31 October 2009

To run or to hibernate-- is it really a question?

Officially, I'm now in the second trimester. According to all of the books, I should be feeling better than ever right now. I shouldn't be feeling sick anymore, and I should have endless energy. "The books", in all of their endless wisdom, seem to say that I'll want to run a 5k, scrub my floors, host parties... Well, the queasies seem to have subsided, but as the days continue to get shorter and darker, I can't say that any surges of energy have hit me. In fact, I'd be quite happy to go into hibernation for the winter. This would probably be true if I wasn't pregnant, but being pregnant entitles me to a little more laziness- doesn't it? At least that's what the books say.

18 October 2009

Maternity fashion... we've come a long way.

So I'm not huge yet by any means, but some of my normal clothes have started to feel not so comfy. I saw this as a great excuse to go shopping, but was dismayed that most clothes just looked entirely frumpy on me or were snug in all the wrong places. What is a girl to do? Well, I turned to the internet for inspiration, and THIS is what turned up. I'm still laughing.

17 October 2009

A Rose by any other...

Golly, we're a day over 12 weeks, and already people are asking us what we're going to call the wee babe child!  Well we don't know, and don't hold your breath... There are lots of names out there, and we've (secretly, of course) just started to make a list.  Then we'll check it twice, and when we meet the friendly babe, we'll see what fits.

Now we've seen some pretty bad "baby name" websites...  And why people insist on referring to names as "baby names" is indeed strange.  It is our sincere hope that the name we bestow on the wee babe sticks with it right through childhood and even into mature adult life.  So we're doing out best to come up with some good ones.

We just stumbled on the best name site ever:  The Social Security Administration keeps records about the popularity of given names, and you can peruse these records by birth year at the following:

Very interesting stuff.  Fascinating in fact.  Do check it out...

16 October 2009

Kid Stuff It.

To be sure, I never gave much thought to kid stuff before we were expecting a wee babe child.  I mean I knew that there was a lot of stuff involved, but I never cared much to pay attention:  Generally kid stuff seemed to lack any coherent design sense, and all that padding and small-print fabric is well, not my cup of tea.

So one day after Cara and I found out that we were pregnant, but before we could really tell anyone, we were talking about what seemed to be the dire state of kid stuff.  Sitting in our study, I (flippantly, for sure) remarked that, for instance, there aren't any well designed strollers, car seats, high chairs, etc.  I'm not talking functional - sure they all get the job done generally - but well designed in a clear, design-language sense.  The materialist in me generally has chalked this up to the fact that expectant patents are a captive market:  To allay their fears or concerns about patenting, people are encouraged to go buy buy buy their way into being good parents, and there are no shortage of companies willing to sell them myriad goods that they "need" to be good parents.  Like someone with a house on fire who's shopping for a fire extinguisher - parents often don't have the time or energy to focus on buying something they actually want.

Now, we're in no way immune to this - as I said, shortly after we found out the happy news, our conversation too turned to the stuff we're going to "need."  The general aesthetic in our house (and car and bikes) is that we have a strong preference for things that are interesting, well designed, and well made.  (And, of course, used.)  With that in mind, as I whined about not wanting to succumb to the banality of kids stuff, I spun around to the magic internet machine and learned two things:

  • There does exist interesting, well-designed kid stuff out there. Really. 
  • Kid stuff is, generally, far more expensive than we'd realized.  (Yes, this is a recurrent idea here, and will likely continue to be.  All the parenting books warn this, but you just don't understand until you're looking at stuff with a baby growing in your (or in this case, Cara's) belly.
Now the good thing about kid stuff, at least in our book, is that most people only need the stuff for a relatively short time.  Which means that the used market it over saturated, so you can find a fair deal on just about anything you want; even very new stuff.  And that's what we prefer to do...  So, we've been doing our research and narrowing our scope for the essentials: Stroller, Car Seat, and High-Chair.  We'll post on each in due turn as we get closer, but rest assured, we already have a litany of CraigsList searches going.

13 October 2009


Okay, so nobody ever said having a kid would be cheap, fair enough.  But we've got good health insurance (we think) and we're very conservative with our cash, so we're charging forward unafraid.  And then we had a look at day care...

So Cara teaches at Carnegie Mellon, and right across the street from her office is the Cyert Center - CMU's day care and preschool.  Now we're not sure how much, if any, day care we'll need, but this place is pretty convenient:  Perfect location, gobs of accreditation, solid reference, and, well, it's right across the street from Cara's office and a 5 minute walk from mine.  We know that there is generally a waiting list, but Cara (and therefore our wee babe child) qualify as pretty high up on their priority list, so we decided to give it a look.  Cyert Center Webpage

So it sure looks great, but in frustration, Cara couldn't find rates anywhere on the site.  Then we found a reference to them:  For current tuition rates, inquire by e-mail.  Half-jokingly I warned: You know what they say, if you have to ask we can't afford it...   Which, it turns out, couldn't be more true.  Buried way down in one of their many PDF downloads, we finally found the punch line:  This year's tuition is $18,300 for a baby.  Tuition.  For a baby.  $18,300.  And you must provide your own food.

I mean we didn't expect it to be cheap, but, well, that's more than either of us has ever paid for a year of college, including graduate school in Dublin.  And don't get me wrong, I'm sure it is VERY GOOD day care - I mean they do advertise creative play with string, clay and wire - but it isn't college.  Except that it is... Carnegie Mellon University.  $18,300 probably seems cheap compared to say, a year at CMU's Tepper School of Business which will cost you $49,500 in raw tuition alone, $71,818 when all is said and done.

They say you're supposed to start your kid's college fund when the wee babe child is born, and we plan to.  But at those rates, when are you supposed to start saving for the kid's day care?

09 October 2009

ChugaChugaChugaChuga... Choo Choo!

So the baby's heart sounded surprisingly like a toy train.  Actually, if it weren't for the ultrasound I might be able to be convinced that Cara accidentally ate one of her dad's toy trains, the wee heartbeat is very train-like.

Anyway, I promise to update the blog with some more pictures and info over the weekend, just bear with us here...  A very busy time to be sure.  Very happy to let the cat out of the bag though!

07 October 2009


 Look, it's a wee babe child, in Cara's belly!  Holy jeepers!

Yes, it's true, Cara's pregnant!!!  The good doctors tell us that he/she/it will be coming to visit somewhere round abouts April 30, 2010.  We're mostly thrilled and only a bit terrified.  

Cara & Tommy start it up... again.

Okay, so we had a great website for our wedding, and even blogged our honeymoon. And then we let the hosting lapse for our wedding website (since, you know, the wedding was over...), and we had never intended to keep on keeping on with the blog after the honeymoon.

Now we've got a house, a dog, and... well... another reason to blog again. This time we're using blogspot in an effort to keep the site active for the long haul. (And really, why pay for hosting when Google will take care of us for free?)

So there you have it. We'll probably go back in time to create a few posts at key dates in the past, just to fill in some of the details from way back when. And there will be pictures of course, so keep an eye on the sidebar to the left and feel free to click on back into our history!