Saturday, April 19, 2003

This post has little to do with our baby (wouldn't be the first one, would it?), but I was at my job, scanning various items as part of a store-wide, pre-opening price verification orgy, and I came across some pretty strange things.

Chicken in a can - Somehow they managed to shove a whole freakin' chicken into a can. The can was slightly larger than normal, mind you, but still. It says there are no giblets, so there you go. It was at the very bottom corner of the shelf, where apparently the freaks shop.

Chicken meal in a box - Somehow they have dehydrated chicken enough to come in a box. That's kinda wrong.

Tuna in a bag - In a seal-fresh bag, with no juices. Don't they call it MRE's in the military?

A stuffed cat that meows - Apparently, dogs will register that meow to being somewhat authentic. I would hate to buy human food that made the corresponding sounds. Like biting into a burger that emitted a low "moo" sound.

A squeaky burger - Again, a vinyl dog toy resembling a hamburger, with all the fixings. What. The. Hell. Dude.

Chuck a Duck - I actually found this one cool. It's a soft circular frisbee with an image of a petrified duck on it, another dog toy.

A Rodent Puppet - It was either a squirrel or a beaver, but I guess pets need puppet shows for their developmental learning.

A Water Fountain for pets - A self-watering water bowl, that circulates the water so that your pet has the illusion of fresh spring water. Probably as clean as drinking out of a fountain. Over 30 bucks to water your pet.

A crunchy stuffed rodent - Has a crisp-like exterior, no doubt to give your dog the illusion that it's breaking the stuffed animal's bones. Yeah, I know.

That's just a few of the things I remember, and I only did three aisles or so. Trouble is, I see half the dog toys, and I'm wondering how many of those would make good kid toys. I mean, really, they were that good enough to qualify for human play. I know I squeezed a few toys in that section. And they LIKED IT!

Once in a while, I like to check the stats to see who's been visiting the site, and how some people who don't know me found the site. And now I know, and I wish I didn't. This was an archived link when I was babbling about the wonders of man juice, and that combined with Syrinx's "The Popsicle Stand" link was apparently someone's search criteria. Um... Yeah.

Friday, April 18, 2003

I have to say that I wasn't too hot on the idea of going to my wife's doctor's appointment today, because I have to start working later shifts (1-10 in the evenings) and I wasn't too keen on waking up at eight in the morning. But I went to the appointment, and it was a good thing. They took her blood pressure as normal, and we got to listen to the baby's heartbeat, which I missed the last time. The baby's heart was beating at 153 bpm, which accordingly to the Old Wive's Tales, would make it a girl. However, checking the Chinese Lunar Calendar, I determined that it would be a boy. I guess there's really nothing to assume until we get the ultrasound done.

The doctor also confirmed today that the odds are good for us to have a healthy baby. Our initial odds were even worse I guess, 1 in 55 women over 40 were at risk. So, sitting at 1 in 190, we finally got the reassurance we were looking for all along.

Although the names have been decided on, there's still a bit of speculation as to what we might settle on. No one seems to really think "Alex" is special, and "Zoe" evokes a love-hate response usually. I know Dansen's in love with the name, but his name's Dansen. Ha ha. And a few people out there, including my wife's ex- mother in law, thinks that "Zoe" is pronounced "Zo." I think not, try "Zoey."

Well, I spent a good amount of time looking at baby products yesterday, and I have to say that I think babies may not necessarily be expensive, but parent make it to be an expensive thing. You find all these unnecessary trinkets and toys that you wanna buy for your baby, but all the baby wants is just your love and attention. Material things don't mean squat to them, you just think by providing the baby with all these gizmos will make the baby happy.

I'm probably going to fall into that category.

Wednesday, April 16, 2003

As I'm learning more about my new job, the happier I'm getting about how easy it is. It's a job that doesn't really have a boss, save a few people who control my hours and paycheck and a store director who will sign my paperwork when it's done, and it's such a good job that I pretty much, within reasonable limits, can decide to switch days off once in a while if I wanted to. Downside, I will have to probably do a lot of customer service because I'm on the floor so much, in all these other departments. But that's okay, shopping while auditing seems to be a reasonable side effect to the job.

My wife is still feeling the baby being active a bunch, though I really haven't the fortune to feel a boot or bump. But that's okay, it'll be there soon. I was auditing/shopping today in the toy section, and suddenly I felt an enormous wave of affection toward our baby. Like I loved the baby so much, as if it were a guest I was expecting but have never met. I wanted to buy toys for the baby, but the really good educational ones that don't fall back to the stereotypes. Just fun, innocent toys that don't have to reflect the harsh realities of real life. I saw a wind-up aquarium that would play music while the background scrolls back, and the fish would just hang out. And a finger painting board that wasn't paint, just a baby safe board that is sorta like a magna doodle, but not.

And baby clothes, they are so little and so colorful, they just make me happy. I'm just a giddy little schoolgirl when I think about our baby. But still being the protective father, of course. No sharp knives for you, little baby!

I was buying pencil lead at Freddy's yesterday, and I guess they make a soft ruler that bends.

Yes, I think that's too safe.

Tuesday, April 15, 2003

So the baby's been kicking quite a bit lately. My wife has felt it a lot, which makes her quite excited, but I haven't had the chance to catch the little baby saying hi to me. I've placed my hand at my wife's tummy and waited, but I guess the baby's just being shy right now. How odd really, to have a little person inside of you. I compared it, to my wife's amusement, that it was like I infected her with a baby. It's all like a biological chain reaction, like an alien that's using my wife's body like a host. Hmm, a little gross, but all sentiment aside, it is a little weird.

