Thursday, February 25, 2010

No Dramas for Prego Mommas

Rick made the mistake of renting Everybody's Fine with Robert De Niro last Tuesday night when I had had a tough day and was just feeling down, emotional, and hormonal. He rented six movies in all but that was the one I was drawn to, of course.

Big mistake.

Boy did I ever start the waterworks. It's a sad movie to begin with and I surely would have cried if I weren't hormonal, but the combo was a one-two knock out. As the credits rolled, I must have gone through another ten tissues as I sobbed while my shoulders hopped up and down and my breathing hiccuped. I was a complete mess. I guess I needed the release.

He said afterward that I need to note on my blog "Husbands: don't ever rent a drama when your pregnant wife is having a tough day. If you do by accident, grab the tissues and call the insurance guy to make sure you have flood coverage because the emotional waterworks are coming."

Moral of the story: Men- learn from the mistakes of those who have gone before you, save the dramas for the non-prego mommas.

Monday, February 22, 2010

Target Shopping vs. The Compact

Luckily I took Rick with me so I wouldn't feel so bad going to Target Friday night. You would think people have better things to do on a Friday in the city, but no. The place was hopping.

In my effort not to buy things for the year... I must report that I did very well. We got the cleaning products and daily necessities we needed - diapers, wipes, toothpaste, tissues, etc. And we only bought two things that I would count as "questionable". Batteries for a frother we bought at Ikea a year ago and haven't used since we didn't have the proper battery for it (but we bought the smallest possible two-pack), and sippy cups for Ada since we only have one large one and four small ones and it's the one item she needs for daycare in March. I think both fall under necessities so we're good.

My mom, in her desperate attempt to be supportive of me and thereby my commitment to The Compact, or her crazy love of pictures, offered to purchase the extra sheet of photos from Ada's Valentine's that we didn't use so she can have one on the fridge and in her home office and her work office and one for a friend. All just to save me a little guilt (and have more opportunities to stare at her bubbly little grandchild.) I'll be delivering it next weekend. :)

I will say that I am spending way more money on food these days, but I think that is due to the fact that I'm learning to cook and buying way more food and crazy ingredients than ever before. That makes me want to start composting...we'll see about that. I'm still in the research phase.

And the one thing I really want that I'm not giving in to...yet... are things for my camera. My photography class I'm taking this month is causing a bit of a dilemma. My instructor suggested we get a UV lens cover to protect our camera lenses - a $5 insurance policy for a $100 lens and a smart investment. And there is a software he is training us on that is $250 or so but I might be able to find that used or in a previous version so that's a new challenge. And he told me it isn't smart to connect the camera to the computer to download the photos, but instead use a memory card reader to do that. Easy enough since I have the card reader, but now I want another card so I can switch out between the two. Turns out I have another card, but it's in Granny's digital photo frame displaying adorable photos of Ada and doesn't have the capacity that I need. And I think I have a third card, but I'm not sure where Rick put it last. (It's always his fault since he borrows my camera for work and then leaves important things like the memory card at work so we go on vacation for a weekend and have to buy a new card -- but I never see the original one again, type things.) So there is hope for that yet.

Moral of the story: I must admit, I'm still loving the compact and the effect it's having on our bank account. Amen to that.

A day of weird moments

Yesterday contained a few weird moments. That's the best way for me to describe it. See for yourselves.

First off, we started the day with brunch and learned that two of our most awesome friends are expecting their first child this year. Yeah! I couldn't be more excited as they are going to be AWESOME parents! Totally took me by surprise.

