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Week 27 Week 28 : Just Plane Awful Week 29

"Why is the cheese pink?" -Aimee, on Air Transat food.

Baby stats:
Countries visited in-utero: Three
In flight in-utero hours: Seventeen
Effects of overseas flight: None, slept through it all. Take-off is nothing compared to the Victoria Line tube.

Aimee's key symptom: Discomfort to the extreme during the flight, made easier when Kev bought me a Royal Canadian Mounted Beaver (RCMB).
Comparable to: Kevin's extreme discomfort during the flight, made worse by having to sit between a grumpy pregnant woman and a giant.

Developed this week: A true dislike of Air Transat.
Kevin's thoughts:
If I may go off the topic of babies for a moment, yesterday I received an email from a perturbed reader of

"I recently stumbled upon your roadtrip site and found it very interesting that when you visited Kokomo not only saw a Hooters that doesnt exist in this county....but you also stayed at a fictional campground. Not only does this place not exist in Howard county, but it brings no results on a google search as well. Please explain these rediculous oversights/lies."

Usually I let letters like this one slide, but it was that last word: lies (okay, and the word "rediculous"... for someone who claims to be an expert on fine detail, this is a pretty major oversight). This man or woman decided on the grounds of these two items and a meagre bit of erroneous internet research (I'll explain erroneous a bit later, when you read my response letters) that we were LIARS. Perhaps the entire website is a sham!

Worse yet, if someone was using our site for some sort of travel guide, what sort of impression would they get of the pristine city of Kokomo Indiana? Why, if an average reader though Kokomo had a Hooters, they might think Kokomo is a town with somewhat less than reputable morals, rather than just a town that has more fast food restaurants per capita than anywhere else in the United States.

Seriously, if anyone spent more than 10 minutes on any page of any of our websites, would you ever believe that it was intended to be used as a genuine travel guide? Let me quote you another oversight/lie we've perpetuated on the roadtrip site:

"The Space Needle is one of the keenest attractions in Seattle. In fact, it may be the only attraction in Seattle. That, and the 300 foot animatronic Kurt Cobain welcoming you to the waterfront."

Surprisingly, we've never received an email about this one, but I'm still waiting for the day.

In any case, this email inspired me to write a response. Let me know if I was too harsh (I was going to say 'too sarcastic', but that's something you can never truly be):

Dear [name withheld],
Thank you very much for your informative email.

Perhaps we were overzealous in our description of “from a single vantage point”, but the South 31, if I’m not mistaken, passes through Indianapolis. You’ll have to understand that 1) driving 440.2km that day 2) a day which was nearly 5 years ago 3) creating a website where we ‘report’ as best we could with a notepad and our own memories (and I use the word ‘report’ in its lightest possible sense, since it’s quite obvious to the rest of the web-reading world that this is a website best described as ‘silly’, rather than ‘accurate’), we may have confused the fact that we did see a Hooters that day, though it might not have been in Howard County. I certainly hope that you were not a tourist using our site as some sort of travel guide and had your heart set on a Hooters that evening, only to find that you would have to drive an additional 45 miles to the outskirts of Indianapolis. If this was the case, then I’m sure with a bit of probing, you may have been able to find a similar establishment that contains both chicken wings and large breasted women.

As for the campground, again I’ll draw your attention to the “440.2km”, which translates approximately to 275 miles. Upon looking at a map, I noticed that Howard County, while I’m sure very impressive in its own right, is not 440.2km long, so chances are we stayed anywhere between Kokomo and somewhere in central Illinois. As far as I know, ‘Recreational Area’ could mean anything from an actual campground to a city park to a set of roadside toilets, and there’s a slim chance, with all the recreation areas in Indiana and Illinois, perhaps it doesn’t have a dedicated website. In which case, I’m proud to have provided the information, which I’m sure has increased the popularity of Lieber State Recreational Area a hundred fold.

I hope this clears up any confusion. If you’d like, I can direct you to many more vastly inaccurate pages on our website, such as Day 35: Philidelphia, 200 years of American History, and Day 195: Our visit to Crater Lake, Oregon.

Have a fantastic day, and I wish you the best of luck in ridding the Internet of false information. One down, three billion to go! -k.

I sent that one off, after which Aimee asked why I didn't actually look up Lieber State Recreation Area on Google. So I did. There were 49,000 results. When I tried the phrase in quotes, I got 1,220. And when I spelled "Leiber" wrong (a rediculous mistake, I know) I still got results.

So, I sent off a follow up email, which included driving directions from Kokomo, Indiana, as well as all of the locations of Hooters in Indiana, four of which were kind of on the way.

Now here we are doing, the third tale in the Beimers adventure saga, and I know that one day, the moment will come, that someone will write to us and say something to this effect:

Dear Kevin and Aimee: I don't think you're qualified to prescribe medical advice. After being referred to your site by our obstetrician, my wife followed one of Muncus Cooper's Parenting Tips:

'If you keep your baby in the dark, it'll cry less! By depriving it of its senses, it will soon learn that the action of crying illicits no response. Go on, have a nap! The baby's fine! *Muncus Cooper is the Safety Representative for one of Europe's leading health and safety organisations. If he says it, it must be true!'

Now both she and the baby are dead, and I'm suing you for millions.
Sincerely, [Some Absolute Doofus]

If this ever happens, my last thread of respect for the human race will finally snap, and Aimee, Baby, and I will spend the rest of our lives on a desert island. THEN you'll be sorry you never came to visit us in good old accessible London.
Aimee's thoughts:
Whoosh. Right back to London. Just like that. It's back to reality. I'll miss our friends and family in Canada, but I'm getting eager to begin organising things for the new family member that will be joining us soon (and I don't mean that big guy in the red shirt).

