crazy legs: the blog

Thursday, August 26, 2004

One of my mentors

I've stumbled upon a wonderful weekly column from the Guardian (UK), thanks to the folks at Blogging Baby yet again (I really should send them a thank-you card).

It's called Wait Till Your Mother Comes Home, and its author Mil Millington (yeah, strange name) takes you on a journey through a loving but cynical father's mind.

An example:
Babies can't talk. The childless among you may have suspected that this is the case, but until you've been holding a howling infant until sunrise while endlessly pleading, "What? What is it? Just give me a clue", you can never really understand how devastatingly true it is: in both sonic and spiritual terms, it's about the same as being chained to someone else's car alarm all night.

My favorite, about his fear of spiders, explains that as a father, you have to swallow your pride whilst looking out for the greater good of your children. Also, I should be prepared to swallow it OFTEN.

Tuesday, August 24, 2004

30 weeks


Your posture is still very important to your comfort. Maintaining a good posture is a good way to decrease the strain on your body as your center of gravity continues to change.

One of the things that you can do to help maintain your energy levels and to increase your stamina for the birth is to exercise. It is important not to over do it, especially if you have not been exercising prior to this week. Try taking walks or swimming short distances. Getting out and stretching will help you have feel better and reduce the numbers of pregnancy related complaints.


The baby is very aware of the surroundings. We tend to think of the uterus as a dark place. The uterus actually can be light and dark depending on the mother's environment. You may be able to distinguish sleep and wake cycles in your baby. Although it usually seems as if the baby wants to sleep while you are awake and vice versa at night. This is not indicative of a sleepless newborn.

If you are having Braxton Hicks Contractions use them to practice what you've learned in prenatal classes, and know that they are a sign that your body is getting ready for labor. The baby notices the contractions, but is not adversely affected by them.
Your sweetpea weighs a whopping 3 pounds (1.36 kilograms)! S/he measures about 14.8 inches (37.5 cms) in length.

Holy mackerel! Under 70 days and counting! 3/4 of the way through the pregnancy! So many things to be done!!! We'll never be ready! My gosh, this is really going to happen, isn't it?!?!?!

(deep breath)

Okay, well, paranoia and fear aren't going to solve anything. Uncontrollable sobbing, either.

Heidi's been feeling all sorts of uncomfortable these last few weeks, and stretching seems to help. As does the wonderful Yoga Mama. Still, ligaments are being pulled every which way but loose and Crazy Legs is rocking and rolling every few hours or so. Her doctor was very helpful in stating that most of her discomfort will go away in about 2 months or so. That's why he makes the big bucks.

We're looking forward to seeing people at the shower this weekend at the World Famous House of Pizza (TM). Pizza, goooooood.

Sunday, August 22, 2004

Doctor Visit Extravaganza / General Update

Well, it looks like we're heading into the home stretch. The calendar is lousy with doctor appointments between now and the end of October. On Sept. 1st I'll start bi-weekly visits and then in October, I'll be going in weekly. I just had an appointment last Wedenesday and everything seems to be coming along just fine - Crazy Legs seems to be growing to a healthy size, the heartbeat sounds good and my blood pressure is heading in a southerly direction (yea!). The doctor also thinks that by the next appointment he should be able to feel where the baby's head is and his/her positioning. Very cool, I think.

Otherwise, I'm just getting larger and larger with seemingly every passing day. Oh yes, and to accompany my swollen feet and ankles, my toes have joined in on the act. I guess they were jealous of not being able to contribute to the tightness of my shoes.

We are slowly (not really surely) making progress with the nursery. We'll post a full update with photos on that soon.

Our time lately seems to be filled with administrative/organizational type stuff - getting insurance squared away, pre-registration with the hospital, gathering info on daycare options, picking ourselves up off the floor when we find out how much daycare costs in this area, figuring out what other monthly costs we can cut or eliminate to pay for daycare, finalizing leave from work with our friendly HR folks, weaning Frankie off of sleeping on my feet at night, etc., etc., etc.

Mostly, we're just looking forward to CL's arrival!

Wednesday, August 18, 2004

Coffee with Milk

This just in:

Illinois Gov. Rod Blago-ya-hummina-hummina-vich recently signed the Right-to-Breastfeed Act, ensuring that babies from Waukegan to Carbondale can be breastfed in public.