At brunch, we tried a new place that just happens to be a big deal in Chicago. Lou Mitchell's on Jackson. You walk in and get a powdered covered donut from the hostess. Then you get a mini halloween-size box of milk duds when you are seated. You order and they bring you a prune and an orange wedge in a small bowl. Food comes and you're happy. Then they offer you a tiny cup of ice cream to send you off on your day with a smile. Ada got crayons to play with of course. The weird part was... as we go to pay with our credit card, we learned it was cash only. Not a big deal, just another weird shocker since this is a large restaurant that is busy and doesn't deal with credit cards. They save on the credit card fees, and make a killing on the ATM fee commissions they must be getting from the ATM by the door. But they can do that, because the food is good, the service is fast, it's a friendly atmosphere, and you get tons of fun goodies. All surprising in a good way.

Then, our desktop computer hasn't been loading correctly so I've been getting the "Windows death screen" as I call it. You know the one where the computer starts up and just stays on the start up screen. The little load bar keeps going and going, and then it stops to fake you out and make you think it's going to continue to start up the computer, but it doesn't. This annoyed me so much that I have been nagging Rick for the past three days to fix it as I was desperate to get it back up and running. I really depend on this thing as it turns out.

In an act of brilliance, Rick was able to fix it yesterday and all is now well with the world. Ah...

Then last night, as we were playing a new board game I'm kind of obsessed with called Settlers of Catan, a bowl that my friend Anne passed down to me about 2 or 3 weeks ago, just jumped off the counter in the kitchen, taking another bowl with it, and one of them shattered all over the kitchen floor. I haven't found a home in the kitchen for this set of 5, now 4, bowls and made the mistake of stacking them on a pile of produce still in their plastic bags from the store and over time, or maybe the spin cycle of the laundry machine on the other side of the wall, they became dislodged and plunged to the floor. Ada really wanted to go walk all over the mess while barefoot but we, mean and evil parents that we are, forbid her from walking in the kitchen. So mean...

As the day is nearing its end, we decide that maybe we are hungry since it's 8:45 and we had brunch at 10ish, then lunch at 3ish, and maybe it was time to eat something. I grabbed a bag of pretzels and hummus to tide us over until we could order something and upon opening the bag I discovered, what is that?, my little one-inch-tall karate man figurine that used to sit on the computer desk. As I'm laughing hysterically, my friend Bob looks at me like I'm a nut. Yes, I am a nut... But I'm laughing because Ada stuck the little karate guy into the pretzel bag last week when we were having pretzels and hummus for a snack on the couch. She cracks me up!

Still hungry at 9:30, Rick calls our good ol' standby for last minute dinner, Ceasars. It's a block away and the food is always ready in ten minutes or less. We can always count on Ceasars to save us, until 10pm when they close the kitchen. Rick calls and no one answers. He calls again, no answer. It's so close that he decides to just run over and order and bring it back. Thirty seconds after he leaves, my phone rings. Ceasars is closed on Sundays. Duh. We're going to just have to go to bed hungry. What's weird about that? We've lived here for over three years now and I can think of only two other instances where we've ordered on a Sunday and they've been closed. I think they are open on Sundays in the summer. Just not winter. Oh well.

Moral of the story: Life is totally unpredictable. Just roll with it.

Thursday, February 18, 2010

The Compact...hmmm...

So Rick had to make some purchases, which normally fall under his category of things to buy since he is in charge of the computer and all things electronic in the house. But I'm in charge of most things photographic including printing photos of Ada, creating photo albums, and organizing and archiving our photos.

To cut to the chase, he had to buy printer cartridges because we ran out of time while trying to get Ada's valentines into the mail. They will still be late by a day or so, but closer to the 14th than they would have otherwise. And why so much drama? The Compact.

You see, instead of sending Christmas cards each year, I've started the tradition of sending a Valentine's day card from Ada to some of our closest friends. Last year I had 100 copies of a photo we took of her at the lakefront copied and I made valentines frantically to send out. Knowing we would keep up the tradition again this year, we discussed how to go about such an undertaking while respecting The Compact. We considered having Snapfish print and send the cards, but Rick would have to make that purchase since I'm "not allowed" to buy things that are new and unnecessary, and it would be costly. Creating more waste defeats the purpose of The Compact so I instead wanted to use up supplies we already had in order to make this project more "Compact friendly". The solution was to do it all ourselves and instead of ordering photos from a chain drugstore or Snapfish, we'd print them on our home printer and reduce our mailing list. The list dropped from about a hundred to less than forty. We then incorporated an email version for friends who aren't big "photo people" or who have Internet access and can get the sentiment and print the photo, or make it their computer monitor's wallpaper, if they like.

