Sunday, December 31, 2006

Starting a new year ...

Well tomorrow is officially 2007. And the day after that – I return to work. I've got to tell you, I could get used to this whole staying home and getting paid for it thing. Hell, I could get used to just the staying home part. Maybe I should look into freelance work and become Mr. Mom?

Hey – Michael Keaton did it. (And he was able to handle Martin Mull and that sentient vacuum cleaner just fine.)

It's been a great month – and to think everyone at work said I'd be ready to come back after one week. I'm very thankful that I've had this time to sit at home and change dirty diapers under conditions of sleep depravation. I know not all dads have the opportunity to do it.

It's been a great couple of weeks – and I wouldn't trade that experience for the world.

So here's to the new year and all of the new challenges and surprises (and dirty diapers) it will bring. I'm ready for it.

I think.

And if I'm not, I'm sure Rae is.

Friday, December 29, 2006

For the first time ...

... since Kaylee came home, the counter is totally dirty dish free.
Next year I'm buying myself a dishwasher for Christmas.

Must-haves for new dads

There's a lot to learn when you become a new dad. Which end of the diaper goes in front? How do you make her stop screaming? Where does all that poop come from? Why is she sleeping NOW? How do I do that without getting (insert bodily fluid of choice here) all over me? Why is she still hungry? Why? Why? Why!?!

I don't have the answers, but these are just a few of the many, many items I have found that make my life sooo much easier.

The bouncy seat – It is truely a gift from the gods. Strap baby in – set to vibrate and let her scream herself into submission. On a good day it takes all of 30 seconds. The only problem is once she's sleeping here, it's really tough to transfer her to the bed without waking her up. Best to just leave her be.

The bink – No, I don't have any idea where the name comes from. What I do know is that this is the greatest plug ever invented. When it is combined with the bouncy seat, it is truely an awesome force. Please take care not to use it for evil.

The Diaper Genie – It's like those old Roach Motel commercials, Poop checks in and never checks out. All the diapers get wrapped up into this giant diaper sausage for easy disposal. My only beef – make it bigger. The way this kid goes, I have to empty it all the time.

The Tivo – Why? Because the baby is going to scream in the middle of your favorite show. So now you can pause it, rewind it, fast forward through the commercials, whatever. AND – you can record all your shows so you have something to watch when you're stuck on the couch at 3 AM with a baby who won't sleep.

The Guitar Hero – Remember all those video games you used to play? The hours you spent trying to get 100% completion on Grand Theft Auto? Those days are over. (Well, for the most part.) But – don't throw out your PS2 yet. I give you the greatest game of at least the past ... well, it's good. You can play it for hours, or more likely, minutes at a time. If you've got time to listen to a song – you can play a round. And I defy you to get "Strutter" by KISS out of your head ...

And last, but not least – The breast-feeding wife – You must have one of these. It makes those every-three-hour-feedings so much easier. Just make sure you take care of her – they can burn out if you let them fly solo too much.

Thursday, December 28, 2006


Got to thinking about mix tapes the other day (or MP3 playlists if you insist on being so 21st century) and started laying out the soundtrack for Kaylee's life.

Many of these songs were chosen just for the title - because if you actually listen to the lyrics they are just plain wrong. But there are a few that work on all levels. So without further aideu, and in no particular order:
  • Up All Night - Slaughter (For what should be obvious reasons)
  • Sweet Child O Mine - Guns N Roses (None of that wussy Sheryl Crowe cover for my kid - baby likes metal)
  • Gracie - Ben Folds (Just change the word "Gracie" to "Kaylee" and it's the perfect song)
  • Lullabye - The Dixie Chicks (This one's for Rae)
  • I'll Be Your Baby Tonight - Bob Dylan (Cause I love Dylan - and it fits - kinda)
  • Baby, Baby Don't Cry - Smokey Robinson (Cause I found it on iTunes and it's not horrible)
  • Lullabye (Goodnight My Angel) - Billy Joel (Cause every soundtrack needs a little Joel, and "Allentown" just didn't fit)
  • Candy Girl - New Edition (Because if you know the tune it is TOTALLY locked in your brain right now)
  • My Girl - The Temptations (Kinda cliche - but it fits)
  • Bottle to the Baby - Charlie Feathers (100% for the title)
  • Daughter - Pearl Jam (Also just for the title)
  • About a Girl - Nirvana (Also also just for the title - and because Kurt Cobain can do no wrong)
  • You and Me and the Bottle Makes Three - Big Bad Voodoo Daddy (Just the title - but it's a great one)
  • Big Bottom - Spinal Tap (Mostly a reference to Kaylee's ability to fill her pants - but also a great song)

Monday, December 25, 2006

Thank you Baby Jesus

You didn't bring me my air rifle, but I did get some sleep. After opening Christmas presents late on Christmas Eve, Kaylee gave us our best present of the year. She spent most of the night sleeping in her bed, instead of screaming on the couch – and even gave us four straight hours of sleep. It's a Christmas miracle! (We're not expecting a repeat performance tonight.)

Santa was good to all of us this year. Jewelry, books and clothes – and not all of it was for Kaylee! After a long night of presents and sleep we headed over to Johnny and Mel's house for Christmas lunner. Rae and I stuffed ourselves on turkey and pie – while Kaylee pigged out on her food of choice. (16 minutes of eating – that's about 10 minutes longer than she normally goes. AND she kept it all down.)

