Saturday, July 29, 2006

What's In a Name?

So, Hubby and I are slugging through naming options for the little girlfriend who is due in November. Man alive, is it tough. Decisions about nursery decor, prevalence of pink in outfits, etc. -- these are easy, because these can be changed. But a name...that's something that's going to partially shape who she is. So we have a couple of ground rules:

1) Nothing that starts with "M" -- my name, my sister-in-law's name, and "Mom" and "Mommy" all start with "M," and I think Hubby's brain would explode trying to call everyone by the correct name.

2) Nothing that, phonetically, has only one syllable -- since our last name is only one syllable, the "flow" would seem kind of stuttered.

3) Nothing that ends with a "V" or an "F" -- this is due to the elision factor. We don't want someone to think that the kid's name is., for example, "Livon" instead of "Liv Vaughan."

4) Nothing that encourages teasing. Now, this is a toughie to predict. We can weed out the ones that rhyme with loads of unfortunate words (i.e., Vicky), or can be converted into a Bart Simpson telephone joke (Amanda, Anita).

5) Nothing that was wildly popular in the past couple of years. We don't want our child to be, say, "Abby V." because there are three other Abigails in her class.

6) The first name will not be the same as a living relative. Why? Because then the living relative becomes, say, "Big Mary" or "Old Mary," and I don't know that it's all that fair to do that to someone.

7) And finally...something that has a deeper meaning. And I'm not just talking about honoring family members' memories. We look up the meaning of the name. I don't want to name my daughter something that sounds cool just to find out that it has really nefarious etymology. I heard the name Aradia the other day, and was curious about the meaning. Yeah, I don't think I'll name my child after the goddess of witches.

Looking for insipiration, I checked out the Social Security Administration's list of the most popular baby names from 2005. First of all, I'm inordinately sad that people seem to name their children after unusually named celebrities (Charlize, #906) or popular liquors (Alize, #825). And there are incredible deviations in spellings, which I'll forgive due to the slim possibility that it's a "creative" difference. But deep down, I think about how these kids will realize at some point that their parents just can't spell very well. I mean, "Destini" should have a "y" at the end of it, "Shyanne" is all wrong -- it should be "Cheyenne," and don't even get me started on "Abigayle."

And second of all, I giggled when I saw that both ''Mary'' and ''Jesus'' were evenly ranked as the 73rd most popular name last year.

Oh, and we're not planning to share our pick 'til the actual birth since we've already spilled the beans about her being a girl.

Thursday, July 27, 2006


To spruce myself up for Little Bro's wedding, I treated myself to a french mani/pedi. Well, that's not true -- I finally used a gift certificate my pals gave me for Christmas, so I guess they treated myself.

Anyway, this mani/pedi has staying power. It's nearly a week later, and there's nary a chip or a scrape to be found in the classed-up surfaces of my digits. And they've taken some abuse, let me tells ya.

On Tuesday, I installed an under-counter radio (a gift from my in-laws -- see how generous my friends and family are?) in our kitchen. I totally felt all Rose the Riveter when I caught a glimpse of my gussied up hand clutching my Mikita power drill. Which, if I recall correctly, was a Christmas gift from one of my older bros a coupla years back. Man, I hope I'm caught up on my thank-you notes.

Monday, July 24, 2006

Petite vs. Women's

So, why is it that the "unusually sized" women's apparel is grouped together in remote corners of department stores? Sure, it makes sense that the first thing you see are the clothes for women who range from 5'4" to 5'8" and wear sizes 4 to 14 -- if you're trying lure people in to take a gander at your wares, you want to cast a wide net. I just found it odd that when I was foraging for appropriate wedding dresses over the past couple of weeks (the kind that would show that I was pregnant, not just putting on a few pounds) I had to duck into shadowy areas of the store. To a shop, it pretty much went: average, petite, "women's," maternity, and then, oddly enough, junior miss. I don't see the logic here, either in arrangement of size or age. It'd make more sense to me if they organized everything on a graduated scale, kind of like paint samples. Maybe they think they're helping us avoid confusion? Though, I gotta say, I'm not likely to pick up a belly shirt with the word "Heartbreaker" stamped across the front just 'cause it's close to the petites.

