My New Obsession: The Nursery

These sheep are FABULOUS.  Wall decals!  Who knew there was such a thing?!  I guess everybody else did, but not me.  My wife found these guys in an Etsy shop.  In the last few weeks we’ve realized that we both find lambs absolutely charming.  Perfect for Bean.  These particular lambs come in a variety of colors and we’re thinking white.  That is their actual color after all and they would really pop on a wall with color.  We haven’t decided about the color yet, but the wall with the crib will certainly have one.

We’ve finally decided on this bedding for the nursery.  Here is a zoomed out image

and here is the zoomed in, detail shot:

Anyone have a suggestion for the wall color?

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Finally!!!!

Last Friday night it finally happened!  I felt Bean kick!

23 weeks and 1 day

My wife has been feeling the baby since 19 weeks, so I was really ready for this moment.  We were lying on the couch after dinner watching Lost on Netflix, when she grabbed my hand.  It felt like the tiniest little nudge, but I felt it.  I felt our baby.

Wow.  I’m hooked.

Creating a Registry is Enough To Kill a Person

My head is still spinning.

This is a task we have been avoiding as long as possible.  Yesterday all of that avoidance came to an end.  A very patient friend who recently had her own baby agreed to meet us at Babies R Us and help us wade through all of the baby-ness.  Wow.  Not fun.  Not fun at all.

The first issue is that I am not a shopper.  The activity itself isn’t enjoyable and the accumulation of lots and lots of stuff is anxiety-inducing.  The second issue is that it’s hard for me to make decisions when I don’t have the information that I need to make the decision.  How you can buy baby paraphernalia when you’ve never actually had a baby, I don’t understand.  This shit is expensive and I don’t want to waste money on the wrong pump/stroller/monitor/whatever.  My wife has convinced me that we can’t just hang out with Bean for a while until we get a feel for the whole Mom gig before we buy anything.  Unfortunately, it doesn’t work that way.  This is why it was fabulous that our friend was willing to brave Babies R Us with us.  She was almost like a translator and I needed a translator.

The good news is that we’ve got the bones of the registry together (still a few things we need to think about) and I’m alive to tell the tale.

Ta Da…..

My father-in-law has finished the construction on Bean’s crib!  There is still staining to be done, but it will certainly be ready in time.  This is our first baby acquisition so it’s super exciting.  We’re getting ready for you little Bean!

Long Time No Blog

Life has been moving at a pace that is a little too fast for me lately.

  • We have a place to live in our new city!!  The actual move is scheduled for late June.
  • Bean has 10 fingers and 10 toes.  We had the big anatomy scan last week and everything is right where it should be.  No news on the gender front though – more on that later.
  • I have OFFICIALLY deferred my grad school admission until the Fall of 2011.  Conversations have been had and the form is in the mail.
  • When Bean arrives in September, I will be a stay-at-home Mom.
  • Our taxes have been filed and payments have been made.  Grumble, grumble…..
  • According to my gyno’s records (I looked yesterday), I have gained two lbs a year for the last three years.
  • At this moment, I weigh 13 lbs more than my wife who is almost 20 weeks pregnant.

Moving Right Along

This morning we had a date with the OB.  After waiting far too long in the waiting room (no surprise there) while Kathie Lee Gifford talked endlessly about some woman gardening topless in Texas (this is news???), we were finally called back.  Bean had no photo shoot at this visit, but everything continues to look good.  At 16 weeks and 5 days, my wife has gained 8 lbs and all of her levels looked good.  Although the midwife almost forgot to do it, the high point of the visit was hearing Bean on the doppler.  A good, steady beat in the 150’s.  I love that sound.

Introducing My Wife, the Superstar

This morning Bean experienced his first half-marathon.  At just 16 weeks and 2 days the kid is on his way!  I am so proud of my wife.  This time last year she finished first and today she was happy to make it to the end.  Truly.  She is handling all of these changes with a grace that makes me feel so lucky that this woman is my wife.

