Tuesday, December 30, 2008

Pregnancy Week 24: From a snow storm to a shower to soccer practice...

The last few days I am visiting my family in Upstate New York, the snow storms die down, but I am blessed with a shower of a different sort when, on Sunday, my mom and the Women's Association at the Fair Haven Church throw me a baby shower. I grew up in this church and still attend when I'm visiting, so it is nice to see everyone and feel loved. My former Sunday School teachers are there, the lovely ladies of the church attend, my sister-in-law even makes it after a nasty fall on the ice, and a few of my High School friends who are semi-local are present. BBB, as my mom writes on her card to him (that's "Baby Boy Bouteneff" for those of you who are not as into initials as we are) receives many cute outfits, blankets, toys and other items. A huge thanks to all the church ladies, Suzanne who made the cake, friends and family, and my mom, who all make this a very special time for us!

Meanwhile, Mike, my dad, my brother, and my nephew go to my brother's house and play the wii until the power goes out (it is very windy). The same day, Mike and I even have a chance to visit the Fair Haven State Park and view the waves crashing into the melted snow along the beach. We all have a fun day!

The following day, Mike and I travel back to Westchester, and all the while, Womb Baby is kicking and moving like crazy during the 6 hour drive.

I am beginning to think he becomes extremely active on the rare occasions when I have caffeinated tea. This is not often (only a handful of times my entire pregnancy so far--and I never drink coffee), but the last few times I have had tea, he does seem to kick me with more energy and zest.

Not only is he kicking and rolling over in big thumps, as he has been, but for the past week or two, Mike and I have been able to feel hard parts of his body while they move across my belly. It is one thing to feel a poke or a shove or a general movement. That is sensational enough. But to have my hand on my belly, and then feel a hard ball move up against the palm of my hand, then roll or glide down my hand to another part of me, almost as a cat would rub up against one's hand in order to be pet...it is something so amazing and so out of my control, it almost freaks me out. We may be coming upon the "alien in the belly" stage...

But it freaks me out in a good way, and I describe it to Mike, saying, "It's like, if you see a fly and you think it's dead, and you touch it, and it moves, and you see it's alive!"

"You think our son is a dead bug?" Mike asks.

"No..." I smile. "But it's sort of the same feeling. Just being totally surprised that something is alive and moving. It's startles me!"

However I choose to describe it, bugs raised from the dead or cats looking for a good rub, it is wild and fascinating and makes me smile with nervous excitement. And our son is doing it right now as I write this post (I have to keep breaking to put my hand on my belly to feel). In fact, I have just called Mike over to me to feel the baby move. BBB moves so much and for so long, Mike finally has to go back to his project before the baby is even done moving. He just isn't stopping! Mike is already thinking of soccer drills he'd like to play with our son, and it seems our guy is putting in a little practice time of his own.

So as we settle into our routines at home, our baby making himself more and more a part of our every day lives, I am left feeling very blessed again--to have family and friends who care so much about us, to have a wonderful husband who will be a wonderful father, and to have a healthy active baby boy inside of me, who already brings us great joy.

Friday, December 26, 2008

Pregnancy Week 23: Womb baby's first real snow-storm!

Welcome to Upstate New York, womb-baby! Where the "a" in apple has that mid-western twang, where the people still say hi to you as you pass by on the street--whether you know them or not (And chances are, in a small town, you probably do know them, or they know your parents, or you went to school with their cousin...), where people say "Merry Christmas" at the drugstore without hesitation, and where, of course, snow storms abound. And to my friends from the tri-state area who think they have encountered snow storms, the reason I entitle this our womb-baby's first "real snow-storm" is that as dangerous as we feel the Westchester/CT storms are, they are really NutraSweet to the raw organic cane sugar of the lake-effect snow belt. You get a taste of it, but it's nothing like the real thing.

So on Monday, Mike and I prepare to leave for our journey to my parents' house for Christmas. They live about on hour northwest of Syracuse in the small village of Fair Haven on the coast of Lake Ontario, population 850 (which supposedly triples in the summer due to the beach and state park in the town). There are no traffic lights, movie theatres or chain restaurants. However, the village is in the process of putting in a town sewer system, has new street signs in place, and even boasts a few cross walks on Main Street. They have band concerts every Saturday night in the summer, the surrounding communities all become very involved in the 4th of July Parade, the summer carnival at the recreation park and the Winter Carnival at the iced-over state park are always fun, and the culture of the neighboring Renaissance Faire adds an interesting mix to the summer vibe. It's a cute town filled with caring people, and if you don't mind the lack of choices when it comes to eating out or buying your groceries, having everyone know who you are and at least some of your business, or feeling a bit isolated (you'll have to travel about 40 miles to the nearest town with population over 50,000), you might find it quite charming.

