Tags Posts tagged with "Smurfling"


    5 17961


    I don’t want to turn this in to a “Mommy” blog and I’ve always kinda been turned off by people who go overboard with pictures of their kids (especially when they’re kinda goofy looking) but I just couldn’t resist…

    The novelty will wear off soon, right?

    14 5995

    The Cookie Monster ate my baby...This the first guest post ever on PIAC — it’s not that I’m against doing them, I just wouldn’t know who to ask…

    Now that I think about it, though, I think frequent commenters Dustin and Heather could definitely post some real valuable information!

    Anyhow, let the guest post begin…

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    – – – – – – – – – – –

    PIAC Factoid: Duncan Smurf is only 5 days old. I’m not certain that that makes him the youngest blogger in the world but he can’t be far off.

    Hopefully, in the days to come, he’ll have more to say.

    And hopefully I’ll find the time to say more too!

    5 2580

    Smurfling is overdue.When I hear the word “overdue” the first thing that comes to mind is the library.

    I’m almost ashamed to admit that I haven’t checked a book out from a library in well over a decade but as a result I’ve never had to worry about paying any fines for returning a book overdue.

    Strangely, the term “overdue” does not come to mind when it comes to my bills.

    Maybe it’s because I’ve never paid a bill that was “overdue”.

    And maybe it’s because if I were in that unfortunate situation, I’d substitute the word “late” in instead.

    Anyway, my wife was “due” yesterday.

    Still, no baby.

    Does that make her overdue?

    I just hope there aren’t any fines levied as a result…

    – – – – – – – – –

    PIAC Flashback: The last book that I checked out of a library was from the second floor Chemistry Library in Gordon Hall at Queen’s University back in 1996.

    I was working on a project regarding the idea that time would stop at absolute zero because the electrons of an atom would cease to move at that temperature.
    Gordon Hall
    That’s right.

    I was working on a time machine.

    Can’t say I didn’t tell you I that was Brainy…

    Keyword being… was.

    11 4505

    The Baby's Room
    We’re on the verge of a single digit countdown now…

    The smurfling could decide to arrive at any time and, let me tell you, we’re ready…

    Well, I think we are…

    (No credit given to that birthing class we took, though…)

    But I must admit, I’m finding it almost unsettling to have a “due” date that isn’t really set in stone. It’s a blurry due date.

    “Yeah, maybe this day, maybe that day. It’ll be in a two-week window or so…”

    It’s foggy.

    That doesn’t really work well with me.

    My cable bill is due on the 14th. My electric bill is due on the 27th. A project at work is due by 8:00 am on Monday.

    The baby? Well…

    For now, though, we’re in a holding pattern of uncertainty…

    3 7402

    I *so* hope that he looks like this...As we’ve come to learn, when you’re having a baby, you seem to get a lot more junk mail than usual.

    The number of individual diapers and/or canisters of Similac that have come in the mail over the past few months is just crazy…

    Of late, as the big day grows closer, we’ve been receiving countless glossy inserts in the mail heralding cord blood.

    More specifically, “banking” umbilical cord blood.

    For those that don’t have a pregnancy in the family (or haven’t in the past decade), the idea is that blood collected from the umbilical cord shortly after birth can cure diseases that may come up in your child’s earlier years so, in marketing-speak, it’s in your best interest to “bank” it for the future.

    A surprising number of companies, at least ten, offer this seemingly sci-fi service and they’re all vying for my business.

    The pitch is always the same.

    They use guilt to sell their product.

    It’s pretty creepy actually…

    The most recent, which arrived yesterday, is from a company called ViaCord.

    The photo on the front is of a baby on the floor where an electrical outlet “should” be. In the picture, the outlet is about 6 feet up on the wall with the caption, “Protect baby. That’s what mommas do.”

    One sec, I’ll scan it…

    Cord Blood Ad Slick

    Okay, fair enough.

    It’s kind of creative, I’ll give them that, and certainly more appealing to the eye than, say, an umbilical cord oozing blood or something.

    Inside the fold, they claim that saving your baby’s cord blood is something “you’ve just got to do.”

    Bluntly, all of the advertisements sugarcoat the exact same message, “If you don’t do this, your baby will DIE!” followed by an evil laugh.

    In their words, it protects your baby (and apparently other family members too) from “over 70 diseases like Leukemia.”

    Forgive my ignorance but I had no idea that there were 70 diseases like Leukemia.

    I’m pretty sure that’s not how they meant it to be interpreted. Or maybe that was their plan.

    Maybe there actually are 70 diseases just like Leukemia? I just don’t know…

    The text continues, “In addition, cord blood is emerging as a treatment option for Type I Diabetes and Cerebral Palsy.”

