Monday, September 29, 2008

41 weeks

41 Weeks. Really? This wasn’t supposed to happen.

Am I making too nice a home for this kid and he or she doesn’t want to come out?

We were SURE that it would happen this weekend. It hasn’t yet and doesn’t look likely.

Having no plans at all for the weekend was a bit odd for us. Each day we would just wake up and say, “OK, what now?” We managed to go and watch the Footy Grand Finals (like the Superbowl) broadcast on the big outdoor screen at Federation Square in downtown Melbourne. It was a sunny and hot day and I realize that we have suddenly stumbled into summer. No, we’ve been thrown into summer. That means every day I will be wearing the ONE and ONLY pair of summer capris that I own. Beige Capri pants and a purple T shirt is the look of the season apparently.

We’ve eaten out a fair amount this weekend…mainly concentrating on Vietnamese food (my latest craving). I realize that when my stomach growls it sounds like it’s coming from my spine. Where exactly are my stomach and intestines these days?

Today is Sunday and Eric and I wandered down to our favorite breakfast spot along the river. There were kids everywhere and many of them having tantrums. We began to talk about how most of our friends kids were pulling out from the baby and toddler years. We both have nephews and nieces in their 20’s and although some of our friends have babies still (bless your hearts for waiting as long as we did!), many have kids that are growing up now. We watched as they survived and “got through” those years. Eee gads! What were we thinking!

One of my friends who is trying to get pregnant wrote something wonderful about watching a kid in front of her at Kinko’s having a temper tantrum. She wrote, "How could I want something so badly that terrifies me so much?" I get that.

Another friend wrote me a kind email acknowledging that I had heard and witnessed many of the difficulties in raising kids and that no one really seems to talk enough about the joys of parenting.

People do talk about it “being wonderful”, but they leave out the specifics.
Perhaps it’s just easier to talk specifically about the times that are difficult.

Her exact words were this…”And the joy! the miraculousness of it all -- that is way harder to articulate than the challenges”

I needed that…thank you.


For those that are keeping score and wondering how their bet is coming along…There are officially still 6 of you in the running…

Unfortunately Eliminated...

Eric: 19th/boy/7lb, 4oz.
Hal: 20th/Boy/8lb,4oz.
Anna: 20th/Girl/7 pounds 2 ounce
Pep: 22nd (at 8:42 am your local time)/boy (Leo)/3.58 kilos (7.9lb
Beth: 23rd/Girl/7lb, 8oz.
Lori M: 23rd/Girl/8 lb,1 oz
Brandon: 23rd/Boy/45 pounds 11 ounces (8.5 for real)
Val and Steve: 25th/Boy/7 pounds, 12 ounces
Adam F: 26th/Girl/8lb, 2oz.
Nicolas: 26th/Girl/Weight unknown
Geraldine: 26th/Girl/7lb, 7.5 oz.
Linda G: 26th/boy (Noah or Levi)/7 lbs 8oz
Jenni: 26th/Girl/7lb,9oz.
Ann M: 26th/7lb 10oz./Boy (if girl name is Ann Elizabeth Tjossem after her aunt)
Amy S: 27th/Boy (Jean-Luc)/7lbs, 6 oz.
Laura O’B: 28th/Boy/8 pounds 3 ounces
Kristina: 28th/7 lbs. 8 oz./male

Still in the Running...

Jenn D: 29th/Boy/7lb, 7oz.
Mom Lampert: 29th/Boy or Girl (can’t decide)/7lb, 12oz.
Pete B: 29th/Boy/7.5 lb (born in the Conservatory with a candle stick)
Mark H: 29th/Girl/3.8 kilograms (8.4lb)
Christine: 30th/Girl/8lb, 6oz
Amy B: 30th/Girl/8 pounds 1 oz
Matt B: 30th/Boy/3.57 kilos (7.9 lbs)

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

Tadpole Diaries #5

September 1

Our German friends had their baby six days ago. Yesterday we went to see them. We went in the afternoon after they were back from shopping for several hours at the mall. When we got to their house, all was in order and they were calm and relaxed looking. Rachel had the baby in one arm and was sipping a cup of tea. They had a 'home birth' with a private midwife present and all went just fine. 9 hours of labor. No problems. They said the kid was easy...sleeping 7 hours a night already. Rachel was back to normal size and wearing her regular jeans. She looked great. The breast feeding was easy. She told me all about the things I would need and wondered why I hadn't gotten a pump yet, and why I didn't have certain things. She was going to take a business trip back to the states with her kid in just 2 1/2 weeks time.

