Tag Archives: facebook

Breaking news

No. The baby hasn’t come yet.

Yes, I’m grumpy about that (though not yet quite as grumpy as I still am about the fact that apparently he won’t be arriving via the international terminal at Gold Coast airport but via a significantly smaller and much less efficient terminal located closer to home – like just south of my bellybutton).

No, he’s not even technically due for another twelve days and he stayed inside as commanded until Mike arrived, so I know I have no real right to be unimpressed with his lack of interest in relocating but I am anyway. So anyone who’s tempted to leave me reasonable reminder below about how he’ll come out when he’s ready and not before… don’t.

And, yes, Mum and Dad are so thrilled to be watching this waiting game unfold up close and personal and Mike is over the moon to be sharing a continent (and a bed) with me once again. I’m sure Mum’s and Dad’s recently made plans to go up to Brisbane for a couple of nights next week and Mike’s refusal to go out on a hot date with me to Byron Bay last night in favour of sticking closer to home have nothing to do with any tropical storms of moodiness swirling around here.

This morning as we were tidying up Mike picked up a postcard announcing the arrival of a friend’s baby.

“What do you think about printed baby announcements?” Mike asked.

“No way,” I said.

“Why?” Mike asked.

“Money, for one,” I said, flopping onto the bed. “It would cost a ridiculous amount of postage to get these out to everyone who might care that we’ve just had a baby. Even more importantly, it would take a ridiculous amount of time to track down everyone’s addresses and get them in the mail. If you want to do them you are on your own, buddy.”

For an instant Mike looked at me as if being on his own was sounding quite appealing and I felt a little bad. Enough bad to make me ask him what he thought. The problem was, my question came out sounding less like a genuine query than a grudging acknowledgement that a conversation should involve the reciprocal exchange of ideas even though I had absolutely no intention of changing my mind on this issue.

Luckily for both of us, Mike doesn’t seem too attached to the notion of printed baby announcements.

This discussion/diatribe has, however, made me think again about how we’re going to get the news out about little baby McWolfe’s arrival – you know, when that actually happens in 2043.

When we got engaged, Mike was surprised and a bit appalled to discover that I felt there was an important pecking order that needed to be followed in terms of breaking the news. We should, I told him, make every effort to let our parents know first, followed by our siblings, followed by very close friends, etc. We followed a similar process with the news that I was pregnant (with the exception of the fact that the entire country of Laos knew before some of our closest friends due to the fact that near strangers on the street there were completely uninhibited about asking me if I was pregnant yet).

I don’t think we’ll be shooting for a similar, carefully-managed process with the news of the baby’s arrival.

During the last two weeks I’ve had friends ask how I’ll let them know when I go into labour, assume that I’ll share when we’re off to the hospital via facebook, and take for granted that we’ll be calling or texting people shortly after the birth with the big news. And until I started to think through the mechanics of it, I thought some of that might be happening as well.

But when I pause to project forward I suspect that when I do go into labour, as much as I adore my close friends, I won’t want to be thinking about sending emails or updating facebook. And without Australian mobile phones of our own, Mike and I also lack most of our friend’s phone numbers. Those that we do know are scattered here and there – tucked away in emails and on slips of paper.

So, upon reflection, I’ve decided on a very complicated “breaking the news of the birth” plan that goes something like this:

  1. We will call our parents after the baby is born and give them the green light to tell whomever they want whatever they want.
  2. We will send out a mass email, update facebook, and write a blog post when we can – which may not be for several days after the event.

That’s it.

If you object to this plan, feel free to ring and take it up with me. Mike would warn you to tread carefully, very carefully, should you decide to lodge a protest, but I don’t know what he’s on about really – it’s not like I’m grumpy or anything. No, I’m not even going to snap at him one little bit when he reads this and points out I have drafted a plan for breaking the news before I’ve drafted a birth plan or finished packing the bag for the hospital.

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Push It: Music for labour and delivery

A couple of days ago now I asked my facebook community a question. I do this regularly and it usually yields fascinating information (or at the very least some good laughs). I’m often surprised by how much people know (or appear to know) about the most obscure topics and how widely opinions can diverge among my friends.

A month or so ago, for example, I asked my facebook friends the following question: “To circumcise or not to circumcise – that is the question. Thoughts?”

I wasn’t at all sure anyone would touch this topic with a ten-foot pole so I was floored when this status update was the recipient of not just a couple, but several dozen comments. These ranged from the laconic and wildly funny, “At his age, I’d say Mike shouldn’t bother”, to more than one diatribe that basically equated circumcision with crimes against humanity. There were also a variety of stories about botched circumcisions or infections in the teen and adult years that were the result of not being circumcised as an infant. Some of these stories were so graphic and horrifying they belonged in book entitled True Life Stories of Controversial Medical Procedures.

Unfortunately I accidentally deleted the entire discussion thread when I was trying to remove some nude spam video from my profile. I took this as a sign that my next book should not be True Life Stories of Controversial Medical Procedures.

This week’s baby-related status question was this: “Thinking about music for a labour-playlist. Did you play music during labour and birth? Any good suggestions?”

