Lest you think we already had Artoo and neglected to tell anyone, I'm here to say we haven't For those of you keeping score at home, we are at maximum 2 days out from D-day[1. Where by 'D' I mean delivery.]. Yes, Rhiannon is still a day away from officially being 39 weeks along, but at every checkup over the past 4 weeks she has measured advanced. Artoo has apparently decided to be an overachiever like her big sister. That, or Rhiannon is just really good at incubating largish babies.

Either way, both the OB specialist as well as the family doctor we have agree that there is no sense in delaying the inevitable, especially when the delay just means a bigger than necessary baby. At the appointment last Thursday, our doctor looked at her calendar and said how about we go get her next week.

To which we replied, 'Certainly'. And then we went through the official sounding 'I have to tell you about potential risks' speech of the induction procedure. Yes, there are additional risks. We've done it once and Rhiannon is more than ready to be not pregnant anymore, so we're going with the suggestion of the doctors and requesting an audience sooner than later.

All the doctors have agreed that it would be nice if Rhiannon would spontaneously go in to labor and have Artoo completely naturally. We think it would be nice too, but Rhiannon doesn't think it's going to happen. So, we prepared last weekend like it could be any day with the thought in the back of our mind that we still have a week to finish things up.

We dropped off a car seat and an overnight bag with the friends that Brooklynn will stay with. We set up the pack-n-play in our room that Artoo will sleep in right away when we come home. We even went so far as to put the baby car seat in Rhiannon's car. Brooklynn is a little upset that she can't easily reach baby sister's seat. She has requested that it be moved to the middle of the car right next to her so she can help with the baby.

Not going to happen, but it's a nice thought.

The biggest thing we are seeing is Brooklynn showing a little regression. She wanted to lay in the crib and be like a baby. She wanted me to cry so she could put a pacifier in my mouth like a baby. She wants to wrap up in blankets like a baby. I guess this is typical behavior. We've been stressing how fun and helpful it is to be a big girl, so hopefully that behavior wins out in the end.

Ready or not, we're going to be a family of four sooner than later. Stay tuned.

taking notice

People who see Rhiannon are starting to wonder when Artoo is going to come. Things she has heard recently (and relayed to me): "You're going to have a boy. I can tell by the way you're carrying."[1. This would be quite the shock to us at this point.]

"Have you had an ultrasound recently? Are you sure that's a baby in there? I think it's more like one of those things from the Alien movies."

"Hey, I've been looking for my basketball everywhere. When are you going to give it back?"[2. From the gym teacher.]

"You're all baby. It's as big as you are!"

"You know, from behind, you don't even really look pregnant. And then you turn around and it's like 'Holy cow, where did that come from?'!"[3. This is a quote from me.]

"Brooklynn, I'm going to carry you out to the car today, because your mom can't lift you anymore."[4. Brooklynn's daycare teacher.]

"Mommy doesn't have a lap anymore. It's baby sister."[5. Brooklynn...]

Unless something very drastic happens in the next four hours, we're going to have ourselves a March baby. In the opinion of everyone around, for Rhiannon's sake, we hope it isn't halfway through March before Artoo joins us.

project family v3.5r2.37

On we go with Rhiannon measuring about 4 weeks ahead of schedule according to the tape. For those of you keeping track at home, this 37 week picture was actually last week Friday, so at this point, we're two days away from week 38. Week 37

We know that Rhiannon has three days left of teaching before she goes on medical leave. Not bed rest per se, but everyone involved felt it was better not to risk having a teacher go in to labor in the middle of state assessment testing. So, Rhiannon will get a little time off, assuming Artoo decides not to join us.

We have the crib set up, so as soon as I venture up into storage to find the baby car seat, we're pretty much set to just wait. We'll find out how unprepared we are afterwards I guess.

a peek inside

Rhiannon may not be pleased about Artoo being a little on the larger side of average, but one benefit of the whole situation is that we got one more ultrasound that otherwise wasn't scheduled. She's the right direction, head down and all, which Rhiannon already knew from the placement of punches, kicks, and the occasional protruding butt. For a while, she was very uncooperative with one hand draped over her face, making it impossible to get a good 3D picture. Just as the ultrasound tech was about to give up, Artoo shifted a little and gave us a good look at her.

