Archive for February, 2009

iWomb — Recently Played

February 24, 2009

ipodonesieYep, it’s in there.

BabyHeartbeat (Click here)

You can hear it most strongly at the beginning and near the end. And that person talking is my doctor, who is commenting that the ideal range for a baby’s heartbeat is 110-160. Our little dude(ette)’s was at 150, “so it’s perfect,” says the doctor. You hear, that? Our baby is perfect. I see no reason to ever stray from this opinion. In fact tomorrow I’m calling the admissions offices at Harvard, Yale, Clemson (the Ivy of the South), and Texas A&M (the Ivy of the West) to inform them they’ll want to start competing for our little one’s attention now.


You’re Gonna Name It Whatttt?

February 24, 2009


It’s amazing the freedom with which people will tell you that the name that you and your partner have selected for your precious unborn child is, to their way of thinking, stupid. When people ask if we’ve settled on names, we’re accommodating and share the ones that we have indeed picked. If it’s a girl, it will be Sabine, after the river that divides southeast Texas from Louisiana. My husband’s ancestors forded the Sabine River as they made their way west. If it’s a boy, it will be Beckett, as in modernist Irish writer Samuel Beckett. Not because we’re Beckett fans, but because my husband saw his name on a sign when we were in Ireland and thought it had a solid ring to it. When we discovered that we had a little stowaway from that particular country, we figured it was all the more appropriate.

While most people are fine with Sabine, recognizing it as either a French or Italian name or (among the Texas contingent) for the river, they are less diplomatic in airing their displeasure with Beckett. We’ve suffered all manner of the visible and verbal stinkface. Noses wrinkle, lips curl, and hearing suddenly fails even the youngest. “You want to name it whatttt?” My brother quickly dubbed our two selections just about the most pretentious names he’d ever heard, but he and only he is allowed to get away with this because he wanted to name his son Wretch. (Thankfully for all involved he opted for Samuel.) But when we get this from people who think nothing of popping out a Peyton, Ashlyn, or Moses, we tend to scratch our heads.

We’re nothing if not willing to listen, though. Folks’ reluctance to sanction our names does in fact have us wondering if we need to expand our list. Some other ones we’re now considering:

Snowball Bird — I once announced as a child that I would some day name my daughter Snowball. Might be time to pay the piper.
Jupiter Pluvius Bird — A friend recently invoked this old timey rain reference mentioned in an early 1900s football article. Retro chic!
Plaxico Bird, Blagojevich Bird, Madoff Bird — Admittedly, these seemed like a way better idea initially.
Stands With a Fist Bird — Can’t hurt down the line when she’s filling out college applications.
Barack Hussein Bird — But imagine our irritation to discover there already is a Barack Hussein someone or other. Dangit!
Apu Nahasapeemapetilon Bird — So he, too, can “graduate first in his class of seven million at Caltech.”
Verizon Wireless Bird — Sure, we don’t typically like being sellouts to Big Cellular. But the wheelbarrows full of cash that they’ve offered to roll up to our door every month in exchange for naming rights to our child are awfully tempting. Plus, this sets us up for the ultimate child-rearing tool: “Excuse me, Verizon Wireless. Can you hear me now?!”
George Bush Bird — Ironic, I know. But it guarantees he’ll be president some day.
Shiloh Suri Pax Maddox Violet Apple Bird — Phoo. Again, apparently taken already.
Kiernan Riordan O’Shea Bird — Because maybe the problem with Beckett is that we’re not going Irish pretentious enough, hmmm? Did that just Blow. Your. Mind?

We Are Totally Badass

February 23, 2009


A funny thing happened to my husband and me on the drive back from dinner in Georgetown Saturday evening. Flashing lights, siren, cops getting out of the car and approaching us on either side shining flashlights first in each mirror then in our faces. I did the quick four-point check: we weren’t speeding (heck, we were stopped at a red light when it all started), headlights were on, taillights weren’t out, and registration was current. But here we were, getting flanked by D.C.’s finest as we rolled down the windows. While my husband turned his attention to the cop on his side, I turned to the one walking up to my window. As I plunked my spoon back into my freshly purchased, craving-induced cup of Thomas Sweet ice cream I thought, “Goddangit, I’m going to be peeved if this melts.” But I said, “What’s the problem?”

He responded, “We’ve got a report of a robbery in this area and this vehicle matches the description.” (Apparently there aren’t a lot of ginormous black pickup trucks being driven through Georgetown these days.) But taking in the sight of a mildly miffed redhead holding a cup of ice cream, he said, “But, you guys don’t appear to match the description of the suspects.” I asked, “Is one of the suspects pregnant and eating chocolate chip cookie dough?” He chuckled and said, “No. You don’t seem like you’ve been out robbing people.” His partner was busy using his walkie talkie to relay the same information back to Interpol and then they headed back to their squad car.

It was all quite cordial and we were on our way within a matter of minutes. However, someone wasn’t quiet so accommodating. From my belly I heard, “I’m not even born yet and I’m already being hassled by The Man! This is racial profiling! Get our attorney on the phone because this fetus (and here I could hear thumbs thrusting toward a tiny chest) is suing for emotional distress. Now let’s get back to sending down the chocolate chip cookie dough shall we, woman?!”

