Heather lost her mucus plug yesterday.

Oh, you don’t know what that is? Isn’t that funny? How many countless scenes of birth have been brought to us by Hollywood and yet not one of them employs the words “mucus plug”. No, we have to wait until we prepare to experience the real thing before we learn about that little friend. The mucus plug is about what it sounds: a snotty bung for a barrel designed to keep things where the’re supposed to be until, well, they're not supposed to be there any more. In any case, what you need to know is that its demise signals that labor’s a pretty safe bet in the next couple weeks.

An even stronger signal is the fact that Heather was up from 4 to 7 am this morning suffering contractions, back pain and cramps. She quietly took herself into the living room couch, deciding not to wake me until she was sure this was the real thing. It wasn’t. The contractions subsided. We had a normal breakfast of french toast. Then we took Declan to the Pacific Science Center and had a good time poking around there, though the boy was a bit scared of the animatronic dinosaurs and super-sized insects. He was even a little freaked out by actual fly-bys in the butterfly room, but on the other hand his dad reckons this is the coolest thing I’ve experienced in a long time. Living gossamer leaves of color flittering right past your face in all directions. It’s enough to make you glad you’re bringing another life into the world to share it with.

Then we went to the Red Mill, the best "fast" burgers in Seattle. Heather and I each had one. Declan, per usual, happy to merely poach our fries and some of our shakes. The boy would rather eat dirt than burger. Go figure.

Anyway, I got this nifty laptop that my work has loaned me because my boss wants me to spend as much time at home with the baby as I can. (Sometimes even corporate America can be cool.) I’m thinking I may take it with us to the hospital and tell y’all as much as I can during the process.

Or that might not happen at all. You parents out there know how these things can go.

In any case, wish us luck. It won’t be long now.