Thursday, March 27, 2008

Due Dates

Flashback 1993--Summer before junior year in high school:

I was going to the beach (and when I say “the beach” I just mean Galveston, no need for jealousy) with some girlfriends and I remember looking at the bottled water I was drinking and noticing the expiration date: May 1995.

“Hey, look at this,” I said. “May 1995. That’s when we graduate! That makes it seem like it’s not so far away!” I think we all got excited and sang our faux class song, Prince’s 1999. Except we changed it to, “Tonight I’m gonna party like it’s 1995.”

So what if we still had two full school years? That date was printed on something tangible so it meant that it would be here...someday.

I find that I always look at due dates on food and beverage products and think about how they relate to events I’m looking forward to in my life. If it’s something canned, like soup, then it’s still too far away. But if it’s something dairy, like sour cream, it’s gonna be here before you know it!

So now I’ve been doing that with the baby’s due date.

A couple of weeks ago I pointed out to Frank that our Egg Beaters would expire on April 23rd. “That’s BS’s due date!” I told him. Now when the REAL eggs say 4/23/08, we better have our hospital bag packed.

On Monday, I got an awesome one: Orange Juice with BS’s due date! Orange Juice! Now that stuff does not last forever. Although I did freeze it so ours might.

But the orange juice is very close to the most important grocery store due date product: MILK. When BS’s due date is on the milk, I’ll probably jump up and down, right there in the dairy aisle.

Ooh, I got one better than regular milk: Manager’s Special milk! If I’m in the store and I see BS’s due date on Manager’s Special milk…well, I better get out of that store. Don’t want the other shoppers to lose their appetites.

Tuesday, March 25, 2008

Which of these kids is doing his own thing?

BS got a life lesson and he/she is not even born yet. After doing the first load of baby laundry, a sock is already missing. And naturally, it had to be the ONLY one with a cute print on it.

Oh, well. Life is rough. BS will have to learn that sooner or later.

Monday, March 24, 2008

My 15 Minutes

Frank had off on Friday so we spent the day running around, doing lots of errands. Our final stop was the Home Depot where an older orange-apron-wearing-staffer asked me lots of pregnancy questions:

“So when is the blessed event?”

“What are you having?”

“What? A surprise? Don’t you know it’s the 21st century?”

“What are the names you picked out?”

“What? You’re not telling? Well, don’t name it something nobody can spell. My friend Garn had the worst time…”

This went on for another four-six minutes. We finally were able to buy contact paper and refill the propane tank as long as we didn’t make eye contact with anyone else in the store.

When we left Frank said, “So people do this everywhere you go, huh? Let’s count how many people stopped you to talk about your pregnancy today. And we can only count people we don’t know.” (So, for instance, we didn’t count the lady who was preparing our taxes because she HAD to say something. It was relevant to the conversation.)

From the YMCA to the mall to the Home Depot, we counted twelve.

Some were quick, passer-by comments like a guy at the YMCA who said, “You’ve got a built-in floatation device!”

Others are long monologues about their own baby experience like the guy at the jewelry store at the mall who told us, “Oh, not finding out is the best…and everything they say about high or low is BS…I remember with my first…and then with my second…I walked out into the waiting room and told the family…it’s just amazing! Amazing!”

I told Frank when we were counting up my commenters: “This must be what it’s like to be a celebrity!”

Of course, I love the attention but sometimes I’m in a hurry and don’t have time to deal with my public. I said, “Like if I was Paula Abdul, everywhere I go I’m ALWAYS Paula Abdul but to people who see me, it’s like their ONE chance to say whatever they want to Paula Abdul. So everywhere she goes, people are probably like, ‘How do you put up with Simon?’ Okay, maybe Paula Abdul isn’t the best example.”

My preg-celeb days are limited though so I better enjoy them. Soon everybody will just be looking at my baby and totally ignoring me. Go ahead and get your autograph requests in while you still can.

Thursday, March 20, 2008

Why WG Expanding Rocks

I may not have the greatest singing voice but I’ll tell you this: I LOVE to sing. I sing loud in church and around my house. Until now, nobody has appreciated my talents. But I think I may have found an audience in toddlers and babies.

For instance, BS dances around when I sing. And if I stop, BS kicks for more. Some of BS’s fave songs are:

You are my Sunshine
Bippity Boppity Boo (from Cinderella)
Sara Smile (we’re not naming BS Sara; it’s just my fave Hall and Oates song)
Mr. Rogers Ending Song: It’s Such a Good Feeling
Here’s a video of Fred doing the song

One night I was singing Bippity Boppity Boo to BS and you could actually see the baby moving in my stomach. I said to Frank, “See? The baby loves this song!” Frank said, “So this is like a thing you have with the baby? I didn’t know about this!” A little jealous, Super Dad?

