Wisdom, part 2

August 1st, 2008

Social smiles herald the onset of increased social awareness and it may come to pass that your baby will now start to fight sleep in order to enjoy the pleasure of your company.  This is natural.

From Healthy Sleep Habits, Healthy Child, by Marc Weissbluth, MD

Tony:  “See, resisting naps is a sign of increased maturity.”

AL:  “Resisting naps is a sign that your developmental stage is that of a six week old.”


August 1st, 2008

Once there was a boy who hated taking naps.  And although the Wise Woman who cared for him could see he was very tired, she couldn’t find a way to get him to go to sleep.  She tried and she tried and she tried, but the boy who hated taking naps just would not nap.  And because he was tired, the boy got cranky and impatient and just plain unhappy.  And the Wise Woman saw what was happening and thought to herself, “I must find a way to get him to nap.”  And the boy got tireder and tireder, and crankier and crankier.  And the Wise Woman thought and thought, until finally she came upon an idea.

So the Wise Woman went to the tired, cranky boy who hated taking naps and said, “Why don’t you go into the bedroom and take it easy with your son for a while?  You know, to help him settle down.”

And the boy took his baby son, went into the bedroom, laid his baby son on his chest and slept and slept.

The Wise Woman was very happy.  And later, when the boy who hated taking naps had fallen FAST asleep, she took their baby son off of his chest, wrapped him up in her own arms, and told him the story of his daddy who hated taking naps.  And they laughed and laughed.


July 29th, 2008

Jaiel had his first pediatric appointment today, and all in all it went boffo.  After losing the typical x amount of ounces (in his case it was 9–apparently acceptable) in the days immediately after birth, he’s bounced back up to weigh in this morning at 6 lb. 1 oz.  Or in other words, what he probably weighed before peeing all over the place right before being put on the scale in the delivery room.

But the pediatrician was happy, enough that he stuck two “very”s in the sentence:  “I’m pleased with how your son is doing.”

When it comes to growth, feeding, waste production and general edibility, so are we.

A week and a day after being born, the kid has shown no noticeably improvement in either potty training or sleeping through the night, however.  In those two regards, we fear our son may be something of an underachiever.

Speaking of performing below expectations, my computer gave up the ghost Sunday night.  Hence not so prolific with the bloggery.  It was probably overdue (both the computer’s demise and my slowing down with posting to the blog), and I have everything backed up.  So it’s less of a tragedy than an inconvenience.  We even have another computer, or rather Ana Lisa has a computer.

Let me explain the basic equation:  two sleep-deprived people, one of whom has an achy midriff, gets two parts of her body regularly yanked and pinched, and is essentially being told to sit down darn it, after being in the habit of exercising daily and lots of other activity.  Together under one roof.  With one computer.

Given the circumstance, the wonder is we’ve generally been getting along just dandy.

There would be more to report and more photos to free associate about, but I’ll save them for soon when we’re back to a more equitable computing arrangement.  For now just a brief greeting, thanks to all of you for the many forms your kindness has taken toward us.

In the meantime, how ’bout one quick beefcake shot for the road?

Holiday. Celebrate.

July 26th, 2008

T’was a day declared by no less of an authority than the greasy niece Maggie to be a new national holiday:  “Water Pistol Fight Day.”  Well goodness, who are we not to honor such an auspicious day with proper pomp and circumstance?

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Heading home from home

July 25th, 2008

Don’t drive like my t-shirt, kiddo.  Or my brother.

Snap snap.  Time to slide me another shot down the booby bar.

Now that I’ve got my first shoes, I think I’ll run a few tracks ’round the lap.  Wait, is it subject-verb-object or object-verb-subject or … it’s hard to keep it all straight when I’m this sleeeepy.

Well, someone’s obviously found his niche.  I’m the one who’s torn; should I just sit here staring down at the kid on my lap, or blog about sitting here staring down at the kid on my lap?

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Pressing flesh

July 24th, 2008

Looks like we’ll go home sometime today.  Ana Lisa’s feeling better and looks more comfortable.  In addition, a bunch of babies were born last night and the unit is filling up quickly.  There may have been a heretofore unnoticed kindness in the scheduling of the C-section for Monday morning.  It sounds like the trend is toward more vacancy in the early part of the week, and a fuller house as things head into the weekend.

