Monday, May 31, 2004

Baby signing. We heard about it from a couple who went to a bbq attended by a family who used baby signing. For example, the baby signs "I'm hungry" to the parents. There are a couple of local sites with workshop listings. We're just in the investigating stage, but I'll try to post our assessments.

Small Talk Learning, and Wide Eyed Learning

We went to a send-off party last night for our friends Casey and Ruth. They are leaving for India for a few months to continue their yoga studies. Then we went to the movie What the bleep do we know!?. The Bagdad theater has apparently been packing people in for this movie at 13 weeks and running. The movie, largely filmed in Portland, is a quantum physics spiritual head spinner.

Here's one thing I know. Portland has been a tough job market for the past two years. Tiffany has decided to pack it up and move to Boston where she thinks the job market is better than here. So she's sold all of her stuff (Craigs List) and is moving out of her apartment today. Though, she's not flying out until mid-June. It's a weird feeling to sell basically everthing you own.

Saturday, May 29, 2004

Here's a photo from the ultrasound yesterday. This profile of bean is the image of her mother's profile. Amazing yet trippy. We also have images of both feet, which I haven't posted. What is it with parents and baby feet anyway? I don't get it. The tech chose which shots to print out for us. I would've much preferred a spine or brain shot over the feet. But the profile shot is awesome.

Friday, May 28, 2004

Quick note to everyone. Ultrasound results = feisty perfect GIRL! Yay! It was really fun watching her move around and seeing all of her pieces--a leg here, an arm there, a foot over here, a four chambered heart... More later. We have a Dr.'s appt. to go to now.

Selling your old house? Here's my rant of advice: fork over the cost of a sewer scope before you put it on the market. If there's anything wrong--and from what I'm hearing from the sewer scopers and others, there's something wrong 75% of the time in the sewer lines from these old houses--you can at least have the option to adjust your market sale price, especially if you're not at the top of the range. People do peace of mind adjustments all the time. For instance, if the owner is offering a one year insurance policy on all of the appliances in their home, you can bet 300.00 or so has been tacked on to the sale of their house. However, once you set the price and the buyer is scoping the sewer, you're pretty much stuck. You could always say, no, I'm not going to repair the sewer line break, but then you'd risk slowing down you're own purchase of another house if you did that. And that money comes straight out of your profit. In our case, the money won't break the sale. But estimates for repair are all over the place with a $2500.00 span from high to low. Here's the real advice: Get it done ahead of time when you have the control and the time available to schedule the contractors to do the work.

Today. Today is a fun day. We are going to have an anatomy ultrasound. I have high expectations for a good look at the bean and hoping there's no shyness there.

Tuesday, May 25, 2004

Well, today marks 19 weeks that our pregnancy has progressed. Little Bean is growing by the hour it seems! Yesterday, I am pretty sure I felt the little one moving around - but it felt like it was more of a rock 'n roll dance fest rather than a few polite squirms - it almost hurt!

I called Sheryl from Chicago and we agreed we'd play Little Bean some classical music since this is the period where the hearing begins to develop. So... I hooked up my headphones and sheepishly applied them to Bean's nest and boy did I get a response! There were at least two very distinct kicks low and to the left inside - pretty amazing!

This is what has to say about Week 19:

Your baby weighs about 8 1/2 ounces, and he measures 6 inches, head to bottom — about the length of a small zucchini. His arms and legs are in the right proportions to each other and the rest of his body now. His kidneys continue to make urine, and the hair on his scalp is sprouting. This is a crucial time for sensory development: Your baby's brain is designating specialized areas for smell, taste, hearing, vision, and touch.

Pretty amazing stuff. I've taken a couple of weeks off from yoga, so I need to get back to that. Luckily, I found a studio that has great pre-natal offerings (including 'Birthing From Within' courses) that's located about 5 minutes away. It's called 'Moving Through'; you can check them out at Time to get back in gear!

Take care, everyone!

Sunday, May 23, 2004

Howdy all! Susan herel I'm stuck in the Seattle airport waiting for a delayed flight so I thought I'd update you all on our weekend...

I dragged Sheryl to the mall yesterday to fill out my diminished wardrobe. Suddenly *nothing* is fitting me anymore - time for the real-life maternity clothes (saying goodbye all those transitional items hasn't been that hard). It is such a huge relief to be wearing clothes that don't restrict at the waist - plus it's a little fun to look 'preggers' and not just fat.

