daddy Days:

  • Olivia likes to go outside regardless of weather or temperature.
  • Olivia considers feety pajamas perfectly good snow wear.
  • Daddy pays a price for questioning Olivia's fashion decisions.
  • A properly layered child (t-shirt, regular shirt, sweater, heavy jacket with hood, diaper, pants, extra pants, shoes, two pairs of socks) looks and walks like a very short, poorly balanced zombie.
  • Snow is really not that interesting, at least not right now. It's very wet, and very cold.
  • Doggies you meet on your walk are really cool, especially ones that give kisses.
  • Olivia almost knows the way to the playground, getting lost only about 100 yards from (what I speculate was) her goal.
  • Getting lost is cold, and makes Olivia cranky.
  • The inauguration is not proper toddler TV, and no matter how hard you try to teach them to shout, "four more years, biatch!", they just don't seem to pick it up.
  • Daddy is only allowed to read books Olivia approves of. For three minutes. Per book.
  • "Shoo! Shoo! Shoo!" is Olivia speak for "I'm sick of listening to classical music. Put my new Xuxa [shoo-sha] video on. Now."
  • Leftover pizza makes for an excellent lunch.
  • Mommy keeps Olivia from standing up in her chair because she's trying to keep her from getting hurt.
  • Daddy figures nobody's ever been killed falling four feet onto carpet, and further that if baby ever does slip she will no longer want to stand up in the chair.
  • Daddy's decision results in a far more peaceful lunch.
  • Until mommy comes home, that is.

Next up... the glory that is the afternoon nap...

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January 17, 2005


Gonna be 13 degrees here tonight. Olivia wanted more layers, so one of the sweatshirts gramma forgot was just the thing!

Note also the extra-stylish and very rare AMCGLTD sweatshirt. Yes, our child is now a billboard. Woot!

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January 14, 2005
I'm On The Phone!


Ah!!!! Just like her mom!

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Juicy Juice

As a parent-to-be one knows, on an academic level, to place things that babies should not have out of said babies's sight.

As an actual parent, one learns that "what baby can see" is gradually redefined as "what baby can find."

Case in point: Our phone just now rings and while Ellen answers it*, my mission is to turn down the Xuxa DVD currently playing. As I come around the corner, I am confronted with direct evidence that my child's perception is now quite a bit sharper than it once was.

That evidence being her holding my large wine glass, a stemmed bell nearly as big as her head which I had quite conscientiously hidden behind a book and a pillow, in both hands, being carried merrily toward mama with a "so-cute-it-melts-lead" grin on her face. She looked at me once, smacked her now obviously wet lips twice, made a satisfied "ahhhh!!!" sound that would do a gin lush proud, and handed me the now empty glass with a helpful "bwha pah?!?"

Well, let's just hope she sleeps well tonight.

* I detest phones. Ellen is incapable of letting one ring more than three times. She fairly levitates toward them whenever they make noise. The division of labor when the phone rings became obvious quite early in our marriage.

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January 13, 2005
Baby Beads!

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December 28, 2004
Olivia in a Poncho


My Aunt Barbara in Florida made Olivia this poncho for Xmas.

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December 20, 2004
Evil Grin


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December 05, 2004
Chocolate Covered Baby
From the mystery film roll!
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Tickle the Baby!

When you have a camera and a child that is ready to self detonate in Home Depot, what do you do?


You tickle her!

~grainess of the photo is due to a flash not working right.

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November 28, 2004
Snake Arms



A baby bellydancer in training!

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November 27, 2004
Peel Me a Grape (Heartbreaker II)


To repeat from an earlier post:

I'm very glad I have two friends who like to wear spiked leather & carry big sharp things for fun, and a brother with a pistol so big you can shove a walnut in the barrel. I have a feeling I'm going to need them all in about 14 13 years..

I think I'll update that with "and a friend who knows seven different ways to tackle dirty without the ref noticing and a brother-in-law you'll just never see coming."

Thanks to Joshua for bringing his L33T digmital camera to our T-giving party. We gotta get us one o' those.

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November 25, 2004
When Holiday Oreos Attack!



They stain skin! Beware the holiday Oreo!

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November 19, 2004
O Pixes

Marshmallows GOOD!!

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November 04, 2004
I Guess it's Time to Start "Vocabulary Cleansing"

Witnessed this morning:

Olivia, watching her favorite morning show "Animal Jam", slowly walked backward into a little people castle set. A few arm waves, foot comes out, down child goes, crashing butt-first into a rather pointy plastic toy. And then this popped out:

"Ow ow ow." Look of disgust, then as she got up, "Fuh fuh fuh."

Turned around, looked down, and pointed an accusing finger, "Fuh-ee toy, ow ow." Then she stomped away to grab a cat.

Don't blame me. Ellen's the one who can say, well, "fuh" in a sentence four times without trying. I'm as pure as the driven snow, I never say any of those words!

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October 31, 2004
Halloween Girl!



Get out of my way! I want candy!


Posted by Ellen at 08:39 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
Olivia's Halloween

Our Halloween house

A witch and her kitties!

Hello Kitty!
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October 21, 2004

Normal Smile!


Loopy Grin!

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October 16, 2004
Ice Pop

Thanks to Joshua over at BlueLens for the great pix of O!

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October 11, 2004
Belly Dancer In Training

She already knows how to shake it.

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October 10, 2004
We Want The Pool Back!!

Too bad the pool is closed. It's nice enough out to go swimming.

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Alfa Baby!


Dear God NOOOOOO!!! He's teaching her early!!!

Pretty soon she will be asking for a Giulietta of her own.

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September 30, 2004
At The Fish Hatchery



Just kidding. :)

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September 06, 2004
"Boo" Baby

As Olivia is getting bigger, more self-aware, and mobile, we're actually starting to discover many "games" together. The most entertaining by far is the recently worked out "boo daddy!", also known as "got the baby!" However, as with all games there are definite rules, and breaking them can lead to ruin.

"Your turn with this child!" Ellen said as she plopped Olivia on her feet in front of me, with a dripping snaggle-toothed chocolate grin on her face, "M&Ms aren't holding her back and Amber and I need to cook!"

We were over at Ron and Amber's house for dinner. While Ron and I were drinking and discussing the finer points of why car mechanic shows needed a flouncy blonde announcer, Ellen and Amber were in the kitchen doing... oh hell I don't know, doing something that involved a lot of chattering and the occasional high-pitched squeal. When guys are watching TV the women around them turn into blurry clucking objects that flutter around the edges, sort of like chickens in sweatshirts.

But as with all male constructs, a woman simply has to be determined to break through the barrier, and nothing shatters a TV-woven cocoon quite as well as a babbling 2-foot tall M&M addict. "Dah-DEE dah-DEE wup woh ric grrrr" [chocolate-covered hand flops twice], which in Olivia-speak means "pay attention to me now or the couch gets it." So, thinking quickly, I hopped up, yelled "oh no! It's Olivia!" and ran down the hallway.

This puzzled her enough that the upholstery was saved. This was very unusual daddy-behavior. As she peered down the hall I poked my head around the corner, gasped, and quickly pulled back. "Ok, now that's really strange," you could almost hear her think, "I wonder what he's up to? I can see his pants leg... I bet I can smear chocolate on him before he grabs me!" So, with a sly grin, she started toddling down the hall, smudgy hands held high.

Since just about the only thing behind the corner of the hall was my head, I was easily able to track her movements, and once she got about 3/4ths the way down I rushed from around the corner with a "GRRRR!!! GOT THE BABY!" This immediately resulted in wide eyes, a hop of surprise, and a great big belly laugh. I scooped her up as I went by, tickled her belly for a second, set her back down at the other end of the hall, then turned around and ran away with another "oh no! It's Olivia!"

The spark of recognition was instant and obvious. "Time to find daddy!" This time, giggling the whole way, she immediately headed down the hall. When I jumped out we were all regaled with a huge belly laugh that continued the whole way back down the hall. The rest of the game was spent with me dropping Olivia off at the start of the hall and then having to beat her back to the corner as she chased me. Eventually everyone was watching and having a great time.

Fast forward to the next day. Olivia decides she's done eating before we are, so Ellen pops her out of the high chair and sets her down. This is Quite Simply Not Good Enough for the princess, who insists that mommy is also done eating and must come play. So, bowing to the inevitable, Ellen gets up from the table to oblige.

"Why don't you play 'got the baby'? She really liked that." I suggested, innocently enough.

Now, our house is laid out quite differently... no hallways. So instead, Ellen placed Olivia at one end of the living room, then hid behind the kitchen counter.

And when I say hid, I mean hid. It slowly dawned on me that Ellen had not really been paying attention to the rules of "got the baby". The objective was not to in fact hide from the baby, but instead was to allow the baby to find you. An admittedly subtle but very important distinction, as time was quickly to reveal.

You see, Ellen's competitive nature had taken hold and she had obviously decided to improve on daddy's piss-poor hiding performance by completely disappearing from view. This greatly puzzled Olivia, who was cautiously walking up to mommy's disembodied calls of "o-LIVVV-EE-AAA.... o-LIVVV-EE-AAA!", trying to figure out exactly where mommy had gone. I was just opening my mouth to warn Ellen she wasn't playing properly when four things happened in very quick succession:

Ellen leapt out from behind the counter, landing on both feet with a BANG! on the kitchen tile, and immediately ran straight at Olivia with arms extended letting loose not a silly growl but a mighty "ROAR!!!"

Olivia jumped about a foot into the air and landed squarely on her butt, bug-eyed with surprise, and immediately began a huge "silent scream."

Ellen rushed to her side, snatched her up, hugged her and started yelling, "I'm sorry! I'm sorry! Mommy's so sorry!"

Both then burst into tears.

So there I was, sitting there almost literally with spaghetti hanging out of my mouth, helpless as this tiny opera rapidly unwound in front of me. Greek tragedies don't have this much emotional impact. Hurricanes don't make this much noise. Worse still, like a master chess player who's attention lapses just long enough to make exactly one wrong move, I suddenly could see my fate unfolding, preordained and unavoidable.

Checkmate ocurred slightly later, after everyone had calmed down. "Why didn't you tell me I was doing it wrong?!? You knew she was going to react this way! You were the one that made up this stupid game! Now look how upset you let me make her!"

Posted by scott at 02:03 PM | Comments (6) | eMail this entry!
August 31, 2004
A Black Eye and an Oreo Cookie


Sorry you lost the fight against the popcorn tin O. Have a cookie.

She's FINE. O is learning how to walk. Toddlers wobble. Sometimes they wobble into things.

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July 22, 2004
That's My Baby!

Another day, another entry in the "Ellen's-family-is-more-redneck-than-mine" contest. This time, my caption is:

If the cutest picture you have of your grandchild is the one where she's holding a beer bottle in her hands...


At the recent "1st-birthday-and-Nina's-graduation-party" celebration in New York.

Oh sit down, the bottle was empty. I was thirsty too!

Now, as to who taught her how to drink out of bottles like that, well, that's none of your damned business.

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July 19, 2004
Olivia's Kitchen


The box this kitchen came in was ENORMOUS! She already has a certain white cat sleeping in her kitchen sink too.

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Captain Olivia


Set a course Number One, warp five. ENGAGE!

Posted by Ellen at 09:19 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
July 14, 2004
M&M Baby
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July 13, 2004
The Tantrum

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July 10, 2004
Parenting 101-Your First Year

  • Men don't wash toddlers, they soak them. Like tea bags. You can always tell how deep the tub was by the scum line on their chest.
  • The one who smells it, changes it.
  • Being a parent means learning how to breathe through your mouth. A lot.
  • Our child is odd. Yours is too!
  • Cat food is a special treat when mommy and daddy are not looking.
  • Clean, what does clean mean?
  • We have our own weather system in the house. It's called Hurricane Olivia.
  • Cheese balls are your friend. Especially when bought in bulk.
  • Cats like cheese balls too.
  • Cheese balls turn white cats orange. This was Olivia's first scientific experiment.
  • Vacuum cleaner hoses are the perfect place to hide your extra cheese balls.
  • You may be married, you may have a house, you may have a car, your parents still yell at you.
  • Your child is they only reason they visit you now.
  • Cat boxes are NOT sand boxes!
  • You can never have too many binkies! (pacifiers)
  • You have 50 binkies in your house (at $2.25 each) and you can only find 4 at a time.
  • With high chairs, you can judge how much your child ate by the amount of food you find under their butt.
  • Learn to tip well at restaraunts, because they have to call in the cleaning crew to clean up under your child's chair.
  • Every household should have the "Redneck's Home Remedy Kit": cotton swabs and Wild Turkey.
  • M&M's are really "baby crack".
  • Friends? What friends? Oh! Those are the ones running away screaming.
  • "NO!!!" is the first word every child learns.
  • You can tell, because they grin when you say it.

Up next: When your child's monitor picks up some other baby in the neighborhood.

Posted by Ellen at 06:54 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
July 02, 2004
Mel's Diner

Scott and I think Olivia looks like a short order cook in this picture. Next time she has spaghetti, she will ONLY be wearing a diaper.

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June 24, 2004
Happy Birthday Olivia!

At around 11:30 am (Ellen knows the exact time of course) June 24, Olivia Rachel Johnson was welcomed into this world. In a year, we've gone from this:

To this:


We have indeed come a long way, baby!

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June 19, 2004
Twin Sisters In Spirit

Alexis and Olivia FINALLY got to meet!

Go check out the pictures!

FYI- O and Lex were born on the same day.

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May 28, 2004
Oh No! An Alfa!


Seen at the wheel of what I swear to God is not her future prom ride, my Alfa Spider

It's not this picture I'm worried about... it's the one I'll take in 15 years...

And you just keep yer nasty mean Alfa comments to yerself, ya hear?

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May 09, 2004
Hamster Dance

I bought this toy today for 99 cents (store was going out of buisness). Needless to say, it kept Olivia occupied for over an hour and the cats could not figure out what it was!

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April 25, 2004
Dirigindo Meu Carro

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April 13, 2004
Thanks Joshua for fixing my pix!
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April 11, 2004
You Know You're a Parent When

Your spouse urgently calls you upstairs while the bath is being drawn. As you round the corner, you see them with a white ball approximately the size and (by heft) weight of a softball.

"Would you look at the size of this diaper?!?"

Posted by scott at 09:14 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
April 06, 2004
Oh, the Things You Say

Ok, so we have two gates. The one guarding the stairwell is obvious... babies don't bounce. The one to the kitchen, that only makes sense when you realize dry and wet cat food sits on the tile floor. Especially when the wet (nasty, four-day-old-fish-smell) cat food comes out, it's like a black hole suddenly swirls to life, drawing, levitating, our child toward the kitchen. Quite disconcerting indeed to have your kid peering down through the mesh of the baby gate, looking at the cat food going, "hoot! hoot! hoot! hoot!"

Of course, sometimes the gate is down anyway...

Ellen: "No no no! No baby! No cat food for you!"

Olivia: "BAH BAH BAH BAH bweee BAH BAH!!!"

Ellen: "NO!"

An aside... less than ten months in, and they're already yelling at each other... year 13 does not look good.

Ellen: "Just because it fits in the mouth does not mean you get to eat it!"

Scott: "No kidding! It was all I could do to keep her from eating quarters upstairs."

Ellen: "Oh that's all I need."

Scott: "Yeah, another Doctor--"

Ellen: "The doctor's not what I'd be worried about. I can just hear the daycare lady, [in lilting Persian accent] 'I'm very very sorry, but you are feeding Olivia the wrong thing again!'"

I've watched my wife flip off construction workers who said the wrong thing, but she is totally beholden to a 4'10" Iranian ex-patriot. Ah, the power of expertise...

Posted by scott at 08:18 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
March 07, 2004
Bunny Ears


Yeah ok, we know, she rolled over right when the pix was taken! Note the cleavage on this child! She has bigger boobs than me!

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February 22, 2004
O in the Hat

Green Eggs and O.


In a box? With some rocks? Or breakfast with a fox?

(Seen at work at the bridge of her starship)

Update: The hat came from the Sunday paper. It's not a photoshop!

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February 21, 2004
Fine, it's ok for my Kid to Get this Stuff... but Me?!?

Richie: "I'm gonna go see Aurora Snow tomorrow."

Ellen: "Who?"

Richie [in "must talk slowly to the retard" voice]: "Aurora Snow, the porn star?!?

Ellen: "What, another one?"

Richie: "You want anything or not?"

Ellen: "Yeah! Get me an autographed picture for Olivia!"

Richie: "Really?!? For Olivia?"

Ellen: "She needs to start collecting autographs. Might as well start somewhere. I'll frame it and hang it up in the hallway!"

Richie: "What? You will not."

Ellen: "I will too... I just know you can't do it."

Never, ever, ever tell a Carozza they can't do something. It's like yanking on a rodeo bull's tail and then mooning them five feet away. So now I have to explain this to my parents:

Posted by scott at 07:29 PM | Comments (7) | eMail this entry!
February 12, 2004
Maturity? Us?

In the annals of parenting there are guides, tips, and dirty tricks. This is definitely a dirty trick of the foulest sort.

ELLEN, in sweet, innocent, congested voice: "Could you check Olivia? I can't smell anything because of this cold!"

SCOTT: "Sure, no problem." Leans over to baby gumming a toy block sitting at the foot of the couch... *sniff* "Yup, she needs changing."

ELLEN, in completely clear normal voice: "HA-HA! You found it first! You have to change her!"


Women are evil. I'm only just beginning to realize the implications of having two in the house.

The horror... the horror...

Posted by scott at 03:36 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
February 08, 2004
Baby Experiment #2, Turkey Trial

Olivia is in the process of teething. This is painful not just for the baby, but for the entire family. Sort of like a board game from hell.

We've tried it all by now. Baby Orajel, Baby Ambesol, Baby Solves-it-all, Baby's Paid to Harvard, the works. We even included Baby Tylenol and Baby Motrin. Hey, they work for hangovers! A few nights ago there just wasn't any sleep at all... twenty minutes up, twenty minutes down, and me having to show up and be cheerful for sick cats the next day. That's when Scott decided to bring in the Redneck Home Remedy kit.

Yes, we're talking about Wild Turkey Bourbon and a box of q-tips. We always thought those itty-bitty bottles were for airplanes. Turns out, they're perfect for your teeny-tiny wino's needs.

Scott: "Now if I remember this right, my dad said 3 swabs to stop the pain, 5 to put them to sleep".

Me: "Q-tip swabs or cotton ball swabs?"

Scott: "He just said swabs. 3 good ones."

Me: "Ooooo-kay"

So Scott hands me a bottle and a baby Q-tip. If you've never seen one of these, baby q-tips look more like a tampon for the ear. Sorta swollen in the middle, like a snowman on a stick. You can't put them in the ears period. But, they are good for swabbing gums.

We immediately noticed one real advantage of the booze swab over the oragel: the amount and ease of delivery. With the oragel, you squeeze a bit on your finger and then swab it on their... nose. Try again, swab it on their... lips. One more time, got their... toungue. Eventually you might, might get a bit on their gums, but by that time your kid is drooling and smacking trying to figure out where the front of their face went.

However, with a Q-tip you don't have this problem. With this amazing tool, you can push aside all obstruction and resistance, instantly dousing the affected area. Dunk-dunk, swab swab.

Olivia: "Whaa!!! BA BA BA BA!! GAHHHHH!!!!!" *grasping at mouth screaming her head off.


First, she got that "stopped in mid-sentence" sort of expression. Trust me, babies learn how to express "wtf?!?" way before you can wash their mouths out with soap for saying it. She crossed her eyes for a bit and got a pretty sour look, but nowhere near as sour as when we tried to give her Coca-Cola (which, by expression, is fist-clenchingly foul.) The kid's got priorities, I guess.

Scott said, in the frantic desperation of a firefighter who just saw part of the flames go out, "hit it again!"


