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The times they are a-changing

By Cole :: February 28, 2005 @ 06:04 PM

I wonder if I can get in trouble for stealing lyrics from Bob Dylan?

I'll take my chances, and hope there's pity in this world for pregnant ladies.

I just spent about 5 minutes looking at old blog enteries and thought an update might be in order. Two weeks ago we didn't have much going in the way of organization, no labor bag, Sprout's room in shambles etc..etc...

Where are we today?

Labor and camera bag fully packed and ready to go. Although Hassan is still debating his lens choices. I had to ask him if he was afraid all the other photo-happy Dads at the hopsital were going to pull him aside, inspect the contents of his camera bag, and mock him in some way for it. He did not seem to think my point was valid, but we'll let him continue to debate his needs.

As of yesterday, Sprout's room is clean, all her clothes have been put away, and it is likely the most organized it will ever be for say the next 20 years. Her crib is due to arrive sometime in the next 7 days.

There are no outstanding chores to be completed around the house. The "todo" list is the shortest it has ever been in the years we've been married. I mean, can I really hassle the man that much abut trimming his beard?

So now - with all of this done, this idea of enjoying the time I have left is becoming more trial then ease of practice. Up until now, there's always been just one more "thing", one more reason to be thrilled with an extra day. One more "todo" I'd happily wrap up and never worry about again. The "todos", the items, the things, they are all done and gone.

Oh how the tides have turned. Who's anxious? Not me!

Stay tuned for tomorrow's thrilling Tuesday update. Dr's appointment at 10:20 am.

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2005-02-25 09:42:37

By Hass :: February 27, 2005 @ 08:04 AM

Last Roll
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2005-02-25 09:40:36

By Hass :: February 27, 2005 @ 08:03 AM

Last Roll
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Regarding Switching

By Cole :: February 27, 2005 @ 07:34 AM

Once in 40 weeks I happen to stumble slightly down the hallway, and now for days all I hear about is the stagger. As if I'm some wino pregnant lady staggering around the house - "Pour me another Hassan!".

I'll confess to the waddle, Sprout's heavy, and by the end of the day, I'm tired. However, I'm 39.5 weeks pregnant. There is no scientific reason for this child to still be inside of me, except by her own choosing. Which is fine, let her have her fun, I'll spend the next 18 years attempting to tell her where she can sleep anyway.

At least he thinks we're cute. We'll have Hass post a picture or 2 from Friday, so everyone can see the pregnant lady (no he did not photograph the stagger)

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She switched . . .

By Hass :: February 26, 2005 @ 11:36 PM

. . . from waddle to stagger. The day gets closer, the wife gets bigger, and each steps becomes that much more difficult. I feel for her, and am volunteering to carry sprout for the next nine months. But for now, I'm trying not to giggle but she is SOOOOoooo cute.
I guess it's not really that bad, the staggering doesn't really set in until the end of the day and only after long walks.

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Changing Tastes

By Hass :: February 26, 2005 @ 11:18 PM

I've found myself in an anti-WNYC mood as of late, and have been broadening my radio listening range.

The reasons for the change:
1) WNYC just sounds too polished. They started doing too many slick self promotional spots a couple months ago.
2) It's time to stop pretending we still live in the city. It's not precisely local news or weather anymore.
3) Our reception sucks, meaning we're streaming in the audio through iTunes anyway, so why not listen to a non-local station.

The Stations I've been listening too:
They all feel a little less polished and more down to earth. Check em out when you get a chance. When I get a chance I'll write up why I like each of these stations.

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Did You Know?

By Cole :: February 25, 2005 @ 06:13 PM

That only 5% of babies are born on their due dates?

Still no progress here. Day 2 at home, and still enjoying myself - well for the most part. Happy it is the weekend and I'll have company aside from the cat.

Speaking of the cat - care to know what he does all day? He takes turns sleeping between the cushions of the couch, and shooting me dirty looks. Can you imagine how pissed off he's going to be with the screaming infant we bring home from the hospital shortly? Maybe we'll finally convince him to get a job.

