crazy legs: the blog

Wednesday, July 28, 2004

What I Learned about Child-Rearing from TV: Vol. 1 - Family Ties

This'll be just like VH1's "I Love the 80s", but without clever commentary by Michael Ian Black or Hal Sparks.

1. Try and impose your liberal, tree-huggin' politics on your kids and whatdya get? Alex P. Keaton, a Buckley-reading, Reagan-supporting capitalist who'd kill for wealth and power. Truly, Steven and Elyse's nightmare come true.

2. Try as you might, your offspring might become friends with that wiener kid next door.

3. All problems can be resolved in 30 minutes time with a hug, preferably a group hug.

4. Love all your children equally, even if one of them has terrible taste when it comes to dating:

5. Ubu is a great name for the family dog. Sit, Ubu, sit!

6. Even with good parenting, kids can turn bad.

7. Ultimately, family comes first. After all, what WOULD we do, baby, without us?

Tuesday, July 27, 2004

26 Weeks

Your baby weighs more than 2 lbs (1000g), measures 9.6 inches from crown to rump (24cm) and its total length is about 15.3 inches (34cm). If your baby were born now, she would have about an 85% chance of surviving. Nonetheless, your baby still needs another 13 weeks of in utero development to be considered full term.

Your baby's eyes, no longer fused shut, are now open.

Your baby's skin still has a very wrinkled appearance, but it is protected and nourished by the covering of vernix, a waxy coating that keeps the skin supple.

Your baby looks almost like a full term baby, but is still much thinner and smaller than she will be at birth.

All 2+ pounds and 15.3 inches are soundly kicking the bejeezus out of my insides at any given point during the day! It's a really cool feeling and I just wish that Patrick could experience it himself. I wonder what Crazy Legs sees in there now that his/her eyes are open....

General Musings Part 1

Just because I'm a cranky pregnant lady, I thought it well within my rights to put together a little list of things that I miss from my non-pregnant days.  These are the things Patrick gets to hear me complain about on a regular basis; plus I thought it might be therapeutic.  Chief among these things are the following in no particular order:
Sleeping comfortably
Playing tennis on sunny 82 degree days
Caffeinated Diet Coke
Sitting down and standing up without groaning
Helping Patrick with home improvement-y type stuff (that kitchen floor is going to cost me for the rest of my life)
Being allowed to carry a 24 case of pop
Letting Frankie sleep on my stomach (his preferred resting spot)
My non-swollen ankles and feet
Caffeinated coffee
Staying awake past 10:00
I know that giving up these things is a really small price to pay and is going to be completely worth it in the end, so don't think I'm some monster.   Although, I'd kill for a beer....

Heidi and Crazy Legs in profile.

We got some requests to see Heidi. She asked for first rite of refusal on all pictures. These pics passed. Enjoy!

Heidi and Crazy Legs.

Friday, July 23, 2004

100 days and counting

Wow, that's coming up fast. And way too many things to do before Crazy Legs' grand entrance:

1. Paint the nursery.
2. Put together baby furniture.
3. Bubble wrap everything in the house for safety.
4. Choose a day care facility among the myriad of options.
5. Sign up for little league.
6. Figure out the details for CL's baptism.
7. Test drive the route to the hospital so I can do it in my sleep.
8. Get the emergency bag ready for the trip to the hospital.
9. Take Lamaze and child-rearin' classes.
10. Set up college fund.
11. Begin sending out college applications.
12. Win the lottery (see above).
13. Get CL set up in secret university society for ensured government cabinet post.
14. Talk to realtor about moving into a larger home.
15. Plan family vacations and retirement.
16. Get as much sleep as possible.
17. Oh yes, and try to enjoy the process.

Great news for those eating for two

Edy's Grand Ice Cream has introduced two limited-edition Elvis Presley ice cream flavors. No, really.

There's All Shook Up and Love Me Tender Brownies, but absolutely no peanut butter and banana.

There's something about the combination of a high butterfat food item and the King of Rock'n'Roll that just seems so right.

