Whitney Black left spinsterhood behind when she became Mrs. Chase Andrews, and marriage is all she'd hoped for. But when her friends Mitzi and Kim start going baby-crazy, she longs for her own little bundle of joy. Wouldn't it be fun if they all could embark on their baby journey together? And so begins The Baby Chronicles, Whitney's journal of pregnancy, recording every bump and blessing -- and a few unexpected detours and discoveries -- on the road to motherhood.
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August 31, 2007
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Excerpt from The Baby Chronicles by Judy Baer
Monday, March 1
My assistant, Mitzi, cancelled the office waiting room subscriptions to Vogue and Elle and replaced them with Fit Pregnancy and American Baby. I realize now that I should have appreciated it when she was only giving me fashion advice.
Frankly, the one magazine Mitzi should be allowed to read is her signature publication, Harper's Bizarre (sic).
My name is Whitney Blake Andrews, and today I'm starting a new volume of my personal journal. It's been quite a ride since that first day two years ago when I began keeping what I fondly call The Whitney Chronicles. My best friend, Kim Easton, has overcome breast cancer, and her son Wesley has turned three. I've been made vice president of Innova Software, located in downtown Minneapolis, and been married for almost two years to Dr. Chase Andrews, the most incredible husband in the universe. That's my personal bias, of course.
And Mitzi Fraiser is still the most aggravating person on this planet, but she's my aggravating person, so I love her anyway. Most of the time...at least some of the time...in brief spurts... Hmm... I do remember having a pleasant thought about her sometime between last Christmas and New Year's Eve. I think.
Kim stopped over after work tonight so that we could debrief each other on our day at the office. She likes to come to my house for three reasons. There is no LEGO embedded in the carpet, Ernie and Elmo are not the anchormen during the evening news, and there is always chocolate.
I've been sacrificing myself in the name of medical science, researching the curative uses for chocolate. It has the same health-promoting chemicals as fruits and veggies. It's the least I can do for the good of mankind. How often did I dream Mom would tell me to eat my chocolate cake instead of my Brussels sprouts?
Oh, yes, that's another thing I don't understand about Mitzi. She hates chocolate. This is another indication that she is an extraterrestrial--something Kim and I have suspected all along.
"What's up with Mitzi these days?" Kim curled her feet beneath her on my overstuffed couch, looking all of fifteen, instead of her actual thirty-three years. "She's been acting weird lately."
"More than usual? How can you tell?"
Kim grinned and took a piece of milk chocolate with almonds. "The magazines, for one thing. I got a copy of Pregnancy in my mailbox this morning. And the fact that she's turned into the food police. Did you see her whip that Twinkies out of Bryan's hand yesterday? You'd have thought he was having a toxic-waste sandwich."
Bryan Kellund was my assistant before Mitzi was assigned to me. He's the only person I've ever known who can disappear in plain sight. He fades into the background as though he's wearing wallpaper camouflage. That's why I'm so amazed that he found a girlfriend who's even more inconspicuous and retiring than he. They cook tapioca pudding to spice up their dessert menu.
Bryan's current idea of subterfuge is sneaking into the office break room and substituting decaffeinated coffee for the fully leaded stuff and then patiently watching and waiting for Harry's and Mitzi's energy to wane. I've caught him a time or two, but I never say anything about it because I've done it myself. Anything that makes Mitzi and Harry a little less hyperactive is fine with me.
"I've learned not to attempt to figure out what Mitzi is up to," I said. "Frankly, I'm more curious about Harry."
My boss, Harry Harrison, is a software genius and our office mascot. Okay, Harry's not our mascot, exactly, but his hair is. Two or three years ago he discovered the curly perm and he's resembled a Chia Pet ever since.
"I think he's depressed," I murmured, more to myself than to Kim.
"Harry? Don't you think I'd recognize it if Harry were depressed?"
Kim has battled depression much of her life. She now has it under control with medication and lots of exercise to get those endorphins moving.
"Wouldn't you be depressed if your claim to fame was being washed down the shower drain?" I persisted. "Have you looked, really looked, at Harry's head lately?"
Understanding dawned on Kim's pixielike features. "His thinning hair, you mean?"
"Thinning? Kim, he's only six strands away from a comb-over."
"Shades of Rudy Giuliani--you're right. No wonder he skulks into the office wearing that wool felt hat that makes him look like an Indiana Jones wannabe."
"We need to be nice to Harry. My own dad's hair is starting to thin, and he's very sensitive about it. Mother caught him wearing a baseball cap in the shower last week. She says he can't stand to see the reflection of his head in the mirror."
And that's only one of the many weird aging games my parents play. Dad now insists he's in male meno-pause. What it really is is revenge for what my mother put him through when she was "of a certain age."
"'...vanity of vanities! All is vanity,'" Kim intoned.