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.

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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

 

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And then the cute little bugger breaks his way out…

 

Born with Teeth

 

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

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.”

😉

 

Babywearing

This week Scout is the size of a peach. A soft fuzzy peach- and it’s definitely official- my upcoming fatherhood- proved today by the fact that I got lost in the world wide web- but not to the usual cocktail culture I am used to losing myself to- but lost to the world of baby carriers. I’m talking wraps, ring slings, pouches, packs and all sorts of things. There’s a world of international close cradle out there that I knew not existed.

My research of pouches and slings started a couple weeks ago when one of the general baby books laying on our table suggested I read another more specified book if I had a further interest in slings and things- which I did since the general baby book revealed some benefits associated with babywearing. I know, babywearing? Such a stupid name. It makes me wonder if there will be a moment in the future when I’m going to be like, “Ah, I don’t have a bowtie to match this baby- guess I won’t wear the baby tonight.”

In all seriousness however, there seems to be many benefits to wearing your baby (I’m just going to use this term as ridiculous as it sounds). Also, as idealistic as this all sounds, I am not promoting or advocating for babywearing, as I have never personally done it, and I have only known about it as a thing for a couple of weeks. I will say though, if it’s cool enough for a couple of The Beatles to have done it with their babies, then it’s cool enough for me…

babywearing-beatles

The book I ended up getting is called Babywearing: The Benefits and Beauty of This Ancient Tradition. I know, I’m a nerd. But it sounded like it could provide me with some insight- and it’s written by an M.D., not just some woman stuck in the seventies with a drug induced idea- even if that’s what the cover looks like…

The act of wearing your baby has been around forever, blah, blah, and blah. Every culture has used a piece of fabric or backpack type thing to carry babies for years and years. Even here in America, Native Americans carried their babies in papooses for thousands of years- in fact, Sacagawea is carrying her baby on her back on her featured dollar coin. The tradition of babywearing came out of necessity most likely- with your newborn on your body it leaves both your hands free, allowing you to work. Not only is it beneficial to you, studies have also shown it is one of the best things you can do for your baby…

  • The baby feels safe and secure with skin to skin contact- it is close to your heartbeat and can feel your breathing, your movements, and your body temperature- just like when they were in utero- it’s a familiar place for them and they stay calm and happy- which means they cry less! Up to forty three percent less some studies show.
  • Since they are not crying so much they are developing at a faster rate and learning more- just from hanging around you. When they are awake they are seeing everything you do. They watch your facial gestures when you communicate with friends and are more a part of what’s happening rather than being held in a carrier at waist level with nothing to look at but crotches and crotches.
  • They sleep better- I didn’t really get the facts down for this claim but you can imagine, right?
  • Digestion is better- the constant motion helps stimulate good digestion and babies spit up less.
  • Speaking of spitting up, babies who are worn by their mother more often nurse better and gain more weight than babies that are not.
  • The constant movement and stimulation is supposed to help babies develop better too. They develop a better balance and musculature because they are always shifting and responding to the movements of the carrier’s body. They are also at much lower risk for developing plagiocephaly (that’s when they get a flat head because they are constantly laying down with the back of their soft head against a surface).

Basically, what I learned, is that a sling baby = a happy baby. And I do understand that this is all theoretical for me right now, as I have no experience and reading things in a book is way different than real life experience. A year from now I will be able to tell you with experience- we might find out that the whole idea ended up being farfetched and stupid. Or we might find out that I loved every aspect of it until Scout fell right out and bonked his/her head because I forgot to tie it or something. But until then, I am excited to give this whole thing a try.

The most daunting thing about doing this, however, is picking a carrier to try out. There are so many different types and brands… There are wraps, ring slings, pouch slings, back packs, soft packs, meh dais, buckle carriers, Graco, Freedom Slings, Chicco (BabyGo), Hold Me Baby Slings, Nojo The Original Baby Sling, Boba Wrap, Baby Bjorn, Eddie Bauer, Evenflo, Seven Slings, Baby K’tan, Moby Wrap, Infantino, Lenny Lamb, iAngel, Ergobaby, LILLEbaby, Tula, Beachfront Baby Wrap, Maya, Oscha Slings, Sakura Bloom, Kali Sling, Beco, New Native, Caboo, Amawrap, Mamaway, and Vlokup.