When I was ill and vomiting during the early months of pregnancy, Rachel was out sea kayaking. I'm far bigger than she ever got and so much more uncomfortable. To have her tell me she had a natural, somewhat pain free home birth without problems and subsequent quiet, sleeping through the night baby is just too much.

Enormous feelings of inadequacy welled within me. Was Eric expecting me to be in my regular jeans in 6 days? Should I already have the bottles/breast pump thing figured out. I don't even know how to assemble a bottle. And what do you mean the bottles have different flow rates? ugh.

An hour later, we were back in our car and driving away. I said something to Eric about how great they looked. Eric just sighed and stated that clearly, they had faked the pregnancy and just adopted this child. He assured me that he was pretty sure their situation was unusual. I told him that I just knew I wouldn't be in that much control and would probably need a great deal of support. I think we were both relieved that neither of us expected things to be this easy.
Sigh. Germans.

September 3
Went to the OB this AM. All is fine. The due date remains 24th of September and the baby is ready to go. Head down and dropped even though I can't tell. He says that I am having practice contractions but I can't tell that either. I'm hoping I don't notice the real contractions either.
My BP is a little bit above what is normal for me , but what is normal for me is barely a sign of life, so all is well. It figures that it would be a bit elevated as I worked until 9pm last night doing cases. My ankles were not recognizable by the end of the night. On the way home I called Eric and he began to feel sorry for me. I have a nasty cold, hack all night, pee every hour, have almost no voice, and then get stuck at work until really late. I told him not to be so nice because I was desperately trying to hold it together and if he was too nice, I was likely to get weepy.

Every day I want something different from Eric. Poor man
He has strict instructions to be sympathetic without being patronizing. I'm not even sure what that means myself.

September 4
Since Eric has become unemployed, he goes to the gym every day and/or goes for a run. He looks fantastic and I am in the worst shape of my life. Mismatched couple.

Also since he isn't working a regular job, Eric returned to his acting roots and has joined a talent agency in town. He's been appearing as an extra on a couple of really bad Australian TV shows lately and he's been an oil rig worker in a construction commercial. Yesterday when I came home from work, there was a post it note on our kitchen table that read, "2 changes of clothing, Satisfaction, near Southbank, 11:15AM, Brothel."

Ummmm...Did that say brothel?

Apparently that was Eric's next gig. He's an extra is some show called "Satisfaction" and it just happens to be in a brothel.

Can I say that I looked like the most understanding wife on the planet? Here I am at 9 months pregnant, dropping my husband off at a house of ladies.

September 5
As the date gets closer I try to tell myself to get excited, but I just keep getting more and more frightened of the labor and delivery part of things. Too many people have told me too many stories for too many years. And suddenly, I can remember each of these stories in full detail.
Yes, terrified.
People see that I'm pregnant, start telling stories, somewhere along the line say something like, "oh, I shouldn't say this...", and continue on anyway.

I'm quite certain that I won't die. I am certain however, that after 4 days of hard labor I will rip in half and never be the same again.

I'm also scared of something called 'forceps'. I'm frightened that they will do something to my baby, that they will hurt him or her, that they will let it go on to long, that they will leave me in a room and forget about me, that the pain meds won't take, that I will ask for an epidural and become paralyzed by it permanently.

I'm particularly emotional and sensitive about this right now. And I wonder why there has to be pain with childbirth. why why why?

September 6
Other than the fear of what's coming, I'm having a good pregnancy.

When I was sick those first few weeks and getting depressed...well...that was bad. Since that time, I'm larger, but my spirits are really good, I'm mobile, I still take walks, go to the gym, eat what I want...all good.

Sure there are discomforts. Straight back chairs are the enemy. I would like to have the ribs on my right side temporarily removed and getting up 8 times a night to use the toilet leaves me tired and understanding of all my patients that complain of prostrate problems. I also am so tired when I get up that I usually run into doors and end up with a few bruises on the arms. But, generally, I'm good.

