Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Observations From The Maternity Ward...

The nurses and doctors in the maternity ward of Women and Infant's Hospital are really amazing people. They are all so specialized in what they do, be it pre-natal care, delivery room care, anesthesia, or post partum care. Even the staff that bring the meals and clean the room were great. It's the parents and visitors, and the ward itself that were quite interesting to me.

When we checked into the hospital that morning, there was another couple that came in just after us for an appointment to induce labor. We were brought up into the birthing room which we were told was the best in the hospital because it was a large corner room with a great view of Providence. How cool was that! When I went to get a coke, I walked by the husband of the other couple who was berating the nurse because his wife had "reserved" that room, and it was instead given to us. She told the guy that this was not, in fact, the Ritz Carlton Providence, and they did not accept "reservations" for rooms.

I went back out to the car to get my wife's bags and saw the most disturbing site I have ever witnessed. There was a woman in a hospital gown standing behind the rain barrier that they put up for smokers with one hand on her IV dolly and the other holding her cancer stick. It was about 30 degrees out there, and I assume that she had given birth within the past few hours. OMG what a grip smokes have on some people!

The second day in the room, a woman comes in with an envelope and asks if my wife had a C-Section or a vaginal birth. I told her it was vaginal and she told me to put $17 in the envelope and leave it at the nurses station for the television usage. Huh? Let's see if I have this right. The medical care, food, cleaning service and pain medication all go on a bill that my insurance company will get, but I need to pay cash for the television? At least the parking was free.

This one is not a complaint by any measure. Shortly after my son was born, they put a Martha Stewart-esque bracelet around his ankle, a baby lo-jack, if you will. It was a little strange to see that, but very reassuring.

I don't know how to say this better, but there were an awful lot of ugly little babies in the nursery. Now, mine might be really hideous and I'd never really know it because he is so beautiful to me, but some of these kids looked like the south end of a north-bound mule. Mis-shaped heads, blotchy skin, weird hair patterns, etc... Scary!

There was a chair that converted into a "bed" in my wife's room. I assumed that it was for the father to sleep in while at the hospital, but when I tried to do that, I learned that it was actually a Medieval torture device designed to mimic the pains of childbirth for the father. I nearly stole my wife's codeine when she was sleeping.

Tuesday, March 28, 2006

I'm Back

What a ride the past 12 days have been! I've been a little busy taking care of Mrs Flounder and Jake, but reinforcements have arrived and I have a few minutes to post something. It feels good not to be speaking baby-talk or in that "don't upset my wife" tone, even if it is through a keyboard.

We came home from the hospital on the Saturday after Jake was born, and it was the longest night of my entire life. This kid would not stop screaming, though he was not hungry, wet, or apparently tired. I honestly had no idea what was wrong with him and my daddy-senses had not yet kicked in. Then, I noticed a pattern. He would fall asleep for a few minutes, then fart and wake up screaming. The gas! The gas was making him scream! And they have a magic potion for that called Mylicon! And somebody had gotten us a baby first aid kit at the shower that contained a bottle of Mylicon! One half dropper-ful and ten minutes later, the kid is out! Aaah, and sweet slumber for mom & dad!

On Monday, we had his first doctor appointment, and he looked a little jaundice. The doctor sent us to get a blood test, and his bilirubin levels were high, so the doctor told us to put him in a window to get some sunlight. Long story short, he had a blood test everyday last week and Sunday before finally being cleared. It was hell listening to him scream every time they pricked his little foot, but I am sure he has forgotten it already.

Grandma Flounder and Aunt Lele came to visit on Saturday, and grandma is staying for the week. This presents a bit of a challenge for Mrs Flounder, but she is doing remarkably well. Grandpa Flounder will be here tomorrow, so that should be a sufficient distraction for grandma.

They came bearing gifts as well, the best of which were subs from the White House. (More to come on those) Let's just say crazy delicious!

Well, that's all for now. I'll be posting fairly regularly again, so I look forward to hearing from each of you. Thanks again for all of your prayers and well-wishes. We greatly appreciated each and every one of them.

Wednesday, March 22, 2006

Baby Jake

Thank God he looks like his mother.

Wednesday, March 15, 2006

We Are Clear For Liftoff...

