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For the first time since Katie’s been pregnant the second time, she predicted a boy, in a note she sent me this morning. Her prediction was validated with an image at 2:15 p.m. as Sarah, Katie, and I looked at the screen on the wall during an ultrasound. When we checked in with Katie’s OB today, the fetus was 15.2 cm with a 143 bpm heart rate. We’re thrilled of course, although Katie and I agreed last week that we would be every bit as excited for Jackie to have a little sister.

Jackie didn’t seem quite as giddy as we were today when we told her; she was much more interested in getting to the time after dinner when we allow her to give Baxter and Robah treats. If asked about the imminence of her brother, she replies, “No.”

Oh, and just as Jackie’s prenatal concert experience included R.E.M., Modest Mouse, and The National, McLain’s first live music in utero will be theĀ My Morning Jacket show Friday night. The boys from Louisville will be joined for several songs by theĀ Preservation Hall Jazz Band.

Here are a couple of ultrasound images of little McLain (Mamabea’s maiden name, and the little boy’s handle). He will go by the name McLain, but we still have to decide on his first name.


Spring has been an adventure this year. Katie has been performing her demanding job (including travel), being pregnant, being a mother, and taking a graduate class remotely from Georgia Tech. I’ve been struggling with some home improvement projects during my hours away from work and away from my dogs. I’m even starting to think about installing a beehive instead of a chicken coop, primarily because it seems like a little less hassle.

But, no matter how busy we think we are, the whole family has enjoyed the turn in the weather at every opportunity. My daughter deserves credit for reintroducing Katie and me to the simple pleasures of being outdoors in April in North Carolina. I’ll never complain of allergies again; Jackie can hardly breathe due to congestion from spending most of her day inhaling pollen, but when she’s inside, she’s standing at the front door and pleading “ahsah” until we open door.

When my Dad called on Friday and told me that they would have to leave Durham immediately for Boone, we almost scrapped our plans to attend the Carolina spring game this past weekend. My grandmother turned 96 last month, and her physical condition worsens by the day as her mind (and will to live) remains as strong as ever. She fell early Friday morning, and my parents went home to attend to her.

So, my Mom would have miss her birthday celebration with Rich, Mindy, Katie, Jackie, and me, and my Dad would have to miss his first glimpse of the BCS-bowl-bound 2010 Tar Heels (after the basketball season we had, I’m shooting for the moon). We debated not going, but eventually decided to enjoy the gorgeous day and head to Chapel Hill. The spring game wasn’t that interesting for any of us, even though the defense met everyone’s expectations. Jackie sat in her seat for maybe two minutes before she dragged me, then Katie, out and around Kenan Stadium.

What was interesting, and what Jackie enjoyed the most, was tailgating with Uncle Rich and Aunt Mindy in the Bowles Lot before the game. I classify the event as her first major outdoor party. I hope we can do it again in September. Here’s some video:

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

I took this post-apocalyptic picture outside Jones Barber Shop in Raleigh last year.