Wednesday, January 25, 2006

160 BPM

That's not a reference to break-beat techno track, it's the sound of our baby's heart beat!

Elaine had her first real doctor's appointment this morning, which she was excited about because ever since the whole "+ or -" incident she wasn't going to be completely convinced that she was pregnant until a doctor told her so (and she was beginning to get pretty creative in her alternate explanations for all of her symptoms). I wanted to tag along to hear our baby's heart beat, and sure enough when the doctor placed the microphone on Elaine's abdomen we heard that heart beat thumping away at 160 beats per minute. A huge smile spread across my face, because how cool is it to hear your baby's heart beat for the first time, and Elaine was relieved that it wasn't a tumor.

After listening to the heart beat, our doctor took us down to use the ultra-sound machine. I hadn't realized that in addition to hearing our baby we were going to be able to see our baby at this appointment! The doctor slathered on some ultrasound jelly, she started scanning, and there was the baby right on the screen waving around its little arms and legs. And just like that this baby went from some abstract concept that made Elaine nauseous, to something much more real. Judging from the emotions that this little weather radar looking picture inspired, this is whole parent gig is going to be quite an adventure.

Sunday, January 22, 2006


We are having a baby. Elaine is pregnant.

A few years ago our friends Joe and Craig came down to Austin for SXSW. At the time Craig's wife Amy was pregnant, and Craig was always sure to avoid saying "We're pregnant." Amy had made it very clear that if Craig wanted to say "we're pregnant," he'd have to give up alcohol and caffeine along with her. Craig of course quickly decided that Amy was the only one that was pregnant.

Elaine loved this story and immediately adopted the policy for any and all future pregnancies, with the possible additions that I'd also have to figure out how to share her experiences with morning sickness and mood swings, and gain a few pounds to boot. Needless to say now that we're getting ready to tell people, I'm going to be very careful to note that we may be having a baby, but Elaine is pregnant.

Wednesday, January 04, 2006

Grady Grandparents

A few months before my grandfather died, I was looking through old photo albums at his home when I spied a picture of Grandpa, looking quite strapping, a bit debonair, and most noticeably, not bald. I showed it to him, commenting on how handsome he looked. He laughed, and then asked if I would like to have the picture. I thanked him, turned down his offer to have it framed, brought it back to college with me and proudly displayed it in my bedroom at Northwestern.

It never occurred to me at the time that someone else might want a copy of the photograph -- after all I was a self-absorbed college student. Funny thing, though, getting a PhD means you're in college a really long time, which is why it's only now (after the requests of a couple of relatives and the technical know-how of my husband) that I've managed to make Grandpa's picture (along with the one I received of Grandma after she died) available to all.

The original picture of Grandpa was an 8x10; Grandma's was a 4x6 which was glued into a paper frame from Hirth Studios in Waukon. Sorry it took so long but I hope you enjoy them.

(To order prints via Flickr, simply click on the pictures above to take you to the Flickr photo page, and then click on the "order prints" button above the photograph, you may have to create an account to be able to order prints. Alternatively, you can download the original digital file by clicking on the pictures above, then click on the "all sizes" button above the photograph on the Flickr photo page, and finally choose the "original" size to view and download the original file.)

(Or click here to order prints via ofoto.)

Tuesday, January 03, 2006

And an iPod for everyone under the tree...

We finally celebrated Christmas at Mom's house on Friday (five days after Christmas). Katherine, who always wants to wait as long as possible to open her presents, was thrilled about the delay. Katherine, Mom, Don, Elaine and myself all gathered together Friday afternoon to open presents, Squirrel & Garcon played with each other, and later that evening Jeff & Krysta and Nancy & Danny joined us for our belated but delicious Christmas dinner.

This Christmas Elaine and I both received iPods (mine a 60GB iPod from Mom for a joint X-Mas and B-Day present, and Elaine's a 4GB Nano from me). I'd been reluctant to make the move from cd's to digital music mainly because my old computer was down to less than a gigabyte of free space on it's hard drive, but a new laptop lifted that constraint a few months ago, and the new iPods looked too good to pass up. Elaine's biggest thrill this whole thing is that we can finally box up some of our cd's and free up a tremendous amount of shelf space. That of course will have to wait a bit as I'm slogging through the process of ripping 600 cd's.

On Saturday Elaine and I had a little New Year's party at our place with Brandon & Anneke and Shane & Laura, and 67% of us found iPods under our Christmas trees. Then on the way to work to day I noticed quite a few new white earbuds on the metro. Finally my suspicions that Steve Jobbs had stolen the Santa contract away from the elves was confirmed when I went to the EPA gym today and every single one of the five people working had a brand new iPod with them.

(click here to see all the pictures from Christmas in MD, or here for the slideshow)