However, even the residents admit, the lake effect snow is not Fair Haven's best quality. And unfortunately, it is one of the strongest qualities for at least a solid third of the year.

So Monday morning, Mike and I check out weather.com one more time. Yes, there is some sort of storm warning in effect for Central New York, but it appears that it should be completed by 7pm. And with the rate at which Mike and I are moving this morning (we keep finding more things we need to do before leaving), we should not reach the snow belt until well after 7pm.

We make our stops at the library, at our car garage, I pack up a few last gifts, Mike warms up the car for our bird (Darius travels with us), and we are off. The trip starts out pleasant enough; we listen to an episode of Radio Lab about the reasons for mass hysteria generated by the War of the Worlds radio show (and subsequent similar shows since); we talk; we sing; we stop for some food. And the baby makes his presence known--he is quite active in the car.

In fact, the baby has been moving a lot Sunday and Monday, and harder than usual. I am not sure if it is the chili I ate or the caffeinated tea I drank (I rarely have caffeine) on Sunday, or if it my anxiety of rushing around to complete last minute tasks--but he has been moving like never before! He has been kicking me so hard that it shocks me and I even say, "Ow!" This happens once when Mike is in the room and he asks if I'm okay. I tell him the baby just whacked me hard. He smiles. "It's funny to hear you say 'ow' and I look at you and expect to see something hurting you, and you're just standing there. And you tell me it's the baby from inside!"

So the baby is very much a part of our journey and I don't mind his kicks because we are happy he's a strong little guy, and happy to be off of work for a week, and traveling to friendly Fair Haven.

And then at exactly 7pm, when the storm should have been completed according to weather.com, we notice the flakes starting to mount on the windshield. We are still at least an hour outside of Syracuse, but as time progresses, the flakes are speeding up, the nighttime sky has arrived, and our visibility slowly starts to fade.

By the time we reach Syracuse, the roads are a mess and it is quite difficult to see in front of us. We stop to pick up one last gift that has been awaiting us at Best Buy, I snap some cool pictures of a snow-covered tree in the parking lot, then we hop on the road again.

Once we leave the city of Syracuse, visibility worsens. The snow is probably coming down faster, but we also no longer have the city to light up the sky around us, and since there are no street lights along the highway, we can barely see the ground directly in front of us, much less anything else. My mother encourages us on the phone to stay at a hotel if the roads are bad, but I can't imagine where we would stay at this point. These last 45 miles to Fair Haven are slow and arduous, but Mike does a great job of staying focused and keeping the car on the road, with my occasional-to-frequent comments of, "Slow down..." (even though the 4-wheel drive trucks are zipping by us).

After traveling for another 90 minutes or so (thankfully, there is never any real traffic on this highway, and we don't pass any accidents or it could have been longer), we notice the snow starts to let up. Visibility increases and we both relax a bit more in the car. We are only five miles from my parents' house and the journey is almost over. We will arrive around 11pm, have some of my mom's yummy christmas cookies and chex mix, and get to bed early so we will be refreshed for my niece's Christmas concert at her school on Tuesday morning. We are listening to the old radio shows on the local NPR station (I love my WRVO!), and as we round a bend which then turns into a steep hill downward, the car suddenly is no longer in Mike's control. But we are going so slowly at the moment, that if it weren't for Mike's swearing, I would barely notice anything was out of the ordinary. We slowly slide into the snow bank at the side of the road and stop.

At this point, I still feel we will be able to simply put the car in reverse and back up. After all, we are barely off the road, and we were going so slowly--we can't be too stuck. Mike tries to push the car out to no avail, and I start to realize this is not going to be a quick fix. I call my dad who misses the end of Tim Burton's Charlie and the Chocolate Factory to come out to help us (luckily, he's seen it before). My dad brings a shovel and he and Mike and a kind stranger who lives nearby, try to dig the car out. During this time, I have called AAA and am on hold for almost 30 minutes until I speak with someone in our area. She tells me a tow truck will arrive some time before 12:30am.

