Mural

I finished the mural last night. It felt weird this morning to have coffee without a brush in my hand. It hadn’t necessarily consumed my spare time, but it did seem to dictate it. I had tiny goals for it every week- like find a place for Sam I Am, outline Hop on Pop, or deciding what kind of happy little bush to paint near the water. My initial idea of just few characters hanging out turned into twenty-seven characters with a waterfall, a cliff, trees, flowering fields and a trail leading off into distant mountains.

Kylie warned me not to overdo it. “Just something simple,” she said. She knows me though. I think she knew what was going to happen. And it did.

I would like to make a statement though: I’m not going to be one of those parents that go overboard on everything. Sure, my track record is not good so far- I have a dad blog- I painted a ridiculous mural- and the kid’s not even born yet. My only defense is that I’ve just been so damn excited for the last few months. I feel like Kylie’s doing all the work herself by carrying that lug around and maybe this is my way of being a part of it. I mean, if I could, I would take that little parasite out of her belly and put it in mine and carry it to full term. I’d give it back to her for the birth though, because NO THANK YOU- besides, I’m not a very stretchy guy. See there, I’m not that dad that’s going to go overboard- an overboard dad would have said he would give the birth if he could- but I’m just not that type of guy.

Without any further ado…

Panorama Rama Lama

The “to there” points out the door. The Lorax is a pretty known story about saving the Truffula Trees and the environment in general.

The Lorax and Thidwick

Thidwick the Big Hearted Moose was a new Dr. Seuss story for me and I squeezed him in kinda impromptu.  If you have a chance, try to look up the story- it’s pretty dark for a child’s book.

Thidwick, Things, Sam I Am, and Sneetch

Sam I Am in the back corner above is from an inside cover. It might have been Dr. Seuss’s nod to surrealism.

One Fish, Two Fish, Red Fish, Blue Fish, Hop on Pop, Foona-Lagoona Baboona

The Sneetches on Beaches is about two types of sneetches not getting along because the starred ones thought they were better than no starred sneetches. They end up getting along. There’s a sleeping Foona-Lagoona Baboona in the tree and all the fishes and a fisherboy. You can’t tell very well, but the fish parachuting down is wearing snorkel gear. If Scout grows up in Missoula the fisherboy sitting in the tree might unfortunately be the most diversity he gets.

Cat In the Hat, Fox in Sox, Mazzy and Kodiak, Corpse Lily, Little Buggy

Kylie painted the homes on the hill. Hop on Pop under the tree with a Corpse Lily in the foreground. In real life Corpse Lilies grow to be three meters wide (and they smell like a rotting corpse!) Whatever, I get to have some fun with this mural. The Cat In The Hat is reading stories to a little bug from Thidwick’s book.

Horton and the Monarch

Somebody took a bite out of that mushroom! Horton is listening to the Monarch while Fox in Sox is welcoming everyone down the trail. Our dog Mazzy and her best friend Kodi are waiting for us to get on that trail. There are a lot of other little fun facts and trivia, but you’ll have to stop by the house to hear those.

Well, that’s it. Now let’s place bets on how many years it will be until Scout says, “Papa, can I just have a plain walled room like all the other kids?”

Ugly

We have hit the third trimester mark. Now we are counting how many weeks we have left (13) rather than how many weeks we are into pregnancy. I say we- but Kylie is the beautiful one with a basketball jutting from her abdomen. Scout’s little jabs have turned into horse kicks and we know he’s going to have the same powerful soccer player thighs both Ky and I have.

It is getting to the point that I am starting to wonder what he is going to look like. Is he going to have the same potato shaped birthmark on his side that Kylie has? Will he get the small useless crooked pinkies that I got from my Nana? He’ll most likely have a small nose like both Kylie and I unless some random big nose gene intrudes from my family.

I have never been the type of person to fawn over how cute a baby is. Newborns are wrinkly and creepy and look like they have an undercover agenda. I’m told that I will think mine is beautiful no matter what. I’m leery of this and I kinda don’t want this switch to flip in me. I think I’d be okay with thinking it’s not the cutest baby in the world. In fact, is it okay to say that I would even be happy to have an ugly baby?

