Monday, January 26, 2009

The Big Brown Chair

It has become quite apparent that Laura’s pregnancy clock is winding down. At first it took forever for her to start showing and now we can’t go anywhere without someone asking…

“when are you due?” or “do you know what are you having?”

I sometimes like to joke around with the person who asks the question by saying…

In a hushed, but obviously sarcastic tone… “shhh… she already had the baby” or “no, we aren’t pregnant, she’s just gained a little weight over the holidays!”

Their faces are priceless and they are not sure how to react to this and then an overwhelming sense of reassurance fills their eyes as they quickly figure out that I was joking. (I mean, would I really say that about my wife? Comon! "Where's your brain!?)

I am certainly shocked at how fast it all has gone and it has basically been a “blink-or-you-might-miss-it” nine months. One aspect of the pregnancy that went by really fast was when we ordered our “baby chair” or “glider.” My wife, Laura, wanted one really bad, so, of course, in the “she gets whatever she wants” fashion we ordered her a special chair. It is a very, oh so very comfortable and squishy brown chair. Although, of course, it isn’t exclusively “her” chair… we are all welcome to use it :)

On this past Sunday afternoon, the wind was minimal, but a chill was still in the air. Laura, our friend Amanda, and myself had just left Target and headed on to the "Comfortable Chair" store to pick up our brand new glider for Mauldin’s room. Upon walking to the store we could see a lot of activity inside, through the windows, which had big signs splattered all over such as: “SALE!” & “CLEARANCE!”

We walk into the store and it was hopping! There are more people in the store, on this day, than we have ever seen before, and we knew that was different because we had been four times prior (we like to research almost every purchase we make). There is only one guy working this day... he is one of the owners...

“How is he just gonna leave all those people unattended in the store?” Questioned Amanda. We knew he was gonna have to help us carry this chair out, so is he just gonna leave all these potential customers?

“I am not sure,” I said. “Usually his wife is there! But, I don’t think someone will just pick up one of those chairs and run out the door…”

“You never know…” said Laura.

We walk in and approach the store owner in the back of the store. He was tall, thin, dark haired and looked about in his late fifties. He was casually sitting at his desk, with a computer and a myriad of papers strode all over the cherry finished desk. The desk was probably a good five years old, it was already chipping on the corners and you could see a couple of scratches on the sides.

“Hi!” said Laura. “We are here to pick up our gilder, you called and said it was ready.”

“Okay. Name?” said the man behind the desk.

“Skates,” I and Laura said simultaneously.

“If you will drive around back,” said the man, with a monotone voice. “I will help you load it into your car.”

We left the store and strolled to Laura’s SUV and drove around to the back of the store where we saw a couple of old, rusted truck trailers.

“Is that where our chair is?” said Laura with a disgusted look on her face.

“I believe so,” I said.

“Where am I supposed to park!?!?” Laura said in a hurried voice.

“Right here.” I said “Look, there he is, stop!”

“I am.” Said Laura, in a tone at which I have heard many times when I know she is annoyed.

I got out of the car to see him unlocking the trailer like it was his locker in high school, very carefully, as not to let anyone see his combination.

I walk into the trailer, with him, which smelled like combination of new upholstery, wet mildew and rust. He picked up a box first and headed towards our car.

“This is your ottoman.” said the man.

“Thanks!” I quickly retorted.

He then went back into the trailer to get our chair. Our chair, this is the first time we will finally see it! We have only seen a chair like it in the store. We had picked out a different color because the green one they had on the floor wouldn’t work in our nursery. This chair, a beautiful, brown, plushy piece of magnificent furniture for our little man-child is finally being unveiled. It was wrapped loosely with plastic wrap which looked like it was ready to be cooked in a huge microwave.

“It isn’t really heavy” said the man, while he was straining to put it in the SUV. “ I’m sure a strapping, young man like yourself won’t have a problem getting it in your house.”

“No, I think I can handle it.” I said with a hint of hope in my voice.

“There we go!” I said. “We finally have another piece to add to Mauldin’s nursery.”