To achieve this feat of printing the photos on our home printer, we had to get new ink cartridges since ours were dead and Rick didn't have time to reload them with our refill kit we have in the basement(which we may have already refilled them to death anyway), nor did he have time to stop at the cartridge recycle store a few blocks away since he's been working late. So again, we had to compromise, but do so with good intentions. We now have the old cartridges to refill and can use the new ones as back ups to refill and alternate so we always have some available. That's the theory anyway. Or we'll take them to the recycle place next time around.

Unfortunately, after printing most of the photos, the last 2 pages didn't print properly because, after spending $31 on ink for the printer, the color couldn't last beyond 11 full-color photo pages and lost it's luster on pages 12 and 13. Knowing that we still had 6 valentine's to stuff with a photo of our little angel, I received a photo coupon for a free 8 1/2 x 11 from Walgreen's today and bit the bullet to purchase 2 pages of photos so we'd have the six images we needed. I only spent $4, and technically it breaks The Compact, but... it's also technically an errand I did for Rick since I put this all on his plate two weeks ago and he just ran out of time. As it turns out, we didn't even use one of the sheets yet...the one I actually paid it's an "extra".

We did, amazingly, only have to buy stamps to complete the rest of the mailing. It just so happens that I have a huge supply of heart stickers from years ago when my mom must have been doing a mailing for work or something. And my mother-in-law came to make valentines with Ada and just happened to leave us the "extra" cards and envelopes, which we exhausted for the mailing. I used returned mailing labels we keep getting from various charities, and hand labeled the envelopes myself.

Talk about The Compact changing my thought process and increasing my awareness of what I purchase. Whew!

In all of this, I've also justified the purchase of the new printer cartridges as a "necessity" for work since I use the printer when working from home. And even though Rick bought them, I still feel guilty for not planning ahead further so that we had more time to get them recycled from the ink cartridge store, or refilled them from our kit downstairs. I'm also feeling bad since I asked Rick to purchase some DVD's to backup our computer files, mainly photos of Ada, so that we can store them in a secondary location and be able to recreate my work files and condo association records. Again, something I "needed" for work, something Rick purchased, with my final justification being that by using DVDs that we didn't have instead of CDs that we did have, I can use less because they store more data, again making better use of the resources we have available to us.

Does your brain hurt yet? Because I'm exhausted just from thinking about it.

I also must admit to buying gift cards for two friends having babies in the next month since I bought them from a baby store. I didn't buy them gifts, and the gift cards could be used to buy cloth diapers or environmentally friendly toys or laundry soap, but that's less than realistic. I did buy them in conjunction with other friends as "group gifts" if that gets me any points, and I encouraged the "groups" to support a local baby store instead of going to Target--part of the whole "buy local" idea. So if we are keeping track, $10 goes toward one friend, and about $17 goes toward my portion for another friend. Keep in mind that they also may be used to buy nursing bras which would fall under the "necessity" category of The Compact as I interpret it. (I'm all about the technicalities.)

And I also bought a gift card for a local ice cream shop for a friend's son who just turned five. It's local, it's food, and it encourages him to enjoy a treat with his parents and new baby sister-to-be. How's that for a trifecta? Not to mention the homemade card Ada and I made for him tonight from our stash of leftover cards, envelopes, and stamping supplies. Entertainment all around.

Poor Ada must feel like she lives in an art studio or a sweatshop with all of the cards we've been cranking out of here. I'm not sure which but she sure seems to be enjoying it so far and I'm getting a tiny bit more storage space from the supplies we are using up.