Whoa! Whoa! Whoa! WHOA! Okay, I said that. Now let’s set things straight. First and foremost I want a healthy baby- that is the most important thing. When I say “ugly” I’m not hoping for an ugly baby. I don’t secretly want Kylie to give birth to Sloth from The Goonies.  (I can make that joke because Sloth is not real- no matter how much I thought he was when I was a kid).

sloth

I guess what I’m saying is I’d be perfectly happy with an Ugly Duckling. Of course I wouldn’t want my kid to go through his whole life being a very unfortunate looking person with a small nose and thunder thighs. But as a baby, if he’s not the cutest thing, I would love to see adults meet him for the first time and watch them come up with a lying compliment. “Um, he’s cute….. Where’d you get that onesie?”

I imagine the tone to be similar to that of the person at the bar who asks me to make them something different- what do they say?

“Make me anything you want- something different- anything- I love everything- Make me something YOU would drink.” I then make them something that I like and would love to drink… “Wow… That’s in – ter – est – ing”. “Interesting” is drawn out across thirty seconds while they stare at it and avoid eye contact with me.

5secondsapp-2

I used to take this very personally. But after a couple years of bartending I now take great joy in this response because it is usually a person who is trying to flaunt their adventurousness to their friends. His/her drink will sit there getting warm while his/her friends finish their round. As I get everyone another drink the adventurous one will point to their lukewarm drink, “This is really good, but I think I’m just not in the mood for it- Can I get a vodka-soda?” 

Wow, that makes me look like a bad bartender but- OH MY! This is my baby blog- sorry- but that was really cathartic. So anyway- that tone- “Um, cute”. I love watching bad liars lie.

I do have some worries though. They usually surface when I look at the local mugshots. Our newspaper posts them online. Here are some of my favorites…

 

mug13mug10mug15mug8mug6mug4mug1mug2

 

All these guys were babies once. Somehow, some way, they grew up and lost their innocence. They have all done some fucked up shit. This is what scares me- and I don’t even know what about it scares me. I used to just look at these and think nothing of them- it would just remind me that there are some really fucked up people in Missoula County. But now, with a kid on the way, these faces affect me differently. They put me on edge. They make me want to protect Scout from all the other people like them. I want to keep whatever influenced them as far away as possible from my unborn child. I don’t even want him to see these people. This is a brand new feeling inside that I can only describe as some sort of carnal protectiveness. I didn’t even know it was inside me until I saw these mugshots today. It makes me want to hide every single person like this from Scout. It makes me want to protect him from the truth of what some people truly are… ugly.

Twenty-five

We are twenty-five weeks pregnant today! I probably didn’t have to punctuate that with an exclamation mark but I’m pretty excited about it- and surprised. Where is the time going? It doesn’t feel like very long ago that Kylie and I were waiting for her to have a little baby bump- and now she’s bumpin’ like a smooth R. Kelly song. Ew. No. Not R. Kelly. I can’t believe I even mentioned that guy in this blog. If you wanna learn more about R. Kelly, here is an exposé written last year on his grossness at Spin Magazine.

How about bumpin’ more like MC Hammer style- Pumps and a Bump, Pumps and a Bump, We like the girls with the– never mind- let’s just keep it as Kylie’s bump. Hammer, don’t touch this.

Kick it MC!

Sorry for the digression, let’s get back to the real topic of twenty-five weeks. The pregnancy app says Scout is the size of a papaya now- last week he was the size of an eggplant. Without ever seeing the two things side by side I’d have to say I thought an eggplant was a little bigger- maybe the app considers density in the size evaluation. But really, I probably shouldn’t invest so much thought into this comparison. I mean who knows who writes these apps, for all we know it could be some 400 lb. guy sitting on his bed at home who got bored of hacking into the DNC and decided that writing a pregnancy app would be more lucrative.

No offense to 400 lb. guys- I didn’t make him up- somebody else colluded on that idea- but that’s neither here nor there. Let’s move on to Kylie’s birthday. She had a birthday on Wednesday- and it was a wonderful day. In the morning she opened a pile (enormous pile) of presents that friends and family had sent. A slew of things ranging from a hilarious pregnancy activity book to strapless stomach bras (?) to a pregnancy pillow the size and shape of two elephant’s trunks and a pregnancy back brace and and some earrings and just a whole bunch of fun cool stuff- thank you everybody.