We're looking forward to doing it again next year when Kaylee can open her own presents. (And not really care much about anything except the boxes and paper.)

This is a Christmas Eve family self-portrait in front of the tree. I wasn't going to include it – but Rae points out that this is Kaylee's first smile recorded on camera. (For the record – I think she was filling her pants at the time.)

Kaylee's Christmas outfit – notice the cute little lace slippers my Aunt Ruth made for her. We wanted to make sure she got to wear them at least once.

Here's a picture of my girls in their Christmas crowns. The hats are from our Christmas Krackers – a little party favor with toys and such inside. Everyone opened one right before dinner and had to wear the hat all through the meal.

It's a tradition – or Johnny was just messing with all of us. Either way – I was smart enough not to have my picture taken wearing a silly paper hat.

Sunday, December 24, 2006

A Christmas carol ...

Silent night,
Oh, yeah right,
Babe won't sleep,
She just wants to fight,

She won't eat from either bottle or breast,
Mom and dad just want to rest,

Sleep now monkey please sleep,
Sleep now monkey please sleep.

(To be sung all night taking only a fifteen minute break every hour
or so. Dear Baby Jesus – all I want for Christmas is a nap.)

(And an official Red Ryder carbine action two-hundred shot range model air rifle with a compass in the stock and this thing that tells time.)

Saturday, December 23, 2006

Snap shots

One of Kaylee's favorite spots ... chewing on Dad's shoulder.
Her hair's a little crazier than normal – she just had a bath.

Yes, it's a little blurry due to the lack of flash – but it's not often you get this much of "the family" (sans Dad – someone has to use the camera) in one shot.

Thursday, December 21, 2006

Booty twapped*

That's what I said! Booty twapped!

And you thought getting peed on was the only hazard you had to endure when changing a diaper? Oh no.

Lately Miss Kaylee has been saving up the farts for when the diaper is off. (I'm pretty sure it really has something to do with bending her in half to clean up.) But when the butt is a mess – and the butt lets loose?

You had better duck.

Or at least that's what Rae tells me. She caught the brunt of it this morning. I myself haven't had the pleasure.

In other news: Rae is officially wearing pre-pregnancy jeans today. She's really, really, really happy about this. I don't see why it's a big deal – I've been wearing my jeans from 10 months ago all this time.

* If you don't get the reference, you either weren't a child, did not have a child, or did not still act like a child in 1985.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

Forgive me ...

For I have sinned. I didn't mean to do it – it just kind of happened. I feel nothing but shame for my misdeeds and humbly request forgiveness. It was an honest mistake, but a digression none the less.

I watched the Lord of the Rings trilogy with my daughter before watching the original Star Wars trilogy with her. It was a selfish act – I figured I'd rewatch the three really long movies while I had some time off. I didn't think about the ramifications of my actions.

I fear that I may have done irreversible harm in doing so. Instead of raising her on Jedi and battlestation plans and blasters and bounty hunters and akward sibling love, her outlook on life will be tainted by Rangers and one-rings and swords and Nazgul and halflings who may or may not play for both teams.

I don't know if the effects are reversible, but I'll do my part. Starting today Kaylee and I will be on steady diet of Star Wars. But just episodes IV - VI (I may have already scarred her for life, we don't need to add Jar Jar Binks into this).

In other news: I turned 31 today. Another year older, another year wi ... older. And today I realized just how great it is to be a new father.

It means I get double the presents now.

Monday, December 18, 2006

She's official

Kaylee's got both her official birth certificate and social security card.

I guess that means we get to keep her.

And that I don't have to worry about local pseudo-military factions declaring her an "illegal entrant."

Sunday, December 17, 2006

Kaylee can't sleep ...

... so I can't either. So I thought I'd share this pic from her first real bath this evening. (She can do that now that she has a real belly button. Look Ma – no more crusty stuff!) It went well, and she seemed to even enjoy it – until Rae started washing her hair.

I'd type more, but I'm doing all this one handed – and I think Kaylee just filled her pants with the reason she can't sleep.

[EDIT: I just noticed how nasty my bathtub looks in that photo. Sure it's old and needs to be resurfaced – but it doesn't look THAT bad in person. I swear, it's just a camera thing. Really. Quit judging me.]

Friday, December 15, 2006

Friday wrap up

Item the first – Baby Doctor
Rae had her appointment with the Baby Doctor this week (not the Doctor of Babies – I know it's easy to get them confused). Her official post-birth weight is only something like seven pounds more than she started at – so I think she's pretty damn happy about that.

Doc also says her incision is healing well. I'd show you pictures, but Rae would have to take her pants off to do that – and she says I'm not allowed to post those pictures on the internet.

Item the second – Baby's day out
We had to run some errands today and just for S&G we decided to take my car. Now it only has two doors and isn't as easy to get Kaylee in and out of – but I really think she likes rolling around town in a Mustang convertible better than Mom's four door sedan.

And no we didn't put the top down – Rae wouldn't let me. Maybe next time.

Item the third – My third nipple
I don't know if I've mentioned it here or not – but most of you know that Rae is breast feeding. And while that means I get to spend more of my night sleeping, it also means that she gets to have all the fun of feeding Kaylee. Well no more.

As of tonight we're giving Kaylee a bottle a day. Partially to get her used to them for when Rae has to return to work. And partially to give Rae a bit of a break. Apparently breast feeding can be much like wearing a sandpaper bra.

Me? I'm just happy to be on the other end of the digestive tract for the first time.

