1. Pregnancy books are awesome. Different books appeal to different people, but finding the right one is even better than having the answer to every conceivable question available on the internet. We found What to Expect too clogged up with cheeky puns and the Girlfriend’s Guide beyond unbearable for the same reason, but we can recite Your Pregnancy Week By Week more or less verbatim. We read it out loud at bedtime. We argued about which points on each itemized list applied to her. With not much to do but gestate and wait, we armed ourselves with what feels in retrospect like way too much knowledge of every possible complication that could, might or ever has happened even once in recorded human history.
2. Baby books. Ha. They made a postnatal sequel to What to Expect, and we have it! Maybe we even read a few pages, though if so I don’t remember it. The first couple of weeks are kind of a blur, and then the idea of sitting around to read about the baby WHO WANTS ATTENTION RIGHT GODDAMN NOW strikes us as kind of funny. Give her a bottle, check the diaper, burp her, give some gas drops and wrap her in that burrito blanket. If that doesn’t work then call mom for help. One of my relatives is an obstetrician; as soon when I remember which I’ll call him. Oh wait the baby stopped crying. HALLELUJIAH LET’S TAKE A NA – crap. you pick her up while I warm some milk. Some day I might hollow out the middle pages of that book with a razor and use it as a hiding place for small jewelry and ID cards.
3. I have a job again and the wife has a job so either way I don’t need it per se, but feeling like an adventurous reporter I checked out my options on Healthcare.gov. My findings: the website works a little slow but it works. I got an account entered on my first try with only a couple non-fatal hiccups. However, as far as I can tell you still need to pass through a remarkable number of questionnaires and redundant security layers before you can find out what the stupid plans are and how much they cost. Once I got there though the range of plans seemed pretty good. If my job did not offer a solid health plan I would have no problem signing up for one of these gold or silver options. I predict that these inexplicable barriers to casual plan shopping will motivate a cottage industry for apps and mini-sites that report your ACA plan options with a minimal number of toggle button entries, say age, zip code and whether you smoke. The plans will stay fixed for a while yet so cataloging them should be about as hard as listing each type of four-door car in Grand Theft Auto V. I know that I would check out a site like that right away before diving back into Healthcare.gov. I would even click on the ads. Promise.
pregnancy books are tedious. worst among them ‘what to fear when you’re expecting’. half of them aim to make you feel like your pregnancy isn’t meeting ‘the average’.
I too had wondered why the site was so bogged down by identification for casual shoppers. But now I wonder if it isn’t protection from a few million t-baggers getting on and tying up the site. Perhaps the early id is a justifiable security precaution.
They have added the ability to browse plans without completing an application, which should take someof the strain off the web site. When, when, when will non DOD agencies learn that directing big contract IT projects is a specific job skill and not something for any old GS 15?
Have you started reading “Pat the Bunny” to your daughter yet, or am I dating myself with a reference to an out of print book?
Villago Delenda Est
Totally OT, but one of the Noisemax headlines is
So, I think we can pretty much write Dershowitz off completely now as having Alzheimer’s.
My daughter is turning 1 tomorrow and I get a kick out of reading your updates, it’s exactly where my wife and I were a few months ago. We tried reading that “What to Expect” sequel as well but could never find the time.
I know you’re operating on minimal sleep, but it does get better. At around the 4-5 month mark we couldn’t do the “scream for 7 hours straight in the evening” routine anymore so we started sleep training her, it took a couple weeks but she took to it and started going to bed at 9 and sleeping until 5…then 8 to 5:30, and now every night she’s in bed around 7 and sleeps until 6:30am or so. You’ll never have *enough* sleep, but you’ll get to a point where you aren’t zombie-tired anymore.
Please do not call your obstetrician relative with baby questions. Pregnancy, sure. But once they are out, they’re the pediatrician’s problem….
