Thursday, September 27, 2012

The Home Stretch

It's hard to believe that the 7th month is already upon us.

In the first trimester it was like we were continually headed uphill -- 12 weeks seemed like it would never come and we were continually itching to tell everyone that we were pregnant.  But time moved like molasses in winter and we were constantly finding creative ways to explain Em's continual aversion to foods.  She was sick non-stop.  I had to stop wearing cologne altogether and switch to the blandest deodorant that I could find.  She slept somewhat like a house cat and we would see each other for about an hour every day.  I would grill outside (weather permitting) and then eat by myself.

I had more than my fair share of hotdogs and baked beans for those three months.

Almost like a switch got flipped in her insides, the second trimester started and I got my wife back.  She was hungry without as much nausea, so I could cook in the house again.  She could stay awake past 8:30, so we could actually hang out when we got home from work.  We started actually doing stuff on weekends again and got to get out of the house and see friends again for more than an hour or two at a time.

Now we're in the home stretch and it's like an all new ball game.

If you've never experienced "nesting" firsthand or as a partner or spouse, let me describe it like this.

Everything you always ignored as being slightly annoying around the house becomes the most obnoxious and nagging thing ever.  Some women, apparently, only experience nesting in the last days or weeks before delivery.  Some have it plague them continuously throughout the pregnancy.  For us, it's been the most intense since we came into the last trimester.

And I say "us," because I have the same twitchy feeling whenever I'm being idle.  It hasn't been sympathy pains or hunger -- but this nesting thing makes me neurotic and feel the need to make sure everything is ready for this baby to come home.

Now, I know babies won't notice all the niceties around the house when they get home.  They want a warm, soft bed, plenty of eats, and a clean diaper.

I think it's possibly one of the more awesome aspects of biological design that one gets so ecstatic and eager for the child to get here.  I feel like I'm ready for her to show up tomorrow (but totally don't -- because your bookcase isn't built yet) and I'm ready to start the next phase of our life together as a motley trio.

It's going to be strange being the only guy in a house of all female creatures.


So, this was not my funniest post.  Given the circumstances, I'd like to leave you with a moment of zen:

I could watch that all day.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Clean ALL THE THINGS! (On the virtues of Procrastination)

Do you remember this guy?

Mr. Yuk!

What you possibly don't remember is that Mr. Yuk had a public service announcement from the 70's which is creepy as all get-out.  He has a theme song and everything.

Seriously.  Watch at your own hilarious risk:

Mr. Yuk PSA

I came to thinking about Mr. Yuk once again since I've been trying to gradually baby-proof the house and get all our cleaning supplies either in high shelves or cabinets that can lock.

And, before anyone can say it -- yes, I am well aware that babies can neither climb, nor open caps, but I've got this weird compulsion to

(Image brazenly stolen from hyperboleandahalf, who is one of my absolute favorite blogs/webcomics ever.)

And in so doing (cleaning all the things) I keep noticing more things that need cleaning.  It's a vicious cycle.

I don't know if my brainstuffs are just short circuiting because I feel this need to get the house in the best possible order it can be before the baby gets here, or if it's just everyone telling me continuously that all my projects around the house are coming to a screeching halt the minute I become a dad.

But I highly doubt our newest housemate is going to mind terribly if the crown moulding in the living room goes unfinished for a few years.

I think the neuroses are getting worse though.  My wife had left for work on Sunday and I told her that I had two goals -- finish the pots and pans from the night before and mow the lawn.  I was getting the pots from the stovetop when I noticed some splashes of pasta sauce on the backsplash.  So I got out one of these insidious contraptions

What, exactly, are these things made of?
and went to town.

Two hours later, the backsplash, cabinets and fridge looked great.  But I'd yet to finish a single pot.  And the yard was a forgotten distant third on my priorities list.  Em got back from work and I was halfway through dismantling the waffle iron (those things are a sonuvabitch to get clean) when she came into the kitchen to see me wielding a screwdriver and half a waffle iron while standing over a sink full of dirty pots and pans.

It's not that I don't have the attention span -- I just see a constantly multiplying inventory of things to be cleaned, fixed, finished or otherwise dealt with and put away.  

And I have absolutely no Mr. Yuk stickers to put on anything.

Seeing the aggravation and complete sense of defeat on my face, Em knew it was time to get out and take in the day.  I protested for a while, but I was so exhausted from the hours of scrubbing, I gave in with little real fight.  So Em suggested we go do the exact opposite of productivity.  So we went to the park and flew a kite.