Friday, July 21, 2006

Wedding Whammies: Part II

There's some wacky guiding principle in my life that I can't ever have just one social thing to do on a weekend. I may have zero hangouts planned, or a multitude. The former is preferable to the latter, because if its the latter, there is much running around here there and everywhere. As my friends get older and plunk down some cash for their very own patch of real estate, we find ourselves moving further and further away from each other, kind of like a Hoberman sphere. If we plan to hang out with two different friend entities (friendities?) any given day, we could honestly go from Laurel, MD, to Springfield, VA, back to, say, downtown Baltimore, and then back to Laurel.

Such is life in Metro DC.

This weekend, though, was supposed to be different. This weekend is Little Bro's wedding weekend, and that's the only thing we signed up to do for obvious reasons. Since kids aren't invited to the wedding (and, frankly, we wouldn't want to bring the Boy since we would actually like to have grown-up conversations, dance, and not worry about the availability of a changing station), we arranged a babysitter six weeks ago. Hubby's sister agreed to wing in from the Stinking Onion to babysit the Boy on the big day. Since this is a big job -- three hours of awake time including dinner and the bedtime routine, followed by three hours of being around in case he wakes up screeching -- we weren't all that comfortable hiring a local sitter who doesn't really know the boy. This houseguest/babysitter thing was going to be perfect -- we wouldn't have to worry about cutting out of the wedding early, or trying to convince anyone to let the Boy sleep over, or cashing in a tremendous favor that we couldn't repay.

Which, of course, is why it was destined to fail.

Hubby's sister sprained her knee last night, poor thing, and even if she were in a condition to travel, would be in no condition to chase after the Boy. Heck, I'm in no condition to chase after the Boy, and both of my legs are working just fine. So now, we are left frantically searching for a sitter who meets these criteria:

1) Has met the Boy;
2) Is comfortable with diaper changes;
3) Can stay late/stay over/won't mind us showing up at his/her house late to pick up the Boy.

Did I mention we need to find this person tonight? That's possible, right? To find someone to do a six-hour babysitting stretch with 24 hours' notice?

Looks like I might be flying solo at Little Bro's nuptials. Sigh.

UPDATE: I won't be going to the wedding stag after all! Huzzah! A friend of mine who knows the Boy pretty well turned out to have a bit of a hole in her dance card this evening, and she will watch him. She's really friendly about it, too, saying, "Now I actually kind of feel like I'm involved in the wedding in some way." Phew. Blessed are our friendships and our families, for they really take the sticky out of sticky situations.

Thursday, July 20, 2006

I Don't Mind Change. Really, I Don't.

My first foray into the world of full-time gainful employment was at a college marketing company. There, I learned all about brand loyalties -- how and when they are formed, and what you can do to encourage them one way or another. The president of my company would repeatedly paint the picture of a college student as fertile ground for marketing because s/he is pseudo-independently making decisions about which toothpaste, detergent, deodorant, etc., s/he should buy for the first time. I say "pseudo-independently" because he also painted a picture of the modern college campus as incubator, with student life administrators doing anything and everything to keep the kids within the hallowed halls and picturesque gates of the school.

Having worked at a college, I can attest to this. I mean, is it really the best practice to encourage staff to stay 'til 2:00 a.m. on the first night of study days to dish out free bacon and eggs, also known as "Midnight Breakfast," in an effort to keep the kids from toddling down to the strip of bars and pubs serving discounted beer? What beefy lacrosse player is going to say, "Ya know, screw the $1 long necks. I need some scrambled eggs." The kids who were already going to be on campus, studying or lounging in dorm rooms, are the ones who will take advantage of the free food.

But I digress from my backstory. Most of our brand loyalties are formed in childhood. Most of us just stick with whatever our parents bought. I'm kind of susceptible to marketing, though, because my parents always bought either generic brand goods or goods that were on sale. So typically, I don't care which dish soap or laundry detergent I'm using. I only committed to Tide and Downey after I got married because that's what my husband (adamantly) prefers. Well, and I use Dreft because parent I know uses it to clean their little 'uns' clothes, and I've become convinced that the Boy's epidermis will slough off instantaneously if traces of any other kind of detergent touches his delicate skin.

I could bore you with brand marketing strategies to overturn the "I buy this because I've always bought it" mentality before progressing to the next part of my tale. But I got bored with it about a paragraph in, realized I'm not writing a text book, and deleted the many words I'd devoted to it.

