Yesterday’s focus was on winning.  Winning a new account.

The anticipation and anxiety of prepping for a sales presentation is similar to the feeling of getting ready to do an employee interview/interrogation during my previous life.  I find it addicting.  As much as you plan, you worry about every word that come out of your mouth.  You hope it’s received as you planned.  You hope you did enough homework on their needs.  You hope you strategy gets you to your end game.  You get one shot to impress, to make them question their previous assumptions. You have to read body language.  You analyze the situation and adjust/pivot.  You stay on your toes, ready to answer any and every question they are planning.  Most of all be yourself.  Be real. It’s you they are buying, it’s not about the product alone.


Baby Fever

Jessica was trying to sleep in, but I was too excited!  I love to create things, sometimes it’s photography, sometimes it’s woodworking, sometimes it’s design.  It’s fun to come up with a vision and then to make it reality.  I looked into the office, which is adjacent to our bedroom, and I started creating in my mind.

“So mama bear, what furniture are we going to need in the nursery?”

“I’m barely awake, what are you doing now?????”  (She knows when I start asking questions I am up to starting some project)

“I want to plan the nursery!  What are we doing with the dresser in here, how about the desk?  What do you think of the crib there, the chair and ottoman in the corner, and the dresser/changing table here? What about the color?  Keep it slate grey, add white furniture, and bring in color elsewhere?”

“I don’t know…… I just woke up!”

So I didn’t let that deter me.  I started tearing through the room. Moved the dress out and put it in our room.  Cleaned the desk and office supplies.  I then got to a point where all the rest of the shit was Jessica’s and I know better than to start moving her stuff around so I went on to other household chores.  She thinks I’m doing too much too soon, but I like to have a plan.  I know as she get more and more pregnant, the less she will feel like doing or be able to help with.  I have a lot of projects to complete in 9 months, one of which is a kitchen gut and remodel.  I need to space them all out.

I also like to plan, especially when it comes to finances.  Knowing we are going to need a ton of diapers, I ask Jessica if it’s nuts to start stock piling diaper now week by week as they are on sale or coupons are available so we can spread the costs over a greater time period.  Jessica likes to shop, especially when she get a discounts.  This really got her motivated.  On our way home from dinner we stopped at CVS to look at pricing and sales on diapers. Pampers were on sale.  I now have approximately 300 diapers in the ready in the basement.  We’re not excited or anything……..

Gigi x2

She opens the card and starts reading.  “I’m not your grandma,” see exclaims.  She continues to read.  Her eyes widen and she throws the card down, “Get out!! About freaking time!” She shares the card, and he looks surprised.

My parent’s recently moved the Boston area to be near my sister and their first grandchild.  They still have their house in CT, but it is currently listed for sale so they are required to maintain it.  Because of the snow storm on Tuesday they were traveling home to take care of the snow removal.  I surprised them by cleaning 99% of the afternoon prior.

This all worked out perfectly.  My mom called me Saturday morning when they arrived home to find all the snow gone.  She said she would like to take Jessica and I to dinner to say thank you.  It couldn’t have been set up any better.  She proposed to see me and suspected nothing.  We decided to meet at Green Tea a Chinese restaurant because it was easy for Jessica and I to order vegan.

They walked in and sat down.  I so excited to layout the surprise.  I start over analyzing everything I did, hoping to not give it away.  Just act normal, just act normal I kept saying to myself.  We ordered our food and I handed her the card. Her birthday was March 1st and although my sister and I went in on a gift together and she had already received, I had not technically given her a card yet.  So I handed her the card and said I keep forgetting to get this to you.  That’s where we start this post.

As can be assumed, the remainder of dinner focused on baby talk, possible names, what if its twins, diet, planning a nursery, etc.  The one caveat for my mother was my sister still didn’t know.  Jessica and I planned to head to Boston the following week to tell Erin in person, but it was going to be the longest week for my mother having to keep the secret. One more person to tell, but at least letting the cat out of the bag to me parents was such a relief. It is tough walking around with a secret, especially when it’s good news!