This is an odd issue. Has it ever been illegal to breastfeed in public? I know I've seen women engaged in it, and it doesn't bother me, but others tend to have more violent reactions, i.e. "that's not what I want to see when I'm shopping/working/exercising/wrestling alligators, etc." These are the same people who hear a crying baby, and immediately think those lousy parents should do something, anything to SHUT THAT KID UP. (Before I point fingers, this was me about a year ago.)

I would imagine that there are several mothers who nurse who do so privately, moreso for modesty than concern for others' disapproving glances and comments.

However, the more militant stance garners more press...

I just came across an article on the Washington Post site (registration required) where about 30 moms staged a "nurse-in" at a Virginia Starbucks to protest an incident where a nursing mom was told to "cover up or go to the ladies' restroom". They've even launched a website to support their cause. (Come on, who doesn't have a website nowadays? Having your own voice in cyberspace is like breathing. Simply everybody does it. Case in point: OUR WEBLOG.)

From the article:

At the coffee bar inside, Kalen Johnson, 19, who described himself as a regular at the store, said Charkoudian's demonstration was an "overreaction" to the employee's reasonable request.

"In a place where I'm eating or drinking, that's the last thing I want to see," he said.

But the mothers maintain that breast-feeding is only natural.

"When women breast-feed, you see less breast than you do in the average Coors Light ad," Charkoudian said. "The breast is doing what it's designed to do."

True, and sorta makes me feel like having a Coors Light.

Pet Prep

Thanks to the wonderful BloggingBaby, I found this article about preparing Frankie before Crazy Legs comes home.

Hah! They act as if Frankie could actually BE trained. I don't think he was prepared when I showed up.

Tuesday, August 17, 2004

29 Weeks

Your baby measures about 10.4 inches from crown to rump, or a total length of about 16.7 inches from head to toe, and weighs about 2.7 pounds. At this stage a fetus's eyes are almost always blue and can distinguish bright sunlight or artificial light through the uterine wall. Baby is performing fewer acrobatics as conditions in the womb become more cramped, but still doing a lot of kicking and stretching.

Your uterus is about 3.5 to 4 inches above your navel. Weight gain is probably between 19 and 25 pounds. As odds improve that baby could survive outside the womb -- although in a neonatal intensive-care unit -- you may be feeling relieved and excited, or anxious about motherhood, your baby's health, and labor and delivery. If you do experience premature labor, signs include menstrual-like cramps or lower back pain, a trickle of amniotic fluid, or a watery pinkish or brownish discharge preceded sometimes by the passage of a thick, gelatinous mucus plug. Your practitioner often can stop labor from progressing with bed rest, muscle relaxants or other drugs, possibly requiring hospitalization.

FEWER acrobatics?!? Yeah, ok. Crazy Legs must be doing some major kicking and stretching if that's the case. CL is definitely reacting to outside stimuli - a good example is the little singing pizza doll man that Mom and Jim brought last Saturday. Patrick held it up to my belly and CL went nuts.

Oh yeah, and "ewwww" to the premature labor symptoms described above.

Thursday, August 12, 2004

Kitty Update

We brought the stray cat (previously mentioned here) to Anderson Animal Shelter in South Elgin, where Heidi had been volunteering her time before she became pregnant. It's a non-kill shelter and an extremely busy place with people looking for pets.

Unfortunately, it was pretty obvious that we couldn't keep the cat. It might have been carrying something, which could have been detrimental to our current cat Frankie, Heidi or little Crazy Legs. Plus, we were keeping the cat in our garage, which really wasn't fair or comfortable for a long term stay.

We held out hope that the proper owner would advertise or respond to the flyers we posted. Then we asked friends if they were interested in owning a very lovable and friendly kitten, but when that didn't work out, we instead chose our next best option.

We felt that our little friend would find a good home through the shelter, preferably the home of very rich people who would feed the cat Fancy Feast every day out of a crystal dish.

I'll miss you, little bugger, but I truly believe you'll find a proper place to call home other than our garage and the mean streets of Chicago's western suburbs.