    Your baby’s cord blood is priceless.

    Hmmmmm… funny that they don’t list what they’ll charge you to harvest it and then bank it…

    I guess the real way to think about it is as insurance — a new-age kind of health insurance, of sorts.

    I’m still not sold on it.

    Neither is my wife so it’s very unlikely that we’ll invest in it when the big day arrives in a matter of weeks.

    Furthering my confidence in our decision is the fine print:

    The odds that a family member without a defined risk will need to use their child’s cord blood are low. There is no guarantee that the cord blood will be a match for a family member or will provide a cure. Autologous cord blood stem cells will not guarantee suitable treatment for all inherited genetic diseases.

    Um… so why would I pay hundreds (or even thousands) of dollars to do this?

    It costs money but doesn’t guarantee anything…

    Seems a little like snake oil to me…

    (Or insurance, frankly… The kind that doesn’t actually cover anything.)

    4 6080

    Christopher LowellIt’s crazy how nice people can be — even if it’s phony.

    My wife just happens to be 8-months pregnant right now and I know how you hear about how all kinds of people will come up to you and want to touch your tummy and stuff but, seeing as I’m not the one with the huge protruding belly button, I hadn’t really experienced much of that first hand.

    Until last week.

    It was Sunday morning and we were on our way to Toys ‘R’ Us to search for, you guessed it, Smurf dolls.

    The store closest to home let us down, as it often does, so we were driving across the state to check out the next closest location.

    On the way, passing through a town with a much different demographic than any town I’ve ever lived in, at 70 miles per hour, we saw a Burlington Coat Factory.

    It looked kinda ghetto but that didn’t matter…

    I like Burlington Coat Factory.

    We stopped.

    I’ve never bought any clothing there, never even tried anything on but they always have that huge section of good quality towels, curtains, sheets, and crap that you could pay twice as much for if you went to a place like Bed, Bath, and Beyond.

    That, and going into a Burlington Coat Factory always gives me the opportunity to do my Christoper Lowell impression which makes me crack myself up every single time…

    Speaking of Christopher LowellWhat ever happened to that guy? He used to be on television all the time…

    If you’re lost as to why I do a Christopher Lowell impression (funny on its own — trust me) at Burlington Coat Factory, it’s because he has a product line available there and, years ago, it wasn’t uncommon to run into a life-size cardboard cutout of him in the decorative pillow aisle.

    I’m giving myself the giggles right now just thinking about it…

    Anyway, also of interest, especially now, at Burlington Coat Factory is their extensive baby section. It’s not any cheaper than the regular stores and, for the most part, they have all of the same brands that all of the other stores have. The biggest difference is the selection. Burlington Coat Factory has it all.

    So we pulled into the pitted and potholed parking lot.

    There weren’t many cars there but a woman had pulled into a parking spot just before us and was headed towards the door.

    She was a heavy-set black woman. She had her hair all done up and bling to the max draped across her chest — perhaps in case she encountered one Mr. Christopher Lowell, though, I’m pretty sure he’s not really into the ladies…

    She had lose fake 4-inch nails on and some super high heels on too, I dunno, I guess to make her appear slimmer. It wasn’t working. Basically, she looked a little like Mary J. Blige, except 100 pounds or so heavier.

    She even had the diva strut and attitude to match.

    Realistically, based on first impression, I think I could safely say that we had pretty much nothing in common — besides being in a Burlington Coat Factory mood on a Sunday morning.

    Anyway, with that on my mind (not really, at the time she was just the lady in front of us with the huge butt swinging from side to side), we followed her to the interior airlock door (you know, in that space where they keep the shopping carts. I suppose it’s like a mudroom for big box stores), which she tugged.

    It didn’t open. She tugged again.

    In an accent that I suppose can be considered local, but isn’t a dialect that I would ever use, she openly questioned what time it was.

    Being that we were the only other people in the room (airlock?), we assumed that she was asking us. Maybe she was just being loud.

    She was pissed — you could tell. She even did that head thing — it was classic.

    (Really, I could have put a check mark next to every single stereotype out there — she fit the bill on all of them.)

    My wife began to dig through her purse for her phone (neither of us wear a watch) and it turned out that we were all there a good half hour before they would be open. Sigh…

    Dejected, we turned around, all three of us, and headed back to the car which was parked one space away from her car — a mid 90’s sedan.

    Totally expecting to walk back to the car in silence and continue our planned trip to the toy store, the woman said to my wife, “You look so beautiful and healthy, when are you due?”

    Wow — well, that came out of no where…

    We shot the breeze on stuff like that for maybe 15 seconds on the way back to the cars.

    It wasn’t a long conversation.