We are now at "T" plus 120 hours, and we have a launch in site.

At today's doctor appointment, Mrs Flounder went through all the usual tests that they give a woman who has gone past her due date. She pee'd in a cup, had blood drawn, got weighed, had an ultrasound, was hooked up to fetal monitor and had her blood pressure checked. Well, the doctor noticed that she looked a little bloated compared to last week and noted that she had gained five pounds since her last visit. Those two factors coupled with her elevated blood pressure cause her doctor to be concerned that she may be at risk for preeclampsia. He is concerned that she could seizure, though I didn't get the feeling that he thought that was likely.

In any case, they will be breaking her water Thursday morning to induce labor. If things don't proceed naturally, then they will give her some Pitocin to move things along. So by Thursday evening, I should be holding my son.

Needless to say, I am going to be busy for a while so I probably won't be posting for a few days. Take care and thank you for all of your well-wishes and prayers.

***Update 3/17/06, 11:12am
Jake Thomas was born at 4:05pm on 3/16 weighing in at 8lbs, 13oz. It was absolutely the most amazing thing I have ever witnessed. Mom and baby are doing very well. Pics to come...

Tuesday, March 14, 2006


This is Spike.

He looks innocent.

He's not.

He can't be trusted to watch your Italian Hoagie.
Take my word on that.

My wife is still pregnant. Ugggh!

Monday, March 13, 2006


Condense the nonsense. That's my rally cry on a daily basis because I have no time for what I consider nonsense or bullshit. These are things in life that we feel pressured to use or do because of society or other influences and I am sure that we would all be better off without them.

Pregnancy Due Dates: I know that predicting when a baby will arrive is not an exact science, but only 5% of babies are born on their "due date". Why not just give us a three or four week "window", like the cable company gives you. "Mrs. Flounder, your window for delivery is February 24th to March 24th. You can have a healthy baby at any time during that window." That would cut down on the expectant mother's (and father's) anxiety just a little. Don't you think?

Chinese Gender Prediction Calendars: These stupid things have got to go, and I mean right now. People swear by them. They are supposed to predict your baby's sex by using only the mother's age and month of conception, and according to it, my son Jake will be a girl. Here is the best part. If it's wrong, it will be wrong for all subsequent children, which supposedly makes it right. Get it?

Thank You Cards: Yes, these are complete and total bullshit, but society dictates that you send one after every bridal or wedding shower, birthday party or wedding. If I give someone a gift, and they say "thank you", I've been thanked, and a card in the mail isn't going to make me feel like they are more grateful. I throw them immediately in the garbage when I receive them.

Ticketmaster: I know that I have gone off on these bastards in the past, but I have been burned, yet again, in my pursuit of Buffett tickets again this weekend, this time in cyberspace. Why is there no other way to get concert or sporting event tickets at face value than to deal with these people? Do anti-trust laws no apply to them? Ugggh!

NCAA Tournament Brackets: Now I am a huge sports fan, but I have no place in my life for these things. People that couldn't give a rat's ass about sports, let alone NCAA basketball, for the other 11 months out of the year are suddenly Dick Vitale! Who really cares if Kent St beats Pitt? (And they will, by the way.)

Mandatory Tips at a Buffett: My wife and I went to a brunch buffett yesterday, and there was an 18% gratuity added to the check. 18% for someone who brought me drinks and cleared my plates. Basically, 18% for a busboy. Now I'm no Mr. Pink, but that's a little steep. If she does a good job, I'll leave a good tip. But let's face it, it's a buffet and I am doing most of the work. This rule also applies at fondue restaurants where you actually cook your own meal.

Seat Belt Laws: Though I agree that there should be a law requiring a parent to strap a child into a car seat or seat belt, I can't believe that there is a law requiring me to wear a seat belt. I am 36 years old and I can make my own decisions on what is right for me, and I don't need a police officer ticketing me for choosing not to wear a seat belt. They've repealed helmet laws for motorcycles in many states, and I believe that the same thing will ultimately happen to this bogus law.

Well, that's all I've got for now. Hopefully there will be a "He's Here" baby posting some time in the near future, but I'm not holding my breath. Little man seems perfectly content right where he is.