So, kite flying skills +1.  Houseproofing 0.

I can get my Mr. Yuk stickers another day.

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

A Drunk Baby is a Happy Baby

Everyone knows that there is nothing funnier in this world than a drunk baby.

If you don't believe me, please refer to Exhibits A-C.

Exhibit A

Exhibit B

Exhibit C
See?  Hilarious.

But apparently, not tremendously effective at curbing binge drinking later in life.  An article recently published on indicated the belief that by demystifying alcohol for our children, we enable them to have a more healthy approach to drinking is dead wrong.
At least one in five of the parents of third-graders said they believed that children who sip alcohol will be better at resisting peer pressure to drink, and less likely to try risky drinking, the study's authors wrote in Monday's issue of the Archives of Pediatric & Adolescent Medicine."This finding indicates that many parents mistakenly expect that the way children drink at home, under parental supervision, will be replicated when children are with peers," they wrote.
"This expectation is refuted by recent studies that link adolescent brain development with adolescents' propensity to disregard home drinking norms when they are with peers."
Previous studies suggested that fifth graders whose parents allowed them to drink alcohol were twice as likely to report drinking in seventh grade, the researchers said.
So, despite our best intentions, drunk baby above may still turn into this fellow:

I have two distinct early memories of drinking.

The first happened at a 76ers game sometime when Charles Barkley and Dr. J were both still playing -- so this had to be sometime between '84 (when Barkley was drafted to the 76ers) and '87 (when Dr. J retired).  So, I was somewhere between the ages of 3 and 6.

I was choking on a pretzel, or popcorn or something or other and when I finally got it down, I needed something to drink.  Being at the Spectrum and landlocked somewhere in the nosebleed section, my mom gave me a sip of the only thing available -- a red solo cup with beer in it.

It was the most revolting, vile, disgusting thing I had ever tasted, ever.  Now, I got over this aversion in college, but it was a long and difficult struggle to overcome this travesty.  But I'm a trooper.

My second encounter came at Christmastime.  I remember that I loved eggnog (I'm sure you can see where this one is going).  Being a fat kid, there were few substances on the face of this planet more delectable than eggnog at Christmas.  The stuff tasted like liquefied vanilla ice cream -- what's not to love?

When I was really young, being the child of divorcees, my holidays were split.  As my Grandparents lived between my mother's home and where my dad lived, my mom would drop me at my Grandparents' house after we finished breakfast and unwrapping presents.

What you have to know about my father is that he's never on time.  Never.  Family has actually taken to telling him that events begin up to two hours before the actual start time, just to make sure that he gets there before all the food gets cold.

As my dad was yet to arrive with my stepmom, I was left to my own devices while my aunts and uncles and grandparents milled about and my older cousins played something or other I was probably too slow or uncoordinated to participate in.  Or, equally likely, there was food, so I was lingering around the kitchen.

I had just polished off a plate of chips, dip, cookies and shrimp cocktail (like you do) and needed a libation to wash it all down with -- out of the corner of my eye, I saw the nectar of the Gods: Turkey Hill Eggnog.

Nectar of the Gods
The ladle was in it already and I helped myself to a fancy punch bowl glass full.  Now, being a fat kid, I considered myself (and still do) a bit of a connoisseur of eggnog and this did not taste as it should.

But, as young as I was, I did not yet trust my already advanced palate and so I proceeded to continue to attempt to identify what was off about the drink.  Undaunted, I got through half of it before I walked over to my aunt and told her that it didn't taste right.

She asked which punch bowl I had gotten my drink out of -- and I gestured to the one in the kitchen as opposed to the one in the dining room.

The look of terror that crossed her face didn't register with me at the time, but I'm pretty sure she thought she had a drunk toddler on her hands.  Little did she know, my little Buddha-esque figure was so stuffed to the gills with carbs, I was probably closer to a food coma than I was to a drunken stupor.

But, knowing my dad was probably hours behind, my aunts and grandmother set on a quest to sober me up before he got to the house.  They set me up in front of the TV with my own plate of cookies and pastries and told me to finish it up before my dad got there and watch some television.

Best.  Christmas.  Ever.

I don't fully recall if my dad was informed of the situation that day or if the secret was kept until I was much older.  Either way, I still like eggnog.  Especially with rum.  Enough rum to blind a pirate, preferably.

So, -- let this be a lesson to you.  Beer is gross to kids, but mixed drinks are like sleepy-time-magic-ice-cream-milkshakes.  So if you are trying to foster a healthy relationship for your child with alcohol, don't give them anything that is that damn delicious.