Moral of the story: The Compact will make you think harder about how your actions affect the world around. Just know your head might hurt as a result of too much thinking after awhile.

Saturday, February 13, 2010

Ada, kitties don't like water...

I tried to tell her, but she just wasn't having it.

Kitty got a shower.

It was either Kitty got wet, or Ada threw an early morning tantrum that I just wasn't willing to have.

Ada won. Sorry Kitty.

Moral of the story: Pick your battles. Sometimes, it just isn't worth the fight.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Happy Valentine's Day!


Amanda, Rick, & Ada

Tuesday, February 9, 2010

Awake at 4 am?

Why am I up?

No, seriously. It's almost 6 am now and I've been up writing since sometime after four am since I can't sleep...likely due to heartburn and upset stomach from trying out a new menu for dinner (curry chicken that was a bit more spicy than I'm used to), eating too late, or topping dinner off with five Oreos and a glass of milk. Hmmm... all good culprits.

My Doctoress wants me to gain more weight since pregnant people should also be fat people, I guess. I'm eating, just not like I did before I had the flu. And I'm trying to eat healthier since it makes me feel better...and my cooking lessons' friend Sarah told me to try a more Alkaline diet to reduce the acid in my system so I'm giving it a shot. Or I'm trying it until the Oreos I urged Rick to make a special trip to the store for call out my name and force themselves down my throat with a glass of milk -- turns out sugar and dairy products are acidic once processed and top the list of diet "no nos". I try to justify them by telling myself they will fatten me up and make my Doctoress happy, but that backfires when I feel sick and yo-yo back to not eating anything but bananas and carrots for a few meals to get back to a happy place in my tummy.

Which brings me to a mini soapbox... upon which I must stand to say... to everyone out there who is treating their ailments with all of these fancy-named pharmaceuticals instead of altering their diets... tisk, tisk. Sure it might be tough to follow a more strict diet and forgo things you love or reduce them, and I know it is just so easy to fork over some cash for a cute little magic pill that makes it all better... but seriously. Do some research to see if food could be the source of your issues (high cholesterol, blood pressure or heartburn--hint hint) on what slight adjustments you can make to your diet to make your body a little more happy. And consider going to see a dietitian or a natural healer for recommendations. I'm not suggesting you cleanse or give up all things that make you happy, but instead fill your diet with things that will make you feel good and accentuate them with things that make you happy. Life needs balance to be happy and little magic pills don't count on my "happiness scale" in this case.

That said, no more Oreos and/or milk/ice cream for at least two weeks, and then only in moderation. (Can someone please come eat the last row in the bag?) No more eating after 9 pm. No more burgers and fries -- 20% burger and fries + 80% alkaline foods(fruits/veggies). Yes to feeling better and hopefully, gaining weight from healthy food sources. Wish me luck!

Moral of the story: Everything in moderation, unless "everything" just happens to be bad for you. Think 80% good stuff, 20% bad stuff, and do your best to stick to it.

Much Too Fun To Stop For A Photo

Anna was here a few weeks ago and I never got a chance to upload my attempt at taking cute photos of her visit.

I must say "attempt" because these ladies were having too much fun to stop and pose for me.

There was the bath that turned into a one hour swim party, complete with underwater kissing rubber duckies. (Ada was having a blast contrary to what this photo my suggest...)

And then there were the movie movie watching parties. Ada was too busy drinking her water and watching the movie to stand up next to Anna or put the sippy cup down.
I take full blame for only having these few lame pictures since I didn't pull out my camera until late in the day and by then they were too distracted to care.

Moral of the story: Sometimes, even the Mom-arazzi need time off from taking pictures.

Boy Oh Boy -- It's gonna be a boy

He looks like he's blowing bubbles...but that's just the umbilical cord. All is well in the land of the ultrasound. And he's almost a pound now according to the Doctoress. Pretty neat.