Vegan Corned Beef

Not much new on the baby front.  Jessica is still doing well, but she had her first big craving.  Being St. Patrick Day, she NEEDED to have a traditional corned beef and cabbage dinner.  The one problem, we recently (for a week now) have decided to eat vegan.  The main reason was to change up our diet for a healthy eating lifestyle with the idea being, going vegan will force us to consume more whole foods and vegetables.  We always ate somewhat clean, but meat as the lead role of the meal.  The environmental and animal treatment were just ancillary benefits to being vegan.

After the first week of eating vegan I can say I do enjoy it.  It’s fun to think about food differently and create new meals that are nutritious and filling without meat.  I will admit I gave in a couple times to eating eggs because I do enjoy them for breakfast, but I did have a few less than normal.  For anyone thinking to go vegan, just beware it take a few days for your body to get used to digesting legumes if you hadn’t previously eaten them.  Boy do they have fiber.

So last night we gave in and went to our local watering hole and got a traditional corned beef dinner while being serenaded by bagpipes. I closed out my night with a shot of Jameson on the rock followed by some Sleepy Time tea. Happy St. Patrick Day!

Surprise. Surprise. Surprise.

Surprise 1.

Jessica had her first OB appointment scheduled for March 26th so we thought we were going to have to wait for the official confirmation on the pregnancy (for some reason 5 positive home tests weren’t just credible for us to officially believe it).

9:34am text message from Jessica: “I got a cancellation!!! 1:20 in Waterbury.”  So it looks like we would have our official word sooner than later.  By chance I had a work appointment in Waterbury and got out at 1:00.  I was able to swing over and meet her for our first of many appointments.

Surprise 2.

There is nothing that can fully prepare a man for his first OB visit.  The waiting room is full of mostly pregnant women and not many Y chromosomes.  It’s not the most male friendly place, I feel there should be a man corner.  Kind of like the kid corner at a pediatrician, but with leather chairs, cigars, and bourbon.  We get called in the exam room.  There before is my first encounter with an exam table accessorized with the heal stirrups. At this point I don’t feel like I belong.  I ask, “This is just for a urine test and talking, right? No physical exam will occur?”  Jessica assures me it will just be a confirmation and question answering because at 5 weeks there is nothing to see/feel.  I take my seat in the corner on an old wooden chair that looks like it came from my grandmother’s house.  Enter the medical assistant.  She take Jessica’s BP, asks some questions, then instructs her to go give a urine sample for them to use for the pregnancy test.  Then the words I feared.  When you return, please undress from the waist down so the midwife can give a physical exam.  Panic sets in.  I am not prepared for this.  I don’t think I am mature enough to handle this situation and not giggle.  Enter the midwife.  She was a middle-aged woman, very nice, reminded of your aunt or your best friend’s mom.  You know exactly what I mean.  She confirms the pregnancy.  She talks, ask questions, and explain our next steps for appointments.  Then the exam.  Luckily I was near Jessica’s head so I didn’t have a front seat view, but let’s just say it will be a very memorable moment.  I better get used to it………

Surprise 3.

Jessica had decided to announce the pregnancy to her parents by giving them a baby announcement onesie from Etsy.  The onesie said “Should I call you “Grams & Gramps, Mamaw & Papaw, Mimi & Pop, or simply just Grandma & Grandpa, Please decide before November 2017”  The original plan was to give it to her on Friday, but Jessica couldn’t contain her excitement when it came in the mail yesterday.  So after dinner we headed to the in-laws.  Jessica had a bunch of items to give to her mom.  Among the items was the onesie.  She opened it and looked very confused at first.  Come to find out later, she thought they were a pair of cotton underwear and wasn’t sure why Jessica was giving them to her.  She read the onesie.  Immediately her face changed.  She had a big smile and started crying.  She showed it to John across the table and said John you’re going to be a Papaw.  He smiled too.  1 set of parents down.  1 set to go.

Stay tuned 🙂

Snow Day

I woke up feeling like a father.