And damn can that girl eat. (I'm pretty sure she gets that from me.) Even if she does end up wearing about half of it. (Which she gets from her mother.)

Thursday, December 14, 2006

On Darwin

Why can't infants scream all day and sleep all night?
Seems to me, evolution should have taken care of this by now.

That must be why babies are so damn cute. It's an evolutionary adaptaion. We put up with all of this because of doe eyes, chubby cheeks and monkey toes.

Otherwise the human race would have died out from sleepless nights a long time ago.

But then ... how does one explain the ugly babies?

Tuesday, December 12, 2006

Two-week checkup

Kaylee had her second appointment with the DOB (Doctor of Babies) this afternoon. She was so excited to be there – she filled two diapers during the 20 minutes we were there. (Though she did manage to not pee on the scale this time.)

She's still doing well – DOB says we haven't broken her yet. And she's managed to add half an inch to her length and brought her weight up to 9 pounds 2 ounces. Guess that's not skim milk she's getting.

The highlight of the trip was Kaylee's blood test. She got a little stick in the heel. It didn't seem to bother her too much at first – but then after the shock wore off she screamed her little head off. I guess nothing ruins your day faster than being suspended in the air, half naked, while you're poked in the sole of your foot until you bleed.

But wait, there's more! I'd like to take this opportunity to introduce Kaylee's belly button. Her cord fell off this afternoon – so things are still a little gross – and we're excited about it for a couple of different reasons.
  • It makes changing her diaper go soooo much faster. No more folding down the front of her diaper while she kicks and squirms.
  • She will one day (when she is much, much older) look normal wearing a bikini.
  • The dogs will finally stop eyeing what looked like a rawhide treat poking out of her pants.
  • She will have proof of her humanity when the evil clones seize control of the Earth. (See the clones won't be of natural birth and therefore wouldn't have had umbilical cords. Hence no belly buttons.)
Hey when it happens – you'll be thankful for your belly button too.

If you have one that is. (They already walk among us.)

Monday, December 11, 2006

10 little-known Monkey facts

1) She squeaks and waves her arms around when she sleeps.
2) When she poops – her face turns the same shade of red as Grandpa Charlie's when he's mad.
3) So far, she looks best in yellow.
4) Apparently her legs don't work unless I'm trying to change her clothes and/or diaper.
5) Short of using baby mousse, that hair isn't laying down. Ever.
6) She can sleep through anything – except the night.
7) The only thing that can keep her awake while in a moving car is direct sunlight.
8) She is most alert between the hours of 10 PM and 4 AM. (Yay!)
9) If her activities were translated into dwarf names, she would be: Sleepy, Poopy, Sucky, Grumpy, Squirmy and Vacant Stare. In that order.
10) In addition to a full head of hair, she has a hairy back and forehead – but almost no eyebrows.

Animal farm

Yeah, we had a zoo to begin with. Two dogs and two cats. Everyone seems to have figured out where they fit and no one seems to feel left out. (At least no one has retaliated by peeing on my bed anyway.)

The cats pretty much keep their distance. On a couple of occasions I've had one of the cats curl up next to Kaylee when I'm holding her. But it's always short-lived. They run off as soon as she starts kicking.

This is a pretty common sight in our house. Wherever Kaylee goes, Porthos (or Porkos or Pork Chop or The Dude – whatever you want to call him by) follows. When she cries, he's the first one to her room. When you change her diaper, he's laying at your feet. When she's sleeping in her bouncy chair, he's never far off – and comes by periodically to push his nose in her face and check up on her.

Funny thing is – he was the one we were most concerned about because he's so hyper and jumpy. But he's been nothing but great. I think the two of them are going to be inseperable once she gets mobile.

Eddie is just interested in giving her a tounge bath. I haven't caught that one on camera yet.

And she doesn't seem to mind it so much.

Saturday, December 09, 2006

Pain is back

Threw out my back today. To the point where I can't really bend, twist, move or breathe. So I'm spending most of this weekend riding the couch.

No one thing did it – it's a combination of lots of bending over, picking up Kaylee, carrying the car seat, falling asleep in akward postions, etc.

When you have a newborn, this is not a good thing. But hopefully I can take it easy for the next day or so and let my back heal a bit.

Luckily Rae is there to do the heavy lifting. (And the light lifting – cause that hurts too.)

Friday, December 08, 2006

My monkey

While not nearly as entertaining as the photo of the cat, Kaylee does look pretty fab in her monkey hat.

In other news, we're raising a vampire. We're just waiting for the fangs to come in to confirm it. But for the last few days she's been sleeping all day (in the loudest places possible) and up all night. (Yes, just like the Slaughter song.)

Starting at about 10 pm she wants to eat every hour or so. So Rae's not getting too much sleep. And I'm doing the dishes at 4 am just to join in on the experience.

But she looks good in the monkey hat.

Wednesday, December 06, 2006

Bath time

Kaylee did pretty well with her first bath. She was a real trooper until we started washing her tummy. That's when she started screaming. About half way through I wrapped her up in her towel and cuddled her up to get her warm and calm her down.

And she peed on me.

Things seemed to go smoother for her after that.

Tuesday, December 05, 2006

Pre-bedtime photoshoot

Kaylee works the camera using dad's lap as a backdrop.
I think she's actually filling her diaper in that last photo.

Clean bill of health

Got back from the pediatrician this morning – and all is well. Kaylee got two thumbs up – even after she peed all over the scale. She's scheduled for a follow-up appointment in a week.

