Thursday, February 20, 2003

Daddy's Weight Check - Thursday, February 20

179 pounds. Yes! Lost one pound and back in the 70s!!! It's a minor victory, but I consider it a victory all the same because there are some people who diet for WEEKS and can't seem to lose a single pound. And I haven't really been dieting, just cutting down on the sweets. Just think how much weight I would have lost if I hadn't had that double mustard Whopper with Cheese, onion rings and 44oz drink just before I went...

Tuesday, February 18, 2003

A Three-Cat Bunk Bed

After we found out that Kayci would be a girl, the task of getting the nursery ready kicked a little more into high gear. We had previously gotten a crib from one of Kristi's former coworkers in Dallas. I had painted the nursery while Kristi was out of town a few weeks before. Now, of course, it was time to begin thinking about all the other furniture and crap we would throw in there. 

My dad had told us that he wanted to "sponsor" the changing table. So while Kristi and I were out shopping one day we found a changing table that she liked and matched the crib really well. So we got it. Dad and my brother Adam came over around lunch time to see the ultrasound video and to have lunch. Afterward, we decided to put the changing table together. We made short work of it.

I should back up at this point and point out that the "nursery" is actually a sunroom attached to the master bedroom. There's no door (yet), just a wide opening and a room that, at some time during our home's 82-year history, was outside and probably a screen room. In that room we used to have a little antique bed (the "little green bed"), Kristi's granmother's antique dresser, a rocker and an Elliptix- a piece of excercise equipment that Kristi HAD to have to improve her life back at the end of college but had actually only been used a handful of times for anything other than a clothes hanger. The room was our cats' domain. They spent most of their days in there either sleeping on the little green bed or peering out the window at the world.

So it came as quite a shock to them when I took the bed apart and put it in the attic, moved the rocker and dresser out and we gave away the elliptix. They still hung around the empty room all day, leaving wads of cat hair everywhere. They figured that we had cleared out the room for them, of course, as a playroom. Then the crib showed up. They thought, "hey! We got a new bed!" and took turns jumping in and out of it until we put the railing up.

So then this changing table appears. The changing table consists of an upper area, padded for chaging the baby, and two lower shelves for storing diapers and wipes and other stuff I'm deathly afraid of. So there are three flat surfaces. We have three cats. Coincidence? The cats didn't think so.

It wasn't long before the cats descended and began inspecting this new thing in their room. Big Kitty and Buddy were the most bold and jumped up to the top immediately. Then Lucy got in on the act and settled into the lower shelf. This alternated periodically and at various times each of them got to be on the "top bunk." Sometimes two of them would curl up together on top and bask in the sun. Three cats never had it so good.

Then one day Buddy got in a bad mood over something and went on a tear. He first ripped into a garbage bag that was full of paper. He chewed up some paper that Kristi had to take to work and ripped a hole in the padding of the changing table. We know it was Buddy because (1) he's the only one with claws and (2) I caught him on the changing table. As soon as he saw me, he apparently knew he had done something wrong and took off like a shot. I didin't see him for awhile.

So now there's a hole in the padding and the cats are no longer allowed on the changing table at all. It took a couple of days- and Big Kitty didn't seem to understand at all- but they've been pretty good about staying down.

Friday, February 14, 2003

Daddy's Weight Check... Friday, February 14, 2003

180.5 lbs - slipped a little. Damn! That's okay... with what I've eaten in the past couple of days, I'm surprised I haven't gained 10 pounds.

Tuesday, February 11, 2003

Daddy's Weight Check - Tuesday, February 11, 2003

180 lbs. - (whew!) Kristi argued with this since I was fully clothed in the doctor's office and wearing my big clunky shoes. In the gym, obviously I wear significantly less. Apparently, she thinks that since it wasn't the same EXACT scale that the reading couldn't possibly correspond to the one at the doctors office. "Apples and oranges..." she told me. I'll give her the clothing thing, but zeroing out a scale isn't rocket science.

Monday, February 10, 2003

Pregnancy Journal, Misc... Part 2

The Kid Loves Jazz!
We decided one night after reading in one of the pregnancy books that the baby could hear, we decided that it was time to play a little music for the baby. Kristi was already able to feel her a little bit- it felt like a little flutter inside- so the idea was that I would play music into her belly and she would tell me when the baby moved and what she liked.

