The reason (in part) I have 23,529 unread emails


This week let’s start by playing a little word association game. I will put down the name of a baby registry place, and I’ll tell you what comes to mind (this is less interactive than I had hoped).

1. Babies’R’Us: Gimmicky–something about offering parking for pregnant people right next to the handicap spaces. I saw a man with three fingers, an eye-patch, and a wooden leg get out of the car next to Suzie Cream Cheese who was approximately 3 months 4 days and 7 hours, give or take 12 minutes, with child. She nearly dismembered his remaining leg with the auto-spring door to her BMW/Hummer/Armored Tank in that neat little spot for those poor pregnant moms-to-be. Can those expectant among us really not walk that extra 30 feet? If not, get thee to thy healthcare provider and have them check for gestational diabetes complicated by excessive laziness.

2. Buy Buy Baby: Can you actually buy the baby? That sounds illegal and illicit. I’m intrigued.

3. Target: WalMart but with less obesity and really good cheese dip. Archer Farms, you have succeeded. Although something about shopping for cheese dip in aisle 6 and then a breast pump in aisle 9 has me hesitant.

4. Amazon: Newfandangled and techie, thereby “cool”. But I think older people will get confused when they google “Amazon address” trying to go to the Amazon store and find only this. That’s quite the distance to travel to buy a SwaddleMe.

5. Pottery Barn Kids – Pastels, an alarming lack of pottery, and preppy white people.

So, if you haven’t guessed it, we have been looking at baby registries. I have officially started like seven of them, immediately gotten overwhelmed, and quit. So now I get emails from each of the aforementioned places nine times daily and have taken to just not checking my email to see how many emails I can rack up before Google decides I am a robot or other form of internet safety hazard. I currently have 23,529 unread emails, no joke. I have a littttle problem with joining mailing lists–the free shipping’ll hook ya every time.

I think we are going to end up registering at Babies’R’Us and Amazon. I really do loathe the baby-in-a-can feel of Babies’R’Us, but I think we need an actual store on the list. Amazon is cool and I like that we can put anything on there from any website. All I want is that Petunia Pickle Bottom diaper bag and then I can call my life complete!

After deciding where we were going to register, we came to the problem of what to put on the registry. Let’s do a little math, but I’m not going to make actual calculations because that would mean getting off the couch which is not happening, so let’s say this is “Erika math”. A baby is like two cubic feet when born (sounds reasonable so far, eh?). That two cubic feet of newly formed life matter requires, according to baby-whoosie-whatsie-bloggy-bloggy-moms online, approximately 72,000 cubic feet of stuff (slightly less reasonable sounding, but go with it). That one little baby needs a crib, and diapers, and clothes, and bottles, and creams, potions, lotions, and goop. Then there’s bedding, and strollering, and bouncing contraptions that vibrate?… There are at least nine kinds of blankets these websites say I need lest I risk my baby staying warm in a blanket otherwise intended for an alternate purpose. Gasp! Is that a “receiving” blanket I see in your stroller?! And sleep sacks can’t be made from the leftover burlap Costco potato bag, I am told. So that option is gone.

Also, we just learned that newborns need the equivalent of “Kitten Mittens“, which is hilarious. We now have registered for baby kitten mittens in every color. Apparently it keeps them from clawing their own eyes out, or something like that.

Any advice mothers to be, mothers of old, mothers of mothers, or just people who have held two/plus babies before? (that would give you more experience with babying than myself. Double, to be precise. Again, not kidding.) If not, Kitten Mittens it is!

PS. Email count at the conclusion of writing this = 23,537. Bring it on, Google.


Pink and Blue BBQ


This past week at our ultrasound we learned whether we were to be spending our summers on the softball field or the baseball bleachers, and to celebrate the news, we threw a little party in our postage-stamp sized backyard. Lonnie was so excited to announce the gender (there’s even a Lebron James themed video, for your viewing pleasure), and he had been planning all the details for two weeks – and by “he had been planning” I mean he would email me midday with a new idea I was to execute upon arrival at home… I have never been to a craft store so many times. There are 1,500 miles on my car and I think 700 of those were from trips back and forth to AC Moore. Also, glitter has a habit of sticking to one’s unmentionables in a not-so-fun way.

