Sunday, August 26, 2012

The False Alarm

Everyone in my house is on pins and needles.

It has nothing to do with who is going to win America’s Got Talent.

It has to do with when the newest member of our family is going to arrive.

You see my 43-year-old wife just reached her 38th week of pregnancy.

And to put it medically....
...she is ready to burst.


Oh she loves kids.

And she loveD being pregnant.

But the novelty has certainly worn off.

As it did at this same point with our three others.

Like Cliff Clavin, she is ready to deliver.

And I mean... NOW!

Saturday night we thought it was showtime.

Since she had spent the majority of the day curled up in a fetal position.


With contractions coming every 5-10 minutes.

The doctors told us when that happens.

It’s time to get your butt to a hospital.

And the rest of you too.

So we did.

My wife wasn’t so convinced that this would be the night.

And neither was I.

Sure she had all those contractions.

But these weren’t the double over in pain.

Tears rolling out of your eyes.


These were the little ones.

Easy for me to say.

Little, schmittle.

They still fell under the painful Jeopardy category of contractions for $200.

So we felt it was better to be safe than sorry.

And we headed to the local hospital.

But within a few minutes in the ER.

And a few more strapped into a hospital bed.

We knew that this was nothing more than a false alarm.

I think they call them Toni Braxton Taylor Hicks contractions.

I didn’t even know they were married.

According to wikipedia, Braxton Hicks contractions are “practice contractions”.

Or “false labor”.

Created by the insurance companies to force you into an extra hospital visit.

And an extra co-pay.

But it works.


And this wasn’t the first time for us.

(Cue the harps for the sappy flashback music)

The year was 1999.

One child into this magical mystery tour, my wife was nine months preggers with baby #2.

On the night of February 16, the pains in her belly were so strong, I took her to the hospital.

The same hospital where she delivered our baby girl 21 months earlier.

The same hospital where my Korean wife was wished a Happy Chinese New Year by a security guard.

But I digress.

After spending what felt like nine months in the ER that night.

We were informed that they didn’t have any available beds for my wife to suffer in.

Especially since they weren’t sure she was in “real” labor.

So instead of making us wait, for something that might not come.

They decided to give my wife some old fashioned treatment.


Big-time drugs.

To help her sleep.

They said when she woke up, she would either be in full blown labor.

Or just one of them CIGNA sponsored “false labor” situations.

And that’s when they loaded her up on...  Morphine.



Not Motrin.

Not Mylanta.

Or Maalox.

Or Milk of Magnesia.

They gave her... MORPHINE.

You know, the stuff they used on M*A*S*H* when somebody got their legs blown off.

Well this stuff hit the spot.

When we got home, she went right to sleep.

A deep sleep.

Just one problem.

Minutes into Snoozefest 1999, her water broke.

Broke everywhere.

All over the bed.

The carpet.

The walls.

For a moment, I thought she was just happy to see me.

Then I quickly realized we had a big problem on our hands.

Not only was she nine months pregnant.

With her water broken.

And hopped up on the Morphine.

But I had to somehow get her back to the hospital to try and deliver a baby.

Thirteen years later, I can still remember it as clear as day.

The site of her stumbling out of bed.

Wobbling to the car.

Looking like Molly Ringwold’s big sister walking down the aisle in Sixteen Candles.

I know that's a random 80s movie reference.

Not my first.

Certainly not my last.

But if you saw that classic movie, I guarantee you are cracking up right now.

But the bottom line is I got my wife back into the hospital.


And a bed in the hospital had opened up.


And within, what felt like minutes, she was pushing.

And within, what felt like seconds, our son had arrived.

No time for screaming.


Hell, there wasn’t even time for an epidural.

But thanks to some Morphine, a broken water pipe and John Hughes.

The birth of my son was anything but ordinary.

We can only hope the birth of this son goes just as smooth.

Whenever that is.

About 90 minutes after arriving at the hospital on Saturday night, they sent us home.

Home to watch some TV and wait for the next series of contractions.

The real ones.

I wonder if The Breakfast Club is on.

Monday, August 13, 2012

Name That Baby

You may find this hard to believe.

But Sir is not my real first name.

In fact, it doesn’t even begin with an S.

My real first name begins with a B.

It’s my middle name that starts with an S.




Hey it wasn’t my choice.

And neither was the bris.

But when you are new to this world, you don’t get choices.

You get what they give you.

And my parents gave me a middle name that I quickly changed to a middle initial.

But don’t be too hard on them.

This naming a kid business is not as easy as it looks.

As we prepare to do it for the fourth time, we are having some major problems coming up with our final answer.

A big part of the problem is the fact that my wife has been a first grade teacher.

Since 1994.

And no matter what name you throw at her, that name will represent some kid who had a runny nose.

Or who whined all day.

Or who was a constant pain in the....

Well you get the idea.

To be perfectly honest, it’s pretty amazing we were able to successfully name our first three kids.

And luckily those names are now locked in stone.

Set in stone.


The bottom line is it’s three down, one to go.

But it’s that one that is giving us some big-time trouble.

And because we are having such a hard time, everybody is chiming in.


My oldest daughter likes Dylan.

My friends Phil and Tony don’t like Dylan.

My youngest daughter likes Zachary.

My mom doesn’t like Zachary.

She likes Matthew.

My son likes Ethan.

I don’t mind Ethan.

But I like Dominic.

My wife hates Dominic.

But she doesn’t mind Nicholas.