    It wasn’t very detailed either, just a bunch of fluff (thankfully she never got the chance to start listing off names that we should think about), but even if the entire conversation weren’t really genuine, that woman in the Burlington Coat Factory parking lot went out of her way to be nice to complete strangers.

    So much for stereotypes…

    As we got into our cars, she smiled at us, lipstick on her teeth and all, and wished us luck. That was really cool of her.

    Somehow, though, I think all it was due to my wife looking so bloated.

    That’s too bad.

    6 10376

    PiSo what did you do to celebrate?

    Back in university, being among nerdy engineers pretty much 24/7, March 14 was always a date we had circled on the calendar.

    While most university students anticipated March 17, we engineers did most of our drinking on March 14 and quizzed each other on how many digits we’d memorized.

    Off the cuff, right now, I can still ring off “3.1415926535”.

    Yeah, looking back, we were pretty nerdy.

    Fast forward 13 years…

    Today my wife and I spent Pi day at an 8-hour birthing class and, let me tell you, it was an experience.

    We were the first couple there so we got to pick where we sat — something that’s usually a plus until you realize that it also means that you won’t get a chance to pick who you sit next to.

    As couples began to arrive, a 2-chair “courtesy seat” rule was being observed, but as the room began to fill up, it became apparent that soon everyone would have to be sitting next to a stranger.

    Of the 12 couples in attendance, I’m happy to report that the two couples that chose to sit on either side of us happened to be the two couples that I personally would have chosen to sit next to myself if given the chance.

    They were both, I dunno, clean, modern, attractive, and personable.

    That sounds really harsh, but really, I’m not sure I’d even be comfortable shaking hands with some of these strangers.

    At the start, much like what I imagine an AA meeting would be like, we had to introduce ourselves (Brainy & H-Bear), say who our doctor was (the dude at THIS hospital), and when our due date was (May 19).

    And then we had to describe what we “felt” in one word.


    Oh, this is going to be one of those “talk about my feelings” classes, isn’t it?


    I chose “Anxious”.

    My wife chose “Reward”.

    Hmmmm… To the others in the room, those responses probably made it seem as if we’re a terrible couple.

    Anyway, we watched a couple of movies much too graphic to describe here and as I scoped out the room, I realized that I actually knew two of the people?! Crazy!

    If anything, since pretty much everyone in the room had the same doctor and they’ve all been going to doctor appointments on a pretty regular basis, I thought it’d be my wife that would recognize a few faces but, nope, it was me.

    One guy was a guy who used to work with me over a decade ago. He got fired because he smelled.

    No joke. It was a hygiene issue that cost him his job. Thank GOD he didn’t recognize me or, worse, sit next to me. I did my best not to make eye contact.

    The other person that I knew actually was sitting next to me. The minute she walked in the room with her husband I immediately thought, “Oh, please let them sit next to me… Please let them sit next to me…” and then they did.

    She seemed really familiar but it took me probably two hours to figure it out. I knew that I knew her from somewhere but I just couldn’t place it.

    When it finally hit me, I realized that I went to high school with her brother (and her too, but she’s a good 4 years younger). She didn’t recognize me or maybe she did but either way, we didn’t say anything to one another.

    So after a bit of a lecture and some gross movies, we broke out the padded mats and got on the floor.

    The instructor turned down the lights and started playing this odd harp music as an eerie female voice asked us to “Picture a blue screen in the sky…” Um, okay?

    This went on for a good ten minutes or so before I had to stifle my giggles.

    Seriously, imagine 24 fully clothed people lying on the floor in a dark room with harp music playing and some soothing voice from above talking about an imaginary “screen in the sky.”

    It all felt very, I dunno, cult-ish to me. I felt like asking when the comet was scheduled to stop by and pick us up.

    After that “exercise” we had this thing that the instructor said was like a mad-lib. And it was. You know, those things were you fill in the blank words with wacky adjectives or swear words?

    But the blanks weren’t where wacky adjectives would fit.

    Here are a few examples:

    The top of the uterus is called the ____________.
    The bottom of the uterus is called the ____________.

    Now, I don’t know about you, but the words that I’d guess for these two aren’t words that I’m willing to use on this blog.

    They’re also not words I’m willing to utter in the company of strangers. Sure, they’re not officially swear words but they may as well be. And, as I found out, my words were wrong too.

    Bottom line, mad libs are fun. This was not.

    After a quick lunch break, we got a tour of the maternity wing of the hospital.

    That was pretty neat.

    I’d never done that sort of thing before so it was pretty valuable to get to actually see it before we’re there for real.

    Then we went back to the cult-meeting room. We got back on the floor and the harp music kicked in — this time accompanied by some artificial flute noise. Yeah, it was deep.