After a half-hour of rubbing goo on my belly and waving the magic wand, we learned that he has two kidneys, a bladder, a brain, four-chambers of his little heart, two hands and two feet, and a whole bunch of man parts.

Yesterday I went to the Doctoress for my 20 week appointment, which is just a checkup and a chance to hear his little heartbeat. It was also a chance to get the official Ultrasound results and reconfirm that all is well in the womb. Turns out, all is well. Also turns out that having an appointment late in the day on a Monday wasn't such a great idea. I rushed to get Ada up from her nap and even called to say I'd be five minutes late. What I should have done was called before waking Ada up to see if they were on schedule and then let her sleep another hour and rescheduled. Oh well. I'll be sure to try that next time.

Since I took Ada with me to the Doctoress' office, and we had to wait a long time, she got to be a bit unruly at times, but all and all was really good for me not having brought any entertainment since we were rushed out of the house in order to get there on time and --wait for an hour. She played with some other patient's coin purse -- that later spilled Tylenol onto the waiting room floor --oops! And danced in the waiting room. She sucked on a Starburst that she got from the receptionist (Don't give my kid candy, or crappy additive-filled unnaturally orange fake peanut butter crackers for that matter. Even if you ask me if it's okay--I always say "yes" just to be polite but I'm thinking "no" is a better answer since she always gets suckers I'm afraid she'll choke on or candy that will rot her teeth. It isn't good for her and you're a Doctoress' office for Pete's sake. Go with chocolates or rice cakes. Or chocolate dipped rice cakes even. Or carrots, celery and organic graham crackers. Yum.)

So here we are waiting in the reception area. Then we get to wait in our exam room. I visit the loo and pee into a cup as always first. Once in the exam room, Ada starts playing with the stirrups. Then she plays on the scale (she's 35.5 lbs). Then she heads over to the sink and the desk area with the tube of lubricant that is on the counter, and the other fun things she shouldn't be getting into. I lifted her up onto the exam table to sit by me and she made it into a slide since it is inclined for us preggos. That got old and dangerous fast. Then it was back to the stirrups and she had a long session with the button that locks and unlocks the door.

Finally the Doctoress appears and apologizes for the long wait. It's just one of those days. She reviews my paperwork, as Ada takes my folder from her and reviews it too. All is well. Time to hear the baby.

The wait was worth it for this picture alone. For those of you who may be unfamiliar with recent baby technology, when you go in for a checkup, they have this microphone on a cord that they push on your belly and it amplifies the heartbeat and gives the Doctoress a reading on the baby's beats per minute. It sounds kind of like a really fast whoosh, whoosh, whoosh -- like 140 beats per minute fast. So that's all the Doctoress had to do at this visit. Up with my shirt, on with the goo, she touches the microphone to my buldge, and Ada looks at me like "What's that mom?" She gets to her knees on the table to have a better look. Then she takes over for the Doctoress by grabbing the microphone and moving it around on my belly and we start laughing and predicting that she's going to be an OB/GYN when she grows up--which terrifies my Doctoress since she thinks it's a nutty profession with no life. I get all cleaned off and sit up. We move Ada back to the floor... and she goes right into OB mode. She even lifted her shirt up first!

Unfortunately, she doesn't realize that she won't get a whoosh, whoosh, whoosh because there is no baby in her belly. But I give her credit for trying.

Moral of the story: Good things come to those who wait, and having a camera phone handy when those good things come is always nice.

Wednesday, February 3, 2010

The Compact: Month 2

Whew! I made it through January without buying anything new except food. I think I have more free time now since I don't spend my time shopping. And surely we have more money in the bank, but that's offset by all of the food I've been buying for my cooking lessons.

I will say that I almost had to buy a book for bookclub, but it wasn't available used and the library wait list was too long so I'm borrowing it from my neighbor who also happens to be in my bookclub. We have a deal where one of us gets the book, reads it and then gives it to the other to read. It's worked pretty well this past 6 months or so. It will be my turn again next month so hopefully the next book is more easily available in a used format.