Have a night to sleep on the news from the previous day caused an immediate change.  I can’t really explain it, but I woke up without the anxieties of Tuesday.  I really felt the excitement and responsibility kick in.

Jessica and I are both pretty independent people.  Typically we each take care of our own responsibilities in the morning.  I will usually hit the gym, come home and prep for work while Jessica showers, makes her lunch, and get to work.  It’s usually a pretty utilitarian morning routine and we go on with our work days.

This morning was different, I woke up with Jessica as my main focus. I had a snow day from work due to the aftermath of the winter storm on Tuesday, so I put off my gym time.   What would she have for lunch? Would she have enough water? What can I do to help her this morning?  I know it’s just the beginning and she is fully capable of doing all this on her own, I just hyper sensitive to the fact she is going to have a “long” road ahead of her as her body goes through changes.  Things I can’t even imagine because the thought of a human being growing inside of me would honestly freak me out. My responsibility is to ensure she has everything she needs so that both her and the baby have a safe and health adventure together.

I think the hardest part at this point is not telling anyone.  We decided this coming weekend we would tell our parents.  My mom’s birthday was March 1st and I had gotten her a birthday card yet, so I went and got her a Happy Birthday Grandma card from Baby T.  They will be in town for the weekend cleaning up from the storm, so we will stop by and share the news.  While at CVS I picked up a St. Patrick Day card for my soon to be 1 year old nephew.  This card will be from his new, and first cousin.  Obviously my sister will be the one to read the card and that’s how she will know.  Jessica is still playing around with some ideas to tell her parents and brother, but it looks like it will happen on Friday.  I just can’t wait to tell people it’s hard to be excited on the inside while talking to everyone.

So far I think I can get used to this fatherhood thing.  I may need to re-read this post in 10 months at 3am.  Luckily, I’m a heavy sleeper, sorry Jessica.

A New Beginning

This morning I found out I was going to be a father. Even though it was planned and discussed with my wife it was still somewhat of a shock.

It’s the middle of March and we are getting hammered by winter storm Stella causing my Jessica to be home from work.  I always get up before her so my day started like any other feeding the dogs and taking them out for their morning ritual.  I did some cleaning up around the kitchen, did some work on my computer, and parked myself on the couch watching the news coverage of the storm.  After the repetitive nature of the news was getting to me, I took out my phone and started watching YouTube video.  Specifically, I was watching a pretty lame Photoshop tutorial of a guy editing real estate photos.  Neither him nor I knew that his video would be a solidifying moment in my life.  About halfway through the tutorial, I hear Jessica get up from bed and head to the bathroom.  Within a couple minutes, she yells down the hall “Ooops, can you come here I think I just broke this.”  I hit pause and proceed down the hall, wondering what I am going to have to spend the rest of the afternoon putting back together.  I walk into the bathroom and I see three pregnancy test laying on the counter.  She says “I’m pregnant.”

Now like I said, it shouldn’t have been that much of a surprise as it was planned, but it still was.  You watch these video on Facebook of wives telling their husbands they are pregnant and they immediately get filled with joy and start crying.  I had always known I probably wouldn’t cry (being a tough guy and all), but I expected excitement.  Instead I felt the pressure of the world on my shoulders.  I felt anxiety and fear.  It was one thing to discuss having a child, it was another to suddenly be faced with the reality.  The overwhelming feeling of realizing another human being was going to be 100% dependent on me outweighed the joy I could feel in that moment.  I was happy.  I know I was.  My mind was just moving faster than I could process.

It was nice that today was a snow day so Jessica and I got to spend the time together.  The day consisted mostly of play regarding the naming of little baby T, figuring out and planning for the due date, inventing creative ways to tell our closest family members, and me repeatedly asking if Jessica was playing a joke on me.

So now here we sit, watching Shameless with our fur babies by our side.  It still doesn’t seem real, but the journey starts today.  I’m excited for what the future holds because it will be nothing like I have experienced before.  Let’s see what tomorrow brings.