Sunday, December 31, 2006

Whale of a Tale

I'm in the early stages of designing a mobile for Baby Chaud's room. This idea has been knocking around my head in one form or the other for a good four years, but the idea of co-opting the concept for a baby's room fits well in my agenda. The theme will be sea creatures so as to play well with the Calypso-inspired theme Nicole wishes to adhere to. I'm looking for good control art, though I have a few sources identified, in case anyone wishes to spend money superfluously.

I'm hoping to make it both whimsical yet still rigorously scientific, such is my wont in life.

I plan to read Twenty Thousand Leagues Under the Sea to him shortly after he's born. I have a fabulous copy Janelle gave me years ago, with its gold ink majesty and full color illustrations it will complete the nautical theme. Afterall, the kid is currently completely aquatic, so it will make a rather prosaic story for his transition to terrestrial life.

What baby doesn't want a horde of tentacles, shells and fins over them at night?

Saturday, December 30, 2006

19 weeks, maybe 21 to go!

our son can hear our voices now. it probably sounds like when someone is talking to you while you are swimming under water. i think this is very exciting. i wonder what he thinks about abby's morning cries for food and rosey's barking.

our ultrasound showed him to to be about 9 ounces and looking very healthy. he is neither too big or too small, the size of a zucchini.

by belly is getting big and the ultrasound confirmed for me that the pulsing feeling i have felt is probably his foot. i thought it was weird that i only felt this in one spot…but it is pretty consistent now, so i imagine that it is our son making himself known.

now that we know that baby chaud is a boy, i am eager to start decorating his room and plan for his arrival. may 26th seems a long time away. the weather will be great. i look forward to the time off during the summer so that he and i take long walks in the sun.

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

Que onda bebe!

What a giant brain. Baby Chaud moved HIS arms a lot during the perinatal ultrasound. I was tempted (ie, eager) to upload the sex determining photo of my genetic legacy, but cooler, classier heads have prevailed. Instead enjoy this skelelicious cross section of our new son's face.

We had intended to celebrate our gender-specific baby with the purchase of a gender-specific outfit, but alas, alack, the post-Christmas sales leave much to be desired in the way of Fall and post-Winter gear, not exactly things a Gemini baby being born in late May will ever need.

We've got about a dozen photos of varying amusement. The entire experience was rather slick with the setup U-M has, a large room that is one part examination chamber and one part cinematic theater.

Enjoy your holiday time! The year of provenance will be upon us soon!

Tuesday, December 19, 2006

carrots and mustard

has anyone ever heard of a craving of mini carrots dipped in yellow mustard? me neither. when patrick had this snack yesterday, i thought for sure he was a daddy-to-be. yuck!

Monday, December 18, 2006

week 17

remember the 2nd trimester energy that was supposed to come? i think i have experienced it. although i enjoyed sleeping in late saturday, my days and evenings are filled with activity and i barely blink an eye. this weekend was filled with christmas preparations. lots of walking, but also making and eating cookies. maybe the pregnant glow will be next week. stay tuned for a new picture when the glow appears (maybe i can photoshop one in).

baby chaud is now the size of a large onion. i am amazed how many food comparisons baby magazines make. one week it was an avocado, another week a lemon. the amount of food parallels and pregnancy is enormous.

last night i ate a hot fudge sundae. i was driven to buy all the ingredients and meijers. patrick looked at me like i was a crazy, cause that is for sure not something i would normally give in to. we both enjoyed them, however!

baby chaud has a strong heartbeat. it measured in at 154 today and is right on track. next week, i will post the second photo from the ultrasound. i am looking forward to that as well as some flutters.

Thursday, December 14, 2006

Giving the baby gonorrhea

Perhaps I shall give the baby the CLAP and while I'm at it, tuberculosis, influenza and of course, HIV.

All sorts of maladies in plush form!

You'll find some of these scurried away in almost any microbiology lab. Good fun, but I've never had a thought to buy one until now. Teaching science through stuffed microbes is both clever and disturbing, my kind of combination.

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

Monday, December 11, 2006

Development Report, Week 16

Fingernails, fingernails, fingernails. There should be some on Baby Chaud this week. Protein synthesis of this sort (keratin) requires cellular efforts of only the most advanced cells, so all is well. Mom had aspargus last night, which is a vegetable rich in folic acid, a key component of hematopoeisis or red blood cell formation.

Yesterday we took the dogs to see Santa. I doubt we'll attempt to drag Baby Chaud and two dogs to see a jolly retired man next year. Indeed, the entire concept of Santa seems wasted on anyone under the age of 2. I vacillate on how I might introduce the concept of Santa to my child. Surely, I have no problems with lying to children; some concepts are just too complicated to explain to underdevelopmed minds. Rather it seems like a tool ripe for harvesting for obedience, which once again, anyone under 2 lacks the ability to be swayed by. Still, there's probably going to be a good two years between 2 and 4 where the child will be unable to grasp what a lie is and totally be infatuated with the idea of a big fat man with a bag breaking into our house to deliver toys he's been slavishly working on all year with his platoon of non-unionized, tight-wearing elves. That must be a good parenting tool!