I got several pairs of pants and shirts for work, a few weekender items, and even bought a dress for a wedding we're attending in a couple of weeks. What's really funny is that they say not to feel pressured into buying clothes that you wouldn't normally wear - but I found myself really drawn to some of the more feminine items - which normally don't show up too often in my wardrobe, ha ha.

Anyhow, I'm off to Chicago today for a meeting; seems like such a waste to spend so much time flying just for a meeting, oh well. Work has been insane lately; working about 100 hours a day it feels like. I'm looking forward to that ending soon!

Have a wonderful Sunday, all.

Saturday, May 22, 2004

2 Gyrlz sponsored a production at Haven's and the Egyptian Room in Southeast Portland last Thursday night. It was the second annual Boobie Auction, a fund raiser for this production company's annual El Fest which will run Oct 28 through Nov 27 in various locations around Portland. El Fest explores art as language. One of the gyrlz, Lisa Newman, is a college friend of Susan's. We stayed out as late as we could--about 11:00 p.m. before heading home. Believe it or not, that's a very late night out for us these days. And the smoke in the E-Room was suffocating! There's something about that place and the Horse's Brass pub and unbelievable smoke.

We got our paperwork for the adoption in the mail late last week. I can't adopt until after the baby is born, but we can get the paperwork and the fee agreement for adoption signed and ready up-front.

Wednesday, May 19, 2004

Susan is telling me she hasn't been getting enough calcium so she has to go eat some chunky monkey ice cream. Too funny. She's taking the computer away now so she can finish this blog.

Hi Everyone! Susan here and Little Bean too. We reached our 18 week milestone on Tuesday - wow! Nearly at the half way point! Next Friday we go to get our anatomy ultrasound where we will make sure is all hunky-dory and we'll get to find out the sex as well. Of course that assumes that Bean cooperates and poses nicely for the camera... I told Sheryl we better hurry up and choose a name if we're going to go the truly gender-neutral name; otherwise, I'm sure that knowing the sex will influence the naming (not that it's a bad thing...). Anyhow, we're just so thrilled that all is progressing well.

Our weekend last week was spent preparing the house to go on the market; we packed up about a third of our stuff and moved it into the basement to make the house seem more spacious. We also cleaned like fools, had the porch painted, gardened, and then did more cleaning. I felt more exhausted at the end of the weekend than I have been in a while.

So, the house went up on the market on Monday morning and we had our first full price offer within a few hours. Needless to say, we're thrilled! As for the house we're purchasing, we have our final inspection on Friday then we'll be off and running to get closed at the same time as our current house. Now all we need to do is sell the condo and we can put all these real estate purchases behind us and focus on our little family.

Saturday, May 15, 2004

Wow, Susan is really starting to show that she's pregnant. We're talking about whether or not to get to a short list of baby names before we have the anatomy ultrasound. We're trying to stick to the gender neutral name concept. A lot of the people I know don't like their name, or they'd like to have a different one. A few have gone through the name change process. We'd like to pick something that bean will like later in life. I never really liked my first name. It never felt like a fit. Plus, in Texas everyone pronounced it "Shurl" instead of Sher-yl. It's Saturday and we have a weekend full of work ahead of us to get this house ready for the market on Monday. Mostly, removing all personal items like photographs, etc. Our agent says the absolute best is the "hotel" feel. So people can imagine their stuff in place of the things that are here. Plus, if you have personal photos out then people migrate towards them out of curiosity. Weird, huh. But then, I remember when I bought this house I looked at the photos of the person who lived here.

Wednesday, May 12, 2004

Blogger and comcast have both changed their user interfaces. I use comcast for email. Where's the warning communication? No matter. 17 weeks and counting on the pregnancy. There's so much to do to get ready. Sell this house, move in to the other house, major cleaning and repair on the other house to get ready for us to live there and the bean to join us. And today we heard that the buyer of Susan's condo backed out which means we have to move to get that off of our plate too. We're scheduling home inspectors, oil tank scanners, sewer scopers, etc. for the new house. Sometime between now and the past three years, sewer scoping became the new must-do-before-buying event almost as important as the home inspection! We're trying to find painters and friends to help us prepare our current house for sale. And today we talked to the adoption attorney and got things moving there. We can get the paperwork together now and talk about fees, etc., but can't formally adopt (me adopting our baby) until the baby is born. We got things re-assigned in our wills to incorporate our marriage (yay), my changed name on the legal documents (powers of attorney, etc) and added the new baby and established a guardian in case something would happen to us. Is that a ton of stuff or what? Don't even talk about work. Especially Susan. Swamped and maximum stress.