Several more people stop by to ask if we need a phone, to offer their truck's service to pull us out if we have a chain or a rope (we don't), and finally I remind Mike that I've had to go to the bathroom since Syracuse. He says I should have my dad take me home and he will wait for AAA. I don't want Mike to be left alone, so I ask my dad to drop me off, then come back to wait with Mike. He agrees, and my bird and I move to my dad's SUV and travel home.

Not long after my dad arrives back on the scene with Mike, AAA finally does arrive and pulls the car out. It is a long night, but we are all safe, the car is working, and with little sleep, we still enjoy my niece's Christmas concert the next morning.

Tuesday afternoon, we drive out to finish a bit of last minute shopping, and we pass the snow bank we'd visited for 90 minutes the night before. It isn't until then that I realize how steep the ditch is next to the road. If the snow bank had not been so strong and icy and we had actually gone off the road, our car would have most likely nose-dived into that ditch, which potentially could have damaged the car, not to mention causing a lot of strain to me and Mike, and possibly the baby. There would definitely have been some severe jostling with the seat belts jabbing into us for a steep descent.

So while today, as I look outside and see there is another lake-effect snow storm brewing here, I feel quite lucky and thankful to God that we were kept safe that night. And our little baby is back to kicking and stretching as normal--not so many hard 'ow' kicks to his womb-house. So perhaps the caffeine is out of his system, or he is just more relaxed and comfy and cozy like his mother. Because despite cars being off the road, and winter storm warnings, there really is nothing like being at your childhood home for the holidays. And for me, that home, like it or not, happens to be filled with lake-effect snow. Lots of it.

Thursday, December 18, 2008

Pregnancy Week 22: Enjoy your womb-house while you've got it, Baby! Once out, you'll be a renter!

Even with low interest rates, a "buyers' market", excellent credit, a generous contribution from my in-laws (thank you!), Mike's MBA and good job, we still cannot find an affordable, decent house that is close to his work and in a good school district.

We have been looking at houses since April, seeing over 100 by now, but we still carry forth with determined resolve and hope. After all, Everyone keeps telling us, "The right house for you is out there. I'm sure it will come to you. Everything will work out for the best." And Everyone can't be wrong. Right?

After being burned by two near-hit houses in the Spring and Summer, we finally decide to put an offer in on a house this week in the same town we live in now. Actually, we put two offers in on two separate houses. The offers are low, but isn't Everyone saying to us that's okay? In this economy, we have a chance? "Who knows," Everyone says, "maybe the seller is desperate to get rid of the house?"

I listen to Everyone and nod and smile and agree, "Who knows?" And part of me feels that wonder, that same covert excitement when you are staring at a lottery ticket you know will not bring you more than $2...but still...

Logically, Mike and I know better. Westchester County is a bubble within the real estate market that has not been touched greatly by the slow economy (no matter what our agent claims). It is particularly difficult in our town, since the schools are good and taxes are relatively low (Westchester was recently ranked the county with the highest property taxes in the US, our unfortunate claim to fame). Houses pretty much sell at the asking price in our town, or $5-$20K under, which, on an $800K house, is not much off the tag (and we are definitely not looking at houses even close to $800K).

Yet we make our valiant effort and get back on that housing horse once more. I submit our offers to our agent, reminding her we have excellent credit, will put down a sizable down payment, are renting and can move as quickly or as slowly as the seller wants...But I am no more nervous or excited about the offer than I am when I look at a lottery ticket. So, I am not surprised when our agent emails us back:

"She says your offer is much too low & the owners have decided not to counter offer at this time."

Well, that says it all.

Similar response for the other offer the next day:

"the owner will not come back with a counter offer, he feels it has been on the mkt such a short time & he has had a lot of interest so far & someone is coming for the second time this afternoon, also, he says he still has to put some money into it especially oil tank etc. "

Makes sense.

So here we are. Could we bid higher? Perhaps a little. Probably not enough to cause them to consider us any more seriously though. And should we come close to the asking price, we will end up struggling to pay bills, sitting in a candlelit room and contributing to the whole housing crisis we're currently trying to benefit from.

So the daunting task of cleaning out our small apartment guest room and turning it into a baby room is becoming more and more of a realization as I enter into my sixth month.