Saturday, March 11, 2006

Baby Update

For those that care, my wife said that she is pretty sure that the remainder of her mucous plug came out this morning, whatever that means. Shouldn't be long now until she's in labor.

Stay tuned...

***Updated 3/12/06, 2:50pm - There is absolutely nothing new to report here. She is not in labor and we have tried everything to get her going. In a somewhat unrelated note, I'm exhausted.

Friday, March 10, 2006

And yet, another reason to hate soccer...

MetroStars sold and renamed Red Bull New York
Associated Press

NEW YORK -- Major League Soccer's New York/New Jersey MetroStars are being sold and renamed Red Bull New York.

"This is a seminal moment in the history of this team and this league," team president and general manager Alexi Lalas said. "What Red Bull brings to the table is something the likes of which this league has never seen."

It's not bad enough that the "sport" of soccer is already a joke in this country, (the greatest country on the planet, by the way) but now a team is being named after a beverage. Not that the name MetroStars is any great loss, but at least its not a freaking beverage. Or maybe it is, I don't know.

What's next, the Atlanta Mr. Pibb's or the Boston Sam Adams Cherry Wheat's?

Also, why did they drop the 'New Jersey' part of the name?

But these aren't the only jokers that have changed their team name recently...

Texas makeover: FC Dallas unveiled

New stadium, new team name for Burn in '05

"The group ultimately felt very committed to finding a name that defined us and set us apart from the hundreds of other sports team names that dot the landscape," said team President and General Manager Greg Elliott. "... you clearly know you are referring to a soccer team when you say FC Dallas."

What? I'm supposed to know it is a soccer team because they are named FC Dallas? It sounds more like a porno stars name to me.

Houston franchise renamed the Dynamo
Associated Press

HOUSTON -- After dropping the nickname Houston 1836 because it was deemed offensive by many Hispanics, the Major League Soccer franchise announced Monday it will become the Houston Dynamo.

The franchise, which moved from San Jose in December, was named the 1836 to honor the city's founding. But critics felt the name was anti-Mexican because that was also the year Texas defeated Mexico for its independence.

1836? 1836? Are you kidding me? Why couldn't they just use the 36ers? 'Dynamo' is actually an improvement here.

Yes, I hate soccer. There are a ton of reasons as to why I hate it, and I am sure that I will post about that another time, but I make this promise to you, my blogger buddies...

Jake will not play soccer, own a soccer ball, or even know a damn thing about soccer. I will end this sport in America, one child at a time. I give you my word.

Wednesday, March 08, 2006

Baby Watch 2k6

Not much to report here, as it appears that Baby Jake is hunkered down for the winter. We have an OB/GYN appointment this afternoon, so maybe old sawbones will see something that will shed a little light on the subject for us.

My wife is miserable. Her back hurts constantly. She can't sleep. She has tremendous acid reflux, but refuses to take a Tums. Nothing that she eats is satisfying to her. (Side Note: I am an incredibly good cook, so it's certainly not my fault.) She is snap-ish to everyone around her, including that poor waitress at the diner around the corner. (OK, it's not really a diner, and being from Jersey, I know diners. But I will classify it as one because they serve breakfast all day.) She cries randomly, but only for a few moments at a time. She thinks that she looks like a Weeble, but I think that she's stunning.

My new prediction: She will go into labor on Friday night and have the baby on Saturday morning, right when tickets to Jimmy Buffett at the Tweeter Center go on sale. I've never been able to get tickets to see Buffett from Ticketbastards before, so why start now? (Side Note: I have seen Buffet 16 times and have never once gotten tickets from ticketmaster. Not once.)

Well that's all from here. Hopefully we'll know something soon...

Monday, March 06, 2006

The Über Nursery

With all due respect to Her Milfesty, the Über Nursery is complete! There has been a ton of time and money spent on this room, so I just have to pat myself on the back and post pictures of the completed product.

I did not originally set out to build the Über Nursery. I only wanted to take a non-used room in my house and make it into a warm and safe place for my son. Well, the knuckleheads that owned my house before me had paneled the room directly over the studs and did not put in any insulation whatsoever. Also, the windows were were old single-pane ones that let in a ton of cold air, so they needed to go. So I ripped down the paneling, installed insulation and new windows, and everything sort of snowballed from there.