(OK, so it's hardly "baby blog" material, but I thought it was cool.)

Thursday, July 22, 2004

Some Additions to the Baby Registry

One that is strictly political.

And one that is strictly because Heidi would want it.

The actual registries will be available very shortly.

Wednesday, July 21, 2004

Welcome to My Nightmare, or Another Ancient Chinese Secret Besides Calgon

Warning: If you don’t want to be bored to tears with absolutely no payoff, please skip this entry. There’ll be better things to come than this.

While we’ve decided that we don’t want to know the baby’s gender before birth, it’s kinda fun to speculate, doncha think? So begins my run-in with the Chinese birthing chart. This ancient Chinese chart is supposed to be incredibly accurate when it comes to determining the baby’s gender. Wouldn’t it be interesting to find out what it predicts? However, there’s a catch: it should be read using Heidi’s lunar age based on the Chinese lunar calendar, as opposed to her Western calendar age.

I sensed a challenge: How does one figure out Heidi’s lunar age?

Really, trust me. This is where you should stop reading. But if you insist...

Well, we need to determine her age based on days in a lunar month, which, according to the website above is about 29 days.

Heidi was born December 25, 1974 in The Chinese Year of the Tiger. She’s lived through 8 leap years, but it was only seven at the approximate time of conception: early February 2004.

So let’s take 7 leap years x 366 days = 2,562
The remaining full 21 years x 365 days = 7,665
Then the 6 days in 1974 + the approximately 31 days before conception = 37
2,562 + 7,665 +37 = 10,264 days she was alive around the time of conception. Whew.

Now a lunar month is approximately 29 days, right?
So figuratively, 29 days x 12 months = 348 days = one lunar “year”, right?
And that 10,264 days of Heidi’s life divided by 348 days of the lunar year = 29.5 lunar years and jeez, it’s the same as her actual age and really what’s the point of converting it, RIGHT?

Well, here’s where it begins to get confusing (or where everyone stops reading):

Let’s look at the past, current and future Chinese Lunar New Years:

Last year, the year of the Ram, was February 1, 2003 thru January 21, 2004. In the Western calendar, that’s 355 days (365 – Jan 03’s 31 days + 21 days in 2004).

However, the current Year of the Monkey runs from January 22, 2004 thru February 8, 2005. That’s 384 Western days (366 – Jan 04’s 21 days + 39 days in 2005). That’s an extra 29 days!!!!

And the following Year of the Frustrated Father-to-be (February 9, 2005 thru January 28, 2006) goes back to only 354 days.


Well, apparently, the Year of the Monkey is a Chinese leap year - with an entire LEAP MONTH!!! This has something to do with the phases of the moon, etc., and it happens every 2.7 to 3 years, etc., and I’ve already bored myself (and anyone who bothers to stumble through all this tripe) with too much calculation to try and figure out how this changes Heidi’s lunar age.

Frankly, no one’s got this much free time, and in all actuality, I no longer care.

So, in essence, here’s what I learned:
1. I hate the Chinese, not as individuals, but because their chart caused my head to hurt. I also now understand why there are over 60,000 characters in the Chinese language. They literally want to confuse everyone to tears.
2. This chart is for entertainment purposes only, and really no credence should be paid to its accuracy or lack thereof. Unless, of course, it’s correct. And who, other than a mathematician or an astronomer, would ever be able to figure that out?
3. We’ll find out soon enough.
4. If I really want to know, I should just tip the ultrasound guy a $20.

Sunday, July 18, 2004

Getting the Home Ready for Crazy Legs, Part the First: Kitchen

Our kitchen floor was pretty nasty: vinyl squares, full of scratches and no matter how much we would Swiffer it/scrub it on hands and knees, it would never get clean. Heidi's skin crawled when she walked barefoot on it, it was so gross. So, the thought of our baby potentially crawling across it really drove us nuts. And it called for immediate action. Or at least purchasing new tiles. The actual installation took about 8-10 weeks to ponder, put off and finally, in a mode of ultra-frustration with being reminded that "we have to tile the kitchen", I set out to do the job. Heidi took pictures and offered lots of support and backrubs.

