Tuesday, September 29, 2009

This 'N That

Oddly, it's been busy-busy-busy, with little that's news-worthy. The feedings have been getting more sparse, but I understand that that's a total ebb & flow thing. We've learned why the hospital & Board of Health push so hard to get new parents to breast-feed: it can be a royal pain in the ass! It's gotten better, but like everything else we've learned from all these medical appointments, you can get 7 opinions from 5 professionals! It took 4 or 5 lactation consultants to get all the puzzle-pieces we needed to figure out this procedure. But things are flowing nicely now; it's almost time to realize my dream of shooting the cats! (with milk – no cats were harmed in the making of this Blog post, though we imagine that they'll be quite startled.)

We finally got Callie out to work to introduce her around. We mostly heard “Look at all the hair!” and “She's so little!” Now, I figured out years ago that I should never describe a baby, even the newest of newborns, as 'small.' I'm never gonna experience that part of birth, but I've seen where they come from, and I can't imagine squeezing even a 5-pound people through...there. And any woman who delivers a child larger than 9 pounds should get her picture on the front of the paper. Just 'cause it's not uncommon, doesn't mean it's not remarkable!

Speaking of work, I've got to go back tomorrow. Damn. I'll tell ya, this week ½ off just flew by, and we're almost settled into our household rhythms. That was you cue to laugh at my ignorance. I'm sure that as soon as we've gotten a pattern, our little angel will throw a wrench into them.

Have I mentioned the local Baby Boutique? One crazy thing I saw there was their CDs. I forget the brand name, but they had albums of Baby Beatles, Baby Rolling Stones (including Fool To Cry – cute – and Satisfaction – really?), and Baby Pink Floyd. With this in mind, I introduced Callie to Baby Cyprus Hill, making the age-appropriate changes to “mother-lovin' hits from the breast!” (if you're not familiar with CH, the original was “Hits From The Bong”)

Saturday, September 26, 2009

Photos At Last!

Here, at last are the pictures from the Birth! Callie & me,
The obligatory Callie & Pooh (I think it was in the hospital contract Fine Print that we couldn't use their facilities unless we had no less that 5 items of Pooh paraphenalia

Our Fresh Family! Exhaustion, Vernix, and all!

Day 5: Lullabys & Grease

So where are we at so far? I speak of sleep the same way that immigrants speak of their Motherlands. I'm not quite ready for diaper-changing Olympics, but I show promise. I'm beginning to recognize free moments as precious, and will throw in some laundry when relatives visit. Disappear to the computer when a friend's over (Thanks Michelle!). Wash a few dishes while waiting for the kettle to whistle. And when I'm running errands, I'll think of a little face that's only known air for a few days, and smile to myself.

Remember the Simpson's episode when Homer takes all of Maggie's pictures to arrange on a sign in his office to make it read: “Do It For Her”? I get it

A development that I didn't see coming is a dish-washing station in the upstairs bathroom, close to the nursery where we use the breast-pump that has to be cleaned about 8x a day.

Every now and then, Andrea & I will look at each other and say “Look what we made!” This has really brought the best in her; she's simply glowing! This is great, because if she wasn't in good spirits, I wouldn't be able to do anything to make her laugh. I mean, I'm quite capable of tickling her funny bone, but she has stitches that pull dangerously when she laughs.

This has proved to be problematic with diaper contents. There have been instances that have brought the best (?) in my juvenile humor. Like yesterday, after an unsettling lack of poop for almost 24 hours, my little girl exploded. Or rather, a ½ cup of fudge brownie batter with way too much egg spattered into Callie's Pampers. And she wasn't done! As I was on damage control, her little sphincter kept weeping pudding.

Then there was today; we got the chocolate mustard, with traces of stringy pumpkin innards. Yes, our delicate angel is leaking toxicity.

On a slightly cleaner note, I've taken on the role of the resident entertainment director. I do much of the singing to Callie, and it's probably good that she doesn't know Language yet. She does, however, respond well to Rage Against The Machine. It makes sense: she's been a persons middle for 37 weeks, so what's going to be more familiar; the sweet chimes of “lullaby-y-y-y, and goodni-i-i-ite...” or my growly percussive selections? I think we know what sounds more like abdominal contents. Your Honors, I rest my case.