We were awarded with a "well, that's not too bad at all" expression. Plus some extra smacking.



Now things had settled down quite a bit. No more kicking, no more screaming. Just a few left-over grumbles and eye rubs to let us know who's boss. At this point we thought we were done. Nearly everyone we knew suggested at one point or another we do this, but I wonder just how many actually do it because of what happened next.

She started to giggle.

Now, we're not talking a coo or a smile, but big ol' belly laughs. All was fine with Olivia and the world. Wow! Look at these hands! Aren't hands cool? Isn't mommy a fine person? Let's play kick for awhile! And it feels really weird to move our head back and forth... this. is. so. cool! WHEEEEE!!!

I had to play with a very happy baby for about fifteen more minutes before everyone settled down to sleep. Of course, then we wanted a hit of the stuff.

Posted by Ellen at 03:57 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
January 19, 2004
Baby Experiment 1: Food Choice

You knew it was only a matter of time; several of you worried quite openly about it. Yup, we finally got around to our very first scientific experiment with our own child, a game we call "choose the jar."

Day care is on a federal holiday schedule, my work is on a federal holiday schedule, but Ellen's workplace is not on a federal holiday schedule. Therefore most holidays are known around here as "daddy bonding days."

Now, lately Olivia has turned into a bottomless pit. She eats anything, and often. We've been transitioning her to baby foods to supplement (and ultimately supplant) her bottles.

Now, I'd been thinking. If it were me, I wouldn't necessarily want a whole jar full of the same stuff. And even though it was pretty mushy, it seemed to me having a bottle full of juice to wash it down with wouldn't hurt either. So for lunch today we pulled out a jar of "chicken noodle soup" (how one purees a soup I will leave to the reader's imagination), a jar of "vegetable medley", and a bottle of apple juice.

Now, "vegetable medley" looked an awful lot like "chicken noodle soup" ... vaguely yellow-brown, consistency of tile grout, smelled of, well, smelled of not much at all. As part of the control, I worked up the nerve to actually taste them and, as suspected, "vegetable medley" tasted an awful lot like a pizza box and "chicken noodle soup" tasted a lot like a paper grocery sack. There was a difference, but you had to think about it for a bit to tell.

Interestingly enough, I noticed that sometimes Olivia would eat readily, and sometimes she wouldn't. I sensed a pattern, so I got scientific. She seemed to want "vegetable medley." So I very carefully spooned out "vegetable medley" in front of her and spooned in "chicken noodle soup." I was watched intently, and sure enough the light fixture got real interesting when I tried to spoon the erstwhile soup-cum-tile-adhesive into the child

Spoon out "chicken noodle soup", spoon in "vegetable medley" and, as predicted, gravity altered as my daughter sucked the stuff down with a satisfied grunt.

Again, both things smelled the same, both things looked the same. The only difference I could tell was one came out of jar A, the other from jar B. Olivia had figured out the good stuff came from jar A, the bad stuff from jar B, simply by watching, and chose accordingly.

Not that it mattered too much, because the fuzzy-cat-shaped-vultures had to be beaten off "chicken noodle soup" just to get a spoon in. So, after the experiment had been confirmed, I simply spooned it into them instead. Double-fisted-feeding, as it were.

As an added bonus, occasionally she'd stop eating then "hoot! hoot! hoot! hoot!" and bounce while looking at the bottle of apple juice. Sure enough, a few pulls from the ol' juice bottle and we were ready for some more "vegetable medley."

I'm sure all parents out there are simply nodding their head and saying "dur" to the screen. Consider it a reminder of an era when you were first-time parents.

And be sure to save some "chicken noodle soup" for me. It did, eventually, end up tasting like the real thing. Sort of.

Posted by scott at 08:23 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
January 18, 2004
O in da Hood

Apparently one picture was not good enough, so take a gander at this one.

Posted by Ellen at 11:26 AM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
Towel Baby

As requsted, an "Olivia happy" pix. The girl just won't smile for the camera!

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January 17, 2004
Olivia's Hospital Picture

As promised! Scott had to download the images from the digital cam into the main computer.

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January 07, 2004
O in Blue

How cute is this baby?


Note the neck rolls. You just want to bite them.

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January 03, 2004
Ice Pop

Olivia and the ice pop. Or whats left of the ice pop my sister Nina was sharing with her.

Note how long the tongue has to come out of the mouth for maximum ice pop enjoyment.


Mind you this pix was taken before the "Baby O" got sick this week.

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January 02, 2004
The Petri Principle

Everyone's home now, fine as possible. The cute little germ vector has given us both her flu. I spent all of last night sitting on the toilet with a bucket in my lap, and apparently Ellen's experience wasn't too different. Never lick the pacifier of a sick baby so it'll go in her mouth easier!

I've been sicker in the last six months than I have in the last six years. I used to think it was funny when my co-workers were constantly inflicted with colds and flu while I stayed hale & healthy. Had I been paying attention, I would've noticed they all had small children.

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December 30, 2003
Creamed Spinach... It's the Anti-Food

Now, I'm all for variety, especially when I don't have to eat it. So every time I go to the grocery store, I pick up something unsual for "the baby 'O'".

This time around it was creamed spinach. Now, those of you who don't have children will go, "yeah, so?", while those who do will go, "HA-ha!"

You see, the stuff that comes out of the back end of your child (well, our child) is a dark olive drab, about the consistency of cake icing. It even forms little peaks! You're haunted with nightmares about spatulas, baby bottoms, and odors that peel paint.

Creamed spinach, we only just now discovered, is a dark olive drab, smells like three-day-old-grass, and has the consistency of tapioca pudding. The thing is, she likes it. A lot.

So there Ellen sat, spooning in what for all the world looked like what comes out. She was getting loud complaints because she wasn't spooning it fast enough. Meanwhile I'm watching her turn pale, and my own fingers curling into claws. There's just something wrong about thinking, "I just got done scraping this off your ass" while you clean their face.

Ok, nothing against Gerber, nothing against Spinach, but let's just say we won't be buying that particular flavor again any time soon.

Much to Olivia's disappointment. *shudder*

Posted by scott at 09:10 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
December 28, 2003
Olivia the Pig

One of the many presents Olivia got for Christmas!

The series of Oliva the Pig.

Posted by Ellen at 08:11 PM | Comments (10) | eMail this entry!
December 24, 2003
The Finger of Doom

About five minutes ago Olivia discovered she can point at things. However, observation makes it apparent she's not sure what pointing is for. Something catches her interest, the finger shoots out, and then she stares at the finger for a bit with an expression that could be delicately termed, "WTF?" Then the attention span expires and we're interested in something else. Seems the hand really does have a mind of its own, at least for now.

Posted by scott at 11:12 AM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
December 14, 2003
Arrghh.... I'm a Pirate Bunny!

Here is one of the latest pixes taken of Pirate Bunny O:


Yeah, Yeah... Mom has way too much time on her hands.

Posted by Ellen at 08:16 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
December 13, 2003
Strapped In

They put straps in a stroller for a reason.

Thats why we call her " Scooter".

Posted by Ellen at 10:05 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
November 12, 2003
Baby Foods

Olivia's at the point now we can start 'solid foods'. We put that in quotes because it's actually more like 'mushy foods', resembling not so much food as a better-smelling variety of the stuff we spoon out for the cats. We went out and bought the rice cereal and basic 'baby veggies in a jar'. Ha! Have fun parsing that one! Of course, Ajax and Ted now always come running at suppertime since they think it's "their" baby food for pills.

We didn't realize how messy it could be with a baby that has hand-eye coordination along the lines of "place in hand, stick in eye".

How to teach a new baby to eat from a spoon in 10 easy steps:

Step 1. Place baby in highchair. Note how very tiny baby in very large chair with huge baby table attached bears close resemblance to 5'1 grandmother sitting behind wheel of new 2 ton SUV. The primary difference being, of course, baby can see out.

Step 2. Prepare cereal. Make sure water is not too hot or cold. Taste cereal. Note flavor resembles puree made from pizza boxes and paper sacks. Add maple syrup to cereal since baby imitated tank-cleaning suckerfish trying to get your French toast at IHOP the other day.

Step 3. Make sure you have baby spoon with special soft end on it. Note that the spoon must stay away from cats at all time since plastic end seems to be made from extremely tasty stuff, at least to cat.

Step 4. Attempt to feed baby. Note most of the food goes on the baby and not in baby.

Step 5. Play the game of food-covered airplane trying to land in baby's mouth. Note this results in baby energetically demonstrating that while mouth may be landing strip, neck and chest are taxiways.

Step 6. Make mental note that next meal baby will only eat in a diaper.

Step 7. Finish meal and scrape the rest of it off the baby and feed that to the circling cat-shaped-vulture that just perched on the side of her high chair.

Step 8. Give baby to Daddy to hold and listen to him exclaim now she smells like a "Bear-Claw". Give Daddy lizard-blink while he convulses in laughter at our comment, "baby's don't eat cookies."

Step 9. Stare in awe at mess on highchair, floor, cat, walls, ceiling, and baby. Hand still giggling husband-thing 409 and paper towel roll... "who's laughing now pastry boy?"

Step 10. Wash baby. In the tub.

Baby food is amazing stuff. Baby carrots will stain a binky nipple orange- FOREVER. It will also stain a baby's face to the point you think you need to break out the Brillo to get it off. "Out, damned Gerber!"

You also don't get to eat first. She sees you eating, she wants to eat too. Sometimes it's to the point you can't shovel the food in fast enough she gets so mad at you.

Next up... ice cream...

Posted by Ellen at 06:16 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
October 26, 2003
We Should File this Entry Under "Appropriate" in the Dictionary

The T-shirt reads "Rotten". Kinda says it all, eh? Doomed I tell you... doomed...

Posted by scott at 05:17 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
October 20, 2003

I'm very glad I have two friends who like to wear spiked leather & carry big sharp things for fun, and a brother with a pistol so big you can shove a walnut in the barrel. I have a feeling I'm going to need them all in about 14 years.

Posted by scott at 09:39 AM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
October 02, 2003
Teething Troubles, Pt 2

Ellen: "Ok, two pulls of the little M&M man's arm weren't enough. Get me the whole bag."

Scott: "Bag? What bag? I don't remember any bag?"

Ellen: "There's. A. Bag... It's. In. The. Rack... On. The. Door."

Scott: "Hmm.... I don't remember any--"

Ellen: "Do you want this baby?!?"

Scott: "One bag, comin' right up!"

Posted by scott at 08:45 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
You Can Sleep When You're Dead

Ok, just wanted everyone to know something...

Teething Sucks!

For everyone.

Ok, back to your regular fragfest...

Posted by scott at 10:41 AM | Comments (6) | eMail this entry!
September 20, 2003
Olivia's Ears

It's official. I got Olivia's ears pierced today.

Tiny CZ's in 14K gold. Very cute.

Of course she lit up the mall for 1 minute and turned bright red during the procedure. But a hug and a bottle fixed it all.

Now I have a happy baby once again.

Posted by Ellen at 08:00 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
September 14, 2003
Washing Baby

"Don't forget... you need to wash the baby before you go to bed!"

So says Ellen, She Who Must be Obeyed. Nina and Richie, her siblings, were taking mommy out to see a concert, and that meant daddy was Home Alone. After three or four worried looks and six or seven times through the thirty-step instruction manual ("here's the number of the doctor, and the emergency number, and our number, and the ambulance, and here's the 911 number just in case...") mommy went on her merry, if worried way.

Eventually 9 p.m. rolled around and it was time to Wash the Baby, which I had not been allowed to do before. Hmm... I could just spray her with air freshener a few times and say I washed her. On careful consideration (and a second reading of the WARNINGS on the can), I came to the conclusion that I probably wouldn't be able to pull that off. So, upstairs we went.

An aside... Ellen ranks bathing just under chocolate and several steps above a husband on the enjoyment scale. To save time, she'd long since resorted to washing the baby at the same time she washed herself. Splashing and giggling and silly bubble bath hairstyles had become part of our nightly ritual. It also meant the actual baby bath had been squirreled away in the same place women hide all the rest of the stuff men only start looking for after their wives have left for a trip. So we were going to have to wash Olivia Ellen-style, which meant everyone was going to get a washing.

How to wash the baby in 25 easy steps:

  1. Endure 2 hours of being reminded You are Not Mommy. Chalk it up to early husband domestication practice.
  2. Go upstairs to gather up all essential bathing tools. Note complainant tones change from "You are Not Mommy!" to "Hey, come back here! You are Not Mommy!"
  3. Check off list: diaper, new clothes, baby wrap, baby towel, baby shampoo, baby soap, baby brush.
  4. Start water
  5. Retrieve complainant from Swing Chair of Doom. Make sure to observe proper shin-to-chair clearance as previous encounter was Unpleasant.
  6. Note miraculous transformation of complainant into MegaCuteHappyGrinningBabytm once running bath water is heard.
  7. Place baby on soft towel on floor. Note in amazement that this does not pull the pin, but in fact causes baby to simply wait patiently.
  8. Remember Empress's comment, "I keep the temperature just under what I like it at." Note Empress usually exits bath with skin same color as well-boiled lobster. Note this is several dozen degrees above tepid wimpy-man bath water temperature. Observe visibly excited but barely shivering MegaCuteHappyGrinningBabytm. Turn temperature up.
  9. Undress baby. Enter magic "naked baby!!!" time, involving many expressions of HappyGrin #6 and SillyGiggle #4.
  10. Undress self.
  11. Face Bathing Paradox #1: Who goes in first? If self is placed in tub first, baby is out of range. Remember, from observing bath time with Ellen, baby is only slightly less buoyant than glazed brick, so baby cannot go in first. Observe Ellen has scrubbed bathtub to teflon-like sheen during manic bathtub cleaning previous day, so dual-entry is not recommended.
  12. Solve Paradox #1 by placing self in tub, then dragging towel on which HappyNakedBaby is burbling on into range, then hoisting baby into tub.
  13. Observe bemused "you are definitely Not Mommy" look on baby's face as she thumps chest experimentally several times. Keep expecting her to say, "[phut] [phut] [phut]... is this thing on?!?"
  14. Note Ellen wasn't kidding... wet baby only slightly less slippery than crisco-covered watermelon. Remember to use two hands at all times.
  15. Observe plethora of bath paraphernalia arranged attractively on tub edge. Remember the various squirt bottles, brushes, pads, and soaps are all used in proper washing of baby, in a specific order.
  16. Observe salamander-slick baby squirming merrily between clenched fingers.
  17. Use hands to wash baby.
  18. Teach baby new game of "baby torpedo!!!" Note bathtime can actually be fun.
  19. Face Bathing Paradox #2: Who gets out first? If self gets out first, baby does brick imitation. If baby gets out first, risk BlueBaby. If both get out first, risk first father-daughter gymnastics demonstration.
  20. Solve Bathing Paradox #2 by placing baby on towel and then quickly exiting tub, dripping warm water on baby.
  21. Use daddy's towel to dry baby
  22. Use baby's towel to dry daddy
  23. Observe surprised "certainly Not Mommy" look on baby's face. Become very grateful long-term memory formation will not occur for some time hence.
  24. Play "boobaBUUBBAbooba" game while dressing baby to distract from fact that naked time is now over.
  25. Finish bathing ritual by giving baby night-time feeding.

Pretty good for a first time effort, even if I did use three times as many towels as Ellen does!

Posted by scott at 06:23 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
August 06, 2003
Baby Bumblebee Song

ME: "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee,
Won't my mommy be so proud of me,"
(Cup hands together as if holding bee)

Scott looks at me singing to Olivia last night at the dinner table

Me: "I'm bringing home a baby bumblebee,
Ouch! It stung me!"
(Shake hands as if just stung, child watches open-mouthed)

"IIIIIIII'm squishing up the baby bumblebee,
Won't my mommy be so proud of me,"
('Squish' bee between palms of hands, large eyes locked on every move)

"I'm squishing up a baby bumblebee,
Ooh! It's yucky!" (Open up hands to look at 'mess.' Baby throws arms around and coos)

Scott: "Thats sick! How could you do that to a poor defenseless baby bee! How cruel!"

Me: "It's just a song".

This entire time I'm trying not to laugh too hard at him.

Scott: "I mean, how horrible! A baby bee minding its own business playing outside and some kid grabs him and it gets upset and stings the kid and then it gets squashed? That's terrible!"

Me: "Since when are you worried about a baby bee?"

Scott: "I won't have my daughter capturing baby bees and squashing them for fun!"

The neat part is this song is so versatile, you can even get more gruesome with it. And I have, oh yes I have...

Posted by Ellen at 09:45 AM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
August 04, 2003
A Dad's Manual, Part 1

What I have learned in the past six weeks of being a father:

  • Babies (well, this baby) are not soda bottles. Bouncing them (gently!) does not automatically result in them fizzing over like a can of ginger ale dropped down a stairwell.
  • People look at you like you're juggling a live hand grenade whenever you bounce a small baby on your knee.
  • It's not just the baby that has fun bouncing.
  • A set of boobs automatically places you in the officer corps of parenting.
  • A lack of boobs makes you literally an enlisted man.
  • Officers give orders, the enlisted are to carry them out without fail or question.
  • Visiting officers from other armies (i.e. any female who is not Mom) will often forget they stand outside the local chain of command.
  • Reminding them they do can be fun and rewarding.
  • Something that eats a pure liquid diet has no business producing solids at the other end.
  • Having mom say "think of it like a butter churn, with legs" is not helpful when one is changing a diaper.
  • The only time you'll need to stick your baby in the car seat and go driving to calm her down will be during the heart of rush hour.
  • Babies will remind you that stop-and-go traffic is not acceptable.
  • Doing laps around the Dulles airport access road makes the security guys at the terminal nervous.
  • Clucking and scratching at the floor does not impress the gaggle of female relations that are flocking around your baby.
  • Saying "I'm just trying to fit in" to them doesn't help either.
  • Baby boys aren't the only ones who can shoot pee. And other things.
  • It is advisable to keep the business end of a baby's bottom facing away from the rest of the furniture at all times.
  • No matter where you put the dirty diaper, your baby will still figure out how to shove a hand, head, or foot into it.
  • When a baby grunts like a fighter pilot pulling 9 G's, it means it's almost time to change a diaper.
  • Almost because changing a diaper after the first "high G pull" merely results in the dreaded "double-diaper change." Better to wait until all the "turning" is done.
  • Watching mom deal with a smaller, less reasonable, more stubborn version of herself can be quite instructive.
  • Infants and LSO's (the guys who help a plane land on an aircraft carrier) have something in common. You'll usually only get 3 ratings from them: "OK", "fair", and "no-grade".
  • When caring for an infant, you will often find there are two courses of action for a given situation: one you "should" do, and one which keeps the baby quiet.
  • The people who tell you what you "should" do don't have babies any more.

Coming soon: How to Change a Diaper in Seventeen Easy Steps.

Posted by scott at 03:58 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
July 24, 2003
Happy 1 Month Birthday Olivia!

WOW! A month has gone by already! She is a pound bigger and nearly 2 inches longer. Not to mention over 250 diapers used!

Happy 1 Month Baby Doll! :)

New pictures of Olivia are available on Bluelens.