Friday, July 2. 9:30 p.m.

Ripping up flooring. And it feels so good.

Sunday, July 4. 4:30 p.m.

Coming along slower than I had originally thought. Also, much more crouching than you wanted to see...

Frankie staying out of trouble, in his new favorite spot, under the crib. *Sigh*

Monday, July 5th. 10:30 p.m.

...And the finished product. Not too bad, for my first time tiling. And, bonus, the walls are already baby-poop colored!

Not pictured: Hernia Blowout 2004, AKA attempting to move the fridge and stove back without scratching the tile.

Oh, and what did you do July 4th weekend? Have fun, I'll bet?

25 weeks

Your baby weighs just under 2 pounds (850g) and could possibly survive if delivered now. Your baby measures approximately 9.2 inches (23cm) from crown to rump.
He is growing fast and gaining weight now. His skin is less transparent and is becoming opaque as fat builds up.
Your baby's heart is beating 120 to 160 beats per minute, as you have already heard at several doctor or midwife visits.
Until now, your baby's eyes have been sealed shut, but he reopens them this week. The eyes are almost fully formed and the retinas contain all the layers they will have when your baby is born. Your baby's eyes are blue right now, no matter the ethnic origin or eye-color of you and your partner since eyes do not acquire their final color until months after birth.
Your baby is lean right now, but is getting fatter all the time as fat is being deposited. Your baby's skin is getting thicker and paler and is becoming less red and wrinkled as more fat is deposited.
Your baby has eyebrows, eyelashes and fingernails, though all are short and need to grow more.

I told everyone the baby had my eyes! Also, Heidi can attest to the kicks and somersaults, and I think I may have felt one too, but it was pretty low on the Richter scale. She says she's gained 21 lbs since becoming pregnant, and she wants her real, unbloated ankles back. It's not easy for her, but she's generally in good spirits - which is great!

And a note from the Daily Info Tidbit from the great Fertility Friend site (from which I've stolen the pregnancy tracker and all these weekly updates):

Feeling the baby move, you are probably acutely aware of the life you are carrying inside you. If this is your first child, the prospect of motherhood may still seem abstract to you. You may be worried about what kind of mother you will be, if you will love your child enough, if you will be able to meet the demands of parenthood.

Nothing you hear or read anywhere can prepare you for how your life will change or how you will feel about your child. You and your partner will probably be sleep deprived; frustrated at times by inconsolable crying; your personal needs will take a backseat for a very long time. But when you see your baby smile, hear it coo for the first time or when he or she drifts off to sleep peacefully in your arms, the intense love and satisfaction you will feel are unmatched by anything on earth. Your child will be the most amazing, beautiful creature in the world. Your love for your child will give you the strength to slay dragons.

I know we're not the first couple to ever experience trepidation and be concerned about the prospect of parenthood. We know some of what to expect, which I'm sure isn't nearly enough. But we're hoping that nature and instinct kicks into place, as well as all the knowledge we've gained from reading and watching the Discovery Health channel regularly. (That Birth Day - Live! show is a little creepy but fascinating!)

We also know that we're not alone when it comes to raising this child. As always, much thanks to our families and friends in your continued support.

To come: Updates on the baby registry, and the dreaded State of the Nursery....

Monday, July 12, 2004

24 weeks and a dissertation on lefthandedness

Your baby now weighs around 1.5 lbs (700g), and measures about 8.8 inches (22cm) from crown to rump, but this varies from baby to baby.

Your doctor should be able to hear your baby's heartbeat, using a stethoscope or Doppler ultrasound device. If your partner puts his ear right on your belly in the right position, he might even be able to hear it unaided if there is no background noise.

Your baby sleeps and wakes in a more regular pattern now. You may notice that your baby is particularly active when you are resting.

The center of your baby's bones are beginning to harden.

If your baby is a boy, the testes will start to descend into the scrotum now. If your baby is a girl, the vagina will begin to hollow out and mature now.