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Baby's Home!

My apologies for having been a little slack in my Blogging, but, you know....

We didn't get home until yesterday, as Dr M wanted to keep them for 24 hours, which took us to 1:51 Weds morning. Nothing to worry about, just a precaution. Callie did, however, look a little jaundiced. Funny, I'd barely heard about jaundice until we were about to have Callie, then it came up several times. So when I heard that she was being tested, I was like, “Yeah, that's not unheard-of.” Turned out that her levels weren't too elavated, so they got the green-light to go home. No one was happier than Andrea, just being damn sick of hospital, hospital food, sharing a room with another new mother who's child was on a different feeding schedule. It was literally like, as soon as one newborn finished & settled, the other would think,”Grub? That sounds like a fantastic idea!”

So Andrea's glad to be home, as much as she's glad to be out of there. It's her turf, you know, all our stuff handy, and going on our own schedule.... OK, that's a gross exaggeration. I think we all know who's writing the itinerary in this house. She's getting fed every three hours, and, swear to God, it takes an hour to go through the whole process! Start with a diaper change (still tarry. Glad I heard all about Miconium, or this would have been very unsettling!), 10-15 mins on each ta-ta (much of this time is spent keeping her awake), then augment with a little cup feeding, clean her up, re-wrap, and clean up what I can while Mom pumps to stimulate production. I still like to hang around for this, because Mom nearly fell asleep once, and should this happen when no one's around, the consequences would be dire!

For middle-of-the-night feedings, we both got up. The way I see it, she did all the hard part, so missing a little sleep is the very least I can do! Not that I'm picking-and-choosing my duties, we're balancing it out pretty well. I'm taking on as much as I can, 'cause my wife most certainly deserves the Royal Treatment, and I'm just smitten with our new Little Princess!

And I'm not the only one! Kuma has been just precious with her too! If she makes a noise, he'll go over for a sniff to make sure that all is well. He'll sleep close by, and stay close for feedings, being careful not to be under-foot. He's been very gracious with the sleeping arrangements as well; Callie needs to be nestled on a shoulder, (we take turns) and Kuma will find another corner of the bed to curl-up on. To call this 'gracious' seems a little sarcastic, but really, that was his spot first. We were worried that he'd be jealous, but he's come into the Big Brother role just as easily as can be!

The cat's, on the other hand, want nothing to do with her. I'm OK with that, as long as they don't curl-up on her while she's sleeping!

Thank you all for the comments! Apparently, the we;;-wishing did the trick, and all this has been great! Wonderful enough that we may do it again!

Monday, September 21, 2009

It's A Girl!

WE DID IT! I can't believe it. No, really; I got up at 9:30 this morning after a 4-hour nap, and wondered if it really happened! I've had so many dreams about this happening, you really can't blame me.

But I've ignored the premier rule of writing: En Media Res, “in the middle of the action.” At 1:51 this morning (Sept 21), Callista Marie Burke joined us in this cold, bright world. That's right, after all of those 'Girl' dreams, lo and behold, we've been brewing a little lady!
And what can I say that hasn't been said a thousand times before? Describing a “Little Miracle” “Awed and Humbled” “Love at First Sight.”

They're cliche's because they're true.

Let me take it from the top. We got up yesterday (the 20'th), and arrived at the hospital at 7:30, bearing gifts of coffee & muffins. Andrea's mom is a retired nurse, so we got the inside-scoop on how to properly suck-up. We were a little slow to get the ball rolling, as there were more urgent cases. By 9:30, our Dr. applied the Hormone Jelly to get the cervix dilating. Then, by about 3:00 (I think. I journaled as we went, so I have the times, but my details are beyond reach at the moment.), he was able to break the water (Andrea called this part the most painful part of the delivery!).

After this, we waited. And waited, and waited some more. By 6:30, she'd dilated about 1cm. By 8:30, we at 2cm; it seemed to be going painfully slow. Painfully in the psychological sense, Andrea had had an epidural. I had to give my folks a call to tell them to hunker-down for the night, because this wasn't happening anytime soon. Now, they had wanted to come shortly after Church, but we convinced them to wait for the 8cm mark, so they wouldn't be waiting around the cafeteria for hours on end.

