Thursday, November 15, 2012

A November's Worth of Thanks

    I haven't done the Facebook November daily thankful thing because I am thankful for nothing!  Just kidding. The real reason is that I don't have that kind of follow through.  That's partially true.  The other reason is that I didn't get what was going on until about the fifth.  So, there. I am grateful for so many things, though, and I've always liked that we take this time of year to be mindful of gratitude and thanks.

     Thanksgiving and the Fourth of July have always been my favorite holidays because there are no gifts, and for me, not a lot of expectations.  Celebration for the sake of celebration.  We have holiday traditions, but they aren't that firm.  I don't think any two Thanksgivings have ever been the same.  I'm not really sure what traditions we'll start now with the baby.  We've always been so portable that we could go anywhere and celebrate with anyone.  Now there are just so many more moving parts to be considered.  He's one little person, but having a four month old is like trying move a caravan.  We tried to plan, because we are planners who love plans.  Plan plan plan.  Turns out, those plans just aren't going to work out this year.  So, now we're figuring something else out.  Maybe that's the new tradition.  That is, being flexible and figuring it out as we go.  I have no idea.  In my fantasy life, all of my friends and loved ones live in the same place so we can always have him wake up in his own house on holidays, but still see everyone who loves him without hopping from place to place. That wasn't the case for me growing up and probably isn't for most people.  We'll work it out, but I want so much for him to have some dinstinctly "us" memories as he gets older even if it's a little different every year.

    However we celebrate this year, I feel like this is the year that gratitude was made for.  I had a healthy baby boy.  I was finally made permanent at work.  Our friend made it through a health scare.  We've had the opportunity to spend time with friends and family we don't get to see much. I've got the most supportive husband in the world.  I can honestly say that nothing would make me happier than for my son to grow up to be just like him.   Like any other year, there has been some really tough stuff going on too, but I'm happy to take time to focus on the good things.  We've got new worries, but so many of the things I was worried about this time last year have worked out perfectly and that's important for me to remember.


Friday, November 2, 2012


     They say pimpin' ain't easy, and I don't want to belittle what must be a challenging line of work with untold personnel issues, but being a new mom and back to work is pretty tough, too.  This mom gig is the hardest job I've ever had and he doesn't even talk yet. On top of that, indigent defense is, at times, not as fun as you may have imagined. Pimpin' may not be easy, but pumpin' isn't a cake walk either.  Breastpump joke!  So far, every morning has been an adventure in postpartum dressing.  Those last ten pounds weren't really bothering me so much when I was still wearing glorified pajamas.  I say 'glorified' because my rule during my maternity leave was that if I hadn't actually slept in it the night before, it wasn't pajamas.  Put it on in the morning and call it an outfit!  I also had a rule that the baby needed me to have ice cream pretty much every night.  See aforementioned ten pounds.

   Being back at work has been good, but really jarring. I haven't recovered from the massive change of pace or gotten used to not being attached to him all day.  He does seem to be happy at daycare, though, which is a huge relief.  Its fun to see him learn how to be a part of a little community. I hope I haven't derailed his social standing with the other babies by taking him in his costume on Halloween.  It's a kill or be killed world in the infant room. That's a complete lie, but it sounds funny.  To me. Here's a cute baby in a ketchup packet:

    We did pitifully little for Halloween other than sending him to daycare in his packet.  We didn't want the dog to blow his sweet little gasket, so we turned off the porch light and hunkered down.  I'm gonna tell you a sad true story.  Our pumpkin is still in the truck.  Yep.  We bought a pumpkin to carve and we never even brought it out of the truck.  Peter, Peter pumpkin eater had a...poor introduction to Halloween.  We'll do better next  year.  We'll definitely get him out trick or treating when he's big enough to bring home some chocolate.  You can take that to the bank.