“Yep!” said Laura with excitement.

“I just can’t wait till Mauldin gets here,” said Amanda. “I wanna see him!”

“So do we!” Laura and I said “in-stereo!”

With one big brown chair added to our home caused both euphoria and then stress when we figured out we would have to re-arrange almost everything in the room. Not to mention, the chair was a pain to get through the door way! We almost had to take it off the hinges!

After getting the chair in the room we realized…uh oh, it doesn’t fit in the corner we had previously wanted it to go. So, we ended up having to change positions of a couple of pictures on the wall, and we had to move the crib and the changing table too! All in all, everything worked out for the best! Although, we are still confused about how we can add more furniture to the room and make the room look BIGGER!

Also, let me add… the roach we found in the box the ottoman came in wasn’t a welcome surprise either.

But, let me say, our weekend wasn’t short of entertainment… well atleast for us :)

Monday, January 19, 2009

Mommy intuition

This past Friday was an non-fun-filled eventful and interesting day.

I will go on the record and say, so far, it was a most uncomfortable day of 2009 yet. Why do you ask? Well, in most part due to the fact that the day ended up with my wife and I in the hospital. Yah, that never ends up being a fun day. Who really would say…

“Wow! I had an awesome day today, I went to the hospital! Whoo hoo!”

This Friday was most annoying and I will also add that I was miserable as soon as I woke up b/c of my lack of judgment the day before. I, like any idiot who visits the sun bed in January, (yah, don’t even ask) was “sun burned” and not just sun burned, but I probably had three-degree burns on my face! I was already in unbearable pain and was ready to go home and also ready for the impending weekend.

I receive a call from my wife…

“I am a little worried…” she said.

“What’s wrong?” I replied in a hushed but very concerned voice.

“Well, I am having a lot of cramping, it hurts when I stand up, and I haven’t felt Mauldin since last night.”

Okay, Laura, my wife, does not know this, but this seriously sent me into panic mode. I already have ten thousand scenarios running through my brain. Is this for real? I don't want to dismiss her motherly intuition because, I mean lets face it, she was right about the sex of our child! Who says she isn't right about this... She is a little bit more intune with Mauldin than I am.

“Laura, I am sure everything is fine, I felt him kicking a lot last night.” I say this while trying to keep her calm.

“I need you to not get upset, because I don’t want to freak out.” She says in a ‘don’t freak-out on me’ way.

“Laura, call the doctor and see what they say…”

So, after I hang up with her my heart begins pounding in my feet, brain, hands, everywhere but where my heart is located… why can’t I feel my heart in my chest? Oh there it is…

Time passes slower than watching grass grow, paint dry or watching a high school football game… why is she not calling me back??? Does she not know I am about to lose it? (In all honesty maybe three minutes went by.)

I decided to call her and find out what the doctor suggested…

Laura says in a calm, but I’m on the verge of crying way..

“I was just about to call you.”

“Okay, “ I said, “what did they say?”

“No one is on-call or able to see me at the doctor’s office at such late notice so they want me to go to the hospital to get monitored. So, I figure we can go after my meetings this afternoon…”

I sit there and I hear the words that were just uttered out of my wife’s mouth, my wife that is 30-weeks pregnant and this is certainly a very fragile time and this is our life, this is our child, this little boy has been the center of our universe for only 30 weeks now and we cannot have something happen to him now… I won’t allow it. I am gonna pull a Janice (for those of you who do not know this reference, my mom is Janice and this is a statement used whenever you ‘really’ wanna get something done) or someone better because we will be at the hospital in less than 30 minutes or … I dunno…

“Laura, you have meetings?” I said in a firm, but ‘oh no you didn’t voice.’

“this is what you are gonna do… you are gonna call those parents and let them know you have to reschedule because something very important has come up and you have to go to the HOSPITAL.”

“Okay,” she said… “I will make arrangements.”

“Alright,” I said, “I will be there as soon as you give me the word.”