@johio: Haven’t been on the site since the second week. Initially I wondered why they didn’t
have a straight up chart with the different plans, age-ranges, smoker/non-smoker and rates w/o subsidies but then I figured it was so that the right wingers couldn’t go with those figures w/o the subsidies. . I figure they’ll have those kind of charts after year 3.
Lynn Johnson of For Better For Worse started with books with one panel comics about pregnancy and the early years with your child. You’re past David, We’re Pregnant, but Hi, Mom Hi Dad covers up to 12 months and Do They ever Grow Up? covering through age 2 deal with the universal things that parents go through. And they are good for a laugh.
As I predicted several days ago, the ACA website is not “a total disaster,” the rollout problems were typical and easily mitigated, and (wait for it…) as time goes on the bugs will get worked out and the website will gain speed and reliability until it becomes as fast and reliable as http://www.usps.com, etc.
You can genuflect and chant “We acknowledge your insight, we are not worthy! We are not worthy!” now.
@Villago Delenda Est: Oh, I’m sure he was bright. But was he a complete fucking sociopathic asswipe who needed to be put on his own little island in the middle of the ocean and surrounded by barbed wire and friggin sharks with lasers on their heads and sealed off from the rest of humanity forever? That’s a different story.
Ah, this modern-day parenting. In my day we had cases like baby Anjelica Castillo, whose long-dormant cold case was just cracked and written up in the NYTimes. Her mother had eight children by three different men, and never reported Anjelica’s disappearance because she just assumed the girl was with her father. Never seeing her was apparently not a problem.
I’m glad. I went thru it maybe a week ago with another person and it took us two tries to get the email with the link but we made it. The identity verification questions are kind of interesting. Where do they get them? Are those just random high schools he didn’t attend (trick question!) or are they somehow narrowing the field of who this person might be?
The House Reporter went off about Free Masons and the Constitution and Jeezus. Sounds like she’s got some psych problems. She, seriously, must have been stressed out with all the stuff going on in the House and forgotten to take her psych meds.
pseudonymous in nc
When contracts stop being awarded to companies that are built to win contracts, not built to provide services.
I think it’s going to happen sooner than later. There are a lot of good examples to follow. The CFA Summit in SF has been talking about this stuff over the past couple of days.
pseudonymous in nc
Isn’t it from a standard lookup thing? I haven’t checked myself, but people said it’s like the ID check when you request your free credit reports.
@mai naem: I’m not sure why they didn’t have that available from the start, but seeing that I will have FOUR companies to choose from and will probably pay at least 100 per month less than the current crap plan has relieved my anxiety and let me wait patiently until they work out the bugs before trying again to enroll.
For post-pregnancy books, two of my faves are “The first twelve months of life: your baby’s growth month by month” and Brazelton’s “Infants and mothers: differences in development”. Even though the early editions at least are somewhat out of date regarding the gender / social roles of parents, they are still spot-on about infant development, and utterly fascinating. I re-read them with pleasure, particularly when I am about to take on a new little friend (I’ve been backstopping new parents for 35 years).
My buddy gave me the only relevant advice I got about what happens post partum:
1. If possible, sleep when the baby sleeps. Just do it. You’ll never regret it.
2. Never, under any circumstance whatsoever, should you wake up your sleeping baby.
Everything else you just figure out as you go. Child rearing books are pretty well useless, even more so than the pregnancy books. Call your pediatrician or nurse hotline if something is going on with the kid that you can’t figure out. They’ve pretty much seen and heard it all.
Newborn to first birthday, in retrospect, is pretty cut and dried, just physically demanding. The actual hard stuff comes later, when they can walk and talk.
Best baby book I ever read was The Poo Bomb, by Jeff Vogel.
As for infants, 1) love them, 2) take a breath and try to relax, and 3)make sure you let your wife know she’s awesome for passing a fucking bowling ball.