Wednesday, August 11, 2004

What I Learned about Child-Rearing from TV: Vol. 2 - The Cosby Show

1. Parents can have a productive professional life (doctor, lawyer) as well as raising children.

2. The importance of a college education should be stressed in a young adult's development. Unfortunately, it's also where your kids will inevitably run into the snobbish rich girl and the dweeb.

3. Hitch your wagon to the right TV family, and cuteness can be a career move. That’s so Raven.

4. As you get older, your attitudes shift. Especially during public speaking engagements.

5. Children shouldn’t waste their time with drink or drugs, they should be lip synching and dancing for their famous relatives. Right, Uncle Scott?

Monday, August 09, 2004

28 weeks


You will probably begin to see your practitioner every 2 weeks now. Some women really like the added visits, while others feel that they are running out of time before the baby is born. If you haven't begun discussing labor plans with your practitioner, now is the time to start!

If you have taken childbirth classes you have a good idea of the interventions and alternatives associated in childbirth. If you haven't, please do some reading on the subject. The most common things that people have questions about are: episiotomy, fetal monitoring, and pain relief.

Some women will want to use a birth plan to convey their wishes for their labor, birth and postpartum. This is a terrific idea! It is also a good communication tool between you, your partner and your practitioner.

Your breasts my leak colostrum now, although if they do not leak, this is not an indication that you can't breastfeed. You may also find out what your blood type is. Some women, if Rh negative may need a shot called Rhogam to prevent complications. Make sure you know your partner's blood type, if he is also negative, then you are safe.


Your baby's eye lashes are developing, as subcutaneous fat is deposited. If you have a baby boy, his testes will probably begin descending. Your baby is about 13.8 inches long (35 cms) and weighs about 2 pounds 4 ounces (1 kilogram)!

A baby born at this time has a good chance of survival with the help of medical technology.

Yes, we should be planning the labor, shouldn't we? We have childbirth classes scheduled, but right now have been focusing on baby care classes. Sort of the cart before the horse, huh? Oh well, we have baby class again this evening and Heidi's got a checkup scheduled next week.

CL has been pretty active of late. Heidi gets lots of kicks when watching Cubs games, usually when it comes to Sammy Sosa striking out, which could be interpreted several ways.

A. CL's a White Sox fan, which would kill Heidi on the spot.
B. CL hates baseball.
C. CL hates Sosa and his bloated ego.
D. CL has no idea what's going on other than Mom's yelling at the TV again.

Otherwise, everything's going well, and the days keep on ticking down. We're anxiously awaiting the baby's arrival, trying to sleep, eating right and enjoying a little bit of the married-without-kids life still.

Our good friend Heidi D. (Drock) came up to visit recently, which we enjoyed. Unfortunately, we didn't get to hook up with April and Ben at the same time (sorry guys, we'll just have to come to Hawaii to visit.)

The shower's in three weeks (August 28). Hope to see some of you there.

Saturday, August 07, 2004


This couldn't have anything less to do with Crazy Legs, but just wanted everyone to see the kitty cat that started coming around the house last night.

We've sort of taken him in for now because he's about the sweetest little kitten we've ever encountered. No worries though, I haven't touched him and he's only in the garage and not the house. It's killing me not to pet him!!! We took him the vet to see if he had been microchiped and no such luck. We also tried calling a couple of shelters and animal control to see if anyone reported him missing. Again, no such luck. So, we've posted some flyers around our subdivision and the apartment complex behind us. Hopefully someone comes to get him this weekend.

Infant Care Class - "The Baby Doesn't Know You Don't Know What You're Doing"

Last Monday we had our first baby-raisin' class. The quote above came from the RN instructing the class and just about everyone agreed that it was the best piece of advice we'd heard so far. I don't suppose Crazy Legs will sit in grave judgment of us the first time we don't realize that he/she is crying because he/she is hungry and we try to change his/her diaper instead. On the other hand, it will be mine and Patrick’s child, so maybe he/she will just shake his/her head at us and mutter about our complete incompetence.

Anyway, there was all kinds of good information to be had on how to hold the baby properly, feeding, bathing, signs of when the baby might be sick and of course a video which had many more breast-feeding shots in it than one would have expected. We both also had the chance to actually change a diaper – mind you it was a clean diaper on a doll, so I’m assuming that when faced with the real thing, there will be much more squirming, much more crying and much more stinkiness. And that will just be from Patrick! *Rim Shot* Thank you, I’ll be here all week – try the veal.