Tuesday, September 25, 2012

Fear and Loafing

Way back before the dawn of Pinterest and the social media onslaught of cutesy quotations, sometime around the early paleolithic era of 1997 or 98, I found a book on the shelf at home that was a dictionary of quotes.  It had thousands of quotations listed by speaker and by subject.  We lived on the river, which is about fifteen minutes from the booming metropolis of uptown Fairhope.  We called it that because Fairhope is far too genteel for a downtown, and because it helped us know the locals from the tourists.  Anyway, I came to peruse this volume because we lived too far away from my friends and no one, Mom, wanted to chaffeur me as often as I required.  Boredom is what I'm getting at. One of the quotes that stuck with me was, "It is better to die on one's feet than to live on one's knees."  Or something.  It stayed with me, I think, because it's about fear and how fear gets in the way of life.  I'm pretty sure that I even used that quote in a paper I wrote for my G/T class in middle school.  That's Gifted/Talented, thank you very much, or more appropriately, Smart Mouth/Nerd class.  So, yeah, I liked to use quotes as a middle schooler.  Here's what we can learn from this: 1) You're never too young to be a pretentious ass, 2) teachers who have too strict of a word minimum get what they deserve, and 3) I've always been preoccupied with the theme of fear.  The first two are absolutes, but the last one I've had to put some thought into.  I've decided that I'm so interested in fear because it's such a part of me.

I'm fearful in many ways, but none quite so much as with health.  I can spiral into anxiety in an irregular hearbeat when I start reading about how this additive is linked to this calamity, and this dye causes goats to grow two goaty beards instead of one, and how the whole planet is being inundated with carcinogens, and how autism is caused by each and every thing a mother does.  I should just avoid this kind of information, but instead I eat it up, even though I know that a lot of it is skewed or incomplete data.

One thing I read, or heard, or maybe made up entirely is that one way to delay dementia and keep your mind active is to vary your routine.  An example being, that if you normally brush your teeth with your right hand, occasionally using the left will force your brain to do something neat, the specifics of which I'm not clear on. Natch.  I think the idea is that it creates new pathways.  This is where I think the mind is fascinating and why worrying about disaster is a joke.  So, I think about this recommendation every single night of my life when I take out my contacts.  I always take out my left contact first, and each time I think about how I should switch this up more. If not, my brain will rot and I will lose my mind and not be able to care for myself and I will die in squalor, not knowing my own name.  All this happens in about two seconds.  Instead of creating new pathways and keeping my mind active, I've conditioned myself to contemplate my own mortality every single night between brushing my teeth and washing my face. This is the danger of science in the hands of amatuers.  This is why it's better to not know sometimes.  When I am senile and in the aforementioned squalor, I believe I'll just wear my glasses.

Monday, September 24, 2012


  Have you seen this new McCormick's commercial?  You have if you're currently on maternity leave with a ten week old baby who will only nap when he's held.  What this means is, sometimes I'm tied to the couch for two hours.  You could say it's my choice not to go to the bathroom at these times, or sneeze, or shift my weight, or breathe too deeply, but you also may not have been screamed at by a tired infant in a while.  What I'm saying is, I've been watching TV.  If you're wondering, Michael Strahan is a surprisingly fun co-host for Kelly and Katie Couric's new show is also quite good.

   As a recap,  I do a lot of TV watching and diaper changing, and very little getting dressed or eating with two hands.  

    Back to McCormick's.  They have a commercial right now that says, "Life is a Fajita."


   And that's the end.  What does that mean?  There's no end to the metaphor.  Nothing.  Life is absolutely not a fajita.  A fajita is a fajita.  I need something more, Seasoning Sirs.  Couldn't they at least throw in something about sizzle or steam.

Life is fajita.  Don't touch the plate. 

   Another headscratcher is the old Bagel Bites commercial.  Do you remember it?  "When pizza's on a bagel, you can eat pizza anytime."  Was the crust holding us back?  I support anything that makes 'round the clock pizza a go, but I'm just not sure a bagel does it.  

  One that has blown every remaining bit of my mind recently is the new commercial for Hefty.  Let me set the scene.  Two women are in the kitchen.  A baby, presumably the home owner's, is making a mess eating.  The other woman looks on in horror and says, "What do you do with the diapers?"  We find out at the last moment that it's a commercial for odor blocking trash bags. I wanna connect the dots.  My fragile new mother mind needs logic and order.  I think I get where they're going, but they Just. Don't. Get. There.  It appears that there is an intended poo joke, but come on Hefty, if you can't land a poo joke, you need to hang it up.  Really.
     And what about these Charmin commercials with the evidently filthy bears?  I can't even.

