- the next generation - the next generation
Week 32 Week 33 : Loud and Clear Week 34

"If your mom could pick blueberries on the day she went into labour, I can certainly go and check on the rice." -a.

Baby stats:
Current position: Cephalic (that means head down... the opposite of breech! Hooray!)
Movements: Really frequent and very fun now. Giggle!
Aimee's key symptom: Sleeplessness. I'm either being woken up by a wiggly baby, or by heartburn, or by having to go pee (or by Kevin having heartburn or having to go pee).

Arrived in the post this week : Sheepskin floor rug, cashmere pushchair blanket... I've gone luxury.
Kevin's thoughts:
If you're at home reading this, stop for a moment and have a quick look around your house for some baby photos. If you're at work, GET BACK TO WORK YOU SLACKER and look at this page when you get home. Your boss doesn't pay you to read, does he? Didn't think so. Sheesh.

Those baby photos... how'd you make out? Anything? Oh, sorry, did I mention they had to be baby photos of you? No I didn't. Photos of any old baby are a piece of cake... you're probably holding Sears catalogue. Go look again.

Chances are, if you're like me, you don't have a single baby photo of yourself handy. All of mine are at my parents' house back in Canada. I asked my mom to find me some to send to me for this article, but on her way to the attic she drove to Iowa for a weekend and I haven't received them.*

*Note from the future: The pictures you see were received in Week 35, which was before I published this page, but I thought the above line was so funny I couldn't get rid of it.

My first roadtrip
My parents have about 10 albums handy in the attic. They're great fun to leaf through: first birthday, camping trips, visits to the crocodile zoo, stuff like that. Occasionally a photo comes with a little caption in the margin by my dad - sometimes helpfully descriptive ("Under the Doldrums in Drumheller, Alberta!"), usually not ("Well, looky looky!") - but mostly just page after page of photos.

I'm lucky to have those 10 albums. Aimee has only seen about two photos of herself as a baby, and nothing else until her school photos from Grade 1.

You can tell that the attitude toward the camera back in the day was to keep it tucked away in a drawer for months at a time, then whip it out on a special occasion and bang out a roll of 24. Sometimes, if you were lucky, the camera came out with an old roll of film with 12 pictures already on it. It was like a present when it came back from the developers, with two non-consecutive days of memorable events, instead of just one.

This was the 70s, and I'd like to think that, given the time, my parents were fairly forthcoming with the camera. Try going back further. Ask your parents if they have any baby photos of themselves. You'll be lucky if they can find anything besides a graduation photo.



And then there's your grandparents. I've actually seen a photo of my dad's mom when she was two, so I consider myself lucky. Other than that, their wedding seems to be the next time they ended up in front of a camera.

Now, think about today's babies.

How often do you receive email from a friend of yours with a new baby? 30 or 40 pictures of How I Spent Tuesday. Nothing earth shattering, no grand event or family gathering, just "Nathan put on a silly hat" or "Megan and I got out the crayons today". There is so much recording media out there, and the act of taking a photo is virtually free, we're just as likely to record a-day-in-the-life-of as we are to record a-very-SPECIAL-day-in-the-life-of. I love it.

Look at video technology. If your parents have any video of themselves, it's on Super8 film, with no sound and usually a bunch of people wearing plaid, smiling and waving and smiling and waving and generally looking uncomfortable. In comparison, I have a friend who, in preparation for her first child, created a video diary of all of her thoughts while pregnant, before and after labour, and for the first few years, so that the daughter could see exactly what she was doing and thinking as her life came to be.

And what about this website? I figure this sort of thing takes the media cake. My daughter will have an incredible bank of photos to dig through, as well as the innermost thoughts of her parents in the nine months leading up to her birth.

Not only that, but once she's born, I plan to attach a webcam to her which will record every movement in real time which will be available online 24 hours a day and stored on a server that she'll be able to access any point of her life and watch it repeatedly. Not really.

But the exciting thing is, I could if I wanted to.

Aimee's thoughts:
When you find out that you're having a girl, one of your first thoughts is to skip ahead to the teenage years. Visions of piercings, arguments, skimpy clothing and late nights waiting up all come to mind. Compared to teenaged boys, who really just tend to get stroppy and eat a lot of mashed potatoes (at least, that's what my brother did), teenage girls are a nightmare.

But is this really what teens are like, or is it the worst-case scenario that springs to mind? Surely there are a lot of girls out there that care about things, like getting good grades and climate change and such. They're harder to find since they're not usually crowded around outside the Chicken Delight after school.

Obviously, a bit of research was required... where better to do this than at the annual Girlguiding UK BIG GIG 2006 pop concert? This is how I found myself in a stadium with 11,000 teenage girls.

