I was up way too early this morning. Kurt hasn’t taken any official paternity leave, mainly so he isn’t charged any days off, but it means that when they need him, he must go in. And they need him this week because they’re doing some sort of software update. Not only that, but one of the Senior Chiefs in his office came down with some sort of a stomach flu or food poisoning, so he hasn’t been able to come in to help out. That leaves just Kurt doing the software update, especially since other Chiefs in the office have been sent off to another school to help them become more effective leaders.
What all that boils down to is there was no one but me available to take Gracie to school this morning. That meant I was up at 6:45am to jump in the shower while the kids were still asleep, and to make sure I had enough time to get me ready for the day, as well as Mary Ellen. I had forgotten how long it takes to get a newborn ready to leave the house. First you have to change the diaper, then you have to dress the kid, which is doubly hard because they are strong little suckers who do not want to stretch out, then you have to find the hat because it’s only 60º outside, then you have to buckle her into the car seat… It’s nothing like getting Gracie ready for the day, which involves simply laying out an outfit and having her dress herself. Or if you’re feeling particularly lazy, having her pick out her own outfit and not caring when it totally does not match.
Of course, as soon as I walked into Grace’s preschool, I was mobbed by all kinds of people wanting to meet the baby. I set Mary Ellen’s carrier down on the floor of Grace’s classroom, and immediately there were six or seven children clustered around, looking at the tiny little miracle contained therein. The woman who works the baby room followed me down to the preschool room so she could meet the baby. She was so thrilled when I let her hold the baby, but was rather put out when the owner of the preschool pulled rank and took the baby from her for a few moments. The baby room lady’s annoyance was short-lived as the owner had many things to do and handed her back fairly quickly.
Then we had to head back to the baby room, with the baby room lady cuddling Mary Ellen and leading the way, so that the baby could meet the Mary Ellen who is the other woman in the baby room. Neither of them could quit oohing and ahhing over the baby. They kept marveling at how perfect her little head is, and how beautiful she is.
What can I say? I make beautiful babies.
I ended up at Grace’s preschool a full half-hour longer after dropping Grace off. So when it was time to pick her up again, I sent Kurt by himself, which disappointed all the afternoon workers. Maybe I’ll pick her up on Thursday and let the afternoon workers meet the baby.
There’s just something about a baby that no one can resist!
So it was off to Providence today for Mary Ellen’s ultrasound on her kidneys. With the typical getting lost while trying to find parking (and figuring out later that we were totally wrong on where we were supposed to park), we got there right at 2pm. There was just one person working the registration desk, which meant I had to wait probably ten minutes before being seen. The lady behind the counter handed me a blue plastic card with Mary Ellen’s information punched onto it, as well as a wristband with her information on it as well. I had to giggle when I saw her age listed as “0.”
So I had to walk this blue card around the corner and hand it to another woman who was in the same enclosure as the woman who gave me the blue card to begin with. Why I had to do that, I don’t know. Your health insurance money hard at work, I suppose.
I almost didn’t recognize the baby’s name when it was called by the nurse. She simply said, “Mary [Last Name]?” I’m so used to hearing “Mary Ellen” that “Mary” doesn’t compute.
Side note: Mary Ellen’s name is legally Mary Ellen, two words, first and middle names. Therefore she is usually referred to as “Mary E.” by those outside the family, instead of “Mary Ellen.” We didn’t want to not give her a middle name, as folks without middle names can sometimes have issues. My mother-in-law’s name on our marriage certificate appears as “Barbara NMN [Maiden Name],” the “NMN” standing for “No Middle Name.” But we like the name “Mary Ellen,” so though that is her legal first and middle names, we call her by both. You see? Everyone asks that when they find out her name, so I figured a clarification was in order.
The ultrasound technician had a teeny little ultrasound wand to use on the baby. It figures that they would use a smaller wand than they do on pregnant ladies, but it was still neat to see. She took a zillion photos of Mary Ellen’s kidneys — the right one and the left one, from the front and from the back. And every time she took a photo, it made a sound like a video game gun going off. It was almost like she was playing that old-skool Space Invaders game. She stepped out of the room for a moment, giving me a chance to take some awesome photos of the baby.
In that photo, you can see the skin tag emanating from just in front of Mary Ellen’s ear, which is what sent us to get an ultrasound in the first place. It may be removed in time; I’ll discuss that with her pediatrician the next time we see him.
Mary Ellen is so new that she hasn’t quite grown into her skin yet. I know it looks like she’s got rolls of fat already, but it’s really wrinkles of skin that haven’t filled out quite yet. Her body looks like that of a little old man thus far, but I find it very endearing.
And then, of course, my husband had to be a smart-aleck and pretend to ultrasound his brain. I should have told him that the ultrasound wouldn’t pick anything up! Ha ha ha!
After about five minutes of my photo shoot, the ultrasound tech came back into the room and informed me that Mary Ellen’s kidneys look just fine. And if that weren’t enough, the pediatric radiologist came in a moment later and assured me of the same thing.
Woo hoo! My baby is perfectly healthy. I couldn’t ask for anything more.