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September 25, 2005

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Social (88% permissive) and economic (16% permissive) liberal. A Ghandi type, according to the site.

The poll was horrible though, almost every question left me saying, "Well yeah, but...".

And is there really a non-crazy type of libertarian? Is this new?

On #5, congrats.

On #6, good call.

On #1, be a tax lawyer.

On #7, agree.

On #9, no comment.

Congratulations on #5, von. I can't offer any advice, because I'm currently in the same boat. What I can offer is this link to Wry Baby.

#6
If you are going for 2, get the next one out and about, as it were. Believe me, you don't want a 5 year gap...

congrats to Mr. and Mrs. von on the first child!
I came out almost exactly like felixray man, and with the same feelig of having been screwed by the stupid questions. For one thing, they didn't have "Don't care" or "No opinion".

#5: YAY!!!!!!!!! (I've always thought of it as both parties being pregnant, but hey, what do I know?)

#2: no surprise there.

And welcome back. We missed you. The royal we, at least.

Congrats!!

Go out every chance you get. Go to NYC for shows, the whole bit. Can't be sure when you'll get another chance.

Best advice I can give comes from having a second: the world will go on if you don't take a photograph of the kiddo every day; they're alot less fragile than you think -- our ancestors lived several million years on the African savannah eating carrion, none of the ingredients in commercially available baby foods are going to hurt the kid; buy quality clothes; sing timeless songs ('I'm an Old Cowhand from the Rio Grande' for example). Teach history.

Congratulations, Von and Wife of Von!

About #2, I'm wondering if blogging wouldn't have sharpened your skillz (mad as they probably were beforehand). Somebody on a recent thread mentioned having watched Sebastian become a better writer over time, and somebody at Hating on Charles Bird said something rather similiar. (I do recognize that blogging and legal writing should involve different processes.) Any thoughts?

And hey, flexing or not, you look pretty fit on that bicycle--you're even wearing spandex, and we all know that takes some confidence.

Congrats, von. You're not both pregnant, but you still get to share in the emotional/hormonal rollercoaster, while sharing in the joy later on. Plus, there was the nice bit that led up to this...ennyway, congrats. I can only offer advice for the time beginning at about ten months after delivery, though.

CC, above, makes many good points worth highlighting. Don't buy a LOT of fancy clothing because most of it will wind up getting sold, donated or passed on to any successors. I highly recommend Gymboree stuff - it's all expensivo but it's all incredibly well-built and so will last past the first stain, and can be handed down a couple of times before you wind up donating it. Do stock up on sleep now, because you won't be getting any later on.

"eight-plus years"

Do you not mean to reference _Bleak House_ and Jarndyce and Jarndyce? (Btw that link has one of the great openings - some of Dickens's finest writing.)

Charley, you are so right about the timeless songs. Some of my happiest childhood memories involved sitting around the piano screeching out "what shall we do with the drunken sailor?", "nobody knows the trouble i've seen," "the golden vanity," "working on the railroad," "oh, susanna," and the like. As gradually I've learned the historical conditions that produced these songs, they become even more fun to belt out--and of course I know most the lyrics by heart.

Rilkfan, ha! That opening is the gemstone in my metaphors-and-argument exercise; I've extracted hours of classroom material out of it.

Happy BabyVon! :D

Go see Serenity next weekend, when it opens.

I saw the premiere. ;-) Wasn't bad at all, and I speak as a non-Firefly fan who stopped watching the show after four episodes.

#1, good: #2, doesn't surprise me: #3, why you look like?: #4, Colder than deep water: #5, woo-hoo! Congratulations!: #6, that's true, but woo-hoo! Congratulations! because it's worth saying twice: #7, glad to hear about your grandmother and yes, she's right, since God is not a name but an identity: #8, yes, that sucked and was stupid: #9, you did the triathlon! that's not sad.

Advice to Von: Dress warmly and eat plenty of vegetables.

Hey Jackmormon, if you have a tape of one of those classes let us know.

Congrats, von. Always happy to hear about good folks creating the new human race.

CC & JM - It is also a fine rejoinder to anyone who harrumphs that REAL writers use complete sentences, and never corrupt the rules of grammar for mere "effect." The first proper sentence appears in the fourth paragraph, and by that time, you are already there, mud up to your boot-tops, squinting in the half-light.

