Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Under Construction

The next ultrasound is still a few weeks away, but in the meantime there are some occurrences of note in the Baby Anticipation department.

First : The baby is 5" from crown of the head to tail bone. This means the little one is almost as long as a dollar bill (81%), and about 1.2 times the radius of a FIFA-regulation sized soccer ball. 

Or, to put it another way, baby is roughly the size of your average avocado.

Second : Veronica has started to feel the baby moving. This is really, really cool and I can't wait until I can feel it move for myself. We grinned like idiots as she sat and hummed and let me know when she felt little stirrings.

Third : We got some nifty stuff from Veronica's parents. There was a small package with some bedding material, some blankets, and a little chick towel that's got a hoodie thing so you can wrap the baby up, keep their head warm, and make them look even cuter than they already are.

Baby Stuff

And then there's the crib with mattress, which we just got today (well, the mattress came a few days ago) and we are very excited about putting together soon.

Crib Still Packed

Scalloped Headboard

Check out this headboard! Veronica was pretty happy with how it appears to work with the room, and it is a nice looking crib.

And that's all we've got at the moment!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Minor Update

Not alot new a the moment, but we will be having some new things to show off in the coming week!

Right now I'm still telling or making up a story every night, we still have incredibly supportive families, and very excited friends. All is going pretty well.

Veronica's parents have done us the amazing favor of buying us a very nice crib and mattress, getting another of each for themselves for our eventual visits, and the mattress came in on Saturday. We expect the crib in the coming days, and I'll include some pictures and more details at that point.

Sunday, March 21, 2010


So this afternoon we had our friends Nick, Nicky, and Michael over to help us paint some of the rooms in the apartment.

The apartment is nice, but with the idea that we're going to be living here with our baby for a little while (something we kept in mind when we moved into a new place) and the desire to personalize the baby's future room a bit we decided it needed something to make it more of a home. You know, not as much a bunch of white walls with a few paintings thrown up.

That in mind, we worked on picking out some colors over the last two or three weeks that would work in some of the rooms. Today our volunteers came over, and we got started.

Well, not right away.

First we fed them some rather good pasta, prepared by Veronica (featuring Mom's Spaghetti Sauce), then we painted.

Here are some images of how it turned out, though they are not exactly setting the world on fire in terms of picture quality.

Dining Room Blue
Baby Room Yellow
Bathroom Green

Once that was done we rocked out to Five Guys for burgers, Coldstone for ice cream, and back to the apartment for some Munchkin.

Overall it was a very, very good day. Can't wait to mess with the nursery (Ha! Love calling it that) more over the coming weeks and months.

Wednesday, March 17, 2010


So, Monday evening I went to a friend's place for a semi-regular board game night with a bunch of other guys, and as sometimes happens with the large group games things dragged on a bit late. I got home around midnight and was way too tired to try to do a regular "read from the book" story time...

Is it really strange that I turned our successful game of Arkham Horror into a "bedtime story" for the baby? Because it was actually pretty fun.

I'm going to file this one under: MAJOR GEEK.

Monday, March 15, 2010

The Continuing Story

We've been looking at cribs.

Very early on, one of our friends pointed us at a particularly well-rated and nicely-priced crib and that model has stayed on the list of potential candidates ever since. Yesterday Veronica told me that she needed help narrowing down the selection, and I told her that if she gave me a list of 6-10 that she was looking at I could get it down to 2.

I managed to cut away 5, leaving her with 3 that I would be happy with no matter what, almost entirely based on what I was able to find positive reviews for. All of those still around check out well from everything I can find, are high-quality, and look nice... I think Veronica's biased towards one in particular based on the cut of the headboard, but I'm ok with that.

In other news, on two of the last three nights I was too tired to read a story and so instead made one up. It was fun, if incredibly goofy, and something I hope to repeat a great deal more once the kid can actually understand what I'm saying.

All our friends (not to mention our families) are excited for us too, which we appreciate a great deal. It makes all of this more fun, and just goes to show how great they all are.

Friday, March 12, 2010


What, you might be wondering, is on our plate at the moment?

A few things, actually.

First: Right now Veronica is pretty interested in painting the apartment. She's actually been thinking about it for a while, even before we moved into the new place, but the idea that we will be staying here for a while and that our kid will be spending his or her first year here has kicked the desire into overdrive.

At the moment there are paint swatches on various walls throughout the apartment and we've generally come to some conclusions on what we want in each room... now comes the time where we need to figure out when and how we are going to get this stuff done. We might take a shot at it next weekend, as this one is a little bit busy.

Second: Because of Veronica's back, which has been fused at certain points, we're looking at meeting with an anesthesiologist in order to get an official word on what her options will be when the final hour approaches. In anticipation that the already tricky matter will be made a little too dangerous or problematic by her medical situation, we're looking at some alternative forms of pain management.

I'm to be looking for some information on doulas, a matter on which our doctor is agnostic; she says that she has seen incredibly helpful doulas who work well with all the other parts of the process, those that've seemed helpful even if they weren't exactly on the same page as anyone else, and those that she couldn't believe were getting paid for their services. So we're looking at the idea as an option, but we want more information.