And oh yeah, chances are I'm going to be a Father right in time for Father's Day. How fortuitous!

Tuesday, December 5, 2006

math book?

i don't think we own a math book! but we do have a design book by dave carson and "renaissance thru the ages" by garner. our baby will be the best finger painter in the world.

Genius Baby

We can only boldly assume Baby Chaud will be one of the most brilliant brains ever to come into existence, given the totality of trenchant thoughts its parents have created. Still, there's always room for pre-birth improvement:

Dig this article on making a genius brain in utero. We only have one Classical music CD, so its nice to see that won't make much of a difference. Otherwise, Mom is a dynamo when it comes to regular and hardcore exercise. My heavy push for oily fish has been all but dismissed, but it appears that won't factor too much. My Mom only ate like, a bite of liver and I still have the juiciest Chess-club brain as if she went on some three month liver bender.

I have a virtual tower of books selected to read to Baby Chaud, ranging from classic fables in literature to a wealth of science books focused on dinosaurs and mathematics. It is still unclear how I will execute such sessions but I intend to use the coming months to figure out an optimal manner where I'm not boring the kid or myself. This of course, must be balanced with a healthy dose of professional wrestling and Pistons basketball.

"All children are born geniuses,
and we spend the first six years of their lives
degeniusing them."
- R. Buckminster Fuller

Monday, December 4, 2006

Goodnight, DEATH MOON.

Check out this New Yorker article where Elizabeth Kolbert Reviews children books with some wild takes.

Personal favorite:

"A parent is bigger than a child, but still a person. He or she can be appealed to, as in “Bedtime for Frances,” or even tricked, as in “Good Night, Gorilla.” The arrangement in “Goodnight Moon” is completely uneven. Time moves forward, and the little bunny doesn’t stand a chance. Parent and child are, in this way, brought together, on tragic terms. You don’t want to go to sleep. I don’t want to die. But we both have to."

Whoa! I can't say my parents' ever read this one to me - most of my books were Little Golden style foibles or Richard Scarry - but this perceived nihilistic lesson about our own mortality seems to be buried so deep most everyone is oblivious to it.

On the lighter side:

"Walter the Farting Dog Goes on a Cruise” (Dutton; $16.99), it seems safe to say, is destined not for the protectionist bookshelf but, rather, for the ever-growing permissive market, where anything goes—and nothing goes over better than flatulence.... “Gee Whiz!” is well researched, informative, and only moderately gross. (The volume is a follow-up to “The Truth About Poop,” by the same pair.) Were you aware, for example, that there are clouds of frozen astronaut piss orbiting the earth? Or that the Pilgrims used a substance known as “chamber lye”—urine mixed with ashes—to wash their clothes? I wasn’t, and I’m glad (sort of) that I am now."

BWAHAHAHAHAHA. This is the kind of thing kids love to bring up right in the middle of dinner. Or thirty year old scientists.

Sunday, December 3, 2006

mom and me

my mom and i went shopping for some new items for my wardrobe. we had a very nice time. thanks mom!

things a baby needs

so here is something for all you experienced moms & dads. on the day your baby came home from the hospital, what 2 things could you not live without? and what 2 things were a big waste of space? we only have 6 months to prepare so please help!

Saturday, December 2, 2006

naive nicole

it seems that for the last few weekends, i have been going to various stores and adding one new item to my maternity wardrobe. people are always saying to buy simply and buy stuff you can wear throughout your pregnancy. these opinions, i find difficult to agree with.

first, buy simply. i am a girl and i like clothes. that doesn't change when your body does. the problem with buying a lot of new stuff is that you won't be wearing these items next year. the problem with not buying new clothes is that you're gonna start to look silly with belly shirts or your husband's clothes are going to come up missing. making yourself look beautiful on the outside is very important at any point in life, but for me, it is crucial during this time when my body will be changing every week.

that leads me to the second opinion of buying clothes you can wear throughout your pregnancy. i already bought a pair or pants and many shirts that might look great when my belly grows bigger, but right now the pants fall off and the shirts look poofie. i also have shirts and jeans right now that feel great, but i know that i might not feel the same in them come february. so my opinion is that you should buy what you like now and have some backup options for when your wake up and your jeans don't fit and you need to get to work.

Friday, December 1, 2006

Good times with bladders.