And about #9: that comment would only occur to someone whose early twenties were a comparatively recent memory. And I agree with Jackmormon: the confidence needed to wear spandex is alas not so rare as the ability to carry it off. You have both. Flexing just adds the icing to the cake.

And more congratulations!

And about hints: I gave my sister and her husband a weekend of babysitting for CHristmas every year, so that the two of them could be alone, for quite a while. I believe this was sort of a hit over at the sister-of-hilzoy household. Drop hints to your relatives.

Oh yes, st, Dickens breaks almost every rule, both of grammar and of contemporary stylistic taste. He insists until the reader bends. And that's the point of my aforementioned exercise, although I've never really said it like that; Dickens manages to push through something that educated readers of his time would have snapped to as a journalistic, transparently emotional rhetorical device on the sheer force of his conviction and consistency. (The "best of times...worst of times" intro seems to have attained its current canonical status from a similar bloody-minded defiance of taste.)

But I feel as though I'm getting off-topic--because, really, this post is about establishing reasons to Von to continue posting at ObWi. Think of the fansites, Von! Imagine the groupies! Ensivion the people who will do research on your hobby horse for free and then give it to you as an offering! Yeah, blogging is sexy, yeah!

Wait: we get groupies?

Rilkefan, I've no tapes, as I've tended to shy away from seeing my adlibbing replayed. I tried to respond via email, with my exercise doc appended, but an email link was not so obvious. I note this problem not to vaunt the value of my hypothetical email, as it would have contained the above really boring info and a compendium of nifty quotes.

Oh yeah. Try my name now.

Virtual groupies: people willing to propose marriage to a stranger on the basis of a good argument and a convenient gender self-reporting.

Then there's the rest of us...

Wheee! A Von-in-production! Congrats, and best of luck.

Never had kids myself, but a few years ago, my next-doorikahs/close friends did. I think they spent the first month pretty much in their bathrobes, and seldom slept more than 30 minutes at a time. I finally went over there, wrested the baby away from them, and told them to get some sleep, I'd take care her that night. Definitely, definitely call in every babysitting favor you can.

Oh, and you can never have too many spit-up cloths. Or baby clothes.

About spandex:

"If your clothing is revealing parts of your body that should not be seen by the general public; if your clothing is revealing your undergarments; if your clothing is form-fitting and so tight that very little is left to the imagination as to what your body is shaped like; if your shirts are low cut, open and cleavage-baring, if your skirts and dresses are so short that when you sit down it is likely that the person across from you will see what they should not, then please realize that this is not the attire befitting a woman of God. "

Luckily, von is a guy, so he doesn't have to worry about the fact that his attire would not befit a woman of God.

Fun new Keyboard Kommando at the Poor Man.

Congrats, von! I wish you many fat children.

Also, I hate Inspector Gadget. I mean, really, really, hate it.

Oh, come on. Anything that has Frank Welker in it can't be all bad.

Which, of course, means that nearly every cartoon for the last 30 years has some redeeming value. But then, I repeat myself.

Congratulations Mr. and Mrs. Von!!!

That's wonderful news.

Oh, and from what I hear, don't be so sure that you're not "pregnant" (in as much as you're possibly going to experience weight gain, nausea, and a strong nesting instinct). Of course, the triathalon training should help.

Which reminds me, saw a woman in DC jogging while looking at least 8 months pregnant. Couldn't help but wonder if she wasn't a bit obsessive...that can't be comfortable for the foetus, can it?

Congrats, von. And take it from someone with 2 kids, you are both pregnant on some level. Knowing your wife is carrying your child will create all sorts of changes in you. I recommend The Expectant Father as a good guide to how to cope with what you will go through.

Couldn't help but wonder if she wasn't a bit obsessive...that can't be comfortable for the foetus, can it?

I know a guy whose wife was on a ten-mile run the day she delivered. Normal term, too. Interrupted the run, but she'd completed one just a couple of days prior.

Obsessive might be the right word. But, hey, she's in great shape and her kids turned out just fine.

1. Your name came up while chatting with a partner at your former firm the other evening. She passes along her best to you, Mrs. Von and the soon to be wee Von.

