We're in the middle of the really cool part of the pregnancy - lots of firsts.  We've just had our first flutters.  Angie feels these little flutters and she grabs my hand and suddenly I'm feeling our baby doing kicks and dancing around.

He apparently likes Irish dulcimer music.  At least that was what he was dancing to most in the 42nd Street Subway Station.   He went crazy.

Angie said it's like she feels a sloshing - like a swimmer doing a kick turn.

I've been reading Daddy books.  Part of the reason for doing this blog has been to possibly collect thoughts and ideas for a book from the perspective of a first time Dad who is going to be a stay at home father.  Unfortunately all the books so far, despite being informative, give advice to Dad's who are obviously going to be in the workforce five days a week.  There's lots of advice on how to bond during the first few months, after you get home from work, kick off your shoes and wait for dinner... 

I'm going to be the stay at home and my wife will be the 9-5'er.  We've been talking about the schedule we'll set up when she returns to work from maternity leave.  We're working on making sure she has that time, but what about the father who is at home all day? 

There are lots of us.  There are even places that cater to us, like Dadgear.com, the coolest dad bags ever...  (shameless plug... please give me a free bag...!)

Perhaps I'll have to write the book.

The Boy's Club

People have strong feelings about finding out the sex of their child before it's born.  Some feel it's one of the few surprises in life.  We didn't need that surprise.

We found out we're having a boy.  I know these things can be wrong, but we got a pretty good view during the full body scan at the Fetal Evaluation Unit at Roosevelt Hospital.  Boy.

In fact, on the print out of the scan, right next to my son's schpoondle, is the word BOY.  The doctor typed it in, just in case we weren't sure what was in that photo.

I know Angie is excited.  Five months of calling this child "she" are morphing into calling him "he."  I'm glad we found out.  I've heard of women who have a hard time after nine months convinced it's one sex then giving birth to another.  It's not that they don't love the child, but that their expectation was so different.  Angie only took a day to truly wrap her head around it.

Then she said something that nearly broke my heart.

"Just don't let it become the boy's club, okay?"

I never thought of us having a boy suddenly making her the odd man out... or odd woman out, as the case may be.  In fact, I never thought of any kind of exclusion because of the child's sex.  (I will be praying for a girl next time.  Balance.) 

I do understand her feelings. 

I'll be at home with my son most of the time.  After Angie does the heavy lifting of the pregnancy, I'll get to do all the fun stuff with him and she'll be the "girl" of the group.  None of this occurred to me because I was raised, like most people our age, with my mother at home.  When I was older, my mother worked but I'd do homework in the kitchen, helping her cook - only because my dad's office at home was boring and he'd be working on things that didn't interest me:  most involving math.

I hate math.

But my mother's kitchen interested me and that's where I was.  We spent time there.  My father and I spent time naturally, because as men, we do have common interests.  He'd take me to soccer and basketball, coach little league, take me fishing.  But my mother and I had time.  There was a balance.

I don't want her to feel left out.  She will be reading him all the classics, The Swiss Family Robinson, Huck Finn...  she gets home, it's their time.  We'll play catch during the day, and I'll teach him how to run a fade route and play defense in the post - Angie will teach him to be centered in the evening, doing her yoga with him playing on her mat, teaching him to love language, art, music and dance.

Food is my area.  He'll be shaping baguettes by the time he's 3.  

Time.  I will have the gift of time with my son.  But my new goal is balance.   I want to make sure she has plenty of time alone with him.  There's no reason there can't be a girl in the boy's club.

Criminitny it's been a while.

Sorry for the amount of time that has passed, faithful reader.  (Mom)

I've been swamped with another writing assignment.  Our first pass at the latest screenplay is finished.  Thank you to everybody who read it, did our reading and put up with us during the two weeks of intense work... I've gained a good 10 pounds from doughnuts, coffee, croissants and apple pie.  (most places make you eat or drink to use their free wi-fi, I drink way too much coffee when we're working and I need to do something with my hands in the down time... hence the pie...)  Anywho... DONE!  All that's left is to wait for notes and begin re-writes!