She's weighing in at 8 pounds 10 ounces now. They expected her to lose some weight – so that's no big deal. She's been eating well, actually great, so we'll see how much she's put on in a week.

Monday, December 04, 2006

First night ...

Wasn't horrible. Rae fed Kaylee and put her down around 10 and we went to bed as well.

I got up twice during the night to help keep the kid awake while she ate (she gets two or three swallows in and then passes out unless you wake her up.) Rae got up one time without me – and passed out on the couch for a couple of hours.

Today we're trying to keep her awake during the day in hopes that she'll sleep more tonite. Wishful thinking I'm sure.

She doesn't smile yet (babies don't have control of those muscles for a while) but you can see a hint of what's to come. When you grab her attention her eyes light up. When she starts to smile on top of that, I realise it's going to be hard to tell her no.


Man – am I in trouble later.

Sunday, December 03, 2006

As promised ...

Kaylee almost wasn't allowed to leave the hospital this afternoon. The nurses were afraid she had a near-fatal case of "too damn cute."

If the smile looks forced it's because this was the fourth or fifth shot Rae took. And the only one without a blur. (She blames the camera.)

This was the last shot we took before loading Rae up into wheelchair and heading home. I don't think Rae is sorry to be leaving that room.

The first shot of the newest member of the family in our home. No - not the old Welsh guy. That's Johnny. Meanwhile – Rae does her best to try and calm down Porthos. I wonder how that went ...

Just a self-portrait I snapped while talking to my sister on the phone. (Hi Becky.) But I thought it gave you a great sense of scale. I call it "Little Monkey and Big Stupid."

Rae and Kaylee catch up all the bloggy goodness they missed while they were away. That's right – this is where the magic happens.

I know I talked about sense of scale before – but geez. Wow. Little.

Remember Rae trying to show Porthos who's boss? Yeah, that worked out. After keeping the animals out of Kaylee's room for months – they snuck in the first time Rae went to put her down. And territory was marked. And Rae was unhappy. And the dog was chased from the house with the firey rage of a new first-time mother.

And I'm glad I was at the store and only had to witness the aftermath.


More later, as it is difficult to blog with just one hand.

But I'm sure I'll get used to it.

Saturday, December 02, 2006

Coming home

I'm slacking ... no new pics today.

But Rae's doctor says things are looking good. Unless something unexpected comes up - the girls should be discharged sometime tomorrow.

And then we'll both get to not sleep in our own bed.

Friday, December 01, 2006

Birth Day +1

Things are going well. Rae is looking 500% better and is up and walking around with little to no assistance. Kaylee is an eating machine – and the byproduct of eating is not only pretty gross, but gets everywhere if you're not careful.

This will be one of the MOST dowloaded and printed photos I post here. Kaylee was waiting to get her first official portrait taken - but wouldn't cooperate. We'll try again tomorrow. Awesome home-made sweater by Aunt Murray.

Still life with name card, blanket and rubber sucky-thing.

The girls like flowers. And they've got lots of them. The single rose (and fabulous stuffed elephant - not pictured) are from the Vandalia crew, while the arrangement are from G'ma Rice and her girls.

1. The baby will cry if you pick her up.
2. The baby will cry if you put her down.
3. Kaylee's monkey feet are one size too big for newborn-sized socks.
4. If you are changing a particularly nasty diaper - and the baby is wearing brand-new white socks? The socks will soon be particularly nasty.
5. Cold air affects little girls the same way it affects little boys. Luckily, little girls aim down.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

13 hours of labor later ...*

And I'm pleased to announce the arrival of Kaylee Marie Rice.

Mom and baby are both resting well at the hospital. I'm home taking care of my fatherly duties – letting the dogs out, emailing out photos and updating the blog. And then passing out.

Birthday: Thursday, November 30, 2006
Time: Approx. 5:20 PM
Weight: 8 pounds 12 ounces
Length: 20 inches
Hair: Much, dark and mohawked after a good shampoo
Eyes: Really too squinty to see – plus it's dark in those rooms

Went in early, stayed late, had a C Section and all is well.

4:30 AM – Rae wakes up with some rather uncomfortable contractions. Being the great wife that she is she lets me sleep in.
5:25 AM - That's enough. Rae wakes me up. I make tea.
5:30 AM - I update blog.
7:00 AM - Contractions are getting stronger. I go grab coffee and a breakfast bagel. This is the smartest thing I do all day.
7:30 AM - Rae calls ABD. We get the go-ahead to come into the hospital. There is much rejoicing. *yay*
7:44 AM - I update blog again while Rae breathes.
8:15 AM - We're checked into the hospital and Rae gets her initial check-up. Not much change since ABD visit - just more painful. Rae is put on a monitor and told to wait it out.
9:00 AM - Nice nurse tells us ABD wants to get Rae admitted and put on drugs to make contractions stronger and more regular. They have a room for us but no nurse. The move should happen in about an hour.
10:00 AM - Contractions are getting stronger. Rae is looking haggard and angry.
11:00 AM - Still waiting. In between contractions Rae resembles Jack Nicholson at the end of "The Witches of Eastwick."
Noon: Nice nurse comes back from lunch and is joined by ABD. Both are rather ticked off that we haven't been admitted yet – go to find out why.
12:45 PM - Nice nurse tells us it will be fifteen minutes.
2:30 PM - Rae is finally admitted, given an epidural and her Potosin (the contraction drug).
3:30 PM - ABD isn't happy with the baby's monitor levels. Breaks water and pokes around trying to get the kid moving. Rae flips to her other side.
4:00 PM - Again with the poking. Rae flips even further on her side.
4:30 PM - ABD decides baby isn't reacting well to labor. (Insert joke about father's work ethic here.) Says a C Section is the way to go.
5:00 PM - I put on a Halloween costume version of a hazmat suit while nurses buzz about Rae prepping her for surgery.
5:20 PM - Slice. Slurp. Pull. Cry. Kaylee Marie is born and MacBeth is scared.

