Sense of Entitlement

They've just converted the ladies' (and I assume also men's) room on my floor at work. With the renovation unfortunately the blah white and blue tiles stayed (I was hoping for something more modern) but the toilets and sinks were converted to automatic flushers and faucets. Even the hand dryer is now automatic.

I wave my hand over the back of the toilet and it flushes. I walk up to the sink and it serves me with water. The dryer is immediately at my service when I place my hands under its spout.

This is nice and likely more sanitary. The bathroom may now be cleaner than the photocopier. However, the negative impact is the habits I've realized it creates when I go to other restrooms. On occasion, I've caught myself nearly leaving the stall without a flush. (How awful and inconsiderate for the next person!) At airports, I've walked up to the sink and dumbly stood there, 5 seconds later impatiently wondering, "Where's the water? Is this broken!?" No, it's just an old-fashioned, *self-serve* sink.

Such a chore. This is not the standard to which I've become accustomed.

To Do: Columbus

We'll be in town by the end of next month for a baby shower, so the mental list of people to see and places to go in Columbus is starting to be written.
When my curiosity led me to a story about the best ice cream shops in America, I already found myself in Columbus.
Add Jeni's Splendid Ice Creams to that list, please. (I know, so cliche - a pregnant lady looking for her ice cream fix.)

Here are some of the flavors that I could go for:
Pure, intense, and feisty black peppermint restrained and mellowed by sweet cream. True mint ice cream.And then this is intriguing...
Sharp citrus and cool, smoke-y Indian cardamom in tangy yogurt laced with ribbons of sweet, pink, roasted rhubarb ribbons. Exotic, aromatic, refreshing.WILD LAVENDER
Fruity, with brambly berry flavors, citrus zest, exotic spices, and lavender essential oil.Not sure if I'd want to eat that flavor, or be massaged with it.

Any recommedations for someone who'll just have a day to test these out?

Doc for Tot

There were a few episodes of panic this week, which lead to generally more moments of distress and tearfulness.
But, really did anything serious happen? No. Were there any catastrophic occurrences? No.

What happened was I'd fallen behind the hospital's deadline for pre-registry for delivery because you to have your child's pediatrician lined up. I hadn't even thought of this.

Then in another hospital-sponsored drama, I learned that the classes that promise to orient me and Jason to the compounding wonders of nature that are childbirth, breastfeeding, and baby care basics, were booked up. Let's hope baby arrives in time or a little tardy, since I won't know how to feed him until about five days prior to his arrival! (We did sneak into a marathon weekend class on childbirth, and baby care basics on two August weeknights.)

As for the pediatrician, if it were just a doctor for me I'd have only two questions: "Do you take my insurance?" and "How soon can I get an appointment?" And despite having a very positive conversation with the candidate pediatrician's office manager, I was feeling guilty when she'd asked me twice if I wanted to come in to meet the doctor. There didn't seem to be any way to nonchalantly say, "Nah, I think we're good," and not seem like a bad mommy.

Saturday was my "meet and greet" with the pediatrician. She immediately put me at ease by explaining that if I don't make it to that breast-feeding class, there are daily classes at the hospital nursery for moms with babies in hand. (There were some other surprising breast-feeding facts I learned, but that's too detailed for this little post.) I agreed strongly with her favorable opinions on vaccines too. Herd immunity!

Check those boxes for pediatrician and dismissing anxiety over the classes.

One drawback: in reading the pediatrician bios in the waiting room today I saw a detail that gave me a minor tinge of bad wife guilt... the doctor is a University of Michigan graduate. I promised Jason that if it bothered him, baby can be dressed in Ohio State gear for each doctor's visit.

I Covet

Not being inclined to buy any clothes for the next few months (I have enough maternity wear, and so little of it is really stuff I love...) that occasional "I want" energy has to be turned elsewhere.

Shoes don't work. The threat that my feet could change a whole size during pregnancy...and never go back....freaks me out. (Of course I'm still more freaked by the entire labor and delivery process to come. This will be explored in all its gory detail during a weekend childbirth class in August. It'll be like attending high school Health class with Jason, except in the end we will ultimately not share an egg or a flour sack, but a real kid.)