So, another excruciating three minutes pass until she calls me back to pick her up. Mind you I have already emailed my boss to let her know where I was going and why and as soon as I leave all logic disappears from my psyche. I have no idea how to get to Laura’s school. Now I start freaking out,

“Oh my God! How am I gonna do this whenever she is in labor? I am gonna end up in who knows where!”

To make a long story short, I know too late, I pick her up at 2:45pm. We arrive at the hospital a few minutes after 3:00pm and she is monitored by a couple of machines for atleast 30 minutes. Of course, Mauldin, who was probably asleep because his mommy is such an active little firecracker, decides it is time to start his exercise routines and lets the nurse know he is just fine and has a heartbeat between the range of 135-150!

So, all the panicking, all the stressing, all was fine.

Although, we did learn a valuable lesson. My dear sweet, always-on-the-go wife, has got to slow down! We have a minimum of seven weeks left to go!!! Whoa…

Friday, January 9, 2009

Tag- I guess I'm it!?

Well, today, thankfully I am not too busy, but for today I'm going with a tag that Ron over at CK’s Lunchbox hit me up with. Of course, it always follows with “the no obligation” to follow, but if I don’t what does that make me.. yes, a stick in the mud. These are the oh-so-ever important rules of the game…

1.go to your documents ( or picture file)

2. go to your 6th file.

3.go to your 6th picture.

4. blog about it.

5. tag 6 friends to do the same.

This is what I found…

It is a picture of my wife and I this summer (June 7th to be exact) right after we got married on our way in to our reception…

What a day that was, and honestly, feels like we have been married a lot longer than, what is it now, seven months!

What can I say, I love my life, my wife and couldn’t be more ecstatic about our little man-child on the way, due in March.

Now, the trick is selecting six people.

1. Postulates & Pastimes

2. Snotty Mom

3. Us and Them

4. Wrapped around her finger

5. Expanding Belly

6. A Married Single Mom

Thursday, January 8, 2009

How to...

How to swaddle a Baby -video

I am pretty sure this is well-known to all your seasoned parents… but to those soon-to-be parents who pretty much are clueless about this topic, here is a video that might come in handy…

A friend of mine from high school, Jason, sent me this link.

He and his wife just had a little boy in September… Ashton.

From the looks of this video, this baby does not necessarily like being swaddled… apparently my nephew hated it too!

I have gotten word from many people that there are special blankets that are basically “pre-swaddling” so hopefully we will get some of those to help us out!

Otherwise we may end up cutting the circulation making him uncomfortable!

We have already tried swaddling once and were sorta successful, but it was on a plush Mickey Mouse. Sorcerer Mickey to be exact, but not like that makes a difference!

I also found a link “how to tie a bow tie” online and that did not work out so well, but there are less steps in the swaddling process..

Again, Mauldin will probably come out thinkin'...

"Awh man! I'm the one who got the parents who can't swaddle..."

Well, lil' dude, we are gonna try, we are gonna try :)

Wish us luck!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

100 things...

I was surfing through some blogs and found a really good one… ivegasfamily and he did a really cool thing for New Years… It is a Bucket List.

After reading it I wondered how many I've accomplished/experienced so far in my life. With it being the start of a new year, I thought I'd embark on the tedious task of reviewing the list and seeing how I fare. Perhaps some can be accomplished in 2009 as resolutions. Maybe not… we’ll see!

Like iVegas, items in bold are those that I have accomplished/experienced. Items in
red are ones that I wish to accomplish in my lifetime. Items in green are those that I wish to accomplish in this new year.