Monday, September 17, 2012

The Barbie Conundrum

For her birthday my stepmom got one of these.
Le Halloween Barbie
Now, what you need to understand is that my stepmom is not one of these:

I hope they swabbed down the boardwalk after this shot...
Which begs the question -- what does she want with a Barbie in the first place?  Now, in full disclosure, the Barbie was a gift from a childhood friend who remembered how much my stepmom loved the Barbies that they used to play with together.  

Clearly, having avoided Real-Housewife-itis, my stepmom seems to have turned out okay.  But there are so many things for girls to get hung up on as they grow up and mature.  I can only imagine what you might feel like if the model of womanhood you targeted during your formative years was a six-foot-tall blonde bombshell.

Now, given genetics, our daughter has more than a fighting chance at being tall, and she could always get blonde from a bottle, but why induct a child into that line of thinking so soon?

I remember, probably 16 years ago now, I was sitting on the couch watching television with my grandfather and Arnold Schwarzenegger came on the screen.  My grandfather turned to me and said, "you know, if you put some time in, you could look like that too."

Yup.  Totally attainable.  And I, at that age, thought this guy was getting ripped without the aid of HGH and other nefarious substances.

So why put a toy in the hand of a little girl that might make her feel compelled to look like this:

Yes.  The girl in the picture above is real(ish).  Whether there's Photoshop involved and/or vast amounts of plastic (LULZ) surgery is neither confirmed nor denied.  But in the entire world, how many people look like the girl above?  According to the local news affiliates, most people look like this:

Generic below-the-neck obese people shot.

I remember a year ago there was a story about a young woman who took the Barbie mythos and turned it on its head.  She took the proportions of a Barbie and  made them into a real life representation.  The results, besides being funny were pretty telling:

Get Real Barbie 
The young artist (pictured above with her monstrosity creation) suffered from body dysmorphia and a year-long bout with anorexia.  The doll, whose measurements come in at 6' tall, sporting a 39" bust and an 18" waist is clearly cartoonish and grotesque.  For basis of comparison, this lady -- 

Norma Jeane Mortenson
Marilyn Monroe
was 5'5", and 36-23-37.  

Now, before the nerds/contrarians in my readership come out with the "correlation is not causation" argument, I'll apply it first.

Barbie does not cause body dysmorphia or create eating disorders firsthand.  

But she doesn't exactly help.

I know I'm overthinking this.  I get it.  Just because a little girl plays with a plastic Barbie doll doesn't mean she's going to grow up with low self-esteem and dissatisfied with how she looks.

But it does make you wonder about how impressionable a child is.  Something my grandfather said to me in passing when I was barely a teen stuck with me into my thirties.  

I'd probably feel better about the whole thing if I knew for a fact that this lady had played with Barbie:

While this one

She's 26 years old, people.  Think about it.

did not.

But I'm pretty certain that's not the case.

Thursday, September 13, 2012

Science, Math and Biology! Oh, my!

Disclaimer: I do not profess to be a statistician, mathematician nor a biologist.  I did, however, do really well in 9th grade biology, so everything that follows is probably pretty sound.  Just saying.

My dad said something that's been looping around in my head like the Mexican Hat Dance on repeat.

If you want to know what that experience is like, click the following link.  But don't say I didn't warn you:

Mariachi Mexican Hat Dance

Why suffer alone when you can take others down with you?

Anyway (You watched it, didn't you?  Despite my warnings.  I see how it's going to be between us.  *Sigh*) my dad said, "You know, you can't control how your kids are going to turn out."

My first and immediate response was something like this:

What a versatile visual.
I mean.  If everyone could control how their children turned out, we'd all be doctors and lawyers and other assorted well-compensated adults.  Rather than a bunch of hooligans.

But I digress.

I remember from Mr. Fetterman's 9th grade biology class, doing diagrams where you would show dominant and recessive genes from both the parents -- Punnett Squares was what they were called (and no -- before you laud me for my amazing memory, I just Googled "gene diagram for dominant and recessive" and it was my first search result.  I swear, we're going to be the first generation with worse memory functions than our parents) and they were a good pictorial representation of how genes play out and what the chances are of certain attributes showing up in the child.

I've got all sorts of things I can't stand about myself -- my inability to play Tchaikovsky as he intended, my struggle to break the four minute mile, the fact that I find it a physical impossibility to get my hand to the bottom of a Pringles container -- stuff like that.

There's also stuff I like about myself.  I'm far too humble and good looking to go into detail, but you get my drift.