This morning our nice private residence got turned into a condo with the addition of a mom and her little baby girl.  Suddenly it’s a little tight and we’re thinking more longingly of our own bedroom.

We’ve had some lovely folk, both from inside and outside the hospital, stop by to greet the boy in the last few days.  Like it or not, some of them may end up with their mugs plastered on the blog.  With all the transition, it won’t be today however.  (How fun to be able to leave the threat dangling out there.)  Today I’ll just throw up a few more shots of His Stanky Diaperness.  I’ve had to be pretty selective, since most of the good photo ops lately are difficult to frame without featuring a prominent boob.

Fortunately an artfully placed blanket opens up a world of possibilities.  Here’s AL and the boy having a little chat.

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July 23rd, 2008

Before switching off the light last night I glanced through e-mail and saw a note from Nurse Jill.  She was checking to see if I knew I had called Jaiel “Javid” twice in my last blog post.  Turned out I wrote about contributing to “Javid’s college bank account” and referred to “our ob/gyn who delivered Javid yesterday.”


I fixed the post this morning, knowing this to be a mental circuit bound to cross and recross.  I think I may actually have a genetic predisposition; when I was a kid my parents called my brother and I by each other’s name so often, we used to joke our real names were Dave Tony and Tony Dave.  My Mom is still prone to call my sister by the names of her own sisters.

As a kid I remember thinking it all very funny, apparently not attuned at that developmental stage to obvious foreshadowing.  The joke, as they say, is on me.

AL has also already called Jai by his brother’s name at least three times to his face.  So he’s got it coming to him from both sides of the double helix.

In some ways it would feel strange if it didn’t happen.  Javid’s been on our minds and lips so often in the last 20 months, while Jai’s got barely two days under his belt.  And of course we are here in Pennsylvania Hospital, which we will likely always think of first and foremost as Javid’s home.  The three of us are here now, but we’re just passing through.  In our mind’s eye at least, this is his domain.

Freudian it may be, but there’s not too much pain in this current short circuit, which will undoubtedly see us referring to the new little boy by his brother’s name for some time to come. As we’ve prepared for this new baby’s arrival, we’ve been prepping ourselves to acknowledge that a part of us will often think of Javid when we look at Jaiel.  That’s okay, because he was a good little boy, that first one, for all that he didn’t stick around for very long.

The stranger moment is the one coming down the road, when we first refer to Javid as Jai.  Even knowing it will happen, that’s likely to hurt.

We’ll have to remind ourselves, as mind and lips grow more accustomed to this second little boy, that there’s also nothing wrong with taking present happiness and rerouting it back through the circuits of our memories of his big brother.  Javid Jai.  Jai Javid.

A thousand hits/words

July 22nd, 2008

Wow! Since the lil nipper popped out there have been more than 1,000 hits on the site. Who knew there were so many people out there cruising the Internet when they should be working. I’ve pulled together a list of all your IP addresses and I’m all set to e-mail your supervisors and bosses. Of course I might possibly be dissuaded by a sudden influx of cash to Jaiel’s college bank account.

Fortunately the bug seems to be unfazed by all the attention.

I think he looks pretty skintastic for someone barely 24 hours out from an 8 1/2-month soak. Of course, I may have photoshopped that one a bit. Here’s the original.

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Leaning toward keeping him

July 21st, 2008

Twelve hours in, everybody’s starting to relax.

Thanks to everyone who sent such warm greetings and thoughts.  Little Boy says … well, about all he can say at this point is a tiny wail, a hiccup, or something that may be a burp.  Tomorrow we’ll work on the pluperfect subjunctive.

Jaiel Amare Lapp Yoder

July 21st, 2008

Well look who’s here–all 5 lb. 14 oz. of him.  A six-pack to his brother’s single bottle.

We got started a little late, but then everything went so nicely.  AL’s sewed back up and appears to be recovering well.  The baby’s all scrunchy faced and came out covered in goo, but seems to be adjusting to having washed up so abruptly on dry land.

Jaiel Amare.  What?  With an older brother named Javid, did you really think we were going to name him Bill or Ted?  Although that too would be most excellent.

Besides, he’s coming into the world with all sorts of advantages–healthy, developed lungs, fer instance, plus a relative abundance o’ poundage.  Should we spoil him with a name that people can actually pronounce?  Not bloody likely.

