Thursday, March 31, 2011

Hospital Rant

Too easy a target?  Perhaps.  None of us like to stay in hospitals even when doing so for a positive reason such as child birth.  But I am not going to rant here about the typical stuff such as: 

  • The food
  • The awesome pull-out, chair-bed for lucky spouses to sleep on
  • The constant medical rounds that require a nurse to poke or prod either your baby or wife every hour on the hour rendering sleep an impossibility
  • The lactation nurse that freely grabs your wife's breasts and sternly lectures against alternate methods of feeding your child.
  • The length of time it takes to bring a blanket, medication for pain, or any little item to improve the overall comfort level
  • The amount of people (non-family, non-friend or non-medical personnel) that bombard you - Insurance Benefits Coordinators, Birth Certificate Paperwork Ladies, and Portrait Studio Photographers from JC Penny.
No...those things are to be expected.

 Bad Mom's Send Their Babies Here
My issue with Lewisville Medical Center stems from an Administrative Directive that the medical staff is forced to abide by...apparently to the point of making potentially harmful decisions. It was explained to us from a very kind nurse that "the powers that be" require these medical professionals to evaluate each mother's "at home" viability.  The premise is a good idea on paper.  You certainly don't want to send a newborn home with a mom that isn't ready, that has severe post partum issues, or that is at risk or incapable in the first place.  And I am guessing LMC sees a lot of those kinds of cases based not only on how we were scrutinized but in the paperwork I had to fill out.  One piece of paperwork wanted to know several paternity related facts.  Like was I the baby-daddy or just the guy that went to the hospital to support mommy while the real baby-daddy was off doing other things.  Or was I unsure of who the baby daddy was and in desire of a paternity test?  Or...was I willing to admit to being baby daddy but not wanting to be on the birth certificate because (a) I was waiving my parental rights, (b) not married to this woman and unwilling to be involved, or (c) married to this woman but still not desiring to be listed on the Birth Certificate.

Then you had every other nurse asking if this was our first child.  That is fine the first fifteen times.  But at some point try to remember our answer and/or take mental note of the two five year olds in the room bouncing off the walls and assume they might also be ours.  Apparently only firstborns ever make it into this world because even after telling them multiple times, our care was directed from a "you're-a-rookie-who-needs-to-be-told-how-to-do-everything "point of view.  And even ALL of this was fine until Friday night.  Rachael wanted me to go home that night with the twins.  She thought it would make sense for me and the kids to have a special night together, me get a good nights sleep, and we could wake up and go to Michael's soccer game in the morning.  She knew I was reluctant to leave her battered, bruised, exhausted self to care for a baby without my help.  So...we asked the day-shift nurse if they could assist her in my absence with things like diapering, feeding, and physical elements that would strain Rachael's incision site.  We further asked if Joshua could just spend one night in the nursery.


This reaction made my poor, exhausted wife who worries about public perception feel bad about the request and therefore change her mind...what was left of it.  I did not want to go home at this point because my wife's mental faculties were about as sharp as a drunken sailor's.  She had not slept at this point for three days...two prior to the surgery due to anxiety and one more Thursday night due to having said surgery and baby.  If they were unwilling to take Joshua to the nursery that night, they were essentially asking that aforementioned drunken sailor to take care of this baby all alone.  And since they had finally removed her IV, blood-clot leg-massager do-hicky, and pulse/ox machine...they certainly were not going to come in during the night to help out either!

I did reluctantly leave at my wife's urging.  But I made her drunkenly promise me to put the baby in the nursery OR...leave him in his plastic crib/cart by her bedside all night.  My fear was that she would be holding him in bed, only to fall asleep with him, risking him falling off the bed or being rolled on.  The hydracodone, Motrin, and sleep deprivation apparently caused her to make a promise that she couldn't deliver on because the next morning she confessed to having fallen asleep with the baby in the bed.

I was livid! 

Not at her mind you.  But at the medical staff.  They didn't follow my instructions to take the baby at 11PM and keep him in the nursery.  They didn't check on Rachael even once that night to discover the baby in the bed with her.  They didn't LISTEN to me plead with them about how I needed to go home with my OTHER children and PLEASE help Rachael in my absence!  Thankfully mother and child were fine the next morning despite the neglect.