Anyhow, waiting for Hass to get home from work, hoping he'll take pity on me and take me out to dinner. Who knows, every time could be our last as a party of two. Although Sprout's getting so big these days, it's hard not to ask for a table for three, a chair for the man, a chair for the lady, a of course - the belly! But I refuse to admit that as long as she insists on traveling incognito (great word eh? I swear I didn't plan this whole entry around trying to use it - I SWEAR IT!)

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By Hass :: February 24, 2005 @ 11:59 PM


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Cinnamon Raisin Oatmeal

By Hass :: February 24, 2005 @ 07:38 AM

• 1 Cup rolled oats
• 1 Cup water
• 2/3 Cup skim milk
• 1 Teaspoon Cinnamon
• 2 sprinkes of salt
• 118 raisins (about a box and a half, or two good sized man-hand pinches)
• 2 Tablespoons Brown sugar
• 2 Pats of butter
• splash of milk
• sprinkle of cinnamon

1) Combine water, milk and oats in a pot. Bring to a boil over medium to high heat.
2) When the oats near the desired consistency add Cinnamon, Salt and Raisins.
3) Once you reach your desired oat consistency, remove from heat and serve into two bowls. Add a tablespoon of Brown Sugar to the top of the oat spires. Garnish with cinnamon and just enough milk to make the brown sugar start its glorious melting process.
4) serve to pregnant spouse in bed.
5) eat butter seprately

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Feeling at home

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:44 PM

The new place is starting to feel more and more like home everyday, things are nearly all unpacked, the walls are starting to look less bare. And here's how we decorated.

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2005-02-23 09:05:05

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:52 AM

new apartment

our bed room, with sprout's cosleeper.

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2005-02-23 09:04:11

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:50 AM

new apartment

Sprout's room, still working on it.

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2005-02-23 09:01:58

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:49 AM

new apartment

The office, where the cat hold his morning meetings.

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2005-02-23 09:01:46

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:48 AM

new apartment

Living room with a big window, and a pregnant woman living on the couch.

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2005-02-23 09:00:54

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:47 AM

new apartment

from the kitchen looking into the dining room and living room.

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2005-02-23 09:00:20

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 09:45 AM

new apartment

A real kitchen with all of the appliances.

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Baby Name Voyager

By Hass :: February 23, 2005 @ 08:39 AM

(REQUIRES JAVA) A stunning marriage of elegant design and baby names. The interface is simple and beautiful, while the depth of the data keeps you on the edge of your seat. Worth the click for the design alone or if you're like us and need to check a name's popularity.

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Still here

By Cole :: February 22, 2005 @ 07:25 PM

Another Tuesday has come and gone. The news from the weekly Dr's appointment falls into the category of most unnoteworthy. Progress continues at a pace of similar slowness to previous weeks. Sprout will make her grand appearance when she is ready, and not a moment sooner.

On a personal note (hard to remember I have a life beyond waiting for Sprout), tomorrow will be my last day in the office. Friday was my last day of official work, but I've been in the office for a couple hours this week to pack up and organize. Feel free to email me at my mapgoblin address if you're curious about what I'm doing at any particular moment. Tomorrow afternoon I'm hoping to finish filing our taxes, that should give you a taste of the excitement that awaits you.

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Kitty in the window

By Hass :: February 21, 2005 @ 09:57 AM

While the human occupants are enjoying big windows in the new place, the cat is just absolutely loving it.

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2005-02-06 09:32:43

By Hass :: February 21, 2005 @ 09:46 AM

Gato new place
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2005-02-06 09:33:39

By Hass :: February 21, 2005 @ 09:44 AM

Gato new place
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2005-02-13 09:18:18

By Hass :: February 21, 2005 @ 09:43 AM

Gato new place
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2005-02-13 09:37:01

By Hass :: February 21, 2005 @ 09:42 AM

Gato new place
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2005-02-06 09:28:21

By Hass :: February 21, 2005 @ 09:40 AM

Gato new place
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Contact, Contact

By Hass :: February 20, 2005 @ 11:53 PM

Tired of being the last one to find out about Sprout?