Third: Health. Even though she is perfectly fine according to the doctor Veronica, always the over-achiever, wants to not merely be in suitable health but good health. To that end we're looking at asking the doctor if she has any recommendations, and Veronica's been doing some Qigong and (carefully) Pre-Natal Yoga. I have to bite my tongue a bit when listening to the videos, because of the breathy "Relaxing Guide Voice" of the Qigong guy and the way that Shiva Rea says "exhale" in the yoga video. Seriously, she says it as "ex-sale" every single time.

Oh, and lastly I read a particularly odd and somewhat entertaining Grimm fairy tale last night: Fir-Apple. It's a story about a little boy found in a tree, is taken home by a forester, and who the forester's cook wants to throw in a pot... for some reason.

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Character Portrait: First Look!

Today we saw the baby.

The ability to really see your baby so early in its development is... mind-blowing, really.

But I'm getting ahead of myself.

Today Veronica and I went in for a test, part of which involved an ultrasound. This was, we knew, going to be a very early glimpse and not the better-known "anatomy ultrasound" where you get a rather good look at the baby, along with a first opportunity to know the gender.

It was amazing. We saw the baby shifting, moving the arm (you could see the hand bones!), we heard the heartbeat, and at one point the baby did a full body kick that actually caused me to catch my breath.

The whole thing becomes more real every day, and I couldn't be happier.

First Ultrasound

Look at that! It's pretty awesome, and not half the detail we got to see at some points.

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

Storytelling: Reading Out Loud

One thing I've recently started doing, as in the last week, is reading a story every night with my head resting against Veronica's midsection. 

I think at this point we have all heard the various stories about playing music for or talking to the baby-to-be, that it is a great thing or a good thing or does nothing at all. For me, however, it comes down to three basic concepts:
  1. It's an excuse to spend a little relatively quiet time with my wife every evening. This cannot be overlooked.
  2. It is my current understanding that hearing and feeling the voices of the parents can be a soothing thing for a baby and get them used to those voices.
  3. It is helping the idea that there is a little person in there, that I'm going to be taking care of and humming and reading to a little kid sometime in the not-to-distant future.
So reading it is.

Right now I am working my way through Grimm's Fairy Tales with a little bit of Aesop's Fables thrown in for flavor every so often; it's stories I might actually be reading to the kid someday, and it's material that I've wanted to take a closer look at myself for a while now. I remain unsurprised but pleased by the casual way that light-hearted adventures go hand-in-hand with murder, mayhem, and randomly mystic (mis)fortune in these tales.

I'm having fun, Veronica (the wife, in her wisdom, will be going by her actual name) is having fun, and we hope that the little one is having fun.

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

Character Creation

Warning: If you are already afraid that the gaming jokes and/or puns are going to be coming on rather heavily, let me suggest that these fears are very well founded.

First, let's cover a little bit of character background:

I am a 29 year old third-year law student and former high school history teacher with a strong interest in science fiction, fantasy, video games, role-playing games, and other imminently "geeky" pursuits. I also like martial arts, long distance running, and trips to the gym... so I'm not a total stereotype. Not totally. Just mostly.

I've lived in four states, and a scattering of cities in two of those, and currently reside in North Carolina.

My wife and I have been together for about 10 years, and married for over 4. We met online, through one of the original MMO's called Ultima Online,  and she is a mediation specialist who is getting her certification as a massage therapist.

Second, let's introduce the players:

I'm Mike.

My wife is [INSERT NOM DE PLUME HERE]. We'll figure out what she'd like to go by soon. Coming up with the name has always been one of her least favorite parts of character creation.

The little one is going to be called the Kiddo until we start to get more of an idea as to what sort of person we're dealing with.

Others will be introduced as needed.

Third, we need to set the stage:

In the final weeks of January 2010 my wife and I discovered, to our great joy, that we were pregnant. Well technically she is pregnant, but I've been informed by the only authority that counts (her) that this is how we're referring to it and that's fine by me.

We double and triple checked, and being somewhat impatient people we broke all protocols by letting certain friends and family members know. We were excited, what can we say? In any case, we shortly after had our hopes confirmed by the doctor and began slowly coming to the realization that this meant we'd very soon need to take serious action.

It's alot to wrap the head around, even when you're really trying to, as I'm sure that anyone with experience on the matter can attest to. I couldn't be happier, though. I've always wanted to be a dad someday, and I only hope that I can be a good one. It's the most important thing I can do, at this point.

Even typing that makes me grin a bit foolishly.

So now we're coming to the end of the First Trimester, a day away from getting our first ultrasound, and we're working hard at coming up with solid plans and checklists that we can pretend will make us prepared until they are inevitably shattered by reality.

We're talking to day-care providers, looking at potential schedules, trying to work out rough (very rough) long-term budgets, doing extensive research on random questions, and putting together shopping lists.

Did I mention I was excited?