Posted by Ellen at 07:03 AM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
July 13, 2003
The First 2 Weeks

What we have learned about life and the baby in the past 2 weeks:

  1. Babies cry. A lot.
  2. We have been told that, compared to others, our baby is rather quiet.
  3. This frightens us.
  4. No matter what the books tell you, your baby is going to do the opposite!
  5. Whoever figured out that babies will 'soil' 7-10 diapers a day was nuts.
  6. We are almost done with our first pack of 228 diapers.
  7. Sam's Club "cube o' diapers" is an essential part of your baby's kit.
  8. Babies are poop factories.
  9. The poop factory uses a diaper change as the signal to change shifts.
  10. It is a very good idea to keep a diaper, any diaper, under a baby's butt at all times.
  11. Baths are fun.
  12. Babies like to fart in the tub. A lot.
  13. Babies get this look of astonished accomplishement when they fart.
  14. Pooping naked on a towl is much better than having it smear up your back, and mommy makes really funny faces if you time it just right.
  15. Cats (thank god) do not like to raid diaper pails. They're afraid of them.
  16. A baby wipe warmer is extremely handy. Imagine your ass being wiped with a cold,wet cloth at night. Now make it warm. Which do you prefer?
  17. Pumping milk does not give your husband the right to walk past you in the bathroom and go "Moo".
  18. "Does it come in chocolate?" is only funny when you say it on the inside.
  19. The breast pump is not a fog horn.
  20. Breast pads are not coasters.
  21. Breast pads are not frizbees.
  22. Breast pads are not dead mouse substitutes. Cats bringing them down for presentations to guests are not amusing.
  23. Dr. Sears's,baby sling is the best invention in the whole world!
  24. Boobs become 24-hour Diners. The only thing missing is the 50-year-old blonde waitress.
  25. Grandmas who act like 24-hour diner waitresses during baby feedings are not amusing.
  26. Breastfeeding means your husband has to share.
  27. Socks are impossible to keep on a baby.
  28. The washing machine has eaten a baby sock already. Or was it the dryer?
  29. Cats will not eat leftover baby formula. They will eat nasty red fish-like substances from cans (complete with cheddar bits), but they are NOT fooled by fake milk.
  30. Olivia smiles. Scott thinks it's just gas.
  31. Admit you will never have a good night's sleep for a long time.
  32. Appreciate naps.
  33. Waking up a husband in the middle of the night to change a baby can have interesting consequences. Sometimes a cat gets tossed in a closet, sometimes a baby is handed back only half changed, sometimes all he returns with is a bottle.
  34. Let the husband take the 5 am - 10 am shift instead.
  35. The bassinet, for now, is an expensive and pretty cat bed.
  36. Well, Ajax thinks so anyway.
Posted by Ellen at 04:47 PM | Comments (7) | eMail this entry!
July 01, 2003

This is a cute email I got from my Aunt Donna.

I saw O's pciture on your website. It made me start to sing a chorus from a old time song. Here it is-

O! you beautiful doll, you great, big beautiful doll!
Let me put my arms about you, I could never live without you;
O! you beautiful doll, you great, big beautiful doll!
If you ever leave me how my heart will ache,
I want to hug you but I fear you'd break.
O, O, O, O, O, you beautiful doll!

Aunt Donna

Posted by Ellen at 01:57 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
June 26, 2003
Hello, Baby!

Please everyone welcome the future Miss America and two-time Nobel Prize winner, Olivia Rachel Johnson. Tomorrow: Olivia's Big Adventure, wherein we discover just how fast a pregnant lady can walk when she's in labor.

Posted by scott at 08:23 PM | Comments (11) | eMail this entry!
June 23, 2003
The Final Countdown!!

The clock has started! The balloon is up! The betting windows are closed, and the fat lady is getting ready to sing!

Richie! you have the closest bet so far with June 24th! We owe you a beer if she arrives before midnight on the 24th!

Thats right folks! The water has broken!

I wonder if that 7-11 hot dog and slurpee brought this on????

More news as the night goes on!

Posted by Ellen at 07:42 PM | Comments (16) | eMail this entry!
June 22, 2003
39 Weeks

Hopefully Olivia is going to cooperate and get here on time or early (which is doubtful since I am told most babies are late.) There's no such thing as comfort anymore, especially when your feet decide to absorb 5 gallons of water. Well, foot. Nothing quite as sexy as having one semi-normal foot and one elephantitis victim. All I need to complete the ensemble is a hump and a bell tower.

This past week at the doctor's office I was going over my list of complaints, yet again. The nurse, always concerned, jots everything down and ever-so-helpfully notes that I haven't had a pelvic exam in several weeks. Ok, no problem. No wait there is a problem. I'm wearing support hose. Scott calls them "armor plating", and sometimes I think he might have a point. Shit.

Scott sits in the chair in the exam room giggling at me trying to get my pants off, then the socks, then the hosery. Ok, note to you pregnant ladies... always make sure the pantyhose have cleared the ankles before moving to smack the smartass husband. Your dignity and your buttocks will thank you.

Scott:"Is this going to be gross? Are they going to use tools of some sort?"

Me:" I don't know, last time I got fisted and that was about it."

Scott: [PAUSE!!!]

Ha! I was between him and the door. He wasn't going anywhere.

The doctor comes in and has the gall to ask me why I'm supposed to get a pelvic exam today.

Me: "The nurse said since I am having so many contractions that I should have a pelvic done."

Dr:"That makes sense." Mind you this person has a degree in medicine. But, she's been the nicest doctor we've dealt with so far. Gives lots of useful advice and really was concerned with my swelling. "No adding salt to your diet, no cooking with salt, and hydrate, hydrate, hydrate."

Me: "I don't think I can drink anymore water. I drink a gallon a day."

Dr: "I know, but drink more anyway!" (smile)

In went the hand, FOOMP, elbow out, and YANK. Scott swore he could hear something ratchetting in there. He said she had the same expression as a mechanic trying to find a bolt he dropped in an engine compartment. So, after lots of digging around up there, we find out that I am 1.5 cm dialated. "Feel that!??" she said in the same tone those infomercial chicks use when they're selling, I don't know, dessert topping or something, "That's me tapping your baby on the head and making her bob up and down."

Me: (eyes begin to water) "Yup...I feel it" *remember to breathe*

Scott: *gagging noise*

After the exam I was attempting to put my clothes back on and watching the color come back to Scott's face, silently cursing since we have more than 8cm to go.

I keep getting asked if I passed this so-called 'mucus plug' yet (is it like the Goo you can get at the grocery store candy machines?) According to one book, it's this clear blobby bunch of goo, and another book says it may be tinged pink ect... Apparently this 'mucus plug' has the ability to shape-shift and disguise itself into just about anything. I have NO idea if I lost mine, or where it would go for that matter. There is alot going on down there and it all tends to look the same after a while.

Ok, hang on a minute... Scott just passed out reading this over my shoulder. Men...

Olivia's room is "the" room to be in according to the cats. Everytime I'm in there, all 5 of them have to come in. Looks kind of like a fuzzy (Scott: smelly) shotgun. They sit in the chair, crib, bookshelf, changing table-- you name it, they have decided to try it out. Getting all 5 out of the room without playing 'come here you freaking cat you are not going to yak in this room no don't you dare jump in that AAAAGGG!!!' is another story.

Family starts to arrive this week, we still have NO idea where they are all staying. Though I do feel a bit odd that I'm going to have people hanging around just 'waiting' for things to happen. Kinda makes me feel like the rich old aunt everyone keeps waiting on to drop dead. My last day of work is wednesday and Olivia is supposidly due on friday. I do have another doctor's appointment again on Wednesday, maybe we will find out if I have dilated even more.

All Scott and I know is that we are set with 3 weeks worth of cat food and litter. At least a small part of our lives is taken care of. Along with cleaning out Oscar to make him a bit more decent before all of this company arrives. Do they still call it company? Or are you allowed to make them do tasks around the house? All of these baby books say "mom must get pampered, have the company help out." As long as Pat has a connection to eBay I know Olivia's set for clothes, but as to the rest, does this really happen? (Scott is going to have to change out potty boxes whether he likes it or not this time around... sorry sweetie.)

Keep your fingers crossed and hope that this baby gets here on time!

Posted by Ellen at 07:56 PM | Comments (7) | eMail this entry!
June 15, 2003
38 Weeks

UGHHH!!! Is it over yet!?

I officially have the fattest feet I have ever seen. Krusty the Clown got nothin' on me!

I went to the doctor's office last Wednesday with my small list of complaints. No, really, I don't know why Scott shook his head when the end of it rolled off the table. First complaint was of course the swelling in my feet, especially the right foot, which makes me look like I have some weird disease that's a cross between elephantitis and, I don't know, "stay-puf'd" disease. I can push my thumb into my ankle and the impression stays there for several minutes. It's a great party trick.

The nurse was concerned because when I stepped on the scale we discovered I'd manage to pack on 4 pounds in one week. That's when I was like, "my feet are swollen." (Scott said he could hear it from the waiting room but I think he's lying. It's not like I jumped up and down or anything. Well, not very much.) She took my blood pressure 3 times just to be sure nothing was out of whack, and checked my feet. "You have a nice amount of water retention." she says, "Good thing you only have 2 weeks to go." (smiles at me and walks out) "But... but... I gained 4 pounds in ONE FOOT!" (Scott rolled his eyes at me.)

My midwife stepped in, and I told her all of my complaints, to which she laughed and said, "that's what usually happens in the last few weeks. Be glad you're not having this baby in September." She obviously was not impressed with my bout of "marshmallow disease." Scott starting giggling quietly and mumbling about"Not Being Concerned with Our Profound Life Threatening Illness" (I really don't know how he manages to speak with capitalization, but he does), so I punched him. Made me feel much better.

I asked if putting my feet up would make it go away. I got an even bigger laugh and she was like, "Nope! Not now. The humidity makes it worse too. Here's your paper, see you next week." Fuck. My skin feels like it's going to split open, and she was right, the swelling does not go down.

Only 12 days to go (technically, if she decides to show up on time. Hear me baby? Show up on time!)

Posted by Ellen at 12:25 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
June 06, 2003
37 Weeks

21 days and counting. The days are not happening fast enough at this point. We are definitely in the "Chinese Water Torture" phase. Drip [CLENCH] Drip [CLENCH] Drip [CLENCH]...

We went for our hospital tour last night. When we signed up for this thing, that's exactly what we though we would get, just a tour. Not a classroom about "What to expect when you are at the hospital plus a movie and a 4 floor tour." Say about 8 couples, many of whom should not be breeding, many of whom asked the same. Fucking. Question. 3 times until the nurse was like, "just read the damn packet, it goes over that". Well, in a Spanish accent. Are all maternity ward nurses 4' 5" hispanic ladies with boufant hairdos? Ours certainly was.

The hospital is quiet, clean, and the rooms look like something from a Holiday Inn. Well, Holiday Inn with klieg lights in the celing. It sort of looked like a Hollywood premier setup, all ready to throw translucent dowel rods into the night sky. "Ladies and gentlemen, a round of applause for the grandmother! [roar] ... and isn't she just gorgeous in her rotund plum Vera Wang. Tell us Pat [off camera... GROAN!!!] just how do you feel your second time around? Well, Joan, [off camera... ARRRGGG!!!] It's just great..."

Each room is private, with a lounge for friends and family if they want to be there. I will repeat... with friends and family who want to be there (in the distance, Scott: "bring beer! Lots of beer!") The rooms are also equiped with a large bathroom and shower for the 'highly recommended' hydrotherapy during labor (again, in the distance, "perfect to ice a keg!") All of the needed equipment is hidden behind the bed curtains or in the dressers that are located in the rooms.

Apparently you get to stay in your labor/delivery room for exactly 2 hours post baby to bond, recover ect... I dunno, just about the time it takes to, like, unroll a bit of duct tape and wrap it around you and the kid... i.e. HMO bonding. Upstairs on the 3rd floor is your own private "recovery" (what am I, a space shuttle?!?) room with a shower.

Yeah ok, I felt a bit ill knowing that in a few weeks I'm going to be at that hospital (in the distance, "WITH BEER!") Most of the women there were busy bitching that you are only allowed 2 other people in the birthing suite to watch the whole deal (not including the husband). What, they could not get through their heads was that you get this private lounge for family and friends (up to 5... remember willing family and friends [with beer!]) to hang out in your lounge right next door to the suite?!? Then 2 couples were downright puzzled that they actually would need someone else to watch a sibling if they wanted them present. Oh, sure, bring your 5 year old, we can let them pick the noses of the newborns while you're a "little busy."

It was kind of like a tennis game with the eyes. Eyes to instructor, stupid question, eyes to stupid couple, stupid answer, back to instructor, ect...

We were the only ones in the room who did not have a pediatrician affiliated with the hospital. Felt like being asked "who doesn't have a date to the prom?" and being forced to raise your hand. So we are going to use the hospital pediatrician and then have our first 'well baby' visit with our pediatrician out by the house.

One cool thing though, we had a deaf couple there with us, with an interpreter. That's all we really stared at. To us, the sign for "baby arrives quickly" looked a helluva lot like, "plunge toilet to remove clog."

We did finally get the crib set up. It took 2 people with college degrees and just crib parts, no instructions to put it together. 4 times. Well, maybe 6. Damn rails.

Of course after it was all said and done and dressed up, we had the official cat toss into the crib. Ajax for some reason seems to have the most interest in all the baby stuff, so we think he may acutally be the one that will 'like' the baby first.

The room is almost done. I have 2 shelves I am in the middle of painting for her room, just needing to finish all up tomorrow. More sticky gooey girlie stuff. Scott says it's amazing his shoes stay attached to his feet when he walks into the room. He also could not get past the fact that I managed to find curtain rods that have these glass spheres on the ends of them. He says they're like something from a D&D game. I thought it was cute until he started whirling them around and making "whummm... whumm... whummm..." noises at the cats. Let's all hope Olivia is cute, because socially she has no chance at all.

Everything is slowly coming together. We have no idea where we are going to put family when they visit. I do believe it's going to be called 'camping out on the living room floor, OR using the pull out chair and half downstairs in the computer dungeon." Scott may end up sleeping in his garage for real.

One thing I did have to do today was take out the belly ring. It got caught on my pantyhose, YEOOOWCH! So now I shed a small tear. Out goes the ring, in goes some fishing line to keep it open.

Friends and family are starting to take bets on the date and so far we have the following:
June 10th- according to my hospital managers Dad.
June 14th- according to Damion(he wants to share HIS birthday).
July 4th- according to my Mother.

We're curious to see what other people think. We (ok, I) have this fear that she's going to be late...

Posted by Ellen at 10:29 PM | Comments (7) | eMail this entry!
June 01, 2003
36 Weeks

The 9th month is finally here! *bing bing bing!* That's the sound of the timer going off! Yipee!

We are officially 'allowed' to have this baby as of next friday if she decides to show up early. Though I am told (rather snidely from many people) that most 1st times babies like to be in the oven so much, they enjoy being late.

Scott decided that he didn't want to attend this past doctor visit. Of course more testing for diseases and stuff was involved, as well as some Q-tips. What I was not expecting was when the midwife told me, in a bright, cheerful voice mind you, that she was having a hard time palpating the baby's position and was going to perfom an 'internal exam'.

What I was not expecting was almost an entire hand going up there. Yup, the Good Witch Glenda felt me up. At least there weren't any stirrups. For you to get overly groped, apparently all you have to do is relax in a 'splayed out' position. Only makes me wonder what they make you do when you actually have the baby. Oh be quiet. We did find out that she's a pretty small baby. The midwife said she would be very surprised if Olivia was even up to 6.5 pounds. Meanwhile I'm thinking, she still has time to cook, so who knows how big she will get.

We've also finally got the baby furniture in. My brother, Richie, and my dad did a day trip from NY to bring them. Needless to say, everything looks great and fits well. After they left, Scott and I ran for all the boxes of baby stuff and started unloading everything 'baby' we could find.

All 300 diapers and 8 boxes of wipes (care of Sam's Club) were put away, along with all the clothing that has been sent to us. It took an entire day to wash her laundry, fold it and put it up. We also found sheer curtains for the room, and put up a stuffed animal hammock in the corner. No more can go in it. I actually over stuffed it (ha ha!) 3 times to find that it was like building a castle of cards. One too many, and they all spill out.

So the room is officially done, and it is very cute.

Scott has also managed to figure out his kangaroo pouch to carry Olivia around in.

We also got our carseat. Originally we went to Toys R Us, but after paying for the seat we wanted, waiting 20 minutes for them to bring it up, one of the workers said they were all out of stock in that item. *eyebrows raise*

"What do you mean *you are out of stock?*" I said. (In the background, Scott: "I think I'll go check the video games out.")

"Well miss, we don't have anymore in the back". Then he says the wrong thing to me. " We can't find this item, so we are out". (Again, in the background: "Wow, what a great selection.")

My ears begin to burn. "OK, thanks". (very fake smile,with a hint of "I am going to kill you" look mixed in. Scott quickly appeared with the same expression a fireman wears when he sees kids playing with cups of gasoline.)

So I march right to costumer service, return the product and tell them that maybe they need to take out all 5 coupons for the product listed OFF the shelf so some other poor ass pregnant chick thinks she is purchasing something and after waiting finds out your store can't find the damn thing.

Scott seeing me upset, takes me to WalMart to see if we can find something. We return with a small car seat that seems to suit our needs fine. It even has cats on it (thought the packaging fabric was called "teddy". But what a nice surprise to see cats, teddy bears and dogs on the fabric.) So it seems to have called out to us.

After figuring out the instructions, installing it in the car we feel kind of odd driving around with a phantom baby.

We just keep saying only 20 something days (days! Do ya hear that? DAYS!) to go.

Posted by Ellen at 05:08 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
May 24, 2003
Told Ya She Was Nuts!

Here is the actual email sent to us from Scott's mother. For some reason, baby clothing just speaks to her and actually jump into her shopping cart. Must be some telepathic grandmother ability to speak to baby clothes! We are most grateful for the clothing shopping to be done for us. Scott twitches and starts to have small seizures when we walk into Babies R Us just looking at baby clothes. I just wander around aimlessly not knowing what to do with myself.

So thanks to a southern grandma for all the goods! XXOO

Are you ready to be astounded by the numbers!? We were!!

OK Guys here goes. This is the stuff I have in my possesion at this time. I promise I won't buy anything else unless you say you need and give me the go ahead. Well, I promise to try not to buy anything else. They shouldn't make little girl things so dam cute.

Bibs of different sizes- 22
hooded towels- 7
Pashmina shawl- 1
wash cloths- 23
Receiving blankets- 14
Burp pads- 6
8 oz gerber baby bottles- 6
5 oz gerber baby bottles- 2
pacifier holder- 1
comb & brush- 1
pair of shoes- 2
caps- 2
onesies diff. sizes- 6
T-shirts- 5
booties- 3
socks- 6
carrier (besides the one coming to you)- 1

I have several outfits that I won't list cause you will kill me.

If you need PJs they have a really good price on Carter's at Sam's just tell me what size you want. They have adorable little outfits but I slapped my own hand everytime I reached for one yesterday.

I really think I need some serious therapy.

I am waiting for your furniture to arrive to send this stuff. Actually I am going to send it at the last minute, if you don't mind, so I can see you open it.

I really don't know where half this stuff came from, I swear I didn't buy it, it just appeared on my dining room table while I was at work. lol


How's that for a list! We just got done doing a count on some of the stuff she has already sent for Olivia. Currently in our possesion we have over 25 onesies, 8 bibs, 6 recieving blankets, and 6 washcloths. Scott and I only have 3 washcloths for ourselves! This little girl is set for many many items!

We had no idea a baby would need this much stuff! WOW!

Posted by Ellen at 07:14 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
35 Weeks

Last week of the so called 8th month. As of next friday, we will be in the 9th month and ready to pop any minute. Hopefully any second. My midwife warned us that any time after 36 week is term and to 'be ready'. Shit... we still have to pack the hospital bag and the baby bag and toss it into the car.

Actual conversation in the car this morning:

Me: "We have to get an overnight bag for me and for the baby."

Scott: "The baby? Why the hell does the baby need an overnight bag?"

Me: "Duh. We'll need diapers, and clothes to go home with, diaper wipes, the works."

Scott: "You mean they don't just give you those things?"

Me: "Of course not. What the hell are you talking about?"

