Letters to Holly

Friday, December 18

Second Visit

It's a snow day, and we're both at home.

We saw the doctor for the first time in a month.

Your Sister weighed in at 155 and seemed happy with that. Her blood pressure was "perfect." Our nurse used a baby CB contraption to hear the heartbeat. We could also hear Roo moving. The heartbeat was 150, also "perfect." It was a relief. We see all the signs of Roo's occupancy without seeing Roo. It's like living with a teen.

Dr. Hernandez popped his head in to ask if we wanted an ultrasound. She deferred until I said I wanted one, and then she leaped up to have it done. The office was demo'ing a new 3D scanner and wanted to test it more. After sitting for a while, he came into the room with the new toy and gooped up her tummy. We saw much more development: backbones, skull, limbs, the pulsing umbilical cord, the heart and stomach chambers. The doc thinks we saw boy parts. We're not sold yet. It might have been girl stuff. Perhaps labia. We're calling it "maybia."

I had a rush of nausea and lightheadedness, and I fretted about getting sick in the office. So I was panicking over a possible panic attack. I breathed it through, but she noticed and suggested it was the same spell she had last Friday. I wonder. Was I disappointed that it might be a son? Did I feel that strongly about a daughter? Was it the reality of a baby smacking me around? I thought I had gotten past this. Maybe it was my wonky brain computing strong emotion. For her. For Roo. I dunno.

We go back Jan. 14.

This morning, school was canceled "for students." No word on what teachers were to do. I walked Your Sis to the school, and we found only one other teacher there. Also the Pepsi guy was filling up the vending machines. After 20 minutes, a notice was placed on the school website that everyone was to stay home. We packed up and trudged home. We've since split into our offices for work-done-getting.

Picture of the Day
I'm getting winter skin.

Thursday, December 17

Frankly, My Dear, She Doesn't Give A Damn.

Forgot to mention a failed experiment after the grading dinner Tuesday.

Your Sis and I plopped down on the luuuuuuuuuvseat and activated the magic speakity box. I found Gone With the Wind, and it had been on for only 20 minutes. I again tried to get Your Sis to watch it -- to endure it, mayhap even enjoy it -- and she only lasted 20 minutes. She hates Scarlett so much she can't enjoy the reactions of those around the character. I knew marrying a Cape Cod girl would bring me frustration eventually, but I never figured I would:
a) grow to enjoy the movie; and
b) marry a woman who didn't.


Yesterday, I cruised the mall to find knickknacks for Your Sister. I intentionally made a circuit near the mall Santa and was lucky enough to catch him between kids. I didn't approach him, but I did walk close enough to catch his eye and wave. And he waved back. That made my day.

She's now call herself fat, and I remind her she's preggers. She is definitely showing. Oddly, her arms look thinner. I don't think it's relative to the belly. I think her mass is moving to the tummy. We see the doctor again this afternoon.

She reported that my mentored student earned the second lowest oral-presentation score among all the seniors. The worst grade belongs to his girlfriend.

Picture of the Day
Frustrated by Your Sister's driving, the redlights are ending it all.

Wednesday, December 16

The Hammer Falls

We met up with two other teachers to grade the community volunteer section of the senior projects. The students had to present their products and the crafting process to the layman. The volunteers score the presentation in 20 categories; we added the scores over dinner.

The students have to speak no less than seven minutes and no more then ten. I knew my student couldn't do it, and he did not. He spoke for five minutes and had nothing left. I didn't tally his sheet; I didn't want him to have any leeway to gripe. I was assured it was unlikely he could complain, but I wouldn't risk it. I did see the final grades he earned from the volunteers. He bombed it. He averaged 85 points, the lowest of all the seniors this semester. It's also a near-record low from these local folks who want to help the kids succeed. They are an easy crowd, and he couldn't win them over. That's pathetic.

I'm not happy with his grade, but I'm satisfied with it. This counts 20 percent of the final project grade. I remain curious about his final overall grade.

The grading dinner is always fun work. We take over a table at the Mexican restaurant and crunch numbers over cheap food. This year, I did not drink. I'm still wary of drinking in front of Your Sister. It sometimes seems mean.

Picture of the Day
Bebe Neuwirth and Nathan Lane as the leads in the new Addams Family musical. I'm geeking out over this.

Tuesday, December 15


When Your Sis and I went window shopping Saturday for maternity items, we also kept Christmas shopping in mind. I told her before we left that I would point out items on my list for her to catalog. The understanding being, I thought, that she could note the items and decide what to buy later. Instead, I pointed out an item, and she picked it up to buy. I was stunned.

"No, wait. It's just a suggestion."
"I know. But you want this, right?"
"For Christmas, yes."
"Right. For Christmas."

Now when I say "for Christmas," I mean "if you're going to buy it for me, don't let me see it." I like Christmas gifts as surprises. That's why we wrap them. But she refused to put it back.

"When am I going to get a chance to be here again to buy it?"
"Dude. Amazon."

A few hours later, at another store, I showed her an item I had considered to get her. I showed her some options to leave the mystery. The final specific item would be a surprise. Instead (again) she picked one out and carried it to the register. More stunnage.

This isn't how I do Christmas. So now, I'm gonna ambush her with whatever strikes my jolly-elf fancy. Christmas should be a mix of surprise, joy, and gratitude. It's date-specific altruism.

When I arrived home last night, Your Sister had just returned from more Christmas shopping. As she recounted her day, she said "oh, and I bought [those other items] you asked for." Super stunnage.

"OK, please. If you're buying me anything else for Christmas, don't tell me what it is. Please."

Maybe it's the pregnancy. She didn't do this before.

Picture of the Day
Line forms on the right.

Monday, December 14

Window Shopping

We're thinking of hosting a meal for the family at Christmas/New Year. Would you be up for it?

As the semester nears its end, Your Sister seeks to avoid the pile of papers and again wished to get the hell out of Dodge. She needed some clothing items, including unmentionables. She's definitely showing. And growing. She leaped two cup sizes. We bought a belly wrap called a Bee Band. It covers unbuttoned jeans and fills third-trimester jeans immediately after birth.

She saw the mall maternity store. It's slim pickin's, and it seems to cater to the last trimester and first six months of motherhood. I walked in there by myself a few weeks back and got the hair eyeball. I think they thought I was a fetishist. We looked at kids books at Barnes & Noble and traded notes on what we read as youngsters. I found Encyclopedia Brown and Choose Your Own Adventure. She found Beatrix Potter. We decided to skip the Winnie the Pooh library for now, but it's inevitably coming to our house.

We picked up two jumpdrives for two students who claimed they couldn't afford them. We could find none smaller than 2 gigs, and they were only $10 each. Amazing.

I put up the tree yesterday. A little Star Wars here, old Bullock ornaments there. It looks fine.

Picture of the Day
Greetings, citizens! I am your bright yellow sentinel of the night! Enjoy the safety of my guard as you rest your weary heads! I hope my bright yellow radiance doesn't blast your eyes while you chase the blessed release of sleep! Carry on! Don't mind me!