At 20 weeks, you can see the entire baby in profile on the ultrasound screen. At first, that's what I was looking for again, and I was very confused. When I realized the the profile that used to be head, torso and arms was now just a face, everything made much more sense. She looks like a baby, chubby cheeks and all[1. I suppose this is a good thing, right?].

Tiny Hand

Resting Peacefully

not too big, yet

We are in the home stretch of waiting for Artoo’s arrival in our household[1. Just assume for purposes of this post, when I say "we", I mean both of us, but really I mean Rhiannon.], so the lists of things-to-do are getting a little more focused and urgent. We need a bag for ourselves to be in the hospital and bag for Brooklynn to have her first sleepover at a friend’s house. Tomorrow will be 37 weeks. Officially full term and all, meaning baby any time. Past 36 weeks, the doctor appointments become weekly which, again, affects Rhiannon a little bit more than me. I did go last week Friday, seeing as how it provides a really good excuse for me to get out of work a little early. I mean, I was there to entertain Brooklynn if needed.

Part of these appointments is measuring the baby. With a tape measure. I’m not sure how it works exactly, but it involves finding the size by measuring the distance over the belly, so I guess that converts to a volume. However it’s done, at the 36 weeks appointment, our doctor took the measurement, looked at the tape measure, and said, “Hmm.”

Hmm, right? Not what you want your doctor to say. On a scale of “Things you don’t want to hear the doctor say” from “We did everything we could” to “Healthy as a horse”, hmmm is somewhere a little below halfway. Not as a good as an unenthusiastic “Ok”, but not immediately negative.

She took the measurement again. Calendar says 36 weeks. Tape says 40. Brooklynn was an ounce past 8 and half pounds. Rhiannon was not impressed by that pronouncement.

We had an ultrasound scheduled to find out just how big this “little” baby is.

Results are that Artoo is somewhere around 7 to 7.5 pounds, just a couple days ahead of schedule, and amniotic fluid amounts are on the high side of normal. In all, it boils down to the fact that Rhiannon feels like she's carrying around a full-term, full-sized baby, which she is.

The OB we talked to recommended that Rhiannon think about being induced at 39 weeks if Artoo hasn't willingly come out yet. Apparently 39 is some sort of magic number for delivering a child. After 36 weeks, they won't stop labor, but at 39, they can really do whatever they want to with no good reason at all.

Brooklynn was big and was delivered, so, according to the medical community, she has a 'proven pelvis'[2. Really medical community? Proven pelvis is the best you can do? Couldn't think up a better, more medical sounding term for it?] for delivering large babies. Thus, no reason to go in after Artoo any earlier than 39.

And so we wait. Rhiannon is working on scheduling her last teaching days if it comes to that and realizing that last time she was this far along into a pregnancy, she was on summer break. Still stuff to do, but waiting is a big item on the list.

...and counting

According to the weekly emails I get, Rhiannon is officially 36 weeks along, which means 4 weeks until the due date. Brooklynn was two days past due and she had to be induced to come out, so mentally, the due date is kind of firm. As in ‘you will not have a baby before this day’ type of firm.

I understand that’s not always the case. There have been a fair number of women that Rhiannon knows that have had babies around 37 weeks. If my math skills are still sharp enough, I can be relatively confident that 37 minus 36 is 1. Relatively certain about that.

Absolutely certain that we are in no way prepared at this point to have a baby next week. When Brooklynn was still more Beta than baby, we were prepared. We had a stroller purchased and the room done and diapers lined up and onesies laid out and a car seat at the ready a couple months before she actually graced us with her presence.

Now, it isn’t as though we threw a bunch of stuff away in the interim. We still have the crib – it’s just that Brooklynn is still using it. After her first attempt at switching to her new big girl room, she has expressed no further interest. We haven’t pushed it either.

Until some of Brooklynn’s clothes get moved over to the new room[1. Which is still on hold pending my completion of her closet.], there is no room in the nursery / bedroom to unpack the baby clothes from storage. We are still in the mode of wondering when we will no longer need pull-ups at night and not keeping track of how many newborn sized diapers we have on hand.

