Thursday, April 24, 2008

Baby Time: Frequently Asked Questions

Do you want to know the gender of the baby?
Absolutely! We can't imagine not knowing. I frequently cancel the microwave countdown with a few seconds left, so I'm not big on patience. This is momentous stuff!

When do you find out the gender?
It should be in early June at the anatomy check. We will also find out how many arms, legs, toes, and/or tails that our child currently possesses.

Will you name the child after me?
Blog Audience: What are the chances of you guys naming the baby after me?
Chris and Shannon: Well, that's pretty difficult to say.
Blog Audience: Hit me with it! I've come a long way to read this site!The least you can do is level with me. What are my chances?
Chris and Shannon: Not good.
Blog Audience: You mean, not good like one out of a hundred?
Chris and Shannon: I'd say more like one out of a million. [pause]
Blog Audience: So you're telling me there's a chance!

We have a few lovely names picked out, but we're not spilling the beans quite yet. The dialogue above was cribbed from a great movie. Bonus points for identifying it.

What are your thoughts on bringing a child into this world, a world where "Cavemen" became a featured television show and subprime mortgages are defaulting?

These are troubling times. I watched an episode of Cavemen, and it haunts me to this day. Also, the sub-prime mortgage crisis is scary. Home prices could fall quite a bit. We do feel prepared to have a child. We're doing well in our careers, and we have kept two pets alive.

Do you have any idea what you guys are getting into?
Not really, but we're learning and anticipating as much as we can. For example, I learned that a baby will use about 2,400 diapers in the first year! YIKES!

Friday, April 18, 2008

Tales of Domestication...The Garden

What happened? Wasn't I just a college student the other day? I remember when my biggest daily challenge was the struggle to make it to an 8 a.m. speech class. It was actually possible to lurch awake at 7:45 and still make it on time with some minor sacrifices in hygiene and fashion.

The hours were pretty onerous. My courseload was generally 12-13 hours per week. I spent more time watching Beverly Hills: 90210 with my roommates than I did sitting in class. Those were tough times, I tell you.

For some foolish reason, I completed my college degree in four years. What was my rush, exactly? The idyllic Spanish-tiled confines of the University of Texas gave way to seas of gray fabric cubicles, whiteboards, and conference rooms.

This triggered a chain reaction of profound events. First, I got older with every passing year. The birthdays were relentless. I flew right through the doldrums of the mid-twenties, crashed through 30, and here I sit at an age that can be described as "kinda old, I guess."

Over this time, a slow and steady domestication has ocurred. Wikipedia describes domestication thusly:

Domestication refers to the process whereby a population of animals or
plants becomes accustomed to human provision and control...Animals domesticated
for home companionship are usually called pets while those domesticated for food
or work are called livestock or farm animals.

This is excellent research! First, my lovely wife and I married. We bought a house together. We've painted rooms, replaced shower heads, and spent many hours tending flower beds. We got a dog. At work, I've pushed harder in my career. According to the above definition, I've beome a livestock pet. That is maturity, and life has never been better.

What is the point of these blog rambles? As part of our steady domestication we've planted a nice little vegetable garden. We've got a hodgepodge of exotic heirloom tomato plants that are thriving. There are orange bell peppers, red bell peppers, hot banana peppers, jalapenos, cucumber, and watermelon plants.

The tomatoes have started to bloom, so we'll soon be swimming in tomatoes like: Japanese Black Trifele, Dr. Wyche's Yellow, Sweet Orange Roma, and Black Zebra. Heirloom tomatoes cost $5 per pound at high-end groceries, so this could be a valuable little garden.

Pictures of the garden are coming soon!

Sunday, April 13, 2008

Hello World!

Dear Blog Audience:

Shannon and I would like to make a very special announcement. We are having a baby.
The due-date is October 19th. This is a very interesting turn of events in our lives, and we're unbelievably excited to find out what the future holds for us.
There will be more to come in this blog, and we will be sending specially trained carrier pigeons with tiny little scrolls with this news. If one of these pigeons approaches, please don't eat it.
The picture above is about 5 weeks ago. It was just like the movies! We went into a darkened room with a couple of monitors. The kindly nurse put some gel on Shanon's stomach..Then suddenly there we were looking at our tiny little flesh and blood. It was quite a moment. In our most recent visit, we've been told that everything is good...strong heartbeat and all that.
Finally, we are accepting application essays for why you feel the baby should be named after you. Stay in touch..Leave comments here early and often.
Shannon and Chris

Meet the Mutt...

She was scruffy and flea-bitten with the outline of ribs showing through a light blonde coat. This little 15 pound puppy had already seen some tough times in her 8 months of life. She was picked up as a stray by the Humane Society from the streets of Waco, Texas.

We heard and quickly learned that she was adept at survival in dangerous places where food is not readily available. She can catch bugs out of mid-air. Any fly in the vicinity is as good as dog food with her around.

In spite of this tough beginning, her simple canine smile and friendly eyes were bright and unwavering. This was a happy, sweet-hearted little animal, and it didn't take long for us to decide to bring her home with us from Waco.

It's been one of the best decisions we've made together, adding this energetic Corgidor to our house. The breed is half corgi and half labrador retriever. Intelligent, precocious, and energetic.

There have been some ups and downs. She did eat my I-pod Nano and chew on some of the woodwork in our house. But, she's a tireless companion and a warm comforting lump at the foot of the bed every night. She doles out the unconditional loyalty and affection...and we keep doling out the the crunchy dog food.

So, we introduce to you our new dog. Her name is Bella. We hope you can meet her sometime. She would love to jump on you and beg for food.