As Chad said today, after FutureBaby becomes an ActualBaby (knock on wood), we're leaning toward referring to him or her by a pseudonym on our blogs just to provide a mild amount of privacy (after a birth announcement with the actual name, probably). I've been having fun reading the pseudonym suggestions over at his blog, so I'll toss it open here too:
Recommend a post-birth pseudonym for FutureBaby, preferably one independent of age and sibling status.
Heck, if you're so moved, recommend a non-pseudonym for FutureBaby; it's unlikely that you'll come up with a suitable name that we haven't thought of yet, but since Chad's commenters got to offer suggestions, y'all might as well, too. Nb.: FutureBaby's last name will be Orzel (pronounced or-ZELL), with a middle name of Nepveu; probably no second middle name.
(Pseudonym, by the way, is a really weird looking word, or perhaps it only is if you've been awake since five this morning.)
And yes, we know about the Baby Name Wizard's NameVoyager (Java applet).
It seems like time to start educating myself about childbirth in more depth. Since I will not be taking classes, I am now soliciting recommendations for books, videos, web sites, or similar self-study educational resources about childbirth.
I already own The Pregnancy Book by Sears & Sears and have a recommendation for Pregnancy, Childbirth, and the Newborn by Simkin.
I've finished the first of the cross-stitch projects I'm making for FutureBaby! Of course I picked "Butterflies" to do first because it looked the simplest, but it still went surprisingly fast (just a little over two weeks). And I'd forgotten how addictive crafts can be—look! My fingers producing tangible colorful designs right before my very eyes!
(The finished version is even cuter than that picture, which is a little over-exposed or something, if I do say so myself.)
Now I will let it rest for a couple of days while I, err, hurry up and finish kicking a recalcitrant brief into submission, then I'll look for visible errors, wash it, press it, and tuck it away to be framed once I'm done with the other two. At this rate I may even be able to do that dragon alphabet—have to see how my energy holds up, but really, cross-stitch is great for when I don't feel like I have the brain cells to read or write . . .
I am so ridiculously excited about this.
While I'm posting, have a mixed-bag links dump, because they've been accumulating:
ETA: one more link: pregnancy mug shots. (ETA 2: pre-emptive comment: I am wicked tired of people discussing the size of my stomach, so please just assume I've heard it if you're moved to say something in that vein.)
So I've got this idea in my head that I want to cross-stitch a decoration for FutureBaby's room. We're eschewing most of the usual nursery decoration stuff (lamps? valences? no, thanks), but I haven't been able to shake the urge to make something.
Comments from cross-stitchers or people who know what kids tend to like in decorations are welcome.
Accomplished this week: met with a CPA about our taxes. She seemed greatly pained at the news that Chad's book advance didn't have taxes withheld and doesn't come with a lot of deductible expenses, but we assured her that we knew we were facing a big bill no matter what deductions she found. Inspired by mucking about in our bills, I did up a tentative budget, while Chad continued his heroic work toward decluttering the garage and basement. ( Also, FutureBaby stuff )
A few links:
- lj_nifty: View All Journals And Communities In Your S2 Style
- Crayon Physics Deluxe, an ingenious video game that looks like it was designed by a third-grader. - By Chris Baker - Slate Magazine :: And discussion of casual / experimental games.
- Can’t Grasp Credit Crisis? Join the Club - New York Times
- Every issue of Elfquest free -- oldest independent comic goes online - Boing Boing :: Never read it, perhaps now I'll start . . .
The dog is so sound asleep that her head just slid down off her paws and *thunked* on the floor. I hate to wake her for her last trip outside, but I'd like to try for a similar state soon . . .
Besides picking carpet for the new library and making appointments for HVAC maintenance and tax preparation (exciting, I know), the concrete parts of last week were mostly ( FutureBaby stuff (daycare visits with religious digression; echocardiogram) )
All these ultrasounds do make me wonder how difficult it was to get medical ultrasounds started, because many of what the doctors and techs call really clear pictures are, to me, grainy blurry blobs. Obviously medical science knew a good deal about anatomy, but it would have no way of telling how any given heart was constructed and thus what, precisely, an ultrasound of said heart was showing—right? And the 2D view of a 3D thing is so odd, especially when the depth changes with a little shift of the wand . . . anyway, learning how to read ultrasounds must've been an interesting process.
* * *
Between the workshop earlier in the month and the brief I drafted after I got back, I've been thinking more than usual about my writing process. There's generally a point when everything suddenly falls into place and the whole case crystallizes into a couple of sentences—which almost always comes later than I'd like [*], but from there, writing is easy (or, at least, no longer like pulling teeth).
Thing is, I think of this as "breaking the back of the case," which I picked up unconsciously from David Henry Hwang's afterword to M. Butterfly. Which is a pretty nasty metaphor, and not that accurate for me either, but it seems to have stuck. Do you all have different metaphors? Does this happen to you when you're writing nonfiction? Fiction?
[*] I wish I could consciously monitor this process, and could therefore determine how much of the time leading up to this moment is actually needed and how much is just plain old procrastination. I'm planning to experiment with consciously shifting my focus from one thing to another, to see if my backbrain will process things in parallel.
* * *
Since I was in the office on Sunday, I took pictures, because I find people's work spaces interesting (also I never got around to posting the ones I took earlier and things have changed slightly since):
Anyone else want to post pictures of their workspaces?
* * *
Finally, a few links:
- Nice Beaver! :: One more zoo picture from Chad.
- Why do writers pretend to be Indians? - By David Treuer - Slate Magazine :: "Sadly, until we break the habit of reading Indian lives as necessarily "Indian tragedies"—and see the shallow types and terrible prose and awkward, tragic poses for what they are—there will be more Indian fakes."