I didn’t actually look all those up, I just found a list… but Whew! That’s a lot. Or, I also found that I can just use a bed sheet or piece of fabric and make my own. Where does one even start? That was a rhetorical question, but let me answer it for you… babywearinginternational.org. It’s a good spot to get started with some general information and it helps you navigate the underworlds of babywearing.

I know I have an overzealous outlook on this but I can just see myself not missing a beat at work. I see a full bar with a line of drinks I have to make. The music is loud and the lights are dim. Drink orders coming from every which direction. I’m shaking a drink with one hand, stirring another drink with the other hand. Through all this, I look down at Scout, who is sleeping peacefully in his/her sling that perfectly matches my bowtie.

Until then, it’s just going to have to be practice, practice, practice…

mazzy-babywearing

UPDATE!!
After my mom read this post she sent me a picture of her wearing my sister. I guess it runs in the family…

Age

I picked up the book To Kill a Mockingbird recently. I figured I should read it since we’ve been calling that little thing inside Kylie’s belly Scout. I can’t say I remembered anything about Scout before I started reading the book a couple days ago- I read it a long long time ago but recently I had heard a reference to her (in the last few months) and I liked the name, so I decided to call our little thing Scout just to call it something and it caught on.

But boy oh boy is that Scout ever the tommiest tomboy and sassiest little girl ever! She’s way to smart for her own britches. She just runs the lot and gets in fights and questions every little thing someone says to her- for the sake of understanding- or proving her own point. It’s kinda what I’m hoping our kid to be like- well, minus the fights.

I read chapter ten last night of To Kill a Mockingbird. It began like this…

“Atticus was feeble: he was nearly fifty. When Jem and I asked him why he was so old, he said he got started late, which we felt reflected upon his abilities and manliness. He was much older than the parents of our school contemporaries, and there was nothing Jem or I could say about him when our classmates said, “My father—”

Funny, I have been thinking about my age a lot lately- and doing the math- when Scout is… I will be… and when Scout is… I will be… It’s quite daunting and frustrating to think of some ages and realize when my Scout is really getting started with adulthood, my time will be really winding down. My own father was thirty-one when I was born. I can’t say he was ever feeble or low energy when I was growing up- quite the opposite. There’s a photo of me at about eight years old taking a shot on goal. The photo caught the ball midair with my dad as goalie- fully extended, fully in air, about to stop the ball. I wonder if I will be performing any diving saves for Scout when he/she is nine years old… I say yes, but only because Kylie is a physical therapist and will patch me up afterwards.

When Scout is twenty, I’ll be sixty. When Scout is my age, I will be eighty. EIGHTY! I mean, assuming I make it that long. Maybe one good thing that comes out of this is that Scout will have mature parents- well, at least one- I can’t say I have reached a level of maturity that can be labeled “mature”, but Kylie is an adult at least. Maybe we can use the term “experienced” for me.

But maybe age won’t really even be a factor in all this for me. I look at people around town and a lot of the men my age look as though they are already fifty now. They look unhappy, worn out, overweight, and just plain older than they should. I’m a little bit ahead of the curve. Isn’t there a saying that you are only as old as your wife? If that’s true then I’m only… no, I’m not going to go there but let’s just say- nope- I won’t say anything.

I think age is just on my mind a little more today because I woke up and walked around like a decrepit this morning. I’ve had an achilles problem on one foot for a while now that causes me to limp in the morning until it stretches out. Yesterday I topped it off with an inflamed IT band on my other leg from over-running. So both legs wanted to crumble under me this morning. I didn’t crumble, mind you, I just hobbled into the kitchen and Kylie gave me a sympathetic hug and kiss, and offered to make me a cappuccino. As I watched her make the cappuccino I admired her youth, and then I felt young again- well, at least not so old.

 

P.S. Mom, if you know what photo I am talking about and have it around somewhere feel free to email it to me and I’ll include it in this post. Thank you!

 

P.S. UPDATE:  So, my mom found the photo I was referencing and it wasn’t quite as I remembered it, but this is the one I was thinking of- sorry dad- you still look good though… just not as good as me!

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