& the freak-down: eviction and expiration

The Freak-Down

38 Days

Today we made a trip to our favorite place on Earth for a little grocery shopping. Normally, that wouldn’t be much to talk about unless one of us goes a little crazy.

This time, though, there were a couple things that made it noteworthy—to me, at least. You didn’t think I was writing this for you, did you? First, Karli was having a little trouble walking the whole time. She kept having to hold her belly up and talking about how Squatch might fall out at any time. She told me “Now I understand why pregnant women stand like this all the time.” I was just afraid she might topple over because she’s starting to look a little front-heavy.

Second, we bought some milk. Not really that noteworthy, I know. Happens every week or so. But I happened to look at the expiration date on the carton:

Squatch is due July 8. That means we bought milk with an expiration date after Squatch is set to be here. Now we’ve picked up plenty of food that expires after Squatch is set to be born, and chances are that the milk will be long gone before that point.

But the thing is that this is milk—a highly perishable item—that won’t spoil till after my kid is supposed to be here. You know what means? Holy shit this is close, guys.

Just breathe, people. Breathe. We’ll be okay, I promise.


& the freak-down: the age gap

The Freak Down

39 Days

Maybe it’s not really representative, this being rural Oklahoma and all, but when we go to the doctor and sit interminably in the waiting room, I look around at all the other folks in there waiting to get their bellies seen, and it seems to me that we’re older than most of them. By quite a bit. As a matter of fact, a couple of them are on their second or third kids and look like they’re squeezing their prenatal appointments in during fourth period homeroom.

We waited for quite a bit to have kids. Next Thursday, Karli and I will celebrate our ninth wedding anniversary. We got married young. But we were trying to do the responsible thing and wait till we were financially and personally ready to have kids. Which makes us old.

I don’t think how old we are will really matter that much to Squatch. Our kid is going to think we’re old no matter what. But when we get around other parents of Squatch’s peers, we’re going to seem a little beyond some of their age groups.

Don’t get me wrong—Karli and I are definitely not old. And again, my current reference point is the Teen Mom-ish waiting room. But at this point, I’m about three-and-a-half years older than my mom was when she had me. And she’s even told me that she occasionally felt old at some parent nights in school.

Fresh Prince

Parents of Squatch’s classmates: How many people in this photo can you name–besides Will Smith?

I’m thinking Karli and I will be the only parents in the room who know what cassette tapes are. Or who can remember the Soviet Union actually being a thing. Or whose introduction to Paula Abdul wasn’t American Idol.

I don’t often feel old. There are moments, of course—like when half my composition class has never seen an episode of Gilligan’s Island—but for the most part, I still consider myself relatively young. This may be because my current frames of reference are my coworkers—faculty in a college English department. But for the most part I feel downright spry.

This will change, I know. Like when Squatch starts to rattle off names of musicians I don’t know or consider to be “noise.” Or when people start talking about the 20th anniversary of some event I remember vividly and still consider recent. Or when I start bitching about joint pains.

And, of course, when I’m going to be around Squatch’s classmates and their parents. I wonder if they’ll compliment my Life Alert necklace.

& the freak-down: preparation

The Freak-Down

40 Days

I took a few days off over Memorial Day weekend. Hope you weren’t too lost without me.

I should clarify—I took a few days off from the blog. I was, however, kept quite busy over the past few days.


Where’s the baby go in this thing?

Part of our tasks for the weekend included cleaning out the car and installing the car seat base. So, you know, tons of fun. With the move coming up, work on the Squatch Den is put on hold, but that car seat is going to be needed regardless.

It’s not the only preparation we underwent over the past week or so, either. Karli started getting her hospital bag together and making a checklist for when I do my “crazy dad heading to the hospital” impression so we don’t forget things.

This is all happening now—at 34 weeks—because Karli’s a planner. In a couple weeks, Squatch officially becomes full-term, which means shit can go down at any time. And if there’s one we’ve learned, it’s that you should do everything possible while it’s on your mind and physically able to do it. Because, eventually, pregnancy brain and pregnancy tired will win. Every. Single. Time.

Now if it were left up to me, the pregnancy bag would consist of Karli saying it’s time to go to the hospital, me grabbing a change of underwear, and us rushing out the door. Luckily, this part wasn’t left up to me.

For those people interested, or for those who stumbled here because you Googled this and clicked to the 12th page of results, here’s what Karli packed in our hospital bag:

    • Clothes†
    • For Karli:
      • Two pairs of pajama pants
      • Three pajama tops
      • Flip flops
      • Socks
      • Underthings
      • Jacket
      • Glasses
    • For me:
      • Shirts
      • Underwear
      • Pajama pants
    • For Squatch:
      • Coming-home outfits*
        *Multiple ones since we don’t know gender or size.
    • Water bottle
    • Nursing pillow
    • Phones†
    • iPad†
    • Chargers†
    • Bathroom bag w/ various travel-size toiletries
    • Karli’s purse†

†We’ll pack these when the fun starts.