Her family bought her an Osprey I don’t even know what you call them baby carrier backpack thing. This thing is legit with an aluminum frame and a drool pad. It also has a sunshade and a perfectly shaped bottom zippered storage area for a six pack of beer. Up until now I’ve been a little afraid that I wouldn’t really get excited about baby stuff but this thing flipped that worry upside down. I studied all the directions and and messed with all the special features. I got lost in it blowing all the bells and dinging all the whistles- it was like hanging out with a new motorcycle- well, almost. Oh yeah, Kylie liked it too.

Pumps and a Bump, Pumps and a Bump, We like the girls with the Pumps and a Bump.

That song is stuck way up in my head now. I should not have researched it so heavily. Click here if you want to get the full effect of this blogpost…

In all seriousness though, Kylie and Scout are doing well. Actually, great. He’s been kicking like an octopus and giving me high fives all the time (not true, but that’s what I like to believe- and I’m not even a high-fiver). It’s crazy that there’s just over three months left. It’s odd though- the closer it gets, the more real it gets- and the more I realize I have no idea what I’m in for. It was all fun and games romanticizing about it when Scout didn’t have a face or gender or a room, but now that it’s all coming together and getting closer to actually happening it’s getting harder and harder for me to actually get a clear picture it. Marty McFly
It’s like when when Marty McFly looks at his hand while he’s playing the guitar at his parent’s dance in Back to the Future- I am Marty Mcfly and Scout is my hand. I know it’s there- it has been for a long time- but now it’s getting harder and harder to see.  Whoa. I think I just got way deeper than I meant to.

Never mind. You know what’s wrong with me right now? I’ve got that damn song stuck in my head!

Pumps and a Bump, Pumps and a Bump, We like the girls with the Pumps and a Bump

Pregaroonies

Kylie is twenty-three weeks pregnant today. Scout is purring all curled up in the wooly of his little womb. His lungs are tidying up so he can breath air when he comes out to meet us. June 8th is just around the corner now- well, it will be- so Kylie and I are signing up for birth classes and figuring out other stuff like the diaper situation- poop- there will be lots of it- cribs and rock-n-plays and carseats and slings and changing tables and this and that. It’s not overwhelming, it’s just a whole new world. It’s a lot different from when we used to abstractly think about babies in the past- when it was just fun and inconsequential…

 

So we’ve been busy with planning and thinking about things like names and to snip or not to snip. For now, Scout has one name- Scout- until he is born, and then we will share his human name with everyone. We haven’t settled on a name yet anyway. At the beginning, when it was fun to just come up with names, it was nice to share with friends and family. But we also found that positive or negative reactions really did have some influence as to whether or not we kept a name kicking around. So as we narrow it down we decided it’s really best if we just keep it to ourselves. (It’s just another thing I’ve never thought about until actually going through it.)

Another preparation that began in the last month is the baby room. My spare bedroom (yeah, I know, how posh of me) will be Scout’s room. Some time in January I started the mural. It got bigger than expected and I still have A LOT of work to do- like probably another month or two at the rate I’m working- but here are some details of what has happened so far…

 

That’s all I got today- I gotta put the computer away and pick up a paint brush. Hope your February is going well- and Happy Black History Month!

Kicks

Scout’s astir! Kylie started feeling some kicks on Tuesday night. At first she only felt them inside her belly- like little flutters, but by Thursday she was feeling them from the outside with her hand. With Scout only consistently kicking at bedtime and with my annoying work schedule, I had to wait until Saturday night for my turn to feel.

On Saturday night I took a break from painting to put my hand on Kylie’s belly when she went to lay down for bed. I waited for three minutes when I started thinking the little guy was gonna leave me hanging. Kylie told me to hold on because it usually takes him a few minutes. Another minute or two went by and then I felt one… and then two… and then three. I don’t know what he was doing but he was kickin’ or punchin’. I have never felt a kick from the womb before (I’ve never really hung around a lot of pregnant women). It was an amazing feeling though.

