Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Big Brother

Puppy Love with my niece Megan

Larrabee knows something is up. He's become very attached to Ashley, and the last couple of days he's at her side constantly. She says during the day he follows her wherever she goes. Yesterday they were on the sofa in the den watching TV when his walker Jonesy came to pick him up. Normally he runs downstairs to meet her when he hears her come in. But this week he hasn't, preferring to stay with Ash. So Jonesy came upstairs to get him and he still wouldn't leave Ash. When Jonesy went to put a leash on him, he air snapped her. Very unlike him, as he LOVES Jonesy and has been going out with her for years. Bad dingo. We think he's just sensing a new pack forming and feeling protective. Still, it's unacceptable behavior. I've seen dogs out who go ape if you come near "their" kid. We don't intend for him to become one of those. Jonesy recommended a trainer who has experience with this kind of situation. After the ridiculous amounts of money we've spent on his surgeries (very bad dingo) it seems prudent to try to nip this in the bud. Not worried about him with the boy as he is very gentle with kids... typical lab. But if he thinks he's going to become a guard dog he's got another think coming.

Ash and I made another short jog down the peninsula tonight to look for a file cabinet to match the new computer desk... no luck. Since we were there we ran to Babies R Us (yet again) for what I hope will be the final run... bottles, diapers, washcloths, baby wash & lotion, a few more blankets. I think we are set for the first couple of weeks. Now we wait.

We're Open to Offers

Hello, Genentech? Amgen?

Monday, May 28, 2007

Random Picture Dump

Bits of Twine & Twig

Nesting big time this weekend. Stroller: check. Car seat: check. Rocker and table for the nursery: check. New computer desk and shelves: check. Tons of new a baby clothes: check. Tons of baby laundry done: check. Exhausted Papa: check.

Lori arrived late Friday night. We were going to go to the Ferry Building Farmers market Saturday morning, but the refrigerator decided to stop working, so we were stuck at home waiting for a repairman. Finally got out around 2PM, hit Union Square and made major headway on the do-to list. Ash was a trooper but I could tell she was tired. Went to dinner that night in North Beach, but she didn't have much of an appetite and said she was feeling "bleh." I thought maybe labor was starting, but no.

Sunday she was back to normal and had a big breakfast of french toast, bacon and fresh berries. Took MUNI to the Giants game, where we snarfed on hot dogs, garlic fries and pizza. Ash wanted to see Barry Bonds hit a home run, and he delivered. Gotta love that juice. We briefly considered Barry Bonds Anderson for a name but opted against it. It was butt cold so we left at the bottom of the 7th inning. Came home, I made a pork roast, garlic mashed potatoes and roasted green beans for dinner.

Tomorrow morning Lori goes home to Florida and Doug heads down to LA until Thursday. Ash has antenatal testing tomorrow and Thursday. Doug's Mom (Ashley's Mamaw) arrives Friday (I think) and will stay until after the baby is born.

A special shout out to my Aunt Kathi. She made a beautiful blanket for the baby. It's somewhere in the 2,400 loads of laundry I did. The good news is the layette is basically complete. The bad news is I had to fold it all. And we're making progress on the name... the short list is getting shorter.

Friday, May 25, 2007

Hello Baby

Ultrasound yesterday and everything looks great. He who still has no name weighs 5 lbs 10 oz, 35th percentile (whatever that means) but most important he's healthy and very active. He didn't seem too pleased with all the poking and prodding though. After the ultrasound we had the antenatal testing where they monitored his heartbeat for 20 min. Again, all good. Finally we met with Dr. Coughey, the frighteningly brainiac MPH, PHD, Endocrinologist & Obstetrician. For all that, as Doug remarked, he has the best bedside manner. Anywho, Ashley's blood sugar looks good, although they'd still like it a little lower so they changed her insulin dosages again. Overall a very encouraging checkup. And Dr. Coughey decided to induce labor June 15 if Ash hasn't delivered by then. But he agrees there's a very good chance that won't be necessary.