Scott [in a slightly smaller voice]: "Well, um... I figured you'd get, like, a complimentary set of, I dunno, like, paper clothes or something."

Me: "You're not picking up a new car you moron! You're picking up a baby. We'll be lucky if the hospital lets us go without donating a pound of flesh!"

We did our research on pediatricians, and managed to find one near home. So we have chosen to use the hospital pediatrician for the initial exam, then see our "real" pediatrician a few days later for the newborn check up (why they want you to bring a new baby into a living petri-dish of an office is beyond me).

We did most of the last of our shopping today for Olivia. We bought the diaper pail I have had my eye on for some time, got a few binkies (pacifiers... glow in the dark ones!), a binky clip to attach to clothing, the human-milking-device so that Scott or someone else can have the wonderful task of feeding Olivia since both of us need to return to work. And of course, the monitor.

My mother got Olivia a few lamps for her room that have cats on the lampshades. Very catty trend going on in this baby room (Scott says "duh", no idea why). The last thing left to do is get the blinds and curtains for the window. I think I want to sleep in that room now.

We have also finally assembled the stroller and playpen/bassinet. The cats are very into these items. Especially Ajax. He thinks the playpen is for him. When I first put it together, he made a cavalry charge to get into the playpen and got bounced back by the mesh sides. Boioioioingggg! Only then did the cat realize he had to go up and over to get into the playpen. How cool! *thump* Ajax looks out of all 4 sides, and then decides it's time for sleep. *thud* (Any of you out there who begin to bitch about my cat playing on Olivia's stuff is going to get burnt at the stake in my front yard. Note I will bring marshmallows to roast on you. I am adjusting my cats to the idea of something new coming as a good thing, not a punishment. Oh, and the anthropologist that says quadrupedal animals don't sleep on their back? I have a lump of roadkill snoring in the bottom of my playpen, twitching paws in the air, I'd like to show you.)

Scott and I are also in the process of doing Olivia's laundry. Lots of it. It doesn't seem like it's ending either! I hear we have at least 26 bibs coming soon, among other necessities. Apparently some southern grandmother is going to need to be institutionalized for her spending sprees on Olivia (Pat: "As long as they have chocolate and access to e-bay they can take me anywhere.") This child is set for quite a long time on clothing and accesories. Accesories we did not even think we needed, until we saw what was in the boxes.

Scott:"What on earth is this thing!?"

Me: "I think it's one of those burp cloth thingies, but its shaped for your shoulder."

Scott: "But it has cats on it. It's too cute to use. I think I'm getting cavities just looking at it."

Me: "You don't want to even look at the baby socks then. I think my ears just started leaking sugar."

This is the point where Scott runs away screaming and I find him twitching at his computer console later that night. "Must. Conquer. Aliens..."

Odd thing about getting larger by the day is that you can use your belly as a shelf. You can balance the TV remote on it even put your bowl of icecream on it (albeit with much protest of the parasite you are balancing it on). We think she is going to be born with crumbs of food on her head since I have a tendency to be kind of clumsy when I eat now and most of it ends up sitting on my belly.

One of the hard things in life is attempting to shave your bikini line. Yeah, we still have to do that. Just because one is pregnant does not mean that one gets all nasty and unkempt down there. Shaving takes at least 3 times longer, since there is this belly in the way and one cannot see certain areas of one's body anymore. Oh, and nics suck.

My feet are also deciding it's time to get swollen. Shoes are bad, and socks just suck. Scott laughs and notes this must be the 'barefoot and pregnant' stage.

I do want to remember this belly since it's not going to be around much longer. Got to whip out the camera and actually take some real pictures of myself with it. I also want to do one of those belly cast things, which Scott thinks is a weird idea.

All we do know is that Olivia is not getting here soon enough.

Posted by Ellen at 05:30 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
May 17, 2003
34 Weeks

Have I mentioned yet how 'done' I am with being pregnant? I did? Many times? Yeah, ok, I'm bitching again. There comes a point, usually when vericose veins start popping out like cheap firecrackers at a trailerpark 4th of July, that presciption grade maternity hose don't help. I'm not kidding, your toes get shorter, I swear they do. Just to show God has a sense of humor, your shoes get tight in spite of your shrinking appendages and you wind up with stupid sock marks on your ankles.

When you do get to sit down, you never ever want to get up. Mostly this is because your balance is so messed up you're not sure you can get up. Scott used to make fun of me by going "BEEP BEEP BEEP" when I backed into a couch, but now I really wish I had one of those things. Because let me tell you folks, once the pregnant ass is on its way to couch docking there ain't nothing gonna stop it. Steal my seat at your peril!

I'm also in the process of working on one of the bits of furniture that will go into O's room. A rocking chair that my mom gave to me, that she used with my sister. Of course, Mom and I looked at this rocking chair and determined that it should be painted. In retrospect, this was one of those moments that screams, "it seemed like a good idea at the time."

No longer should it be some boring wood colored chair, you know, the kind that just sits there and is comfortable and doesn't require two weeks of detail painting. Nope, not good enough. It should be painted white and lilac, just like O's room. With cat feet painted all over the chair. Did I mention my mom cackled gleefully and then left for home right after this "suggestion?" What, please, exactly is it about becoming a grandparent that turns you into a devious, evil being? Scott says it's karma for all the times we as children try to flush sneakers down the toilet, but I'm not sure...

The other thing to finish up is to place saw tooth hangers on Olivia's letters for her wall. It's going to be cute. Scott already thinks a six dozen sugar-coated lavendar easter eggs detonated in there, but he ain't seen nothin' yet. OLIVIA spelled out in large white letters going across one wall.

We are still waiting for the final furniture. That is supposed to come the weekend after Memorial Day. If my mom suggests it needs to be painted I'm going to set her on fire. Oh, you just think I'm kidding.

Other than that, all there is to do is wait.

Scott did find it funny the other day that I was on my hands and knees, with the top of my head on the floor, ass in the air, typing on the computer. What can I say? It was the only comfortable position I could find at that moment. I'm just glad I can type upside down.

According to my pregnancy calender, a 'term' baby is considered 37 weeks. I am hoping this baby will be early. I was told that O is going to most likely be an average sized baby of 6-7 pounds.

One thing that I am happy about right now. No stretch marks. Anywhere! And if any of you say you don't notice the stretch marks until after they're born, I'm going to set you on fire.

Oh, you just think I'm kidding!

Posted by Ellen at 08:14 PM | Comments (7) | eMail this entry!
May 11, 2003
Maternity Undergarments

I want to know, who the hell invented the maternity bra? Was this a guy too? What, once you're pregnant and nursing a baby, your boobs are no longer seen as some sexual side of you? Seems you get punished with the ugliest piece of underwear on the face of the earth.

Women (well most women... some women... ok, this woman) like to be lacy, silky, satiny, ect... not frumpy, 100% hemp or cotton or whatever 'natural' fibers there are out there. I am not a hippie! I don't like the idea of a bra clasp 3 inches wide that has 5 settings to choose from. It looks like a hatch on a battleship. Only uglier.

It had to be guy who invented the maternity bra. Maybe there was one woman on the design team saying, "at least put some sort of eyelet lace or embroider some flowers on it for god's sake," but she must've gotten voted down.

Was it also a man's idea to just shove these bras into a plastic bag, and hang them in some kind of maternity ghetto in the lingerie section? It was like a treasure hunt looking for this thing. Scott and I danced in the aisle when we found the "X" marks the spot on the wall. Well, ok, I did. Scott was busy staring at the wonderbra section (*bop*).

There we were, surrounded by frilly lingerie, and we were looking at plastic bags with these puritan things stuffed in them. Bras with a purpose. Bras that are meant to hold up bowling balls for boobs. Bras that have these 'convenient' trap door openings so you do not have to disassemble yourself completely to nurse your baby. You just let down the trap and you're all set. Mind you, these trap doors have 3, count them 3 settings to choose from. They're expandable. Just in case you get larger than anticipated.

Shopping for your size can also be a bit odd. Take me for example (I really don't give a shit if I give you my bust size.) You are supposed to measure right under your boobs, and add 3. This is your bust size. If you are an odd number, round it up to the next even. Hence a 34 is really a 37 but you need to round to 38. Then you are to measure across your boobs, take that number and subtract your bust line measurement to that and VOILA! your cup size is determined by how many inches you vary between your boobs and your ribcage. Scott says it's easier to figure out gear ratios and overbore sizes. Whatever the hell those are.

This is where we scanned the wall searching for this odd size. The entire time we are saying, "Oh boy, look at this one! 52DDD!", "Dear god! They get that big!?"

We manage to find 2 bras. Basic. Boring. But a needed maternity essential apparently.

I take my 2 plastic bags with bras in them home. I try one on, it fits. It's not pretty. There's no cleavage showing! I mean, isn't that one of the highlights of the magic pregnant boobies?!? Everything is covered up. I try out the trap doors. Yep, they work, opening and closing with the same clasps that hold the back of the bra. I kept expecting to hear that dive klaxon you get on those old W.W.II movies, or maybe that crazy alarm from one of Scott's video games. **GRAUNK** **GRAUNK** **GRAUNK** WARNING. WARNING. BREAST HATCH OPENING. STAND CLEAR. **GRAUNK** **GRAUNK** **GRAUNK**

I show the bra to Scott. "Well? What do you think?" He looks at me. *Blink* *Blink*

"Is it comfortable?" he asks.

"Well yeah, but how does it look?"

*Blink Blink*

"Um... nice?"

I sigh.

"It's not supposed to be pretty Ellen, It's functional" he says.

That tears it. These things have got to be designed by a guy. I go back up the stairs, doomed to the land of ugly panty problems for the next several months.

But I won't give up my thongs. The line must be drawn here!!!

Posted by Ellen at 05:44 PM | Comments (13) | eMail this entry!
May 09, 2003
33 Weeks

Things we have learned during pregnancy:

  1. If you try really hard, you will avoid "shelf ass" for seven months (Ellen)
  2. No matter how hard you try, shelf ass will overtake you by the eighth month (Ellen)
  3. Learn to Love the Ass (Ellen)
  4. It's a time when you can actually understand why they're unpredictable and psychotic. (Scott)
  5. It's god's payback for allowing women to be without scruples or conscience when dealing with the opposite sex for the other 90% of their lives. (Scott)
  6. It's the only time you can say "my God you're getting big" and not be hit with something heavy. (Scott)
  7. It doesn't matter what your Denise-Austin-clone mother says, walking up and down two flights of stairs (at work and at home) is plenty f*cking enough exercise thank you very much. (Ellen)
  8. It's a time you get to watch your Denise-Austin-clone wife, who would run up fourteen flights of stairs with a glint in her eye and a smile on her face and make you feel like a flabby troll, huff and puff at the top of the 2nd flight. (Scott)
  9. There really is a bowling ball in there (Ellen)
  10. And it doesn't have the decency to even be vaguely ball-shaped (Ellen)
  11. When watching your wife's belly, no matter how hard you try, it still looks like the world's worst gas attack. Ever. (Scott)
  12. To a cat, a swelling belly is just a really weirdly shaped trampoline. It's especially fun to bounce on it at night. (Ellen)
  13. Having a spouse permanently on the wagon means more booze for you (Scott)
  14. Nesting is real. There's nothing like watching an 8-month pregnant chick trying to clean a counter top and vacuum at the same time, and snarl at you when you try to help. (Scott)
  15. Vacuuming at 4 am is perfectly normal. Why would anyone complain about the noise don't you understand there's more cat hair on thefloorandgeelookhowawfulthesecounterslookanddoesn'ththefishtankneedcleaning? (Ellen)
  16. It's a time when the spouse who would wrap themselves in six blankets sits on top of a sheet naked and sweats while the other can feel icicles forming on their nose. (Scott)
  17. When pregnant chicks claim they're farting for two, they're not kidding. (Scott)
  18. Simply getting out of the bathtub at month 8 requires a strategic consultation and at least two tactical maneuvers. One of which usually fails. Spectacularly. (Ellen)
  19. Cats laugh at you. No, really, they do! (Ellen)
  20. Women learn Stupid Fetus Tricks, like "no no, push this way, not that way. If you push that way they pull their foot back in." Pregnant women are weird. (Scott)
  21. Belly buttons are not turkey timers. (Ellen)
  22. Oh yes they are, oh yes they are. (Scott)
  23. It's actually possible to keep a navel ring in the entire time. It just stops being a navel ring after awhile. (Ellen)
  24. The cheapest, nastiest fast food is suddenly the nectar of the gods. (Ellen)
  25. And slushies... mmmmm... slushies [drool] (Ellen)
  26. Slushies. Are. Not. Dinner. (Scott)
  27. Oh yes they are, oh yes they are [drool] (Ellen)
  28. Why is it all the syndromes and features of pregnancy are named after men?!? (Ellen)
  29. Ok, measure out 10 cm on a ruler. Compare it to a tea saucer or dinner plate. Now look at your wife's... well, you know. Suddenly understand what "shock and awe" really mean. (Scott)
  30. Even icewater can cause heartburn. (Ellen)
  31. If you look hard enough, you actually can find baby decorations with cats on them. Lots and lots and lots of cats. (Scott)
  32. Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? Are we there yet? (Ellen)
  33. No. (Scott & Ellen)

Ok mom, there's your funny. Laugh dang you, laugh.

Posted by Ellen at 08:05 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
May 03, 2003
32 Weeks

Ughh!! this won't end soon enough! In the past week major changes have taken place. It seems like I have gotten larger overnight.

Comfort is quite difficult. So is bending over, shaving your legs, putting on stockings (an essential!), sitting down without some sort of pillow behind you, standing up for more than 15 minutes in a stretch, your back always hurts... the list is endless right now.

It comes to a very sad point in your life when all you can think about and look foward to is laying down on your bed on your side, tucked into all 5 pillows and just attempt to relax. Of course, when you are all relaxed, you suddenly realize you have to pee. This requires you to roll out of the bed. At any point if you attempt to pick yourself up out of bed like you did months ago ( using your ab muscles) you realize there is a good chance of giving yourself a hernia.

There is no more room in this belly, though its going to get more crowded soon. Scott cannot wait for this to all be over with. His point of view is that he is just a passenger on this ride and it's not as real for him as it is for me.

We finally booked our hospital 'tour'. This happens June 5th. Apparently , this was one of the only tours for the month of May and June for the hospital, and we got one of the last 3 slots.

I did get griped out by one of the midwives this week at my appointment. She looked at me like I had 6 heads that I was not taking a Lamaze class. I felt like asking her if she would like to pay the $160 for the class for me. My lamaze class is going to be a brown paper bag. This is where doctors and midwives clash. One of my doctors, who owns the practice and has been an OB/GYN for more than 25 years recommended if that if I did not know what kind of birthing method I wanted, just to wait to see what midwife I got that day. He said she would most likely get me to relax with what ever method she felt I would do well with, and not to worry.

My mother on the other hand, told me she forgot how to breathe when she had my sister. She did the Lamaze thing, no pain control. All she told me was that 'it hurts'. She did not go into the details. She only told me that you will look at your baby in amazment and think "that really came out of me?"

Apparently, the baby is supposed to be approximately 3 3/4 pounds and is about 16 1/2 inches long from head to toes. And she is only supposed to get bigger.

8 weeks seems like a long time away.

Posted by Ellen at 08:26 PM | Comments (8) | eMail this entry!
April 27, 2003
31 Weeks

2 months to go! I feel like I'm in the last stages of cooking a turkey. You know, the part when you take the tinfoil off the last hour so it can brown? That stage.

Life is good when you have super-industrial panty hose on. Life is bad when you stand too long (hello! my work) and can't seem to find a comfortable spot to sit in. Laying down is much nicer on the body.

Scott seems to think it's funny now that I go up to him and lift my shirt up and yell "Rub the belly!!! You know you want to rub it for good luck!" Some men, so I have read, are really into sharing all the intimate details of their spouse's pregnancy, while other are like " Is it over yet?" Scott is more in the category of "Oh shit, I'm so not ready for this to happen to me! I just got a garage for my car! What do you mean I have to grow up now?"

He is your typical male in this situation. They sit back and watch because they are afraid of any consequences of what may happen if they say or do the wrong thing. One thing for sure is that he is not enjoying the pregnancy diet, which consists of a large lunch and maybe a food substance for dinner. Cooking? Yeah I really don't do that much anymore. No appetite for it. I'd rather cut a huge slice of watermelon and eat that for dinner.

One thing for sure is that I know he is mildly grossed out by my belly. Finally I have pried the story out of him why, and it's all due to a damn sci-fi book. Due to this book, O reminds him of a worm crawling around in there. Not just any worm, a rather large one. I still think it's an alien. I cannot get over the fact that there is a very small person in there.

Today we went to the Medical Museum in DC (rather weird museum), and looking at fetal specimens in jars was rather interesting. I kept trying to find one of O's stage and only managed to find one of 6-7 months gestation. Still it was a neat comparison that made me think that I have that in me. Just looking at all the specimens was fascinating. From babies the size of a pea to someone that is nearly done gestating was a rather interesting thing to see. Especially when you got to see the major changes month to month.

I'm supposed to start counting how many times O moves in a hour. Anything less than 10 movements I should contact my doctor according to the books and websites. Yeah ok, she does not comply with that list right now. She is horrifically active from 5pm to midnight now, and again at 3 am and maybe at 9 am when I just get started for work. Other than that, she is pretty silent, since I tend to keep moving throughout the day and she must either sleep during the whole thing or I am just not aware of it happening.

My only complaint this week is that the area right under my boobs keeps falling asleep, even when I sit as straight as I possibly can. Plus my rib cage aches on a consistent basis now.

Hopefully only 6-8 weeks to go. I do not want to see a 10th month.

Posted by Ellen at 07:41 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
April 20, 2003
30 Weeks

8-10 weeks to go!

We finally got most of the baby's room completed. Only thing left is the new carpet (yeah, go figure, cat peed on the old one). My mother came down from New York and put up the wallpaper and corner molding to break it up a bit. I also have to go to Next Day Blinds and get the shades that I want for her room.

I don't know if I'm going to want her to sleep in that room. I kind of want to sleep in it now! Scott says it looks like an Easter egg detonated inside it, but what does he know.

Damion had letters cut for me for O's room to spell out her name across one wall. Each letter is 12 inches long and they have some really neat jaggedness to them. It will remind me of my favorite Italian Goth for a long time. I can only imagine what Kris and Damion are going to come up with using that onsie I gave them a while back (it looked rather good on their cat, Cassie, although I get the feeling Cassie may not have agreed.)

It's getting harder to breathe now. Everything is very compressed. My mom said I was tiny, and was expecting me to be bigger. I don't want to get any bigger than I need to. This is enough. I'm done. No more growing, mmkay? You stop trying to push mommy's ribs through her stomach, and mommy will make sure daddy puts your sullen teenage ass through college, deal? No (*ouch*) stop (*ouch*) I'm not kidding! Well, ok, sometimes it works. I think. When I start having... discussions... with my soon-to-be-daughter Scott starts snickering to himself and mumbling about "irresistable forces" and "immovable objects" and "she's already your damned daughter" and things like that. I punch him.

Walking is becoming a bit bothersome, as well as going up and down steps at work and at home. God forbid I don't have compression stockings on, it really does become the end of the world as my legs feel like they're trying to puddle around my ankles without them.

Strange thing is, people around you not going through this look at you as if you are nuts and are basically faking it. Yeah, no, sorry. Let me cut you open and stick a 15 pound watermelon in your abdomen with all of your internal organs being mashed against your ribs and we shall see how you fare.

The only positions in life right now that are appealing are either lying on my side, or on my back. This is when you start to pray that you don't have to urinate any time soon. Getting up from either position is a chore, because you have to make a good attempt not to give yourself a hernia or hurt your back anymore that it already does.