Are all of your friends more up to date on the joyus little one?

Want to be the first one in the know? all you have to do is let us know who you are.

Provided there is enough time for digital noodling while timing contractions, we plan to send out an email announcing our departure for the hospital. Want to be on the list? Please comment to this message and give us your current email address. If you don't want the address posted to the website, just mention it in the body of the comment, all comments are approved by a real person!

assuming there is time, I plan to set my AIM (screename: hassanhodges)away message to something witty about being in labor. So, add me to your buddy list and keep your eyes open. If there isn't time though, this won't be happening, but please do add me to your buddy list.

We're also planning phone calls, but want to keep these the absolute minimum, because it's easy to type up an email before hand and just hit send, but it's a little trickier to make lots of calls and chat it up while timing contractions. If you would like to be on the call list, please submit an essay of 250 words minimum explaining why you need a call.

We'd also like to post some blog entries, but make no promises here either.

after sprout shows up we'll hopefully find a means of posting to the blog and sending more email, but would like to update our email address lists.

There will also be a birth announcemtn, but that will take a wcouple days to get in the mail and even longer to get to you. We updated our address book for sending the seasons greetings letter fo dec 04.

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A Rose by any other Name

By Hass :: February 20, 2005 @ 11:44 PM

Still working on the name, pondering, considering, rejecting, adding to the list, taking away.

We're walking a very fine line between a couple factors:
1) doesn't rhyme with anything tauntable
2) is unique and individual, yet complies with factor #3
3) is easy to say and spell
4) not too popular
5) culturally approriate for a child who is (Afro-lithuanian)-(German-(Italian-Polish))
6) Initials don't spell something stupid like DUH

We did find this nifty tool at www.babynamewizard.com for checking a name's popularity through the ages.

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Fear and Todo lists revisited

By Hass :: February 20, 2005 @ 10:50 PM

We've made signifigant progress on both the fears and the todo items. Hopefully everything can be taken care of before the big day.

FEAR:Getting home from the hospital and realizing she doesn't have a social security number. Natalie Montoya-Barnes, a new new mother a good friend says the process just starts there and the rest is taken care of like everything else.
TODO: Buy changing table and/or dresser figured this one out
TODO: Car seat safety check done
FEAR: picking the wrong name working on it.
TODO: comprehensive contact list/phone tree. FYI: we're only trying to make as few phone calls as possible when we go into laborm we'll be busy ya know.
FEAR: getting stuck behind the recycling truck on ridgedale ave. on the way to the hospital The recyclying truck is only there on Monday mornings
FEAR: leaving the cat without any food when we go to the hospital worked out, thanks Mary and Steve.
TODO: finish the photo gallery functionality of the blog. close enough, but not throughly tested.
FEAR: not having enough for Hass to eat at hospital
FEAR: not having all of my lenses with us at the hospital
TODO: pack camera bag, LIGHTLY
TODO: clean closet Done, thanks cole
TODO: get hair cut
FEAR: vomiting at any point
TODO: let everybody know the blog will be a good place to get the latest baby info
TODO: get webcam so we can have live baby shows.
FEAR: baby has my vision
TODO: clean litter box

NEW FEAR: Being too excited when sprout shows up and hugging the Dr. in an inappropriate manner.
NEW FEAR: Bad weather when its time to go.
NEW TODO: Break down the boxes that fill sprout's room.
NEW FEAR: The cracked windshield on the Matrix shattering.
NEW TODO: Duct Tape the windshield
NEW FEAR: Not having enough puppets, or adequate juggling skills to entertain Sprout.
NEW TODO: Organize the books by size
NEW TODO: Check/Charge camera betteries
NEW FEAR: Laughing at Nicole waddling through a grocery store isle, again.

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Are we there yet?

By Hass :: February 20, 2005 @ 10:02 PM

Nope, and we don't seem to be getting any closer either. That's not really true, we are getting closer, but there isn't much of note going on. Sprout continues on her schedule and isn't giving us too many new hints as to what's going on. We'll get a better idea of new developments on Tuesday morning, our weekly checkup day.