For those of you who wish for such things, however, here’s a quick cheat sheet.

Jaiel:  Just call him Jai and you’ll get by or add the -el … that too’d be swell.

Amare:  All you Gypsy Kings fans, let me hear you now, “Volare, oh oh, cantare, oh oh oh oh.”  Or if that’s too obscure, just tune in to a Phoenix Suns game and check out the big man in the paint.  Don’t like sports?  Here’s a quick syllable-by-syllable walkthrough:  A- “well duh” -mar- “fast car” -e “well hey hey hey.”  Enough clues?  Don’t worry, we’ll be sure to publicly mock you if you get it wrong.  :-)

Some other day I’ll give you the blow by blow on the decision process.  Suffice it to say one crucial test was the stand-on-the-doorstep-and-holler-down-the-block, “Jaiel Amare Lapp Yoder, get yer butt in here!”  Can’t wait to give that one its maiden run.

Little guy Jai.  In the house.


July 20th, 2008

Hoo boy.  What have we gotten ourselves into?

Oh well, too late now!

So today we been saying our farewells to sleep, and to at least a significant chunk of our adult conversation.  We also had a couple of visitors come to say one last goodbye to the belly.

Shhh, keep it down, she’s right up there!  Tell you what, we promise we’ll have a good long chat, cousin to cousin, once you’re out.  But for now zip it!  You know what they say, the uterus bone is connected to the ear bone.

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July 19th, 2008

The temperature today in Philly peaked at 97F, or a google times infinity in pregnant-chick degrees.  (Remember that other lifetime when “a” google meant something entirely different than it does now?  Back in those gay old days…)

A neighbor offered to take us as guests to the local pool this morning.  So instead of huddling in an air conditioned bedroom we splashed around and soaked up some sun.  Lovely.

Ana Lisa was in heaven, with the water buoying up her round mound of a belly.  Since it’s the only time in our lives I can get away with this analogy, I’m going for it:  she was agile as a hippo cavorting in the Nile.  (Well how ’bout that?  I just got to check off something else from my bucket list.)  :-)

Happy as she was in the water, crawling back up on dry land was another story.  Any time she had to get out of the pool she’d let out a “huff” right at the moment when normal gravity kicked in.

It made me think again how much of both this pregnancy and our time with Javid was like settling into a big old pool.  Sure there have been times when we’ve felt dragged down.  But most of the time what we’ve been aware of is feeling held, supported, surrounded.  Enveloped.

We’re about to get real busy, and it’ll be interesting to see how much time and energy I have to post.  So before we get all sleep-deprived and forgetful, we’d like you to know once again just how grateful we are for all of you who stop in, greet us on our porch, write, call and e-mail.  We’re also so thankful for those of you who check in on this blog, whether to leave a comment, weigh in with a name suggestion, or simply to lurk.  Each of you reminds us of the very fundamental ways in which we are always connected to others.  It’s a wonderful awareness, and one we very much hope to pass on to the little nugget.


July 18th, 2008

… and no more than.

As AL–of whom (all things considered) it might well be thought a wee bit ballsy to be throwing around the culinary references–put it:  “The toothpick came out clean.”  The lungs, it seems, are rarin’ for airin’.

Monday at the latest it is.  Now the goal for the weekend becomes surviving this heat.  No dehydration-induced labor, please.


July 17th, 2008

In the immortal words of cousin Obie, “She’s rounding third base and rolllllling home!”

Yes indeedy, it’s all rolly-polly goodness here as we pass a milestone we really didn’t expect to reach–37 weeks of gestation.

As of now we’re both done with work, and settling in for the evening before tomorrow’s 7:30 a.m. amnio.  Crazy doctors, looking to spread the sleep-deprivation around.

We hope to know by tomorrow afternoon sometime if the C-section will be on Monday.  Stay tuned.


July 16th, 2008

First let’s take care of business, shall we?  Things are going swimmingly today with both AL and the babe–for one more literally than the other.  He tagged along as she left for her last day of work for a while.  The word from the belly is he’s tired of the daily grind and could really use a vacation.