So I threw out

I really don’t need to print her response, do I?

But come on... how great would Dominicholas look on the back of his soccer jersey.

Or what if he becomes the next Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle.

Ok, I’m getting off track.

The bottom line is my wife could give birth at any moment and in the name department, we’ve got nothin’.

Well nothin’ carved in stone.

Etched in stone.


A good friend of ours sent us a bunch of names that she loves.

Names like Thaddeus.

And Demetrius.

And Levi.

Her son’s name is ... William.

We’ve even tried letting a website name our baby.

And what better a place than:

Yep, that’s a real site.

They claim to be the “#1 site for babies and bumps”.

The only problem is near the top of their current homepage they have the top babynames for the year.... 2008.

But hey, a name is a timeless, right?

So we gave it a shot.

Did you know the #1 boy name in 2008 was..... William.

Now that’s funny.

They also have a category called “timeless names”.

Everything from Alexander to... yes, William.

Names like David.

I have two close friends named David.


My wife’s brother is Tom.


His son is named Michael.


Michael’s twin-brother is Steven.

Jane!  Stop this crazy thing!

Things got so desperate that my daughter had us all take a vote.

Ranking the final four names in order of our preference.

The candidates were Dylan, Ethan, Matthew and Zachary.

In alphabetical order.

Dominicholas didn’t make the cut.

So sad.

Anywhoo.... the five current members of this family voted.

The dogs didn’t count.

And the winner was.....

Well, there wasn’t a winner.

Or a final name.

The contest stopped before we got there.

My wife decided that when the baby arrives.

We will look that baby straight in the eyes and...

His name will just come to us.

Discussion over.

Regis, that’s our final answer.

Hey, how about Regis?

Saturday, August 4, 2012

Chicken Fight

There’s a great little coffee shop down the street from where we live.
It’s actually more diner than coffee shop.
But when it comes to smothered breakfast burritos, there is none better.
At least there was none better.
Six years ago.
The last time I went.
Nothing against the food, but something much bigger than the burrito has made me stay away.
No, not Jenny Craig.
Something much more divine.
I didn’t notice it the first time I went.
Or maybe the second.
But eventually I picked up that this place was more Jerry Falwell than Jerry’s Deli.
More Robert Schuller than Bob Evans.  
Every waiter was wearing a tie.
A tie with a bunch of crosses on it.
The pictures were not pictures.
They were pictures of scriptures.
And the music was not songs of Faith Hill.
Just songs of faith.
Hey I’ve got nothing against faith.
Or Faith Hill.
Nothing against scriptures.
And I certainly have nothing against smothered breakfast burritos.
But from my side of the tracks, there’s just no mixing church and steak.
And when I finally picked up that this was more a worship house than a Waffle House, I had to pull the plug.
As painful as that was.
Hey I’m a big believer in religion.
Whatever religion.
If it works for you.
For me, not so much.
Oh, I believe in God.
And I believe in believing.
But this organized religion stuff just isn’t for me.
Not in schools.
Not in politics.
And definitely not in restaurants.
Maybe that’s why this Chick-fil-A controversy has really made me sick to my stomach.
If you’ve been hiding for the last few weeks, let me get you caught up.
Dan Cathy is the President of Chick-fil-A.
Chick-fil-A is a fast-food chain.
A Christian-based fast-food chain.
So Christian, they close on Sundays.
So Christian, Cathy recently did an interview with some newspaper called the Biblical Recorder.
In that interview the subject of marriage came up.
More specifically, gay marriage.
And Cathy said this:
“We are very much supportive of the family — the biblical definition of the family unit.  We are a family-owned business, a family-led business, and we are married to our first wives. We give God thanks for that.”
“We intend to stay the course.  We know that it might not be popular with everyone, but thank the Lord, we live in a country where we can share our values and operate on biblical principles.”
That interview came two weeks after he said this on a radio show about the same subject:
"I think we are inviting God's judgment on our nation when we shake our fist at Him and say, 'We know better than you as to what constitutes a marriage.  I pray God's mercy on our generation that has such a prideful, arrogant attitude to think that we have the audacity to define what marriage is about."
Now whether you believe what Cathy is saying or not.
And I definitely do not.
That’s not the issue.

The issue is that instead of asking me if I want fries with that.
He is telling me how other people should live their lives.
He is telling me... and you... that no matter what makes you happy, if you are not playing by his rules, you can’t play.

Not to mention that Chick-fil-a has donated millions of dollars to anti-gay organizations, who shockingly oppose same-sex marriage.

Organizations, "whose primary focus is to dehumanize LGPT people and to pass laws that treat us as second-class citizens."

This according to "Equality Florida", an advocacy group for the gay community in ... Florida.

Ok... here’s the deal.
Does Cathy have the right to say what he said?

The same way I have the right to get my fried chicken at KFC.
Or Popeye’s.
Or Church’s.
Uh... bad example.
I’ve been to Chick-Fil-A before.
Many times before.
But I won’t be going again.
I swear.
No matter how spicy that Spicy Chicken Deluxe Sandwich is.
Or how waffly those Waffle Fries are.
I don’t care how many times you deep fry my nuggets.
I’m not going.

Not even when you bring back that unbelievable gift of God called the Peppermint Chocolate Chip Milkshake.
I’m sure the fact that I disagree with what Cathy said has helped me reach this decision.
But the bottom line is there’s a time and a place for everything.
And everyone.
And the drive-thru window is no place to be handed a copy of the old testament.
Or the new one either.