Friday, December 19, 2008

New Look?

Time for a new look as our old template, frankly was looking a little generic for our liking.

Time a new pic. Here's Zoë with her god-father, Jeannot who flew all the way from Nice in the South of France to Raleigh NC to meet her:

God father and Z by you.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

10 Month Photos!

For this month's photos, the photo shoot proved to be much more of a challenge than usual. Clearly our little one is much more mobile...

The best 10 month pic we have

Notice - all hands keeping her still

That didn't take long - down with the sign

And so it continues.... Take a look at our flickr site for more details...

9 Month Posting - One Month Late

Friday, October 17, 2008

Monday, October 6, 2008

8 months!!

Saturday, August 30, 2008

Hallowe'en Arrives Early for Zoë

Friday, August 22, 2008

Tuesday, August 5, 2008

6 months rolls around

Friday, June 13, 2008

Monday, June 2, 2008

Zoe @ 4 months...

Monday, May 5, 2008

Zoë at 3 months

I wonder if we will have crawling by 4 months.... wonders will never cease.

Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Evolution of My Tears

I have never been one of those people who cries tears of joy (FTD on the other hand cries during a good hallmark commercial) or for reasons other than fear and pain. There have been a few exceptions to this over the years however.

Age 15 - We discovered a certain bar in Dupont Circle the happily served alcohol to underage kids.

Age 18 - I moved away to college and opened my eyes to a world of all night parties and scruffy granola boys.

Age 22 - My first "real job paycheck". My salary was only slightly above that of my previous waitress salary however, I no longer had to serve anyone a twice baked potato.

Age 29 - I was living in San Francisco and we had no off street parking. I once (emphasis on once) drove home and there was an open parking space right in front of our old beat up victorian.

Age 34 - Zoë took an afternoon nap in her crib after only 2.5 months of daily attempts.

Sunday, April 20, 2008

Where To Start

FTM here ....Many apologies that I haven't written in some time. It is just that I have been struggling with what aspects of the first two months of parenthood to describe.

Do I describe how I now wake from a deep sleep if so much as a hand moves in the crib down the hall (without use of any monitor)? How sometimes when FTD is holding the baby and I go to the bathroom I stay there longer than needed just to catch my breath and have some personal time? How my breasts now look like they should be in a National Geographic article? Or perhaps I should describe how my husband's favorite topic of conversation, Poo, has now been taken to a whole new level. There are so many options!

So let me begin by saying the FTD is a great father. He loves ZoZo to death and has even begun coming home at a decent hour just to see her in the evenings. He is involved, helps out around the house and even tells me that my overweight body (plus and an extra 5 lbs of baby weight I can't lose) is attractive sometimes. But I have to poke at him for just a couple things. Perhaps some of you can relate.

1.) Sleep - FTD has really sensitive hearing. I mean he can hear like a basset hound can smell. He listens to the freaking radio at a decibel that I can only compare to the hum of a mosquito. I know something is on, but have no idea if it is music, an 18 wheeler on a road a couple miles away, an airplane flying overhead, the dishwasher etc. When I was the walrus (how I refer to my third trimester) he slept in a different room most nights because I "snored too loud" and he couldn't rest well (no comment on how well I was resting). I was convinced he would be my savior for middle of the night feedings. Fast forward 3 months .......his own offspring screaming at the top of her lungs one room away, with a baby monitor on full blast and .... HE IS SNORING AND DOESN'T HEAR HER! Are you kidding me? Seriously?

2.) Can you please hold the baby - I will summarize this by saying I was heading to the doctor's office in about an hour and desperately wanted to shower to rinse the baby vomit that is permanently encrusted on my left shoulder off for an hour or so. I asked FTD to hold ZoZo. Hopefully this picture will help you all understand what happened next.

Apparently the SIDs articles never made it into the FTD reading list.

2 Months Not 2 Years - FTD is convinced that Zoë is at the age where riding on shoulders, standing on laps, sitting up on pillows, flipping in arms, hiking, jogging, dancing to really loud techno "crap" (AKA music) is not only fun but also age appropriate.

She is not a boy - FTD is very opposed to gender fussy clothes. What I mean by this is anything pink with bows and peter pans collars. I have to say I for the most part agree with him on this and though she does have a totally decked out pink car seat, I usually have her sitting in it with an outfit that is red, or orange or even the dreaded gender neutral sage green/yellow. By no means do I dress her to compete with Suri, Violet and Apple, however FTD sometimes dresses her to compete with the unfortunate homeless woman with the pigeons landing on her that often sat outside my window in San Francisco. The other day, I came down and he dressed her in army green pants, a lime green top that was on backwards (with snaps up the front) blue socks and a white and red hoodie. I can't even imagine what will happen when she is five and he needs to comb her hair as well. It totally baffles me considering he is typically quite well dressed himself .

