Thursday, April 27, 2006

Oh, boy!

"This is your second?" she asks when we walk in with Isaac.

"It's number four," I tell the ultrasound technician. "We have three boys."

"Well, we already know what this one will be, don't we?" she asks as the first images of our baby flash onto the monitor.

"Do you know already?" I wonder.

"No. But I would bet money on it being a boy. When you have three of the same thing, it's almost always the same for the next. Almost a sure thing."

She takes her time. Our baby's heart. It has 4 chambers! The liver. The kidneys. She measure the spine. Two legs, two feet. One arm that's visible. The other is folded close to its chest. A measurement of the brain. The baby weighs 1/2 pound already! (I groan inwardly--those other 17 1/2 pounds are all mine??) There's a spleen, an esophagus. Not really -- we don't get that detailed, but it sure seems to be taking a long time. I wait patiently. Our baby appears to be healthy. That is joyous news.

I wonder if she is even going to get to the gender. I think about Tracy and how she has threatened to sever our friendship if we have a girl. She's mostly serious, I know. I think about Catherine and how I seem to be following in her familial footsteps. Three boys and a girl, she has. I think about Aaron and Isaac and Elliot and how our family dynamics will change with this new baby. I think about Relief Society and how every week they wait for a big announcement from me, and every week I put it off, saying, "I'll have news after April 27th." The news will not be quite as exciting if I am having another boy. I think about our three bedroom house and how it's just not that big.

Then she gets to the part we've all been waiting for.


Tracy, we can work through this.

Thursday, April 20, 2006

Fun times with the service technicians

Today the slowest garage door installer on the planet spent ten whopping hours at my house. At one point he asked to use the bathroom, came out and said the toilet had overflowed--he claimed he had just flushed what was already in it and blamed it on my kids. I hope he's right.

Then he went to plug in the opener, and there was no power to the outlet. Since we had just had an electrician install the outlet last week, I of course called the guy and he came right over. Prompt serviceman, our electrician. And friendly, too. We met him for the first time last week. Today when he came, we had a conversation that went like this:

Ben the electrician: Well, I'll have to fix a wire that has been damaged. I'm totally booked tomorrow and Saturday, and Sunday is my birthday, and my kid's.

Me: Oh, that's fine. Monday will be great.

Bte: Yeah, Sunday's my birthday, otherwise I would come then. We're having a. . . Hey! I wanted to invite you. . . . Do you guys have a fax machine?

Me: Invite us to . . .?

Bte: We're having a big birthday party. Let me fax you an invitation.

Me: Um, wow, that's really nice of you. Here's the fax number at my husband's work. But, uh, Sundays are bad for us to do things like birthday parties. We go to church on Sunday and try to limit our other activities.

Bte: Oh, really? Well, you should really try to come. We're hiring a clown. . . .

Me: It's just that we generally try not to go to birthday parties on Sundays.

Bte: Well, you should come to this one. We're having a big jumping castle, and a clown. . . .

Me: Thanks, Ben the electrician! That is very kind of you to invite us to your birthday party and all. Go ahead and fax the invitation, but don't be offended if we don't show up, it being on a Sunday and all.

Bte: Yeah, no problem. But you should try to make it. We're going to have a clown.

I'm in a bit of a daze.

By the way, happy birthday, Mother Dear. For you, I'll host a birthday party on Sunday.

Monday, April 17, 2006

No happy ending here, my friend

Saturday. Getting my house ready for hosting a bridal shower. What's that noise? It's the bulk trash pick-up. Already! I thought they were coming on Monday. Oh good. They are starting on the other street first. We still have time. If we don't get this old desk out there now, we will be stuck with it in our bedroom for three more months. Here, honey, help me carry it out. Dump all the drawers out, we can organize it later. Better yet, just pull the whole drawers out. Let's just get the desk out there right away. Whew! Good thing we got rid of the desk and our ugly couch.

Monday. Finally getting around to stack of paperwork to register Aaron for kindergarten. Registration form, check. Primary language survey, check. Proof of residence, check. Emergency card, check. Screening for possible handicapping condition, check. Referral for assessment of special health care services, check. Health history, check. Documentation for varicella, check. Immunization record. Put the papers down. Go into bedroom to get Aaron's shot record. Look on floor for long, skinny middle drawer. Not there. Immediate panic. We didn't pull out the top, middle drawer of our old junky desk! Crapcrapcrapcrapcrap. It's all gone. All of our life papers. Pulverized at the dump. Social security cards. Marriage certificate. Sealing certificate. Birth certificates. Five passports with our kids' first international stamps. No, 6--the expired one Steve took on his mission. Immunization records. Three diplomas. Arizona Bar Association certificate. More, probably. More that I don't remember.

I am grieving. I am such an idiot.

Start spreading the news

I'm leaving in 11 days. I want to be a part of it. New York, New York!

Question: if YOU had parts of three days to spend in NYC, what would you do? Where would you go? Where would you suggest that Steve and I go, assuming that we are already over the Statue of Liberty thing, without ever having seen it? Any amazing restaurants that are not to be missed? The best show to see that is likely to still have tickets available? I am planning our itinerary and need some input.

Ditto for Philadelphia.

Friday, April 14, 2006

Read this book

The most enjoyable thing I've read in a long, long time.

Granted, I have an interest in cultural ethnographies, I appreciate the occasional I-have-so-much guilt trip (oh! a good broadening of my perspective!), and I very much enjoy articulate, journalistic style writing of any sort. So it follows that I would like a book that is (kind of) about abject poverty in Haiti and a man who made it his business to help. Well, really, it's about a doctor named Paul Farmer and how he juxtaposes treating patients on an intimate, one-on-one basis--particularly in rural, miserable central Haiti--and curing the world of drug-resistant tuberculosis and AIDS as well as general oppression of the poor. He's remarkably good on both fronts.

The writing is honest, or if it isn't, Kidder is good at earning the reader's trust. The book is philosophical, political. It is inspiring and depressing. It is well-researched and very well-written. It may make you want to go to medical school (not me), or make a donation to Farmer's foundation (still thinking about it) or go on a humanitarian mission (some day).

Just read it. I expect a 500-word book report by the end of the month.

Friday, April 07, 2006

A trifecta of the week's events

I'm in Washington state, where the Burgerville burgers are fantastic and the trees are abundant. It is beautiful here. There was some question about whether we would ever actually arrive, after we boarded a plane, deboarded, waited, got on another plane, took off, flew for almost an hour, turned back to Phoenix, deboarded yet again, and got onto a third plane. We had arrived at the airport for our original departure at 6 pm and didn't (really) leave until 11:30. AHHH! Arrival in Portland: 2:30 am.

This week was also memorable because I made some delightful new friends, whom I can't stop talking about. And, I acquired an abrasion on my cornea, which made light the enemy for far too long, and made me, once again, grateful for eyesight, which I shall not be taking for granted for a long time to come.

Soon I will revisit the blogging habit, and write something of significance.