Tonight I was painting and Kylie was lounging on a cushion in the room reading and keeping me company. She whispered for me to come over and she placed my hand on her belly. He kicked a couple of times. Right now he’s small but I can feel his stronger jabs pretty good. There’s no consistent rhythm or spot so I imagine a guy in there holding a pencil with the eraser end out searching for a letter on a keyboard that resides just inside Kylie’s belly. He’s having a hard time finding the key he wants to hit but when he does he makes it known with a frustrated pencil jab at that key. That’s what it feels like.

As magical as it is however, my mind can’t ever leave it as is. It reminds me of that scene in Alien– you know the old one with Sigourney Weaver from 1979? Kylie, this is where you should stop reading this post- don’t worry, there’s nothing to see here…

 

X X X X X X

X X X X X X X X X X X X

X X X X X X

 

This is your last chance Kylie, stop scrolling…

 

X X X X X X

X X X X X X X X X X X X

X X X X X X

 

DarkNecessaryHorseshoebat-max-1mb

 

And then the cute little bugger breaks his way out…

 

Born with Teeth

 

*SIGH* I just hope Scout’s not born with teeth.

Cartalk

We had an ultrasound yesterday. Scout is ten ounces- that is the size of a warm can of PBR with a couple sips taken out of it. It was good to see him moving around and touching his face. Everything seems to be normal and in fact he is a couple days ahead of development from what the guys said. Yeah, the guys…

We walked into the ultrasound room and there were two men sitting there. One had a shaved head and a goatee, the other wore a dark beard. I thought they were sitting there to tell me my brake pads were getting thin. I know, I know, it’s a bit sexist of me to assume that our tech was going to be a female- but last time it was- last time it was a nice grandma(y) lady who I imagined might bake a nice apple pie on her off time. It’s hard to confront your own stereotypes I guess when you think you have none.

Anyway, the cartalk guys ended up being super nice. One was training- he had just transplanted to Missoula from California ((damn Californians) I’m from California so I can say that). Apparently the place where he had worked for the last ten years didn’t have the technology that Missoula has so he was learning the new bells and whistles that he wasn’t familiar with. It impressed me that Ol’ Montuckey had something that his little corner of California didn’t.

The guys were fine, very professional. One small random thing happened that I can only attribute to gender though. Scout’s hand was shielding his head when they were trying to take a picture of his face. One would think, well, I would think, that if Scout doesn’t want a picture of his face taken then so be it, he takes after his father- leave him alone and we just won’t get a picture. But the tech, the trainer, thought otherwise. He decided to dig in a little and press into the belly with his ultrasound tool like a car mechanic reaching for an oily bolt that he couldn’t see. He said he was trying to get Scout to move his arm. Well, Scout never moved his arm- he’s about as stubborn as me when it comes to getting his picture taken. But it made me wonder if grandma tech would have done the same, or if she would have talked nice to Scout and agreed he didn’t need his picture taken today.

We saw his four chamber heart, his spine, hands and feet with the proper amount of digits. I was told we saw some kidneys, an aorta and parts of the brain. Ulnas and radii were there, as were the tibs and fibs. We even saw his peener. No doubt, it’s a boy. Seeing Scout didn’t necessarily further concrete the fact I have a baby on the way- I think I’ve been concreted down for a while now. But hearing that everything is looking good eases my mind for sure.

Everything on the homefront is beginning to take shape too. Scout’s room is slowly becoming real. My dresser got kicked out of it and Kylie asked me where my cluttered desk was going to go. I said hold on woman I still have twenty weeks! No, I didn’t say that. I said how about the living room? I think we all know how that conversation ended.

I started painting a mural in Scout’s room a couple days ago. I’ve painted a few kids’ room murals before- Snow White and the Seven Dwarves, a floating Big Bird and Snuffleupagus, princess castles, and Shrek and Fiona. This one is for my own kid though so it’s gonna be a little more out there… Like Dr. Suessy out there. And this wasn’t even my idea- Kylie suggested it early on and how can one argue with the wonderful weird world of Dr. Suess. I already painted some green hills and flowing water. I have lots to add- The Lorax, some truffula trees, Things one and two, the Cat, Horton, some Sneetches and I’ll probably hide a Wasket somewhere. Don’t worry landlords, it can all be painted over.

