Friday, May 26, 2006


I'm packing my hospital suitcase. The Kid is so not budging, but I still feel that this must be done now. I will tie a big blue ribbon around the bag it so it's easily identifiable and not confused with my husband's bag of old assignments for Teacher's College. That would blow, yea verily.

Most of the books I've read suggest bringing your own baggy t-shirt for labour, because it will be more comfortable than a hospital gown. That may be, but I think I ought not to give birth in a paint-stained Coors Light t-shirt. I'd better start digging through drawers.

Gotta charge up the camera battery. There will be limited opportunities for picture-taking. Why? Because I'm damn well going to limit the opportunities. I hate having my picture taken on a good day, never mind when I'm sweating, dazed and exhausted. Call me old-fashioned, but I think that a few tasteful photos of the whole mess should suffice. Anyone bearing a video camera will be told, gently, where they might insert it.

Other stuff I might not have yet, that I will need: Nightgowns that open in the front for nursing. A natural sponge out of which I can suck water desperately when I'm allowed nothing else. Rum. A small firearm to threaten nurses with.

Well, that just means more shopping. Shucks, darn.

Friday, May 19, 2006

Just spooky.

I phoned the diaper service to arrange our first delivery. When I gave my phone number to the girl who answered, she said, 'No way - that used to be my number!'

And indeed it did. I asked if she was so-and-so, and she confirmed it. We get calls for her now and then, most recently from an old friend who noticed that their old house had gone up for sale, and more calls for her former husband, mainly from his creditors. She didn't sound thrilled, so I didn't pursue it. She probably finds it creepy that I now know where she works, as would I in a similar situation.

Anyway, our first delivery will come a week Monday, along with a pail and some newborn wraps. We also have a wee stash of newborn disposables, thanks to a friend who donated a 'diaper cake' - anyone heard of these damned-sounding things? - from her shower. Apparently, at some showers, some dear soul builds something that looks like a wedding cake out of new diapers, and the game is to guess how many diapers are in the cake. This friend (who uses the same diaper service I've signed up for) had three showers, and got three of these bloody cakes. She did use a fair number of disposables in the first weeks. but the still had a cake to spare. So I'm set, for now!

The baby will be full-term next week, and the stuff we should be doing NOW has snuck up on me. I have started packing the hospital bag by tossing in the recommended six pairs of scrungy huge underwear that I don't care about having to throw out. We need to install the car seat, and, well, I'm sure there's more, but now I need to clean. says that by now we should be putting the finishing touches on our nursery.


Wednesday, May 17, 2006

The Name Game, c. 1942

Folks have fixated on baby names for decades, it turns out. My mother was nameless for the first week of her life, and it drove my grandmother's three sisters nuts. Case in point, my slightly mad, late Great Aunt Allie, who wrote to Grandma about a week after my mother was born:

December 17, 1942

...Mom says you haven't settled on a name for the 'Girl' yet so here is a list of names, one of which might be to your liking.

Holly (considering the season). Marilie (pronounced 'Merrily').

Then there is Sharon, Flora, Coral, Carol, Heather (a good Scotch name) Priscilla (that is what Dot and I have been calling her long before we knew it was a 'her'.) And there is Sheila, Sandra, Jane, Catherine, Kathleen (that is Mrs. Bayce's name), Marita, Elizabeth, Barbara, Cherie, Carmen, Lo---- but maybe I am only giving you a big head ache.

Whatever you call her be sure that it will give her a nice signature -- you know what I mean. Sure the doctor had a patient whose initials were H.P. and I never typed those initials without adding (mentally of course) 'Sauce'. So you know how important it is. Tee hee.

Tee hee, indeed. She was trying to sound lighthearted about it, but I can tell that she was really quite worried that Grandma would do something dumb. When I tell people our favourite name for a boy they seem universally pleased, but I always catch the flicker of relief on their faces. It is quite amusing.

I LOVE the fact that my grandmother was sufficiently amused by her sister's concern over "the Girl"'s name that she kept the letter for my mother to have a laugh over later.

