Tuesday, February 24, 2009

weekly update: Making baby mobile

NOTE: I started this last week and never got around to posting it so some of this stuff is slightly out of date... Hopefully, the next weekly update will be closer to a week, or maybe I'll just call it an update so I'm for the hook for the whole "weekly" thing:)

Phew! So this has been a relatively busy week. Elizabeth is powering through her prelim, and I have been busy being a good code monkey. Although the process of accumulating baby stuff began many months ago, in this past week it has really taken off. The focus of this week has been making baby mobile, in order to not just sit around the condo staring at each other all day. I never thought I would be saying this but stollers are waaay cool.

The first step toward mobility is a stroller. Unlike what the above picture of Elizabeth at "the beach" may imply, Spring really is coming to Wisconsin and that means emerging from our Winter hibernation (and baby is nearly here). Since leaving baby at home while I head outside probably isn't the best option, a stroller is necessary. There are a ton of options out there, but we went with a BOB stroller, and it is a beast. We also bought an overpriced piece of metal attachment that allows baby car seats to snap into it. This allows us to use just one stroller for both babies and small humans. That thing will be capable of mowing down the young, old and weak in our future strolls.

Also, the liberal media noisemachine has implanted in our brains that a mother's arms are not a suitable restraint for a baby in moving vehicle, so a car seat has also been acquired. Not as nearly as hip and cool as BOB, but necessary for mobility nonetheless. Actually, if we want to take baby out of the hospital they require you to have one installed in your car. Probably a good plan.

As a result of the new baby schwag the UPS man has become a regular at our house. I believe he showed up 5 days straight in the past week and a half. On day 5 of 5 Elizabeth met him at the door, and he asked if we were having a baby or getting married or something. Elizabeth gave the answer of baby, and he replied that that made sense because this box was playing Beethoven for the last few hours in his truck. Ha ha!

The end result of all our efforts to stimulate the world economy through baby gear is that our spare bedroom/soon to be baby bedroom is beginning to look more babyish. In fact, I believe we had our first Elizabeth nesting instinct sighting. Just the other day she came to me with a magazine of a baby room with a tree and birds made out of wallpaper, and said that she would like to do this in the baby's corner. How cute.

We are still trying to figure out what to do about diapers, but that will probably be a blog post of its own. The disposal of post-fetal defecation is more interesting than you might think. Actually, the disposal of fetal defecation is probably even more fascinating, but I have absolutely no idea how that works.

Finally, I have accepted that I may not be the one person on this planet who will buck the odds and live forever. Yes we took the step and did the responsible thing and talked to our slightly sleezy but surprisingly thoughtful insurance dude about life insurance. Haven't figured out final solution of what we are doing with it, but Elizabeth has assigned that job to my plate so it is on my list of things to do. Sometimes having to be an adult is horribly depressing.

To close things up here, THE COUNTDOWN IS ON! Elizabeth is now 32 weeks pregnant. As I have been informed several times, 40 weeks is full term. Putting my higher education to work: 40-32 = 8. Therefore, I conclude there are approximately 8 weeks until baby Bagley arrives. Slightly frightening but exciting.
EDIT: This post has taken so long to post that there are now 40-33 = 7 weeks left.

Just because I think it is quite funny and makes me wish I had a dog:

New Camera = new photos!!!

After the sad death of our old camera, we got a new one today along with some sweet lenses from my dad. So that means new pregger Lizzy photos. Yay! After spending way more time playing around today today than I should have, I've added a Flickr photostream above the polls so check it out for new picts. A more extensive update this weekend hopefully... For now just pictures.

P.S. Elizabeth starts her prelim tomorrow (actually today since it is now past midnight), so wish her well!

Wednesday, February 18, 2009

Lately I've been thinking

Which is always a dangerous thing to do. Specifically, I've been thinking about how babies perceive the world. I hadn't realized that babies eyes don't really work normal when they come out. In fact they can't really see more than a foot in front of them, they haven't figured out how to track something with their eyes, everything visible is in black and white, they can see like Predator in the near infrared, and can see the zzzz's coming off of soundly sleeping humanoids so they know when to wake them up. Okay, so maybe not all of that is true, but I think that is the general gist. However, even with these limitations/superhero abilities people have found that they can recognize Mom's face. Weird.

So why have babies evolved to only be able to see a foot in front of their face? Is it a defense mechanism to ward off predators, a cosmetic trait to lure a future mate? No, in fact it serves as a bait to attract victims much like the venus fly trap. By only being able to see a foot in front their face babies attract larger people who must get close in order to be recognized by baby in order to satisfy their "snuggle" desire. This allows perfect placement for the barf mechanism. Once the humans are stuck close to baby, it emits the day's food directly on them. This has proven through the years to be extremely entertaining for the baby by providing instant stimulation and commotion. I will soon be publishing this theory in the New England Journal of Medicine so please don't steal it.

Then there is their hearing. People tell me that they can hear you in the womb. Now I believe this. However, can they really recognize my voice once they come out? It seems like voices in the womb would sound to a giant baby kind of like being underwater in a pool full of jello. This is the subject of video below.

Allright, I've got to run. I'm sure there are spelling/grammar errors all over these two posts that I may clean up later, but that is all for now.

The very late weekly update.

So I was originally planning on posting every week or so, but it has definitely been longer than that.  Essentially the last few weeks have been Elizabeth and I trying to get ahead/ make progress in work stuff, so we can focus on baby stuff in the near future.  In addition, Elizabeth has designated the blog as "mine" so I take that as meaning I get to post whatever I feel like (as you can see in the header).  Actually, as far as the header goes, I was just messing around and forgot it was there, but now it has a life of its own so I think it will live there for a while until I get a better picture.