I get it.  I really do.  If a mother never wants the baby in the room and is constantly using the nursery as a newborn day-and-night-care facilty, questioning her bonding skills and discharge readiness is warranted.  But if a mother who hasn't had sleep for four nights that is doped up on pain killers being handed to her by YOU, asks for a one night break on the only evening her husband isn't MIGHT want to make the exception!!

As we say in the EdgeHead home...that is Re-Donk-U-Less!

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

Thoughts From An Exhausted Mind

For those few readers that don't newborn son arrived on March 24th @ 12:35PM.  He was 8lbs on the dot and 19 1/2 inches.  I am really not sure why we give length, weight, and timestamp stats like that but who am I to buck tradition?  For those that may be interested I am 190lbs, 6'1", and writing this at 9:37AM. 

Having now endured several days of sleep deprivation my thoughts are quite scattered.  So rather than put together a coherent piece that edifies the masses, I would rather just share a few of those random observations.

1. Lewisville Medical Center - It was much closer to us than where the twins were born.  The medical staff was great and very attentive to mom and baby.  But I do have a gripe that can easily be its own blog post later on when my brain starts functioning again.  They seem to have an administration that pushes these labor and delivery nurses to evaluate a mothers "at home" viability.  That, in and of itself is a good idea.  But this leads them to make very silly and potentially dangerous decisions and recommendations.  First off, I might advise them to understand not every mother on their floor is a NEW mother.  My wife and I had living proof right in front of their eyes that we can take, not one BUT TWO babies home and have them reach the age of at least 5 years.  But I digress and will let the full details of that story hit the inter-webs in a few more days.

2. One is easier...but not necessarily easy.  Rachael and I are much more calm this-go-round.  We realize that a baby can cry for a few minutes before rushing to his aid.  We realize that that we cannot stop being parents to his older brother and sister.  We also realize that with just one, we have the ability to trade off and give one another much needed breaks.  Last night was the first time we actually took advantage of our two to one odds and both got a few hours each of rest.  Its early yet but so far this baby has NO colic issues, no spit up problems, no medical concerns, and is generally happy so long as he's fed and warm.  Even his dirty diapers do not make him cry, so we have to occasionally check just to make sure he isn't sitting on a mess.  But I think we would both also admit that one is still not a cake walk.  Joshua's favorite challenge for us is his unwillingness to sleep between the hours of 11PM and 3AM. That is just his window of time that he wants to be awake, active, and in need of his parents.  The dude can saw logs for the better part of every daylight hour available but chooses to take the one block of time that we need some sleep to get his groove on. 

3. Great Family & Friends - Between the outpouring on Facebook, the personal visits, the gifts, the meals, the phone calls, the texts, and the continuous offers to do or bring things to us...we are a very blessed family.  We are overwhelmed by your love and support and cannot thank you all enough.  Much of our ability to get through this first week has been on the energy generated from your encouragement of us!

4. Life Goes On - I've taken a few days off of work but have to go in for a few minutes this morning with an official return on Thursday.  Mackenzie still had dance class yesterday, Michael had a soccer game that I coached on Saturday, and practice again tonight.  School is still on Tuesday and Thursday and for some reason our Church still had services on Sunday despite our family's new arrival.  I write this with a sarcastic tone of course but it is one of those revelations that is harder to realize than you might think.  When your own personal world is turned upside down, you spend days and hours out of the normal routine, something in the recesses of your mind begins believing that the rest of the world must be going through this as well.  Thankfully having the older siblings helps us to keep focus and remember that something exists beyond dirty diapers and midnight feedings.

More random thoughts will likely post soon as well as the promised RANT on the hospital stay.  Until then...feel free to leave comments, advice, or your own nuggets of wisdom.

Wednesday, March 23, 2011

Best Deal I Ever Made

Over eleven years ago the second of two long term relationships ended.  The combination of those two relationships spanned the better part of seven years of my life.  Though I had learned much and did not begrudge the experience, I was a bit regretful that those seven years ultimately ended in failure.  Taking inventory of what I had to show for the effort, I became disheartened and decided to make a deal with God.  I told Him that I was done trying to find a romantic interest on my own.  I was prepared to be single if that was His will for as long as I needed to be.  That unless He led me to a hand-picked, perfect match of His own...that I would gladly retire from the dating game.