The idea was this: invite all our friends in the DC area over for a summery BBQ. Require everyone to dress in either pink or blue, depending on what they thought we were having, then unveil the gender in some excitingly dramatic fashion. Turns out, nothing is more exciting and dramatic than cake pops (Google it. Cake pops = the most exciting thing ever), so that was the method through which we would convey the chromosomal identity of the little alien residing in my uterus.

Cake pops

It rained in the morning, and we freaked out about how we were going to fit people inside our tiny little townhouse. But nature had other ideas and brightened things up for us. It was beautiful, sunny, and pleasantly muddy by the time people started coming by.

We had so much fun (read, stress and panic) setting things up and getting ready. Lonnie iced down cases of St. Pauli’s Girl and Blue Moon (clever, eh?), I made a pink and blue pennant chain (as cutesy as I get), and we bought 900 pounds of fruit from Costco. Finding fridge space for 18 cantaloupes is really, really challenging and I feel like I should now be qualified to work as some sort of spacial engineer. Resume builder, check!

Pink Lemonade      Lonnie Grilling

Drink station   penants

Around 3 o’clock we were set for the big reveal. Everyone grabbed a cake pop and bit in to find out we were the proud, albeit terrified, future parents of a baby GIRL! Cue the special playlist Lonnie made (Beastie Boys “Girls” seemed appropriate at the time), jokes about a near-future trip to a gun store, and mazel tovs all around. My new job as a professional headband shopper has just begun!Jenny with Cake PopMe and Lonnie in front of tree

Pregnancy Brain: Patient presenting with symptoms

First, I want to point out like it’s like 5am on a Saturday. And I’m awake mostly because the next time I wake up for an emergency pee, I’m just going to wet the bed instead. Getting up was easier than explaining a pee-spot to Lonnie, so here I am.

Pregnancy brain was one of the litany of “common pregnancy symptoms” I read about in my books but didn’t think was a real thing (right up there with pregnancy-induced snoring, which I thought this was a mean lie husbands told their pregnant wives in order to have an excuse to fall asleep on the couch watching the Kings game, until Lonnie recorded the evidence. Not cute or romantic). But this whole pregnancy brain thing, come to find out, is legit. I probably just forgot about my forgetfulness because it’s definitely there and is currently playing whack-a-mole with my sanity (there it is! quick, do something! dang it, it’s gone… what am I doing here again? and whose angry mole is this? …anyone else hungry?)

There have been one too many amnesiac events in my life lately. Take this embarrassing example from work this week:

Every other day my work schedule is pretty light. On “blue days” I teach until my lips fall off and white board smudge is covering my belly, which now rubs against the board as I write, but the flip side is that on “red days” I run out of ways to keep myself busy by 10:30 in the morning, at which point I get hungry and eat my lunch secretly at my work station in the work room. It’s only slightly embarrassing to microwave beef stew while your colleagues wait in line to warm their coffee.

Anywho, it was a red day and I was grading papers, stealing longing glances at my lunch until the aforementioned acceptable-ish hour for pregnant ladies to chow down, and getting up to pee every 13 minutes. There I am, plugging along, thinking myself to be exceptionally productive given I was within 6 inches of my fruit snacks and they remained sealed, and I hear a polite, “Um, Erika?” from behind my station. I turn and see a colleague looking at me with some curious concern.

“Do you have a class right now?” colleague asks.

“No, it’s Tuesday, so I’m in here,” I retort, thinking he probably just wants to distract me and steal my fruit snacks.

“Well, it’s Wednesday, and I think your students are waiting for you in your class.”

Quick check of the calendar, then: “Right you are.” Damn it.

