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