She didn't walk in the door right after this heart-felt prayer but it wasn't even a year later that Rachael walked into Mama's Pizza (my former place of employ) for the first time.  And it wasn't long after her first visit that I got to know her and decided to ask her out.  There are many reasons I began to realize that my prayer had been answered. But perhaps one of the most compelling was finding out how long this girl had been practically under my nose.  She had moved to Double Oak (same small suburb that my parents live in) in 1990.  Her house and mine were less than one mile away from one another.  She was one year younger but attended the same High School probably passing me multiple times in the hallways.  We both worked at the same Tom Thumb location and figured out that she got hired right as I had put in notice to quit.  We also came to realize that she had visited my church youth group multiple times in the past with one of many friends that we have in common.  Last but not least we both attended UNT during the same time period. 

If God ever lets us we would love to see the playback of how many times we may have crossed paths throughout the years.  I believe God  knew all along that we were supposed to be together.  But He also knew that a process of hard knocks, lessons learned, and life experience needed to take place before the timing was right for us to meet.  I do wish and wonder sometimes about how cool it would have been to meet Rachael sooner or how to perhaps shave a year or two off of the previously mentioned seven.  Had I made this deal with God sooner, would that have made the difference?  Who really knows for sure?  I am just happy and blessed that He hand picked the love of my life.

Happy 9th Anniversary Rachael!

Tuesday, March 22, 2011

Juggling Act

On a normal week we juggle.  We even have it down to an efficient routine.  Sure there are moments of stress but so long as we keep the same amount of items in the air and a steady pace...we've gotten pretty good at this.  But this week is going to be crazy!  This week is like going from juggling three bowling pins to juggling one pin, one chain saw, one apple, one tennis ball, one soccer ball, a watermelon, a flaming torch, and a ping pong ball.  I am pretty calm about it despite logically processing the impossibilities of nothing dropping to the floor.

Rachael is set for an appointment on Wednesday to determine the position of the baby.  If he is still breech, they are going to schedule her for a C-section on Thursday.  They would rather a planned surgery over emergency surgery it seems.  If he is in the correct position and finally turned the right way we will have the option of inducing or going home and letting him cause labor naturally.  Knowing my planner of a wife and knowing how uncomfortable she is...I am betting we have a baby by Thursday no matter what position he's in!  But life still goes on, even when a major procedure and event like this comes along...especially when you still have 5 year old twins that depend on you.

So we still have a soccer practice tonight and a game on Saturday.  We still had dance rehearsal for Kenzie yesterday, with school today and Thursday.  I still have two new clients at work that collectively are adding 24 warehouse associates to their production lines, payroll to process, and several past due invoices to collect on.  I still have a bank transfer to make to cover payroll, IRS tax collectors to make happy, a lunch meeting at Chilis with a friend, a few items to go purchase at Target, and yes...a wedding anniversary to celebrate on top of it all.  That does not include the fact that while bags have been packed for Rachael and the kids...that I still haven't packed anything for myself on the hospital days in question.

And I am quite sure I have left several things out.  Thankfully I have people around me to help.  I've got great family, friends, and even co-workers to pick up any slack that I may leave.  Just pray for our sanity this week and in the coming week's as this new chapter in life unfolds.  Life does go on but it certainly throws a few curve balls too!

Monday, March 21, 2011

Taking My Lumps

Would you like one lump or two?
This morning was the second time since Friday that I was woken up by a phone call.  On the other end?  An angry client chewing me out for the actions of another person.  You see, I run a staffing company that supplies over 30 different companies in DFW with personnel.  Some clients just have one of our associates on staff while others may use 20 or more.  Some of our personnel occupy entry level, general labor positions while others occupy management level.  And of course there is a decent number that occupy positions in between.

I have now been working in this field for close to 12 years.  You would think by now that I would be used to getting calls like this but I haven't.  Don't get me wrong.  I understand that part of my job is to get the negative and positive feedback when our candidates succeed or fail.  It has just always been a challenge for me to get get yelled at for the actions and behaviors of other people.  It might make more sense if I had any ability to control a persons mind and the decisions they make with their lives.  But all attempts to gain this super power have  thus far met with failure.  So...we continue to screen people with the tools that we do have.  We interview, we test, we background check, we perform reference investigations, and we drug test.  These techniques DO indeed weed out some bad apples.  However, there will be those that make it through our quality control process.  And we cannot know just how good of a worker someone truly is until they actually go to work.