4. “Don't talk me down from here” is the better line.

A switchblade is a rather obvious symbol of violence. The veiled threat of suicide speaks of torturous inner conflict and violent intent.

7. I am glad to hear your grandmother is doing ok.

Wait: we get groupies?

Hadn't you noticed the queue?

Couldn't help but wonder if she wasn't a bit obsessive...that can't be comfortable for the foetus, can it?

Nah, they love any kind of rhythmic motion. I commuted to bar review classes on the subway when I was 7-9 months pregnant, and after birth, my daughter would drop off into contented sleep instantly on boarding the train.

And congratulations on the baby, the triatholon, and the answer, in that order. In eight years, you must have managed to simplify the case a certain amount, at least?

Congrats on Von, Jr., and yes, it's "my" not "me," tho of course correct grammar is often obtrusive in blogging. Worth remembering in federal court however.

Nah, they love any kind of rhythmic motion. I commuted to bar review classes on the subway when I was 7-9 months pregnant, and after birth, my daughter would drop off into contented sleep instantly on boarding the train.

Ok, this is one of the secrets to getting your infant to finally cork off. Everyone knows about taking the baby for a drive works wonders, but not all that many people know that it works best on a bumpy road. Or that putting the child carrier on top of the dryer with a full load in works just as well. Remember this; it may save you much emotional anguish down the road.

When we were adopting our first girl, we simply could not get her to go to sleep. In desperation, we went and asked our guide (who had a young child herself) to help. This is what she did: she held Emily at about hip level, not snuggled at the shoulder, and jounced her in a way that I thought was way too ungentle, while swinging her around the vertical axis. Emily went to sleep in about a minute. Maybe it's a Chinese thing, or maybe she just knew a thing or two about getting the kids to sleep. Point is, sometimes what you think the kid needs and what they really need are more widely separated than you'd think.

Congrats on the impending new arrival, von! Hopefully, I'll have similar news soon, as our five year baby plan that turned into an eight year plan by mutual consent has now come due. Boy has it ever. I'd always thought the whole depiction of biological clocks in popular culture to be cliche and over the top, but it turns out, not so much.

RE: tiny spandex photo -- Fan-tas-tic. I wish I was in half as good a shape and looked one fifth as nice in tights. I've been sitting here for 15 minutes trying to make that last sound less wierd and non-homoerotic. I had a sort of funny superhero comment going for a minute. But nah, I fail it. So... how 'bout them Colts?

Oh, and finally: I am a Social Liberal
(61% permissive) and an Economic Conservative (66% permissive). I am best described as a: Libertarian. What a shocker.

Don't like Inspector Gadget? I have fond memories of the cartoon show. Cheesy. Silly. Cute. And one of the few programs to make the approved regular watching list (without my mother hovering over watching it with us) in my deeply Christian family when I was little. Of course I snuck in Robotech at a friend's house for a while, but that is a different story.

Or were you talking about the movie?

I delve futher into personal embarassment: I had a crush on Penny as a kid. I know, I know. The shame.

This is what she did: she held Emily at about hip level, not snuggled at the shoulder, and jounced her in a way that I thought was way too ungentle, while swinging her around the vertical axis.

Mmmhm. I used a sling for both of my kids (the soft fabric, hippie-looking baby carrier as distinct from the kind with all the straps and buckles -- much easier on the back, and for getting the kid in and out of it.) and when I needed to get them to sleep, what worked was putting them in the sling and then really striding along, almost racewalking, so that the kid was swinging and jouncing around to the rhythm of my steps. Both of them would be out in senconds when I did that.

We had a baby carrier, but Emily HATED it. We got a sling for our second trip, and Abby practically lived in it, usually with a double handful of my shirt (even when asleep), and was asleep for practically every pic having both me and her in it. Maybe I just have that effect on females, though.

The sling is great for transportation; not so good if you're just getting the kid ready for naptime.

Buy baby clothes? Who does that?

Maybe its just our community and extended family, buy my wife and I have spent perhaps $50 on baby/children's clothes for our two over the last four years. Stuff just pours in by the truck load it seems. And much of it high quality too.