Awww, sounds like someone’s going to be an ACLU lawyer…

Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Fridays

February 20, 2009

Product: “Sympathy” Daddy Teebumpguy2
The Pitch: Sporting a sympathy [bump] he’s just showing his support. These super funky [bump]-daddy tees give dads-to-be credit for their part. Remember it takes two to tango so let him stand proud and relish in his success with a sense of humor.
Cost: $46

Reasons why this T-shirt should irritate the everloving stuffing out of any pregnant wife if it ever appears in her household:

1. Spending $46 on a novelty T-shirt, when couples staring down the barrel of college tuition costs should be socking away approximately $9,240 a month before their child is even born? Genius.
2. Turning “bump” into an acronym for “baby under manufacturing purposes” is bubblegum blech to begin with. Your man deciding to trot the expression  around town on his chest is a little, er, lack-of-confidence inspiring.
3. The notion that this T-shirt gives a husband “credit for his part.” Because we’re visibly hogging all the credit with our swelling appendages, haywire complexions, and oh-my-God-I’m-gonna vomit facial contortions. Besides, we’re giving you plenty of credit when, after vomiting, we narrow our eyes to slits, poke your chest and say, “You did this to me.”
4. The concept of this T-shirt conveying his sympathy. I’ve been working through the math in my head and I’m not sure how this overpriced, too-cute-by-half T-shirt is supposed to ameliorate pregnant chicks who’ve been dealing with the carnival of delights that includes but is not limited to: sleeplessness, heartburn, nausea, inability to go to the toity but every four days, loss of appetite, ravenous appetite, horrific taste in mouth all day, breakouts, and exhaustion. One’s dude slipping this little number on over the gut that he obtained during too many post-kickball beer pong tournaments “in sympathy” isn’t quite balancing the scales.

You want to show sympathy? Rub her back.

Here Be Monsters!

February 19, 2009

If you think that video with the two young lasses and one beverage container is the most disturbing thing on the internet, you have clearly not seen the video below.* During a chat last evening outside of my husband’s newspaper, his colleague Mike–who recently welcomed his second adorable offspring into the world–mentioned that you can see a baby moving in the mother’s stomach near the end of pregnancy. Now, I assumed that he meant there’s an occasionally faintly visible tappa tappa tappa or something. But no, he meant a full-on, undulating belly sea sent roiling by the eight pound, six ounce Loch Ness Monster inside. If I thought I was freaked out standing there on the sidewalk I had another thing coming when I got home. Specifically, I had YouTube coming.

This is just one of many horrifying results when you search “baby moving in stomach.” The miracle of life never looked so utterly creepy.

*Yes, I realize I’m costing myself untold Google traffic by not putting the actual name of it in this post. Baby Bird doesn’t need the miscreants looking for it shuffling over to her site and leaving their slimy disgruntled comments all over a post about say, baby blankets or baptism party cakes.

Transcript: Getting Ready for Work Yesterday Morning

February 18, 2009


[Editor’s note: It is important that you know going into this that my husband does not brook female authors. He is extremely well read and comes up with a big, fat goose egg on female writers he considers worthy of anything but a hearty “meh.” And don’t try suggesting Harper Lee and To Kill a Mockingbird, a book he greatly admires. He subscribes to the theory that Capote really wrote it.]

Me: The baby is hearing sounds now. We should start reading to it.
Husband: Dammit!
Me: Aaand maybe start not cussing in front of it.
Husband: No, (looking around room for something) I wanted to save that A&M (football recruiting) printout to read to it.
Me: I was thinking more along the lines of literature.
Husband: I can read it the Norman Mailer I just bought.
Me: Yes, it’ll love that. It’ll soothe it right back to sleep. I was thinking more along the lines of Richard Scarry or Dr. Seuss. Incidentally, are we going to incorporate any female authors into the mix?
Husband: It depends. Who’s doing the reading?
Me: (deep sigh) Fine, I’ll read it the female writers. We’ll start with Dorothy Parker.
Husband: (skeptical) Yeah, but what’s that going to do to it?
Me: Likely, come out with some unhealthy issues with men. And saying “Boys don’t make passes at girls who wear glasses,” as its first words.

AFTERNOON UPDATE: I just received the following letter from my husband’s PR firm:
Dear Our Client’s Wife,

It has come to our attention that you have, without our client’s prior approval, published the transcript of a private conversation for public humor purposes. Our client believes that he is portrayed in a negative light because of the lack of nuance that is inherent when moving from the spoken word to the printed form of a conversation. Basically, our client thinks that he sort of came off sounding like a d*ck. For example, one could infer that his expletive was referring to the fact that the baby could now hear, when in fact it was referring to his exasperation with himself over having misplaced the Aggie football printout that he wanted to read the baby immediately upon its development of auditory canals. Furthermore, he strongly asserts that he is joking—totally joking just to get to you!—when he claims to not like any female authors or to believe that whole Lee/Capote thing, although we would be negligent in not disclosing that he was looking all shifty eyed from side to side and chuckling nervously when he said this.