I am sure that these things are just the beginning of our differences in parenting styles and aptitudes. Just think about all the things I will have to write about when solid foods are introduced!

Zoë visits Asheville, NC

Wednesday, April 9, 2008

Two months old

Tuesday, April 1, 2008

FTD stays in touch with Zoe while traveling

FTD has to travel lets say a little more often than FTM would like. Fortunately through the innovations such as Skype, staying in touch is a little easier. Check out this screen shot taken from Chicago O'Hare while FTD clocks yet more time in the American terminal waiting on yet another delayed flight....

Saturday, March 15, 2008

At six weeks, time to spread our wings:

Proud Dad with the Bean.

Friday, February 29, 2008

Where has all my time gone?

FTD here as we approach 1 month since Baby Bean was born. I can't believe our little human has been with us for over a month!

To our loyal readers we apologize for the radio silence, but somewhere along the way we don't know where our time has gone. Restless rumbles from bot family and friends that they no longer able to read about our daily foibles are compounded by the mourn faces that I am met with from our four legged children as once again, they realize a walk is a once a week privilege.

Our lives now revolve the low fidelity whine of the baby monitor to which we are a slave. Every pop, whistle, scratch and blink has us listening to understand whether its the 'change my diaper/nappy cry', the 'feed my now cry' or my personal favorite 'get me out of my cot cry'.
Let me not forget that FTD gets in lots of trouble if these blood pressure inducing devices are not charged.

I'll get FTM to add some of super-Mom thoughts here this weekend.... and more photos to follow soon.

Friday, February 8, 2008

Floppy Burritos

FTD here, blogging from the hospital room where we finally get to spend a night with Zoë. Apparently FTD's burrito making skills leave something to desired and Nurse Simone didn't win any awards for hiding her distaste at my efforts.

One of the joys, or is it fears is now getting used to all the noises my little one makes. Right now she is kind of burbling (apparently this is a word according to spell check) to herself. I'm guessing these are contented sounds or maybe she is working on a quality poo of the strange yellow mustard color we are told is appropriate for this stage. There was great celebration in work today when I was able to announce a 'code-yellow' and I was assured this is a significant developmental milestone.

So its all systems go for take bean home today tomorrow. Dogs have sniffed multiple blankets, have shown nothing less than angelic behavior over the past few days as FTM has been recuperating. According to Cesar, Delilah and Noe should meet Zoë outside, give her a good sniff and we can all go inside as a family. FTD will report tomorrow on how it all goes down...

Tuesday, February 5, 2008

Monday, February 4, 2008

Zoë Lola Bruce

Born 02h19, February 3rd at a hefty 8.9 lbs.

News, pictures and video to follow...

Friday, February 1, 2008

FTD's last day before bean arrives

Given that tomorrow finally means bean is arriving, I really should have done a better job of arranging my schedule. For my last day before fatherhood, instead of relaxing or doing something I enjoy, I am stressing about a presentation that is not ready and mountains of documents that need to be updated before I check out for a week.

Something tells me my legendary inability to effectively manage my time is going to be challenged as of tomorrow. Any good suggestions are welcome and will be given serious consideration... comment below!

42 Weeks and Counting

Today is officially 42 weeks pregnant. Today is the day when the doc says "That baby is getting huge - time to get her out". We are on call for a ring from the hospital to say there is an open bed and that the process can begin. Could it possibly be less natural?

Rather than being anxious I am celebrating baby bean's upcoming birthday at home alone this AM. Her day has begun with breakfast in bed by FTD (gotta love him) and then a mid morning birthday cupcake to get the show on the road. Knowing that they won't let me eat at the hospital and that I am about to go through trauma, I am trying to have a final day of "no baby in my arms/pregnancy pig out". I figure from here on I have to start losing the baby weight, so I'd better take advantage of my last few hours of justified glutany (sp?). Oh, and I think I may need a couple naps throughout the day as well - why? Because I can!

Next post will include pics of bean! Here we come into the wild world of parenthood. Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

Top 16 things on my mind at 41 weeks pregnant

Many have been inquiring as to why I have not written, how I am feeling, where is the bean etc. So the below is my attempt to answer all questions as succinctly as possible.

Top things I have learned in the past 5 days (since the bean was officially due).