If all goes as it should - Rae and Kaylee should come home in 3-5 days. And I'll spend the next week annoying Rae by helping her do all the things she thinks she should be able to do on her own.

The first ever shot of Kaylee – because I was in such a hurry to get into the OR that I forgot the camera. Funny how your wife being rushed into surgery because of your unborn child's unstable heartbeat can do that.

This is the only photo of Rae I have from today where she doesn't look like she was run over by a truck. But I still think she's cute.

Trust me. She doesn't STAY this quiet.

* I'm not spell checking this or anything. It's to damn late and I need to be back at the hospital bright and early. I'll edit it later. Please enjoy this raw, uncut look into the mind of Mike.
** All times are approximated but not exaggerated.

Going in ...

Just got the OK from the ABD to head to the hospital.

Hopefully the next post will have a photo with it.

Gee, you're up early ...

You know those old wive's tales about using castor oil or spicy food or sex to jumpstart labor?

Apparently sex works.

It's not time to go to the hospital yet, but we're getting there. More as it develops. Film at eleven.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Due Day +1

OK - sorry to get all your hopes up. I bet that since I didn't post anything all day you thought we had gone to the hospital. Not so much. It's just that the ABD appointment was in the late morning and then I had a full day at work.

Enough rambling Mike, tell us what's up!

Eh, not much I'm afraid. ABD says exactly what we've been hearing all along. "Could be any day, but things look good." Which is better than saying, We have some bad news. "Your "baby" is actually a giant tumor and the kicking you've been feeling is just a really bad case of gas," but actually just as disheartening.

Rae has been having contractions all day – some strong and some not so. We're hoping they will get a little more regular and I can take the day off work tomorrow. OK - I want that.

And the baby too. But a day off will be nice.

Anyway, regardless of how cozy the kid is, we scheduled an induction today. Friday will officially be our last days at work for a while – Rae is on the books to get drugged up on Monday. Unless she pops sooner.

We're hoping for sooner.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Maybe? [edited]

OK - so I went home sick from work today. Spent the better half of the afternoon passed out on the couch. Rae just called. She's on her way home from work and she's having some serious pressure and discomfort in her abdomen.

So either my kid's on time - or it's appendicitis. Either way, if things don't stop we'll be going to the hospital tonite.

Good thing I got that nap. ;-)

EDIT: Yeah, not so much. Things were going well – and then Gilmore Girls came on and everything slowed to a crawl. I swear, just when I thought that show couldn't get any worse. So check back in the A.M. – maybe something will happen overnight.

Baby day is here ... kinda

Well, the clock has counted down and Kaylee is still hanging out. Contractions were getting pretty heavy there for a while – but all but stopped after Thanksgiving. I've got a couple of theories on all this:
  • Turkey coma. Rae ate a lot of turkey. And we all know that anything she ingests is also ingested by the kid. Perhaps she's still sleeping off all the tryptophan. (Not likely, cause she's still kicking up a storm.)
  • She's comfy. She could get this from her old man. She's all curled up in a ball. It's warm and nice. She knows she's supposed to get up - but it's soooo comfortable where she is. I've had many a morning like this – granted I'm usually in a bed with warm sheets and not in a uterus floating in my own urine.
  • She's lazy. She could also get this from me. There are some days that no matter how much you have to do, you just can't get off the couch. But this usually comes after a long week at work – and she's just been lying around for months.
Whatever it is, she'd better not get too used to her surroundings. Rae's got an appointment with the ABD in the morning where we should be scheduling an induction.

I'm not sure about the specifics of the medical procedure – but I hear it involves a car battery and some modified jumper cables.

Sunday, November 26, 2006

Sorry Mary ...

Friday has come and gone - so we missed hitting my cousin Mark's birthday.

(For those not in the know, my sister gave birth to Alice on my other cousin's birthday.)

Not only did we not hit the deadline – but contractions have all but stopped. Kaylee's still rolling around and kicking, but Rae's not doing anything to push the kid out.

So the official due date is Tuesday and we have an appointment with ABD (Alternate Baby Doctor) Wednesday morning where they'll likely schedule an induction.

If Rae hasn't popped already that is.

Thursday, November 23, 2006

Happy Thanksgiving!

From us to you. Yes, us. Rae actually approved my PhotoChop job.

Go figure.

Wednesday, November 22, 2006

Waiting ...

Visited with the BDM today. Since last week, Rae has dropped a couple of pounds (nothing drastic – don't worry) and has "thinned out" and dialated a bit more. (Sorry – more cervix speak.)

BDM says everything is going as it should – and thinks Rae will deliver sometime next week. Right on schedule.

Meanwhile the contractions continue ... we'll see if mass quantities of Turkey have any affect.

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

She keeps going and going ...

More contractions yesterday.

For most of the day – and into the night.

Maybe Kaylee will be a pilgrim baby after all?