Here we present a couple of animation videos that show the organogenesis of the urogenital system. All of these developments happened months back, but around this time Baby Chaud's prostate/uterus should be about ready to click on and complete some of the final developments of the kidneys, bladder and sex organs.

The entire system is a pretty bizarre one as far as human development goes - we actually grow three sets of kidneys in increasing amounts of evolutionary advancement. These are the pronephros, the mesonephros and the metanephros, the latter of which develops into our functioning kidney. Boys and girls have the real distinction here, using Wolffian and Mullerian ducts respectively to create their unique plumbing parts. It's also of note that these two systems are really involved, each contain and influence each other's growth until they become the systems useful to the body.

The videos have French subtitles, but just enjoy the pictures, they say more than enough.



C'est bien, comme ca!

Links courtesy of Pharyngula.

Thursday, November 30, 2006

Development Report, Week 14

I'm going to attempt to inject some science* into the baby discussion. Note I do not do this out of a desire to educate or some pompous need to showcase my knowledge, rather it is a need wrought of metaphysical competence. I am utterly fascinated by the entire reproductive process and I want to share that fascination with you.

At this point, Baby Chaud is completely formed, including details such as fingernails and all the teeth it will ever have, both deciduous and permanent. As a biologist, I would no longer refer to Baby Chaud as an embryo, but rather an official foetus, which I'm sure will delight my brother. Muscles and bones have rudiment function, to the point the baby will start testing out these new voluntary organs. The big push from here to the end of the second trimester is going to be hulking up and building critical mass. I liken it to one of those toys kids put in a dish of water where the seaman or octopus grows in all proportions at the same time, a reverse shrinky-dink, if you will.

I'm waiting for that alleged return of energy to Nicole that I've been promised would happen about now, not only for my sake but for hers. We only get a handful of hours most days to be together, so it is important to maximize that time now.

As for myself, I'm finding the internal drive I have when I'm at my best seems to have been left in the on position for the last five weeks. It seems my plans to reach various goals are now self-assembling when I least expect it, and I speculate this has to do with my imminent status of becoming a father. In all honesty, I have no anxiety, just a precision focus on checkpoints and goals Nicole and I have discussed.

*Science inejctions may cause itching, dry mouth, irritaintment towards Lish or desire to call him a nerd. Please consult your doctor before taking Science, results may vary, many will enter few will win.

Also, a quick update with respect to the blog. We've enabled anonymous comments both to encourage those of you uninterested in registering as well as to those who might want to post but not have it be so publicly known. Hope this helps. As always, any suggestions to improve the quality of the blog are welcomed.

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

second trimester

this week marks the beginning of my second trimester. i am less tired today, or maybe i am just hoping that what doctors and books say is true about this trimester. i still have no cravings (at least not abnormal ones), however i have an aversion to coffee. in the coming weeks, baby chaud will begin to make his/her presence known. i expect my belly to get bigger and to feel some fluttering. i'll keep you posted. patrick and i are beginning to think about the baby's room and what we need to do and save in the next 6 months. a lot of my time is spent thinking in the short term while patrick is busy thinking about all that he can teach him/her.

A baby of style: Smart and Pretty

Anyone who bothers to let me blather at length eventually is exposed to my strong belief in good aesthetics and design, originally fomented by my brilliant wife's creative talents. As such, I have been trawling the web for hip babywear I will hopefully solicit for the child.

Glarkware courtesy of TWoP

I've always wanted to own that 'Food in, Poo out' shirt, but I rarely have a situation with work or family where I feel I could lose that much dignity. Thankfully, I can mercilessly shower such wear on my unborn. Runnerups: Dingo Snack, Death Wears a Bowtie.

PirateMod wear

Most of the designs are a bit hokey, but my affectations for the cavaliers of the sea keep a few of these on the list.

Blitzkrieg Baby

Nicole is a bigger Ramones fan compared to myself, but hey.

Robot Fantasy Baby

A mandatory item irrespective of sex, Baby Chaud will be born a scant 30-some days before the debute of the new Transformers film, which I will proclaim as an omen of excellence.

Stock Market Baby

There's a wealth of neat capitalistic wear out there in CafePress land, just like a free market would offer! There's another design I like with a Revolucion-esque graffiti slogo with Jim Cramer's head, but that might be a bit over the top. Then again, Nicole has been into South American street art lately...

Note, I'm not fishing for any premature purchases here, but I will bring them up again when the baby shower list gets codified.

Tuesday, November 28, 2006

Wanted: Baby Names

In a moment of whimsy, Nicole is interested in what names you'd like for the ersatz 'Baby Chaud/Paperclip/Parasite'. We've been conducting our own research but are more than curious as to what names are out there.

So get with the commenting, chop chop!

Baby Paperclip

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

First ultrasound image at ten weeks gestation. Here it was determined baby was a solo clutch, much to mother's relief.