At 12:15AM, Andrea was 7cm dilated, meaning that she was close. My gut had been telling me
'Between 10 and 2AM,' but my mind had resigned to 'Between 12 and 4.' The lesson being: Go With The Gut.

From about 3PM 'till 11, we had a great nurse monitoring us, but the girl who relieved her was a bit of a twit. Overall, the nursing staff in the Pediatrics Ward of Barrie's Royal Victoria Hospital was great! Top Notch, and wonderful to work with. However, the nurse who was assigned to monitor Andrea's progression was the exception. She couldn't have been older than 24, and she acted as though she had been the top of her class at university, and expected the veteran nurses (and patients) to treat her with her due reverence. When it came time for me to return my Obstetrics Pass, she really said “Ta” to me. Really. I wanted to back-hand the precocious brat! I said “I'm thirty-five.” She said “Pardon?” “I'm thirty-five, you don't need to say 'Ta'” “Oh, it means 'Thank-you',” as though that justified speaking to me as though I was 2. I'm a little fuzzy on how it went from there, as I'd been in High-Functioning mode for more than 20 hours at that point.

Point being, at 12:15, she checked, and Andrea was 7cm dilated; massive progress! Twit-Nurse figured she should check again at 2:15. At 1:15, Andrea determined that she couldn't Breathe-Control her way through any more contractions; that her abdomen would push, whether she wanted to or not. Fortunately, one of RVH's finest had relieved Twit Chick for a break, and determined that labor was well-underway. This was at 1:15, and the doctor was promptly called, as were my parents. The DR arrived just in time for delivery, and my folks arrived shortly after delivery.

At this point, I'd like to stress just how easy the actual labor was. If you've had a child, or have had a wife who's had a child, or have had a relative who's had a child, you'll be tempted to think I'm full of shit. However, this is the God's Honest Truth; Andrea was actually pushing for less than 40 minutes. For a first child, this is virtually unheard-of.

She pushed, and I saw something like a black fingernail. For two more pushes, that's all I saw, then on the next, the black spot was the size of a a thumb. Two pushes later, what I saw was the size of 2 1/2 fingers. Soon, I saw a hair line. Dr M had to slow her down, because she was ripping, and needed an episiotomy.(sp?). That, I was unable to watch; I resumed my keep-a-cold-cloth-on-her-forehead duties with a new vigor. All the while. I was keeping Andrea appraised of what I saw of the delivery. It was no-time before I saw a hair-line. Then I saw an ear, and thought, “Holy Shit, this is a real people here!” Truly, it would be more believable and awe-inspiring to present a more painful story, but that's how it happened.

I'll probably want to give ya'll the forgotten details later, but for now, I'm just pooped, so I'll send all my love to all y'all, and say good night!

Now, if you'll excuse me, I've got some cactus to plant around the house.

Saturday, September 19, 2009

One More Sleep! (Who am I kidding?)

So, tomorrow's the Big Day! Or possibly, the day after. But tomorrow, for sure, it's starting. I really want to thank you all for all of the love & support you've shown! Though we've never really met, it's great to get all that good-will, especially going into this pretty blindly. I mean, I honestly can't remember the last time I even held a baby (I was at the other end of the country when my 2 nieces were infants).

When we dropped the dog off at our friends, it started to hit home just what we were in for. Andrea & I have been alternating between zen-like peacefulness, and stomach-dropping anxiety. We went out to dinner at her favorite restaurant, Nino's, (great authentic Italian, and the place of her Daddy-Daughter dates when she was young), then went to see The Informant (Matt Damon. Great movie. I usually prefer big visual spectacle when I go the Big Screen, but we agreed that this looked like some nice light entertainment.) In a nutshell, just enjoying our last chance to get out without arranging for a sitter, then worrying that said sitter isn't going through our drawers, then having some punk-ass boyfriend over that her parents don't approve of to do unspeakable things on our couch!

Yesterday was my last shift, and they passed the hat, and put together a great care package for us; diapers, wipes, diaper bag, ear thermometer (a truly great innovation. Truly.) couple onesies, really a fabulous gesture! I can't wait to bring the little gaffer in to show off!

So there it is. We're gonna try and get some sleep now (fat chance!), and I'll keep you posted as soon as I'm able. After this, it'll be all about sleep deprivation and poop, or so I've been told.