When I think about all those people who need to be on bed rest, or those who go into labor really early, or those who lose a baby somewhere along the way, I know I am a very lucky woman.

I have a cold right now...a really bad cold. The kind that makes your nose all red, and ruins your voice for days. I've had it for a week now and I can't take anything for it. I can honestly say that is worse than the discomforts of being pregnant.
Pregnancy isn't so bad. Still scared of the delivery part...but pregnancy is OK.

September 7
Father's Day here - again. We celebrated US Fathers Day but now it's Australian Father's Day. Are we going to keep celebrating both each year? Eric and I walked about a mile to our favorite breakfast spot, had a good meal, nice conversation, and pleasant very slow walk home (it's uphill). Eric read all about his beloved Minnesota Vikings online, did a skype call with a friend of his and then took a long nap while I went to the grocery store and picked up some food and beer for him. That was father’s day #2 celebrated here. Waiting under Eric’s pillow is the Dr. Seuss book “Hop on pop” and a book of Sudoku for when we are in the hospital. He has yet to discover it.


I have one more week of work before I take leave!!!!! ONE MORE!!!!YEA YEA YEA. The joy this brings me is indescribable.

I have 'nested' at work for two weeks now. My file cabinet is organized and clean for whomever needs to access it. I have completed about a 12 page document outlining the process for getting things done in my accounts when I am away, and my email in box is actually able to be viewed on just one screen. Miracle of miracles.
I have given all my accounts the information that I am leaving and whom they should contact.
My car product stock has been counted and is all present and ready to return to our offices sometime this week. I'm ready.

However, it's now time to get things done at home.

We have the kid stuff we need as Eric has been doing the "nesting" on the home front.
However, there are several things I would like to complete before the baby arrives.
I have one week to do here is my plan:

Monday: Answer about 75 emails in my personal account. Reply with fun, long, and witty responses to all whom have written. Additionally, send all written correspondence via snail mail and purchase creative and worthy gifts for the three friends whom I never got wedding gifts for during the last decade.

Tuesday: Make all doctors appointments for the year, including dentist, dermatologist, general practitioner, pediatrician, scheduled immunizations, etc. After this, take long walk, work out at gym, sit leisurely in cafe while reading paper, stock up at grocery store and then cook gourmet dinner complete with candlelight and music.

Wednesday: Write my first novel. Begin work on screenplay. Learn to use photo shop and print photos for albums, including a wedding book which has yet to be assembled and should probably be done before the baby's album. Take photos of cool and interesting things around Melbourne and post on blog for all to see.

Thursday: Get call from publisher. Contemplate offer while cleaning entire apartment. Cleaning should include washing all carpet and rugs, doing all laundry, washing windows and blinds, organizing all drawers in kitchen and bathroom, organizing bookshelf, organizing files, cleaning out refrigerator shelves, cooking 5-6 meals to be frozen for later consumption, scrubbing kitchen floor and doing gardening on patio.

Friday: Wash, dry, press, fold, and store all maternity work clothing since I won't be needing it anymore. Go through wardrobe and pull out all "possible" clothing that may work for whatever my new shape becomes???
Complete all documentation for Australian taxes since they are due in October.
Prepare all paperwork needed for US consulate offices to obtain baby passport and for Australian consulate for obtaining babies visa.

Attend OB appointment in AM, then go to breakfast, spend time with Eric and find cute outfit to attend evening surprise birthday bash in city for friend from work.

Collapse on couch and eat ice cream bars all day. Later that evening, have baby.

September 8
Eric and I tried to call our friends Amy and Troy the other day, but they didn't answer so we just left a message. Then...I received this email from Amy...

"Thanks for the phone call. Sorry we missed it! We were having family movie night which is generally loud enough for us not to hear the phone. Last night was Karate Dog with the main character voiced by Chevy Chase. Jon Voigt starred. I think he needed some money. We've already seen all of the Air Bud series. Did you know there are 5?"

I looked up "Karate Dog" on the Rotten Tomatoes Movie Web site and this is the synopsis...

Rated: PG
[See Full Rating] Martial Arts Action/Violence and Some Suggestive Content
Runtime: 84 mins
Synopsis: After looking into the death of an elderly man in Chinatown, LAPD computer expert Peter Fowler (Simon Rex) can only find one witness, and it's a dog named Cho Cho. At first this doesn't seem much help, until it is revealed that Cho Cho possesses the power to speak with people. The surprises keep coming, when it turns out that the super dog is also a martial arts master, intent on hunting down his master's killer and making him pay.