I also got a bunch of fabric and batting from someone on so I've started another baby quilt -- this one for my #2. Combined with all of the fabric I had in my leftover bin, I'm happy with how it is turning out so far.

And I have maternity clothes left over from last time, plus those sent to me from my friend Amanda out in Colorado since she's quitting at two boys, and my bookclub neighbor Jen who borrowed my maternity clothing bin for her first and is just returning the favor. At least I'm not running around naked with my big belly showing.

Rick has been out to get some new dress pants, but he isn't following the compact and he desperately needed them. He also waited until they went on sale and got a great deal on some really nice stuff.

It really hasn't been hard so far, but it has been thought provoking and increased my awareness of what I'm consuming and how I can be more efficient. And I borrow a lot of things, rent movies, and spend my money on services like prenatal yoga classes and prenatal massage. A better use of my hard earned money I think.

We'll see how February goes. Wish me luck.

Speaking of crazy...

I'm beginning to think I'm a little bit crazy. After all, how much is too much to have on one mom's platter? Are other moms like this?

I'm a full-time mom and wife.
I work part-time.
I coordinate our family social schedules.
I occasionally have a side gig helping people with marketing or accounting.
I'm the bookkeeper for our condo association.
I'm the social planner for many of our friends and try to be the glue that keeps us all in touch.
I'm learning how to cook from a friend on Mondays.
I start 4 nights of intro to digital photography school tomorrow night.
I'm trying to get to pre-natal yoga every Monday night.
I'm incubating #2.
I blog.
I'm in a monthly bookclub. Which makes me an avid reader.
I'm in a knitting club that meets less-than-regularly but tries. Which makes me a knitter all the time too.
I joined the compact to stop shopping so now I've decided to express my creativity through a ton of crafts instead of buying people gifts.
Which makes me a member of as I try to keep things out of landfills and use things people don't want anymore to make these crafts.
And, I must admit, I'm pretty addicted to Grey's Anatomy, Private Practice, Castle, and sadly, the Bachelor (I should not have read the spoilers.)
Yes, I do still sleep about 8-10 hours a night.

Does that mean I'm crazy? Overextended? I like to be busy? I seek accomplishment?

I must say I'm having fun and learning a lot.

Maybe this is just my way of having fun while Rick is on constant Ada duty since she's in her "daddy phase" and doesn't want much to do with me. Poor Rick.

Moral of the story: As a mom, you become really good at juggling. Just be sure to know when you've added too many items to the list and be sure to discard them quickly before you comprise everything else.

Pregnancy = Crazy

Recently, an old friend and his wife became pregnant. Shortly thereafter, he realized I write about motherhood and pregnancy and asked me to write a message to his wife imploring her to not act crazy toward him while her hormones are raging during pregnancy.

To my friend I say: Sorry bud, no chance of that ever happening.

Instead, my advice to expectant fathers goes like this:

Now that she is pregnant, your wife will be emotional, crazy, forgetful, moody, exhausted, needy, insecure, unsure of herself, exhausted, clumsy, forgetful, (see I'm already repeating myself as I type and I'm not doing it on purpose) and a million other emotions will take her prisoner for the next nine months. Once the baby is here, it could get better, but chances are that it will get worse first. Especially if she decides to nurse the baby as nursing mommy brain really turns to mush.

Some key phrases you as a husband should quickly incorporate into your daily conversations with your wife include:
I love you. (That should already be there but just in case it isn't and I really have to start at square one, it made the list.)
You're the most beautiful woman in the world. (ditto)
I love your changing body.
You are not fat. You're body is making room for the baby and some things are going to be more flattering than others. We just have to find something that flatters your new figure.
Everything is going to be just fine.
You're going to be a wonderful mother.
Slow down, relax, incubate.
Can I get you anything? (water, backrub, footrub, heating pad, foot rest, you're favorite mac and cheese from down the street that you crave)

If it is supportive and reassuring, it should be on this list. You get my point.