PS Earlier this week, I realized that my Blog's acronym is FAOCT. That's right, my internet presence is FAOCT

Friday, September 18, 2009

My First Award!

If you've read the Comments on my posts, you'll have seen that Candance at Crazy Texas mommy has nominated me for the Honest Scrap award! Holy Poop-On-A-Stick, I was stunned! The award goes to Bloggers who just give it to you straight, and write from the heart. Now if you've ever been to CTM, you'll know that having Candance say that you're straight-up, entertaining, and Real is a lot like having a Biker call you a Bad-Ass! If you haven't been to CTM, get yer ass over there! Post Haste! Tout de Suite! Immediately! I'll wait...

So, here's how it works: First, I nominate seven Blogs that I think are written from the heart, then I list ten open & honest things about myself. It's kinda easy, cause I haven't been doing this for long, so I'm not regurgitating some same-old-same-old, but there's gotta be some boundaries. Like, “boxers or briefs.” Unless you're offering to do my laundry, none of your bees wax! Actually, having not Blogged for very long, the nominations are a little harder. I haven't been around much, but I'll list a few that I've really been enjoying. Since Crazy Texas Mommy has already been mentioned, I'll have to give Candance an Honorable Mention.

I'll have to put up the addresses the old fashioned way, because I can't seen to get the highlight-link to work,

If you like CTM, you'll probably also like Adam at Throwing Quarters.http://www.throwingquarters.com/2009/09/this-is-how-it-has-been-last-few.html He's a tech-junky, proud Clevelander, and a father of two beautiful girls, the most recent arriving just last week, 09-09-09; cool, eh? He's also got a bitchin' Podcast, featuring a wide variety of music, and other stuff. Dial yourself in!

The next would have to be “Mighty” Mur Lafferty at I Should Be Writing. http://isbw.murlafferty.com/She hosts my favorite writing Podcast, and her Blog is often the written version of it. She's got one book published, and has been very forthright about all the shit she's wallowed in before & after, and if, like many bloggers, you fancy yourself a Writer, it's just a great mirror!

Another great Daddy Blog is Daddy Scratches. http://daddyscratches.com/Jon seems to be a great example of a Family Man, and posts some great pix! It can be a pretty graphic picture of High Hopes messily colliding with reality.

For my philosophy fix, I like Jerry at Daydreamer. http://headintheclouds.wordpress.com/2009/09/15/favorite-jackie-chan-fight-scene/Granted, a lot of it is videos he likes, but he also has a lot of Musings if you look through the history. Of course, the video's are pretty cool!

Next, I've got to mention Jennifer at MoreFutility. http://morefutility.blogspot.com/2009/09/exercise-is-for-masochistic-zealots.htmlThis is another parenting Blog I like, and it seems that she's been doing this as long as I have. She's got a great writing style, and I had to give her shit once, 'cause I read a good bit with a mouth-full of coffee. My cat smells great, but has yet to forgive me.

One More: Scribbling in San Antonio. http://www.scribblinginsanantonio.com/2009/09/icky-poo-poo.htmlI think I've got a soft spot for Texans, 'cause they keep popping up. I found this Blog through CTM, and it's one I really enjoy!

Now for the ten really honest facts:

1. I think it's rude to call someone by their first-name, just because they're wearing a name-tag. I've heard that Dale Carnegie (How To Win Friends & Influence People) wrote that people like to hear their own names, but that was long before telemarketers! Of course, I've asked other name-tag-wearers, and some agree, but some are OK with it, but it drives me batshit! 2. I usually like to wait before I drop this one, but I went through several years of a Bible-Thumper phase. What can I say; I wasn't popular in high school, and found acceptance. Plus, I'm spiritually inclined & a white North American, so I must be Christian, right? It made perfect sense when I was sixteen. Presently, I'm not identifying with any group/sect, but I enjoy Buddhist, Hindu/Yoga, or Qabala writings.
3. I'm a total nerd. Psychology, philosophy, FUN STUFF!
4. I'm a total nerd. I've seen Star Wars enough to play the 'Star Wars Pants Game!' It goes like this: you take a line from the movies and change one word to “pants.” Such as, “I find your lack of pants disturbing.” “I'm altering the pants, pray I don't alter them further.” “Queen Amidala! Your tragedy on the landing platform; Terrible! Seeing you alive brings warm feelings to my pants.” Star Trek too: LONG LIVE PICARD!
5. Without Spell-Check, you'd never know I was raised in an English-speaking country! My spelling is really quite pathetic!
6. Speaking of pathetic, I honestly believe that you have to be as cool as Jack Nicholson if you want to wear your sunglasses inside, or on cloudy days.
7. I'll often refer to my dad here (“Papa”), who is in fact my step-dad. In practice, he's my dad. I use his last name, my first son will have his first names, and he was my Best Man at my wedding. I've recently gotten back in touch with my birth-father, and we had a great visit last summer! I'd like to be in more contact with him, but he's a truck driver, and otherwise unavailable. A real Cat's-In-The-Cradle story.
8. I'm a real Mystery School buff; Freemasons, Templars, Golden Dawn, all that shit. I'm not sure if I'd get initiated into one though, the politics can be just awful!
9. I played bass in two bands in my 20's. One rock, and one metal. The rock band was with my best friend on vocals, and many rotating guitarists & drummers. He'll say we were in six bands, but I think that's like resume-fattening. It's the metal band I miss, some of the coolest guys you'd ever want to meet!
10. Hmmm, one more, eh? I'm writing a book. Well, either a book or a trilogy. If I want to publish it as a trilogy, though, I'll have to wait until all three are almost finished, 'cause waiting for additions to a series can be a royal pain in the ass!

So there you have it, my longest post ever! Hope you didn't get bored & tune out. Talk to y'all soon!

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Three More Sleeps!

OK, it's been far too long. Here's the deal; firstly, Candance at Crazy Texas Mommy nominated me for an award, so I've been working on my response, which entails further nominations, and some personal revelations. That's taken awhile, but I promise, it's coming.

Secondly, nesting instinct is in full swing. THREE SLEEPS LEFT! I spent my morning cleaning the bathrooms (I've taken that one on since Andrea's been breathing for two), vacuuming, then cleaning some grisly sludge from under the pet food stand. Any parenting book will say that it's time for dad to step up, and pull a little more domestic weight, and honey, step up, I did! I mean, I did chores before, but since I heard the term “Chore Play,” I've really brought my A-Game.

Yesterday at work, a friend asked how I was doing, and honestly, I've kinda settled into the waiting space. I guess I've spent-out my anxiety, for now, and I'm getting a little tired of having the same conversation with co-workers. “Yes, we're excited...” “We're as ready as we can be...” yadda, yadda. Then this friend said, “Dude, you're gonna be a mess! You're gonna be crying out your nose!” Even typing it, I'm laughing; he painted quite a picture!

Well, there it is. Wish I had more time, but I've got to get ready for work. yippee. Just wanted to let y'all know I was thinking of you! (Please pardon the Hallmark moment)

Monday, September 14, 2009

Beware the Loving Nuicance!

Been away for a few days; it's hard to get to blogging on the weekends, since my shifts start earlier, and by the time I get home, I'm either dog-tired, got plans with the missus, or I park my spent-assed carcass on the couch and call it Spending Time With Andrea.

Sunday was spent at my parents (after work – thank you, coffee!) for Mom's birthday, and it was good to have a last mostly-adult visit before the Baby arrives. My folks are of two minds as to when to come to the hospital next week; Pragmatic Papa wants to come after delivery so as not to spend hours-on-end in the cafeteria (there's no family waiting room at the hospital, selfish bastards are devoting space to medical purposes) but Mom wants to be there shortly after the 8-cm dilation point. Considering we have no idea how long this will take, Andrea's suggested that they stay at our house during that time – much more comfortable, and much closer; their house is a 45-min drive away.

Then I read Adam's advice at Throwing Quarters. To summarize, new parents are exhausted, and a house full of well-meaning relatives after birth can wear on already-frayed nerves when all you want is quiet & rest. To be fair, Mom's made it perfectly clear that she's totally available to help in any way, but doesn't want to be a “Mother In-Law” (1950's horror blood-dripping font unavailable, so use your imagination here). I think we'll be fine, but we should put the “No Unannounced Visitors” Stipulation out there, just in case. Perhaps that's how the Three Wise Men got their reputation as such; they knew that Mary & Joseph wouldn't be curt with them if they brought really extravagant gifts!