My wife is the same way.  Sure -- 99.9% of her is practically perfect in every way

Despite popular opinion, I am not, in fact, married to Mary Poppins.

but even she (I'm sure) has a thing or two she wouldn't mind seeing skipping a generation.

So, being the science-minded academic that I am, I put together the following Punnett Square:

 Figure 1.1

The thing about a Punnett Square is that every quadrant has an equal chance of occurring.  So it's a 1 in 4 chance we'll have the most cherubic baby ever and it's just as likely that we could give Rosemary's baby a run for his money.

Child A is like winning the lottery.  She's well behaved and intelligent and smart and kind and pretty and self-motivated and all the things you would hope for your child to be.  Child D is the child your parents wished on you when you were bad.  "I hope you have one just like you" is actually an old Italian curse.

Odds are we're going to have one that's some mash-up of our best and worse qualities.  And, seeing as the both of us seem to have turned out relatively competent and self-sufficient, the odds are our child has more than a fighting chance at being a decent human being.

But this begs the question which I posed in a previous entry:

Where do a$$hole children come from?

And I think I've found my answer:

When demonspawns have babies with a normal person, the chart begins to look like this:

Figure 1.2
The chances of having a normal child remain constant, but the odds of a demonspawn are now 50%!  It's a flip of the coin, people!  This is why dads are so freaked out about their daughters dating hooligans!  It's a biological imperative to protect the species from self-destruction.

But even with the visual, if my exploits on SEPTA are any indicator, the tide is quickly turning, and more and more demonspawn are being born...thus, we must turn to science for the answer"

Figure 1.3
And this is why people should need a license to breed.  It's not my opinion.  It's science and math.  Just saying.

Monday, September 10, 2012

Childbirth Class: I Thought This Was Supposed to Be Helpful

I don't always have the best of attention spans.  In fact, while I'm writing this I'm thinking of all the things I need to do around the house:

  • mow the lawn
  • wash the dog
  • mop the kitchen floor
  • replace the battery in the smoke detector
  • vacuum the stairs
  • cook dinner
  • unload the dishwasher
  • reload the dishwasher
  • write an email
In fact, xkcd had a wonderful webcomic on this very subject today.

Click the link above if the image in the blog is too small to read.

Essentially, I've got a lot of balloons in the air right now and I'm just trying to make sure I hold onto the most important ones.

I'm not much of one for making lists.  I primarily shoot from the hip and figure if I forgot something important, I'll remember it later.

Which leads my to our prenatal class.  Aren't I just the best at segues?  

Saturday we went to our prenatal class.  Now, we had the option to go to four two-hour seminars or just get the whole thing wrapped up in one eight-hour birthing extravaganza.  I'm a guy who likes to rip off the band-aid in one fell swoop.  Thankfully, I married a woman who is also a fan of the approach.

We got there on time -- thanks to Em getting us out the door -- and we were the first ones there other than the instructor.  She was nice enough.  Not quite as crunchy-granola-breath-patchouli-wearing as I might have expected, but seemed rather low-key and the right energy for a bunch of people embarking on bringing their first child into the world.

The class itself (consisting of five other couples other than us) looked about as engaged as a class of Seniors the last week before graduation.

Em's had books all around the house for some time and we've watched a number of documentaries, so much of the information was already familiar.  The instructor tried her damnedest to get the class engaged, but they just wouldn't budge.  

The class is conducted in the basement of the Birthing Center.  So the layout looks like this:

Le expertly rendered birthing center

I was just getting bored enough to start making a list in my head of all the stuff I need to get done before the baby gets here when the sounds started.  It began as a low moan but suddenly rose to a fever pitched scream.  I imagine the woman in the birthing suite immediately above our heads looked something like this:

Bloodcurdling, thy name is
Janet Leigh least that's what she sounded like.  Suddenly unable to focus on my list making, my attention turned to the instructor.  She noticed the screams (of course she noticed them.  The woman was screaming bloody murder.  What I mean to say is that she acknowledged the screams) and thought that putting a movie on and turning the volume up might help to drown out the woman upstairs.

The screams definitely went against everything the instructor had been preaching...thinking of yourself "opening like a flower" and having the "power of a contraction wrap around you" and the "counter-productivity of the act of screaming" itself.


Actual. Statue. Used. In. Movie.