Your baby can make a fist now and may already have a preference for the right or left hand.

With modern medical technology, your baby would have a chance to survive if it were born now.

Hmmm... I think this is very true, that the baby does seem to have a pattern of jumping/moving around when Heidi's relaxing. However, I have yet to try putting my ear next to C.L.'s house (Heidi's tummy) in order to hear heartbeats. I just have a feeling I would look rather silly doing this, and looking for the right spot.

Also, this is very interesting that the baby may be a southpaw already. Paul McCartney's left handed; so was Jimi Hendrix. Ronald Reagan, Bill Clinton and Fidel Castro all are/were lefties, as are both Jay Leno and David Letterman. And there are many more examples...

Apart from the stigma of favoring the "sinister" hand, as well as smudging everything one writes (unless one writes in Arabic or Hebrew, which read from right to left), a southpaw would be more than welcome, but unlikely since Heidi and I are both right-handed.

Who am I kidding? All we want is 10 fingers, 10 toes and overall health for the baby. And above all else, cuteness that makes us weak in the knees. Is that too much to ask?

Friday, July 09, 2004

Leeza Gibbons, eat your heart out

I just realized what this weblog is missing: breaking news about celebrity babies!

Included: Julia Roberts, pregnant with twins!!! Jennifer Aniston: having a little Pitt??? Is Britney Spears with child???

On second thought, does anyone really want to read any more tabloid junk about Apple Paltrow?

Wednesday, July 07, 2004

Heidi's FAQ

Q: When Is The Baby Due?
A: The official due date is October 31st, but the doctors keep trying to cover their you-know-whats by saying that they have a two week window on either side of that date.
Q: How Are You Feeling?
A: I'm feeling great, thank you! The first couple of months were rough with nausea, etc., but I'm finally past that part, thankfully.
Q: Are You Going To Find Out The Sex Of The Baby?
A: Nope. We like surprises. Despite what you read on the rest of this blog with various pronouns being thrown about, I assure you, we have no idea if we are having a boy or a girl!
Q: Have You Picked Out Names Yet?
A: We have picked out a boy's name and are about 95% there with a girl's name.
Q: What Are The Names?
A: We're not telling! We like surprises and think that everyone else should too! However, we do love the suggestions on names we've received so far - keep 'em coming - you never know, we may just change our minds at the last minute.
Q: Are You Going Back To Work After The Baby Is Born?
A: It would be great if we were wealthy enough for me to quit my job, but unfortunately, I will be going back to work. The nice part is that my boss has graciously given me the ok to work from home 2 days a week after the baby comes. So, we won't have to have a stranger raise our child the majority of each week.
Q: Why "Crazy Legs"?
A: There's a two part answer to this - 1. The baby has begun kicking and moving about rather actively. 2. Patrick is dying to have an old-timey sort of football player nickname for the baby. I think he had the nickname picked out before I started feeling any movement.
Q: How Will Frankie The Cat Handle A Baby In The House?
A: Who knows. He's a bit possessive so it's going to be interesting to see his reaction when I don't acknowledge his every move.
Q: Do You Have The Nursery Ready Yet?
A: Good lord, no. It probably won't be ready until October 30th.

Our child's namesake

Extracted from an article by Bob Wolfley, Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel, 1/28/04.

Elroy "Crazy Legs" Hirsch had great gifts as an athlete which helped make him a Hall of Fame player in college football and in the National Football League.

He also was given a gift whose power probably was underestimated and whose impact definitely was underappreciated.

Hirsch had a Hall of Fame nickname...

Hirsch's nickname was the product of his physique, running style and the imagination of Chicago sportswriter Francis Powers.

One of Hirsch's feet angled out more than the other, which made him appear to be busy and unbalanced as he ran.

Powers was covering the University of Wisconsin's game against the Great Lakes Naval Station at Soldier Field in 1942. UW won, 13-7.

"Hirsch ran like a demented duck," Powers wrote in his Chicago Daily News game story. "His crazy legs were gyrating in six different directions all at the same time during a 61-yard touchdown run that solidified the win."