So I went and got my laptop. I didn't have much music loaded on it, but I did happen to have the Bambi Soundtrack (one of my favorites from when I was little). So I placed some headphone speakers up against Kristi's belly and let the music roll. Almost immediately, Kristi said she could feel the baby fluttering and moving around a little.
Then I started searching for other instrumental stuff that I had loaded on my laptop. Since it was just a few weeks after Christmas, I still had the Charlie Brown Christmas album by the Vince Giraldi Trio. I played that and the baby went nuts! She said that it felt like she was dancing in there.

Cool. The baby likes jazz. I can dig it, man. Yeah... So I naturally figured that the baby would like a little swing music and maybe some big band stuff. So I added "Jump Jive and Wail" and a bunch of Glenn Miller to the baby's playlist. I kept adding- Enya, Michael W. Smith, Dances With Wolves, a little of The Police, some Eric Johnson, some Satriani, a couple of Air Supply tunes- you know, stuff with good melodies or lots of instrumentals.

So every night like clockwork we would climb into bed and I would play music into the belly. If Kristi fell asleep, I could usually tell what the baby was doing by the way Kristi would twitch suddenly. The baby could care less about Enya or most of that stuff; the baby just wanted to hear Charlie Brown.

I figure that the baby has very advanced musical tastes already. In fact, I'm slowly adding some of my favorite muic to the playlists. Every now and then I'll slip in a new song. Before long, we'll work our way up to some Jimmy Eat World and Incubus and later some Rush and some Van Halen or Metallica.

I'll teach the baby to play the drums from inside the womb! I'll begin by using drumsticks to lightly play on the outside of Kristi's belly so that the baby can learn the basics. Then maybe in a couple of months I'll try to get Kristi to eat a snare drum so the kid can practice.

This is gonna be great...

Surfing With the Alien
On Wednesday, February 5 we went to the Women's Hospital for our long awaited BIG ultrasound when we were told we should be able to find out what the baby is. Kristi's mom and dad went with us (we couldn't have kept them away if we tried.)

After checking in, Kristi was ushered off to a little room. A few minutes later, the technician came out and told us we could come in. There was Kristi in a tiny little room wearing another paper-thn gown, lying on a table. 
The room looked like a lot of the video editing suites I've been in- dark and a little chilly and monitors and blinking lights everywhere. The technician took a white squeeze bottle and squirted blue jelly all over Kristi's belly. Surprisingly enough, the jelly tasted nothing like blueberries.

Then the magic began. The technician took her little ultrasound wand, which looks remarkably like a hand-held barcode scanner at the store, and started poking around on Kristi's belly. Pretty soon she had located the baby. The first thing we saw was the baby's head.

Looking at an ultrasound is beautiful and scary all at once. You're there looking at your baby moving around, but you have to use a lot of imagination. As you can see on the video page, the baby looks like a little skeleton and a kind of like an alien space monster in there (which might explain why most babies look like Yoda when they pop out). Soon you begin to realize what you're looking at by the bone shapes.

The technician showed us the baby's heart fluttering and began taking measurements of bone length and various other things. She took measurements for about 30 minutes. We saw a lot of the little person in there, but we still had no idea what the sex was. We saw little hands and feet and arms and legs. We saw the baby grab and play with its foot. We saw it kick and flex its hand. It was truly amazing.

Then Kristi asked if the technician thought it was a boy or a girl. The tech said she though she knew, but that she couldn't officially tell us- that was for the doctor to do.

Then the doctor came in, took a good look with the ultrasound and said that there were definitely not any boy parts.
We're having a girl!

So, for those of you who were betting- now you know. And the boy bets were running high (myself and Kristi included). I forget what the exact odds the bet makers in Vegas had on it, but those who picked a girl are gonna be rich. It also just goes to show that sometimes old wives don't
know squat 'bout birthin' no babies...

Most people thought it was a boy because: 
1. I'm so damn manly that people figured that's all I could make 
2. The baby has been VERY active. Most old wives say that points to boy
3. Kristi has been carrying the baby fairly low, and most old wives say that points to boy
4. Most little kids have been telling Kristi she's got a boy in there. Old wives think that little kids can tell. Only Hanna has consistently said she thought pink.
5. Kristi didn't have a really rough first trimester. She didn't throw up once and didn't really have any cravings to speak of. Most old wives say that points to boy.
6. She hasn't gained much weight over the course of her pregnancy so far. Most old bitties say that points to boy. I say that points to healthy living (and the lack of any serious sweets cravings).