Oddly, I'm already pretty cranky at work. I mean, I'm fine until one of the customers pulls some 'I-have-near-god-like-infallibility-because-I'm-spending-money-here' bullshit. I would have thought that the nearness of having a child would have put me on Cloud 9, frolicking & singing Sunshine & Lollipops from dawn to dusk. Instead, the slightest provocation, and I'm surly-as-shit, muttering very un-family-friendly things under my breath. I guess the stress is just getting to me, realizing that I finally have to grow up. Or do I...?

I tried to let the Wise Men comment stay as it was, but I just can't. It doesn't say how many Wise Men there were, but it's commonly guessed that there were three, since there were three gifts. Also, Wise men is often translated “Magi,” from which we get Magician, so they were probably astrologers (Well, Duh; following a star) and possibly alchemists. Thanks for letting me nerd-out there for a minute.

Friday, September 11, 2009

Single Digits Now; 9 More Sleeps!

I neglected to mention it, but one of my wife's appointments on Tuesday was an ultrasound. The receptionist was a bit of a twit, so by the time my wife got in, she was a little disgruntled. As a consolation prize, though, the tech let Andrea see the screen (I don't think they're supposed to, cause since their not doctors, they can't answer when someone says “What the hell is THAT!” Truthfully, I'm sure they know, but their lawyers don't give 'em enough credit, so they only allow doctors to comment on any weirdness). So we found out our little bundle of joy has very chubby cheeks, and a bit of an attitude; (s)he was sticking their tongue out! Take THAT, medical establishment!

She's getting to that funny phase now; after a Dr's appointment, she says "Isn't this going really fast? Don't you wish we could hop off the ride for a little while?" Then when we're tucked-in & trying to get comfortable, she's saying "I'm pretty fucking sick of this, and I'm ready to get this baby out of me now!" I can totally understand both, but it's kinda funny to hear both in the same day.

Could it be considered a Milestone when you get your first Dr Seuss books for your children? 'Cause yesterday, we were in the for-sale section of the Library, when I said “Oh Yeah! Dr Mother Fuckin' Seuss Fuck YEAH!” I think you'd agree that a childhood without Dr Seuss is somewhat lacking. “And for the price of a cup of coffee a day...”

Speaking of charities, the local college kids were on every street corner today, for some cause or another. “Shine-O-Rama.” or some such cleverness, washing car windows for donations. So, what genius came up with this brain-storm? “OK, Think Tank time, people!, Now, what would a homeless person do?”

So, I'm still having a blast with this, and I've gotta say, I love the sense of community! We're celebrating the birth of Addison G in Cleveland yesterday (9-9-09 – Sweet!) on her dad's birthday, no less! Then someone in Texas needs help with something confusing in a cookbook (We've all been there!), and gets her answer, the same woman taught me to link with highlights! SUPERCOOL! It doesn't replace flesh & blood community, but it sure enhances is! I'll tell ya, I've got a lot more interesting things to talk about since I started this! Whatever did our ancestors do? Church, and the marketplace, methinks. So, it's like Church, without the threat of unpleasant afterlife, or fear of outsiders.

Wednesday, September 9, 2009

White Lie Gone Horibly Wrong

Early on, when Andra & I started dating, we had some friends over for a BBQ. When my Papa stopped by to take a look at her car, we forgot about our sausages on the grill. After he'd diagnosed her car trouble, dinner was a little over-done. It gave her the opportunity to introduce me to the phrase “Drier than a popcorn fart.” I'm still not sure exactly what it means, but it strikes my juvenile funny-bone every time. Of coarse, I was fine with it, being somewhere between New Love Sunshine and Thank God I Didn't Have To Cook.

Kitchen-wise, I've come a long way, but she never forgot my blind tact. The current relevance comes from the fact that she's not as large as some of the other pregnant women we've seen. I was actually expecting the opposite, since she's not a tall woman, 5'1 or 5'2, so I thought she'd wear a pregnancy like a tether ball on a windless day. I mean, she's obviously pregnant, but we've seen women who look like they're smuggling large turkeys! I'm pretty sure she believes me when I say she's not showing as much as these new mothers, but not easily!