Yes, that's the real title of the movie.  The cliff-notes version (of the 10 minute film) is this: a bunch of women give birth in the squatting position.  As the title would imply.  But what blows your mind, is that there are rarely doctors present.  Mind you, this was filmed in 1979, and it was shot in Brazil as a anthropological piece.  But the babies are born, perfectly fine, without anyone catching them -- they land on a soft bed and the moms pick them up like nothing happened.

For those of you not wanting/willing/able to watch the video the children come out slowly at first and then, the minute the shoulders clear,'s kind of like this:

And BOOM goes the baby
After the first six times, you get kind of used to it.  I did lean over to Em at one point and mention that they should probably have some kind of bumpers set up so the child doesn't overshoot the landing, but at one point I looked at the guy closest to the TV (we were sat in a semi-circle) and this was the face he was making:

Caption unnecessary

Which was unfortunate for him, as his wife was 36 weeks pregnant.  I think I'm a pretty bad procrastinator, but if you have no idea what's about to happen to your wife, you'd probably benefit from taking some time to acclimate to the idea.

After the video was done, she let us go for lunch.

Nope, not kidding.  Fifteen babies born in the squatting position and then off to get some grub.

The rest of the class in the afternoon was pretty tame.  They took us through some relaxation and pain management techniques and then let us know the rules and regs of birth at the center.  Probably the most important thing I walked away from the class with was knowing it's probably best of install the rear-facing infant car seat before the day your child enters the world.

Which is yet another thing to add to my ever growing list.

Friday, September 7, 2012

TV and the Families We Meet There

As a kid, I loved television.


Correction: I love television.  Currently.  Have loved it.  Will continue to love it.

I watch a lot of crap TV.  This volume of less-than-stellar television viewing hit a hell of a spike when Em was in her first trimester.  When asked what it was like from my perspective, I described it as being rather similar to living with a cat:

  • She wanted to sleep.  Constantly.  Like 15 hours a day.  And then another 10 at night.  So 25 hours a day.  Which was difficult.
  • She was hungry.  But nauseous too.  So if the food I made wasn't exactly what she was looking for, she pushed it around with her nose and then walked away.  (Not entirely true.  She probably used her fork.  But my memory is a bit foggy.)
  • She occasionally wanted to hang out.  But it was usually short-lived and if I didn't pay attention, I'd probably miss it.
Altogether, during those first 3 months, I pretty much had to make my own fun.  Thankfully, with over 100 channels and a less-than-discerning television palate, I was easily entertained.

Recently, I found out that Netflix has released the series "Dinosaurs" in its entirety on streaming.

For those of you who don't remember and/or were born sometime after 1994, here's a reminder:

Dinosaurs tv show photo
Lacking more than 60,000,000 years of evolution. and
still, more civilized than Jersey Shore.

And for those of you playing along at home, here's a mind blowing factoid:

She really has aged quite gracefully. the last two are pretty obvious, but that first one threw me for a loop.

Point being (I really do have one, folks.  Hang in there.  I'm getting to it.)

Growing up, I watched a bunch of these TV families and felt very weird about being in the situation that I was:

Look at the way they both eye Marsha.  It's like the other 5 don't exist.

Try not to think about Jello, RIGHT NOW.

The redhead in the lower right makes two appearances in this blog.

T.G.I.F. gave you a reason to stay home on a Friday night in 1989.

Not pictured here: Pamela Anderson as the
reoccurring character of the "tool girl."
Yes, sometimes the jokes just write themselves.

I could have been Pugsley's stunt double growing up.

Not gonna lie.  If there was ever a TV family who I
wanted to adopt me, ti was the Munsters. If only
to live on Mockingbird Lane and have a dragon
who lived under the staircase

Okay...I know what you're thinking...I'm too young to have watched many of these shows the first time they were on the air.  But syndication is a marvelous thing.  And I loved me some old TV shows.

But I felt weird about one thing...all these kids lived with their mom and their dad.  At the same time.  There was one show I watched where that wasn't the case:
Yes.  Mom-mom's stunt double makes her second appearance
in the blog.

But Opie's mom was dead.  So that didn't count.  

Even this insane house was intact:

Like nails on a chalkboard, people. Angry, screetchy, nails.

And they made me want to take up drinking at the ripe old age of 7.  Seriously.  Have you tried watching an episode of Roseanne sober?  It's painful.

So who, might you ask, was my beacon of hope?  My analogue for normalcy?  My, "hey -- my life is kind of like that"?

Yup.  Blossom.  And I had to wait until 1990 for something to watch that even began to resemble my existence.  Her mom was still alive but didn't live in the same house as her. Also, this may have laid the groundwork for my affinity for ill-fitted hats.  But that seems to be a bit unrelated.  Also, also -- my dad still rocks Mr. Russo's haircut to this day.