Saturday, September 15, 2012

Politics Shmolitics

Bleeeeehhhh. I dread election season like I dread a root canal, but I'd do that every four years to never see another hateful shared Facebook post. I'm so grateful to live in a time and place where I have the right to vote. I believe in the notion, no matter how far reaching from reality, that each voice can be heard. Here's the thing, though. I see most political debate as nothing more than disgusting vitriol, top down. From Presidential candidates, to pundits, all the way down to some yahoo from Facebook who I haven't seen in twelve years, I hate it. It's not that I can't handle disagreement. Disagreement is my bread and butter as a lawyer. What I can't stand is the "us versus them" war of words. First of all, what a ridiculous fiction? The difference between the us' and the thems is de minimus. But mostly, I can't stand the idea that for one person to be right, everyone else must be an absolute idiot. I'll say this, many people that I love and care about deeply are very vocal in their beliefs that are polar opposite to my own. I know them in life to be kind, thoughtful people.  I believe that they are wrong. Absolutely wrong. But I also believe that life is complicated and that there is more grey area than there will ever be black or white. That's why there will always be different ideological camps. I don't, however, think that they are stupid, or naive, or unChristian, or (insert various insults here.)

I don't often spout off my social/political views. For one thing, I assume no one cares, but also because I have a job and I like it. I have to admit, I assume anyone who posts offensive or inflammatory political views, no matter which flavor, is either under employed or at the top of the food chain. It is a bad idea. It just is. It's my opinion that stating your views publicly is one thing, but going extreme or inflammatory conveys a whole host of negative qualities. It shows, I think, that you don't fully understand the issue. There wouldn't be a debate if there weren't at least two equally valid sides. Pick one. Have your belief and hold to it strongly, but don't undercut it with the complete inability to see past the tip of your own nose. If the strength of your opinion is dependent upon the degradation of opposing views, it probably doesn't hold water.

Again, I'm not hiding any of my views, but I will always keep my cards a little closer to the vest than to say something out right inflammatory in order to support my views. Why? Because I'm cool like that. Ok, maybe not, but at least because I value self-control. The mean kid on the playground doesn't win because he gets the sandbox to himself. He just ends up alone with sand up his shorts.

 Plus, I heard some kid peed in there earlier.

Wednesday, August 1, 2012

Springs of Water

I became a mother sometime in the last week.  Technically, I've been a mother since July 14th, but it wasn't the same.  Peter and I have been building a relationship this whole time.  I thought the first time I saw him the whole thing would make sense and I would be automatically transformed.  That's the way I've always been told that it happens.  That's just not how it happened for us.  I loved him right away, but I didn't feel like he was mine or that I was his.  Instead of some single life changing instant, we've bonded through hundreds of little moments and I think that's okay, too.  I'm way too cerebral to be a natural at much of anything, so I guess it isn't surprising.  Hopefully he won't mind too much.

Over the last week, I just get it.  And wow.  And ouch.  Wow because it's amazing to love someone so much.  Ouch because it's both liberating and absolutely crushing, and that push and pull is something I could never have been prepared to feel.  My dream for him since before he was born was that he would grow into a kind and independent person.  It didn't fully sink in to me until after he was born that this means he'll have to get hurt to become those things.  Intellectually, I know that's a good and natural thing.  At the same time, it breaks my heart in the most profound way.  I realize that nothing has or will ever hurt me like something hurting him and I can't protect myself from that at all.  I try not to think about it, but a few tears may have fallen on his sweet little head like some kind of home baptism, except this one is as ancient as mothers and children and washes away my former self instead of his. 

Saturday, July 21, 2012

Birth Story

 As a warning, this post isn't the one where I talk about how I fell madly in love with my new baby, although I did and will write that post at some point.  This one is the story of how we got him here.  I probably wouldn't read it if I were someone about to have a baby, or someone squeamish about labor and delivery.  I'll say this, I was right about two things.  First, an easy pregnancy did set me up for a less than easy delivery and, second, trying to plan with any detail how a baby will come into this world is completely futile.  It was not the difficult, but amazing experience I'd hoped for.  To be honest, it was just difficult and, at times, traumatic.  As different as it was from my hopes, I would still do it all over again.