And then — very important — continue to support and be attentive to your wife, to make sure postpartum depression isn’t sneaking up on her. That can be insidious, and it can have a protracted effect. Ultimately, she’ll be fine, I’m sure, but you can really help things along by keeping an eye out for her.
@pseudonymous in nc:
Right, that’s what it looks like, but I don’t know how those work either. My “potential insured” there was young, 20, and he thought the whole thing was fine-making up ridiculous answers to the security questions, etc. He was pretty breezy about this whole deal. They all buy car insurance online so it’s not completely foreign to them, purchasing insurance, although obviously this is more complicated “shopping.”
First child? Word of advice: even if you (and your wife) get along fabulously with both your respective sets of parents/shortly-to-be grandparents who are eager to help you out…hold them off from coming to do so for at least the first three days or so if it’s at all feasible in your circumstances. You’ll be far better-off breaking your own selves into the roles and essential tasks of being spanking new parents than to let someone else define and take that over for you, however well-meaning the grandparents may be. After those three days or so doing it alone, at that point their arrival to help you out and meet their new grandchild will be most welcome relief to you and joy to them. But you’ll gain a tremendous amount of confidence and competence in doing it your own way rather than theirs if just you and your wife wrangle with the new baby the first three days or so.
Kurt Vonnegut, in the intro to “Welcome to the Monkey House”, quoted his brother as writing in a letter to him
shortly after the brother’s baby was born.
Couldn’t help myself, went to redstate to see what they are saying… Erickson apparently wants his minions to support primary challenges in Kentucky, North Carolina, Colorado, Mississippi, and Kansas… Since I already read somewhere that early polls have the GOP down in five of six races they have to win, and tied in the other, something tells me 2014 could be al kinds of interesting. I’m not saying that Mississippi would actually send a Democrat to the Senate, but if ever there was a state where an independent Tea Party could fuck up a general election, well, I’m looking at you Mississippi
ETA: given that this post was about babies, and much of the comments revolved around cleaning poo… My comment fits
And, what Donut said.
We got a lot out of The Happiest Baby on the Block by Karp. The video was unintentionally hilarious but good stuff on establishing sleep patterns and soothing.
I’m best friends with a 27 month old who’s incredibly smart and talented – reading, adding, speaking complex sentences and articulating complex concepts (“Like” for example – ex: Balance beam is like bouncy house.). My niece is a wonder and it’s been amazing to watch her grow up in real time.
@Redshirt: Sounds like she is smarter and more articulate than Gohmert and Bachmann combined. No offense intended.
President Obama – “No.”
@Anya: Balm to my soul. Music to my ears.
Can anyone explain why I am getting two different TOENAIL FUNGUS ads on the frontpage?
I blame Obama because this must be required now by the ACA.
@Anya: yeah, that was pretty awesome
@Omnes Omnibus: Throw in King and it works, IQ wise.
Ahh says fywp
Re: Pamela “Pammycakes” Gellar being a fool to Pelosi on Twitter tonight: if you love GOP leadership so much why dont you leave NYC metro and resettle in the free state of Alabama?
@Emma: @diana: I loved the attitude.
@Anya: Somebody should photoshop his No on top of the Doctor in front of the reconstituted Dalek battalions. Tardis in background.
@Anya: Ha ha! I love Jay Carney’s little grin after that “no” on the way out of the room.
@scav: I love it! I wish I had that kind of talent.
@Greg: That was Carney’s “fuck the teahadists” grin.
pseudonymous in nc
Having just tried to sign up at Healthcare.gov, I’d like to say nice things about it.
I really can’t. I’ve been using the web for nearly 20 years now, and I know this stuff far too well. It’s not been properly tested: there are some trivial errors that any decent code review should have squashed, and there are some fundamental UI problems with the application process that should have been identified and addressed through scenario testing.
And there’s no way to report bugs on the pages they occur.
RE: point #3 – the Kaiser Foundation has had such an estimation site up for quite a while. It does not reflect subsidies, but is a useful starting point.