The only thing that has changed since a week ago when the baby seemed minutes away from popping out is the first time parental paranoia. Yeah, all babies do this and that and all pregnant women go through this science experiment, that doesn't mean the baby is gonna be here any sooner. And there were a lot of new and exciting things happening a week ago, but now we're down to just exciting things making for a diminished feeling of urgency.

Sprout is still riding low, the cervix is still a good 2cm dialated (as far as we know), we don't know if the mucous plug was jetissoned, contractions continue with about 36 hours between them (The steady rate for more than a week now.)

As far as the homefront goes, we've still got a lot of setting up to do in sprout's room, but the rest of the apartment is about 92% setup, books are unpacked, picutres hung, surfaces cleanned and the cat adjusted to suburban windows. Sprout's not going to be in her room much at first anyway so what's the big deal if the room is filled with the cat's illicit speak-easy serving up a potent mix of booze, gambling and drunken shenanigins. Somedays it feels like we're living in a Kitty Cantina South of the Border.

We also picked up a nifty little iSight camera. And we've got a little webcam going. Don't get your voyeristic ears perked up though, we're not fully setup with it and even when it is set up you'll likely see a lot of the cat sitting in the window. Please don't waste too much time hoping for an image to update, the camera isn't on at the momment. As far as the image up there now goes, that's a completely unposed pregnant belly, ain't she cute. For those of you longtime readers, you may want to recall the cooking cam that seems to refresh every 5-10 years depending on your browser.

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Spaghetti Sauce

By Cole :: February 19, 2005 @ 07:58 PM

1/8 C olive oil

1 large onion, chopped

3-4 cloves garlic, minced

1 t dried basil

1 t dried oregano

2 28oz cans diced tomatoes

1 15oz can tomato sauce

1 6oz can tomato paste

2 TB of sugar

1 TB salt

4 T parm cheese

Heat olive oil over medium-high heat until it shimmers. Add chopped onion and garlic. Saute until onion softens. Add oregano and basil and stir well. Add remaining items, simmer for at least 1 hour.

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Babies around the world

By Hass :: February 17, 2005 @ 08:21 PM

Thinking about how good we have it here kinda puts things in perspective. It's amazing to consider that my parents opted to give birth to their kids in the third world. But then again, many of my happiest childhood memories involved the power being out.

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Passed with flying colors

By Hass :: February 17, 2005 @ 08:44 AM

The car seat is inspected!!! and everything checks out. I was expecting more of clipboard approach, but an appropriately gruff and smelling of coffee sgt. gave the seat a look and all is good.

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2005-02-15 20:19:57

By Hass :: February 16, 2005 @ 09:50 AM

Last Roll

37 weeks and still smiling. Could you ask for more.

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2005-02-15 20:24:13

By Hass :: February 16, 2005 @ 09:49 AM

Last Roll

Belly grip

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Fears and Todo; one list to rule them all

By Hass :: February 16, 2005 @ 09:20 AM

fear: Getting home from the hospital and realizing she doesn't have a social security number.
todo: Buy changing table and/or dresser
todo: Car seat safety check
fear: picking the wrong name
todo: comprehensive contact list/phone tree. FYI: we're only planning to make three phone calls when we go into labor. (Celeste, Nat, Work) those three poeple will be responsible for disseminating information further. how that's going to be done we don't know.
fear: getting stuck behind the recycling truck on ridgedale ave. on the way to the hospital
fear: leaving the cat without any food when we go to the hospital
todo: finish the photo gallery functionality of the blog.
fear: not having enough for Hass to eat at hospital
fear: not having all of my lenses with us at the hospital
todo: pack camera bag, LIGHTLY
todo: clean closet
todo: get hair cut
fear: vomiting at any point
todo: let everybody know the blog will be a good place to get the latest baby info
todo: get webcam so we can have live baby shows.
fear: baby has my vision
todo: clean litter box

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Nesting Confusion?