We’re also taking along Squatch’s diaper bag with:

  • Onesie
  • Receiving Blanket
  • Wipes
  • Burp cloths
  • Socks
  • Diapers
  • Pacifiers
  • Mittens

Then, with both of us being photographers, of course we’ll take our camera bag:

  • Nikon D7000
  • Tamron 17-50 mm f/2.8 lens
  • Nikon 20 mm f/1.8 lens
  • Nikon SB400 Flash

So we’re pretty ready, I think. For a baby. For a Zombie Holocaust. For the next ice age. We’re ready.

In theory.

& the freak-down: birth of a hero

The Freak-Down

45 Days

On a trek into civilization today for a Target run, we passed these. Once spotted, there was no way they weren’t being bought:

Superhero kit. Just add one baby.

In case you can’t tell, that’s a cape and a winged hat. This is the baby outfit to end all baby outfits. Karli doesn’t know this yet, but it’s what I plan to put on Squatch for its trip home from the hospital. Shhh, don’t tell.

I’m pretty jazzed about this find. Karli, not so much. She thinks the cape is a suffocation hazard. She likes the hat, though.

Baby steps. First the hat. Next the cape. Soon enough, WORLD DOMINATION.

& the freak-down: places, please

The Freak-Down

46 Days

All right, Bloggy-verse, what the hell are we supposed to be looking for in a place to live with a kid?

Karli and I are no strangers to moving or finding places to rent. We’ve done it several times already, with some mixed success. There have been some stinkers, sure. Not all of them, though. And we’ve gotten used to looking for the things we need. We don’t always get them, like with this place.

We’re used to looking for apartments with certain amenities because of the animals, but do you need to look for certain things because of a baby? When we’re looking at places, we have to make sure they take larger dogs because not all places do. But they’ll all take babies, right? I mean, rental places that don’t allow babies—that’s not a thing, is it? And we like to find places with a yard so that I don’t have to go out with Gordie every time she needs to shit. Especially now that I have one more living thing’s shit to take care of.

Obviously we need a certain number of rooms now that there will be another person living with us. That’s kind of a given. But what else should we be looking for here?

I’ve heard of people looking at the schools around the area. That’s not something I didn’t think we’d have to do because 1) it’s a rental and we’re not planning on being there long enough for Squatch to hit school, and 2) I don’t know the first thing about the schools there. So there’s that.

Tell me folks—is there stuff we’re supposed to be paying attention to with the baby and a rental place?

& the freak-down: pregnancy rage

The Freak Down

47 Days

Sometimes I get a little scared. Not scared of parenthood or the baby or the sleepless nights. Not scared of diapers or my own mortality or responsibility.

No, I get scared of Karli. She gets mad—a lot.


I don’t blame her either. She’s got a head sitting somewhere inside her pelvis and pushing on her bladder. She’s got a lot of water swishing around inside her, a lot of trouble standing up, and various aches and pains. There’s plenty of reason to get a little irritated.

I just wish the world would quit giving her more reasons to be angry. Because she doesn’t unleash her rage on the world in a healthy, green-skinned way. I’m the one who gets to absorb it, like the way New Jersey gets to buffer the rest of the country from New York’s shit*.

*Or, as I’m learning, Oklahoma being everybody’s barrier from Texas.

As an example of the latest Hulk-out, we’ll take yesterday’s trip to Walmart*. Karli—as pregnant ladies are wont to do—had to pee. Enter Carole, Walmart bathroom cleaner. As was relayed to me (between growls and snarls), Carole decided to clean an air vent that hadn’t been cleaned in quite a while. That was above Karli’s head. While she was on the toilet. Sending dirt and general nastiness raining down.

*This is reason No. 348 why I’m looking forward to moving—we can go back to pretending Walmart doesn’t exist.

This is probably something that would have pissed off just about anyone. But with pregnant Bruce Banner Karli, she was ready to explode, and I got to hear her grumble about every single person in the store for the rest of the evening, long after we’d left and come back to our apartment. My job became deterring physical confrontation, which is pretty difficult in the cramped aisles and general hellishness that is Walmart. We escaped without massive incident and minimal collateral damage.

A part of me is looking forward to Squatch getting here in order to see the end of pregnancy rage. But then there’s a voice that comes echoing from the distance—the voice that knows about an equally deadly force waiting to be unleashed. It whispers, hauntingly, “Beware of Mom Rage!