We got to the hospital at eight o'clock Friday night to start the induction.  We got to our room and the nurse started me on cervadil and hooked up an iv and two monitors around my waist.  This was my first surprise. I had no idea I'd be bedridden so completely, so soon.  In fact, I had to stay flat on my back for two full hours after starting the cervadil.  As someone with lower back problems, I don't ever lay on my back, and definitely not at 41 weeks pregnant. It was uncomfortable to say the least.  The nurse gave me an ambien for sleep and said they'd start the pitocin the next morning at 6:30.  The contractions started within an hour.  Between being seriously uncomfortable and being checked by the nurse every hour, on the hour, I only slept for two. 

The next morning they started the pitocin.  I can't speak about contractions that start on their own.  I can tell you that pitocin contractions slam you.  They are intense from the beginning and only get worse.  There is no gradual building. No ebb and flow.  There is a reason almost no one has a natural labor with pitocin.  The nurse came in every half hour to up the dose, so they got much worse very quickly.  Unfortunately, that was all they were.  They were extremely painful, but essentially ineffective because even with all the contractions, I wasn't dilating at all.  So, the doctor broke my water after several hours and one centimeter of dilation.  Again, I can't speak about things I've never experienced.  Having your water broken when you are more dilated may not be that bad, and I've been told that water breaking on it's own is painless.  Having your water broken at one centimeter is painful.  Full of pain.  Not uncomfortable and not pressure, but painful. 

Three or four hours later of contractions and many, many increases in pitocin, I got to four centimeters.  I had hoped to make it longer without medication, but at that point I was crying for an epidural.  After the epidural, I was no longer in pain, so they continued to increase the pitocin every half hour.  Two or three hours later, though, I only progressed to five centimeters and never made any further progress.  They turned off the pitocin and turned it on several times trying to get my body to respond, but it never did.  The baby started showing signs of distress, so I spent the next hour or so laying on my side with an oxygen mask to try and keep his heart rate stable.  By the afternoon, I had an internal monitor for the baby, a heart rate monitor for me, a blood pressure cuff, an epidural line, an iv, catheter and two external monitors around my waist.  The whole day went like this and by 7:30, the doctor made the call and let me know that I wasn't likely to deliver the baby on my own and that for my safety and the baby's, we would need to have a c-section. The surgery would happen within the next two hours.  At this point, I'd been awake for the better part of 48 hrs and hadn't eaten or had anything to drink since the night before.  I'd been in labor for almost 24 hours.  I was delirious.  I think I would have been disappointed to be told I needed a c-section under any circumstances, but after all that had already happened, I had full scale panic attack.  I kept telling Craig I was too tired.  There was no way I was going to be able to bond with the baby because I was just too physically and emotionally drained. 

They wheeled me into the operating room, simultaneously dozing off and shaking like a leaf.  The procedure started and Craig was allowed to come in.  I won't say that it was painful, but it is very unpleasant.  Whatever is in the anesthesia makes you shake uncontrollably.   I couldn't feel sharp sensations like the incisions, but I could absolutely feel my skin and organs being moved around and the intense pressure of the baby being pulled out.  I could feel the same parts being tugged and moved while being sewn back up.  The baby cried and I basically blacked out.  I don't remember much of the next twenty minutes. 

Once we got to the recovery room, everything started to get better.  I had my baby and Craig with me and we were all safe and healthy. The adrenaline and incredible moment of seeing Peter the first time pulled me through the exhaustion for the next couple of hours.  He nursed right away and we went to our post partem room.

Because of having the c-section, I wasn't able to be discharged until Tuesday.  We had wonderful care, but were so ready to leave.  The baby had a nurse and I had a nurse around the clock, so someone was in our room to check on us at least every hour for each day and night we were there.  Luckily, I had a really smooth recovery and was moving around pretty normally by Monday. 

I would never have chosen for things to go as they did, but I thank god things didn't get any more complicated for me or Peter.  Craig was an absolute rock and I definitely couldn't have managed without him with me.  After seeing how large he was (8lbs 9oz, 21 inches) and the size of my pelvis, the Doctor said that I most likely wouldn't have been able to deliver him vaginally even if everything else had gone well.  This will sound so dark, but one of the nurses said that I was one of the those women who wouldn't have made it through labor a hundred years ago.  I had already thought the same thing.  Instead of being completely terrified by that, I am just so grateful to be here at home with my precious baby a week later, happy and healthy, and seriously tired.

