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This post is exclusively Jackie. As you can see in the videos, she’s really starting to verbalize. She still hasn’t mastered the words, “cool whip.” Practice makes perfect.

Eating time comes after sleeping time, and after sleeping time comes playtime. Playtime occurs on a very cool jungle mat (including lights, toys, and music) that Rich and Mindy gave us. Two distinct activities make up a typical playtime session with Jackie. First, Jackie lies on her back for about 20 minutes and looks up at the colorful toys, squirming back and forth and sometimes reaching for a hanging stuffed animal. Second, Jackie is rolled over on her stomach for tummy time, which is not nearly as fun or relaxing. She still doesn’t really like being face down. The video below captures the first half of playtime, and not the second, less enjoyable half. There’s also a Baxter cameo.

Finally, I’ve posted a few images from last week.

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A couple of weeks ago Katie and I wrapped up our Preparing for Childbirth class, a six-session weekly meeting at REX Hospital in Raleigh. It’s hard to say exactly how valuable the class was, primarily because we missed half of the sessions. One of our absences was legit because we had to leave town on short notice. The other two absences were not legitimate, but we rationalized skipping class by working on other little baby-related projects around the house.

I like to think that Katie and I learned a lot of the material covered in class from the baby books that we’ve read over the past six months, so we really didn’t miss that much when we were absent. Of course, some of the parents-in-training went a little overboard with their questions and participation. I would even go so far as to say that the people in the class (Katie and me included) were a bit weird.

For example, on the second night of class, a guy who sat near us wore a t-shirt that grabbed my attention. A nebulous, abstract image on the center of the shirt was bordered by illegible text (in a gothic, thrash-metal-band-logo kind of font). I was fixated on the mysterious t-shirt for the first hour of class. Then we had a break, and I was able to get a closer look while the guy proudly described the shirt to another father-to-be. It turns out that the abstract image was a silk-screened representation of his unborn child. He had taken a still image from the 3-D ultrasound and printed a t-shirt. Upon closer examination, the cryptic text read, “DADDY’S LITTLE GUY.”

Depending on your personal taste and perspective, this guy is either the front runner for 2009 Father of the Year or he’s a bubble off plumb (as my father might say).

Overall, I would give the class a five out of ten on the valuable-knowledge-gained scale. It earned a much higher score on the new-parents-act-strangely index.

Image from Raleigh

Urban dirt-biking

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

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