Rae has an appointment with the BDM Wednesday morning ... we'll know more then.

Sunday, November 19, 2006

One more big event down ...

Well, Rae managed to make it through her Maid (Matron) of Honor duties this weekend without dropping Kaylee in the middle of the ceremony. It was the running joke of the weekend. Though Rae was concerned for a bit - during the reception her contractions started to get pretty regular. But then slowed down again after we got home.

It was quite funny to watch Rae walk down the aisle and hear whispers of "She's due to pop any day now ..." from the peanut gallery.

Now we're just hoping Rae can keep her knees together long enough for Mel to get back from her honeymoon. Rae really wants to have someone other than me around – and I want someone around who can run to Subway for me while Rae's in her eighth hour of labor.

Speaking of deliveries – we packed up the diaper bag we're taking to the delivery room with us. Everything Kaylee will need to come home and then some is ready to go. We've also got all of our needs written down so I can throw another bag together when we're ready to go.

I'm not going to pack my toothbrush for what could be the next two weeks. I'm sure everyone around me on a daily basis will be thankful to hear that.

Next baby doctor update comes Wednesday ... unless Kaylee comes sooner.

Thursday, November 16, 2006

Going well

Not much to report from the BDM. Rae put on a whole pound this week - I'm sure she was happy to hear that. BDM says Rae is making some progress – but she's not expecting Kaylee's arrival too soon. She estimated that Rae will go right up to her due date. Give or take a day.

Sorry I'm not more entertaining. Too tired to make any jokes. Maybe this weekend.

Must sleep.

Wednesday, November 15, 2006

Odds and ends ...

We're set to visit the BDM again Thursday morning. Rae seems to be getting contractions a little more regularly now – but no real strength to them. And they are still quite far apart. I'm still betting we hit – or go past her due date.

Speaking of Rae, here's the most recent picture.

She looks like she's about ready to pop, eh? Seriously, that belly is stretched out about a foot further than it's supposed to be. This is probably the one time in her adult life that my wife has not had a chest. But isn't she cute?

And Rae has been bugging me to post pictures of the nursery on here. We really didn't change all that much in here. No new paint. Same crappy ceiling fan. But the room sure says "baby." Must be the crib.
(Which makes a great clothes rack for when you're too lazy to hang up your shirts when they come out of the laundry. If you look closely, you can see just how lazy I am – I just moved my clothes INTO the crib to take the photo.)
But the big reason Rae wanted me to post pictures are the curtains. Rae made them – and she's very proud of them.

I'm just happy she finally used the sewing machine I bought her for her birthday last year.

Sunday, November 12, 2006

No need to panic ...

... but Rae was awakened by three good contractions last night. She didn't feel the need to wake me up, so I'm not expecting anything soon. Nothing since then (other than the occasional Briggs & Stratton contraction).

Here's hoping she makes it through another week. She's the Maid (Matron? Maidtron?) of Honor in a wedding next Saturday. And if she has the baby – we're going to need to buy a smaller dress.

A good writer would put in a transition here to lead you into their next thought.

Last week while we were out to dinner there was a couple across the aisle with their three kids. They seemed like nice people, despite the fact that Dad couldn't seem to keep the back of his pants pulled up. The kids were pretty well behaved – for kids anyway. I really tried to pay them any attention. (Honestly, I was too busy rolling my eyes at the restaurant staff who seemed to have a "Happy Birthday" song for everyone in the room.)

But then on the way out the Mom stopped at our table and told us "Enjoy this while it lasts. By the look of you, you won't be eating dinner alone for much longer."

So we're off to dinner with some friends tonight. For the immediate future, this will likely be our last "nice dinner out" with friends that doesn't involve either:
  1. A babysitter,
  2. Wanting "fries with that,"
  3. Praying the baby doesn't wake up before we can finish our entree, or
  4. A large animatronic rodent and his pals singing about their love of skee ball.
And I'm OK with that.

I like skee ball.

Thursday, November 09, 2006

18 days and counting

Went to the Baby Doctor again today. Got to see the actual BD instead of one of her minions.

Everything checks out fine. Rae's gained another three pounds (so much for that dream of staying under 160). BD also checked under the hood this week. It seems Rae has begun dilating. Not much, but she's started. BD says delivery could be tomorrow - but Kaylee is more likely to wait until later this month. I know everyone at our respective offices is hoping Rae goes past her due date. There's a lot we both need to get done.

Apparently Kaylee really wants to get out though. Rae reports that the kid spent the whole day pounding on her cervix. Actually, given her current position, I guess she was head-butting Rae's cervix all day.

It just occurred to me that I never really expected my wife's cervix to come up in general conversation.

Not that a blog* is a conversation - but you get the idea.

* As an interesting aside, did you know that blog is not a recognized word in the spell check? It's kinda like if dictionary wasn't in that big book on my desk.

Tuesday, November 07, 2006

Full term

As of today Kaylee is pretty much ready for the world.

Any extra time she spends in the oven is just gravy.

Mmmmmmmmm ... gravy.

On a side note: Guys, if you see Rae, or another similarly pregnant woman, please resist the urge to tell her that she looks like she is "ready to pop." Apparently Rae's hearing this several times a day – and usually only from guys. (Bosses, co-workers, friends, strangers in the grocery store) She's starting to get a little honked off by it all.

Please don't drive my wife to homicide. My baby needs a mother.