Friday, July 6, 2012

Just the Facts Ma'am: An Update

     My motivation behind this post is twofold.  First, to give an update to anyone interested in the expected arrival of He Who is Karmically Destined to be Trouble Due to His Mother's Easy Pregnancy and, second, I hope that by putting this information out there, the universe will do what it do and make me look foolish by sending me headlong into labor.

    This morning at my last appointment, the Doctor decided to schedule an induction date.  He's due on Sunday, but is evidently sitting most comfortably.  So, she said that we'd schedule an eviction in case he doesn't change his mind.  Apparently, though, there are lots comfy babies right now and the hospital is booked up for inductions next week.  So, I'm on the waiting list (are you kidding me?) for something earlier, but we are firmly scheduled for the 14th.  Say what?  That's right--the FOURTEENTH.  As in, we will go in next Friday night to get this show on the road and have a baby next Saturday.  If you didn't just shed a little tear like a pollution hating Native American on the side of the road, that can only be because you don't realize that that is a WEEEEEEK from now!  I know, I know.   A week isn't that long.  Think of how many weeks you've already completed.  Enjoy time with your husband.  Catch up on your sleep.

Stop it.  Just stop it, right now.

     There is some consolation, though, in this whole 'still pregnant, gonna keep on being pregnant' thing.  Like any modern pregnant person, I've learned how to bend Google to my will by asking a question three or four different ways until I get the answer that I want.  I needed to hear that there is some really great reason to go all the way to forty weeks and possibly beyond.  Lo and behold, there is.  Babies born at term, as in 40 weeks and later, are shown to, statistically, have lower risk of breathing problems and SIDs, and less trouble breastfeeding.  I didn't invent this stuff.  It was actually in reputable journals.  So, even though I threatened to change his name to Myrtle Suzette if doesn't come immediately, I guess he's making good use of his time.

Wednesday, June 27, 2012

This is Your Brain on Baby

I could list all the annoying questions about my pregnancy, or questions that become annoying just by virtue of their frequency, but that's no fun.  I've learned that there are equally annoying answers that I give to a lot of said questions.  Now that's fun.  I can't say that I get why these answers are wrong, but let me tell you, they are. 

First, everyone wants to know when my last day of work is.  My honest answer is (1)when the baby comes,(2) or when I can't do it anymore, (3) or I don't know, because all of those are the same answer in my mind.  This is the part where men look at you like they might be called upon to deliver your child, thus seeing your business end and possibly having to fashion a tourniquet out of their belts/shoelaces.  If only things were going to happen that quickly. 

Another one I get a lot is whether we plan on having more children.  My brain can't really process this one.  At this point, I'm not sure that I'll ever have this baby, so I don't know where I'd put another one.   

People also ask how I feel a lot, which is really sweet and I appreciate it.  I said this in my last post, but I tend to err on the side of less information, just out of courtesy.  Sometimes, though, I think this is irritating to people. Women, especially.  I just don't really have the words to describe it, which is mostly because I feel pretty good.  If I had to though, the end of the third trimester is kiiind of like...being a capsized turtle with the appetite of a fourteen year boy.

Another one I get a lot is whether or not I plan to have an epidural--the obligatory "birth plan," as it's called in my baby books.  My plan is to not be pregnant anymore and whatever way that can best be achieved is the plan I'm signed up for.  Honestly, I just don't know.  I've never had a baby!  If I need an epidural, I'll get one.  If not, maybe not.  So many factors go into it, that the question to me is, how does anyone ever have a plan?  As you might know, I am a planner.  I set aside time to plan.  I love a plan, but I'm not about to tell the nurses and doctor what my "plan" is.  That's like when my clients start telling me about what they found on Google to get their case "squashed."   Sir, let me be the lawyer before you talk your way into stripes and plastic sandals.  I don't want to end up with the labor and delivery equivalent of plastic sandals.

I guess that's what it boils down to. I just don't want to end up with prison sandals, you know?

Thursday, June 21, 2012

37 Weeks and 5 Days...

Because now I count hours and days.  I'm in my 38th week.  Are you tired of hearing about my pregnancy?

Shut up.

I'm just kidding. 

I'm not kidding. 

I'm starving. 

Why is it 900 degrees? 

Where did I put my mind? It was just here.

Why are there never any cookies?

Here's some Aristotelian Logic for you: I am pregnant. I have always been pregnant. I will be pregnant for the rest of my life.

