This Christmas was great, as it always is. We got to spend some quality time with my family that I don't get to see so often, in fact it's been at least a year since I've even seen my parents! It's terrible to live so far away from both of our parents, especially as the new chapter in our life approaches.
As expected, Erika got a lot of personal attention with our boy in her stomach and we started thinking about the approaching day that he's gonna pop out and change our lives forever. We decided that we needed a new camera to capture all of the action in greater detail and with greater clarity, so we did some after-Christmas shopping and ended up with the camera that I'd been researching for a while - the Sony SLT-A33. We've joined the Haines' favorite hobby - SLR picture taking! Having just arrived today, we look forward to neck/shoulder/and back pain carrying it around while we're out and about in the city.
We also decided that we needed to start buying some essentials as soon as we got back to New York. We learned a lot from all of the mothers at my parents' house, including minor points like the fact that we won't be able to leave the hospital without a car seat. I wasn't too happy to hear that I would have to spring for one of those, but I guess it's a worthwhile investment. We also started doing a lot of research on strollers (a major point of contention), baby carriers, and ways for my to be stingy in my new bible, Baby Bargains. Unfortunately, Erika is not buying all of my revolutionary ideas of how to save money, even though I still have a few months to convince her that if people can survive with cheap items in developing countries, why can't we survive with it as well? Something tells me that I will lose most of these wars...
However, she did agree that we could start shopping on Craigslist for items. I figure that if we start three months before the baby is here, we should be able to find good deals on most of the stuff we need from New York's population. Case-in-point: last night, we ventured out to the Upper West Side and picked up an infant car seat for $60 ($149 value) as well as a baby carrier for $40 ($100 value, albeit not the ErgoBaby one I'm jonesing for). While we were at the couple's house, they said that they would really recommend not buying everything new, to which I rejoiced and commented "Why do you think we're here!" ;o).
The baby is very active these days and it's interesting to try to figure out something about him while he's still baking in the oven. Judging by the ultrasound pictures, we think he has Erika's nose and chin and maybe my voluptuous lips. But thinking about all the permutations this kid could have is crazy. He could turn out to be a total cholo Latino kid with dark skin and hair, or he could be blonde with bleached white skin like me, or anything in between.
I've invented some of his characteristics already as well. Whenever he's going nuts trying to break out of Erika's belly and I try to touch him, he stops immediately (relatively speaking). This *must* mean that his skin is sensitive to the touch like mine, obviously. Putting this on the slippery slope, we can also therefore assume that he'll eat at a snails pace like his daddy as well. I'm sure Erika will appreciate that - I think? Actually, I have no idea.
Aside from that, the other major thing that we're going to need to deal with soon is our apartment. We don't really like where we're at now, but we were considering an upgrade to a two-bedroom in the same building if we could move in early. But our *lovely* management company said that we can't move in until our lease is up at the end of April, which is the issue in the first place. Looking for an apartment, signing a lease, and moving all weeks after Oliver is born is *not* on the agenda. Guess we'll have to go month-to-month until we can get on our feet and find a new apartment - or job!
J. Riley, Oliver Wilson Haines it is.