If I recall correctly, while they seem unaware and unconcerned with the world around them, newborns are extremely adept at soiling a brand new diaper just minutes after you put it on them. Diaper shortage can be a very real concern if you aren’t diligent in monitoring your supply.

It isn’t that we aren’t excited. I’m not jumping up and down about the night time disruption a newborn brings, but I am more than ready to hold the little kicker that Rhiannon’s been dealing with for the past eight months. In fact, Rhiannon is already predicting that I will attempt to monopolize the baby and leave her dealing with the attention-deprived toddler.

This may very well happen.

I love Brooklynn. Last night, when we were drawing letters on her white board, she randomly gave me a hug and kiss for no apparent reason. She can be the sweetest little kid capable of doing insanely cute things. And then, mere minutes later, she can also be the biggest pain.

Unpredictable. Two years old. Toddler. All of these words can be great and horrible just seconds apart.

When Brooklynn was a baby, I was unsure of myself[2. This is putting it mildly.]. I have no such reservations this time around. We may not be ready with stuff, but Rhiannon and I will be ready for the baby.

Now, in Brooklynn’s defense, I’ve probably blocked out most of the bad memories from years ago and just keep the sweet little Brookers she was in my head. I know that I don’t remember much of the times it took 20 minutes of rocking to get her to sleep and the fact that Rhiannon was much better at than I was. I also don’t give the fact that one of the best ways to keep her from crying was to walk endlessly up and down the stairs[3. This probably kept me in better shape more than I care to admit. Maybe it wasn’t really that bad.] much thought.

So we’re getting to the point when Artoo could choose to join us at any point. Brooklynn is ready to have Mom’s lap back. Rhiannon is ready for her hips to not hurt at night quite so much. I’m ready to hold our little baby.

And none of us are prepared.

36 weeks. Artoo, we’re waiting, patiently. You be a little patient, too.

project family v3.5r2.34

Week 34 We just had the first case of confirmed baby hiccups (something Brooklynn had a lot of) this weekend.

And some seriously strong stretches - knees, feet, your can take a guess too - but hard corners occasionally protrude from Rhiannon's belly. Brooklynn is excited because that means baby sister is almost ready to come out. Rhiannon just says it hurts.

project family v3.5r2.30

Again, from the "Better late than never department": Week 30. Week 30

It's crazy to think that we are under 10 weeks until the due date, and as Rhiannon pointed out, there is no guarantee she will go that long. I look at the list of things still outstanding before we are officially ready for a new baby. Add to that fact that we have to do it all while working around the fact we have a kid and I have one reaction.

Crap[1. Don't get me wrong, we're very excited to have Artoo come out and join us. Brooklynn is very excited as well. We could just use another week of vacation from work to get everything done, because even when you take an evening off and relax, it isn't quite as relaxing knowing the to-do list isn't getting any shorter.].

project family v3.5r2.26

Is that a little over the top for a title? I've settled on it for a way of tracking where we are. The main revision got a bump up to 3.5 when we officially learned Rhiannon was pregnant. This is major update and deserves it's own point.

It's Artoo (r2) this time around versus the Beta (b) we had before Brooklynn officially launched. And the .26 at the end means 26 weeks. It all makes perfect sense.

What's that, you don't care about my numbering scheme? You just want the photo update already? Well, fine.

Week 26

Looking back over the past couple months of posts and then looking back at the posts that lead up to Brooklynn's launch date, I've talked a lot less about Artoo. That probably isn't fair. Artoo will never have the benefit of being an only child with the full attention of both parents all the time. I guess I figured I'd just start the ignoring process early.

Now, Artoo isn't someone who is taking this whole ignoring lying down. Rhiannon informs me that she feels kicks, jabs, roundhouses, and full on disco-party mode several times a day, every day. In the evening when we are settling down for some sleep in the evening, I can usually put my hand on her stomach and get a good kick or elbow, as if Artoo is saying, "Hey, hands off my mama!"

Artoo is already standing up to Brooklynn. When she sits on Rhiannon's lap and leans back (Artoo makes a great back rest for a toddler), Rhiannon says that Artoo will vigorously thrash about like someone is encroaching, which I suppose Brooklynn is. So far, Brooklynn hasn't seemed to notice. She just likes to say high to the baby and kiss Rhiannon's stomach. She's also suggested that we call the new addition "Baby ABC".