I also love that it was assumed she'd be called Priscilla. Anyone who knew my mother would laugh at the thought of her being a Priscilla, a Cherie, a Carmen or a Flora. My grandmother eventually named my mother Diana, straight out of Anne of Green Gables, to everyone's befuddlement. A beautiful, strong name, and it suited my mother wonderfully.

Too bad Allie trailed off on the last suggestion. I think it would have been Lorraine.


With a kid on the way, I should be motivated to clean, cook, and beautify my habitat, but I'm not. Sleep, on the other don't have to ask me twice.

For a while I have noticed that as soon as I get up and have breakfast, I'm ready to to right back to bed. If I can, I do.

This morning I decided to sleep in to start with and get that 10 hours right off the bat so I might not have to nap later. It might be working.

How exciting is my life? Shut up!

Sunday, May 07, 2006

Poor cats

Last night we shut the cats out of our room for the first time. This is to get them used to it before the baby comes, because there is no way that our curious tabby would keep her claws out of the Kid if she found him interesting. She has been known to forget that my foot is my foot and attack it while I sleep. If she spots a fabric hair elastic on the dresser, she'll decide it's prey, leap up there silently and make off with it during the night. We'd have no warning if she decided to pounce on the Kid. And if she must go, the old white cat must too, even though he would probably leave the Kid alone. Oh, this will be hard. We'll set up lots of cosy places for them in the living room, and let them back into the bedroom for their daytime naps.

The tabby is so attached - she follows me everywhere, and even howls for me when I'm in the bathroom too long. As I type this, she is wedged under my chin and purring madly. Poor little beastie.

We attended the Newborn Essentials class at the Swanky Leaside Preggo Centre this morning, and it was pretty useful re: postpartum hospital life, bathing, swaddling, nursing, and burping. The instructor also suggested disabling the answering machine after the birth, and having only a recorded message. Something like, "If we need you, we will call you. We love you. Please bring casseroles. Thank you."

She skipped completely over diapering, though: "Oh, it's so straightforward, you'll figure it out!" Um, no. She also seemed to suggest that if we were to try cosleeping, that we, the parents, would have to make do without pillows, the argument being that the baby could work his way underneath and smother. Now I understand that no tiny infant should ever sleep with a pillow of his own, but I'm damned if I'm going to sleep without one. Perhaps I misunderstood, as I have never come across that in my reading. A guardrail, though, I can go for. Time to update ye olde registry

Thursday, May 04, 2006

In which I reveal that I have no life.

Two weeks since my last post, huh? Bad, bad me. The problem is this: I haven't been doing anything interesting at all except expanding rapidly and comparing product reviews on the internet. (I think we'll try a mei tai, those of you who are interested in the Sling Drama.)

No great cookbook exploration, my knitting attempts lost momentum around January when I thought I had an audition to prepare for, and I stopped thinking Great Thoughts about music when I completed my second useless Masters degree two years ago.

My little life boils down to this:

Cleaning. I should be, and I'm not because I am addicted to the internet.

Baseball. It makes me happy. I'd rather watch baseball than clean any day.

Gardening. Or whatever I can achieve on the balcony. Last year I had impatiens, geraniums, basil, thyme, rosemary, parsley, tomatoes, an unknown hanging plant, and catnip out there. The catnip has already returned, being a tough perennial. I think I'll do as much of the rest as I did last year, or close to it. Our balcony was lovely.

Thinking fondly of my husband. Because those hormones, y'know, they've made me nice. And he's working his butt off at Teacher's College; his efforts will yield many changes for both of us, and I'm keenly interested in the whole thing because of that, and because I love him madly, and I'm so happy to see him doing what he wants to do.

I think I allow myself to contemplate these things to the extent that I do in order to avoid dwelling on the fact that I will have to push a watermelon out of my body any time between three and eight weeks from now.

Five of my friends have had babies in the past year: two were three weeks early, one was two days late, one was induced after being eight days late, and one was three weeks late! The only baby that was not the first for any of these friends was the one who was only two days late.

So who knows? I guess I'll be packing my suitcase soon, to be safe. Just as soon as I read up on what the best possible suitcase will be, and what I should pack. I'd hate to be one item short of the Best Hospital Bag Evah.