Thursday, November 02, 2006

Bee Dee Emm

Met with the BDM (Baby Doctor Minion for the uninitiated) this afternoon (and got out of work early to do so, bonus). Here's the highlights:
  • Rae has put on five pounds since her last visit one week ago. She was hoping to stay under 160 for this whole thing. Looks like she'll be able to meet that goal - as long as she only puts on one pound in the next few weeks.*
  • Four more days until Kaylee is considered full term. While they would like her to cook a little longer - she'd be a pretty healthy kid if she decided she wanted out.
  • Rae is offically having contractions. Not the big "OH MY GOD WHAT DID YOU DO TO ME?" contractions. Just the early ones. False labor or Briggs & Stratton contractions.** I'm sure she'll be swearing at me soon enough.
  • BDM put in her guess of 7 pounds 5 ounces for Kaylee's birth weight. Any other guesses?
  • BDM also "checked under Rae's hood." Cervix is thinning with no dialation yet. Belts and filters seem to be OK and she topped off the oil and coolant.
  • Rae is officially carrying around her Baby Doctor records in her purse - so if she goes into labor she'll have them with her. Maybe I should carry around a set too - just in case Rae acts like every expecting mother in every movie I've ever seen.
  • It is offically akward shaking the hand of the BDM after you've just seen her "check under the hood." Sure she wore gloves, but still ...
* I would like to take this opportunity to publicly thank my wife for putting up with all of the jokes I am sure to make in the next four weeks. It's very big of her. *snicker*
** Yes, I know that's not what they are really called. That was an attempt at humor. It only works if you know the difference between Briggs & Stratton and Brackston Hicks I guess. It helps if you've taken both child birth and small engines classes.

Wednesday, November 01, 2006

Counting down

It really hit me earlier today that the kid will be here in less than a month. (About 26 days according to the countdown clock ... if she's on time that is.)

I got to thinking about all the things I need to get done around the house before she comes. Cleaning, painting, yard work ... And then I started thinking about all the things I need to get done at work. (I won't bore you with those details - just be assured that they are numerous and probably unrealistic.)

Then I got to thinking about the fact that my daughter will actually be here ... and that I don't really care about the rest of it.

Housework will get done. The newspaper will publish. I'm just really looking forward to getting to finally meet my kid.

(I apologize for the lack of humor - or what I try to pass off as humor - in this post. I assure you it will not happen again.)

Friday, October 27, 2006

Jelly belly

Rae's friend Mel came over to the house and shot some pictures of the belly in our back yard last weekend. Just thought I'd share some of the highlights.

Isn't my wife cute? (Click image to enlarge – the photo not the belly.)

Thursday, October 26, 2006

Back at the Baby Doctor

So today was the first of what will be Rae's weekly appointments with the Baby Doctor. Yes, we are far enough along in all of this that we have to go every week now. I'm not really sure what the point of all these visits are (other than charging the HMO billable hours.) I guess it's to make sure Rae doesn't deliver the baby without knowing it.

Good to see you again Racheal. How was your week?

It was OK. I've been experiencing a little bit of discomfort.

Really? Well, let's take a look.

(Baby Doctor sticks her head under the sheet.)

Well here's the problem, you've already delivered your baby.

Huh, that explains what I've been tripping over. And why my pants fit.

I wonder if bad jokes are hereditary and if I'm in any danger of passing that on to my unborn child. Actually, if you know my dad - you already know the answer to that question.

Tuesday, October 24, 2006

Meat Angus (updated)

So there will be two little girls in my family.

My sister gave birth to Alice Ruth at 3:51 am this morning. (I called a boy at 2:30 - so I was close.)

Either that, or she looks like Yoda. (Turns out, she looks like a Bathje.)

And yes, her name will be Angus. (Don't blame me, I got the idea from Matt's family.) I hope that it doesn't scar her too much.

Saturday, October 21, 2006

You have no idea how hard it is to pin a hat on a llama

It's official. We graduated from llama class.

I'm not sure that we learned everything we were supposed to, there was no final grade, no big test. There was, however, a diploma handed out at the end of the day.

Well, more of a certificate really. But it was printed on a nice heavy card stock. Our teacher encouraged us to color it in. And to have lots of sex, though I'm not sure the two weren't mutually exclusive of each other.

No, seriously. She wanted us to color in our certificate. Weird, huh?

So now we're all ready to be parents. We're just going to sit around and wait. Well, wait and watch. My sister is about a month ahead of us in this - and she's getting induced in about 24 hours.

So my plan is to watch what she does. If she tries something and it works - we'll try it. If she screws something up - we'll avoid that. I think it's a pretty good plan. My niece/nephew (they're not sure what it is - but either way it's name will be Angus) will be like Kaylee's stunt double. Kaylee's not jumping 15 flaming school buses on a motorcycle until Angus does it first.

Wednesday, October 18, 2006

According to Rae

The kid had the hiccups again today – or she REALLY likes The Clash.

Personally, I like to think my daughter would have good taste in music – so I'll go with the latter.

Sunday, October 15, 2006

I didn't know this was an option ...

But I think I need one of these ...

And then I'll look at getting one of these in about 16 years ...

No one dates my daughter without a trunk monkey chaperone.

Saturday, October 14, 2006

And in this corner ...

While Rae was happy she maintained her weight from her previous visit (actually she lost half a pound), Kaylee has put on a little weight. The kid is now weighing in at an estimated 3.5 to 4 pounds.

And yes Chunk, that is pre-cooked weight.