Yesterday on my way from work to work (North Philadelphia, where I see Spanish-speaking clients to our main office in Mount Airy) I biked past a man on the side of the road screaming and hollering about something … who knows what.  More than the raging, he caught my attention because he was wearing a t-shirt with the word “SERENITY” blazoned in big letters acros’t the front.

Isn’t life full of such wonderful little moments?  It made me think of the time I ran across a super-macho looking man who was winking and wolf-whistling at women … and sporting a big pink triangle on the front of his shirt.  Or the K’ekchi’ Maya I met at a service of a Mennonite church with a tradition of non-violence, dressed to the nines in a fancy shirt announcing in English, “Kill them all and let God sort them out.”

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July 15th, 2008

Among many other reasons my buddy Jim Longacre is still a good friend of mine is he regularly sets me straight. He also often comes up with helpful tips on the basics required to stay or get back on course.

So today he calls to announce, “New rule: From now until the baby’s born, you’re required to post every day on your blog.”

Planning to do that already, I suddenly get nervous:  “What if I run out of things to write about?”

“Yeah,” he responds, “all you really have to do is say that Ana Lisa and the baby are fine.”

Once again, very helpful Jimmy.

Ana Lisa and the baby are fine.


July 14th, 2008

It’s just another manic Monday
I wish it was Sunday
‘Cause that’s my fun day
My I don’t have to run day
It’s just another manic Monday

Oh please, help.  Someone put me out of my misery.  I’m actually quoting The Bangles.

Like insidious pop songs are prone to do, this one somehow became the soundtrack for my life today.  Not that it was all that terrible, except for that moment where I got a flat tire and realized my replacement tube was the wrong size.  That was not so great.

With a bit of literal scrambling and then resigning myself to a slow ride home on public transport, it all worked out.

But if in the middle of it you’d have hooked a sensor up to my brain, you would have found my thoughts drifting off to yesterday’s jaunt to our little patch of summer urban heaven.

A we-don’t-have-to-run day at the West Philly Sprayground

Hellooo dahlink.  Zo pleased to meet me.  I?  I am Amani … la magnifique!  Tremble before me.

Hot summer afternoon + freeze tag = pretty interesting psychology

The Great Escape … all that was found later were two muddy sets of prison clothes, a bar of soap, and an old rock hammer, darn near worn down to the nub.

Hokey doke, Maya.  Here’s the dealio.  I’ll hold the big lug down while you drag that fuzzy bathrobe belt through a bunch of muck.  Make sure it’s really wet and ookey.  Good good.  Now, let’s hog-tie ourselves a water buffalo!

p.s.  Preggo chick’s a little weary but generally okay.  One week to go!


July 13th, 2008

Everybody’s exercising today except for me.  Ana Lisa, as she’s done pretty close to every day of the pregnancy, is upstairs at this very moment powering along on her elliptical machine.  This morning we tried but failed to time things so we could witness our neighbor Lori cross the finish line of her first triathlon.  Lori got caught up in the adrenaline wave and completed it a half an hour faster than she’d expected.  Later today we’ll find out how another friend, Christine, did in the same triathlon, when she and husband Tim and their two kids come to stay the night.

Like I said, everyone’s exercising but me.  Unless you count what I’m doing right now as finger calisthenics.

Here’s a vignette from the triathlon:  After swimming a mile in the Schuylkill River and biking two circuits around what’s known here as the Art Museum Loop (2 loops = 17 miles) Lori slowed to a walk for a bit of the last stage (3-ish miles on foot).  She came upon a woman who was also walking, and looked like she was hurting.  Lori, who is congenitally incapable of not striking up a conversation in such a setting, asked her how she was doing.  The woman said not good, and that she didn’t think she could finish.  Lori looked at her and said, “Do you have kids?”  The woman allowed as she did.  “This is nothing compared to labor,” said Lori.  But, the woman said, she had a cramp.  “Yeah,” said Lori.  “Still not as hard as labor.”  The woman gazed at her for a moment, and then they took off running to the finish line.

Maybe because of the hospital visit the other night, or simply because we’re nearing a finish line of our own, we’re now thinking a lot more about what it will be like to actually have a baby.  Like countless legions before us, we’re suddenly nervous and not sure we’re up for this.

All of you who are parents or who spend less time in a state of denial than we do can feel free to stop laughing now.