I wish that I was intuitive enough to think that I know when he'll come, but I have no clue. Every night when I go to bed I think he's coming soon, and every morning I think he may hang in there through the end of my twenties. Even though I think I've probably got another couple of weeks, when other people suggest it, I have to fight the urge to bare teeth. Truthfully, I don't whine that much except to you, three readers, and to my ever patient husband. I may look like a marshmallow and feel like poo, but I'm still hanging on to my pride, by God! When people ask how I feel, I usually say that I feel great or that I'm a little tired. In the grand scheme of things, those things are true. Besides, no one wants to know that my hair hurts...that I had an existential crisis during breakfast...that I'm doing rain dances for contractions...that I'm scared to death sometimes...that I'd hurt someone for a strawberry pop tart...or cherry...that I can't remember what it's like to button pants. But, you know, I can't complain : )

Sunday, June 3, 2012

35 Weeks

    Okay, I'm saying Uncle to pregnancy.  It got me.  I've had a pretty easy time, but I am still dunzo.  I feel terrible saying that because I've managed to avoid almost every bad pregnancy symptom in the book.  No heartburn, hemroids, constipation, insomnia, nausea, skin problems, etc.  I know, right?  I hate me too.  Even still, I'm worn out.  My energy level hasn't been that big of an issue since the beginning, but I'm definitely slowing down now.  I've gained around twenty two pounds and I don't think I want to add another ounce to carry around.  I attribute my easy time to ninety-five percent luck and five percent refusing to take it easy.  I've stayed too busy to think about how I'm feeling.  I don't want to slow down and I definitely don't want to be the whiny pregnant girl.  I don't like her. 

    Baby Locke seems to be enjoying the life aquatic.  He's gotten too big for his hijinks of a few weeks ago. Now he's more into doing a one-man hokey pokey.  But, you know, that is what it's all about.  According the doctor, he's droppin' it like it's hot, which explains why my Summer home is the bathroom.  Also, he's head down facing left/back, with his legs bent and kicking my lower left side.  I know that's hard to picture, so I'll put it this way, that moving protrustion on my right side is a tiny rear end that is womb-mooning you.  At the last ultrasound, the doctor commented on how long his fingers and his legs are and every time we tried to see his face, he'd kind of grimace and cover it with his hands and move away.  So, basically, I'm due to give birth to my husband in around five weeks.  I'm excited to have two of him!  Max has been kind enough to try out all of the baby gear for us.  He's been in the rocker, the crib and the stroller.   He's even tested a few toys to make sure they aren't a choking hazard.  That's love. 

My mom has threatened us all if I don't show her more pregnancy photos.  So:
This is from our trip to Vicksburg, before I got enormous.

We finished getting the nursery together.  I had more of a directorial role.  See above.

I think it turned out beautiful.

And then, the enormous found me.  This is yesterday:

You see, the hand helps you see where the baby is.  Why do we do this?

Afraid, with good reason, that he'll be diapered.

We're just not sure if we're ready.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

On Naming

   In the last several months I've gotten an education on the very provocative subject of names.  I have to admit, I was completely ignorant of how strongly people feel about naming and, specifically, the names of children that do not belong to them.  That's not to say that there aren't names that I like better than others, but short of Pooter McPantstains, I can't really think of any names that I think are really awful.  In naming our child, I've kind of developed my own personal philosophy of naming, i.e. the qualities that are important to me.  Mind you, I don't think I've invented the wheel, or that other people should follow my thoughts, but this is what helped me decide on his name.

1.  Originality:  I must say, this was not a crucial factor for me and I realize that this makes me different from a lot of people of my generation.  I truly would have no problem with him having the same name as another kid in his class.  I can't understand why that's a problem.  In fact, I seem to fall in the other camp.  I don't want for him to lead with his name, if that makes sense.  I don't need for him to have a name that defines him, but hope, instead, that he fills his name with meaning on his own.  Afterall, I've haven't even met this guy and he's going to grown into his very own person, regardless of what the internet says his name means.

2.  Genetics:   I think we all imagine that our children will somehow be creatures of physical and mental perfection, but I think it's important to remember whose genes are in the mix.  If two very small people have a child, there is a strong chance that that child will be small.  It's cool.  I'm a shorty, so I can say these things.  If, per chance, your small child is a small boy child, perhaps it's best to avoid naming him Brutus. That's just an example for two tiny people, you know what you're working with.  Just a thought.