1.) It is possible to get larger than you were at 39 and even 40 weeks

2.) Any weight gained after 40 weeks is not officially allowed to be added to total pregnancy weight gain total. Furthermore, anyone who had a baby before 40 weeks needs to take total weight gain total, divide by # of weeks she was pregnant and multiply this number by 40. This is the true pregnancy total weight gain. *Note - if you like to talk about how you gained only 20 lbs or less this number should be multiplied by 2

3.) Some of my friends and acquaintances lie about pregnancy weight gain, over exaggerate pregnancy complications and all in all like to "one up" one another about all that is child birth. This completely perplexes me. As women, we compete with one another as adolescents for dates, for grades, for colleges. We go on to compete with one another as well as men for jobs, promotions and everything encompassing health, wealth and love. Why are we competing as to who pushed the longest, tore the largest, waited the longest to take drugs etc. Aren't some things sacred?

4.) It is possible to exist sleeping no more than 1 hour at a clip due to walrus shaped physique and ping pong ball sized bladder.

5.) Co-workers and bosses can be incredibly kind when you least expect it and allow you to rest at home.

6.) The same co-workers can then turn panicky when they can't easily locate a simple answer the following day.

7.) All car seats are not created equally nor are the all compatible with strollers.

8.) FTD really needs to bulk up if I am ever going to have a bean 2. This can be muscle or fat - I am not picky, I just need some sized XL t shirts to steal to feel small. Size M men's t shirts do not due bean any justice.

9.) People are incredibly nosey in public and feel it their right to ask you all about your pregnancy and tell you all about theirs when you are walrus shaped. *Note* I did get digits from a man who was a soldier in Korea after such a conversation.

10.) Contractors suck and FTD really should take over all communication with them before I go hormonal on all of them.

11.) Men who clean up mold for a living also clean up murder scenes.

12.) One can exist with only two pairs of pants that fit.

13.) Raspberry tea does not induce labor

14.) Walking 2.5 miles a day does not induce labor

15.) Pineapple does not induce labor

16.) Foot massages do not induce labor

17.) Bean may or may not meet Grandfather on her birthday weekend due to cold and possibly SuperBowl.

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

Bean +4 days !

The Doctor called last night to say FTM will be given something to get Bean moving on Friday night, and perhaps sooner if another 'ftm' goes naturally. I know FTD and FTM have a reputation for never being on time for anything, but the joke is wearing a little thin...

In the meantime, FTD is operating under a constant DEFCON-1 state of alertness....

Monday, January 28, 2008

Induction date

FTM and FTD are excited to announce the induction date will be set later today. Hopefully bean will arrive before the appointment.... fingers crossed!

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Bean +2 days

We are two days over due. FTM is furiously walking in an effort to get bean moving. Doctor visit tomorrow to seeif we need start bi-lateral negotiations to get bean swimming the right direction. Otherwise FTM is holding up well...

FTD is battling housing projects but has chosen to blog rather than return to his shower caulking.

Clearly FTD was put on this earth for more cerebral tasks, manual labor is really not his thing...

Monday, January 21, 2008

The perfect push present?

Ok, I need to poll my new audience as to what is the perfect push present for FTM. For those, not in the know the push present is defined as that gift that is given to the mother of my child o be when, well she does all the work of pushing baby out. So - help me out ... I have already purchased something, but I have the nagging feeling it might not be on the mark.

So it begs he question - Should I be original/silly/insightful/practical in my gift?

We are due Friday, this week so post your suggestions quickly!

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

Predictable Bonus Room Update

Contactors are not finished... no explanation why. FTD intends to read the riot act to our so called Project Manager and propose his aforementioned 'penalty' clauses...

Bean Will Hatch Into A Nestless World

With every passing week there is another disappointing doctor's appointment. If you have ever been pregnant you will understand this statement all to well. You come in thinking "today could be the day" or at least "today may be the day they tell me it could be any day"...But no such luck - I once again left my appointment with no positive MD reinforcement that I won't still be pregnant at 10 months.

So as any modern woman would, I came home from my apt. to search Google for ways to naturally induce labor and to determine what all this discussion of effacement and dilation really means. What I have learned is that I could be like "Jessica from Toledo" and have a baby tomorrow or like "Jennifer in Princeton" and go another 3 weeks. Apparently being dilated or effaced are only a couple of indications one will go into labor. So as I sit here drinking Raspberry Tea and contemplating how bad Castor oil will really taste, I am left to wonder when I will completely drop and when I will begin to nest. Yes that is correct, apparently I should be Nesting if I am about to go into Labor.

