Saturday, December 31, 2011

New Year's Eve

Hi, Baby.

It's New Year's Eve, and your dad and I are so excited to celebrate the beginning of 2012. That's going to be your birth year! (Can you believe it? I bet you can't. In fact, I bet you aren't even aware that there's a whole world outside my uterus. You've heard muffled voices and noisy cat sounds, sure, but just wait. You'll be in for the surprise of your life when you join us out here!)

Your little kicks and turns are getting even stronger, and it's so neat to feel you. Your dad can't wait to be able to feel you, too! You're quite the active fetus, so I bet it won't be long, now. I had a cup of coffee on Christmas Eve -- my first cup of coffee since finding out that I was pregnant in the first place -- and it was delicious. You must have thought so too, because I'm pretty sure you were dancing the Charleston in my uterus right afterward.

No champagne for us tonight, little one, because alcohol is a big no-no when you're pregnant. But we'll be celebrating with some hot chocolate or something, because there is just so much to celebrate. We can't wait to meet you!

Your Mom

Sunday, December 25, 2011

Merry Christmas, Baby!

Well, Baby, it's Christmas! I was going to write "Your mom and I just spent the last Christmas we'll ever spend without you," but then I realized you've been here the whole time. You're physically here, hitching a ride in your mom's midsection, and you're certainly with us in spirit, as we can't seem to have a conversation that doesn't include you in some way, which probably annoys everybody we know. So maybe we'll just say this is the last Christmas we'll spend without looking at your cute little face, at least for a good long time, but maybe ever, since by the time you're too cool to spend Christmas with your parents, our awesome holodeck technology will probably let us see you anyway.

While it was a pretty great day, spent with your Memere and Ooompa and your Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy and your cousin Autumn and on the phone with your Grandma Jill (cool grandma name pending), I can't help but think it would have been just a little bit more awesome if you were already here celebrating with us.

You've already gotten a lot of gifts, and you're barely the size of a sweet potato. You got a cool shape toy and a carrot rattle from your Grandma Jill, some classy sandals from your Great Aunt Sue, the coolest pigeon toy ever from Uncle Mike and Aunt Nancy, and a pinkish lamb from your Memere. If you're a boy, and you try to complain about this, we're going to use it as a lesson in living in a post-gender-role society. It's ridiculous how spoiled you're going to be when you're actually here to open things.

Christmas is about a lot of things, but one of those things is family, and we can't wait to welcome you to ours. In only a few short weeks, we'll hopefully know if you're a boy or a girl, which will make this whole pronoun thing less awkward. Do you know about pronouns? Don't worry, we'll teach you.

Merry Christmas, Baby. Next year I'll get to say that in person, and also use your name, and that blows my mind. It would blow your mind, too, but you're too busy doing important things like giving your mom cramps and solving world hunger. No pressure.


Your Dad

Tuesday, December 13, 2011


Hi Baby!

Your mom and I have been talking a lot about names lately. Naming a baby is hard, because there are so many good options (and so many terrible ones, a subset of which your mother likes, so don't worry, I'll protect you) and it feels like you're making a very important decision. After all, you're going to be stuck with whatever name we decide for quite awhile, and who knows how it will shape who you are?

But today I want to talk about last names. That one's easier for you, because it's going to be Lute. It's a nice name. Simple. Short. Musically evocative. It's served me well for my whole life. But your mother wasn't always a Lute, so the name wasn't quite as easy for her.

See, soon after we started dating, we were talking casually (or maybe not-so-casually, as our relationship moved very quickly. If one of yours ever moves this quickly, you will have some explaining to do, baby) about marriage. Your mom mentioned that, for a number of reasons, she didn't want to change her last name when she got married. She wanted to stay a Beauregard, because it had always been her name and it had been her dad's name and for all kinds of good reasons. I'm a progressive, forward-thinking kind of dad, and I told her I was fine with that. Didn't bother me in the slightest, and in fact, I understood, because I certainly didn't want to change *my* name when we got married.

You may have noticed, however, that your mom's last name isn't Beauregard, like Memere's. It's Lute, like yours. Weird, huh?

Well, not long after we had that talk, your mother asked me, "Well, what will our children's last names be?" (This was probably an hour later. Seriously, baby, we were and are very in love, but you should probably take your time, for your parents' sake.) We talked about it a bit, and I told her that I didn't want to hyphenate your last name.  Lute-Beauregard is pretentious, and Beauregard-Lute sounds like a civil war bard. She wanted you to have her last name, too, which I understood, and of course, I wanted you to have my last name for the same reasons. We talked about it more and weren't really getting anywhere, until finally your mother said:

"Let's rock-paper-scissors for it."