But if you’re skeptical and think maybe BS is actually asking me to STOP singing, I have another fan…one who is not a fetus.

My neighbor Debbie had her baby last night so during the afternoon I watched her 3-year-old daughter. She asked me to read her this book of kids’ prayers so when I read “Day by Day” I said, “You know, this one is also a song” and I started to sing it. She looked out the window like she was bored so I stopped. But then when I got to the next prayer she said, “Is this one a song too?” So she liked my singing voice after all! I said, “No, but I could make one up!” Then every page after that she would request songs. Some of them were trickier than others to improv so when in doubt, I just sang anything biblical: Jesus Loves Me, Michael Row the Boat Ashore…I’m pretty sure she couldn’t tell the difference.

Maybe I could have my own show on PBS: Writinggal Rocks the Kiddie Songs. Parents will say, “She sings terribly but my children love her!” The concept is not that different from Barney or the Teletubbies. Except I won’t wear a unitard.

Tuesday, March 18, 2008

Fun at the Film Festival

We started this fun activity last night: it’s sort of like a film festival. We go once a week for four weeks and it’s two hours long. It’s just $50 per person and you get to see several movies. We went with our neighbors.

The films are a mix of horror and romance. On the downside, there’s lots of gore and violence. On the plus side, there’s also a lot of nudity. But then there’s that element of family too. Oh, and they were all filmed in the 80's so it’s sort of historical. Big bangs. Bad make-up. Laughable wardrobe choices.

They even let you bring pillows so you can relax while you watch the movies. You’re allowed to eat snacks but I definitely cannot watch these movies and eat. Last night, during the really gross part, I turned to look at our neighbors, Josh and Claire, and they both had their eyes covered. The film festival really should supply barf bags. I might put that in my feedback.

So we’ve got three more weeks of the film festival and then a couple of weeks after that, we actually get the opportunity to ACT OUT the movies ourselves! I will play the female lead and Frank will star as the supportive man. He definitely got the better part. Don’t worry, I will not make you watch our movie.

Friday, March 14, 2008

The Belly Game

Here’s how it works: you guess whose belly is bigger: mine or Frank’s.

Okay, who did you guess?

Did you guess mine?

You are WRONG! You lost the game! We have been measuring our bellies and Frank’s is still a whole inch bigger than mine. I know; it’s hard to believe. It’s not Frank’s fault: he works out, he eats somewhat healthy and he limits his alcohol consumption to those four beers on Friday.

Yet his stomach is bigger than a nearly-eight-months pregnant lady. It’s fascinates us. It confuses us. But as Frank says, “It must have something to do with geometry.”

Wednesday, March 12, 2008

More Daddy Dictionary

Frank has gotten so into this dad thing that I can’t seem to stump him with any pregnancy-baby words. Although we did both admit yesterday that we used to think colic was an actual disease, not just a fussy baby.

Still, Frank makes funny new dad comments that are blog worthy:

1. We got a gift from our friends, the Richters, that’s a box of cards called “52 tips for new parents.” Frank started this tradition of reading one every night before we go to bed. He reads it out loud so the baby can hear his voice. He reads it like an elementary school teacher, first reading the title very loudly and carefully: “QUALITY TIME WITH BABY,” and then facing the card away from him and slowly showing it to a pretend class. Then he reads the card in his dad voice which we need to work on because to me, it sounds creepy. BS thinks so too.

But the best part is that BS is going to think Aunt Thea is a total parenting expert. Frank calls these cards “Tips from Thea.” He says, “Okay, time to read ‘Tips from Thea!’” Let me note again that we didn’t get these from Thea nor does she have a baby (that I know of). She is full of good tips though.

2. Speaking of reading out loud, I was reading an article to Frank in the doctor’s office yesterday. It said that babies get really fussy around 5:00pm. I said, “But babies don't know what time it is.”

Frank said, “I know. When you're a baby, it's always like Vegas.”

3. I guess we read out loud a lot! I was reading a booklet from the hospital to Frank and it said, “If you wish to have your baby son circumcised, that will be done by your obstetrician.”

Frank said, “What? The eye doctor is going to be there?”

Monday, March 10, 2008

Fre, my new frie

This no-drinking thing the doctors have come up with hasn’t been as bad as I thought. I mean, I always have a clear head, I wake up feeling pretty good and I don’t have to worry about staying something stupid (well, at least, not because I’ve been drinking). I do, however, miss my wine.

I got this shirt to express my feelings:

And that wine I’m holding? The alcohol has been removed! It’s called Fre. It's my new frie.
A pregnant buddy told me about it. Frank thinks it tastes like grape juice. I’m fine with it. It totally tricks me and makes me think I’m part of the party.