Don't be jealous, ladies.

But Blossom was still removed from what I knew growing up.  I was the eldest of 2 at that point (my youngest 2 siblings didn't even exist yet) and I had no idea what it was like to live with a sister.  And I would never know what it was like to be a younger sibling.

But we look for commonalities in our stories.  Some kind of truth that compels us to feel for that character.

Which is why HBO's Oz ran for 7 seasons.

But you get what I'm driving at (hopefully.  Unless you are just here for the pictures.  In which case I'm going to disappoint for the rest of the post) and the point remains, that sometimes you want to go where everybody knows your name and where they're always glad you came.  You want to be where you can see, troubles are all the same.  You want to go where...

Damnit.  I'm thinking of

Anyway.  I guess there is no show to make you feel normal.  Or that other people are going through the same stuff you are.  At least not in the exact same way.  All of our individual childhoods are unique -- even in the same household.

I just hope our daughter grows up to think of me as one of these:

Always dapper and on time for dinner.

And not so much as one of these:

What the man lacks in class, he makes up for in personality.
Despite my blog about killing your television to save your child's brain, I'm sure our daughter will discover TV soon enough and start looking for characters and situations common to her life.  Which is great, because it gives me every opportunity to start breaking out all my Cosby sweaters.  And possibly a Blossom-esque bucket hat or two.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Home Improvement: Or, the Basset, the Plaid and the Handyman

I do genuinely enjoy home improvement.  Primarily because I live in the home I'm improving.  If I didn't get to enjoy the product of my labors, I probably wouldn't take up the activity.

So, in all fairness, I enjoy having a nice house and not spending a lot of money to achieve it.  When Em and I bought our house almost three years ago, the former owner had a certain...unique relationship with color.

While a bit garish, it did bring out the olive tones in my complexion.

That room ultimately became our master bedroom.  And despite my repeated protestations to retain the plaid wallpaper cutouts, my wife prevailed.  (Protip -- gentlemen: pick and choose your battles.  Plaid wallpaper is not one worth bloodshed.)

The upstairs has three bedrooms.  The canary/plaid monstrosity, and two others.  One room gets the morning light better than any other.  It has the most windows.  Unfortunately, when we bought the house, it looked like this:

Just out of the screenshot is the sparkle popcorn ceiling.
Somebody liked her blue.

Personally, I didn't see that much wrong with this one.  Given the contrast of the plaid/mustard nightmare of the master bedroom, I'd argue this was nowhere near as bad.

The thing is, I'm an executor of projects.  Not a planner.  Not a designer.  You might think of me as one of these guys:

Epic mustache is epic.
So when Em wanted to paint it and rip out the carpet, I was game.  We were left with this:
You know what you are asking yourself right now. Just what, exactly, is in that closet?
Okay, so in all fairness, she painted it well before removing the entire carpet.  The hardwood floors were in decent shape and, in all honesty, if you've going to throw it out anyway, why not use the old carpet as your dropcloth?

Serenity.  Thy name is pistachio green.
Several projects later, we had this in our hands.  I swapped out the ceiling lamp in my first foray into electrical work.  Please note that my ability to continue to write this blog should be ample evidence that I was capable of turning off the electricity.  And the lighted fixture in the picture above is evidence that it works. Or, at the very least, that it worked at least once.

No.  Just... no.

Now, I personally think it's pretty easy to find out you are having a girl and find yourself somewhere in the territory of a room not terribly dissimilar from the room pictured above.  Which I'm pretty sure has been scientifically proven to produce something like the below:

While "Veruca" has a nice ring to it, we avoided the
correlation at all costs.

True story.

So, the objective was to get a theme that wasn't over the top girly but still managed to not be something along the lines of chainsaws and pit bulls.

So we settled on vegetables. 

Now, before you pass judgement, check these out:

Minimal pink = no Veruca Salt

Broccoli Man!
All of the sudden we have a nursery on our hands.  Or, at least it seemed that way.  Em did most of the planning and I just carried it out.  

Some days I came home and she was something like this:

I think the woman wants some chocolate.
Which would lead me to believe that she was in need of chocolate.  Because I'm a good listener like that.  But it is also possible that she was just frustrated with our photobombing basset hound, Ruby:

It is physically impossible to be mad at those eyes.
 Someone is a ham for the camera.

So, I'll continue to do home improvement projects.  If only to ensure that my dog has a multitude of photobombing opportunities at her disposal.