After almost 4 hours at UCSF Doug went back to the office, and Ash and I went shopping (I took the day off) at Trader Joe's, Circuit City & then to Babies-R-Us to pick up the nursery furniture, which is bigger and heavier than I remembered. We could only fit one piece in the Trooper, and it took up so much room that Larrabee had to ride home on Ashley's lap. Going back tonight to get the other piece.

Lori arrives late tonight. Tomorrow Farmer's Market, maybe some sightseeing and I'll cook dinner in. Although the fridge went on the fritz this morning so we may be eating out all weekend.

Wednesday, May 23, 2007

The Name Game

This is addictive. If we can't find a name here... well, yeah. Never mind that the nursery furniture has not arrived, and that we have no diapers, formula, bottles, onesies or baby blankets in the house. We need a name for this kid!

We DO have a diaper genie and baby monitor thanks to Suz. And we picked up a Kangaroo sling this weekend. I'm not to worried about the rest. We can knock that out with one trip to Babies R Us this weekend.

Doug gets home from LA tonight. Tomorrow is a big day. We're getting a sonogram, meeting with the diabetes doctor and getting the twice weekly antenatal testing. Tomorrow night we interview our first nanny. Friday Mimi (Ashley's mom & Doug's sister Lori) arrives for the long weekend. Her grandkids call her Mimi, as opposed to Doug's mom, who is known as Mamaw. Ash was the first grandchild and coined it as a baby... 5 grandkids and 2 great-grandkids later that's still what she's called. On my side we stick with grandma and grandpa. The boy is going to have a lot of grandparents.

Tuesday, May 22, 2007


Quiet night at home last night with Ash. Doug is in LA and coming home tomorrow night. She caught up on The Sopranos and I read the baby book we got in class last weekend.... didn't know they sleep up to 16 hours a day... sounds kind of dull! For dinner I picked up a chicken and roasted potatoes at Firewood Grill and made a salad to go with. Tonight I'm going to the gym and will drop Ash off at the theater in the same building so she can see Shrek 3.

We're still not even close to deciding on a name. My former colleague Dawn sent me a great article on how hard it can be... you want it to be original but not too wierd, interesting but not trendy. Here's a typical exchange:

From: Sturnick, Doug []
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 3:57 PM
To: Anderson, Dennis (TBS)
Subject: RE: do you like the name.....


Everett is okay.

Avery maybe




From: Anderson, Dennis (TBS) []
Sent: Monday, May 21, 2007 3:57 PM
To: Sturnick, Doug
Subject: RE: do you like the name.....

Are you getting a French baby I don’t know about???

Remi my ass.

Sunday, May 20, 2007

Baby 101

Teatro Zinzanni... eh. Not so much really. Kinda like Cirque du Soleil lite, with dinner. But it was cute and something new for Ashley. I think she enjoyed it.
Yesterday Doug and I took Surviving the First 6 Weeks at the UCSF Women's health center. We were the only daddy/papa combo but everyone was very nice and very interested in our story. We also had the second closest due date, so all the other first time parents were freaking out on our behalf. The class was taught by a doula who gave us a lecture about disposable diapers (SF alone generates 41 million + disposable diapers each year I am told) but she had lots of good advice, the gist of which was that babies are hardy little things and very individual and as you bond with them you'll just kind of figure out what works and what doesn't for yours. I learned to change a diaper (!) and that little boys will pee all over the place while you do it. We learned to swaddle... much like making a burrito. We learned about bathing. And I learned (way too much) about what women's bodies go through post-partem and breast feeding. The doula even thanked Doug and I for out patience with a lot of material that clearly didn't pertain to us. But it was interesting and made me thankful we get to hit the ground running as opposed to recovering from passing a watermelon. Our practice baby not only survived but thrived under our care.

After class we went shopping for new computer station. We're moving the entire office into our bedroom to make room for the nursery, and since our (vintage Ikea) desk is always a mess I want something smaller with more shelves and DOORS so I don't have to see all that crap. Looked at several places but so far nada.