For quite some time I would look at where each item was made as I changed each child. It is extraordinary how many countries still manufacture clothes. My favourite find so far is a pair of sweatpants that fit our just-about-two-year-old (and were worn by his brother before him) that are made in Sweden. Swedish sweatpants have to be a rare item. Anyway, they are holding up just fine and will be worn by the next one too.

Which reminds me, saw a woman in DC jogging while looking at least 8 months pregnant. Couldn't help but wonder if she wasn't a bit obsessive...that can't be comfortable for the foetus, can it?

My own experience watching women in advanced states of pregnancy jog, play tennis, etc, is that if you watch the foetus, it follows a quite smooth path with a minimum of being jerked or bounced about. OTOH, the adjustments in running style that allowed for that didn't look to me to be very comfortable for the woman...

von, congrats!, as to No. 5.

As to 1, I'm appalled.

As to 2, neither, if this is legal writing. more context please.

So I hope one day to want to reread this thread. And there are threads about drinking and home-repair that offerred excellent advice. But finding things in the archives is nontrivial. PTB, how about a reference thread linked on the right called The ObWi Guide To A Better Life or something with links to such threads?

"Ok, this is one of the secrets to getting your infant to finally cork off. Everyone knows about taking the baby for a drive works wonders, but not all that many people know that it works best on a bumpy road. Or that putting the child carrier on top of the dryer with a full load in works just as well."

Hairdryers work also; you can get a

Congrats von!

Advice: Take birthing classes early. Ours came 6 weeks early (the day after we fixed up the nursery) and we hadn't taken the birthing classes, so if not for the wife's sister, we'd have been clueless what to do. (Oh, and don't be puritanical about that natural birth and no drugs stuff; do whatever is expedient.)

Clothes: remember to ask for older-than newborn clothes at your shower. We're fortunate enough to have a great second-hand baby store in the neighbourhood. We got our son a $100 pair of leather trousers for $12 there. He looks real cool in them. Other fun clothes are at www.astrotot.com

Spend money on a decent compact stroller - less than $120 is junky, more than $250 is unnecessary (I like the Maclarens' triumph), a decent carseat (consumer reports has good reviews - the Britax are nice but expensive, and there's cheaper that do better), and a decent crib. If your wife is going to use a breast pump, anything that's not a medela is junk. You'll want a rocker and a baby change station (we used an old chest-of-drawers). Treat other baby stuff (baby wipe warmers etc.) with a skeptical eye. We have the complete set of Baby Einstein DVDs, which the kid is completely uninterested in; he'd rather get out and see the world than gawp at a video, god love him.

Take lots of video and photos. Ridiculous amounts of them. Even if you think you're overdoing it, take more; they change so much so rapidly and you can't hope to remember all the things they did and their favorite toys at a certain age. You may think time will slow down because now there's milestones the kid's passing, but instead it goes faster. [Remember to teach the wife how to use the camera and video so she can take stuff too. (One of my frustrations with my non-technophile wife is she hardly ever takes video or photos of the kid.)]

Other advice: you can get books on parenting that will reflect almost any philosophy you can imagine (except maybe locking them down in the cellar). So trust your instincts. You can pick up lots of tricks from other parents, but in the end nobody knows your kid like you. Don't get into the parenting-as-a-competitive-sport stuff or are you squeezing every possible IQ point out of their skull; it interferes with enjoying them and their company.

Oh, and if the kid is colicky, it ends. Eventually. After a long time.

After a long time.

Occasional forays into blasting The Time Warp at high volume levels help.

Buy baby clothes? Who does that? Maybe its just our community and extended family, but my wife and I have spent perhaps $50 on baby/children's clothes for our two over the last four years. Stuff just pours in by the truck load it seems.

Amen. There are one or two boxes of clothes that have moved around among my friends and I over the last couple of years, as the kids have come into and out of the various zones of childhood. I have pictures of each of my friends' older kids, male and female, wearing the striped PJ's with the number 12 on the back that my daughter is wearing right now (or, was when I left the house this morning). Simple cotton stuff, as long as its not stained or ripped up, just gets put back in the box, along with one or two new things that we picked up ourselves (amen on Wrybaby, Gromit), and passed on down the line. Everybody contributes a couple of new things, and everybody ditches a couple of old things. I mean come on. How long are they really in that newborn stuff anyway? Like a week? I'm going to go buy all that stuff new? I mean, I've got a job, but fuggetaboutit.