You're wife's body is going through an incredible transformation. Most men I know could not handle pregnancy, and if they could, it wouldn't be any better than we women handle it.

Pregnancy is not easy.

Just think about it. We try not to get pregnant for years until we are "ready" (whatever that means). Then we try to get pregnant and worry that we won't be able to. If it doesn't come naturally, there are layers of issues that come with that. If it does come naturally, we're still told not to count our chickens before they are hatched since the miscarriage rate is so high. Then we are bombarded with what to eat and not eat, how to exercise to stay in shape but not overexert ourselves and stress the baby. We have to go to doctor appointment after doctor appointment to get poked and prodded and weighed and measured. We take blood tests to screen for potential birth defects and have to nervously await the results. We then go in for ultrasounds to find out the sex of the baby, or not, and again make sure everything is in it's place. We hear horror stories about preemies, SIDS, postpartum depression and all that can go wrong with a pregnancy, not to mention how every mom we meet will volunteer her awful labor and delivery story just to prove that she's done something incredible, thereby scaring the pee out of us, literally -- because our bladders can now only hold so much and we have to go to the bathroom every five minutes.

And then there are the foods that we crave and the foods that we find repulsive. Our doctors are telling us to gain weight or not to gain too much weight when all we want to do is eat, or not eat.
And we sometimes have morning sickness or feel queasy, we get heartburn and other ailments. We, near the end of pregnancy, can barely walk/get off the couch/tie our shoes. Not to mention the leg cramps in the middle of the night, wild and crazy dreams and nights of restless sleep.

And do I even have to mention feeling fat and unattractive and worrying that we are no longer sexy in our husband's eyes? Or the fact that our wardrobe doesn't fit and we have to buy new things to wear, but we don't want to spend money on ourselves since we are saving up for the expense of having a baby. Then nothing fits once the baby is here and our body is completely changed, so we again need a new wardrobe, and have to dip into baby's savings.

Add to that the fact that you may or may not be working and have to decide if you are going back to work or not, and how you're going to make ends meet when you sit down with the family budget. Can you say stressful?

On top of that, you must consider that the baby is going to need a name and everyone has an opinion on what you should or shouldn't name the baby. Maybe there is family pressure to honor your twice removed great great uncle Elvis even though it totally doesn't sound good with your last name or his initials spell out something that he'll clearly be made fun of for his entire childhood. Can you live with that decision?

And what if you are having twins? It might be a two-for-one deal to some, but it terrifies the rest of us completely.

Briefly, let's chat about post-pregnancy. She'll doubt her mothering skills. She'll wonder if she should nurse, maybe feel like she's failed if she is unable to nurse (which she hasn't failed...sometimes it's just not meant to be and you need to be supportive of all of her choices.) Your friends may change now that you have a child and your social life might just go MIA for awhile. (Not everyone wants to talk poopy diapers over dinner you know.) Your sex life as you know it is over for at least 6 weeks until you get her doctor's clearance. And then who has time for sex? And how hot are you when you have spit up all over your shirt? Just you wait and see.

Then she'll wonder if doing sign language is good for the baby, if the baby is developing on schedule, if his height and weight percentile are okay, if he is getting enough milk, if she should vaccinate the baby (YES, but do your own research to form that opinion), and if she should get a nanny or enroll in daycare. Her mother and your mother will be all over her parenting skills, and that advice my fall on thankful, or insulted ears. (Don't get me wrong, Dad may be in charge of many of the decisions, but that's still pretty rare and to those fathers, I feel your pain.)

I mean, seriously, you want me to be on your side and suggest your wife go easy on you? No chance in hell buddy. Not a chance.

Now go give her a hug and tell her she's the most beautiful woman in the world.

Moral of the story: Having babies is not for the weak or unstable. It is a daunting process on an emotional roller coaster that will change your world forever. Be supportive of one another, prepare as best you can, and know that it won't be easy, but it sure is rewarding.