I've filled the registries at Amazon and Babies R' Us with lots of stuff for baby. It's gotten to the point of frivolity with CDs of Radiohead and Coldplay lullabye music and stuffed animals that can be programmed to say baby's name.

So I'm left to covet other diaper bags that are super cute (but super expensive...figures!)

The Petunia Pickle Bottom Cake Society Satchel

Which one...yellow? red? green? (All three are on my Amazon Wishlist, reflecting my indecision.)

To address my craving (in a frugal way) I've bid on eBay (and lost) and entered a drawing to win one (and lost).

If all else fails, I may invoke a request for a "push present." It'd be much cheaper than Mariah Carey's $12,000 pink diamond and Rachel Zoe's $250,000 diamond ring.

A mommy friend advised just picking a diaper bag that I like, since most likely I'll be the one carrying it (not Jason.) But to address the times that Jason will be toting baby around, I did register for the manly Diaper Dude bag. (Which I'd also be ok with.)My only diaper bag bottom line principle is that it look like an adult bag. Unless baby is planning on carrying it himself.

Feeling My Age

When NPR is both introducing you to new music and their commentators are covering the "maturity" of today's Beastie Boys, you begin to feel a lot less hip. Intellectual is the new cool?

For a funny Beastie Boys retrospective, there's this, with a great video now playing on Comedy Central also.

And the latest album I downloaded was thanks to NPR's World Cafe, was Bell X1's "Bloodless Coup." The Irish band is described as "pre-electronic Radiohead and the more sedate side of Coldplay." My favorite song so far is "Sugar High" which these days I'm bemused to be getting from my maternity glucose test (which I passed!)...not so much pixie stix and Nerds.

I Don't Want To, But I Do

Mark Zuckerberg (he of Facebook fame) has a dog. "Beast" has his own Facebook page. As much as I don't want to like him, I do. But I am holding back from officially Facebook LIKING him. (This sounds like middle school - I like him, but I don't like like him.)

In Honor of Fathers

This week marked the last of doctor-sanctioned business travel prior to baby. I made the most of it by hopscotching from Chicago to Florida to Houston and back to Chicago (arriving just in time to miss on the massive computer problems that tangled United Airlines flights for hours!)

While in Florida, I detoured to visit Aunt Marion & Uncle Glenn who retired there about 10 years ago. Grandma recently joined them there, so it was a double-hitter. With Grandma's move came her photo albums, and since Marion & Glenn had both the photos and a scanner I made myself a little project while I was there to capture the family photo archives dating back to my great, great grandfather.

In honor of Father's Day, here are the men that preceded me on my father's side:
Great Great GrandfatherGreat Grandfather, on the left with the moustache, a Pennsylvania coal miner. Grandpa, with my young Dad and Aunt Marion This photo is a classic in our family, for its contrast of Grandpa looking so 1940s gangster (complete with cigarette and hat brim lowered) and the innocence of Dad and Marion in their sailor outfits holding American flags. Looking through the other photos of distant relatives back home in Czechoslovakia, that sailor outfit turns up on other little boys who were sent the hand-me-downs. Grandpa's three-piece suit belies his day job as maintenance and moving man at the Empire State Building.

And my Dad, with us at Buttermilk Falls in the Adirondacks, in classic late 1970s style (check out that collar.) Happy Father's Day to this generation of Dads, and Dads-to-be in our case!

P.S. Believe it or not, this is my 1,000th blog post!

Think Quietly. Talk Gently. Act Frankly.

Via Hiving Out. Thanks for the grounding advice. I might put this at my desk at work.

Beat That

For when I'm back on the running road again (since I took a break with baby on board) I bookmarked A brilliant idea to serve up songs with the beat that matches your mile time.

What's funny is that a lot of the songs that came up for me (no log-in just to browse!) are songs already on my workout mix. e.g. Gorillaz - Feel Good Inc and Peter Bjorn and John - Young Folks.

This made me wonder, did I intuitively pick songs to match my pace? Or was I pacing myself to my songs? Maybe I should try faster songs to see if my feet would be more motivated?