Speaking of pictures... Unfortunately our camera died a horrible death due to sitting on the table.  Seriously.  It just lived on the table taking not even a picture a day.  It had a good life.  Just sitting there on the table with all its needs taken care of.  It was rarely taken outside, never rained on, protected from the elements, loved and cared for, and it had the audacity to just die for no reason.  It can rot in camera purgatory as far as I'm concerned.  I'm getting a fancy new one soon, so hopefully we'll get some new pictures soon.

However, as you can see above the video camera still works it just takes a bit more work to use since my home computer tends to choke on the files.  Plus since Justin is in charge of the blog he can post almost anything he wants as long as it doesn't put him too far in the doghouse.  So this weekly updates includes a brand spankin new production from Bagleyworks Productions above attached to the post "lately I've been thinking".

Well on to news about our future tax write off, which is really the only reason people come to this site anyway.  He/she is continually growing.  You may even call it a "giant baby".  Basically he/she is a fighter.  We are really considering post-natal Tae-Kwon-Do based on the beatdown it puts on Elizabeth each day.  She commonly gets awakened from a dead sleep by a hungry baby.  Then for the rest of the day the pummeling continues.  If we watch the belly for a few minutes, there are obvious movements.  No hand/footprints sticking out yet, and Elizabeth still as an "innie" for a belly button, but there is still time.  

Yesterday Elizabeth passed 30 weeks of being pregnant, so the countdown is on.  The days are getting longer which means baby is coming.  I think it is T-minus 11-12 weeks now.  Whoa.

Finally, strangely enough Elizabeth hasn't taken full advantage of her condition and had me run out for random food cravings yet.  I was prepared for midnight runs to the grocery store for salt flavored popsicles or some such travesty, but so far nothing.  On the subject of food cravings, hopefully this lost in translation item doesn't make you hungry (Thank you David Zaks)....

Hah! or maybe this failure of a license plate:

Update:  I have been informed that 30 weeks means you have 10-11 weeks left max, NOT 11-12 weeks.

Monday, February 2, 2009

Research in the seemingly obvious

Via newscientist.com:

"Babies often bounce or clap to a rhythm when they're less than a year old. But scientists were unsure whether they learn beat perception early in life, or whether they're born with it.

To find out, a team led by István Winkler from the Institute for Psychology in Budapest, Hungary, and Henkjan Honing from the University of Amsterdam in the Netherlands tested beat perception in newborns using EEG. This can measure their electrical brain responses to sounds, even when the babies are sleeping.

The team played a rock drum rhythm to 14 sleeping babies two or three days old. Sometimes the sequence skipped a sound without disrupting the rhythm, while other omissions made the rhythm stumble.

When a missed note broke the rhythm, the babies had a key brain response indicating that their sensory expectations were contradicted. This suggests newborns can sense a rhythm and know when to expect the next beat. "Beat perception is there right from birth," Winkler concludes."

Right, babies have probably never heard a rhythm before. Oh wait, they just spent nine months listening to and relying on an approximately 90bpm rhythm of their Mom's heart. They may not know such societally imposed niceties such as pooping in public is bad form, but rythym (still can't spell it) they should know.

In addition, a follow up study to this found that playing rock drums to 2-3day old sleeping babies pisses them off.

February 2, 2009: The week in review

Well not much to update this week. Basically more of the same, baby grows and kicks some more, Elizabeth goes to doctor appointment, Elizabeth gets tested, poked and prodded, Elizabeth has to drink some nasty orange cocktail after fasting for too many hours, Elizabeth traumatizes poor Somali nurse by making him think he's done her in after taking a bit of blood, all tests come back good. Yay! A more or less standard week in the life of a pregnancy. At least I can say that since I am not the one being kicked, poked and prodded.

Meanwhile, preparations for "The Arrival" continue. Elizabeth is starting to jump into her prelims by telling me about some dude named Braxton-Hicks who trains her to contract and push. Sounds like fun. Back in non-baby world she really is also getting ready for prelims of the grad school flavor as well. A two month test sounds like lots of fun while pregnant. Yuck! Meanwhile, I am spending lots of time in Fortan world trying to figure out the best way to model how much moisture a tree gives off in a day if you only have fake trees in the model. It is very metaphysical or something.

The accumulation of baby gadgets continue. It is absolutely amazing how many things you need that you never knew about. For example there is at least a google of different ways to transport a baby. There are wraps, straps, car seats and strollers. Front facers, rear facers, backpacks and cart covers. And I would be remiss if I left out the mythical daddle:

Then there is the big decision of what diapers to use. (See new poll to the right) Do we go with the cloth diaper service, even though childcare isn't allowed to use them? Just stick with disposables the whole time? What is more enviro friendly? Can the disposable people really be right when they say that the soap and water associated with washing cloth diapers really outweigh the environmental cost of throwing a diaper in a dump every time you think a baby did its thing? If so why don't we wear disposable clothes? Is a baby's caboose adaptable enough to handle the stress that goes with switching diaper types throughout the week? Will Boudreau's butt paste (Right up there with gator on a stick, and turducken on the short list of best things to come out of S. Louisiana) solve all of our worries or are more extreme measures necessary for our baby's derriere? Luckily, I was watching television on Saturday night and there was an ad on that may solve all our problems (see below).

Then there is was the first surprise from the Child Retention and Internment Basin (CRIB). Evidently you need and Child Retention and Internment Basin guard to keep a baby from chewing/gumming its way to freedom. Who knew? Certainly not me.

Allright. Back to work.