By Cole :: February 15, 2005 @ 09:24 PM

You may wonder, as Sprout's arrival grows ever closer; what is a day in the life of Hassan and Nicole like these days? Is Nicole feverishly cleaning every nook and cranny, while Hass tries to talk her off her lysol induced ledge? The answer (for those of you dying to know), is no - not at all. Instead, you'd find there's a bit of role reversal going on. I've taken the relaxed approach to Sprout's impending birth, and well - Hass is feverishly trying to make up the difference of those actions. Today has been about assembling baby items (Papasan chair or swing anyone? We've got 'em fully assembeled!), and asking me no less the a half dozen times if Sprout was making any progress in her attempts to crawl out of my cervix.

I could string you along for another paragraph or so, but I'll cut to the chase. No Sprout has made no progress. We're still effacing, and dilating, and I'm still contracting. However, the average time span between contractions is approximately 36 hours. Hassan is convinced she's going to sneak up on us, that my hospital/labor bag should be packed, and that I should be prepared for her arrival.

News flash:

I've been growing this baby inside of my for nearly 10 months, there is nothing about this situation that is going to sneak up on me. From the moment I discovered I was pregnant one morning, I have known with absolute certainty, that I was going to have to push/squueze/ and /or cajole this child out of my body.

So instead of concentrating on an inevitability that I've known was coming for a long time, I'm enjoying the time I have left. The time with Sprout when I know she's tucked away somewhere safe. Safe from the inevitable skinned knees, broken hearts, and the countless other things I won't be able to or will fail at protecting her from.

Hassan however, has realized that this science experiment he's been playing with for the past 38 weeks is about to explode. I think the inevitability of it all has just occurred to him, and by god - everything will be assembeled before she gets here!

Hell, I wish I had his motivation. Maybe I'd get that hospital bag packed.

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Batten Down the Hatches!

By Cole :: February 13, 2005 @ 03:51 PM

Something is afoot. Is that a contraction? Or (gasp) the ever elusive mucus plug? We're not "exactly" sure what's going on around here these days. There's plenty of ambiguity to mix in with potential contractions and, well -- pieces of mucus. (hey, you knew I was pregnant when you started reading this entry, did you expect to not hear about some of the gory pregnancy aspects?)

We can all sleep well knowing this, Sprout continues to progress, Nicole continues to grow quietly uncomfortable (you try functioning with a fully formed fetus resting on your bladder). Braxton Hicks contractions are funny things, and I'm still not sure about the difference between that and a regular contraction (don't worry I have a wonderful OB who has explained it several times, all that means is when I'm in the middle of something contraction like, I really don't know what I'm feeling, except well - the contraction). As for the mucus plug it is mucus - what more do you want me to tell you? I think it's trying to make a break for it.

As of today we're 18 days from our expected due date, there's no crib in the nursery, hell the nursery isn't even clean, we've still got it piled with boxes from the move. None of Sprout's clothes have been laundered, no labor bag is packed. I'm not feeling particularly satisified with the passage of my foolish youth
and if anyone really cares, I still have at least five more days of work scheduled before I begin my maternity leave.

So what's the good news? Our OB in convinced I'll have a nice easy labor (I'll get back to everyone with my opinion of my labor later). My weight gain has stalled at 20 pounds, we're Rh+, Immune to MMR, and got a big old negative on our Group B Strep Test, all systems are go go go as soon as Sprout decides. Furthermore, while Sprout may not have drawers full of clean clothes, we do seem to be well stocked in all other things baby related (she won't lack for a snot sucker or those cute little nail trimmers). Sproutie doesn't have a crib, but she does have a lovely co-sleeper set up in Mommy and Daddy's room, so we'll not be out looking for a manger or anything like that.

On other pregnancy realted thoughts...When's this nesting feeling supposed to set in? The mythical burst of energy to clean clean clean before my little one makes her grand appearance? If there's any truth to this at all - bring it on! I'm still contented by lying around on the couch and having my husband help me put my socks on.

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The weaker sex?