It wasn't entirely research-motivated. Part of my job (the one I get paid for) was to work behind the scenes to report on the concert. But really, I'm there to scope out the state of the typical British teenage girl, and try to determine what we'll one day be up against.

Walking towards the stadium, the first thing that struck me was the colour. It was less a gaggle of giggling individual concert-goers than a seething pink wave. Pink shirts, pink skirts, pink flags and, more than anything else, pink bunny ears. Someone made a lot of money selling bunny ears that day. Pink is probably the most unthreatening colour, but in that quantity, it can be a little terrifying.

The next thing that struck me, upon entering the stadium, was the sound. It literally struck me. Like an untested military riot dispersal weapon. Hidden somewhere in their pink purses, each girl produced a whistle blower. Actually, I think it was a combination whistle/glowstick. The sound of 11,000 girls alternating between screaming and blowing their whistles was deafening, especially when the only difference between the screaming and the whistling was the little trilly ball that comes with the whistle.

A screaming, whistling pink wave can be frightening, akin to the wave that destroyed New York in Deep Impact. The energy it produces is incredible and unstoppable. But you know what? If you look at the girls individually, they're not so bad. They're really just silly more than anything. A single pink girl with bunny ears and a whistle is quite cute, though perhaps slightly annoying. They care more about glittery things than getting tattoos and sneaking out of the house. They probably still have teddy bears on their beds and keep diaries of the boys they'd like to kiss. All of this is manageable - a little sickly, like eating candy floss all day, but manageable.

And what will Kevin and I do if we end up with a more difficult teen? We've already got a plan. During her most awkward year, we're going to take our whole family on an around the world sailing trip. If a year living on a ship with her parents, doing hard labour as a first mate doesn't knock the sauciness out of her and give her some serious respect for the world, nothing will. And she can't say we didn't warn her.

Did you know?

Nowadays, about three percent of babies are born breech - meaning that they are delivered feet first. Yipes! Luckily, my baby's pointing the right way around.

If you speak with Kev's mom, she'll be glad to tell you some stories about having breech babies and the trouble they cause. In fact, these are some of her favourite stories. I think she tells the story of Kevin being both breech and nine pounds to strangers on the bus. Kevin's certainly never heard the end of it.

Kev's note: She also tells me repeatedly about how EASY my BROTHER'S birth was, to which I reply that I made her pay up front, but Chris is making her pay for the rest of her life.
If only I knew then...

This week: The urine cup

At our hospital, they make you pee in a cup every time you come to visit. It is literally impossible to pee into a tiny cylinder when you can no longer see where you're holding that cylinder. Why do they make them so narrow? They should give you a mirror or something.

Aimee's cravings

I'm beginning to think that this craving this is rubbish. Sure, I've been marking down what I crave each week, but I really don't think (other than the scrambled eggs) that I've had a single get-it-for-me-now pregnancy craving.

I certainly haven't licked a brick or eaten grass or chewed on rubber, like I've heard is so common. A shame. I really wanted to give you folks some good stories.

Everyone into the poll!

Somewhere between being a cute kid and being a grown adult, our baby will have to be a teenager. As will yours.
Q. What's scarier... teen boys or girls?
     Boys         Girls
Tell us why in a very small box:

Results next week!
Due Dates: We asked the international community of mothers to tell us if the Due Date given to you by your doctor is worth cancelling your hair appointment over. Here's how you voted...

Week early: 
A bit early: 
On time: 
A bit late: 
Week late: 

Baby's Book of the Week

Harry the Poisonous Centipede
By Lynne Reid Banks
We thought we'd accelerate our baby's learning a little, and jump straight into a lengthy book for young, experienced readers. Why not? She's young, and we're experienced readers.
If there was ever a story about putting yourself into another's shoes, this is it (and that's a lot of shoes). You may think poisonous centipedes wait in dark corners for Hoo-mins like us to come along, hoping to grab a quick bite. Not so. In fact, they're deathly scared of Hoo-mins, even more than mole crickets. However, that doesn't stop Harry and his friend George (who, when read aloud, somehow became Jorge the Centipede Mexicano) from going up the Up-Pipe, and eventually ending up in a very uncomfortable place. I won't ruin it for you. Read it, it's fun.
Send a message to the womb and beyond!

kevin as a baby
kev's mom,
as a newborn
kev's dad,
and his first pair of Nike cross trainers
kev's grandpa,
in what I suppose was traditional boy clothing back in the day
kev's great grandparents some other very distant scary relatives

We've got mail...

Are u sure it's a baby?... if so it's a beimers baby for sure. That size is unreal. Maybe it has already installed a travelling bike, or maybe the never know...or maybe it's the one pound bread which they say babies bring under their arms... well if it's one or the other, lots and lots of congratulations for the newcomer.
- Oliver & Sam
Barcelona, Spain

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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.
A combination of Gladys Knight and Al Green.