Scott came home from work the other day (his work gave him a baby shower- how sweet! He was even one of the guests of honor!). He said that Sam, a native African from Sierra Leon who became a father just four months ago laughed at him and told him in an accent thick as molasses, "Oh nooo, eet gets mahtch mahtch wose dan dis mafriend". Yeah ok, I think I have the right to really start getting cranky now.

8-10 weeks sure feels like a long time away.

Posted by Ellen at 09:09 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
April 13, 2003
29 Weeks

Almost there! 11 weeks to go. Why do I feel like the countdown to the space shuttle for take off? Well, not actually the countdown, but the part beforehand when the shuttle is still in preparation on the launch pad and it feels like forever before anything remotely interesting happens. I definitely feel like I have a tank full of something strapped to my belly.

My alien baby is starting to freak Scott out more everyday. He can now see Olivia move through my skin out of the corner of his eye when we are lying in bed at night watching T.V. Having him feel her move is even more fun. You get the typical answer, in a completely deadpan tone, of "OK, that's freaky" from him.

More changes occur on a daily basis now. We know she prefers to lie on the right side of my belly. I currently can't tell the difference between an ass or a head when it's bulging out, but I think I can tell the difference between feet and hands.

The baby's room finally gets finished next week. The wallpaper border is going to be put up, shutters placed in the windows, with a large mirror and some shelves to dress the room up a bit. Finally, we'll add an area rug of a cat to make the floor happier looking.

I've also discovered that you don't necessarily need to be nursing a baby in order to have 'leakage' problems. Pregnancy books discuss this in the late 8-9th month, but not at the 7 1/2 marker. It was yet another *holy shit * moment in this adventure. It's also become the butt of many jokes in this house now.

It still amazes me to look at my weekly online calendar on the growth rate of the baby. Right now she is supposed to be 2.5-3 pounds and about 15 inches long, and all smushed into a compact little ball.

We have yet to really decide on what method of a birth experience we want, or rather what I want (if I want to hyperventilate for pain control, I'll remind myself to bring a paper bag with me, no need to take a class for that.) I don't think Scott really has a preference as long as everything is OK in the end. I have been noticing him pricing those "cup" style athletic supporters though, and he's been checking out the reach of my arms lately. Hmmm...

Posted by Ellen at 05:17 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
April 06, 2003
28 Weeks

28 weeks, wow. It's not happening fast enough. No really, it's not. I'm done being pregnant.

I'm having difficulties with my back now. To the point that sitting down is uncomfortable. If I have my feet up, I'm doing well, but if they are on the floor, I start to ache. The same goes for standing. I can't stand for long periods of time either.

Scott made fun of me the other day, and was promptly beaten with a television remote when I attempted to get off the couch and turn to hear: BEEP, BEEP, BEEP!!! Though, I must admit I couldn't help myself but laugh at it. It did take quite the effort to get my ass off the couch without risking an abdominal hernia.

The scary thing is that I have 12 more weeks to go.

I was lying on the floor the other night, because my back hurt so bad, (YES! I was a horrible pregnant girl! I was laying on my BACK! *GASP!!!!!* Apparently a big NO NO in pregnancy) and Scott manages to say to me that I look big, but the odd thing is that I am going to get bigger.

Dear god! For ONCE he is right! I could not help but look down and my belly and think how could it possibly GET bigger? I mean, it's hard as a rock and you can totally thump it like a ripe melon. *THOOOMP!* Scott also scolds me that I stare at my stomach every time it moves. How can you not? It's totally fascinating!

I'm supposed to gain 11 pounds in the next 12 weeks. 11 pounds?!? That's a lot. I don't feel like I could possibly get bigger!!!!! I mean, this baby is already 14 inches long and almost 3 pounds. I'm going to have to go into hiding soon.

Pretty soon I will have to venture out to my dr's office twice per month to say hello and that I'm still alive. Scott and I have yet to take the hospital tour. (I did look at it on the net? Does that count? A virtual tour?)

I did manage to finally get my glucose tolerance test done this past week. After being sent to 2 different labs and one chick telling me the week before she simply did not have time to do my test cause she had to leave early.

With the glucose test you essesntially waste 2 hours of your time, and get stuck with a 20 gague needle twice. It's alot of blood they take too. 3cc at a time, 3 tubes total. It may not seem like alot of blood, but for a glucose? Couldn't I just drink 2 sodas and use a glucometer?

Hopefully I'm done with tests. I do know that I have to get my RH injection next dr's vist on the 16th.

An aside: Some of the comments I'm getting, just by feel, are along the lines of "oh. my. god. Could you whine any more? Don't you know this is magic?!?"

I would submit that any woman out there who feels this way needs to lift up her rose colored glasses a little and remember. Scott says one of the things he is struck by most is how women in the late stages of their second or third pregnancy always say "oh my god, why did I do this again?!?" Yes, it's magic when you get her to giggle for you the first time, or know you're supporting another life, or watch them transform from a wobbly lump into an entire person.

But I think most of you have forgotten just how much goddamned work this home stretch is. They don't giggle right now, they thump. They stomp on your bladder, and they kick vertebra out of your spine like nickles in a stack.

What I'm saying is you should be taking this not as whining, but as a cautionary tale. The vast, and I mean vast, majority of you felt like this at this stage, but have forgotten. The next time you feel all squiffy about how little Jane or John isn't so little anymore and wouldn't it be grand to have another baby because it wasn't really that bad should read this and remember. I'm sure it's all worth it in the end (it better be), but right now it sucks.

12 weeks to go, and this roller coaster ride just keeps getting longer.

Posted by Ellen at 04:21 PM | Comments (21) | eMail this entry!
March 31, 2003
27 Weeks

Ever get to the point in your pregnancy that you feel like you really do have an alien growing inside of you (Scott? Jeff? Damion? Joshua? ... heh... didn't think so)? Olivia has been moving around so much that I literally have been thinking that I really do have that critter from the movie Aliens inside of me. You know, the one that attaches to your face and puts a creepy-assed thing down your throat? The one that has like 6 legs and stuff? This baby feels like it has more legs and arms than it should have.

And you can see it happening. Through your skin.

My pregnancy calendar keeps saying (for the past 3 weeks) that I am in the 'home stretch'. Ok, the next time I hear 'home stretch' again, I am going to scream. Home stretch means you have a week to go, not nearly 3 months.

You find yourself totally involved in your pregnancy. Almost to the point it literally can consume a good portion of your day. Remember the days of daydreaming of that special guy? Or what color you're going to paint your room? Or what new bedspread you just bought and can't wait to get it on your bed? (Ok, guy translation time: Scott says, "imagine a thirty year old Sophia Loren driving up in a Ferrari and asking if you're busy tonight." Men are pigs.) Yeah, those days are gone.

You become consumed with thinking about 'how much this is really going to hurt when the baby does decide to make it's appearance.' You become consumed with what baby stuff you are going to buy (which we have not done any of yet). Baby shower? (Are those possible with less than 5 friends?)

You keep thinking about how your cats are going to act (Scott laughs out loud at this point and mumbles about "crazy cat lady in waiting"... he's sleeping on the couch tonight). One thing I'm not concerned about is if the cats will lash out aggressively at the baby. My only issue is that Ted and Ajax think of more creative ways to crap in my house.

I've given up on those restrictions of pregnancy, like watching the caffeine you drink. Ooops...guess I should make myself suffer and not drink those 40 oz. Coke slushies anymore (yeah right, take it away and lose a hand). I stopped following my doctor's (aka Santa Clause's) advice of just walking for fitness. I'm sorry, I just don't feel accomplished and apparently I was just having a bad water retention day (I must remember not to lick blocks of salt) since I am no longer ballooning up.

So I'm back to my regular exercise routine. Well, not what I normally would do. But at least there's weight training involved. Denise Austin is too goddamned perky for words. Even with a bowling ball stuck to her belly, she's so cheerful you want to drown her. Too bad my mind is so preoccupied that I actually do need to have the sound on vs. muting it and listening to the radio and just following the tape.

But like the newsletters say, I'm in the home stretch. Again. And again. And again.

June seems a long time away.

Posted by Ellen at 08:36 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
March 23, 2003
26 Weeks

We are officially in the home stretch. We have hit the 3rd trimester. From what I'm told, this is the worst 3 months of the entire thing. (Well, duh, you just keep getting bigger and then you have to 'produce' a small human in the end)

Every night we play baby games. Tap on my stomach to see if she taps back. She usually does. What is getting a bit weird is that she is starting to really move, to the point that one side of my stomach gets rock hard and pointy. Thick pointy. I have no clue if this a head or a butt sticking up. I KNOW it's not a foot. Feet are different. Don't ask me how, they just are.

I also finally have achieved the 'brown line', or linea nigra (if you want to be all official and medical). It's subtle, but it's there. And lopsided. Or rather, I have a lopsided belly button, since this line runs along next to the left side of it.

Scott and I have finally gotten the baby's room cleaned out, the vertical blinds torn off the walls (I DESPISE verticle blinds- they are too noisy. *CLACKITY CLACKITY CLACK!*) The room has been painted a nice lilac color and now all it needs is the wall paper border put up, which my mother will do for me in April. We'll also be doing corner moulding running down each of the walls. I still have to do kitty paw prints on her closet and bedroom doors.

Now all I really have to do is look for some curtains for the room and get the set of shutters for the window. I think I want to sleep in that room when I'm done with it! It's going to look really cute when it's done.

Scott still does the husbandly thing and points at my belly everyday and says, "Haha...your belly is bigger than mine!" Well, ok, not really, but he has noticed that my belly button ring is no longer actually in my belly button anymore. All the more for me to work on getting rid of it once Olivia arrives.

At some point next week I have to go and get my glucose tolerance test done. This is where you get to drink the 'special drink' that apparently is like drinking 5 cups of sugar with a tablespoon of water, and then get stabbed to see if your body tolerated it. I am looking foward to being stabbed again. I cannot wait. Oh how I love being stuck by lab people.

It's hard to think that in 3 months there is going to be another human in the house.

Posted by Ellen at 06:06 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
March 19, 2003
A Prescription to Relax

Today just blows big time. We're talking serious, cover-your-head-in-black-and-make-afghanis-say-,"wow, that chick is depressed"-sort-of-thing.

I got a 'restriction' from my doctor. I am not allowed to do my normal aerobic routine anymore. No more jumping up and down. No more laughing at the Austrailian chicks with weights going "poored concrete... in the laygs... bend ya knees pick ya bah up." No more brow beating the husband because he's a lazy lush. I have a free pass to park my ass and it's killing me.

I am only allowed to go for walks now. I did manage not to gain any weight this time around. WOOHOO! Only a 20 pound weight gain so far! On target!

This is all due to some incredible edema that occured in my ankles and knees this past week. Ankles that blew to the size of my calves ("it's because your ancestors needed to flee from the base of that volcano." says the soon-to-be-disappeared-husband) and hurt when I bend them.

I am not retaining water all over, just in my ankles, knees and fingers. Edema... it looks more like a really bad case of cellulitis (especially at 6 pm) and is rather uncomfortable.

No, they are not concerned with preclampsia. I have a normal blood pressure and am not showing any other symptoms of it. They are concerned that I am on my feet most of the day and am not able to lay down at some point to take the pressure off my feet. (Who the hell lays down at work?) I did mention that I sit down frequently, but that was quickly brushed off as that not being good enough.

I'll just have to seek out the stickiest pair of panty hose yet! Scott thinks the hose I have now could stop bullets. He ain't seen nothin' yet. I got to call A up since she works at a pharmacy for some pressure stockings! They may take 15 minutes to put on, but by god I will have ankles again, oh yes I will!

Posted by Ellen at 08:22 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
March 16, 2003
25 Weeks

Ok, I'm done being pregnant. This is not happening fast enough. Yeah ok, I know, I should be enjoying this, but I'm getting annoyed with my body.

Bending over (or rather bending at the knees and squatting) to pick something up is rather uncomfortable. Rather uncomfortable like trying to cram a bowling ball up ... well, you know ... is uncomfortable. This basketball that I apparently swallowed has gotten in the way to the point that I can't even put panty hose on correctly. Or socks. Or shoes. Or pants. And it's only going to get worse.

Now I get looks from Scott like: "Dear god, could you get any bigger?!? No no... please, don't stand up... no really, I was just leaving, no no... please..." [bZZZZAp!!]. I look at myself in the mirror getting dressed, "Yeah, I am, aren't I? It's quite a bit larger today. DAYMN!" Then trying to get the clothes on that fit you last week this week is a new chore.

I'm also finding out that talking on 'pregnancy chat' rooms is NOT a good idea. To sit back and watch is fun, but to participate is like feeding yourself to the wolves.


Mom0f50ScreamingAngels: My labor was so easy that I did not even know I was in labor. I was cooking dinner and it slid right out on the floor. You know what I did? I just put it in the sink for a moment and finished carving the roast, served it (the roast, but I did have to look) and then tended to my new darling.

TwinboysandaTwoYearOld: Oh yeah? My labor was so intense... my left leg fell off! I sewed it back on without anesthesia while I was breastfeeding.

There's always an "oooo" or "poor dear" comments being made for stuff like that.

I just sit back and wonder what the hell is wrong with these people. If they are like that online, who knows what they are like in real life! Are these the same women who put their 3 week old embryo into the ultra-expensive schools?!? Are these the same women who compare how 'advanced' their kids are compared to other children?!? Could this be me?!?

Nah. I gave a "onesie" to my goth friends so they could make a going home outfit out of spikes, leather, and PVC pipe. I fully plan to be the soccer mom from hell. Watch the f*ck out, little miss Susie Minivan!

Posted by Ellen at 09:19 PM | Comments (8) | eMail this entry!
March 08, 2003
24 weeks

24 weeks seems to be the time that most magazines use as the halfway marker for pregnancy. Why 24 weeks? I dunno. But all of the magazine that I read have pictures of pregnant chicks centering around 8, 12, 24 and 36 weeks pregnant.

Are those the weeks you're supposed to feel glamorous for pictures? Or is it that they're nice round numbers that represent the best areas of pregnancy to look at. Kind of like the anthropological scale of man. You know, the one that starts with an ape then goes to modern man? Only I have a bowling ball slung around my gut.

Scott and I are noticing more changes about me daily. Mostly that we wake up in the morning and I look significantly larger than the day before, and that evening I seem even a bit bigger. I've got a rather round belly that when you thump correctly sounds like a ripe melon. *Thoomp!*

Everyone seems to like to rub the belly too. Which I do not mind. It's human curiosity. Plus it's rather fun to watch their faces when they feel just how hard a stomach can be. I have read in magazines and online how insulted women get when someone does not ask to touch them. Yeah ok, extra sensitive person, space being invaded, yadda yadda yadda... YET, they expect to be treated special, but not really be noticed as being pregnant. You must ask permission to touch otherwise. I look at the belly pat as a handshake or a hug now. Friends say hello to my face then get in that lucky rub.

Many people I know (friends and family) are surprised that I'm pregnant. For the longest time I can remember I didn't want children. I looked at them as being dirty, nasty, walking petri dishes. Yeah ok, occasionally I'll see some of them that remind me of that to this day. I still shudder at the "ape pit" in the mall, with all the kids running around and screaming while the tired parents wear that "thousand mile stare" from the benches.

What happened to change my mind? I have no damn clue.

I am enjoying my pregnancy, at least for now. I like to see how everything is developing month by month. I like feeling the baby and look forward to the thumping at the times I know she will be up. I find it funny when Scott says my belly is bigger than Coconut's belly (aka-Buddah- yes it's one of the cats)

What I don't like is the edema that occurs in my ankles. Socks are my enemy. No matter what socks I wear, I get sock imprints. I don't like that when I sneeze, I have to cross my legs to prevent myself from peeing. (Yes, I have been doing kegals. So much so that I think I can crack a walnut up there.) I don't like how your skin pigment changes, your hair gets oily and you get winded easy going up and down stairs.

Am I complaining enough yet? *laughs* But really, it's not as bad as many people make it out to be. They are small annoyances. Most days go by that I forget I am pregnant until I look down and see my belly, or feel the baby move. My body is adjusting well.

According to my baby center on line at, this is what's going on this week.

How your baby's growing: Your baby's growing steadily, gaining about a quarter pound since last week. His skin is thin and fragile, but his body is filling out proportionally and taking up more room in your uterus.

How your life is changing: You may notice faint red streaks — otherwise known as striae or stretch marks — on your abdomen, hips, and breasts. Creams won't really make them go away, but wearing a supportive bra may help prevent or minimize those on your breasts. Stretch marks are typical at this stage of pregnancy and will fade to silvery white marks after you give birth. Also, your eyes may be sensitive to light and feel gritty and dry. This is a perfectly normal pregnancy symptom known as dry-eye. To ease your discomfort, use an artificial tears solution to add moisture.

24 weeks in, 16 to go...

Posted by Ellen at 07:36 PM | Comments (15) | eMail this entry!
March 02, 2003
23 Weeks

23 Weeks!? Already!? We've only got 17 weeks to go!

We have already begun to work on Olivia's room. Of course, it's going to be a shade of something girly. I don't know 100% if it's going to be a shade of pink or purple. I do have the wall paper border picked out. I wanted to do her room in cats (just like the rest of the house) but needed to find something really cute and kid like. So I found this one. I fell in love with it immediately! Scott also thinks it's rather cute (heh... like he had a choice).

My mother is coming down in April to do the wall paper for me. She's got a very detailed method of getting the wall paper to match all the way around without making it look like you have cut the paper.

I also have a stencil of kitty paws that I will be doing *in pink* on her closet doors. Make it appear as if a kitty walked across the front of the door is the look I'm going for. When my mother comes down, I will most likely pick out the curtains for her room too.

I know what you're thinking... the room is going to look like a monstrous Pepto-Bismol bottle blew up in it. Yeah no, it won't happen. It's going to be a pretty slick room when I'm done with it. All I have to do is have the room painted, and my mother will help me with the rest in one weekend.

What's happening this week? From
Your baby now weighs a little over a pound. Her hearing is well established, and she can make out a distorted version of your voice, the beating of your heart, and your stomach rumblings. Loud noises often heard in utero, such as the barking of a dog next door or the roar of a vacuum cleaner, probably won't faze your child when she hears them outside the womb. Numerous studies seem to indicate that the unborn prefer classical music, especially Vivaldi. Play "The Four Seasons" for your child, and pay attention to her movements. Does she quiet down during adagio sections, and speed up for the allegro portions? You may have a budding conductor in your womb.

Those dainty fetal movements have progressed to karate kicks. If you watch long enough, you may see your baby squirm underneath your clothing.

Olivia is REALLY starting to move now. Somethimes it can take you by surprise how weird one movement will feel from another (especially when you get kicked in the crotch from the inside out). Scott got to feel her do some sommersaults the other night and thought it was very odd to feel more than just a 'thump' like she normally does.

June is right around the corner!

Posted by Ellen at 06:55 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
February 26, 2003
Key Chain

I thought I'd never see a key chain like this one.


Posted by Ellen at 05:11 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
February 21, 2003
22 Weeks

22 Weeks already!? Where does the time go? I remember looking at the magic stick in the bathroom and watching Scott turn 6 shades of grey to white.

Things are starting to pick up pregnancy-wise. Olivia decided there was NO MORE room in my pelvis and literally overnight jumped into my abdomen, squashing my stomach against my diaphram and make everything a bit more jiggly than normal. I'm only 5 months, and I KNOW this is going to get worse! (So please, don't tell me how bad it can get. I take every day as a challenge and like to discover my new surprise of the morning.)

I finally have a real belly to look at in the mirror now. Scott finds it funny that when I sing to Coconut, one of the cats, (aka. Buddah Belly and her belly song *just don't ask...looong story*) in the morning, that 2 of us fit the description of having a 'belly'. I can't get enough of lotion either. Nice thick, anti-stretchmark goodness. Yeah, yeah I know, stretchmarks are genetic and also controlled by how much weight you gain, but it just feels so good to grease up and think you are making a difference. Scott calls it "applying the protective coatings."