Now, baby, you should know a couple of things. First of all, your mother is terrible at rock-paper-scissors. Just absolutely awful. I shouldn't give away, but she always throws rock the first time because "rock is the best." EVERY TIME. She does this even knowing that I know she does it. It's like some kind of brain disorder. I hope you aren't born with it. Second of all, you should probably not make important life decisions (particularly about other, unborn people's lives) through thumb wars, rock-paper-scissors, arm wrestling, or other feats of appendage heroism. Your mother ESPECIALLY shouldn't do this, because she's absolutely awful at all of those things. And if you ARE going to do it, you should at least do best-two-out-of-three.

But your mother did none of these things that night in Little Canada, MN. She threw one rock and lost to my paper. And so your last name is Lute. To her credit, and I can't begin to tell you how much I respect her for this, not once in the intervening years did she ever question this result. She is a woman of her word and respects the deal, even if the deal is made over an incredibly biased game of rock-paper-scissors.

So that's why your name is Lute, but it's not why her name is Lute. You see, another hour or so went by talking about other things until she said, "Hmm...well, I don't want my name to be different from my kids' last name." And so she decided to change her name instead of challenging the decision.

That is one of the many, many reasons I love her, and why we're all Lutes, and why mom will have to let you go to that party if your rock-paper-scissors her for it and throw paper. Sorry to undermine her parenting.

Your Dad

Monday, December 12, 2011

Baby Flutters

Hi, Baby.

Whether they're called flutters, twitches, or kicks, I can actually feel you moving around! It's only slight now (I'm sixteen weeks pregnant), but it's when I'm lying down after eating something. Or, like yesterday, lying down after drinking a Pepsi. (Sorry, baby. I had a headache, and the doctor said caffeine is really all I can do for a headache at this point.) Anyway, you were squiggling around in there quite a bit after the Pepsi! I'm looking forward to those fluttery twitches getting even stronger.

Your mom has terrible allergies, these days. I read that this sometimes happens to pregnant women- their allergies get worse than ever. It could also be due, in part, to the fact that it's December 12th and there's no snow yet! (Oh, baby. You're going to love snow. I sure do!)

I have what they call "pregnancy brain," or "pregnesia." Don't worry, it's not a serious condition. It just makes your mom look really silly sometimes. For instance, at your dad's company Christmas party, a guy came up to me and said, "Hi Renee! Nice to see you again!" Baby, I couldn't figure out where on Earth I knew him from, but then it dawned on me. "Oh my gosh," I said, "didn't we go to college together? We did! We were in chorus together!" He looked at me strangely, and said, "No, I don't think so. I work with your husband." Oh, right. That's how I knew him. Which makes sense, because we were at the company Christmas party. I was pretty embarrassed. I forget to do the simplest things, and I lose track of most conversations. Fortunately, it's very normal for pregnancy.

I want a Cinnabon very terribly, today. Unfortunately, there are no Cinnabons at the Providence Place Mall, so I will have to make a cinnamon pretzel work, instead. I suppose I can be thankful that my cravings are all pretty normal and tasty, and not things like pennies and dirt. (I've heard that some women actually crave those things. I'll stick with the Cinnabons and salsa, thank you very much. Not together, of course! That would be gross. But still not as gross as pennies and dirt.)

Your Mom

Monday, December 5, 2011

Baby Belly!

Hi, Baby.

It's finally here. I have a small bump. (That's you in there, you know!) Sometimes your dad puts his hand on it and says, "Hi, Baby!" Sometimes I rub it and say, "What's up with these cramps, Baby?" I'm so excited to have some physical evidence of you. (You know, besides the nausea and vomiting, which has really subsided, now that my fabulous doctor has prescribed Zofran!)

I can't stop eating, Baby. I'm sure you're happy about that. Breakfast cereal (with milk, of course) is a staple for me these days. I had been eating Fruity Pebbles, but then I figured that there must have been a reason my mom (your Memeré) didn't let me eat that as a kid (except when it counted as Vacation Cereal, which you will experience when you're old enough to eat solids), so I switched over to Berry Berry Kix. I'm also eating a lot of apples and peanut butter, yogurt, and Wasa crackers with cheese. Yum.