I have read this nesting theory before and thus have left all of the worst offenses from FTD to be organized when this instinct kicks in. I have been planning on organizing his 3 junk drawers, his 2 sets of disorganized shelves in the garage, and the enormous workbench I found him that you can't even walk up to at this point due to the piles of junk that are just left next to the thing. Additionally, I have a few projects of my own including my closet and jewelry boxes. The problem is that I HAVE NO INSTINCT TO NEST! I am not tempted to organize, clean, not even so much as put away the laundry. There are piles of laundry everywhere, Bean's bottles and baby accessories are crammed into a cabinet in between the phone books and some expired rubbing alcohol, and her towels and wash clothes (which I still don't understand why she needs her own) are sitting in the bathroom amongst piles of old magazines and worn out bathmats that I can't bring myself to take to the Goodwill. I am fine with all of this. I have no urge to clean any of it up. In fact, it makes me feel comforted that my mess is still here and that we haven't become the clean organized house on the hill.

If the Raspberry tea and spicy Indian food do work and I end up having bean before July, I hope I can recruit one of my pregnant friends to come over and nest. Either that or we are really going to have to increase the frequency of our cleaners. Do you think that maybe FTD will get the nesting urge? No, I don't think he will either. I would just settle for him to master the art of not cramming used Kleenex in his tea cups and leaving them around the house.

Pregnant belly = Productive Contractors

A simple equation, you'll agree but the threat of imminent child birth has motivated my unfocused and dis-organized contractors to stratospheric heights of productivity. Leaving work like this to times like is, I acknowledge is fraught with danger, but fingers crossed, the long neglected bonus room may actually be complete today!

We even have FTM and the imminent 'bean' keeping her omnipresent eye on their activities at home to make absolutely sure they meet their self-imposed 48 hour deadline.

Honestly, I don't know why time limit penalty clauses are the norm for home contractors. It is maddening to try match well meaning recommendations from your friends to results that so rarely work out. firsttimedad has constantly amazed as to how these people stay in business with levels of service so poor, unpredictable reliability and a pricing system that is wildly inconsistent. Maybe we should follow the lead of the Writer's Strike and lock out these contractors and demand better terms. With the housing market in the shitter and by extension home improvements tracking downwards, now might be the perfect time...

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Weekend's first crisis

Nothing like the noise of dripping water waking you up in the middle night. At 3am last night, firsttimedad reached for the phone to call my least favorite of numbers; the home warranty people. Now, its important to remember our previous run-ins with First American have produced mixed results: one dispute that lasted for months .... a plumber sent to deal with an over-flowing toilet (FTM is still having night mares about this...) made an enormous hole in our kitchen ceiling in what turned out to be a futile effort to repair the leak. The home warranty company then offered a miserly amount for a repair what became known as the bat cave. Months of fighting later we had to fix it ourselves....

7am on a Saturday morning and once again FTD and FTM are clutching our caffeinated and de-caf coffees... Various scenes from the 'Money Pit' are running through my head and I'm gearing up for another smack down with First American. Our plumber, who reminds me of the poor soul who looses his stapler in 'Office Space' is currently filling our shower bed in an effort to generate a torrent of water through our ceiling..... I'm waiting for the awful news that we have to rip up tiles and re-do the bathroom..... does it ever end?

Case in point: our near 20 year old house is showing the bumps and scrapes. If we want to sell this place in the next 12 to 24 months, i dread to think what else we will discover!

Friday, January 11, 2008

Designated Bean 1.0 Parenting Process - Baby Whispering!

firsttimedad has seen a flurry of activity this evening, all motivated by his new read the Secrets of a Baby Whisperer. Key achievements include firsttimemom's E.A.S.Y (Eat, Activity, Sleep and You) list whichis already rolling out from the printing presses upstairs - this process feels like something we could make work ...

firsttimedad is known for being swinging wildly between tragically disorganized to a type-A driven organization freak. Translation: firsttimedad can happily live in an environment with mountains of laundry, dog hair coated furniture and firsttimedad's personal favorite, piles of unknown mail/Economists/catalogs scattered across the house - The Baby Whisperer equates this to a 'winger' type parent. At a critical point firsttimedad will inexplicably reach a tipping point when his 'winger' tendencies are transformed into the another of Baby Whisperer's classifications, the 'planner'. Readers can be assured that firsttimedad will go to excruciating detail to go above and beyond to correct is more normal 'winger' behavior. Now of course, FTM may disagree - I'm sure she'll post to offer her thoughts ....

So why burden our burgeoning and we hope growing reader base with firsttimedad's character profile? With bean imminent, firsttimedad has determined the Baby Whisper's is the only system that has any chance of succeeding, as we both actually stick to this.... as an engineer, firsttimedad will need some kind of process to guide him through the next few weeks....