My past exam this week at the Obgyn office was different from the rest so far. This time my midwife whipped out a minature tape measure and made sure I was 22cm. Apparently the size of your belly can determine or rather help out in determining how many weeks pregnant you are. Neat!

She also went over what to put on my 'birth plan'. Basically the do's and don'ts that I am requesting. Such as how many people do I want in the birthing suite (hence, no students, interns, people that start to annoy me ect..), how I want to have this baby (I DON'T have to lie on my back if I don't want) and of course pain control. I have already made my decisions on that area, and I won't go into it further.

I was also told to start reading up on breastfeeding. So, ok, I guess it's time to do some research on it. Of course at the book store Scott is like, "You need a manual for them!?"

"Apparently! You have to take a test to see if you qualify first to do it. I think the scantron test is in the back of the book".

If you are interested, I picked up this one. Quite funny, down to earth, and it does not make you feel like an idiot like some books out there can. I AM surpised there is not an "Idiot's guide" or a "Dummies" book on breastfeeding yet.

So I figured I give it a go when the time comes. Yeah ok, if problems occur, I know who to get some advice from... Cindy. :) The book mentions to find someone close to you to call (preferably that actually had a baby and did breastfeed) along with your doctor or "lactation consultant" (how do you get that job?) since they are able to give you their motherly advice and how they conquered any evil demons in that area.

So for 22 weeks, my Baby Center has tossed this information at me:

The baby now weighs almost a pound, measures nearly 11 inches long, and is proportioned like a newborn, albeit a thinner version since her baby fat hasn't yet developed. Although she's getting heavier every day, her skin still appears wrinkled because she needs to gain more weight. The lips are distinct and the eyes are formed, though the iris (the colored part of the eye) still lacks pigment. The pancreas, essential in the production of hormones, is developing steadily.

Even this early, the first signs of teeth appear in the form of tooth buds beneath the gum line. Before you know it, your baby will be born, and soon after, flashing his pearly whites.

You've likely gained between 12 and 15 pounds. Starting now you'll begin to put on weight more steadily, averaging about half a pound per week. You may crave certain foods, and you may notice an increased (but not bloody) vaginal discharge. Both are a normal part of being pregnant.

22 Weeks in, 18 to go.

Posted by Ellen at 06:02 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
February 14, 2003
21 Weeks

According to my online baby calender, this is what's happening this week.

How your baby's growing: Your baby now weighs about 12 1/2 ounces and is 10 1/2 inches long, head to toe. The eyebrows and eyelids are fully developed, and the fingernails are starting to sprout. Watch what you say from here on in: If you talk, read, or sing to your baby, she'll probably be able to hear you. You may want to try reading to her. Choose some children's classics, or read aloud one of your own books. After birth, some studies suggest a newborn will suck more vigorously when you feed her if you read to her from a book frequently heard in utero.

I have also been told to stick some headphones to my abdomen and her listen to some music. Do people normally just listen to classical or what?

How your life is changing: It's hard to be a smooth operator when you're pregnant. Don't be surprised if you find yourself a little more clumsy these days. You're carrying more weight, your center of gravity has changed with your growing uterus, and your fingers, toes, and other joints are all loosening due to pregnancy hormones. Be careful and watch where you're going, and if you haven't already, say good-bye to high heels. They make keeping your balance more difficult and cause backaches.

Yeah, the joint thing is noticeable now. My wrists and fingers click and pop, and my legs grind in the hip sockets in really strange ways. Flexibility is not there. I have to keep working on that. I was told by books and by some friends that you can literally do splits when pregnant.

It's already hard to believe that this baby is almost a foot long. Scott and I remember looking in our book and remembering her as the size of a jelly bean. Less than 20 weeks to go and there will actually be another person in this house. 5 cats, 3 people.

1 demonic fish.

21 weeks in, 19 to go.

Posted by Ellen at 08:31 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
February 13, 2003
When Babies Attack!

As I get further along in this pregnancy, I whip out [whoosh-CRACK] my "What to Expect When You're Expecting" manual on pregnancy and birth (You need a manual??- who had a manual 1000 years ago?) and look up the latest symptoms ect... to see if what I'm feeling is "normal". I have yet to find a book that gives you the down and dirty on feelings and what's really going to happen to you without making you feel like dirt because you are pregnant. Scott says it's a conspiracy to convince unsuspecting women "NO! It's not really that bad." For once, I'm not sure I disagree.

Last night I was in the tub (like I normally am every night) reading some magazines (like I usually do) and relaxing before bedtime, relishing my time in the tub with the 5 cats lounging on the floor, toilet, sink, on the side of the tub ect...

Everything was going as planned when *thump*, *thump thump*. "Wow, the baby is really moving tonight", I'm thinking. But it was a much harder thump than normal. So what do I do... I look down at my once flat stomach that the bath water used to (used to) cover and just took a moment to observe.

*THUMP!* Eyes get bigger...*THUMP!!! THUMP!!!* Goblin stares down at me from the tub ledge and looks at my belly like, "something's not right with the hyoo-man" in her eyes. This is when I see part of my lower abdomen stick at least 1/2 inch away from the surface of where it normally lays and scoots across like a shark fin in the ocean.

"SCOTTT!!!!!!! COME SEE THIS!!!!!!!" All the while Olivia is twisting and turning all over the place, to the point I'm feeling a bit queasy seeing it.

"What!???" he goes.

"Look at this!", I point to my belly.

Of course by the time Scott has walked up 2 flights of steps, she has stopped her alien-esq quest for escape.

So that night, I'm laying in bed watching TV with Scott's hand on my belly making him feel what this baby is doing. It's getting more interesting as the days go on. It's funny to see that she is so active between the hours of 7-10 pm and again at 5-9 am. Plus you find yourself looking foward to that thump every night, just to make sure everything still feels real and that in a few months, you will actually be looking at it face to face.

Hopefully it won't have an extra set of jaws and an exoskeleton.

Posted by Ellen at 07:31 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
February 12, 2003
Pregnancy Tip!

Of course I got it off of my favorite site right now.

Pregnancy Tip: A pineapple a day makes the heartburn go away "Fresh pineapple (eaten in small amounts)

Yeah ok, a small amount? I ate a whole pineapple this morning. A WHOLE pineapple. Was it enough to eat? Nope..but I am watching the weight I pack on, so no food till lunch.

Posted by Ellen at 11:47 AM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
February 09, 2003
20 Weeks

Sorry for the delay in the boring episodes of my pregnancy, but I was away on business for my veterinary group I belong to (I'm the VP so I had to be there).

Anyway, what I write up about my pregnancy is not really meant for you in the first place (if you don't give a shit) it's for Olivia when she gets older, to appreciate the fact that I took the time out to tell her about her 9 month adventure in the human fish tank.

Whats' going on this week: According to Baby, You've hit the halfway mark in your pregnancy. By now your baby is about the size of a large sweet potato and you should be feeling her move around. Enjoy it — those rumbles are one of the true joys of pregnancy. She's also giving her new digestive system a little practice by swallowing amniotic fluid. She absorbs nutrients and water from this fluid. The unabsorbed matter continues into her bowel where it concentrates into meconium, the greenish black or light brown substance she'll pass the first few days after she's born.

Yep, we feel her move all the time now. It's an odd feeling. It kind of feels like a fish is swimming around in there at times. Yeah, yeah, I know it's going to get more exciting. I'm not so stupid to realize that the baby will get bigger and eventually see parts moving under my skin. Jeeze, pregnancy is not rocket science. If I really want information, I usually ask, and usually do.

While I was away this weekend, I was amazed by the number of people that feel you need advice. Of course I was polite and thanked them for the information, turned around, rolled my eyes and walked away. The 'old wives' tales that I was told were frightening and just plain ODD!! "If you're not really showing by 5 months you're having a girl", or, "Craving salty means boy, craving sweet means girl", (ACK! So, tell me, oh wise women, what the hell does craving pineapple mean?!?), "No matter what you do your body will never ever be even vaguely like what it was before." After a while the person turns into a buzzing noise that is easily drowned out.

The most frustrating thing about being pregnant is that you wake up one morning and you find something new about your body (or your significant other has) that can be horrific to you and you try to find ways to hide it immediately. Example "Are those supposed to get dark like that?"(pointing at a certain body part... plural, starts with "N") Looks down at body, "Ah shit. Yeah, I think so. It doesn't hurt, so I guess it's normal". Looks back as self in the mirror, thinks: *Pregnancy is supposed to be beautiful? It's scary.* At least the belly button (turkey timer) has not popped out yet. Yet. Of course, he's such a moron, he just keeps saying "no, really, it doesn't make any difference to me!"

Another thing I'm being asked about frequently is the baby shower. Yeah, well I don't know about that. I feel guilty about having one. A baby is a choice, and one should not expect other people to furnish things for your baby. I have a friend that wants to throw one, but will it happen? Probably not. My feelings hurt? Well, no, not really. I don't expect a shower for me. That's something a friend does for you as a cute, fun experience. It would be pretty selfish of me to expect someone to throw one for me. Then again, I've never been to a baby shower before, so I don't know how they exactly work. I guess lots of oooing and ahhing at cute baby things. Scott says "It's this thing where, like, women detach the privates of all their men and then take them out of their purses at a party to compare notes." Stupid man. That's a wedding shower.

So Scott did ask me to register anyway, just in case. So of course us being big time computer oriented people, I registered online. It's just a 'wish list', I don't expect people to get us anything, but people have asked.

So if you are one of the people that want to find out what's on our list, you can check it out here

Ok, sorry, I had a really cool summary for this, but Sue Johansen just pulled out a 13" leopard print spinning vibrator out of her "pleasure chest" and that just blew it all to hell.

20 weeks to go....

Posted by Ellen at 03:22 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
February 02, 2003
Olivia's Ultrasound Pixes!

If you have never looked at an ultrasound picture before, they can be pretty confusing. But if you look right at the picture and don't read into it, it just kind of pops out at ya. (Just like those weird posters they used to sell. You know the ones, cross your eyes and the picture pops out?)

Olivia looks like an alien in her pictures. Unfortunately, the midwives and nurses were all talking bogus to me about a 3-D ultrasound (hell they lose my file all the time, I shouldn't listen to them), so I had a high grade 2-D one. It was still really cool.(At times it was 3-D but in black and white) Scott and I just looked at her on the screen and were like " WOW! There really is a baby in there!!" (Sorry, no tears fell or the feeling of being over-emotional. We were just stunned at what she looked like-HOW COOL!)

So, after great delay, here they are:

Face shot... ALIEN!!!

A more complete front view

Classic profile

In the first picture, it's just her face. So its her skull, eye oribts, nose and mouth.

Second shot is her head, brain cavity, eye orbits, nose, and mouth. If you look at the second 'bubble' under her head, it's her abdomen. You can even see her heart and stomach in the shot. Her left arm is right by her head, and her umbilical cord can even be seen.

Third shot of course is the classic profile.

Posted by Ellen at 10:50 AM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
January 31, 2003
19 Weeks

According to My Baby Center:

You're halfway there! The top of your uterus now reaches your belly button and will grow about a centimeter per week. Your baby is about 9 inches long and weighs about 8 ounces. (9 inches already!? Wow!)

She has started to swallow amniotic fluid, and her kidneys continue to make urine. Hair on the scalp is sprouting. ( We watched Olivia do this on the ultrasound, she drinks just about as much water as I do. Scott says she's practicing chatter. I punch him when he says this :) )

Sensory development reaches its peak this week. The nerve cells serving each of the senses — taste, smell, hearing, seeing, and touch — are now developing in their specialized areas of the brain. Nerve cell production slows down as existing nerve cells grow larger and make more complex connections. If you're carrying a baby girl, she already has roughly 6 million eggs in her ovaries. But since most of them will disintegrate during gestation, by the time she's born, she'll have about a million.

You no doubt feel the kicking and somersaulting of your growing baby. At times, she may be so mobile that you can't sleep. The next ten weeks or so will be your baby's busiest and most active time, until the womb gets too crowded. (Olivia is most active in the early morning to the point I wake up from it, and again when we are in the evening bath and lounging on the bed after. I actually got to see my belly move from her the other night while in the tub.)

I can feel it, but Scott still can't. For some reason she quits moving when he puts his hand on my belly. Scott says that contrariness just makes her my child. He's actually a little disappointed, but at least he doesn't think it's a big conspiracy to get him to empty catboxes.

At least my taste for chocolate has returned. Ellen not liking chocolate is like the pope not liking Jesus!

Posted by Ellen at 07:09 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
January 29, 2003
Olivia Rachel!

We went for the ultrasound today!!!

It's a GIRL!!!

WoOt!!! I don't have to sell it on E-bay now!

As usual for us, a normal 30 minute appointment turned into 1 1/2 hours of rolling from right to left, left to right, on my hands and knees (I was wearing a thong so I'm sure it was not the most pleasent site), getting up, using the bathroom and drinking ice cold water. Apparently the baby was being stubborn. Scott says that means it's already my child.

Not only did I have to roll around like those chicks on the Miller Light commercial, but the technician wobbled the baby (she called them earthquakes) until it wouldmove. It was the funniest thing. The baby starts flailing all over the place like little rubber baby and then, once everything was still, the baby would punch twice. Scott said that definitely made her my kid.

When the technician first started the ultrasound she noted the baby was a big drinker. It sat there gulping fluid for about 2 minutes before she moved to look at other parts. Scott said if it had a phone in its hand it would even look like me. I punched him. No, I did not see the irony. Why?!? :) The technician went to get yet another tech to see if she could get a certain heart shot. While they were prodding around the other tech looked at the baby and announced it was a girl. The first tech said she thought it was a girl too, but wanted to be sure about it. I looked at Scott and said "See!! I told you it was a girl!"

I got 6 pictures. I was going to scan them and put them on the site today, but when I plugged the scanner in, I burnt it out. I know this because it smelled really funny and the light would not come on anymore. Oh well.

Me, I think I have Ted the Cat to thank. He's the one who has been massaging his baby since the beginning. He told me he would do some magic on it to turn it to a girl. And you know what? Every time he "makes biscuits" on my belly, the baby responds by doing, oh hell I don't know, feels like backflips! We start them early over here at AMCGLTD... this one's going to be a crazy cat chick before she leaves the womb!

Posted by Ellen at 05:19 PM | Comments (10) | eMail this entry!
January 25, 2003
18 Weeks

18 weeks in! I have finally made peace with the belly. OK, OK, my small canteloupe of a belly. My doctor made the comment on how 'small' I was. "Wow, 5 months! Tiny girl you are, it's going to be interesting to watch you for the other 4". Damn, just when I thought I was looking pregnant.

The baby is moving around quite a bit now. Kicks and rolls are felt usually on the way to work in the car, and in the evenings, especially after my bath and I'm lounging in bed. We were a bit worried when I was sick, but it turns out the cold medicines I was taking (sit down, sit down, the doctor prescribed them) zorched the jellybean every bit as much as it did me.

Very interesting: the baby kicks and rolls when I'm hungry, then settles down for quite some time after I'm done eating. How can something that takes its nutrition essentially IV feel full?

I still listen to the baby quite often at work on the cat doppler. Especially after I was sick and was making sure it was still there. I must have totally gorked it on the meds. We get an ultrasound soon. Scott says he'll finally be able to tell whether or not this is just a giant conspiracy to get him to change catboxes and rub my feet. I noted the thumping in the belly but he said he's seen things I could swallow that'd do that. I half expect him to take the thing apart to make sure there's not some sort of tape machine playing someone else's kid!

Kidding! Kidding! It was cute how big his eyes got the first time he felt it.

What's going on this week? (from Your baby is twice as big as he was last month, but he still weighs only about 7 ounces. (Meanwhile, you've probably gained as many as 14 pounds, most of which is from amniotic fluid, placenta, and water retention.) Though things may seem calm on the surface, your little one is kicking, flexing, reaching, rolling, and even sucking his thumb now. If you haven't felt him move yet, you will in the next few weeks.

A midpregnancy ultrasound is often done sometime in the second trimester (usually between 18 and 22 weeks) to assess fetal growth and development, screen for certain birth defects, check the placenta and umbilical cord, and determine whether the gestational age is accurate. During this exam, you might see your baby kick, flex, reach, roll, or even suck its thumb. Bring your partner along, and whether or not he's able to accompany you, make sure to ask for printouts of the baby in various poses.

How your baby's growing: Things are really moving into place now. This week, your baby's eyes look forward instead of to the side, and his ears are in (or nearly in) their final spot on the sides of his head. Your little one's skeleton is still mostly rubbery cartilage, but it's about to start hardening into bone. As for size, your baby is about 5 1/2 inches long (crown to rump), about the size of a pickle; and weighs nearly 7 ounces.

How your life is changing: Bigger, more comfortable clothes are a must now. You may also notice that the areola, the darkish area around your nipples, is getting larger. It can sometimes cover as much as half your breast. It's a harmless side effect of pregnancy that may last as long as 12 months after the birth of your child.

Harmless side effect? Half of your breast!?? How big do these damn things get!? Thank god, that side effect has not slapped me in the face yet...I'm hoping not ever. Nipples are not supposed to be the size of a pancake mmkay!? That would mean you are larger than a DD. I'm veryhappy with the little boobage boost I have thank you very much!

Facts are good, scary facts aren't. Cellulite and stretch marks are the next evil on my list to make sure doesn't completely take over the body. Ack! Doesn't evil usually prevail though?

Posted by Ellen at 06:36 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
January 17, 2003
17 Weeks

Almost halfway there!

Baby facts for this week: Starting to feel like a balloon? You may be gaining weight rapidly at this point, even if you're not eating much. Don't necessarily blame yourself if the pounds are accumulating faster than you'd like, what's important for you and your baby is eating smart. Make sure you eat a balanced diet rich in protein, fruits, and vegetables.

No, I'm not feeling like a balloon. My baby did the disapearing act again. Since I've been feeling like the "cousin of Frankenstein" all week long, I've found I can't keep most food down. Yes, of course I went the the doctor. They said the naseau is all due to the neon-green "You-Can't-Do-That-On-Television-slime" backdrip. YUM! Still, they can't get it through their heads that I can't keep food down for more than an hour. Saltine crackers make me ill. It actually feels good to rest my head on the toilet (mmm... porcelain). I think I have actually lost weight this week. I don't look pregnant again, just when it was starting to show.

Two words until I feel better. Liquid. Diet. That's right. Soup, ginger ale and water.

Developmental Stats: our baby is now nearly 7 inches long and weighs approximately 5 ounces. Her skeleton is mostly rubbery cartilage, which will harden later. A protective substance called myelin slowly begins to enshroud the spinal cord.

With the help of a special stethoscope, you can now hear your baby's heartbeat. Although you probably already heard it weeks ago in your doctor's office, there's almost nothing more comforting or exciting than hearing your baby's heartbeat galloping along. On days when you're worried about how your pregnancy is progressing, hearing the heartbeat lets you know that your baby's developing and growing. For times when boredom strikes and you feel as if you'll be pregnant forever, it can be a pleasant reminder of what will come at the end of 40 weeks of waiting.

Your growing uterus has shifted your center of gravity, and you've probably been feeling a bit off-kilter. Be careful and wear low-heeled shoes. If you haven't had an amniocentesis yet and plan to, do it this week. One perk: You'll get a long look at your baby through ultrasound during this procedure.

17 weeks in, lots to go.

Posted by Ellen at 06:42 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
January 14, 2003
Now What?!?

This is the latest baby news on what you can't eat. I might as well just starve myself now.

Can't drink, can't take 'real' cold medication, no recreational herbs-well other than tea (it's a JOKE people!).

Don't mind me, I'll be the one sitting in the corner eating grass and dirt.