We're keeping that under advisement and sticking with Artoo for now.

So, everything is going well. No news from us is good news. I'm sure that the new baby will demand split attention and probably trump Brooklynn for now, so we'll ignore Artoo a little bit longer while we still can.

artoo v0.21

Yes, a little out of order, but then, I thought this picture might be worth archiving. Artoo - Week 21

Brooklynn didn't get to go the ultrasound. Just a little too long in one tiny room for her. Plus, the appointment started during her naptime. Still, she's pretty excited about the new baby. 15 ounces at the ultrasound and quite the kicker. Last night as we were sitting on the couch, Rhiannon could see the movement through a sweatshirt. Someone's going to be a jumper.

we have movement

Thursday night, after our volleyball game, Rhiannon and I were downstairs watching a TV show. She turned to me and said, "Give me your hand."

I was going to make some quip about her starting the whole "Help me up, I'm pregnant" thing a little early, and she quickly repeated, "Give me your hand, now!"

She grabbed my hand and put it on her belly.

I can confirm, Artoo is in there. Last night, apparently, Artoo decided the ice cream was a good sugar rush and went crazy for a little while during our drive home. We might not pay quite as much attention to Artoo at times as we did to Beta, but I'm sure that Rhiannon will start to notice more and more, whether she wants to or not.

'lo artoo

Rhiannon is fine with calling the new baby Artoo, but she is a little worried that if we use that name for the entire pregnancy, Brooklynn will think the actual baby is named Artoo and it might be hard for her to transition to a new name. Personally, I don't see it being an issue, but at the same time, Brooklynn is starting to pick up new words and ideas pretty quickly. Last night, while she was sitting in the bath, Rhiannon walked in and we were discussing how Artoo is almost starting to proceed her into a room. I made the comment that we don't discuss the new baby nearly as much this time with Brooklynn as we did the first time around when everything was very baby centered. I recently read that a baby at 14 weeks or older can already hear, so I leaned over and said, "Hello, Artoo!" to Rhiannon's stomach.

She expressed her concerns about calling the baby Artoo around Brooklynn and I started to reply that I didn't think Brooklynn would really catch on unless we started to specifically tell her that the baby was named Artoo.

And then from the bath, we hear "Hello Artoo. Hello Artoo, 'lo Artoo, 'lo Artoo..." and look over to see Brooklynn poking her own stomach.

Point taken.

project family 4.0r2-13

Welcome to Project Family, version 4.0, Artoo edition. We are just a little past week 13, and we have an update. Artoo - 13 Weeks 3

Heart rate, 150. Measures just a little older than we think, but with an error of plus/minus 8 days, who knows. Rhiannon would like it if Artoo could be a little bit smaller than Beta turned out.

Brooklynn was really excited to see and hear the baby, especially at the end when the ultrasound showed a little movement going on. In her opinion, the baby was dancing. She thinks she's ready to have the baby at home. Little does she know the changes that are in store for her as she loses her only-child status.

Rhiannon also told me that the last Artoo post might have indicated he[1. No, we don't know anything for sure yet. But saying Artoo over and over gets old. Pronouns are the win.] was not planned. This is not the case. Very much planned and, in fact, about the timing we were hoping for. Rhiannon can take off for maternity leave next spring and carry on through the summer with only a little time off unpaid. At least that's the goal.

round two

We're settling into a rhythm with Brooklynn. She sleeps through the night. She talks and communicates her desires[1. Sometimes.]. She feeds herself for the most part and she's even getting consistent at using the bathroom. I figure from this point out, as parents, we can pretty much just coast our way through until she gets a job and starts buying her own food.

And then we went and had this happen.

We're doing this again...

It's like starting all over for round two. In honor of that sentiment, this one has been dubbed R2[2. Round 2, Artoo from Star Wars, and the R2 release product of Windows Server; so many nerdy ways to interpret it.].

We'll see what a grown up version of Beta thinks of the yet unseen R2.

project family 3.0: status complete

We'd like to introduce the world to Brooklynn Kaylee, born June 29 at 6:10pm.  She's 8lbs, 9oz and 21 inches long, so it's probably ok that she came when she did, more for Rhiannon's sake than Brooklynn's. I must admit that it's a little sad to say goodbye to the Beta that we've known for so long, but this new stage of Project Family seems to be pretty good, too.  I'll have more details about our stay a little later, but so far both Mom and baby are doing well.

