goodbye first trimester

We’re having another baby. I forget to post big things here anymore because it’s much easier to announce things in 140 characters or less. But since I’ve used this blog for pretty much every life altering event over the past 17+ years, I feel like I should elaborate for historical purposes.

Meet our new baby:

Well, there are a few differences now that I look at the picture:

  • We’re only having one.
  • It won’t come out with a helmet or a firearm.
  • And it probably won’t be green.

And really, even if this kid comes out green, I’m cool with that. The first bullet point has been confirmed a couple of times and we’ll be millionaires if the second one happens.

The process wasn’t nearly as easy for this early-2018 baby was it was for the soon-to-be big brother. I don’t know if we had unrealistic expectations this time or we’re just older, more mature (or geriatric according to my wife’s medical records…), or what, but it was tough to get to this point. Here’s how it worked with him:

  • February 10th, 2014: IUI procedure at our reproductive doctor’s office
  • February 25th, 2014: Multiple pregnancy tests were turning up positive.
  • Early March 2014: Couldn’t see his heartbeat, waited two weeks, finally saw his heartbeat.
  • November 2014: Ozzy was born and I didn’t blog about it. SORRY, SON.

This future baby worked like this:

  • Repeat Step 1 from above on in November 2016, December 2016, January 2017, March 2017 and May 2017. We had to skip February and April due to a couple of medical things that need to resolve themselves, and we only had one more shot that was covered by insurance.
  • May 18th: some positive pregnancy tests after a handful of negative ones in the span of about three days.
  • June 7th: Saw a heartbeat and a tiny ball of cells and graduated from the reproductive clinic a couple of weeks after that (which is a big deal in the TTC world).
  • July 6th: Saw an even better heartbeat, a wiggling little almost fetus and got the thumbs up that everything was looking pretty good.

And that’s where we are now. I really, really, really always have the best of intentions to write more about the process because I want to remember all of it… and then life gets in the way. A big part of life as it is right now includes a shaggy haired two year old with a farmer tan who really enjoys the phrase “WATCH THIS” and watching Moana and Cars on a rotation.

i have big blogging ideas, you guys

Then again, I always have big blogging ideas. I mean, honestly, I have really great ideas all the time. It’s just the execution piece that I’m terrible at coming up with. My Strengths Finder results are in no way at all even remotely tied to the executor category of them, so I’m not overly surprised. If we take a quick peak at the progress I’m making on my 101 things in 1001 days list, we can all see just how unsuccessful I am at getting shit done. It’s cool, though. I’m accepting it.

Here’s the current list I’ve been working on since March 4, 2016. Things aren’t going well and I’m throwing in the towel on some of them, because I’m not delirious and having pending things on a to-do list never makes me feel awesome.

Let’s go with the list that just isn’t happenin’:

  •  Date night once a month with my wife. (3/2016, 5/2016, 8/2016, 9/2016, 10/2016, 11/2016, 12/2016, 1/2017) This is terrible and I know. I also know it’s not going to get any better at all with a second baby making his or her entrance early next year. We’re going to need to suck it up and start not being afraid to ask people to babysit.
  • Have game night at our house 2x a year. We’ve never had anyone over to our house for any reason other than Ozzy’s 1st birthday party, to house sit or to have them help us with some thing. I did meet a nice electrician this way.

And where’s where I’ve been able to knock things completely off the list:

  • Re-do this website again. For me, that means changing WordPress themes and I’ve done that five million times.
  • Use Untapped again to try 10 new beers. Éphémère Bleuet by Unibroue, Apple Jack by Sociable Cider Werks, Apple Hard Cider by Uncle John’s Hard Cider, Mexican Honey Imperial Lager by Indeed Brewing Company, Ciderkin by Argus Cidery, Blueberry Wheat by Abita Brewing Company, Rekorderlig Päron by Åbro Bryggeri, Hopitoulas by NOLA Brewing, Blonde by NOLA Brewing, Strawberry Ale by Convington Brewhouse. Nailed it, thanks to a few days in New Orleans. And honestly, it was really, really awesome trying drinks in a city that had beers I’d never even heard of before. I should do that more.

And the still-in-progress items:

  • Go out with friends in some fashion at least once a month. (2016, 1/2017, 2/2017) I’ve realized how important this one is to my mental health. I’m an extrovert and needs downtime, but without both, it just doesn’t make for a super happy Wendy.
    • March 2017 (happy hour with some co-workers), April 2017 (Transportation Museum with some friends and we went to a co-worker’s fundraiser), May 2017 (Went to a birthday party), June 2017 (five days of HR conference nerdery)
  • Get June to the point where she doesn’t lose her shit when people come over. Amelia’s mom was here for a whole week and June let her touch her pretty much every day and that’s a big win when it comes to our neurotic little mutt. She’s never going to jump in anyone’s lap, but I’ll take it if she’s not barking the ENTIRE time that someone’s here.
  • Visit 30 new restaurants. 21/30 Fireside Lounge & Bar, Capitol View Cafe, Crooked Pint & Ale House, Blvd Bar & Grille, Highland Grille, Taco Libre, Giordano’s (the Minneapolis version), Boatright’s Dining Hall (Orlando), Anchor Bar (Superior, WI), Square Grouper (Key West), Bagatelle (Key West), Sandbar Sports Grill (Key West), Roostica (Key West), Frita’s (Key West), Cedar and Stone, Killer PoBoys (New Orleans), Cochon Butcher (New Orleans), World of Beer (New Orleans), Oceana Grill (New Orleans), Copper Monkey (New Orleans), Grindhouse Killer Burgers (Atlanta). Traveling is clearly helping.

the internet exhausts me some days

I’ve grown really, really tired of the internet lately, which is something I never thought I’d consider a possibility in my lifetime since I don’t think I’ve gone a single day without using the internet once I had my first computer. It’s just so different these days.

