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Preparedness

“You always prepare in advance for everything,” my wife Apple said to me earlier this evening, when I walked in the door carrying a case for my new iPhone which won’t even be here until Friday. “Not just your own stuff, but for Connor too.” Connor is our son, and he’s not here yet, either. (We’re expecting him during Thanksgiving week.)

She was right, as usual. I had spent the previous evening assembling the Graco Reverse Quattro travel system that my grandmother generously purchased as a gift for us (and which my mom generously ordered and had shipped to our home). This afternoon, I installed the system’s car seat base in the backseat of Apple’s Mazda using the LATCH system. All of this went better than I expected, and — assuming I installed the car seat correctly — was in fact so easy that I probably wouldn’t even bat an eyelash about moving it from car to car. (I expect to post an initial review of the travel system shortly, “initial” because I haven’t actually put a baby in it yet.) This was just another step in my process of getting as ready as I can for our son’s arrival.

It’s not just me, either, as Apple herself enjoys preparedness as much as I. Previous steps in the aforementioned process have included painting Connor’s room, outfitting it with furniture, and the ubiquitous (and perhaps most important) task of helping my wife ready herself physically for labor and delivery. Since we’re planning to deliver naturally at a birthing center instead of a hospital, we’re taking classes on the Bradley Method of childbirth and are doing the appropriate research, staying active, and doing special exercises. We also got Connor to turn head-down in the ideal birthing position by performing a variety of encouraging activities, ranging from inversion to moxibustion.

Welcoming your first child into your life is perhaps the most difficult thing to prepare for, and indeed it is impossible to cover every base in advance. It’s tough for someone like me, who enjoys the calming satisfaction that comes with being ready for anything, to accept the fact that there’s going to be stuff you didn’t see coming. But I think we’ll do our level best, and given the history we both have of staying on top of things, I’m not worried about the outcome. It may get crazy at times, but I’m sure it will all work out fine!

It was a great weekend overall. We spent the entirety of Saturday out and about, starting with our morning childbirth class in which we got to practice all of the various recommended laboring positions. This worked out even better for us because our classes are held at the birth center we’ll be using, so we got to experiment in the actual setting in which Apple will be giving birth. Afterwards we spent several hours tripping from one grocery store to another, stocking up the cupboards and cabinets in our woefully food-lacking abode. In between we ate a fantastic lunch at La Finca Chiquita, a quaint little Mexican restaurant just down the street from the birth center. The restaurant’s staff is all well acquainted with the birth center, and one them even has a granddaughter who was born there quite recently. “If I get hungry during labor, I want the shrimp soup from that place!” says Apple. If daddy gets hungry coaching mommy through labor, he wants the tacos.

On Saturday evening a light rain blew in, leaving much cooler temperatures in its wake. Today, the rains continued throughout much of the day, giving our lawn a much-needed soaking and ensuring that we were able to enjoy having the windows open all day long. I worked on the blog here, completed a whole litany of to-dos from my list (including the aforementioned travel system assembly), cooked my traditional Sunday breakfast of bacon and eggs and spent probably too much time grinding on the MacRumors Forums in search of the perfect case for my iPhone 4S.

I ended up getting the Incipio NGP in translucent Mercury Gray, which is a flexible polymer case that comes with a clear film screen protector for less than $20. It provides some extra grip, has a lip that protects the phone’s display when it’s face down, and should be more than enough to prevent shattering of the iPhone’s glass facades in case I do something dumb like, y’know, drop it. I particularly like the fact that the case is partially see-through, allowing the fine details of the precision-machined iPhone 4S to be seen rather than kept out of sight. As a side effect of the translucent material, using the new iOS 5 feature that blinks the camera flash when you have incoming notifications causes the entire case to illuminate (never miss an incoming message again!). Even better, I was able to run down the street to Wal-Mart and pick it up — no shipping required. Though I will say that Wal-Mart’s website, as usual, was completely useless and reported that the Mercury Gray NGP case was no longer available from them in any capacity, when there were at least a dozen of them on the local store’s shelves.

Tomorrow it’s back to work time, and unlike Sunday nights of old when I loathed the thought of dragging off to school for yet another day of psychological torture, I’m actually excited because I get to start experimenting with a particularly sweet jQuery plugin that I discovered on Friday. If this thing turns out to be as good as I hope, I intend to write up a piece on it here at Oddball Update because it could be quite useful in your own projects. It is a premium script, meaning you’ll have to pay money to license it, but given the amount of work I was going to have to put in to duplicate its functionality, the $10 license fee seems like very small potatoes indeed.

It’s just about midnight here, so I’d better sign off before the sounds of my machinegun typing and my laptop’s i7 cooling system drive Apple up a wall.

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