I have been contemplating my impending new life as a stay at home dad.  There is going to be ample time to continue writing and I am excited that this new phase of my life is about to begin.  I have my writing space set up and it's a cozy place just off the baby's room.  Perfect.  Not to mention, I'm blocks from a cafe that is extremely stroller friendly so I can sit with all the moms and work.

I realized I had fully embraced this whole child rearing thing when I wrote a character who often has a baby sling on or kids running around.  It's the part that I wrote ostensibly for myself.  A part that I'd love to play.  As such, it became a reflection of how I see myself and how I see my life evolving.  I am a big brother, a goofball, passionate, easy going...  I will be a cool dad.  Not "skinny jeans" cool, but rather "strap goggles on my kids when I serve them pancakes because syrup is going to go everywhere" cool.  I will be the guy who has on a baby sling during a game of touch football and doesn't see anything wrong with it.  It's touch football!  What's the worst that could happen?  This world I was co-creating on the page was the world I was envisioning for myself, not just to do it on screen, but actually living it.

My writing partner, the brilliant Ambarish Manepalli - newly minted holder of a French visa... congrats! - let me indulge in this little fantasy.  He actually fed it.  He pushed me to find those moments when the character does "Chris dad stuff."

Looking at this first draft, it's incomplete, but pretty close, which is perfect.

But... We HAVE Health Insurance...

My wife is getting the run around.  For an ultrasound.

It's a long story but the insurance company has denied the claim, then approved the claim, then denied it, then said it's pending, then paid it, then said it's denied and now pending again.

No one seems to know what is happening.

And we have great insurance.

We need a serious change.  The public option for a small number is not enough.  The status quo is unacceptable.  My wife said, "I don't understand how we have a public education system that basically says we have found a way for every child in the U.S. to have an education...  but we can't figure out how to get everyone health coverage."

Health care is a right.  It should not be a for profit business that gives incentives to deny you care... Care you and your employer pay for.  Care that is there to make you better, but is more interested in keeping you sick. 

We have insurance and we're still nervous.

An Only Child

It's very early, I know, but I have been thinking about how this first child will be, for a while, an only child and whether it might be forever.  I'm not sure, yet.  I know it's early.  My wife said it was waaaay too early to be thinking about a second.  Maybe we could adopt.

(This was said during one of the peanut's hourly hot flashes that she lovingly shares with my wife.)

My in-laws were visiting this weekend and my father in-law was watching the family of feral cats that live behind my building.  The kittens were rolling around, playing, chasing each other.

My little cat, (okay, she's not so little...) sat on the couch.  Uninterested.

She's a little socially awkward.  She loves us and she curls up next to us, purring, all the time.  When I write, I will occasionally sit at my wife's desk next to the bed.  The cat will sit on the bed behind me, curling up so she is leaning against my back.  She's adorable.

She's also quite a bitch to anyone else who steps foot through our door.  She hisses, she swats, she growls, she hides, she bites.  She's not nice.

An opened front door is not an invitation for her to leave.  At one time she would skittishly approach the door and look out.  Now she does not.  She's uninterested.

I blame myself.  Angie and I never had people around in our little Salt Lake apartment.  The cat was never around people other than us.  She also was an only child.  She had no one to play with, or more importantly, to socialize with.  (If cat's socialize.)  And I treated her like she was a puppy for a while.  She was good at playing fetch.  But I also traumatized her, I think.  She's a cat, not a bulldog.

I don't want my child to be like that.  I know it may be a strange thing to think.  I'm pretty sure my child will be just fine, even if an only child.  But still, I think about it.

I want my child to be able to love, to play, to want to experience more of the world then exists within the walls of our apartment.

New Photos are up

There are a couple new photos up on my photo blog.  Click the link at the top.

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