3.  Children (God willing) grow up to be adults:  It's hard for me to imagine that our baby will one day be kicking his legs outside of my belly, so I can totally relate to the fact that it's hard to imagine him being 6...19...60.  Even still, his name has to last him a while and, for me, it's important that he have a name that he can grow into.  Some names are cute, but will they be suitable for an adult?  On a related note, it has to be acknowledged that your child may go into any number of career fields and there are some names/spellings that just won't garner as much respect. 

4.  Teasing:  This particular aspect of naming is the most ridiculous to me.  When we first shared with people our son's name, which by the way is Peter/Pete, we got a few comments.  A few suggested that he will be made fun of.  Let me be clear about this.  Every child gets made fun of at some point.  If the worst thing my son ever gets teased about is his name then I will be grateful.  If you think that you were never made fun of, then one of three things is in play (1) you are too old to remember, (2) you were excessively sheltered, (3) or no one ever said it to your face.  I can't insulate him from other kids, nor would I.  My hope is that I can raise a resilient person who learns how to handle what comes at him.  AND (can you tell this makes me mad?!?) what child under 10 has ever heard Peter used as a euhamism for anything?  I would personally make fun of that child for such a dated insult.  Also, in a time when people intentionally mispell their childrens' names, make them up out of thin air, and borrow five syllable last names from imaginary aristocratic relatives, I think the playground will be filled with lots of little glass houses from which stones won't be thrown quite as easily.

5.  Pleasing the crowd:  It may take three licks to get to the center of a Tootsie Pop, it may take a village to raise a child, but it only takes one or two people to name a child, and those are his or her parents.  Everyone has the opportunity to name their own.  I don't know why people feel so strongly about the names of other people's children, but I've been on the recieving end of a few rude remarks from people I barely even know.  At first this made me think I was crazy, but then I started hearing from other people with all kinds of names for their children who had also be subjected to the World's opinion and commentary.  You truly cannot please everyone.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Say anything..

If for one day I said exactly what I thought---

-- I'd hear someone talking about money, or theirs or their famiy's status and I would call them a classless fool. I would also suggest that they learn something about their audience first, as that is never cute or interesting to me.

-- I would say, stop whistling. No whistling before 9am.

-- I scream for ice cream.

-- If you have to tell me how much you do and/how busy you are I'll question it. Oversell always makes me think the opposite. The more someone has to hear that, the more they notice when it's not the case.

-- Rinse and repeat previous statement.

-- You're welcome (in that childish way when people don't say thank you).

-- Oooh. Shiny.

-- I don't know Ms. Lott, but I'll give her the message.

-- Yes, I'm pregnant. Stop looking at my stomach.

-- Doo do do do do do Do do...(the theme from Doug)

Sunday, March 4, 2012

22 Weeks

Today marks the beginning of week 22. So, 18 weeks left. I don't know why no ever tells you that pregnancy is 40 in ten months. Maybe the "they" got together and decided that nine sounded more doable and that this little bit of misinformation might be helpful to the continuation of the species. Could be. At this point, it's gravy. I feel fine. I'm not enormous. (I'm a little enormous). I have more energy than I did at the beginning and, I suspect, a whole lot more than I'll have in a month or so.

He's been kicking for a several weeks, but this last week has been his own personal demonstration in the various angles from which the bladder can be kicked. It may not sound like it, but it's actually one of the most charming things anyone's ever done.

As of the last two weeks, my brain has gone into baby mode. I've been excited all along, obviously, but there was a literal switch. It's like this burst of energy that has no where to go yet. The normal, and perhaps helpful, thing to do would be to read some books about labor and such. But, the word cervix makes me squirrelly.

So, I've done the next illogical thing. I've made the baby a playlist. I can't sing, so I thought he might appreciate some music from various artists who can. I would totally post the songs where you could hear them, if that was a real thing. Is that a real thing? Google was no help, so as far as I know, it's science fiction. I mean, this isn't Assange Letters. Only Craig will think that's funny.

Here's my carefully crafted during all hours of the night playlist for the world's kindest, smartest, kickingest baby that ever gestated, orrr, The Baby's Playlist.