  1. Started my own blog
  2. Slept under the stars
  3. Played in a band (does marching band count?)
  4. Visited Hawaii
  5. Watched a meteor shower
  6. Given more than I can afford to charity
  7. Been to Disneyland/World
  8. Climbed a mountain
  9. Held a praying mantis
  10. Sung a solo
  11. Bungee jumped
  12. Visited Paris
  13. Watched lightning at sea
  14. Taught myself an art from scratch
  15. Adopted a child
  16. Had food poisoning
  17. Walked to the top of the Statue of Liberty
  18. Grown my own vegetables
  19. Seen the Mona Lisa
  20. Slept on an overnight train
  21. Had a pillow fight
  22. Hitchhiked
  23. Taken a sick day when you’re not ill
  24. Built a snow fort
  25. Held a lamb
  26. Gone skinny dipping
  27. Run a Marathon
  28. Ridden in a gondola in Venice
  29. Seen a total eclipse
  30. Watched a sunrise or sunset
  31. Hit a home run
  32. Been on a cruise
  33. Seen Niagara Falls in person
  34. Visited the birthplace of my ancestors
  35. Seen an Amish community
  36. Taught myself a new language
  37. Had enough money to be truly satisfied
  38. Seen the Leaning Tower of Pisa in person
  39. Gone rock climbing
  40. Seen Michelangelo’s David
  41. Sung karaoke
  42. Seen Old Faithful geyser erupt
  43. Bought a stranger a meal at a restaurant
  44. Visited Africa
  45. Walked on a beach by moonlight
  46. Been transported in an ambulance
  47. Had my portrait painted
  48. Gone deep sea fishing
  49. Seen the Sistine Chapel in person
  50. Been to the top of the Eiffel Tower in Paris
  51. Gone scuba diving or snorkeling
  52. Kissed in the rain
  53. Played in the mud
  54. Gone to a drive-in theater
  55. Been in a movie
  56. Visited the Great Wall of China
  57. Started a business
  58. Taken a martial arts class
  59. Visited Russia
  60. Served at a soup kitchen
  61. Sold Girl Scout cookies - I've eaten my share.
  62. Went Whale Watching
  63. Got flowers for no reason
  64. Donated blood, platelets or plasma
  65. Gone sky diving
  66. Visited a Nazi Concentration Camp
  67. Bounced a check - Not proud of it. I was young.
  68. Flown in a helicopter
  69. Saved a favorite childhood toy
  70. Visited the Lincoln Memorial
  71. Eaten caviar
  72. Pieced a quilt
  73. Stood in Times Square
  74. Toured the Everglades
  75. Been fired from a job
  76. Seen the Changing of the Guards in London
  77. Broken a bone
  78. Been on a speeding motorcycle
  79. Seen the Grand Canyon in person
  80. Published a book
  81. Visited the Vatican
  82. Bought a brand-new car
  83. Walked in Jerusalem
  84. Had my picture in the newspaper
  85. Read the entire Bible
  86. Visited the White House
  87. Killed and prepared an animal for eating
  88. Had chickenpox
  89. Saved someone’s life
  90. Sat on a jury
  91. Met someone famous
  92. Joined a book club
  93. Lost a loved one
  94. Had a baby – my wife is pregnant
  95. Seen the Alamo in person
  96. Swam in the Great Salt Lake
  97. Been involved in a law suit
  98. Owned a cell phone - Who doesn't?
  99. Been stung by a bee
  100. Ridden an elephant

I've accomplished/experienced 40 out of 100! Not too shabby if you ask me. As you can see, I have many more on my list to do… Here’s to 2009 and beyond!

What about you?
Happy New Year!!!

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

The search is on...

The search is on…

For what, you ask?

Child care, of course! We would, certainly, love to have a personal Mary Poppins, but now-a-days… we really cannot afford that. We certainly want what is best for our little man-child so we decided we would start the interviewing process to weed out the ones we like and the one’s we’d like to see fly off on their broom sticks.

We did have a potential lead, but sadly, for that Mary Poppins, the wind changed directions and we are unable to secure a spot. Thus, the pre-aforementioned “search.”

After Laura’s maternity leave, she will have the summer to spend with “the baby” (Laura’s trade is a kick-ass teacher) and not be going back to work, full-time, until the fall. With that said, we need to find someone who will not charge us for the summer months when Laura is out for break.

We decided we’d be pro-active and start looking for potential care for Mauldin. I mean someone has to watch him while “mom and dad” are at work. We certainly can’t ask our parents to drive an hour every day to watch his little booty.