Is this what people actually watch with children? I copied her on the review and she sent me an email in return with photos from the movie.

Oh, by the way, besides the original "Air Bud" here are the other titles:

Air Bud: Seventh Inning Fetch
Air Bud: World Pup
Air Bud: Golden Receiver
Air Bud Spikes Back

That is just plain disturbing.

September 8
For years, I enjoyed taking my dog Tofte to the dog park. This is an activity that can ONLY be enjoyed by dog owners. It would be very boring unless you have one to keep your eye on. I would watch some dogs share with Tofte and it would make me happy. I would watch her get snubbed and I would feel bad. Some dogs were faster, others better mannered, others ill tempered. I loved it when I felt proud of her.

Is this a minor version of what a trip to the playground with kids will become?

September 9
I'm like a kid awaiting summer vacation. Four more days of work until I'm off. The air smells like spring and things are in bloom. C'mon summer! I keep calling it my summer holiday...then I have to correct myself and say, I mean maternity leave. Oops. Quite different, right?

September 10 (night)
2 more days!

September 15
Monday...I'm free from work. free free free.

September 16
Since becoming pregnant I have been craving sweets like a mad woman. I was never much into sweets...I preferred a good dinner and simple dessert. Now all I care about is the dessert portion. I've really tried to keep things in check, but right now I have visions of consuming an entire cake, or eating a pie from the center out. One could describe my incredible cravings as more of a fetish...I like to see cakes and pies in shop windows...I gaze longingly at the pictures on the cake and muffin boxes at the supermarket...if someone tells me they made a dessert, I want to hear all about it. I like to make bakery items as well, I've made about 10 dozen cookies, a pie, and 2 cakes in the last few months. I don't eat them, I give them away. Even that gives me great joy. Just the smell of cookies baking in the oven and watching Eric enjoying them is enough. What is this! Will it continue?
I can't take much more of it.
I've now started the bargaining portion of this craving. Well, if I WALK to the store, then I can get the ice cream bar. If I have the ice cream bar for breakfast, I'm more likely to burn off the calories through the day...

Tonight I really wanted mint chocolate chip ice I made Eric walk with me to the store. When we got there I decided it would melt on the way home and we should make a different selection. Then we had to do the neighborhood cake shop tour. Three stores. We went to three stores before I finally settled on a piece of flourless chocolate cake. Then, when we brought the thing home, it was all I could do to get through dinner in order to get to the cake. I liked it, didn't love it, and I didn't even eat my 1/2 piece. I think it was more about looking at it in the shop window. Bizarre.

Cursed Sweets Craving!

18 September
One of my co-workers who is on maternity leave gave me a bunch of her preggy clothing. She has no plans to have more children and gave me a pile of clothes with the words, "Take what you want, I don't need anything back, and even though most are summer may find some things are useful to you throughout this winter." Yes, most things were for summer but I found a few suit pants and tops to be quite useful and kept them. The other items I gave away to the Thrift store. That was about 2 months ago. And yesterday, I took a bunch more items to the thrift store that I thought I might wear but didn't.
So..what happens today? Yes, I get a call from my colleague who says, "Oh, by the way, hold on to those clothes that I gave you because I have another pregnant friend and she could definitely use the summer items."
I can't lie about this one because it's not like I can "make up" the clothing. I had to tell her I only had about half the clothing anymore. Truth is, I probably only have about 1/5 of the items. But tomorrow I will head to the thrift store and see what items I can buy back. Painful.

20 September
Had an early Saturday morning doctors appointment that lead to me sitting in the care center with fetal monitoring equipment strapped to my belly. I expressed that the baby was moving less these days and so my OB sent me for monitoring just to be on the safe side. It was supposed to take just 30 minutes but we were there over an hour. The nurse kept coming in, looking at the printout, shaking her head and saying, "Oh, we'll let it go a bit longer.." Why do they do that! Everybody walking around and saying things in these soothing voices. It makes me think something is wrong when it isn't. We listened to the fast little heartbeat all that time - loved that as we had only heard the heartbeat once before. What was most interesting is that my "fake" contractions appeared on the monitor at regular intervals of every 10 minutes. Maybe that means something?