First Night

Just Like Dad

afternoon update

The eviction will be progressing as planned.  We are just waiting for the S.W.A.T Team to come in for backup.  You know, just in case she comes out packing heat. Which, I kind of hope she does bring some heat.  The human incubator is making good use of someone else's air conditioning.

Just Waiting

eviction notice

To: Tenant (Beta) Re: Termination of Tenancy for Non-Payment of Rent and General Discomfort You Have Caused Your Landlord

Address of Rental: Your mother's belly

After all previous attempts at negotiating a mutual settlement, including frequent trips up and down stairs, food containing garlic, and long walks around the neighborhood, we find ourselves out of options. You are encroaching upon the space of numerous internal organs and you have visitors who have already changed schedules to accomadate your arrival into this world.

At this time, we have been in the hospital for about 15 hours.  Water has broken.  A restless night has transpired.  Things are effacing and dialating as we speak.  And we have you under constant surveilance through a variety of monitoring devices and private detectives.  They come in to check on you every hour or so, and all signs point to an eviction sometime this afternoon or evening.

Consider yourself warned.

Thank you, The Management

P.S. - Your mother would just like to say that epidurals are THE AWESOME.  And popsicles are pretty good as well.

Rhiannon all hooked up

project family 2.9.38b: freeloader edition

She's still in there.

From my extensive research, which mostly involves googling "When with this darn baby come?", anything after 37 weeks is considered full term (medically speaking), and anything after 38 weeks is just down right freeloading by the baby, plumping up and not really developing all that much further.

So, Beta is officially a full-fledged release candidate, and while we had a whole list of "OMG WE ARE NOT READY FOR A BABY" type things to do last weekend, we actually got them done.  Yes, we still have things to do, but not crazy levels of madness to do type items.

At the 37 week checkup, Rhiannon's doctor told her that she was looking like the baby might be getting ready to come out, and that combined with her coworker who had a baby at 38 weeks kind of put us in the mode to actually have this kid.  Tomorrow is 39 weeks, and Rhiannon is starting to get tired and achy and uncomfortable.

Enough that she is passing some of the time looking at ways to naturally induce labor.  One of the suggestions is to talk to your baby and tell her that everything is ready for her and so many people are really excited to see her, etc.

I leaned over to Rhiannon's belly and said, "Beta, this is your father talking.  You come out right this instant, and don't make me repeat myself young lady."

No response.  I think we have a teenager trapped in a newborn's body.  Rhiannon told me I need to work on my stern voice.

Somewhere inside there, I think Beta is laughing at us.

a little color

We finally finished Bet'a room this past weekend, which involved me painting while Rhiannon still sat in the room some of the time.  I'm not sure if that is any better than her having her face right up by the paint.  We figured at this point, Beta is pretty well formed in there and we weren't painting any entire walls, so it wasn't too bad. Circle Corner

The circles took me longer than I antcipated with the several layers of paint and drying time required, and I'm pretty sure that a new baby won't full appreciate the time and effort that has gone into this room, but I've spent a fair amount of time just sitting in there a looking at the completed project.  (Beta, we think we're ready; feel free to join us at any time.)

BetasRoom-8 BetasRoom-2 Circles In Progress

We painted the bookshelf with the same white and pink that went into the circles, and while it took us a little over a week to actually finish the project, during which time I had to open the garage door and walk outside the garage to the side door just to get the lawn mower out, it was better than putting the plain dark shelf in.


So, we'll continue the waiting game I suppose.  Every day we wait is a day longer that Rhiannon gets maternity leave on the other end, but it feels a little like waiting for Christmas morning without actually knowing what night Santa might come.

That is, of course, only if Santa leaves a present that requires almost constant care and cries sometimes for no apparent reason.  And even though it seems like I should want to wait as long as possible, I feel like a pretty impatient person right now.

Rhiannon agrees that we could stand to be done with the pregnancy aspect, although I think her interests also have something to do with the ever increasing freeloader she's carrying around with her all the time.