Saturday night packed a picnic and took Ash to Movies in the Park (The Graduate at Washington Square). She loved it. Larrabbee was not impressed. We've already marked our calenders for Hairspray in Dolores Park June 2 (who else is in?).
Sunday more desk hunting, to no avail, picked up Giants tickets for next weekend, bopped over to Costco, sold the love seat, table and chair from the office on Craigslist and had Brad, Chad, Suz and giant baby Carson (15 months, 30 lbs!) over for dinner. Easier than it sounds, as Brad brought most of the dinner over. Thanks Uncle Brad! And Suz brought tons o' great baby hand-me-downs. Thanks Suz!

Oh, and I think i finally fixed the comments.. they weren't enabled or something... who knows. Anyway, say hi whydoncha?

Friday, May 18, 2007

Happy Birthday to Ash

She's 28 years old today. We are taking her to Teatro Zinzanni tonight to celebrate. It's a dinner and caberet show... not sure what to expect on either front but we'll see. I came in late to work this morning and dropped her off in Union Square to shop for something to wear. We were in such a rush to get out of the house that she forgot to take her insulin (and I forgot to remind her). But we called the nurse adviser at the diabetes clinic and they said no big deal -- just take it at lunch. Her blood sugar has been much better since they changed her insulin. Tomorrow Doug and I have a newborn care class at the hospital. At the tender age of 41 I am going to learn how to change a diaper. In the words of Chimpy, "Bring it on!"

Thursday, May 17, 2007

Doctor Doctor Give Me the News

Back to the doctor this afternoon. Ashely has gestational diabetes so is being closely monitored. UCSF has a special clinic that deals exclusively with diabetic pregnancies. She records everything she eats and measures her blood sugar three times a day. Once a week we fax the record into the clinic and they adjust her insulin accordingly. They want her eating healthy, well-balanced, low carb meals which hasn't been too difficult since that's how Doug and I normally eat anyway. I've got to say though, there is more food in our fridge than I have ever seen. I guess we were living like bachelors... normally there's just condiments and beer.

Twice a week Ash goes in for antenatal testing in which they monitor the baby's heartbeat for 20-40 minutes. It's so cool -- they wrap these giant microphones around her belly which are hooked up to speakers so you can hear him thump-thump-thumping away. I had no idea their hearts beat so fast - his baseline was 140 bpm, which is good. They're looking for variations --they want to hear it speed up and slow down over an extended period. So far the little guy is doing great.

We went to Babies-R-US last night and ordered the nursery furniture we had selected over the weekend with Doug and my mom. Typical retail hell.... and to top it off we had driven all the way down before I realized I had forgotten my wallet. D'Oh. So it was a 2 hour ordeal but at least the order is in and we brought home the mattress, changing table and bedding. (Plus we stopped at In-n-Out on the way home - mmmm!) We also picked up some clothes when we were there this weekend. The office is slowly filling up... gotta get it cleared out this weekend.

And here's today's nugget of wisdom from Carolyn Hax via Saffa (see? you're in Saf!)

Your mission, Dad, should you decide to accept it, is to get the broad ideas right -- imperfect but loving parents, imperfect but stable finances, imperfect but unselfish priorities, imperfect but kid-friendly home -- and work out details as you go.

Perfect, as I am all about imperfection.

Wednesday, May 16, 2007

Baby in the House

Well here we all are. Ashley arrived a week ago last night and we have been going non-stop ever since.. appointments with doctors, lawyers, social workers with some sightseeing sprinkled in between. My mom came up from LA for Mother's Day. It was nice for her to get to know Ash as they had never met. And the birth-father's mother, Kathy, was in town on business so she came by and we spent a few hours getting acquainted. The due date is June 23rd but the boy will almost certainly be here sooner. Both of Ash's other kids were early (2 and 3 weeks respectively). So we've got some work to do. We are turning the office into the nursery.. furniture already picked out.. just matter now of clearing out the old stuff and getting the new stuff in. Oh, and we still need to pick out a name. We're all over the place on that and the favorites change almost daily. At this rate we'll just be able to ask him what he wants to be called.