It’s how we read our news. We get it in the morning when we’re still in bed or in a breaking news notification on our phones or in our Twitter feeds when we’re trying to figure out how #NuggsForCarter is moving along or we see our twice removed fourth cousin sharing a link from some AllConservativeAllTheTime website. And it’s everywhere and we can’t get away from it unless you smash our phone with a sledgehammer and lock ourselves in a small wooden shanty that doesn’t have electricity or access for anyone else to talk to you the entire time you’re in there. That’s not even possible, you know?

It’s how you keep in touch with pretty much everyone. Gone are the days of forwarding jokes to everyone in your email address book or sending a dollar to 10 different people with the hopes of everyone in the world sending you a dollar back making you a hundredaire. Now everyone shares 18 memes a day and Nigerian princes are contacting all of us so they can wire us millions of dollars once we send them all of our personal identification information. We’re still equally as annoyed and disappointed in these situations, so I guess not too much has changed since then.

What’s the biggest change? Everyone can say everything they want all of the time without any regard of how it might be perceived and they typically do it without thinking because they have the ability and the tools to do it right that very second. If we don’t do it right that very second, someone else might say it or do it and then they’ll get all the credit for it. Feelings don’t usually matter. And if they do, it’s not until after someone’s said, “hey, you’re kind of being a dick”, and then someone gets all defensive and has to explain what they really meant or maybe they don’t because, hey, it’s not like you really have to look at that person in the face and say those things, right?

Everyone has an opinion and their opinion is pretty much always right, of course. Everyone has advice for you all the time and it doesn’t matter if you ask for it. That’s expected of your great aunt or your grandma, but they’ll tell you something to your face and they’ve earned the right to share those opinions with you. Janet from down the street, Becky with the hair that you went to school with in 7th grade or Jackhole McGee, who’s some friend of a friend that you forgot you were even connected to on social media are pretty much all the same. They don’t see you regularly, but they still know ALL OF THE THINGS in your life, so they will provide advice and opinions whether or not you shove a quarter in or not. And it’s not always nice. They don’t always think about what they’re hammering out on their phone while they’re in the checkout line at Target, but they don’t hesitate to post it before they read through it enough to realize they’re being a dick and they sure don’t pause for a second to see if what they have to say really applies to them.

Empathy is this thing. It’s a really, really, really valuable thing and we should all try to do more of that today, this month, this year and pretty much forever. But it’s not instant and it’s not natural. It requires awareness and thought and intent. We go too fast every single day to think we can show empathy without putting intention behind it. Let me give you an example:

Standard Facebook post: My 2 year old just won’t eat his vegetables. We offer them to him at every meal, but he just flat out refuses to swallow anything that’s grown from a plant. We’re not making special meals for him, so he’ll eventually either figure it out or just be hungry.

Pretty standard Facebook responses might include: Have you tried smoothies? You should be careful because he might get scurvy. He’s going to be fat. His bones are going to fall apart. He’s going to go blind. Have you tried this special cookbook that tells you how to puree shit and sneak into every single recipe that you eat?

All the Facebook response people really want: Man, that sucks – I totally get it and here’s what worked for our situation. We had the same thing happened at our house and it took awhile, but we eventually found out he liked ________.

That second group of answers? That’s how empathy works.

Merriam Webster explains it pretty well, too: “the action of understanding, being aware of, being sensitive to, and vicariously experiencing the feelings, thoughts, and experience of another of either the past or present without having the feelings, thoughts, and experience fully communicated in an objectively explicit manner.”

So there you go. My challenge to you is 1) understand what empathy means and 2) show it someone. Show it to everyone. Everyone’s pretty tender right now and you don’t always know what’s going on in someone else’s life just because you haven’t read it on Facebook. Golden rule shit here, okay? Get that part under wraps and then this empathy thing is going to come a little easier. People like to feel like they’re heard and they’re listened to. I get that we’re all busy thinking about how we can relate our lives to their story, but that’s not always what they want.

There’s a Right Way and a Wrong Way to Do Empathy is a really great article you should read if you’re sitting there fuming because you think this post is about you.  This is the best part of the article: “…perhaps it’s time we start thinking about it a little differently, focusing on what the other person is going through without inserting our hypothetical selves into the same situation.” This applies for the people you live with, the people you see every day and the people you haven’t seen for six million years. It applies to your co-workers and the random stranger you see at the splash pad who just accidentally sprayed suntan lotion in your face.

We’re all here in this whole life thing together. We should be nice to each other while we’re here.

These flowers are my grandma’s. They’re related to this post because she’s the nicest person in the world. She’s good at it and I’m sure it’s from years and years of practice. That means we’ve all got a lot of work to do.