Mike & Jenny

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Location: Iowa, United States

Wednesday, December 13, 2006

At ease, soldier

Last weekend, on Saturday morning, I went to "Boot Camp for Dads" class down at the hospital where Jenny and I have taken a couple other pre-birthing classes. It was fun, because a couple of other new dads brought in their babies, and they had a chance to share their overall point of view of the birth experience, and the dads-to-be got a chance to be around a couple of babies. The main reason the babies came was, if a diaper needed to be changed, one of the soon-to-be dads had to do it for some worthwhile practice. Unfortunately there were only 6 "Boot Camp" dads and 2 babies, so not everyone got the challenge of tackling and coming out alive from going toe to toe with a stinky diaper. I am proud to say that I got stinky diaper #2, and survived (barely). Actually I jumped right in, and felt at ease doing it. So I will say right now, and I'm sure Jenny will remind me quite often of what I am about to say, but I am excited and looking forward to doing a lot of the "dirty work" with the baby when I can. Not only changing diapers, but everything. Jenny has already gone through being a "New Mom" twice, and I'm sure several years ago that she never really thought she would be doing it a third time, so now it's my turn to do as much of the initial parenting exercises as possible.

I also liked hearing from the other dads, because they offered a much more pragmatic and realistic point of view rather than the idealistic point of view from the Holistic Birth class. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed most of the Holistic Birth class, and was able to get a lot of nice ideas from it, but Boot Camp was more about what really happens, instead of learning ways to cope with the process. The dads that brought in the babies said that there wasn't time for all the soothing material suggested in the Holistic Class. They said they couldn't take time to put on the right music, think about aromatic scents and oils in the birth room, lay out pictures or objects that take you to a different time and place, read books and magazines, etc. The new dads said that they brought in boat-loads of this type of stuff, and didn't touch most of it. Actually they overlooked other more important things and had to make additional trips back home. But basically, what I got out of the three hour class last Saturday morning, was to expect the unexpected, don't overpack for the hospital, and do whatever you can do for your wife. Simple enough, right?

Thursday, December 07, 2006

48 days and counting......

My goodness, time just keeps slipping away and with the holidays it seems to pace at double speed. By the time New Years rolls around, we will have only three weeks left if the due date stands. Monday morning as I went through my calendar to plan out my work week, I came to the realization that I have to get moving on transitioning my projects to other people so they have time to figure out what they need to finish while I am away. I think I was a little in denial that this time would come, these things had to be resolve and there is indeed a little person within my body that has to come out. I have so much to do and very little time left to do it. I panicked.

This week I have been focused on figuring out who should take what project and trying to get them inbedded into the project now. I'm trying to allow myself to relax a little bit and keep my hands from clenching on to these things so I can let them go into good, capable hands. It's not the end of the world, even though it felt like that for a while. I'm having a baby, not falling off the face of the earth. Darn it, it is just so hard to give it all up--maternity leave looms like some black cloud of the unknown. Sure, I bitch about my job at times, but when it comes down to it--I love what I do. I can't imagine doing anything else. Maybe subconsciously I'm afraid that I'll enjoy maternity leave that I won't want to come back (just a theory).

With this new little person blessing our lives, my identity changes again as a person. It also changes my ability to commit to some extent to my projects for a while. I have had a hard time accepting and acknowledging that, but I'm starting too. It's hard to charge ahead, take additional responsibility towards more project managerial tasks and then have to let it go for a while. There's an underlying fear that it will be gone forever, but I've been assured it won't be. I can't help but fear it and only time will tell what the outcome will be. I have to prepare for this now with the possibility the baby may come early, rather than procrastinate with the gamble that s/he will be late. I don't like to gamble.

Monday, December 04, 2006

I like it hot and spicy....

Food that is. I think with every pregnancy, there is a different craving that drives the expectant mother to insanity. I can say that I have never personally had the desire to eat pickles with ice cream or dirt, but I have had my distinct tastes for things with each of my pregnancies.

With Ashlynn, it was chinese food--chicken with broccoli to be exact. I could have eaten that everyday if it had been financially feasible to do so. I also popped Spree candy like there was no tomorrow. Towards the end, it turned to ramen noodles and peanut butter sandwiches as food commercials alone eventually gave me heartburn. With Alec, it was all about red meat (medium cooked) with salad and bread. I remember insisting on McDonald's fries and a Burger King Whopper--thankfully they were across the street from one another. My friend (Liz) and I, both pregnant at the time, would make the occassional splurge and head off to a Tex-Mex restaurant in Tyler and fill up until I felt we were nearly to the point where they had to wheel us out of the place. I have fond memories of watching them make the flour tortillas in an oven contraption in the lobby area when you walked in. They'd bring them out once you were seated and I'd load it with honey, roll it up and savor every last bite of it. I can't remember how the rest of the meal there rated. I ate like a pig, gained little weight and hardly had issues with heartburn.

With this one, I believe this baby has inherited the Olson/Stuepfert vegetable & fruit consumption gene. It certainly did not come from my family as we were raised on the rare can of vegetables and fruit was nearly non-existent in my home. (Matt, we will have to wait to see if s/he has also inherited the Lutefisk gene, since I won't be eating that for Christmas this year). Right now, I am finding myself craving vegetables that I would have normally never wanted to eat--asparagus, zuccini, garbanzo beans, onions, white (mashed) potatoes and peppers to name a few. I find myself ordering things off the menu that I have not tried before or just because they are supposed to be spicy. I also find myself buying frozen ethnic meals in the organic grocery section because I have to have something different and loaded with vegetables--meat has not been very appealling to me. Surprisingly, these things don't give me any heart burn, but orange juice which was once my favorite beverage is starting to give me some problems. Lately, I find myself thinking about Joost's Peanut butter-chicken-banana dish over rice he made for us while he was here two-and-a-half years ago. Hopefully, Joost will see this and send me the recipe before it turns into the obsession that is likely to occur over the next few weeks. Currently, I have no problem eating, but the desire to cook is starting to disappear. That could pose a dilemna, as Mike's cooking selection is very limited and my palate is not.