Our main goal is to find an “in-home” facility and not commercial day care. Why? It’s our personal choice.

My wife, Laura, is the smartest woman I know. She went to the state website and did a search for “at-home” day cares in the local area. Low and behold the first one we called she sounded “practically perfect in every way.” Although, just because she sounds great on paper, we need to meet her to make sure she holds up to our expectations.

I figured we needed to do this systematically and so what did we do…?

Busted out the manila folders, of course. We printed off each applicant and wrote all the supplied information they gave us and the ones that did not pass the phone interview got a BIG BLACK “X” on their page. Laura, I am sure, felt like Miranda Hillard from “Mrs. Doubtfire” when she was talking to some of these ladies.

Some were so loud it reminded me of the scene from the movie:

“Laylaaaa! Get back in your cage before I have to get the hose!”

So, at the moment we have two potential choices and luckily our “practically perfect” choice takes deposits to hold a space for our little bugger… We hope to meet this nice lady, to confirm she is a nice lady, this weekend.

Wish us luck!

Monday, January 5, 2009

Can I pass on my special 'abilities?'

I know and have known this for a good while...
what is it you wonder?
Oh, that I'm 'special!' I guess I haven't truly noticed my powers until I began watching Smallville.

I wasn't totally sure it was known to everyone else (you know, my secret identity) until I posted this picture... (see red eyes).

Now I can't fly faster than a speeding bullet, I can't jump tall buildings in a single bound, but I am pretty sure I have heat vision... this picture proves it! (Well, that or I'm possessed)

Well, lets just hope Mauldin inherits my abilities... hahaha and if he doesn't it will be okay, I can always teach him the ways of the force...

I've always wanted a padawan...

I'm sweating the small stuff...

The end is near, well atleast the end of Laura’s pregnancy!

Today, at 3 o’clock, is the first doctor’s appointment of our third trimester. (insert Cheers in the background -think surround sound!)

Last night we were sitting in the nursery, as we sometimes do, like we are just waiting for him to walk through the door.

“Hey mom, hey dad! I’m here, change me, burp me, feed me, love me...”

But, of course there is a lot more to a baby than just that, right? (Rhetorical question) All those things are a big part, but I guess we left off one of the big issue… the birth. He has to be born! Speaking of… my beautiful wife has signed us up to have a “birth class” next month. It is a two-day, extensively long, very long class that we are making ourselves go to! I mean, we are paying to do this… are we crazy? It is like going to work, on the weekend! But, maybe we will learn something.

My fears and concerns are becoming more apparent as the days pass. I don’t want to end up on a lifetime special… “our child, switched at birth.” Is there a way we can maybe ask the nurse or doctor to put a huge RED “X” on his lil’ hand or something to signify “this is Mauldin James Skates,” he is our child and don’t you dare try to steal him. I don’t wanna sound like an overly anal freaky parent, but do people actually do this type of thing? Can we request it? Or am I overacting a little bit?

Looking ahead, Laura mentioned to me last night we need to think about a hospital route. Well, yes, that is a good idea, but what if you go into labor and I am not even around? I am at work for eight hours of the day, and the next few months I am taking classes to finish my bachelor degree so what if I am at school? So, do I need to pack a bag and have it in my car at all times? Just thinking about this sent me into panic mode, so I went ahead and got out a small, black L.L.Bean duffle bag and stuffed a wide array of things I may need at the hospital baby wing.

It feels like a month ago we had so much time to prepare for the arrival of the man-child, but now, I am starting to sweat the small stuff… But, luckily Laura has three showers in the near future (one this weekend) so hopefully anything I am worrying we do not have… we will have! I keep hearing, diapers, diapers, you need diapers! Well, the other day we showed off the stack of boxes in our upstairs bonus room, of diapers, and you would probably think people would say,

“wow- that’s enough to cover the kid until the year 2030!” (lets hope he is potty trained by then) But, instead this is what we hear…

“yah that’s a good start, but not nearly enough!”

Insert, OMG and a jaw drop….

Well, prepared or not, we have 81 days to go!