I have had many a person interview really well, only to prove that is all they are actually good at.  In the same respects I have had others interview rather poorly, only to prove to be amazingly hard working associates.  I guess that's the rub.  My business is not and probably never will be an exacting science.  Screening techniques have come a long way but we still have our fair share of failures.  And though it still seems odd to get these calls, I know its part of the job.  I will take my lumps even IF they rightly belong on someone elses shoulders.

So how is your Monday morning going?

Friday, March 18, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 10

Category: Pets & Animals

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these eight in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Voting Closed.  Winners: Yo...Dis Mah Block & Had Me a Rough Day

Embracing My Inner Lion
I Shedz
Testing The Limits of Tolerance
I Haz A Stick
Looking For Mom
Had Me A Rough Day!
Wanna Play Wii?
Yo...Dis Mah Block!

Thursday, March 17, 2011

Happily Ever After

Snow White, The Sequel
I find this photo to be hilarious.  Not because I have a cynical view of marriage or the reality of family responsibility but rather because it touches on a particular truth.  It offers a stark contrast of what Hollywood sells us as the ideal "ever after" with a less glamorous yet probably more accurate picture.

Thankfully my wife and I had a decent grasp on the reality of the ever after before taking the leap.  Granted, we've had the occasional shocking realization of our dreams verses the true reality of life smack us in the face now and again.  But for the most part, we knowingly signed up for this. 

From everyone who has been given much, much will be demanded; and from the one who has been entrusted with much, much more will be asked

My personal translation of that verse goes something like this:  With great blessing comes great responsibility!  So long as you would not trade in the blessings we probably shouldn't let ourselves begrudge the responsibility part.

What do you think?

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Today's Mailbag 2.0

Giving you all a Heads UP!!!!!  Re-calibrate your mouse!

You should actually do this every year.. Even more often if you spend a lot of time on the computer.

This is recommended by Kim Komando (the computer guru) in one of her recent emails.

I was shocked to see how well this works, and how far off mine was!

To re-calibrate your mouse, click and hold on the capital G below, then drag it toward the small g.

If it doesn't work immediately, you might want to clean your mouse, as the calibration is off.

Goodness you're gullible!! You'll believe anything


Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Smart Phone?

For the most part the name fits.  My phone can keep my calendar, reminding me of important dates and meetings.  It sends and receives text messages.  It takes and stores catalogs of photos that can be emailed or uploaded.  It plays YouTube videos, gives me stock reports, guides me via GPS, delivers the daily weather forecast, lets me take notes, listen to music, make calculations, voice memo's, and can give me the time of day in any time zone.  And all of these features are just on page one of four in my app's database.  Smart indeed.

Most of the time anyway.

I have discovered something as of late that has me questioning the level of intelligence this phone may or may not actually have.  If phones had a measurable intelligence quotient that we could analyze before buying them, where would it score?  I have endured many a glitch, but this most recent one is just strange.  My "smart" phone knew about the time change.  It automatically switched the internal clock without me having to do anything at all.  Call Mensa...we have an IQ off the charts here.

 But wait.  Why is my alarm which is set to go off at 6:50AM going off at 5:50AM?  A SMART PHONE would know how dumb it is to try waking me up an HOUR before I need to be up!!  A SMART PHONE would know that such an error could cost it a few components or an all expenses paid flight out a second story, bedroom window.

It seems the phone's programming failed to communicate to ALL its app components that the time change also means that the alarm time adjusts accordingly.  Perhaps like some of our favorite fictional sentient beings, it needs a reboot.  They can only be so smart until their limitations are realized and their true functionality is found out.

So...tell me how to fix this glitch!  And while you're at it why can't I upload photos to Facebook from the iPhone?  I used to be able but now it gives me an error message and asks if I want to try later?  At this rate, it will be a long while before we need to fear an A.I. Apocalypse!

Monday, March 14, 2011

Daddy, What's a Tsunami?

My twins are only five years old.  As such we do what we can to shelter them from the extreme horrors of this world.  They will have plenty of time to learn and take appropriately managed doses of reality as time moves on.  Last night though as we lay on the playroom floor, there it was.  Horrific images of the destruction in Japan.  I wanted to lurch forward and turn the channel to rainbows and roses but I was paralyzed.  Thoughts of whether or not the kids should watch the flooding, the fires, the crumbling buildings, and the people fleeing in panic hit me like a ton of bricks.  I knew this might be a good learning moment but I also knew it could be the source of their next set of nightmares.  What's a parent to do?