Finally, the nurse gave us the OK and we were off for the day. That was it, all was fine. No explanation of the extra time needed for the test...but reassurance that we could go about our weekend. Next appointment is the actual due date. I'm hoping I will see my OB in the labor ward sooner than that.

21 September
There is a strange power in being so close to the due date. Every time I call someone, they answer immediately and assume I am calling because I had the baby. My mother checks her email and the blog daily to see if we have posted anything. Really, Mom, you won't be notified via email. You WILL get a phone call and it will be the very first one I make. I promise!

The support from friends and family and the "checking in" has been GREAT. I love it. Just the number of emails increasing has been terrific. And please, everyone, stick around. Because I will definately need support once the baby is out and I am really confused about what to do.

I called Eric multiple times from the grocery store because I left the list at home by accident. When he noticed that he had missed multiple calls, the breathless phone call I got in return was really cute.

Like I said, I have never known this power.

22 September
Old wives tales for inducing labor include eating tropical fruits, drinking castor oil, taking long walks, having acupuncture, drinking brown sugar water, drinking rose leaf tea, eating chocolate, eating spicey food, going on a bumpy drive, meditating, taking a long warm bath, talking to the baby, and massage.
I have now eaten so much pineapple, I don't want to see another one. I'm avoiding the castor oil method but enjoying the nightly warm baths. I've had a steady diet of spicy food and taken several long walks but there has been no noticeable anything. This child apparently has it's own agenda and cannot be coaxed.

23 September
Not exactly what I envisioned for the morning...Eric and I doubled over the sink retching and calling the poison control center.

Both of us, in a freak accident that would eventually make us laugh, had ingested household bleach.

At some point yesterday Eric had realized that one of our water jugs needed a bit of cleaning and had poured bleach into the container. Later, the woman who comes in to clean our place, noticed the container, filled it with water and set it on the counter. Then, last night, I set the jug in the refrigerator to cool (or marinate as I would later learn).

Normally in the mornings, I sleep in a bit and Eric heads off to the gym. This morning we both slept in and so I got up and made us breakfast. As we sat at the table with our oatmeal, Eric pulled out the water jug and poured two large glasses.

The weird part is, we both took a big gulp of the stuff at the same time. It's not as if one of us could have been the guinea pig and then warned the other one. Nope, it was simultaneous poisoning.

Later, when I got my head out of the sink, I called my OB and on his advice then called poison control.. As he said, "I don't know what to tell you because no one in all my years of practice has ever called me with this question." He seemed more concerned that I not be 'cross' at Eric. I wasn't..hadn't even thought to be angry at Eric...but have now confirmed that my OB is rather protective of the male side of pregnancy.

It turns out that of all the household products we could have consumed, bleach is the least harmful. So, at least we have that going for us. Not that one should go around taste testing household products, mind you.

I still smell bleach, I still taste bleach, I'm still burping bleach, and apparently I will for a few more hours. Yuck!

Eric just called me from work and asked how I was.

Then he coyly stated, "So....what's for breakfast tomorrow?"

I'm sleeping in.

September 24, 2008!!!!!!
Today was supposed to be the day. It is 9:14 PM. I don't think the baby will be here before midnight. Now we know it is taking after me (usually late) more than Eric (always early).

Last night we decided to have a "last night out as a couple without children" and went for a movie. Now, sitting in a movie seat has been uncomfortable for me for quite some time. But there is a solution here and it comes in the form of something called "Gold Class Cinema." The theater has about 30 seats and they are all fully reclining lazy boys! There is a button in the middle consol that you press if you would like a beverage, popcorn, ice cream, mixed drink, or a roasted lamb dinner (seriously!). Let me just say it is heaven in a movie theater. I now don't want to see a movie in any other way. Check it out....


We went to the OB this afternoon and after being chastized for being a bit late (again, my fault), he smiled and asked, "So, how are my bleach drinkers?"

We took a look at the baby through his ultrasound and all appears fine and dandy, and cleaner (just kidding). He is encouraging me to wait. ugh. waiting. The pressure in my abdomen is unbelievable at this point. The difference in what I felt at week 37 and now at week 40 is HUGE!!!! When my belly moves now, I feel like it's going to take me with it. At week 37, my belly was heavy, now it feels like the kid is destined to be a 15 pounder. I've taken to calling it "Eric's massive offspring."