I just thought I’d throw that confession out into the aether, for your entertainment and our purification.  Now for penance, I think I’ll go see if AL would like some company for her daily chocolate regimen.  You know, a little extra jolt for that sprint to the finish.


July 12th, 2008

… take away 5 equals 4. As in a.m., the hour this morning when we wearily slunk back into bed after an impromptu visit to the hospital.

Last night, as she often does before turning off the lights, AL hooked herself up to the blood pressure machine. By now she’s been taking it long enough that we know to expect a range of readings.  But she usually trends low rather than high, so when the so-called low or bottom number (diastolic pressure) came back a bit elevated she dutifully waited a little, and then took it again. Still highish, so again with the wait and retry. High again, a little more so even.

And so it progressed, with readings that continued to climb over the next 45 minutes or so.  When the low number reached 98 we looked at each other, she took the cuff off her arm, and we put in a call to the hospital as we began to gather our gear.  Time for another gambol along the winding path through Preeclampsia Meadows.

Four hours later we were back, completely wiped but grateful to be wrong.  All’s well, no preeclampsia, baby’s hanging out in there fine.  While they couldn’t tell us exactly why AL was getting such high readings, the seemingly best theory was a combination of anxiety and taking the readings too frequently on the same arm.

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July 11th, 2008

‘Tis a beautiful day in West Philadelphia and as I write I’m sitting on the porch soaking in it.  I’m most definitely a warm-weather person; if Pennsylvania could be like this all year ’round I’d be a happy feller.

Not that I’m the only one enjoying a good soak.  Check out the fun slide set up by our neighbors Christy and John last weekend.

Next time I want to run an extension off our porch roof.  For the adult time, of course.

Pregnant chica isn’t taking any dives off of roofs for the time being.  But she can still entertain the young’uns, this time with the adventures of dem ducks, you know the ones I mean, Jack, Kack, Lack, Mack, Nack, Ouack, Pack and Quack.

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Oh, there is that (WeePreggoQuote #14)

July 9th, 2008

“You know, it takes me twice as long to fold the socks when you don’t turn them rightside out.”

(Sweetly)  “Sure, honey.  I’ll just bend … here … and (ufff) reach … down to pull them off my (ufff) feet like … so.”

Ripples in the curtain

July 4th, 2008

Hey, 35 weeks! How pleasantly surreal to be, as good Nurse Jilly refers to it, “term. ish.”

A big change occurred this week in the gyrations of the kid. Now when he moves around it’s like one of those big metal paint or plaster mixers: the thing doing the moving (we’re always trying to guess which body part) feels solid and purposeful.

It’s quite odd to see such seemingly intentional action without being able to yet view the actor. If Javid’s sense of theatrical timing seemed geared toward the cliffhanger, this one seems more suited to slowly building suspense. More fitting for direction by M. Night Shayamalan, say, than Steven Spielberg. Now the question remains, are we talking Sixth Sense or Unbreakable Shayamalan, or The Happening Shayamalan? Will there be a surprise twist at the end (he’s really a she!/he’s got 20 toes and his hair is purple!/it’s a miracle; he’s got a birthmark that looks like the Virgin!) or will the enjoyment come from the rollercoaster leveling out and sliding smoothly and satifactorily onto the platform?

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Nice try

June 30th, 2008

An unexpected perk:  Great with child = not so great with the sneaking up on the husband.

Spring showers

June 23rd, 2008

Weebinbizzy with visits from both sets of parents and two (!) baby showers.  We felt a bit silly with all the attention, but it was very sweet.  :-)

Somewhere in the transition between Saturday and Sunday we hit the 33.33333333333333333…, etc. mark on the week count.  The high school math geek inside me has been anticipating that number for some reason.  A little late then, here’s a 33-week photo for those of you unnaturally obsessed with bellies.

Without nearly enough time to do the following justice, here are a few happenings that shouldn’t pass without a mention: Read the rest of this entry »

Plague of the Conchords

June 17th, 2008

Ehem, cute lips do not count as a third syllable.

Okay, I give up, we’ll name our kid Jemaine Jemaine Jemaine-Jemaine. Satisfied?

Now go crawl back in your respective holes, you robot vermin!


p.s. For you fortunate few who have no idea what I’m talking about, check out what’s become of the “Name the Bellydweller 2” poll in the right-hand column and read up here. If that’s what you’re into.