I'm wearing maternity pants now! They are awesome, baby. They're like jeans with a big elastic band that goes all the way up to my ribs. I love these pants. They are not stylish, so to speak, and they are quite big on me, but they are awfully cozy!

On Saturday, your dad and I drove to Ware to see Memeré, Ooompa, Uncle Michael, Auntie Nancy, and your cousin Autumn. Nancy is pregnant with your cousin Robert, and I got to feel him kick! It was pretty amazing. I can't wait until you start kicking, too! We exchanged birthday presents (Nancy and I have birthdays that are very close together), and we spent a great day all together as a big family, looking at old photos and talking. It was a good day to remember your Peperé (my dad) and Great Grandmother (my Memeré Plouffe), who are in Heaven, looking out for you.

On Wednesday, your dad and I are going to the doctor's so I can have another ultrasound. We can't wait to see you jumping around in there! It always feels like a sneak preview or something, and I get so excited every time we get to see you. You'll be here with us in 176 days (give or take a few), and we can't wait to meet you!

Your Mom

Monday, November 21, 2011

Thirteen Weeks

Hi, Baby.

I'm thirteen weeks pregnant, and that makes you approximately the size of a peach. Pretty wild, huh? I lie really still sometimes and try to feel you moving, but we still have a few weeks to go before your flutters are obviously flutters. I'm really looking forward to that. I'm also looking forward to finding out what your gender is! I have an ultrasound in two weeks, when I'll be fifteen weeks pregnant, and it's possible that we'll find out then, but it could still be early, or you could have your little legs crossed, or any number of obstacles. Don't worry, we'll find out sooner or later. Until then, we're registering for lots of gender neutral nursery things.

We've picked your nursery theme! I'll include a picture with this entry. I hope you like it. Your dad and I sure do! The theme is Peter Rabbit, who is actually sort of a naughty rabbit, but also very brilliant and adorable. We'll read you lots of Beatrix Potter books, and I hope that you will love them as much as I do.

Well, little one, it's almost time for me to get ready for my doctor's appointment. I'm excited to hear your heartbeat again!

Your Mom

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

The Perils of Dehydration

Dear Baby,

I'm writing this post on my phone from the waiting room of the ER. Your poor mother has been very sick during these first few months of pregnancy and now she's dehydrated to the point that they need to get some fluids in her. Nothing to worry about, and I promise she loves you anyway. In fact, she must really enjoy being sick because she keeps telling me she hopes the next one is twins. Baby, I love your mother, but sometimes it's unfortunate how crazy she is.

But that's not even the reason I'm writing today. You see, this morning before we came here, we had an appointment where I got to hear your heartbeat for the first time. At least they told me it was a heartbeat. There may actually be a herd of horses in your mother's womb. Anyway, I've seen you on the ultrasound before, but something about hearing you for the first time was incredibly moving.

I'm sitting in the waiting room of an ER and I still have a smile on my face and think this is a good day.

Fatherhood is weird.

Monday, November 14, 2011

You Have a Dad, Too!

Dear Baby,

While your mother has spent an awful lot of time telling you about your cats and your cousins, there doesn't appear to be a lot of information here about me. I guess that's because I'm supposed to write that part. But I need to apologize in advance, though, baby, because I'm terrible at writing. I don't mean the actual mechanics of it. I'm passable there at least. I mean the actual process of sitting down and putting words into a box at any kind of regular interval. This won't mean anything to you by the time you're old enough to care about this, because by then you'll be zipping around in your flying car (wearing your forcefield restraint, of course) and sending brain-mails to your friends. Your dad doesn't have this luxury and I have to type my words on an old-fashioned computer just like the pilgrims and Jane Austen did.

First off, let me say this: I'm very excited to meet you. I realize that might go without saying, but I felt the need to get it out there. Your mom bought me a book called I Can't Wait to Meet My Daddy, and while it's absolutely the stupidest thing I've ever read, I cry every single time I read it. I'm tearing up right now just THINKING about it. Seriously, Baby, one day you're going to read this, and read that book, and think, "My dad was a total pansy." I don't really have any excuse. Just remember that it was your fault, because I used to be really manly and could probably fix a carburetor or something. (You don't know what that is, because flying cars don't have them. That's okay. Between you and me, I don't know what that is, either.)

There are a million things I want to tell you, but the most important part of the story is this: Your mother and I love each other more than I ever knew it was possible to love another person. I think too many kids have to wonder that about their parents. I hope you won't ever wonder that. I hope it will always be obvious. But I wanted you to know for sure.  But as much as we love each other, I know that we already love you just as much, and we'll love your brother or sister, too. And if your mother gets her way, we'll love the third one, too.

