Saturday, December 29, 2007

Monster Update: 40

It's hard to say for sure how big the Tummy Monster will be, but the average newborn weighs about 7.5 pounds (a small pumpkin (pictured)) and is about 20 inches long. The biggest part of the Monster's body is his head, but his still-pliable skull will give it the flexibility necessary to squeeze through the birth canal. If and when he deigns to make an appearance, that is.

Text adapted from Baby Center.

Friday, December 28, 2007

Another Bad Haiku

Today you are due.
What is the hang up, Monster?
Man, what a slacker.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

Doctor Visit: 14: A Haiku

We... are... still... waiting...
I... must... not... be... impatient...
Please... ring... telephone

Doctor says Stef's weight gain has normalized (she's actually lost a bit of weight), and there are a couple of other indications that she's nearing the end. Like, jeez, ya think? Maybe one of those indications is that the Monster's due date is FRIDAY - JUST TWO DAYS AWAY?!? Or that my wife is as big as a house and massively, ridiculously pregnant?!?

I could totally be an OB/GYN.

Saturday, December 22, 2007

Monster Update: 39

Just about a week to go and the Monster is just waiting to greet the world. He continues to build a layer of fat to help control his body temperature after birth, but it's likely he already measures about 20 inches and weighs a bit over 7 pounds, the size of a small watermelon (pictured). Try walking around and sleeping while carrying a watermelon in your waistband, and you'll understand how Stef is doing and why we're totally ready for him to be here now.

Text adapted from Baby Center.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Doctor Visit: 13: a.k.a. the Hold Steady

So we sit here, waiting on pins and needles for the Monster to eventually, you know, EXIST, and the Doctor basically tells Stef: same old, same old. Heartbeat's slow decline is holding steady. Position (normal) is holding steady. The Monster's exponential weight gain? Holding steady. About the only thing not holding steady right now are my nerves.

It's like if every kid in the world knew Christmas/Hanukkah was coming, but no one, anywhere, had any idea as to WHEN. They just knew it was SOON. Imagine the collective anticipation of every 6 year-old in that scenario, and then multiply it by HAVING A BABY. I would really like to meet this kid soon, but it's not like I have a say in when he pops. So I suppose I'll just sit here, twiddling my thumbs. I'll get him when he's a bit older, though, when I tell him his birthday is "in the Winter sometime" and let him sweat it out.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Monster Update: 38

The Tummy Monster has really plumped up. He weighs about 6.8 pounds and he's over 19.5 inches long (like a large bunch of leeks (pictured)). He has a firm grasp, which we'll soon be able to test when we hold the Monster's hand for the first time! Also, his organs have fully matured and are ready for life outside the womb. So long as he doesn't come while I'm stuck in 5-hour traffic due to inclement weather, we're all set!

Text adapted from Baby Center.

Another Monster Friend

CONGRATULATIONS to Justin and Saru on the birth of their healthy baby boy, Ryan Sohan!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Doctor Visit: 12

Stef had two Doctor's visits this week. The first was an ultra sound which confirmed that the Monster is in the correct birth position (head down, facing Stef's spine), and the second was an uncomfortable and long visit with the OB. Unfortunately there were no good pictures from the ultrasound - he's actually too big and squished to get a good picture, but the nurse reading the device said that he looks healthy and has all the necessary parts. This is better news than a picture. We can't wait to meet him!

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

And the winner of the Middle-name contest is...

In a nail-biting, 9-7 victory, Beckett beat out Scott in your hearts and votes for best middle name. And, amazingly, Stef and I agree. Or, rather, we really like Scott and Beckett as the Monster's middle name, but since Bekott or Sckett wasn't doing it for us, and we had to choose just one, we decided (just like a majority of you!) on the one with more cultural significance. Now we just have to hope that Theo doesn't trade Beckett in the off season. You can expect a post on how to change a Monster's name if he (Josh Beckett) ever becomes a Yankee.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Monster Update: 37

Well, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Tummy Monster is officially full term! This means that he pops out now, his lungs should be fully mature and ready to adjust to life outside the womb, even though Stef's due date is still three weeks away. It also means that spicy food is on the menu and the trampoline will be arriving any day now! (Just kidding. We're not going to induce - or even try and homeopathic induction methods - unless the Doctors tell us to. We're all about having a healthy Monster and just forget about the "inconvenient" timing of the thing.)

Anyway, the Monster weighs about 6 pounds now and measures a bit over 19 inches, head to heel (like a stalk of Swiss chard (pictured)). Many babies have a full head of hair at birth, with locks from 0.5 inch to 1.5 inches long (and possibly in color not at all similar to the parents), but I was bald when I was born and Stef hasn't had any indigestion yet, so it's unlikely the Monster has any hair at all right now.

Text adapted from Baby Center.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Doctor Visit: 11

Stef went to the Doctor's again today, and she will be going back a lot more in the coming weeks. At this visit she and the Doctor mostly talked about logistical issues, but the important thing is that everybody remains healthy. It looks like the OB Stef has had throughout the pregnancy likely won't be around for the delivery, but we'd rather have a different doctor on the big day than induce early, so what are you going to do?

Next week, Stef's getting her second ultrasound to get a better idea of how big the Monster really is, and which direction he's decided to face. And it also looks like she'll be stopping work for the year in a few weeks. Already, a normal day is too taxing for her, and the availability of early TDI means we can worry about keeping Stef and the Monster happy and healthy and not worry too much about our finances.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

There Can Be Only One

  1. The boy's name Scott (skaht) is of Old English origin, and its meaning is "from Scotland, a Scotsman." Mainly used in the 20th century, it reached peak popularity in the mid-1970s. Famous people with the name Scott include actors Scott Glenn and Scott Caan; authors Scott Peck, F. Scott Fitzgerald and Scott Turow; and musician Scott Joplin. It can be derived as "Scottie," which rhymes with "hottie" (good) and "snottie" (bad). Initials: "ASH". It would go nicely with a nickname of "the Great" - both because of this guy and this phrase (H/T Josh Summers). Try it on for size:

    Alexander Scott Howell

  2. The name Beckett (BEH ket) is of English origin, and its meaning is "beehive." In comparison to it's opposition in these finals, "Beckett" is neither historically nor currently popular. However, in their 2005 book “Freakonomics: A Rogue Economist Explores The Hidden Side Of Everything,” authors Levitt and Dubner predicted that, among a few others, "Beckett" would be one of the most popular baby boy names of 2015. So far, their prediction has been spot on, as the name went from being off the map in 2005 to debuting on the SSN top 1000 list at number 758 in 2006. And that was before this guy (pictured) had the super-amazing-awesome season he had last year with the World Champion Boston Red Sox. Initials: ABH. Try it on for size:

    Alexander Beckett Howell
Make up your mind and vote, people! This is the last chance for you to have any say whatsoever in the Monster's middle name. Both of these names are viable options - actually they are our two favorites - so your vote MIGHT ACTUALLY DECIDE what Xander's middle name will be. Of course, it also might not. This isn't a Democracy, people.

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Monster Update: 36

The Tummy Monster is gaining about an ounce a day, now. He weighs almost 6 pounds (like a crenshaw melon (pictured)) and is more than 18.5 inches long. Nevertheless, Stef's being a trooper, even though the Monster's clearly staring to weigh her down and tire her out quickly. Inside, the Monster's shedding most of the downy hair that covered his body, as well as the vernix caseosa, the waxy substance that protected his skin (like a round of cheese!) during his nine-month amniotic bath. Next week, the Monster will be considered full-term, so the nervous, anticipatory waiting has begun.

Text adapted from Baby Center.