    The voice from above tried to “get us in the mood” again for some sort of out-of-body experience or something and then some breathing techniques.

    I couldn’t help but wonder how many of the guys (and the girls too, actually) were lying there looking at the ceiling wondering why they were wasting their whole Saturday at this class and if anything could be more ridiculous than acting like a cult member waiting for a comet to arrive.

    I couldn’t have been the only one having those thoughts – though I heard no giggling.

    At the conclusion we watched another graphic movie before we were awarded with a graduation certificate. Thankfully there wasn’t a test at the end.

    But in all seriousness, I can’t say that I learned anything new.

    Maybe it’s just me, but the breathing techniques were exactly the same as what my track coach taught me in high school. It’s exactly what we did on the track. It’s exactly what we did in the weight room. I’m pretty sure that would be the case for anyone that took high school sports relatively seriously.

    Guys, if it were possible for us to give birth, we’ve already got the breathing part down.

    Really, especially for any long distance runners out there that haven’t taken a birthing class — it’s all going to be really familiar… until the harp music kicks in. Then it gets weird.

    In the end though, I’m glad we went.

    The most valuable part was definitely the hospital tour (which is something you can do on its own separate from a birthing class) but I’m still glad that we sat through all of the goofy movies and breathing techniques.

    I may not have learned a single thing today (besides what the top of the uterus is *really* called) but at least I don’t feel like I’m missing anything either.

    Had we skipped it, I think I’d always wonder if I were missing something important.

    Now I know that I’m not.

    (Of course I say that now… I’ll likely eat my words in mid-May.)

      2 2183

      This Week on MTV Cribs... Brainy Smurf!

      I know, there wasn’t a “Photo of the Week” last week…

      It’s not that I forgot or was too busy… I just had the nastiest flu-like symptoms that I’ve had in years…

      Anyway, on Thursday evening we picked up part of our order at BabyUSA. The remaining piece of Furniture won’t be in until sometime in March. Yeah, one of those 6-8 week things… Not sure what takes so long… They can’t be made to order… I digress…

      Everything came in a nice big cardboard box — which they opened at the store (you know, destroying any protective integrity that the boxes once had) then taped them back up haphazardly and helped us load them into my wife’s truck.

      We drove to the far end of the parking lot, took everything out of the back, and then re-arranged things in a MUCH safer way for the car ride home.

      After an uneventful car ride home, entirely due to our stellar packing job, it was time to bring stuff into the house.

      We started with the dresser — the heaviest and most awkward of the pieces — and slowly made our way in the front door.

      Inside the cardboard box it was fully assembled, you know, like a REAL piece of furniture. For $519.99, I’d better not have to break out an Allen wrench…

      The second box, a big wide flat one, contained the crib. Just from looking at the box, this was going to be an IKEA-style project. Luckily, since it wasn’t nearly as bulky, it was easy to get into the house and up the stairs.

      The dresser, however, was a beast.

      We took all of the drawers out to lessen the weight, but it was still pretty heavy. Weight wasn’t the main issue though.

      The dimensions of the stairwell were the problem.

      Low clearance, walls on both sides all the way up, and a 90 degree turn thrown in for an added challenge.

      How we managed to get a queen size mattress up this flight of stairs is still a mystery…

      Our first two attempts were unsuccessful. Both attempts ended with the dresser tightly wedged at the turn in the stairs.


      Knowing that I was planning to have the first floor completely renovated, and doing a quick check to make sure the wall wasn’t supporting anything above, I was almost ready to break out a circular saw and make the opening bigger in my own special way…

      We tried one more time and it barely, with less than a half inch to spare, cleared the corner and the lowest part of the ceiling.


      Now, at this point, I’m all sweaty and out of breath. It’s also beginning to get late and we’ve got to go to work in the morning.

      Does that stop us?

      Of course not. The project is not complete.

      We start putting together the crib and it’s just like an IKEA piece of furniture — something we’re very experienced with. Of course I don’t ever remember paying so much for something that I had to assemble with an Allen wrench, but still, it looks like a pretty nice and solid piece of furniture.

      By 9:30 pm, we’re done and I’m settling in to watch 30 Rock, part of my normal Thursday night routine, before hitting the sack.

      All-in-all, the room looks pretty nice and I’m pretty happy with our selection and not at all worried about how much we spent on it all.

      Grant, who just had a baby of his own (congrats!) and often leaves great comments here that get me thinkin’, mentioned after the we purchased the furniture that we should just accept the fact that we’re going to buy a bunch of stuff and to get all of the big purchases made now.

      He’s right.

      You often hear the line, “Don’t sweat the small stuff…”

      Right now, I’m not even sweating the big stuff…

      We’ll see what happens when the statement arrives!

      Can You Dig It?


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