Here's the meat of the story: I smell different. Why? Because the very day that I ran out of my trusty unscented Dove deodorant, I received a sample of the new Degree Ultra Clear for women. "Praise be," I thought. "I don't have to buy deodorant for another two weeks."

So now, I keep inhaling this fruity, shower-fresh smell and realizing that it's me. Which is weird. Am I a fruity, shower-fresh kind of gal? These are not bad things to be, but if I can smell me, that means that other people probably can, and I have to figure out if this is a good thing. Ultimately, though, I think I'll jump on board the Dove wagon again. Why? Because everytime I catch a whiff of my Degree sample, I think about my underarms. And it's just distracting to think about your armpits all day long.

Ha! You read that whole thing! You can't unread it. Now you'll be thinking about my armpits too. Behold the power of blogging!

Monday, July 17, 2006

This Would Be Easier if I Were Worried about Twigs and Grass

My nesting instinct is out of control. What's my evidence? I've always taken pride in home and hearth, but my to-do list is bubbling over, and my domestic activities have fallen outside of the normal realm of tasks.

To wit:

1) Over the weekend, the family and I went to Lowes to pick up a variety of annuals to plant in the flower boxes on my deck. Am I an earthy person? Nope. It's not like I have a black thumb or anything like that, but pressing plants into pots has never really been my thing. But there I was, smooshing little purple and pink plants into black soil.

2) Two nights ago, I dreamed about a lock on our sliding glass door that hasn't worked since we started hanging our hats in our lovely little townhome. Well, it worked long enough not to be included in the "seller must make these repairs" list when we bought the place. Anyway, when we found the lock was more of a non-lock, Hubby and I jury-rigged a solution (also known as a fireplace poker lodged in the base of the stationary part of the door), and that has sufficiently kept prowlers at bay. So it wasn't exactly paramount that I solve this not-really-a-problem. And locks do not often take center stage in my theater of dreams. But there I was, in a semi-conscious state, thinking, "I bet if I just took a look at the locking mechanism, I could figure this out."

Sure enough, the next day, all I needed was a Philips head screwdriver to loosen and reposition the catch, and VOILA! A functional lock. We'll still use the good ol' iron bar, of course, but there's something reassuring about a lock that, well, locks.

3) For my birthday, which is in a scant few days, I have requested gift cards to various home improvement stores so that I might procure some of the items after which I've been lusting: roman shades for the living room, room darkening shades for the little ones' rooms, and, if I really score huge, new bathroom sinks and/or fixtures. But this isn't the limit to what I want to do to my home. Here's a sampling of what I'd like to do to prettify (or at least update from 1979, when the original everything was installed):

- Paint the master and guest bathrooms, and the downstairs rec room and hallway.
- Rearrange the furniture in the rec room so that the Boy can run his little legs off without running into sharp wooden furniture.
- Add a border to the walls in the master bedroom.
- Install new floors in the kitchen, foyer hallway, powder room, and both upstairs bathrooms.
- Refinish the hardwood floors in the dining room.
- Re-paint (maybe even replace) the handrails and guardrails on the steps to the bedrooms.
- Install new light fixtures for the kitchen and the dining room.
- Install sconces in the dining room.
- Pick up some ART for crying out loud, for the big blank walls in the kitchen, dining room, and basement.
- Install a chair rail in the dining room to set it slightly apart from the conjoined living room.
- Install a new front door, one that lets a little light into the hallway.
- Install new kitchen counters.
- Paint the door to the basement to wipe out the scrapes from some of the Boys' dolls' heads (this was during his "knock on the door with whatever's in your hand" phase).
- Shave down the width of the door to the storage space under the stairs in the basement so it shuts all the way.
- Purchase bins that fit on our built-in bookshelves where we can subtly store the Boy's sundry toys.
- Replace the door knobs on all of the interior doors.
- Deep clean and, if necessary, replace the grotty tile and shower door frame in the master bathroom.
- Oh, and I want to install the last little pull knob in our kitchen.

THIS IS NOT A NORMAL AMOUNT OF TASKS TO CARRY AROUND IN YOUR HEAD. The irony is that I can't really DO most of this myself because pregnant women should not mess around with, oh, let's see: paint fumes, heavy lifting, plumbing, bacteria nests, and electricity. Among others. And I can't really ask Hubby to do this stuff either. It would cost us thousands to hire contractors to do it. So, the likelihood that most (if not all) of this stuff will be completed is, oh, I don't know, nil.

