Sunday, January 16, 2005

Baby Talk

Congratulations to Cocktail Doll on the birth of her baby son. It sounds like she had a tough time, so hope she is feeling better soon.

I found her site last year and it has some good casino anecdotes on it.

The reason I was searching was that I always like to be prepared before visiting new places, to maximise the experience.

Usually this involves reading a guide book, and a phrase book, so that I can manage a few key communications in whatever the local language is: count to ten, say 'please' and 'thank you', and of course the most important phrase of all 'two beers'. Particularly important on football trips with the lads, or when visiting Prague with anyone.

For the USA language isn't (much of) a problem, but tipping is! In the UK tipping is pretty much reserved for restaurant staff, and even then it's hardly viewed as mandatory. I knew the USA, and Vegas in particular, was different. So it was good to get some idea of what was, and wasn't, expected. I also made sure that I accumulated lots of $1 and $5 bills before reaching Vegas, so I was well prepared for the outstretched hands.

My own wife's pregnancy seems to be on an even keel now. She was super ill for the first 14 weeks or so, but has recently started to feel better. She also had a few complications early on, which have now been resolved. Consequently, we have seen three baby scans already, instead of the usual one:

7 weeks - a tiny little blob, the size of a fingernail, with a twitching core which the sonographer told us was the heart. My wife said the baby looked like a prawn.

11 weeks - an identifiable baby, we could even see the fingers on the hand, but no movement other than the beating heart.

14 weeks - amazing! A fully formed baby, and we could see the legs kicking, and the baby changing position as we watched.

The whole thing seems very real now. My wife has started to get bubbling sensations in the pit of her stomach, not full blooded kicking, but she can definitely feel movement.

It's full steam ahead now on the preparations. The house we live in is quite old, and when we bought it we renovated and redecorated one half, which was a little run down. Now we need to redecorate and furnish the other half, to make it baby friendly, and available to accommodate the streams of visitors a new child attracts. Yesterday was furniture shopping, today was bathroom shopping.

So, any poker profits will be invested wisely. I'll probably do a monthly summary on how I'm getting on, and square it with the cost of cots, prams, sofas, etc. to see whether the small stakes poker players of the world are financing the baby preparations. Every little helps!

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