Tuesday, January 8, 2008

A Sudden Change of Heart

Before I was pregnant I found it completely bizarre how random acquaintances felt completely comfortable asking me and FTD when we were planning to have children. Conversations usually went something like this;

random person - "You love movies, we used to love the cinema as well .... that is until we had kids. You will see one day, they will just change your lives completely. "

FTM -growl

Random person - "When are you planning to have kids? You shouldn't wait too long, you are already over 30."

FTM - What in the hell gives this person the right to ask me about my reproductive plans? "hmmm, thanks for the tip"

Random person - "I didn't know what love was until I had my girls. You'll see! It is the most amazing thing. It is nothing like having pets or loving your husband. Children just complete your lives"

FTM - My life is complete. I love my life thank you very much! "that's great"

Once you are 9 months pregnant however, all of this "Children saved me from the depths of despair" crap ends. Conversations now a days are like this -

Random person - "You better sleep now - you have no idea what you are in for. This is your first right {chuckle under breath}. Do everything you can now. You can't do anything for the next 9 months but feed your child and dream of sleep."

So what the heck changes. All of these breeders try to make you join their happy baby club for years and then as soon as you sign up you can hear them all chuckling under their breath ... "Suckers, now they can't go snowboarding on the weekends and rub our noses in it any longer."

When four-legged children go bad

firsttimedad has recovered enough from the financial tsunami that was last weekend to recount the details of last weekend. With the impending arrival of bean, it increasingly becomes a challenge to keep a lid on so many more things, having your two dogs (lets call them Spud 1, and Spud 2) force two (yes two!) emergency vet visits is the last thing you want to happen.

Spud 1, (pictured above) our elderly dog found herself in an altercation with a puppy at Petsmart. The puppy jumped on Spud 1, Spud 1 barked and the the puppy came off worse. Cue bloody puppy ear, much scolding for Spud 1 and a convoy to the nearest emergency vet. firsttimedad was very magnanimous and paid the vet bill for poor pup. Hopefully he's doing well now.

As if to add insult to injury, Spud 2 our younger, fatter and lets say less intellectually gifted dog took her trash can explorations to new heights on Sunday. firsttimedad and firsttimemom were both enjoying a relatively easy quiet Sunday afternoon in the full knowledge that opportunities for said occasions is rapidly diminishing. We arrived home to what we like to call trash can walk about where magically the trash moves itself in the middle of the kitchen floor. We normally find a guilty Spud 2 sorry for her actions, but we got so much more than her usual remorse. This time she succeeded in retrieving an old dog food can from the trash, chewing it on our bed this lacerating her tongue and bleeding profusely all over our bed. Ahhhh! Cue call to the vet and off we go again. You can almost hear the cha-ching as you pull up to the vets at 5 on a Sunday; high 3-digit bills are the norm in these situations. For the second time, Spud 2 was admitted for slicing her tongue, and we even managed to have the same vet surgeon.

Monday night things have changed in firsttimedad and firsttimemom house. Spud 1 is on intensive 'Cesar' training. Spud 2 is sporting four stitches on her tongue and is operating under a strict 10 meter exclusion zone away from all trash receptacles ....

And they say we are not ready for parenting? ....

Friday, January 4, 2008

Favorite toy so far ...

No question the Bugaboo Chameleon is firsttimedad's proudest achievement so far in terms of baby toys that are actually fun to assemble, customize and has plenty of opportunity to trick out.

firsttimemom is more less enthusiatic about bean's chosen mode of transportation. firsttimedad has once again lost the digital camera, this erasing any possibility of photographing my wife's favorite things - bean's rapidly expanding wardrope.... (sigh). firsttimedad has coined the phrase pink storm to describe the alarming rate of expansion of beans haute couture and, it seems has no hope of stemming the tide (i'm open to suggestions!)

Thursday, January 3, 2008

Awaiting launch date

So we are 20 days away from the official launch date. There is an eerie calm before the storm. All is quiet, things seem ready, but we seem to be mentally preparing for the onslaught of poo invested nappies (diapers in US lingo) and two determined dogs who I am convinced will conquer the Diaper Genie II.

firsttimemom (but long time dog lover) remains amazingly placid, despite a minor panic over certain chemicals that are placed in certain tonic water. As it turned out she would have literally had to be swimming in the stuff to have any effect on what we are lovingly referring to as 'bean'.

Speaking of which, firsttimemom is the paragon of the mom to be, and show endless patience with her husbands nervous twitches, inability to stay still and general dislike of being confined to home. Her loving attention even extended to nursing a very sorry for himself firsttimedad as he has succeeded in loosing his voice much to the delight of his every suffering work buddies.

The wait is almost over...