Saturday, October 31, 2009

Elmo Returns

**Baby Pool still open below**

In the past week we trick-or-treated at the zoo, at the mall, and at Uncle Joshy's house, not to mention the costume party at daycare. Dylan didn't know about the whole candy part of trick-or-treating, and shyly asked this morning if there would be candy involved today. She also doesn't know enough to hoard her candy, so that works for us. But it actually turns out the best part is waiting and letting the people come to you.

She maintained her perch on the couch for as long as we would let her, interrupted only by pesky feeding and bathing. I think we thoroughly celebrated Halloween this year, even without a baby to stuff into Dylan's old chicken costume.

Wednesday, October 28, 2009

Baby Pool!

To enter, leave your guesses (or answers, if you have some kind of inside information) to the following in the comments:

1) Birth date
2) Birth time
3) Birth weight
4) Gender

The prize will be delicious baked goods at such a time as I feel like baking.

Potentially helpful information:
-The ultrasound tech declared it a boy
-I am due November 17th
-Tommy's birthday is November 16th
-The current moon phase is Waxing Gibbous
-I had an appointment today (37 weeks, 1 day) at which the doctor declared "nothing happening"
-Dylan was born almost two weeks after her due date and I still had to be induced
-I probably won't go past 41 weeks this time because of the Sugar
-I have a rather ambitious amount of work that I plan to do before having the baby

Entry deadline: 11/4/09 11:59pm

Sunday, October 25, 2009

Elmo Steps Out

Saturday, October 24, 2009

Recent Happenings

A major goal for October was to finish the next step of the medical boards without going into labor. Eight hours is a long time to answer multiple choice questions, but I did manage to make it through yesterday without any baby birthing. It's nice, because all that studying was taking up energy I could have used for waddling around.


I bought a pack of newborn diapers in an expression of optimism that this baby will be under 10 pounds at birth, and hence fit into them.


Certain unidentified members of the Greater Bleisenblog family have started to get all excited when we call them. I will leave it to you to decide whether that means we

a) stopped calling,
b) start each call with "NOT IN LABOR," or
c) designated a certain member of the BleisenMarriage who would be responsible for The Call, who subsequently spent an entire evening either calling or resisting the urge to call "just to see how it's going."


Someone asked Aaron if we have a birth plan. We had vague notions of one with Dylan, such as maybe offer me a popsicle? Or rub my back? With a tennis ball? The birth plan soon became Rout the Child Out One Way or Another Because Medical Science No Longer Allows for Gestations of this Duration. This time the plan is just hope I go into labor AT SOME POINT. I don't want to go past 41 weeks this time. So, to recap: Due Date = November 17, Baby Will Be Out By Date = November 24. Thanksgiving = November 26 (= I get to dress the baby like a turkey since he's missing halloween).


All the area hospitals have banned children under 18 from the maternity wards (excepting, I imagine, the ones being birthed). Nice that two weeks ago they let us pay them to show Dylan around and get her all excited about visiting there, while knowing they were probably about to not let her come. I think they have wireless though, so skype it is.

Friday, October 23, 2009

Analyze This

I believe we have a disproportionate number of psychology types in the Bleisenblog Readership Catchment Area. So, for your consideration, allow me to present the following:

Exhibit A (that's for the lawyer types):

Exhibit B:
A Manifesto

Exhibit C:
"Mommy! I no call it November. I call it Yesvember."

All signs point to incipient cult leadership, no?

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

36 weeks

Roaring our terrible roars

Sunday, October 18, 2009

head = spinning

Last weekend was the commencement of All Family All The Time Week, including time with representatives of all sets of grandparents, many aunts and uncles, and even some great-aunts and uncles who met Dylan for the first time (postnatally, anyway). The festivities encompassed Rochester, Ithaca, and New York City (and New Jersey, as you know) and involved much shuttling around of us and our stuff. I broke off from Aaron and Dylan in Ithaca on Monday, which is how I ended up without a car there on my way back home on Friday.

Despite certain allegations that we already owned every baby device ever made, I had another shower on Sunday, in which Dylan received more toys than the baby. And people came up with thoughtful and fun gifts that we actually did need rather urgently (including many things with monsters on them, to be modeled when in use on the actual baby). She didn't see it coming, so it was a fun treat. Also, back off.

We have ourselves stashed away a big girl quilt for when we take off to the hospital. We figure it will be far more confusing and scary to have us both leave suddenly for the first time than it will be to have us arrive home with the baby, who she has been eagerly waiting to get her mitts on for months. I picked it out (the quilt, not the baby), but she did ask for one the other day, and I had to agree that it was a good idea given our current system of piling on four smallish blankets.

We also managed to squeeze in a little pumpkin buying/donut consuming/goat petting/avoiding.
And of course there was brunch with a Fans of Bleisenblog chapter willing to humiliate themselves to score some face time. Go Team Banana! It was nice to see you guys!

I think that brings us up to the present. Now we're home, the house is 60-70% ready, and I am mostly focused on studying for and completing my next big med school test this Friday without going into labor. So far, so good.