So that’s where we are at right now. Kylie is doing fantastic. She has a bump, a beautiful baby bump. She is feeling great and in the midst of a nesting stage. She’s moving stuff around and throwing stuff out and starting registries and getting out for walks in the sunshine as often as she can.

On Friday Scout will be twenty weeks in the belly. There is so much to do because that is halfway!

I can’t wait to meet him that day!

He’ll be squirmy and wormy

Looking bloody and blotchy!

He’ll be singing and swinging

Gripping a throbbing wet cord!

Pointing my way the OB will say,

“HEY YOU CUT THIS!”

But I’ll faint and be floored.

 

 

Sorry, I had to do that. Okay, I gotta go- I got a Lorax to draw!

 

Papa, you are such a nerd.  -Scout

Boy

So… It’s gonna be a boy. Scout! You’re a boy! We found out on Christmas Eve. Kylie had been carrying around a card with the gender written on it in her purse for a month. Right before we went to sleep on Christmas Eve we sat on the side of the bed holding the envelope in our laps- literally. It was in my lap and then I put it in her lap, “No, you open it.” Then it was back in my lap, “No, you open it.” This went on for a while. Butterflies were attacking our stomachs and our future was going to be that much more definite. If it was a girl, I would one day get to be that dad sharpening chainsaws and knives in the living room when her date came to pick her up. If it was a boy I would get to bring up a little mini-me and we’d dress like twinsies until the day he decided to hate me for a while (adolescence).

I honestly don’t remember who opened the envelope. I just remember opening the card at a lightning speed that almost ripped the fold and then… silence. We were stunned. We were speechless. We looked at each other. We didn’t speak for what seemed like two minutes because we knew whatever we said next we would remember for the rest of our lives… Just kidding, I don’t remember what we said next, or what we talked about for then next hour before we fell asleep. We were just happy. We were content. We now knew we had a boy on the way. Boy!

We slept well that night. Images of sugarplums and- no- I actually don’t remember how I slept that night- I assume fine. The next morning we had to tell Kylie’s parents and brother and sister-in-law. They knew we knew and Kylie and I had not given much thought about how to tell them in a fun way. We probably should have built a giant snow penis outside for them to find but we didn’t, and again, we were in the same situation, I looked at Kylie and said, “You tell them,” she returned the look and say, “No, You tell them”. Again, back and forth for a few tosses and finally I couldn’t handle it and announced, “There’s gonna be another swinging dick in the family!” Not the most poetic revelation christmas morning has ever brought, but it got the point across.

If I remember correctly, upon hearing the news everyone cheered and yelled “Hip hip hooray! Hip hip hooray!” My father-in-law and brother-in-law boosted me onto their shoulders and sang the entire song of “For He’s a Jolly Good Fellow” while carrying me around and around the christmas tree. At least that’s how I’m going to remember it from now on.

But there was some significance to “another swinging dick in the family”. Kylie’s brother (let’s call him “Lee”) and sister-in-law (let’s call her “Alli”) are- Yes I know! It’s hard to believe that the fictitious names I chose could be in the same family in real life –Kylie -Lee -Alli. They rhyme! I know! Gimme a break, I don’t write this, it writes itself.

Anyway, Lee and Alli are pregnant too! And they are having a boy also! And these boys are due within a day of each other! ONE FUCKING DAY! These guys are gonna be like instant brothers or brother cousins or cousin brothers- they’re gonna be close- I mean close to each others hearts and I mean close like local- like less than five miles away.

It all seems relatively crazy. Kylie and I have talked with Lee and Alli on multiple occasions over the last year or two about how cool it would be to have kids around the same time so they can grow up together and be best friends and how we could babysit for one another and this and that and blah blah blah (we really did talk a lot about it). But as far as we knew they were just pipe dreams. Who knew pipe dreams could be serendipitous! (I urge you not to check my usage of “serendipitous”, just go with it, it sounds good)

But that’s all I have to say today. Two new boys in the family in June! It doesn’t even matter who is due first (we are). In fact, that is probably the least important thing to think about now (but we are due one day before them). And when we tell people the good fortune of having cousins due a day apart, we don’t even mention who is due first- although I usually lean in with a wink, give a nudge, and whisper, “We’re due a day ahead.”

😉