I think love is a good place to start.

(Note to self: If/when Baby #3 is born, edit this post to make it look like the whole thing was my idea from the start. At least before Baby #3 learns how to read. Or if editing seems like too much work, make sure Baby #3 never learns to read.)

Advice From Your Cousin Autumn

Hi, Baby.

Your cousin Autumn is three years old, and she knows a lot of stuff about a lot of stuff. She has a few pieces of advice to share with you, to prepare you for life outside of my uterus.

1.) Eat with your fingers. It is much less complicated than using forks and spoons, and dinnertime will be so much more fun.

2.) When reading a book, skip pages. It'll make the story seem different and surprising every single time.

3.) When your parents are talking, and you have something to say, just say it louder.

4.) Crayons taste better without wrappers. They just do. Similarly, food tastes better once it's been on the floor.

5.) It's okay to have gas. It's actually really funny. So have lots of it, and announce it when you do.

6.) Anything you find on the floor can and should be used as a musical instrument.

I hope these tips are helpful, Baby.

Your Mom

Crackers and Toast, Toast and Crackers

Hi, Baby.

I managed to get an awful lot of writing done this weekend, which was something of a miracle, because I was tossing an awful lot of cookies. (That's just a saying. I haven't eaten cookies in a very long time. I guess, technically, I was tossing a lot of crackers and toast.) I have a doctor's appointment on Wednesday to check things out. (We may even get to hear/see your heartbeat again!)

I'm a worry wart about you. When I have a hard time keeping water and juice down, I worry that I'm dehydrating you. When I have a hard time keeping toast down, I worry that I'm starving you. I wonder if I'll still worry like this after you are born? I bet I will. I'll be that mom who holds mirrors under your nose while you're sleeping to make sure you're still breathing. That will only get weird when you're eighteen or nineteen years old, and I have to sneak into your college dorm to do it. (I'm kidding! Also, let's not talk about college just yet. It's too soon. My pregnant emotions can't take it.)

This past weekend, your dad got a new game called "Skyrim." As excited as he was about playing the game, he still took breaks to rub my back when I was getting sick. That's love. :)

Thanksgiving is next week, and I keep thinking about how much I have to be thankful about this year. (So much.) Maybe you and I can even work out some kind of a deal, so that I can try some mashed potatoes and stuffing? What do you say, Baby?

Your Mom

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Baby Lute!

Hi, Baby.

Your dad and I are so excited to meet you, and we wanted to keep a blog for you (that we'll turn into a little book once you arrive). I'm about twelve weeks pregnant with you, and that makes you the size of a lime. (This is why your mom's pants don't button anymore.) We won't know your gender for at least a couple more weeks, so we'll just call you Baby Lute until we find out. (And man, are we excited to find out!)

So, here's the story, morning glory. Your mom is an MFA student at Hamline. I'm finishing up my thesis in between trips to the bathroom. (My morning sickness has been pretty impressive, but you are so worth it, I promise.) Your dad is a software developer at 38 Studios in Providence. We have two cats, which means that you'll have two cats. A good thing to keep in mind might be that cats don't like to be yanked on. When in doubt, be gentle. You'll get the hang of it. :)

You already have so many people who are excited to meet you! There's Mom and Dad (of course!), and then your grandparents! Memeré Beauregard is my mom. She calls you "little peanut," and she lives in New Hampshire with your Ooompa Alan. (Nope, that's not a typo. When your cousin Autumn was born, Memeré told Alan that he had to decide what he wanted to be called. He took too long deciding, so I picked for him. "Oompa." He decided to spell it with three O's, because he is exceptionally silly, and it stuck! Autumn has been calling him Ooompa ever since!) Your Grandma Jill is Dad's mom, and she lives in Indiana with your Auntie Anni. They can't wait to meet you! Then there's your Uncle Michael and Auntie Nan, who live in Massachusetts. Auntie Nan is pregnant, too, with your cousin Robert! You'll be very close in age, and we're excited to have lots of play dates. Uncle Michael and Auntie Nan are your cousin Autumn's parents, too. Autumn will be about three and a half years older than you, and she'll teach you lots of neat stuff. You have lots of second and third cousins, great-aunts and great-uncles, and three great-grandparents! What a lucky baby you already are!

Here's a picture of your dad with Grandma Jill:

And one of your mom with Memeré:

I'll say 'bye for now, Baby, but will write again soon!
Your Mom