Posted by Ellen at 08:42 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
January 13, 2003
Stupid Baby Tricks

Ok, this is kinda stupid (or silly, however you see it), but this is the kind of person I am.

One of my cats (Teddy) loves to sit on my lap and get petted for long sessions. Now that I'm further along in my pregnancy, he has learned he must sit to the side of me with only half of his body on mine. So if you can imagine the cat's torso on my stomach, and his butt on the couch, usually leaning his head against me so I can rub the back of his neck.

Well, Ted likes to 'make biscuits' on me. Always has. Now he makes biscuits on the baby. The funny thing is, now that I'm feeling the baby move more, you can stimulate it to move.

Now every time Ted does the biscuit kneading, (I call it 'massaging his baby') it bobs up and down like a cork for a few minutes. Cute thing is, it only happens with Ted. So now every time he jumps up to get loved for a bit, or I see him contemplating if he wants to come up, you have to invite him up to massage his baby. " Well, are you just going to sit there or come massage your baby Ted?" is the usual question.

Must be something special with him and jelly belly.

Posted by Ellen at 06:42 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
First REAL Cold of the Year

I have finally fallen prey to this 'disease' that was being spread at my work. Normally I have no problems handling a cold. The last time I was truely sick was 3 years ago with a 102 degree fever and my boss was livid that I had to take almost a whole week off. Now mind you this was during our annual xmas party and I did manage to get dressed to drop off the present for my secret santa and the cookies I made. Scott, poor him, was made out to be the 'bad guy' because he actually dragged me out of the party within 30 minutes of arriving. I'm reminding you I had a fever at that point.

That was the last time I really got 'sick'. Now I have it again. Except for one small problem. I am limited to what medication I can take.

I call my dr's office this morning for some advice. I'm told a nurse will call me back shortly. 30 minutes later a nurse, from the other office I no longer go to is wondering why I called them for advice and not the office I normally go to. I almost cried. This is the same stupid front desk staff that manages to lose my file every time I walk in the door. The dr's and nurses are great, the receptionists, I dunno what to say other than I am ready to clack their heads against the wall.

The nurse proceeds to tell me I am only to take Sudafed, Regular Robitussin and Tylenol. Nothing else systemically. UGHH!!!! How cruel!

Robitussin is so nasty I want to vomit from the smell of it alone. Sudafed does not take care of stuffy noses very well, and tylenol is not that fantastic of a pain killer.

To make this story even more fantastic, the office I normally go to calls me at 230 pm to say they are returning my call on medication. Apparently what ever receptionist took my message FUBAR'd beyond belief. She still thinks I'm a patient at the other office, so she figured they needed to answer it. How stupid is that?

I have my 4th dr appointment next week, I'm anticipating a lost file yet again.

Posted by Ellen at 04:35 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
January 11, 2003
16 Weeks

Well, I officially hit the 4 month marker.

According to my pregnancy calender, this is what's going on this week: Your baby's about the size of an avocado now, but in the next three weeks he'll go through a tremendous growth spurt doubling his weight and adding inches to his length. In the meantime, he'll be playing with his umbilical cord and practicing breathing by inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid through his lungs. You're going through a bit of a growth spurt yourself. Your uterus has expanded so much that the ligaments in your abdomen are stretching to make room for it. If you feel any twinges of pain now, that's why.

An avocado? What kind of avocado? One of those nasty wrinkly looking ones or the smooth ones? They're both different in size.

Am I showing yet? No, not really. The pants are getting tighter and the hip huggers I bought are coming in awfully handy.

I'm still able to exercise with no problems. I won't change the routines I had before I got pregnant. Weelll... one modification. I finally swallowed my pride and lowered the aerobic step to its lowest level (hangs head in shame). Ok, so I didn't change my heavy weight routine with the barbells and such, but I did lower the aerobic part so I won't keep getting griped at for raising the baby's heartbeat and making it explode (yes, I was told that, even on how I'm going to bake it by making my body temperature go up- Hmm..makes me wonder how the chicks that ran marathons, and or other while pregnant handle this?- Perhaps a nice 'fuck off' did it?)

Scott says I'm too obsessed with weight gain. Yeah, ok I admit that. I don't want to gain more than I'm supposed to so I'm being careful. I don't want to take an entire year to heal myself. I feel totally shitty if I miss a day working out. I listen to my body and slow down only if I need to.

They say, if you exercise during pregnancy, your labor will be easier. So this is a test to me, or rather a seeking out to prove if this actually works. I'm not talking of starting an exercise program while pregnant to see how labor goes, but for someone that only modifies slightly on what they are already doing.

It's going to be interesting to see.

Posted by Ellen at 04:13 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
January 08, 2003
Obesity and Pregnancy

Here's an interesting article I found in one of my favorite magazines.

Now I know this article may be one of those "well no shit" kind of articles. You know you can automatically assume that if you are obese and pregnant you may have some issues with the baby ect.., same goes for the anorexic or the bulemic chick being pregnant. You are going to have some sort of problem in the end.

Damn those McDonald's egg/sausage McMuffins!!(My one and only EVIL Sin on sunday!) Can I be one of those people to sue McDonald's because it may make me fat during my pregnancy?

Posted by Ellen at 10:32 AM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
January 07, 2003
3D Ultrasound Gallery

Here are some really cool pictures of babies swimming around like fish!

In February, I am supposed to go for my first ultrasound with a radiologist. I was told it was a 3D ultrasound. If it's that impressive on the internet, I cannot wait to see it in person.

Of course Scott will be dragged along to this too, since I make him go to every exam with me.

Posted by Ellen at 07:07 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
January 04, 2003
Belly Pix

Yeah, no, I'm not on this at all. This was sent to me via Elizabeth and her kitties.

And I quote: "Ellen, I found this website today and thought you might be interested. It's a Belly Photogalley of various womens bellies during pregnancy. It's a little scary, but pretty cool."

Ok, I'm scared to look! No- Prize to Elizabeth!

Posted by Ellen at 05:46 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
15 Weeks OR Attack of the Shelf Ass

I got a rude awakening yesterday. I was getting ready to work out when Scott said: "Hey! You got shelf butt!" Shit!

"I do?" I go look in the bathroom mirror, yep, it's definitely a shelf. Looks like a drink tray. A round one. The funny thing was the look on his face... he'd forgotten Rule #1: Never notice anything until I want it noticed. But the funny thing was, I think I really did want it noticed. It didn't bother me at all. I keep asking him to write it up from his perspective but he's all like "no way, no way, every woman who reads this is going to drop an 800 lb. anvil on my head." So I want to go on record here that I, Ellen, thought his comment was funny. So all you gals out there just leave my big stupid husband alone!

But of course I let him stew for awhile before I told him. I got flowers and M&Ms the next day!

So I continue to work out. Step aerobics, weights, ect. I'm done with sitting down and taking it easy for nearly a year. If I feel shitty during my workout, I slow down, if not, I keep chugging away.

According to my baby calender this is what is going on this week: At around 4 inches long, crown to rump, and weighing in at 2 1/2 ounces, your baby's still small enough to fit in the palm of your hand. What's new this week? Light sensitivity, taste buds, and a bad case of the hiccups, which is a precursor to breathing. You can't feel or hear them, though, in part because the baby's trachea is filled with amniotic fluid rather than air.

Also: How your life is changing: You've probably gained at least 5 pounds by now, maybe as many as 10. Your uterus is growing, and you might feel pangs of pain caused by the ligaments stretching in your abdomen. You and your partner may be feeling a little stressed out now, too. Many pregnant couples worry about the baby's health, what labor will be like, how they'll cope as new parents. It's perfectly normal.

There is really no baby to look at yet. I think it's laying against my spine or something. Movement? I can't tell. I don't know if it's baby or my intestines gurgling away.

Anything else interesting happens in the next week, I'll keep ya posted.

Posted by Ellen at 12:09 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
December 28, 2002
The Best Parenting Book of the Year-according to Fark

Scott and I laughed out loud when we saw this.

Of course, it's from Fark, so please don't take it seriously!

Posted by Ellen at 07:16 PM | Comments (0) | eMail this entry!
December 27, 2002
14 Weeks

I'm officially at 14 weeks, that's the start of the second trimester.

According to my pregnancy online calender, this is what's going on: "Crown to rump, your baby is between 4 and 4 1/2 inches long, and weighs 1 3/4 ounces. The body is now growing faster than the head. This week, its parchment-thin skin covers itself with lanugo (ultra-fine, downy hair that usually disappears before birth). Though eyebrows are beginning to grow and the hair atop the head is sprouting, this hair may change in both texture and color after birth. About now, the fetus can grasp, squint, frown, and grimace. It may even be able to suck its thumb. Researchers believe these and other movements probably correspond to the development of impulses in the brain."

I had my 3rd DR.'s appointment today, which let us hear the heartbeat again. It was much slower than it was last time. I have a doppler at work that we use on cats to check their blood pressure, and of course I've used it on myself. I'd always thought I was hearing my vena cava or some other large vessels pumping away. Seems it was the baby the entire time.

Of course now I feel kinda stupid that I would get disapointed 'cause I could not find the heartbeat on my own, when I really had it every single time. Of course now I know I can hear it any time I want.

I also got quite a shock from my doctor today when he went into great detail on how they have a large percentage of natural childbirth. They only have a 15% rate of epidurals and other types of drug managed pain. Also this practice assists in the birth of 1000 babies per year out of the 3500 born at the hospital we will be going to.

This part is best told by Scott:

I was sitting there, basically a guest in the "seige perilous" of a gyno office, when I got to see the birds come home to roost on my girl. She had been feeling the luxury, the permissiveness, of being early-pregnant in a house with an appreciative husband. Dishes? Done. Vacuum? Done. Laundry? Done. Catbox? Done (Cat puke? Ellen... I have my limits).

So there my girl was, thin, fit, and happy. Then the Doctor started talking about "natural childbirth". We'd talked about this before. Ellen was going to feel one "oompf" of pain and then she'd scream DRUGGSS!!!, and then we'd all be invited to hold hands and sing "happy-happy-joy-joy".

But you see this doctor had other ideas. "We're mostly a natural childbirth place. Oh, sometimes we'll do an epidural, but the vast majority of our births are natural."

The transformation was most impressive. Swear to god, she turned white, then green, then an amazing shade of... plaid (really!) This was not in the original plan. I must admit, I burned a few karma points here. I could have, at any point, noted that the doctor candidly stated that drugs would be provided at request, but all Ellen heard was "natural" and she just stopped listening. She got really, really quiet, and I swear her arms came up and her legs crossed. I half expected her to say "eep!" Definitely a payback moment for all those litterboxes with... colorful... contents.

Well, ok. I think I could do it (my mom said she had a natural childbirth with my sister- it hurt-alot). Maybe some Demerol? I know, almost sure that I don't want an epidural at this point. I may change my mind later! He also explained that this is not a hospital room. It's a' birthing suite'. "Ooo..a suite?" I say.

He shook his head and was like "Tsk...think of you having your baby at the Hyatt Regency. You get a suite dear, not a white hospital room. You are having a baby, not a procedure."

Ok. "I'll take your word for it, I've never done this before". Scott says he plans to try to hide his nuts from me so I won't make the attempt to rip them off at the appropriate time.

Again, Scott:

Bah. Ellen was completely freaked out at this point. Like I said, she heard "natural" and then went on autopilot. I'm amazed she remembers the conversation. You guys have read all these reports, I think you have a decent insight into her mindset... "like a big, tough workout, only laying down". Pride so hard you can bounce rocks off it. Well, the words "natural childbirth" stuck a pin in that particular balloon. If any of you out there wanted to strangle this little Italian Denise Austin over her "not-quite-six-pack" and "Oh god, I'm so disgusting, I'm a size 5" complaints, you got yer revenge. Little miss fitness got a reality check right between the eyes.

Of course, if I bet her she couldn't do it without drugs she wouldn't even flinch dialated 10cm. Never bet an Italian, especially one proven to train cats to sit up.

Posted by scott at 07:28 PM | Comments (11) | eMail this entry!
December 21, 2002
13 Weeks

Ok, not much excitement going on this week for me. I did manage to take the belly shots with my digital camera so I can remember what I looked like at my first trimester. Basically, I look like I've gotta pee real bad. You know the look (well, girls do. Guys, feel free to make the "wha?" look). You can actually see your bladder pushing your lower abdomen out.

Zip-up jeans have become too uncomfortable to squeeze my ass into. I have resorted to my elastic large-amount-of-crying-'cos-they-are-so-tacky jeans. My legs also don't make it out of the house without lycra surrounding them, al-la sausage skins. Makes me feel like a bipedal Oscar Meyer product.

I've bought several pregnancy exercise videos, and they all start out with the same LAME intro : "Hi!!!", no, not 'hi', as in 'hello, I'm glad to meet you', but rather 'HI!!!', as in 'I'm Charlie Manson and we're going to have a great workout today. Now, everyone get out their kitchen knives so we can start'. It gets better though. "I'm [insert annoying California name here], I'm pregnant and I feel great!! And you should too!!!" They're so perky and shiny and clean, a tofu Donna Reed in spandex. Whereas I'm busy pushing cat's ass out of my face, trying not to roll into the new puke stain, so I can just see the tape.

At this point I'm like: "Shit, it's going to be corny!". Do I break a sweat? No. Keeping your heart rate under 140 beats per minute is very difficult. Not to mention you feel like you are NOT working out at all!

Pregnancy yoga is even cornier. All the hosts look like they just took a hit from the same bong, and, like, isn't it so natural and [DEEP SIGH] centering, to be [DRAMATIC PAUSE, BREATHY VOICE] P-huRHEGnant?!? Then they make you lie down and close your eyes and be real still. Hello, sleepy time! Scott once walked upstairs because he wondered what all the snoring was about.

I've realized that I'm suffering from a mild form of carpal tunnel syndrome since I'm not comfortable putting my weight on my wrists for certain positions. These positions never bothered me before, they bother me now.

I still like to take nice hot steamy baths. Probably means I'm going to give birth to a lobster at the end of it all. My little psychic buddy (as Scott calls it) tells me hot baths are liked very much. As well as now it really likes to make decisions on the food I eat now. I want one thing, it wants another. Sometimes there is no compromise and the psychic buddy wins. It's only when the psychic buddy votes for chocolate ice cream and pickle relish that it gets ugly. Makes the waiters give you funny looks, donchaknow?

Overall, the only other noticeable change that I feel is I find myself wanting to sleep on my back vs. my side. I actually wake up on my back. I know, I know, you're supposed to sleep on your left side for blood flow ect... blah blah blah. I'm definitely uncomfortable on my right side. My heart rate rises instantly. Weird.

Scott sees no other difference in me except that the boobie fairy has finally granted me my wish of bigger boobs! MEN!

Of course, the fact that I must get a whole new sweater wardrobe and push-up bras ASAP has nothing to do with it. I can't wait to have guys look me in the chest! WoOt!

Posted by Ellen at 07:38 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
December 20, 2002
Baby Sign Language

This is pretty darn neat.

Scott and I are thinking about doing this science experiment with our baby.

Other sites about the program are:

Baby Bumble-Bee

Signing Baby

Kinder Signs

All of them have neat information to them. Pretty neat project if I might say so myself.

Posted by Ellen at 08:11 PM | Comments (4) | eMail this entry!
December 15, 2002
12 Weeks

This is the last week of my First Trimester. Yeah, ok, I still forget I'm pregnant.

According to my baby calander thingy, the baby is doing this: This week, your baby's face looks practically human. Her (HER HER HER HER HER) eyes have moved closer together and her (HER HER HER HER HER) ears are right where they should be. Your baby is all of 3 inches long now and has entered what is known as the fetal period, when tissues and organs rapidly grow and mature.

Pretty weird huh? How can something be 3 inches long inside of me, let alone a uterus the size of a small melon and I cannot feel a thing. Well, almost not a thing. The only time I feel something odd is when I am exercising and doing my crunches ect... Kinda feel a large ball in my abdomen and I can't crunch as small as I used to.

I still have the two upper parts to my 6 pack abdomen, and the center line cut from my sternum to my belly button. WoOt! Not bad for a pregnant chick! Cellulite is under control, as is my diet. I'm not going too nuts, though I do find that my blood sugar is going all wonky again. Now I have to carry around granola bars (the cracker thing has made me ill since I've eaten too many these past few weeks) so I won't get these monstrous headaches (Tylenol is NO help for headaches!- they suck in that dept! Plus you can only take so many in a day.)

Scott doesn't find it funny that bedtime is right after my bath. That's about 8:30 in my world. I still feel I'm not getting enough sleep, though everyone laughs at me like I am some dumb ass fool saying: "Wait till you have the baby, then sleep becomes something you hardly hear of." Um... no shit. I never asked for a full nights sleep caring for a baby, I think I know the consequences of it. I've had my fair share of waking up every two hours for kittens. Yeah, kittens may not be people, but people won't fucking die if you forget just one feeding either. There's stress, and then there's stress...

Remember I chose to get pregnant. This was not an 'oopsie' and now I'm paying for it. Scott always says "You can sleep when you're dead." I'm not sure if I agree, but who knows...

I take frequent naps only to be woken up to the White Cat Alarm[tm] (Ajax) joyously kneading either my boobs or my full-but-not-full bladder for food and some attention. OR, 4 cats have to sleep with me during my nap. One at my head, two at the foot of the bed and one at my side. For some reason, they won't bug Scott!

Me: "Dammit you cats! Leave Mommy Cat alone for an hour! Go bother Daddy Cat!"

The cats: "Oh but Mommy Cat, your bed is so nice and toasty and you are napping so we must share the napping experience with you. Daddy Cat yells at us and calls us yak factories."

Shit. Me: "Ok, everyone in bed! Pick your position and stay in it. No stepping on the boobs or bladder!" (in the background, Ajax: "awww...")

The cats: "Whee!!!! Nap time! ZZZZzzzzZZZzzzz"

Still, the first part of the rollercoaster ride is almost over. We've pulled out of the coaster station and headed up the rail for the first drop and now we're getting ready for that first curve.

87 days pregnant, 193 days to go.

Posted by Ellen at 06:15 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
December 10, 2002
Opera Baby

My sister and her boyfriend sent me this.

Like Scott says, everything in my life is an opera.


Posted by Ellen at 06:54 PM | Comments (2) | eMail this entry!
December 08, 2002

Right now, I don't need to fit into maternity clothing. I'm still good with what I have. What I did need was a kinder cut stocking to wear at work under my pants so my knees and ankles aren't the size of championship bowling balls by the end of the day.

So I walk into MotherHood Maternity in the mall. Just for stockings. If you go to JC Penny's for stockings and buy your normal size, one size up, they are guaranteed to fall off. All I needed was a set of stocking that were nice in the waist and tight everywhere else.

Of course the damn stockings are set right on the counter so the sales girl can talk to you. Shit. "Hi", she says. "Do you need help"? Me? no, I just wanted the stockings.

"Um, well, do you have full support stockings? Not just medium support?" I ask.

She rolls her eyes. "Are you pregnant?" No, I just like to shop in maternity stores, you stupid shit. "You are awfully small to be shopping here yet." I wanted to ask her if she was pregnant or did she just have a permanent fat ass.

"Well yeah, I'm just 11 weeks, but my support hose doesn't fit right in the waist anymore". I'm wondering if I have to go into detail that I'm on my feet for nearly 8 hours a day. We're talking Golden Gate Bridge-class support here.

Suddenly the other sales girl, who had obviously been listening, comes up and says. "Look at the time! Time for you lunch break right"? The other girl looked at her and left.

Now I have to deal with an apologetic sales girl who did nothing wrong, but had to run in to prevent something nasty from happening. Needless to say, she helped me pick out the right kind of stockings I would need for work to prevent 'pooling of blood' in my lower extremities.

