April 17, 2007

The Stroller Rage

Yes, so apparently I need to be a little better informed. Last Thursday's appointment contained no sonogram, or really, no real information that would be fun to mention here. So basically, in order for me to get you a cool, updated picture of Goose, I would have had to cross many of the unmentionable barriers that Nicole and I have in our marriage. So I apologize, I have no new pictures of Goose to share. We did hear Goose's heart beating very loudly this time, and right off the bat... maybe he has a crush on the nurse, or maybe his excitement at not having to deal with a sonogram matched our disappointment. Either way, I was really hoping on sharing a picture of Goose, but what can you do. The doctor said no. And she also added that there won't be a sonogram for like 6 more weeks. So if I promise you anything before then, I am a liar. Don't fall for it.

So anyway, no sonogram for 6 weeks? What fun is that? As the father of this child, and therefore, accepting of no real duties in this process (I'm not growing it nor am I checking its health), my only real involvement is the up keep on this blog. Keeping those that care informed and up to date. Without this task, I'm only slightly more involved in this process than you. Well... I guess when Goose starts kicking Nicole real hard (which is all the time these days), I try to get on to him, but him and I both realize my threats are hollow. So long story short... sorry for not fulfilling the sonogram promise. I have made an attempt to post a slideshow of current photos for you. I'm not sure where it will show up, if it does indeed show up. So if it doesn't appear on the side of this blog, then it means I messed it up somethin' awful. Hopefully it will work. Also, for some reason the slideshow thing I have made crops a little bit off of the bottom of the photos. So if there is one you want to look at closer, just click on the picture when it pops up, (or any of them for that matter), and it will take you to the place on the web where I have the photos stored. You can look at them there in better detail than what shows up on the slideshow. This slideshow should show several rarely seen photos of Nicole as well as our new stroller... which I will get into later on in this blog. And yes, the last photo is of Nicole, holding a goose decoy, pushing our stroller. She's now a few steps closer to becoming a true Texan. Next step would be either clay pigeon shooting or actually adopting the "I'll take a coke." "What kind?" "Dr. Pepper" lingo.

Other news not involving sonograms are that Nicole and I have officially been baptized into the stroller phenomenon. We recently purchased a sweet little travel system that consists of a stroller, a car seat and 2 bases that will be installed in our cars. Total time in Baby's-R-Us to purchase said items: well over 3 hours. Why so long you ask? Well... I'm glad you asked. The answer: Baby equipment is unbelievably complicated. Add that to the, "Who Cares. Whatever." attitude by the employees at Baby's-R-Us and you find Nicole and me, helpless, standing in front of a sea of strollers. We were like lambs if you will, left to figure out how the strollers collapse, un-collapse, how the car seats attach to the strollers, etc. etc. Hopefully from the tone I'm typing in, you can still sense some of the frustration associated with the whole process. It was unbelievable. But with bad does come some good. I did learn a few things. And they are, in no significant order:
  1. My engineering degrees have put me at no real advantage when it comes to the backwards mechanics associated with strollers.
  2. Everything that looks like it should make the stroller do something is color-coded red. Whether it is for the most mundane of uses or not, it is red. Thus inherently creating an endless combination of levers and buttons to push and pull in hopes that something will happen.
  3. There are a million types of stroller/car seat combos.
  4. None of them fold up the same.
  5. To make it personal, I collapse strollers much like I speak to someone that doesn't speak english. To explain: Say I want to fold the stroller to its travel size. Also say there is a nearby red handle. I begin the process by pulling the handle and pushing on the stroller in the direction I think will make it fold up. If nothing happens, I pull the handle a little harder and push on the stroller a little harder. Fast-forward a few minutes and you will find me bracing the stroller with my foot and yanking on the handle like I'm trying to crank-start a lawn mower. If nothing still happens, I ask Nicole the redundant question of, "Am I doing this right?"... not wanting an answer, mind you, just wanting someone to be on the same wave length as me. It's lonely being dumb sometimes. The relation to speaking to someone who doesn't speak english is this: I say, "Excuse me, do you know where the bathroom is?" They stare and say nothing. I say, "DO YOU KNOW WHERE THE BATHROOM IS!!!!!!". Nothing. "BATHROOM?"