But really, when I think of the ultrasound where we saw our baby squirming around with his little legs curled over his face, when I feel him kicking me and pushing at me and banging into me because he is, after all, rather squashed in there...I imagine he will be quite happy to have a tiny apartment baby room.

And we will be quite happy to be able to afford car insurance and heat and an occasional Quizno's flatbread sandwich.

So while we did not "get" the houses, Everyone is right in one regard--that some things do work out for the best. Because Mike can tell you, renting or owning, I really do like my heat!

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Pregnancy Week 21: What's the deal with Santa and Baby Boy Bouteneff?

Yes, it's that magical time of the year again--and I don't say that with sarcasm-infused cheese dripping from my mouth. I actually mean it. I watch Elf and Love Actually every year. I love the smell of pine needles, the glow of the Christmas tree. I am happy White Plains put up their Christmas decorations back in October, and mall renditions of old carols make me feel warm and cozy. And of course, being a Christian, this is one of the most important times of the year to me for its true meaning. I love Christmas.

But Mike and I have been talking about the whole idea of Santa and how we may or may not impart that magic on our child. We both were raised with different ideas of Santa. So here are our backgrounds--

He never remembers believing in Santa Claus. In fact, he doesn't remember giving much thought to Santa one way or another. He doesn't recall talking to other kids about Santa, and when I ask if he ever wrote a letter to The Claus, he laughs at my absurd question, "No. I gave my list to my parents." He does remember he and his parents occasionally mentioning Santa, as in, "Oh, Santa is coming!" wink wink. nod nod. But the playful winks were from all three of them--Mike was just as much in on the "joke" as they were.

He remembers the excitement of his parents wrapping his gifts in the living room, telling him, "Don't come in here!" Then on Christmas Eve, they would load up the car with all the presents and head over to his grandparents' house. They'd put the gifts under the tree and open them at the appointed time. There was no mystery about how the gifts appeared under the tree. His parents bought them, wrapped them, put them in the car, and there they were.

On Christmas morning, Mike would open his stockings (he had a few), but when I ask him if he thought the stocking, at least, was from Santa, he says, "I know the presents are from my parents. So I'm really going to believe Santa comes and fills up the stocking? Um, no."

Despite his Santaless upbringing, he loved the holiday. "What kid doesn't?" he says to me. He enjoyed getting and decorating the tree, handing out gifts, playing with his toys, getting school off, being with his family. In all that, he never felt he needed the idea of Santa to make the holiday more fun for him.

I, however, grew up believing in the white bearded man. Christmas Eve was one of the most exciting times of the year. We would go to a church service, then eat cheese, crackers and egg nog, while listening to the Nativity Story and acting out "'Twas the Night Before Christmas." Christmas morning, my brothers and I would race downstairs (6:30am was the earliest we were allowed to come down), tear into our stockings and bring our parents' stockings to their bedside. We'd then pass out the gifts and wait for our parents to get up. Santa had arrived.

Of course, as any kid, I probably had my doubts, but a few incidents helped solidify my belief. I wrote a letter to Santa once, asking him all the logical questions I could conjure--how reindeer could fly, how toys could be delivered in one night, etc. And I was filled with glee when Santa (a kindly old man who lived in town) wrote back answering all my questions to my satisfaction, and in a hand-writing that was not my mother's or father's.

Another year, when I was in kindergarten, we celebrated Christmas at my grandparents' house in North Carolina. Christmas came and went and all was fine, but I had not received the Barbie Bubble Bath that I had really wanted. A few days later, my mom came to me saying there was a gift left from last night by the tree. There was a letter from Santa (again, not my parents' handwriting) explaining how he found this one particular gift left at the bottom of his bag, which was meant for me (later, I learned it was a very popular item that year and my parents had to get a "raincheck" for the item). I opened the present and saw my very own barbie bath jacuzzi set. My eyes widened with excitement. I loved that bubble bath.

I eventually learned the truth about Santa, oddly enough, on one Easter afternoon. I had been having suspicions for a while about the whole Easter Bunny/Santa Claus/Tooth Fairy deal, and my parents would answer my questions "Is Santa real?" with evasive responses, such as, "Well, what do you think?" or "He's whatever you believe him to be" etc.