Even healthcare.gov links to the KF site and recommends it.
@pseudonymous in nc:
Just following modern corporate practice.
One for each foot?
@Villago Delenda Est: Eh. I work around a whole mess of people that are inarguably brilliant. Half of them can barely tie their shoes. They are who they are because they found that shiny thing in the world that excite and engage them like nothing else and they are expert beyond expert at that thing, and almost everything else is uninteresting and impenetrable to them.
Ted Cruz gets his rocks off at arguing and bullshitting, and he discovered a field of study and he discovered a field of study and occupation consisting of it. He’s fantastic at it. And in 2 years we’re going to look back and discover that in 2013 the US economy spent $24B to give Cruz a 3 week long primary campaign for President.
@? Martin: Before Ted’s done, it’ll cost a whole lot more than 24 billion.
@scav: “WHAT IS THE MEANING OF THIS NEGATIVE??”
It’ll be spun as $24 billion Obama cannot use to provide Koranphones to food stamp recipients.
And the 27% will lap such tripe up greedily.
@Yatsuno: Seriously, there’s an orange dalek. This could work.
@Donut: Au contraire – if the house is on fire, WAKE THE BABY and get the hell OUT. Otherwise, your advice is excellent.
@Ash Can: That is very good advice. One thing I read in Becoming Attached is that there is a tremendous amount of value in the father caring for the mother when they have a newborn. Obviously a father will want to have time with his newborn and it will be needed, but helping the mother so she has more resources to put into being the mother really pays off.
@Churchlady: Why would Tim F. set his house on fire? Is this some kind of insurance scam?
If you want just basic ACA price estimates for your state and general demographic, try this site. Handy and you don’t need to create an account to get info.
@DaddyJ: It looks like it will give plan prices but not give any indication of possible subsidies. IOW, the number one gets from this is likely to be the highest possible premium.
Because he wants his boss to buy him a yacht. Strategy learned from the GOP.
@? Martin: So he will live on the yacht? Sail or motor? Mightn’t the baby get seasick? This shit is complicated.
The California site has exactly what you’re asking for.
If you just want to see what you would qualify for, there’s a tab that will let you do that in about 30 seconds. It asks for number of family members and age, your zip code and income, and you’re off – it shows the cost of the plan and the subsidy.
It’s amazing how well this is working in the states that are trying to make it work.
True, but it gives you someplace to start. Helpful to get people like Irony Abounds in off the ledge. And then you can use the Kaiser subsidy calculator to fine-tune things.
Not a perfect solution, but it works for now.
@johio: that book will never go out of print.
RIP Ed Lauter
Most memorable role, most likely The Longest Yard (original)
I’ve always heard that you should start reading the baby care books during the last month if pregnancy, because there’s not a whole lot more going on in the gestational front at that point and you have some actual reading time available. Too late now, I suppose. ?
Yup. New Mexico’s site isn’t bad. We have an R governor who’s awful in several ways, but she’s realistic about need in the state and signed onto the medicaid expansion.
@Omnes Omnibus: After burning his house down, Tim will be presented by his boss with the photo of the motor yacht he keeps in his cubicle at work, and Tim will declare victory.
Again, strategy by the GOP.
“Pat the Bunny” is most certainly not out of print. It is my standard baby shower gift — I always, always tuck a copy in with the onesies and bibs and tiny socks.
@SiubhanDuinne: I too give “Pat the Bunny” as my standard new baby gift – a new one for each child as they are usually worn out by the time a sibling comes along.
@johio: I was in a toy store one day when I heard someone ask if they had Pat the Bunny, and it turned out they didn’t. I had to suppress the urge to run over and ask if they had a copy of Spank the Monkey.
Another endorsement for Karp’s “Happiest Baby on The Block,” the book or the video. Amazing, readable advice that you can put into action immediately and have instant success. Literally got us more hours of blessed, blessed sleep.