Until then, it'll be mostly my yoga instructor's playlist for Saturday morning yoga classes. She's a big Sting fan. I haven't heard so much Sting since college.

But She Wouldn't Do It

It hadn't occurred to me until I read the headline of this NYT piece, women politicians seem to rarely (if ever?) get caught up in sex scandals.

It would be easy to file this under the category of “men behaving badly,” to dismiss it as a testosterone-induced, hard-wired connection between sex and power (powerful men attract women, powerful women repel men). And some might conclude that busy working women don’t have time to cheat. (“While I’m at home changing diapers, I just couldn’t conceive of it,” Senator Kirsten Gillibrand, the New York Democrat, once said.)

And if the chance to minimize these stupid Weiner-gate scandals isn't tempting enough to want to elect a woman:

"Once elected, women feel pressure to work harder, said Kathryn Pearson, an expert on Congress at the University of Minnesota. Her studies of the House show women introduce more bills, participate more vigorously in key legislative debates and give more of the one-minute speeches that open each daily session. In 2005 and 2006, women averaged 14.9 one-minute speeches; men averaged 6.5."

It's not that I necessarily believe women are more faithful and honest than men (every crate has its bad apples), which is probably why the headline drew my surprise and attention with its odd truth. I was proud of my female politicians though.

Registry Ruminations

When did this blog become all about expecting a baby? Well, here's the pleasure of having a blog that's really just about me and isn't beholden to any particular theme or storyline; it can meander to exactly where my life is going these days. And right now, all roads are towards parenthood.For the journey we need gear. For a person so small, and so initially immobile, a baby requires a lot of stuff. According to the stern Irish-grandma-type, Babies R' Us employee I overheard briefing a newly registering couple this weekend, "Your registry must have at least 100-150 items on it. If you don't have enough items your friends and family will come to me and be upset, because there will be nothing on your registry left to buy." I was relieved that I'd started my registry online and was spared the lecture.

Scanner gun in hand, and with an expert Mommy at my side (friend Jill, mother of two) I took to the aisles of Babies R' Us to load up the registry. If not for me, if not for my baby, but really for my friends and family who would otherwise be tragically upset. My personal maternity concierge, Jill, printed out the Babies R' Us list of 200-something "essentials" and began crossing items out, highlighting others, and making the sweet note by the "burp clothes" saying, "You!" indicating that my homemade crafts will more than suffice for this essential.

Other members of the Mommy Advisory Council weighed in with their thoughts (thank you Ellyn, Sura and Juliet.) Of course, this revealed strong differences of opinions: baby bjorn versus ergo versus moby wrap, as an example. And Diaper Genie, you are controversial. I am still debating the Moses basket idea. So expensive, yet so limited in its lifespan of utility (only until baby weighs 15 lbs.)

Once the basics were covered (crib mattress, stroller, car seat) I was able to start adding the frivolities. Like the Gyro Bowl that Jason became fascinated with after seeing a television infomercial. It is seriously kind of a marvel.

I knew I'd fallen into the spirit of the game when I overheard myself saying, "Oh, and I'm kind of excited about our swing, it's got little bunny ears!" I stopped and had to roll my eyes at myself.

Later I wondered, when a mother in Africa is expecting, what does she consider necessary to prepare? Even with my registry of a paltry 56 items (barely half of what Babies R Us clerks will recommend) it seems like so much. But then I wondered if week two of parenthood will have me feeling, "There's not enough! We're not prepared!"

And that's when everyone who's already a parent sighs and says, "You'll really never be prepared."

What else scares me about the registry process? Products called the "Woombie Lil' Houdini" where it appears that your child has been placed in a straight jacket.

How old...

How old does the baby need to be before I can get him one of these?
Follow-up questions:
Would an adult fit in one?
Or, is it enough that our cats might enjoy it?

Hip Huts via etsy.

Just What I Needed

I could just look at The Animal Blog for hours.
Thank you, internet for exactly what I need after a hectic day that includes arguing with people who don't know what they are talking about and for whom logic and reason are complex subjects defying understanding.

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