But this Easter, I wanted the straight out truth. I sat on my dad's lap and posed my question. "Is the Easter Bunny real?" After one or two times of his trying to avoid a direct answer, I said, "No, Dad. I want the truth. Just, is he real or not?"

Finally, my dad, with a bit of sadness in his voice, said, "No. He's not."

"So I guess that means Santa isn't real either then?"

"No," he paused. "He's not either."

I remember feeling sad, but not surprised. I knew logically, at this point, he was not real. But I liked believing he was, and until I knew for sure he was not real, there was hope in my heart. And that hope was a lot of fun.

I nodded to my dad. I didn't have any negative feelings toward my parents for encouraging this belief in Santa and I still don't today. It was a fun ride--all of it. And one that I knew, even that Easter Sunday, I could never, in my whole life, re-create.


Now we come to our question of how to raise our own child...With the belief in the magical existence of someone who gives a great deal of excitement and imagination, but who, ultimately, is not real? Or with the knowledge of what Christmas means, who St. Nicholas was, and to get credit for the good gifts ourselves?

For a while, I thought perhaps we would go with the second option. Maybe it is not the best thing to encourage a magical falsity, or at least, not whole-heartedly. But after speaking with new parents about how they are raising their children, how they remember Santa themselves, and from my own positive experience, I am leaning more toward allowing the fantasy. The fantasy comes with some inherent risks ("You lied to me!" "What else is not real then?" "I feel stupid for believing now!"), but it also lushes out creativity and sparks wonder.

Is it Kant who says it's ok to lie, as long as the person being lied to, if in the right state of mind, would want to be lied to? (i.e. It's ok to lie to Nazis who are looking for the Jewish person you are hiding in your attic, because if the Nazis were of the right mind, they would want to be lied to, in order to save a person's life, as that is more important than telling the truth.)

There is an interesting story in This American Life where a girl's father begins leaving her little notes around the house from The Borrowers which she believes are 4-inch tall people. Daughter and father share a wonderful experience of back and forth letter-writing and he even drops little clues around the house to insinuate a Borrower has been present. This is carried on for quite some time until the truth comes out, and the girl is left with very mixed emotions. But in the end, she would never trade that experience for the truth.

So...what would little Baby Bouteneff want? He's making a lot of movements now...kick once for Santa, twice for no Santa...he just kicked 4 times in a row...hm...

In any case, for one more Christmas, our immediate (out-of-womb) family is just two. Mike and me. And Santa, or no, I still love that magical feeling of Christmas. And so does Mike. I mean, if this (below) doesn't say Christmas spirit, what does?

(Regarding the pictures, I just have to point out, since I'm all into the belly: The first picture, by the tree, was taken 2 days before the second picture. But in the first, you can see a clear belly bump! The second is not as obvious. Again, I guess having a bare belly and taking pictures in the morning make it a little more difficult to see the distinction, compared to a full belly with a top on.)

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Pregnancy Week 20: 5th Doctor's appointment

We go to our OB for our 5th appointment today. He checks in on how I am doing. We ask a few questions. I tell Mike in the car that I am going to show our 3d picture of our baby to the doctor. I say, "He may not care, or maybe a lot of people do that, but I'm going to anyway."

And so I do. He proves polite and says, sure he would like to see it. He says he wonders what the pictures look like these days from the screening, so apparently other patients do not show him their baby images. He is a good sport.

Mike asks him a question I have coached him on. I want to know our doctor's c-section rate, but since I already asked a similar question to that at our initial visit, I suggest Mike ask it now. Mike does, on cue, and our doctor pulls a clever one. "Well, let's talk about the likelihood of your having a c-section."

Yes, he avoids the question. And yes, neither Mike nor I have the energy to pursue it further. Suffice it to say, his rate must be high. Greenwich and Stamford, CT both have good hospitals but are right up there with the national average of 40% c-section.

He is encouraging with me, however, saying unless there is an unforeseen problem (hemhorraging or something), I have a very slight chance of having a c-section. He further explains various reasons for having c-sections and the small chance of that happening to me.

All in all, again, a pleasant visit. There are no tests or screenings coming up before my next visit, so I leave with nothing but a few pamphlets on local doula agencies from his office (yes, I'm thinking of having a doula, and very glad my doctor is so open to and supportive of that).