Yesterday was a marathon-appointment day: three, plus a class. By the end, we were past cranky, to delirious, meaning that we could sit in a hospital entrance, trying not to giggle at some of the people we'd seen. One woman, who was waiting for a blood test to see if she was to induce tomorrow, was huge! Andrea said, “Why induce? Just stick a pin in her!” I hadn't composed myself before she said “I felt like putting on a bikini.”

There was another who told the nurse she was having “Bladder Contractions.” (?) When asked for a pee sample, she said “Not a chance, I can barely get a few drops at a time.” Well, I wondered, what was that racket from the washroom about ten minutes previous? Were ya puking through a straw? Sweety, she's a nurse, not your parole officer.

Monday, September 7, 2009

Mat Leave Is Not Vacation

I sat down last night to write, and here's how it started:
“Alright, it's about 8:30 on Sunday night, and I need another post to meet my four-a-week goal. I know, sounds promising, eh?: Intro to Filler.”
And filler it was, a bunch of unfocused rambling. So I decided to back-burner it and see if I could save it from itself.

On Friday (09/04), my wife began her Maternity Leave, Damned exciting! It was the night of the full moon too! If you're not into the Esotoric, the full moon represents just what it looks like: a belly full of new life (or 'fertility' in the general sense) I'm not off until the day before inducing, so on that day, we're looking for stuff to do to enjoy our last day of unencumberedness. (Shakespeare made up words too!) We're thinking of dinner & movie, perhaps we'll see of we're as bold as Adam at Throwing Quarters and try sneaking in! Maybe take the dog up to our friend's RV park for a swim; Nothing like sharing a car with wet dog & a pregnant woman's Super-Sniffer!

Andrea was worried that she'd be bored, with three weeks off before labor. Then we lost a week, and Bored simply isn't on the schedule! There's the last of the Nesting, and cooking. Clever girl that she is, she spent much of yesterday cooking, and filling the freezer so when we come home with Baby Burke, she won't have to worry about dinners. But, ambitious girl that she is, she was sure she could make a weeks worth of dinners on a Sunday afternoon. I got home from work about 4:45, and she was absolutely spent, and yet, still going! It was remarkable, and a little frightening! I said 'Is there anything I can do?' She said 'Yeah, make dinner!' No problem, she had enough 'sides' left over from her marathon, I just had to defrost & BBQ, and finish what she was doing with Freezer Shepherd's Pie. (In two weeks, we'll eat like royalty!)

Point being, she's tickled pink to be off work now, but I'll bet she misses it, maybe shortly after the commute looks less treacherous; in about seven months!

I'd like to welcome my buddy Ben, the Concious Ignorance poster. He's a philosophy student I know from work, and a damn pleasure to talk to! He's certainly not like other philosophy students I've known, as in he's not all up-his-own-ass with how clever he is. We got to talking about dream interpretation today, and he argued that it's too subjective, and if the interpreter's not the dreamer, then they're too likely to project their own thoughts & perceptions onto the dream. But he concluded that “Interpreting dreams gets you thinking, and anything that gets you thinking is good.” Amen Brother!

Friday, September 4, 2009

Sixteen More Sleeps!

Boy-Howdy, is it ever getting close now! The day of my last post, I seemed to have worked myself into such a tizzy that a few friends thought I was over-reacting. Well, quite possibly, or maybe I'm just a little more verbal with my anxieties than many men. It really ebbs & flows for me, but I find the fear to be more fun to write about, and more necessary to purge. It's easier to be funny when ranting, than when I'm all aglow with optimism, but truth be told, I can't wait to hear what his/her first word will be, then denying that she/he learned her fourth words from me. (If it's “dumb/jack ass,” the smart money's on mom, but if it's “Ph'khol,” it came from dad.) I can't wait to take my offspring to work to show off, I'm looking forward to seeing my parents faces when I announce “It's a......” Telling the kids “I will turn this car around!” (And I will, I have a strong aversion to empty threats.) Telling them that I bought them from the Circus. Telling them that the Tooth Fairy uses their teeth to make toilets (my folks had me staring at the toilet trying to find the lines between one tooth and the next, until they told me that they were melted down first.) Watching the dog look to me for help when his ears & tail are being tugged!