1. April Come She Will--Simon and Garfunkel
2. Dearest--Buddy Holly
3. Forever Young--Bob Dylan (the slow one)
4. Hearts and Bones--Paul Simon
5. Sea of Love--Cat Power
6. Angel--Sean Hayes
7. Go Ask an Old Man--Colin Hay
8. You Belong to Me--Carla Bruni
9. Lullabye--Jack Johnson and Matt Costa
10. Rejoicing in the Hands--Devendra Banhart
11. Danny's Song--Nicki Bluhm
12. Heartbeats--Jose Gonzalez
13. Into the Mystic--Van Morrison
14. Falcon Settles Me--Rogue Wave
15. The Sweetest Gift--Sade

Thursday, March 1, 2012

Crime Kitty

Some call her Princess Patches, some call her "that cat."  Some even call her Chris, as there is a theory that she is the animal form of a shape shifting local homeless man.  This is, as  yet, unconfirmed.  To me, though, she is and will always be Crime Kitty, Vigilante Fugitive from Justice. 

Crime Kitty first appeared on the scene a few months ago, and by scene, I mean outside the criminal court building.  In the beginning, she was reticent, elusive even, leading one to ask, "Did you just see a cat?"  Sneaky little minx.  Today, though, she can be seen boldly nuzzling the air vents for court employees and handcuffed, escorted defendants alike to admire.  Regally, she'll stand and preen beneath the light pole.  Whimsically, yet with a touch of mystery, she rolls in the grass.

Crime Kitty has truly come into her own.

I've heard recently from a witness at the scene, that two women were seen trying to capture Crime Kitty.  Evidently, they were not aware that she is, in fact, the Vigilante Fugitive from Justice. Duh.  But, they were not ignorant for long.  She evaded their every attempt at capture.  The warrant was issued, but it will never be executed. 

Carry on, you felonious feline. Carry on.

Friday, February 17, 2012


Spanish Moss
A Moonpie caught in mid-air (tastes so much better that way)
Sunsets on the water everyday
Cheap, fresh seafood
Never having to introduce myself
Humidity that makes my hair curl just right
Cast nets
Mosey-ers and sauntering
Chicory coffee
Stopping for ducks in the street
Everyone you meet is also an artist/novelist/nudist/flautist/ist/ist/ist
Keeping a bathing suit in my backpack just in case
Dairy cows and crab traps within three miles of each other
Highway 98, Scenic 98, Old 98, and where 98 meets 98
Homes with names

Mardi Gras season always makes me miss home.  It's hard to believe my little sir will grow up so differently.  He'll know a place much larger and faster, not so sweet.  I'm gonna try, though, to instill a little bit of his gulf coast heritage, even this far inland.

This is novelist Rick Bragg's take:

Monday, January 23, 2012

Sweet 16

Today I had my 16 week appointment.  Our little bathing beauty was skinny dipping the day away and growing and developing like the creature of genius he or she inevitably is.  Besides this baby being a standout in the areas of heartbeat, crown to rump length, and leg wiggletude, it has apparently inherited my sense of humor.  How do I know this? Well, I haven't been much a drinker since that one banner year in college, and even that was tempered by budget and my love of sleep.  Pre-pregnancy, I only had a drink maybe once a month or so.  So, naturally, the cosmic joke is that two of my biggest pregnancy cravings have been for beer and margaritas.  You are a funny one, baby Locke! I know some people say that pregnant women can have the occasional glass of wine and blah, blah, blah, but those people don't realize that just last night I had a dream that I was forced to get a sonogram in front of an auditorium of people while laying on a card table, being judged on my growing baby. Um, I'll have water, please. Craig bought me some non-alcholic margarita mix, which I've sheepishly sipped over ice, and the beer jones I just overlook.  As should you.

We read online that the baby can hear now and that if you sing to it in the womb, the baby may remember the song after birth.  After that, Craig told me I need to watch my mouth more and started singing Rock You Like a Hurricane to my stomach.  Nothing like impending fatherhood to make a man realize his priorities and discover a liking for Scorpions.  Story as old as time.

We are scheduled to go in again in about two weeks to (hopefully) find out the sex.  We've been holding off on nailing down names until then, but a few have been suggested.  Here's a brief list:

*Matt Locke
*Inter Locke
*Pad Locke
*Rusty Locke
*War Locke

The jury is still out.