No Thank You, WordPress

March 4, 2010

Though I was more familiar with Blogger when I started this blog, I wanted to give WordPress a try.  It looked so  new and exciting.  Blogger was open to the idea, so I decided to start No More a Rake with WordPress.  Things were going well at the beginning.  We stayed up late together.  I got to know it pretty well.

But then I wanted to try things that made WordPress uncomfortable, things that Blogger was totally cool with.  For example, I made a banner for the blog on GIMP, a Photoshop-like image manipulating program.  I spent hours on the thing (and it still looks pretty crude), only to discover that this WordPress template won’t let me paste it up without paying $15.00 a year.  There still might be a way, I’m not the most technically savvy person.  I am, however, a rational actor.  I can’t spend any more time trying to figure it out, and I’m certainly not going to pay for something I know I can do with Blogger for free.

Sorry, WordPress.  I’m so done with you.

To my four readers, please find my new blog (and the banner that I tried to make) at nomorearake.BLOGSPOT.com.

Muchos gracias.

Merlin Kicked Me

March 3, 2010

Andrea read in one (of her dozens) of pregnancy books that by now a person might be able to hear the baby’s heartbeat if he puts his ear up to the pregnant woman’s belly.

I tried the other day and was greeted instead with a little bump to the side of my head.

“Hey!”  I yelled at her belly.  “You can’t kick your dad!”

I put my ear to her belly again and immediately felt that same thing.

That little turd.

Hey Mom and Dad

February 13, 2010

Little Merlin is moving around on a pretty regular schedule lately.  He’s almost always awake and active between 7:00 and 9:00 pm.  Last night we were cuddled up on the couch around that time.  I had my hand on Andrea’s belly waiting for the light flutters under my palm.  I took my eyes off the tv for a second and actually focused on her belly when I saw what looked like a golf ball trying to come out of Andrea’s stomach.  I laughed and yelled at Andrea to look at her belly.  Just a few seconds later we saw the same bump rise up again.  I wanted to see more, but he got quiet.  Was that his knee?  His foot?  His elbow?  I like to think he was waving at us.

This was the first time we have actually seen him moving around.  It really brought home the fact that a little human is actually in Andrea and ready to come out in a few months.

Totally fascinating.  Also a little bizarre.

Since finding out that we’re having a boy, the only think I can think about is spending time with him, spending manly time with him.  In that spirit, I’ve decided to start a series of posts titled “Mantivities with My Son.”

In no specific order, Mantivity #1 is watching football.

Men appreciate athleticism, and men love collisions.  What’s the perfect combination of the two?  Football, of course.  Minus the really shiny pants and the gratuitous butt-slapping, football is really, really manly.  Watching it, and making a fool of yourself while rooting for your team has defined manhood for generations.

I’m going to watch a lot of football with my son.  I hope he learns to appreciate the nuances of the game, revels in the supreme athleticism of the competitors, cheers for the teams that I love (Go Utes!), and hates the teams that I hate (*cough* BYU *cough*).  If my son learns to love watching football, then I’ll have succeed in part of my fatherhood duties.

Ultrasound

January 29, 2010

The anxiety we felt waiting in the hot, crowded waiting room was overwhelming.  Was our baby healthy?  Was it still alive?  Does it have lady parts or boy parts?  We must know now!  Anxiety makes Adam crabby.  Crabby Adam and Andrea don’t get along very well.

Yeah, things were a little tense.

Luckily, we didn’t have to have wait long.  Just a few minutes after checking in the ultrasound technician called Andrea’s name.

We walked into the dark room and Andrea sat on the table.  I sat next to her, held her hand tightly, and positioned myself for an unobstructed view of the screen.  The technician, bless her heart, got straight to work.  She asked if we wanted to know the sex.  Of course, we said.

Just seconds later, the tech had the baby in her sights.  I was amazed by the beauty on the screen; gray and black outlines of limbs and human features flickered before us.  I think I see a hand!  A head!  There’s a thigh!

“You have a little boy,” she said just a few seconds after starting.  Holy cow!  She’s right!  That’s his wing-wong!

Then we saw the heart, all four chambers working in unison, beating beautifully.  The kidneys were there too.  His femur was the right length.  His head was normal, and his spine and ribs were all there.  I was thrilled that it was a boy, and I was grateful that our baby was healthy.  I was also overcome with wonder and amazement imagining the processes that made this little guy.

For example, look at his foot:

For me, the beauty of this picture is imagining the complex reactions that made Merlin’s perfectly developed metatarsals and phalanges.  The creation of this foot began in a single cell wherein some of my DNA and some of Andrea’s DNA fused to create a truly original code for another human being.  This unique chemical code, which has never been present on the earth, was responsible for shepherding the arrangement of calcium and phosphorous from Andrea’s diet into a delicate matrix of bone that will eventually support the weight of Merlin’s body.  This code was also responsible for the chemical reactions that guided the development of five toes on each foot, five fingers on each hand, and countless other differentiated body parts.  It’s nothing short of awe-inspiring.

So that’s one emotion I felt during that ultrasound:  awe.  I couldn’t wipe the stupid look of shock off my face.

The other emotion?  Absolute and unadulterated love.  My heart skipped a beat every time I saw the baby move.  He puckered his lips a few times and looked like he was practicing sucking, not practicing sucking like his dad sucks at basketball, but practicing how a baby gets food from the boob.  I loved him for every movement he was making.   During that ultrasound I wanted nothing more but to spend time with my son, do manly things with him, tell him how awesome he’s going to be, and tell him how much his parents love him.

In short, the ultrasound was incredible.  I can’t wait to meet this guy.

I HAVE A SON!

January 29, 2010

It’s a boy!

*chest thump*

Boy or Girl?

January 22, 2010

Unless our little baby is shy, we’ll know the sex next Thursday at 2:00 pm.  I can’t wait.  People often ask what I would prefer, a boy or a girl.  I have no idea.

Sometimes I prefer a little girl.  The other day, Andrea and I saw the most adorable infant shirt; it said in big pink letters, “Heartbreaker.”  Andrea has a pajama shirt that says the same thing.  Since then, I cannot get the image of my baby girl and my wife each wearing their “heartbreaker” shirts while they pose for a picture.  It would be my desktop background for life.  My heart melts just thinking about it.  I never thought I could be so smitten by the thought of really chubby thighs and a toothless grin!

But sometimes I want a little boy.  I know boys.  I grew up with them.  I am one.  We’re awesome.  When I think about having a boy I think about the traditionally manly things we can do together:  watch football, fix cars, build things with Legos, lift weights, play catch.  Thinking about bonding with my little boy in that way makes me all warm inside.

My goal is to not prefer one or the other.  I want to be equally thrilled by the news on Thursday.  Wish us luck, and pray that little Merlin is feeling a little exhibitionist next week.