Number one practical baby tip - buy a whole bunch of cloth diapers to use as shoulder cloths/spitup cloths/general cleanup rags. They are perfectly sized, are very absorbent, and if you buy enough (they are like 5 bucks a dozen), you will always have enough out of the laundry to strategically place a couple of reserve stacks in the places you spend a lot of time with the kid. You will thank me, I guarantee it.

Oh, and if you are even tempted to use cloth diapers for their designed purpose, don't. Just...just don't.

Congratulations, von. My advice for the coming months:
1. Babies have three basic needs. One is cuddling, which is best done by whoever is holding babylein at the moment. The other two are input and output. If your wife is breastfeeding, she has input. That leaves you with output. Learn to change a diaper. Count on changing most of the diapers until the kid's eating solid food.
2. If you don't want to be in the delivery room for whatever reason, tell your wife NOW, not a week before she is due. Depending on your situation, a doula can be useful.
3. Your wife is likely to be very tired in the next few months. Do the cooking and housework yourself.
4. I recommend swimming over jogging for exercise. There's a mild risk of going into labor with jogging. Besides, swimming while 9 months pregnant is a strange and fun sensation (water inside, water outside.)
5. Amniocentesis doesn't hurt nearly as much as you think it might. It's not so bad, really.
6. You'll get lots of advice. Listen to it, consider it, blow off any of it that doesn't seem to work for you.

I'll add my congratulations, but I have no baby advice to give. So, congratulations!

von's hatred of Inspector Gadget ruled a contributing factor in actor's death.

Err, forgot to finish the thought:

"Hairdryers work also; you can get a"

should have been:
Hairdryers work also; you can get a CD called for crying out loud with various "white noises" on it. Rocking them while reciting numbers helped at times - usually by 700 they were out.

There's basically two philosophies on sleeping - no-cry and dump-and-cry. If you're going to do the dump-and-cry method, do it early - after 6 months, it's too late to make the change without mucho pain.

We were having not much luck with the dump-and-cry method, and the no-cry method was exhausting (rocking them for 40+ minutes) until the wife started a ritual of saying goodnight to all the kid's toy and the kid kissing them goodnight. Now the kid doesn't think of goodnight as punishment or abandonment.

Ritual. Routine. Kids love 'em.

Congratulations with the pregnancy Von. The wife may be the pregnant one, but you are 'happily expecting' as the Dutch say.

I'm a social (63% permissive) and an economic liberal (28%), and exhibit a well developed sense of right and wrong and believe in economic fairness ;)

Hit the post button to soon... Babytips: burping them is an art - but you *can* learn it and it really helps. And have babycloths (I used cloth diapers too, they work best) everywhere, you need them all the time. And don't dress them too warm; they need only one layer more than you do (and mine not even that).

Triatlon: wow!

Serenity: rocks. I wasn't an immediate fan of Firefly, but the show grows on you and I am a big fan after seeing all the eps (in the proper order) at least once. I've seen serenity twice now and it is a true Whedon...

Thanks, all!

#5 Congratulations.

#2 I wasn't aware that lawyers were allowed to have anything to do with Strunk and White. No brief I have ever seen has benefitted from their advice. Still, S&W seems most effective when read and forgotten in the back of the brain. Even Hemingway and _Charlotte's Web_ manage quite successfully to violate some of the S&W style tips.

von: you do realize that in a little less than a year, you are going to be absolutely completely required to post pictures of your firstborn, right?

[/grin]

Von, to #3 I say, "Hooboy!" and to #5 I say, "Awwww!"

Congratulations -- you're a hunk, a good writer, and to put both of those in perspective, you're going to be a dad! Best wishes to you and your family.

If baby if cranky, put her in a snuggly and run the Hoover upright over your carpet. Running the dishwasher also calms babies.

My record store guy recommended "Come On, Feel The Illinoise" by Sufjan Stevens, and I really like it. But what's wierd is that an album all about our fair state was recorded in New York City.

von, congratulations (#5 mostly). I just dropped off our younger of two daughters at college and we visited the older one this weekend. You're in for a sometimes wild ride but my experience is it keeps getting better.

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