A Deep Breath

Thankfully the immediate stress that accompanied the realization of how different our lives will be in a few months has largely passed.  Since my last post I have taken many many deep, cleansing breaths and man did I need them.  I have done quite a bit of introspection and had very honest conversations with folks who know me well and whose ideas I respect.  As a result of this, I have largely resisted the temptation to make a decision NOW.  Instead my wife and I have decided to live with the idea of me being SAHM for awhile.  We have never considered this option with any real seriousness, so we are trying it on.  Seeing how well it fits us.  I have until April 15 to accept or defer my admission, so this gives us a little time.

If any of you have decided to stay home (or have a partner who will be staying home), I would love to hear how you made the decision and how it is working for your family.  What is going well and what is challenging?

Grateful

I have spent the last week adrift in all of the possibilities and avenues and to-do lists that mark the time btw

  • now and the move
  • now and my wife’s transition at work
  • now and the arrival of Bean.

It’s dizzying.  I am heart-poundingly, terrifyingly, thrillingly dizzy.  Happily the excitement swings higher than the terror of it.  At least most of the time.   It is support from other people that holds me within the stable center of the pendulum.  So my sincere thanks to this community for hearing the manic edge of my last post and taking time to share your stories with me.  It helps.  It really does.

Thank you.

Thinking Out Loud

Decisions, decisions.  I finally realize how adaptive it is that it takes a whole 9 months to birth a baby.  You NEED that time.  Preparing for an actual baby is so different from preparing for a theoretical baby.  My wife and I have been preparing for a theoretical baby since around the time we decided to get married.  Talking and thinking and imagining what our family life would be like.  Now that our little Bean is almost here, the range of decisions and planning feels overwhelming.  We are currently struggling with decisions about daycare.  Here is some relevant background information:

  • We will be moving to a new city this summer.  My wife will be finishing her Fellowship in June and will begin her first academic medical job in August.  Yup, you heard that right.  She will arrive for work in August and she’s due on the 2nd of September.  How’s that for timing?
  • I will be leaving my 2nd tenure-track job in May.  I’m a total academic flight risk.
  • As a new faculty member, she gets only 6 weeks of paid maternity leave.  She can take an additional 10 weeks without pay.  This is not a particularly attractive option as we plan to rent for the first 6-12 months in order to save $$ for a downpayment.  No pay doesn’t sound so good.
  • We are working on getting an additional 2 weeks (to get a full 2 months) tacked on of vacation days.  IF this works out, my wife would be able to stay home until November.
  • I have been accepted into a Masters program that I am excited about in our new city.  It runs on an evening and occasional weekend schedule.
  • It is likely that we will have to shell out some portion of tuition.  From what I understand, the best situation I could get with assistantships would cover 2/3 of the cost.
  • Classes start in late August.  Actually the first day is the week prior to our due date.
  • We will need to use full-time daycare in order for me to be in this program bc classes run four days a week.  Due to the evening schedule of classes, my wife will need to pick up the baby after work and be Lead Babywatch until bedtime.
  • I will get home in the neighborhood of 8 o’clock each evening after my wife has worked a full day (in a new job) and been single parent for 3-4 hours.
  • I already have a Ph.D. in psychology.

Does anyone see where I’m going with this?  I’m wondering, I’m thinking, I’m trying to figure out what is best for all three of us.  Here are some of the fears that top the list:

  • Am I grasping at another graduate degree only bc I’m afraid of losing my identity?  My identity is certainly important, but does it make sense  for my family to pay (literally and figuratively) for what might be nothing more than a hobby?
  • Am I being dramatic by thinking of how everyone will pay for this decision?  Well, there will be actual cost (tuition, books and daycare) and emotional/life cost (increased time pressure for all three of us), so that is something.
  • Will I become boring to myself and my wife if I become a stay at home Mom?

Ahhhh!!!  It’s a lot to think about, I know that for sure.  The good news is that we’ve got time to consider all of this.  I don’t have to reply to the University until April 15th.  For now though, the pros and cons just tumble through my mind 24/7.

How are all of you wrestling with the babycare decisions?  I would love to hear how you are making/have made your own decisions.