Wednesday, October 01, 2008

all clear!

I never intended to create drama by not posting (or updating Twitter, or Flickr, or anything) for a month, but things around here just got really busy and I didn't post one week and then I didn't post the next week, and then next thing you know the very thought of this blog made me cringe, as did every e-mail I got that (for good reason) started off screaming, "Not to be alarmist or anything, but ARE YOU DEAD?" No, not dead. Not even maimed. I am fine. Joe and Cal and Cooper are fine. Giant Fetus is fine (about which more later). And I know (hence the cringing) that it really was unspeakably rude, not to mention panic inducing, to leave people hanging mid-pregnancy right before our Big Anatomy Scan on September 4th (about which! more later!) but that is why I was HIDING from my blog and from my e-mail for the past few weeks, because dude, I KNOW. And I apologize! But let's just hop back into it, shall we? Because so far, the only positive thing that has happened during this unplanned hiatus is that maybe I can express my dismay over all aspects of Sarah Palin publicly without being told that I'm just jealous that she's hotter than me.

Anyway, the anatomy scan.

For those unfamiliar with the various views of fetal parts on ultrasound, let me say that this picture is the equivalent of having the fetus sitting upright on a glass table while you sit under the table pointing the camera up into its parts. So yes, that's his butt, and yes, we're having another boy. Yay for boys! And not to perpetuate the whole "second-child-getting-the-short-end" stereotype, but--dude, we are going to save so much money on clothes. Of course, I haven't been able to stop myself from getting a few things (mostly cold-weather items--since Cal was born in July, our newborn clothing stash is conspicuously short on such important items as, oh, say, PANTS, or anything thicker than a single layer of thin cotton), but overall, this new kid is going to be living in (barely worn, highly fashionable) Hand-Me-Down City. Which, as we know, is just down the road from Second Child Syndrome-Ville.

I really didn't have a preference either way for the gender of our second child (nor did I have A Feeling, as some people purport to, though I figure if you do, hey, you have a 50-50 chance of being right--well, a 49-51% chance, anyway), but I have to say that the first inkling I had that this baby might be penis-y is when Joe mom was rhapsodizing about how she was dying to have another girl in the family so she could someday take her to Claire's. I figure that such a strong preference is a sure setup for disappointment. Not that she's disappointed anymore, mind you, but it's really surprised me now that the Vienna sausage is out of the can how strongly people feel about having sexual parity. For example, the most common responses when I tell people (after they ask) that we're having another boy:

"I guess the next one will have to be a girl!"

"TWO BOYS? Oh man, you're in trouble!"

"So are you going to try for a girl?"

I'm not offended or anything by all this family planning, but what I usually say is, "We're just going to concentrate on this baby first." And then I point out again how DUDE, WE ARE GOING TO SAVE SO MUCH MONEY. But anyway, we're all very happy, and excited to meet him in January.

None of the still screenshots they took during the anatomy scan turned out too well, since frankly, the kid was moving around like in those Tasmanian Devil cartoons, but everything else--that is to say, everything that was important--looked great. It did confirm my suspicions, however, that this kid is going to be large. I mean, Cal was on the larger end too, weighing in at 8 pounds, 3 ounces (that's 3.72 kilos for you metric system devotees out there. You're welcome.) but this time around, I feel like I can feel more, and more specific body parts poking around earlier than with Cal. Indeed, the ultrasound confirms that New Kid is measuring at the 84th percentile for dates, which, you know, is big. So the good news is that all his parts look to be in the right place, he's growing, and abundantly perky. The bad news is that HE'S FREAKING HUGE. But let's just worry about that later, shall we?

And, in answer to another popular question, we do have a name picked out, including his Chinese middle name, though I am going to practice some uncharacteristic restraint and wait until he's actually born to announce it. The reason is not superstition, but more because the last time around, with Cal, people took it less like me saying, "We're going to have a son named Cal" and more like some sort of open solicitation for opinions. So I got more than a few comments in Ye Olde Comments Section that were like, "CAL? WHAT THE HELL KIND OF NAME IS THAT? THAT'S DUMB." or "That poor kid, the second he turns 18, he's going to court to change his name" or "CAL? What are you going to name your next kids? HAL and MAL? Bwah ha ha!" Well, guess what people, we now have a three year-old son, and his name is Cal. And we look forward to introducing you to our new kid when he's born, and not quite so theoretical that people feel the need to contribute to the naming process. We do live in a democracy (for the most part), but this is not up for a vote. (And no, he will not be named Hal, or, as others have suggested, Stanford.)

In other news (read: everything else in life) things are going well. I have been working a lot. Not a lot compared to residency, and not a lot compared to probably a good number of people out there, but life is busy. I love my job. I'm not going to talk overmuch about it since, you know, I would like to keep it, but I'm with a great group, working with a really excellent team of people, and I am having fun while getting paid to do it. I am also really pushing myself with respect to my skills, which, coming straight out of training, makes me happy, and there are many days that I go home and feel like I have done a reasonably good job and am proud of myself. So that's a good thing. Liking what you do for a living isn't the most important thing, but it's one of the more important things, I think. Anyway, I'm lucky is what I'm saying.

Cal is doing really well. As expected, by now he has gotten over most of his school-related peccadillos, including his fear of the school toilet, though the last took an hour and a half of me kneeling with him in the bathroom after school one afternoon, and Joe taking a morning off of work to coach him in class to just pee in the damn toilet, for chrissake. (Also, there were jellybeans. Many jellybeans.) I never quite figured out what it was that set him off on that one--was it the multiple stalls? The lack of privacy? The other kids? The loud flushing?--but I've stopped trying to analyze it. Kids are weird is all. Anyway, I don't get to pick Cal up from school every day, but I do get out from work early enough on average about once a week, and every time I get him, he tells me with complete sincerity, "School is so fun. I love school." So either he's being brainwashed by the PTA fundraising committee, or we're going to have a hell of a time keeping him as happy and entertained at home during Christmas Break.

Joe is doing well, making him useful by assembling various baby items, surgically repairing sundry torn eye-parts and the like. He's busy too, but enjoying work, and I think we're both enjoying Atlanta a little more now that it has decided to turn the corner from HOT AS THE SURFACE OF MERCURY to Less Hot. Apparently, the temperate autumn here lasts damn near forever, so that's something to look forward to. Especially since I don't think I have a winter jacket that will fit me until after January.

So, in sum:

1.) Sorry!

2.) Not dead!

3.) Quite well, in fact!

4.) I'll try harder to keep up.

Thanks for sticking around.


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