You'll note that all of the sentences in that last paragraph started with "I want," and not "I need." As a self-actualized, mature human being, I recognize that there is a slight priority difference between, say, cute new doorknobs and groceries. So I'll bide my time. But I warn you, I can't even watch HGTV without the green-eyed monster invading my sensibilities. Candice Olson, feel free to ring me up and invade my house ANY DAY.

4) At last count, I've spent three hours trolling websites looking for the perfect bathroom sinks. I like vanity sinks, the kind that have cabinets underneath, because storage is a premium for me. And when I say "storage" I mean real, honest-to-God storage. Not wicker baskets posing as storage. Baskets should be used to transport things, not house them.

5) I'm twitchy unless we have a stocked fridge and pantry. Like there's a chance we'll be housebound in July or something...

So, yeah, I think the nesting instinct has kicked in. Just a little.

Thursday, July 13, 2006

Pregnancy Week #22: The Joy of It All

I present to you, in visual form, this week's pregnancy indignities:

Yep, pregnancy's a magical thing. By the way, that's not actually me in picture #1. Just think a little rounder, and you'll have an accurate mental image. Shiver. Not that I want y'all to have an accurate mental image of me nearly in flagrante.

Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Oh, You Crazy Boomerang Kids

Lately, I've been fascinated by generational differences...probably because I'm starting to notice them in the generation that follows mine. Courtesy of Wikipedia, here's a breakout of the names and time spans of the latest and greatest generations:

1961–1981: Generation X
1975–1985: MTV Generation
1981–1986: Boomerang Generation
1977–2003: Generation Y
1986–1999: Internet Generation
2001–????: New Silent Generation

Born in 1975, I fall squarely into Generation X. Click on the links above to check out the traits and characteristics are for each generation; it makes for pretty fun reading.

Anyway, I just kind of figured that generational differences are all about the cultural context in which we self-actualize (i.e., grow up). Since the only constant in life is change, then the cultural context, one of the chief intangibles that molds our identity, also changes. Ipso facto, people growing up in different cultural contexts will be different. Congratulating myself on a pretty tight, if inconsequential, axiom, I didn't think about it much beyond that.

Then I became a campus bureaucrat, and I started working with students who fell into that venn diagram of Boomerang Generation/Generation Y. And the functional differences became more obvious. Some students assumed that there were no uncharted waters with regard to activities they wanted to conduct, so they wanted to talk it over ad nauseum. Others would spend hundreds of dollars out-of-pocket to fund these activities, and then not understand why I couldn't pay them back out of petty cash. Still others thought that the practicalities of planning an event thoroughly didn't matter, provided the purpose of the event was a good one. There was nothing negative in my perception of this -- I just figured they were learning the ropes of operating within an organizational structure.

But then I visited a website that I frequent, and saw this conversation thread on a message board. The gist of the article is that the kiddos that fall into the Boomerang Generation end up living at home through their mid-20's, oftentimes after living away from home for a couple of years, primarily because they came of age in a pretty crappy era. They started graduating from high school in 1999 (hello, dot-com bubble burst), and, if they went to college, started graduating in 2003 (hello, 9/11, war in Afghanistan, war in Iraq, global nosedive of sentiments toward Americans, faltering economy, etc.).

So, yep, I'll grant that it's hard out there for Boomeranger. BUT, I noted in the thread that there were some accountabilities that are not being owned. So I present to you, in all of my cranky Generation X apathy, my wildly speculative and generalized open letter on what this generation is not admitting to itself:

1) Your parents made you the central focus of family life -- multiple after-school, weekend, and summer activities, and countless hours spent in minivans schlepping kids around. So its only natural that you think that you are, in fact, the center of the universe. Understand that world events are not conspiring to keep you from achieving the modern American dream of gainful employment, no credit card debt, and home ownership.

2) Jumping off from #1, your mediocre accomplishments were lauded as metoric accomplishments. If a kid does well on a test, well, sure, pat him on the back and slap that 'A' paper on the refrigerator. But that kid shouldn't get a bike as a reward for doing that which he should do. This probably led you to believe that as long as you do what's asked of you and don't mess it up too badly, then you deserve praise and rewards.