When the tech started the video, Kayci (who had been very active during the preceeding 45 minutes of ultrasound) settled down and basically just layed there. As you can see on the video, she must be getting tired because she yawns a few times. At one point, just after a big yawn, she drapes her arm over the top of her head.

During the video, I began by talking to Kayci. It's totally irrational, but just after I said hello to her, on the ultrasound the put her hand in front of her and moved it around as if she was waving or perhaps reaching for the sound. Now, I know that she has no idea what a wave is yet and doesn't have enough control of her motor skills to be able to wave, but it was a really fun coincidence. Oh, wait... this is MY baby. She's a prodigy, so it is possible- probably very likely- that not only was she waving at me through mommy's belly, she was probably telling me that she loves me using sign language. Being a dumb boy, I don't actually know and sign language- except for one- so it was totally lost one me. And had she given me the sign language that I know, well, let's just say it would mean we're in for a ROUGH ride...

Okay, I’m a slacker. While I’ve enjoyed the website this past week (when I’ve had time to look at it—things have been CRAZY at work!), I’ve done nothing to actually contribute. So, here’s my first oh-fficial journal entry. Tonight we met my mom for dinner at China Ko, went shopping, then went back to mom & dad’s to deliver a light bulb and watch the ending of “The Bachelorette.” Seriously, this is our life now. Since we’ve been pregnant, we’ve been spending lots of nights doing humdrum stuff—watching TV, reading, just hanging out at home. Yes, I said watching TV. Not something we’ve done a lot of these past few years (we gave up cable to afford the Heights!), but it’s been kind of fun to rediscover the couch. I figure we better enjoy it while we can. If Kayci is this active IN the womb, I’m nervous thinking about what she’ll be like OUT of it. Aunt Mel wished for a baby with my hair & Daddy’s energy—Aunt Mel, if that happens, you’d better move back so Kayci will have a place to stay when Mommy & Daddy are worn out. ONE Daddy is enough, thank you very much.

I’m enjoying pregnancy and imagining what this little person will be like. She already has a very definite personality, and never hesitates to let me know what she thinks about what I’m doing or eating. She’s advanced from flutters to light jabs and kicks. I’m amazed at how quickly she changes. And speaking of changes, for those of you (like me) who are ignorant about pregnancy and the woman’s body, let’s just say that pregnancy is not for the faint of heart. I’ve got stretch marks (sorry, it IS genetic, the expensive creams DON’T work), hair on my tummy, and let’s not even talk about the frown my belly button has developed this week. And we’re only halfway there—it hasn’t even gotten gross, yet! I don’t even want to think about what my body is going to do over the next 5 months. I only hope I can look it in the eye when this is said and done…

I’ve enjoyed reading James’ journal entries, both on the web and in the journal we bought to write letters to the baby (now we can call her Kayci) throughout the pregnancy and, hopefully, through the years. But who are we kidding—so far, we’re averaging about one entry per month. Anyway, it’s fun to hear James’ side of this thing. I’d say it’s definitely the lighter side; he helps me to see the humor in the little things when I’m stressed out. This is definitely a team effort, and I can’t imagine it any other way. I’m not nesting yet, but all I want to do is basically hang out with my boy and dream about Kayci. That’s what got us into this in the first place…

Those of you wondering about all of the leather jacket comments on the web site, keep wondering :). As is typical of the James and Kristi saga, the story is a bit too off-color to be shared with the world, but too funny to keep to ourselves. So, you know a bit more than you should about “where Kayci’s come from.” 

It’s time for bed. That’s another thing—bedtime is running about an hour earlier than usual, and my body refuses to sleep for less than eight hours. I rarely get to school “early” anymore—shocking to some of you, I’m sure! But, alas, the bed and Kayci’s headphones are calling. Daddy loaded several new CDs today: classical, Christian, Dido, Avril Levigne, and Kenny Rogers. We’ll see what the boss likes…my money is still on Charlie Brown. Will somebody please tell her that Christmas is over, already? I wouldn’t mind if she wanted to hear just the Charlie Brown theme, but it’s the Christmassy stuff that really gets her going. As for Daddy and me, we’re staunch believers in no Christmas til after Thanksgiving. Great. Another reason to wonder who’s baby this really is…