Saturday, March 28, 2009

"Party of 3" Congratulations

Two great families added another member this week. The Mantooths of Tennessee and the Stewarts of Ballard.
Welcome to the world ladies! Lily Jolene Mantooth 3/25/09

Emerson Grace Stewart 3/28/09

Thursday, March 26, 2009

Common Questions Asked After a Pregnancy Announcement

It's natural for people to ask certain questions once they know you are expecting a baby--I just didn't know how predictable. Here are the 5 most common questions I've been asked.

1. When are we due?
End of September. That's as specific as I'm going to get. We've watched our neighbors who let folks know they were due March 15th (and as of this writing have still not delivered)--you would not believe all the daily comments on Facebook from their friends asking, "Is the baby here yet?" Um, don't you think there would be some major status update with pictures? So best to avoid that level of inquiry.

2. Are we going to find out the gender before it's born?
No. Call us hippies or old fashioned but Ken felt very strongly about having this one thing left as a surprise until the day it's delivered. I could have gone either way because if you know me, I'm a planner. But I can roll with it and there is enough sage, yellow, white and brown baby stuff to decorate with.

3. Do you have names?
Sort of. But we aren't telling. One reason is that Ken was supposed to be a "Ricky" but a pregnant neighbor took that name for her own son a few weeks prior to Ken's birth, knowing full well that Ken's mom wanted to use it. What I'm really sensitive to is people's gut-reactions to names. Feedback like, "Oh I dated/went to school with/had a restraining order against a (proposed name of child) so that's not a good name." It's hard enough to name a human who will grow up and be forever shaped by how easy/difficult it is to pronounce, where it falls in the alphabet, whether it gets shortened to a nickname or whether they were part of a naming fad. So that's staying under wraps until delivery day too.

4. Any cravings?
Wanting more sleep (but that's not what you mean). First trimester has included: pasta with white sauce, cheese, grapefruit, diluted cranberry juice, peas, wedge cut oranges and organic gummy bears. Aversions? Anything that smells the slightest bit off, doughnuts, garlicky things, steak and broccoli. Of all things, broccoli--one of my favorite vegetables. Well I only eat 7 vegetables anyway so that's a major loss. I still force myself to eat it but can't get excited about it like I once did.

5. Are you going back to work after baby is born?
All options are on the table.

KUOW Pledge Drive Rap

Ken's fourth and arguably best rap debuted today during a pledge break between 8-9am. According to our friend Sarah who works there, it was quite a hit with listners and staff alike. A few listeners who called in mentioned that the rap inspired them to pledge. That's pretty cool. We are told they will be posting the rap on the website but I will also post it here. KUOW RAP MP3 Download

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Letter from One Expectant Dad to another

Mantooth sent this today and imparts sage advice...
Dear Ken, Having done the pregnant wife thing two times in two years now, I felt it my due diligence to bless you with the benefit of my wisdom and help you avoid some of the pitfalls I've experienced whilst dealing with a pregnant woman.
1. A woman's body undergoes drastic changes during pregnancy. Weight gain, bloating, swelling, farting...it just gets worse over the course of nine months. During this time, Kali will almost certainly encounter self esteem issues and need to be validated that you find her as attractive now as you did before she was pregnant. You must be very honest with your wife and tell her "No." First, women appreciate honestly. Second, this will set a very attainable goal for her after the baby is born to regain her previous figure.
2. Sometimes, the hormones coursing through a pregnant woman's veins will cause her to act very irrationally. Sudden bouts of anger, sadness, crying, etc. Your only recourse during these times is to act even more irrationally than your wife. I took to wearing a clown nose, urinating in the corner and singing "We Wish You a Merry Christmas" every time Charlotte had one of her spells. It fixed things up pretty quick.
3. Kali won't be able to do all of the normal things she used to do before getting pregnant. Things like drinking. Some fathers to be mistakenly think they should take one for the team and not do things their wife can't. Actually you should do them more! If Kali is craving a glass of wine, drink a bottle and let her know exactly how much you enjoyed it. Be very descriptive. This is called "visualization" and can help her overcome many of the stresses of gestation.
4. Be sure and remind Kali that women in China give birth in rice patties while working. Do this every time she complains for the next nine months.
5. Kali may try and get you to read books about child birth. If she does, just open the book to a random place, scream "OOOHHH! GROSS!" and then run from the room.
I really hope I've helped.
Love you both, Mantooth

Twitter in the Delivery Room

This fantastical hypothetical by Sean Mantooth (soon to be dad) explores what might be "tweeted" during the cesarean birth of his daughter Lily, scheduled tomorrow...