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Our 20 week anatomy screening: We find out the sex of our baby

Tuesday, December 2, is the day we have been waiting for. 2pm: Our anatomy screening. We will make sure all is going well with the baby's development, and we will also find out the sex of our baby.

Mike takes the day off of work and I leave my job early to race home and meet him, so we can drive up together. I am a bit stressed at first, as we get a later start than I had hoped. We misunderstand each other about what directions to take, and I have not eaten lunch (thank goodness for that smoothie from work). But we get out the door, into the car, and try to relax. Mike is very excited. I am excited, but I am anxious. We arrive at the facility on time, and Mike videotapes our waiting at the office. I am too anxious to talk, I tell him, so he narrates the beginning of our adventure.

After we check in, we wait in a lobby until a woman with a thick accent comes out to explain she is finishing her internship and will do the "first photographs" then "Kararah" (or Kara, or a name like that--I never did understand what she said) will finish. "Okay," I say a bit hesitantly.

We walk into the ultrasound room, and the lights are dim. It's cozy in here. They are smart to keep the lights low, not only so that we can watch the screens better, but to give a calming yet exciting energy to the room. I think I want my delivery to be in a dimly lit room too.

I lay back, am slathered with goo, and we start seeing our baby. We can see so much more than the last time, 8 weeks ago. The ribs stand out to me, the black "hole" that is the stomach, the bladder. We see the umbilical cord, the head, 5 fingers on a hand, a clear foot.

I ask the intern if she can tell what sex the baby is, and she says, "Oh yes, but I cannot tell you. That is for Kararah/Kara to say."

I think I see a little something between the baby's legs, but I am too untrained to know what is what.

The intern takes dozens of pictures and explains the various parts (although "Kara" later corrects her on one of the names she has typed onto the screen). We watch on a tv screen in front of us, while she points out body parts on her own screen, which does not face us. But I appreciate her effort.

After about 20 minutes (Mike filming the whole time), the mysterious "Kara" person comes in. She seems young and relaxed, like a friend, and we find the whole process with her resembling something familiar. We tell her we want to know the sex, we joke about the care bear poll on our blog, we talk about old wives' tales to tell the sex of the baby (she has an interesting eye-lid one), and I find the experience quite pleasant.

Five minutes into her time doing the ultrasound on me, she focuses her image on the baby's butt. I'll let the video take over as to what happens in the next 60 seconds...

So it is official! We are having a baby boy! Lying on the patient's bed, I tear up thinking about this; we are one step closer to knowing our baby. I feel a gush of momentous reality wash over me...we are having a son. I grab Mike's hand (the one he's not using to videotape) and hold it for a few minutes. He kisses me and we laugh and smile.

I must admit, that while the poll closed with "girl" beating "boy" by 2 votes, most people whom I see on a regular basis have been saying boy lately. The wives' tales pointed to boy, there are a lot of first born boys on Mike's and my side of the family. I am not surprised that we are having a son.

However...there was some part of me that still thought we might be having a girl. Perhaps I would have felt the same if we found out we were having a daughter. I really did not know, so no matter which way it went, I would not be surprised...yet also be a little surprised. That's the nature of 50/50, I guess!

Just knowing what we are having though has made it a bit more real. It's still surreal, and, as I said before, I don't think that is going to change any time soon, but I do feel somehow different. I know I have a little boy inside of me, and that just feels... different...As they said in Sex and the City, when Miranda found out she was having a boy, "You have a little penis inside of you!" Yes, I do!

So take a look at our handsome little boy in his 5th month of life! He was a bit camera-shy, putting his arms, then his legs, over his face. But "Kararhahahrah" managed to get one nice profile shot with his fist to his face with the 4D (real time) imaging. I think he looks like Mike already! We love our little boy!

Monday, December 1, 2008

Pregnancy Week 20: We'll find out the sex of our baby tomorrow!

Yes, we'll mark the half-way point of my pregnancy with finding out the first big mystery--what the sex our baby is! Then we will have to wait another 20 weeks before we encounter the answer to our next big mystery...who our little baby is!

But for now, we will get a Christmas tree, eat Thanksgiving leftovers (thanks, Bouteneff family!), go to the chiropractor's, work, and wait. Until 2pm tomorrow...

So get your last minute votes in now! Girl or boy? What do you think?? As of now, the poll is completely tied between girl and boy (no, carebear is not winning)...Someone has got to tip the scale...