3) And while we're bashing parents, lets go for another one: parents of the Boomerangs can probably be accused of doing too much for their children. This all comes out of love, and wanting your children to have a cozy life at home, because the world will deal them some harsh realities soon enough. I get that. But if you give your kids whatever clothes and gadgets they want, and you don't teach them how to balance a checkbook, or how to save and earn interest, what does that teach them? That luxuries are de rigeur, and that money is something that you don't have to worry about.

All of these things lead into my thoughts on the Boomerangers expectations about education...

4) You expect that a college degree will net you an awesome job (awesome = way more moolah than the US median income). Get real. A college degree is the new high school diploma. Sure, the crest on that diploma can make a slight difference in how highly your application is rated, but not much. Wanna know what the real important thing is? Experience accrued while getting a degree. If you have a graphic arts degree coupled with an internship, paid or unpaid, working for a local newspaper, well, that's a helluva lot more compelling than a kid who churned out a fake menu for a school project and had weeks to complete it.

This is especially true for anyone who earns a liberal arts degree. Nobody, including employers, know exactly what a liberal arts degree prepares a student to do. Well, that's because it doesn't prepare you for anything practical. A liberal arts degree ideally teaches you a little about a lot, and teaches you how to think critically, and how to write passably. But it does not tell an employer, "Hire Mary. She'd be really great a technical writing since she was an English major." Nope. You need to draw that connection for them by having invested some labor into that field through internships.

I respect those that seek a degree in a field that is renowned for low-paying or high-risk jobs. It's not that some low-paying jobs shouldn't have gobs more money thrown at them (hello, educators!). But how can you be bitter when your History degree from Prestigious University doesn't get you a $50K per year starting salary? Didn't you know that this was going to happen?

Along these's kind of understandable how the Boomerangs might think that a college degree is the end-all/be-all since the operations higher education morphed from a non-profit model into a business model. Translation? Colleges will provide you with the opportunity to get pretty much any kind of degree, so long as you can fork over tuition. Check out this table of degrees conferred by degree-granting institutions. A Bachelor's in Turf Grass Management? A Master's in Interior Design? A Doctorate in Dance? These are fields (no pun intended with respect to that turf degree) are ones that you learn through DOING, not through books. Seek out apprenticeships, or internships. If these things don't exist in your field of choice, it's a FANTASTIC indicator of how easily you will find a decent-paying job in the field, even if you have an advanced degree.

5) Be aware that you will not have the same lifestyle as your parents when you graduate from college. Ask them what their lifestyle was like when they were in their early twenties. They probably got the occasional utility shut-off notice, had to live in a dive apartment with four other people, ate cereal for dinner a couple of nights a week, and only went to the movies when they cashed in the change jar coins. It took them years of work, of savings, of paying down debt, to get to a place where they live comfortably. Why should your experience be any different? By the way, the longer you allow your parents to subsidize your lifestyle, the longer you need to abide by their codes of ethics, their opinions on how you live your life, and how you spend whatever money you do have. You can't take money or shelter (or both) from people and ask them to hold the side dish of commentary -- it just doesn't work that way.

Now, I know that the laundry list above does not apply to every Boomeranger and his parents. And I know that there are reasons that, even though some of them do apply, you can't help needing to live in your parents' basement. I lived at home for a year after I graduated college, because I was getting married and saving money to pay for the wedding, so I get that there are definitely some circumstances beyond your control.

Just don't ride the gravy train forever, is all I'm sayin'. Figure out which of your choices got you to where you are. You don't need to feel remorseful about 'em, especially if you were following your passions. Just, if you want to improve things for yourself, make a plan to do it and don't harbor bitterness that the world doesn't work a little differently. Figure out what you've got to do to make it work for you, or make your peace with the fact that it doesn't.

This is Crotchety GenX Fogey, signing off.

Monday, July 10, 2006

A Really Nasty Case of Strep, or, How I Found Out I Was Pregnant

Back around the holidays, Hubby and I had a conversation about the amount of sleep we were getting. Ultimately, we decided that 8 hours a night is just too much, and that the only way we could ensure that peaceful stretch of slumber would be shattered thoroughly was to have another baby. So, we threw caution to the wind.

In February, I thought I might be pregnant. Now, I had often laughed at the commercials for the early home pregnancy tests. It's not that I think a woman's being a little hyper if she wants to know if she's pregnant 5 days in. It's that the commercials feature smiley, happy-go-lucky women. Now, if you want to know if you're pregnant that soon, chances are you're going to be really, really anxious because you either (a) desperately want to be pregnant, or (b) desperately want NOT to be pregnant. Either way, I think the women in this commercial should probably look a little drawn, a little tense, pace the room, whatever.