In summary, our client believes that one could walk away from today’s post wondering why you are married to this guy who again, sort of sounds like a d*ck. While that question should answer itself as he is clearly a sexy beast, we must firmly request that you make your readership aware of his concerns, so as not to damage his reputation as a sensitive, lady-author-loving sexy beast. In the future, please send us advance copies of all transcripts that at any point involved a mouth full of toothpaste. You know our client isn’t thinking straight when he’s trying to brush his teeth.

Thank you.

Everything We Know About Child Rearing We Learned From Pak ‘n Ship

February 16, 2009


On our trip to Texas a couple weekends ago, my husband’s brother and sister-in-law entrusted the care of their child to us for the evening. But first they set up some safety valves: they only gave us one of their two kids and technically they entrusted him to the grandparents. We just happened to be staying at the grandparents’ house–the junior camp counselors to their seasoned head counselors, if you will. However, unlike typical junior camp counselors we did not take every opportunity to meet up at the lake, make out, and smoke ciggies.

No, my husband and I view any prolonged contact with children now as boot camp experience. As such, we approached our duties solemnly. He quickly realized that we were going to have to take some additional safety measures. So he made like Tony Stark and whipped the boy up some new high-tech, bubble wrap dubs. (And before anyone has a holy conniption in the comments, no, we did not let him run around unsupervised with the bubble wrap hat on.)

That the lad escaped the evening unscathed is clearly a testamant to our superior, although nascent, parenting skills. We realized we’re going to be fine. Provided you can register for bubble wrap by the ton at Babies ‘R Us.

Why The Baby Industry Hates Us Friday

February 13, 2009

Product: Prenate DHA prenatal vitamins


Perhaps it’s a torture of my own making, going so quickly from wedding planning to gestation. Having just been released from the clutches of the bridal industrial complex–which reminded me regularly that failure to make certain expenditures doomed me to a life of misery–I now face the gaping jaws of the baby industry which would politely like to inform me that failure to make certain expenditures dooms my offspring to a life of misery.

State’s Exhibit A: The little nipper on my prenatal vitamins above. He’s wearing a graduation cap. Why that’s odd, considering that he just recently sprang forth from the womb. Unless they’re implying that he just graduated from Uterine University (motto, “In Umbilical Funis Speramus“) he should really have no need yet for such ceremonial garb. Not so! Because clearly, moms who don’t take Prenate DHA have children who end up collecting tolls at the entrance to the Holland Tunnel. (And don’t think it coincidence that the dame on the box is a pretty reasonable cartoon facsimile of me. If I know the pharmaceutical industry, they have enough satellite imagerymarket research to gin up a box that speaks directly to my redheaded, green-eyed, headband-wearing self.) Please also note that the mortar board baby is winking, as if to say, “What’s it going to be, mother? Yale or employee of the month at Chuey’s Chalupa Shak? Your call.”

It’s going to be a long six months.

Celebs Who Are Pregs: All I Wanna Do Is Bang Ba—AGGGH SOMEONE GET HER A CHAIR!

February 12, 2009

Periodically, we’ll consider the looks trotted out by that most entertaining of groups: the women who populate the intersection where circles labeled “Celebrity” and “Preggers” collide. First up is M.I.A., who performed at the Grammys Sunday, which also happened to be her due date.


M.I.A., may I call you M.? Good. M., I know you’re something of a quirky gal, on account of all the train riding and fake identification production and such and such. But this look’s not working for me, regardless. It’s as if you borrowed a top from Donna Martin’s closet c. 1990, then let us see what it would have looked like if Donna’s questionable graduation status was the least of her problems after that drunken prom night. However I would like to thank you for being so demure as to modify the dress with the addition of the black miniskirt. When Henry Holland of House of Holland designed this number as a dress for his Spring 2009 collection he likely didn’t take the 12-inch protuberance on your belly into account.


Verdict: Just because you can doesn’t mean you should, famous wacky pregnant lady.

Do We Have to Pay VAT Taxes on This?

February 10, 2009

We came back from our honeymoon to Ireland with a baby. While other visitors to the Emerald Isle typically prefer to scoop up an Aran sweater or a Waterford vase, we opted for a life-altering souvenir of the belly-swelling sort. Not that we exactly knew it at the time. Had I known while returning through customs I would of course have huffed, when asked if I had anything to declare, “That is absolutely none of your business, sir.”

Today we find ourselves at 14 weeks and some change. The young lad(y) is due in early August, at which time we presume it will instantly brand itself a D.C. native by crowing about how blissfully empty the restaurants are and sighing with irritation from its Baby Bjorn perch at tourists standing to the left on Metro escalators.

Feel free to come along for the fun. If you think this is going to be a mommy blog, you probably don’t know the Bird that well. You’ll learn. And yes, of course you should immediately start emailing me stupid baby junk that you find on the interwebs. Because yes, of course there are going to be Why the Baby Industry Hates Us Fridays.