"DOCTORS CUTTING CHAR OPEN NOW...WONDER IF I SHOULD HELP?"

"NOTE TO SELF - THEY DON'T LIKE IT WHEN YOU TOUCH THE MACHINE THAT GOES BEEP BEEP BEEP"

"WOW! THE PLACENTA IS BIG! REALLY BIG! IT KIND OF LOOKS LIKE THE ALIEN! NO...THE PREDATOR! I CAN'T DECIDE"

"THE PLACENTA DEFINITELY LOOKS LIKE THE PREDATOR."

"CUTTING UMBILICAL CORD...I HAVE DEMANDED TO USE MY TEETH."

"THIS BABY LOOKS DISTURBINGLY LIKE PAT SHEEHAN."

BSG Funny

"Hey, Math guy, we've addressed this already. Haven't you heard of space math? No? Well who looks stupid now?" Points at screen. --Grace Park on why she is Cylon #8 of 13 but not one of the final 5

Sunday, March 22, 2009

Guess what?

Remember that San Juan trip we took at the beginning of January? I did this test the day before we returned home. The time between then and now has taken FOREVER.
This is Sakai/Moore baby at 13 weeks. Thus far everything is going well. So last Thursday we went in for our ultrasound and while we were a little anxious at first, we soon settled into a wild show of our baby kicking and rolling and moving its arms up and down. It’s too small yet for me to feel it which is why I was so amazed by all that movement. It takes your breath away to see that baby on the monitor for the first time—when it’s happening to you (especially when we really had to work to become pregnant)—there is nothing more gratifying and wondrous. "The kid just doesn't want to be measured." --Back turned toward us with hand up to face. But when the tech went to do that measurement of the fluid at the back of the neck, the kid did not want to cooperate. Baby would not lay flat enough to get a good angle. The tech pushed on my abdomen, made me roll to one side, elevate my hips—nothing really worked. She was able to get a few readings and sort of averaged them and they all were normal. I think the whole thing was finally real to Ken, who could now see the reason why his petite wife has turned into a bloated, tired, belching, pasta-hungry, often nauseous and sometimes irritable harpy. Talking about it now (blogging about it!) just blows my mind because we’ve kept it so under wraps that sharing the news makes it all brand new again. Clearly anything can still happen at anytime—that is true about everything in life—but I think given our experiences over the last few years, I have developed a deeper appreciation for the moments we do have and the people who are present in our lives. Nothing is certain but moments of joy deserve to be shared.

Wednesday, March 11, 2009

Dinner in the Sky

This is us celebrating my birthday last night by having dinner at the Space Needle. Too bad this girl is very sensitive to motion so the revolving restaurant thing--not so fun after all. But how would I have known before? Beautiful views and great company. Earlier in the day I had a delightful Thai lunch with Amy and before that I got many well wishes via phone, email and Facebook. It was a good birthday.

Birthday Surprise

My talented rapper-in-training husband surprised me with an amazing musical creation commemorating my birthday combined with the crazily popular "25 Things" Meme.

Download the MP3 HERE.
I was laughing my butt off. Great way to start this day.

******

Here are the lyrics:
"25 Things About Kali Sakai"

I want it. I want it.
I need it. I need it.
If you want the good stuff you gotta pay, BUT I'm gonna give it to you free today.

Gather round inquiring minds
I know whatchyall been seekin' online
I got what Facebook can't provide --
25 Things about Kali Sakai

Now lemme describe the little lady who stole my heart
From the start, she's light brown... with dark parts
Half Russian, half Italian, half Japanese
'N best is the half y'ain't allowed to see
She's into Wii Fit and yoga, yet...
She hardly works out 'cause she hates to sweat
She'll drop a cool G on some Nordstrom clothes
Then spend all her time in a terrycloth robe
Cute as a button, knows how to dance
You never woulda guessed but she's got implants
I'm talkin 'bout teeth, a million dollar smile,
And no she ain't rich, she's a dentist's child
With loads of personality, so much to love...
She'll make a great mom if I can knock her up
She got all the beauty without all the bling --
These are a few of the 25 things.

Gather round inquiring minds
I know whatchyall been seekin' online
I got what Google just can't find --
25 things about Kali Sakai

Now she's an intellectual and she loves to read
Celebrity gossip and the Twitter feeds
Dooce is her idol, that's favorite blog
It's the only frakking reason that she wants a dog,
To balance shit on its head and post the photo,
Capture every eyeball in North Dakota
On her own blog, is called Evidently
'F ya ain't readin' that you retarded mentally
'Cause she blogs about everything 'cludin' you,
And all the stupid stuff that our cat can do.
Cuts with a wit sharp as a knife, sometimes she gets deep (Is this real life?)
Sings Depeche Mode on the karaoke,
I gotta admit she sounds okey dokey.
She rocks at Rock Band when she drums and sings --
These are a few of the twenty five things.