Our baby shower provided us with all the clothes we could possibly need for the first two years of her life, but I'm sure there's more to get together than a nice outfit for photographs.

Kev's note: Aimee read in a book once that even though you don't need a lot of this stuff until the baby arrives, you should get it nice and early, because once you get bigger and bigger and bigger you won't feel like wandering around the mall to buy it all. She convinced me that was a good idea, and I went along with it.

Then she proceeded to buy all of it on the Internet and have it delivered to the house. Sigh. Can't argue with woman-logic. Especially pregnant-woman-logic.
I think the need to be prepared for the baby is a side-effect of pregnancy. For me, I'm starting to feel as though this baby might arrive earlier than we think and am terrified of being unprepared. I'd much rather do all the thinking and preparing now because I think after the birth we'll have other things on our minds.

So what exactly does one need to buy to prepare for a new baby? Or rather, what does one need and what does one WANT for their baby? Because really, your baby can sleep in the drawer, poop in a towel, and be carried in your arms for the first few months. But that just doesn't seem like the right way to welcome a new family member and it's certainly not enough for a couple of Bappies like us.*

As always, when seeking advice, I head to the Internet to sort the baby essentials from the parent wants. Here's what I've come up with. Experienced parents, feel free to laugh.

Disposable Nappies (until we can sign up with a cloth nappy service)
Baby wipes (or cotton balls)
Several little one-zies
Several sleeper outfits with feet (I LOVE these)
Warm baby outfit for bringing her home from the hospital in December
Baby toque
Nail clippers, Thermometer, Nose suctiony thingy, and other boring nappyrash creams, etc.
Something to help hold the baby upright in our sink when we bathe it (no bathtub)
Several blankets and throw-up towels
Soft baby towels
A cot or moses-basket for the baby to sleep in
A baby sling

Quinny stroller with Cosi car seat so we can look urban-cool
Even more sleeper outfits (babies never look cuter than when they're wearing these)
Breast pump so Kev can join in the midnight feeds
Bottles and sterilizer set so Kev can clean up after himself
Baby hooded towel robe (also with a big cuteness factor)
Dreampod sleeping bag (cute and safe)
Changing mat
Baby rocky chair for her amusement
Cute soft little toys for our amusement

Kev's note: See?
Whew. I think that about covers it, except for my hospital bag, which we'll think about later. Thank goodness for eBay and the Royal Mail.

* Bappie: the latest acronym to describe a subcultural stereotype. As opposed to a Yuppie (Young Urban Professional), a Yippie (Young Irreverent Personally Powerful Internet Entrepreneur), or a Preppie (don't know if it stands for anything, but it's the equivalent of today's Metrosexuals), a BAPPIE is a Baby of Affluent Professional Parents. Essentially, a baby with parents who can afford plenty of cool baby stuff, like three-wheeled off-road jogging strollers.

Did you know?

We're truly past the point of worry. If born now, our little girl's lungs are well-developed enough that she would be able to breathe with only minimal assistance.

Hmmm. If her lungs, vocal cords, and ability to hear are all fairly well developed at this point, does that means that she could be starting to lay down the groundwork towards getting a cute little British accent? Oh DO let's hope! Here's hoping it's a posh London accent, not a Midlands one.

If only I knew then...

This week: Maternity wear

I always thought that if something was specifically maternity wear, (1) it would fit you if you're pregnant (2) all the way to the end of your pregnancy. Not so for both. First of all, most maternity wear is designed for models with bumps, like designing a cosy for an olive on a toothpick. Hey, we're not all built like that.

Second of all, I've found that this week I've outgrown most of my maternity clothes, including my only pair of jeans, and am desparately trying to find things that still fit over my gigantic bump. This doesn't bode well for the next few months.

Aimee's cravings

What's my body telling me if I can't stop craving Caesarian salad?

Kevin is having sympathy cravings for caesar as well, as well as powdered iced tea, which works for me!

Everyone into the poll!

Everyone (okay, every magazine) seems to be giving us a list of what we absolutely MUST BUY before we have our baby. What would you recommend as the one item you couldn't do without?

Q. What's your 'can't live without it' baby item?
Tell us what and why in a very small box:

Results next week!
And the winners of
Week 26's Best Hat Competition are...

The Kondors!
"Cheerio...says it all!"
"It's so clever."
Baby's Book of the Week

Three Monsters
By David McKee
This book is wrong. It's just so wrong in so many ways that I am astonished that it was ever published. It's the story of two monsters (Blue Monster and Red Monster) who live on an island. One day, a Yellow Monster floats up in a boat and wants to emigrate to their land. They tell him to bugger off at first, but change their minds when they realize that they can use him to do their crap manual labour. The Yellow Monster gladly fulfills a thankless niche of the workforce, and then they try to screw him out of their end of the deal. But the Yellow Monster has in fact stolen all of their resources, has made a better land for himself. He forgives them and tells them they can come visit anytime.

Reviews on the back of the book:
"This succinct and warm-hearted parable could not be bettered."
"An important book; a book we need."
"A remarkable allegory."

This book was published in 2005. Shocking.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

baby's first pram baby's first bed baby's first corner of the living room awwwwwww

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Interested in Kevin and Aimee's other adventures? Of course you are!
Lose a month out of your life reading the Roadtrip or the Bikeabout. They're rather funny.

© 2006 Kevin & Aimee & Baby Beimers.
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