Saturday, October 17, 2009


We left New York City mid-afternoon after a day of cold, wet rain, in keeping with the Clammy Monsoon Season in effect since June. It didn't rain the whole way to Ithaca, but only because it was snowing the rest of the time.

Visions of New Jersey
Between traffic in Manhattan, traffic in New Jersey, and the weather, it took us seven hours to make a trip that usually takes four. We did get to explore a side of Northern New Jersey that none of us had seen before after throwing ourselves at the mercy of the GPS in a desperate attempt to escape an anticipated 30 more miles of traffic. Every time Aaron called he would ask if we were back and I would whimper about not even being in Pennsylvania yet. We soon pulled over to get gas only to be told that the weather (rain and snow, yes, but not really even stormy) had knocked out their credit card capabilities. Then my dad put on Jersey Boys and I had to quickly master the "fade sound to one corner of the car" feature of the stereo. The local hotels began to beckon, despite it being 7pm. We powered through, though, and eventually enjoyed the consolation of actually being in Scranton while The Office aired.

Epic journey aside, we had a lot of fun and ate and ate and ate, including at many establishments that allowed for my Very Specific Dietary Needs Diet. One evening I managed to order my own personal Indian buffet.
The Others saw God of Carnage while I took my requisite nap (Tommy is your best bet for a thorough review, complete with sound bites). They also gave the New York Times careful consideration so as to be able to converse with the locals. This has the added benefit of being able to prove what day it is, should I need to demand ransom.

We also gave careful consideration to the TVs they now have in cabs. This leads to long lasting motion sickness, which I guess I deserve due to lack of morning sickness.

Here we are, in a cab.
I spent the rest of the time shopping for stuff to bring back to Aaron and Dylan. Dylan, as I mentioned, got no more than a lollipop, but Aaron made out rather well, with loot including a cupcake, a candy bar from Dylan's Candy Bar, a corned beef sandwich (by request), and several dashing shirts for work. That should about make up for having to wrangle all the creatures by himself for a few days.

Stay tuned tomorrow for: last weekend

Friday, October 16, 2009

Public Health Fandom

I am behind on my posts this week, but I think to catch up I will start with today and work backwards, Memento-style. Also like Blink, if anyone else saw that. Not that we are experiencing terrifying horror movie-like events over here. As far as you know, anyway. Just trying to keep you on your toes.

So. I woke up this morning, hitched a ride to the airport to rent a car, and rushed to drive back to Rochester by noon.

As proof, here I am, in Rochester, by noon. With the guy who led the World Health Organization campaign to eradicate smallpox. [And a haircut. I will never learn that you cannot judge how long curly hair will be when cut if it is soaking wet and brushed out when the cutting takes place.]

I even bought his book so I could get it signed.

I can't tell you if it's any good yet, but 6/6 amazon reviewers enjoyed it. Whether those reviewers consist of his wife and five best friends we may never know.

Dylan, Aaron, and Snuffy slobbered all over me in their joy at our reunion. Dylan ran around clutching the lollipop I brought her muttering "I so lucky" and "I saving this for later." Aaron did the same with the shirts I got him for work. I am glad Dylan still appreciates receiving things given the volume of presents she received last weekend. I still couldn't bring myself to give her the actual present I bought her. I figure it will come in handy once little TBA is born.

Up tomorrow: yesterday.

Monday, October 12, 2009

Saturday, October 10, 2009


Month 1 of Bleisenblog saw my attendance at a couple of childbirth education classes that you may recall as mind numbing, which is what I recall also. This time we are wise veterans and skipped the refresher course. Plus in the interim I did my OB rotation at the hospital where I will be having this baby (we switched hospitals and OB groups due to: trauma), which included working with many of the doctors in the practice that we're in now. I essentially could not be more informed about the logistics/procedures/deeper spiritual meaning of having a baby at this hospital. Aaron and Dylan, however, have not been there, and Dylan doesn't really know how the whole thing is going to go down. Hence we got suckered into the Big Sibling Course with Hospital Tour.

I have been to Dylan's preschool class. There could not be a more enthusiastic participant in class activities. Other children may be slumped over bored or sort of irritated or wandering off, but Dylan is right there in the middle giggling and wildly doing whatever hand motions they are supposed to be doing to go along with the song or the book or whatever. Get her in any other setting, however (see, briefly, soccer and swimming) and she withdraws to such an extent that I hardly even recognize her. Especially if the instructor is not the best with kids (recall the sensing of the weakness), she will not have any of it, and no amount of encouragement OR totally ignoring the behavior OR a happy medium changes how she reacts.

Back to this morning. When we named our girl baby Dylan we expected a certain amount of having to explain that she was a girl. I did not expect having people put up a fight, especially when standing next to a three-year-old obviously female child. So. It didn't start well. Another clue should have been the dire warning to sign up for this class six months in advance because it fills up quick (seriously, I was not even out of the first trimester) and then having exactly two other children there.

There was a lot of coloring involved, and Dylan soon set to work on the Big Sister With Baby picture. We thought it was cool that she started out carefully coloring the Sister's eyes blue (although hers are aaron-hazel) because it seemed like a thoughtful detail. She then moved on to carefully coloring the baby's eyes red, which, alarming, no? What does she know that we don't?