My wife returned a phone call to the doctor today, and we were informed that the blood test came back relatively ok, and there was a 1 in 190 chance that the baby might have Down's Syndrome. She was really worried about it all day, and I tried hard to reassure her that those were still pretty good odds, and there's no use worrying about it since there would be nothing we could really do to change that. All the worrying would not change a single thing, and we were going to keep the baby, so all we could do is prepare. She was still seeking consolation, and when we went into Freddy's, they had the Mega Million odds, that 1 in 45 would win. And so she thought, well, I never win the lottery, so the odds must be good.

Let me tell you though, never have I regretted all the stupid jokes I made when I was younger about the disease. I guess that's why we should all learn to be nice to everyone, because stuff like that is always like karma. I'm very certain that we're going to have a healthy baby, and we're scheduling an advanced version of an ultrasound in Seattle for later. Just to confirm. We're still skipping on the emmio.

All right, here is the long awaited post about Vegas. I'm well enough rested to sit in front of the computer, after catching up with all the things that were ignored for the past week. Unfortunately, I do have to work at eight in the morning tomorrow, so this post might not be the definitive true story behind our honeymoon in Vegas.

We left relatively early last Monday, like 4 in the morning to drive down to Everett for some other business, and I was still a bit under the weather so my sinuses actually affected my inner ear, which in turn gave me motion sickness. Anyone who gets motion sickness knows that that doesn't usually happen when one drives, but it did happen to me. But we were running a bit late but boarded on the plane just fine. There was an opportunity to get bumped to the next flight for free tickets, but since the flight wouldn't have been till 2 in the afternoon, we skipped on it. Fell asleep on the flight, wife decided to take the liberty of eating my candy bar.

My first impression of Vegas? They're out to get me. There were slot machines at the airport, the moment you stepped off the plane. When we got to the hotel, we got charged an energy fee, which was 3 bucks a day. Then the car rental guy, who seemed to just have a thing for me, because he certainly was cordial to the two groups of customers before me, decided that I was going to be his sucker for the him. He patronized me to no avail, but certainly did raise my guard up. Left me kinda mad the whole day after that. Wife and I walked rather aimlessly around all the hotels the first day, we were actually quite worn out from waking up early and walking around so much. But we were quite taken by the scenery, and the busy streets. Drove a Maroon Nissan Sentra around the Strip, which proved to be a worthy expenditure because the Stratosphere was actually quite far from the rest of the action.

We spent the other two days slightly more organized, because we brought our maps and had a list of things to do around Vegas and it's casinos, and we didn't actually start gambling until the second day (which we did all right on the slots, but I kept losing money rather unintentionally.) Caught a few free shows, and got to see the fountains at the Bellagio. Thought about Ocean's Eleven. We also caught a free show at the Tropicana, where we sat by the slows beneath the stage and I took quite a few photos of the dancers onstage. Due to my position, they did happen to be upskirt shots, but I don't suppose that they minded much, because they were wearing thongs onstage. Luckily, a lot of the casinos did have good ventilation, so the excessive smoking around the floor didn't really bother my wife or myself, and I am actually quite sensitive to that stuff. It's odd though, to see people walking around with lit ciggies and carrying around beer. It's like they lost their civility to the city.

We tried to stay on a rather normal diet for the baby, but since there was so much to do, and the variety of foods were so limited (if you liked hot dogs and beer, you were good to go. Otherwise, it's American type meals all the way.) that we almost avoided eating altogether. And when we did dine, it was not cheap, nor good, nor healthy. It was dining purgatory, in some manner. Of course, if you had a little more flexibility in your budget, you could go for the variety, for 20-30 bucks for an entree. Or perhaps we just weren't lucky in seeking out the cheap good food.

One of the many things that we did talk about was when we could return to Vegas, and the next time putting aside time to see the Grand Canyon. We put that off because of the combined 12 hour drive, and the fact that there was still so much to experience in Vegas to just put in 12 hours of driving to see a hole in the ground. We talked about when our baby was three, and JL was 17, which was a bit weird because from looking at all the decor at the hotels, which ranged from nude sculptures and paintings to guys wearing "nude strippers" tee shirts, handing out barely dressed calling cards for clubs, we wondered if Vegas was really as kid-friendly as the Travel Channel has been making it out to be. All and all, I would say that it was still living it up as Sin City.

But that trip was fun, sorry to summarize but in keeping with the theme of the blog, I'd rather not go too much into detail about the honeymoon.

So we came back from Vegas, but not before losing 10 bucks at the airport - My wife has become a bit of a slot junkie. And we drove back to Bellingham, picked up JL from her sisters, drove home, slept for about 7 hours, and drove to Oregon the next morning. It was about a six hour drive, from one end of Washington to the other, and let me say that Washington is very green, and there's not much else. At least not much as I-5 had to offer. We drove to see my wife's ex mother in law, which is rather strange because I'm essentially seeing my predecessor's creator. They're estranged. Basically a son who doesn't call his mom. Anyway, the visit there was the complete mirror of Vegas, very low key, very sedated. There was actually more smoke damage to us than in Vegas, though. Bev did smoke a bit around us, though she tried to keep it away from us.

So we're glad to finally get back into routine, as routine as starting a new job and getting ready for a baby gets, I suppose. I'll put up some photos later.