But, it was great time. The next big purchase will be Goose's bed. We've actually already bought it, but since they didn't have any more in the store (naturally), they had to order it. It should be in on Friday. I'll keep you posted.

April 11, 2007

Time Flies

Today Nicole and I are now officially way under the 100 day mark. Time really flies by these days. It seems like only yesterday that Nicole was telling me she was pregnant, and only yesterday I wasn't believing her. For those of you that haven't been filled in, which I'm pretty sure nobody has, it happened the Saturday morning before A&M was set to play Oklahoma in football. I was watching the college gameday broadcast live from College Station when Nicole tested out one of her 40 million pregnancy tests. (Side note: Chances of me rembering life-changing dates are substantially better if I bookmark them around sporting events. It's a good tip for younger newly weds. Just fyi.) Anyway, back to the story. Nicole had been thinking she was pregnant for quite awhile, and so she had been taking like 3 or 4 pregnancy tests a day. She said it was because she was feeling different. At the time, I thought she was crazy. I thought she might be trying to pull a fast-one on me so that she could get out of helping me renovate our newly purchased house.

So she takes one for about the 40th time, only this time, instead of a "Nope" from a not-so-distant room, I hear in a quiet, questioning voice, "I think we're pregnant?" Naturally, I say "Whatever", thinking she was just foolin' around. Because for somebody's life to change so drastically, it had better be something a little more substantial than "I think", you know? "Oh, I think your life is going to change forever."

So I looked at the indicator (after Nicole assured me it was clean, obviously) and the only thing you could see was the bare hint that a thought of a line could be there. So I read the directions (which, is what I do.) I read the directions on just about anything. It's kind of my thing. So I read the directions, and although they were direct, I still doubted. They said (paraphrasing) "If you see anything at all, then you are pregnant." Those that have been there know that sometimes the line is not really a line. This time it wasn't really much of anything. It was just barely there. It looked more like where the line would be, if there were a line, but there wasn't. Like if you rubbed your eyes, what was there originally wouldn't be there when you opened your eyes back up. So I still doubted and I thought, can't they do better than this? To me, it seems that for something as life changing as this, not only should the line be CLEARLY visible, it should also take things a step further. Instead of a line it should be a phrase that lights up saying, "Yes, idiot, your wife is pregnant. Tell her you are excited, that you love her and that you will discuss baby names after the A&M game, but only if they win. A loss means you can discuss names tomorrow." Of course, if this were the case, I guess the pregnancy test wouldn't be as small and convenient as it is now. But that would certainly be better than the uncertainty associated with a faint line.

In all honesty though, the uncertainty almost took the luster out of finding out I'm going to be a dad. It almost stole the romance associated with something as romantic as becoming parents. But it didn't. I was still able to experience all the emotions. I was excited. But I was also scared, and worried, and doubting it was true, hoping it was, worried it wasn't true, nervous, wondering if we were ready, realizing it didn't matter now if we were or not, etc. But it was a great time. Seems so long ago in my mind, but now, as we await Goose, well under 100 days away, this day seemed like it was so far away then, and now it's happening. Nicole is huge and her belly moves on its own. We are buying lots of things and making the preparations, but it still is a little surreal to me. It almost seems like it is too early, like we just got married and we just bought our house. Like not long ago we discussed having a kid and what it would be like. And now it's about to happen. But then it also seems like it's about time. I'm tired of waiting and worrying about his health and the troubles we are going to face raising him. I'm tired of wondering what it's going to be like. So, sometimes I'm glad life moves so quickly. Like somebody out there knows that we are ready when we doubt ourselves.