Well over half of my own interactions on facebook trend towards flippant or sarcastic, so I’m not exactly sure why I expected people to take me seriously and flood me with advice regarding soothing cello concertos and celestial orchestral pieces. Perhaps because when you’re the one who’s staring down the line at this aforementioned “labour and birth” experience in less than two months it doesn’t look much like a laughing matter. Whatever the reason, I was honestly surprised at the recommendations I did receive. When I could actually bring myself to read them, however, I did laugh. Sort of. A little.

In no particular order, here are ten of the most outstanding (or egregious) recommendations I received for a labour playlist:

  1. Push It (Salt n Pepa)
  2. Gotta Get Out of This Place (by Barry Mann and Cynthis Weil)
  3. Hold the Fort (by Billy Bragg)
  4. The First Cut Is The Deepest (by Cat Stevens)
  5. Hurts So Good (by John Mellencamp)
  6. Bleeding Love (by Leona Lewis)
  7. Only Women Bleed (by Alice Cooper)
  8. Give Me Novocain (by Green Day)
  9. Take Away My Pain (by John Petrucci)
  10. This Party Sucks (by The Slicky Boys)

Thank you, facebook friends.

Now, for everyone who may actually be looking for something along those cello or orchestral lines I recommend the following:

  1. Suite No 1 in G Major for Solo Cello BMV 1007 (The Essential Yo Yo Ma)
  2. Thais: Meditation (The Essential Yo Yo Ma)
  3. The Lady Caliph – Dinner (Yo Yo Ma plays Ennio Morricone)
  4. Amazing Grace (Duane Funderbunk)
  5. Beethoven: Piano Sonata No. 14 in C Sharp Minor (Classical Chill Disc 2)
  6. Pachabel: Canon (Classical Chill 1)
  7. Haydn: String Quartet in C Major Op.76 No. 3 (Classical Chill 1)
  8. Rachmaninov: Piano Concerto No.2 in C Minor Op.18 (Classical Chill 2)
  9. Grieg: Piano Concerto in A Minor Op.16 (Grieg: Greatest Hits)
  10. On Earth As It Is In Heaven (Ennio Morricone, The Mission)

What about you? Did you play music during labour and delivery? What? Got any recommendations to add to either one of these lists?

In the spirit of random

I’m having one of those mornings when I’m not quite sure what to write about. After all the hustle and bustle of the last couple of weeks the last few days have felt very still, and somewhat empty. So, today, I’m going to do a brief summary of what’s going on in life at present and wrap up with a question for you all.

In no particular order, here’s the big and small of what has been going on this week:

  • I am super excited about our puppy coming home in about two weeks, but somewhat sobered by all the people who are telling me (with the sort of passion and graphic detail usually reserved for stories about labor and delivery) how much hard work puppies are. Most people who’ve weighed in seem dead-set against getting two puppies. One friend laughed out loud when I wondered if our little puppy would be house-trained by the time Mike leaves for Australia on Dec 10. The vehemence of all the facebook comments prompted yet another facebook friend to fear that I’d be dissuaded from puppies entirely and write me a long and lovely email reassuring me that it would be worth it.
  • As a PS to the puppy commentary, is it seriously messed up that I’m already dreading possibly having to leave this puppy here if and when we leave Laos and the puppy hasn’t even come home yet?   
  • Mike’s down south in Vientiane for a couple of days. He gets back tonight, yay!
  • I re-read on old friend of a book this week that I remember loving when I was twenty. It was one of my top twenty most incandescent reading experiences ever. So I was rather disappointed to return to it and find it still engaging but no longer incandescent. On the other hand I read a new book I loved – A Girl Named Zippy – which was just a treat of a memoir about a relatively happy childhood in a town of 300 in Indiana. The author’s voice is wonderful – a study in childhood resilience.
  • And, speaking of resilience, I have started interviewing people this week for the consulting project on resilience in humanitarian managers that I am aiming to have wrapped up by Nov 28th. It’s a fun topic to be pondering, and a real treat to have a good reason to chat to some of the many acquaintances and friends I’ve made over the years in the humanitarian field and make some new ones. Three more interviews today – Kenya, Australia, and Central African Republic. Once again I think of the pure genius of skype with shivers of awed gratitude.

So now, the question. I’ve been reading a lot of articles and blog posts lately about themes in blogging, and offering your readers useful content, and the strategic use of twitter, and how to time your comments on facebook so that you get the most traffic… and it’s all leaving me a bit baffled.

This is a level of strategic thinking I just haven’t reached with social media (and am not entirely sure I want to, either). My usual blogging process is to get up in the morning on Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, grab some coffee, and then figure out what I feel like writing about that day. Sometimes that is snakes, or toilets. Sometimes it’s sick kids.

So I’m really grateful that so many of you come here regularly to check out what Mike and I are up to, and I’ve been wondering this week what constitutes “useful content” for you all? What do you enjoy about this blog? What would you like to see me writing more of? What topics would you be interested in?

And, have a great weekend, all.

PS. In the spirit of random, here’s a photo I took from the back of the elephant the other day, because Laos is beautiful.