Gather round inquiring minds
Lemme describe my love divine
I got the scoop, forget the grapevine --
25 Things about Kali Sakai

It doesn't take a whole lot to cause her offense,
A little cat pee sets off her sixth sense
And watch whatcha feed her or you'll make her sick --
She comes with a rider seven inches thick
NO onions NO mushrooms NO tomatoes NO prawns
NO WAY brussel sprouts the list goes on
NO lobster NO lamb -- no worries, no panic:
All you gotta KNOW's keep it or-GAN-ic!
She loves radio, movies and TV
NPR, LOTR, BSG
She got the hots for Apollo and Legolas,
Steven Colbert and Ira Glass,
And last but not least she loves her man Ken,
Likes to play with his (Theremin)
That's 24 things, yeah I left one out -
It's for me to know and you to figure out ;)

Sunday, March 08, 2009

The Ides of March approaches

Writing a blog entry on my laptop in a coffee shop whilst sipping a hot beverage, I can't help feel like a Seattle cliche. But I don't usually do this. Ken has banished me from the house while he is preparing something for my birthday next week. However in my old age, I have become rather simple in my wants--if he only knew that the 2-disc Iron Man DVD would do just fine. As my friend Amy is known to say, "Looking at your Amazon wish list, you have the movie tastes of a 12-year-old boy." Yeah, I don't know where that comes from but I like me some comic superheros. Which reminds me, NOBODY tell me anything about Watchmen. We have to wait 2 weeks to see it due to some scheduling issues.

Lion King, the Musical
Not only do I like comic superheros but I like cartoons too. Not just any cartoons though, "animated movies" as they are now called. Pixar has pretty much locked in as my favorite production studio but Disney has done some great work too. One of my favorites is Lion King. I love the "Circle of Life" message, the African setting and the catchy songs. So when I heard that they made it into a musical back in 1998, I really thought it would be disastrous. I could not have been more wrong. It won a litany of awards and critical praise, though it wasn't until last week that we finally got around to it and attended the show here in Seattle with the Testas. It is by far the best musical I've ever seen. And for better or for worse, I've seen many of the Andrew Lloyd Webber productions, which in comparison buckle under their own indulgence and seem very "aged". Without giving anything away (because it is absolutely best that way), I encourage everyone to go see the Lion King musical. Truly amazing. I would also recommend Wicked, Avenue Q (adults only) and Spamalot.

Rat City Rollergirls
And now for something totally different. I tweeted about this last night when we were watching these roller-derbying "fierce bitches" tear up the flat track. I tell you what, it's what professional wrestling wishes it could be: spirited, athletic competition with the theatricality and drama of a good show. These girls/ladies are bruisers--no doubt about it--and their 4-team league here in Seattle competes monthly in Key Arena from February to October. They also have an all-star travel team. I was fairly ignorant of roller derby being that roller skating and any sport requiring rolling or sliding never really agreed with me. But I marvel at the skill and level of commitment required. It's also just novel to see grown women turn into wheeled warriors. There is a high level of athletic skill evident in some of them who are just excellent skaters and make it look easy. But there was a moment when the EMT's had to come out and attend an injured skater. Lucky for her/them, she could balance on the unhurt leg and they easily "rolled" her off the track. Sean & Shannon left between the 1st & 2nd bouts which is a shame because the 2nd bout was between the winners of last month's competition. Those 2 teams: Derby Liberation Front & Sprocket Wenches was amazing. These teams seemed more skilled and you could see the skaters coordinated their strategy. It was initially close in score and very exciting. In the comfort of Key Arena with the ability to drink beer while watching, it's a unique, rowdy and fairly inexpensive way to spend a Saturday night.

Trader Joe's Opens in Ballard
Within the same year, our humble community of Ballard will see the opening of 2 grocery chains: Trader Joe's and Whole Foods. For many (including me) this is a celebratory event. In addition to the already wonderful Ballard Market, we'll have new places that offer more organic and natural options at varying price ranges. Opening day coverage from this past Friday of TJ's on MyBallard Blog.
Whole Foods (in Interbay) is due to open in November. Ken rolls his eyes when I mention how I love Whole Foods. I can walk into that store and just look around and be completely content. Not too many places like that and it's not called "Whole Paycheck" for nothing.