That means she should pretty much double in size over the next month and a half. I'm sure Rae loves the thought of that. Especially after watching all those videos in llama class.

Thursday, October 12, 2006

Interesting fact ...

Babies can get the hiccups before they are even born. Kaylee had them last night – instead of the normal kicks or rolls it was like Rae was incubating a Mexican jumping bean.

I think the kid just must have had too much to drink.

Rae is headed to the baby doctor this morning (actually one of the flying monkeys) and we're going to meet with a doctor of babies (pediatrician) this afternoon.

EDIT: Rae's already done with the BDM. She's officially lost a half a pound since last time (which she's thrilled about) and her uterus is officially up in her rib cage (which she's not so thrilled about.) Next visit is with the actual Baby Doctor in two weeks. Rae is down to have her fluids checked, tires rotated and get a full wash and wax.

Sunday, October 08, 2006

Movie time

It's no secret that Rae and I enjoy our time at the movies. We probably see more movies in a year than everyone reading this thing combined. (And I'm not counting Andrew – because all he sees are those artsy-fartsy movies. And it's part of his job. Doesn't count.)

We've decided that we're going to see a movie every weekend until the baby is born. We want to stock up on fun if you will – because I refuse to be that annoying couple who brings a 6-month old to a loud action movie. You know - the one who always starts crying the minute the hero is speaking in hushed dialouge.

I hate those people. (And if you ARE those people – hang your head in shame.)

This has been going on for a while. Here's a quick summary of what we've seen – and what we thought of it.

Jackass: Number Two – There is nothing funnier in this world than watching a dwarf punch an unsuspecting man-child in the testicles. And as an added bonus, the film's title is a poop joke. I could watch this movie over and over and over ... and if Rae tries to tell you she didn't like it she's a dirty, dirty liar.

Fearless: This is supposed to be Jet Li's last action role. Well, Mr. Li may be getting on in years but he still knows 437 ways to kill you before you even notice. If subtitles are a problem for you – I know some people just don't like to read a movie – then you might want to skip this one. But really, do you need subtitles to understand a roundhouse kick to the dome?

The Departed: Martin Scorcese is a movie making god. And that Jack Nicholson guy isn't half bad either. This film is going to clean house come Oscar time. That's really all you need to know about this movie. That, and despite being saddled with the Baldwin name, Alec steals every scene he appears in.

Next week: Given the lack of quality films coming out, we may have a hard time finding something to see. I guess we can always double-dip and go see Jackass again.

Saturday, October 07, 2006

Ummm, yeah.

So we got up early and went to llama class. I'm not ashamed to say I learned a few things.
  • The llama class teacher is too damn chipper. Especially that early in the morning. We rolled in still drinking our morning coffee – this woman must have had a triple-shot latte I.V. for breakfast.
  • Just because a mom walks in and her partner is another woman – it doesn't mean they are lesbians. Well, not in real life ... but in my head ...
  • We watched a video. Normally I like taking a break in class and watching a movie. That's probably because I'd never seen a video of someone delivering a placenta before. It looked like someone turned cantaloupe inside out.
  • I hope these breathing exercises help Rae relax. Because all they do is make me laugh. ("Picture yourself in a boat, on a river ...")
  • All of the other dads look way more into this whole thing than me. I'm not sure if it's because they are just more in touch with their feminine sides, or if they just fear the wrath of their wives more. Or maybe they're all closet hippies.
Afterward, we visited another day care. Now I don't know if we have unusually high standards, the last visit set the bar really high, or if this place just stunk. But it did stink.

Like diapers.

Or at least it did to Rae – she of the hormonally-altered nose. Me? I just couldn't get over the fact that it was in a strip mall.

Even though this place is close to half the price of the last place – I'm thinking it will end up pretty low on our list.

Friday, October 06, 2006

דייקאר, דייכאר

So Rae and I checked out our first daycare possibility this morning. It's supposed to be one of the best in town. They seem to have a nice program, good kid to teacher ratio, nice people. It's affiliated with one of the Jewish Temples here in town.

Personally, I think that's kind of cool. Now before anyone starts – we're not even thinking about converting. I just like the idea of my kid being exposed to another culture. (God knows it could be tough to come by growing up in the cornfields of central Illinois.) If we're lucky, Kaylee will be speaking English, Spanish and Hebrew by the time she's two.

Now all I have to do is learn two of those languages.

One thing was kind of strange – the whole place is locked down like a fortress. Cameras everywhere. You need a special key fob to get in the door. I'm surprised there wasn't a secret handshake.

Or maybe there was. They just don't tell you what it is until after you've cleared the waiting list.

So we wait for an opening ... and in the meantime, we should have checked out another three or four places in the next week.

And tomorrow? Lamaze class starts. Rae and I get to learn all about "natural child birth." And all I can think about is Bill Cosby ...

Tuesday, October 03, 2006

I was all excited ...

Rae emailed me this morning and told me we got a cake. One of her coworkers brought her a "diaper cake" his sister made. (She has a business or something. Apparently there is a market for diaper cakes. Who knew?)

So I've got dessert on the mind after having pie for the last few nights. I'm trying to figure out how one makes a cake that looks like a diaper. And why one would even think to try to make one in the first place. Does it actually look like a diaper? Does it have a creamy, fudge center?

Turns out, it's not something that would taste very good. It's a bunch of diapers arranged to look like a cake. I'm sure all those diapers will come in handy in a few months - but I was really looking forward to eating some cake.

Especially since the pie is gone.