Having said that, I think I fell into the former category. I'm a scheduler by nature, and a whole host of conversations, doctor's appointments, plans, etc., need to happen depending on how many lines show up on a piece of plastic. So I took the home pregnancy test. And it came up negative.

Oh well, I thought. It could be a false negative. Guess I'll find out for sure in two weeks when nature takes her, um, courses.

Well, I was right that I would find out, but not the way that I thought I would.

About three days after I took the pregnancy test, the Boy came down with roseola. And then I came down with a ridiculous case of strep throat. You can read all about it here. (How narcissistic is it to reference one's own work?) A couple of days into my strepitude, I went to the doctor, 'cause that's how I roll. The in-house throat swab came back negative, so they did a souped up throat culture that needed to be sent out, but the results would take a couple of days to come back. So I loaded up on antibiotics, and took to my bed. Or couch, as the case may be.

When the throat culture came back, it was ALSO negative for strep. So the doctor made me come back to be tested for MONO. So there I was, on a Friday night, in one of those prompt-care-but-not-an-emergency-room joints, waiting to have my blood drawn. The doctor I saw that night asked me if there was a chance that I could be pregnant. That's when I realized I was a day or so late. I guess I'd just figured my body was giving me a break because it was riddled with the pox, so why chuck menstruation on top of that?

My answer to the doctor? "Um, a slim chance." I explained that we'd just started, uh, not preventing conception, but that a home pregnancy test had come back negative. Since a slim chance is still a chance, and they were going to draw blood anyway for the mono test, I decided they might as well do a pregnancy test as well.

It took FOREVER to get the results back. I was hanging out on an exam table, feeling woozy from whatever was lurking in my system. The only reading material available in the exam room was a brochure on the chain of physician's blah-de-blah, one of which I was patronizing. I read it about three times. Despite my anticipation, I seriously debated taking a nap. I was seconds away from laying my head down on the papered table when I saw a shadow, and then sneakered feet, under the curtain. When the doctor drew the curtain back, I sat up straight.

"Well," she said, "your mono test came back negative."

I let that piece of good news wash over me. It was like the opening act for the band you're really interested in.

"But," she continued, bursting into a smile, "your pregnancy test is positive!"

She immediately thrust a sheaf of printouts at me -- the positive pregnancy test results, a, uh, helpful three paragraphs on what I should do now that I knew I was pregnant, and a prescription for a safer antibiotic for what had to be strep throat, despite all of the negative tests.

The whole drive home I was smiling. When we found out about the Boy's imminent arrival, the Hubby and I were hunkered over one of those pregnancy tests, waiting for the hands on the clock to scissor off the proper amount of time before we checked for the telltale lines. But this time, with this baby, I got to know first. There's something delicious, and appropriate, about being the one to tell your husband that he's going to be a daddy again.

Minutes after telling him, we told the Boy. I still don't think he quite understands, but that'll come in time. I'm sure it'll only happen once there's a squalling infant stealing his parents' attention, but hey, that's OK.

And that, my friends, is how I found about about my second baby.

She'll Be a Girl!

My posting has been spotty and pretty blah of late. Well, I think it has been, and that's what counts, right? There's a reason that my little scribbles have been less than entertaining. The truth is, I've been holding back. Since the beginning of March, I've been carrying around (both literally and figuratively) a wonderful, big, wonderfully big secret. Baby #2 is on her way!

It's silly how much I've wanted to write about it, but I censored myself because we were keeping everything under wraps 'til I got past the first trimester. Honestly, when you prevent yourself from writing about the stuff you REALLY want to write about, well, everything else just seems forced by comparison.

Then there was the small matter of telling the folks at work, the friends, the family, etc., prior to sharing the news here. Nothing personal, but I didn't want the folks who pull up my blog because I happened to have hosted a Monica Lewinsky photo here a couple of months ago to find out before, say, my mother.

Wow, the Catholic guilt that would ensue...

Anyhoo, now I'm going to post a few little blurbs about various experiences along the how we found out about Pinky (that's what my mother-in-law and sister-in-law have decided to call the baby 'til she's here and we've slapped her with a name).