The only thing my OB did ask was that I don't deliver on Saturday since he has tickets to the Footy Grand Final. That would be the equivalent of letting one's superbowl tickets go unused. oops.

Now I have this feeling that the baby is destined to come on Saturday.

Eric and I spent the rest of the day wandering about the city, taking fun photographs, and enjoying a long walk on the beach. It was sunny, slightly cool and beautiful. It's strange not knowing if perhaps tonight will be the night, or if we will have yet another week to wander about exploring Melbourne and enjoying 'couples last night without baby.'

I do believe we are both ready for "couples first night with baby!"

Come on kiddo...we want to meet you.

Monday, September 22, 2008

Your votes...

The predictions are in and the following is the comprehensive list...

I personally find it interesting that no one choose to vote for the actual due date (the 24th)! The 26th was definately the most popular of times.

My lovely husband voted for the earliest date, but alas that time has come and gone and I am still GREAT with child.

Some of you chose to give the weight in Kilograms...I appreciate it because it sounds deceptively smaller. Pete B thought this was a game of Clue and added that the child would be born in the conservatory with a candlestick. My mom couldn't choose a gender and added "Either one would be just great, honey". Nicolas wouldn't choose a baby weight without knowing the specifics of my diet. I can confess that my diet consists of a healthy share of ice cream at the moment. Others chose to provide a name, or offer their own name as a tribute (Auntie Ann). And to Amy B...I know that the 30th is also your birthday, but wow, I hope it doesn't go that long!

By the was a relatively even split between male/female: 13 predictions for a boy and 10 predictions for girl.

Eric: 19th/boy/7lb, 4oz.

Hal: 20th/Boy/8lb,4oz.

Anna: 20th/Girl/7 pounds 2 ounces

Pep: 22nd (at 8:42 am your local time)/boy (Leo)/3.58 kilos (7.9lb)

Beth: 23rd/Girl/7lb, 8oz.

Lori M: 23rd/Girl/8 lb,1 oz.

Brandon: 23rd/Boy/45 pounds 11 ounces (8.5 for real)

Val and Steve: 25th/Boy/7 pounds, 12 ounces

Adam F: 26th/Girl/8lb, 2oz.

Nicolas: 26th/Girl/Weight unknown

Geraldine: 26th/Girl/7lb, 7.5 oz.

Linda G: 26th/boy (Noah or Levi)/7 lbs 8oz

Jenni: 26th/Girl/7lb,9oz.

Ann M: 26th/7lb 10oz./Boy (if girl name is Ann Elizabeth Tjossem after her aunt)

Amy S: 27th/Boy (Jean-Luc)/7lbs, 6 oz.

Laura O’B: 28th/Boy/8 pounds 3 ounces

Kristina: 28th/7 lbs. 8 oz./male

Jenn D: 29th/Boy/7lb, 7oz.

Mom Lampert: 29th/Boy or Girl (can’t decide)/7lb, 12oz.

Pete B: 29th/Boy/7.5 lb (born in the Conservatory with a candle stick)

Mark H: 29th/Girl/3.8 kilograms (8.4lb)

Christine: 30th/Girl/8lb, 6oz.

Amy B: 30th/Girl/8 pounds 1 oz

Matt B: 30th/Boy/3.57 kilos (7.9 lbs)

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Watching the Olympics from a Different Point of View

I know that the Olympics are past us at this point, but I just want to make a few comments about watching the games from a different vantage point.

I must also note that I LOVE the Olympics. The national pride, the spirit of competition, the triumph of the individual, it all makes me weepy.

There was a great deal of buildup to the Beijing games and there were certain advantages about being two hours off the time zone vs. the 15-18 hour time difference the US experienced.

However, I don’t really know how we fared at the games. Frankly, I didn’t hear much about the US athletes other than the fact that Michael Phelps is amazing and our Olympic runners can’t hand off a baton.

Other than that, it was all about the Australians. But really, what could I expect?

Occasionally, Eric and I would spot an American flag in the background, or a person outfitted in a US uniform, but there would be no mention of this person. If an Aussie took bronze, the camera never lifted from that persons face.