The reason that I put as much time and effort into this project is because I wanted to really bless my wife with a room that she would love. This woman has been there with me for 11 years, 8 states, college graduation, six jobs, two houses and a not-so-recreational vehicle (We lived in a 35-foot fifth-wheel for two years while I was working on the road). We had a small wedding and a short honeymoon, and, in short, have never had anything that was spectaular in our lives. She hates 80% of our house and property, but I tell you, she loves this room.

Well, here are the pictures. Enjoy!

Yes, I built this shelf...

The schweet crib (Thanks Mom & Dad!)...

Our son's name will be Jake (Not Jacob)...

The ultra-comfortable chenile chair...

The schweet armoire...

The Bear in the big blue chair...

This is what you see when you walk in the door.

Thursday, March 02, 2006

This One's for You, Vince Foster, RIP

Hillary Clinton goes to a primary school in Ithaca, New York, to talk about the world. After her talk, she offers question time. One little boy puts up his hand, and the Senator asks him what his name is.

"Kenneth", replied the little boy.

"And what is your question, Kenneth?"

"Actually, I have three questions:

1. Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
2. Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
3. Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?"

Just then the bell rings for recess. Hillary Clinton informs the kiddies that they will continue after recess. When they resume Hillary says "OK, where were we? Oh, that's right, question time. Who has a question?"

A different little boy puts his hand up. Hillary points him out & asks him what his name is.

"My name is Larry."

"And what is your question, Larry?"

"Actually, I have 5 questions:

1. Whatever happened to your medical health care plan?
2. Why would you run for President after your husband shamed the office?
3. Whatever happened to all those things you took when you left the White House?
4. Why did the recess bell go off 20 minutes early?
5. What happened to Kenneth?"

Wednesday, March 01, 2006

Mardi Gras

I know that it is the day after Fat Tuesday, and Mardi Gras is already over, but I was way too busy to post this yesterday. So bite me if you don't like it.

I have been fortunate enough to have gone to Mardi Gras twice, both times while I was at FSU. New Orleans is only about a seven-hour drive from Tallahassee, a veritable stone's throw for a party like Mardi Gras.

One Thursday night during my freshman year (1989), my best friend R.E. called and asked me if I wanted to go to New Orleans for the weekend. Well, I had a mid-term on Monday, but this seemed like a good excuse to just blow that off, so I said, "sure, why not." He then told me how his NJ girlfriend's sister, who was at Arizona State had called him minutes before and invited him to her roommates house in NO for Mardi Gras. She said that it would be cool to bring me along too.

Of course when he came to pick me up on Friday afternoon, he was followed by another car with three other guys in it. At first I thought that they were just following us there, and they had their own place to stay, but that wasn't the case. And speaking of case, I drank a case of beer in the car on the way to NO, and my buddy wouldn't pull over so I could take a leak, so I cut the top of a beer can off, pissed in it, and tossed out of the window as we sped along I-10.

When we finally got there, I was half in the bag and our hostess was none to happy to see that there were five of us and not two. Nevertheless, she let us stay the night after we got her silly drunk. We went the Dixie Brewery, and some clubs down near Tulane before calling it a night.

The next day, we went down to the French Quarter to see some titties, errrrr, parades. I remember us walking through the mall that is attached to the Superdome carrying a twelve-pack and drinking the whole time. We left our empties in the hands of store mannequins. We went down to the Hard Rock Cafe and ate Pig sandwiches, then headed back to Bourbon Street.

We were in line outside of Pat O’Brien’s for what seemed like 3 days when this kid decided to cut in line in front of us. Well, we were pretty schnockered at this point and weren't really up for fighting, so we just let him be. A New Orleans police officer came over and grabbed the arm and told him to go to the back of the line. The kid said that he had been there all night, so the cop looked to us to verify. We, of course, denied him.

The cop pulled at his arm again and told him to move it. The kid pulled away from the cop and told him to let him go. The cop very calmly put on a pair of black leather gloves, pulled his right arm back behind him and threw a right hook that connected with with this stupid kids eye. Before the kid could hit the ground, he looked like Mitch Green after Tyson jacked him in Harlem.

We, of course, saw nothing. The cop grabbed the kid by the collar and dragged him down to the paddy wagon. It was unbelievable.

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