Oddly, it's been harder to keep my cool at work. I can't say where that is, since there's a notice in the break room, saying that if they're mentioned, or if the logo's used, they'll crawl up our ass with so much litigation that we'd think we were pregnant with Perry Mason's bad acid trip. Suffice to say, I operate a cash register. As pathetic as that sounds, I'm actually paid pretty well, having been there for 11 years. I'll tell you, 99% of our customers are wonderful & fun to work with. Then there are those who want to get in line, then send family members to finish their shopping. “Oh, just a minute, my husband's coming with one more thing...don't look at me like that!” Then I'm the bad guy for getting impatient with these douche's. I've got to learn better customer service, and they've got to learn to be more considerate, responsible members of Society, reflecting on how their actions affect those pesky abstractions called OTHER PEOPLE. Point being, Being so jangly has brought the nerves closer to the surface, and made me oddly irritable. Anyone relate?

There's another strange affect of an impending child, a craving for mellower music. UHG! I think it started during the birthing class. A radio was on, and some pop-tart was covering Leonard Cohen's “Hallelujah.” I think I first heard The Tea Party cover it in a concert, then I really took notice when the producers of House used it for an outro sequence. Then when I heard it in the birthing class, it hit like a wave; “Damn, that's a beautiful song!” Now, I've always hated it when recording artists released their isn't-life-beautiful-now-that-I-have-a-child albums. Now, here I am, saying “Now, wasn't that a pretty ballad!” Now, the dog & I are staring out the window, waiting for our balls to come home!

“Get that man 500 cc's of Slipknot, STAT!”

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

A Week Lost, and Parenting Class

Yesterday, our pregnancy got a week shorter. We went to see the OB/GYN, and when he called the receptionist to confirm our inducing date, he said “Oh...Oh, really...OK...OK. I'll call you back in a minute.” On his way out to her desk, he quickly explained to us that he'd switched his On-Call days with another Dr. Looking at his altered schedule, he decided that we'd go in to be induced on the 20th – a week sooner than we expected.

Yup, we just shat ourselves.

In four days, we'll see it on our Weather Network's long-range forecast. When looking at the calendar, I was shocked how close it really was, and thought I might be sick. Apparently not; got the dog excited for nothing. But at least our families are excited. We are too, it's just different. We're going in pretty blind, and they're telling us what we're in for. Most of them are teasing us pretty badly, until our faces lose all color. Then they find seats for us, and get more reassuring.

Then, last night, we got to go to our first birthing class. It was at the hospital, so we got there 45 mins early to give us lots of get-lost time. (not an Alzheimer's-friendly lay out) So there we are, the scene where our life will change in 19 short days, reading the free parenting magazines they gave us (Swear to God – there was an article on how dads can use diaper-changing as a bonding experience, though I think this Pampers-produced publication may have a slant), jittery as all hell. I was afraid to say much, because in that state, whatever I said wouldAllComeOutInOneLoudBurstInOneLongWord! And as I've mentioned, I can be a nervous-laugher, and here I am, going into a class heavily-peppered with “Discharge” and “Vagina.” I was fine until the nurse spoke of the mucous plug discharging, and another dad-to-be made a popping noise. Bastard. Think I'll see if he wants to grab a beer sometime. The good news is that she covered, very thoroughly, a lot of what Andrea & I already knew, making it one lo-o-ong two hours, pretty much dissipating our jitters.

They did have the dreaded video. It wasn't as bad as I'd expected, based on something I'd lingered on while channel-surfing; I was curious, until I saw the crowning. “Oh Shit!” I exclaimed, “It looks like her **** is blowing a bubble!” and promptly surfed on. (the **** wasn't the dreaded “C-Word,” but it still wasn't very polite.) This video was a VHS, and looked & sounded like the old reel-to-reel's we watched in school in the 80's and before. The poor baby looked like it was covered in Milk of Magnesia. (a syrupy version of chalk) Only one more class, though, so, worst case scenario, another two hours lost. Maybe I'll bring my novel notes, and we can sit in the back, alternating between that and X's & O's, maybe pass notes like a couple of high-schoolers. (C'mon, Baby, we only have a couple weeks to be childish!)