On a different note, Nicole has another doctor appointment tomorrow. They will be doing another sonogram, so I hope to update the blog Thursday or Friday (probably Friday) with the updated Goose pics. I give you no guarantees that his hair will be combed or that he will smile. Until he gets to a point where we can discipline him (i.e. out of the womb), he's pretty much calling the shots. He's in for a rude awakening though... literally and figuratively.

April 2, 2007

Rock it out

So first things first, let me apologize to everyone for the lag that has occured between the last few posts. I have had like 4 projects go out in the last 2 weeks. Add that to my ongoing daily efforts dedicated to keep Nicole happy, and reminding her that she isn't so much fat as she is pregnant. Plus keeping Ed (our cat) from eating things he shouldn't and throwing them up places he shouldn't, and my free time has been a hot comodity lately. But, today is a new day. Life is sweet again. The joys of engineering without any real responsibility to the public are gone. (i.e. - I have no major projects going out anytime soon.)

For those interested, the above picture constitutes our first major purchase for Goose's room. That would be a sweet little rocking chair that's sole purpose in life is to turn a screamer into a sleeper. This chair will be what I call "phase 1". Should the baby rocker fail to put our child to sleep, I plan on implementing a series of steps/phases that according to my research, will be effective. They are in order of progression:

  1. Try baby rocker again.
  2. Feed him again.
  3. Load him in the car and drive him around.
  4. Beg.
  5. Whiskey.
  6. Bribery.
  7. Stun-Gun him.
  8. Grandparents.

I'm sure the granparents probably hope the rocker (step 1) and the remaining 7 steps fail. And no, (Mr. and Mrs. B), I'm not opposed to driving a screaming kid all the way to Ft. Myers, just to drop him off, turn around and drive back. And yes, Nicole and I promise to give you at least a 5 minute heads up.

But, in all seriousness, the rocker we bought is pretty cool. Nicole did a great job picking it out. We (Nicole) got to choose the fabric. It does need some breaking in, but once we get that taken care of, it is going to be really comfortable. And apparently that is what is most important. Well... probably that and that it's going to be scotch-guarded.

The other big news happening this week is that Goose has really started to move around. Now that I'm an old hat at feeling him move, I've been taking part a lot lately. Holy Cow is he active. Nicole is convinced he doesn't sleep, and in turn, doesn't sleep herself. So she's tired all the time because of Goose, who apparently just lives to kick her stomach these days. Here's a quick little side story for those of you that care.

  • I guess Nicole's new resting place for her hand is now her newly formed baby belly. So she rests her hand on there a lot lately. Mostly because she says she likes feeling Goose move, but also because it's so handy. So while she's working the other day (Thursday), she's resting her hand on her stomach like normal. Only this time she feels Goose start his attempt at kicking her hand off of her own belly. For those of you that know Nicole, we all know that she can be a little stubborn. So she originally thought she would comply with Goose's demands and move her hand, but then she thought... "No, 1. my hand was here first. and 2. it's my stomach. I'm not moving it." So I guess Goose must have had a similar thought process, and so he continues to kick her hand. And so they continue to "fight" for a few minutes until Nicole realizes that Goose is settling in for the long haul. So she completely caves and moves her hand. Goose wins. Quite unbelievable really. Especially considering that the first battle between parent and child should always be won by the parent. So I'm pretty sure this isn't a good thing. Now we are already going to have to retrain him. Rule number one will now have to be that kicking is not acceptable. To be fair though, Nicole did later try spin the happenings as her just liking to feel him kick, but I believe it was as she originally described. It was a battle between them and she lost. Goose 1, Nicole 0.

So to wrap up... my sister said it best the other weekend... we've created a little community with this blog. I'm glad everyone has a place and a desire to check in on Nicole, me and baby Goose. People I would never have thought would read this blog have found it (what's up Summer and Lisa). So Nicole and I are very glad everybody is involved. Later, when Goose finds himself grounded and bored and without anything better to do other than to read this blog and all the comments, he's going to feel very blessed. Well... let's put it this way... he'll feel blessed or we will make him feel blessed!