- NPR: It Isn't Rocket Science: How Best to Board a Plane
- "Hollywood's About-Face On Blackface: Is the Broken Taboo a Step Forward or Back?" By Neely Tucker
- Match It For Pratchett :: Help match Terry Pratchett's $1 million ( £500,000 ) donation to Alzheimer's Research.
- Decision of the Day » Blog Archive » Best Case Name Ever :: "U.S. v. Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins, 05-56294 (9th Cir., March 17, 2008) // Even better: the Approximately 64,695 Pounds of Shark Fins win."
- Is it possible that a Hummer's better for the environment than a Prius is? - By Brendan I. Koerner - Slate Magazine :: Answer: no.
Oh, okay, really finally: we got forty minutes into Samurai X: Trust and Betrayal on Saturday night before turning it off. Even if we'd realized that it was an OVA edited into a movie, rather than a series, it was violent and choppy and just not what we were in the mood for after a nice dinner to celebrate the good news about FutureBaby.
We spent Tuesday through Friday in D.C.; I was there for a workshop (which was great), and Chad came with to make it a bit of a vacation. He wrote up the cultural part of the trip over at his blog—visiting the Sackler & Freer Museums, wandering the mall, and going to the Zoo. He also has a picture of the imperturbable mandarin ducks, and will be posting a few more. (When I have time, I'll go through my museum pictures and the rest of the zoo pictures and put them up, but I took a lot, so it won't be for a while. That's really the revolutionary thing about digital cameras, I think, the number of pictures you can take conveniently.)
Anyway, great trip, even though my brain refused to get out of post-vacation mode yesterday when I could really have used it.
In other news, we've picked a contractor to turn our garage into a library/office, thereby allowing us to use the current spare bedroom as a nursery and Chad's current office as a new spare bedroom. Floor-to-ceiling bookcases on two walls! And I've been feeling fetal movement for the last couple weeks, which is reassuring though occasionally weird—I never expected anything that feels like a water cooler sounds when it's refilling: "blurp, blurp." We have daycare visits and a fetal echocardiogram scheduled for this week.
And some more links behind the cut, mostly food and cute:
( links dump )
On one hand, it's almost reassuring to try on maternity jeans that are so long that I could use them as footie pajamas, because at least it's clear that they are meant to be altered, rather than the manufacturers having peculiar ideas about the length of women's legs.
On the other hand, I should not have to have jeans altered just because I'm pregnant! Especially not when it's Saturday and I'm going out of town Tuesday morning.
And now, having wasted most of my afternoon on this, I'm going off to do some work. Whee.
(To make up for whining: have some new Emmy pictures, in the last half or so of this set.)
While I work and suffer from the Wintertime Blues [*] and unusual prose sensitivity [**], Chad discusses our book shelves; poses a cheery hypothetical on love and death in preparation for teaching "Story of Your Life" (spoilers); and posts a more detailed explanation of the pregnancy health issues. And the dog hunts squeaky toys in the snow.
[*] John Hiatt (last.fm). Particularly:
There's no spring
There was never any spring
Spring's a long gone thing
There won't ever be a spring no more
Since my favorite line, "Three hours of daylight and all of them gray / the suicide prevention group has all run away," is no longer quite applicable.
Oh, and while I'm linking to music, have some pretty harmonies from a lesser-known alt-country/folk rock band called the Jayhawks who came up on shuffle recently:
- "Save It for a Rainy Day" (YouTube)
- "Stumbling Through the Dark" (YouTube)
- "I'd Run Away" (last.fm)
- "Blue" (YouTube) (also covered by The Thorns (last.fm))
- live version of "Tailspin" with the Sadies (artist website)
- short, poor-quality live snippet of the very pretty "All the Right Reasons" (YouTube)
[**] Decided not to attempt Acacia because the retrospective omniscient was grating on me. I hardly ever care about this stuff, what is my deal lately? Not that I have time to be reading now.
Screw flying cars. Where is my in-home custom clothing fabricator?
(Prompted by an unfun trip to get maternity clothes. Chad thought I was going to say "uterine replicator," but I pointed out that even if I wasn't needing maternity clothes now, I'd still have to buy clothes sometime.)
* * *
The first four episodes of Avatar: The Last Airbender were entertaining; pitched a little young, but that did make them undemanding after a long day. We'll probably keep watching.
* * *
Hugo nominees update:
Ragamuffin (booklog) and The Orphan's Tales: In the Cities of Coin and Spice (booklog) for novel; honorable mention to The Secret History of Moscow (booklog), which I am allergic to. The Arrival (booklog) for related book, which you all have to go out and get right this minute, seriously, I mean it!
I may try and squeeze in Acacia, but am unlikely to get to Shelter (I'm sick of winter and am not much for dystopias at the best of times).
* * *
Just a few links, because I've been spending all my delicious time on boskone reports.
( links )
A picture from today's doctor visit:
And some answers (without questions, because it amuses me):
- July 20;
- We don't know the sex and don't want to;
- Some health scares, but they've passed enough that we are now comfortable making the announcement [*];
- A turtle, a crab, a claw-out-of-stomach Alien, a Whitley Strieber alien, and Skeletor, but mostly just a blob;
- I lost ten pounds first trimester, and my hip bursitis is going to be an issue, but things have been remarkably easy other than that;
- No, we won't name it after you.
[*] Shortest possible version: enlarged nuchal translucency; chromosomal problems ruled out by amnio; heart problems not yet fully ruled out and fetal echocardiogram still scheduled for mid-March, but any problems it shows should not be that serious considering that nothing was seen at the ultrasound today.
Also, I am crazy busy at the moment and going on LJ semi-hiatus, so I may not be able to respond to everyone's comment, but I appreciate them all. Well, unless someone ignores that I am officially a horror story-free and unsolicited advice-free zone.