How different would Hirsch's life and his legacy have been if he was nicknamed "Demented Duck"?

I hearby promise to never refer to our child as "Demented Duck".

Also,’s Page 2 recently listed the best nicknames in football history.
Number 1? Crazy Legs. It even beat out “Broadway Joe”.

Plus, I just think it's a cool name, boy or girl. And much more fun to say than "the baby"...

...And the kids just keep on comin'

Our congratulations go out to friends Becky and Jeff, who just announced they're expecting in January. We went to Phoenix with them in March for Chicago Cubs' spring training. Which was awesome! Weather in the 90s, 3 Cubs games (all wins) and overall relaxation. Unfortunately, it landed dead in the middle of Heidi's morning, afternoon and evening sickness....

And yet somehow, it didn't turn Becky and Jeff off from the whole idea of having kids. Amazing!

Our best wishes go out to them. Go Cubs!

Monday, July 05, 2004

23 weeks

Your baby is now about 8.4 inches from crown to rump (21cm) and weighs about 1.2 pounds (530g).

Your baby's face and body now look more like a full-term baby. She now looks close to how she will look at birth.

The eyes, though they are still closed, are now close together on the front of the face and the ears are in their finished position. Eyelashes are fairly well-developed and hair is growing on your baby's head.

Your baby's movements are becoming more restricted now as she fills up the uterus more. Cartwheels and somersaults inside the amniotic sac are no longer possible, but she can still hold the umbilical cord and touch and feel around her. Though your baby is already living in tight quarters in the amniotic sac, she will soon have even less room to move around.

Her vital organs are now quite mature. However, since the lungs are not yet fully formed, your baby would have breathing problems if born prematurely at this stage.

Your baby is becoming increasingly conscious of the world outside and may feel startled when you are startled.

Your baby may alternate between having very active and very calm periods that you can feel.

Your baby may have facial expressions such as frowning, squinting and pursing of the lips.

This is cool, how the baby becomes aware of its environment. Heidi has been able to tell for a few weeks now when Crazy Legs is "active", i.e. practicing for the Olympic floor routine with flips and somersaults.

Seems I'm always across the room when Heidi suddenly goes "Whoo! Baby's moving!" and when I rush over, I feel absolutely nothing. The kid's gonna be a great hide-and-seeker, and is already excelling at making Dad feel foolish.

Friday, July 02, 2004

Everywhere you look....babies!

I don't know if it's common, but since Heidi's been pregnant, I've been much more aware of Moms to be as well as babies. Literally, everybody's having kids!

Our congrats go out to Andrea and Russ, friends of ours who just had their 2nd child, Megan Carroll, this week.

Also, my friend/vendor Terri C. just announced that she's pregnant. I'm very happy for her.

Is it just me, or is there just an amazing rash of offspring overtaking the country?

Thursday, July 01, 2004


Here's a small, manageable image of Crazy Legs for the blog. If you want the larger image, we can e-mail it to you, if we haven't already.
I think he/she's got my eyes, not to mention my large head.

Where We're At

22 weeks
"Your baby now weighs almost 1 lb (450g) and measures about 8 inches (20cm) from crown to rump.

She is becoming plumper as her fat is being laid down at a high rate, but her skin is still wrinkled and reddish. The wrinkled and loose appearance of her skin is due to the faster production of her skin than the fat that fills it out. The reddish appearance of her skin is due to the deposition of pigment as her skin loses its translucent appearance.

Your baby can kick and punch vigorously by now, but she may also be gently feeling the umbilical cord and rubbing her hands and face against the inside membrane of the amniotic sac that holds her.

She is still swallowing amniotic fluid (which provides an important nutritional supplement to the nutrition she gets from you via the placenta) and is passing some of it as urine. The swallowing of the amniotic fluid may cause your baby to get the hiccups and you may even be able to feel this as her body jumps inside yours.

The lanugo hair on your baby's body may turn darker at this time."

HICCUPS! When? Maybe Heidi can fill in more.