I even found out she was due on June 27th also. So she was rather excited to help me pick out the items I needed.

I should've asked her for the hours she worked, so I wouldn't have to deal with the 'other' girl again.

All of this, for a pair of stockings.

Posted by Ellen at 03:39 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
December 07, 2002
11 weeks

This is the 2 week marker till the end of my first trimester. The baby is 2.5 inches long and actually looks more like a baby now, it just needs to get bigger. I am not any bigger at all, I even forget that I am pregnant at times.

Scott bought me an early X-mas gift, the book "From Conception to Birth, a life unfolds" by Alexander Tsiaras and Barry Worth. I'm sure you have seen this book on Oprah by now. It is too cool for words. Though I still can't believe it's happening.

I am actually feeling better now. I want to exercise, although I was told I MUST slow my aerobic activity down to 140 bpm. This is really tough because I am used to well above that heart rate. So when I exercise now, it's so boring. I'm even trying to do yoga during this pregnancy, but I feel pretty stupid throught the whole video. Example of some of the dialog: "Now look at your belly and say 'hello'." What belly? Oh, you mean the non-existant one?

I just can't seem to get spiritual right now. Am I supposed to get spiritual over this? I just think of this as something I get to partake in like millions of other women who have done this for thousands of years before me.

Thank god we heard a heartbeat over Thanksgiving to actually make us believe that I do have a little parasite that I am only host to right now. (Yes, get over my attitude, I am a scientific person not a spiritual one) Right now, I have no emotional attatchment to it. As I said earlier, I do not feel pregnant at all. I am moody, which is normal for me. So Scott says that does not count as pregnant mood swings.

As far as reading information on pregnancy ect... I have tons of the stuff. I love the magazines, and I have the 'book'. What I do find funny is that you need a book to learn how to do this. Something so primitive, yet I need someone to tell me how and what will happen. But my new book is so damn cool, it does remind me of some science experiment that all of a sudden goes right.

Week 0-9 is a jumble of cells that resmemble a bunch of goo to a stegasaurus, then all of a sudden at week 10 *SHABAM!!* it actually looks like a baby. A really really small one, but it's human. All in the matter of 3 months. Now all it has to do is get bigger.

11 weeks in, 29 to go.

Posted by Ellen at 03:51 PM | Comments (6) | eMail this entry!
December 02, 2002
10 Weeks

Yeah I know, I'm late with my weekly post. BUT, I have a good excuse. I was in NY with family and my sister is a hound with her computer and would not let me on it for more than a few minutes at a time.

So I am at 10 weeks now. It was also the second dr's visit this past Wednesday. It was supposed to be an exciting exam too. We were supposed to hear our jelly belly's heart beat, and actually realize something is there and I was not pretending it all along. Scott would finally understand it was not one big conspiracy to get another cat.

So there we are, sitting in the waiting room. I get called in by one of the nurses there. They are too damn cool. I like them much more than the dr's. "Ok, on the scale you go", she says. *Shit* This is were I must disassemble myself. Off with the jacket and extra sweaters, and of course the 10 pound purse. "Doing good! Only a 2 pound gain. You are right on track." I look at the scale, ok, 126 pounds, not bad. I can do this. Apparently I have to manage to ONLY gain 25-30 pounds tops- I am told I am much too small to gain anymore.

Scott and I are sitting in the room where he looks around, totally bewildered to FINALLY get to see the inside of a woman's exam room. "There are boobies on the wall!," he exclaims.

"Well yeah, it's an ob/gyn office you asshat."

He then looks at me and says with this nervous tone "What the hell is a dilation chart? Is that how big your crotch will get!?!". I look at the wall. Holy shit The first one starts out a little smaller than a wine cork, but the last one looks like a frikken dinner plate! EeP!

Then the dr walks in. One of 7 I will be meeting for an exam. I decide right there I don't like her. She has a limp handshake and obviously does not want to be at work that day. "Ok, lay down". Poke, poke, probe. "Ok, you can get up, you're done."

"Um, the midwife told me that today I would get to hear the baby's heartbeat" I say.

" Yeah, well you are only 9 weeks, and you are barely showing at all." (is it my fucking fault I am a small human that can still wear a size 6 pair of jeans? is it my fault that before I got pregnant I had a goddamn six pack of abs? NO)

"Can you try anyway? We were looking forward to this."

"Ok, fine, but I'm not saying that it will be there."

So she whips out the SAME Doppler I use on the cats at work to get blood pressures on them and tells me to yank my pants down to my pubic bone. (Thank god I waxed that week!) She then slathers on the jelly and proceeds to 'look' for this heartbeat. I hear mine, no problem. Then she finds it.

Both Scott and I look at it like some queer science experiment and all we can say is, well, "cool".

It was only after we were done, while we were walking in the parking lot, Scott got himself a revelation.

"This is the place where you get your 'exams', isn't it?"

"Well, not this exact one, but yes, a place like this."

"So that was, like, a gynecologists examination room", I could sense a certain amount of awe creeping into his voice.

"Duh. Of course it is. What do you think the GYN is for dumbass?"

There was a long, very thoughtful pause.

"Well," he said, sounding a little disappointed, "don't you guys have some sort of secret handshake or something?"

Ha! Secret handshake. Ha!

As if I was ever gonna tell him...

Posted by Ellen at 07:46 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
November 24, 2002
Fetal Development Tool

How neat is this?

A small slide show! Now I know why when people have dreams and they see the 'grey men' and the connection to people calling their babies 'aliens'. They look awfully similar!

Posted by Ellen at 05:39 PM | Comments (1) | eMail this entry!
November 23, 2002

Hormones are ugly, evil dwarves. They make you nasty, they make you cry at cat litter commercials, and they make you crave food that you would not eat even if you were on Survivor.

Today I wanted a hot dog with saurkraut so bad I could taste it before I even bought one. Yeah ok, ya got me. I was shopping at the mall and HAD to have a hot dog. The last time I had one was 2 years ago at an Orioles baseball game (thanks Jeff & Cindy!) Weird huh? Let me tell you that the hot dog I had today was so good it made my eyes roll in the back of my head. Huge sigh, and I felt totally content that I was eating bits o'... pieces of... well... (I don't care what they are made of, I just wanted to eat it!) wrapped in a bun, pickled cabbage on top and LOTS of mustard. Scott said he only wished I looked at him like that. He doesn't understand, he's just a man, this is food.

Scott was so impressed with my porn-star like reaction to my newfound love he made it a point to grab all the fixins so I could make my own kraut-dogs! Ok, so maybe he's not a pig all the time.

Right now I'm really not eating that much, more snacking on weird things than actual meals. Basically I'm busy trying not to vomit air you see.

Other silly cravings? Gerkins. Those damn mini pickles. Damn them they are so good. Klondike bars too. Now wait, a Klondike bar and a gerkin would be mighty tasty. Together. Oh. My. God. Alphabet soup also is another stupid craving. DAMN those comfort foods!

All Scott does is watch me and shake his head. His 'cook' has gone on strike. I cannot fathom cooking. When I do, I literally get ill. Thank god there is a sink right next to the stove so I can dry heave into it when I think spaghetti and meatballs look like decaying flesh and a pot of worms.

Luckily Scott is starting to cook more. He's decided hell with it, if we don't have the fixins for a particular dish he'll just make a list and run out to the grocery store and pick the bits up. Of course, he'll also pick up great big jugs of wine, which he says he needs for cooking. I notice way more goes into the cook than the dish, but I get free (and actually pretty decent) meals, so I don't complain too much. Even though I eat only about a quarter of what he makes.

So right now, I'll settle for some soup and a hot dog. With Saurkraut. [Homer Voice]MMMmmmm... Saurkraut... *drool*[/Homer Voice]

Posted by Ellen at 06:42 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
November 22, 2002
9 Weeks

Today is the official 9 week marker. Yeah ok, more changes. My body has finally decided that I deserve some cleavage (it's not just Scott doing the boob dance out in the front yard either!) Just a little so far, but enough to notice a bounce when I go down the steps at home or work (weird huh?) Ok, I know, I am weird to announce that I have boobs, but you see if you have never started off with much and all of a sudden they are there you can't help yourself but to show it off!

My low rider jeans are getting uncomfortable. My ass is obviously getting bigger, not much, but the work out to get pants on is much longer now. I have graduated to a 45 minute aerobic workout vs the 30 minute one.

According to the book, my waist line is starting to thicken. No shit. I thought it was just all the damn junk food I was eating. I FINALLY got my semi-chocolate taste back via Klondike Bars (*drool*). Am I going to cut out chocolate? FUCK NO! Soda? NOPE. I just follow my daily allowance on it and don't go further. Why make myself miserable for 9 months telling myself I can't have something?

Next week will be exciting for us. Only 5 days to go and we hopefully get to see or hear a heartbeat the day before Thanksgiving.

Posted by Ellen at 05:27 PM | Comments (3) | eMail this entry!
November 14, 2002
8 Weeks

As of midnight tonight, the small bundle of cells that have put me on the wagon and made me crave onion rings and raw cranberrys, finally becomes a fetus. *POOF!* Just like that. It magically turns at its 8th week. (Magic?, I thought this was science)

According to the book I am reading it's about 8mm long, or 3/4 of an inch. It has body parts, a beating heart and it's starting to grow some eyelids (sounds like a chia-pet crossed with a tadpole). It has also begun to move. Won't feel that till the 4th month, and I may be lucky NOT to confuse it with other bodily functions when they really start.

Morning sickness, yep it's happening, and it's no longer just feeling queasy. I have to fight and yell at the cats to get their head out of the toilet so I won't puke on them. "Dammit!! Goblin! I need the toilet! Mommy needs to yak her shoes!" Cat looks up at me like "WHAT!? I was taking a drink, get out of the damned way!"

Scott still does not get that I am not sleeping simply because I am tired, but because my body is shutting down to grow that chia-baby as efficiently as it can. So usually by 8:30 I am in bed, while he is downstairs going " I'm lonely!! Come watch TV!" "NO! You come up here! I'm laying down dammit!" ZZZZZzzzzz....

This is when Scott discovers that he can watch all of his tivo-ed shows that I hate, while I'm watching the Discovery Channel and other odd shows the fifteen freaking seconds it takes before I start to sleep after I turn on the tv. You have to remember what a complete nerd I am about this stuff. I want to know the sexual habits of the spider crab! And yet the jelly bean prevents this, and so many other things.

For instance, I have learned the joys... oh, the joys... of non-alcoholic beer. All the bitterness, none of the buzz. All those guys who say they're drinking beer because of the taste? They're full of shit. Beer without alcohol tastes like skunk. I know there's some chemical scientist out there who spent his whole career figuring out some gabillion dollar technique to make non-alcoholic beer palatable, but as far as this yankee is concerned, if it doesn't buzz it's just not worth it.

But I do get donuts. [Homer voice] Ooohh... Dooonuts.... *drool* [/homer voice]. We're talking chocolate covered Entenmann's donuts baby! A full box of dark chocolate, deep-fat fried goodness. I am pregnant woman, hear me snack! Plus, I get to take as many breaks as I like. Client being a pain in the ass? "OH!" I say in a very dramatic fashion, "I'm feeling" (you gotta see me get all Scarlett, mama would be so proud) "fah-haint..." and damned if three of them don't take that client off my hands.

8 weeks in, 32 to go. Scott keeps saying "where's the goddamned boobie fairy?!? We Want Boobies... We Want Boobies..."


Posted by Ellen at 07:21 PM | Comments (5) | eMail this entry!
November 09, 2002
7th Week Woes

I started my 7th week as of yesterday. According to my on-line baby calender, the cellular bundle they call a fetus/embryo is the size of a small raspberry. It also stated I still won't be seeing any physical signs of a pregnancy yet. Yeah right! Obviously they are not a size 5/6! At the smallest sign of having to pee (before I got pregnant) my bladder protruded from my abdomen. And after a large meal, I had a distended stomach that was painful to look at.

This is where trying on pants is a bad thing. Thank the Gods I saved my pants when I was a 7 a few years back. Jumping up and down attempting to yank a pair of pants over your hips then laying on the bed, sucking in all of your air and attempting to button your pants results in a small aerobic workout.

So I purchased my first pair of maternity pants last week for work. Low riders. Got to be stylish. BUT, when I went to the store, they had to go in the back and get a pair of pants for me. Apparently, since the average American woman is not a size 6, they really don't keep that many on the shelf I am told by the saleswoman. But, she says not to worry, I am allowed to walk into A Pea In the Pod or Mimi Maternity and get a pair of pants that will make me comfortable and yet 'grow' into them.

Changes? Body changes, they are happening. I have cellulite showing again. I worked so hard to get rid of the jiggle, and now even though I am still very tight, the backs of my thighs and ass are starting to rebel against me. So there I am slapping on lotions with vitamin E, and collagen and other anti-stretch mark goodnesses in them. Scott keeps asking me when the magic boobs are going to show up. I dunno, one day I suppose.

Hormoes are evil evil things. I cry at Geico commercials, and silly cat litter ads. Scott still thinks I am just plain evil at all times and have not changed a bit. BUT crying at a Geico commercial (not just tearing up, full blown BOO-HOO's) is a funny thing to him.

Having to remain sober at all times sucks ass in the worst way. We had guests over last night for dinner and a movie (Demon Wurkz). Alcohol was involved. Scott bought me 'near beer' O'Doules so I would not feel left out. I did. Nasty, nasty stuff. It tasted like Budweiser. Mind you this is coming from a girl who is very passionate about Guiness. From drinking road tar to dog piss is a big difference to me.

I will have to say that Scott bought a very special bottle of wine last night and I had some. *GASP!!* Yeah, I did. I had it in this small ass glass that resembles a liquor shot glass with a stem on it. So Good!! Still I felt special. Do I feel I hurt my little raspeberry in anyway with that? Nope.

Sleep is an essential thing. Except when you find you are sleeping an entire day away because you are so tired you can't remain awake. Exercising is hard. I've attempted a yoga tape, I fell asleep on the floor only to wake up mid tape. There is no energy. My form of exercise now is going up and down the steps in my house and at work.

7 weeks in, 33 to go.

Posted by Ellen at 09:53 AM | Comments (12) | eMail this entry!
November 03, 2002
Crib Notes

Scott and I are college graduates, smart college graduates. What we did not realize is that a college degree DOES NOT prepare you for simple things in life. Like shopping for a baby. Well not shopping, but browsing.

So today Mama had the idea of going to Burlington Coat Factory to look at the baby section. This store is huge. We're talking back-wall-recedes-into-the-mist huge, and the area for the baby stuff can keep you occupied for hours. We thought we would get some ideas for the baby room.

So there we were in the store, jaws dragging the ground. SO MUCH STUFF! Where do we start? Over there near furniture? Or do we go up and down each aisle to just see what we are in for? Both of us had this look of fear in our eyes just going down the aisle for grooming accessories for a baby. How many different brushes do you need for something that's normally mostly bald? And the safety items! What, do little kids spend all their free time grabbing boiling pots and licking electrical outlets? The thing that was designed to keep them out of a VCR looked like it belonged on the back door of a chimpanzee enclosure!

Mama suggested we look at cribs, just to get an idea of what we want. (When do you buy the crib?? I still have to paint the damn room!) There were at least 15 cribs to look at. (I know at Babies R Us there is a whole area of just cribs. At least 50 to look at)

So this is where it all gets complicated. Scott and I could not figure out how to slide the crib bars up and down.

Now, I must point out again that, on paper, we would generally be considered at least somewhat above average in the smarts department. Yet we stood there, struggling for 10 minutes just trying to get the goddamned bars to go down. At first we jiggled them, then rattled them, then, as it became increasingly obvious to us that these things were designed by NASA engineers in their spare time, a few really desperate yanks. Moms were protecting their children and walking away quickly when we finally managed to drop the first gate. We're talking NFL dance baby!

Of course, then we spent another 10 minutes trying to get them up. The store clerk, who was giving us this "great, another set fell off the turnip truck" look, came up to us and demonstrated with total ease how the bars actually worked.

Apparently we must be suffering from DIPS (dumbness induced pregnancy syndrome) 'cause we had no idea where to start, what to look at ect... Like I said so much stuff to look at and make decisions over.

The clothing alone for babies in this store had my head spinning. I so wanted to buy some cute outfits, but Scott said NO because I will jinx myself and wind up with the exact opposite for what I am buying for. Then we lost Mama in the jacket aisle! This is not good. She may moan and groan and take five minutes coming up the steps in our house, but put a shopping cart in front of her and a three hundred acre outlet store at her feet and suddenly she's smoking past the Road Runner. After a long period of desperate searching, we finally found her. She was using someone else's little kid... a complete stranger's little kid, to try jackets on for her to see what our nephew James would fit in. When we rounded the corner she was busy stuffing his tiny arm into a jacket... he gave us this look like "would you please do something with this woman?!?"

Needless to say, that was the ONLY baby store we have looked at so far. Many more to go. I even had to buy my first pair of khaki maternity pants today when I found out that my normal pants for work will not button anymore.

Only 6 weeks along, 34 to go. What a rollercoaster ride.

Posted by Ellen at 04:53 PM | Comments (14) | eMail this entry!
October 30, 2002
5 Weeks

I went to the doctor's office last week and found out that I am 5 weeks pregnant. "5 weeks???", I'm thinking. (so I look down at my piece of paper to see all the dates I have been keeping track of.. yes, I got obsessive). "Um..are you sure I'm 5 weeks?"

"Of course", the nurse says as she spins this little dial and tracks out the baby's due date. "You are due on June 27th". Me- "Um..ok". (How the hell they track the due date from the last date of your period is odd! They even turned down all the dates I wrote down that I KNOW I had sex on.) What does not come out right is that the due date is really the 35th week!?? Isn't pregnancy 40 weeks? Are they counting the 2 week left or right shift?? I don't know. It's all confusing.

"By the way, we need you to take all of your clothes off and put on this paper gown so the midwife can examine you". Great... Nice cold room, only covered in paper. I feel very vulnerable and stupid at the same time. Those gowns NEVER cover you all over. May I mention that it is a 2 piece gown? This silly makeshift top that MUST open in the front, and some dorky ass 2 foot piece of a paper blanket to cover your crotch.

So I meet a midwife who proceeds to tell me that I will meet a total of 7 different midwives and doctors at the practice. I get a midwife and doctor at the birth. Apparently the doctor just hangs out in the back unless something happens that they need to step in to help with. Me- "Um..ok". I've never done this before so I can't complain.

After having an internal exam AGAIN for the year, and basically felt up all over, I get to get dressed and go pee in a cup. First I'm peeing on sticks, and now in cups. YAY! Peeing in a cup is just as fun as peeing on a stick, just so you know. Especially if you want your hands to remain clean. And when they say they want a urine sample, they want a large amount. So you must make sure you are drinking water to the point you have to pee really bad by the time you get to the doctor's office. Peeing never felt so good after that one.

I was sent home with a slew of prenatal vitamins to try out and next visit I have to tell them what brand I want for a prescription. Choices, choices. Yeah, they have vitamins so you don't get hemmeriods (hemmeroids!!???) or constipation ( god knows we don't want that). Vitamins that I can't get the package open to them cause they are sealed too damn tight.

Then they tell me, I must have bloodwork done. Shit. I hate having blood done. ( I draw blood on cats all day, and I can't get mine done- YES, I am chicken shit when it comes to blood)

I get very nervous. Scott came with me for that at some outpatient lab. Of course I carried on, and got so nervous that all of my veins would disapear everytime I got even more upset. I will say this. The guy that drew my blood [Brian] was the nicest person. 22 years of phlembotomy experience. So no bruise for me.

So next visit Scott gets to come along. We get to hear the heartbeat and to finally make this all seem real. Maybe he won't be as freaked out then. *wink*

Posted by Ellen at 03:32 PM | Comments (15) | eMail this entry!