By Cole :: February 08, 2005 @ 04:53 PM

A plague, no a pox, a something on our house! Illness has plagued the Hodges residence for the past week, and frankly the end may not be in site. Regardless, this has made for an interesting sociological experiment of sorts. It isn't often that Hassan and I are sick at the same time, more often then not we take turns, or it just skips one of us. This time there has been a delightful overlap in illness.

What observations can be made in this experiment gone awry? Either Hassan is a good deal "sicker" then I am, or I'm a good deal more stubborn/ridiculous/foolish (insert adjective of your choice). At 36 weeks pregnant, I schleped my tired, swollen body into work everyday last week with a miserable cold. Where in the world is Hassan? On day 3 of his cold, he's home from work for the second consecutive day. Now to his defense, he did attempt work this morning, but that didn't - erm, work out so well.

Can we draw conclusions from this madcap experiment? I don't think so. I think the simple moral of the story is that I need to use some sick time every once and a while.

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2005-01-29 14:14:36

By Hass :: February 07, 2005 @ 08:26 PM

Baby Shower

The basket was filled with baby bath related goodies. They are piled up and stored in preparation of the soon arriving Sprout.

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Baby Shower

By Hass :: February 07, 2005 @ 02:55 PM

2005-01-29 14:06:35

Nat did a great job with these, played off of the "bun in the oven" theme.

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Baby Shower

By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 04:42 PM

2005-01-29 13:59:09
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Baby Shower

By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 04:41 PM

2005-01-29 13:35:31
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Baby Shower

By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 04:41 PM

2005-01-29 14:17:17
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Baby Shower

By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 04:40 PM

2005-01-29 11:59:27
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By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 01:31 AM

Baby Shower
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Photo Gallery

By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 01:10 AM

This is my first attempt at adding a dynamic photo gallery...


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By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 12:59 AM

Baby Shower
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By Hass :: February 06, 2005 @ 12:50 AM

Baby Shower

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Shower Cake

By Hass :: February 05, 2005 @ 11:29 PM

2005-01-29 14:09:08

Nat made a delightfully tasty cake, but nobody got a pic before we sliced it.

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Kauai Community Radio

By Hass :: February 03, 2005 @ 08:59 AM

Streaming vacation memories 24/7

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Behind the wheel of a large automobile

By Hass :: February 03, 2005 @ 08:40 AM

It's been a hectic couple of weeks, and forecasts show hecticness for the next 20 years though. . .

But a couple of things have happened as we watch the days go by. We're settling into the new apartment and enjoying suburban living. Lots of windows for the gato to stare out of, a real kitchen, lots of boxes stacked in corners. but life is good here. The water is so tasty that we jetisonned the brita, drinking straight from the tap.

I expected to feel dirty about driving to work on the highway instead of taking the train and walking through the streets of Newark. But it's really kinda nice. It takes me about 10 minutes longer to get all the way home than it took me to get to the train station before. Another huge plus is climate control in the car, no worries about cold, rainy, or hot days. As long as I can get from building to car I'm fine.

What would Suburban New Jersey be without an SUV? So we picked up a Honda CRV from Madison Honda, a great dealership by the way.

I do feel dirty about our new furniture though. The Sofa and chair came with a small cube for resting our feet. Some call it an Ottoman. Why has this racist and imperial term endured? Time to start a revolution and reclaim the word for the Ottoman people! oh wait, their emprie is gone I guess they are worrying about getting that back before reclaiming vocabulary.

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An overachiever or just teasing?

By Cole :: February 02, 2005 @ 04:32 PM

36 weeks of pregnancy (which incidentally feels like a lifetime - I was pregnant for the last half of 2004 for crying out loud), found us back at the Dr's office. The synopsis? Sprout's getting bigger, Mama's getting tired, and well, Sprout's readying herself for her inevitable appearance. She's slide into a delightfully low position in my pelvis, and we're 2cm dilated. The baby pool is now open, begin placing bets. I still feel like I'm going to be pregnant forever - I think she's just teasing.

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