I realized, sitting here tonight, that Susan and I have shifted. We've moved into full on merge mode. Even though we are both on the title now, this house wasn't something that we found and bought together. The same for the condo, which I still refer to as "Susan's condo." This new baby, this new house-- we picked both of those things together. That feel's good.

Monday, May 10, 2004

so, it's official. this house goes on the market on monday. which means i spent the past weekend painting the front door, and replacing a suspect piece of wood on the porch, and generally cleaning. i ran across my ginsberg poetry collection and read Howl again and thought sometimes ginsberg just has a way of coming down and sitting right beside you. especially this: "who were burned alive in their innocent flannel suits on Madison Avenue amid blasts of leaden verse & the tanked-up clatter of the iron regiments of fashion & the nitroglycerine shrieks of the fairies of advertising & the mustard gas of sinister intelligent editors, or were run down by the drunken taxicabs of Absolute Reality." don't you ever feel like that? i still haven't voted and i have to admit again that it's still the mayor's race that has me waiting. susan is just returning from kansas tonight. she was missing her mother hard and went there for mother's day. we got an email from nephew jason, from college station, today. he's heading out this weekend to costa rica and then eastern asia on mission work. jason's from a newer generation. one that uses the bible to support the love and compassion of christ and not as a tool to justify hate and bigotry. at least that's my perception of him. i think he's a balanced guy. i have a lot of respect for him. i hope that his journey will be a safe one.

Wednesday, May 05, 2004

Susan here - making another random appearance to update you all on Bean's progress. Yesterday we entered the 16th week - 4 MONTHS - it seems like it's all gone so fast - and yet so slow at the same time. has this to say about our development so far...

"At 4 1/2 inches long (head to bottom) and 3 1/2 ounces of weight, your baby is about the size of a small fist this week. Some of her more advanced body systems are working now too, including the circulatory system and urinary tract. She's even begun inhaling and exhaling amniotic fluid so her lungs will be strong enough at birth to breathe."

Most first moms feel the baby move the first time between 16 - 20 weeks so I've been dutifully trying to concentrate on my belly - as if I could will it to happen! This mother's day brings on a new meaning this year. I'll be making a last minute trip to Kansas to see my mom this mother's day - the airfares were just too good to pass up.

Here's what Little Bean is looking like during this 4th month.

Tuesday, May 04, 2004

Have a Chunk martini courtesy of Portland Oregon photo artist Mad Max Drake.

Is he awesome or what. Some of his other Chunk photos are currently on view at the Drake tribute page.

So, where are we today with the bean? Well, at the end of a month we're hauling the family (at least one set of grandparents) into the anatomy ultrasound. Read: gender identification as perceived by the viewers of the ultrasound and the tech. It's pretty exciting stuff. Know anyone who wants to buy a very cute and cozy bungalow home? We're selling. I wish that this could be bean's first home, but alas we can't make the numbers work for the remodel. Structural costs to support the addition are a major contributor to the overall monster cost estimates we got back. We're looking in the area for a slightly bigger place. Look at this cute house:

That picture was taken during the first January 04 snow. Anyway, we haven't put it on the market yet, but it looks like we're just days away from that path. We have a good agent.
Is anyone else having a hard time deciding which mayoral candidate to vote for? The Communique endorsed Busse and I like a lot of things Busse has said, but I also like Tom Potter. Both of these candidates have links from the Communique site if you want to check them out. I've seen Potter in action, facilitating and leading some very difficult business groups. And he testified at the marriage hearings in front of the County Commissioners. I appreciated that he did that. But Busse has some of the more innovating ideas I've seen in a while. And he seems to be genuinely enthusiastic about this opportunity. What a bonus! He's also pro marriage equality in its fullest version, not the watered down version of separate but equal crap. Anyway, I'm finding it hard. I've been seeking out as much information as I can. I don't know what anyone else is hearing, but I'm hearing a lot of my friends have voted or intend to vote for Busse. If my friends are any indication (and they're usually right), Busse has a stand-up chance at winning this race. Still, big sigh of indecision from me!