As expected, they started asking questions. 

What is happening?

Who are those people?

Why are cars floating in water?

What's an earthquake?

As we answered their questions we explained that earthquakes happen in some parts of the world shaking the ground and making buildings fall down.  We went on to talk about how the vibrations can make water rise and cause flooding.  While we assured them we were not in an "at risk" area to minimize their worry over their own safety...I saw genuine concern and sadness on their faces. 

We explained that this is why we need to be generous with our blessings and offer help to those that are less fortunate.  Both kids seemed to understand and then shifted their comments to how sad this made them feel and how much they wanted to help.  As I choked down the lump in my throat, I just wanted to scoop them both up, hold them tightly, and protect them from this crazy world.

Please be in prayer about this tragedy and consider what you can do to help those in need...

Friday, March 11, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 09

Category: Personal Expression

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these six in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Voting Closed. Winner: A Lil Off The Top

Cut On Dotted Line

A Lil Off The Top

This little piggy went...
There he is!

Nintendo Feet
Must be a blogger

Wednesday, March 09, 2011


I know that some of you STILL don't have a smart phone device and I have immediately alienated you with this post.  My apologies.  You are hereby invited to join 2011 by visiting your local retailer and purchasing a phone that runs your entire life for you.  Pfft!  Phone calls.  Do phones still make those?

Slingo Supreme
I digress as I would like to make a recommendation that you try out a game application.  Right now on the iPhone, it is listed under the top 25 free apps and its called Slingo.  This is perhaps one of the MOST fun, mindless games around.  I used to play this game years ago online when I had an hour to kill and loved it even then.  So naturally when I saw it available and for free, I grabbed it.  What was an already cool game that often kept me from solving the worlds problems due to its addicting format is now new, improved and will probably stop the space program from moving forward.  Slingo Supreme is the latest release.  And I believe you can still play it online as well by clicking HERE and visiting the product website.

I also HIGHLY recommend Angry Birds and Fruit Ninja in case you've not yet discovered the joys of these games.  I would say they are equally as awesome only ranking a bit lower due to being overplayed by yours truly.  Alas they will stay on my iPhone and be revisited after some time has passed and Slingo has properly turned my brain to mush.

Currently Playing on the Wii:

With Michael - Lego Indiana Jones Part 2 

With Mackenzie - Donkey Kong and Disney Princess

What game(s) is your family playing right now? 
Any recommendations?

Tuesday, March 08, 2011

What Does Your Marriage Hinge On?

It is with complete humility that I speak on this topic.  I am a rookie by all accounts in the realm of marriage having tied the proverbial knot in 2002.  I don't pretend to know the pain of divorce or how far reaching the  ripple effects cause damage.  As such, I do not judge any one persons individual journey in this regard.  And much of what I say here may or may not apply to your specific situation.  What I do believe I can comment on is what I've observed to be the most successful way to make marriage work.  I've seen it modelled to me in the marriage of my Grandparents, my own parents, and even my in-laws.  Between these three couples alone there is over a century of experience and success!  And though I am a rookie with lots of road ahead of me, I am coming up on 10 years in 2012.

For what its worth, I had an epiphany just the other day as I let my thoughts wander.  I soon found myself staring at a door hinge and an analogy for marriage hit me like a ton of bricks.  I've done my best in the following video illustration to recreate what I experienced.  My prayer is that this serves you and helps you to visualize the Biblical model of how this union is supposed to work.  I look forward to your comments and feedback:

Monday, March 07, 2011

Today's Mailbag 1.0

Occassionally I get an email that is interesting or funny enough to warrant posting.  As a new feature to the blog, when this occassion occurs and the notion strikes me, you will see the heading Today's Mailbag.  I hope you enjoy this first edition from my Granddad.

Air Show Disaster
Amazing photos show great detail. The pilot at low level had no control over his aircraft. It narrowly misses a crowd gathered for the air show and slams into four buildings. One can only imagine the horror of the occupants inside those buildings.

Just like dominoes Mommy!

Got a funny tidbit worthy of a Mailbag post?  Send it to

Friday, March 04, 2011

Photo Friday Frenzy - 08

Category: Facebook

Instructions: Vote on your favorite photo of these six in the right margin of this page. You have from Friday (today) until Monday morning to make your selection.

