Developing Early Literacy

29 09 2010

Uncle Keith dropped by with this adorable addition to our small store of baby stuff:

I couldn’t help but share the book… There’s something about receiving a gift (from someone other than my mom): it’s almost – almost – feeling like I really might be pregnant, and that we really might end up with a baby.

This isn’t the baby’s first book, but it is probably more acceptable than the baby book I recently bought: Pat Schrodinger’s Kitty, which is an age-appropriate introduction into quantum physics based on the classic Pat the Bunny.  It’s a cute book, to be sure, and what baby wouldn’t want to interact with neutrinos and describe photon behavior in terms of wave-particle duality?

Here’s that book, in case you don’t believe that people actually write baby books specifically for future nerds:

Well, chances are, the baby will quite enjoy learning about farm animals, too, thanks to Keith and Janet.  Perhaps even more than learning about Schrodinger’s Cat, because (spoiler alert), things don’t go well for the kitty once the box is opened.

Anyway, thanks, Keith and Janet, for making this baby feel like it almost, sort of, not quite, maybe, could be real someday.

**If you feel the need to start your future quantum physicist on the right path early on, you can find Pat Schrodinger’s Kitty at .  We are also the proud owners of the poster, also from the Nerdy Baby site, titled “Now I Know My Prime Numbers!”  And by “we” I mean “me,” and by “proud” I mean “extremely self-satisfied and smug.”



29 09 2010

My mom and I stopped by a maternity store, and I found a strap-on belly in the fitting room - I couldn't resist!

We went in to the midwife for our 10 week appointment hoping to hear the baby on the Doppler monitor.  No luck.  It isn’t supposed to be worrisome, as it sometimes takes until 11 or 12 weeks for it to be audible.  *Sigh*.  It’s simply hard to wait.  At the same time, it seems like time is flying by as we wait for these benchmarks – first the pregnancy test, then 10 weeks for the heartbeat, 13 weeks for the reduced chance of a miscarriage, 20 weeks for an ultrasound…  I always thought that I would be a blissful pregnant woman.  It turns out that I am an impatient one!

Love. This. Boy.

26 09 2010

I Married a Fish Biologist

26 09 2010

I was walking Charlie along the river front one recent afternoon.  At a boat put-in, we walked down the sandy slope so Charlie could get a drink of water.  To my amazement, I saw some sort of lobster creature in the shallows.

Two young men were exercising their dogs nearby.  I called out to them in my excitement.

“There’s a lobster thing in the river!”

They looked up, but didn’t come rushing over.

“Seriously,” I insisted, “You have to see this!  It has, you know, giant claws and stuff!”

They still didn’t come over, but one did respond.

“That’s a crawfish,” he said, flatly.

“Oh,” I said, filled with shame and wanting to disappear on the spot.  “Ha, ha.  I guess I don’t know my river creatures too well, huh?  Ha, ha.”

I continued my walk, and eventually came upon a group of kids playing by the water.  They looked to be about seven or eight years old.

“Hey, we found a lobster!” one of the girls called out.  “We have it in that cup over there!”


I have been visiting this town for several years, and been a resident for some time.  You’d think that in that time, some innocent child might have mentioned strange, river-dwelling lobsters on one of my previous river walks.  Speaking of might-have-been, you’d think that in my years of Girl Scouts and camping trips and summer camps, at some point a crawdad might have been pointed out to me sometime in the last thirty-some-odd years.


It’s really just the cherry on top that my husband identifies species in rivers to monitor the water quality for a living.

Luckily, he wasn’t there.

This isn't a lobster, and it isn't a crawfish, either. But it's a cool looking snake we saw in the river a few days after my lobster fiasco. "Look, an eel!" I might have said.

I Still Look Good in the Dark

18 09 2010

I’ve talked to women who took miscarriage pretty well, who said, “I knew it just wasn’t right, and that it was better to try again.”  This is a healthy take on losing an embryo in the first trimester, although it’s also common and perfectly normal to be devastated by it.  I fell into this latter category when I started bleeding in my 6th week.

Grief hit hard.  I didn’t lock myself away and give in to it, but nothing felt good or right for me during those three days when I thought the pregnancy was over.  I continued to work.  I went grocery shopping.  I walked the dog.  But everything was shadowed by sadness and disappointed, and of course, the almost painful hope that maybe everything would be okay.

In the middle of this difficult time, I made a late-night stop at the gas station.  The attendant was just a kid; he looked about 16, but maybe he was a little older.

As I got out of my car to pay, he asked, “Doing anything interesting tonight?”

“No,” I said, smiling, the secret of my mourning safe under the halogen lights.

After I paid, I came back out of the station store.  He was standing by the door, smoking a cigarette.

“So…” he continued.  “Nothing interesting at all?”

“Nope, pretty boring.”

“Oh, come on, it’s Friday night!”  He attempted to begin some friendly banter.

Finally, he broke through my cloud of self-centered thoughts: this kid was hitting on me.

My gas tank was filled a minute later, and, in spite of myself, I couldn’t help a wry smile as I drove off, imagining his horror if he knew I was old enough to be his (very young) mother.

And still hoping that I was soon to be the mother of someone else.

Eating for How Many?

16 09 2010

My little pregnancy-update-via-email told me today that doctors want women to let go of that “eating for two” mentality during pregnancy.

Meanwhile, my midwife has asked for me to track my food intake for five days prior to my next appointment.

And, heading back to work, I looked around for a cute new lunch box before realizing that I really just need a big canvas bag to hold all my food containers.

So food has been on my mind.

This is what I take to work each day:

And that doesn’t include my food stash that stays at work: hummus, some chocolate, extra crackers.  And it doesn’t include any doughnuts or cookies or chocolate that someone might have put in the break room as a treat (I do try very, very hard to avoid the break room).

Here is part of today’s report for the midwife:

breakfast burrito, yogurt with honey and blueberries, Puffins cereal, carrots, snap peas, tomatoes, bread and hummus, dark chocolate, mango, strawberries, Goldfish crackers, Chocolate Cat Cookies (Trader Joe’s, I am SO addicted to cat cookies), plus a bottle of mint water and chai tea with soy milk

But that’s just what I ate while I was at work.  I get off work at 4, and there’s still plenty of eating to be done.

I have read that while pregnant women shouldn’t “eat for two,” they do need an extra 100-300 calories a day, depending on the trimester.

So, I guess I’ll go have another piece of chocolate…


12 09 2010

It’s simply too soon to know if this pregnancy is going to work out or not. It’s too soon to celebrate and get excited. But going through a miscarriage – or even the threat of one – is a lonely and terrifying experience, in part because nobody talks about it. We are all encouraged and expected to wait until the first 10-13 weeks are over and it’s a “sure” thing before we announce our pregnancies. And then we are expected to endure the emotions of a miscarriage quietly and privately.

And since when do I do anything that is expected of me?

So consider yourself warned. This may not have a happy ending, but it is going to be one hell of an adventure, and you’re welcome to share with us.

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