Friday, September 19, 2008

What goes around comes around

Last night, on our way out to a late-season picnic with friends down the hill, we bumped into our other upstairs neighbors (the ones who are not SMTT). They had an interesting piece of news: they, too, are having a baby…and they are due about a week before we are. Exciting! We like them a lot and are very, very happy for them.

Catty side benefit: this mean SMTT will have a baby next door to and a baby downstairs from her unit. At almost the same time.

Everyone in the house knows and is excited about the new crop of babies, with the exception of SMTT, whom no one has told. This is because she has made no friends in the house and so no one sees the need to share personal news with her. So it will be a trip to see what happens when she does find out eventually. Will she cry? Will she sell? It remains to be seen.

I know I shouldn't feel so much glee over this, but how can I not?????? SMTT can stomp all she wants but in a few months all her passive-aggressive noise will just come back on her three-fold in the form of babies screaming and irate parents telling her to put down carpeting if she's so upset. The other day, when the power went out on our whole block, she called us immediately to see if the outage was due to something we did. So please give me a little leeway to giggle here.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Stroller derby

This past weekend we went stroller shopping with some wise parent friends of ours. I was very glad they were there--not only did they keep us from getting completely overwhelmed, they let us borrow their 11-month-old to test drive a few strollers around Magic Beans.

I am still a little in shock over the whole stroller gestalt. It gives a new meaning to the term "curb appeal." Before I got pregnant, I never ever noticed strollers unless they were in my way. What's a stroller anyway except a practical means to transport little kids and their stuff without breaking a parent's back? But no. As I am now learning, strollers are complex, multilayered status symbols and they have much more to do with the parent than they do with the kid.

At Magic Beans, we encountered the Stroller Consultant, a man who asked us lots of questions about where we lived, what we'd use the stroller for (um, pushing the kid around?), and other criteria that should be very, very important to us, like storage. Did we want a stroller that came with a bassinet or not? A stroller that had car seat adaptability? Under-seat storage or rear storage? Plastic vs. rubber tires? Easy brake function vs. easy foldability? And, of course, does it look cool? All of this comes at a premium--the strollers started at $350 and just kept going up in price. The Stroller Consultant tried to up-sell us to the Bugaboo, which is like the BMW of strollers and costs $800 just for the base model. We did not bite.

Once we entered the world of strollers, I started noticing strollers--which I think is kind of like drinking the Kool-Aid. Now, when I see strollers on the street, I find myself scoping them out. What kind is it? Are the parents Bob Revolution people or Phil & Ted people? Did they go Maclaren or Quinny Buzz or UPPA Baby? Were they able to fit everything into their Mountain Buggy or does their Bumbleride look like it might topple over? And what IS the big deal about the Bugaboo, other than the conspicuous consumption factor? I seriously want to know.

I could probably ask--the other thing I recently learned is that the only thing parents love more than pushing their strollers is TALKING about their strollers. Last week I asked a mother about her stroller and, without ever exchanging names, we spoke for almost 20 minutes while her adorable, two-year-old cooed at us from ground-level. It was a new experience, the first of many I'm sure.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008


The loathing that has coursed through me since this woman was introduced as the GOP VP candidate is something I cannot quite find the words to describe. Angry, offended, terrified, shocked, and disappointed all come into play but that doesn't really matter. There are many thousands of writers who have written reactions to Sarah Palin better than I could hope to and since I'm neither a pundit nor a scold, I'll simply say that I have had a lot of fun playing with the Sarah Palin Name Generator because it lets me vent some of this vituperative negativity in a somewhat creative way.

Also, this article, while clearly taking a stand on the side of the issue that I agree with (though I happen to not find Sarah Palin attractive in the least), makes a point that I think is very important:

Stop voting for people you want to have a beer with. Stop voting for folksy. Stop voting for people who remind you of your neighbor. Stop voting for the ideologically intransigent, the staggeringly ignorant, and the blazingly incompetent.

Vote for someone smarter than you. Vote for someone who inspires you. Vote for someone who has not only traveled the world but who has also shown a deep understanding and compassion for it. The stakes are real and they're terrifyingly high. This election matters. It matters. It really matters. Let me say that one more time. This. Really. Matters.

Monday, September 08, 2008

Think pink

So much for mother's intuition--and all preselected baby names be damned--it turns out that we are having a girl!

Poor Lunchboy--he is terribly outnumbered. He has a mother, a sister, a wife, three girl cats, and now a daughter on the way. As his mother said, "He's got a harem." We will have to find the man regular infusions of testosterone so he doesn't go a little nutty.

We are really thrilled. For Lunchboy's sake a boy would have been a nice balance. Also, boys seem like they would be a little simpler when it comes to fashion, hygiene, and dealing with high school politics. But let's face it--girls rock. Our clothing is way cuter. Now we don't have to think about circumcision. And girls are not usually the ones shooting up high schools, so yay for lower rates of violence. They do, however, get married and need help with wedding costs. We will be calling our financial advisor pronto.

During the ultrasound we saw the kid doing leg presses against my uterus. This explains a lot. I think she is going to be athletic. Maybe a football fan? Her dad will need the extra moral support after watching Tom Brady go down for the season. Mr. Brady is my FF quarterback and I am kind of in denial. But now I can distract myself with lots of shopping for cute things such as this and this and this and this.

Friday, September 05, 2008

Prelude to a dirt nap

My sunny girl, in the back garden:

Wednesday, September 03, 2008

The name game

People have been asking us if we've started to think about names yet and the answer is sort of. I feel like it's early to think about names, especially since we don't know if it's a boy or a girl. Also, I tend toward the school of thought that it's better to wait until you've met the baby to bestow a name. When I adopted Scully almost 10 years ago, I had a long list of flowery names that I'd always wanted to give a cat and once I got her home I realized very quickly that none of them were going to get the job done. For those of you who have met Scully, you will probably agree that she is definitely not a Delilah or a Guinevere. Her ladylike moments are few and far between to say the least. So I was glad to get a sense of her personality before putting a name to paper.

What I DO know, however, are the names we will not be giving this kid. For example, Track. Also, Trig. Who names their child after an abbreviation for a form of mathematics??? Seriously. Other names that will not be in the pot: Strom, Tip, Dick, Jeb, Stone, Norm, Rip, Dweezil, Brick, and Cornholio.

I have thought about Seamus Finnigan, because my mother loves the Irish so very much. But right now we're going with Hans Omar Obadiah Steveholt! Simon Le Bon as a placeholder. We hope he/she will be friends with the future T'Bucky D'Brickashaw down in DC.