Josh’s Wedding, Baba’s Room

What a weekend. Insane amount of work getting Amy’s darkroom and office torn down, finding places for everything. Great cleansing experience letting go of material stuff to make room for us to share an office space. Then up till midnight Friday scrubbing walls and spackling.

Up at 6:30 the next morning spackling again in my underwear (mmm, that doesn’t sound quite right ;), then off to Josh and Minette’s for early morning wedding in a Redwood Groove in the Berkeley Hills, near the botanical gardens. About 100 people, most of them buddhists. Josh is my oldest friend – since junior high – and lives right next door. Celestial light streaming through the redwoods, much chanting and music. Lovely ceremony, then up to the park for reception – hours in the sun seeing old friends, including the old Milky Way crew – feasting, dancing. Yassir and Fuson played live Moroccan Gnawa music, amazing. Other friends of Josh’s put together a more-or-less impromptu dirty blues band – gritty Son House / Leadbelly stuff.

Napped for a couple of hours, then got out the paint and rollers and got the wall coat done in the baby’s room – entire ceiling and walls, minus trim – cranking the Pretenders, righteous work music. Finished painting at midnight, totally exhausted. Tonight after work and after swimming and after dinner will do all the trim and baseboards.

Shacker as a Wee Baba

Deleted this accidentally, recreating from memory.

Attended baptism of little 2nd cousin Gabriel Ordway at an Armenian Catholic church. Was amazed at how much like an excorcism it was -“Devil get thee behind me” and “These four points of the cross keep the evil one at bay.” Afterwards into the Cupertino hills for celebration, hanging out with old cousins, etc. Maya and Dan are off to Egypt with Gabriel in a few days. Will miss them.

Dan found some old pictures at grandma’s, including these of me and my mom, circa 1964. I looked so goofy, I wonder if my parents thought I’d turn out “special.” My mom was a cutie – no wonder my dad had a crush on her.

Enjoying Pregnancy

Just want to say how completely and totally we are enjoying Amy’s pregnancy. Every day she gets a little bit rounder – an amazing hemisphere precedes her now – and it gets a little bit more exciting. But it’s not like pregnancy is this thing we have to get through to have the baby – we’re really enjoying watching her body change, all the little signs. Our relationship has never been stronger, more joyous. Everything seems filled with life. I love to rest my hand on her belly, love to rub her with oil (it takes a lot of the strain off on days when it gets too much). We’ve been really lucky so far – everything has gone like clockwork. Birthing classes start soon, and I’m sure it’s all going to get much more intense.

Last weekend at a party we met another old childhood friend – Susannah – and she’s got exactly the same due date – Sept. 16. Weird. That makes four childhood friends all having babies within 3 months of each other. Weird.

We call the baby “Appleseed,” which was what we called it when it was the size of an appleseed and we told one of our nieces and she asked “Are you going to name it Appleseed?” The other night Amy had a book resting on her belly and Appleseed kicked right off from inside. That’s real.

Getting ready for the baby is consuming a huge part of our lives right now, emotionally at least. Reading books, preparing to get the baby’s room ready, figuring out the diaper situation, the circumcision situation, endless naming discussions, all that stuff. Like looking towards any big life change, we move in waves of disbelief – one day it seems like we’re getting used to the idea already, and the next our minds are blown again.

I wonder a lot about what kind of father I’m going to make. I doubt my own abilities. Fortunately, everything I read and everyone I talk to confirms that that is the most natural reaction one can have toward parenting the first time around. You just don’t know how you can possibly do it. But at the same time, you know you can. It will just happen. We will keep our wits, stay happy, stay level, and everything will be fine. I know it will.

Gummi Louise

Amy started having her first “weird pregnant cravings” the other day – for gummi sharks, of all things. So I bought a pound of gummi and made a gummi mandala for her to come home to.

gummi  amy

Louise got into it too (note little licking of little lips).

gummi louise

Emergency Procedure

Was reading up on emergency umbilical handling procedures – if you’re more than two hours from a hospital, tightly tie off the cord 6″ from the navel, then tie another knot 2″ farther out. Cut between the knots with a sterilized knife or scissors. If less than two hours from a hospital, just leave it.

Whether expecting or not, you never know when you might need info like that.


Amy enters week 15 of her pregnancy today. According to babycenter: “Lanugo, a very fine hair, covers the body and will continue growing on the baby until around the 26th gestational week of pregnancy.”

Lanugo? It sounds like a brand of pasta.


Amy has been saying for years that she wanted a son to name “Otto.” I’ve always hated the name (can only think of a stoned bus driver or a twirpy little fascist). Most people hate it like I do, but about 10% like it. Amy thinks mostly of Otto Preminger. This valentine should put the final nail in the coffin of the Otto idea. Anyway, it ain’t gonna happen — A has recently backed off. I think she mainly keeps using it just to push my buttons ;)


Baby Pix

Amy and I went in for an ultrasound this morning. What an amazing experience – the first pictures of our little appleseed (that’s how big it is right now — 3.5 mm, with a heart the size of a poppyseed). Actually they weren’t sure whether we’d be able to catch the heartbeat at this early stage, but suddenly, there it was, fluttering like a hummingbird. A living being, sparking to life before our eyes. I’ve felt happy all along, but suddenly I felt pride for the first time.

First close-up, hanging out on the side of the egg sac. The sort of curved area at the top left is a “leg bud.” Which must mean the big area above the head on the right is its giant schnozz. ;)


The top image shows the size of the yolk sac compared to the embryo – the little guy is swimming in an ocean of food! The placenta has not yet developed – that will come at about 12 weeks. The bottom image shows the heartbeat along the bottom – just subtle dips here, but at one point we were able to see it really dramatically — not on the chart, but the embryo itself, fluttering with every beat. The vertical line along the right is the TCG – time compensation gain – it lets the sonographer compensate for imaging fluctuations due to depth / distance.

What’s playing now:

The knower of the past, the present and future
Crowning even this, you’re knowledge itself
Oh merciful benevolence, eternal
You’re the trinity of knowledge, truth, and bliss
You are the source of truth, the one with infinite attributes
You are the ocean of love we sorely miss
– Pete Townsend

Little Swimmer

I’ve been looking forward to making this post for a very long time. Amy and I have been trying to get pregnant since we got married. We’ve been through a lot of tests, and a lot of emotional rides. Amy had a laporoscopy recently, and then started acupuncture shortly therefater. Just when we were starting to think about in-vitro or adoption, it happened. All by itself. A little swimmer made the mark, and we’re pregnant!

No doubt about it, it’s for real. Out of the abstract and into reality. Suddenly everything changes. Have to clean out the office and make a baby room. Have to quit smoking. Have to get the turntable up high. All that stuff that other people do… I can’t even digest this. Wow.

Tonight we call the parents. Booyah!


Bahjinagh is the Persian word for “husbands of sisters,” like Sharoq, Steve, and myself are vis a vis Ellen, Lisa, and Amy. In Iran, it’s a special family unit. In Persian legend, Bahjinagh are capable of overthrowing kings!

Shah told me about this when I was in Bothell, and I just found the note where I wrote it down. Wanted to post it so I’ll remember.