The Infant Care class was a one time deal and we start up a weekly series of classes on pregnancy and the birthing process on Aug. 23rd. At the beginning of September, we’ll be taking a tour of the labor/delivery unit and nursery at the hospital. We’re looking forward to all of these. Especially if it does anything to demystify the entire process for us.

Wednesday, August 04, 2004

All TV and no play makes Crazy Legs a dull boy (or girl)

Courtesy of Blogging Baby, a recent article in the New York Times suggests something we already inherently know: too much TV is not good for you, especially children. I know lots of kids these days who are raised by the TV, and Heidi and I are both fans of the tube.

But studies show that kids who watch over 10 hours of TV a week have lower reading scores and perform less well academically than children who spend less time watching TV. Also, there is a direct correlation between TV and childhood obesity, since children are less active when viewing it.

The suggestion is to set limits and follow them, as well as not treat TV viewing as a reward or a punishment, and lastly, to not emphasize its impact in our daily lives.

There's a lot wrong with television, but it's also where we get the majority of our information about the world outside our homes. I guess moderation is the key, as well as supervision of programming, rather than just setting the kid in front of the glowing box.

But it might take some weaning of our own first....
Whatdya mean, I can't watch "Trading Spouses" any more?

Tuesday, August 03, 2004

27 weeks

While I'd like to keep touting Fertility Friend, some ugliness has reared its head. Apparently, when you hit your third trimester, you have to pay to use their site, and become a "VIP member"....

Nuts to that.

On the other hand, it is a good lesson for Crazy Legs: There is no such thing as a free lunch.

On that note, the following information has been plagiarized and ripped off directly from's Pregnancy Calendar, which also has funky stuff like an ultrasound gallery and a belly gallery. Thankfully, there is no "husband's belly gallery".


Welcome to the third trimester! The home stretch! Around this time you will begin to really put on the weight, this will last until about week thirty-six. Although some cultures dictate otherwise, weight gained during pregnancy is not fat or unhealthy, but rather, necessary for a healthy pregnancy and baby.

The weight that you gain will be distributed in several places. In the beginning of pregnancy you may have noticed that your breasts got larger. The average breast before pregnancy weighs about 7 ounces and during pregnancy each breast can weigh up to an average of 28 ounces! Some of the weight will go to body fluids (amniotic fluid, blood volume, etc.). Remember that your blood volume increase by 30-50% during pregnancy. And let's not forget the baby and the placenta! Add this to a few measly pounds put on as maternal fat stores, and you average about 25-30 pounds.

The most important thing to remember is that a healthy diet is more important than what you gain. Some women will gain more, as in the case of women who were underweight to begin with, and those carrying multiple babies. While others will gain less. Pregnancy is not the time to go on a reducing diet. Even if you are overweight, reducing can actually harm the baby by burning your maternal fat stores sometimes toxins can be released that are harmful to the baby.


Your baby's skin is very wrinkled from floating in water. This will stay this way until a few weeks after birth as your newborn fills out into a baby. Although take heart in the fact that your baby's looks are assuming the looks that they will have at birth! Baby has also hit the 2 pound mark (900 grams).

Well, seems to have more about the mother than the baby. But I'm not so sure new moms want to hear "Around this time you will begin to really put on the weight...."

Heidi's doing a good job with eating healthy (healthily?), and I try not to nag too much, especially when the craving for "mmmmmm....cheese fries...." surfaces.

Sunday, August 01, 2004

Lost? List!

This is a pretty good checklist for the third trimester, courtesy of the Sesame Baby Network, which I've linked on the left side of the page. There are several other checklists, too, for prenatal needs as well as postpartum.

I've really taken to making checklists or to-do lists (especially when they're done for me!), because otherwise I find that I wake up in the middle of the night with too many things floating around in my brain that I need to accomplish. It tends to make the tasks that I need to do less cumbersome, and there's nothing more satisfying than crossing off something that's done.

So, in a nutshell, lists are good. Whoopdee-doo! Thanks, Sesame St. Baby Network!