Scurrying to my room with fruit snacks in hand, I find my little angels politely waiting for me in their desks. They only hassle me slightly, asking if I brought a late pass, and the day moves on. I had just sat through like the first twenty minutes of my class. Thank goodness someone reminded me lest I would have sat through the whole gosh darn thing –  just grading, eating, and peeing the day away.

Anecdotal evidence #2: We went shopping the other day and bought glazed almonds for spinach salad. I went to make the salad that night and was so upset that the checker at Harris Teeter forgot to put the almonds in the bag. This morning I found them in the refrigerator. Oh, so there they are… oops. These will taste good on an onion bagel, right?

Lessons learned: patience is a good thing, and so are lists, even though I found three lists I made two days apart with the same to-do items on them. Apparently, I forgot TWICE I had already made the exact same list earlier. I might go buy one of those old-people bracelets and put my name and home address on it, just in case this gets any more out of hand.

Anyone else out there losing brain cells by the minute?

The Baby Name Game, or, how to hone the art of disagreement until the day your baby is born


Choosing a name for our unborn child has been our topic of conversation as of late. And this feat has proved to be akin to choosing to embark on one of a thousand fancy looking Carnival Cruise liners but knowing that on some of those ships the toilets are going to stop working and the whole thing is going to smell like doo-doo; it’s just a matter of time. And then you have to try to figure out which ship everyone else is getting on because you don’t want it to be too crowded on the sun deck, but on the flip-side, being the only one chilling on your cruise ship is no fun either as it’s kinda hard to play bingo by yourself… I really need to stop with the drawn out analogies; yikes. Moral of the story is that there really is no right, or rather wrong, name, but the enormity of the decision has nearly paralyzed my poor pregnant mind.

I’m grateful we aren’t grappling with every name in the baby book, thanks to my husband’s Jewish culture. Judaism has a beautiful tradition of honoring a past life with the creation of a new. In keeping with this tradition, we will name our child after someone in our families who is no longer with us by using the first initial of their name. We get to give our baby not only a name but a legacy of the beautiful person after which he or she will be named.

After establishing the letters we were indeed going to use to bestow grace and good wishes upon the little snugglefish, we were all set for massive disagreement. Cue hours of “discussion” and a few (fine, a ton) of hormonal fits. Our home at times has entered into a state resembling the Cold War, only slightly less nuclear, and Lonnie only wishes he could rock spectacles Harry-Truman-style. Other than those things, pretty much exactly like the Cold War.

Maybe it’s the hormones, but I still don’t understand why “Waverly” is not a good option (our ultrasound tech literally laughed when we told her it was on the list), but plenty of tears were shed along the way to that decision… something about naming your child after a brand of curtains just isn’t sitting right with the hubster.

If you are also in the baby name market, you may have discovered This is an awesomely overwhelming website.


  • really cool stats on name popularity
  • name meanings
  • nicknames that go along with said name
  • at the top there’s a bar where you can see what name everyone else is searching for at that moment
  • names are grouped into “lists,” my favorite of which is “Mermaid Names” one of which my baby obviously needs. Shellina, anyone?
  • According the the site, Waverly is set to make a comeback (or a premier, I suppose?). I’ll get to say “told ya so” in twenty years; I can feel it.


  • You can spend HOURS on this site
  • Those hours bring you no closer to finding a name and simply confuse you with the idea that your child is perfectly suited to have a mermaid name.
  • Waverly is on the mermaid name list (wait, shouldn’t this be a pro?).

Lonnie, being far more romantic than I on account of the fact that he possesses a human soul, wants to wait until our child is born to bestow a name. There’s also something about it being bad juju to name a child before it’s born (or perhaps more appropriately this would be bad “Jew-Jew”). So we will continue debating the virtues of different names until this baby makes an appearance. I can only hope in my postpartum hormonal drugged up state we choose the right cruise ship. And if the toilets stop working, well, there’s a whole ocean out there for that little mermaid, or merman, to use instead.