Vote Closed. Winner: IDK Frustration

(Click on images to enlarge)




Facebook Necklace...a sign of the times.


Hasn't grasped the concept yet.

Thursday, March 03, 2011

The Manslater

I am VERY excited about a brand new product that just hit the market.  I don't believe it's available in stores just yet but I have one on order and paid the extra for overnight delivery.  Don't get me wrong, my marriage is wonderful.  We communicate well, we spend time together, and we have lots of fun and laughs.  But if you are anything like me, there are those times when your significant other seems to be speaking another language.  Well NOW those times are a thing of the past!  Introducing the Manslater...a translation device that takes your wife's words and interprets them into Man-Speak.  Models are also available for women who have trouble understanding men but obviously we guys need the most help.  Take a look at this promotional video and order yours today!!

Wednesday, March 02, 2011


If recent reports are to be believed the Girl Scout Cookies sales for this year are not stacking up to previous years.  It's still early yet and perhaps those numbers will improve before any final conclusions can be made.  Economic factors are the hypothesized source for this issue as people have been forced to use their cookie money to pay the electric bill.  Pfft!  Who needs electricity? 

My family did our part this year by ordering six boxes.  Save for the occasional neighbor or good friend stopping by its about the only time we enjoy answering our front door.  Cookies are something we can get behind!  As such, my family has done its own market study and while we do not dismiss the notion of a down economy being a contributing factor to the waning sales...we believe to have stumbled onto perhaps the MAIN issue...

...OREO's has done it!

I present to you the Mint Oreo:

Now before you scoff and nay must try one of these.  I am not a big Oreo fan.  I can name at least five other types and brands I might prefer to eat before Oreo's come to mind.  But this, my friends, is a stroke of pure genius.  I believe someone inside the GSA (Girl Scouts of America) let the Thin Mint recipe leak out to top exec's at Nabisco.  But they didn't stop there!  Oh no they didn't.  I will go so far as to say that they have perfected and bested the Thin Mint.  I have a box of both in my house and the comparison studies just don't lie.  If Oreo's ever get a Brownie Troop involved with the distribution operation...I fear for the future of the GSA.

At least they still have Tagalongs!

Tuesday, March 01, 2011

Rude Awakening


2:57 AM! Please pay special attention to the A and the M.  Of all the P and M options in any given 24 hour always has to happen during an A.M. time-slot!  The annoying >CHIRP< not only wakes me and Rachael up but it prevents any possibility of avoidance and a return to slumber.  If it didn't protect my family I might take a baseball bat to the next one that dares make a peep at such an hour.

But perhaps what boggles my >CHIRP< mind well beyond the statistical chances of this always happening in the middle of the night is the added statistical chances of it always being a device that requires a LADDER to reach!  I actually have a few ceilings that would only require a footstool or a tippy-toe-stretch to take care of BUT NO...let's make sure >CHIRP< that this one is on the 12 foot vaulted canopy above the game room.

Last but certainly not least, may I remind the manufacturers of this >CHIRP< world that its 2011.  You have not only failed to bring us into the age of the Jetson's but WHY oh WHY are we still finding out that our smoke detectors are low on batteries >CHIRP< in this old school, very annoying, middle of the night way?  Are you hoping we will believe that technology has not advanced far enough yet to produce a better method than this?

Here's a >CHIRP< suggestion!  Put an energy bar indicator on these things so that we can see when (like a gas tank) the little booger is getting low.  If we are STILL too lazy when the bar dips into the danger zone, then by all >CHIRP< means let the thing annoy us, wake us, or drive us mad.  I guarantee that the minute I noticed ONE smoke detector getting low during a PM hour, I would be on top of that bad boy in seconds.

Last but >CHIRP< not least...NO this isn't good practice for me in preparation for our coming newborn!  Practice is only helpful when it improves your ability.  Case in point when Coach T used to run me ragged all week, it actually HELPED me at the meet on Saturday to place well and contribute to the team >CHIRP<.  It made the pain of Coach's torturous workouts worth it because there was a measurable and attainable goal met just before one felt >CHIRP< like hanging the Nike's up for good.  This is simply not the case for me when it comes to sleep deprivation.  No matter how many times I have been woken up in the middle of the night from birth till last night, there has been no >CHIRP< improvement in my ability to wake up joyfully.  NONE!

Anybody got a spare nine volt battery?