The other day, a preggers friend of mine posted her ultrasound pics on Facebook.

Wow. Have things changed in the 12 years since I was last pregnant.

The ultrasound images I got of my soon-to-come kiddos more than a decade ago were old school: blurry, static-y, black-and-white and barely discernible. They pale in comparison (literally and figuratively) to today’s three-dimensional, multicolor, fully enhanced scans. Heck, you can probably see Junior’s freckles in today’s versions.

Not surprisingly, there now exist full-service imaging centers that sell 3-D ultrasound packages akin to the offerings at a Sears Portrait Studio.  This one features a “Platinum Peek” package that includes 10 wallet-size color 3D pictures, two DVDs of the entire “session” set to music, plus a “gender peek upon request.”

When did ultrasounds go from being a medical procedure to something you could buy at a strip mall?

If I consider this fascinating/weird/amazing, I can only imagine what the matrons of my mother’s generation must think. Back then, a mom-to-be had no idea what her kiddo might look like – much less whether it was a girl or a boy – until she awoke from her drug-induced stupor to meet her offspring for the first time.

We chose not to learn the gender for either of our babies (both girls, as it turned out), much to the disbelief and consternation of many of our contemporaries. Call us old-fashioned, but we just wanted to wait for the surprise.

Given the choice, I don’t think we would have opted for the Platinum Peek package, either.



For those scans of the babe who’s expected,
the technology’s been so perfected
that they’re now in 3-D,
fit for HDTV,
like productions James Cameron directed.


© 2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz



A lovely distraction.


I received a friend’s Christmas card in the mail today.

It wasn’t a postal delay; it had been mailed on January 14th. At least she did better than me. I didn’t send out a single card. Simply never got around to it.

Which of course led to my New Year’s resolution: no more putting stuff off. And right at the top of my “TO DO” list? Getting back into the groove of writing this blog. Thus, I’ve sequestered myself in a corner of my favorite public library to write this post.

Now, no sooner had I resolved that 2011 would be my year to Get Stuff Done than I stumbled across a New Yorker piece about this very subject. (Um….yeah…I was procrastinating at the time.) The article explores the history, sociology and science of the all-too common, all-too human act (non-act?) of dragging our feet.

Turns out I have some very illustrious company in putting things off till later, including Civil War General George McClellan and author Victor Hugo, who “would write naked and tell his valet to hide his clothes so that he’d be unable to go outside when he was supposed to be writing.”

Sounds like a very motivating method. Not sure the librarians here would appreciate my trying it, though…



There are torn jeans that need mending,
and thank-yous that need sending,
bills I should be paying,
and a garden that needs spraying.

I’ve got closets that need cleaning,
a rug in need of steaming,
potatoes that need boiling,
plus a roast I should be broiling.

There’s my blog I should be writing,
lots of other work I’m slighting,
dirty clothes that need collecting,
and a car that needs inspecting.

I have dishes that need stacking,
and lunches that need packing,
Christmas stuff to put away,
and a workout gone astray.

There’s a smoke detector beeping,
wooden floors I should be sweeping,
appointments to be making
and a shower I should be taking.

Yes, you’d think that I’d get going
with this list that’s ever-growing,
but I have to keep it waiting:
I’m too busy…procrastinating.

©2011 Carlotta Eike Stankiewicz