So maybe it doesn’t taste EXACTLY like wine. But hey, preggars can’t be choosers.

Wednesday, March 5, 2008

Bumpin' BS

Look at this thing. It’s not just big; it sticks out really far. Farther than you think. Well, at least farther than I think.

Every day I have to apologize to BS for running him/her into things.

I run into doors, door frames and walls. I think I can fit between things that I can’t fit between. And yesterday, I closed the dishwasher door on BS! I’ve got a big scratch!

Oh, and when I reach up to use the microwave, my belly runs into the dials on the stove. I’m OCD about the dials on the stove, always making sure they’re pointing to “off.” At night before I go to bed I look at the four of them and say, “Off, off, off, off.”

Now I say, “Off, off, off, off” every time I walk past them. BS could have easily turned them on. Maybe I need those childproof stove-dial covers already. Frank doesn’t think we need them at all. “So what if the kid turns on the stove? What’s the big deal?” he asked.

This, coming from the guy who will barely touch my belly, he’s so afraid of hurting BS.

All I know is BS is still dancing around in there. We’ve either got one tough baby or a baby with a lot of bumps and bruises.

Monday, March 3, 2008

Spring Time = Sale Time

The other Atlanta moms have been telling me about these consignment sales around town. They’re mostly in churches and they have lots of quality used stuff for babies. As we’ve been shopping for baby gear, Frank keeps asking, “When are all those consignment sales everybody talks about?” I had to explain to him that they were seasonal so they only happen in the fall and the spring. Since it was winter we were out of luck.

But he was still super eager. One weekend in February it was a little warm and Frank said, “Will they have a consignment sale now?”

“It’s not like it just gets warm and they set up shop! They have these dates planned far in advance,” I told him.

But last weekend there was one by our house. You really can’t just wander in there. You’ve got to have a plan. And a basket. I thought they meant like a cute wicker basket but apparently they meant laundry baskets.

And you have to understand the rules. Wednesday night they had a preview sale which is only for people who volunteer for at least three hours (not me). Then on Thursday night it opened to the public. It went on all day Friday, all day Saturday and Sunday was half price day.

You have to decide if you’re going to go at the beginning or at the end. There’s really no point in going on Saturday because it’s way too crowded, all the good stuff is gone and all the bad stuff will be half price the next day anyway.

I decided to go the first night that was open to the public. Frank even went with me! We didn't know what to expect. We thought it might be in a big tent so we bundled up. It was actually in a storefront though. And when I saw that everyone had laundry baskets, I left my wicker basket in the car.

When we walked in it was mommy madness. They were piling clothes into laundry baskets like they were going out of style (which, by the way, they were). They were stocking up on toys, gear, books and bedroom furniture.

There were pregnant bellies everywhere and I told Frank, “It’s Shlumpadinkaville in here!” And this was a pretty fancy one. There was one particular Shlumpadinka who I really wanted to send in to Oprah. She was pushing around this bright pink-flowered bassinet with lots of purchases in it. It was like she had won a contest where she had 30 seconds to grab stuff in a store and she had cleverly used the bassinet to haul it all.

Someone said to her, “Oh, you must be having a girl!” And Shlump said, “No, we don’t know what we’re having. We’re not really into things being gender specific.”

I said a silent prayer that she would have a girl so a poor little boy wouldn’t have to be photographed in that bassinet. But then I thought of the unfortunate little girl’s shlump hair and decided I should just leave it up to God's will.

Despite having to push through the Shlumpadinkas and do a lot of digging, we scored some pretty good stuff. What did we get? A jogging stroller! Frank spent a lot of time out front with the volunteers, learning about the strollers. He was BFF with them by the time we left.

That was our biggest find and actually the only one I’m going to tell you about. You see, I’ve decided that if you see some of my purchases and compliment me or BS on them, I’m going to lie and act like I paid full price. Well, I won’t lie. I’ll just say, “Thanks” and not add that I got them at a consignment sale.

But I did work hard for them. I had to wait in line for twenty minutes! And when we finally were trying to leave, that major Shlumpadinka tried to befriend me! (I did look a little shlumpy, having coming straight from spin class so I can’t blame her for thinking I was one of her own.)

“These things are great!” she said, “I sell stuff here too and I always end up breaking even!”

Yikes. I hope the stuff I bought wasn’t hers, I thought, ready to get outta there.

Frank, on the other hand, was pumped up about more consignment sales. We heard some people in line talk about another one going on this weekend. The lady said, “I don’t know if it’s good but there are a lot of rich people in that area!”

Frank hit that one on Saturday (without me)!

So now that it’s basically springtime in the south, this is where you’ll find us (or at least Frank) each weekend, digging through other people’s stuff. But BS will not be sleeping in a pink-flowered bassinet--even if it IS 50% off.