The first lesson was about breathing, with a good ten minutes devoted to teaching the small children how to coach their mothers in breathing exercises (something about smelling the roses and blowing out the candles). We all, not just Dylan, spent a good part of this time blinking in confusion. One, in our house we just use the phrase "take deep breaths," (mostly in the context of "get some kind of grip on yourself") which the child seems to understand. Two, no one ever explained exactly why Mommy needs the Breathing. Three, if I am to the point of requiring roses, candles, etc. to deal with myself I would prefer that Dylan not be under my care. And, honestly, I don't really want a labor coach that is more likely to burst into tears than I am (Aaron? Listening?).

I won't go on with the details as no need to numb all your minds as well, but by the end I was starting to adopt Dylan's stony silence myself. Note to hypothetical future children: no one in your family will be attending any kind of class in any capacity associated with your birth. There, it turns out we can be taught.

Friday, October 09, 2009

Wikipedia says a swarm of gnats is called a ghost

Dylan: Dunkin Donuts! It's my favorite!

Kate: Because of the two D's?

D: Yes! And because of the donuts!


I know I haven't been tuned into pop culture for the past year (or...ever), but what's with all the vampires? They're EVERYWHERE. Do they represent an actual threat to my person? Is vampire bite prevention any different if you're pregnant?


My attention span currently rivals that of a gnat. Hence the brief post snippets. And the brief snippets of everything else. Luckily I am trying to work one like eight different things right now, so flitting around from thing to thing at least feels a little productive.


We need us a baby pool around here, don't we? The betting kind, not the wading kind.

Monday, October 05, 2009

They sense weakness

Aaron went away for the weekend, which prompted Dylan and Snuffy to tag team me for the next 12 hours. Snuffy took the evening shift, in which he growled at me for three solid hours despite no identifiable physical need. I think, in retrospect, that he was trying to get me to sit on the couch where Aaron usually sits so he could curl up in a ball at my feet.

Dylan took a turn overnight, diligently staying awake from midnight to 4am. I took a nap in the middle there, but eventually she couldn't stand for that any longer. I think she was also a little stressed out that Aaron was gone, plus I had rearranged her room that afternoon, which presumably rendered it infinitely scarier. Luckily I could at least call Aaron for support since his plane landed at midnight (I'll let him explain that one, should he so choose).

I automatically get a cold when I don't get enough sleep, so now I'm sick. They must be thrilled they're getting a third compadre soon to assist (and probably lead) their efforts.

Sunday, October 04, 2009

Some Stuff, From Lately (this post brought to you by Pregnancy Brain)

"Mommy! A deer! I'm scared because it will eat me."

"No, it's okay, deer don't eat people."

"Only goats eat people?"


33.5 weeks. Measuring normal size. Still eliciting untold numbers of borderline rude comments from passers by, more than last time, I believe. Doing a moderately good job of following low carb diet. People seem horrified at the idea of having to do fingersticks four times a day. That is not the problem. Here is the problem: not eating carbs.

In retrospect, I feel like I may have had some insulin resistance the first time also that just developed a bit later. See: 1st baby born at 95th percentile and quite puffy.


"[kid at daycare] was making poor choices at naptime!"

"What did he do?"

"Made poor choices."


Activity Update

Soccer = not as fun as it could be. Dylan seems to be taking what I think of as the Aaron approach to rowdy groups of fellow-children participating in organized sports, which involves patiently waiting for the herd to pass safely by, then slowly and deliberately doing whatever was asked of her. Or grabbing the ball with her hands so it doesn't get away. Really it's just too late in the day and she's sort of done by then. I think we'll wait a couple years to do anything like this again.

Swimming = another story for another day.


I got asked to review a paper, like a real grown up scientist. It was...bad. I said so nicely though, with suggestions on how to be less bad. That's how I talk to Aaron too, when I have suggestions about his status in the marriage, occasionally with a written report. Am thoughtful.


The Heat is On

We stuck out a full week of really awful 40-degree rainy whether before breaking down whimpering and heating the home. We made it to October, good enough.


"I think she needs a size 8, but these look too big."

"Oh, we use UK sizes. I don't know where you got her measured [myself, via a printout from the Internet, but I am sure I am right as she has outgrown the size 7, yet the size 9 is too big] but I will have to remeasure her feet."

[Also don't you just subtract a size? And that = UK size?]

The nice man measures Dylan's feet, which she thinks is quite cool.

"She'll need a 7."

Goes to get the ones I asked for. Has none of them, tries to convince me that really, going half a size too small is actually a wise idea for kids' shoes anyway.


Might Dylan suggest these helpful questions to lead your discussion group?

Why deer no eat people, Mommy?
Why baby brother not coming out yet, Mommy?
Why you checking your blood, Mommy? Can I watch?
Why he make poor choices?
Why we going to soccer? Why we not going to swimming?
Why you need to go to work?
Why I need to wear pants?
Why I need new shoes?
Mommy, why you head hurt? Do you need medicine? Can I have medicine?