They apparently don’t have the total coverage that we have in the US…gone are the background human interest stories that I so love. I think we were just supposed to “know” about these athletes. I now feel as if I do. The fever continues here. There was a parade downtown yesterday to welcome home the Victorian athletes and the medal winners are still present on every local TV program. The magazine covers are filled with photographs of the athletes and even the reality programs are getting in on the act with Stephanie Rice appearing on “Make me a Supermodel”.

We garnered as much information as we could from the internet regarding the standings of the US athletes, but we also understood the focus on the Olympians of our host country. The only mar on the events was the reaction to the senseless shooting of the Bachman's. Rather than it being about some lunatic harming two people, the initial take was that it was anti-American sentiment and the news reports encouraged athletes to wear their Australian colors when out in public.

Australians LOVE sport, the value it highly, and they are very very proud of their Olympic athletes.
It doesn’t really matter what sport an Olympian is competing in, it will be covered and watched. The TV coverage would leave the venerated gymnastics program to show the sport of “equestrian dressage” simply because an Aussie was competing. I didn’t even know that there were horses in the Olympics, or sailing, or fast walking...

The United States took home the most medals, but that is not how the rest of the world does the ranking. We never saw a statistic that put the US in the number 1 position. China took home the most gold medals and so they ranked themselves first…but Australia does a ranking by a different number. They rank medals per capita. So…if one does the math, Australia ranks higher than either the US or China in medals. (USA, by the way is #45)

This doesn’t make sense for a number of reasons, but when in a room with a bunch of Aussies, that point is hardly worth debating.

Go Athletes!

In case you are curious about who is number 1 in medals......

Monday, September 15, 2008

Calling for Entries

The countdown begins…
Maternity leave has officially begun and the due date is just 9 days away!

Now is the time to cast your predictions.
The winner will receive one year’s free subscription to our blog (ha) and notoriety in knowing that you are the winner.

Here is how to cast your vote…
Reply through the “comments” section of the blog, or send an email to Eric at or me at listing due date, gender, and weight. All official entries will be posted. The bidding stops on the 21st (Sunday), or before if the baby decides it wants to be known earlier. So vote early!

As an FYI, the actual due date is September 24.

The winner will be evaluated in this order:
1. Due date
2. Gender of child
3. Weight

All entries are welcome, but just know that you may not be on my good side if you choose to post a date in mid October, or a baby over 10 lbs.

Happy guessing.

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Beyond Dick and Jane

Your baby name suggestions (through blog comments and individual emails) are IN. Some are very serious and well thought out, while others are causing me to question the lifetime of teasing they could bring. The list is compiled below:

For a Boy:
Jean-Luc (in honor of Star Trek)
Hartley (Hart for short)



or, for that special Aussie flavour:

Bruce ('Brucy')
Wayne ('Wayno')
Darren ('Dazza')
Barry ('Bazza')

For a Girl:


or, for that special Aussie flavour:
Noeline ('Noels')
Sharon ('Shazza')

We have been pouring through the baby-name books and have found a couple of names that we really like and actually agree on. One may be listed above and be from your suggestions…you never know. Yea!

The only thing that gives us pause is the description in one of our books, titled “Cool Names for Babies”. It seems that almost ALL of the names we like fall into the segment on page 41 labeled “Neo-Yuppie Cool Names”. After reading the description for this title and the subsequent list of names included in this category, we came to a stunning conclusion…we like many of the names in this section and you, dear friends, may actually have named your children with one of these choices. Read on to see if YOUR KID is listed in partial list of names we attached.

“Neo-Yuppie Cool Names”
There is a certain kind of name that is considered cool by that segment of the upwardly mobile yet politically correct population we might call neo-yuppies. Neo-yuppies – the newest version of the 80’s yuppies and 90’s bobos – like distinctive things but abhor ostentation - they have good taste but disdain convention; they appreciated the classics but prefer them with a modern twist. The names they like are to the left of the most popular list but far to the right of most choices in this book. You’ll see them on the rosters of upscale nursery schools and hear them in the playgrounds of affluent neighborhoods, and you may like them yourself. And why not? They’re good names, classic as well as cool, embodying style along with history. The only problem is that you may hear them far more than you want to in the years to come."


Love you all, my “Neo-Yuppie” friends.